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January 24, 2006

Comments

Retitle "Calvinism: Theory and Practice." Some lives aremore valuable than others.

Pretty stinking unfair. I gave over $300 to Katrina relief, and I daresay a lot of other heartless Republicans did similarly. That was in descending order to American Red Cross (finally matched by my "liberal" company executives after enough people asked them), Salvation Army, Feed The Children, Southern Baptist Relief, and Samaritan's Purse. My question to you all who are going to complain about conservatives don't care, how much did you give? Be honest.

And another point is that I did this RIGHT AWAY. If you don't have it in your heart to do this by yourself, and want to wait for the government to force other people to give their money instead, to do what you should do on your own volition, then expect to be disappointed.

DaveC, are you President Bush? If so, then I can see why your personal generosity would be relevant -- in some degree anyway -- to the accusation that the President is insincere when he says he values all human lives, especially the vulnerable.

If you are not President Bush -- and I belive that you may not be, given your prior remarks -- then I'm at a real loss to see why your donations are relevant.

They are commendable, of course. (Not that I think you are interested in my approval). But there's this huge difference between what you do in the way of helping people, and what the people we hire to take care of stuff do in the way of helping people. I'd say given (a) his obligations and (b) his capabilities, the President's performance looks very poor indeed compared to yours.

Charley, what I am thinking is that the best immediate help efforts come from voluntary local associations such as churches and rescue squads, then local govts and the larger relief agencies. Then insurance companies (which look like they hd a failure to respond to a disaster of this magnitude). After that, the state govt, and then the federal govt by way of loans and other forms of relief. So I acted accordingly.

My take on the reason why American civil society works as well as it does, is in part the fact that we dont rely on a centralized response to these types of challenges, but have many different institutions that can help. Certainly there were failures at all levels, but the help that we can give as individuals is to support to local organizations closest to the disaster.

And trust me, although the right-wing bloggers may not have been on top of the Medicare Part D problems, they were way out front in raising money for the Katrina disaster relief.

I might add that I don't think that network news and major newspapers were very helpful, either in covering the events truthfully or publicizing the local organizations that could do the most good. Instead, I think that there was a lot of hysteria, and fault finding.

RW bloggers did indeed raise money like crazy for Katrina's victims. Kudos to them.

But hilzoy's point re Bush is spot on. Not only was his Administration worse than useless when the poo was hitting the fan, but his pledges (and his Party's pledges) to make rebuilding NOLA a priority turned out to be vaporware, evaporating as soon as NOLA was no longer the lead story on the nightly news.

And his words - "These principles call us to defend the sick and the dying, persons with disabilities and birth defects, all who are weak and vulnerable-" ring absolutely hollow in view of every single one of his human services policies, starting with the "Futile Care" bill he backed and signed into law when he was still Governor of Texas.

Charley, what I am thinking is that the best immediate help efforts come from voluntary local associations such as churches and rescue squads, then local govts and the larger relief agencies. Then insurance companies

When the levees are failing, and a city is drowning? Have you heard of Herbert Hoover, and his quaint notion of dealing with the Great Depression by "pulling us all up by the bootstraps?" For a personal demonstration of the relative efficacy of this notion, try spitting into the wind.

The Federal Government assumed responsibility for disaster relief a few decades ago. It is the only entity capable of dealing with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

And, because of manifest incompetence, as well as personnel and equipment shortages, the United States Government performed quite badly in the wake of the hurricane.

The Red Cross is not -- ever -- going to be able to deal with collapsed levees all on its own. The United States Government (if it is someday again led by patriots) has the power to deal with collapsed levees. Last year, under George W. Bush's leadership, it failed to do this. It is still failing.

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

I'm afraid I can't agree about Katrina.

The corruption of the most corrupt city in the most corrupt state doomed New Orleans. It contributed to poor levy construction, worse levy maintainence and even worse disaster preparedness. The crony head of FEMA (that much being definitely Bush's fault) was nothing compared to the decades of cronyism and decades of head-in-the-sand actions of locals. FEMA's actions were not perfectly executed, it certainly didn't do well at the immediate delivery of supplies to the dome--which should have been a priority. But the majority of the failures were local, and on the types of issues that locals should be good at. Evacuation plans should be local. Locals know the city. FEMA is intended to assist local emergency services. It is not intended to replace them. The enormous breakdown of the New Orleans police department made things very difficult, and the breakdown was not inevitable.

The biggest failure I place at Bush's feet is the unwillingness to even remotely consider the idea that spending billions rebuilding New Orleans might be a poor idea. The Mississippi River (which didn't even flood over in this disaster) is just waiting to sweep the city away again and there is no evidence that New Orleans can survive a direct hit by a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane (a near inevitability in the next 25 or so years). Worse, fixing one problem makes the other worse. Keeping the Mississippi at bay makes the flood plains problem worse in case of hurricane. It would probably be wiser to let the Mississippi flow into the Atchafalaya River branch and use Morgan City or something nearby as the new port. Changing over when New Orleans was fully functioning would be a waste of sunk costs, but after much of the sunk costs were destroyed it would almost certainly have been better to rebuild where there is a much lower chance of natural disaster. Not even considering something like that was a failure which will probably be felt sometime in the next quarter century.

Then insurance companies (which look like they had failure to respond to a disaster of this magnitude).

DaveC, If you know where I can pick up a stranded without food policy please let me know. Otherwise your post is naive in expectations of insurance companies.

And before you respond that my expectations of the federal government are unrealistic, I would like to hear why the Bush administration can give aid to the citizens of Iraq after a massive bombing campaign but the citizens of New Orleans are on their own after a hurricane.

Both Sebastian and DaveC seem to have completely missed the point Hilzoy was making. Was this because it was too subtle and they really didn't get it?

Since the blame for Katrina should be at all levels of government, I would expect "theory and practice" to be applied to Nagin and Blanco as well. Sadly not, and that's why I think your post is hypocritical. Not only that, it veers uncomfortably close to your playing the race card. It's a cheap shot post, and quite frankly one of your worst, Hil.

Bird: Since the blame for Katrina should be at all levels of government, I would expect "theory and practice" to be applied to Nagin and Blanco as well.

Oh, did Nagin and Blanco recently make speeches against a woman's right to choose, on the same lines as President Bush's? Then, please, provide the links.

ince the blame for Katrina should be at all levels of government, I would expect "theory and practice" to be applied to Nagin and Blanco as well.

If you can quote Nagin and Blanco making similiar speeches on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade -- with all the implications contained therein -- I'm sure Hilzoy would be glad to condemn them as well.

