Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
The news on Katrina from outside the USA

By blackpaw in Op-Ed
Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:51:06 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

First off - someone might want to tell George about the internet, or get him a TV feed to ABC news, it was obvious to us foreigners that New Orleans was facing a disaster, including the high probability of the levees breaking well before Katrina struck.

Or perhaps just a link to the US National Weather Service which pretty accurately predicated what would happen.

But enough on the administration failures - its sure to be done to death by better than me. What's stunning Australians, and I'm sure most other countries around the world is the anarchy that's occurring in New Orleans, the complete lack of community spirit.


When the tsunami struck Asia the international aid was quick and effective - Aceh province, the hardest hit and very remote had drops and aid workers within two days.

But also the locals helped themselves and their neighbors, they looked after each other. Hundreds of Australian tourists were in the areas affected, they pitched in with the locals and were helped in return.

But tonight on the news we hear of dozens of Australians lost in New Orleans. The US government refuses point blank to allow our own consulate officials or aid workers in. A women manages to phone her husband and children in Queensland - she was in the Superdome - her money and phone have been stolen, she'd been sexually assaulted. They haven't heard from her since.

Many other Australians made the trek to the Superdome only to encounter murders, muggings and rape (The Australian) A number of them ended up banding together and trekking to shelter under a overpass where they felt safe.

To my knowledge, no Australians were so assaulted after the asian tsunami. How can the worlds sole remaining super power, which accords itself the mantle of superior morality perform so badly in comparison?

Its not just the anarchy in New Orleans that is appalling people, we've seen numerous talking heads blaming the chaos on the lowest parts of society, that they aren't representative of the USA. I ask how are they measuring this lack of height - money? Social status? Race? And are they not part of America? How a country treats its "lowest rung" in their time of need says much about the society.

In many cultures the working class hold community values in a lot higher esteem than the so-called "better" levels of society. Has rampant free market philosophy infiltrated the American psyche to the extent that anything with no dollar value is worthless? Or perhaps the nanny state has removed peoples coping skills.

We get the uneasy feeling that this is a microcosm of American society, that you have so plundered and devalued the social contract that the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country. We see George Bush smirking and playing the guitar, vowing his friend's beachfront mansion will be rebuilt and we wonder what has happened to the USA we used to know.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll

Votes: 0
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o ABC
o US National Weather Service
o The Australian
o Also by blackpaw


Display: Sort:
The news on Katrina from outside the USA | 490 comments (478 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
Fuck you (1.10 / 30) (#2)
by Glutamine on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 12:00:44 PM EST

How dare you judge us

Help is on the way

Things are getting better

Humans are animals and we do only care about something if it affects us

Gas prices have gone up therefore so now a week later I guess we'll help or something

I hope you don't bring this up at your picnic. NT (none / 1) (#41)
by Pirengle on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 02:10:22 AM EST




♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫
A sure-fire way to make friends and influence people: transform the letters "l" and "i" into "-1"s whenever posting. Instant wit!
[ Parent ]
haha (none / 0) (#463)
by shoggoth on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 11:59:33 AM EST

you're funny.

[ Parent ]
Socio-economic class issue (2.77 / 9) (#3)
by magpi3 on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 12:36:19 PM EST

I don't think this is just an issue of Americans vs. non-Americans. To me it's the equivalent of a social experiment where you lock people with vastly different socio-economic status in an extremely large and hot room (the Superdome), without enough food and water. Add to this a lack of adequate police protection and the fact that the poor greatly out number the middle class (the tourists), and it is not difficult to guess what is going to happen. The African-American community in New Orleans is the poorest of the poor in this country, and the heavily-accented and white foreigners who were unfortunate enough to visit NOLA at that time must have been extremely visible targets.

I don't mean to sound callous, however. I shudder to think what those poor people you have described must have gone through.



Quite right. (2.75 / 4) (#45)
by daani on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:49:08 AM EST

IMO your analysis sounds pretty reasonable.

I think part of what might be on the authors mind and the minds of other foriegnors is not as much why is the current unrest happening, but how and why have poverty, gangs and crime been allowed to thrive in the richest nation on earth?

This wouldn't happen in an Australian city simply because there is no large segment of the population condemned to a lawless ghetto.

Australia chose a moderate socialism. America chose a more right-wing course. You own more cars, have bigger houses and have the power to invade countries when you feel it's necessary. Australian streets are safe.


[ Parent ]

Go tell that... (3.00 / 3) (#99)
by thanos on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:07:17 PM EST

To all the tourists getting mugged in Kings Cross.

This wouldn't happen in an Australian city simply because there is no large segment of the population condemned to a lawless ghetto.

Ever been to Redfern?

-----------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

There are a few suburbs in every city, granted (2.75 / 4) (#134)
by daani on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:24:03 PM EST

But it's hardly widespread. The poverty in some rural Aboriginal communities is surely worse than any in the US too. But I took a train ride through LA once and saw some of the poorer suburbs. Fucking disgraceful.

Kings Cross is not all that dangerous, and it's as safe as anywhere during the day. Few people are actually harmed during the relatively small number of muggings that occur. For christ sake, there is a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles almost every night.

The annual murder rate in the US is about 6 per 100,000 people (although the long term trend is that it is dropping). In Australia it's closer to 1.5. 400%!!!

It's time Americans admitted it. As well as good qualities, the USA has a few very serious social problems. Pretending that it's the same everywhere
and that these problems are inevitable doesn't help matters (continually ridiculing the very policies that achieve better social conditions is a little foolish too).

[ Parent ]

you don't address (3.00 / 3) (#63)
by Goerzon on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:54:16 AM EST

How does this compare to what happened in Aceh? The "poorest of the poor" in the US live like kings compared to many people in Aceh. Australian tourists, flaunting their bling around, were in Aceh, in the presence of these poor people. Presumably when they were in Aceh they were "extremely visible". The differences in socio-economic status you mention were very much present. Australians were still treated like human beings, though. Admittedly they weren't locked in the Superdome after the tsunami....

[ Parent ]
I don't know enough about the culture in Aceh... (3.00 / 7) (#65)
by magpi3 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:59:24 AM EST

... but here's a story that might clarify my point: I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-nineties. Penn, for those who don't know, is comprised of a wealthly, largely white student body and is located in West Philadelphia, an area where the community is largely poor and black. To say the least, that community resented what they perceived as Penn and its students (very few of whom are Philadelphia natives) continued encroachment on their neighborhood (Penn was and still is constantly expanding its facilities by buying up property in West Philly), and though incidents between students and the community were rare (Penn's security is pretty tight on campus), you were always aware of the surrounding community's resentment and anger. If the hurricane in NOLA had hit Penn and the lot of us had been locked in a large facility without enough security, I can easily imagine the same horrors playing out.

But perhaps the local communities in Aceh didn't have the same anger and frustration towards the wealthy tourists that were visiting their areas. In that regard, perhaps this is a tragedy that is uniquely related to the class tensions going on in inner cities in the U.S.



[ Parent ]
Doesn't really answer the question... (1.33 / 3) (#123)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:19:00 PM EST

You're still talking about an American reaction. Of course, this violent reaction is going to occur in America... It's the most violent, blood-thirsty culture in the world.

The difference between America and Aceh is that the US is a selfish culture...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

DK (none / 0) (#399)
by runderwo on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:34:39 PM EST

A Ghetto Dweller has become unhappy because he is in the company of creatures he hates!

An Upstanding Citizen has become unhappy because he has no food!

A Rescue Worker has become angry because he hasn't been paid!

A President has left your dungeon.

Man, I could run a better bastion of evil than these guys...

[ Parent ]

OMG JESUS CHRIST STFU (1.66 / 56) (#4)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 12:39:19 PM EST

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE AMERICAN TOURISTS IN AUSTRALIA THAT ARE ROUTINELY SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY KANGAROOS AND PANDA BEARS??????

No panda's in AU (none / 0) (#5)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 12:56:35 PM EST

You're probably thinking of Koala's

[ Parent ]
lol i always pwn aussies with that one -nt (2.25 / 20) (#6)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 12:57:45 PM EST



[ Parent ]
rotfl ! Gotcha (3.00 / 5) (#32)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:59:42 PM EST

I'm a Kiwi

[ Parent ]
What's the difference? (2.57 / 7) (#40)
by bankind on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 01:56:54 AM EST

you all inherited Brit teeth in the end.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

Same with the US. [nt] (none / 0) (#79)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:54:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Hahaha (none / 0) (#122)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:12:40 PM EST

You dumb bastard!

I find it humorous that you think that would insult anyone but yourself. All you do in saying that is indicate your own stupidity... +1FP!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

yeah man (3.00 / 2) (#176)
by bankind on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:59:25 AM EST

you're fucking hardcore! I can't comeback from such a wickedly brilliant comment.

So now I'm to believe that the Southsea island POMs are a beacon for dental care?

Next you'll tell be Scousers and Mancs are the centers of anglo culture.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

Er... yeah... I spose (none / 0) (#180)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:44:59 AM EST

The rest of the world is supposed to believe that the US is the beacon for hope, peace and civilisation... Why is it so hard for you to believe that we are the beacon for dental care?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
typical (3.00 / 2) (#255)
by bankind on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:19:27 PM EST

yeah it's Bush's fault you people don't floss.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

Yes, you are very typical (none / 0) (#316)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:06:37 PM EST

No, it's Bush's fault that you think we don't floss...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Umm, hate to break it to you (none / 0) (#192)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:00:59 AM EST

But Liverpool, where the scousers come from, was declared an international city of culture a couple of years back.

I'm not sure I agree with that, but some people clearly don't find it as ridiculous as you do.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
don't see why not (3.00 / 3) (#254)
by bankind on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:12:55 PM EST

tracksuits tucked into argyle socks is a type of culture.

Since you seem up on the subject, I hear that the old school scouse-perm was comming back to replace the baldhead. Is it true?

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

Lol.... (none / 1) (#276)
by Have A Nice Day on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:05:58 AM EST

I have no idea, but the image of many permed men in tracksuits makes me smile :)

I'm a Londoner, so I only occasionally hear anything about any of the rest of the country - in general we tend to consider it backwards and illiberal....

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
A DINGO ATE MY SEPPO! (1.16 / 6) (#9)
by Hung Fu on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 01:47:11 PM EST



__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
sexual tourism (2.40 / 5) (#10)
by The Diary Section on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 02:14:07 PM EST

is disgusting.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
That's WHY there's tourism in Australia NT (2.62 / 8) (#11)
by godix on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 03:22:41 PM EST




- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
Mate... (1.09 / 11) (#13)
by mirleid on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 03:32:25 PM EST

...I do not normally rate comments, in fact, I despise rating people's comments as a way of agreeing or disagreeing. That is not what I am doing here: trolling is ocasionally funny, more often than not simply annoying, but that shit was plain out of order...

Just trying to explain the 0...

Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
fascinating (1.94 / 17) (#14)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 04:11:02 PM EST

8=====D ~o ~o ~o

[ Parent ]
Panda Bears? (3.00 / 3) (#120)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:11:19 PM EST

Wrong country Tex... And your fucking dumb American cousins that visit this country were asking for it... You should see the way they ogle those poor roos. If you don't want to get butfucked by roos, stop sticking your asses through the wire and calling roos over... Don't call it rape... you knew those roos were horny little fuckers...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
err, in Asia aid was also slow and ineffective (2.71 / 7) (#7)
by Delirium on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 01:35:44 PM EST

When the tsunami struck Asia the international aid was quick and effective

That simply isn't true.

login (none / 0) (#8)
by Delirium on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 01:37:07 PM EST

In case that site asks you to log in, use a@b.com as the email address (no password).

[ Parent ]
A day holdup ? (none / 0) (#29)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:18:38 PM EST

*Some* aid is held up at the docks for day ? And you think that compares to FEMA's pathetic effort?

[ Parent ]
four days (none / 1) (#34)
by Delirium on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 11:27:13 PM EST

The tsunami hit December 26; as of this article's writing on December 30, it was still being held up.

Now, over eight months later, some of the aid is still being held up by corrupt governments and infighting among various officials.

[ Parent ]

Um... no... (3.00 / 3) (#118)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:07:10 PM EST

Nowhere in this article does it state that there was no aid before this date.

The simple fact is that aid groups and such began moving in on the 27th. People were there on the ground for those days.

However, you're talking about a region that spans a few thousand kilometers and incorporates a multitude of islands and coastal areas. Four days to get halfway across the globe to isolate island regions is a pretty good effort.

There are no such regional isolations holding up the process in the US right now... And um, you didn't see any of those Asian governments refusing aid from foreigners, as your country has done.

No, instead of taking advantage of offers from people who have had much experience in this kind of thing, your government chose to try and do something they can't anyway... smart thinking...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Please offer a substantive suggestion. (none / 1) (#98)
by thanos on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:00:32 PM EST

I have read and heard many people talking about the various federal failures. What I haven't heard so much is what, specifically, the federal government should have done differently. Doubtless with hindsight we can find many flaws, but I'd like to have a reasoned discussion about what went wrong, rather than the obligatory orgy of inanity and blaming everything on GWB.

Surely blackpaw, with your obvious intimate knowledge of the complex structure of and interactions between the various municipal, state, and federal authorities, you can enlighten us.

--------------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

Ah... accepting foreign aid for starters... (none / 1) (#119)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:09:11 PM EST

Our country and others have offered assistance to the US. But your government refused them. That in itself indicates arrogance, or stupidity... I'll let you choose which one...

But when you're fucked... it seems logical to accept any help you can get...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

A substantative suggestion or two. (3.00 / 2) (#236)
by Shadowrose on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:45:57 PM EST

They could've, y'know, had aid prepared. They saw it coming. They could've had resources on standby, prepared for the worst. How about evacuations before the levees broke? Or maybe reinforcing said levees? It isn't hard to think of things our government could have done much, much differently.

[ Parent ]
For example (none / 0) (#249)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:17:10 PM EST

They could have had somewhere to take buses loaded with food and water that wasn't below sea level.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Okay. (3.00 / 3) (#282)
by DavidTC on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:10:15 AM EST

Here's an obvious one:

Airdropped in food.

Yeah, I've heard the excuse 'we might hit someone'. Well, that's why you send in a few people to clear an area for airdropping supplies.

Yeah, I've heard the excuse 'Then we have to support the poeple we airdrop in'.

Gee, I never thought of that. Well, let's see...we could control a 'line' of ground that we can ship 'supplies' in over.

Damn, I can see my thinking here about 'supply lines' has the potentional to revolutionize normal warfare. Maybe I should send it to the DOD. Too bad they've never thought of it.

Anyway, there were a lot of things the government could have done, and it basically did none of them.

We have a military that can airdrop and build bridges and move in frickin tanks anywhere in the world, and the government whines about NO is 'hard to get to'. The media's hauling in people and cameras and sat uplinks and generators. Maybe we should use the media to invade places.

We have a miltary we're using to battle well-equipped rebels in Iraq, and a few idiots with guns shooting at rescuers make things 'dangerous'. Too bad we don't have decades of experience helping 95% of the the people while 5% attacked us. Oh, wait, yes we do.

We have a government that for four years has talked about how 'prepared' we need to be for a major terrorist attacked. This time, it was mother nature, so we a) know terrorists aren't going to leap out of the woodwork again and blow up our relief efforts, and b) had two days warning yet didn't try to put anything into effect until days after. Where the FUCK did all our 'Department of Homeland Security' debt money go?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

It isn't a microcosm of American society (2.60 / 10) (#12)
by godix on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 03:30:33 PM EST

It's a microcosm of the very bottom of American society. I doubt a good look at the very bottom of any society would fair much better.

Imagine this, take 80% of the population of Sydney away. Not a random 80% mind you but rather the 80% that's smart enough to forsee a problem and leave. Now take that the remaining 20% that couldn't or wouldn't leave and jam them into one building. Starve and dehydrate them for several days in 90 degree (F) heat. Toss in a couple obvious tourist into the crowd. Think those tourist are going to fair that well?


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

Imagination (2.00 / 2) (#20)
by smallstepforman on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 06:52:30 PM EST

For starters, the Oz government is Socialist, so a lot of your scenario would never happen apriori.

[ Parent ]
Cyclone Tracy (2.25 / 4) (#28)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:15:23 PM EST

Leveled Darwin in a similar manner to NO. The 74 brisbane floods had large areas of brisbane completely submerged.

Neverless people were safe from each other.

[ Parent ]

Australia is also racially homogenous (none / 1) (#35)
by Delirium on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 11:29:06 PM EST

It's easier to avoid racial conflicts if you only have one race.

[ Parent ]
Ah - no its not (2.60 / 5) (#36)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 11:32:15 PM EST

Apart from having the native Aboriginals there are large numbers of Asians, Pacific Islanders, European groupings and Middle Easterns.

Caucasians are only a percentage of the population.

[ Parent ]

yes, a *very large* percentage (none / 0) (#37)
by Delirium on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 11:55:01 PM EST

Australia is 92% white. There are a smattering of other folks around, but they are few and far between. Plus, nearly all of the remaining 8% are Asians, and historically whites and asians don't have much racial violence directed at each other.

If Australia was 30% indigenous, it'd be another story, but it's 1% indigenous.

[ Parent ]

Australian population (2.50 / 4) (#127)
by tpv on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:38:52 PM EST

Racial tension occurs quite commonly between groups that would be treated as the same enthic group in the CIA data.
According to the 2001 census, about 25% of people in Sydney are from non english speaking backgrounds.
A significant number of those would be european, but you only need to look at the Balkans to see that that is no guarantee of "enthnic harmony".

It is different to the experience in the US, but the is still very significant ethnic tension. However, the 2 most recent sets of riots in Sydney were

  1. The Redfern riots where the predominantly aboriginal community reacted after a young boy was killed while seemingly fleeing from the police on his push-bike (whether they were actually chasing him is a matter of debate, but it seems clear that he was trying to escape them)
  2. The Macquarie Fields riots where the predominantly white community reacted after two teenage boys were killed while fleeing from the police in a stolen car.
While not a statistically significant sample, the common theme there is not race (or enthicity) but a community with a poor socio-economic status and a large mistrust of the authorities.

You get a number of people together in one place, with a fairly poor standard of living, you let them form bonds with each other, and then you give them someone to blame for their problems. If there's "rich" people around they'll blame them. If there's a different enthic group they'll blame them. If there's an external body of authority they'll blame them. If you get all 3 together ("rich" white cops in Redfern) then it doesn't take much to spark a riot.

None of which gets us any close to finding a solution so that police and resuce workers can go about their legitimate business without getting shot at.
--
'I would therefore like to posit that computing's central challenge, viz. "How not to make a mess of it", has not been met.'
Edsger Dijkstra (1930-2002) EWD1304
[ Parent ]

Race (none / 1) (#85)
by marx on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:47:53 PM EST

First it's:
very bottom of American society

Now it's because they were different races. Would you care to clarify Delirium?

You've always seemed to post pretty insightful comments, I didn't know you were a racist.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

godix posted that one (none / 1) (#159)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:37:22 AM EST

I didn't say anything about the "very bottom" of American society. I did suggest that racial tension likely contributed to it---had the city been all of one race, regardless of which that one, I think there would have been less violence. I could be wrong on that, though. Possibly a bigger factor is just that New Orleans has a lot of pre-existing gangs, whereas Darwin doesn't (at least not nearly to the same degree).

[ Parent ]
Less true of Darwin than other parts (nt) (none / 1) (#139)
by daani on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:00:52 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Very True (none / 0) (#415)
by cam on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:21:07 PM EST

Darwin is Australia's racial, and cultural melting pot.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

not comparable (2.50 / 2) (#131)
by debillitatus on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:07:36 PM EST

First, it's hard to compare the two cases because the aftermath of Tracy was so much less documented than the aftermath of Katrina. Right now there are thousands of 24-hour news reporters in the city, thousands of private camcorders, etc., recording all of this. The technology to do this didn't exist in Darwin at the time. Maybe all that shit went on there as well. No way to know, of course, but it's hard to compare the two just based on data collection grounds.

Second, though, and much more importantly, you can't compare Darwin to New Orleans. Darwin is (and I imagine was even more so) a tiny frontier town, where everyone knew each other and was used to hanging together. New Orleans is an entrenched city with extremely high rates of poverty, drug use and violent crime even when there is a functioning government. More to the point, there is a subcommunity which is consistently and completely dependent on government, and thus is more lost when it crumbles.

As a native NOian, I'm somewhat surprised at the surpise; there are parts of the city which are war-zone-like at all times. Now, these bad elements just have a wider scope and more firepower.

You'd have some similar shit in Sydney, although I find it hard to believe Australians ever acting this way. But you want to bet you wouldn't see this sort of thing in London or Rome? It would be as bad or worse.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

This is an issue of race, nothing more. (1.10 / 69) (#68)
by Patrick Bateman on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 02:22:36 PM EST

Whether it's Sierra Leone, Haiti, or New Orleans, black people are simply not capable of maintaining civilization unless more advanced people impose it on them. Take away the ethnic groups who are capable of civilization, and the blacks descend into their natural state of theft, rape, and murder.

---
I have to return some videotapes.
[ Parent ]

(3) Encourage - Speaks the truth of our Lord (2.40 / 5) (#275)
by Glutamine on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 07:11:42 AM EST

 

[ Parent ]
Failings. (2.36 / 11) (#15)
by Armada on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 05:13:02 PM EST

But enough on the administration failures - its sure to be done to death by better than me. What's stunning Australians, and I'm sure most other countries around the world is the anarchy that's occurring in New Orleans, the complete lack of community spirit.

There are a lot of people that have said the wealthy don't care about the poor and that the response is bad, but you hit on a point that I'd like to address here. I'm going to ignore the class-based arguments, because someone's wealth in Louisiana/New Orleans is relative to that of someone in LA. Cost of living is the real issue, and I'll address it here.

While many outside of the United States usually loathe the government for its intrusive policies and actions as "world's police", the prevailing internal arguments many of the US's citizen's have are its bureaucracy and charity with strings attached.

It is entirely possible to live in a state with a low cost-of-living, like Louisiana, and drift between jobs and unemployment checks and credit card payments. In fact, you could arguably make house payments with gov't checks and build personal value while never working. In cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, this is not the case. Even given gov't checks, you will still be living on the street.

The only things the willing unemployed have to deal with are lines waiting for their unemployment checks. The nanny state has done these individuals a HUGE disservice by coo-cooing their troubles and pampering them well into their thirties.

So let's look at a hurricane hitting Florida. Florida has a relatively high cost of living. Because of this, unemployment only gets you so far. Those relying on the government to take care of them or place them in federal and state housing certainly don't live near the coasts. So when Hugo hits, the people that live there work on a regular basis anyway and have no trouble getting their asses and elbows to work. Eventually the federal government would get there to help, but a great deal of work had already been done in preparation.

The flood in the US Midwest in the mid 1990s are another good example of this. Individuals that had no idea what they were doing were helping with reconstruction and aiding people they never knew. Not just because they cared about their neighbors, but because they believed that any help they could provide would be greatly valued.

On the other hand, New Orleans is a tourist city. If you don't have a job in tourism, then you simply don't have a job or spend your time selling trinkets. Very few people there have had to work hard, and know nothing of taking care of themselves. Most of the time they are told if they aren't qualified to do something, they shouldn't. You see, they have lived with the assumption, perpetuated by our government through bureaucratic charity, that they aren't capable of providing help, but are instead the dregs of society.

Devastation provides a look at how the culture of a location has evolved. New Orleans has apparently become an example where bureaucratic charity has frozen the populace into waiting for the nanny state to come solve the problem.

It also doesn't help that our country has dedicated forces to Iraq, so that they can't be used to provide temporary relief at home. But that's another issue entirely.

This isn't just them not helping themselves... (3.00 / 6) (#18)
by OlympicSmoker on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 06:14:00 PM EST

They are actually being hindered by the government. They aren't allowed to just walk away, soldiers are blocking the roads, they aren't allowed to loot a supermarket to feed themselves.

They were given bad advice about where to go, and police who should be keeping order are quiting and keeping away from the problem (admittedly, police who people have come to rely on because of the government).

I consider myself quit a self reliant person - psychically and emotionally. But if I were stuck in a stadium for nearly a week, not allowed to make the trek to the next town, not given enough supplies to live, I would be be VERY demanding and VERY angry and VERY useless to anybody around me.

I think the problems are mostly a cause of the bad response. Do you really think the looting of a few TVs made any difference to the current situation? Do you think if these people had better jobs before the storm they would now be rebuilding their homes (underwater) and policing themselves (with no guns) and feeding themselves (with no crops or way of importing food) and transporting themselves to safety (through roadblocks with no private or public transport)?

[ Parent ]

well, some of the things are inexcusable (none / 0) (#38)
by Delirium on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 01:29:10 AM EST

I don't see any possible way in which raping people in the Convention Center bathrooms contributes to anything, or is even remotely understandable.

Most of the refugees I'll agree fall into the categories you described, but New Orleans does also have a fairly large number of gangbangers, and they seem to have taken advantage of the situation to cause some mayhem.

[ Parent ]

Someone has to do it (1.50 / 2) (#44)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:24:30 AM EST

and raping really isn't my bag anymore.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Rape is bad... (2.00 / 3) (#49)
by OlympicSmoker on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:44:14 AM EST

...but not a result of a lack of community, or a lazy community. At worst you could say these rapists developed because of their poverty, but it would be more accurate to say these rapists with the balls to do it in front of ten thousand people developed because of their poverty.

There would be rapes in other countries, I'm sure there were when the Tsunami hit. Two rapes among tens of thousands in that situation is probably normal. It's just it was done by the especially loud and stupid lower class of America (which isn't necessarily black ie. trailer trash). So this got reported at the worst possible time.

Just to prove my point search for Tsunami Rape - it happens in every major disaster. This just seems special because it was one of the early stories rather then one of the aftermath stories.

[ Parent ]

Yes, (none / 0) (#76)
by levesque on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:00:57 PM EST

or is even remotely understandable

but would you say it was predictable under the circumstances

[ Parent ]

"the nanny state" (1.50 / 2) (#21)
by levesque on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 06:59:19 PM EST

the psychonanny state maybe.

[ Parent ]
Calling Peahippo! Where are you? [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#25)
by mr strange on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 08:43:18 PM EST



intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
almost (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by bankind on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 01:49:46 AM EST

On the other hand, New Orleans is a tourist city.

I like your overall points, but the above comment misses the structure of the LA economy by a great deal. Tourism is a good supplier of income, but the wealth of the state is resource extraction (oil and gas) and agriculture. The problem is that (and you can go back to Huey Long on this) out of state resource extraction companies don't put any money back into the state (such as education, roads, etc). In fact these interests have been against the needed re-structuring of the levee system (which requires opening up the flood basin to allow the marsh to grow off of the river's deposits).

This ties into the broader issue that economies with strong natural resource extraction sector never really develop a manufacturing sector.

That is the main cause of poverty in LA, not a "nanny state." Granted, NO has a particular strong history of social welfare (what Mardi Gras was originally about), but the problems of NO's poor is much more "cycle of poverty" related than incentives. You can't expect people that live in those conditions, with those school systems to be able to succeed. When it does happen it is an anomaly.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

I'm sorry (none / 1) (#251)
by Armada on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:23:51 PM EST

Maybe those arguments are justifiable from the point of the state of Louisiana, but I still hold that tourism is the biggest source of revenue for the city. Agriculture and oil are state-wide institutions. Tourism is unique to the city itself.

I could also make the argument that even if resource extraction does play more of a role than I think it does, the individuals in question are not skilled workers by any means, and thus cannot contribute to that industry.

I tend to think that most skilled workers got the hell out of town before the hurricane hit. The rest just planned on heading to the stadium if it got "real bad".

[ Parent ]

Actually (3.00 / 2) (#260)
by bankind on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:26:09 PM EST

Those arguments are justifiable from the point of view of the US Labor Department

That figure for transportation are the port workers, manufacturing is the shipbuilders and offshore oil well builders. the actual numbers for emplyment in resource extraction are low, because offshore resource extraction is a capital intensive operation. Tourism is important, but it is highly seasonal (Mardi Gras) and not the high set tourists like a ski resort. Drunk frat boys and sluts from Texas are as about as high class as we get.

And least not, a little ole company called Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, which you might not be familiar with. Funny enough, their server is down...

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

I stand corrected (none / 0) (#315)
by Armada on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 07:41:34 PM EST

I guess you're right. I find it surprising though, cause what I remember of the city there was little outside tourism and the rich culture that was ever mentioned.

The bit on Huey Long got me thinking about it though, so I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

I do suspect that most of the trade and transportation folks got out of dodge before the hurricane hit, and that itself may be part of the problem for the folks that remained.

I won't argue that there wasn't racism involved, because there probably was. But I have a feeling that the role it played might be exaggerated a bit by those willing to hijack the issue for political gain. Still, it was an all around sad situation to hear about. I hope the issue ends up getting resolved quickly.

[ Parent ]

Uh... what? Let me see if I get this straight. (1.25 / 4) (#42)
by partialpeople on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 02:47:00 AM EST

So the cause of all the suffering and misery in New Orleans right now is because of the laziness ingrained into an unemployed worker by staying on welfare?  

The unemployment rate for New Orleans is about the same as most other big cities in the country: hovering around 5.0%.  Now it would amaze me if the people who have starved and drowned in the last few days all managed to come out of that 5% of the population.

Furthermore, what do you know about the self-reliance and survival abilities of the poor?  Or the welfare laws of the state of Louisiana?  Are you basing this entire rant on the fallacy that welfare encourages people not to work?

You know what?  Suck my cock, shitfucker.  If you're trolling, you got me good.

[ Parent ]

Unemployment rate (2.33 / 3) (#225)
by dn on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:28:56 PM EST

The unemployment rate for New Orleans is about the same as most other big cities in the country: hovering around 5.0%. Now it would amaze me if the people who have starved and drowned in the last few days all managed to come out of that 5% of the population.
"Unemployment" only counts people who recently had a job, are qualified to get another, and are looking hard for work. By intent, it does not count people who have given up looking, welfare sponges, dealers in homemade pharmeceuticals, professional pharmaceutical consumers, the disabled, retired people, teens who are learning nothing in school, panhandlers, the terminally lazy, illegal aliens, and so forth.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Unemployed isn't the issue (none / 1) (#250)
by Armada on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:19:22 PM EST

I personally defined unemployed as people that bounce on and off it. But the government defines it as people that don't have a job right now.

I know of at least 2 people living with me who have not held a job for at least 6 months. The amount of job switching even in parts of the country where our unemployment is a mind-boggling 2% is mucking up the statistics. People don't want to flip burgers. Especially in New Orleans. You own a gun in that town you now own an entire block or two of area. You give someone a week and they set themselves up as a baron down there.

Furthermore, what do you know about the self-reliance and survival abilities of the poor?  Or the welfare laws of the state of Louisiana?  Are you basing this entire rant on the fallacy that welfare encourages people not to work?

Okay, I'm sorry if you construe this as an unfounded attack on government welfare. It's an attack, but not on the desire to help someone. I'm all for HELPING in cases like these. I'm not for bureaucratic welfare. That is, welfare with "strings attached". That's the kind of BS that justifies going out every 6 months to have a job, then popping back off and living on welfare again.

Again, I'm not fighting the poor. I'm not blaming the people. I'm blaming the system that perpetuates this. It's a system of rewards for doing what someone tells you, and it works. Now they don't have anyone giving them the rewards anymore, and no orders. So what the fsck are they going to do?

[ Parent ]

Links to show proof plz (none / 1) (#43)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:20:28 AM EST

k thx

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
what a stupid fuck (none / 1) (#104)
by babarum on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:52:58 PM EST

I can't believe that an aussie actually wrote this. First of all, it took weeks for decent relief got to the tsunami victims.

Geez, what an idiot

[ Parent ]

The problem with the 'Nanny State' (3.00 / 3) (#204)
by pyro9 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:50:50 AM EST

The problem isn't that the state helps people who are out of work, the problem is actually that the 'handouts' are surrounded by a minefield of rules that make it awefully hard to get back off of assistance.

