Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hystericane

For the Press: The Perfect Storm.

I started this post three days ago, so this is not news.

Even so, a quite intelligent person I talked to this morning still believed much of the reporting that emanated from New Orleans right after Katrina; including myths about "no Louisiana National Guard troops being available" in the Big Easy because they were all in Iraq.

Retractions of incorrect information by the exempt media can never catch up with the damage. This is more true when no retraction is even published.

The press lied. Nobody died. People were just vilified.

After telling us that "poor black" people were victims of an uncaring Federal government, not Katrina, they luridly portrayed those same victims as murderers, rapists and even worse. Why? Because the people of New Oreans were tools for career promotion, increased commercial revenue, and gratuitous bashing of George Bush.

The press and their fellow travellers are the racists, because
they combined the racism of low expectations with effusive self-congratulations. The frisson to these lies was laying all of it at the feet of George Bush; who had nothing to do with the path of Katrina, the creation and maintenance of a minority underclass in New Orleans, or with painting them depraved. Those connections flowed like Perrier from the press' uncritical transmission of the rumor and innuendo promulgated by Fearful Leaders like Eddie Compass, Ray Nagin, Kathleen Blanco, Jesse Jackson, David Duke and Al Sharpton.

Compass, the Chief of Police in New Orleans, has resigned
just as it has been revealed that 15% of his officers deserted in the face of the enemy. This is the same chief who, on national television, contributed to the hysterical misinformation campaign. "[He] spoke of "little babies getting raped" at the Superdome[, while Mayor] Nagin told Oprah Winfrey's audience that "hooligans" were killing and raping survivors crowded into the stadium.

The actual toll at the Superdome? Four deaths from natural causes, one drug overdose death and one suicide. No bodies stacked in freezers. No snipers of rescue helicopters. No need for 10,000 body bags.

If your community were portrayed as depraved, absent any shred of evidence, how would you feel? Well, the press feels fine. They raised no hue and cry for Chief Compass' resignation, though he lied to them, so they couldn't even ask why this resignation took longer than former FEMA director Michael Brown's.

Rhetorically speaking, when will we see apologies to the people of New Orleans who were vilified by this blatantly false and racist reporting?

See also:
Other hysterical examples from TCS.

A Big Lie Put to Rest

By Ben Stein

Victim of Katrina: accurate reporting

Indystar.com

Monday, September 26, 2005

YES!


U.S. Special Forces Kill No. 2 Terrorist in Iraq

Everyone Knows it's Cindeee...

Well, not everyone.

1-
Some poor, benighted hurricane Rita victims, and former Mother Sheehan(tm) advocates, have the temerity to think it might be - just a teeny bit, for just a leetle while - about them, not Mother Sheehan(tm).

Cindy Sheehan: Taken to the woodshed

....Angry in the Great White North

2-
When The Rev. Jesse Jackson compares Sheehan favorably with Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, he insults every person of conscience.

I doubt you ever would have seen such an expression on Parks' or Tubman's faces under 'similar' conditions.

CINDY SHEEHAN ARRESTED AT WHITE HOUSE IN CUNNING STUNT
....Dust my Broom.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

See also: McCain-Feingold.


No half-measures here. Incumbent protection taken to its logical conclusion.
China set new regulations on Internet news content on Sunday, widening a campaign of controls it has imposed on other Web sites, such as discussion groups.

"The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest," the official Xinhua news agency said in announcing the new rules, which took effect immediately.

The news agency did not detail the rules, but said Internet news sites must "be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."
I'm sure the "official Xinhau news agency" has an exemption, just like the American Press.

One wonders why the FEC isn't following the lead of SCOTUS in seeking foreign sources to inform their court mandated rewriting of the rules of free speech. Red China seems like they've got this down pat.

TOTH: John McCain and
Yahoo! and the anonymous bureaucrats at the Communist Chinese Ministry of Truth.

Campaign Finance Farce, continued


Tony Snow has a good article at Jewish World Review wherein he connects why Harry Reid felt compelled to reach into far-left field and pull out the words "illegal amigos" from the 80,000 pages of documentation on Judge John Roberts delivered by the White House; to justify a "No" vote on Roberts' nomination for Chief Justice.

Recommended.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Campaign Finance Revolt'


From Business Week Online, a report on the court ordered FECkless attack on Internet free speech:
"I strongly believe that the online political speech of all Americans should remain free of government review and regulations," said Michael E. Toner.

Toner argued that political activity on the Internet fails to meet the campaign finance law's threshold to stop corruption or the appearance of corruption. Toner urged Congress to pass a law that pre-empts the court's action and ensures that the Internet remains exempt from campaign finance rules.
Toner is right except -

A) he should not have qualified "political speech" with "online". The original sin of McCain-Feingold is abrogating the First Amendment on behalf of incumbents. I assure you, the First Amendment did not mention the Internet, or bloggers, or newspapers as exceptions to McCain-Feingold. Can you believe a defense of free speech now has to mention a special group to be taken seriously?

The "defenders" of free speech are begging for crumbs when they should just reject the whole flawed premise.

