Third Party & Independents Archives

Exploiting Fear and Emotion

While both parties are guilty of reaching to the heart of their constituents instead of their heads by using fear, anger and hatred to convince them to support them or more likely to NOT support ‘the other guy’, recently the democratic party has stepped up the game in order to regain the control that they’ve lost over the past few years.

However, in one of their key talking points they have gotten the facts just plain wrong in a way that it may be impossible to repair the damage of their misuse of the nation's trust. In fact, recent reporting shows how the response of the government to hurricane Katrina was much better than most of us have been led to believe.

Popular Mechanics recently investigated several of the myths surrounding hurricane Katrina. One those myths was “The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in US history.” – Aaron Broussard, President, Jefferson Parish, LA on Meet the Press September 4, 2005. However, Popular Mechanics explains how this is just not the case.

They write that even though the top disaster management officials may have appeared to be trying out for the new Three Stooges movie, the response was by far one of the largest – and fastest – rescue effort in US history with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm’s landfall. They also report that in less than one day after Katrina’s landfall the airspace around New Orleans was so saturated with rescue helos that aerial collisions became a real danger.

Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day--some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, "guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways," says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.

These units had help from local, state and national responders, including five helicopters from the Navy ship Bataan and choppers from the Air Force and police. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dispatched 250 agents in boats. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state police and sheriffs' departments launched rescue flotillas. By Wednesday morning, volunteers and national teams joined the effort, including eight units from California's Swift Water Rescue. By Sept. 8, the waterborne operation had rescued 20,000.

While the press focused on FEMA's shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success--especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.

The problem was that during the days after the hurricane, camera crews focused on the panic and reported every sordid rumor that passed it’s way without once attempting to do due diligence to determine the factual basis of any of the reports it aired. As I wrote on this blog back in September (The Highest Standards of Journalism) many, if not all of the stories reported in New Orleans were not true at all. Most noted:

• Nearly 200 corpses on ice at the superdome. Reality: 6 people died inside the superdome, 4 from natural causes, one from an overdose and the 6th was an apparent suicide.
• Large gangs were forming and running roughshot over the city, looting, raping and killing. Reality: 4 murders in the streets of new Orleans occurred during the aftermath of the hurricane, in a city that expects 200 murders a year that was just about the norm.
• Sharks were swimming down city streets. Reality: please…

What we have now is a misconception, initially shaped by an overzealous news media who needs to report the ‘end of times’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and then further shaped by political hacks who want to add it to their arsenal of attacks on their political rivals, on both sides of the aisle, as an example of why you should vote for them instead. Of course there were mistakes made, however focusing on the few mistakes and ignoring the myriad of successes that helped prevent what could have been tens of thousands of deaths following such a disaster does nothing positive unless you are politically motivated to do so, IMO.

As we often see, reality sheds a different light on the history of our past and taken with a critical eye we can find that we are not always exactly right. For decades we thought that the USS Maine was attacked by the Spanish sparking the Spanish-American War. But it wasn’t really reality now that we look at it with a critical eye. It was often thought that the American Indian was peace-loving people yet a look at their history shows a much more complex story than either of the extremes. The Germans claimed that they attacked the Lusitania because it was carrying weapons to the war effort, the US denied it. But years later we discovered that the ship could indeed have been doing just that.

The lesson we should learn is that we should critically look at all events, not just those that fit our political perceptions, and not trust any source that does not fit in with true critical thought. For example, does George Bush hate black people, that’s why he did nothing for Katrina victims (not all of them were black) while doing very good jobs in responding to hurricanes of previous years? OR, is it more likely that the same protocols at the federal level were taken and while there were flaws they were simple human errors and incompetence in some areas instead of a deliberate plan to hurt blacks Americans?

If you look at it critically, does it really makes sense to continue to follow the ‘party line’ that the response to Katrina was anything other than appropriate with mistakes at the federal, state and local levels that were blown out of proportion by the news media and political hacks?

Posted by Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 3:53 AM
Comments
Comment #137827

Rhinehold:

I take it you were not in New Orleans when Katrina hit?

Thing is… a Government isn’t just something that gives money and food when needed. A Government should also embody the ideals and hopes of the population. People need to feel they are being LED by people who care about them.

They do not want someone who plays a guitar and says, “Good Job, Brownie”. They don’t want people who refuse to give documents to probes that show them guilty of staring blankly into space when the Weather Chief explains that the levees won’t hold.

And so on…

Posted by: Aldous at April 4, 2006 5:16 AM
Comment #137848

Rhinehold,

What goes around, comes around.

Bush set the tone for slimeboat politics in 2000. He’s simply reaping his rewards.

Serves him right.

Posted by: Dave at April 4, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #137863

Rhinehold,

Brown says he failed. Bush admits”plenty of mistakes.” Chertoff admits that there were “many mistakes.” Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor admit they were not prepared and could have done better, yet you want us to believe “Popular Mechanics” version of what happened? Should we disregard the reporters who were in New Orleans too?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at April 4, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #137878

Rhinehold,

Wow the Democrats covered up how well Bush handled Katrina - that’s amazing! The mainstream media strikes again! ;-) I’m sorry, I just can’t take this seriously.

By the way, a Republican investigation just found Bush and company guilty of failing this country as far as Katrina is concerned, so the level agreement about this is almost universal.

Posted by: Max at April 4, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #137882

Rhinehold, sorry, it doesn’t wash. The analogy to your take on the story is that a man is stabbed in the forearm and shot in the chest. Medical aid personnel (the media) treat the mans forearm wound but ignore the shot in the chest. The man dies. In your version the media should have covered the treatment the man received for the forearm stab wound and herald the wonderful work of the medical aid team, and oh, yeah, the chest wound; well minimize that. Their intentions were good.

It just doesn’t wash. We had forehand knowledge of the storm. Why 3 days to get all that support in there? That fact cannot be minimized. Not when people were dying during those 3 days. The best of efforts would not have saved everyone potentially savable. But the overall response was a bit of a 3 stooges routine along side some stories of truly outstanding and well coordinated responses, and heroism.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #137883

Doh! Of course! It was the media’s fault. We should have known all along. ONLY 1,077 dead in Louisiana. Hardly a disaster at all. Good job, government!

Look, the media did screw a lot of things up. No quetion. But if you actually look at much of the reporting, a lot was quoting people who were thought to be in a position to know things. Sometimes those people were officials. Sometimes they were people at the scene. Still, the media should have done better.

The government, of the other hand, was in a position to predict and prepare for the worst, and yet over 1,000 (!) people lost their lives. It’s simply unacceptable, whatever the heroics and hard work of many first responders. By all means, let’s get a clearer picture of what happened, but let’s not blame everything on the messenger yet again.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at April 4, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #137885

Well, apparently I either did a bad job in pointing out

“even though the top disaster management officials may have appeared to be trying out for the new Three Stooges movie”

and

“Of course there were mistakes made”

It makes me wonder if people even read what I write or do they just read the opening entry and then start commenting, bringing out their talking points and not understanding the point that was being made.

The FACT is that response was quick and effective and saved thousands, possibly tens of thousands of lives. Federal state and local support did not wait until Saturday to do anything about trying to save people who needed it. There were far more successes in that week than failures. The report attempts to identify those failures that did occur and suggest resolutions to them, but also attempts to point out the myths.

Of COURSE you are going to have failures when the government is involved in anything. The government does not run to ensure that nothing goes wrong, it runs to ensure that those in power stay there. It is a tool wielded for political purposes, not ‘the good of the people’. So to think that no mistakes occurred during Katrina, or indeed ANY rescue operation that the government is involed in, is folly.

But to say it was an abject failure when so many people’s lives were saved and to believe the hysteria that people who make their livings focusing on the negative and sensational brought to us throught out television sets is IMO beneath the critical eye of thinking human beings. Well, non-partisans one anyway.

