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Living by the Law of the Sea

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John Patrick, Editorial Director

John Patrick, Editorial Director

“It was the Law of the Sea…. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.”
–Hunter S. Thompson

Hurricane Katrina implemented the Law of the Sea in New Orleans on August 29—and it looks like a hard law to live by.

The pictures of desperation and devastation that come across the television and Internet and daily newspapers are hard to swallow, and they are only getting worse as the sewage-filled water is pumped from that watery cemetery.

Yes, it will be a long time before New Orleans attracts any legitimate tourists who are interested in something more than the aftermath.

However, the aftermath, for the time being, is a legitimate concern—especially when you factor in the harsh reality that it never had to be as bad as it is.

Ol’ George could have, instead of creating an Islamic Republic in Iraq and giving tax cuts to the wealthiest among us, fully funded the Louisiana flood control projects requested by the Army Corps of Engineers and state officials. Or perhaps, as long as he was running up deficits that my generation will to have to pay off, he could have funded all three.

The President is now saying that the blame lies with him, but for a solid week Ol’ George and his pack of swine in Washington immediately retreated to their old standby excuse for when things go awry: “We never saw it coming.”

George, Dick, Carl, Condie and Rummy never seem to see anything coming—not 9/11, not the insurgency in Iraq and certainly not Katrina. If given the opportunity, I’m certain that these people would deny foreseeing the wild orgy of post-tragedy profiteering that so readily stuffs their cronies’ wallets. But I’m not so certain that they could pull it off with a straight face—especially when Ol’ George has obvious difficulty holding back smirks and snickers when talking about the doomed.

The doomed do not rate high on the food chain in George Bush’s America. It might be because of economics or race or religion or any of a wide variety of conditions that separate them from the “upper crust,” but at the end of the day, those things are arbitrary when the one of the elite’s prodigal sons is charged with serving the people.

Ol’ George has managed to stay out of the food chain for quite a while, and his newfound willingness to shoulder the responsibility for the government’s ineptitude during Katrina’s aftermath is just one more lame attempt to stay out of it.

But America’s boy king might be underestimating the outrage of the American people. There is a whole pack of senators and representatives on Capitol Hill who, with an election around the corner, won’t want to be seen supporting a pack of incompetent pigs who have treated the presidency as nothing more than a frat-boy circle jerk.

It is time for an impeachment. Yes sir, the chickens are coming home to roost in the coop of stupidity. This is not a Republican thing or a Democrat thing. It is an American thing. You can only disappoint a people for so long before they turn on you. Just ask Captain James Cook.

The water line is creeping conspicuously close to the White House these days—and Ol’ George might soon find himself living by the Law of the Sea.

John Patrick, a senior journalism major, is editorial director of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at

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