B) he should have urged Congress to pass a law rescinding McCain-Feingold as an unworkable piece of neo-Stalinist hubris rather than ask, ironically, for a special interest exemption.

On what logical ground should bloggers get an exemption?
On what logical ground should newspapers get an exemption? On what logical ground can we say neither will ever violate the vague "appearance of corruption" travesty foisted on us by Sandra Day O'Connor?

And who cares anyway? I'll never believe a dollar of George Soros money wasn't corrupt even before he donated it to some communist-front advertising agency. Let's just level the playing field by getting the self-interested regulators out of it. Free market speech. You decide if it's bullshit, not Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Antonin Scalia.

This, along with the suit against The Club for Growth, is the straw falling on the camel's back while his nose is under the tent.
But Scott E. Thomas, the FEC commissioner, said his agency's original exemption for the Internet was a mistake and the FEC should come up with rules for Internet campaign ads in light of the $14 million spent on Internet ads in the 2004 campaign.
$14 million? What happened to the rest of Soros' money? I'd bring in the NRA money for balance, but they were prohibited.

At least Mr. Thomas
is more logically consistent than Mr. Toner. He's been ordered to write some rules and he's an unapologetic administriviator.

Given his head, I'm sure he'd agree that we must
apply "the rules" consistently - no discussion of politics, by anybody - 60 days before an election. Draconian statism is as draconian statism does:
Thomas said the FEC hopes to write its rules by the end of the year. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is reviewing the ruling and if it decides that the challenge to the initial rules had no standing, some commissioners may push to abandon the work on writing new rules, Thomas said.
If the Court of Appeals decides the challenge had no standing, which commissioners would NOT push to abandon writing new rules? Only those who enjoy writing rules for their own sake, one presumes. Mr. Thomas, for example, who is straight out of Kafka.

When we look at the original sinners we'll find that Sen. John McCain has recently commented that he doesn't think bloggers should be regulated at all, and that he was unaware of any attempt to do so. It looks like he is either a liar or does not know what his totalitarian legislation is actually regulating.

Paul Mirengoff, at Powerline, to whom Sen. McCain averred regulation of, well something related to the Internet, tells us:
Finally, having listened to Senator McCain answer questions on a wide range of subjects for about an hour at the end of a very long day, I can say for certain that he is no space cadet.
That's nice. However, it does not mean McCain is not an insufferable egomaniac who cannot bring himself to question the pet project he nurtured to fruition: A piece of legislation that has increased the "problem" it sought to regulate and is having enormous, evil, "unintended" consequences.

The road to Hell is paved with whatever road is currently under "The Straight Talk Express." McCain may be no fool, but he is a demagogue of the first water.

Finally, I am somewhat disappointed by this:
Michael J. Krempasky, director of the Web site RedState.org, said that if bloggers have to meet a government test every time they discuss politics, "the reaction will be completely predictable: rather than deal with the red tape of regulation and the risk of legal problems, they will fall silent on all issues of politics."
I can understand why Mr. Krempasky might not threaten a Boston Tea Party/Civil Disobedience campaign while trying to persuade these idiots of the error of their very synapses, but I, for one, will not be silent about this.

I think that the FEC Enforcement Squad (that's FECES) will have several million targets as we all ignore their anti-free speech edicts.

If it comes to it, I will be contributing to the legal defense of whoever they pick first, regardless of the politics of the blogger they attack. I think they will really be surprised at the concern with free speech demonstrated by the coalition of moonbats, wingnuts and even normal people who want to talk about politics on, or off, the Internet without the Federal Government telling us how to do it.

Update: 24-Sep 9:22AM Apparently, Senator McCain is ignorant of statements made in his name and over his signature, as Allison Hayward at Skeptic's Eye (added to blogroll) reminds us here.

She also makes the excellent point that distinguishing blogging from the Internet is, at best, disingenuous. TOTH Powerline.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Free Stuff!! Please Buy...

The Statist approach to free enterprise. This radio network was supposed to be for profit.

If you don't get the irony while reading this link, you are probably, right at this instant, reading the wrong blog.

If this Weren't Sad it Still Wouldn't be Funny

Canada's military capabilities have been a laughingstock for some time. Not the dedication and talent of the thin-Mapleleaf-line*, but the equipment they're given and the implied disrespect.

If it weren't for the fact that we share a long, porous border this would only be sad. As we find the real world, it is not funny.

It is perhaps, more dangerous to US security than to Canada's. So, how much of the defense, sorry... defence, of Canada does the US need to take on?

Angry in the Great White North supplies some details about how politically hamstrung and stupidly underfunded are the Canadian armed forces.

If the Canadian military is going to be hung out to dry, why is there even any debate about spending a billion in maintenance vs. spending a billion in upgrades?

Why spend anything? That would be a question an honest Grit would ask. If there are any.