But to then attach motive to those failures and attempt to suggest things like ‘Bush hates black people’ is an example of rational thought taking a holiday and the exact type of reaction that those attempting to use the issue for political gain are looking for. And it succeeds because too many people DO check their brains at the door and live their lives off of fear and hatred.

So, for specific responses:

a Government isn’t just something that gives money and food when needed. A Government should also embody the ideals and hopes of the population. People need to feel they are being LED by people who care about them.

Where is that written? That may be YOUR ideal of what a government is, but to me a government is the arbitrator of our civil rights and provides protection from our enemies. Other than that it should get the hell out of our way and let us live our lives. I don’t want to be LED I want to be LEFT ALONE.

Brown says he failed. Bush admits”plenty of mistakes.” Chertoff admits that there were “many mistakes.” Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor admit they were not prepared and could have done better, yet you want us to believe “Popular Mechanics” version of what happened? Should we disregard the reporters who were in New Orleans too?

NO one is saying that there weren’t mistakes. Popular Mechanics details many of them out and provides possible resolutions to them, ways to make sure that they don’t occur in the future. Did you even read what I wrote or what they wrote? And yes, you should disregard much of what the reporters in New Orleans reported as I have detailed, they flat out LIED to you in order to sensationalize the story and drum up a story that didn’t exist. 200 on ice? Sharks in the streets? Murderous gangs on the loose? All of these things, and many many more, were reported by ‘reporters in New Orleans’ and were proven to be completely false later on.

I’m sorry, I just can’t take this seriously

You can’t take seriously that thousands, possibly tens of thousands of lives were saved by quick response by local, state and federal organizations that acted within hours of the disaster to save as many people as possible? Why not? What was the death toll in Louisiana for Katrina? 1077? That is not the nightmare situation I was expecting from watching the news media who were reporting that tens of thousands of people were probably dead, bodies were everywhere, etc… I wonder what the TRUTH is? How can you take that number, apply it to the number that was provided by the media and the number that was predicted by simulation if such a thing ever occurred and make them all fit without realizing that a lot more went right during Katrina than went wrong? How does it all fit together?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #137886

Interesting note:

The editor of the PM articles (a Hearst magazine by the way) was Ben Chertoff,a cousin of Mike Chertoff (yes, the homeland security guy).

Can we smell “conflict of interest”?

Posted by: Dave at April 4, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #137890
The government, of the other hand, was in a position to predict and prepare for the worst, and yet over 1,000 (!) people lost their lives. It’s simply unacceptable, whatever the heroics and hard work of many first responders. By all means, let’s get a clearer picture of what happened, but let’s not blame everything on the messenger yet again.

Reed, the predictions if exactly what happened happened were that 60,000 people would die. Only 1,077 did. That’s a miracle in my books.

The failures that did occur should be identified, scrutinized and resolved. Those who allowed mistakes to happen through negligence should be fired. But it is just not realistic to say that the rescue mission was a failure when the numbers bear out that 70,000 people were saved, 50,000 within the first few days, takes a complete and total leap of logic IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #137892
The editor of the PM articles (a Hearst magazine by the way) was Ben Chertoff,a cousin of Mike Chertoff (yes, the homeland security guy).

Ok, I’ll bite, where do you get this information? I have the actual magazine in front of me and am looking at the ‘credits’ page and do not see that name anywhere…

I do see:

Editor-in-Chief : James B Meigs
Executive Editor : David Dunbar
Deputy Editor : Jerry Bellinson
Managing Editor : Sarah Deem
Science Senior Editor : Jennifer Bogo
Science Contributing Editors: ALex Hutchinson, Leslie Sabbah, Logan Ward, Jeff WIse

etc… No mention of Ben Chartoff. So, unless you have a different source…?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #137893

Rhinehold, can’t speak for others but your use of the bolded word “management officials may have appeared”, seemed to me to offer safe haven to management officials. They did appear, not may have appeared, in my opinion.

I read what your wrote and responded to what you wrote.

As for: “Of course there were mistakes made”, it appeared to underplay the severity of the mistakes made. I read that as one of those unfinished ‘yes, but’ sentences, as in: “Yes mistakes were made, BUT, overall they did a great job”.

Popular Mechanics an authority on social responsibility? That’s a new one on me. Decades ago, I bought their magazine to do my own tune-ups on my vehicle. They’ve come a long way in diversifying, apparently.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #137894

Ah, I do see him credited as a ‘Research Editor’ as Benjamin Chertoff.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #137895

Rhinehold appears to be one of those who measures human suffering only in body bags. If you didn’t die, no harm was done. 1,077 died, but 10’s of thousands suffered enormously. To dis that suffering playing the body bags number only as a measure success or failure appears to me to be a bit tunnel visioned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #137897

Of course people suffered. It was a ‘disaster’. A very major one at that. Are you suggesting we could have prevented all of those people losing their homes, their pets, their property, their dignity? How would you have proposed we do that?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #137899
Rhinehold appears to be one of those who measures human suffering only in body bags.

And David appears to be one of those who believes it’s the federal government’s job to prevent all human suffering.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #137906

I do so find this amusing, everyone pointing the finger at the federal goverment, yes they made mistakes, but what of the state and local levels, since i am not seeing those mentioned in the rebuttals, I can only attribute that to just a blind hatred of president Bush. What of all of the busses that sat idle, what that bush’s fault? The gov and the mayor could have been a little more demanding in their evac orders.

Compared to other natural distaers in the world though, we do a decent job yes i am going to measure body bags here, but how many died in the tsuanmi , and of the past few years middle east earthquake kills….Hell the chineese have more ppl killed in mining accidents last year than katrina killed.

No the responce wasn;t perfect but its a disaster, an act of god (if you belive in him anymore) not a schedualed event with a practiced responce. All levels of goveremnt made mistakes, and all get a share of the blame. Al three levels of goverment being filled by men or women, or transexuals, etc etc (so I dont get bashed for being sexist) are indeed human, humans are not perfect, mistakes and miscalculations were made.

Posted by: RHancheck at April 4, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #137909

There’s one thing that I really don’t understand about this.

All the people who were in Washington calling everyone so incompetant…where were they? Were they in Washington griping, bitching, pissing and moaning? Or were they in New Orleans trying anyway they could to help?

Were they a part of the solution…or were they a part of the problem?

It’s easy to sit on your fat ass in Washington and criticize others, while doing absolutely nothing to make the situation better.

Thank you, Congress…meanwhile…

We here in this part of the Katrina and Rita damaged South, we were cleaning up after the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms that they generated.

Did I see any Senators or Representatives with a shovel in their hands, helping us?

No.

Did I see any Senators or Representatives with a hoe or rake in their hands, helping us?

No.

I fear we have devolved into a society where a few understand that action must be a personal effort and the rest point fingers and bitch, piss and moan.

Posted by: Jim T at April 4, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #137916

Jim,

You are absolutely correct. That is the problem with the way government has been converted to work, we no longer have to do anything ourselves, we just give tax money to the government and ‘they’ do it for us.

I spent some time in West Orange, TX and Lake Charles, LA helping out some plants who were damaged during Rita. I was actually there about a month before the hurricane and then again afterwards when they were trying to clean up from the damage (some of it very major). The differences were stark. The amount of devastation that the hurricanes created is just not imaginable, it has to be seen, and not through a camera lens.

How can you portray though a camera the washing of the rooftops in blue tarping? The boats on the lakes that are all devestated and cracked up on the rocks? The new FEMA trailer parks that were set up like little cities to provide a place to live for the ones who are not going to be able to return to their homes? The amount of work that it will take to incorporate these people into the new areas they were moved to, school, fire and police upgrades to support them? The loss of vegetation, trees, etc, and what it will mean to the erosion patterns and environmental fallout. The very long term impact to the economy because of the number of small businesses that are just being abandoned because they were just getting by and didn’t have adequate insurance?

