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Thread: Get Off His Back (Updated)
09-05-05, 08:03 AM #1
Get Off His Back (Updated)
Get Off His Back (Updated)
By Ben Stein
Published 9/2/2005 11:59:59 PM
***UPDATED: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, 2:13 p.m.***
A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:
1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.
2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.
3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.
4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world's worst polluters -- China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.
5.) George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush's fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It's not George Bush's fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.
6.) George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell.
7.) George Bush is the least racist President in mind and soul there has ever been and this is shown in his appointments over and over. To say otherwise is scandalously untrue.
8.) George Bush is rushing every bit of help he can to New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama as soon as he can. He is not a magician. It takes time to organize huge convoys of food and now they are starting to arrive. That they get in at all considering the lawlessness of the city is a miracle of bravery and organization.
9.) There is not the slightest evidence at all that the war in Iraq has diminished the response of the government to the emergency. To say otherwise is pure slander.
10.) If the energy the news media puts into blaming Bush for an Act of God worsened by stupendous incompetence by the New Orleans city authorities and the malevolence of the criminals of the city were directed to helping the morale of the nation, we would all be a lot better off.
11.) New Orleans is a great city with many great people. It will recover and be greater than ever. Sticking pins into an effigy of George Bush that does not resemble him in the slightest will not speed the process by one day.
12.) The entire episode is a dramatic lesson in the breathtaking callousness of government officials at the ground level. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten her way and they were in charge of your health care.
God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, 2:13 p.m.:
More Mysteries of Katrina:
Why is it that the snipers who shot at emergency rescuers trying to save people in hospitals and shelters are never mentioned except in passing, and Mr. Bush, who is turning over heaven and earth to rescue the victims of the storm, is endlessly vilified?
What church does Rev. Al Sharpton belong to that believes in passing blame and singling out people by race for opprobrium and hate?
What special abilities does the media have for deciding how much blame goes to the federal government as opposed to the city government of New Orleans for the aftereffects of Katrina?
If able-bodied people refuse to obey a mandatory evacuation order for a city, have they not assumed the risk that ill effects will happen to them?
When the city government simply ignores its own sick and hospitalized and elderly people in its evacuation order, is Mr. Bush to blame for that?
Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush's fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind?
Where did the idea come from that salvation comes from hatred and criticism and mockery instead of love and co-operation?
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He also writes "Ben Stein's Diary" in every issue of The American Spectator.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
09-05-05, 09:58 AM #2
The Mayor of New Orleans had a large fleet of yellow school buses and city buses (seen in videos of the city with water up to the windows) that could have been used to move the poor and house bound black community out of the city and 50 miles north, east and west to higher ground. He didn't do a thing to help the poor. The governor had the authority to mobilize the National Guard, but didn't until late in the game. A terrible tragedy, caused by mother nature. New Orleans lies 20' below sea level, soon to be 23' below sea level, caused by global warming and the melting of the polar ice. In all areas of the country, it is forbiden to build or develope property in the flood plain. Here in Wisconsin, banks won't lend money for flood plain construction, insurance companies won't insure property in the flood plain. Why then are we proposing to build huge levies and flood walls and pumping stations, all at the taxpayers expense for an lovely old city that should now be razed and rebuilt on lands above sea level?
09-05-05, 10:55 AM #3
Answers and/or points for a few..
4. Acutally there is positive proof that this planet has went through many cooling and warming periods.. a little word called geology can and does prove that.. to say man is the cause of global warming is akin to blaming pencils for misspelled words. The new theory is tying it to the reversing of the poles on this planet, coupled with the movement of tectonic plates.
5. When we (America) had more aid on the ground right after the tsunami hit in Asia, and and our own F.E.M.A. idiots didn't even bother to have a worse case secenario thought though, WITH contingency plans worked up, and staging areas for using that plan tells me they couldn't find their own arse with both hands, someone to help find said arse, and a map. This is the same guy/people who is in charge of OUR SECURITY as a nation, you know the very same people who give pat down searches to our wifes and kids when they want to travel, and yet allows MILLIONS of illegals to cross our borders un-checked? it is my opinion we need to fire everyone of the 3 stooges running FEMA and Homeland security.. this is not a matter of George Bush, its a matter of protecting Americans FIRST, that is his job.
