Thursday, September 01, 2005


Just before the presidential election of 2004, The New York Times magazine published "Without A Doubt," a piece by Ron Suskind. In it the writer quoted a senior White House adviser, who complained about Suskind and his kind:
"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"
Nothing much has changed in the Bush Administration, it seems. When reality bites you in the ass, pretend it's not there and create your own reality. People like us? We'll be stirring a stick in their dust.

The trouble with their mindset is laughable, obvious. They're ignoring reality. And people are dying because of it.

Federal officials held several "news" conferences today, divulging little news in the process.

All the talk about this many MREs and that many liters of water, and babies outside the convention center in New Orleans are dying of dehydration.

The feds (and their counterparts on the state level) dodged every question about casualty counts, claiming it was "too soon to know." But within two days of last December's tsunami -- in a much more remote part of the world, where technology would obviously be more primitive -- the death toll had been set at 22,500. By Day 3 it was 58,000.

By Day 4 in New Orleans, the only figure mentioned was "thousands."

On Wednesday we noted the lack of graphic video from Katrina. On Thursday, Thom wrote to tell us that CNN (like Fox) was showing some footage of corpses in the street. These happened to be bundled beneath sheets and blankets. But even with that reality staring at us from the TV, state and federal officials won't talk about it.

They are clearly working hard not to be clear. They're creating their own reality, devoid of unpleasant facts. And some people like it that way. Over at Free Republic, some conservatives are upset that Fox's Shepard Smith is showing a dead body in his coverage from New Orleans. The Freeper asks: "How low can you go to grandstand? Things are bad in N.O., but he didn't have to show it."

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