Not only that, it veers uncomfortably close to your playing the race card. It's a cheap shot post, and quite frankly one of your worst, Hil.

The pre HoCB LJ would charge into the breech on this, but that was then, this is now. I would just point out that Hilzoy didn't actually say anything, merely juxtaposed two things. Perhaps you feel that putting iconic pictures of suffering in Katrina is playing the race card, but since there aren't any iconic pictures of white people suffering the kinds of treatment that blacks were, that's a bit of mind reading there. And it is a bit ironic since you shared the blackface picture of Michael Steele a few moons ago.

The post is nothing but the cheapest of shots.

If there aren't any "iconic" pictures of suffering whites, that's a bit weird: White people were a bit more likely to be victimized by the hurricane than blacks.

DaveC, your money was appreciated, I'm sure, but it was nothing compared to having timely pre-positioned disaster relief on hand, as FEMA was supposed to have done. AS FEMA DID AT LEAST TWICE IN FLORIDA, IN 2004. (yes, I'm shouting)

Charles, I do appreciate your judgement on cheap shots; if anybody here is qualified to make that judgement, it's you. But don't you have another post to write, urging us to INVADE IRAN NOW!, and condemning us as moral failures and fools if we don't hop on the bandwagon?

I lived in New Orleans for four years.
I remember having indepth discussions with locals about the state of they levy syystem.
How the levy boards were corrupt,how they were only protected for a level 2-3 hurricane maximim.
It was a dissaster waiting to happen - and EVERYBODY knew it.

Local reponders and pre- hurricanr preparation could have avoided much of this and was the responsibility of the city and state goverments.
(FEMA only corridinates the RESPONSE on a federal level and provides $$$$)


What does any of this have to do with the very well attended and enthusatic right to life rally (they keep getting larger and younger)


Oh - I see , diversionary practice.

Sebastian is right.
I worked for the criminal courts down there, and attended Loyola University.
Everyone new (down to the last detail) what would happen when a big one hit. Blaming any current presidential administration is not just cheap--- it ridiculous!

for more brownie stuff:
off topic but very funny
50 Most Loathsome People in America

http://buffalobeast.com/91/50.htm

Okay, at first I also thought that this was a cheap shot, and I seldom if ever disagree with Hilzoy.

But there are so many things that can be used to display the hypocrisy of this man who claims we should always "err on the side of life."

He certainly didn't err on the side of life when he signed off on so many executions as Governor of Texas after only the most cursury of reviews. He didn't err on the side of life in attacking Iraq without first doing everything in his power to make sure he had the facts straight.

He didn't err on the side of life in appointing cronies without any experience into positions that would make life or death decisions in disasters.

So the pictures mught repesent a sort of visual hyperbole, but maybe that is what is needed to jar people's consciousnesses, although based upon some of the reactions, it is still a game of attack the messenger, not the message.

As a part of my personal "we'll do better next time" campaign, I went to a CERT presentation, Community Emergency Response Team. What is CERT? Let the brochure tell you. "CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their action can make a difference." Why is it needed? "Unfortunately, following a catastrophic disaster, you may be on your own for a period of time because of the size of the area affected, lost communication, or impassable roads". In one of their handouts they outline Entrapped Victim Survival Rate (Time vs. Extrication):
30 minutes - 99.3% survival
1 day - 81% survival
2 days - 33.7% survival
3 days - 36.7% survival
Why the slight increase? That is the recognized, acceptable time it takes for the cavalry to arrive. In this case, hilzoy's point is well taken, but it has been long recognized that he lament has, maybe up to this point, unattainable. That is without the feds stomping all over states rights - and especially a state and city government "ran" by an opposing political party. All Mr. Brown wishes he would have done better is to have sounded the alarm much earlier that the local and state government were criminally unable to respond to the emergency needs of their citizens. All these pictures are dramatic, but they all could have been avoided if local and state government would have acted appropriately. This situation began long, long before the Presidency was a twinkle in George Bush's eyes.

The point of the post was not to assign blame for Katrina. It was to note hypocrisy: that while George W. Bush talks about protecting the most vulnerable, when it comes to actually running a disaster organization charged with helping the most vulnerable in case of catastrophe, somehow he doesn't manage to get around to it, and he makes it worse by appointing an unqualified idiot to run it.

I did think it was relevant that the problems at the convention center -- from which all these pictures are taken, by design -- were largely due to FEMA's incompetence. I did not put up pictures of people wading through the water looking for food on purpose -- that really is just due to Katrina, and there would probably have been such pictures whatever happened.

But there did not need to be the pictures from the convention center. People did not need to be abandoned for days, without food or water or medical care or anything, because our government didn't know that they were there, despite the fact that it was all over CNN.

DaveC: I didn't accuse "conservatives" of hypocrisy; just Bush. The reason I didn't say that "all conservatives" are hypocrites is because I don't think it's true.

Charles: I didn't think about race when I chose the pictures. But honestly, how many whites were at the convention center? Should I have spent ages looking for photos of the handful of whites who were there, just to achieve some sort of 'balance' that didn't actually exist at the time? As others have noted, I said nothing at all about race. (In fact, I said next to nothing, period.) If you think this is 'playing the race card', all I can say is that I disagree.

And -- to state the obvious, and to agree with john miller -- there were a lot of other things I could have used photos of. The idea of doing this at all might have come from earlier today, when I flipped on the TV while eating a late lunch and heard Bush talk about how the reason he invaded Iraq was to spread his belief that all people have dignity across the Middle East; hearing that, the photo of the Abu Ghraib prisoner with excrement smeared all over him flashed into my mind, and I almost posted that. The disconnect between his words and his actions is not confined to this case. If you don't like it, just think of another one.

I wish right-wingers would respect the right-to-life of a Middle Easterner.

Fitz: Local reponders and pre- hurricanr preparation could have avoided much of this and was the responsibility of the city and state goverments.

If this is the case, and if you still live in the area, then vote those folks out of office. I can't, since I live in Georgia. The only folks involved here who are accountable to most of us are the federal employees, whose leaders we put in power and whose salaries we pay. And were it the case that the best efforts of FEMA were thwarted by Nagin and Blanco, you might have a point, and FEMA might get a pass. But that was not the case, and you are essentially saying the nation should cut FEMA slack for failing to do its job just because others who are not accountable to the nation as a whole also failed. This makes no sense.

(FEMA only corridinates the RESPONSE on a federal level and provides $$$$)

And that RESPONSE was SHAMEFUL. That is what the photos above illustrate.