For example, you are out of work, and go on Welfare and other programs to keep your family in food, clothing, and shelter.

The next natural thing to do is to go look for work. You find a job (part time perma-temp so they don't have to give you benefits). You wanted better, but the job market for unskilled labor is nearly non-existant. You would consider going to school (vocational, tech, or university, whatever it takes), but you can't afford that.

Nevertheless, a job's a job and you now have one. Now you're better off. WRONG! You now have LESS INCOME than you did when you were unemployed. It seems that now that you have a job, you've lost elligeability for several benefits. In fact, benefits worth more than your potential wages.

It's a good thing someone pointed that out before you reported to work, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to pay the rent. So, to keep your family in food clothing, and shelter, you DON'T go to work.

Punishing any attempt at self help is exactly the technique necessary to produce learned helplessness.

It would seem that the only way to be better off is to get a job that pays more (not with the worthless high school education YOU got), or get two or more jobs. If you go that route (assuming you can FIND two jobs and not get fired because both employers want you at work at the same time), you'll barely have time to see your family, much less get a better education.

Of course, there are a few jobs that will pay under the table so you don't lose your benefits. Some of them are quasi-legal except for the fraud, but as long as you're going to break the law anyway...

So, who do you suppose is responsable for teaching people not to work for a decent living?


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
ya know (3.00 / 2) (#247)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:15:39 PM EST

we had all these problems in Australia. We fixed them. If you get a part-time job you get to keep some of your benefits so you're always better off working. If you're long term unemployeed you get sent on training courses or even to university.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Absolutely! (none / 0) (#341)
by pyro9 on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:28:59 AM EST

I sincerely wish that would be implemented in the U.S. It's unfortunate that the poor and unemployed here are used as pawns in political games.

The current state of affairs is a natural result of our political process where the supremacy of the party platform is far more important to most of the polititions than the effectiveness of their policies or the wellbeing of the country as a whole. Personally, I believe some of them border on treason.

A closely related problem is that the rules are so paranoid that someone might cheat to recieve undue benefits that those who truly deserve them have a hard time proving it. I strongly suspect that at this point the cost of the anti-fraud measures exceeds the cost of the fraud they prevent (especially when you count the extra federal employees dedicated to processing all of the extra paperwork).

I suspect that once all societal costs of poverty were tracked down and added up including lost productivity, additional law enforcement, the inevitable criminal activity that happens anyway, the underutilized urban property, etc, we would find that a comprehensive social safety net is actually a bargain.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Riiiight. (none / 1) (#362)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:21:57 PM EST

I have but a high school education; however, I still manage to make $45,000/year.

Not an outstanding amount, but definitely more than what I need to be happy.

I grew up ping-ponging between my grandparents and my drug-addicted mother. I was homeless for a spell and lived in more than a few "crack houses."

It's called determination.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

Determination (none / 0) (#407)
by pyro9 on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 09:27:51 AM EST

I'm glad you overcame the problems I outlined (and more). Your sample population n=1 does not in any way invalidate anything I said. Winning the lottery can also lift someone out of poverty, but that fact is hardly a justificatlin for maintaining the current system of perverse anti-incentives either.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Beachfront Property (1.00 / 3) (#16)
by A synx on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 05:17:30 PM EST

+1, you mentioned that guy's beachfront house... what was his name again?

Trent Lott (none / 0) (#17)
by A synx on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 05:34:34 PM EST

Trent Lott, duh.  Thank you <a href="http://boingboing.net">Boing Boing</a>

[ Parent ]
Um, yeah... (1.61 / 13) (#23)
by skyknight on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 07:45:19 PM EST

because clearly the way that the bottom rungs of society act when a huge natural disaster has made law enforcement impossible is indicative of the way that an entire civilization of 300M people conducts its affairs.

Yes, we unfortunately have a frat boy jackass for a president at president, but that doesn't change the fact that you're being an asinine twit.

Myself, I cannot remember the last time that I personally raped an Australian tourist.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
I think you're wrong. (2.66 / 12) (#24)
by mr strange on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 08:39:33 PM EST

How the bottom rungs of society behave when there's no law enforcement is a fantastic measure of a 'civilisation'. Society is all about what people do when no one is watching.

America just failed it.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Says who? That's your arbitrary metric. (2.40 / 5) (#55)
by skyknight on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:44:44 AM EST

You've decided to measure civilization that way? OK, fine, upon what basis do you make that judgment? Other people seem to think that the infant mortality rate is the measure of civilization. You realize that you can pick just about anything, right? People are always picking some metric or other, saying "look, America sucks at this", and proclaiming that it is a land of barbarians. This is nothing new.

Yes, America fucked up in New Orleans. What, you wanna cookie?



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
*A* measure. Not *the* measure. (2.33 / 6) (#73)
by mr strange on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:22:42 PM EST

I agree with you. It would be foolish to take one thing and judge an entire society by that one yardstick.

I didn't suggest that. I said that this was a measure (a good one). America failed this test.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Bottom Rungs ? (2.75 / 4) (#27)
by blackpaw on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:10:56 PM EST

What measure are you using for this ? I presume income, or is it some other factor ?

And why would this make them less civilised ? in many cultures the working class hold community values in a lot higher esteem than the so called "better" levels of society.

[ Parent ]

Who said anything about income? (2.66 / 3) (#54)
by skyknight on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:40:21 AM EST

In fact, you did, not I. There is a distinction to be made between "poor" and "criminal", and while you are implying that I make no distinction, in fact I do.

America is a large and complicated place with a lot of different cultures and geographic regions. Lambasting the entire nation because of the way criminals acted in one region when the capacity for law enforcement was wiped out is ridiculously unfair.

There's also America's drug problem. Prohibition has created a huge criminal class. I'm a proponent of legalizing everything, and am under the impression that an enormous fraction of America's crime would be wiped out as a consequence. Alas, the political landscape is such that I am not apt ever to get my wish. There is too much political opportunism for preying on the fears of parents and Bible thumpers for politicians to let it go.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I think that's a simple view of your country (2.40 / 5) (#116)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:46:27 PM EST

When viewing the reaction in N.O. in context with other events in your country's history, I think that the problem your facing now is reflected elsewhere.

You've got stuff like Columbine and the war in Iraq, for example. You have the McCarthy days. Your's is a country that allowed a guy like Hoover to run the so-called "law" enforcement for fifty years. You've got dirty presidents that don't get impeached. You've got a movie industry that glorifies mass destruction. You've got an enemy in terrorism which your country created... You've got a dishonest media... You have high-class and low-class drug problems with disparate punishments, depending on your wallet size...

I'm not criticising you or your country for all of this. Who am I to judge? But to say that this dirty side of humanity is only presented in your country's "lowest" rung of people, and that this kind of behaviour is isolated to one moment in time is to completely overlook the history that has thus far defined your country.

The US ideology does not match up with the reality and to say that the majority of your civilastion is not this violent is a really puzzling suggestion. The way I see it, if this is true, then there is some force that either pushes sick, violent bastards to the top or bottom rung of your society... And I doubt this is the case...

Everything that's going on in N.O. is exactly as I had suspected. The average individual in the US is to concerned with getting ahead at any costs to stop and help their neighbour.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

It's not like the US is all that unique... (2.80 / 5) (#201)
by skyknight on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:55:48 AM EST

in having the kind of problems you mention. For every example you cite, I could come up with a corresponding one elsewhere. A big factor is that the US is so gargantuan and so high profile that it is a bullet magnet for this kind of stuff, and furthermore is a favorite target of the media.

The world made a huge deal out of some kids going in and shooting up a school in Columbine. OK, but four years later in Japan some guy went into a day care center and butchered a dozen children with a knife, and yet that was only news for a day. A lot of people have an ax to grind about guns, but knife-control just isn't sexy enough.

The US government is corrupt? Well, no kidding, but so is every other government on the planet. Power attracts the ruthless, the violent, the corrupt... It's no surprise that some of the most despicable people in the world end up as politicians. In fact, I'd say it is the natural consequence of our allowing ourselves to be ruled so easily.

In fact, it may actually be the case that the most vicious are drawn to the bottom and the top. The folk in the middle are the producers from which the parasites at the top and the bottom draw their nourishment. Someone has to actually create value so that they can loot it. Gangsters and politicians have a lot in common.

I'm hardly going to be one to go around being an apologist for everything that the US does. I have a lot of grievances of my own. However, I think that a dose of perspective is in order. Places all over the world have problems of the magnitude of the US, but it's way more fun to sling mud at the current leader of the pack. If the EU or China pulls ahead of the US in the next fifty years, you can bet that they'll take the lion's share of grief from the general public.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Good points (none / 1) (#328)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:43:47 PM EST

For every example you cite, I could come up with a corresponding one elsewhere. A big factor is that the US is so gargantuan and so high profile that it is a bullet magnet for this kind of stuff, and furthermore is a favorite target of the media.

Oh definitely. I think also, asides from media, another factor leading to criticism is that leader in the US tend to attest to the civil and brilliantly civilised nature of US Society. Which is clearly not entirely representative of the reality.

The world made a huge deal out of some kids going in and shooting up a school in Columbine. OK, but four years later in Japan some guy went into a day care center and butchered a dozen children with a knife, and yet that was only news for a day. A lot of people have an ax to grind about guns, but knife-control just isn't sexy enough.

Hmmm, I tend to agree. Then again, Japanese pop-culture has always appeared to be ultra-violent. I must admit that I had never even heard of this incident until you mentioned it now. I can't even think of a reason for this disparate reporting, let alone try and justify it, because there is none.

The US government is corrupt? Well, no kidding, but so is every other government on the planet. Power attracts the ruthless, the violent, the corrupt... It's no surprise that some of the most despicable people in the world end up as politicians. In fact, I'd say it is the natural consequence of our allowing ourselves to be ruled so easily.

Maybe so, but not to the blatant extent as witnessed in the US. Which could be saying one of two things, either the corrupt officials in other countries are smart enough to avoid detection, or that there is less corruption amongst those officials.

In fact, it may actually be the case that the most vicious are drawn to the bottom and the top. The folk in the middle are the producers from which the parasites at the top and the bottom draw their nourishment. Someone has to actually create value so that they can loot it. Gangsters and politicians have a lot in common.

Oh so true. They certainly do business the same way, under the table.

I'm hardly going to be one to go around being an apologist for everything that the US does. I have a lot of grievances of my own. However, I think that a dose of perspective is in order. Places all over the world have problems of the magnitude of the US, but it's way more fun to sling mud at the current leader of the pack. If the EU or China pulls ahead of the US in the next fifty years, you can bet that they'll take the lion's share of grief from the general public.

And so they should. Being a leader comes with the responsibility of leading, usually by example. I think it would be unfair to criticise the US if they were following suit. However, they are not. As a personality, the representation is shiny, polished and pure. Very far off from the reality. I think that saying that the underdog has the same problems is entirely accurate. But the US leadership would have us all believe that they are above and beyond all of that. Really, though, there's no excuse for their behaviour and there's also no reason to deny it's occurring.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Uh... (none / 0) (#333)
by BJH on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 01:36:51 AM EST

...maybe the Ikeda primary school incident was news for a day in your country, but it sure wasn't news for a day here.

As for Columbine, I don't know what country you're in, but it was indeed "news for a day" over here.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Answer (2.61 / 62) (#46)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:08:44 AM EST

I. First of all take a look at our black role models:

This is the black role model in America. 50 Cent.

This is the black role model in America. Notorious BIG.

This is the black role model in America. Tupac.

Note: Tupac and Notorious BIG are both dead. Apparently Notorious BIG ordered a hit on Tupac, then Tupac's boys killed Notorious BIG in revenge. 50 Cent has a whole history of violence himself.

Please take a look around their websites and note the names of their songs:

1. Tupac:
I Don't Give a Fuck
Violent
Crooked Ass Nigga
Young Niggaz
Fuck the World
Death Around the Corner
Outlaw

2. Notorious BIG:
Ready to Die
Gimme the Loot
I Love the Dough
Notorious Thugs
My Downfall

3. 50 Cent:
In My Hood
I'm Supposed to Die Tonight
Gatman and Robbin'
Ski Mask Way
Gunz Come Out
Position of Power
What up Gangsta
PIMP

Understand something. Unlike white musicians who are mostly just posers (like NSYNC), some of these rappers are the real fucking deal. They really are gangsters. They are considered legends and heroes by black youth.

II. Black leadership is virtually non-existent in this country.

Some of these gangster rappers come from the streets. They make it big. They go from dirt poor to filthy rich. They have an opportunity to do something for "their people". But for the most part they throw the opportunity away. Just like Tupac and Notorious BIG did, when they showed what exemplary role models they were by killing each other. Rather than using their massive wealth to address the problems of the black community, they continue to blow cash on booze, drugs, and fast cars, all the while making music about how bad Whitey is and how the white man is holding them down. Anger sells. The race card always pays big if you know how to play it.

Of course any criticism of these guys is dismissed as racist. Western intellectuals and college professors (handsomely paid in their universities, living in their gated communities well away from the black ghettos) claim that the music is a justified outburst against white oppression. Nevermind that these western intellectuals make a lot more money than 90% of the white population. Hell just take a look at Ward Churchill. Chairman of Ethnic Studies - makes a nice $118,000 a year as a tenured professor. Well, ok now its only $90,000 a year because he resigned his chairmanship after his outburst regarding 9/11 and capitalism was widely publicized. The race industry pays well and man, talk about job security! Here in the good 'ole USA there will always be a need for people who can point fingers and blame capitalism and white people for all the world's ills.

Many black people have developed a conspiratorial mindset. Just take a look at Kanye West's rant that the media is portraying all black people as crooks, National Guardsmen are being sent in to shoot them, and George Bush doesn't care about black people. This same idiot said that AIDS is a secret bio-weapon developed by the CIA to kill Africans. Yep, thats just the ticket to improving race relations in America.

Black congressmen are often no better. Shelia Jackson Lee spends here time bitching that not enough hurricanes are named after black people while Cynthia McKinney delivers conspiratorial rants about Israel and 9/11.

Any criticism of black leadership in this country is immediately labeled racist hate speech. George Bush is called a racist even though he has appointed two black people to his cabinet - an unprecedented move by any president. Why the criticism? Well, you see, because Condi Rice and Colin Powell don't count as black people even though they are black. They are conservative, so they don't fit the leftist agenda. Since they can't be exploited by leftists for political gain, they are simply Uncle Toms.

Bill Cosby, a famous black comedian, goes on tour across the country accusing black people of being part of their own problem. Days later he is mysteriously accused of rape. The rape charges are eventually dropped, but by then his credibility is shot. Gee I wonder what power players were behind that dirty trick?

Have you noticed the absence of criticism of Mayor Nagin of New Orleans? He is black, therefore he gets a pass for his criminal negligence. In fact, he is called a "genuine hero" by the BBC, even though he failed to evacuate his city until 12 hours before the storm - a critical blunder. He also failed to tell his people to stock up on water and food - to carry an emergency kit of at least 48 hours of water and food with them.

Then he has the gall to point fingers at President Bush on the radio airwaves, demanding "500 buses" from all over the country. Of course, he apparently never thought to use his own buses to evacuate people days before the storm struck, even though his city's own disaster management plan called for it. Failing to do his duties, he escaped out of the city prior to the hurricane's landfall. Of course you don't hear about any of this on the news. All you hear about on the news is George Bush's "colossal" failure to personally fly in and save 100,000 people in 24 hours. Why? Because he is white. Putting even an ounce of blame on the Mayor would be racist, and we can't have that can we? No of course not.

III. There is little hope of the situation getting better. Why?

1. Black people are kept in a constant state of learned helplessness. Democrats need an underclass of people in order to get voted in power. Dispite their rhetoric, many of them don't want black people to succeed because that means they can't play the race card to gain political points.

2. Republicans are reluctant to put money into social programs for black people. Call it selfishness, call it greed. But there is another component - recklessly feeding money into the system just plays into the Democrat agenda of creating an underclass of people totally dependent on the government.

3. Many black youth just seem hopeless. Money poured into black school districts makes no difference on test scores because the students don't want to learn. They want to be gangsters just like 50 Cent. If you think the behavior during the storm is bad, just imagine putting up with that crap on a daily basis. That is what happens in the inner city. The problem is a financial black hole. Millions of dollars poured in to help are squandered and wasted.

4. The vicious conspiracy theories form a cycle of continuing dispair. Black people think the white man is deliberately trying to hold him down. Everything that happens is viewed as a plot against black people. Just take another look at Kanye West's pathetic rant. If black people feel hopeless, that is if they feel they cannot succeed because of whitey, then they have no motivation to improve or learn. Hence their role models are gangsters and drug dealers.

5. As a result of this, a lot of white people just give up. There doesn't seem to be any way to fix the situation. Criticism makes you a racist. Aid money flows down the tubes with no measureable result. And trying to help gets you shot at, robbed, and beaten up. Hell just try going near one of these black neighborhoods if you are white. This is how you are treated. Real cool aint it. Gangsta-nigga-like just like his role model rappers taught him! But of course, in America, only Whitey can be racist. Daring to suggest otherwise makes you a racist.

Don't believe me? Just wait for all the replies I get on K5. I will be called every name under the sun. I will be called a KKK clansman. I will be called a racist. I will be called a Nazi. Just for speaking the truth.

This is the America I live in.



Well, (none / 0) (#47)
by tkatchevzombie on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:56:29 AM EST

The solution is obviously to keep pouring welfare money into society so that the (man-made and man-implemented) ghetto system persists indefinitely.

[ Parent ]
yeah its all rap music's fault (2.22 / 9) (#51)
by hildi on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:23:25 AM EST

"i shot a man in reno just to watch him die" -- johnny cash

"eenie meenie miny moe catch a nigger by his toe" -- traditional white song


[ Parent ]

Frankly I couldn't give two shits... (1.83 / 6) (#52)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:29:33 AM EST

...about rap music. It all sucks like a two-cent whore, but if thats what tuts a person's horn then so be it. In other words, I ain't blamin' music itself, bub.

Its the fuckin' people and the fuckin' attitude. That's the god damned problem.

[ Parent ]

What the fuck do you know about it? (2.87 / 8) (#71)
by partialpeople on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 03:43:33 PM EST

The fact that you don't know shit about rap music tells me that you also don't know shit about black culture.  You've made huge assumptions about black leadership based on the first three famous rappers you could think of because that's the only thing you think you know about their culture.

Tell me:  Who qualifies as "white leadership"?  Is it our leaders in Washington?  Do they speak for us as a race?  Where is the Asian leadership?  The Latino?   Dimes to dollars says you'll pick familiar names from popular culture as the spokesmen for a race- or you won't pick anyone because you aren't familiar with their cultures.  But then, those cultures don't need to live up to the standard you've set for black people, do they?  We don't rush off to blame all white people for the atrocities of our leaders- so why do you do so for black people?

So yeah, you may not want to believe this because you think you're "telling it how it is", but you're being racist.  Sickeningly so.

[ Parent ]

I'm a racist. Lol. (2.50 / 12) (#77)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:31:03 PM EST

The fact that you don't know shit about rap music tells me that you also don't know shit about black culture.

Ok so you've drawn a link between rap music and black culture. Tell me, what the hell is black culture? A bunch of gangstas runnin' round dealin' drugs an bustin' a cap in they niggas? Or something better? Please enlighten me. Because you know, the black community isn't doing a very good job of presenting its wonderful culture to us, and we'd really like to learn more about it.

Let me tell you something. Just because you label something a "culture" doesn't mean its respectable, and it doesn't mean I'm a racist for saying there is something about it that stinks.

I know the direct way I'm speaking probably comes as a shock to you since you are used to bullying people by calling them racists and having them roll over. but my ancestors didn't own slaves and I'm half Asian myself so you can't play your White Guilt (TM) PC games on me. That don't fly. Got it, buddy?

You've made huge assumptions about black leadership based on the first three famous rappers you could think of

Why don't you tell me who I've missed?

Who qualifies as "white leadership"? etc. etc.

I normally don't divide leadership into white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. Its the "black leaders" who have been doing it themselves with their "Congressional Black Caucus", and references to "my people", and constant talk about "the black community". If black people insist on dividing themselves that way, then don't call me a racist for acknowledging the division.

Dimes to dollars says you'll pick familiar names from popular culture as the spokesmen for a race

Only for black people. Have you ever wondered why that might be? Maybe because black political leadership is non-existent, and the next people in line (e.g. the ones with the biggest mouths, most money, and largest following) seem to be gangsta-rappas. That should tell you something about "black culture".

But then, those cultures don't need to live up to the standard you've set for black people, do they?

What standard is that? The standard that they should not kill, rape, assault, and murder people during a time of national crisis? I'd say that's a fairly minimum expectation and I'm not ashamed to expect it from fellow human beings.

Tell you what. Go to the BBC News website to their "Have your Say" section. There you will find comments from around the world on the Katrina disaster. Read what they have to say - dirt poor brown people from Indonesia expressing shock at the crimes committed by black people in New Orleans.

We don't rush off to blame all white people for the atrocities of our leaders- so why do you do so for black people?

That's not what I'm doing. I'm speaking candidly - something that most people are afraid to do nowadays. Secondly I am aware that the people committing crimes were in the far minority and that most of the people were law abiding citizens. But that's the case with every group of people and culture that needs examination. We don't need to stand around and put qualifiers on every sentence just so that we can make sure we aren't offending someone. Its a given that I am not talking about *every* single black man.

you're being racist. Sickeningly so.

Yep, sure. Whatever you say. *Sigh*.

[ Parent ]

Learn how to read, cock. (none / 0) (#312)
by partialpeople on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:57:51 PM EST

I wasn't talking about standards of morality, I was talking about standards of leadership.  You think for some reason that black pop-cultural figures speak for everyone with that skin color in America.  But for white people, or any other race for that matter, not only do you not require them to have pop-culture spokespeople- you don't require them to have spokespeople period.

Your ENTIRE view of black culture is based on your limited understanding and outright fear of a segment of popular culture.

So I ask again:  What the fuck do you know about it?

[ Parent ]

And he basically asked you: (none / 0) (#491)
by acceleriter on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:46:50 PM EST

"What the fuck is there to know?"

You don't seem to have an answer.

[ Parent ]

Here here, son.. (1.00 / 4) (#151)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:46:47 AM EST

Do us a good job an' shaddup and go back to your cave, nigger.

(This IS what you wanted some "whitey" say to you? It's what your demeanor says.)

[ Parent ]

You're kidding, right? (1.00 / 2) (#70)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 03:22:11 PM EST

I mean, a line from Folsom Prison Blues and some ancient lullaby are all you can come up with as evidence of violence in white music?

The rest of that song is about a man showing remorse, and he didn't even "bust a cap" in someone over a drug deal. Perhaps you should look to heavy metal for some more potent examples.

[ Parent ]

+1 FP, Interesting counterpoint (1.40 / 10) (#53)
by mr strange on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:35:44 AM EST

This is the most interesting hurricane article I've read so far. Polish it up a bit and post it to the edit queue.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
I second this. $ (2.25 / 4) (#56)
by skyknight on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:51:59 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Will do. (2.25 / 4) (#62)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:26:28 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Truth is complicated (2.80 / 20) (#57)
by Eloquence on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:00:50 AM EST

You are stereotyping a large group of people as conspiracy nuts unable to help themselves, while repeating many talking points that come directly out of conservative think tanks. Yes, Ray Nagin had a responsibility, and I'm sure we will hear more in the coming weeks about it. In fact, it's quite possible that he will become a scapegoat. However, George W. Bush also had a responsibility. It's not so much the delayed reaction of Bush himself that is the problem -- it is the restructuring of FEMA following 9/11. Byjon Elliston wrote a prescient article in September 2004, Disaster in the making, describing in detail how the Bush administration has turned FEMA from an efficient, useful agency into a bureaucratic, unprepared group led by incompetent administrators with no disaster relief experience. The cited survey among FEMA employees demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that this is more than just outside analysis. This, and the funding cuts that came with it, are Bush's responsibility. I'm not sure you'll read that kind of stuff on Little Green Footballs and other right-wing-blogs, though, where quoted sources are often censored to remove "America-bashing". (Some leftist blogs are not better, but the larger forums appear to me to be much more open-minded and willing to criticize their own than those on the right.)

As for your rant about black culture, again, there is always another side of the story. Yes, there is a lack of moral leadership of black culture -- yet, if you took a closer look at some of the ideas which you simply label as "conspiracy theories" and then decide to ignore, you would discover government programmes such as COINTELPRO which were specifically targeted at that black leadership. While many of the groups and individuals COINTELPRO sought to "track, expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" were dangerous, many others were simply socially progressive and hence, unacceptable to the political leadership of the time (Republican or Democrat). An independent and strong black social movement has always been perceived as a threat.

In the place of real, responsible leadership grew the phenomena you described (whether their growth was entirely natural, I do not know). At the same time, the social policies of the United States (taxation, distribution of wealth) have failed to substantially alter the conditions of black minorities, and poverty remains the predominant problem. Let us not even talk about the disastrous effects of the "War on Drugs" policy, or, lest you again raise the specter of "conspiracy theories", the revelations of Gary Webb that are, like COINTELPRO, documented in the leftist propaganda source Wikipedia. I'm also certain that despite evidence to the contrary, you will deny any influence of high availability of guns on the escalation of crimes and gang wars in poor communities. The utter failure of policy is, however, undeniably proven by the fact that in no country in the world are there more people behind bars than in the United States in absolute numbers, and the only country which jails more people in relative numbers is Rwanda (due to the post-genocide mass arrests) -- see World Prison Population List. As an aside, the deplorable conditions in those prisons have been ably documented by Wil S. Hylton in his November 2004 Harpers article Sick on the Inside. My main point, however, is that this gives a quantitative view of the severe social problems in poor communities, and the clueless government response to them.

Do Democrats want blacks to stay dependent? Actually, blacks vote Democrat regardless of income. Furthermore, Democrat allegiance independently of race is highest in two areas of society: the lowest income, and the highest education. Republicans occupy the middle class, and the high wealth bracket. So, it is in the political interest of Democrats to enable as many people as possible to enjoy the best education possible.

There is truth in what you say, but the truth is complicated. To ascertain it requires an unbiased look at the facts, including "conspiracy theories", regardless of their provenance.

What is the solution? I think the key to progress is to identify people sharing certain goals, regardless of their other views, and to work together with them to effect meaningful changes in policy. I hope, for example, that libertarians and socialists can work together to change drug policy. It might be equally possible, for example, for sincere people on the left and right to work together in condemning pop culture that is essentially an endorsement of criminal behavior.

Only if people can overcome party allegiances, and honestly and without bias look at the facts, progress can be made. Condemning beliefs without familiarizing oneself with them should be taboo.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

I wrote a non-partisan review of... (2.00 / 2) (#60)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:18:45 AM EST

...the causes of the Katrina disaster in localroger's story (in outline form). I layed plenty of blame on bush. In fact I didn't even lay any blame on the mayor until the very end. Believe me I am very well aware of Bush's funding cuts and the FEMA re-organization. I noted it in my non-partisan review.

[ Parent ]
Then don't rest on your non-partisan laurels. -nt (none / 0) (#384)
by Arvedui on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:50:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
+3000 Encourage. (2.66 / 12) (#61)
by gr3y on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:19:22 AM EST

I was having the same conversation with a black guy I work with all last week. It started with a conversation about reparations, and finally ended when I said most black men cannot be trusted - their culture has taught them to embrace violence as a means for gaining what they've been "wrongfully denied" by society.

In general, I find those performers who emphasize black America's perpetual status as victim of white America, and companies that cater to the illusion of success that fifty-dollar Hilfinger shirts provide, to be the most successful. But good luck telling a black person that the problem is that they're buying music that reinforces the notion that they're still a slave, and that spending fifty dollars for a twelve dollar shirt is stupidity defined for someone making $6.15/hour.

There are black "muslims" (any "muslim" who follows Elijah Mohammed is no muslim at all) on the corner of Mercury Blvd. and Jefferson Ave. in Hampton every weekend, selling Farrakhan's vitriolic diatribe to motorists, but Bill Cosby can't give it away without black America ripping him a new asshole, and he was dead right.

Submit it as op-ed. The responses that you get should be very interesting.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Whenever I hear... (none / 1) (#289)
by DavidTC on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:38:39 AM EST

most black men cannot be trusted - their culture has taught them to embrace violence as a means for gaining what they've been "wrongfully denied" by society.

...I ask myself: Who has caused the most harm to me? White people or black people.

The answer is, overwhelmingly, white people. In fact, the only black person who has caused me harm has been an asshole I had as a roommate in college.

Admittedly, it's because white people appear to have much more power than black people, but, OTOH, resorting to violence is, at least, illegal. Whereas if someone is legitmately in a position of power and harms you, there is often little you can do about it.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

It is not so. (none / 1) (#330)
by gr3y on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:11:18 AM EST

That is your personal experience and interpretation of events. It's also incorrect, and naive, in my opinion.

Money is the cause of the problem you are describing. But O. J. Simpson was able to buy the standard of justice to which the wealthy are accustomed, demonstrating, once and for all, that a black man can buy justice in the United States, just like rich whites have always done.

Of the people by which I have been physically assaulted, the majority were black. This is because my family is not wealthy and my peers, growing up, were black.

It has less to do with race and more to do with money. That is an idea I wish black America would embrace, and the basis for my original post.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

How on earth... (none / 0) (#352)
by DavidTC on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:40:57 AM EST

...can my personal experience be incorrect?

And I am quite aware is is solely because white people have a hell of a lot more power than black poeple. That was, in fact, my point. I rather doubt that white people dislike me because I'm white, or even dislike me in generally at all. There is just a bunch of them with way too much power and no oversight.

And the completely powerless can, indeed, behave irrationally and violent, and people in this society are scared of them.

However, most actual harm appears to come from those with power, actual long-term power, not temporary physical power that some black guy has scrounged together by being along in the alley with you and a knife.

It's 'threat management based on the spectacular'. It's the same reason people worry about shark attacks when they go to the beach, ignoring they have greater risk of death merely driving the 300 miles to get there.

Let's all worry about that shifty-looking black man over there, because there's a 0.1% chance he's going to mug us out of 50 dollars, and ignore the fact 15,000 dollars of savings is invested in companies with shoddy business practices, and there's a 3% chance they'll go under before we retire.

Let's worry that black man is going to hit us in the head for being the wrong neighborhood, and not worry that when we go to this hospital, our HMO is going to fail to cover us for some bullshit reason, eventually costing us 10,000 in medical expenses to treat our subdural hematoma.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

You raise some interesting points... (none / 0) (#366)
by gr3y on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:56:12 PM EST

First of all, allow me to clarify: I believe your interpretation of events is incorrect, and I believe you are naive.

Secondly, you raise a number of interesting points, none of which have anything to do with the failure of black America to realize that the road to equality with white America is paved with a higher standard of living, better education, and more real wealth.

That said, I will not dispute the fact that it is a mistake to allow insurance companies to be run on a for-profit basis, and that corporations (or their officers) that lie to their shareholders and debtors should be punished. Regarding insurance companies, it is morally and ethically wrong to allow the profit motive to obscure or interfere with the primary motivation for having insurance: to provide a safety net in the event of some catastrophic event, including advancing age, the onset of senility, or a devastating hurricane. For corporations, some of the time telling the truth is not easy, but it is always the right thing to do. The privilege afforded by Amendment I also confers responsibility.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Well, it's possible they realize... (none / 1) (#367)
by DavidTC on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:47:19 PM EST

...that the game is rigged. That lowermiddle-class white people are on a path to nowhere, running full speed to slowly move forward, when the slightest mistep or rock in the path can send them hurtling backwards.

It's a game of shoots-and-ladders, sans ladders. Get laid off, fall backwards. Have expensive medical needs and no insurance, fall backwards. Have a car stop working, fall backwards. The only ladder is the lottery, which is why low-income people play it.

But, yes, I didn't want to get in the way of your point about poor black people's perception of reality, that they cannot change anything except via violence. That is a certainly a accurate description of a large segment of them.

And, frankly, is a rather astute observation. They have no money-power and no one in this country has any political-power unless the media wants them to have it. The very poor see through the lies the lower class doesn't, at least not until they themselves become the very poor.