8. Thats FEMA's job and they didnt do it.. they responded DAYS after.. DAYS. and yes the Gov. of La. is to blame too. but to say that help had to be requested BEFORE they could help.. is akin to watching Americans die and suffer, and it could be ended by just stepping up.. does that really take a lot of thought? or even a debate? He would have been viewed a LEADER if he just said the hell with this, people are dying I am going to do whats right, we can debate the legal end of it when we are done.
Most of the points I agree with.. but, if we as a nation allow stupidity to go forward, we have learned nothing, we can count on the same mistakes being made over and over untill we do learn from them, and actually negate the causes of this stupidity.. these MORONS running homeland security/FEMA are the 3 Stooges (Sorry Moe, Larry, and Curley) in $900.00 dollar suits. Anyone care to look at Americas borders and tell me these guys are doing a good job?
The Russian's have a saying for this.. A fish rots from the head down..
09-05-05, 11:39 AM #4
ELLIE, YOU PUT THAT IN GREAT PROSPECTIVE, I HAVE BEEN SAYING THE SAME THING SINCE ALL THIS HAPPENED, AND GOING AS FAR AS TO ARGUE WITH MY STEP MOTHER OVER THIS WHOLE THING, AND BACKING UP PRESIDENT BUSH, BUT I AM NOT A WORD SCHOLAR, TO PUT IT IN SUCH A FASHION AS THIS, SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND KEEP ON WRIGHTING WHAT I AM THINKING. I DO FEEL SORRY FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE THAT WAS AFFECTED BY THIS HORRIBLE STORM, BUT YOU ARE RIGHT, PRESIDENT BUSH DID NOT GAZE INTO HIS CRYSTAL BALL AND CONJURE (THANK GOD FOR SPELL CHECKERS) A STORM OF THIS MAGNITUDE, AND AIM IT RIGHT AT NEW ORLEANS, AND YES, WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG FOR THE MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS TO ORDER THE EVACUATION OF THE CITY? YES, HE HAD ALL THOSE BUSSES, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT, THE MAYOR HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO EVACUATE THE CITY, AND NOW HE WANT'S TO BLAM AND POINT FINGERS, WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE HELP US? AS MAYOR, YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO TELL THE PEOPLE OF YOUR CITY TO GET OUT, YOU CONTROL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH, YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO GET STATE ASSISTANT FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, SO WHAT HAPPENED? IF YOU SEEN SOMETHING THAT BIG, COMING AT YOU THAT FAST, WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL YOUR PEOPLE TO GET OUT? IF YOU CAN'T GET OUT, WE'LL GET YOU OUT, IF NEW ORLEANS DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH BUSSES, I,M SURE, IF THE CALL WENT OUT, SOMEONE, OR OTHER PART'S OF THE STATE OR OTHER STATES, WOULD HAVE SENT BUSSES, IT'S TIME THE MAYOR, AND OTHER CITY OFFICIALS, THE REV. JACKSON AND EVEN THE REPORTERS, STOP THE BLAME GAME, AND GET TO FIXING THE PROBLEM, AND QUIT BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM.
09-05-05, 12:17 PM #5
Perhaps I will disagree with you on the matter of FEMA. I have no great love for the Washington type National Assistance Organizations, but we are a country of laws, and, with tongue in cheek, lawsuits. The fact that there is the Posse Comitatus Act to contend with is one of those laws.
The law, or Act, was, ironically enough, made for the protection of the Southern Politician in the post Civil War Era. It disallowed the use of Federal troops and Federal interference in the conduct of the individual states without the expressed written permission of the Governor, or if Congress deems that such interference is warranted, an act of Congress.
In recent years the Association of Governors has declared that they are in favor of a Homeland Security ruling that they are the last word as to when the US Government's power shall be used in their states, this is to include Mayors of Large Metropolitan Areas, and it is only at their direction that the Government may become involved, again, exception, US Congress.
