Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Shut Up!

Jon Stewart had great, succinct advice on his Daily Show last night for the righties who are clamoring to vilify the local leadership in Louisiana and New Orleans while defending the federal government's response: Shut Up! (I would have told them "Shut the fuck up!") Thank you for summing it up so concisely, Jon!

The stiffie M.O. goes like this: you paste over bad news (especially if they feel helpless to fix the problem) by first shooting the messenger, then blaming the victims for being, well, victims! This is a very effective strategy because the majority of Americans have never victimized as a disaster victim, or a messenger. So a percentage of them naturally throw up their hands and say "I can't relate to this or fix it, so it must be someone else's fault!?" Of course the end result is that the victims don't get desperately needed assistance while the argument rages.

The mayor of The Big Easy does not come across well, I don't know if he is a good guy or bad guy. And the governor, same deal. But I do know this for sure: there is only one entity in the USA capable of providing significant relief to people in a disaster of this magnitude, and that is the Feds. You can sort out later who did what to whom, and why. The real folks need help now.

But what the stiffies miss, with their ultimate "christian" compassion, is that life is real for some people; misery needs relief right now, not after some commission exonerates the righties of accountability. For them its all about ideological spin, not real life.

One of the other successful mantras of the stiffies (which the bleeders still don't get) is that the more you repeat a "talking point", the more it is true. Thank god an organization recently printed the TRUE ACTUAL chain of events, lest we be misled again by the extreme right:


Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.

Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.

Tuesday, Aug. 30:
Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.

Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.

Friday, Sept. 2:
Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.

Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.

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