Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

9/10/2005

Chile

September 11 is the 32nd anniversary of the violent coup d'etat in Chile against President Salvador Allende. A DU poster notes that the AP story about the anniversary makes no mention of US involvement in the coup, nor of its continued support after the coup for General Pinochet.

Conservatives who criticize Pat Robertson for advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez would do well to keep in mind that Robertson is hardly suggesting a radical change of course in US policy in Central and South America. Allende, like Chavez, was a democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation who was demonized by the Right because of his leftist policies.

If there's anyone out there who still believes that the Americans have always been the good guys, they would do well to look into the history of US involvement in Chile.

Blank slates and men of straw

The folks at The Corner like to fancy themselves intellectuals. But their grasp of philosophical and scientific issues is, shall we say, not impressive. This post is from Derbyshire (emphasis mine):
These just-published results on the recent and continuing evolution of the human brain are going to cause a lot of fuss ... They are telling us that: (1) Human evolution, including the evolution of the brain, did not come to a screeching halt when modern man emerged from (as we now believe) Africa around 50,000 years ago, and scattered to populate different regions of the earth, with very different environments. (2) Evolution, including brain evolution, did not proceed in precisely the same direction, at precisely the same rate, in every human group, in every region and environment.

From anyone acquainted with elementary biology, these two propositions will come as no surprise. They none the less are a lance right through the heart of the current "Blank Slate" model of human nature, on which all our current social policy is based -- which, indeed, forms the foundation of the Standard Social Science Model, with all its blather about "social constructions" and "power relations." Blank Slatism will be a long time a-dying, for reasons to do with politics and wishful thinking, but it is now on the retreat, and all the battles will be, for the Blank Slaters, rearguard actions.

...[An interesting irony here, one I rather enjoy, is that the Intelligent Design people should have no trouble accepting these results ... So I.D.-ers and orthodox Darwinists like myself are on the same side here, standing up for science, while the Blank Slaters -- for example, practically the entire Humanities faculty of every American university -- are the redneck fundamentalists with their heads in the sand!]
OK, I haven't done a poll or anything, but I find it highly unlikely that "practically the entire Humanities faculty of every American university" subscribes to the 'Blank Slate' view. I don't know anyone who believes in a Blank Slate; even Locke didn't really believe in it, at least not the version of it that Derbyshire is attacking.*

Right-wingers are awfully fond of making generalizations about universities, and they almost always end up looking like jackasses. For example, any conservative worth his topsiders can tell you that almost every university is a "hotbed" of postmodernism. This is, of course, a crock of shit. But when did conservatives ever let that stop them?


* Here's what Simon Blackburn had to say about Locke in his review of Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, which he regards (correctly, in my opinion) as a similar exercise in tearing down straw men:
[Pinker] hails from the citadel of nativism, the linguistic and philosophy departments at M.I.T. The enemy is empiricism, and the blank slate of the title is the “tabula rasa” or white paper to which John Locke famously compared the human mind. The doctrine of the blank slate is taken to deny that we have a nature at all. The blank slate is the universal human endowment, which waits passively to be written on by experience and environment. It has no nature; or to put it another way, nothing in its nature determines the upshot when experience does its work. It is the clay waiting for the sculptor to form it, and the sculptor can make anything at all of it. It is this model of the mind, and its political and practical implications, that are Pinker’s target.

We might feel some disquiet about Pinker’s polemic when we remember that Locke himself held no such view and intended no such view by his famous analogy. He is perfectly happy with the idea that the nature of the slate or paper may determine what can be written on it. As a good Christian, Locke believed that an All-Wise Maker has granted us a very definite constitution, enabling us to know what we need to know and not much more. We can know what matters to us and know how to do what is good for us. But Locke also believes in our fallen nature, and he is constantly harping on “the narrow measure of our capacities” and the ways in which we are not fitted for various kinds of understanding, whereas better endowed creatures, such as angels, might be. Locke, in other words, thought that basic powers and limitations of our human nature determined the scope and the limits of our understanding. You cannot think that, if you also deny that we have a human nature at all.

Locke wanted only to deny innate ideas and innate knowledge, not innate powers or tendencies, nor innate limitations, nor innate cognitive and emotional capacities. This may sound like a mere historical quibble, but it arouses a powerful doubt about Pinker’s diagnosis of modernity.