I was just pointing out that middle-class white people's perception of them is a bit screwed up, because people's threat perception is very screwed up anyway. I've just smart enough to look around and realize 'You know, poor violent criminals, be they black or white, have never caused any harm to me, and rich or powerful people, most of whom are white, have caused quite a lot. Ergo, they must be more dangerous, statistically speaking.'

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Also an interesting point... (none / 1) (#400)
by gr3y on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:39:19 PM EST

But the difference, I think, is one of extent.

For example, if you're a white guy walking down the street and some black guy assaults you, the impact on you is tremendous, painful, and personal.

If you're a black guy buying into a mutual fund some white guy artificially inflates the value of, and consequently "lose" ten percent of its value, the actual impact on you is small, because you haven't really lost anything, and the crime is impersonal.

I'll agree that the impact, distributed among all the people buying into the fund, is enormous. And that's the difference - extent.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

culture is learned (2.66 / 3) (#64)
by minerboy on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:57:10 AM EST

By imitation, there is no doubt. If the article gets voted down, as it should, please post this as an article.



[ Parent ]
You make some excellent points (2.72 / 11) (#78)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:42:16 PM EST

I wish you had included some black sports "heroes" like Barry Bonds and others as well though. I think that helps illustrate the point that it isn't just rappers with horrible attitudes.

I am in complete agreement with you that criticizing a black leader in any way brands one as a racist. Much like criticizing any feminist thought the primary response is always to silence and assert an inappropriate sort of authority through the hierarchy of victimhood.

On the other hand, there are good historical reasons why blacks think that they are being conspired against - from the MOVE bombings, COINTELPRO and the murder of Black Panthers, and the racially motivated behaviors of the right to disenfranchise and marginalize blacks by any means necessary.

Your argument that since Powell and Rice aren't left wing tools that they aren't accepted is wrong. The reason that they aren't seen as black is because their own community doesn't accept them. The reason being that they are selfish hypocrites in power, having taken advantage of affirmative action while denying that it got them where they are today.

Additionally you omit other basic reasons that Republicans (and the right) are "reluctant" to put money into social programs that benefit blacks. Racism , a skewed vision of social darwinism, and a sense that somehow "they deserve what they get".

Perhaps *some* Democrats want a perpetually coddled underclass, but the rank and file does not. Unlike much of the rank and file of Republicans many of whom are racists whether blatant (Klansmen, David Duke) or closet.

Other than the fact that your points are skewed by an untoward right wing bias and is clearly informed by right wing blogs you have some good points, it's just a shame that this isn't as non-partisan as your comment about NOLA.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Stereotypes and racism (none / 0) (#83)
by NaCh0 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:19:57 PM EST

If the so-called right is racist because they make stereotypes of blacks, why is it that the blacks continue to live up to these stereotypes?

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]
I didn't write that (2.85 / 7) (#89)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:05:58 PM EST

but I'll try to answer it anyway.

It's complex. Part of it is stupidity (which can only partially be attributed to a poor diet, part and parcel of being poor) due to many blacks viewing not being educated as being part of being black.

Part is disillusionment - that "nothing I do matters anyway, so fuck it". Part is the "blame whitey" game.

Many blacks presume (decide?) that the only ways out are: drug dealing and pimping (which while improves their lot financially ties them closer to their impoverished community and for the most part  worsens it), professional sports and music/rapping. That's extremely limiting and stereotypical in and of itself.

A part of it too is that people do change when they're in abusive situations. I'd say that living in a ghetto is, in itself, living in an abusive situation. Certainly living in poverty changes one.

It's interesting in that most africans and carribbean blacks (as opposed to black americans) have very different values and often can't stand their american brethren.  

Is the right inherently racist? For old school conservatives I'd say probably not, and I think that the neocons are cynically so - the rank and file seem to be more casually racist. Which is not to say that the entirety of the right is racist, just that the propensity is greater than on the left.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Chris Rock: (2.40 / 5) (#185)
by yanisa on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:28:13 AM EST

"I hate niggers. You can't have anything valuable in your house. Niggers will break in and take it all! Everything white people don't like about black people, black people don't like about black people. It's like our own personal civil war. On one side, there's black people. On the other, you've got niggers. The niggers have got to go. I love black people, but I hate niggers. I am tired of niggers. Tired, tired, tired."

I think this line's mostly filler
[ Parent ]

Something my friends and I (none / 0) (#188)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:32:14 AM EST

have been saying for decades.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Part of racism (2.83 / 6) (#215)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:45:54 AM EST

is making blanket statements about groups.  Part of racism is doing what you just did, treating a race as a homogenous block and not as a group of self determining people.  

What you just did there is create a circle.  Some Blacks do illegal things.  This creates the stereotypes.  Since you only see Blacks as a group, and not individuals, you see the few Blacks doing wrong and say "Blacks live up to the stereotypes."  Wrong.  Some Blacks do.  

Imagine that you are Black, but you are not a criminal.  You are an upstanding citizen, you pay your taxes, etc.  But because you are Black, people expect you to be a criminal, so you are pulled over by the police for no reason, people cross the street so they don't have to walk next to you, and you aren't hired for jobs for which you are qualified, all because you are Black.  That is racism.  Wouldn't that anger you?

[ Parent ]

It works both ways (none / 1) (#280)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:22:55 AM EST

I would also be pissed off if I were white, and a black called me an oppressor just because some white rednecks might have pushed him around in the past.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Definitely. (none / 0) (#368)
by fortasse on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:49:36 PM EST

I'm not one of those who claim that minorities cannot be racist.  Because I'm biracial, I get it from all sorts, and oh do I know that it goes both ways.

[ Parent ]
David Duke is not a Republican (none / 1) (#117)
by irrefutable on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:02:47 PM EST

[destroy all monsters] wrote:

".... Unlike much of the rank and file of Republicans many of whom are racists ....(Klansmen, David Duke)..."

Sorry, you've got that wrong; David Duke is (primarily) a Democrat, and is disliked by the Republican party.

[from wikipedia]:
In 1976, Duke sought a seat in the Louisiana State Senate as a Democrat.

In 1988 he ran in the Democratic Party primary for candidate of the President of the United States.

In 1989, he ran as a Republican for a seat in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. He defeated fellow Republican John Treen.... Duke's victory came despite visits to the district in support of [his opponent] by President George H.W. Bush, former President Ronald Reagan, and other GOP notables.

In 2000 the former longtime Democrat turned Republican supported Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan for US President, eschewing the Republican Party that had never embraced him. Buchanan was embarrassed by Duke's support...

[end wikipedia quote]



[ Parent ]
huh (none / 1) (#121)
by speek on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:11:46 PM EST

Sounds like Duke isn't Republican. But it also sounds like the Republicans became a bit Duke - at least in Louisiana, where they elected him.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Past tense maybe (2.66 / 3) (#165)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:06:26 AM EST

Someone either is or isn't a Republican. What he was is immaterial.

You can't seriously believe that he's liked (openly) by either party. That still doesn't change the fact that tacit racism is a common tool of the right.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Racism and politics... (none / 1) (#133)
by debillitatus on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:21:33 PM EST

Perhaps *some* Democrats want a perpetually coddled underclass, but the rank and file does not. Unlike much of the rank and file of Republicans many of whom are racists whether blatant (Klansmen, David Duke) or closet.

I guess it would be a waste of time to ask for any numbers to back this up. I'm sure you "know" this to be true, though.

But if your claim is true, answer these:

Until the 80s, the south was solidly Democratic, and is now pretty much Republican. Is the South more racist than it was in 1955? That seems doubtful.

How many sitting Republican senators are former KKK leaders? How many Democrats?

How many major Cabinet appointments have been made to blacks by Democratic presidents?

Now, I'm not trying to cheerlead for the Republicans or (horrors!) GWB, mind you... but this implicit assumption that Republicans are more racist is just foolishness.

In my experience the Republicans are pretty race-neutral, whereas the Democrats, while talking a good game about it, do as much or more to perpetuate the divisions. I am speaking as a native NOian who now lives in Manhattan, FWIW.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

Response (2.50 / 2) (#167)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:19:11 AM EST

Numbers in regards to Democrats that aren't racist or Republicans that are? Both?

I can say with confidence that Christian Identity folks and Klansmen (that don't vote third party) typically vote Republican. The propensity to create anti-immigrant and anti-welfare legislation is certainly appealing to the Minuteman type rank and filers.  If you thought I was tarring the entirety of the right (or even the average rank and filer) with the same brush then I suggest you re-read what I wrote.

Your comments about the history of southern Democrats is spot on, however I wasn't talking about 1955 I was talking about the present day. Regardless I don't think that anyone would consider those Democrats leftists in their wildest dreams. If it was unclear know this: my point wasn't and isn't a partisan one. That is, I don't care two shits about either party and there's enough overlap between them that in many ways they behave as one.

I don't think Cabinet appointments mean squat ultimately. Anyone can appoint an "Uncle Tom".

My experience tells me the opposite - particularly on race. However, I said the right - and there are certainly right-wing Democrats.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

South shift (none / 1) (#187)
by yanisa on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:30:51 AM EST

Bill Clinton says in his book that it was the Democrat push for equal civil rights reform that has alienated the American south. "We just lost the South for a generation", said one Democrat.

No opinion, just passing (possible) info.

I think this line's mostly filler
[ Parent ]

or Martin Luther King (2.33 / 3) (#82)
by svampa on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:17:52 PM EST

That's hero too. Perphats white indistrie shuld hype more people like Martin Luther King than violent rappers.

Perhaps white media simple don't want to create real heros, just show gansters.



[ Parent ]
Maybe (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:55:15 PM EST

in the old days. But these days the Gangsta Rap record companies are owned and run by a lot of black people.

[ Parent ]
Name one distribution company that's black-owned! (2.50 / 4) (#110)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:25:23 PM EST

The labels are owned and run by black people but labels don't count for anything. All that is is a label on the product to give it credibility so that the so-called "youth" market will be more likely to buy it.

But last time I checked Time Warner, BMG, Sony and Parlophone were all run by white guys.

White guys are not going to sell music by black people that encourages them to do well in life. They're not going to market someone who presents themselves as a switched on, intelligent person. They're going to market black women with big booties that likes to fuck... and black guys with 19 inch black cocks that like fucking their bitches and smoking weed... Why? Because it encourages the stereotypes that have allowed the white man to continue fucking their black brothers... even after all this segregation nonsense was "out-lawed"...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

D Jade (3.00 / 2) (#112)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:32:49 PM EST

Thanks. After I posted that I realized my mistake. I was going to write a corollary But I think you've explained it better than I could have.

I know my post came off as somewhat derisive, but I'm glad to be getting constructive criticism for it, such as yours.

Maybe it is a bunch of rich white folk behind it all? If thats the case though, then black people are being played like a bunch of useful idiots. They ought to be able to catch on to something so obvious.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 1) (#124)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:27:27 PM EST

Glad you took the post as it was meant.

I guess the problem really is that, regardless of racial attitudes, white people still control the flow of information.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I had a car and someone else wanted to take it from me, I wouldn't let them. It's mine, I worked for it. That's the crux really because if the black man distributed his own music, they could express themselves anyway they please.

Unfortunately though, their message won't be heard by many people. This is because the major distributors have long-established relationships with radio stations and music stores. I mean, I am yet to hear a song on the commercial radio that is not distributed by a major player. It just doesn't happen.

So that's really the the problem here. There is a lot of music that is opposed to the gangsta life. The only artist though, that I have heard that's made a dent is Immortal Technique. This is mainly because, even though he is against the gangsta attitude and the white man's control, he still delivers a violent message. So the big guys are happy with this because most people are too stupid to actually listen to what a rapper's saying...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Please.. (none / 1) (#189)
by yanisa on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:32:54 AM EST

.. stop manually
pressing ENTER
after every few words.

I think this line's mostly filler
[ Parent ]

Whoops *blush* (none / 0) (#190)
by yanisa on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:34:45 AM EST

I apologize, evidently my browser displayed it wrong.

I think this line's mostly filler
[ Parent ]

Are you sure? (none / 0) (#256)
by lordDogma on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:20:18 PM EST

This test post should help
you figure out if your browser settings are correct. The text should flow nicely with
no apparent breaks anywhere. If you see the text chopped from line to line then your browser is hosed. Otherwise you have to go
into the settings and randomly check boxes until it works. Just
keep
trying until you figure it out.

[ Parent ]
You just did a Crawford (none / 1) (#191)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:43:12 AM EST

There's a lot more to life than major labels and distributors. Yes, some of them are black-owned - just not the majors (which are all corporations and arguably multi-racial due to that construction).

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Some yes (none / 0) (#376)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:27:34 PM EST

But there were a lot more black owned and operated labels that functioned without major distribution deals back in 1960 than there are now (Staxx and Curtom come to mind).

In the global music industry, you need a distributor to get your music out there unfortunately.

My point wasn't to invalidate black owned labels though. I was merely responding to the notion that Gangsta rap labels are all owned and distributed by black people, which simply isn't true.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

And there you said it (none / 0) (#392)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:35:01 AM EST

in the global industry. Getting those Stax, Chess, Curtom and other records even outside of their regions was difficult.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Actually no (none / 0) (#401)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:59:04 PM EST

Most of their sales ended up in the UK. Sure, it was difficult, but many people went to extra lengths to get this music. Many enthusiasts in the UK went on tours to purchase this music. The result was that by the end of the 60s most of this music was released in the UK before home pressings were even available.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Humm (3.00 / 7) (#84)
by levesque on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:20:08 PM EST

Many black people have developed a conspiratorial mindset

Possibly

blame capitalism and white people for all the world's ills

Many white people seem to have developed a conspiratorial mindset about how others view them

[ Parent ]

I'm giving me a boner (none / 0) (#267)
by Nikolai on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:50:29 AM EST

Many white people seem to have developed a conspiratorial mindset about how others view them

It's because I, the rich white capitalist, am resposible for making the world turn. I make everything happen. People know that if an Australian tourist has been raped I'm to blame. And if a Middle-Eastern dictator has been removed people know who to thank. I do it all and nothing happens that I don't make happen.

If you're doing bad you'll blame me, rightly, for your plight. But when things turn around and you're rolling in the dough once more, you'll know who to thank. Me. The rich, white, capitalist. For I make everything happen in this world of ours. And everyone knows this.


--
I like cheese.
[ Parent ]

Ironically, (none / 1) (#287)
by DavidTC on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:31:52 AM EST

you are correct, and are trying to be sarcastic.

However, you, and even I, like 99.999% of white people, are not a rich white capitalist. We are merely the people who have been given enough that we do not complain.

Me, I halfway agree with the OP. Black people often only have themselves to blame (Not in this situtation, because black people cannot magically teleport out of cities to safely.)

Of course, so do white people who lose all their money because let greed corperations run wild with it, or lose their house because they can't pay for their health costs.

In fact, I've concluded that 99% of the people in this country are FUCKING STUPID and simply cannot look critically at a problem from any point of view than the one they are currently in.

Here's some advice to poor black people trapped in the inner city: Move. Seriously. Walk out. Just leave. Drive to a nice suburb, get a job waiting tables for 'rich' white people.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

GTA: San Andreas (2.50 / 2) (#88)
by marx on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:02:07 PM EST

I've been playing GTA: San Andreas this weekend which is a hugely popular game where you are a gangster and get money and respect by murdering people and stealing their money. For some reason, I don't think the players of this game are primarily black. In fact I would say that the absolute majority of GTA players are white. Incidentally, the protagonist in the game is black.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Not all true (3.00 / 3) (#108)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:16:18 PM EST

You don't get respect from just killing people. If you kill one of your own men, you lose respect. If you kill non-gang affiliated people, you lose respect.

You get respect by killing cops, rival gang members and criminals. You also get respect by committing high level crime... Such as weapons trade, high-end car theft and such...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Are you completely without a clue? (2.91 / 12) (#90)
by elaineradford on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:09:59 PM EST

You're going to hang this on black rappers?

How do you explain the abandonment of white Jefferson Parish or St. Bernard Parish or Washington Parish or the other rural communities who are fighting to get electricity, water, and gasoline?

How do you explain the comments of Jefferson Parish (white suburban good old boy) president Aaron Broussard:

"The guy who runs this building I'm in, Emergency Management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" and he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you." Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday... and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us..."

Or how about the comments from (white good ole boy) Mayor of Slidell Ben Morris:

FEMA or some federal agencies are going around seizing equipment from our contractors, etc. If they do that, theyd better bring weapons, because Ill be goddamned if Im gonna give anything up to a bunch of feds coming in, and we in a catastrophic situation, and taking our stuff. And I am really pissed off and Im getting tired of this.

We're all being screwed by the incompetency of FEMA and Homeland Security, white and black alike. But in your book it's the fault of one relatively new mayor of New Orleans who happens to be black and some defunct rap stars? Or maybe you're too cool to have noticed that Tupac died in 1996. Wow. So we're to believe that President Bush, who was actually alive, was reading the goat story and playing guitar while people were dying...because of horrible role-modelship established by Tupac.

<insert rolling-my-eyes smiley here>

[ Parent ]

Don't blame Tupac, it's biggie's fault (none / 1) (#107)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:14:19 PM EST

Didn't you know that it's all Biggie's fault?

If that stupid nizzo hadn't shizzoed on tupac when he was rolling his forty on the drizzo, Tupac would now be prezzo.

Biggie shouldn't have shot that fool... He was going to be the greatest president this world has ever seen. You think tupac would have allowed those Arab bitches to fly their rides into the WTC?

HELL NO!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

You make some interesting points... (3.00 / 13) (#91)
by magpi3 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:13:40 PM EST

... but you definitely bury them by trying to paint a simplistic picture of black culture in the U.S. Pointing to violent rappers as the "leaders" of black communities is like pointing to the often drug-and-sex-promoting music of the sixties as the "leaders" of white people during that era. Sure, maybe each speaks for a certain cultural movement, but white communities in the U.S. are for more diverse than that and, believe it or not, so are black communities. Angry rap music sells, and it sells to people of many ethnicities. In fact, I would probably guess that more white people buy rap given the fact that black make up only about 12% of the population in the U.S. If you want to learn more about black culture, turn off MTV and take a course in African-American literature at a local University. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you learn.

As far as Nagin is concerned, I agree; he fucked up and he is trying to pass the buck, just like a lot of white and black politicians will be doing in the near future. He should be called on it, but he should not be used as an example to condemn an entire race.

Finally, as far as criticism equaling racism: I agree that that word is thrown around far too much, and its use promotes a lack of discourse on important subjects about race, something I detest. But can't you see how crudely and narrow-mindedly you've represented black people as a whole? How would you feel (and here I am making some assumptions about your race) if someone pointed to a few negative images of white artists and talked about how they represent you. Don't you think you'd have a problem with that?



[ Parent ]
Look at what happened to the last black leader (2.20 / 5) (#101)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:11:06 PM EST

Black leadership is virtually non-existent in this country.

Er... MLK? Anyone, anyone?

Why would anyone want to stand up in the black community when they KNOW that some white guy is going to have them killed?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

You're a racist (1.25 / 4) (#161)
by NaCh0 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:42:28 AM EST

Why would anyone want to stand up in the black community when they KNOW that some white guy is going to have them killed?

It's oppressors like you keeping the black man down.

I'm about to say something liberal dipshits like you don't understand.

Sometimes in life there are causes larger than any individual. Freedom is one of them.

The last thing african americans need is another white cracker like you telling them that if they organize, they will be killed.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

They don't need me to tell them (none / 1) (#173)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:50:19 AM EST

History proved that point.

Don't blame me for their inaction. Blame things like lynchings and the KKK and police brutality.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Oh please... (none / 1) (#361)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:56:04 PM EST

...come off it.

How many people were lynched this year? How many people were lynched last year?

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

Ah the operative word was history (none / 1) (#375)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:12:54 PM EST

You're talking about an ethnic minority that has been enslaved, then victimised and repressed for hundreds of years. A more important question would be how many people were lynched in 1970?

How many black men and women are who are now 60+ still harbour the same attitudes they had back then towards white people?

I'm not saying that everyone is running around saying, "Let's go lynch some niggers." I'm just pointing out that the past track record does not look good when talking about the treatment of blacks by whites.

You're talking about an ethnic group who has only been afforded the same rights as the whites 40 years ago... Like I said, history...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Well. (2.00 / 2) (#377)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 09:13:41 PM EST

History is just that. History.

Sure, those older black individuals might have some axe to grind. However, last I checked there weren't many octagenarians looting the local Wal-Mart. There weren't many old-folks looting guns, Nikes, jewelry and the like.

The social mishaps (I'm aware that's a light word to use) of the past shouldn't necessarily impact the lives of those that have never been party to a lynching or those that would never think of being forced to sit on the back of the bus.

Being aware of the past and feeling regret for what my ancestors might or might not have done doesn't do me much good. I can't say I know what was going through their minds, as I've never done the atrocious things that they might have done.

I, for one, will not be of the apologeticist parties that like to run rivers through American society.

Yes, the events of the past were horrible. However, I wasn't a part of them, and here pretty soon there won't be too many people that were.

Oh and just so you love me, I'm only 2nd generation American. My Grandmother is one of you damn Ozzies too, and I've visited the country. =D

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

Nice one! (none / 1) (#380)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:03:51 PM EST

I understand where you're coming from. But I know just from the attitudes of the Australian aboriginal community that old wounds don't heal so well. Many of the younger generations still share the pain of their elders.

Maybe there are no geriatrics looting Wal-Mart (although the prospect is amusing). But they did raise the looters' parents who in turn raised the looters. So I think it's natural that such attitudes are still harboured within the social group.

I'm not saying it's fair or reasonable to have such feelings. Personally, I am more in favour of moving on from the past. But, that being said, I'm not from an ethnic group with a long history of social disadvantage, so I can't really comprehend how it must feel.

I guess it's like the theme of dealing with your demons so you don't pass them onto your children, if that makes sense.

Yes, the events of the past were horrible. However, I wasn't a part of them, and here pretty soon there won't be too many people that were.

This statement rings true with the stolen generation here in Australia. It's why the government has refused to say sorry to the Aboriginal people. I wasn't there, so don't blame me. But the problem is that my grandparents might have been. The problem isn't who has done what, just what was done. Personally, I am sorry for the stolen generation.

I think it's important that they hear my apology because by sincerely presenting it to them, hopefully I can reassure them that I personally would not let anything like this happen again. It would also reinforce the notion that they have support for their cause.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I understand (none / 1) (#385)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:50:22 PM EST

However, I also believe that there's a point where one crosses the line from constantly being mindful of the past to using it as a crutch.

Using an example that I did experience first-hand:

I grew up in semi-squalid conditions. Needless to say, there's no reason why I shouldn't be mad about the youthful exhuberance that I was robbed of enjoying. Though, I'm not.

I've matured into a seemingly normal, productive member of society. I never blame my upbringing for any problems I might have. In fact, I often cite it as a point of strength.

Bottom line, there's only so far you can go on sorrow and vengeance. At some point you have to move on, believe me.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

Yeah, you were disadvantaged... (2.50 / 2) (#386)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:56:10 PM EST

Sounds like we have similar backgrounds... But were your parents junkies? Were you persecuted purely on the color of your skin or your demographic situation? Were your parents abused by another ethnic group just because they were of a different one?

I could be pissed off at the "man" for my situation, like you. But the reason I'm not is because the "man" didn't get me down. However, for a lot of these people, it did.

I don't agree with the stolen generation here in Australia. I think it's wrong. But the pain caused by that, being taken away for no logical reason, does not go away as easily as the pain of simply being poor. Much like the pain of being segregated and repressed based on color alone, doesn't die easily. The older generations bleed into the younger unfortunately...

You also have to take into account a lot of the stereotypes that are placed on these groups... Maybe people make nigger jokes in jest. But it's a serious issue and the fact that it is a joke shows how little people do care for their plight.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

OK PLEASE STOP POSTING HERE!!! (none / 1) (#109)
by lordDogma on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:24:31 PM EST

I re-wrote this as a front page story by popular request. Please vote it up and comment there and hopefully we can discuss further if it makes the front page. Thanks!

[ Parent ]
Not sure about some of this (1.50 / 2) (#137)
by daani on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:51:35 PM EST

But what you say about those rapper clowns is very true. In broad terms what they are doing is analogous to radical clerics encouraging religious violence. Some rap music romanticises and promotes violence as an important element of African-American identity - just like jihad is presented as an important facet of muslim life.

It's worth noting that it's not only black kids being influenced by these donkeys.


[ Parent ]

oppression, self-esteem and white guilt (none / 1) (#226)
by Paul Jakma on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:52:06 PM EST

Thing is, when you've been forceably kept at the bottom of the pile through oppression of whatever degree, your self-esteem goes down too. When applied to entire groups of people (be it through race, nationality, religion), it takes literally generations after oppression ceases for:

a) individuals of that group to start climbing the social ladder and for that group to start to become represented in across all of society in general in significant numbers.

b) self-esteem to increase (for which 'a' is a prerequisite)

The former point should be self-evident, as it will take at least one generation to have access to good schools and good education and mature professionally. It can take far more than one generation if the formerly oppressed group are poor (a common effect of oppression) and must slowly and collectively build up educational infrastructure (eg, because education is financed through local taxation, hence poor areas get poor educational facilities).

White guilt? Well, that's cause, for whatever reason, it's been white people who've done the lion's share of oppressing other groups (and each other) in this world. First the great European imperial powers, until military technology had advanced sufficiently to the point that their regular squabbles led to near complete financial destruction for everyone, including the supposed victor (after which the history books in European schools were never again gung-ho about war). Then the USA and the USSR slowly took over the mantle of global imperialism in the name of fighting the cold war, the USA also tolerating significant oppression within its own borders until barely a generation ago.

That's where the white guilt comes from.

The characterisation of black rappers as counter-productive anti-role-models I agree with (on that basis i think its an interesting topic for a front-page story), as is the other poster who noted they are similar to the Arab Islamic radicals. In my opinion though (without caring to justify that which they "preach") they both arise out of the same causes, oppression (in varying guises) of their kind, causes not yet satisfactorily alleviated.


[ Parent ]

Right On! Burn Baby Burn! <nt> (1.20 / 5) (#240)
by Arthur Vandelay on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:32:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
A question (none / 1) (#263)
by KilljoyAZ on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:18:23 AM EST

I will be called a racist.

Maybe you should stop saying that people think alike based solely on their skin color. Also, please reconcile these two statements you made:

Black people are kept in a constant state of learned helplessness. Democrats need an underclass of people in order to get voted in power.

and

The vicious conspiracy theories form a cycle of continuing dispair. Black people think the white man is deliberately trying to hold him down. Everything that happens is viewed as a plot against black people.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]

My impression... (none / 0) (#397)
by vectro on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 01:19:08 PM EST

... is that he is suggesting different perceptions held by different groups; namely, democrats and blacks, respectively.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Check your signature, KilljoyAZ... (none / 0) (#492)
by protodevilin on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 09:25:16 AM EST

...because you spelled 'creativity' wrong, too.

[ Parent ]
wow (none / 0) (#493)
by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:23:39 AM EST

Way to waste your first comment, chief.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
+1 Submit to queue. Really. (none / 0) (#412)
by Russell Dovey on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:13:55 PM EST

Seriously, this is one of the best articles I've seen around here in a long time. It should be on the FP.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

oh blow it out your ass aussie (1.46 / 15) (#50)
by hildi on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:22:26 AM EST

i seem to remember your noble civilized country letting a bunch of refugees starve to death in a fucking boat off your coast line.

Huh ? (none / 1) (#59)
by blackpaw on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:09:13 AM EST

I'm not aware of any refuges starving to death as you describe, but yes, Australia's treatment of refugees is disgraceful, and quite unrelated to the subject of this article.

Attempting to justify your own problems by hiding behind others is a particularly pathetic way of arguing.

[ Parent ]

Are you referring to the man overboard incident? (none / 1) (#97)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:50:03 PM EST

They didn't starve to death... That's ludicrous... In any case, what our governmnet did there is in no way comparable to what your people are doing now... I didn't see any bogans with machine guns racing through the water to sexually assault the refugees before shooting them... Or was I watching the wrong news channel that weekend?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Bullshit (3.00 / 5) (#135)
by daani on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:40:33 PM EST

We did not let them starve to death. We let some of them drown and we locked up the rest in inhumane prison camps in remote locations. And spent fucking millions doing it too.

If you think we're going to let some foriegn fucker just waltz in and starve to death without so much as a "by your leave", well you don't know Australia.

We will decide who suffers in this country, and the circumstances under which they do.

[ Parent ]

First of all ... (none / 0) (#183)
by mrt on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:48:57 AM EST

That's arse and secondly, when you prepare a reposte, it usually helps to get your facts straight.

NONE of the people on the Tampa starved, but that doesn't excuse the disgracefull way they were treated by our government.

Or perhaps you were referring to the boats that (presumably) sank? No, you can't of been, because drowning is not the same as starving you moron.
-

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
[ Parent ]
Very well written (1.14 / 7) (#67)
by Practicing To Be An Alcoholic on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 02:09:04 PM EST

And very well researched. Two thumbs up for the writer! I think this deserves to be on the front page! You go on writing!


Alcohol my permanent accessory
Governor of LA waited to ask for help (2.00 / 5) (#72)
by regeya on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:03:19 PM EST

The governor of LA waited to ask for help until Tuesday. The feds couldn't start sending help until then. That sucks but the alternative is that the federal government would run everything any damn way they pleased--not what anyone wants, which is why we have the big, slow, crazy government we have. First people bitch that GWB has too much power, then people bitch that he's not taking enough liberties. Damn.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Actually, she didn't. (3.00 / 7) (#80)
by orelius on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:08:21 PM EST

Click here to see Governor Blanco's letter to President Bush requesting Federal assistance due to Hurricane Katrina. Oh and check the date ;)

[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 1) (#115)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:41:54 PM EST

That was the letter that Bush needed to declare a disaster area. He had to call her and ask her to send it.

I would also point out that the letter asks for cash, not, for example, troops.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

so, ok (none / 0) (#126)
by speek on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:35:20 PM EST

Presumably you're saying that letter wasn't sufficient for full FEMA, national guard and army rescue operations assistance. When was the letter for those things sent?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Actually it was. (none / 0) (#205)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:34:19 AM EST

Note that FEMA is set up to arrive 1 to 3 days AFTER the disaster. For the first 72 hours, the state is supposed to handle it.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
I don't get it (none / 0) (#210)
by speek on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:12:10 AM EST

So, they were called for the day before the storm hit, they were supposed to show up 1 to 3 days after, and instead showed up on Friday - 4 days after. What am I supposed to think again?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Friday? (none / 0) (#231)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:05:23 PM EST

Errr... FEMA was getting into New Orleans by Tuesday morning.

There have been reports that some rural Mississippi counties didn't see FEMA personnel till Friday - is that what you're thinking of? I suspect that's because FEMA was forced to redirect most of it's efforts to New Orleans itself.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#237)
by speek on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:14:15 PM EST

I'm thinking a truck or two, or whatever measly number of people who showed up Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, were grossly inadequate. On Friday a ton of people and equipment showed up though, and things started getting done at that point.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

A truck or 2? (none / 0) (#311)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:11:03 PM EST

Errr... you really might want to read the news a bit more carefully. By Tuesday morning there were hundreds of search and rescue operations being conducted, US Navy ships were at or nearing NOLA, helicopters were searching the city, etc...

Did they ignore the Superdome and the convention center? Yes. Why? Because (a) the people in the convention center and the superdome weren't in immediate danger of death.


"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

I'm glad your fine with it (none / 1) (#327)
by speek on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:32:45 PM EST

Your dodging the issue by saying to yourself things like "...hundreds of search and rescue operations...". Was it anywhere's near to enough or adequate? The reason they did nothing about the people at the convention center is because they didn't know they were there. Somehow out of all those rescue workers, none saw the people there. Seems odd to me. Seems odd to me virtually every reporter and local politician on the ground were screaming "where are the rescuers" still on thursday.