*Come to think of it, this decline started just about the time the flag changed from the Canadian Red Ensign...






to the current (Not my words. I was there for the debate and I know Canadians felt this way.) bread-wrapper.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Information Donna Rich Kaplowitz Should Have Waited For


TOTH to Captain's Quarters
Contrary to the media narrative of the past several weeks, the levee failure that flooded New Orleans should not have occurred with the storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the debris pattern shows that the waters never overtopped the levees but that the levees collapsed before they met the thresholds of stress for which they were designed, according to state experts who have inspected the gaps

Quote of the Decade


There's no real mention of this in the MSM yet (I did see a video bite on Fox News, Brit Hume). I can't find any video on the net. Mark this down and look for more yourself in the next few days.

Russell Honore, the
Lt. General in charge of the National Guard in New Orleans, has some minor difficulty keeping the MSM camp followers focused on their jobs. They think the job is trashing Bush, he thinks it's getting the evacuation message out re: Rita.

They persist in asking him about the difference in the Fed response between Katrina and Rita. He is not putting up with it: "Let's not get stuck on the last storm. You're asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please."

When a reporter persisted -- "General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time..." - Honore responded, "You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out.... We can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months."

Or a couple of years.

Very Small Animal


Dust my Broom with a great picture and a nice connection of Canadian idiocy to some European country that should know better.

Hint: it is not France and most certainly not Belgium. It is a country that has recently escaped the worst excesses of statism rather than one of those actively working toward more of it.

If only all small animals could follow Piglet's advice: "It is awfully hard to be b-b-brave," said Piglet, "when you are only a Very Small Animal."

Or maybe that should be "s-s-smart". Either way, fewer of them would need to be shot and even fewer would become road-ready-flat-snacks. (Firesign Theater?)

This is How it Begins


The FEC is moving to tighten its control of speech, an item of serious interest to bloggers. The Club for Growth is a 527, like MoveOn.org; and like MoveOn, has run ads criticizing specific positions taken by certain politicians.

The FEC’s announcement is here.

The Club responds here.

This is an important case. Those concerned about the erosion of First Amendment rights may wish to consider supporting The Club for Growth in their legal battle, whether agreeing with the Club’s policy promotion or not. This issue covers the spectrum of political opinion.

If you believe in smaller government The Club for Growth is a natural fit.

If do not believe in smaller government generally, here’s a specific instance where you probably should. An FEC suit against MoveOn won’t be far behind.

Either way, the best response to the FEC would be supporting The Club for Growth.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Good News from NOLA


Amy Ridenour, with help from Joe Roche and his wife, Lili, who is part of National Guard rescue operations in Louisiana, is creating the "Good News from NO" equivalent of Cherkoff's "Good News from Iraq".

There are several installments you can look for, here's the latest and here's the one preceeding.

Wonderful news from Canada


Head of defence ops confirms JTF2 killed, captured enemy in Afghanistan

That's Canadian Special Forces - Joint Task Force 2. Doing their job.

The only vaguely, niggling, incompletely morale boosting part is that Brig. Gen. Mike Ward seems... just a wee bit apologetic about shooting Taliban.

CB necessary for public consumption to maintain any military budget, I suppose.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Who ya gonna call?


Porkbusters.

How to pay for reconstructing New Orleans without even visting Gravina Island.

Contribute your own suggestion to cutting statist spending.

Slidell, Louisiana

Thanks to a guy who is trying to help many hundreds of insurance adjusters help tens of thousands of Katrina victims. To him, I give my gratitude and admiration: for his mettle, for his organizational talent, and for his compassion. He has kept his bearings when all about him could easily lose theirs.
The attention has been on New Orleans and the levees, but here are some pictures of what the storm surge did on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain.

With all due respect to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who compared the devastation to Hiroshima; Hiroshima didn't affect thousands of square miles.

Still, those who called his comment relating to Hiroshima insensitive are plainly even less familiar with that devastation.

Those would be the same people politicizing their hangnails by blaming Bush for the fact that they have fingers and toes.

BTW, "Storm Surge" means flood, and it's quite possible that little of this damage is insured. But, by all means, let's focus on whose fault it is even before the story is clear. Some of us automatically know that George Bush is responsible for every iota.

Isn't it interesting that
as Donna Brazile, (Al Gore's campaign manager) comments here, and as the people directly affected by Katrina attest to ABC News (video record here) - that compassion need not be both blind and shrill?

Go figure.

A final thought: I invite local readers to consider what performance they would have expected of ex-Lansing Mayor David Hollister under the same circumstances faced by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Would Hollister have left the buses parked? Lansing area residents would answer a resounding: "NO!"

With zero emergency services operating - no ambulances, no 911 -, an extremely fragile infrastructure, and the clear knowledge of Hurricane Rita in the Straights of Florida - would Hollister have advocated repopulation of the worst disaster area in American history? No, not even Cindy Sheehan would do that..

But Ray Nagin was doing exactly that up until about 3 hours before I write this. The Feds had to convince him otherwise, even as they ceded the final authority for this decision to him.

In the face of economic hardship (caused by the possible shutdown of GM plants) for thousands of Lansing workers did Hollister follow "business as usual"? No.

Did Nagin inherit a dirt poor underclass in a corrupt city in a corrupt state? Yes. Did he do anything more about it than had been done in the previous 50 years? No.

I ask local readers, in particular, to consider what the difference would have been in New Orleans if David Hollister had been mayor there instead of Ray Nagin.

