PDA

View Full Version : Chris Floyd Article: New Orleans gets d****d by Federal Government



BeachWitch
September 2nd, 2005, 09:43 AM
The destruction of New Orleans represents a confluence of many of the most pernicious
trends in American politics and culture: poverty, racism, militarism, elitist greed, environmental abuse, public corruption and the decay of democracy at every level.
It is obvious that the vast majority of those who failed to evacuate are poor: they had nowhere else to go, no way to get there, no means to sustain themselves and their families on strange ground. While there were certainly people who stayed behind by choice, most stayed behind because they had no choice. They were trapped by their poverty - and many have paid the price with their lives.

Yet across the media spectrum, the faint hint of disapproval drips from the affluent observers, the clear implication that the victims were just too lazy and shiftless to get out
of harm's way. There is simply no understanding - not even an attempt at understanding -
the destitution, the isolation, the immobility of the poor and the sick and the broken among us.

This is from the "respectable" media; the great right-wing echo chamber was even less
restrained, of course, leaping straight into giddy convulsions of racism at the first reports
of looting in the devastated city. In the pinched-gonad squeals of Rush Limbaugh and his
fellow hatemongers, the hard-right media immediately conjured up images of wild-eyed
darkies rampaging through the streets in an orgy of violence and thievery.

But here again another question was left unasked: Where were the resources - the money, manpower, materiel, transport - that could have removed all those forced to stay behind, and given them someplace safe and sustaining to take shelter? Where, indeed, were the resources that could have bolstered the city's defenses and shored up its levees? Where were the National Guard troops that could have secured the streets and directed survivors to food and aid? Where were the public resources - the physical manifestation of the citizenry's commitment to the common good - that could have greatly mitigated the brutal effects of this natural disaster?

Well, we all know what happened to those vital resources. They had been cut back, stripped down, gutted, pilfered - looted - to pay for a war of aggression, to pay for a tax
cut for the wealthiest, safest, most protected Americans, to gorge the coffers of a small
number of private and corporate fortunes, while letting the public sector - the common
good - wither and die on the vine. These were all specific actions of the Bush Administration - including the devastating budget cuts on projects specifically designed to
bolster New Orleans' defenses against a catastrophic hurricane. Bush even cut money for
strengthening the very levees that broke and delivered the deathblow to the city. All this,
in the face of specific warnings of what would happen if these measures were neglected:
the city would go down "under 20 feet of water," one expert predicted just a few weeks
ago.
But Bush said there was no money for this kind of folderol anymore. The federal budget
had been busted by his tax cuts and his war. And this was a deliberate policy: as Bush's
mentor Grover Norquist famously put it, the whole Bushist ethos was to starve the federal
government of funds, shrinking it down so "we can drown it in the bathtub." As it turned
out, the bathtub wasn't quite big enough -- so they drowned it in the streets of New
Orleans instead.

But as culpable, criminal and loathsome as the Bush Administration is, it is only the
apotheosis of an overarching trend in American society that has been gathering force for
decades: the destruction of the idea of a common good, a public sector whose benefits
and responsibilities are shared by all, and directed by the consent of the governed. For
more than 30 years, the corporate Right has waged a relentless and highly focused
campaign against the common good, seeking to atomize individuals into isolated
"consumer units" whose political energies - kept deliberately underinformed by the
ubiquitous corporate media - can be diverted into emotionalized "hot button" issues (gay
marriage, school prayer, intelligent design, flag burning, welfare queens, drugs, porn,
abortion, teen sex, commie subversion, terrorist threats, etc., etc.) that never threaten Big
Money's bottom line.
Again deliberately, with smear, spin and sham, they have sought - and succeeded - in
poisoning the well of the democratic process, turning it into a tabloid melee where only
"character counts" while the rapacious policies of Big Money's bought-and-sold candidates
are completely ignored. As Big Money solidified its ascendancy over government, pouring
billions - over and under the table - into campaign coffers, politicians could ignore larger
and larger swathes of the people. If you can't hook yourself up to a well-funded, coffer-
filling interest group, if you can't hire a big-time Beltway player to lobby your cause and
get you "a seat at the table," then your voice goes unheard, your concerns are shunted
aside. (Apart from a few cynical gestures around election-time, of course.) The poor, the
sick, the weak, the vulnerable have become invisible - in the media, in the corporate
boardroom, "at the table" of the power players in national, state and local governments.
The increasingly marginalized and unstable middle class is also fading from the
consciousness of the rulers, whose servicing of the elite gets more brazen and frantic all
the time.