On Friday, shitloads arrived with the President. Why didn't they come Wednesday? If this is what you mean by FEMA arriving to save the day in 1-3 days, you've got to be either kidding, or in agreement that FEMA was completely useless. Were the Friday arrivals part of FEMA's rescue plan (in which case, it wasn't there in 1-3), or was that someone else coming to rescue FEMA?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Spin it! (3.00 / 5) (#150)
by rigorist on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:31:09 AM EST

The disaster was declared by Governor Blanco on August 26, 2005.  Upon such declaration, the President is authorized to begin disaster relief.

Anything else you hear is spin from the Administration to cover their asses.

[ Parent ]

The 26th? (3.00 / 2) (#208)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:09:21 AM EST

I was going to hassle you, but you're right - I dug into it and the press release about the state of emergency mentions the 26th.

The president responded with his own declaration of a state of emergency on the 27th, which began the process of moving stockpiles of food and water into Louisiana and Mississippi.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

I know how to fix it (1.00 / 12) (#74)
by NaCh0 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:48:29 PM EST

Let's bash Bush.

I mean, he's an idiot, right?

He did nothing to help these poor and mostly black people, right?

Oh, except acting 2 fucking days in advance of the hurricane.

You mean the local governments consisting mostly of fellow african americans failed? Well that's not so sensational.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

Guess what? (2.71 / 7) (#92)
by fortasse on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:34:24 PM EST

He declared it a disaster beforehand, meaning it was up to the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate the response, which they obviously didn't do very well.  And well, he did appoint a guy who had no emergency response experience to head FEMA.

Furthermore, I think it was pretty callous of him to stay on vacation until Wednesday, for Rice to go on vacation after the hurricane hit, and for Cheney to stay on vacation until the weekend.  One of the worst national disasters in US history, and the top officials don't bother to take off vacation.  Pathetic.

 

[ Parent ]

Yeah, he did (1.50 / 2) (#114)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:39:00 PM EST

Unfortunately, DHS was still at the mercy of a local politician who refused to declare an evacuation of his own citizens. If you had actually read some of that stuff you linked to you would have seen that "first responders" are the locals already on the ground. DHS helps train them, but they aren't under DHS control.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
I admit Nagin waited a little late to evacuate (2.50 / 2) (#193)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:29:37 AM EST

but the order went out Sunday morning, and according to my link DHS's role "will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."  Can you honestly say that this happened?

You may also find this article about the National Guard delay interesting.  

[ Parent ]

Errr... (2.00 / 3) (#206)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:37:49 AM EST

Let's review again.

FEMA is set up to arrive 1-3 days AFTER a disaster. Operations before that are up to the locals.

The evacuation fuck up falls entirely on the politicians of NOLA; they were the ones who failed to get people out of the city, they were the ones who then moved them to the superdome instead of to safety.  Whether FEMA screwed up after that seems likely but secondary.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Well, I have to tell you (2.50 / 2) (#209)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:11:17 AM EST

with a disaster of that magnitude, where three states were ravaged, I mistakenly thought that the government would aim for the 1st day and not the 3rd.  That is my idea of "swift and effective", and in this situation, "swift" would have been a necessary component of "effective".

And I never said anything about the evacuation effort.  I agree that more should have been done on a local level regarding evacuation.  But why did the feds wait until the third day to do something?  I do not believe that failures on the local level make failures of the federal govt. excusable.

[ Parent ]

So, (none / 1) (#211)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:16:11 AM EST

What magic wand should the government have waved to create roads and airports to make getting into the area faster?

As for not mentioning the evacuation - WTF do you think NOLA is so bad? Do you really think we'd be having this discussion if Nagin had gotten his people out of there in the first place?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Oh. I'm sorry. (none / 1) (#220)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:52:22 PM EST

I didn't realize I was supposed to comment on what you wanted me to comment on.  I was specifically responding to a comment that exonerated Bush and heaped all the blame on local guys.  I was trying to reveal that the feds should not get off scott free either.  [and New Orleans isn't the only situation.  There are other small towns that have people waiting on rooftops and in attics.  Should we put all the blame on their local officials, too?]

No, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion if the evacuation had been more thorough.  But hey, you deal with the disaster you have and not the disaster you wish you had.  And from the federal govt's perspective, this was not done.

Bush could have ordered the National Guard in immediately.  As it was, Lousiana had to wait for paperwork to arrive from DC which wasn't delivered until Thursday.  There are stories of locals gathering groups of boats to rescue, which were turned away by officals and stories of trucks with food and water not allowed to get where they were needed for unknown reasons.  These are the sorts of things I was thinking about.

What roads and airports do you think they are using now?

If there is a disaster where I live, I'll be pissed if the local govt doesn't step up, but I'll be just as pissed if the federal government stays on vacation and hangs out for 3 days before deciding to try and help.

But hey, we both agree that someone fucked up, we just divide our blame differently.  But I'm glad we had this discussion.  You brought up good points for me to think about, and that isn't always the case on k5.

[ Parent ]

I think we agree on more than we disagree (none / 1) (#228)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:52:27 PM EST

To be honest, I'm less interested in defending Bush than defending FEMA (I have friends who have worked there for many years). That said, FEMA and Bush certainly have a lot to answer for if some of the stories of aid being turned away and people kept in are true. If the levees weren't up to spec and it really is Bush's (and Congress') fault that they weren't there's even more to answer for.

But you still don't seem to understand how the federal system works. You complain that Bush didn't bring troops in soon enough - but Bush can't order troops into an American city - no matter what the reason - without a request from the state. Even if he had, I think the destruction of the regional infrastructure would have made it impossible to get them there much faster than they did. This is why I say that you (and others) are complaining about the wrong things.

No matter how we wish the US disaster response system is organized, the truth is that it set up so that the city and state are supposed to manage for themselves for the first two or three days, and they knew it but they still created this tragedy through a refusal to plan and a failure to follow the incomplete plan they actually had. I really feel the majority of these deaths should be laid right at the feet of Mayor Nagin.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

He can order the National Guard (none / 0) (#230)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:02:54 PM EST

in (though it may have been unprecedented, but in the case of paperwork not coming from DC in time I think it was necessary); it says this in the link from WWLTV I posted earlier in our discussion

"Bush had the legal authority to order the National Guard to the disaster area himself, as he did after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks . But the troops four years ago were deployed for national security protection, and presidents of both parties traditionally defer to governors to deploy their own National Guardsmen and request help from other states when it comes to natural disasters."

I don't blame FEMA entirely - though I wonder about Brown's competence.  But I definitely see your point about local response.

[ Parent ]

I think you need to read that article carefully. (none / 0) (#232)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:15:32 PM EST

Maj. Gen. Thomas Cutler, who leads the Michigan National Guard, said he anticipated a call for police units and started preparing them, but couldn't go until states in the hurricane zone asked them to come.

Also, from the Wisconsin National Guard's homepage:

The Guard has a unique dual mission, with both Federal and State responsibilities. During peacetime, the Governor, through the State Adjutant General, commands the Guard forces. The Governor can call the Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, drought, and civil disturbances, to name a few. In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard to participate in Federal missions.

Bush can send the troops out of the country, but in country they are under command of the governors.

I will agree, however, that the second paragraph indicates some federal screwing up on paperwork but I have to say I'm amazed that Blanco explicitly asked Richardson for troops but he waited till paperwork came through before sending them.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (none / 0) (#234)
by fortasse on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:36:20 PM EST

This makes me wonder, which is it?  The article has an inconsistency there.

It says that Bush could legally order them in and that Cutler had to wait until the states requested it.  And at the end it says again that the feds could have activated the National Guard

"In addition to Guard help, the federal government could have activated, but did not, a major air support plan under a pre-existing contract with airlines."

Arg.  Inconsistent.

[ Parent ]

Whatever... (none / 0) (#447)
by kcidx on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 12:14:57 PM EST

"FEMA is not going to hesitate at all in this storm. We are not going to sit back and make this a beurocratic process." -  Mike Brown, Sunday August 28th

"Our gulf coast is getting hit, and hit hard. I want the folks there on the Gulf coast to know that the federal government is prepared to help you when the storm passes." - G.W. Monday August 29th.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, leave Bush alone (2.75 / 4) (#94)
by The Diary Section on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:43:50 PM EST

he's only the President of the United States.

Seriously. Over the last few years I have never seen so much special pleading to protect a politician in my life. President is a tough job with lots of responsibility. I'd guess 99.99999+% of people, myself certainly included, what not be up to it. Unfortunately I don't think Dubbya is in the required millionth percentile either.

Its a problem we need to sort out in Democracy, how we can elect the most able rather than just the winner at the ballots.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Gimme a break. (2.25 / 4) (#113)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:36:37 PM EST

Special pleading? In what damn way can Bush be held responsible for the incompetence of the mayor and police force of New Orleans?

If FEMA fucked up, then yeah, Bush bears some blame - but FEMA isn't supposed to show up until 2-3 days AFTER the disaster when the LOCALS tell them what they need. As near as I can tell, the NOLA government fled the city and left it's own citizens to rot.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Well look (3.00 / 2) (#233)
by The Diary Section on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:17:52 PM EST

there are two reasons fuck ups happen, latent causes and active causes. Your active cause would a truck driver falling asleep at the wheel and ploughing into a subcompact. Your latent cause would be rostering drivers to drive 18 hour shifts, not monitoring their movements, putting drivers under high levels of pressure to deliver in unreasonable timeframes and not offering sufficient training etc etc. If our hypothetical driver kills people, he goes to jail and probably his company gets sued as well if their policies are shown to have been involved.

Bush bears some blame for latent causes here like his funding cuts and possibly with regard to the DHS which is his baby and hasn't met one of its mission statements with regard to New Orleans (given especially that one of their jobs is to offer advice and standards to local officials and to inform the wider populace). I'm not saying he bears much blame for active causes though, certainly people local to New Orleans fucked up royally as well by making poor decisions on the ground. I don't think its an either/or proposition, you've got both latent and active causes here.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Tropical Storm Cindy != Hurricane Katrina (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by God of Lemmings on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:27:07 AM EST

Except that his declaration was in reaction to a tropical storm and not the hurricane! See this url: thinkprogress.org/2005/09/01/mcclellan-misleads/

[ Parent ]
Microcosm (2.25 / 4) (#75)
by karb on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:54:06 PM EST

We get the uneasy feeling that this is a microcosm of American society, that you have so plundered and devalued the social contract that the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country.

It is, at best, unsurpising that we get this 'microcosm' feeling from the most wretched behaviors after the disaster, instead of the normal behaviors or, indeed, the heroic.

Because the many people that risked or spent their lives to save others necessarily tell us less about the american experiment than the misadventures of common criminals left unchecked in a near-deserted city.

Since we are living in the realm of non-surprises, we could assume that these preconceptions would be reversed in similar situations when they occur in places not described with the letters U, S, and A.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

Microcosm (none / 1) (#266)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:44:00 AM EST

Couldn't the microcosm feeling be from the whole concept of the best factors of america being hindered by the worst?  The red tape and bureaucracy have prevented the "little guy" - individuals with buses and boats - from getting into NO.

One could even make the argument that things would have been better without federal interference after the hurricane hit, since they seemed more interested in preventing help from getting in than anything else - at least until the national guard showed up.

Is the US a country of good people being held down by bad organizations?


[ Parent ]

Things have changed since October '89 (2.28 / 7) (#87)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:00:55 PM EST

I was in the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I lived in nearby Santa Cruz, California. I got quite a ride.

While not as bad a disaster as Katrina, it made a wreck of our downtown and knocked down quite a few houses.

I was so impressed with how the community pulled together that at times I thought it would be nice for disasters to take place now and then because they tie the community back together.

I guess it's not that way anymore.


-- "You're not as big an asshat as everyone seems to think." - Kurosawa Nagaya.


Not Necessarily (3.00 / 6) (#170)
by leoPetr on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:36:55 AM EST

In the blackouts of 1965 and 2003, New York was civil and friendly. In the blackout of 1977, New York rioted, looted 2600 stores, and set 63 buildings afire. The difference was that, in 1977, New York was locked in the kind of class war that epitomizes modern New Orleans. Things normalized by 2003.
--
Is this a pants-optional kind of place? 'Cause I am totally down with that if you know what I mean.
[ Parent ]
Katrina proves God exists (2.40 / 5) (#93)
by The Diary Section on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:40:32 PM EST

He sent The Deluge to save Pat Robertson from being torn a new one in a rapidly spiralling news cycle.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
Also proves God hates America. [n/t] (none / 0) (#446)
by kcidx on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:55:50 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Australia's minorities... (1.50 / 10) (#95)
by thanos on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:48:32 PM EST

Aboriginal people in Australia are way worse off than American blacks. Let's talk about Redfern (both as a general example and also that little matter of the race riots from way way back in 2004).

I guess you guys have the same problems with your minority black population as we do, eh? So spare us all your preening righteousness and worry about the fact that your country can't even integrate a mere 2% of your population. I mean, when black people were winning gold medals for the USA in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it wasn't some nationally cathartic moment. Guess we're a little more advanced on the race relations than Oz...

By the way, could you pick a consistent line of criticism? I would think that "rampant free market philosophy" and "nanny state" are basically mutually exclusive.

--------------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.

Redfern (none / 1) (#146)
by drsmithy on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:01:50 AM EST

Aboriginal people in Australia are way worse off than American blacks.

I'd be interested to hear what metric you're applying, and how it was being measured, to make that statement.

Let's talk about Redfern (both as a general example and also that little matter of the race riots from way way back in 2004).

I think even calling the "Redfern riot" a "riot" is a bit of an exaggeration, let alone a "race riot". Sheesh.

[ Parent ]

Metrics (none / 1) (#300)
by thanos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 01:45:00 PM EST

First, I didn't just invent the term riot: this is how it has been described by police and media for more than a year. I also think that since the rioters were all Aboriginal people (from what I understand anyway) and race was a factor that it could fairly be characterized as a race riot.

With regard to the metrics, I can cite important ones like GDP per capita, life expectancy, and any number of others. Here's something I quickly googled up: stats

I suppose my problem with the author's initial post was the damning attitude I felt it displayed toward the USA. I just wanted to point out that not everything is so rosy down under.

-------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

Statistics might help here. (none / 0) (#413)
by Russell Dovey on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:42:19 PM EST

For example, here's a quote from an article on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website:

"In 1998-2000, life expectancy for Indigenous males was 56 years - 21 years less than for the total male population and a level similar to that experienced by Australian males in the period 1901-1910. In 1998-2000 life expectancy for Indigenous females was 63 years - 20 years less than for the total female population and a similar level to that of Australian females in 1920-1922."

So for a start, the life expectancy of a blackfella in Australia, one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, is comparable to that of everyday people in sub-Saharan Africa.

No idea how that compares to black people in the US.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

I live next to Redfern (2.50 / 2) (#157)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:33:39 AM EST

The "riot" was contained to one street and involved little more than teenages venting at the police in response to false allegations. Ya know, much like people on Slashdot call for a boycott of Microsoft/Lexmark/Google/Whoever without even doing a little bit of research first.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
I think your characterization... (none / 0) (#299)
by thanos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 01:39:17 PM EST

minimizes how big the story was, both for Sydney and the country as a whole. 40 police officers were injured. I also think this could fairly be characterized a 'race riot'.

----------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

How are your slaves relevant to our aboriginals? (2.00 / 3) (#171)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:46:16 AM EST

Why not make it relevant by talking about your country's aboriginals? I think that would be a better comparison. Comparing slave labour to attempted genocide isn't really credible.

The fact is that you had just as many problems and disgraces in your dealings with the aboriginal people of your coutnry, and like us, have blood on your hands... Actually more... Plus, you've had 400 years to work it out and your dealing with the issue is still laughable... Given that the situation is not much better than it is here.

But while you're criticising our lack of integration, let's just talk about integrating the blacks in America. Wasn't it 1963 when segregation laws were finally abolished? So doesn't that mean that it's taken around 370 years for your blacks to integrate? Fucking Christ that's a long time. Given that our country is only 217 years old, I think we're doing alright. You took a much longer time to get to where we're at in this country.

If you want to compare your definition of our integration, simple. It took you 370 years to give blacks the same rights as white people. Our indigenous people already have the same rights as white and have had them since the 1970s. That's around 190 years. Just over half the time that it took your country to afford them those rights.

An indigenous person can integrate into our society if they want. The problem is that many of them don't want to, and our western mindset cannot fathom this. Many of them want to go back to living on the land and the government and individuals have issues with this because of land titles. We could just say to them, piss off, go bush and live happily. But we can't fathom such a concept, like I said.

Besides, your statement that Cathy Freeman's victories (I can only assume that's what you're talking about) was a cathartic experience is absolute bollocks. It wasn't, we didn't really care about her race, we just cared about the gold.

Your statements don't even qualify as stupidity, just woeful ignorance my friend. If you want a consistent line of criticism, at least have the respect to place a consistent comparison as a basis of your argument.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Cathy Freeman (none / 1) (#203)
by drsmithy on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:41:19 AM EST

Besides, your statement that Cathy Freeman's victories (I can only assume that's what you're talking about) was a cathartic experience is absolute bollocks. It wasn't, we didn't really care about her race, we just cared about the gold.

Interesting you say this, because while I wouldn't exactly call Freeman's victories a "cathartic moment", it always seemed to me she received (and continued to receive for some time after) attention disproportionate to her skill and accomplishments[0]. IMHO this happened *precisely* because she was a high-profile, high-achieving Aboriginal athlete.

[0] I am certainly not saying her achievements were not impressive - they were - merely that there were a whole bunch of other athletes who achieved at a similar, if not higher, level and received nothing like the national recognition she did. I generally got the impression she felt similarly, and I found that a far greater reason to respect her.

[ Parent ]

I was agreeing with what you said. (none / 0) (#317)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:09:22 PM EST

The only people who really cared were the media. I wouldn't call it a cathartic experience either...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
We have slaves? (none / 1) (#298)
by thanos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 01:36:27 PM EST

Whoa whoa, hang on a sec killer. I am talking about minorities, not the provenance of how people came to exist where they do. My post was about current conditions in our respective societies, and how you Ozzies shouldn't feel superior about how your minorities are treated; historical slave labor and genocide have nothing to do with it.

The fact is that you had just as many problems and disgraces in your dealings with the aboriginal people of your coutnry, and like us, have blood on your hands

This was my point, expressed from your perspective: The Oz contingent should lay off the criticism because you have just as many problems with minority populations as does the USA.

Besides, your statement that Cathy Freeman's victories (I can only assume that's what you're talking about) was a cathartic experience is absolute bollocks. It wasn't, we didn't really care about her race, we just cared about the gold.

Nice to see the Australian people appointed you representative of what they all think. OTOH, maybe you don't know what you're talking about and some people actually did think it was a big deal (such as maybe some Aborigines...)

Your statements don't even qualify as stupidity, just woeful ignorance my friend.

What exactly am I ignorant of? You're not my friend fuckhead, just some little wanker who hates America.

It took you 370 years to give blacks the same rights as white people.

So which one of us is ignorant again? This statement is flatly incorrect. Go look it up.

Given that our country is only 217 years old, I think we're doing alright.

Again, who is ignorant here? Your country is 104 years old. By the way, the USA is only 229 years old (counting from Independence Day); I'm not sure where 370 comes from.

Our indigenous people already have the same rights as white and have had them since the 1970s. That's around 190 years. Just over half the time that it took your country to afford them those rights.

Again, you are woefully ignorant about when all Americans were afforded equal rights under the law (hint: think Civil War--which was about 70 years after the founding). That notwithstanding, I have two points. First, your argument comparing absolute lengths of time to give people rights is specious. The logic of this view would mean that if today in 2005 we had a country where a minority was being repressed it would be (bad but) understandable if they had been around for only 20 years, but if they had been around for 200 years, it would be worse. I suppose my point here is that comparing how long it took different socieities to arrive at a certain point across different eras is not really useful. Second, you guys were repressing people up to the 1970s!

In any event, I'm concerned with the way things are right now. And my larger point, which still stands, is that some of the Australians on this site damning the American response 1) are not well-informed about what has actually happened; 2) are being somewhat hypocritical in lecturing us about how horrible we are to our minorities in this country.

------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

So you accept that your comparison was flawed (2.50 / 2) (#320)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:37:23 PM EST

You weren't just comparing minorities as a whole, you were comparing our blacks to your blacks. You made that distinction in your intitial comment and then backpeddle to say that it was just about minorities.

My age references were in reference to the time since our countries were initially settled.

You're right, my ignorance shows through when talking about your country's history. So it should because I'm not a part of it. That's my point. Yet you saw fit to make a stupid comparison.

I suppose my point here is that comparing how long it took different socieities to arrive at a certain point across different eras is not really useful. Second, you guys were repressing people up to the 1970s!

So you were doing the same up until the 1960s! Or is your point that segregation is not repression? Interesting. Even if my calculations were incorrect. It appears that our country was still quicker to change than your's. Like you said though, this has nothing to do with what's happening now, you just saw fit to clutch at this straw to divert the discussion off course... Bravo!

In any event, I'm concerned with the way things are right now. And my larger point, which still stands, is that some of the Australians on this site damning the American response 1) are not well-informed about what has actually happened; 2) are being somewhat hypocritical in lecturing us about how horrible we are to our minorities in this country.

That's all good and well. I have no criticism of your treatment of minorities in this situation. My criticism isn't even of your government's response to the situation (which was, quite frankly, appalling). The only point I was drawing was that Americans (such as yourself) tend to make irrelevant comparisons to side-step the criticism that was made. If you're only concerned with the here and now, why are you bringing up our treatment of minorities as a reason that we should not be able to comment.

So if you are concerned with the here and now, why not show a little backbone and admit that the political handballing that's been going on since the flooding is downright attrocious. Why not accept that a disaster of such magnitude could not have been dealt with by the local authorities (given that even the neighboring states are running out of resources and can't cope) and that the federal government should have been more active in the assistance of aid and logistics.

Sorry if my ignorance bothers you. But given that you've made such ignorant statements yourself, why not just get back to the here and now and accept that this disaster has been handle in the most attrocious fashion by your government. If you want to call me Anti-American for calling a spade a spade, then so be it. But it doesn't change the fact that it's a spade.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#360)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:34:17 PM EST

...that means your country is 12 years younger than ours.

Wow.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

No... (none / 0) (#381)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:03:19 PM EST

It's actually 105 years old and the USA is only 229 years old (counting from Independence Day)

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I keep on seeing this... (2.66 / 3) (#332)
by BJH on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 01:11:49 AM EST

...in articles by non-USians on the US: "You've done just as much bad stuff as we have, so you don't have the right to criticise us!"

That's a crap argument, and you know it. I'd be very surprised indeed if the author of this article has been personally responsible for repressing Aboriginal people in Australia. You seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between personal attacks and criticism of a society as a whole.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Just as... (none / 1) (#358)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:30:59 PM EST

...I am not personally responsible for the actions of the inhabitants of New Orleans.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
No shit Sherlock (none / 1) (#382)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:04:23 PM EST

So why take the criticism personally. The author wasn't saying you were. The Non-USians weren't saying you were. But many of you seem to be incapable of making this distinction... I wonder why that is...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
media sensationalism (2.91 / 12) (#96)
by SocratesGhost on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:49:41 PM EST

just do a search google search for "tsunami rape" and you'll find many horrific articles of people being rescued by someone only to be raped by them, or children being raped inside the detention centers of Sri Lanka. Yes, even in Aceh there were reports of children be rounded up to be sold as sex workers.

You may be right that no Australians may have been raped. Then again, it just may not have been reported. But there was quite a bit of looting and raping in almost all affected countries.

Did American citizens perform more poorly? Or is it a case of "man bites dog". Perhaps it wasn't deemed newsworthy when it happened in the poorer communities of the world where these abuses are commonplace and conducted on a greater scale?

-Soc
I drank what?


A book that pretty much sums up the anarchy. (2.33 / 3) (#100)
by thanos on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:09:51 PM EST

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. Without submission to a sovereign, human nature makes life 'nasty, brutish and short'.

---------------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.

The Flip Side (2.83 / 6) (#132)
by starX on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:18:59 PM EST

Yes, Hobbes does like to ramble on about the individual's obligation to submit to authority completely, and the sovereign's obligation to hold absolute authority at any cost, but Hobbes is very light on this matter; what happens when a sovereign fails?  The sole duty of the sovereign in Hobbes' social contract is to protect the commonwealth.  The sovereign (From Bush all the way down to the officials in the city of New Orleans) failed to protect that particular commonwealth.  Their contract with those people has been broken because they failed to live up to their end of the bargain, so what are the people to do?

There exists in Hobbes a gray area where governments fail their people.  Unfortunately we are witnessing that at some of its most grotesque.  No one is in charge in New Orleans, and no one wants to take charge.  No one wants to be the one to step forward and say "I am responsible for protecting these people."  All of the sound bites and photo ops not withstanding, government is doing very little to actually help these people, most of whom despereately want leadership.  

Perhaps New Orleans has become a Hobbesian wilderness where the only law is "every man against each other," but it is a such a nightmarish wilderness created in one of the most important cities, economicaly and culturally, in a nation that likes to advertise itself as the pinacle of civilization.  Who are we to think we can bring Freedom to Iraq if we are not the pinacle of civilization, after all?  And yet the king is impotent.  He has neither the strength nor the will to protect his own people.  Thousands are dead. Tens of thousands are homeless.  Billions of dollars have been lost.  And the tragedy to trump them all is that the administration is doing as little as possible about it.  

Where is the Commander in Chief who rallied us on a dark september morning nearly four years ago?  Oh... wait... my bad... he was being shuffled around on Air Force one.  So thousands are dead and the best Bush can muster is to fly high above the desolation to prevent the stench of the bodies rotting in the open water from offending his nose.  Hail to the chief.

But let us not forget those who stayed.  Just as we do not forget those brave rescue workers who selflessly ran into the twin towers, even as they collapsed, let us also not forget the rescue workers who stayed behind knowing they would be needed.  Let us not forget those who have been working round the clock to keep people alive who would otherwise surely die.  Let us not forget those who have tirelessly gone back into the stygian canals of the city of New Orleans to try and find ONE more survivor; to bring just one more person back from the brink of death.  Let us not forget those who have not stood idly by while people died of an asthma attack or a lack of water, or life support.  Let us remember that in this tragedy we are seeing the full spectrum of our American character,  We are seeing ourselves at our worst, but we are also seeing ourselves at our best: dirty, starving, exhausted, scared, and desperate, and all in the name of doing what we can to save someone else.

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
[ Parent ]

This has nothing to do with integration. (1.78 / 14) (#102)
by CAIMLAS on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:19:17 PM EST

This has nothing to do with cultural integration. However, it has everything to do with cultural segregation.

What we're dealing with in New Orleans is a culture which is overwhelmingly black - both the poor and the rich. New Orleans' poverty level is not all that different than elsewhere in the US - 30ish% vs 27%. This is not an issue of race.

The issue here is, however, of urban welfare culture and with the attitude of "I'm getting what's due me". That's the attitude we've seen most largely portrayed, and that's the attitude which promotes such wanton inhumanity.

Keep in mind here that there were local and state level "get out of town" warnings for days, and there was plenty of time to get out if they'd wanted to. The real problems didn't come until after the hurricane when the levy broke.

The failure for people to get out of New Orleans in time falls squarely on the shoulders of:

  • the individual people themselves. How can people expect others to be responsible for their welfare, when they themselves are not willing to take those measures?
  • the city officials and the mayor. New Orleans is incredibly corrupt, and this is part of the problem. However, where were the 300-some city buses and the 200-some school buses during this whole affair? Well, until the day after the hurricane they were sitting around doing nothing. The day after the hurricane? Well, they were under water in their parking lots.
  • The governor of LA Where was she during this mess? She alone has the authority to activate the LA national guard and ask for outside-state help. Why didn't she call in FEMA beforehand?
(Please note that no part of the responsibility for this falls on GWB, as he has no authority over the national guard except in war.)

In my mind, the failures here were people unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions - as well demonstrated by their subsequent looting. THey had forwarning to leave the city; they stayed so they could reap the (bountiful) looting opportunities afterwards. This wasn't an issue of race, mind you - it's an issue of "learned dependence" as propigated by a weekly welfare check from Uncle Sugar.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

Getting out of town (3.00 / 3) (#106)
by Drog on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:02:22 PM EST

I saw some New Orleans citizens on the news saying that most of them who were stuck in town during the hurricane didn't leave because they had no cars and no money and there wasn't a plan to evacuate people who didn't have the means to leave themselves.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
i.e., using your feet isn't the american way [nt] (2.00 / 2) (#154)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:30:01 AM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Outrunning a hurricane (3.00 / 5) (#182)
by nebbish on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:42:21 AM EST

How far into LA did Katrina reach? If you've got no money to shelter whilst you're walking away, surely the best option is to stay at home.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Outrunning a hurricane (3.00 / 2) (#227)
by dn on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:02:17 PM EST

If you've got no money to shelter whilst you're walking away, surely the best option is to stay at home.
Not if you know your home is below sea level. Which most people in New Orleans knew and why they fled well in advance. Not having a car is a pretty dumb reason to commit suicide.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

wow (none / 1) (#261)
by catfarm on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:58:51 AM EST

THey had forwarning to leave the city; they stayed so they could reap the (bountiful) looting opportunities afterwards.

thats a pretty absurd statement... so the people who stayed in their homes and then died, they actually stayed to loot? I mean, you think the 80 year olds that didnt get out of town because they didnt have transportation did so, so that they could get free toilet paper afterwards? uhm, yeah... whatever... i suspect you have never been poor and have no concept of what those peoples lives were like before the huricane...
.....blip
[ Parent ]
poor people can't just leave in their Hummer (none / 0) (#292)
by squirlhntr on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:22:08 PM EST

you're a trolling cocksucking whore.


[ Parent ]
US-bashing? (1.75 / 4) (#103)
by ccdotnet on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:24:39 PM EST

It may seem like the Aussie contingent on K5 is taking the opportunity of Katrina for a little US-bashing. The news that feeds us down here has painted a truly horrible picture of the aftermath.

What I find as interesting as your actual article, is the overwhelming defensive reaction by the majority of comments. Very few people seem to be willing to take onboard the criticism that preparation for and reaction to Katrina has been less than it should have.

Criticism (2.00 / 3) (#155)
by NaCh0 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:30:10 AM EST

Very few people know the proper place to direct the criticism. While there is enough failure to go around, it should start with the citizens, then the local government, state government, and finally the feds after the first 3 lines fail.

The televised rescues are predominantly Coast Guard rescues. The CG is a federal agency. So it's interesting to watch the ignorance of those here saying that the federal government has done nothing.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Well, that's where your system differs from our's (none / 1) (#168)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:25:18 AM EST

Our taxes go to the federal government. They then dispense them proportionately between the states. When talking about disaster relief and such, this is all organised federally here. Your national guard, as I understand it, operates on a state-to-state level. Whereas our's (the army reserves) only has a national level of administration. So the concept that the state is to blame for this, is lost on us.

You also have to understand that even though our countries are of similar geographic size, we only have six states and 18 millions people. Most of our country is uninhabitable. The mass of complexity between state laws and federal administration is not apparent in this country because we have the luxury of none.

I must say, that if this occurred in Australia, it probably would have been better managed by the government. But that's the advantage of having it all sorted by the federal government. They actually have the resources to deploy from anywhere in the country. When Louisianna/New Orleans fell into such a sate of dispair, it seems that it would be very difficult for a Mayor and a Governor to mobilise any force to manage the situation, given that most of their infrastructure would have been destroyed in the floods.

One group I would criticise might be the neighbouring states for not chipping in. But then, like I said, I am not aware of the way these things work in your country. They might already be helping or dealing with their own problems.

I don't think it's fair to say that his comments are unfounded. Some US readers seem to agree with what he says. But then, those that disagree tend to just throw Australia's history in as their defense (yourself excluded), which is no better than what they are accusing the author of doing in the first place.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I think you're wrong (none / 0) (#169)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:30:41 AM EST

If we were US Bashing, we'd just be calling you dumb Americans and that kind of thing. It's not hard to take the piss out of your nation because the US seems to be hypersensitve.

