Saturday, September 03, 2005

Plan BK: The Solutions - Katrina: Incompetence or Malice? (Don't get Bushslapped!)




Bush: Katrina Response 'Not Acceptable'

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 42 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS - Scorched by criticism about sluggish federal help, President Bush acknowledged the government's failure to stop lawlessness and help desperate people in New Orleans. "The results are not acceptable," Bush said Friday in the face of mounting complaints from Republicans and Democrats alike.

SOURCE - http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050903/ap_on_go_pr_wh/katrina_bush


(...)


Then why did you accept it you jerk?


(...)


I just had a chat with a buddy of mine, and he's in a trap.

He assumes that the criticisms he's read - which are unbelievably bad, are authoritative.

He's wrong.

Basically, the current bad guys in charge are so unbelievably bad, that even watered down mainstream media criticism seems like it's a brutal indictment.

It's a lie.


(...)


After all, what the hell does FEMA do?

What do any of these organizations do?

What was happening that kept them from reacting?

Anything? Anything at all?

Bueller? Bueller?


(...)


A highly educated and well-read young man with a great disposition, my friend went through a list of anecdotal gobbledygook about why the response was so poor, citing various factors and blaming the incompetence or inability of various levels of government, organizations, the city, the people, the levee, the...

However, I simply asked him: what would you do if you were President and knew a hurricane was coming?

He said obviously he wouldn't sleep until a solution was found.

I said screw that, the President loves to nap.

If I was President, I'd just order other people not to sleep until a solution was found.

In fact, don't even wake me up when you find one: Just Do It.


(...)


This is not the time to make excuses for any lack of power in his department, he's a "strong leader", and his people run the government like an evil kingdom. If he wanted to drop $100mm on solving the people-problem early he could have, and most people couldn't get out not because of a lack of buses - but because they couldn't afford them. With "$87 billion" increases in the mammoth defense budget, renting a couple of Greyhounds to haul people away wouldn't have broken the bank.

Instead you've got rappers and singers and actors pitching in with cash, and God love 'em all for their big hearts and big drops in the bucket, I just hope they understand that they are doing this because Bush is a prick.


(...)


A tragedy like this makes a response heroic - especially after people have forgotten completely about the inaction, and washes away one's plethora of sins like, well, a hurricane.

I mean, look at the picture above: doesn't your heart just bleed?


(...)


Actually, if you look again I swear the SOB is trying not to smile.


(...)


If you make a list of all the incompetence in dealing with Katrina, it resembles a smaller list of the massive incompetence in Iraq. As my boy finished up his gobbledygook, I asked him to look back at the impressive list of failures and the nooks and crannies that all of his various justifications neatly fit into, and suggested that at some point in this litany of failures you've got to call this a crime - it's just tough to know where.

(Though starting at the top is a good start.)

On a micro-level we can see a crime clearly, while the macro-size issues tend to hide evil in a dozens of fudgeable factors that act as release valves for culpability. For every justification we make by building upon these with our very own intelligence and theorizing, we provide absolution, and it's made easy since we receive a whole lot of excuses in the form of "facts". The game plan is laid out clearly for us to follow and discuss, as: (x) wasn't available, (y) didn't do that, (z) should've happened...

It started looking suspicious to both of us after the umpteenth failure, and we realized that the professionalism with which they execute their excuses and disseminate them through the mass media is unparalleled - and all too familiar.

He said: "Yeah, it's a shame what they're doing to them."

I said: "Nope, it's a shame what they're doing to us."

After all, we should know better...

We know what they've been doing to them.


(...)


You don't have to buy "malice" right away, but it's worth giving it a go and then going back to "incompetence" later if you'd like. It's still there and there's certainly a lot of evidence for it, and popular opinion that's safe and comfortable while ignoring obvious logic is in style anway.

Different readings of things can sometimes make more sense, for instance a movie like Napoleon Dynamite was tough to read, but those who read it correctly (taste notwithstanding) enjoyed it. Isn't it possible that someone could see the same movie again with a different mindset and change their mind? While still being intellectually honest?

Isn't it possible to see this tragedy for what it truly is: an absolute failure of the government's responsibility to protect the people because they just didn't care?