Fitz: What does any of this have to do with the very well attended and enthusatic right to life rally (they keep getting larger and younger)

Defending the sick and dying should be more than just a slogan. President Bush will fly to Washington on a moment's notice to micromanage a Florida woman's hospice care, but takes days to notice that thousands are suffering, some of them dying, in the Superdome, despite this very news saturating the internet, print media, and broadcast media. Maybe some of the impassioned essays on the horrors of dying of thirst penned by right wingers in the Terri Schiavo case would have spurred the President into action sooner?

Oh, did Nagin and Blanco recently make speeches against a woman's right to choose, on the same lines as President Bush's?

No, but they're Democrats, the party that has claimed to be on the side of the little guy. In theory, they are. In practice, the message Nagin sent to the poorest in New Orleans was you're on your own. The poor, black and downtrodden wouldn't have been there in those numbers had Nagin called for a mandatory evacuation 24 hours earlier and commandeered school buses, both of which part of the city's emergency preparedness plan. But you see, according to Hil's portrayal, it's all Bush's fault that those black people pictured in her post suffered the way they did. It's a disengenuous cheap shot.

And it is a bit ironic since you shared the blackface picture of Michael Steele a few moons ago.

Not ironic at all, LJ, since I was criticizing Gilliard for playing the race card. If I were playing the race card myself, then it would have been ironic.

But don't you have another post to write, urging us to INVADE IRAN NOW!, and condemning us as moral failures and fools if we don't hop on the bandwagon?

Er, no Barry, but thanks for mischaracterizing.

I didn't think about race when I chose the pictures. But honestly, how many whites were at the convention center?

Hil, you decided on which images to use, how many to insert and where to place them. As many commenters have told me on prior occasions when I've inserted pictures, images produce emotive responses and yours sent the clear message that Bush didn't give a sh*t about the suffering people who were left behind in New Orleans. Sorry, but to me, it was below-the-belt because the same thing could be said for the poor planning and execution by state and city officials. They care about the preciousness of life, too, do they not? Well, if they really did, they wouldn't have f*cked up so badly in the days before and after the levees broke. Same argument, and just as cheap.

I don't say this lightly, Hil, because I'm grateful for your comment in the Hue post. But this one really hacked me off.

I don't say this lightly, Hil, because I'm grateful for your comment in the Hue post. But this one really hacked me off.

I can understand not feeling New Orleans was Bush's fault, but that's not Hilzoy's point. Her point is that his actions don't rise to the standard set by his rhetoric. That's a very different thing.

But, let's turn this around. Which actions by Bush would you offer to counter the charge, Charles? What has he done that in your eyes suggests he believes that "the strong have a duty to protect the weak"?

OT: hilzoy, have you seen this?

Someone, and I'm not naming any names, seems to still be missing the point that this post is not about who was responsible for the post-Katrina New Orleans debacle, and keeps throwing around Blanco and Nagin as if to prove something, despite the fact that this same someone seems to be unable to provide links to high-profile speeches made by those two on the anniversary of Roe in which they position themselves as proud defenders of the weak and helpless.

"What has he done that in your eyes suggests he believes that "the strong have a duty to protect the weak"?"

I imagine deposing a tyrant, growing the economy, and protecting the unborn would be typical counterexamples.

John Miller: " He didn't err on the side of life in attacking Iraq without first doing everything in his power to make sure he had the facts straight."

Far worse than that. He presented lies to justify the war.

I imagine deposing a tyrant, growing the economy, and protecting the unborn would be typical counterexamples.

Tyrant : I'm not sure removing a tyrant in a way that gets tens of thousand of the innocent weak killed quite qualifies.

Economy : The ever expanding disparity between rich and poor in this country suggests protecting the weak was not his motivation here either.

Unborn : I can't see how insisting on abstinence to the point that birth control goes undiscussed is consistent with avoiding the number one cause of abortions (unwanted pregnancies), so here again, I don't think Bush is nearly as interested in protecting the weak as he is in using the issue as a wedge.

Throw a post and a hockey game breaks out. Sorry, we missed the subtle nuances of hilzoys photographs. However, I believe the Feds have learned their lessons. Any future hint of a 'challenge' of this nature and the Administration will Federalize a three state area and take command. Looters Beware!!

since I was criticizing Gilliard for playing the race card. If I were playing the race card myself, then it would have been ironic.

Here are the first lines of that post

The attacks are not fair, and it's not a game. This is a war, and it's a war that liberals and Democrats will lose if enough conservatives and Republicans stand up to it. As Paul Cella noted yesterday, Michael Steele's political opponents have taken malice to a whole new level. When liberals believe that images such as this... (picture)
...are fair game, or when Steele is portrayed as a traitor to his race, then the gloves should come off.

Perhaps you remember it as a post solely against Gilliard, but it was not, it was against liberals and as such, constitutes 'playing the race card'. In my opinion, of course.

I can understand not feeling New Orleans was Bush's fault, but that's not Hilzoy's point.

Edward, you're not understanding because I do lay blame at Bush's feet, just not all of it. Some measure of responsibility must be shared with Blanco and Nagin for the grief that we saw in the faces of those Hil pictured. There were plenty of mistakes made at all levels as my timeline made clear. Because there is shared blame, the same hypocrisy leveled at Bush can also be applied to Blanco and Nagin, i.e., they and their party are there (in theory) to provide a hand up to the poor and disadvantaged, yet in practice they failed. Does that mean Nagin and Blanco were uncaring and indifferent to the welfare of those folks? No, I don't believe so, and I don't believe that was the case for Bush either. But Hil, through the use of her pictorial, is trying to allege that very thing, taking the human suffering from a hurricane's aftermath to make a point about abortion. The message from these images is that if Bush is insincere about the welfare of black Americans in New Orleans, why are we to believe he's sincere about the welfare of unborn babies? It's a weak and low thing to do, and not something that I would expect to see from her.

Which actions by Bush would you offer to counter the charge, Charles?

I won't offer anything, Edward, because this post is all about criticizing a person's intentions rather than addressing the issues.

What has he done that in your eyes suggests he believes that "the strong have a duty to protect the weak"?

Not much, but as a big-government preservative he's done next to nothing to reduce the size of the social safety net.

Perhaps you remember it as a post solely against Gilliard, but it was not, it was against liberals and as such, constitutes 'playing the race card'.

LJ, the post wasn't about a war on liberals, it was about the deplorable use of the race card.

I thought the "give up on New Orleans, find another port" meme had already gotten its deservedly ignominious burial. The ports in New Orleans were the http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Testimony&Hearing_ID=1270&Witness_ID=3722>busiest href> in the U.S. and third busiest in the http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/new-orleans-port.htm>world href>. It is a -perhaps still the- key infrastructural underpinning of the entire Midwestern economy (which incidentally is why Dennis Hastert's constituents silenced his idiocy so quickly). The cost to transport heavy goods which have a low profit per ton is prohibitive except via ship or, for shorter distances, rail. We can do without the Mississippi River and the N.O. ports approximately as well as we can do without agricultural exports or a third of our oil imports.