The devestation was great. The work is not over, it was not over 3 weeks afterwards when most people grabbed their political talking point against the current administration and then moved on to the next news story that captured their attention while attempting to regain their lost power. The actual people and societies are just memories to them now, even though as I visited the area less than 2 months ago the area still looked like a war zone and I imagine will continue to be that way for months, if not years, to come.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #137919

Rhinehold, I believe when tax payers pay their money to government and that government assumes the responsibility for levees to safeguard those people, a contract is struck. The Government VIOLATED its contract when the Army Corps of Engineers and Congress took the tax dollars and failed to insure the integrity and adequacy of the levees.

Your comments appear to reflect a belief that tax payers have no right to expect government to honor its contracts. You have the that government today. Support its incompetence and breach of contract or critique it and change it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #137922

Jim T. appears to believe also, that tax payers should have paid for the levees but never expected that the Army Corps of Engineers and Congress should apply any of those tax dollars to the levees for their safety and security. Sounds like Republican “we can do no wrong” rhetoric to me. Not that Democrats are blameless in precisely the same manner. Democrats controlled the Congress back when upgrades and maintenance were called for back in the 1990’s, too!

No big deal, only 1,077 died, and the human suffering doesn’t count. So, no problem, right, Jim T?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #137930

David,

Once a contract has been agreed to, of course it’s the government job to live up to it. But did it or didn’t it? When was the last time you reviewed the data about what did and didn’t happen with the levee system in New Orleans.

It turns out that the 17th street and London Avenue canals were breeched not by overtopping but by foundation failure. They are still investigating why the foundations failed but some suggestions are over-dredging and building of structures too close to the levees.

There are a lot of things that go into the determination of these issues. And yes, I do blame the Bush administration for diverting funds from the projects to ‘homeland security’, another government program that is nebulous in it’s reach and not really functionally sound. But I don’t believe that the diversion of funds is the whole story on the failures, had the funds been spent as desired it is more than likely that the failures would still have occurred.

That’s the problem, the answer is almost never that easy. They do not fit easily into news bites and the attention span of most Americans. And they most ceratinly do not fit well into a model of a centeralized government who has responsibility for almost every aspect of our lives now instead of pocketed regional or local government who should be the ones driving these things. The system is flawed, and I am doing what I can to change it, but I fear that my direction of change is much different than yours.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #137939

WHAT???

No big deal, only 1,077 died, and the human suffering doesn’t count. So, no problem, right, Jim T?

What do you mean by that???

Are you now going to ask how many that died were Democrats and how many were Republicans???

I am VERY aware about the levees and the Corps Of Engineers. I live 20 miles from the Mississippi River and the exact area I am now living was under water when the levees broke in 1927.

Did they blame the Corps? Did they blame the Democrats? Did they blame the Republicans?

No.

The people all pitched in, sandbagged as much as they could and rode it out until the Corps rebuilt the levees.

They understood that the suffering and misery could only be fixed by hard work…not sitting on their fat asses in Washington…bitching and pissing and moaning about some political B.S. that helps absolutely NOBODY.

My relatives (5 families) that lived in Pascagoula and Biloxi are all safe, thank God. They were not some of the 1,077. But they have no home, no keepsakes or memories of times past (photos, etc. all washed away), nothing.

But they will rebuild. They were taught the value of hard work. They were not taught to sit on their fat asses…pissing and bitching and moaning about some political B.S. that means NOTHING.

Posted by: Jim T at April 4, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #137942

Jim T., what you call pissing and bitching is the way things get motivated and done in the U.S. The U.S. model of government and business is, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. So, your railing against the railing against Washington seems to indicate your lack of support for the systems that failed the people in New Orleans.

The Levees had to fail before upgrading would take place. Squeaky wheel got 1077 dead and 10’s of thousands enduring horrendous suffering. But, by all means if you choose to support civil projects be conducted by lay persons with no knowledge nor expertise in road building, bridge building, levee building and maintenance of same, you have that right.

But your argument has more holes in it than Cheney’s hunting buddy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #137954

In 2000 Scientific American ran an article describing the computer models of what would happen if New Orleans was hit by a hurricane. It was pretty much spot on to what actually happened.

I recall that in the aftermath Bush said “no one could have predicted this.”

This situation can be directly linked to the administrations exclusion of real scientists (as in those who believe in evolution and global warming).

Posted by: montanademocrat at April 4, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #137958

Montanademocrat,

Well, not exactly. Those computer models predicted 60,000 deaths. Thanks to the efforst of the first responders who were there within minutes of the hurricane’s passing, nearly 70,000 people’s lives were saved, we unfortunately lost 1077.

And your statements are precisely what I am talking about. The computer models did not predict the levees failing exactly as they did, just that some of the levees would fail. But they were predicted to fail by overtopping, not by faulty foundations.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #137964

Rhinehold, actually we agree on a lot in your last reply. I know our enormous centralized government is now failing in so many ways due to its complexity, and near infinite provinces of oversight. We agree far more decentralizaiton and reversion back to the states on a host of issues is long overdue.

There are limitations to that approach however, as we cannot turn back the hands of time. Government is far more complex and farreaching because our society and systems have become far more complex and far reaching. Downsizing government is essential, but, not an answer to many of our social problems which can only be solved through wholistic approaches which bring local, state, and national resources and cooperation to bear on the problems.

Let’s get federal government out of the morality business, and leave that for the states. Let’s get the federal government out of education or hand education over to it. One or the other. But, this half measure of federal government’s carrot and stick approach is not solving more problems than it is creating.

There are many nuts and bolts solutions that will not be tolerated too. France is now witnessing massive demonstrations NOT for change, but maintaining the status quo. This same trend is adamant in the U.S. One can say, Well the way to fix the Soc. Sec. system is to have every person take care of their own retirement. Yes, that would fix the administrative problem of the Soc. Sec. system. But, it would also bring French style riots and demonstrations to American streets and neighborhoods.

We agree these are complex and difficult challenges. Not sure, but, perhaps where we disagree is when I say this government with its current slate of politicians and priorities, has not the capacity to meet those challenges effectively.

The national debt, combined with China’s minister annoucing this week his belief China should begin withdrawing its investments in America’s treasuries which are floating our debt, is the most incredibly serious problem facing our immediate and long term future ability to do anything else. I have railed against these debts since Ronald Reagan was president and screamed that there was going to come a day when we would be held hostage to our debt.

Appears that day is finally arriving.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #137965

Rheinhold,

I think Montana was pretty clear; Predictions were made that this would happen. those predictions were pretty close. Fortunately, local actions took place that saved lives.

“No one could have predicted this” is typical Bush bull. Bush was told in a taped briefing this could happen. Bush has laid this polical bed; let him be the compost.

Posted by: Dave at April 4, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #137969

I am reading “A Crack at the Edge of the World” about the San Francisco earthquake. The heroes were those who just took the law into their own hands. The major threatened to have troops shoot looters, although he didn’t have legal authority to do that or even have legal authority over the troops. Help came days later and people took care of themselves and others. In the weeks after the disaster, public health actually improved as people worked harder, ate less and felt needed. Suicides dropped over the next year. People didn’t sit on the asses and wait to be helped. Those that did probably didn’t make it, but without CNN we don’t know.

The New Orleans situation is an example of failure that always happens in the face of a major disaster. You can learn from disasters, but we have to recognize that they will happen. Government should help, but the people affected should take care of themselves too.

During Katrina, most of the people affected did the right thing. A region as big as the United Kingdom was devastated and most people got out of the way and then came back to rebuild. They did as they should. In New Orleans case, we had a lot of people who were not cooperating in their own rescue. I saw pictures of people with signs saying “help”. Why weren’t they out helping others? It was a hard situation. That doesn’t mean you give up. People are asking too much of government. I don’t want the government that has enough authority and resources to make everyone comfortable in a situation like this. It is not worth it.

I have been watching Nova, Discovery and other such shows for years. I have seen dozens of times stories about how New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Yes we had years and years of warning. So when it finally happens it is George Bush’s fault.

The big mistake we are in process of making is rebuilding the underwater city. That is a government failure that will be called a success.

Leaders don’t like to admit mistakes and you can understand why. The mistake is all people focus on. A 99% success rate still means 1% mistakes and that is what we will see over and over.