Why is that so tough?

Wasn't there a tonne of "poor" people there?

Wouldn't that indicate they didn't care before?


(...)


This is a tragedy, no doubt, but criticizing what has universally been derided as a piss-poor response isn't exactly dirty pool, and especially against people who've been proven to lie habitually. People pay taxes like insurance, and if stuff happens we supposedly paid you to handle it. The whole country has been supposedly prepared for a bloody surprise attack "dirty-bomb nuke" for 4 years now, and this nailed 'em?

What would you say if Clinton slacked off on his watch and let this happen?

He got impeached over a wet cigar for God's sakes.


(...)


Look for the malice: you'll find it.

Remember...

These are the good folks who brought you a huge tax-cut for the richest 1%, and now have black leaders ripping them for abandoning Katrina's poor. Plus of course, their classic hits: Abu Ghraib (Now playing!), Guantanamo (Now playing!), Iraq (Now playing... somewhere.)


(...)


We're in a trap, and it's driving me crazy.

I'm not sure exactly why we think this way; why we give them a thousand second chances; why we still take everything "straight" when we all easily admit they "lie"; why we forget that after every big PR announcement made, later (and quieter) the horrible truth comes out; why we decide not to blame them for anything but being idiots...

...but it's a cheap cop-out.

Karl Rove is smarter than me, he's smarter than you, and he's teaching us how to make excuses for his idiot puppet-President and their criminal regime. When they even control our criticism, we're in a bit of trouble here.

If Bush was found standing over a dead body with a murder weapon in hand, the mainstream Left criticism would be:

"President Bush should treat dead bodies with more respect. Standing there and not immediately attending to the needs of the recently deceased, not calling anyone to take away the body, not covering it up, and not even bothering to close the corpse's eyes is unforgiveable. Shame on you Mr. Bush, shame on you..."

And we would all say: "Shame on you Mr. Bush, shame on you..."


(...)


"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

- Mahatma Gandhi



(...)


I'm looking forward to being laughed at...

And you're damn right I'm picking a fight...





BONUS: Truthout.org speaks the truth... (go figure.)

A Can't-Do Government
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Friday 02 September 2005

Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.

First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened. Thousands of Americans are dead or dying, not because they refused to evacuate, but because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help - and help wasn't provided. Many have yet to receive any help at all.

There will and should be many questions about the response of state and local governments; in particular, couldn't they have done more to help the poor and sick escape? But the evidence points, above all, to a stunning lack of both preparation and urgency in the federal government's response.

Even military resources in the right place weren't ordered into action. "On Wednesday," said an editorial in The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., "reporters listening to horrific stories of death and survival at the Biloxi Junior High School shelter looked north across Irish Hill Road and saw Air Force personnel playing basketball and performing calisthenics. Playing basketball and performing calisthenics!"

Maybe administration officials believed that the local National Guard could keep order and deliver relief. But many members of the National Guard and much of its equipment - including high-water vehicles - are in Iraq. "The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," a Louisiana Guard officer told reporters several weeks ago.

Second question: Why wasn't more preventive action taken? After 2003 the Army Corps of Engineers sharply slowed its flood-control work, including work on sinking levees. "The corps," an Editor and Publisher article says, citing a series of articles in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, "never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security - coming at the same time as federal tax cuts - was the reason for the strain."

In 2002 the corps' chief resigned, reportedly under threat of being fired, after he criticized the administration's proposed cuts in the corps' budget, including flood-control spending.

Third question: Did the Bush administration destroy FEMA's effectiveness? The administration has, by all accounts, treated the emergency management agency like an unwanted stepchild, leading to a mass exodus of experienced professionals.

Last year James Lee Witt, who won bipartisan praise for his leadership of the agency during the Clinton years, said at a Congressional hearing: "I am extremely concerned that the ability of our nation to prepare for and respond to disasters has been sharply eroded. I hear from emergency managers, local and state leaders, and first responders nearly every day that the FEMA they knew and worked well with has now disappeared."