More heat from the right

Conservatives continue to criticize the Bush administration's response to Katrina. The Corner's Rod Dreher:
It would be very wrong, I believe, to let the ignominious Michael Brown be the scapegoat for FEMA's sins ... a raft of FEMA's top leaders have little or no emergency management experience, but are instead politically well connected to the GOP and the White House. This is a scandal, a real scandal. How is it possible that four years after 9/11, the president treats a federal agency vital to homeland security as a patronage prize? The main reason I've been a Bush supporter all along is I trusted him (note past tense) on national security -- which, in the age of mass terrorism, means homeland security too. Call me naive, but it's a real blow to learn that political hacks have been running FEMA, of all agencies of the federal government! What if al-Qaeda had blown the New Orleans levees? How much worse would the crony-led FEMA's response have been? Would conservatives stand for any of this for one second if a Democrat were president? If this is what Republican government means, God help the poor GOP Congressmen up for re-election in 2006.

... no response from the other Cornerites yet.

Linky dump

Links are backlogging; no choice but to dump. Warning: some of these are mighty old, at least by blog/internet standards, which means about a week.

-Grace catches wingnuts making up Cindy Sheehan quotes: "Of the many things that drive me crazoid -- and this one is right up there with getting sneezed on -- is the morphing of one statement into a, shall we say, more politically useful statement and then, just as a finishing touch, the nailing of double-quotation marks to the beginning and the end. Voila --custom-made propaganda!"

-Josh Frank blasts Democratic politicians for not embracing Cindy Sheehan, or her message: "If Democratic politicians had a soul, they'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with Sheehan's supporters at candlelight vigils across the country. But that won't be happening anytime soon."

-Media Matters catches Larry Kudlow making the Robertson-esque suggestion that the US violently remove Hugo Chavez from office: "There's nothing you can do about it except take 300 of the best Special Ops forces we have, go down to Venezuela, and get rid of that Castro-ite, Hugo Chavez."

-Buermann is annoyed by liberals who unquestioningly parrot the "Hugo Chavez is a bad man" line: "... if we're going to compare his authoritarianism to something it would make the most sense to compare it to the political opposition: the opposition that staged a fucking coup before ever attempting a referendum recall, kidnapping the president and dissolving the national assembly and appointing their guy supreme "interim" leader. Compared to them Chavez is a goddamn civil libertarian."

-Captain Ed thinks the Dems have been given a "reprieve" with Bush's nominating of Roberts to replace Rehnquist as Chief Justice: "They can let Roberts go through with only token opposition, knowing that the philosophical composition of the Court will not change significantly, and concentrate their fire on Bush's second nominee, who will fill the critical seat being vacated by Justice O'Connor."

-Armstrong Williams gets his Townhall column mixed up with his letter to Penthouse: "Pop Quiz: You’re a Cop. You respond to a domestic abuse call. You bang on the door. The door opens. Standing before you, like a sight of ineffable grandeur, is a bored housewife. Her body rocks big time. She isn’t wearing anything. What do you do? ... more and more police officers are responding to calls for burglary and prowlers, only to find oiled housewives, introducing themselves with a salacious wink and suggesting a quick tryst against the sink."

9/09/2005

Matisse recovered

This painting by Matisse had "disappeared" three decades ago, but has now been found:




From Yahoo News: "...'The Plumb Blossoms', a painting by Henri Matisse from 1948 that disappeared more than 30 years ago, that has been acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art which said on September 8, 2005 that they would put it on show this month. The painting was last seen in Paris in 1970 and was then sold to an unidentified buyer."

I've always felt that Matisse occupies an awkward place in art history, at least in the popular imagination. His work sells for outrageous amounts, but it seems like he has a sort of runner-up aura to him, since references to him in the mainstream press almost never occur without a reference to Picasso - and it goes without saying that Picasso is without equal. So Matisse, an artist of extraordinary talent, is consistently compared to someone that no one can live up to. Matisse is to Picasso as the Beach Boys are to the Beatles: great enough to be mentioned in the same breath, yet clearly a rung below.

But just as Pet Sounds is nonetheless a brilliant album, Matisse's body of work has, by almost all accounts, stood the test of time. A couple of my personal favorites are "Madame Matisse":


and "The Piano Lesson":


You can click both images to enlarge.

The whimsical "Joy of Life" is also neat.

