Running out of things to blame Katrina on? Here’s a new one
I’ll admit I didn’t listen to this entire Oct. 5 NPR broadcast on “Environmental Politics after Katrina and Rita” — probably worth a listen if you have 53 minutes. I tuned out after the first five minutes, following this ludicrous quote o’ the week from Fred Smith, President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
It would also of course be useful if we allow people to, encourage people to, develop their own mechanisms of defense. One of the great tragedies and something that showed quite clearly in Katrina is that poverty is a form of vulnerability, poverty is a form of pollution. The inability of people in New Orleans to get out of town, the reliance on mass transit, illustrates just how dangerous a world is without mobility, without the automobile and the ability to use it freely. And the war on the automobile, the war on the energy policy, have had consequences, and one of those consequences is an America that is more vulnerable, especially if you’re poor.
But don’t just read — listen, so you can hear host Steve Scher’s throat-clearing as Smith says “mechanisms of defense” (got a cold, there, Steve?) and the snarl in Smith’s voice as he pronounces the detestable words “mass transit.”