I don't think this is a simple tale of incompetence. The reason the military wasn't rushed in to help along the Gulf Coast is, I believe, the same reason nothing was done to stop looting after the fall of Baghdad. Flood control was neglected for the same reason our troops in Iraq didn't get adequate armor.

At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.


Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.

So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.

SOURCE - http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090205A.shtml


COMMENTARIAT...


The Military Option in New Orleans

SOURCE - http://forum.truthout.org/blog/story/2005/9/2/143312/4164


Katrina response from neo cons

The response from the Trent Lott society of Rascist, sexist, fascists is so predictable. Take the National guard troops and respond to a natural disaster with marshall law, and test the troops out on our own citizens. Does anyone else see this as Orwelian?

In 1995, Clinton created a program with the Army corps of engineers to rebuild the levees in the south to protect them from hurricanes. Bush junior cut the funding when his boys from the Project for a new American Century ( Cheney Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz )decided to sponsor 100 years of war. We won't have money for disasters or infrastructure because in 1992 these oilmen formed a pact to cleanse the world for Democracy.

In Hitlers Germany the disabled, the poor and the disenfranchised were slated to be removed, along with the Jews. Welcome to a new American Century; and we all thought it was going to be Y2K that got us.

by Daniel Venzon on Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 06:02:44 PM EDT

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To a man with a hammer

It's said that to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The Bush-neo-con administration has starved every other branch of the US federal government to the point that its first meaningful response to the tragedy in New Orleans is to send in troopers equipped to kill.

I am one of the planet's 'alien' ("not a citizen or national of the United States"--US Customs and Immigration Service) majority. We can look on in sympathy or horror but cannot vote in your elections.

Please, talk to your neighbors with the Bush/Cheney stickers on their SUVs, talk to your Republican co-workers. For your own sakes as much as ours, exercise your democratic muscles and topple these evildoers.

by Chris in Canada on Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 06:10:50 PM EDT

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New Orleans and Iraq War: U.S. as a Failed State

It's obvious that the New Orleans tragedy has revealed that urban areas, particularly those housing the poor and African Americans, are regarded as disposable by corporate and government elites. Yet, this development is far from new, only now revealed in dramatic media images for all to see. These urban areas that voted against Bush, these people who lack resources to flee natural disasters, these persons colonized in many ways by the system are now victimized by it.

The U.S. went into Iraq to "save it" and now can barely save itself. The gross incompetence of the Bush Administration should be readily apparent except for the most diehard apologists. We now must ask ourselves, isn't the U.S. a failed state?

In his book, "The Decline of American Power," Immanuel Wallerstein describes the attempts by right wingers and military hawks to use intervention in Iraq as part of an effort to regain the high ground, to reverse the decline in U.S. power, particularly military power, that could be seen in the U.S. loss in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam and Iraq war's reveal what historian Gabriel Kolko and economist Seymour Melman called, "the limits to military power." One such limit is that the resources used for war can't also be used for peace, civilian pursuits such as the needed rebuilding of U.S. infrastructure.

The infrastructure of the U.S. is collapsing and one reason why is that it has been serious depleted by spending for the permanent war economy and warfare state. This process is revealed in the outrageous military budgets that neither incumbent political party has challenged.

The political bankruptcy of both major political parties, the distorted budgetary priorities, the rotting infrastructure, the resulting violence and social anarchy are each indicative of a failed state. This failure is also marked by the superficial quality of American democracy. Where are the accountability structures? What does democracy mean to someone left stranded in New Orleans or shipped to some refugee camp in Houston, Texas? The large groups of poor and African Americans who disproporationately did not vote for George Bush are left litterly floating in the waters, nature mimicking the same disdain which Republican elites have had for the poor and disenfranchised. America is a failed state, with democracy and economic equality seriously eroded.

The solution to this crisis requires several forms of remedial action. One such action would be intervention by a consortia of European States who provided not only economic aid, but some kind of political intervention (in the form of think tanks, grants and other material support) to promote and extend democracy in America. The last presidential election revealed that large parts of the Southern U.S. resembled what we once thought of Eastern Europe, an underdeveloped region populated by reactionary elites, organized into party structures that sustained the political and economic impoverishment of the people.