The Morgan City idea at least doesn't attempt to do away with the http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/nariv.htm>Mississippi River traffic. But Morgan City is a http://www.portofmc.com/english_pages/location.html>medium draft harbor and not a deep water port. Barring a monumental Corps project it will never be capable of replacing the N.O. ports.

The N.O. ports will be (are being) rebuilt. What else will be is unfortunately less clear.

Charles: "But Hil, through the use of her pictorial, is trying to allege that very thing, taking the human suffering from a hurricane's aftermath to make a point about abortion."

No: I was trying to make a point about Bush. If you think that, by appointing an unqualified idiot to head a disaster relief organization, and then not following the situation closely and asking tough questions, but instead being so out of touch that his aides had to prepare a DVD of news coverage to break into his cocoon, he was living up to the principles he enunciated yesterday, so be it. If not, then I think he's open to the charge of hypocrisy. Which was my point.

And again: I did not post random pictures from New Orleans. I posted pictures of the people stranded at the Convention Center. Those people were stranded after the feds had asserted that they were in charge, but before they actually did anything. I think that you could make a case for Nagin et al's responsibility for e.g. the suffering shown in a picture of someone waving from a rooftop, or slogging through the water, or huddling at the Superdome. I'm a lot less clear why they are responsible for the fiasco at the Convention Center.

Pictures of President Bush worth recalling

Highly partisan, of course.

Just heard an NPR report about the "Hurricane Pam" exercise - sounds like the feds knew or should have known a long time before Katrina that NO would fail to evacuate everyone in time. Somehow the funding to follow up on the exercise wasn't provided.

"But Morgan City is a medium draft harbor and not a deep water port. Barring a monumental Corps project it will never be capable of replacing the N.O. ports."

The Mississippi River project is going to continue to be one of the biggest projects no matter which course is taken (pun intentional). But making the harbor deeper is working with the course nature wants to take. Trying to keep the Mississippi River from flowing that direction is thought to be both very unlikely to last in the medium run (25-50 years) and much more damaging to the environment. It also makes hurricane damage vastly more likely by damaging the flood plains. So long as New Orleans was intact it made sense to defend sunk costs by trying to keep the Mississippi River in its current course. With New Orleans destroyed however, it isn't obvious that we should so directly fight nature on the issue.

Here (globalsecurity.org) is a good starting point to read about the Hurricane Pam exercise.

I'd point out that Charles hisself argued that New Orleans must be rebuilt here. The comments have some discussion as to why other places (such as Seb's suggested Morgan City) cannot substitute for the Port of New Orleans.

And here's a story from today's Washington Post about what the feds knew when:

"In the 48 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit, the White House received detailed warnings about the storm's likely impact, including eerily prescient predictions of breached levees, massive flooding, and major losses of life and property, documents show.

A 41-page assessment by the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC), was delivered by e-mail to the White House's "situation room," the nerve center where crises are handled, at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, the day the storm hit, according to an e-mail cover sheet accompanying the document.

The NISAC paper warned that a storm of Katrina's size would "likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching" and specifically noted the potential for levee failures along Lake Pontchartrain. It predicted economic losses in the tens of billions of dollars, including damage to public utilities and industry that would take years to fully repair. Initial response and rescue operations would be hampered by disruption of telecommunications networks and the loss of power to fire, police and emergency workers, it said.

In a second document, also obtained by The Washington Post, a computer slide presentation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, prepared for a 9 a.m. meeting on Aug. 27, two days before Katrina made landfall, compared Katrina's likely impact to that of "Hurricane Pam," a fictional Category 3 storm used in a series of FEMA disaster-preparedness exercises simulating the effects of a major hurricane striking New Orleans. But Katrina, the report warned, could be worse.

The hurricane's Category 4 storm surge "could greatly overtop levees and protective systems" and destroy nearly 90 percent of city structures, the FEMA report said. It further predicted "incredible search and rescue needs (60,000-plus)" and the displacement of more than a million residents.

The NISAC analysis accurately predicted the collapse of floodwalls along New Orleans's Lake Pontchartrain shoreline, an event that the report described as "the greatest concern." The breach of two canal floodwalls near the lake was the key failure that left much of central New Orleans underwater and accounted for the bulk of Louisiana's 1,100 Katrina-related deaths.

The documents shed new light on the extent on the administration's foreknowledge about Katrina's potential for unleashing epic destruction on New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities and towns. President Bush, in a televised interview three days after Katrina hit, suggested that the scale of the flooding in New Orleans was unexpected. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm," Bush said in a Sept. 1 interview on ABC's "Good Morning America.""

I feel pretty frustrated here. Not only do all the conservatives seem to deliberately miss the point of the thread, they try to cover up their bad faith by accusing Hilzoy of trying to make a bad faith argument she wasn't even making.

I've been begining to wonder if I've outgrown the desire to talk to conservatives. I admire your even temper and logic Hilzoy, but I find it hard to see the point anymore.

Maybe Republicans take it so for granted that Bush in his speaches after Katrina was lying in his relief promises, that they can't believe anyone would express suprise. I wonder if everyone pictured obove is so sophisticated, or if some waited too long in NO, thinking that help would eventually come.

I find myself drifting Frank-ward here. The consistent failure of Bush-supporters to address the contrast between the federal response to the 2004 hurricanes in Florida and the federal response to NO is positively demoralizing.

The sad fact is that one can look at nearly all the policy choices by the Admin -- from Medicare to FEMA to commencing the run-up to war in 2002 to Terry Schiavo, etc, etc -- and if one assumes that the sole goal of the Admin is political advantage, and not ever public benefit at the expense of political advantage, the various policy choices are perfectly consistent. It's always 'play to the base' even when it's pretty clear that bad policy will result.

On the other hand, it is nice to be revisiting New Orleans again, regardless of the arguments. One would think that it was just a bad dream...

I think that the media coverage of Katrina, after it hit, was one of the most disgraceful, sensationalist, moronic episodes of passing off rumor as fact that I have ever seen. I think that hilzoy shouldn't use photos to appeal simply to emotion as the basis for a post, even though it may have expressed her gut reactions. Tell me for instance, where did that old lady get that flag to wrap around herself. Well my guess is that somebody gave it to her to make a point. Nah, that's not propoganda, it's reality at least for the press. People running around raping babies? Niels didn't claim this, if anyone advocated the notion of roving gangs of youths looting and pillaging, it was the frigging Chief of Police of NOLA said that stupid crap, because why? I don't know, maybe he thought that the breakdown of responsibility of his police department was an indication that the whole world was going to hell and he might as well get hysterical on camera, because he was accomplishing little else.