I think that's what's happening here. In the eyes of many USians, the fact that we criticise your country's response to this disaster constitutes US-bashing.

Well, this term has a very different meaning over here. If we were US-bashing, you would be in hospital suspended in traction for a few weeks.

My point is that Australians don't get pissed off when US citizens talk about how we're all convicts (convict descent accounts for maybe 15% of the population AT MOST) and that we all drink Fosters (The jokes on USians there, it's the shittest Aussie beer of the lot, which is why we laugh when we hear USians say that it's great).

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

umm.. (none / 0) (#174)
by ccdotnet on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:53:28 AM EST

calling you dumb Americans [...] take the piss out of your nation [...] we criticise your country's [...] If we were US-bashing, you would be in hospital [...]

I'm a skip, mate :-)

[ Parent ]

Yeah, I know (none / 0) (#179)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:43:02 AM EST

But it doesn't change the fact that I think that you're wrong to say that our little posse is taking the chance to US-bash... and I've given reasons for the US peeps who will probably troll us when they get up for the day...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
You are an asshole (1.00 / 17) (#105)
by junkgui on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:01:48 PM EST

My experience with Aussies have been universally positive, but you my friend are truly an asshole. Please don't post this crap, it is not fair to act as though you are so much better then us. Austrailia has just as sorted a history, and has just as many crappy political figures and shitty government. Yes I hate the bush administration... yes this does show that we as a govenment have a loooooong way to go on our preparedness plan, but no you don't have the right to expect me not to call you an asshole for pointing it out. If a terrible natural disaster kills thousands in your country, I will remember this article when I decide to send aid money, which if I were you I would do. You are truly an ass.

Speaking as an Australian (2.80 / 5) (#166)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:15:12 AM EST

I must say that my experience in meeting Americans has been, in some cases, positive. However, when an American decides to discuss our country's politics it turns nasty. We set them straight on things they don't know about, or we say exactly what you're saying now and we get told to mind our own business. Then we get told about the convicts and the aboriginals and the refugees and that because of these incidences, we have no right to say anything. As a rule, Americans will say anything they like about this country, and we'll gladly listen. But they are too narrow-minded to reverse the roles and listen to someone else's point of view.

The problem I have with this hypocritical attitude is that your country also had issues with your aboriginals. So who are you to tell us off for that? You also imported slave labour, on massive scales. Much like the Brits sent their convicts here.

but no you don't have the right to expect me not to call you an asshole for pointing it out

This makes no sense. The message you're conveying is that it is okay for you, as an American, to beat up on other people and say what you like/think about their country but that we cannot offer the same in return.

I'm sure that if there were a massive disaster here, you'd probably be writing an article on how our government didn't handle the situation. So I don't understand what you're problem is.

Our country offered to send aid to your's. We've got lots of experience dealing with these kind of disasters. But you know what? Your government, in no uncertain terms, told us to fuck off... That's what we call a typical American response.

And as for saying that we're better than you, well that's just ludicrous. Why can't you take a critique for what it is? A critique. How can you sit here and bash our nationals thereby doing exactly what you are accusing the author of doing (even though he's not). It's a pretty ethnocentric attitude... Racist even.

You have to understand that we, as a country, don't think we're better than anyone but the poms. The only thing that is better about this country than your's is the babes... And at the end of the day, that's what this thing called life is all about... the babes.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

You have no clue at all. (2.00 / 19) (#111)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 09:32:06 PM EST

First off - someone might want to tell George about the internet, or get him a TV feed to ABC news, it was obvious to us foreigners that New Orleans was facing a disaster, including the high probability of the levees breaking well before Katrina struck.

First - grab a clue stick. The US is a federal system. Bush doesn't have the authority to order evacuations of cities or to move troops into them. The reason the evacuation was delayed was because the Mayor of New Orleans didn't want to declare one. The reason the poor weren't evacuated was because New Orleans officials didn't have a proper evacuation plan and didn't even follow the plan they had.

Second - who put people in the Superdome? Hint: It wasn't the Feds. They weren't there. It was the same idiot mayor who didn't want to evacuate people in the first place.

Who was responsible for protecting and rescuing the citizens of New Orleans? Here's another hint: FEMA's mission is to show up within 3 days after the disaster to help with the recovery. Who's supposed to be the first responders dealing with the disaster? Well, la-dee-dah, it's the same mayor - the mayor whose cops stripped off their uniforms to hide their identities, the cops who stopped showing up for work, the cops who were joining in with the looting.

Yeah, this is all Bush's fault.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?

I think this is mostly right (2.28 / 7) (#125)
by speek on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:30:37 PM EST

Your comments about the local leadership's failure to conduct an adequate evacuation is spot on. I hope the media picks it up, but I doubt they will.

I, however, live in NY. I don't vote for Louisiana politicians. Bush does share some blame - for cutting FEMA's budget, for cutting the Army Corps' budget, and for roughly 40% of the national guard of the area being in Iraq, along with most of their equipment. Many of us liberals have complained from the start the adventure in Iraq wasn't something we could afford, and was something that would make us less safe. For this, and for a ton of other things, I will scream bloody murder till the Republicans at least start taking some of the blame they deserve.

Louisianians should do the same about their local leaders, and I'll support them in that too.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Well said. (none / 1) (#207)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:50:06 AM EST

Yes, I should make it clear that Bush bears the blame for the actions Bush has taken. I'm just livid that Nagin can get on national TV and blames the feds for his own mistakes - and the press is eating it up because it fits their own preconceptions.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
There's plenty of blame to go around (2.50 / 2) (#252)
by Skwirl on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:02:35 PM EST

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.

http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp

Terrorists don't give you two days notice. FEMA is now a branch of DHS, thanks to Bush and the entire organization has been reorganized to accomplish this task. Hell, one of the administration talking points is, "we were caught off guard because we were all on vacation." Way to take personal responsibility. Two days after the storm hit, Bush was strumming a guitar in San Diego and Condi Rice was shopping for shoes in Manhattan. Or how about shutting down rescue helicopters while Bush made his photo-op tour around New Orleans? There's so much to list that it's just enraging, so I hope someone more together than I am can finish this up: From the cutting of Federal funds to fix the levees to the refusal of immediate aid. There's a lot of blame to go around, but the Administration certainly deserves a lot of it.

Even the mainstream media is picking up on it:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101329,00.html

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Wrong in so many ways... (2.66 / 3) (#370)
by laird on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:30:40 PM EST

"First - grab a clue stick. The US is a federal system. Bush doesn't have the authority to order evacuations of cities or to move troops into them. The reason the evacuation was delayed was because the Mayor of New Orleans didn't want to declare one. The reason the poor weren't evacuated was because New Orleans officials didn't have a proper evacuation plan and didn't even follow the plan they had."

This is incorrect on several accounts.

1) The Governor of LA ordered evacuation of the city several days before the hurricane hit. The evacuation was upgraded to a mantatory evacuation the day before the hurricane hit, because it changed path to hit NO dead center and became more intense. The governor also requested federal aid before hurricane hit.

2) The reason the poor weren't evacuated was that the other 80% of the city did evacuate, leaving 20% behind. That 20% of NO is still about 100K people, the extremely poor and the elderly, who didn't have cars (poor in NO is _very_ poor). Sure, there were 500 busses somewhere in the school system - at 40 people per bus, that could have moved 20,000 people, if there were drivers and fuel available, and no traffic.

3) NO's evacuation plan wasn't very good (pretty much: get everyone to higher ground and wait for FEMA and the National Guard), but it's what they did, and it actually kinda worked, except that FEMA and the National Guard didn't show up. From what I've read, people weren't killed by the hurricane, but initially by a communications failure (helicopters that were supposed to drop 3,000 pound sandbags to build up the levee's were instead rescuing people, so the levee's failed) and more from the failure of rescue workers to come into NO for nearly a week afterwards. The part that's most strange to me is that armed guards refused to let anyone leave NO, and refused to let the Red Cross (or food or water) into NO, for several days.

4) FEMA has more power than you think. Even if the Governor hadn't requested federal aid, and Bush hadn't declared LA and MO emergency areas, both of which happened before the hurricane hit, FEMA doesn't have to wait for anyone to request anything -- they're authorized to move in anywhere they need to and take over in the event of an emergency without asking anyone for permission. In theory this is dangerous (imagine a dictator running FEMA and setting up a military occupation somewhere) but when FEMA is run by someone competent it means that they can do what needs to be done to save lives without any paperwork at all. This is important, because emergency experts say that the first 72 hours are the most critical in saving people.

"Second - who put people in the Superdome? Hint: It wasn't the Feds. They weren't there. It was the same idiot mayor who didn't want to evacuate people in the first place."

People in NO all claim that since people couldn't get out of the city, collecting in the Superdome saved a lot of lives.

[ Parent ]

Wrong, huh? (none / 1) (#409)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 11:00:03 AM EST

1) The Governor of LA ordered evacuation of the city several days before the hurricane hit. The evacuation was upgraded to a mantatory evacuation the day before the hurricane hit, because it changed path to hit NO dead center and became more intense. The governor also requested federal aid before hurricane hit.

The governor didn't order a mandatory evacuation of the city, ever. It's not in her power. That would be why the mayor issued the mandatory evac order, after being begged to do so for two days by the feds.

2) The reason the poor weren't evacuated was that the other 80% of the city did evacuate, leaving 20% behind. That 20% of NO is still about 100K people, the extremely poor and the elderly, who didn't have cars (poor in NO is very poor). Sure, there were 500 busses somewhere in the school system - at 40 people per bus, that could have moved 20,000 people, if there were drivers and fuel available, and no traffic.

and...

3) NO's evacuation plan wasn't very good (pretty much: get everyone to higher ground and wait for FEMA and the National Guard), but it's what they did, and it actually kinda worked, except that FEMA and the National Guard didn't show up. From what I've read, people weren't killed by the hurricane, but initially by a communications failure (helicopters that were supposed to drop 3,000 pound sandbags to build up the levee's were instead rescuing people, so the levee's failed) and more from the failure of rescue workers to come into NO for nearly a week afterwards. The part that's most strange to me is that armed guards refused to let anyone leave NO, and refused to let the Red Cross (or food or water) into NO, for several days.

NOLA's plan explicitly specified using buses to get people out of the city. They didn't do it. Later, it was the state's decision to refuse to let aid groups into the city (press are reporting it was the federal DHS, but Louisiana's emergency agency has the same name and is the one the Red Cross has explicitly blamed.) More over, Blanco explicitly and repeatedly refused to allow the feds to take control of the rescue/evacuation efforts which might have sped things up. Reports are that Bush considered invoking the Insurrection Act to allow the Army into the area, but he decided that the resulting legal battle would delay the operation too long.

4) FEMA has more power than you think. Even if the Governor hadn't requested federal aid, and Bush hadn't declared LA and MO emergency areas, both of which happened before the hurricane hit, FEMA doesn't have to wait for anyone to request anything -- they're authorized to move in anywhere they need to and take over in the event of an emergency without asking anyone for permission. In theory this is dangerous (imagine a dictator running FEMA and setting up a military occupation somewhere) but when FEMA is run by someone competent it means that they can do what needs to be done to save lives without any paperwork at all. This is important, because emergency experts say that the first 72 hours are the most critical in saving people.

Bullshit. First, get your states right, Missouri wasn't involved. Second Bush did declare emergency areas before the hurricane hit, which is why FEMA was already moving emergency supplies into the region before the storm hit. Second, FEMA DOES NOT EXPECT TO BE IN AN AREA BEFORE 72 HOURS ARE UP. I would like you to point out a hurricane emergency where FEMA was up and running in less than 2 or 3 days. Ever. THE LOCALS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE IN A NATURAL DISASTER. They are the ones that know the area, they are the ones who are supposed to have the emergency plans ready, they are the ones who are supposed to know the needs of their own people. What they aren't supposed to do is to actively prevent people from receiving aid and from evacuating the area (check out the news reports of the groups who tried to leave the city and were forcibly turned back by local police afraid of letting "looters" into their jurisdictions...)

Did letting them into the Superdome save lives? Quite likely. It would have been a lot better if they had gotten them out of the city in the first place, like they were supposed to do.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Some clarifications (2.92 / 14) (#128)
by blackpaw on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:39:55 PM EST

The point of the article is *not* the bungling of disaster relief, rather the reactions of the New Orleans residents. Perhaps I shouldn't have made the throw-away comment re Bush - Mea culpa.

The comments re Australia's treatment of refugees. Yes I believe Australia's record there is a disgrace, also - so what? its irrelevant to the questions in the article. Submit a op-ed on this, its a worthy subject.

The comments re the riots in Redfern are more to the point, though maybe not as much as some think. The redfern riots were in response to perceived police brutality whereas the situation in New Orleans is a breakdown of order once authority was removed. I'm not sure they are comparable.

I apologise if the article seems overly judgemental. The intent is to inform how surprised the international community is by the breakdown in New Orleans and the incredible bad press America is going to get over it, and to gather ideas as to why it happened.

Well they are... (none / 1) (#158)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:36:03 AM EST

Think about what happened after Rodney King vs what happened in Redfern. Sure, there were a few problems in Redfern and there was some violence. However, this didn't end in massive rioting and destruction. They didn't burn the place down.

And bringing our governement's immigration policy into the fray is what I call right-wing Americans clutching at straws. You're right, it's irrelevant. If they really had an issue with the policies, they should write an article about it and discuss it there.

There's nothing judgemental about what you're saying. But many Americans have issues with the fact that there are a lot of fucked up aspects in their society. They can't deal with criticism because that would mean they might actually have to do something about it...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I agree with some arguments made, but... (none / 1) (#448)
by grdnwsl on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 03:35:56 PM EST

But many Americans have issues with the fact that there are a lot of fucked up aspects in their society. They can't deal with criticism because that would mean they might actually have to do something about it... I'll agree that many Americans have issues. However, to point out that Americans explicitly have problems with their society is a moot argument. That argument can be made for ALL societies. Ours are just different than yours, but each has their own.

It's sad that "discussion" threads to stories like this (or just about any other) degrade into flamewars and "my <insert group here> is better than yours" and "Your <insert group here> sucks, because <some lame ill-thought-out reason>."

There were many, many factors involved in the aftermath of the hurricane. To pick out just one or even a handful to bitch about is futile. Heck, for all the bad-mouthing Bush has gotten from this disaster, he's at least owning up to it. http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/13/katrina.washington/index.html All governments want to cover their asses, it takes balls to at least say, "Yes, we made a terrible mistake." But enough about that. I'm wearing my Asbestos firesuit so flame on about that one, as I know there will be flames...

But back to the discussion at hand. Yes, there was plenty of warning regarding Katrina. And yes, some sort of measures should've been taken to allow the large population of poor who had no transportation to get out of the city. Yes, the local, state, and federal governments are partially at fault for not being better prepared for this. There *were*, however, people, such as the Army Corps of Engineers who were trying to shore-up the levys to make them able to withstand a Cat. 5 hurricane, however, funding over the past decade or so was cut to that project so that the Corps. had to even go on a hiring freeze. That shouldn't have been the case, but hindsight is always 20/20.

However, some (unfortunately, the "vocal minority") of the people of NO are to blame for the hinderance to the rescue efforts. I am infuriated, as a US Citizen, that there were people in NO shooting at the people who were there to rescue them. There is no excuse for that kind of behaviour. I don't care what social class you're in, what your ethnic association is, what your gender is, as a human being, that behaviour is inexcusable.

As an American, watching the situation unfold down there, I was deeply dismayed at what I saw and heard. I've even been reading some blogs of people who were caught down there (some are still there in the CBD) in the middle of it, sharing first-hand what was going on. I'm not proud of the way it was handled, I'm not proud of the fact that my country is better equipped to handle disasters in other countries than it is equipped to handle disasters on its own soil. But, the way this country works, disaster relief follows the order of Local -> State -> Fedral. But in the end, they're all connected.

Yes, we look quite foolish in the eyes of other countries, and IMO rightly we should. But to make it out as America being the only country in the world where these problems exist -- and that we're worse than any other country -- is a fallacy.

I can honestly say that I, as an American, welcome and appreciate constructive criticizm. I wish my government would heed it. I do my part, in my democratic society, to cast my vote for the people I believe will best serve my country. However, democracy's one greatest flaw is the fact that it's "majority rule" and when the majority doesn't consider the needs of others, but rather only themselves, there's only so much the minority can do. But, in the end, I respect that, because I at least have a say (however small it may be).

So, in conclusion, please understand that there are still Americans who can see their country from other people's points of view and that we're not all as self-centered as our government (and media agencies) make us out to be. There are some of us who can still think for themselves, without the masses, or the government thinking for us. And we do agree with you that this disaster is an embarassment to our country. We recognize that. But how about (for all you people who feel the need to blast your mouth off about how horrible we are) you all take a look at your own countries and their problems and let that put it all into a little bit better perspective. Yes, Katrina was a tradgedy; yes, it could've been handled better; yes, there should've been a lot more done in a lot more timely manner. But all this talk doesn't change what happened, it can't go back in time and reverse it. There are many people in this country who are just as appalled at what happened as the rest of the world is. But don't think for one minute that it couldn't happen elsewhere.

[ Parent ]

It's desperation, not a lack of authority (2.75 / 4) (#223)
by psctsh on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:06:05 PM EST

This isn't something quite so cut and dried as "the situation in New Orleans is a breakdown of order once authority was removed." Yes, the lack of authority is part of cause, but not the sole reason.

The looting and general lawlessness is what happens when you take the poorest strata, destroy their property, cut off their access to food, water, and sanitation, remove all authority (both governmental and societal) and then wait.

There's several recent events where anarchy didn't come in to play (in direct opposition to the "Americans are animals" worldview): in 2003, after the entire Northeast experienced power outages, many predicted mass looting and violence in New York. However, this didn't happen--why? Because people were still able to access food and water, and there was still societal pressure to behave. Similarly, in 2004, after the hurricanes devastated towns in Northwest Florida, there was still no mass looting or violence, for the exact same reasons.

The lesson here isn't that Americans are violent animals, it's that desperation yields anarchy. I challenge you to find a situation where taking away all food, water, sanitation, property, and authority doesn't yield the same results--regardless of nationality.

[ Parent ]
The tsunami (none / 0) (#248)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:16:11 PM EST

People where stripped of everything and without food/water for days. Neverless they did not descend into anarchy.

However, factors that others have noted:
- Most of them had bugger all to start with, hence perhaps they were better adapted to survival

- No guns. The large presence of guns in places like the Superdome makes crowd control a lot hairier.

[ Parent ]

That's an interesting perspective (2.50 / 2) (#253)
by psctsh on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:46:15 PM EST

Are we talking about the same tsunami? Perhaps the crime and looting is more visible in South LA because the reporters a) don't need to be shipped halfway around the world to cover the story and b) speak the language.

The second bit I'm wondering about is talk of "the large presence of guns in ... the Superdome." Considering that one of the main reasons the Superdome was filling up slowly was because everyone was being "searched for guns, knives, and drugs," I find it hard to believe that there was anything resembling a large presence of guns. Actually, after searching [briefly] online, I wasn't able to find any substantiated claims of guns or gunfire originating from the crowd in the Superdome.

But who knows, maybe I'm wrong.

[ Parent ]
Good to know it's visible. (2.85 / 7) (#129)
by Remus Shepherd on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:47:40 PM EST

Has rampant free market philosophy infiltrated the American psyche to the extent that anything with no dollar value is worthless? (...)
We get the uneasy feeling that this is a microcosm of American society, that you have so plundered and devalued the social contract that the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country.

Just to let you know, you have a good eye. Some of us inside are seeing exactly what you describe. Not much we can do about it, however -- the inmates are in charge of the asylum.
...
Remus Shepherd <remus@panix.com>
Creator and holder of many Indefensible Positions.
no surprise (2.71 / 14) (#130)
by jmd2121 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:48:32 PM EST

It doesn't surprise me at all the events in New Orleans.

This is America in raw, unedited reality.  Underneith our "American Beauty" story that the rich people keep pushing is the harsh truth that most people deal with: individual first.  This is the land of individualistic capitalism.  Within this system, there are "have-nots" with unrealistic media-driven expectations.  In this lower social/economic class is bred unmitigated and undirected rage and aggression, kept in check only with the threat of lethal force and incarceration.

When those threats go away, people move to get their needs met.  Simple.

You think 10MM dollar mansions come without social cost?  Here it is baby.  
Remember the French revolution?

-

Rampant AntiAmericanism (1.08 / 12) (#136)
by FreeNSK on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 11:46:12 PM EST

You should be ashamed of pushing your antiamerican leanings in this time of need.

also see my blog post on Katrina.

George W Bush is to blame, not USA as a whole.


=== NSK ===


What anti-american leanings ? (none / 1) (#140)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:08:20 AM EST

Care to point them out ?

[ Parent ]
this, among others (none / 1) (#144)
by FreeNSK on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:49:47 AM EST

"the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country"

=== NSK ===


[ Parent ]
Nice quote out of context (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:56:22 AM EST

Missing the "We get the uneasy feeling that ..."

i.e. its a implied question, not a statement.

[ Parent ]

Please explain (none / 0) (#196)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:59:49 AM EST

How does "We get the uneasy feeling that ... the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country." convey anything different than the author feeling that the USA is an uncivilized country, which is FreeNSK's point?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Feeling is different from knowing (none / 1) (#324)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:04:07 PM EST

He is not accusing America of being uncivilised. He has a feeling that they are. This is fair enough. Just as FreeNSK felt that this was anti-American. So really, it's just butting heads over nothing.

He's not saying that America is uncivilised. That's the distinction.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Err (none / 0) (#338)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:21:40 AM EST

He is not accusing America of being uncivilised. He has a feeling that they are.

The 2nd sentence contradicts the first one. Please try again

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
How do feelings contradict accusations (none / 0) (#373)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:04:53 PM EST

I have a feeling that you might be sexually attracted to goats. But I'm not accusing you of being a goat fucker just because I feel that way. I have no proof and I really cannot lay an accusation like that without more information. Hence, there is no contradiction...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
See? (none / 1) (#390)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:16:15 AM EST

You're agreeing that it's fucking pointless to say.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not (none / 0) (#403)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:07:16 PM EST

My case in point demonstrates what I am saying. The fact that I think you might be sexually attracted to goats does not constitute an accusation of Goat fucking. It doesn't mean that it's pointless to say. If I had an issue with this and it generated some thought that I wanted to discuss, I would raise the issue.

Please note that I have no problems with goat fetishes, so long as no goats are harmed and that they are all consensual participants in any activities.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Try this (none / 1) (#406)
by An onymous Coward on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:06:28 AM EST

"I have a feeling that you might be sexually attracted to goats" is a meaningless statement because "You might be sexually attracted to goats" is a meaningless statement.

If you said "I feel that you fuck goats", your feeling is as wrong as if you said "You fuck goats".

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
I think you're reading too much into this (none / 0) (#416)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 07:57:54 PM EST

Have I struck a chord?

Wait a minute! Oh... My... GOD!

You really do fuck goats! That's why you've gotten so defensive!

Sorry matey, I was just using that one as an example... I wasn't inferring anything... I won't tell anyone, promise...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Good (none / 0) (#425)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 07:37:06 AM EST

You seem to have grudgingly accepted my example. I'm sorry you ended up getting all indignant.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#439)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 08:35:37 PM EST

I've just discovered that you may have gotten upset by my example because there is a grain of truth in it. I accept your example for what it is... flawed...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I was upset? (none / 0) (#441)
by An onymous Coward on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 06:45:55 AM EST

When?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Well, I'd ask you the same question (none / 0) (#449)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 07:41:46 PM EST

That's why you should never assume... it takes the ass out of U and ME and ah... Goats... yeah...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
You accused me (none / 0) (#458)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 05:30:26 AM EST

of being upset because you thought your goat fucking comments pissed me off, or something. You didn't want to argue my point, so you accused me of being pissed off. I accused you of being worked up beause you were practically shitting yourself with indignation and mockery.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
I never mocked you... (none / 1) (#467)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 07:51:16 PM EST

I resent that statement.

Sorry for being considerate of the fact that you may have been offended by my goat analogy because it might have been a little to close to home for you...

That's not a mockery, that's a kindness on my part and you would be best to accept such kindnesses with grace in the future...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

What's with the goat fixation? :P n/t (none / 0) (#469)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 09:04:52 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
I don't know. (none / 0) (#472)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:56:20 PM EST

Perhaps it has something to do with your childhood :-P

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I don't fuck goats :( (none / 0) (#476)
by An onymous Coward on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 08:08:52 AM EST

But I do beat dead horses!

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Yeah but... (none / 0) (#486)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:52:37 PM EST

Those horses had it coming... they really had it coming...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
My real contention is (none / 1) (#391)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:22:22 AM EST

When you say "I feel that [insert (un)substantiated statement of fact here]", the "I Feel that" part has nothing to do at all with whether the rest is true. It's basically a way to state something, and if someone calls you on its validity, you can pussy out and pretend it's an opinion.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
But it is an opinion (none / 0) (#402)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:05:07 PM EST

By God man, if you have issues with statement of unfounded opinion then what on earh are you doing here?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
No it's not (none / 0) (#405)
by An onymous Coward on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:00:05 AM EST

An opinion is a statement like "I like mint ice cream" and is actually a fact that can be verified by checking out your brain. It is not any old fact with "I feel that" or "I understand that" or "I have come to the conclusion that" stuck to the front (the 3 are all equivilent, and the last 2 obviously don't make it an opinion)

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
You can't verify that I like mint cream (none / 0) (#417)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 08:06:28 PM EST

How the hell would you check my brain? Given that no one really understands most of what goes on in there... That's ludicrous.

George Bush can say that he loves God. But we can't "check his brain" to make sure he's telling the truth. J Edgar Hoover said that he hated gays, but he was a fucking Nancy boy! Jesus Christs, that's the lamest explanation of an opinion I've ever heard... "Yeah, it's like a fact that can be verified by checking out your brain." Please!!!

Noun: Opinion A message expressing a belief about something; the expression of a belief that is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.


You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Neurotransmitters and other junk (none / 0) (#426)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 07:44:21 AM EST

unless you're arguing that we're made of supernatural components. Of course we haven't built anything to check those particular facts yet, but the theories that imply the possibility have stood up to substantial experimentation.

Indignation and argument from incredulity aren't actually valid arguements. Sorry you got so worked up over this.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
You're wrong on so many levels... (none / 1) (#438)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 08:34:31 PM EST

You're wrong in thinking that I'm worked up. I really don't care too much. I respond because this is a discussion... I think...

You're wrong on your definition of opinion. Opinions are not based on facts, as the dictionary definition above clearly states.

I'm not arguing that we're supernatural or whatever, that's my point. You're arguing that you can prove that I like mint cream, or that you can prove my opinion.

Well, lots of people are of the opinion that god exists, but you can't prove that he does.

Opinion is not fact, you should make the distinction...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I couldn't come up with a subject (none / 0) (#445)
by An onymous Coward on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:54:13 AM EST

If someone says they believe that God exists, it can theoretically be verified that they believe God exists, or they are lying about their belief. That has nothing to do with whether the statement "God exists" is true, and doesn't legitimize it in any way, which is my whole point.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
You're just avoiding the fact (none / 0) (#450)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 07:43:14 PM EST

That you're wrong... an opinion is not provable... the only proof you have of an opinion is that Person X said that he was of the opinion Y.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Sorry, you're wrong n/t (none / 0) (#459)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 05:30:59 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
No you are... sorry :p $ (none / 1) (#466)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 07:49:42 PM EST



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#468)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 06:55:16 AM EST

Mint ice cream does kick ass, doesn't it?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
I suppose... (none / 0) (#473)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:57:14 PM EST

It's much of a muchness really. I'm not much of an ice cream fan... I prefer gelati...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Never had any (none / 0) (#477)
by An onymous Coward on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 08:27:20 AM EST

Sounds pretty bitchin though :P

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Gelati is teh shit! (none / 0) (#485)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:51:06 PM EST

It's like ice cream without the cream... Awesome flavour...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Guess people read in what they want to see (nt) (none / 1) (#149)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:29:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Flawed supposition (2.20 / 5) (#156)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:32:03 AM EST

How does calling America uncivilised constitute anti-Americanism? Why do you Americans have such a problem with calling a spade a spade?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Platitudes kick ass (none / 1) (#195)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:53:53 AM EST

Saying "calling a spade a spade" manages to make a person able to give a meaningless response that sort of sounds good!

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
You rock! (none / 1) (#325)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:11:34 PM EST

I guess really, it all comes down to whether or not you're serious in your conviction that really, there is no point to commenting further.

I suppose you're right though. I mean, a spade could also be called a shovel, thus mooting my point.

That was GOLD!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

HAHA YOU ARE FUNNY TOO! (none / 1) (#337)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:18:25 AM EST

if I show you a ham and cheese sandwich, and you say "i'm refusing to call a spade a spade", that doesn't make my fucking sandwich a spade!

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Although... (none / 1) (#372)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:02:16 PM EST

But see, if you had a sandwich and I had some dip and you dipped the sandwich into the dip and scooped some onto it... Well, that would be like shovelling the dip. Meaning that there are some such cases where it would be appropriate to refer to the sandwich as a shovel. Which, as I've said, is kind of like a spade. It just depends how extreme you are with your word I think....

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
In defence of America... (2.44 / 9) (#141)
by idkfa on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:11:09 AM EST

Clearly New Orleans is not a product of intelligent design and hence cannot be taught in American schools.

Not clever at all (none / 0) (#164)
by HyperactiveStar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:04:20 AM EST

I mean what idiot would build a city where a river on one side and a lake on the other are on a higher level then a good percentage of the city. Blatent stupidity.

[ Parent ]
The Blatenly Stupid French Bienville (none / 1) (#177)
by nlscb on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:02:29 AM EST

Really.

The US will be lodging an official protest with the French and demanding a partial refund on the Louisiana Purchase.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Ahhh (none / 0) (#264)
by HyperactiveStar on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:29:50 AM EST

That explains it. It all makes sense now

[ Parent ]
-1, no poll [n/t] (1.09 / 11) (#143)
by FreeNSK on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:41:02 AM EST


=== NSK ===


My Response to the Original Post (1.94 / 19) (#147)
by Guncrazy on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:14:11 AM EST

But also the locals helped themselves and their neighbors, they looked after each other. Hundreds of Australian tourists were in the areas affected, they pitched in with the locals and were helped in return.

I believe that the Asian people in tsunami-affected areas had a greater tendency to help each other than did the Americans in New Orleans are displaying. This is probably because those people have always had to rely on themselves for their daily survival, while those in New Orleans have come to expect government to have a hand in nearly every aspect of their existence.

Now, human nature being what it is, I'm sure that there was a predatory element in Aceh as well, and that there are also some examples of community to be found among Katrina's survivors. However, if I had to be a victim among one of the two peoples, I'd pick Aceh in a heartbeat.

Many other Australians made the trek to the Superdome only to encounter murders, muggings and rape...To my knowledge, no Australians were so assaulted after the asian tsunami. How can the worlds sole remaining super power, which accords itself the mantle of superior morality perform so badly in comparison?

As an American who believes that moral superiority is what made this country great, the stories of looting, rape and murder (attempted and actual) coming out of New Orleans make me livid. It is my heartfelt prayer that every victim of the lawlessness taking place there will get justice.

The animals that are committing these crimes are not the same Americans who believe in our nation's high moral stature. Rather, they are the product of a politically correct curriculum which preaches the moral bankruptcy of this country; at least, when it isn't preaching that morality is non-existent. What we're seeing on the news, then, is simply the embodiment of liberal values, and the natural tendency of people live up (or down) to the expectations of their communities.

Its not just the anarchy in New Orleans that is appalling people, we've seen numerous talking heads blaming the chaos on the lowest parts of society, that they aren't representative of the USA. I ask how are they measuring this lack of height - money? Social status? Race? And are they not part of America? How a country treats its "lowest rung" in their time of need says much about the society.