Several other interesting thoughts follow.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Boycotting Google will be Massively Inconvenient


..But if you've been following the politicization of their "news" search service, it increasingly seems necessary.

It is truly a sad day when you Google for news on today's Afghan elections and you find that the latest story (5 hours ago as I write) is from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - which is a far-left organization in the middle of a strike/lockout.

While the uncharitable might say those are the only conditions under which the story could get attention from the CBC; it does not justify Google's abject failure to find any results in the United States media.

I admit that's just from Google's "View today's top stories" link, but 1- there's a promise implicit there, and 2- the next full link is to a September BBC report about the Afghan election campaign. That's September of 2004.

If this seems astounding, one can easily check up on Google's search algorithm. Did no major US news organization even mention the Afghan elections?

Google is right about CNN - no mention at all on CNN.com.

MSNBC.com, however, has "Afghans Head to Polls amid Violence", and Foxnews.com has "Afghans Vote Amid Violence".

Apparently, Google didn't think such obscure "news" Web-sites should be near the top of its "approximately" 3,920,000 results.

Approximately weighted compared to a 2004 BBC story.

The only other results seemingly date-related to today's election are these:
Afghan Election Set to Be Fiasco - Worldpress.org
Presidential elections in Afghanistan are set for October 9, 2004.
www.worldpress.org/Mideast/1947.cfm - 39k - Sep 18, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

Human Rights Watch - Afghan Election Blog, September 2005
Reports on current concerns including war casualties among Afghan civilians, the use of cluster bombs, and the rights of prisoners of war.
www.hrw.org/campaigns/afghanistan/ - 17k - Sep 17, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

US Hand Seen in Afghan Election
US Hand Seen in Afghan Election Some candidates say the embassy pressured them not to run against President Karzai. by Paul Watson ...
www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0923-26.htm - 20k - Cached - Similar pages

Aljazeera.Net - Afghan election candidate shot dead
Bronwyn Curran, spokeswoman for the joint UN-Afghan election management team, said campaigning had ended early so voters will not be distracted. ...
english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/06F3BE4C-BCBA-40CC-8563-1FD0A71F1D5E.htm - 96k - Sep 17, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages
They weight the results. You decide.

Self-Defense Free Zones


Gun control groups take aim at Michigan deadly force bills

Brought to you by the same people who predicted that there would be blood in the streets when Michigan eliminated its
entirely arbitrary rules for issuance of concealed carry permits.

Now, they want to ensure that if someone breaks into your home, and if you defend yourself rather than retreat, then you will remain subject to civil suit by the criminal or his family.
Shikha Hamilton, head of the state's Million Mom March chapter.

"The scariest part is that you're removing the duty to retreat. That's really there to preserve life," said Hamilton, of Grosse Pointe. "And if you take someone's life you should have to answer to the police. ... No one is in jail right now for protecting their family."
First,
Michigan law already includes the provision that I don't have "the duty to retreat" in my own house.

Second, whose life are we concerned about?

Third, Ms. Hamilton doesn't mean the Dozen Mom Marchers don't want to put you in jail if you have the effrontery to defend yourself.
What they do want is a British-style gun ban, where, as Cato reports, this is the reality:
A homeowner who discovered two robbers in his home held them with a toy gun while he telephoned the police. When the police arrived they arrested the two men, and also the homeowner, who was charged with putting someone in fear with a toy gun.

An elderly woman who scared off a gang of youths by firing a cap pistol was charged with the same offense. The government is now planning to make toy guns illegal.

...In 1999 Tony Martin, a 55-year-old farmer living alone in a dilapidated house, woke to the sound of shattering glass as two burglars broke in. Martin had been robbed six times before, but like 70 percent of rural English villages, his had no police presence. He crept downstairs in the dark and shot at the burglars, killing one and wounding the second. Both had numerous prior convictions. Martin was sentenced to life in prison for killing one burglar, 10 years for wounding the second, and 12 months for owning an unregistered shotgun. The prosecutor claimed Martin had lain in wait, then caught the burglars “like rats in a trap.”

The wounded burglar was released after serving 18 months of a three-year sentence. He then sued Martin for injury to his leg, claiming it prevented him from working and interfered with his martial arts training and sex life. He was awarded £5,000 of taxpayer money to prosecute the suit.

Martin’s sentence was reduced to five years on a finding that he had had an abusive childhood, but he was denied parole because he had expressed no remorse for killing “one so young” and posed a danger to other burglars. As the Independent newspaper reported, “Government lawyers say burglars ‘need protection.’” “It cannot possibly be suggested,” the attorneys argued, “that members of the public cease to be so whilst committing criminal offences, and whilst society naturally condemns, and punishes such persons judicially, it can not possibly condone their (unlawful) murder or injury.” The Law Commission advised the government: “Even a criminal who had committed a serious offence must be allowed to exercise his civil rights
The Brady Bunch and the Dozen Mom Marchers agree on the criminal's civil rights. They just don't think you have any right to protect your life.