Posted by: Jack at April 4, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #137978

those who try to put a game face on this are blowing smoke as well
Deflecting the criticism of Bush and Co only insults those who actually did help.

IN SPITE of FEMA — the first responders on site were COAST GUARD — whose commanders saw what was happening — DAYS BEFORE — deployed their ships and helicopters in order for them to arrive right behind the storm.
They did this on their own initiative
Other first responders you might find in there helping out (to create the miracle of “only” 1077 dead instead of 60,000) — were many LOCAL responders, whether they be Fire, Fish and Game, or just civilians with boats and equipment and willing to lend a hand.
The FEDS were not around — and in fact many times PREVENTED resources from being delivered.

so get real
Yea there was a miracle alright
a “quick response” by the feds was NOT it, and WAS NOT responsible for the “miracle”
try giving credit where it is due — for a change — instead of blindly trying to defend the idiot in chief.

Posted by: Russ at April 4, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #137983

Russ,

You do realize that FEMA is *NOT* a first responder organization, right?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #137985

Jack,

I’m not one to say it’s Bush’es fault that the levys were “topped” What is Bush’es fault: (skipping the budget nightmares he created)moving FEMA under Homeland Security, putting Brownie in charge, then not monitoring or driving the situation. To the point where his staff made him watch videos to prove that things were actually bad.
It’a all just another side of the (incompetent and disinterested) CEO presidency. He seems to think his job is to act like a leader, rather than be a leader.

Posted by: Dave at April 4, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #137990

I enjoy watching David Remer argue. Well done, sir.

I think it’s simply too late for the Republicans to repair their image on their (in)ability to protect Americans. New poll suggests Americans may nowtrust Democrats more than Republicans on national security.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 4, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #137999

I’ll say it again and again.

There’s no equivalency between the Democrats and the Republicans. When it was Clinton all the Republicans did was bitch bitch bitch in the face of overwhelming success. We had a surplus. Now that it’s Bush they want to say we are splitting hairs, but lying about the reasons for going to war, losing it, and putting us into massive debt just aren’t small-sized screwups no matter how much they’d like them to be.

Katrina was a major screwup - as acknowledged by a Republican investigation, FOX news, and most right wing pundits. What do you call someone who says its raining outside when everyone else says it isn’t? I call that person crazy.

Jack, I saw people holding help signs as well. They were stranded on building tops surrounded by floodwater, without food, scared. Saying the Federal government is not to blame but these people are is the last, desperate refuge of someone unwilling to admit the obvious. The man screwed up this country but good and Katrina was just one example.

Some serious advice for y’all is to get over Bush and move on. He and the neocons were some of the biggest disasters to ever hit this country and that’s the way it’s going to go down.

Posted by: Max at April 4, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #138006

Yay, Max!

What do you call someone who says its raining outside when everyone else says it isn’t? I call that person crazy.

The problem is that Republicans will tell you it’s raining when in reality they are just pissing down your back.

“Trickle Down,” that’s called…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 4, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #138010

Y’all see what I’m now talking about? Every subject devolves into partisan bickering.

Dems pointing fingers at Reps. Reps pointing fingers at Dems.

We’ll never be able to have a decent and in-depth discussion here as long as we have the “Bush sux” and “Libs sux” bickering.

Posted by: Jim T at April 4, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #138022

The Blame Game and I would love to have the first memos that were passed between all the Staffs involved in the first few days of Katrina to include them of the political parties. Because it is clear in Black & White that the President and/or The Director of Homeland Security could of settled all debates over policy with just a swipe of a pen.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 4, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #138027

Jim T, I agree with your last comment. America’s problems keep growing in number and severity like a ticking time bomb while D’s & R’s play “Let’s fight” in the Congress.

On May 1st, we are going to see the French riots and demonstrations occur in American streets as millions of illegal immigrants and many citizens take to the streets to shut down business, schools, transportation, services in the name of the Mexican flag which they will brandish proudly.

Ronald Regan’s amnesty was a huge mistake then, because the 3 million illegal aliens then has become quadrupled today, and politicans from BOTH parties abdicated their first oath to protect and defend these United States against invasions. But, money ruled, the invasion took place, and now demonstrations under the Mexican flag will take place in huge numbers around the United States.

Our politicians create more problems than they solve, and voters to date, have REFUSED to hold them accountable at the polls. I believe some accountability will take place at the polls in November, but, not near enough to “Strike fear of the voters into the hearts of politicians”. It’s sad and infuriating.

I have a 15 year old daughter in a border state school system. Guess we will have to keep her home on May 1st for her own safety. That is pathetic, wrong, and I am madder than I have ever been about anything political in my entire life. We pay enormous taxes for her school system and this selling out of our immigration laws to the highest corporate and business leader bidder for cheap labor now threatens the safety of my daughter in her own school.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #138038

I would have thought the Democrats would hammer Katrina much more than they actually did. It was one of the few issues where a clear political gain could be made. Unfortunately for the Blues, politics is not their forte.

In the end, there isn’t a right or wrong in politics, there are just winners and losers.

Posted by: Zeek at April 4, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #138056

Build a Wall

or

Learn to speak Spanish as a White Minority


Posted by: Aldous at April 4, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #138075

Adrienne, the pundits seem now to agree if the elections were held today, Democrats would take back the House. But, that begs the question, are Democrats prepared make the changes necessary that could cause them to lose the House again in ‘08, or are Democrats, like the Republicans, going to put the people’s and nation’s problems in the back seat while securing their political power hold on the House drives the car?

I have no faith that much will change until politians fear the wrath of the voters again, and come to accept that incumbency depends on results, not rhetoric and empty promises.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #138107

Homeland Security official arrested in sex sting

Doesn’t this just grab you?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 5, 2006 2:25 AM
Comment #138108

As someone who was in New Orleans when Katrina hit, I want to say that the rush to judgement is based on politics not reality. Mistakes were made but that is understandable in the face of chaos.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 5, 2006 2:47 AM
Comment #138184
Ronald Regan’s amnesty was a huge mistake then, because the 3 million illegal aliens then has become quadrupled today, and politicans from BOTH parties abdicated their first oath to protect and defend these United States against invasions. But, money ruled, the invasion took place, and now demonstrations under the Mexican flag will take place in huge numbers around the United States.

Yep. And McCain, Bush, Kennedy, and Vicente Fox are workin’ on the new flag design now. Like it?

Our politicians create more problems than they solve, and voters to date, have REFUSED to hold them accountable at the polls. I believe some accountability will take place at the polls in November, but, not near enough to “Strike fear of the voters into the hearts of politicians”. It’s sad and infuriating.
Yes, it is, because we have tried everything else, but the one simple, common-sense, peaceful, safe, and responsible thing we were supposed to be doing all along.
I have a 15 year old daughter in a border state school system. Guess we will have to keep her home on May 1st for her own safety. That is pathetic, wrong, and I am madder than I have ever been about anything political in my entire life.

Your tax dollars hard at work, eh?
For illegal aliens, that is.

Yes, you should be mad, because the federal government paved the way for this problem by forcing states to provide welfare, education, and healthcare to illegal aliens. Schools and hospitals are not allowed to verify citizenship or report illegal aliens. Welfare and Medicaid are abused. A staggering 32% of illegal aliens are on welfare, and over 29% of prisoners in our state and federal prisons are illegal aliens. Crime rates are rising, and governments ignore it. Democrats want votes, and Republicans want cheap labor, so the flood of illegal aliens continues. And, even though they are stirring it up and makin’ it stink now, it will be a forgotten issue soon after the November elections (as always).