Europeans looking at America on their television sets intuitively sense what many Americans themselves are slowly realizing. The United States--as both Seymour Melman and his colleague John Ullmann of Hofstra University recognized long ago--is slowly becoming a Third World country.

European aid should be married to rebuilding of the foundations of democratic control: a) a national newspaper and media network supporting the interests of environmental sustainability, working people's economic and social interests, and equality in the workplace; b) a network of socially responsible and worker-community controlled firms sustained by cooperative networks, banks, and research and development laboratories (like the Mondragon cooperative in Spain); c) a new network of continual political mobilization linked to the Internet, face to face meetings, and local study circles (the kinds of networks represented in part by groups like Move On, the teach ins of the antiwar movement of the past, and town meetings that sometimes have linked experts and grassroots participation).

Anything less than such a comprehensive program is likely doomed to failure. Political alternatives in the form of new parties or social movements require the above as necessary first conditions of their success. The next dilemma is whether the current intellectual milieu has the language or interest to pursue and promote the obvious need for comprehensive reconstruction of America.

by Jonathan Feldman (jonathanmfeldman@hotmail.com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2005 at 02:50:56 AM EDT

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The Last Straw

There are so many things wrong in this country right now. How much more are we going to take before we finally say enough? We are quickly turning into a third world nation. Where is the outrage?

Bush got away with the 9/11 disaster. Now he has seized an opportunity in New Orleans, an opportunity he created by stripping funds away from the repair of the levees only to use them for his dibacle in Iraq(I can't believe he has been allowed to proceed with this war). Where is the outrage?

Is this a covert practice in "ethnic cleansing"? Shocking isn't it? Don't kid yourselves, there is way more going on here than what the media allows us to see! He is more cunning than anyone knows (or would believe). This is a photo opp with all the hugging and crappy speeches, but it is covering something more heinous than the general public could ever accept. This is the beginning of the downward spiral that will go faster than ever now.

What we need right now is a Concert for Impeachment. Not so much for funds, but for awareness. America has got to wake up to this monster!

by fedup (slvrbtl@hotmail.com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2005 at 05:18:10 AM EDT

5 Comments:

Anonymous Milan said...

I think the Kruggman article is correct. The levees required $10B to $14B in infrastructure financing and clearly Louisiana (being a very poor state) and New Orleans (a poor city in a poor state) would not be able to afford that. Clearly the money that might have been earmarked for these projects went to Iraq and tax cuts. That was the Bush/Republican policy.

But I don't believe that Bush and his team, as misguided and stupid that they are, intended to kill and starve their own people, if they were black. Malice implies intent. I don't think Bush intended for this - I think it was a case of gross incompetence and gross negligence. Gross negligence is also a crime so perhaps we do agree even if I don't believe it was malice - it was still a crime.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Black Krishna said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Black Krishna said...

Watch the flick I'm pimpin' every 5 blogs or so: they're evil, there is no doubt, and if you verified it independently you'd see that all the shit collected from the mainstream media but not widely repeated is true.

EVIL.

There's no other word for it, and all the neglible economic shit can be played with: there's a reason they don't, just like with that $10B they could fix the homeless sitch lickety-split. Don't get fooled: budgets and political will are intertwined, and in this case even on the spot the shit they pulled implies a gradual form of progressive neglect: how long do you see a guy beat to death before you imply the guy beating him is guilty of murder? 1 day? 2 days? 5 days?

They had time and they didn't use it, and this wasn't incompetence when you have resources specifically designed to help: it's deliberate.

All you have to do is check any of the links in my blog and you'll hear or see dudes on the ground saying it. And don't take my word for it: even I didn't. I checked myself.

I hate to say it, but they're counting on you and other generally and genuinely concerned people to make excuses for them: they've proven they're evil in all their actions so far, what's staggering is how we still believe it's not possible...

Minus the corporate media, a track record like theirs would read like a rap-sheet using any practical "impact" metric you choose. Sure, they didnt' "mean" to do it, I'll even accept your "negligence" argument, except this wasn't a spontaneous decision: they knew about the motherfucking hurricane well before it arrived...

12:51 AM  
Blogger Black Krishna said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:52 AM  
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8:09 PM  

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