Fourth, this bill is mainly about civil suits - for example, by a criminal convicted of home invasion who is shot in self-defense by the homeowner. The real question would be whether anyone can be bankrupted by a civil judgment. The answer to that is yes.

Finally, you already do have to answer to the police, but if it is determined that you acted in self defense, that should be the end of it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

She Just Wants to Ask About Her Son


Cindy Sheehan's spiral into obscurity is not going to be arrested by this sort of moonbattery, which being noted all over the blogosphere, but just in case you haven't heard, she's calling for pulling troops out of "occupied" New Orleans.

I kid you not. What might she have written if Bush had ignored Posse Comitatus?
I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I
don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or
pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is
hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George
Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed
administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq,
and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more
secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans
even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest.
This is on Michael Moore's site and at HuffnPuff Post. I'll give you Moore's link if you're willing to punish yourself with the whole confused diatribe. I can't believe he published this, since he isn't stupid, so if the post comes down I've got a copy.

Poor Casey, his mom is perilously close to spawning an unflattering new verb. To "sheehan" something begs for a definition.

My first thoughts are too unkind to even this sorry pretense of grieving motherhood.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fear and Loafing in Las Vegas


Have resolved all problems from upgrading my computer. Back to normal.

Well, with Windows, a simple hardware change, followed by a restore from backup, 141.5 reboots (it hung halfway through one of them), 2 "Windows Repair" sessions and manual Registry tweaking is normal, isn't it?

In any case, if you haven't seen this, read it. You will think it is from The Onion edited by Scrappleface - or maybe a collaboration of Mark Steyn and P.J. O'Rourke with the ghost of H.L Mencken.

It is just a newspaper story, but it could only be better if a couple of these picketers turned out to be illegal immigrants "doing the jobs Americans won't do."

Picketers for Hire
"The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours"

It tells you a lot about America and even more about Unions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sick


I don't know if you have the time or inclination to seek out this sort of thing.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have the inclination. Lord knows I don't have the time.

I mean if I just wanted a daily blood pressure raising, I could read the "Daily Kos", but this guy is not just some, even highly successful, "blogger".

He is a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair. Who reads that? You might ask.

The answer is - it doesn't matter - it's published under an "MSM" rubric. MoveOn and MooreOn will pick it up.

An excerpt from this guy's Website: How he views the death toll from Katrina:
Any number substantially higher than 3,000 dead presents a political and symbolic dilemma for the most avid advocates of the War on Terror. . . . Since 9/11, "3000" has been elevated to a sacred, symbolic number in political discourse. . . . If 10,000 deaths amount to but a drop of blood in the abattoir of time, 3000 is an even smaller drop, and once you begin to shrug off large numbers of dead to the caprices of fate, striking a militant pose over a smaller number becomes even harder....

Whatever the final numbers are from Hurricane Katrina, it will be harder for the WOT propagandists to ritualistically invoke the "3000 dead" to the same sonorous effect.
The facility with which he cynically mixes opposition to the War with a natural disaster and hopes for a high death toll - nothing less than 5,000 (must be substantially higher than 3,000) Katrina deaths is acceptable - is ghoulish and worse.

The amazing part to me is how much of this is out there, informing all manner of "commentators".

Oh, it's on the right and libertarian fringe, too. But that's just the point - there's no ""responsible"" press out there actively wishing for a high Katrina death toll except for those who so detest Bush as to have checked in their brains - i.e., the Statist-Left.

Read the whole thing if you've the stomach:
From Blame Game to Numbers Game
-James Wolcott

Even the title is sickly cynical.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This Matters


U.S. thanks Canada for relief efforts

Yes, we do. Very much.
Three Canadian warships - the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, frigates HMCS Ville de Quebec and HMCS Toronto - and the Coast Guard ship Sir William Alexander left Halifax on Tuesday packed with relief supplies, helicopters to deliver them, and about 1,000 Canadian Forces personnel ready for a variety of chores. They are expected to arrive off the U.S. Gulf Coast early next week.

Air Canada provided shuttle flights to help in the evacuation of about 25,000 people from New Orleans to San Antonio, Texas. The airline also used an Airbus passenger jet to fly a cargo of bottled water and relief supplies to New Orleans.

Canadian military planes have transported Canadian Red Cross and government officials to work in the disaster areas. Some 35 Canadian military divers are helping with inspecting dikes and clearing waterways. A shipment of supplies requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has arrived in Atlanta from Canada. Donations are pouring in from the provinces.

The Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team quickly got down to work in St. Bernard Parish, about 30 kilometres east of New Orleans, rescuing 119 stranded people before the U.S. military took over this week. The team has returned to Vancouver, basking in plaudits from grateful Americans.

Katrina: A roundup

Reading all of all of them is recommended.

The Machine Stops
By Thomas Lipscomb at Tech Central Station
Those who dream of the perfectibility of human institutions through increasingly, compulsorily collective government will always attack the highest levels of government when it does fail. Republicans and Democrats alike have created huge institutions like the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and now Homeland Security, built on dreams that can never meet the excessive demands placed upon them.

