We lived with weather wildness here yesterday--huge winds sweeping through Melbourne, bending the trees until their top branches swept the ground, crashing boats against rocks, a hurricane--which is not what happens here--a cyclone of wind that caught up the dry red earth and painted whole communities the red of Uluru. Then a bruised sky, yellow and purple, and sheets of cold rain. A world wide pattern I see when I watch the SBS international news, sweeping reds and blues curving across the faces of nations, bringing calamities of rain and wind to already struggling people clinging to the fragile solid places of their lives. Always Katrina's people will live in me, and the cold stupidity, the cold bigotries, that allowed a flood to remove a people. This President who thinks fighting in Afghanistan is a "romantic" thing to do, the wounds of war that leave bodies turned inside out, young men and women, soldiers and civilians, encased in pain. How, how, how could we have let it come to this, how, how, how did "democracy" become what Bush has made it. A black minister tells the truths about many lives in his country and he is attacked for not being grateful, for not being American. They destroy and then they rule out anger. Survivors of Katrina finally given mobile homes to live in that are heavy with poisons, New Orleans tearing down its public housing and replacing it with privatised town houses that "will have a strict rule of access about who can live here." We are not allowed to say what is clear--New Orleans is being cleansed of poor people. What a tragic love affair, unfettered capitalism and an imperial stupid President and his minions -stupid of mind and heart--tragic for us, for the world, for the Middle East. And the most frightening thing of all is the fragility of the national psyche, a fearful tenderness of self image--so anger at racism, at the suffering of so many and the runaway wealth of the few, at the terrible loss of life in Iraq, losses that our country would not even allow to be publicly counted, the thousands of Iraqi civilians whom we have sacrificed to our national certainties of destiny for others, how to pound our questions into the dead eyed Cheneys--the winds are howling, carrying the red drenched bits of human misery around the globe and the answer of some is to build higher walls, stronger gates, more prisons, greater police forces, mightier armies with heavier bombs, ever increasing the crescendo of us and them--all the storms of nature are a whisper in the face of our torrents of calculated brutalities.