When unbridled commercial development of delicately balanced environments like the
Mississippi Delta is bruited "at the table," whose voice is heard? Not the poor, who, as we
have seen this week, will overwhelmingly bear the brunt of the overstressed environment.
And not the middle class, who might opt for the security of safer, saner development
policies to protect their hard-won homes and businesses. No, the only voice that matters
is that of the developers themselves, and the elite investors who stand behind them.
The destruction of New Orleans was a work of nature - but a nature that has been worked
upon by human hands and human policies. As global climate change continues its deadly
symbiosis with unbridled commercial development for elite profit, we will see more such
destruction, far more, on an even more devastating scale. As the harsh, aggressive
militarism and brutal corporate ethos that Bush has injected into the mainstream of
American society continues to spread its poison, we will see fewer and fewer resources
available to nurture the common good. As the political process becomes more and more
corrupt, ever more a creation of elite puppetmasters and their craven bagmen, we will see the poor and the weak and even the middle class driven further and further into the low ground of society, where every passing storm - economic, political, natural - will threaten their homes, their livelihoods, their very existence.

-excerpted from an article by Chris Floyd, September 1, 2005

BlueMoon13
September 2nd, 2005, 09:52 AM
And if this guy was so informed and concerned, why did'nt we hear him AND others bitching before the disaster? It seems like the worst things are for the country a bigger boner the lefty extremists get. BEFORE I start getting slammed for being a Bush supporter,no I am not, and I denounced on another thread a conservative comentator making a point of saying LA's "Democratic" governer was overwhelmed, as if a Republican one would'nt be :eyez: . There'll be plenty of blame to go around, but the old saw is true-hindsight IS 20/20, and this is the WORST natural disaster to ever hit the country.

Valnorran
September 2nd, 2005, 10:33 AM
The destruction of New Orleans represents a confluence of many of the most pernicious
trends in American politics and culture: poverty, racism, militarism, elitist greed, environmental abuse, public corruption and the decay of democracy at every level.
It is obvious that the vast majority of those who failed to evacuate are poor: they had nowhere else to go, no way to get there, no means to sustain themselves and their families on strange ground. While there were certainly people who stayed behind by choice, most stayed behind because they had no choice. They were trapped by their poverty - and many have paid the price with their lives.

Yet across the media spectrum, the faint hint of disapproval drips from the affluent observers, the clear implication that the victims were just too lazy and shiftless to get out
of harm's way. There is simply no understanding - not even an attempt at understanding -
the destitution, the isolation, the immobility of the poor and the sick and the broken among us.

This is from the "respectable" media;
This I agree with.

the great right-wing echo chamber was even less
restrained, of course, leaping straight into giddy convulsions of racism at the first reports
of looting in the devastated city. In the pinched-gonad squeals of Rush Limbaugh and his
fellow hatemongers, the hard-right media immediately conjured up images of wild-eyed
darkies rampaging through the streets in an orgy of violence and thievery.
There's quite a bit of truth to this. It isn't racism if it's true. There are a lot of predators rampaging through New Orleans, and many of them are black. However, I haven't heard anybody refer to them as "darkies" except strangely, those howling about racism. These same people seem totally oblivious to the fact that some pretty horrible crimes are going on in New Orleans right now. They seem to only be upset that 1) some of the criminals are black and 2) these criminals have been caught in the act.

But here again another question was left unasked: Where were the resources - the money, manpower, materiel, transport - that could have removed all those forced to stay behind, and given them someplace safe and sustaining to take shelter? Where, indeed, were the resources that could have bolstered the city's defenses and shored up its levees? Where were the National Guard troops that could have secured the streets and directed survivors to food and aid? Where were the public resources - the physical manifestation of the citizenry's commitment to the common good - that could have greatly mitigated the brutal effects of this natural disaster?
Welcome to the wonderful world of Louisiana politics. You should see some of the ass clowns we've elected in our past. Louisiana politics have always been corrupt, and New Orleans has always been the worst of it.

Well, we all know what happened to those vital resources. They had been cut back, stripped down, gutted, pilfered - looted - to pay for a war of aggression, to pay for a tax
cut for the wealthiest, safest, most protected Americans, to gorge the coffers of a small
number of private and corporate fortunes, while letting the public sector - the common
good - wither and die on the vine. These were all specific actions of the Bush Administration - including the devastating budget cuts on projects specifically designed to
bolster New Orleans' defenses against a catastrophic hurricane. Bush even cut money for
strengthening the very levees that broke and delivered the deathblow to the city. All this,
in the face of specific warnings of what would happen if these measures were neglected:
the city would go down "under 20 feet of water," one expert predicted just a few weeks
ago.
But Bush said there was no money for this kind of folderol anymore. The federal budget
had been busted by his tax cuts and his war. And this was a deliberate policy: as Bush's
mentor Grover Norquist famously put it, the whole Bushist ethos was to starve the federal
government of funds, shrinking it down so "we can drown it in the bathtub." As it turned
out, the bathtub wasn't quite big enough -- so they drowned it in the streets of New
Orleans instead.
A disaster of almost unprecedented scale hits and the biggest thing some people can see is a new opportunity to slam Bush. Am I the only one completely disgusted by this? Disaster plans in any state are primarily the responsibility of that state's government. Disaster plans for a city are primarily the responsibility of the city's government.The federal government has a responsibility to help, but not do the state and local governments' jobs for them.