If we are to learn anything from the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, we will have to review the more practical expectations of the Framers of our Federal system. Local and state government are the primary responders. To keep their powers and responsibility intact the Federal Government is a resource they must administer wisely and decisively. Focusing on the habitual incoherence of Bush Administration communications is beside the point. There is no excuse for ignoring the key failures of local and state government in facing the challenge of Hurricane Katrina. Doing so will only ensure the next disaster.
Storms of Stupidity on the Op-Ed Pages
By Will Wilkinson at Tech Central Station
When principled limitations to the scope of government are absent, the necessities of government become mere side projects of vote hunting glad-handers and pork sniffing crony-bureaucrats. When government is unbounded, it is always left impotent to prioritize and coordinate on its most necessary functions. New Orleans is paying for the failure to limit government, for the profligate abuse of the notion of the public good.
Making the worst of a bad situation
Bob Weir at The American Thinker
The city and the state were always aware of the perilous position of New Orleans below sea level. But the lack of preparation for such a cataclysmic event, was not blamed on them, but directed at Bush. This is tantamount to an admission that individual states have no responsibility for their own destiny in the worldview of the Bush-bashers. It also proves that every negative occurrence in America will inevitably be laid at the steps of the White House, at least until the next Democrat moves in. While liberal politicians and commentators were filling their quills with poisonous arrows and putting a bulls-eye on Bush, the victims of Katrina were just as dead, just as hungry, just as homeless and just as destitute as they would have been no matter who the Chief Executive was.

To suggest that a President Clinton, or Gore, or Kerry, could have done more is to use a national tragedy as a political football, and should be met with the same contempt shown to those who would loot jewelry stores during such a disaster. One New York Times editor, speaking on ABC News, insinuated sarcastically that presidential advisor, Karl Rove was probably making the decisions for the rescue effort. Sadly, these Bush haters are so filled with bile they can’t conjure up a thought that isn’t predicated on building a platform for the next liberal to occupy the Oval Office.
Human tempests befell us after Katrina
By Victor Davis Hanson in the Honolulu Advertiser
"In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better sentiments because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes."

So the historian Thucydides explained, some 2,400 years ago, the grotesque rampages during a revolution on the island of Corfu.

…[In present day New Orleans] the stranded somehow assumed that government services could provide instant succor at ground zero of a biblical catastrophe. When such agencies could not, looters stole appliances (despite having no electricity). With little food, some filched liquor. In the midst of water everywhere, arsonists managed to ignite a mall. With roads impassable, others still roamed the city widely to rape women and shoot at police.

In response, Jesse Jackson jetted in not to organize self-help brigades but only to inflame by calling the mayhem "the hull of a slave ship." Civil rights activist Randall Robinson, without a shred of evidence, immediately alleged — and later retracted — charges of cannibalism: "(B)lack hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive."
Stand Up to Them, Mr. President
By Pat Buchanan at Real Clear Politics
Now, about these race charges. Yes, the vast majority of those who refused to leave or were left behind and wound up in the squalor and terror of the Superdome and convention center were black. But, so, too, is that klutz of a mayor, many of the cops who fled, and nearly all the looters and rapists.

But most of the Army and Guard troops and U.S. agents pouring in to restore order and almost all of the rescue workers are white, a fact the race-baiters ignore, not wanting truth to dilute the purity of their hate crimes.
Katrina and the Political Waves
By Lee Harris at Tech Central Station
Because Americans [via the Patriot Act and the new bureaucracy of Home;land Security] had bestowed so much new power on the federal government, in order to protect them from terrorism, they naturally assumed that this discretionary power would be tapped at the first appearance of any genuine state of emergency. After all, Americans authorized the federal government immense new powers, precisely so that red-tape and bureaucratic obstacles could be swept away in face of a serious life-and-death crisis. Yet when that crisis came, Americans discovered that while they had given the state extraordinary powers to protect them, the state had no clue how to use these powers for that purpose. Americans thought they were empowering central government in order to make it efficient, agile, and swift in response; in fact, they were merely bloating it with additional bureaucracies and men of such startling mediocrity that they could only have been appointed by one another.
Deadly Bureaucracy
In Katrina's wake, red tape too often trumped common sense.
BY BOBBY JINDAL at Opinion Journal
This is not the only story of red tape triumphing over common sense. After so many years of drills and exercises, we were still unprepared for Hurricane Katrina.

• A mayor in my district tried to get supplies for his constituents, who were hit directly by the hurricane. He called for help and was put on hold for 45 minutes. Eventually, a bureaucrat promised to write a memo to his supervisor.

• Evacuees on a boat from St. Bernard Parish could not find anyone to give them permission to dock along the Mississippi River. Security forces, they say, were prepared to turn them away at one port.

• A sheriff in my district office reported being told that he would not get the resources his office needed to do its job unless he emailed a request. The parish was flooded and without electricity!

• Unbelievably, first responders were hindered by a lack of interoperable communications. Do you recall how New York police and fire departments on 9/11 could not talk with each other? Four years later, despite billions spent on homeland security, state, federal, and local officials in Louisiana had the same problem.