(White) America's Mayor

Apparently, some people in the White House are lobbying for Bush to appoint Rudy Giuliani "Katrina Relief Czar." Steve Gilliard thinks this is a bad idea:
I find the idea of appointing arch racist Rudy Giuliani in charge of recover operations in Louisiana, well insane.

Giuliani is regarded by New Yorkers as aiding and abetting the murder of Amadou Diallo by protecting the cops who shot him 41 times.

How poisonious is his legacy?

When Fernando Ferrer said the cops in the Diallo shooting were "overcharged", his campaign lost 20 points in less than a week. That was black support going up in smoke ...

If Bush thinks black people are angry now, appoint Giuliani to run Katrina ...

But he's still just a guy with a blog, right?

MyDD: Dailykos Is As Large As The Entire Conservative Blogosphere.

9/08/2005

A new New Orleans?

Slate's Jack Shafer makes the case against rebuilding:
Nobody can deny New Orleans' cultural primacy or its historical importance. But before we refloat the sunken city, before we think of spending billions of dollars rebuilding levees that may not hold back the next storm, before we contemplate reconstructing the thousands of homes now disintegrating in the toxic tang of the flood, let's investigate what sort of place Katrina destroyed.

The city's romance is not the reality for most who live there. It's a poor place, with about 27 percent of the population of 484,000 living under the poverty line ...

New Orleans' public schools, which are 93 percent black, have failed their citizens. The state of Louisiana rates 47 percent of New Orleans schools as "Academically Unacceptable" and another 26 percent are under "Academic Warning." About 25 percent of adults have no high-school diploma.

The police inspire so little trust that witnesses often refuse to testify in court. University researchers enlisted the police in an experiment last year, having them fire 700 blank gun rounds in a New Orleans neighborhood one afternoon. Nobody picked up the phone to report the shootings. Little wonder the city's homicide rate stands at 10 times the national average.

...New Orleans puts the "D" into dysfunctional. Only a sadist would insist on resurrecting this concentration of poverty, crime, and deplorable schools. Yet that's what New Orleans' cheerleaders—both natives and beignet-eating tourists—are advocating. They predict that once they drain the water and scrub the city clean, they'll restore New Orleans to its former "glory."

Only one politician, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, dared question the wisdom of rebuilding New Orleans as it was, where it was. On Wednesday, Aug. 31, while meeting with the editorial board of the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., he cited the geographical insanity of rebuilding New Orleans. "That doesn't make sense to me. … And it's a question that certainly we should ask."

... Hastert was speaking heresy, but he wasn't saying anything ugly or even Swiftian. Klaus Jacob seconded Hastert yesterday (Sept. 6) in a Washington Post op-ed. A geophysicist by training, he noted that Katrina wasn't even a worst-case scenario. Had the storm passed a little west of New Orleans rather than a little east, the "city would have flooded faster, and the loss of life would have been greater."

Nobody disputes the geographical and oceanographic odds against New Orleans: that the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect breeding ground for hurricanes; that re-engineering the Mississippi River to control flooding has made New Orleans more vulnerable by denying it the deposits of sediment it needs to keep its head above water; that the aggressive extraction of oil and gas from the area has undermined the stability of its land.

"New Orleans naturally wants to be a lake," St. Louis University professor of earth and atmospheric sciences Timothy Kusky told Time this week. "A city should never have been built there in the first place," he said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

...And how many of the city's well-off and wealthy workers—the folks who provide the city's tax base—will return? Will the doctors, lawyers, accountants, and professors have jobs to return to? According to the Wall Street Journal, many businesses are expected to relocate completely. Unless the federal government adopts New Orleans as its ward and pays all its bills for the next 20 years—an unlikely to absurd proposition—the place won't be rebuilt.

Page One of today's New York Times illustrates better than I can how the economic calculations of individuals battered by Katrina may contribute to the city's ultimate doom:

In her 19 years, all spent living in downtown New Orleans, Chavon Allen had never ventured farther than her bus fare would allow, and that was one trip last year to Baton Rouge. But now that she has seen Houston, she is planning to stay.

"This is a whole new beginning, a whole new start. I mean, why pass up a good opportunity, to go back to something that you know has problems?" asked Ms. Allen, who had been earning $5.15 an hour serving chicken in a Popeyes restaurant.

