More than just the levees broke in New Orleans on Aug. 30. The tissue of pretense we've carefully constructed over our social condition tore away as well in the gusts of Hurricane Katrina--gone with the wind, you might say. What the storm and subsequent flood washed bare was the undeniable inequality that still plagues us as Americans.

On television, the chattering class sputters and gases about the slow response to a catastrophe, meaning Hurricane Katrina. And, indeed, the slow-motion reaction from state and local officials, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and the White House was--to

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