By the way Niels was right in a way when he said White people were a bit more likely to be victimized by the hurricane than blacks., the percentage of white people that died versus total number of white population was greater than that of dead black people divided by the total black population. That includes the parishes east an south of NOLA.

hey DaveC,
I think it is a pretty serious charge to say that someone set up that photo that requires some evidence.

As far as who said what, I think that requires an examination far more detailed than anything anyone here wants to do. My impression (and I followed this rather closely as my folks were in the hurricane path) was that Eddie Compass was not the first person to make these claims, so if 'advocating' means being the person who started it all (I know that's not what advocate means, but in this context, I'm not sure what you mean), I don't think that is the case.

As far as victimized, I'd have to ask for a definition of the word as well. My sense is 'taken advantage of', and it doesn't really make sense to say that 'the hurricane victimized the inhabitants of New Orleans'. Certainly, it wasn't black neighborhoods that were putting up roadblocks and preventing people from entering.

Now really LJ, are you expecting me to believe that the old lady, bless her heart, decided that of all her worldly possessions that she would choose to take to the convention center, would be a giant, new, American flag? Or are you suggesting that she shimmied up a flagpole to retrieve a flag so that she could stay warm IN THE 90 DEGREE WEATHER? Considering the fact that a newslady reported from a canoe, that somebody walked in front of, I'd say that the simplest explanation is that an intrepid, "non-biased" photographer gave the lady the flag and then shot the picture. That is sincerelt my own reaction from looking at the posted photo, and my speculation did not come from anywhere else. And no, I don't have any corroborating evidence to back up my observation.

I don't know, looking closely, it looks like the flag is a blanket (note the cross stitching on the edges. Though the blue is washed out, we can't really rely on that point). Also, the woman behind her has the same flag/blanket/towel, (as perhaps the woman behind her does) and I don't think that flags are hauled down in triplets like that. I would just repeat, if a photographer gave the flag to the woman and then photographed, I would expect that s/he be fired as you aren't supposed to set up news shots like that. I recall the photographer who got sacked for photoshopping a picture in Iraq. A very big no-no, so I can't imagine that if that is what happened, it would not have come out.

Frank: I feel pretty frustrated here. Not only do all the conservatives seem to deliberately miss the point of the thread, they try to cover up their bad faith by accusing Hilzoy of trying to make a bad faith argument she wasn't even making.

I agree. It's quite astonishing, the will not to see what Hilzoy is saying - and saying so very clearly.

The message from these images is that if Bush is insincere about the welfare of black Americans in New Orleans, why are we to believe he's sincere about the welfare of unborn babies?

I would suggest that exactly the opposite is the point: That President Bush might talk a good game about protecting the weak, etc., but the only ones he really seems inclined to bust his balls protecting are unborn babies. And Terry Schiavo.

And pursuant to lj's point, two things:

1) It's definitely a blanket, as the edge stitching shows. I have one almost just like it. It's in my front closet, meaning that if I had to leave the apartment in a hurry and would need a blanket, it would be what I'd grab.

2) Given that at least two other people in the photo have them, if I were a betting man, I'd say that a vendor in the neighborhood around the Convention Center was probably selling them and gave them away to people in need.

BTW, Dave, the thing with the reporter in the canoe happened in New Jersey and was completely unrelated to New Orleans coverage. Try to keep your Outraged Talking Points straight.

(I gave $400 to Katrina relief, and my wife works for the Red Cross, therefore I am morally superior and can talk to you that way.)

Actually Katrina pretty much missed New Orleans. But anyway, the plight of NO has been known for decades. In fact millions had been funneled their direction, but most siphoned off. Response to NO was no different than other disaster scenes, only that those state and local authorities responded as expected. This whole thing could have been avoided if Brown through Bush would have marched in early, kicked the state and local butts aside and took over. I'm assuming that would have been an impeachable offence. Where's General Sherman when you need him. Remember too, that as many white died as blacks. Hilzoy's right, those pictures aren't readily available. Damn, I missed the point again. Slippery little devil.

BBM: Response to NO was no different than other disaster scenes, only that those state and local authorities responded as expected.

I think you'll find that the Bush administration's response to other disaster scenes (for example, Hurricanes Charley and Frances in Florida in 2004) was rather different than their response to Hurricane Katrina.

This whole thing could have been avoided if Brown through Bush would have marched in early, kicked the state and local butts aside and took over.

True: this whole thing could have been avoided if Brown through Bush would have responded in a timely manner when federal aid was desperately needed. They didn't. When the Governor of the state asks Bush to declare a federal state of emergency in Louisiana, it would be kind of appropriate for Bush not to spend the next two days on vacation as usual, doing birthday cake photo-ops. For you to believe that for Bush and Brown to respond in a timely manner to desperate pleas for help would be an impeachable offense, says something about your view of the duties and responsibilities of federal government.

Whatever else you might say about the fairness of using those pictures, juxtaposed with the "Brownie" quote, to suggest that Bush didn't care about the poor people of New Orleans, it's undebatable that this post relies for its impact on the pre-existing acceptance of a liberal point of view regarding the hurricane's aftermath. IOW, this post belongs on a "liberal" blog catering to a liberal audience that shares the writer's preconceptions, not a "moderate" one with a crossover audience.

Charles has a non-ObWi outlet for his red-meat conservative posts; perhaps hilzoy should find an alternative platform for her tofu-and-sprouts liberal posts like this one.

kenB: it's undebatable that this post relies for its impact on the pre-existing acceptance of a liberal point of view regarding the hurricane's aftermath.

Oh. I hadn't actually realized that there was a liberal point of view that it was terrible that the thousands of people at the Convention Center had been left for days without food or water, and that this is "tofu-and-sprouts": and the conservative point of view is... that it was not terrible?

Jes, was that for comic effect or is it genuinely unclear? The question being debated, obviously, is to what extent Bush is personally responsible for those events and to what extent his actions and non-actions were due to active indifference to the plight of the poor.

kenB: The question being debated, obviously, is to what extent Bush is personally responsible for those events

Is this a real question? As Charles Bird says, Bush, Blanco, and Nagin all bear personal responsibility for these events. I don't know anyone who disagrees with that (well, possibly Blogbudsman, who appears to feel Bush bears no responsibility).