P.S. I don’t hate illegal aliens (i.e. those that simply come here for jobs). The problem is one created by the government, who ignores the consensus of most Americans that want secured borders and illegal immigration stopped. The federal government created this problem, and has ignored it, like many other problems, for many decades.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 5, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #138222

goodkinged, you may feel you don’t pay enough taxes to insure that such mistakes are not made. I KNOW I pay enough taxes to demand that such mistakes are not made. And demand is what I will do in November by voting my incumbent representatives out of office by voting for their challengers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #138308

“Adrienne, the pundits seem now to agree if the elections were held today, Democrats would take back the House. But, that begs the question, are Democrats prepared make the changes necessary that could cause them to lose the House again in ‘08, or are Democrats, like the Republicans, going to put the people’s and nation’s problems in the back seat while securing their political power hold on the House drives the car?”

I really don’t think the nations problems can be put in the back seat at the moment, do you? They’re too severe and too much is hanging in the balance because of all the rubber-stamp irresponsibility we’ve seen. Moreover, this president is an idiot and a liar who doesn’t respect the Constitution or our rights — and he needs to be dealt with — pronto. Democrats must stop him in his tracks, since the GOP quite obviously has no intentions of doing so.
I think no matter how much criticism many Independents may want to heap upon the Dems, they’ve simply got to admit that a balance of power is desperately needed right now, and that the Dems are the immediate answer to that problem.
Aside from that fact, I believe that since the Dems have been out of power for a good long while, they’ll hopefully realize they’d better get in there and prove to the nation that they really do have better ideas and the best interests of the country at heart. If they can’t prove themselves capable, well then, they’ll probably deserve to begin losing again.

“I have no faith that much will change until politians fear the wrath of the voters again, and come to accept that incumbency depends on results, not rhetoric and empty promises.”

I agree. I may be Democrat again, but now I will demand to see reform, new blood (rather than old, ineffective incumbents), fiscal responsibility for this nation, and a return to Democratic politicians serving the interests of the middle class and the poor. IMO we can no longer afford anything less. If the Dems can’t find a way to deliver that, I am not above walking away again and joining the kind of Unified Independent Party you mentioned in your recent article in this column.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 5, 2006 11:35 PM
Comment #138337
I agree. I may be Democrat again, but now I will demand to see reform, new blood (rather than old, ineffective incumbents), fiscal responsibility for this nation, and a return to Democratic politicians serving the interests of the middle class and the poor.

Good Adrienne.
Many people are confused about the non-incumbent thing.
They think it means vote out all incumbents.
Not at all; just vote out all irresponsible incubments.
Unfortunately, that is most (if not all).
Many people think it means voting for independents or third party candidates.
Not at all; simply don’t vote for the same irresponsible, ineffective incumbents.

After all, we have tried everything else.
Why not, finally, try the one simple, common-sense, non-partisan, honest, inexpensive, safe, peaceful, and responsible thing we were supposed to do all along?
Vote out all irresponsible incumbents, always, every election, until:

  • no more irresponsible incumbents exist,

  • government finally agrees to pass the many badly-needed, common-sense, responsible reforms that incumbent politicians have refused to pass for many decades,

  • and our many pressing problems are finally addressed, instead of being ignored and allowed to grow in number and severity, threatening the future and security of the nation.

_________________________________________
Please Stop Repeat Offenders.
Don’t Re-Elect Them !
_________________________________________


Posted by: d.a.n at April 6, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #138352

I have said it before and I’ll say it again:

Conservatives are highly disciplined and they march in lockstep — just like the Waffen SS did. They despise Individualism and Free Expression: they see them both as being Dangerous. They all want to be “Good Soldiers,” and will even take a bullet for “The Team.” There has never been a Fascist government anywhere that has not been filled with Conservatives; in fact, Conservatism is the prerequisite for Fascism.

Liberals, on the other hand, are Progressive: they highly value both Individualism and Free Expression. This means that trying to get them to agree on anything together is like Herding Cats. They dissent; they argue, they stand on principle. It’s why I love them and why I am one. In their cacophony of insistent, nonconformist voices, striving to make a Valid Point about some Truth or other, is the very Voice Of Liberty.

It is the Progressives who hold the promise of Getting Government Off Our Backs — the backs of the people. What Conservative policy gets government Off The Backs Of is merely commerce and industry. They want to make the world free for Corporate Malfeasance, unregulated abuse and negligence, without the People having any right of redress, or any form of protection.

God bless the chaotic and un-disciplined Voices Of Freedom! The stultifying Order of the Good Soldiers is anathema to them. And, regardless of how much Intimidation is tried, or how many Finks are employed (or, God knows, any number of teepers, stiktytes, or fallaron), may there always be mice in the walls of our cities… Death to the Ticktockman!

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 6, 2006 7:40 AM
Comment #138361
I think no matter how much criticism many Independents may want to heap upon the Dems, they’ve simply got to admit that a balance of power is desperately needed right now, and that the Dems are the immediate answer to that problem.

The problem is that many independants realize that democrats would probably have us in a worse state than we are in with republicans in office. We are just not convinced enough to support democrats, even though we don’t really like the current administration. Kerry? As bad as he was as a candidate (and he was pathetic) he still nearly won. That’s just how frustrated independants and 3rd party voters are right now.

It is the Progressives who hold the promise of Getting Government Off Our Backs — the backs of the people.

Mmmm, no, that’s not reality, Betty. What you are describing is ‘Classic Liberalisim’ and the only place in American Politics that you are going to find that now is the Libertarian party. Federal programs to solve every social ill is NOT getting the government off our backs, it’s making the government a back brace and using force to nail them to every citizen in the country.

Until the current democratic party changes it’s tune, they are just not going to be considered viable by anyone who truly wants government’s size to be decreased and the freedom of americans to be taken (not given) back to the citizens and away from the politicians.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 6, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #138370

Betty Burke,

Hmmmmm. There is some truth in what you say about true, strict Conservatives and Liberals.
I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into this, and truly appreciate the analysis. However, it has a minor flaw. Please bear with me for a moment.

In reality, the members of parties are not all what they think they are. For instance, I used to be a Republican and thought I was Conservative, but it turns out, I am neither, but instead, am Centrist with a bit of Libertarian leaning. I’d rather lean toward libertarian than authoritarian, and more Centrist than Liberal or Conservative.

Your analysis of the prerequisites for Facism is correct. True, strict facists are in lock-step.

So, the problem is with all parties. Too many people of all parties refuse to remove their partisan blinders. They both blindly pull the party lever. Embarrassed to admit it, I used to be one of those people.

The truth is that parties are neither the problem or solution. While there are many people that fit into the strict categories that you describe, most people do not. There is a more basic, fundamental problem.

Sometimes it appears as if Republicans and Democrats are vastly different, and sometimes the polarized voting tends to make people think there is a vast difference. However, the cause of that often is merely a result of which party is currently the “In-Party” or the “Out-Party”. The “In-Party” tries to flex its power, and the “Out-Party” tries to sabotage all of the “In-Party’s” goals, and they simply take turns. But, on most things, they vote very similarly. They both vote on pork-barrel. They are both fiscally and morally bankrupt. They are more similar than they are different.

That is what accurately gives rise to the terms “Repulicrat”, “Demopublican”, etc.

The real problem is laziness.
It breeds ignorance (or, more politely, a lack of education and understanding).

Betty Burke,
What you are saying sounds logical.
However, it is really not quite as complicated as that, and the problem is not confined to one party alone. Your explanation fails in one respect, and serves as another detractor in a sense. It tends to fuel partisan warfare.

The real problem knows no party boundaries.
People must be educated to recognize the real problem, and reject those that cause it, and they exist in all parties and all societies. Some nations have the problem worse than others, as evidenced by their massive lack of understanding of fundamental human and civil rights, which fuels intolerance.

The real problem is rooted in something very basic and fundamental. Many don’t recognize it. Many won’t admit to using it. It is an ancient, clever, and effective tactic to control others.

The ability to recognize and neutralize it, is vital to the health and prosperity of any organization or society. There is no book or manual about it. It is not about mysticism. It may sound cynical, but it is simply a fact of human nature.

The real problem is: laziness

Those that excel and embrace it are cheaters.
Those that make it a way of life, are master cheaters.
We all need to understand, recognize it when we see it, and fervently reject it: The Cheaters’ Dialectic

The Cheaters’ Dialectic requires a detractor .
The favorite detractor these days is: partisan warfare.