…[Nonetheless, t]he first responders, in combination with our military forces, saved 9,500-plus lives, assisted 102,800 people, and evacuated 22,000 refugees. More then 9.9 million Meals Ready to Eat and 6.6 million gallons of water were distributed. As I write this column, 1,200 buses are in transit taking refugees to shelters across the country.

In coming days, there will be many more such stories, both tragic and heroic. There will be stunning examples of depravity, in which lives were needlessly lost and permanently damaged. But there will be inspiring examples of individuals who sacrificed all so that others might live.
The Hull of a Slave Ship
Shelby H. Williams at The American Thinker
20 year old Jabbar Gibson took (looted, found) a bus from a school bus depot, and en route out of the city proceeded to fill it to capacity with folks of all sorts, driving it to Houston, pooling the passengers' money to refuel it along the way. Jabbar took responsibility for sixty to eighty New Orleans victims of hurricane Katrina. Yet the world watched New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as he couldn't even take responsibility for himself.

As has been noted ceaselessly in the media, the majority of those left behind as New Orleans sank into an ever-worsening calamity, both environmental and human, were black. "So poor… and so black" as Wolf Blitzer now famously stated. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, in classic form, baited, saying,

"This looks like the hull of a slave ship."

The allusion is more real than he imagined.

It has also been said that those who remained did not have the means to leave. But as New Orleans filled up like a cauldron and the need turned from weathering the fierce power of a hurricane to fleeing a doomed city, Jabbar Gibson demonstrated that they most certainly did have the means.

The poor of New Orleans corralled at the Superdome and the Convention Center were assured and confident, at first, that the government (many prefacing that word with "Federal") would deliver them and take care of them. After all, that's what they had been led to believe. This turned to bewilderment as their hallowed governmental savior failed to appear, then to frustration and despair, and finally into utter and miserable helplessness.

As the helpless crowd milled and waited and sank into anarchy, yes, appallingly, it did resemble the hull of a slave ship. And it was you, Reverend Jackson, and your ilk who enslaved them.
Where to Point the Fingers
By Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post
This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bush's response earns impeachment

That's the title of a 7-Sep-05 opinion piece in the Lansing State Journal. Link here.

You probably don't need to read it, but I've
included it for completeness. If the link fails, and if you're truly compulsive, email me and I'll get a copy to you.

In any case, I've sent the following to the author.

*
Re: Bush's response earns impeachment

There are many things we don't yet know about the tragedy in New Orleans. Prudence might dictate gathering evidence rather than blaming every possible problem on a single predetermined target.

There is more than enough blame to go around. Government incompetence in the face of disaster is both tragic and unexceptional. In most things, effectiveness deteriorates according to the square of the distance between citizens and government.

A lot of people have been praising big government since the Katrina disaster. Usually, just before they complain about the actual big government we already have. "If only we were in charge", both sides wail. (TOTH QandO)

It is not a shuffling of the federal deck chairs that is required; it is recognizing the limitations of centralized command-and-control in the first place.

We've had incompetence exposed at every level of government – no surprise. However, the preponderance of evidence thus far implicates local and state officials more so than the feds.

The school buses not mobilized by the Mayor, and the dithering by the Governor, seem far more contributory to the suffering than anything the feds did or did not do.

Your appeal to corrective action might have more persuasive value were it more accurate than emotional. I do commend your forbearance from raising Bush's refusal to sign Kyoto as having caused Katrina. Nevertheless, your points do not support your thesis. Some are frivolous, others are merely irrelevant. The rest contain errors of logic and/or fact.

I offer two examples.

1- You write, "It is unconscionable that so many of the people left behind to drown were poor and black."

Of course, it is sad that any people drowned, but hurricanes will do that. It is also true that poverty may limit mobility. Still, what has skin color to do with the failure of the black mayor of New Orleans to follow the city’s disaster plan by mobilizing public transit?

Are the drownings of the poor white people he was similarly responsible for leaving behind more nearly conscionable? Is he simply a racist who cannot count? If you will charge the President with racism, that conclusion would follow.

2- You comment: "It is disgraceful that tens of thousands of American citizens sat in the Superdome and the Convention Center without food, water, or basic sanitary conditions, among dead and dying, among marauding gangs and pure anarchy for days without help."

This is disgraceful, and it has little to do with the federal government or George Bush.

On NPR's Diane Rehm show Wednesday morning a Red Cross official, Carol Miller, said that the Red Cross was told not to provide aid – using supplies pre-positioned in New Orleans for exactly that purpose - at the Superdome by the Louisiana, not U.S., Department of Homeland Security. Audio here: (link on left side of page). The comment is at about 35:40.

This is confirmed by the Red Cross Website. See second bullet.

Finally, the laws of the United States specifically forbid the National Guard from being “first responders”. That is, while the Governor of Louisiana controls the Louisiana National Guard, and could have deployed them at any time, Guard units from other States must be requested. It should not be any other way, and cannot be legally, as a matter of civil liberty.

The first responders, as that term is generally used, are always local police and firefighters. We have just been shown that it is a bad idea to even imagine the feds as first responders.

It is not a matter of federal personalities, nor is it related to the occupant of the Oval Office. There is just too yawning a gap between individual citizens and a central government, no matter how constituted.