Yes, it is the lowest element of society that is taking advantage of the anarchy in New Orleans. I think that one would have to be obtuse not to recognize that. But to define "lowest" empirically? Yes, they're poor, but poverty doesn't make them bad. Yes, they're predominantly black, but I reject the idea that their skin color predisposes them to lawlessness.

I would define the dregs of any society by their attitudes towards those around them. They tend to have the notion that they are owed something for which they have not worked, by virtue of some indirect, often historical offense which may have been real or imagined. It is this sort of mindset which justifies (to them) any act of retribution against "The Man." It matters not, then, who is hurt by their actions. If they hurt their neighbors, they do so out of contempt for "The Man's" laws. The acts of looting and arson, though they may destroy the very neighborhoods they will have to return to, are a blow to the economic mechanisms which empower "The Man."

The very deepest layer of American socioeconomic strata, then, consists entirely of self-made men and women, and for this they deserve no pity. Yet how does this country treat its "lowest rung"? Even in times of normalcy, we provide them with stipends, food, shelter, educational opportunities and medical care. In this time of strife, we are still struggling to bring needed food, water, medicines, shelter and law to these people. This in spite of the fact that the rescuers are being insulted and assaulted by the very people they're trying to help.

In many cultures the working class hold community values in a lot higher esteem than the so-called "better" levels of society. Has rampant free market philosophy infiltrated the American psyche to the extent that anything with no dollar value is worthless? Or perhaps the nanny state has removed peoples coping skills.

I have faith in the working class communities of America. The looters, rapists and people shooting at rescue helicopters and personnel, however, are far more likely to be welfare class than working class. What we are seeing in New Orleans is not the concrete product of a Free Market philosophy, but of a philosophy which posits that the goods in a market ought to be free.

It is unfortunately true that the spirits of self-reliance and community strength have largely disappeared in urban America. Watching the news coverage of the survivors sitting idly, I desperately wish for a leader to emerge. Someone who could give people hope by giving them tasks to fill their time. My god, how simple it should be to get people to collect corpses for burning. The resources to make simple stills shouldn't be too hard to scavenge from the rubble--teach people to make them, and they'll have all the drinking water they need. It has been reported that even the looters have organized into armed, roving gangs. The bad guys can't be the only ones who are armed. Why can't the good people organize their armed individuals to defend themselves and to scavenge for necessary supplies?

It absolutely infuriates me to see people bitch about their situation and then sit idly by waiting for their complaints to be addressed, when there is so much that they could be doing to make their positions a bit more bearable. But I suppose this is to be expected from a people who have grown to depend on government for their survival.

We get the uneasy feeling that this is a microcosm of American society, that you have so plundered and devalued the social contract that the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country. We see George Bush smirking and playing the guitar, vowing his friend's beachfront mansion will be rebuilt and we wonder what has happened to the USA we used to know.

The televised lawlessness of New Orleans is not a microcosm of American society. It is, if anything, a subculture. These are actions carried out by a tiny, yet very noticable segment of the population.

As for civilization, no matter where you go, what passes for "civilized" is nothing more than a thin veneer over human nature that is rapidly shed in times of desperation.

And if you really want to politicize this disaster, please understand this. The Federal Government of the United States was never intended to be a first responder to natural disasters, nor the primary body which plans for their occurrences. The primary responsibility for the safety of New Orleans' residents lies with its mayor (who, since you're politicizing this tragedy, is a black Democrat.) Yes, he made a good call in ordering a mandatory evacuation of his city, but he fumbled terribly in not using the hundreds of city-owned school busses to facilitate the evacuation.

The next major rung on the responsiblity ladder lies with the governor of Louisiana (who is, I'm sure you'll be interested to know, a female Democrat). What she has done for the people of her state, I have no idea. What she has not done, however, is to set up a command and control structure to coordinate relief efforts.

The last rung on the responsiblity ladder is indeed the Federal government. Yes, a Republican is in charge there. But it has never been the President's job to micromanage anything--not wars, not the economy and certainly not disaster relief.

Yes, relief efforts have been embarassingly ineffective on every level, but it's ridiculous to blame Bush for this, and terribly partisan to focus on him while giving the mayor and governor a pass.

Race is irrelevant 99.999% of the time. And the 0.001% of the time it is relevant, someone is looking for a donated organ.

The major isn't responsible (1.16 / 6) (#153)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:24:01 AM EST

THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE. No-one is gunna look after you, except you. I see people on the news complaining they have no drinking water and the streets are lined with crap. They know they are in trouble but they just sit there helpless waiting for someone to make it all better. There's no drinking water? Go collect some from the river. There's shit on the street? Go get a shovel and clean it up!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Yeah good thinking (3.00 / 3) (#160)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:38:17 AM EST

Go and collect water from one of the most busy waterways in America... I'm sure that will be good for drinking water... Good to see you're a smart guy...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
make a choice (none / 0) (#163)
by ccdotnet on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:03:53 AM EST

Go and collect water from one of the most busy waterways in America... I'm sure that will be good for drinking water... Good to see you're a smart guy...

Dying of thirst, or drinking (possibly) contaminated water which (might) cause you a (minor or serious) problem.

Choose one.

[ Parent ]

I wouldn't drink the water... (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:47:44 AM EST

Because the risk of dying is much greater if you drink contaminated water, than it is from dying of thirst. If I were to drink contaminated water and then got sick, I could die within days due to no access to treatment... that's a no brainer.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
dying of thirst (none / 0) (#175)
by ccdotnet on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:58:25 AM EST

Because the risk of dying is much greater if you drink contaminated water, than it is from dying of thirst

Yes, but odds are the water isn't contaminated. At least you get to roll the dice.

Maybe I'm being too narrow in my scope, but the frail and elderly will die in a matter of days without water, especially in that heat. Remember, no power for air-conditioning.

[ Parent ]

Yep yep (3.00 / 2) (#178)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:40:53 AM EST

My point is anyway, that most people are too uneducated when it comes to survival without civilisation...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
No they're bloody not! (none / 1) (#186)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:29:23 AM EST

The odds are not with someone drinking N'orlans water, the river was contiguous with the water flooding the place and is contaminated with sewage and probably dead people bt now. I don't like those odds.

Your point is valid though, people should likely be doing stuff for themselves if they can, and boiling or distilling water for drinking is a good start.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
boiling or distilling for themselves? (none / 1) (#281)
by rpresser on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:37:27 AM EST

How do they boil water (distillation requires boiling, as far as I know) "for themselves" when the power is off, the gas is off, everything is wet, no matches to be had ...
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
i guess you were never a boy scout (none / 0) (#288)
by ProfessorBooty on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:35:34 AM EST

there are plenty of ways to start a fire use a magnifying glass use a flint and steel/magnesium build a bow, and take a stick and plank of wood, to heat up the piece of wood and drop it into the tinder its easy to make wood shavings for tinder, they will dry out quickly in the sun use a battery to make an arc for electricity to light something you can light cloth, dryer lint, etc there should be plenty of paper about, wood etc, it doesnt take too long for it to dry out likewise ad a bit off iodine/bleach etc to water and it will kill off a lot of the bad stuff in water http://www.doh.wa.gov/topics/floods.htm after9/11 i figured more people would keep a bug out bag of supplies on hand for an emergency just like this.

[ Parent ]
I guess his point is (none / 0) (#321)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:39:58 PM EST

That if you'd have a good deal of trouble doing this under ten feet of water...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
i dont think people are floating in the water (none / 0) (#350)
by ProfessorBooty on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:12:07 AM EST

i dont think most people where floating around in the water, they were either inside their houses, inside a shelter, sitting on a roof etc

any one of those places you can dry out wood, tinder etc in preparation to make a fire

[ Parent ]

On your roof, in your home? (none / 0) (#356)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 02:58:41 PM EST

Start an open fire in your home, smart.

Start an open fire on your roof, smart.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]

have you ever run a stove in your house (none / 0) (#363)
by ProfessorBooty on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:23:50 PM EST

have you ever:

smoked inside a house
burned a candle
cooked with a gas range
used a fireplace

all can be done indoors

a large flame is not required to boil water, you just dont build the fire ontop of another piece of wood like a floor or roof

it sounds like the denizins of kuro5hin would not make it in a disaster because they are worried about burning their house down more than dying of thirst.

[ Parent ]

Only good for very simple contamination (none / 1) (#364)
by blackpaw on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:35:33 PM EST

Boiling will kill most bacteria. It won't clear the water of salt, chemical contamination and sewerage, in fact it would make it worse by concentrating it.

All of those are big issues in the New Orleans water.

[ Parent ]

i agree, build a still/other critizisms (none / 0) (#394)
by ProfessorBooty on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:01:05 AM EST

the water which condenses will at least be free of salt and bacteria

as for other peoples concerns about building a fire,
you need not build it indoors

you build it inside of a metal barrel trash can etc, you build it in a firepit in a dryer area
you build it on top of a propane grill

there are plenty of ways to do this.

I would certainly attempt to survive, rather than be passive, hoping someone will save me.

[ Parent ]

alternatively (none / 0) (#395)
by ProfessorBooty on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:05:09 AM EST

use a solar oven, i distilled water via a solar oven as a science fair project when i was a kid using a light bulb, aluminum foil, metal hangers, an aluminum pan, and saran wrap.

[ Parent ]
Uh-huh. (none / 0) (#414)
by rpresser on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 06:43:32 PM EST

And a hundred thousand poor people in NOLA are all supposed to have stored away solar ovens in case of hurricane? That's sensible.

I'd like to see you buy a solar oven now and donate it to a poor person living on the coast.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

no you just build one (none / 0) (#432)
by ProfessorBooty on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 12:39:19 PM EST

doesnt require many materials, can be done with common houshould items.

as my buddy said, come an emergency he would head straight to the autoparts store. there you can find most of the parts you need to build a wind power system (batterys, alternators, inverters), stills for diesel refining, creation of soap, and water purification.

[ Parent ]

Bah (none / 0) (#433)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 01:26:40 PM EST

McGyver could build it from toothpicks & rubber bands.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Answers. (none / 0) (#369)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:26:43 PM EST

smoked inside a house
burned a candle
cooked with a gas range
used a fireplace

No. Refuse to.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.

  1. I hate smoking inside.
  2. There's a slight disparity in the size of flame on a candle and that needed to boil water effectively.
  3. There's a difference between burning gas, which doesn't emit smoke, and burning wood.
  4. A fireplace has a flume.


--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
Given that most people are poor (none / 1) (#374)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:08:25 PM EST

It would be fair to say that they live in project styled housing... Usually made out of wood... Fire on wood bad... Even an outdoorsman would have difficulty lighting a very very small fire (as you've alluded) on wooden floorboards and then containing it... Quite frankly the idea is suicide. Why bother getting them to boil the water, why not just tell them to commit suicide? Essentially that's what they'd be doing anyway...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
USA predominantly violent in the eyes of the world (2.33 / 15) (#162)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:01:51 AM EST

The animals that are committing these crimes are not the same Americans who believe in our nation's high moral stature.

I'm not discounting the statement that follows this. But the Americans I hear bantering on about the high moral stature of your nation tend to be no better than these so-called animals.

Why can't the good people organize their armed individuals to defend themselves and to scavenge for necessary supplies?

Because if they do this and some law type person sees them carrying food out of a grocery store and a gun, they get shot. That's looting. I honestly don't believe that there is any such thing as looting in this kind of situation though. You get what you can, where you can find it.

But a crystal clear example of one of the big problems in all this was an article I saw a few days ago. Basically, there was a picture of a black man swimming through the water with a bag of food and the caption read something like, "This man carries away stolen goods after looting a grocery store". Further down the article, there was another picture of a white couple and it said something like, "These people look for shelter after finding some food near a grocery store."

There's a fundamental flaw here. Both pictures showed the same thing, people trying to survive.

Now, I don't know about you, but when the law has adopted a shoot to kill policy, I wouldn't stick my neck out for any reason. There's a lot you can't see or hear from 50 meters away and it's most likely that if you are holding a gun while leading a group of people to high ground or whatever, you might be shot...

It absolutely infuriates me to see people bitch about their situation and then sit idly by waiting for their complaints to be addressed, when there is so much that they could be doing to make their positions a bit more bearable. But I suppose this is to be expected from a people who have grown to depend on government for their survival.

But they probably wouldn't know what to do.

I see this all the time when contrasting my city friends and country friends. If I was stranded in the middle of nowhere, I could survive. I can light a fire with wood, stone and some brush, many can't. I know how to sharpen a stick and use it to hunt, but many have no idea.

I don't think it's fair to say that these people are helpless purely because they have been softened by government support. I'm sure if it was a bunch of middle-class office bums stuck, they would be just as helpless.

The televised lawlessness of New Orleans is not a microcosm of American society. It is, if anything, a subculture. These are actions carried out by a tiny, yet very noticable segment of the population.

Yes, spot on. Unfortunately, that subculture is populated by those at the very bottom of American society, and those at the very top.

I wish I could show you how violent and despicable your nation appears to the rest of the world. I wish I could convey to you the fear I had for my own country when the US Administration decided they were going on an Imperial march to Baghdad, all in the name of revenge.

This culture isn't just apparent now. It's been apparent through the actions of groups like the KKK, Skin-heads, Black Panthers, Elijah Mohammed's Muslims, the Mafia, Cowboys and Indians and Buffalo hunting, Salem Witch trials, LA Riots, JFK, MLK, Bobby, McCarthyism, The War on Terror, FOX news, Hollywood, the list goes on and on and on.

The bloodthirsty nature of America has always been present in the eyes of the world and really, I don't think many people outside the US were really surprised by the violence that has befallen an already decimated New Orleans. It was a natural response for the US.

Sure, people can blame Bush, and we can blame the governor and the Mayor as well. I really don't care about that. The only thing that bothers me is that the US Administration has blatantly refused any offers of aid for foreign nations. That's pathetic. Given all of the experience that many countries gained after the tsunami, this whole mess could have been cleaned up by now. That's unforgivable inmho.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

We're all bloodthirsty? (1.50 / 2) (#239)
by terriblecertainty on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:30:25 PM EST

The bloodthirsty nature of America has always been present in the eyes of the world and really, I don't think many people outside the US were really surprised by the violence that has befallen an already decimated New Orleans. It was a natural response for the US.

You speak for the rest of the world, of course, both present inhabitants, and throughout world history. You appear to think we're all animals. Why? People here in the US are amazingly similar to people the world over, despite what you may have heard. Our government is no worse than many governments the world over, and better than quite a few, from my limited perspective.

From reading your other posts, I'm sure you'll regard this as merely "defensive" and overly "sensitive", but perhaps you could discuss this with me as if I'm worth talking to, as a person and not as a member of a group you appear to hate. (Correct me if i'm wrong, please.)

The only thing that bothers me is that the US Administration has blatantly refused any offers of aid for foreign nations. That's pathetic. Given all of the experience that many countries gained after the tsunami, this whole mess could have been cleaned up by now. That's unforgivable inmho.

I don't believe offers of help have been rejected, it appears our government is waiting for FEMA to identify needs. I was actually touched (and that's unusual) at the offers of help, particularly from countries recently hit with that unbelievable tsunami last year.



[ Parent ]
No, your culture is predominantly bloodthirsty (1.50 / 2) (#323)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:00:12 PM EST

You speak for the rest of the world, of course, both present inhabitants, and throughout world history. You appear to think we're all animals. Why? People here in the US are amazingly similar to people the world over, despite what you may have heard. Our government is no worse than many governments the world over, and better than quite a few, from my limited perspective.

No, I think that your overriding culture is bloodthirsty. The US is amazingly similar in some ways, but in others, it is vastly different. Most Americans I've met over here don't really see this though. I'm not saying that you or your countrymen are in fact bloodthirsty, so don't misinterpret my words. But the fact is that you are perceived that way by the rest of the world. It would be fair to say that a vast portion of the world actually fears your country (which is why you have so many allies).

The message you got from my words is that I think that you are an animal. To me, this highlights the absolute terms that tend to be ever present in your culture. One makes an observation about your culture and, all of a sudden, one is calling every American an animal. This simply isn't true and if you re-read what I have said, it becomes clear that your perception of what I have said has lead you to this conclusion. I don't recalling even using the word animal. But then, I haven't read what I wrote.

From reading your other posts, I'm sure you'll regard this as merely "defensive" and overly "sensitive", but perhaps you could discuss this with me as if I'm worth talking to, as a person and not as a member of a group you appear to hate. (Correct me if i'm wrong, please.)

No, not at all. Many American readers are overly defensive. But this is not evident in your words. Firstly, you haven't accused me of hating America, you haven't told me that I have no right of reply due to my treatment of Australian aboriginals, nor have you threatened me with violence. :-P

I don't hate the group either. I just hate narrow-minded attitudes and I hate people that can't take criticism for its own merits. My main criticism is the way certain individuals have reacted to this article and its ideas. Unfortunately though, they tend to be the loudest voices and the few smear the names of many.

I love America (if you'd believe it). Unfortunately though, the negative aspects of its culture tend to be more apparent on this site than the positive aspects which I love. I hope this makes sense.

I really appreciate your level-headed and fair response to my comment. I don't want to come across as a US-Bashing Aussie hick. But it's hard when every time you say something, you get eaten alive by rabid defenders.

I don't believe offers of help have been rejected, it appears our government is waiting for FEMA to identify needs. I was actually touched (and that's unusual) at the offers of help, particularly from countries recently hit with that unbelievable tsunami last year.

No, that's wrong. Example: Australia offered aid in the form of our SAS rescue teams and such. These guys are some of the best in the world at dealing with these kinds of disasters. The government may be waiting for FEMA to identify needs, but it really seems stupid to me to hold out on saying yes because of this. Firstly, you're talking about the biggest natural disaster to ever affect your country. It's obvious that there is going to be some serious work to be done. Secondly, the government waiting on FEMA is really just an excuse for its inaction. Like I said, it's obvious that something needs to be done.

Put it this way, on the day of the floods Bush made a statement to the extent of "We look after our own." In other words, Americans are going to sort this out, so forget about it.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

blame the french (none / 0) (#348)
by ProfessorBooty on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:10:32 AM EST

The whites in question, according to the photographer for Agence France-Presse, did in fact find their booty.

I guess we should bemoan the racism of the French media.

[ Parent ]

I love how you're blaming.... (1.66 / 3) (#200)
by the sixth replicant on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:43:32 AM EST

...political correctness and who knows what other red-herrings you can think of. The reason why those people acted the way they did was because they are conditioned to. You live in a materialistic, dog-eat-dog world where even nationalised health seems to be related to communism (hey, you guys think Cuba is a national threat so I guess you aren't too good with logic, but anyway...) People act the way they do because they want to, and they can get away with it. The rewards of getting rich from re-selling some stolen goods seems to outway the idea of being caught. I wonder where they get these ideas from...mmmmm

Ciao

PS For all those americans that don't get *it*. Just think about the difference of your culture with others. Have the list? Right. *Those* are the reasons why you have a mess like this while poorer people in bigger disasters don't have these problems.

[ Parent ]

-1 ignorant anti liberal rant (1.50 / 2) (#222)
by JetJaguar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:37:18 PM EST

Do you really have a clue what you're talking about? I happen to be just about as liberal as they come, and I have higher moral and ethical standards than most conservatives that I meet. What's more I agree with a lot of what you're saying. Blaming liberals for the idiocy you describe is just as bad as if I were to blame the entire republican party for the stupidity of intelligent design and creationism. The fact is, there are idiots on both sides of the aisle, and until we both start cleaning house, non-existant idiocies like the "culture war" are going to continue.

[ Parent ]
IM GONNA PUT YOU IN A TEDDY BEAR (1.03 / 26) (#152)
by tweetsybefore on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:15:32 AM EST

AND HAVE PANDAS RAPE YOU!

LIKE THIS

YOU FUCKING CHINESE SPAMMER DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE DO TO CHINESE SPAMMERS IN AMERICA?


I'm racist and I hate niggers.

Media racism (2.66 / 6) (#181)
by nebbish on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:01:34 AM EST

I've yet to see any proper evidence of the murdering and baby-raping that's been going on in New Orleans, and I'm taking the uncorroborated reports with a pinch of salt. It seems to me that it could be a case of "Lots of black people in one place, there's bound to be trouble."

Likewise, the interviews I've seen in the UK press with white English people who were at the Superdome were pretty embarassing. They had hidden themselves away and didn't seem to have made any attempt to talk to the people they were sharing the space with, apparently out of racist fear. I found myself very puzzled why they didn't sit with one of the many families who seemed to be making the best out of a horrible situation.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I want to see some evidence before I start making judgements.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Same here (3.00 / 2) (#184)
by livus on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:53:29 AM EST

I saw a cringe-making report from a wealthy white New Zealander talking about how it was "uncomfortable" and he was saying how he didn't like to get up or go to the lav or "walk past anyone" to go anywhere, and it was clearly about his racist terror of perfectly ordinary people around him.  

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Bullshit! (2.20 / 5) (#217)
by JetJaguar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:55:49 AM EST

Have you ever taken a walk down the projects in New Orleans and been confronted by the gun toting "gangsta's" asking what you were doing in thier 'hood? Which is an element of the very same people that were holed up in the Superdome.

Is it racist to feel uncomfortable when in close quarters with a group of people known for causing harm to anyone at the drop of a hat regardless of their race?

I've been to various places throughout the Carribean and elsewhere where I was the only caucasion in sight, and I've never felt threatened the way I have in New Orleans.

It's real easy to sit back in your safe ivory tower and claim that someone that's feeling "uncomfortable" in a bad situation is the result of racist terror. The flaw in your argument is that not all the people around him were "perfectly ordinary people." Many were just people trying to make it through to the next day, but I guarantee you there was a sociapathic element there that was looking for anything or anyone that they might take their frustration out on. And anyone that might stick out in the crowd is definitely going to draw the attention of the more nefarious elements there.

[ Parent ]

Way to miss the point (3.00 / 3) (#274)
by livus on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:01:37 AM EST

I was talking about how our local news is being presented.

You may well be right - and I have friends who won't go to New Orleans alone - but that doesn't change the fact that the way the situation is being presented at this end is that we just get soundbytes of rich white people talking about everyone else there as if they are all murderous rapists. There is almost no differentiation in most reports I've seen between general populace, looters, and dangerous criminals. Except on CNN.

The flaw in your argument is that you haven't even seen the footage I'm talking about.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Bad news sells, good news smells (none / 0) (#284)
by JetJaguar on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:14:28 AM EST

The coverage I've seen hasn't given me the impression that they were all looting and raping. Yes, there has been a lot of coverage given to the looting and violence, particularly in the beginning. But that was the breaking news! I'm not excusing the news media here, but the fact is they don't tend cover stories about people sitting in shelters...ever, unless there are problems in the shelters. If things hadn't gotten bad in the Superdome, the people there would've been little more than a blip on the radar. This is not a new development.

Be that as it may, the coverage over the last few days has changed significantly from coverage of the mayhem to the people that have been affected what they are going to do now. Especially now that most of the violence appears to be more or less under control, or at least the people causing the trouble are no longer there. There certainly haven't been any reports of similar things going on in the other shelters that most of these people were moved to, which indicates that things are much better right off the bat.

I'm not sure what your news outlets are, but the coverage I've been seeing hasn't left me with the impression that everyone in the Superdome or at the convention center were looters.

Hell, even Fox has lightened up on that, at least a little bit.

[ Parent ]

to be fair (none / 0) (#378)
by livus on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 09:14:57 PM EST

I admit I've given up on the televisual news in the past few days. Here, we were more interested in whether any of our own compatriots were anywhere than what was going on exactly.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
So you honestly believe (none / 0) (#194)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:47:04 AM EST

that with so many people pissed and crammed in a place like that, it's safe to assume no murders and baby-rapes happen?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Read my comment (none / 0) (#197)
by nebbish on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:17:22 AM EST

So far it's hearsay. I'm waiting for evidence.

And no, I don't think people will necessarily kill each other in extreme situations. It's a possibility, not a given.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Fair enough n/t (none / 1) (#198)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:21:38 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
English people (2.50 / 2) (#199)
by JaxWeb on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:24:18 AM EST

They were hidden away and taken away the UK because of the racist tension *against* them. Most did say there were very nice people there, for example families who did not have much food but shared anyway, so they did. A few said there were some bad people there. For instance, many of them got shouted at for no reason (in the toilets) and things stolen from them.

Just to clear that up.

[ Parent ]

Speaking from experience (2.80 / 5) (#212)
by JetJaguar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:25:37 AM EST

As someone who has spent a lot of time in New Orleans, I've seen first hand how some people behave down there. It's not just blacks, although they do make up the majority of people living below the poverty line. Of those, there are many people down there that live horribly depraved lives even without having a natural disaster show up on their door step, and many of them will take any opportunity that comes their way to step on others. They are sociopaths who have no sense of decency, and don't care about anything or anyone but their own personal gratification. For some it's sexual predation, for others its looting, or creating mayhem and destruction, when given the opportunity.

Note: Most people there living below the poverty line have a rough life, but they aren't bad people. Desperate, perhaps, but not bad people. But living amoung them is a significat group that just doesn't care about anything.

Now, should we suspend judgement without corroborating evidence? Strictly speaking, yes, we should. On the other hand, I would not be surprised at all that such stories are true. I've seen enough, know enough about how certain elements behave down there, that very little surprises me.



[ Parent ]
I've never been to the States (none / 1) (#216)
by nebbish on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:55:13 AM EST

never mind New Orleans, so you'll know more about this than me. Your last paragraph is exactly what I'm talking about though - it's too early to make judgements, no matter what we suspect.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

some are well-substantiated (none / 0) (#235)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:39:14 PM EST

Nearly all news outlets today are reporting that a group of armed thugs started shooting at engineers who were trying to repair the levees, and were in turn killed in a shootout with police who were called to respond to the situation.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#271)
by nebbish on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 04:44:11 AM EST

I heard about that after I posted my comment. Maybe I'm too trusting of human nature :-)

Still, over here in London we're getting used to the police shooting complete innocents in times of panic...

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Responsible people left (1.66 / 3) (#202)
by jasonlttl on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 09:13:45 AM EST

I would imagine that the vast majority of responsible/capable people evacuated. With the tsunamis, devasted areas had little opportunity to evacuate.

Yeah, 'cause people really wanted to stay there. (none / 0) (#431)
by grendelkhan on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 11:03:11 AM EST

I would imagine that the vast majority of responsible/capable people evacuated. With the tsunamis, devasted areas had little opportunity to evacuate.

You misspelled "car owners".

Happy to help!
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Corruption (1.50 / 4) (#213)
by NewGI on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:32:19 AM EST

It is common knowledge in the US of A that the states most affected by Katrina are also the most corrupt.

How much public money for infrastructure and organization has been pocketed by corrupt officials who are now finger pointing?

The Police Department of New Orleans has been compared to a bunch of thugs on numerous occasions. Weren't the Feds called in a few years ago to provide law and order because the PD was killing witnesses to pay-offs and kickback schemes?

The local govt organizations in N.O. do not exist to provide for the people. They exist to provide for those in power. The results are on display now.

N.O. money was spent on The Levies (2.80 / 5) (#218)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:10:29 PM EST

The money that N.O. got from FEMA for disaster mitigation was spent on the Levi system, however, that money was CUT from the FEMA budget in 2003, leaving the levy system in N.O. incomplete.

The Bush Administration knew this. THe gov of the state and the mayer of N.O. had been in washington repeatedly since the cut in order to restore the funds. The Army Corps of Engineers worked on it for FREE until the money completely ran dry for the materials.

Bush and Congress knew the danger in N.O. FEMA, back in 2000 did a study on the N.O. levy system and found that it was at severe risk of breach if a hurricane hit that region.

Bush needed to fund his war though and give the rich people tax cuts.

[ Parent ]

don't try to confuse him with facts (1.50 / 2) (#219)
by elaineradford on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:38:10 PM EST

The entire essay is deliberately dishonest. I'm confident that if I, in Louisiana, had no trouble getting news reports of the looting, rapes, even the selling of children as sex workers in the aftermath of the tsunami, then this individual knows about them also. He has some political point to make about the special awfulness of the United States or perhaps the South or perhaps poor black people. What a brave guy, must take a lot of courage to sit in one's momma's basement in Australia and kick people when they're down from several continents away.



[ Parent ]

Unsubstatiated (2.50 / 2) (#246)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:09:47 PM EST

The vast majority of those reports were hysteria, perhaps you'd like to cite some substationations ?

Also the tsunami was a vastly larger disaster than Katrina. There is bound to be a number of opportunistic scum, just as there have been in NO. However the majority helped each other out. This does not appear to have been the case in NO

p.s Old Matt Drudge reports are *not* a credible source

[ Parent ]

heh (none / 1) (#336)
by FuriousXGeorge on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:38:27 AM EST

"The vast majority of those reports were hysteria, perhaps you'd like to cite some substationations ?"

Gee, some might say the same thing about the rape and murder reports in NO...but only evil Americans I assume.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Not that I want to defend Bush or Chertoff but... (2.25 / 4) (#221)
by Baldrson on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:36:19 PM EST

The Army Corps of Engineers worked on it for FREE until the money completely ran dry for the materials.

New Orleans takes in a quarter billion dollars a year in tax revenue in sales tax alone.

The materials for levees aren't high tech nor that expensive. They're mainly fill, the cost of which is basically just the cost of moving dirt -- which is what the Army Corps of Engineers specialize at doing.

So how much of New Orleans' tax revenues would it have taken to supply the residual materials to the Army Corps of Engineers?

PS: Yes, Bush and Chertoff should be hanged for treason but this is another issue.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

New Orleans and the levees (none / 0) (#482)
by tgibbs on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 05:21:34 PM EST

Without offering this as an excuse for the pathetic federal response to the disaster or the reduction in federal support for building up the levees, New Orleans is a huge tourist attraction, takes in a lot of money, and has known for decades that a big hurricane would be a disaster. The bottom line was that New Orleans could have made the city safer if they had chosen to make it a high priority. Instead, generations of New Orleans and Louisiana politicians gambled with people's lives, and in the end they lost the bet.

[ Parent ]
Levees (none / 1) (#224)
by bobbuck on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:22:59 PM EST

The money that was cut would not have produced a levee system that would have prevented this. In fact, the parts of the levee that broke were the "improved" sections. You're just looking for any excuse to make a jab at Bush, even though he personally lobbied the governor of Louisiana to order an evacuation and declared a federal disaster area two days before the hurricane hit.

[ Parent ]
Biloxi (none / 1) (#354)
by neuroplasma on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:42:12 PM EST

I lived in Biloxi for a time. That place always gave me a scummy, shady feel; it's dirty and nasty.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
Empty the cities. -nt (1.00 / 8) (#214)
by Baldrson on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:44:37 AM EST


-------- Empty the Cities --------


You do realize (none / 1) (#229)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:58:44 PM EST

that when cheap energy finally runs out, the cities will become more important than ever?

Just-In-Time inventory methods, global shipping of cheap goods, produce from the other end of the country (or from South America) will slowly revert to neighborhood shops, local factories and farmer's markets.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

An article just in time (none / 0) (#258)
by Baldrson on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:15:52 PM EST

Read Postcivil Society: Empty the Cities.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

The countryside sucks (3.00 / 2) (#273)
by nebbish on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:00:59 AM EST

It's lonely and there's no nightclubs.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

The State is at Fault (1.10 / 10) (#238)
by rasafrasit on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:16:25 PM EST

"In many cultures the working class hold community values in a lot higher esteem than the so-called "better" levels of society. Has rampant free market philosophy infiltrated the American psyche to the extent that anything with no dollar value is worthless? Or perhaps the nanny state has removed peoples coping skills. "

Yeah, that's the problem, free-market ideals. First off, this country does not participate in a free-market. Secondly, this is what happens when the PUBLIC sector is left to handle the needs of the people, not the private sector. You seriously think this would have happened if there was fiscal accountability to found in the government?