But, there are other commonly used detractors (e.g. race, religion, gender, class, profession, wealth, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc.) used to control and manipulate others.

Thus, it is important to understand this simple fact of human nature (no matter how unpleasant), and become educated about the signs and clever tactics used to manipulate others. Learn to identify Cheaters and how they:

  • distract you;

  • divide you;

  • control you;

  • trick you with non-sequiturs and truths mixed with half-truths;

  • obscure the facts and cloud the issues to distract you and keep you within the circular pattern of thought and behavior;

  • cherry-pick facts to suit their argument, while cleverly ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary;

  • lure you back to the detractors (e.g. petty partisan warfare, religion, the blame game, etc.);

  • seduce you into the frenzied circular pattern of thought and behavior (i.e. petty partisan warfare);

  • shift blame, and avoid from ever being held accountable;

  • pit people (voters) against each other (e.g. based on party affiliation, wealth, religion, etc.) using one of various detractors;
  • stack-the-deck to secure their power and cu$hy seats of power, and reward themselves generously at tax-payers expense;

  • pervert the laws to do the very thing the laws were originally supposed to prevent: legal plunder;

Now, not that any profession is necessarily the root of any problem, but Cheaters gravitate to certain professions (i.e. those with power and opportunities for self-gain) more so than other professions. Cheaters gravitate to politics or professions that are often in-league with government. Cheaters are everywhere among us, and they do not only exist only in the realm of law and politics. You’ve probably met a few. Many Cheaters do not even realize they are, nor would ever admit to being a Cheater. Some do realize it, and do not feel bad about it, and they are the most dangerous. They are often the Master-Cheaters. They are numerous in government, because that is where the power and opportunity for self-gain is. When there is sufficient Responsibility, and common-sense reforms, adjustments, and simplifications have been implemented to reduce cleverly overly-complicated processes, Cheaters can not thrive, and eventually move on to search for more vulnerable targets.

________________________________________________
Please Stop Repeat Offenders (i.e. Master Cheaters)
Don’t Re-Elect Them !
________________________________________________

Posted by: d.a.n at April 6, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #138587
Y’all see what I’m now talking about? Every subject devolves into partisan bickering.

Dems pointing fingers at Reps. Reps pointing fingers at Dems.

We’ll never be able to have a decent and in-depth discussion here as long as we have the “Bush sux” and “Libs sux” bickering.

This is what republicans always say when any legitimate criticism is tossed at them. “Stop the bush bashing” “This partisan warfare isn’t good for our country,” etc. Instead of addressing the criticism, they attack the messenger, and the very fact that it’s being said.

Of course it’s all BS and hypocrisy. They mercilessly hounded Clinton whenever they could, and they’re the ones that constantly rail against democrats and liberals and call them “traitors” and anti-American (just watch fox news). Their constant assault on what they call “bush-bashing” is really a desperate attempt to dismiss any charges without having to deal with them.

I’m sorry, but sometimes people and specific groups really deserve blame and need to be held accountable. The sooner this country is rid of the infection known as the neoconservative philosophy, the better we’ll all be.

Posted by: mark at April 6, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #138594

d.a.n.:

Thank you for your response. Without requoting you, here is mine to what you said:

1.) I am entirely in favour of Partisan Warfare - *if* it is between Progressive (Liberal) ideology and Regressive (Conservative) ideology, not between Parties. Because:

1a.) There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCY between Progressive and Regressive ideologies: one supports PRogress, the other support Regress, and:

1b.) Parties, as you point out, are made up of People, and therefore both include a number of shades of grey and (as for example with the Dixiecrats), outright Stick Up Sore Thumb Misfits. They are Granfalloons, on the one hand, and yet you must cede the fact that the people who are drawn to them are there because - in most cases - they share a Common Philosophy.

2.)The Real Problem is, in fact: Ignorance (and, to a lesser degree, Evil. As this study shows:

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/international_security_bt/102.php?nid=&id=&pnt=102&lb=brusc

Those who self-identify as Conservatives are more than three times more likely - nearly four times more likely - to believe Utter Nonsense about Provable Facts than those who self-identify as Liberals. And where does the metal hit the mark? Why, in the fact that the Progressives are watching PBS and reading Newspapers, whilst the Regressives are watching Faux “News” and the CBS Evening Lies.

Additionally, the Regressives have for years attempted to do away entirely with the Department Of Education and PBS and, failing that, have employed the simple expedient of underfunding both. This is so that they can:

2a.) Get a “School Vouchers” programme through (Code Words for Home and Institutional Religious Indoctrination) and:

2b.) Create a reliably uninformed and pliant Monkeymass of “NASCAR-Dads” and “Security-Moms” who can be scared witless into believing what they are told (see study, above) and voting accordingly. Laziness is a mere side effect of the intentional Dumbing Down of America.

So, in conclusion, I am afraid I will have to eschew Ross Perot in favour of Thomas Jefferson, and call for a bloody revolution wherein we can remove the Gorillas from running this Planet Of The Talking Apes. When the Ballot Box can no longer be relied upon for effecting the will of the People, it’s time to turn to the Bullet Box instead.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 6, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #138615

“The problem is that many independants realize that democrats would probably have us in a worse state than we are in with republicans in office. We are just not convinced enough to support democrats, even though we don’t really like the current administration.”

Really? Do you honestly think it could get any worse than having a Lying, Treasonous, Idiot Piece of Shit for a president who would sacrifice CIA operatives to politically cover for his shoddy, cherry-picked “intelligence” so he could start his pre-emptive illegal war, that bankrupts the nation, and puts American soldiers in the position of having to fight another nations civil war?
Personally, I don’t think it could, but maybe you’ve got a wildly active imagination when it comes to the kind of harm to America you think Democrats would bring.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #138617

Betty Burke,
Like I said, you’re a hoot!
I enjoyed reading it, even if I don’t agree with it 100%.
You are right about the ignorance.
However, ignorance is rooted in laziness.

And, I don’t know if I’d call it evil, and certainly do not attach any supernatural significance to the term, but I would call some cheaters, and/or master-cheaters .

And, there is some gravitation toward a perceived common philosophy, but words and actions often prove to be two different things, and since they are so ignorant, they often don’t even know the platform of their party, and after taking a test (such as the test at politicalcompass.org ), they aren’t at all what they thought they were.

So, I take it you believe most Republicans are the problem? At the moment, but merely only because they happen to be the “In Party” at the moment, they appear more corrupt by virtue of their power (more seats) and their desire to wield that power. That will change. The Democrats will get their turn soon, and they too, once they become the “In Party”, will do many of the same things. Hence, the terms, Republocrat and Demopublican.

So, we differ in opinion on the location and concentration of the problem. You believe the problem is ignorance and evil due mostly to conservatives and regressives, than liberals and progressives. I believe the problem is rooted in laziness and self-interest among people from all parties.

That’s OK. While I don’t agree 100%, that is certainly an interesting and colorful take on it. Thanks.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 6, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #138619
Adrienne wrote: Really? Do you honestly think it could get any worse than having a Lying, Treasonous, Idiot Piece of Shit for a president who would sacrifice CIA operatives to politically cover for his shoddy, cherry-picked “intelligence” so he could start his pre-emptive illegal war, that bankrupts the nation, and puts American soldiers in the position of having to fight another nations civil war?

If that is true, I have to agree.
That is a serious crime.
That truly sounds like grounds for impeachment.
I can’t understand why the news has barely mentioned it.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 6, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #138635

d.a.n.:
“I can’t understand why the news has barely mentioned it.”