But Bush was the only one of those three making a speech just the other day asserting that he believed

"You believe, as I do, that every human life has value, that the strong have a duty to protect the weak, and that the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence apply to everyone, not just to those considered healthy or wanted or convenient. These principles call us to defend the sick and the dying, persons with disabilities and birth defects, all who are weak and vulnerable..."
and to what extent his actions and non-actions were due to active indifference to the plight of the poor.

That disagreement is not relevant to the point of this post.

I should absolutely have said something that made it clear that all the photos were from the Convention Center, which (as I said) I chose because it was the clearest example, to me, of the Bush administration's lack of concern for "all who are weak and vulnerable", and its effects. That people died when a major hurricane hit: not Bush's fault. That stuff went wrong: not Bush's fault (stuff, some stuff, goes wrong in most human endeavors.) Putting up random Katrina pictures would (I thought) just have invited the question: ah, but are the sufferings of these particular people just the inevitable result of human fallibility, or are they part of the extra suffering imposed by the Bush administration's incompetence, which (since Bush put the incompetent people in charge) reflects on Bush's level of concern?

The same questions did not seem to me to arise with respect to the convention center: a place where everyone except the administration knew that tens of thousands of people were trapped without food, water, medical care, or anything, at a time when the feds had clearly said they were in charge, even if it took them a while to actually do anything.

Thus, the convention center. Had I not used it, the fallback would have been something like pictures of lines of people trying to get drugs at pharmacies after the rollout of Medicare Part D, or some other example of preventable administration ineptitude that cost those "who are weak and vulnerable" in a big way.

That said, the question whether more whites than blacks were harmed by Katrina is beside the point, since the population of the Convention Center was overwhelmingly black.

Likewise, I do not think that my point was particularly hard to get. I contrasted Bush's words and the results of Bush's actions. Obviously, I was making a charge of hypocrisy: that Bush's rhetoric is not matched by his actions. Did I actually need to say that? Or to add: note: I am comparing Bush's words to his actions. By 'Bush' I mean Bush, not conservatives generally -- ? Did I need to add: obviously, I am claiming here only that Bush's actions in re the Convention Center evince a lack of concern for some of those "who are weak and vulnerable", not that he is solely responsible for everything that happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? I would have thought that those points wouldn't have needed to be spelled out to anyone with half a brain.

Unlike the fact that all these pictures were from the Convention Center, which I should have made clear. They were sort of seared into my mind, but i shouldn't have assumed that what they were of was obvious to anyone.

-- I heard the photographer who took the flag picture interviewed, once, and he said he took the picture after seeing the woman with the flag, because it looked so striking. The clear implication was that he had not in any way set the picture up. Of course, he might have been lying, but we have no evidence one way or the other.

I find myself with Frank and others here. DaveC, blogbudsman, Charles, and others are basically moral black holes when it comes to the president's and party's actions - compassion, responsibility, decency, everything stops when it's time to defend Our Leader from the criticism of unbelievers, and the only acceptable criticism must end in the stern reminder that Democrats would always be worse. If this is bannable, I'll live with it.

I think there is something besides hypocrisy going on here.

There are numerous examples of George W. Bush talking about compassion, reverence for life, protecting the weak. Numerous, too, are the harsh results of many of his policies (Iraq, Medicare part D, the Katrina response).

Whenever criticism is raised of the results of the policies, the President's supporters respond with charges of a personal attack. I recall an instance, I thought it was in one of the 2000 debates, where George W. Bush, responding to policy criticism from Al Gore, said something like "don't judge what's in my heart." That seems to have been the prototype for this argument.

So to me the question is, can we really excuse the results of the administration's policies based on the notion that George W. Bush has a good heart? I say "no." Regardless of his intentions, the results speak for themselves.

Now we have reached the point where criticism of debating tactics often enters the picture. Whether it is a charge of "irresponsible debate" from President Bush or, as here, charges of unfair use of images against hilzoy, the objective is to blunt criticism of undeniable bad results, to change the subject, to control the debate.

That game is over. There are only so many times one can be called a traitor before it loses its power to shock. We have passed that point.

I'm frustrated, too. My constituency question continues to fall on deaf ears. Given that I am a citizen of this nation and therefore a voter in national elections, but not a citizen of Louisiana, if Nagin's or Blanco's failures don't somehow exculpate the Bush administration, then why should they be a major concern to me?

Will either of them be responsible for competently leading the nation through the next major crisis? Will I be looking to Nagin or Blanco for help should a major disaster hit my city? Did Nagin or Blanco promise to protect me from terrorists? Will Nagin or Blanco be the ones trying to clean up the godawful mess we've made of Iraq, or the mess we are contemplating in Iran? Will either of these leaders be trying to rebuild our economy, our health care system, our tax code over the next few years? Will they be reshaping the judiciary, or appointing heads of departments that might affect my quality of life in any significant way?

The answer to all these questions is "no". The federal incompetence on display in the Gulf Coast has implications not just for the Gulf Coast, but for the entire nation, and for the world. Local and state screwups simply can't compete in this regard. The inability of Bush's apologists on this site to acknowledge this is deeply disturbing to me.

I wouldn't rule out some sort of cosmic anomaly, DaveC. You appear to be posting from the future.

hilzoy - "...are they part of the extra suffering imposed by the Bush administration's incompetence, which (since Bush put the incompetent people in charge) reflects on Bush's level of concern?"

All premises many (would be most sans a dishonest MSM) don't agree with. We believe your premise is flawed, so, then, therfore, your argument doesn't hold water, regardless of all the fingers in your dike.

- A moral black holster.

bbm: is that the royal "we"?

Believing a premise is flawed is different from showing a premise is flawed.

Are you saying Bush has only put competent people in charge and that Brown was one of those?

Are you saying this adminsitration has displayed stunning competence in all areas, or even any areas?

Are you saying that a measure of one's caring might not be indicated by those whom he puts in charge of extremely important agencies whose actions may determine if people die or are severely injured?

Just asking, no hostility behind the questions.

DaveC, blogbudsman, Charles, and others are basically moral black holes when it comes to the president's and party's actions - compassion, responsibility, decency, everything stops when it's time to defend Our Leader from the criticism of unbelievers, and the only acceptable criticism must end in the stern reminder that Democrats would always be worse.

Where did I defend Bush here, Bruce? I criticized what I believe is a cheap shot, wherein a writer used pictures of suffering black people, exploiting them to make a political attack on a president she hates.