New Ordeals did not suffer the full impact of the hurricane, and FEMA's resources were directed to the Mississippi and Alabama coast areas. The flooding of the City of New Orleans was an aftermath that occurred while FEMA was in mid stride to the Gulf Coast Areas, and we all know large government bureaucracies do not react well to alternating functions. Once material is headed in one direction, and then altered to another, the machine stops to reset itself. This all takes time.
The fact that no one seemed to be in charge in the City of New Orleans is a problem too. The Mayor ordered the city emptied, but did not allow for the evacuation of the poor and the indigent, and when people were trapped in the city, and he ordered them to the SuperDome to await evacuation, he had not made contingencies for the feeding and the care of the people assembled there, nor had he made contingencies for the transportation of the people out of there. His police force did not safeguard food stores that could feed the multitude, and his police force did not protect the gun and ammunition stores that would arm the thugs of the city, nor did his police force protect the hospitals and the Pharmacies of the city that stored life saving drugs and other products from the looters that roamed freely in the high and dry areas of the city. Added to that, he did not give the orders to shoot to kill looters that were in opposition of the common good of the city residents. What he did do was nothing!
I think back to the old Greg and Dharma sit com that was on TV for years, when people criticize a large government agency, where by Dharma would say, "Don't fault a giraffe for having a longer neck than a pig!" It is just the way things are.
As far as the President is concerned, when he was requested to send troops, he ordered it done, but as we all know, the National Guard is not the US Marines. Men have to be called up from their homes; they have to assemble with their units; they must be supplied with what they need to do the job; and, they must be transported to where they are going. This all takes time to conduct. It is not like The President can call down to North Carolina and say, "Go", and they are gone. Like I say, they are not the Marines!
When we consider that from the time he received authorization from the Governors, it was only a couple of days and the troops were in place. He did his job as President!
People are trying to make this a race issue, but the City of New Orleans was a Majority Black population (70%). The mayor is Black! The Congresswoman is Black! The City Government, that is strangely missing at this point, is Black! The heads of Government Services are Black! How then is it a White versus Black issue? These people were supposed to take care of their city residents, and they did not, now they are pulling the race card from the deck of "Not my fault" cards!
It is my personal opinion that the President of the United States is the most color-blind individual that has ever held the office of President in this nation's history, and any thing to the contrary is ludicrous and criminal liable.
09-05-05, 12:31 PM #6
I FORGOT A POINT...I HEARD ON TV THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING A COMPUTER SIMULATION FOR A WHILE ON A HURRICANE EVEN COMING CLOSE TO NEW ORLEANS, THAT ALL THIS WOULD TAKE PLACE, SHOULD THAT NOT HAVE GIVE "SOMEONE" A HEADS UP, AND ALL OF THIS WOULD TAKE PLACE?
09-05-05, 05:30 PM #7
I like the way everybody tries to say that the US had more aid on the ground right after the Tsunami than they had in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast States. Can anyone tell me how long it took for the first US Ships to arrive on scene during the tsunami? I'll be willing to put money on the fact that it took a couple of days for the ships to steam from their locations to get to the disaster areas. It also should be noted that the Navy and US Marines have forces deployed aboard ships floating in the Mediteranian and Pacific Oceans on a constant basis that can respond to any crisis that should occur. We don't have Navy/Marine Corps Task Forces floating in the Gulf of Mexico. I'd also be willing to bet that the Heads of State of the countries affected by the Tsunami were quicker to authorize aid from the US than the Governors of the States of Louisiana and Mississippi were to request Federal Assistance.
JPC, excellent points and very appropriately worded.
09-05-05, 05:38 PM #8
I did a little research, the Tsunami hit on the 26th of December, the first US Aircraft carriers arrived on scene on the 1st of January. So all of you Stupid Democrats repeating the crap from your liberal buddies in the media can stick it!