Because unfortunately the accusation of a “Liberal Media” is actually a crock? :^/

Let’s face it d.a.n., if people want to understand what is truly happening in this country and in the world these days, they need an internet connection, and the desire to seek the information out for themselves.
It’s a good thing that we can always go look at foreign newspaper sites, and read the kind of investigative journalism that good people are doing all over cyberspace. Because clearly the mainstream media has been totally abdicating their responsibilty to get at the truth and inform the public — and that is especially true when we speak of the outrageous actions of this administration.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 7, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #138709
if people want to understand what is truly happening in this country and in the world these days, they need an internet connection, and the desire to seek the information out for themselves.
Yes, that is true. It takes a bit of work to corroborate the truth and dispell the lies, but you will get a vastly more complete picture than the main stream media.

It is only getting a little more attention today in the main stream news.
Seems to me, Cheney will now be in the hot seat.
The spin masters are already cookin’ up ways to avoid accountability. Now they’re sayin’ Bush can declassify anything he likes. That might make sense if it was used in an official way, but it was leaked in a very sneaky way.

I don’t see how an like this issue can simply disappear? If it does, this nation may be in deeper $#!+ than I ever dreamed. We are not just approaching step (1). We are there now.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 7, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #139022

I was going to comment on that silly chart d.a.n. posted above, then I scrolled up and read Betty’s contribution.

I’m glad that Betty can get behind partisan politics since she would be seriously conflicted it she couldn’t.

First, the use of regressive as a counterpoint to the self-proclaimed liberal label of progressive is perjorative. Conservative is more accurately defined as social maintenance. I personally believe that measured change is a more accurate discription of the conservative ideal. Betty’s terms bring up images of brutes decrying all forms of progress. By the way, all change is NOT progress.

Second, in an urban environment, school vouchers give poor parents the option to obtain a higher quality of education for their children. I can’t speak for all areas of the country, but when I was in New Orleans it was apparent that children benefitted from private education. It is true that the majority of these schools were operated by Catholics, but students of all faith or none were admitted. The tuition was a terrible burden for poor parents, but the ones who cared about their children’s future made the effort. Maybe we can revitalize urban schools someday, but it is unfair to ask people to sacrifice their children’s future in the meantime.

Thirdly, that bogus assertion regarding the relative dimness of conservatives is definitely pulled from whole cloth. I have seen conservatives and liberals who both could benefit from a healthy dose of reality.

Finally, I am angered by the apparent contempt that Betty displays about those witless fools who don’t see the obvious wisdom of her positions. Referring to half the population as monkeymass is arrogant in the extreme. Even if I agreed with the policies of a person, I would not trust them as my leader if they could so easily dismiss my right to my beliefs.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 2:28 AM
Comment #139124

I think part of the reason republicans are so successful is that they use rhetoric and propaganda to make their points, instead of things like logic or facts. Just take faux news, they just spread slander about people disagreeing with them. They know how to appeal to the lower aspects of american psyches, like ignorance, laziness, and intolerance. Liberals know that real problems often require well-though out, sometimes complex solutions. Because of this, not all of their policies can fit into a simple slogan for PR purposes.

“Finally, I am angered by the apparent contempt that Betty displays about those witless fools who don’t see the obvious wisdom of her positions. Referring to half the population as monkeymass is arrogant in the extreme. Even if I agreed with the policies of a person, I would not trust them as my leader if they could so easily dismiss my right to my beliefs.”

Unfortunately I think the facts support most of what she says, it’s just a truth most people don’t want to hear. I don’t judge all conservatives or liberals with a broad brush, I think the conservatives on this site (you included) are very intelligent and thoughtful. I don’t think she meant the conservatives who discuss things on this site (especially true conservatives, not faux “neo” conservatives).

However, that being said I think its pretty obvious the majority of the population, who support Bush and watch nothing but fox news for information are pretty stupid. I don’t mean necessarily they have low IQs, it’s just that they’re sheep, they don’t want to learn anything new, won’t do any research for themselves, and don’t ever question a government that is failing the american people. It’s no coincident states with people earning higher incomes tend to be liberal (higher-income people in general have had more education) and poorer states (with less education) conservative.

Just take a look at the difference between neocon news (like faux news network) and something like PBS or the NY times, the liberal news is more intellectual and thoughtful. Same thing with higher education, it’s no coincident professors and universities tend to be liberal. Just an observation, when liberals attack neocon ideas their attacks tend to be more intelligent, and although they might use sarcasm and humor it’s never as nasty and baseless as the neocons. They just repeatedly call libs nutcases, traitors, anti-american, or worse.

Posted by: mark at April 8, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #139139

Mark:

Thanks for the vote of confidence that I am probably not a moron. However, I still disagree with your premise that the conservative viewpoint is more simplistic that the liberal viewpoint. Conservative ideology handles some issues better than liberal ideology and vice versa.

No one should get their information from just one source, and that includes liberal mouth pieces like PBS which I consider a mental hamster wheel for smug progressives. And yes, academicians are generally left of center. That is part of the modern educational process. It is further reinforced by the fact that liberal policies tend to work better in theory than is practice. The academic world is all theoretical with no glimmers of reality peeking in to disrupt the pretty social theories.

For instance, when I graduated I was certain that education was the key to solving the endemic problems in our society. After a little exposure to the entrenched underclass, I began to see why these problems were endemic.

I would caution you that just because the liberal agenda contiunally touts its tremendous intellect, that doesn’t mean they are actually smart. In terms of civility, I have read and unbelievable number of unsubstantiated smears and insults delivered by liberals to conservative posters. This site is a bully pulpit for liberals due to their numerical majority and bullies they become.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #139156

[blockquote]
However, I still disagree with your premise that the conservative viewpoint is more simplistic that the liberal viewpoint. Conservative ideology handles some issues better than liberal ideology and vice versa.[/blockquote]
Well, if you’re talking about true conservatism than I agree. The problem is this doesn’t exist in the republican party anymore. All the facts show how the neoconservative (not true conservative) ideology has failed and disgraced america.

We have a corrupt, piece of shit government that’s incompetent and doesn’t care about us, except for the very wealthy and the corporations who can hire bribery professionals aka “lobbyists.” We’re going deeper and deeper into debt, we’ve lost respect in the world, and none of our real domestic problems, like energy, healthcare, etc. have been solved.

The neocon movement is all driven by fear and greed. They say they’re god’s party however they just say this to get the evangelical vote. They could care less about true christian principles like compassion to those who disagree with them, helping the poor, tolerance, etc.

“For instance, when I graduated I was certain that education was the key to solving the endemic problems in our society. After a little exposure to the entrenched underclass, I began to see why these problems were endemic.”
What do you mean? How does education not help reduce povery?

I really hate to sound elitist, but where I live most (I don’t mean all) of the Bush-supporters are really dumb. The main reason they support Bush (other than their parents and family have always been conservative) is because of tax cuts. If they did research they would understand that it’s mainly for the wealthy, and their children and grandchildren will end up paying whatever they don’t. Instead they’re selfish and easily swayed by the quick promise of immediate money. Usually it’s the liberals who actually think about things and consider the long-term issues at stake.

Posted by: mark at April 8, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #139161

mark:

I disagree with the linkage of neo conservatism with religiousity. Neocon policy, as I understand it, is more about the use of force and power in the the realpolitic. Neocons don’t give a rat’s ass about religion, it’s more about functionality.

If you want to say that President Bush is concerned about religious issues, then I will agree with you. But, to my eyes, Bush is not a neocon. Some of his staff, notably Rumsfield, are neocons, but not Bush.

Why do I think this? Because I am a neocon and I don’t give a rat’s ass who or what you do or don’t worship as long as it doesn’t become my problem. If your god or goddess tells you to start blowing up coffeehouses then I will encourage my government to interfere in your life. Otherwise feel free to worship the trees or the tractors if you wish.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not wealthy. I guess that I didn’t get my Republican stipend. I did however receive the first tax cut I have ever got from Bush. I don’t have children, business expenses or a house payment so all of my income was completely taxable. The only change that I saw was increases to pay for the rearing and education of other people’s children. Through cigarette taxes alone, I am sure that I have put at least one kid through high school.

