We get our news in "Sound Bites From Hell." These are the ones we got all week.
"Worst natural disaster in American history."
"Worst man-made disaster, following the worst hurricane in history."
"There is enough blame to go around for everybody."
"The federal government came in too late."
"Everyone was warned days in advance that New Orleans was threatened because it was below sea level."
"Everyone knew the levees would break, but no one was willing to do anything about it."
"The governor of Louisiana was late in calling out the National Guard and Washington was late in calling it a crisis."
"There was looting, rape, starvation, anger and death because people couldn't get out of town."
"Most of the victims didn't know how to get out of town because they didn't know where to go."
"Thousands sought shelter at the Superdome and the convention center, and waited days for the buses to rescue them."
"It was a racist thing. The officials denied it. But the TV pictures keep showing African Americans in desperate straits."
"President Bush said he was going to send $10.5 billion as a down payment. The Democrats said it was a drop in the bucket and it would cost more than $100 billion to pay for the damage."
"Why, in the congressional transportation bill, was there pork barrel money for building a highway to nowhere in Alaska and no money to strengthen the levees in New Orleans?"
"With people suffering on the Gulf Coast, how can we afford to pay for policing Iraq?"
"The oil companies are gouging us. We will soon be paying $5 a gallon, and under our system the companies are entitled to make a profit, as they maintain Katrina wasn't their fault."
"Don't call them refugees. They are Americans, and they are evacuees. Many say their government let them down."
"Some are lost, some have been orphaned, others are not sure if they will ever find their loved ones again."
"Question. Why was New Orleans below sea level in the first place?"
"Follow-up question. Should we rebuild it again, below sea level? If we decide not to, will we still claim the blues came from the Mississippi?"
"What about Biloxi? Should we rebuild its gambling casinos and appeal to people who used to lose their money in casinos in Louisiana?"
"Follow-up question. Will those who have no homes in New Orleans still want to shoot craps in Mississippi?"
"The Sound Bites From Hell" go on and on. When they will stop, God only knows. Many people are still asking, "Where was He, when the wind blew the roof off my house?"
Other people reply, "I didn't understand the question."
(c) 2005, Tribune Media Services