But as culpable, criminal and loathsome as the Bush Administration is, it is only the
apotheosis of an overarching trend in American society that has been gathering force for
decades: the destruction of the idea of a common good, a public sector whose benefits
and responsibilities are shared by all, and directed by the consent of the governed. For
more than 30 years, the corporate Right has waged a relentless and highly focused
campaign against the common good, seeking to atomize individuals into isolated
"consumer units" whose political energies - kept deliberately underinformed by the
ubiquitous corporate media - can be diverted into emotionalized "hot button" issues (gay
marriage, school prayer, intelligent design, flag burning, welfare queens, drugs, porn,
abortion, teen sex, commie subversion, terrorist threats, etc., etc.) that never threaten Big
Money's bottom line.
The same corporations that enable us to enjoy the highest standard of living on earth. The same ones that are helping out right now.

When unbridled commercial development of delicately balanced environments like the
Mississippi Delta is bruited "at the table," whose voice is heard? Not the poor, who, as we
have seen this week, will overwhelmingly bear the brunt of the overstressed environment.
And not the middle class, who might opt for the security of safer, saner development
policies to protect their hard-won homes and businesses. No, the only voice that matters
is that of the developers themselves, and the elite investors who stand behind them.
The destruction of New Orleans was a work of nature - but a nature that has been worked
upon by human hands and human policies. As global climate change continues its deadly
symbiosis with unbridled commercial development for elite profit, we will see more such
destruction, far more, on an even more devastating scale.
Statement like this make me wish computers came with a "bitchslap" key. Hurricanes have happened long before Bush, Republicans, or anything even vaguely resembling corporations and internal combustion engines ever existed. This hurricane season is not the worst we've ever had. We are not experiencing more hurricanes than ever before. What we're experiencing is more media frenzy than ever before. Every year they predict the worst hurricane season ever, and every year they're wrong. The wetlands do just fine despite the oil industry. Of course, now that the environmentalist whackos have gotten their wish and the refineries in New Orleans have been shut down, America has lost about 1/3 of it's oil and prices have shot up. Suddenly those refineries don't seem so evil anymore, do they?

As the harsh, aggressive
militarism and brutal corporate ethos that Bush has injected into the mainstream of
American society continues to spread its poison, we will see fewer and fewer resources
available to nurture the common good. As the political process becomes more and more
corrupt, ever more a creation of elite puppetmasters and their craven bagmen, we will see the poor and the weak and even the middle class driven further and further into the low ground of society, where every passing storm - economic, political, natural - will threaten their homes, their livelihoods, their very existence.

-excerpted from an article by Chris Floyd, September 1, 2005
Chris, do us all a favor. Go out into your garage, start up your car, and suck on the tailpipe until you see a real bright light. It must really suck to be so miserable a person that when your country experiences widespread death and destruction all you can see is another opportunity to hate it. It must really suck to be faced with such an enormous tragedy and your primary response is to hate Bush. In short, Chris, it must really suck to be you.

Trithemius
September 2nd, 2005, 10:48 AM
A disaster of almost unprecedented scale hits and the biggest thing some people can see is a new opportunity to slam Bush. Am I the only one completely disgusted by this?

No, you're not. What I find especially revolting is that jackasses like this guy don't use their articles to help those in need. They decide the best course of action is to slam a particular administration they don't agree with and thus polarize people in a big, stupid political debate at the absolute worst moment. This article does what to help the hurricane victims?

That's right, nothing.

Darkdale
September 2nd, 2005, 10:54 AM
A disaster of almost unprecedented scale hits and the biggest thing some people can see is a new opportunity to slam Bush. Am I the only one completely disgusted by this?

No, and I've never been more embarrassed and disgusted in all my life. I've never been this angry. All these people died, all these homes destroyed, the entire country mourns over the tragedy... while liberal activitists play politics. What, just a disgusting display of heartlessness and the sheer emptiness of their souls.

DragonsChest
September 2nd, 2005, 11:02 AM
Hmmmm.... well, I guess it's time for the entire nation to just fall on our swords, since we are obviously such a horrid, despicable, worthless, corrupt, evil, ad naseum... country and citizenry.