I guess you think it is venal to be swayed by the prospect of retaining more of my money instead of paying for other peoples’ kids, but that’s the way it is. My tax break was a long time coming and I feel it was justified.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #139171

Ned (I recognise no King [unless it’s Nosmo King]) Wrote:

First, the use of regressive as a counterpoint to the self-proclaimed liberal label of progressive is perjorative.

Well, largely it’s descriptive - but there is definitely a perjorative aspect to it. Which is perfectly in order when describing something harmful, pernicious, and/or malevolent


Conservative is more accurately defined as social maintenance.

If by “maintenance” you mean maintaining the Status Quo, then this is correct. I.e.: Preventing Societal Progress. Good call.

One teensy problem, though: I am in favour of Societal Progress…

I personally believe that measured change is a more accurate discription of the conservative ideal.

By “measured change,” you of course mean the Change wrought by returning backward to the way things were - i.e.:

- removing a Woman’s right to choose what happens inside her own body;

- ignoring the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, the Gramm-Rudman act, and the Boland Amendment so that we could sell arms to our enemies and illegally supply a fascist organisation which sold drugs to American youth gangs;

- conducting a secret domestic wiretapping scheme in violation of both Federal Statute and the United States Constitution;

- deregulating industry and commerce to the detriment of both the local and global Environment and the People’s Right To Redress;

- so many, many more examples of rolling back the clock to the “good old days” of oligarchic power and wanton destruction.

Betty’s terms bring up images of brutes decrying all forms of progress.

That’s right. You’ve got it. Spot on.

By the way, all change is NOT progress.

No, but most of it certainly is, for the simple reason that Change is wrought to correct mistakes, to fix problems, and to right wrongs. Otherwise, change wouldn’t be needed. Get real!

Thirdly, that bogus assertion regarding the relative dimness of conservatives is definitely pulled from whole cloth.

Oh really!? Well, consider this:

- Look at the Study I posted above, and

- Think about the posts you see right here (and on other Forums) from the Rightest of the Right: look at the Spelling, the Punctuation, the Grammar - and every other indicator of an active or a lazy mind, and

- Tell us if the “jury’s still out” on Evolution and Global Warming, and

- Explain away Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, and Bill O’Reilly.

Puh-leeeeeze!

Further, I have not said that Idiocy defined everyone on the Right - otherwise, how would I explain: George Will, William F. Buckley, Henry Kissinger, William Kristal, and Richard Pearle?

What I have said is that it’s a sliding-scale with Evil on the one end and Ignorance on the other:

Evil - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ignorance

Any Conservative can be placed somewhere along this scale. (Because, other than Evil or Ignorance, there is no justification for Conservatism.) Conservatives who are more toward the Evil end are there because they are more educated; they know that their ideology is Harmful, to Society, to the Environment, and to Individual People. They simply don’t care. These are the Leaders: the Pundits, the Planners, the Dark Lords of the movement. They care for nothing and no one but the acquisition and maintenance of Wealth and Power. Towards the Ignorant end of the scale, we have the Followers: the NASCAR-Dads and Security-Moms, the Rush Dittoheads and Bill-O followers. The monkeymass. These are the brownshirts who come out to do the bidding of their Owners when they are told to, as with the Schiavo case and “reverend” Phelps’ atrocities.

Every Conservative, regardless of nationality, in the World can be placed somewhere along this scale: the more they are Aware of the truth, the more towards the Evil side they are; the less Evil they are, the more Ignorant they must be. Because Conservatism, being anti-progressive as it is, by definition, must then necessarily be Evil.

Look at the present Mess. Look at the suffering, the hatred, the oppression, the fear. This, has unbridled Conservatism wrought. And consider this:

- There has never been a Fascist who was not a Conservative.

- There has never been a Klansman who was not a Conservative (and please, no referneces to Robert Byrd; he was NOT a Liberal in his old days: he is a Prodigal, like Arianna Huffington or Morton Downey Jr.; when he was a Klansman, he was as Conservative as they come).

Now, since Conservatism is required as a prerequisite for Nazism and Racism, how can it be defended?

It cannot. It is a “bankrupt philosophy.”

Those who embrace it are either ignorant of the facts, or they are indulgently evil. Period.

And hence my utter disregard for those who embrace it: either they have an agenda which harms society for their own benefit, or they are not aware enough to be beneficial to society in terms of their politics.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 8, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #139240

Ms. Burke:

Your logic is as twisted as your facts and I am relieved that you kill your time here rather than in the public areana. Your world has only two colors, black and white, like a cowboy movie you can tell the players at first glance.

I don’t see a significant increase in the amount of suffering, oppression and fear in the world since Bush took office. The halcyon days of democratic control under Clinton seems to have not placated the world sufficiently to stall the islamic attacks on September 11th. The attack on the USS Cole was under a democratic president (also Clinton he must have been in a … meeting).

There are things in the Republican platform that I disagree with such as the abortion issue, but unlike you I am not at war with half the citizenry of the United States. If you were to get your heart’s desire 50% of the population would be gone, neutralized or muzzled.

That would be a big change and as you can see all change isn’t good.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #139275
There has never been a Klansman who was not a Conservative

um, huh?

You do realize which party was responsible for Jim Crow laws, don’t you? Which party was the one who prevented the black man from voting for decades in the south?

How can you just ignore the REALITY that most of the Klansmen, when the klan meant something, were Democrats?

Partisan blinders are a nasty thing to wear… :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2006 1:20 AM
Comment #139443

Rhinehold Propagandised:

How can you just ignore the REALITY that most of the Klansmen, when the klan meant something, were Democrats?

I can only assume you are playing to Your Base (Dittoheads, Bill-O’philes, and Hannity-Jobs), since my Base is too intelligent and informed to fall for that line of utter shite.

Ever heard the term “Dixiecrats,” professor?

Of course, the Big Lie is the phrase “Party Of Lincoln.” Lincoln was the first ever president to wear the title “Republican.” He was a Liberal Progressive. At the time, Democrats were largely in the South - including quite a few slaveowners - and were Conservative Regressives (every other civilised nation on earth had outlawed slavery at the time). When Lincoln (first-ever Republican, remember?) kicked their ignorant southron asses into the mud and took away their “right” to own other human beings, the defeated South became wholly “Democratic,” as a means of protest against Lincoln and the Union. They were “Dixiecrats.” As time went on - since 150 Years Ago - things changed: the Democratic Party became more Liberal and the Republican Party became more Conservative. The legendary grudge-anger of the South continued to make the numbskull racists there refuse to be Republicans because of the historical link to Lincoln. Yet more Dixiecrats. However, as Times Changed and the Democratic Party became the party of Civil Rights, and the Republican Party became the party of Going Backwards, the South began to embrace the notion of converting over. And they have largely done so as of this moment in history. Now, what I said was, that there has never been a Klansman who was not a Conservative - not that there has never been one who was not a Republican.

But then, you knew that, didn’t you? You just wanted to obfuscate the issue with a distortion of history which ignores the Facts, didn’t you.

But you got caught out at it, and exposed for the slick dealer you are. Just now. In this post.

Didn’t you?

This sort of shite makes me sick. Try your NewSpeak and Spin somewhere else. You waste my time.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 9, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #139506

Wow, another poster banished by Ms. Burke. The untopian socialist democracy she envisions will undoubtably be sparcely populated by the time all the wrong-thinking people are disappeared. Perhaps socialist programs actually work if they are applied to homogenous groups of a thousand or less. I think the residents will still be wise to wear nametags because they will all say and think the same things and thus be virtually indistinguishable.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 3:25 AM
Comment #139650
Perhaps socialist programs actually work if they are applied to homogenous groups of a thousand or less.

Well, whaddaya know? It turns out that there are seven Socialist Democratic nations ahead of the U.S. on the latest World Quality Of Life Index… And the U.S. is presently at #13 (and falling).

And guess what? None of those Nations has a population of one thousand or less.

Of course, what they do have is:

- Intelligent and Compassionate leadership.

- Responsibly Regulated commerce and industry.

- Citizenry in favour of Social Progress.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 5:20 PM
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