Let's also be clear about the Katrina and the aftermath. By Friday evening 26 August, everyone should have known that a Category 3 hurricane was likely to hit New Orleans and that such a hit would likely breach levees and flood the city. Bloggers Brendan Loy and Jeff Masters didn't have any special knowledge here. Practically all parties prepared for the hurricane in subpar fashion and, after the levees broke, conducted themselves poorly for several days. Bush and FEMA responded too slowly, and his September 1st comments were clearly mistaken. Once they got their sh*t together by the following Thursday-Friday, things improved considerably. What disgusts me about Hil's post is her disengenuous message that Bush didn't care for the welfare of those in New Orleans. That, in practice, Bush really doesn't give a sh*t about "every human life". It's a pathetic example of ascribing ill-intent--when the evidence points to gross incompetence--and then trying to make some demagogic point about hypocrisy. To me, this is not an argument made in good faith. Hil, I'm sorry you don't perceive this piece-o-crap post as a cheap shot. Really.

I do not think that my point was particularly hard to get.

Certainly not. My problem with the post is that it implicitly makes the same suggestion that several of the last few posters do, namely that the only honest conclusion to be drawn from the Katrina events is that Bush doesn't care about poor people. This is obviously insulting to people who come to a different conclusion.

It goes back to the question of what this blog is all about. If you want to foster a politically heterogenous readership and commenting community here, then this sort of post doesn't belong. IMHO, of course.

Itr's true, Ken, I believe no other conclusion is compatible with the available evidence - Bush does not care enough about anyone outside his circle of chosen people to reward, not enough to make sure that attending to their needs is done with even the most basic competence.

As Gromit points out, the government of Louisiana will have nothing to do with what might happen if there's a tsunami or volcanic eruption or terrorist attack here in Seattle. FEMA will. What reason do I now have to believe that they'll provide the slightest bit of protection or help when it's needed? How about my 80-year-old parents in Portland, should there be an attack or flood or fire there? How about...anyone anywhere in the US? We have incompetents encouraged and rewarded, serious investigation impeded, and precisely zero concern manifested in useful change at the top.

Bush acts like a man who doesn't care. He talks like a man who does, but then he never acts like. Ever. Nothing he does shows the slightest concern for the overwhelming majority of Americans, let alone people elsehwere. And I've had enough of acting like any of this is normal or tolerable.

*sigh* I need to weed my bookmarks list, and trust that if the decent people have something to say, I'll be referred to it from friends or other weblogs that don't have so many people who make my skin crawl with willful moral blindness.

S'long, all.

Itr's true, Ken, I believe no other conclusion is compatible with the available evidence - Bush does not care enough about anyone outside his circle of chosen people to reward, not enough to make sure that attending to their needs is done with even the most basic competence.

As Gromit points out, the government of Louisiana will have nothing to do with what might happen if there's a tsunami or volcanic eruption or terrorist attack here in Seattle. FEMA will. What reason do I now have to believe that they'll provide the slightest bit of protection or help when it's needed? How about my 80-year-old parents in Portland, should there be an attack or flood or fire there? How about...anyone anywhere in the US? We have incompetents encouraged and rewarded, serious investigation impeded, and precisely zero concern manifested in useful change at the top.

Bush acts like a man who doesn't care. He talks like a man who does, but then he never acts like. Ever. Nothing he does shows the slightest concern for the overwhelming majority of Americans, let alone people elsehwere. And I've had enough of acting like any of this is normal or tolerable.

*sigh* I need to weed my bookmarks list, and trust that if the decent people have something to say, I'll be referred to it from friends or other weblogs that don't have so many people who make my skin crawl with willful moral blindness.

S'long, all.

Charles Bird: It's a pathetic example of ascribing ill-intent--when the evidence points to gross incompetence--and then trying to make some demagogic point about hypocrisy.

What happened to "if he walks and quacks like a duck, then it's fair to call him a duck."? Does this only apply to South American "Communists"?

kenB: My problem with the post is that it implicitly makes the same suggestion that several of the last few posters do, namely that the only honest conclusion to be drawn from the Katrina events is that Bush doesn't care about poor people. This is obviously insulting to people who come to a different conclusion.

Henceforth, all personal opinions are to be accompanied by disclaimers of personal infallibility. In my ever so humble opinion, if it may please the court.

Want to explaining this, Charles?

Want to explain. Mind explaining. Sheesh. Sorry: English me speech grammar ungood.

Mr. Miller. 'We' applies to the 'many' I described in the previous paragraph and probably to the 'most' I opined about. Am I saying?...first of all I said what I said. Its would seem to me to be totally unbelievable that a two term President of this great country has not put mostly competent people in charge of most things. And Mr. Brown did quite well with several previous disasters. Apparently it's only New Orleans’s poor people he despises, and oh yeah, a few white middle class Cajuns too. Stunning competence? What are the various levels of competence - do I have more to chose from? Your third question is beneath you. I'll not take the bait, even from the master.

BBM, take heed -- the NY Times refused to publish a piece by Molly Ivins where she mentioned a "group pluck."

Thanks for the warning ral. The NYT and Molly. Now there's a pair to draw to.

middle class Cajuns

BBM, that there is a pretty rare collocation.

And DaveC, props, I think I woke the kids up when I read that.

Its would seem to me to be totally unbelievable that a two term President of this great country has not put mostly competent people in charge of most things.

And that, in a single sentence, summarizes my problem with political debates in this country. With all due respect, who the hell cares what you regard as "totally unbelievable" when we have actual evidence towards the proposition right in front of us? For that matter, how the hell do you maintain a belief structure like that in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary? It boggles the mind, it really does.

Anarch, I was going to respond in a way similar to how you did, although as a liberal wuss I probably would have been more genteel.

I am sure people at both ends of the political spectrum seem to have blinders on at times, but there comes a point when the evidence becomes overwhelming.

Even many of the conservative posters on this site have been willing to concede that Bush has not always, or even frequently used competence as a prerequisite for nomination and appointment. Look at some of his recent recess appointments.

Anarch, Mr. Miller wants to know what who you mean by 'we'? Well, not really, but maybe - its only fair you know. And you better care, because my kind are going to elect the next few Presidents. Cracks me up, really, it does.

Charles: "a president she hates." -- Karnak. Actually, I don't. I have contempt for him, and I am very much upset by what he's doing to the country I love, but I don't hate him.

"What disgusts me about Hil's post is her disengenuous message that Bush didn't care for the welfare of those in New Orleans." -- No, as I have said, repeatedly, the pictures are from the Convention Center in particular. I infer, from the fact that he didn't bother either to put anyone competent in charge of disaster management or to supervise them once the hurricane hit that he lacks concern for the victims of disasters (natural or man-made) in general, but that's my inference.