New Orleans won't disappear overnight, of course. The French Quarter, the Garden District, West Riverside, Black Pearl, and other elevated parts of the city will survive until the ultimate storm takes them out—and maybe even thrive as tourist destinations and places to live the good life. But it would be a mistake to raise the American Atlantis. It's gone.

All apologies

I owe a big apology to anyone who has sent me an email over the course of the last week and a half or so. I couldn't check it for a few days due to non-blog-related program activities, and now I'm overwhelmed by a couple hundred messages in my inbox. (I probably need to stop having Blogger email comments to me.) I'm sorry if you wrote me and I haven't gotten back to you; I swear to God I'm not just being an asshole.

Bipartisanship

In right-wing fantasyland, the criticisms of the Bush administration's "handling" of the Katrina disaster are simply the partisan cheap shots of left-wing "Bush haters." Like everything else in right-wing fantasyland, this would be convenient for the GOP if it were true, but of course it is not. Keith Olbermann:
... the idea that only Liberals or political opportunists are being critical, is not just intuitively nuts — it's factually ludicrous. Read this:

The language is, to say the least, uncategorical. "Democrats have seized on the administration's performance in handling Katrina to bash George W. Bush," the nationally-syndicated columnist writes. "But Republicans are not much happier with him... When Republican House members participated in a telephone conference call September 1, the air was blue with complaints about the handling of Katrina... the GOP lawmakers were unhappy with their administration's performance."

That's from today's column from Robert Novak — not exactly known as a thorn in the administration's side.

For the President, it actually gets worse. Many editorials in major newspapers have been almost venomous towards Mr. Bush and the federal response. An excerpt from one this morning: "Mayor Nagin's responses to this crisis, while flawed, have shown better leadership than both Governor Blanco's and President Bush's."

That's from today's official editorial in The Union-Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire. That's the newspaper that has previously identified itself as the most conservative in the country. It has six national columnists: Novak, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, Michelle Malkin, Deroy Murdock, and George Will. Not exactly a hotbed of commies.

And what it wrote about Mr. Bush today is nothing compared to what it wrote about him last Wednesday — decrying his decision to continue with his ordinary schedule, "...as if nothing important had happened the day before."

"A better leader," the paper continued on August 31st, "would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease.

"The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months following September 11, 2001, has vanished. In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster, and economic uncertainty."

Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney

That's what someone managed to say to the VP on live television.

Crooks and Liars, as usual, has the video.

Kossack Hunter: It's over

Hunter at DailyKos says: "Enough. It's over."
When Joe Scarborough and ultraconservative Family Research Council head Tony Perkins are on television discussing the government's failed response to the Katrina disaster... when Tucker Carlson is wading through storm waters with a dazed expression but an odd, new fire in his eyes... when Michelle Malkin takes time out from thoroughly out-frothing has-been Ann Coulter in order to call for FEMA head Michael Brown to be fired... I'm sorry, but the administration spin is spun. It's over. I'm not saying well-funded hacks won't be back with another angle tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, but when even partisans like that are calling you out, your spin isn't so much "tough" as just pathetic and an embarrassment to your country ...

Everybody recognizes the delayed and ineffectual Katrina response as a massive failure of government. Everybody, sans a very few straggling and lonely pundits and bloggers for whom Bush will never, ever topple from his gilded pedestal ...

Do the state and local authorities share some blame? I'm sure they do, and we need to find out. But now-gutted FEMA and Homeland Security, which apparently have become nothing more than dumping grounds for Bush-Cheney campaign hacks needing paychecks, managed to bungle the national response so utterly that, for several critical days, it simply was non-existent...

...Tom DeLay has yanked his noose around the ostensible Republican "leadership" to warn against investigation, proving once again that there is literally no number of American deaths -- even when worst fears put the numbers in the tens of thousands -- which Tom DeLay finds important enough to act upon.

The administration said it was keeping us safe from terrorist attacks, or at least had a plan for responding to them; turns out, it can't even respond to disasters that have been broadly foreseen, and which come with days of prior warning. We need to find what's wrong, and fix it. Immediately.

That's only a "partisan" issue if you truly care about your party more than your country.

Which, as it turns out, some people do. And they're sticking out like sore thumbs right now.

President man-child

Marshall Wittman annoys the living shit out of me. 50% of the time he's being a DLC buffoon; the other 50% of the time, he's getting good digs in on those who have it coming.