In any case, I would hope we could agree that the formation of the Department of Homeland Security can serve as a bad example of Washington bureaucrats run amok, if that isn't a double negative, and that creeping federalization of first responders is a seriously bad idea.

Sincerely,
*

Update 2:39PM 9-Sep -
Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Update 7:07PM 9-Sep
Salvation Army Confirms Louisiana Gov't Kept Them Out Of New Orleans

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

BTW


If you have contributed to Katrina charitable relief, either as a result of reading this blog, or any other, please log your contribution at this link.

As I post this, the total of blogs
registered at the truth laid bear is over $1.3 Million.

Most is from:
Instapundit.com1723$ 376,957
Hugh Hewitt556$ 127,456
Michelle Malkin297$ 44,334
Captain's Quarters175$ 37,361
Observations of a Misfit71$ 31,751
The Anchoress113$ 18,482
Power Line109$ 18,272
G e n e r a t i o n W h y ?22$ 17,250
The Irish Trojan's blog - Brendan Loy's homepage56$ 15,674
SteynOnline105$ 13,795
Business Owner’s Blog20$ 13,551

... but recording it all helps.

Thanks

Monday, September 05, 2005

Randi Hood


Randi Rhodes is apparently an Air America “personality”, or at least she has a regular time slot on that radio network. Until this example of her art was picked up by the blogosphere (I first saw it at Angry in the Great White North), my familiarity with Ms. Rhodes extended to vague recognition of her name. Now I have a much better idea about her moral foundation.

She’s been urging people in New Orleans to loot. You might think she simply wants the term “looting”, or its consequences, not to be applied to people in desperate straights who are just trying to survive. This would be a reasonable assumption about a rational talk show host aware of rising barbarism in a disaster area. It would also be wrong.

Ms. Rhodes tenders specific advice about looting that tells us much about her, about her employer and about people who advertise on her show or Web page (Such as Vonage on the Web site. I’m not going to listen to her to determine her radio sponsors, but maybe Boycott Liberalism can help us out.).

Ms. Rhodes advises eschewing Wal-Mart merchandise (leave that to the cops) in favor of higher value booty; big screen plasma TV’s and jewelry, for example.

As we know, some New Orleans residents did not need Ms. Rhodes approbation in order to loot; and, to be clear, taking food, water, clothing or the materials to build shelter should not be considered looting in a time where civil order has broken down as completely as it had in New Orleans. In the case of basic survival in a suddenly Hobbesian world, property rights are not absolute.

However, the debate over the moral qualities of a person who selects a 42 inch plasma TV in preference to food and water when people are dying is necessarily a short one. The optimism it shows about the restoration of electrical power is overbalanced by its lack of self-preserving common sense. Any discussion regarding the merits of broadcasting an appeal to such behavior is even shorter.

This is theft. It is looting. People who do it can be shot, and they are being shot. (The dead guy was probably supplying suppressing fire for some looters.)

Which brings us to Ms. Rhodes tactical error: Tactical, since her ethical poverty is already glaringly apparent. She should have told looters: First hit a gun store. This way you can practice sniping rescuers against the day when you’ll need to try to kill a cop or a National Guardsman if caught exercising your right to a shopping cart full of gangsta’ rap DVD’s.

The first rule of looting is - be armed. Stealing while armed offers higher probability of success.

Ms. Rhodes has done us the favor of demonstrating the Statist philosophical connection to looting, and to the practical results of nearly 50 years of rising nanny-state expectations. She tells us that the job of government is to care for us by means of confiscating other people’s property; if there is an interruption in service, feel free to eliminate the middleman.

In an irony most certainly lost on Ms. Rhodes, she’s calling for the privatization of Statism.

It is unsurprising that an Air America on-air personality should advocate looting. Air America sees the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from children and the elderly as business as usual. Randi Rhodes is simply proselytizing the Statist ideal that the function of government is to redistribute wealth. I.e., to loot.

The most successful pack of looters on the planet, not because of skill, but because of opportunity (they happen to reside in the country with the world’s largest economy), all hang out in Washington DC. These are our elected “representatives”. Looting is what they do.

Ms. Rhodes is simply logically extending the Statist looter mentality.

So if, in the next election, we hear people citing moral values as motivation for their electoral choices, we’ll have Randi Rhodes and Air America to thank for defining it.

Update: 1:27. Trackback to Small Dead Animals.

Update: 1:58. See this Mark Steyn piece. Recommended.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina Links

Because there are some people who will take advantage of anything, please consider carefully any appeal for aid that isn't from a well established charity.

I'm recommending the American Red Cross, because they are well established and they specialize in disaster relief.

You will probably want to specify a donation for Hurricane relief, but don't forget the Red Cross also facilitates communication between members of our military and their families. There will certainly be a lot of soldiers wondering about their loved ones in the devastated areas.

If you you prefer an alternative to the Red Cross, please consider Mercy Corps.

More information is available on efforts in support of aid to Katrina's victims by bloggers here and here.

Instapundit has a number of links.

N Z Bear is maintaining a
Katrina relief aggregator page.

And prayers couldn't hurt either.