"It's a pathetic example of ascribing ill-intent--when the evidence points to gross incompetence--and then trying to make some demagogic point about hypocrisy." -- I think that if you genuinely care about something, and taking care of that something is part of your job, then you will not be grossly incompetent at taking care of it. (Mild incompetence, or the odd error is compatible with caring, I think. Gross incompetence, no.)

If Bush cared about taking care of people in need, he would not have appointed a person whose only qualification was being drummed out of the leadership of a minor horse association to head FEMA. And if, in a fit of idiocy, he had done so, he would have supervised him a lot more closely once it became clear that a disaster was about to strike. He would not have stayed on vacation for days, and then been so clueless that his staff had to stage an intervention in order for him to see what was going on.

That's a level of incompetence that's not consistent with caring, I think. Just as my not showing up for class, ever, would show that I didn't care about teaching, even if, somehow, you could make a case that I was not actually trying to do a bad job.

Anarch, Mr. Miller wants to know what who you mean by 'we'?

If he does, he has but to ask.

And you better care, because my kind are going to elect the next few Presidents. Cracks me up, really, it does.

If by "your kind" you mean people terminally incapable of adjusting their beliefs in the light of mountains of evidence -- and I hope to God you're not -- then we're well and truly f***ed, because you're talking about governance by the deranged.

governance by the deranged.

Strong Bad for President! (Well, at least it would be entertaining.)

I think that if you genuinely care about something, and taking care of that something is part of your job, then you will not be grossly incompetent at taking care of it. (Mild incompetence, or the odd error is compatible with caring, I think. Gross incompetence, no.)

This reminds me of my irritation at the Bush Administration's "plan" for dealing with post-Saddam Iraq: you can't really call it a "plan" in any meaningful sense if it has no reasonable chance of working, irrespective of whether you have nice pieces of paper that tell you what to do. Likewise, you can't call truly gross incompetence "caring" since part of the definition of caring involves making sure bad things don't happen, irrespective of whatever feelings one might have in the abstract.

Anarch, why do you feel so screwed? Things are going pretty well, all things considered. What is causing your pain? Certainly it can't just be Katrina. Truth be known, no administration would have done much different - you know, bureacracy and states rights and all that. I'm sure we both worry about the future of our world. Is it Iraq? Scary. Let it go, snuff it out - sure its a tough call. Even with my attention challenged view of history, I see we've tried these things many different ways and seem to persevere. To be in such contempt with our President also reveals contempt with the process. Democracy is a messy ordeal, isn't it. Just a hint about how things can change - given a Presidential race between Clinton and McCain, my vote goes to Hillary. I hope we're given better choices, but history tells us that isn't always the case. Rant on Anarch, I appreciate your right to do so. I hereby release this thread to die a natural death. Goodnight hilzoy, goodnight Charles.

I criticized what I believe is a cheap shot, wherein a writer used pictures of suffering black people, exploiting them to make a political attack on a president she hates.

Fair enough -- I remember when you chided Josh Trevino for posting pictures of slaughtered victims of the Khmer Rouge and other such regimes in order to score a couple of shots off of anti-war people who attended an ANSWER-sponsored and -organized rally.

I kid, of course. You would never condescend to criticize something like that when it works for your side.

Anarch, I don't need to ask. I know the "We" you refer to consists of people like you, me, Hilzoy, Edward and even Charles who are willing to see what is, not just what we want to be.

Blogbudsman: Truth be known, no administration would have done much different

What's the phrase: the soft bigotry of low expectations?

I feel somewhat unclean eviscerating my poor straw doppelganger, lovingly constructed by bbm out of alternate-universe hay, but what the heck. Given the nearly stream-of-consciousness nature of the original post, my responses are going to be rather disjointed.

Anarch, why do you feel so screwed?

I don't; I gave a conditional, the result of whose antecedent would be the screwing of the country. And if you can't see why having people who can't process reality in charge of the government would be a Bad Thing, there's not really much I can do for you.

Things are going pretty well, all things considered.

No, they're not.

Certainly it can't just be Katrina.

No, it isn't.

Truth be known, no administration would have done much different - you know, bureacracy and states rights and all that.

Indisputably false.

I'm sure we both worry about the future of our world.

Likely true.

Is it Iraq? Scary.

Yes, it is... but not for the reasons you're thinking, I'm sure.

Let it go, snuff it out - sure its a tough call.

I have no idea what that means, but it certainly sounds wrong -- either morally, ethically or factually, I can't tell which.

Even with my attention challenged view of history...

Yep.

...I see we've tried these things many different ways and seem to persevere.

I'm not sure what "these things" are, less yet "many ways", but if that's true, so what? We "persevered" through slavery and Civil Rights, we "persevered" through Japanese internments, we "persevered" through Nixon and Watergate, but "perseverance" wasn't what got us through. No, "perseverance" of the type you're referring to was what enabled those debacles; what stopped them was people standing up, saying that such things were wrong, and acting accordingly. "Perseverance" had nothing to do with it.

To be in such contempt with our President also reveals contempt with the process.

Bollocks.

Democracy is a messy ordeal, isn't it.

Rumsfeld's Platitude-A-Day Calendar called. They want to know if you're free in April; we're due to be turning another corner then.

Rant on Anarch, I appreciate your right to do so.

How unbelievably generous of you. Such altruism incarnate in human form; what must heaven think, that an angel came to earth for me?

So... what is going on with the timestamps? The top three posts in the "Recent posts" queue are stamped for several hours from now. It's really screwing with my ability to track these discussions.

Gromit, as you yourself pointed out, DaveC posted from the future. Naturally this tore a hole in the space-time continuum.

Now we can only persevere, ranting on, captive on the carousel of time... ARRRGH!

DaveC is posting from the event horizon of a black hole. Naturally he's ahead of us....

As far as I can tell, there are three comments -- pedant's on von's thread, DaveC here, and mine on Alito -- that just automatically become the "latest" comment, no matter what. So, as of now, DaveC's here is 7:36pm; we shall see whether it continues to progress into the future as time goes on, or whether this will end.

I have tried republishing the comments in question, but that doesn't seem to work.

Gromit, as you yourself pointed out, DaveC posted from the future. Naturally this tore a hole in the space-time continuum.

And here I thought DaveC was complaining that we tore him a new one....

It's been at 7:36 since at least 12:30 today, Hilzoy. I don't think the timestamp is changing. The server is just listing the posts in what it sees as chronological order.

Great -- then eventually we can hope for a normal queue of comments.

The server is just listing the posts in what it sees as chronological order.

Or possibly in order of wit, since that has to be the funniest rejoinder of the whole thread.

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