Here's what he has to say about Bush:
We have a man-child as President of the United States. That may seem an unfair characterization, but consider the President's performance last Friday when he ventured to the storm ravaged Gulf Coast. In a revealing moment, he referred to the FEMA Director as "Brownie" and joked about his past good times in New Orleans.

It was inappropriate behavior that one would expect from an adolescent and not the adult leader of the free world. It largely went unnoticed.

But perhaps the clearest demonstration of the President's arrested development is his inability to accept responsibility or accountability. Another revelatory moment was when the President pronounced that the response to Katrina was " not acceptable." Of course, he was the one in charge. It was as if a child passively proclaimed that "the milk was spilt".

...Should anyone be surprised that he refused to cut short his mountain bike vacation? Should we really expect that he should be more articulate and more curious? Are we unfair to want him to take charge and responsibility?

Racism

From a wingnut blog:
NYT: Devastating hurricane hits Gulf Coast; illegal aliens hardest hit

No, it's not a parody. With all the possible coverage of Katrina, the New York Times actually wrote an article on the plight of "undocumented" immigrants in the disaster zone.

From Ian Urbina's "Foreign Workers Are Caught in a Double Trap":
BILOXI, Miss., Sept. 5 - Like so many other people here, Pedro, a landscaper from Chiapas, Mexico, is desperately trying to get out of Biloxi. He wants to take his wife, Anna, who is eight months pregnant, someplace cleaner and safer, wherever that might be. [Whereever it might be, it will probably be in the U.S. After all, he's just one month from an anchor baby, and why spoil that opportunity? -- LW]

But aside from being low on gas like everyone else, Pedro, who would not give his last name because he is undocumented, is nervous about traveling in a city swarming with police officers and National Guard troops...
I repeat: this is not a joke. This is an actual NYT article.

Please send a short, polite email to public *at* nytimes.com suggesting they not print self-parodies.
Yes, how dare the Times acknowledge that humanity comes in versions other than American.

Racist fuck.

9/06/2005

Was Bush responsible for the evacuation of New Orleans?

Something I keep hearing over and over is that the governor of Louisiana only ordered the evacuation of New Orleans after being urged to do so by President Bush. But a TPM Cafe-er says this isn't the case:
Republicans are claiming that Bush was responsible for the mandatory evacuation of NO before Katrina. The claim is being supported by citation to an 8/28 AP article reporting the NO press conference ordering mandatory evacuation of NO. The article says:

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

The full transcript of that press conference (...) says something different. Here is what Gov. Blanco actually said:

GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO, LOUISIANA: This is a very dangerous time. Just before we walked into this room, President Bush called and told me to share with all of you that he is very concerned about the citizens. He is concerned about the impact that this hurricane would have on our people. And he asked me to please insure that there would be a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. (emphasis added)

So obviously the mandatory evacuation was made well before Bush's phone call. More lies.

Liberal media

Malkin is upset that the ABC has a bunch of Bush-hating moonbats lined up for the NFL season-opener:
Watch out Thursday night on ABC for the National Football League's season-opening celebration show.

The line-up includes:

- Kanye "It's all about me" West

- The neo-con-bashing Rolling Stones

- The moonbats of Green Day

- DNC performers Maroon 5
Michelle, I think you're forgetting that they actually want people to WATCH the show. If they limited themselves to Bush-supporting acts, they'd be stuck with Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, and a bunch of Christian rock groups.

Believe me, nobody wants to see that show.

"They are so black"

Here's Wolf Blitzer on CNN today:
You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold."
(HT: BC.)

Misplaced sympathy

From Attytood via Discussion About 09/11/2001, this was what CNN's Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre said last night:
I talked to a lot of people at the Pentagon today who were very frustrated about the fact that the perception was being created that the military didn't move fast enough ... They thought that part of the motivation was the critics of the administration to make the president look bad.

And they seemed to question the motives of some of our reporters who were out there and hearing these stories from the victims about why they had so much sympathy for the victims, and not as much sympathy for the challenges that the government met in meeting this challenge.
Yes, let's not forget who the real victims are ...

Runs in the family

From The Texas Observer via Crooks and Liars:
[George W.] Bush talks like his father, who was equally prone to malapropisms and non sequiturs, but he thinks like his mother, whom Nixon admired because, he reportedly said, "she knows how to hate."

Looters use Katrina for personal gain

Not the people on the ground in New Orleans - the real looters, says Dave Lindorff, wear pinstriped suits:
In a crisis, there are always those who will obscenely take advantage of the situation for personal gain.