One need only look at China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba to see how socialist/communist countries treat their citizens on a regular basis. Yes, the U.S. federal government dropped the ball in a catastrophic way and the Prezident and his fellow dip-sh1ts are proving all the worst fears of anybody not blinded with right-wing stupidity. And yes, several "lesser" nations have handled worse catastrophe with far more grace, dignity and fervor. But what WTF makes you think the free-market makes people disregard the less fortunate. That's called avarice, lack of sympathy, racism and many other things that are totally unrelated to the free and voluntary exchange between individuals of goods and services. Things, in other words, that can happen in any society.

You make two fundamental mistakes: 1) you believe anything Marx ever said or any of the intellectually-hollow assertions of his disciples 2) you confuse the free-market with corporatism.

Jeeze ... (none / 0) (#245)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:01:57 PM EST

You make two fundamental mistakes: 1) you believe anything Marx ever said or any of the intellectually-hollow assertions of his disciples 2) you confuse the free-market with corporatism.

See above

[ Parent ]

Thoughts on Cuba (2.83 / 6) (#257)
by The Diary Section on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:15:28 PM EST

The litearacy rate is the same as the US ~1%

School classes are smaller.

Life expectency is the same, but mortality rate for middle aged males is actually lower.

Their medical system provides nearly twice as many GPs per 1,000 citizens.

Public expenditure as a percentage of budget is actually lower in Cuba than the US.

Sure, I wouldn't want to live in Cuba but it depends what you look at as a measure. Given the fact their economy is a basket case (a situation not entirely of their own making...hmm) the people are in general looked after quite well (basic schooling is good but advanced schooling is far poorer certainly). One can't overlook their terrible human rights record but then the US's is no picnic either depending, again, on what you look at. Any country with the death penalty can never be whiter than white in that area after all.

Given how little money they have you can't say Cuba  does badly for its people in the services it provides. They also managed to evacuate 1 million people without too much fuss. Indeed, their approach is cited as the model for good practice.

So don't threaten or dictate to us until you're marching up Whitehall! And even then we won't listen.
[ Parent ]

Re: The State is at Fault (3.00 / 2) (#262)
by drsmithy on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 01:27:33 AM EST

And yes, several "lesser" nations have handled worse catastrophe with far more grace, dignity and fervor.

Were these nations more or less "socialist" than the US ?

But what WTF makes you think the free-market makes people disregard the less fortunate.

Because they're poor. The free market is only interested in profitable ventures.

The free market is not a silver bullet. It's a useful tool for some things - but not everything.

[ Parent ]

Oooooh... Look! a libertarian! \nt (none / 0) (#268)
by bob6 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:16:49 AM EST



Cheers.
[ Parent ]
The levees were inadequate (none / 0) (#272)
by nebbish on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 04:59:39 AM EST

So why didn't this all-conquering free market step in and do something about it?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

The market *did* do something (3.00 / 3) (#277)
by Benny Cemoli on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:17:06 AM EST

It let thousands of poor people drown.

The market is efficient that way.

"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

The market *did* do something (none / 0) (#283)
by rasafrasit on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:13:54 AM EST

No, you dip-sh1t, the government did that.

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (3.00 / 3) (#296)
by Benny Cemoli on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:40:25 PM EST

The market is known for protecting the weak and helpless.

People are dead because the government did essentially nothing for 4 days following the levee breach. Isn't that the Libertarian ideal? For the government to do nothing and to let market forces work? Well, market forces worked quite efficiently in the absence of firm government intervention. Congratulations.

Fucking dimwit libertarian zealots.

"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

Government did something (none / 0) (#342)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:44:48 AM EST

From what I've heard, FEMA actually prevented private assistance from entering NO. In a Libertarian world, that assistance would have been allowed to enter and surely would have been better than the government (it couldn't have been any worse).
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
So when does the private sector do stuff? (none / 0) (#335)
by nebbish on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:31:51 AM EST

When the government tells it to? Doesn't sound like a free market to me. They were free to step in at any time, and they didn't.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Costs versus benefits (none / 0) (#291)
by thanos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:18:06 PM EST

The situation with the levees is nothing new. (And surely not the fault of the Bush Administration.)

The government has X dollars to spend each year. Those making the decisions on where to allocate the money have to weigh the costs and benefits of a multitude of different options.

Look at all the thousands of people dying on America's roads every year. Why doesn't the government mandate that automobile manufacturers build inflatable doughnut cars with top speeds of 20 mph?

NO's hurricane plan was based on Evacuation. That was decided to be the most realistic, cost effective option. The fact that the incompetent local government did not actuate its plan correctly is tragic, but not a failure of the free market.

----------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

Cuba..? Wow you suck. (3.00 / 5) (#290)
by sudog on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:10:43 PM EST

Cuba has offered to send tonnes of medicines and thousands (!) of doctors to Louisiana, free, no strings attached. What did the U.S. do?

They asked Castro not to publicise the offer, and they sat on it.

Beautiful.


[ Parent ]

Here's what's also going on in N.O. (2.66 / 3) (#241)
by rasafrasit on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 05:36:36 PM EST

The good news:
French Quarter holdouts create 'tribes'

The bad news:
Navy ship nearby underused

Animals are we? (2.25 / 4) (#242)
by prolixity on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:13:16 PM EST

Just like the Aboriginals who were recently (1967) reclassified from "Fauna" to human in your great, civilized nation?
Bah!
Please... (3.00 / 3) (#270)
by Argon on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 04:42:47 AM EST

Do not talk about aborigenes, because you might start thinking about the massacres US did on their colonization days.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but... (none / 1) (#286)
by DavidTC on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:17:46 AM EST

...we've been letting them run casinos for decades.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Ok (1.50 / 8) (#243)
by xmnemonic on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:54:27 PM EST

So, America sucks, Bush sucks, and you're superior to it all. Anything else you want to get off your chest?

Nice try. (3.00 / 2) (#259)
by Gooba42 on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:46:54 PM EST

Okay, poisoning the well but...

How about his points?
Do you think we handled the hurricane relief well or not?
Do you think that the international media has a responsibility to understand the intricacies of our bureaucracy or that they should report it as they see it?
Do you think the fact that the head of our federal government stayed on vacation through what is turning out to be the costliest and arguably worst natural disaster and subsequent bungling ever to confront our nation?

See, when you identify Bush as the nation, you lose a good deal of objectivity.

[ Parent ]

Further Clarifications ... (2.66 / 3) (#244)
by blackpaw on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:59:56 PM EST

Sigh - people love to project their favourite bug bears:

"Has rampant free market philosophy infiltrated the American psyche to the extent that anything with no dollar value is worthless? Or perhaps the nanny state has removed peoples coping skills."

Note for future reference people - when a paragraph starts with a question and includes two opposing theories the author is positing questions !

Mind you, it is droll when I'm accused of being a Marxist nut case and right-wing idiot (not by the same people).

oops (none / 1) (#285)
by rasafrasit on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:16:56 AM EST

I stand corrected, that's waht a cursory reading will get you. My apologies. My critique of Marx-idiots still stnads.

[ Parent ]
not quite (2.75 / 4) (#265)
by the77x42 on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:33:39 AM EST

We get the uneasy feeling that this is a microcosm of American society, that you have so plundered and devalued the social contract that the USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country.

Only because you aren't looking at the bigger picture. The vast majority of poor, black people couldn't get out of the city in time. This created a disproportionate amount of poor, black people to the middle class tourists. In other parts of the US, this is called a ghetto. I would agree that the state of the city is in fact a microcosm of a ghetto and that ghettos are truly uncivilised due to the lack of authority, feeling of being trapped, no hope for relief, etc.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Criminals are the minority (2.54 / 11) (#269)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:18:08 AM EST

But it only takes a dozen criminals and no law enforcement presence for the criminals to produce a state of terror.

Also note that as an Australian, you are getting a racism-permeated view of the situation. After all, you live in a nation that had an official "White Austrialia" policy until the mid 1970's, and racism is implicit in many other Australian policies, such as turning away boatloads of brown-skinned refugees while allowing white-skinned refugees in.

Finally, white-skinned Australians amongst dark-skinned people who have been left to die (as far as they can tell) are unlikely to be popular. You have to remember that Louisiana has a long history of leaving black people to die without rescue during floods. In the 1927 flood, tens of thousands of black workers were put to work at gunpoint shoring up the levees, given the choice of certain death via immediate lynching, or possible death if the levees broke. When the levees broke, their white overseers stepped into boats and fled. The black workers were left to slowly die of exposure on the remnants of the levees, those who didn't drown in the first place. Weeks later, when the floodwaters drained, the bodies of the black laborers were shoved into mass graves and forgotten. Except by the black community in Louisiana, which has passed that story from mouth to mouth down the years, and it is no wonder that they thought that this had happened again, that they were never going to escape the Superdome alive, that they were all going to die like in 1927, and that it was white people's fault -- again.

As for community spirit:

I saw a looter on TV.

They showed a guy with cases and cases of water and boxes of fruit. He had them on some sort of trolley.

He wheeled the trolley up to several people - probably about ten - who sat in lawn chairs on a side walk.

The "looter" handed out bottles of water and the fruit to each person sitting on that street. The people took the water and fruit with nods of thanks. Some people only took one piece of fruit and the "looter" gave them two or three more.

No one rushed the man to take the water or the fruit. There was not a rush on his kitty.

The "looter" then proceeded down the street with his water and fruit where you could see in the distance there were others waiting patiently on the sidewalk for the rescue they had been promised.

The "looter" was the only rescue they would see for a while, but I think he was a hero.

-- Daily Kos

These are the people that the freepers call savages...


In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin

come again? (none / 0) (#295)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:40:10 PM EST

In the 1927 flood, tens of thousands of black workers were put to work at gunpoint shoring up the levees, given the choice of certain death via immediate lynching,

[ Parent ]
It's history (2.00 / 4) (#305)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:03:57 PM EST

In 1927, the Great Mississippi Flood happened. Now, this was a time when the KKK was a major political force in Louisiana, when lynchings of "uppity Negros" was common, and the majority of blacks were sharecroppers on white-owned plantations. As the waters rose and undercut the levees, the plantation owners struggled desperately to shore up the levees so they didn't collapse totally and drown a whole year's crop of cotton. It was a losing battle -- there was just too much water.

The families of the white plantation owners were of course relocated to high ground. The poor blacks weren't given that choice. Instead, they were forced at gunpoint to work on those levees -- men and women both. When the levees broke, the whites fled on boats they'd stashed nearby. They left the blacks to drown.

The official death toll of the Great Flood of 1927 in Louisiana is less than two dozen. However, they only bothered counting white people, black people weren't considered human and thus were simply shoved into mass graves. A mass grave of at least a hundred blacks drowned in that flood was found a few years back when they were relocating a levee. It is estimated that thousands of poor blacks and their families perished in the flooding. None were ever counted. Because you see, Negros did not count in the Louisiana of 1927. They were simply buried in anonymous mass graves, and forgotten.

This is an ugly part of Louisiana history which is not taught in schools, but which has been handed down mouth to mouth over the years in the black population. I first heard about it when I was teaching at an all-black school in Louisiana, but did a bit of historical research and discovered that it was true. Given that they'd been in the Superdome for four days without help, is it any wonder that black people might have thought that white people were abandoning them again?

- Badtux the History Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

That is amazing and shameful. (none / 0) (#331)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:45:19 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The daily kos quote in your post... (none / 1) (#297)
by thanos on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:48:51 PM EST

Ok dude, first off, that's an ANECDOTE, and should not be extrapolated to represent what ALL people experienced. But beyond that...I'm sorry, but I see some details in that quote that make me think it is someone writing fiction to make a political point. For example:

The "looter" was the only rescue they would see for a while, but I think he was a hero.

Question: How does the author know when the people on the TV were next given supplies or were rescued? This knowledge would be impossible for him to possess, so why does he possess it? Obvious answer: because it's fiction and he can make the story be whatever he wants it to be.

Next, the author continually refers to the person as a 'looter', but why would the reporter or anchor classify him as a looter when the video clearly demonstrates that he was only taking food and water to help himself and others? #1 the video makes it clear he isn't 'looting' Nikes and Sean Jean wear. And #2 throughout the coverage, I have repeatedly heard newspeople state that taking food and water is not looting and is ok. It's been a mantra. So why was this person being called a looter because he had some food and water?

I hope people's political persuasions do not cause them to accept this story uncritically.

----------
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

Err, it's in the news (1.00 / 3) (#302)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:35:00 PM EST

Here's a link. The people only got assistance *FRIDAY*. And the National Guardsmen were not met with violence. They did not encounter a war zone. They did not encounter violence. They encountered people helping each other, sharing what food and water they'd managed to salvage out of their drowned city (the "looting"), and waiting peacefully for rescue.

Crimes did occur. But those crimes generally occurred at night, in a city that had no light, where the police were unable to effectively respond because they couldn't SEE.

The focus upon violence in New Orleans has always been about racism, period. White folk want to hear about those big buck Negros killin' and rapin', they don't want to hear about the many, many people who are doing their best to help each other in a time of crisis. Do you really, honestly believe that if the population had been majority-white, such as in Jefferson Parish, we'd be hearing these stories? Indeed, in Jefferson Parish people are taking potshots at UTILITY WORKERS and are hijacking relief vehicles! Why aren't we hearing about THOSE crimes? Could it be that (doh) Jefferson Parish is WHITE and New Orleans is BLACK?!

- Badtux the News Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

Media spin! (2.00 / 2) (#278)
by redelm on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:03:01 AM EST

Yes, there is a lack of community spirit in the US. Most notably in the news media and other corporate sectors which aren't closed (old-boy) networks and face heavy competition.

In any natural disaster, the extremes of human behaviour occur more frequently. The US press reports and spreads that which sells the most ink, photons and electrons. (Others often spike stores as "not good for public morale") It is a _very_ sad commentary on human nature that the negative side sells so well.



Whats with all the US bashing (2.50 / 4) (#279)
by kbudha on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 10:22:16 AM EST

Its really simple folks. New Orleans has an incredibly large homeless and poor bracket. Its also the murder capital of America, and 3 of its parrishes are large, notorious ghettos.

I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but in the US the division between the haves and have-nots is staggering. Unfortunately the majority of have-nots are black, especially in New Orleans.

NOPD has had numerous resignations and even 2 suicides in the last week since the chaos ensued.
Between the ratio of ppl to emergency workers and the utter chaos, the good guys got overwhelmed.

The bad guys, while only a few compared to the whole, took over. Sadly the majority of the fore mentioned ppl were black, furthering the negative stereotypes and self-perpetuating cycles of violence and poverty.

When the cats away, the mice will play.


Boom-bada-Boom (2.66 / 3) (#293)
by caine on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:28:55 PM EST

but in the US the division between the haves and have-nots is staggering

Exaaaactly.

--

[ Parent ]

Poverty is no excuse for barbarism (2.33 / 3) (#304)
by Gilgamesh on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:00:49 PM EST

Except that the "have-nots" in the United States are still orders of magnitude more wealthy than the poor of many third world nations... nations that responded to natural disasters without looting or raping. Poverty is no excuse for barbarism. As an American, I'm appalled at what's been going on down in New Orleans, both by government and the citizenry.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." --George Bernard Shaw
[ Parent ]
Of course... (2.60 / 5) (#308)
by Znork on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:54:52 PM EST

...when the richer segments abandon the city and leave the poor to die in the floods that might affect what 'community spirit' there is.

I dont know who disgusts me more, the violent looters or the ones leaving them to die and then somehow expect them to respect their property rights. I wouldnt call either particularly civilized.

[ Parent ]

Barbarism? (none / 1) (#340)
by tkatchevzombie on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:18:04 AM EST

Like deliberately leaving 10000+ people to die because the cost of providing tents and bottled water was deemed too high?

[ Parent ]
Murder capital of America? (none / 0) (#430)
by grendelkhan on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 10:54:33 AM EST

I thought Washington DC was the murder capital of America. I seem to be unable to google up any good data on this, however. Do you know of any?
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]
DC lost the title (none / 0) (#434)
by kbudha on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 02:56:54 PM EST

And what a glorious title it was!

[ Parent ]
Most have-nots are WHITE (none / 0) (#440)
by da of cog on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 10:46:53 PM EST

> Unfortunately the majority of have-nots are black [emphesis mine], especially in New Orleans.

Wrong.

According to U.S. census data, in 2000 there were 21 million whites living in poverty and 8 million blacks.

[ Parent ]
Census... Bah Humbug (none / 0) (#454)
by gruntydatsun on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:06:23 PM EST

According to U.S. census data, in 2000 there were 21 million whites living in poverty and 8 million blacks.

as well as 2.5 million Jedi Knights...
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
[ Parent ]
u serious? (none / 0) (#480)
by kbudha on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 02:53:36 PM EST

dam. I realize theres more of us than them, but dam theres 3 times as much of us in poverty.

[ Parent ]
State and Local .gov (2.00 / 3) (#294)
by Rahyl on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 12:31:42 PM EST

Not being from the US, I can understand where this might have been missed.  For those that are not familiar with how this works in the United States, this kind of emergency planning is the job of State and local authorities, not the Federal government.  The Federal government only steps in when requested.

Remember 9/11?  The emergency response was provided locally.  Remember the four hurricanes that hit Florida last year?  Again, a local emergency response.

Blaming Bush in a knee-jerk reaction is pretty funny.  New Orleans had been warned year after year after year about how bad a situation like this could be.  It's leaders knew it was their responsibility to plan for such a disaster.  They decided to ignore these warnings.  The people of New Orleans are now paying the price for that.

Untrue (2.75 / 4) (#301)
by gregbillock on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:24:10 PM EST

See http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp

This was the whole point of Bush's re-org of the government: to put DHS in charge of response. The relevant quote here is the first sentence:

"In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation."

Instead of responding to the hurricane, FEMA has been actively blocking aid from the city of New Orleans. (In the new plan, FEMA is reduced from an independent agency to a subsidiary of DHS and turned essentially into a political pork pie headed by a washout horse trainer. Go figure.)

I understand that your ears are blocked by Bush's butt cheeks, so you weren't listening very carefully, but the "chatter" in the world's weather "chatrooms" was that Katrina was a category five storm and would hit New Orleans and Mississippi, days in advance.

When this happened in 2004 before the election, to swing voters in Florida, Bush was on the ground before the hurricane even hit, as was millions in FEMA aid. This time, he was strummin geetar in California raisin money.

[ Parent ]

very true (2.66 / 3) (#310)
by Rahyl on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 04:46:41 PM EST

See http://www.loep.state.la.us/disrecovery/disrecovindex.htm

"local and state officials are the first to respond. If the loss of life and property overwhelms this response, the federal government ... including FEMA ... is called upon to help."

Given the grim forcasts of what would happen when New Orleans was hit by a cat 5 storm, why weren't there plans in place to deal with destruction of infrastructure?  It's always been known that it was only a matter of time before this happened so why weren't they prepared?  Did they have boats anywhere that they could call into action?  Busses to deploy from various public transportation systems?  A plan to move water and/or electricity from other areas?

What we're seeing in New Orleans is in some ways what we've seen in other areas after major storms:  you cannot go home until we say you can go home.  We wonder why people decide to ride out the storm when the risks are so high.  Could it be that we're used to being cut off from our homes while looters run wild?  Could it be we know that the only effective way to secure our property is to guard it ourselves?  Last year in Florida, many people ignored evacuation notices, made sure they had a good ammo stock, and stayed with their homes knowing full well that if they left, it would take so long to get back that looters could have taken everything.

FEMA has been like this for much longer than Bush has been in office.  We're not seeing a Republican vs. Democrat issue here but rather a local vs federal one.  If local authorities had heeded warnings about the destruction a storm like this could cause, we wouldn't be relying on the feds to bail us out.

[ Parent ]

There were plans in place. (none / 1) (#345)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:47:32 AM EST

New Orleans didn't follow them. For example, the plan was for NOLA to bus poor people out of the city. As we all know, they sent them to the Superdome instead, without bothering to send any food or supplies with them.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
No Comparison With 9/11 (2.40 / 5) (#306)
by Western Infidels on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:18:35 PM EST

The 9/11 emergency response was indeed handled by the Feds in the form of the FAA and the USAF, who acted as soon as it was clearly necessary, not after some formal request from... who exactly is supposed to make that request, anyway?

It's true that the rescue and cleanup efforts were handled by ad-hoc groups of local authorities, but the disaster sites were relatively small parts of large, modern cities, making them relatively easy to evacuate, and making it possible for responders to coordinate, communicate, move equipment around, and even meet face-to-face.

Katrina, on the other hand, has thoroughly disabled or even destroyed all sorts of infrastructure in an area that's larger than some countries. It isn't realistic to expect a local authority to do much of anything effectively when the networks (of people, of water mains, of telephone lines, roads, etc) that define it are effectively KIA. Your argument that local authorities in the region should have known better is like saying the WTC should have had the sense to duck.

I'm not arguing that the local authorities are blameless, or that they could not have prepared better. It looks like there will be plenty of blame to go around. But blaming the locals doesn't absolve the Feds of responsibility. And the comparison with 9/11 is just muddying the issue.

[ Parent ]

WTF? (none / 1) (#344)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:45:51 AM EST

You're going to have to explain how the USAF was involved in evacuating the world trade center.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
Heh (2.50 / 2) (#346)
by Western Infidels on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:54:16 AM EST

You're going to have to explain how the USAF was involved in evacuating the world trade center.

I am? The USAF enforced the FAA's flight ban and had nothing to do with the evacuation, of course.

The point simply being that the Federal government was involved from the very beginning of that emergency, rather than coming in only at the very end.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, because it was a military issue (none / 1) (#347)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:00:34 AM EST

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the response to national disasters.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
Well (2.50 / 2) (#351)
by Western Infidels on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:28:41 AM EST

My intent was to show that Rahyl's assertion that "the Federal government only steps in when requested," for which he used 9/11 as an example, was somewhere between a huge and misleading oversimplification and flat wrong.

I believe that it's a pretty clear point, and that it stands, hair-splitting over terms like "military issue" or "national disaster" nonwithstanding.

In any case, your objection is reinforcing my main point, which is that it's probably not useful to try and draw parallels between Katrina and 9/11 anyway, because they were not actually very similar.

[ Parent ]

FEMA is, by law, the coordinating agency (2.50 / 8) (#307)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 03:27:09 PM EST

I have probably survived a half-dozen Louisiana hurricanes. All state and local authorities placed their resources under the effective control of FEMA. For example, the school boards would tell FEMA, "we have X number of school busses located at Y." A mayor would tell FEMA, "I need X number of school buses at location Z." The state would say, "I have M number of National Guardsmen mustered at location N." FEMA would tell the school boards, "send X number of school busses to location Z." The school boards would then do so. FEMA would tell the National Guard in response to requests from the local governments via radio from the FEMA officials stationed in their emergency centers, "we need 400 National Guard here, 300 National Guard there, 800 National Guard there, doing tasks A, B, and C respectively." The National Guard would do so. The Red Cross would say "we have X tons of food and water and Y number of volunteers at location Z", and FEMA would take requests for assistance via radio from their officials stationed at the local emergency centers, and dispatch the Red Cross to where they were needed.

This worked for every hurricane I lived through. The National Guard was patrolling the streets within hours, the Red Cross was set up with portable generators, water, tents, food, and portable toilets within hours in the affected areas, FEMA made sure that all resources got to where they were needed in a timely manner. FEMA officials with radios for insuring communications were dispatched to every local government to help coordinate their response. While officially FEMA did not "own" these resources, they served as the coordinating agency, taking the list of resources offered and the list of resources needed and matching offers to needs.

This is the first time I've *ever* heard of FEMA not doing their job *at all*, albeit there are times in the past when they did it somewhat ineffectively. I'm frankly apalled that anybody would even *dare* blame the mayor of a drowned city for not effectively marshalling the non-existent resources under his direct control. (And as for those drowned buses, which I'm sure you'll bring up next, they were NOT under the Mayor's direct control, it was FEMA's job to match up OPSD's list of resources with the Mayor's list of needs -- and they didn't do it).

This system was set up in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, when it became clear that a better coordinated flood response would have saved property and lives. It worked fine for almost 80 years... until apparently the Bush Administration broke FEMA. This is the first time since the agency was founded that FEMA completely and utterly failed to do its job... there was *tons* of relief supplies, and thousands of volunteers including thousands of policemen from around the country ready to protect those volunteers, just waiting to be allowed to enter the disaster area. But FEMA was apparently operating under a disaster plan that said "secure the perimeter to prevent looting" and would not let the volunteers in, saying they'd received no requests for help and thus the volunteers weren't needed. The Department of Homeland Security wouldn't even let the Red Cross into the area to assess needs. Err, could the fact that FEMA had no officials inside the disaster area to COMMUNICATE said requests to those outside the disaster area and would not let the Red Cross in to assess needs have something to do with the fact they apparently never received the many, many requests for assistance that were being made? Hmm?

In short: FEMA did not do their job. Period. I've been through enough Louisiana hurricanes to know what FEMA did in the past. And they didn't do it this time. Indeed, they actually hindered the response, turning away truckloads of food, water, generators, etc., cutting the communications lines of the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Center when Parish President Broussard apparently tired of dealing with FEMA and called in Wal-Mart and others to bring his people assistance ("all aid must be coordinated through FEMA!" they screamed -- but if FEMA wasn't coordinating aid, WTF was Mr. Broussard supposed to do?!), etc. It's like they *WANTED* people to die. Apalling. Absolutely apalling.

- Badtux the Apalled Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

According to this... (2.50 / 2) (#309)
by Rahyl on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 04:20:20 PM EST

http://www.loep.state.la.us/disrecovery/disrecovindex.htm

"local and state officials are the first to respond. If the loss of life and property overwhelms this response, the federal government ... including FEMA ... is called upon to help."

Have you survived a Category 5 storm hitting New Orleans, damaging three levies, and putting the city under 20 feet of water?  Were you warned for years about the devastation that would result in such an event?  Did you then not heed this advice, year after year after year?  This is not an ordinary event that happens dozens of times in a lifetime.  It's a worst-case scenario that forcasters had warned Louisiana and New Orleans about for years.  I find it very difficult to believe that local governments and officials would simply sit on their hands and wait for someone else to tell them what they needed to do, unless they simply didn't have a worst-case scenario plan.

[ Parent ]

It was worse: FEMA lied (2.55 / 9) (#313)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 06:00:01 PM EST

For three days, FEMA told the governor of Louisiana, the press, and everybody else that everything was under control, that all the resources the people of New Orleans needed were in play and would arrive in hours.

The resources never did. Not until FEMA's lack of action became too overt to ignore. The Governor yanked control of the National Guard away from FEMA and ordered them into New Orleans along with much-needed supplies.

As for the hurricane aftermath, I have not personally survived a Category 5 hurricane, but neither did New Orleans. I do recall stories of the last Category 5 to hit the Gulf Coast, albeit it happened when I was just a small child but many of my relatives survived it. Their stories of the Red Cross shelters, the National Guard on the streets almost immediately, etc. jibe with my own experiences.

Finally: In 1906, the city of San Francisco was destroyed by a totally unexpected earthquake. Within two hours, the U.S. Army was at the mayor's office, saying "Your honor, what can we do?" Within 4 hours, navy ships were underway, the first navy ship had arrived, and evacuated the hospitals to safety and then started evacuating the people. By 4pm the soldiers had shot and killed their first looters. By the end of the day, the entire population of San Francisco (300,000 people) had either been evacuated to Golden Gate Park or via boat to Oakland, the prisoners were all secure on Alcatraz Island, and the general in command sent a telegram to Washington D.C. requesting tents and blankets for the now-homeless people. By 5am the next day (i.e. less than 24 hours after the earthquake), every tent in the U.S. Army inventory was underway to San Francisco (or, rather, to Oakland, since that is where the transcontinental railroad ended).

This was a totally unexpected disaster, affecting far more people (300,000 vs. the 150,000 left behind in New Orleans), and without modern communications and transportation technology to make the relief effort easier. Yet the federal government then did more within the first 24 hours than the Bush Administration did within the first three days after the disaster hit New Orleans.

What is the difference between 1906 and 2005? Competence, pure and simple. Teddy Roosevelt's government, and T.R.'s U.S. Army, was competent. The Army general in charge didn't wait for orders from the War Department. He personally led his troops to the Mayor's office and volunteered his services, even knowing it was probably the end of his career for violating the law that prohibited use of Federal troops in police efforts. But while George might be a Republican like Teddy Roosevelt, he ain't fit to lick T.R.'s boots... and as for the lickspittle cravens who currently run the U.S. military, who did not immediately hump in with the resources needed to cope with the worst disaster to hit America since the 1906 earthquake until the orders came from Washington on Thursday, they need to all be demoted to latrine duty and replaced with soldiers who know that their duty is to the safety of the American people, not to their careers.

- Badtux the Irate Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

You insist on getting it backwards, don't you? (2.50 / 2) (#343)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:45:19 AM EST

For three days, FEMA told the governor of Louisiana, the press, and everybody else that everything was under control, that all the resources the people of New Orleans needed were in play and would arrive in hours.

It was the governor's and the mayor's job to tell FEMA what was going on and what they needed. They didn't even tell FEMA they didn't follow their own damn evacuation plan!

FEMA does indeed act as a coordinating body to organize all the different relief groups. But the first responders were, just as they always are, the locals.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Quit lying (1.00 / 3) (#379)
by badtux on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 09:16:54 PM EST

I saw the Mayor of New Orleans, *ON NATIONAL TELEVISION*, telling FEMA what resources he needed, that he had been requesting for three days, and was not getting. Are you saying that the mayor was lying? Or are you saying that your Rush Limfart knows better than the Mayor of New Orleans exactly what the Mayor was requesting from FEMA?

I suppose you believe that rape victims should be jailed because they were "just asking for it", too. Blaming the victim is disgusting. FEMA wasn't allowing the resources that the mayor needed into the area. I don't give a shit about some legalistic "talking points" bullshit. Fuck the law, people were DYING! The law is just a piece of goddamned paper, when people are dying you fucking DO WHAT IT TAKES to help them AND FUCK THE PAPERWORK!

And finally, as far as not following the evacuation plan, the problem is that they *DID* follow the evacuation plan. Go to http://www.nola.com and dig back to August 30 in their archive. You'll see it right there. There was no time to evacuate those who did not have automobiles because there were not enough buses in New Orleans (nevermind those freakin' school buses that your right-wing talking points are always talking about, even if Mayor Nagin had known about them, which he didn't, there were not enough buses) and there was no way to get more buses into New Orleans because the roads were clogged with fleeing automobiles. The evacuation plan, PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER, called for all people with no transportation to go to one of 14 collection sites. From there they would be evacuated to the Superdome and Convention Center. Then, as conditions permitted, they would be transported to safety outside of the New Orleans metropolitan area. This isn't me saying this, this is the New Orleans Times-Picayune, on August 30. The problem was that they RAN OUT OF TIME. The hurricane hit as the last city buses from the collection sites reached the Superdome. Past that point, all the wannabes, wishes, and stuff don't matter. Hurricanes don't give a shit about plans. The plan Mayor Nagin followed, the one published in the paper and on the radio and television that day, SAVED THOSE PEOPLE's LIVES, which was the whole point.

In other words, you're just a lying scumbag who'd rather blame the victim than accept the fact that your idiotic useless federal government is a pathetic bunch of useless MORONS who ought to be all fired. Hell, let's just ban the whole goddamned federal government, what the hell use are they anyhow? We would have been better off in Louisiana if FEMA had never come near the place. All they did was keep the help folks needed away from where it was needed because of their bureaucratic BULLSHIT, like turning away a column of 500 boats from Cajun Country because they weren't "rescue-certified". What the fuck? People were DYING, who the fuck cares about a piece of paper when people need help? May their bureaucratic bullshit legalistic asshole selves all be damned to HELL.

- Badtux the Louisiana Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

La, La, La. (none / 1) (#411)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 01:05:12 PM EST

Yeah, it's all the Feds fault that Nagin delayed declaring the evacuation, didn't follow the original evac plan anyway and then Blanco kept aid out of the city to force people out, but yeah, that's Bush's fault and I'm a lying scumbag.