NOT!

BeachWitch: this is for you: _taparoo_

You're a nasty piece of work.

Flar's Freyja
September 2nd, 2005, 11:15 AM
Hmmmm.... well, I guess it's time for the entire nation to just fall on our swords, since we are obviously such a horrid, despicable, worthless, corrupt, evil, ad naseum... country and citizenry.

NOT!

BeachWitch: this is for you: _taparoo_

You're a nasty piece of work.

BeachWitch didn't write the article. The author is the nasty piece of work.

She posted it - that doesn't necessary mean she agrees. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't even she that she added comments? Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine when everyone jumps on a thread poster for simply posting info instead of the person who actually wrote the piece in question.

Dark Phoenix
September 2nd, 2005, 11:23 AM
Disaster tend to show the worst or the best of government and what this Disaster shows is that the Federal government is not built for rapid response. This would have been a Disaster if the President was a Democrat or the governor a Republican in that regard I disagree with the whole it's Bush's fault.

That being said the federal government has made things worse for itself with the total lack of leadership with the relief effort, obviously you can't control the mayhem that breaks out on the ground but someone has to be running the show.

Obviously after all is said and done we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and make changes to better prepare for disaster and when disaster does happen improve our response to it.

Valnorran
September 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
Obviously after all is said and done we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and make changes to better prepare for disaster and when disaster does happen improve our response to it.
Step 1. Don't build a city below sea level, especially in an area prone to hurricanes.

Dark Phoenix
September 2nd, 2005, 11:33 AM
Step 1. Don't build a city below sea level, especially in an area prone to hurricanes.

I don't think the French knew that when they built the city.

Valnorran
September 2nd, 2005, 11:39 AM
I don't think the French knew that when they built the city.
But they do now. It might be wise to relocate when we rebuild.

Darkdale
September 2nd, 2005, 12:03 PM
Obviously after all is said and done we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and make changes to better prepare for disaster and when disaster does happen improve our response to it.

Help and Aid went in as fast as possible. The only thing we can do better, is to send the military in to physically remove the people who refuse to heed the mandatory evacuations. Of course, that is a really scary thought, imo. I just think that a mandatory evacuation should like, oh, I don't know... mandatory.

narleymarley03
September 2nd, 2005, 12:45 PM
I wish everyone could step back and really look at the issues from all sides. Not just defend their opinion to the end. We all know mistakes have been made on all sides. Let's pray as many as possible can get to safety before it's too late. Then let's figure out what can we do better to protect our families and to help others. We need to let our leaders know that we have not forgotten this disaster, that we as citizens expect better response to disasters be them natural or manmade. We don't even have enough flu vaccine for our population. How are we to expect there will be enough anibiotics in a bio attack. I'm mentioning these examples only to make everyone think and have a repectful disscusion.

Darkdale
September 2nd, 2005, 01:14 PM
I wish everyone could step back and really look at the issues from all sides. Not just defend their opinion to the end. We all know mistakes have been made on all sides. Let's pray as many as possible can get to safety before it's too late. Then let's figure out what can we do better to protect our families and to help others. We need to let our leaders know that we have not forgotten this disaster, that we as citizens expect better response to disasters be them natural or manmade. We don't even have enough flu vaccine for our population. How are we to expect there will be enough anibiotics in a bio attack. I'm mentioning these examples only to make everyone think and have a repectful disscusion.

To expect perfection is totally unreasonable. In events like this, it is important to do the best we can, for everyone to pitch in, even if it's only five dollars or spare change; instead of using a natural disaster for political gain or out of racist frustrations.

BeachWitch
September 2nd, 2005, 01:23 PM
Hmmmm.... well, I guess it's time for the entire nation to just fall on our swords, since we are obviously such a horrid, despicable, worthless, corrupt, evil, ad naseum... country and citizenry.

NOT!

BeachWitch: this is for you: _taparoo_

You're a nasty piece of work.

So you want to punch me? You want to take some sort of physical violence against me?

Not to worry I've reported your inappropriate use of violence. You are completely out of line and completely inappropriate. So much for a fair and balanced look

mol
September 2nd, 2005, 01:24 PM
BeachWitch: this is for you: _taparoo_

You're a nasty piece of work.

ADMIN MODE

Unacceptable, folks. Calm down.

mol
September 2nd, 2005, 01:25 PM
So you want to punch me? You want to take some sort of physical violence against me?

Not to worry I've reported your inappropriate use of violence. You are completely out of line and completely inappropriate. So much for a fair and balanced look
ADMIN MODE

Well, shit. It doesn't do any good to report a post when you are going to do your own thing anyway.

Geez, people. Thread closed.