I'm not talking here about the looters in New Orleans, as ugly and mean as some of their actions have been.

I am talking about the oil industry.

The evidence is clear:

Ten percent of American oil production is off line because of Hurricane Katrina. That has led to a nominal increase in the per-barrel world price of oil, since 10 percent of U.S. production represents only a single-digit portion of world demand. Yet gasoline prices in the US have soared, from about $2..40 per gallon before the hurricane hit to over $3.00 a gallon now nationwide-a jump of 25 percent.

Local gas station owners say that they have to raise their prices immediately because they only keep a few days' supply on hand and need to have the cash to pay for the next delivery, which will be priced at the new higher wholesale rate. I am inclined to believe that, if their new price is only around 20-25 percent higher than before.

But clearly, somewhere between the oil coming out of the ground or into a port terminal, and those retail pumps, some businesses are cleaning up at the expense of the public.

Read that: the oil companies are gouging and profiteering on disaster.

All you need to do is look at the stock pages. Haliburton, the oil services company, is up from 28.69 to 62 over the year. Exxon/Mobil is up from 45.09 to 64.37 over the year. Sunoco is up from 30.26 a year ago to 73.22. The list goes on and on.

Back in World War II, there was an agency--led by a man named Harry Truman--which aggressively prosecuted companies that tried to profiteer on the war. Now profiteering on war, and on national tragedy it seems, is simply seen in Washington as good business, to be rewarded by investors.

Americans are now paying the price for handing all branches of the government over to one party ... with free-market zealots being appointed by President Bush in droves to the federal bench, don't expect any relief in the courts.

The impact of the oil companies' incredible greed will be profound. It's not just that they are picking our pockets at a time of national crisis; their short-term profiteering is likely to send the national economy into a tailspin as higher oil prices stunt consumer spending and push up all energy costs.

So far, the media coverage has focused on the actions of individual looters in the destroyed city of New Orleans. To the extent that gas prices have received attention, the focus has been at the retail end.

Nobody's talking about the middlemen, and especially about the giant corporations that are really raking it in.

I hate George W. Bush

Right-wingers like to dismiss critics of the Bush administration as "Bush-haters." Brian Leiter responds: well, yeah!

Hating Bush isn't some weird affliction that strikes for no discernible reason; it is a rational response to actual decisions and policies adopted by a pathetic, undeveloped, inadequate man named George W. Bush, who has been one of the worst, most dangerous, and most incompetent Presidents in the history of the country ...

...what Bush haters really mean to say is that there is not a concrete record of misdeeds that warrants hatred of this President. Alas, they never engage the record or the misdeeds, and for obvious reasons: because there is no rational or informed person in the world who does not view the behavior of this man and his Administration as a disaster for his country and for humanity.

9/05/2005

Republican racism

It has become undeniable that the GOP is the party of racists. Via Atrios, Orcinus notices this amusing little caricature from conservative comic strip 'artist' Bruce Tinsley:



Orcinus notes that while this depiction looks nothing like the actual Chinese premier:


It does resemble the typical racist caricatures of Asians from the 1940s:




And Auguste catches this gem from Friend of Malkin Steve Sailor:
It also should have been expected that a large fraction of New Orleans's lower class blacks would not evacuate before a disaster. Many are too poor to own a car, or too untrustworthy to get a ride with neighbors, or too shortsighted to worry...

In contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan—because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren't blacks.

....Hey, I wonder how Ken Mehlman's little black-voter-outreach project is going?

9/04/2005

Bush and FEMA

AMERICAblog:
In a nutshell, Bush destroyed FEMA. FEMA and others have been worried for a long time about a looming disaster in New Orleans, but the administration gave those concerns short shrift. Even Bush's former head of FEMA admits that what happened to New Orleans was the one big event other than a terrorist attack that always worried him. Then why is that the new head of FEMA and Bush and Homeland Security now claim they never expected this to happen?

Because they're liars, and because Bush is inept and nothing more than a figurehead. And because of their lies, and because of Bush's total unfitness for any job other than serving as ceremonial queen, people died.

...No matter what lies the White House and FEMA and the Dept of Homeland Security spew, all we need do is respond with one simple truth: George Bush went on vacation while he knew Americans were dying and an entire American city was being wiped off the face of the planet.

This man has lost any right to be our president.

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