09-05-05, 05:41 PM #9
WELL PUT GUNNY
09-05-05, 06:24 PM #10
GunnyL, aid was AIR LIFTED from Australia via C130's, untill the fleet arrived, there were aid stations set up and being set up within 6 HOURS of it happening, Aussies had aid arriving within 4 HOURS, and search and rescue.. while fleet (USS Abraham Lincoln, along with some other vessels I can provide you with the names and dates in which they were ordered to provide aid if you like) did arrive with the majority of aid.. there was still an air lift ongoing from Australia.. this is not a republican or a democrat issue.. this is a American issue of right and wrong.. these are Americans we are talking about.. and if we cant help our own countrymen faster or at least as fast as we help others.. then we as a nation deserve to get what will no doubt come..
and if I am take reference from "Stupid Democrats, repeating the crap from your liberal buddies in the media can stick it!" is aimed at me, friend I am neither one of those parties.. I dont defend either party, as I think truths can be found of either side, and lies as well.. for me its a matter of what is right rather than who is right.. I am more commonly called a constitionalist at voting time, I took a oath to defend it, and I still try to do so by the way I vote, the letters I write, and the works I do, I could care less about either party, its is my opinion those parties are one of the root problems in America, they devide America, as a nation we should be standing together.. the very people you accuse of making this a "politcal issue", does your response not do the same? Brother its a right and wrong issue nothing more.. we as a nation let some of our own starve and drown.. and the worst part is they are the ones who were least able to defend themselves.. the elderly in the effected areas, they will be the majority of the body count when this is all done, and as far as Presidents go, I would trade President Bush for President Reagan in a New York second.
09-05-05, 07:38 PM #11
I don't mean to argue with you, but it still comes down to a very basic law, The Posse Comitatus Act! The President's hands were tied until there was a formal request by the Governors, or an act of Congress. Then, and only then, could the President order US Troops into the area. The Coast Guard does not need those orders, and for want of a government agency, the Coast Guard acquitted themselves well. Well Done, Coast Guard!
But, again, I must reiterated, FEMA was moving to another project when the flooding occurred in NO, 24 hours after the storm hit, and downtown NO was a 'No man's Land' thanks mainly to the lack of political inaction of the mayor of the city, not the Feds. The Feds had bigger fish to fry, so they thought, in the Gulf Coast areas.
Even today, the President is in LA and the Gulf Coast area, and the Governors did not even know it, except from what they saw on TV news reports! It should tell you of what the communication is like in that area. No one is even talking to the Governor, and they may have their reasons for it!
Actually, I am surprised that the opposition is not crying, "Photo Op!" as the President goes about his work of being the President of the United States.
09-05-05, 11:20 PM #12
JPC, I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU ON YOUR THOUGHTS, AFTER REVIEWING ALOT OF THE INFO. ON LINE AND THE MEDIA,SURE SEEMS TO ME THE BRAINS WERE NOT WORKING BY THE POWERS TO BE IN THE STATE OR CITY GOVERNMENT. I HAVE ONE THOUGHT ON THE CLEAN UP. WILL THEY GET THEM YOUNG HEALTHY BODY ONES TO COME BACK AND HELP FOR THE CLEAN UP AND EARN THEIR WELFARE CHECK?
09-06-05, 02:19 AM #13
Ain't no way Chopper, they (The young bloods) have gone the way of the buses, and they are hunting better game in new cities. Coming to a city near you, 'Con-men of New Orleans!' They have a story, they have a style, and they have their hands out!
09-06-05, 01:53 PM #14
All right Gunny...Damn straight...!!!
09-06-05, 02:52 PM #15
Has anybody yet called Hurricane Katrina racist? Mother nature takes a blind eye when it comes to natural disasters.
I say give everyone who is finger pointing and passing the buck some sacks, a shovel and send them to the Gulf Coast for clean up duty. Let them moan and groan all they want while they are physically helping out with the cleanup and reconstruction.
I really don't care for the all talk-no show cadre of political or personal opportunists that find disasters a forum for their personal agenda. Let the reconstruction begin with everyone contributing positively.
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