You might also want to check out this, which points out that (as I've noted elsewhere) Blanco blocked Bush from sending in more troops.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

RE: It was worse: FEMA lied (none / 0) (#490)
by drmental on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:23:58 PM EST

In 1906, the city of San Francisco was destroyed by a totally unexpected earthquake.... the prisoners were all secure on Alcatraz Island

I'd sure hope they where, all 0 of them.

Alcatraz had been used a military fort from 1850 to 1933. The United States Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz were acquired by the United States Department of Justice on October 12, 1933. The island became a federal prison on January 1, 1934. During the 29 years it was in use, the jail held such notable criminals as Al Capone; Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz; and Alvin Karpis, who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate.

[ Parent ]
If you want to know who does what (none / 1) (#371)
by godix on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:36:26 PM EST

Of all the news media the BBC has produced the most accurate article defining who dropped the ball and how.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
blame the sierra club too (none / 0) (#396)
by ProfessorBooty on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 12:56:28 PM EST

for a 1996 lawsuit against the army corps of engineers which stopped them from working on the levees

[ Parent ]
link supporting your half-truth (none / 1) (#404)
by onemorechip on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 01:38:21 AM EST

PDF here (scroll down for the Oct. 1999 newletter). It's in the middle column of page 3.

a 1996 lawsuit against the army corps of engineers which stopped them from working on the levees

The purpose of the lawsuit wasn't to stop the levee improvement at all, but to prevent the use of fill material, "borrowed" from the wetlands, in the project.

I do not know which levees were affected by this lawsuit; they may not have been in New Orleans at all. Can you provide a link with that information?

But whether or not the NOLA levees were affected, when you consider that the loss of wetlands and barrier islands -- an area about the size of Delaware since the 1930s -- is held largely responsible for the size of Katrina's storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain in the first place, I think your desire to criticize the Sierra Club in this matter is misguided.
--------------------------------------------------

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

Discussed At Metafilter (none / 0) (#419)
by Western Infidels on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 08:59:40 PM EST

Someone posted a column promoting this "blame the Sierra Club" point of view to Metafilter, where it was discussed and given the severe beating it deserved because the Sierra Club opposed river levees, not the Lake Pontchartrain levees that failed and flooded New Orleans.

Incredibly, the columnist in question is quite aware that the contested projects involved river levees, but seems sure that a screaming horde of environmentalists would have opposed improvements to the already-existing Lake Pontchartrain levees anyway.

[ Parent ]

American spirit (2.00 / 2) (#303)
by zenofchai on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 02:44:31 PM EST

For the stories of a band of a dozen degenerates perpetrating despicable acts -- most of America is appalled.

There are people doing good, also, all over the country:
Marion, Indiana businessman takes bus to Slidell, LA, picks up nearly 50 residents

-zen
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph

Most upstanding Americans were ashamed (2.70 / 10) (#314)
by Lode Runner on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 07:31:29 PM EST

of New Orleans long before Katrina hit. It was by far the country's dirtiest, most corrupt metropolis. As the old wheeze goes: "In the Big Easy, you're either underwater or under indictment." Even in good times nobody in their right mind would depend on local authorities for anything.

Ever hear the term "New South"? That's where major southern urban areas were revitalized by tying into the national--and indeed global--economy during the '80s and '90s. Name a southern city and you were naming a boom-town. Except New Orleans. That place remained a necrosis. Its main economy was selling porn paraphernalia and hot sauce to undersexed, underspiced tourists. The music scene there died sometime in the 1950s, though poseurs do tend to prate on about it. . . Here's a hint: Orleans doesn't rhyme with queen or bluejeans.

My position as the middle-class taxpayer who's going to getting the bill for this mess: this is a huge opportunity. Talk of restoring antediluvian New Orleans is irresponsible. Unless levees can be built to withstand a category 5 storm*, then the parts of the city prone to flooding ought not to be rebuilt -- I guess that leaves just the French Quarter! If we're going to pay to restore lives, nature has already given those people a huge push in the right direction: out of New Orleans. It would be a tremendous waste to not capitalize on this.

* any meteorologist worth his/her salt can tell you that worldwide there's been a significant increase in the number of and energy of cyclonic systems. Paradoxically, the number of hurricanes hitting the US has decreased over the decades. Make of this what you will.

New Orleans is the busiest port in the nation (3.00 / 2) (#318)
by brettd on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:10:16 PM EST

Name a southern city and you were naming a boom-town. Except New Orleans. That place remained a necrosis. Its main economy was selling porn paraphernalia and hot sauce to undersexed, underspiced tourists.

It certainly is full of corruption, as well as drug addicts (most likely those committing much of the violent crime)- but let's keep our fact straight; New Orleans is the busiest port in the entire nation.

[ Parent ]

you forgot refineries (none / 1) (#319)
by Lode Runner on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:26:53 PM EST

In recent times the giant ports have had little impact on the local economy, with which they are no longer integrated. Same goes for the refineries. They don't provide all that many jobs, certainly not enough to make more than a small dent in the area's chronic unemployment.

You could probably house the city's entire population of stevedores and longshoremen in the French Quarter. . . with room to spare for all the titty bars.

[ Parent ]

Indeed (1.33 / 3) (#326)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 09:20:41 PM EST

Most of the stevedores and such live over on the West Bank anyhow, along with the rest of the pointy-cap gang. Why bother re-building New Orleans? I mean, it was mostly NEGROS that lived there anyhow, not REAL people, white people. Right? Right?!

- Badtux the "Is your pointy cap cutting off the blood to your brain?!" Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

You forgot the Negroes. (1.00 / 6) (#339)
by tkatchevzombie on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:37:09 AM EST

Don't forget the nigger problem, man.

[ Parent ]
A sea of lies (2.46 / 13) (#322)
by badtux on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 08:48:34 PM EST

It turns out that the Convention Center was NOT overrun by armed gangs. It turns out that a 7 year old child was NOT raped and had her throat cut. Turns out that most of the rumor and innuendo about the Superdome and Convention Center descending into savagery was just that -- rumor and innuendo, apparently intended to demonize the victims of this national disaster, who were poor and black and you know that those big buck negros just wanna rape and kill 7 year old children, right?

Similarly, there were NOT riots at the Baton Rouge shelter. And the worst threat that the National Guard faced when they approached the Convention Center was a nurse wearing an "I Love New Orleans" t-shirt saying "I have children who need help in here!" Nurses of mass destruction are all terrorists, I suppose, eh?

Of course, any viewer of Fox News who saw Geraldo at the Convention Center on Friday night would have already known this, as Geraldo, sans armed guards, freely roamed around the Convention Center talking to people. But hey, what's a little fact when we know, know I say, that those big buck negros are just savages who want to rape and kill our womens!

-Badtux the Disgusted Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin

Nothing turns out. (none / 0) (#334)
by slaida1 on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:03:00 AM EST

It turns out that the Convention Center was NOT overrun by armed gangs.

Wrong. There's no evidence either way. No reliable intel data to say what happened and what didn't. And we have to live with that, knowing that we don't know. In that sense it's pointless to believe one way or another regardless what news sources we read. And then what good does it make if we believe this or that? Nothing.

Ahh, can you just feel the void inside the hollow powerless misdirected rage? Can you imagine the tears of tv-viewers across country if weeping man, blood in his hands, told heart breaking story of how he tried to save his [some close relative]? Now could you imagine the tears of tv-viewers when they discover that man was actually one of the rapists/murderers, with blood of his latest victim on his hands? Then could you imagine the tears of tv-viewers when it 'turns out' that in reality, he was indeed innocent and did not do any of those things? Now could you imagine.. etc.

And all that time, all that rage.. for nothing. Doing nothing, accomplishing nothing. That's TV entertainment today.

[ Parent ]

Uhm, I talked to people who were there (2.00 / 6) (#355)
by badtux on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 02:08:52 PM EST

They said the only "gangs" there at the convention center were the people themselves, who stomped anybody who tried to be a thug. They said that the only crimes they witnessed were on the part of the authorities, who treated them like criminals for the crime of being stranded in New Orleans, and that the only reason they were still alive was because they found (if white) or looted (if black) food and water and the many good cooks amongst them, including a few French Quarter chefs, served them meals from the Convention Center kitchen with what food the people had managed to scrounge for themselves. They said that by the end they'd organized themselves very well, even had themselves lined up in an orderly manner, women and children first, when the buses came... but were treated like savages and thugs and the buses wouldn't even pull up to where they were lined up, but would instead roll up at some random point, the National Guardsmen who had their rifles pointed at them would withdraw a barricade, and then a hundred random people would end up getting on the bus.

They were treated like savages, when what they were, was Americans. I have never been so angry and disgusted in my life as I now am, when I hear the victims being blamed for the delays in their rescue because they were "violent savages" who "kept the rescuers out".

- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

I'm reading this from far away place.. (none / 1) (#389)
by slaida1 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:22:06 AM EST

I'm as far from NO as I am from Sumatra so you'll understand the underlying tone of my posts. My caring is equal towards victims of both disasters even though US makes bigger noise when they're hurt.

You say they were lined up in orderly manner women and children first but random people got on the buses. What happened, did national guards somehow break the lines and force grown men from far back come forward and step into the buses? Of course their view of the situtation sounds believable as does national guard's view. Everyone have reasons to behave like they do. Few act randomly without knowing what they're doing or why.

They were treated like savages, when what they were, was Americans.

Try "they were treated inhumanly, when what they were, was human beings", doubletalk and doublestandards are hard to avoid but try anyway. I know it's not a big deal to you and you don't even notice when you replace 'human' with 'American' but believe me, non-US readers will notice it every single time and especially in context of conversation about inhumanity it's ironic.

I hear a small voice from somewhere saying human rights is a luxury that we don't have in times of a crisis! Was it me or someone else, I don't know anymore.

[ Parent ]

Uh-huh. (none / 1) (#429)
by grendelkhan on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 10:32:20 AM EST

So... the National Guard as well as the New Orleans Times-Picayune are just full of horrible liars? Perhaps there weren't stabbed corpses stuck in the freezers in the Superdome. And those women crying on the news, screaming that "they rapin' babies" in there, well, they must be lying too, eh?

Because, as we've read, the people who acquired guns used them only to defend the weak and helpless, and that they, indeed, put them down and fought with gentlemanly fisticuffs when an altercation arose.

Tell me another one, eh?
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Hmm... (none / 0) (#489)
by crocos on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:07:05 AM EST

Nurses of mass distraction...

[ Parent ]
twit (1.80 / 5) (#329)
by hildi on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 11:40:45 PM EST

oh yes, beautiful community spirited indonesia, in which hundreds of chinese ethnics were murdered and raped and houses burned only a few short years ago.

wonderful australia which left refugees to rot in boats off the coast.

wonderful wonderful world.

99% of people in New orleans didi have 'community spirit' and are now living in other states on cots.

maybe you should take a tip from yourself ; dont blind yourself by poorly chosen sources. have you ever heard the phrase 'it bleeds, it leads'? this is actually how many media corporations are run.

---------

and frankly i didnt see all that much looting/shooting on tv. what i mostly saw was old people dying of neglect; this is a crime of the middle/upper class government organization, or perhaps the whole country, or the world in general; how many times did australia turn a blind eye to US support for sueharto since it meant keeping commies out of Darwin?

yeah, we are a violent country, thats because we actually accept immigrants instead of requiring them to have PHDs and speak 5 languages before we let them come in the country.

i find your attitude extremely stupid. if you want to help, send some money to the red cross, and stop blabbering.

Not once... (none / 0) (#383)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:46:36 PM EST

how many times did australia turn a blind eye to US support for sueharto since it meant keeping commies out of Darwin?

The actions of your government in first supporting and then removing Sukarno were widely reported and was not supported by the majority of Australians, in the media/government or otherwise. The same goes for the Surhato years. You make a ludicrous claim here, to say that we turned a blind eye. The reality is that there was nothing we could do about it anyway. You're talking about the US fucking A, a country renowned for fucking any country up that gets in its way.

To say that we were actually afraid of the commies invading is also ludicrous. Is that why our country went to Vietnam? To fight commies? Ah no, it was to ensure that we wouldn't end up fighting the US in some shape or form. We, as a nation, don't really give a shit about your petty wars... The most important thing in this country is a nice cold beer and a decent steak on the BBQ and a good match of footy to go with...

You give our country too much credit with the veiled suggestion that we'd actually have a chance to diplomatically oppose anything America chooses to do. We're not involved in the war in Iraq because we want to be. It's because we were told that we're either with you or against you. It kind of helps when you say something like, "Look Australia, we really want to help you form a free trade agreement with us. But... Well this war in Iraq is going to be hard... and well... If we don't get some... 'help' from you guys... Well, our ability to trade freely might be diminished by ummm... er... bad terrorist 'stuff'."

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

on the contrary (none / 0) (#387)
by hildi on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 12:18:21 AM EST

australia is not some bum fuck 1 million people shit hole with no industrial base. your pathetic excuse is the same reason millions of americans supported the vietnam war, 'we couldnt do anything about it anyway'. and a large portion of your population is conservative, i find it hilarious to paint yourself as some un tainted left wing safe haven.

[ Parent ]
I don't... (none / 0) (#388)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 12:35:15 AM EST

And we're not... Even if we were, it wouldn't change the fact that our government's foreign policy is largely dictated by the US.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
sooo (none / 0) (#410)
by kbudha on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 11:08:40 AM EST

what you're saying is your country is the US's bitch? At least you guys gave us Hugh Jackman, GO WOLVERINE!!!!!!!!

[ Parent ]
OMG LOL! (none / 0) (#420)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 10:51:46 PM EST

You can read!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
DUDE LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#427)
by kbudha on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 08:28:28 AM EST

You're admiting to your country being our bitch?
K.

[ Parent ]
SWEET!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#437)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 07:54:26 PM EST

Yep... Unlike you, we skips measure our balls by how large they are, not how strong our country is. I have large balls, who cares if my country is your bitch...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I'm glad (none / 0) (#443)
by kbudha on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:16:59 AM EST

that your large balls validate your exsistence and your country's as well. This doesn't automatically mean that you are the shit. You sure you just dont have some weird vd.

[ Parent ]
Who said having large balls validates existence? (none / 0) (#451)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 07:48:20 PM EST

It just validates the fact that I have large balls. Of course it doesn't mean that I'm the shit... But this fact along with the fact that you are completely lame definitely confirms the fact that I am better than you...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I'm glad (none / 0) (#461)
by kbudha on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 10:22:26 AM EST

that you were finally confirmed in your search to be better than me.

[ Parent ]
Finally? (none / 0) (#465)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 07:48:04 PM EST

Ah, the very moment I read the mispelling in your name, I knew you were a crapflood waiting to happen.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
good lord (none / 0) (#471)
by kbudha on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:14:31 PM EST

It's spelled that way for a reason. Must you harp on every grammatical error or intentional flub like some English major having a coronary. Okay I'll stop pestering you already. Chill out.

[ Parent ]
Yes my child? (none / 0) (#474)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:59:17 PM EST

Must you harp on every grammatical error or intentional flub like some English major having a coronary.

No, just the mispelling in your name which you obviously realised you fucked up after you joined...

I mean, you continually say that it's for a reason, yet you have not offered any to date... I call bullshit...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

an explanation (none / 0) (#478)
by kbudha on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 09:12:10 AM EST

kbudha is short for kittybudha, a screen-name I've been using for quite a few years.

The origins of this name are clouded in time(it dates back to 1996), and are weird so don't ask.

When originally making the name I decided to intentionally use just 1 D.
2 D's made the name too long for username registration on whatever mundane site I was logging into.
And the misspelling stuck.
Honest to god truth.


[ Parent ]

Kittybuddha? (none / 0) (#484)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:47:14 PM EST

Dude, that's like the totally gayest name I've heard on this site. You're like the lovechild of kitten and some fat peace-loving guy!!!

ROFL!!!!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

ROR!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#487)
by kbudha on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 11:56:17 AM EST

Funny how in my town there's an infamous gay bar by the name of Jade nightclub.
RORFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ppl use all sorts of weird screen names so stop bein a sarcastic biotch!

[ Parent ]

Funny how you know that... (none / 0) (#488)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 09:52:24 PM EST

I don't know who you're paying out on with that little tidbit... Me, or you?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Complex Relationship (none / 0) (#435)
by gruntydatsun on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 04:15:36 PM EST

I think the point is that our leader is your leader's bitch. It's your classic bitch/pimp daddy relationship...
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
[ Parent ]
Kinda... (none / 0) (#442)
by kcidx on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:01:27 AM EST

..to the extent that anyone held under the control of a violent psychotic can be considered their "bitch."

[ Parent ]
hey buddy (none / 0) (#408)
by kbudha on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:51:25 AM EST

"The most important thing in this country is a nice cold beer and a decent steak on the BBQ"- dam, so you mean all that eloquence and mind-babble is coming out of the mouth of someone with similar priorities to some Tennessee-backwater hillbilly.
Next thing you'll start telling me I got a purty mouth, boy.

[ Parent ]
OMG LOL! (none / 0) (#421)
by D Jade on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 10:53:24 PM EST

You're like totally internalectalised!

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#428)
by kbudha on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 08:32:55 AM EST

Now you sound like what I imagined. No use acting all eloquent for some blog site. Just be real.

[ Parent ]
SWEET!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#436)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 07:52:49 PM EST

I saw that movie too.... nancy boy...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
BROOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#444)
by kbudha on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:18:33 AM EST

Ya got me D Gayed.

[ Parent ]
You're a genius (none / 0) (#452)
by D Jade on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 07:50:15 PM EST

Just because you're a homosexual, it doesn't mean everybody else is.

It's kind of like when you're on your way home from the club at 8am in the morning and everyone you pass looks like someone that was there.

Sure, you may think I look like one of your people, but I'm not. So don't even try and put me in your category... There is no way I would stoop so low as you...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

sounds a little homophobic (none / 0) (#462)
by kbudha on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 10:23:35 AM EST

Don't worry, those mean, evil queers aren't going to rape you.

[ Parent ]
Yeah right (none / 0) (#464)
by D Jade on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 07:47:27 PM EST

I hazard to think what you're definition of homophobic is then. Listen fag, you already know that I'm the only person on this site that will accept you for who you are and not for the dick that's in your ass. Everyone else here hates gay people like you...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
thanx (none / 0) (#470)
by kbudha on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:10:50 PM EST

Even though I don't play for that team, its nice to know you're a good-hearted person who will accept sissies with open arms.

[ Parent ]
You do realise what you just said? (none / 0) (#475)
by D Jade on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 08:01:27 PM EST

Even though I don't play for that team

I know I know. It's okay though. Like I said, I don't mind that you're on my girlfriend's team and not mine. Really, it's no big deal... Just so long as you never try and suggest that I would touch you... I don't have a problem with faggots, but it doesn't mean that I want to let you give me aids...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

cmon (none / 0) (#479)
by kbudha on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 09:13:49 AM EST

I promise to give you a reach-around while I'm penetrating you anally.

[ Parent ]
Your hands aren't big enough (NT) (none / 0) (#483)
by D Jade on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:45:16 PM EST



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Guard Against Impostures Of Pretended Patriotism (none / 0) (#423)
by gruntydatsun on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 02:39:40 AM EST

yeah, we are a violent country, thats because we actually accept immigrants instead of requiring them to have PHDs and speak 5 languages before we let them come in the country
Was that part of a sentence that you didn't get around to finishing? I ask because it zigs, then it zags then it sort of waffles off into nothing.

how many times did australia turn a blind eye to US support for sueharto since it meant keeping commies out of Darwin?
Yeah, shame on us for not standing up to the biggest economic bully on earth. Why would we not stand up to them I wonder?

Let me give you the hot tip straight from the horses arse.... "it bleeds it leads". All the things of which you accuse Australia have made their way to your ears via the same media you claim to be liars when it suits you. Hypocrit.
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
[ Parent ]
Funny american patriots (2.85 / 7) (#349)
by ADCO on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:11:28 AM EST

As pointed out earlier, the most interesting thing here is the way some people are utterly unable to take criticism and think about what is being said.
There are the people to whom you can say
"I think you have that flaw" and they will answer either
"You may well be right"
or "I disagree with you, did you take into account the following?..."

And then there are those who reply
"You stupid sonofabitch how dare you say anything? In any case you are much worse than me, and I'll tell you just how worthless you are"
Oh, stupid, stupid people...

Is it really relevant to the subject to know whether someone who is voicing a critic is an asshole who is worth much less than you are?
I would think the only thing relevant is:
a- whether you are capable of listening to what someone is telling you
b- whether what is told is justified

The person making the critic maybe better or worse than you, but WTF does it have to do with the fact that the critic is justified or not?
Unfortunately, for a number of K5 posters, it seems any critic can only be met with sneers and insult, and that tells very poorly about them.
junkgui, Socratesghost, Thanos, Hildi, prolixity, xmnemonic, you are utterly ridiculous.
The topic raised here was "is the community spirit dead in the USA? Or at the very least is it strictly worse than in SE Asia?"
I fail to see how your rant against australian people has anything to do with the subject, apart from the fact that it show you are unable to cope with a critic (justified or not, that's not the point).
Skyknight and Glutamine, in a way, are just the same, but seem a bit less prone to complete stupidity.

All of these people should read magpi3 or psctsh (or others): THEY have understood what debating is about.
They disagree completely with the author, as is their right, and argue with opinions and arguments on the subject, explaining why they feel the author got it wrong.
It's quite a bit different from telling australians away with their critics, as though telling them they have problems on their home proved what the author said was wrong.


GW Bush Shame Of America - Howard Following Close (none / 1) (#422)
by gruntydatsun on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 02:22:28 AM EST

Sounds like you enjoyed your encounter with the Lesser Frothy-Mouthed Patriot?

Some people are so deeply indoctrinated that they can't bear to even hear their own government criticised. Lots of people in most countries did despicable things in the past and it makes a person sound amost as scummy as a politician when he tries to defend his bad actions by highlighting an occasion in the past where someone else did something worse.

The American and Australian governments are both in an advanced state of corruption and contempt for the voting public. They regularly defy the obligation to answer embarrassing questions, instead hiding behind the petticoat of "national security" over anything like the appalling cowards they are. Scott Parkin is an excellent example of a man deported despite having broken exactly zero laws, he was simply arrested, deported and told he was a "threat to national security".... If you've ever badmouthed Bush or Haliburton, don't try to holiday in Australia. Pretty soon that rule will apply to those who've criticised China as well.

Australia is in a particularly desperate political situation as John Howard has complete control of the senate, has BANNED his colleages from crossing the floor and voting against party lines on conscience and has another 3 years to go in his term. PS. He got into power by terrifying the public about boatpeople invading and bombing our cities, then cracking down on those same boat people, accusing them of throwing their babies in the sea (demonising). Exactly the way Bush is trying to remove public sympathy from the victims of New Orleans.
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
[ Parent ]
Well fuck (2.00 / 2) (#353)
by ubu on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:39:58 PM EST

How's an American supposed to agree with this? It might very well be true but you attack "Americans". I'm not a glutton for verbal punishment; I didn't cause the problem in America.

Hey, how about you guys figure out how not to riot and trample spectators after every goddamned football game?

Better yet, how about you do something for the Turkish population in Europe, which is thoroughly ostracized and pitilessly scorned, especially in France, of all the enlightened places in the world.


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
turkish people not in France (2.00 / 3) (#359)
by wastl on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:31:43 PM EST

You might be interested to know that most turkish people in Europe live in Germany, not France. Also, turkish people are usually not "ostracized" if they are willing to take part in the society, and I now many of them personally. Admittedly, the state does a bad job in encouraging integration for those who are not willing to be part of society, but Europe is not nearly as hostile to foreigners as is often implied. Just don't mention that you are USian.:-)

Sebastian

[ Parent ]

Ah (2.50 / 4) (#365)
by ubu on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:37:07 PM EST

You might be interested to know that most black people in the United States live in the North, not the South. Also, black people are usually not "ostracized" if they are willing to bank at major instutions, buy white groceries, listen to white music, and go to white schools.

I know many black people personally. Black people love me! Admittedly, the big bad evil government has been mistreating black people for centuries! But that's because it hasn't forced them hard enough to integrate into white society.

Obviously, the United States is very tolerant and well-organized. Just don't mention that you are black.


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Integrate/Assimilate/OrJust Act In Civil Manner (none / 0) (#456)
by gruntydatsun on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:51:11 PM EST

We have a large Turkish community in Australia too. Since we have little to no culture to speak of, there's not really much they can do to change themselves to "fit in". What we think of as our culture is ridiculed by city people and is being starved to death by cheap politicians so you could say that Australian culture is very nearly dead.

Australians born in Turkey fairly common and seem to fit into the community fine. (you cannot renounce Turkish citizenship, even when you become a citizen elsewhere, how odd).

France has a very, very long history and is steeped in culture. If someone moves to France, it's reasonable to expect them to become a Frenchman and observe French culture and tradition, otherwise, why the hell did they pick a country who's culture they reject? Go to a cultural blackhole like Australia where it no longer matters.

If you demand to be Icelandic, stay in Iceland. If you want to be French, be in France. If you want to be repeatedly lied to by your leader, go to Australia. Very simple but not simple enough for those who think the world owes them a favour. The whole world doesn't revolve around you so adjust yourself to fit your community, NOT vice versa.

Does anyone seriously think the Tikrit primary school would consider not observing Ramadan this year because I find the way they cut goats to death in front of children disturbing. How much chance I could fly that kite? Right. Thats how it is everywhere. The locals expect you to fit in and are not prepared to change their lifestyle on the sayso of someone who just breezed in. It's not a mindset unique to western countries but the pathetic self-flagellation and pandering to these whims is completely unique to the west.
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
[ Parent ]
Define: Genius: (1.00 / 6) (#357)
by Friedrich Dionysus on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:01:38 PM EST

A "C" student with a Jewish mother.

LA is not one of the united STATES (1.00 / 6) (#393)
by cathouse on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:20:49 AM EST

it  also does NOT have a legal system based on the Anglo-Saxon common law.

The ruling classes of LA have only recently [and grudgingly] accepted some Constitutional constraints; to be sucinct, LA CANNOT be used to damn the United States!LA as State


pity this busy monster manunkind not

progress is a comfortable disease


Tales of the Reich-wing media (1.00 / 5) (#398)
by EminemsRevenge on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 02:04:33 PM EST

HOW quickly we forget that Fox "news" is the main manufacturer of the Amerikkklan image abroad!!!

Forgotten is the plight of a people whose only crime was being Black, and as the half-wit president showed the same kind of leadership that he demonstrated in the aftermath of 9/11, Fox switched to focus from Amerikkka's refugees who were abandonned by their 'Fearless Leader' and put the spotlight on a few predatory miscreants who one should expect to find in a city with 28% of its people living BELOW the poverty level in a land of milk & money.

Long before the first rescue attempt was made, Sean Hannity and his cohorts were harping on a criminal minority that shamefully took to the streets...so much so that NOW the common belief is that New Orleans residents are nothing but Black trash who somehow DESERVE to die!!!

I'm sure that many white folk across the globe will be shocked during the next election when Black folk finally wake up and realize that the ballot is bullshit, so they take up the bullet.

You haven't even seen the anarchy in the USA yet.


Keep on rocking for a free world---
Wasn't This Supposed To Stop After 9/11 WHY NOT? (none / 1) (#424)
by gruntydatsun on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 02:57:25 AM EST

Weren't the poor communications between excessively competitive state and federal agencies supposed to be fixed after 9/11? Why has nothing except a few nameplates on doors changed? Why have thousands of Americans died when there were DAYS of notice and a solid knowledge that thousands would be unable to evacuate under their own steam? Why?

Why will we still have no answers five years later and even higher death toll at the next disaster when these incompetent parasites fail to do their jobs yet again? I don't believe the government has enough good left in it that the bad can be "surgically" removed.

I'd like to see government dissolved. Political parties and the corruption that goes with them should also be dissolved as they are the inital corruption ground that results in a government indebted to treasonous organisations that don't have the national interest at heart. As for the old batch of corrupt greys, they can be shot out a circus cannon.... far, far out to sea for all I care.
GRUNTY DATSUN ============== "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington
not any more. (none / 1) (#453)
by Haxx on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 10:31:20 PM EST


-How can the worlds sole remaining super power, which accords itself the mantle of superior morality perform so badly in comparison?

We no longer have the mantle and most of us know it. Our culture is not quite in shambles just yet. Only time will tell. Inner cities are full of chaos on a good day in the U.S.

most sincerest sense of community (none / 1) (#455)
by Haxx on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:14:50 PM EST


-USA can no longer be called a truly civilised country


Take 10,000 or so people put them in a sports dome. Surround them by impassable rancid water. No food. No power. Nothing to drink. No working bathrooms. No communication. No help. 98(F)Degrees 90% humidity. Let boil for 4-5 days. The strongest of communities would turn to chaos within hours.



yeah but heres the point (none / 0) (#457)
by The Diary Section on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 05:26:08 AM EST

Take 10,000 or so people put them in a sports dome. Surround them by impassable rancid water. No food. No power. Nothing to drink. No working bathrooms. No communication. No help. 98(F)Degrees 90% humidity. Let boil for 4-5 days.

You think bring about then allowing that situation to continue is the act of a civilised coutry? I don't.

So don't threaten or dictate to us until you're marching up Whitehall! And even then we won't listen.
[ Parent ]

A liberal or social scociety? (1.50 / 2) (#460)
by Saggi on Wed Sep 14, 2005 at 09:52:04 AM EST

In my opinion there are two equally types of values a society can be build on; Liberal or Social. Of cause there are many shades of this, and the middle way has often shown to be the best. Both value sets are equally valid and have different weaknesses and strengths. Let me give my brief definition:

Liberal: You shape your own goals and pursue them. Everyone creates they own fortune. A society of individuals.

Social: We have to help each other. The strongest/richest have to share and help the weak/poor. A society of communities.

The American dream is a very good example of the liberal view. The drive for each individual is good as you get to keep you winnings in life. This is a very good incitement for everyone to do their best.

The social way builds strong communities, and thereby strong societies. Economically they are not as strong as the liberal as the social security cost to maintain. You are more safe in this kind of society.

Two countries that are good extreme examples of these two ways of thinking are (you might have guessed) on the liberal side, USA, while the former Soviet Union are the equally extreme social counterpart.

It is obvious to all that the extreme social way collapsed, mainly of economical reasons. There was no drive in the population, and everything was planned for the goal of the community, rather than the individual.

But in the same way the extreme liberal way has some serious flaws that make it collapse. In the case of a natural disaster, like the hurricane, everyone is for themselves. "I don't have to help the others, I have to survive". In extreme cases this also leads to robbing. Sexual assaults are in this case a kind of robbing, where you just "take" what you want without caring for others.

Any community must in my opinion incorporate both sides. The liberal way provides a strong drive that can send us to the moon, or make us rich and productive. The social way protects us from disaster, strengthens us in hard times and gives us security. The securities (the officials will come and help me, so I'll also give a hand) don't remove the disaster, but makes the society better to handle them. If you look at countries like Denmark, where I come from, we have a very strong social network, while still having a lot of freedom. Many other countries have a similar balanced way, like Australia (see the article), that will be far more solid than the extreme liberal country like USA.

(Note: In a liberal society, you might still have cooperation's between individuals, if both will gain from the venture. In this case it's still everyone for himself, but cooperation's is still possible).
-:) Oh no, not again.
www.rednebula.com
Working class community values (none / 1) (#481)
by Quila on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 07:20:37 PM EST

In many cultures the working class hold community values in a lot higher esteem than the so-called "better" levels of society.

One problem is that a large number of those weren't working-class, but welfare-class. Sometimes multi-generational welfare-class.

In Asia, those people were poor, but they mostly worked for a living, and appreciated and valued work and what comes from it, and the fact that others work too. They don't loot a neighbor's house because they appreciate how hard he worked to gain those few things he had. They don't loot a TV from a store because they're used to the concept of working for what you get, not getting everything for free.

Many of these Americans in New Orleans never engaged in honest work in their lives.

Contrast with Missouri, also a very poor state, but with more of an independence streak where the welfare culture isn't welcomed. They had no looting that I heard of.

The news on Katrina from outside the USA | 490 comments (478 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!