El Hombre Nuevo, the man who contributed the awesome post "Human Destiny And The Truth About Oil," has come up with a point for point rebuttal.
This should be fun!
Ben Stein in Red
-El Hombre Nuevo- in Blue
Get Off His Back (Updated)
Published 9/2/2005 11:59:59 PM
***UPDATED: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, 2:13 p.m.***
A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:
1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.
2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.
2. Of Course Bush did not "create" or "unleash" this hurricane. NOBODY IS
SAYING HE DID. To imply that such statements are being made is to engage in
slander and serves to cast unnecessary doubt over the many valid claims being
made about the insufficiency of the relief OUTCOME. I do not criticize the
relief EFFORT. It is the outcome I wonder about. What about all this
foreknowledge about the realistic potential of such a storm? What about all
the wealth of this country? What about all the simulations and game-planning?
3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.
3. Again, no such claims are being made!! Of course Bush did not "make this
one worse than others." I hope this doesn't sound nit-picky but what do you
expect, Ben, when you title your piece 'Get Off His Back' and then proceed to
make a list of grievances? Remember the goal of all this emotion is to end up
with an attitude change about using our vast resources in better ways.
4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world's worst polluters -- China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.
4. "There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists." What
planet do you live on Ben? Mars? I don't know of any evidence of rising
temps there. However, on this planet the average temps have been rising for
the last 11,000 years since the last ice age ended. Ice cores, sediment
cores, floral evidence and of course the fact that I am living in the Northern
hemisphere and am not covered in tons of ice all point to a gradual natural
warming. We have no blueprint for how this type of warming plays out so it is
near impossible to ever have hard data on how much of it humans are
responsible for. 1%? 3%? Who really cares. The planet is warming and we
have to deal with it. PS: the IS evidence that global warming does make
hurricanes more powerful. Get your facts straight!! PPS: The US should be
included in your list of "world's worst polluters."
5.) George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush's fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It's not George Bush's fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.
5. Chill out Ben!! Being President is like being an NFL quarterback. When
things go well you get more credit than you deserve. When things go bad you
get more blame than is fair. Bush knew this when he put his hand on the that
6.) George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell.
6. Thanks for clearing that up!!
7.) George Bush is the least racist President in mind and soul there has ever been and this is shown in his appointments over and over. To say otherwise is scandalously untrue.
7. Bush has a very diverse cabinet.
8.) George Bush is rushing every bit of help he can to New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama as soon as he can. He is not a magician. It takes time to organize huge convoys of food and now they are starting to arrive. That they get in at all considering the lawlessness of the city is a miracle of bravery and organization.
9.) There is not the slightest evidence at all that the war in Iraq has diminished the response of the government to the emergency. To say otherwise is pure slander.
9. Actually, to assert that the war in Iraq has not in some small way
diminished our efforts to respond is nonsense. To say nothing of the large
portion of our active and reserve duty people in Iraq with all the related
helicopters, trucks, hummviees, supplies and know-how...imagine how focused
the brain trust of the Pentagon was on Iraq before the storm hit.
10.) If the energy the news media puts into blaming Bush for an Act of God worsened by stupendous incompetence by the New Orleans city authorities and the malevolence of the criminals of the city were directed to helping the morale of the nation, we would all be a lot better off.
10. Most democratically-minded people believe that in a democracy it is
better if the media works to keep the government honest by asking hard
11.) New Orleans is a great city with many great people. It will recover and be greater than ever. Sticking pins into an effigy of George Bush that does not resemble him in the slightest will not speed the process by one day.
11. Effigies are cool!!
12.) The entire episode is a dramatic lesson in the breathtaking callousness of government officials at the ground level. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten her way and they were in charge of your health care. God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.
12. What does Hillary and health care have to do with any of this? Thanks
for drawing a visible yet meaningless line between two unrelated things. Ben,
you praise government relief efforts earlier in your piece yet quickly turn
cynical about government when an opportunity arose to pull out the old Hillary
health care fear machine. It's a tired song.
****UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, 2:13 p.m.:More Mysteries of Katrina:Why is it that the snipers who shot at emergency rescuers trying to save people in hospitals and shelters are never mentioned except in passing, and Mr. Bush, who is turning over heaven and earth to rescue the victims of the storm, is endlessly vilified? What church does Rev. Al Sharpton belong to that believes in passing blame and singling out people by race for opprobrium and hate? What special abilities does the media have for deciding how much blame goes to the federal government as opposed to the city government of New Orleans for the aftereffects of Katrina? If able-bodied people refuse to obey a mandatory evacuation order for a city, have they not assumed the risk that ill effects will happen to them? When the city government simply ignores its own sick and hospitalized and elderly people in its evacuation order, is Mr. Bush to blame for that? Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush's fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind? Where did the idea come from that salvation comes from hatred and criticism and mockery instead of love and co-operation?
And finally...Do not confuse frustrated criticism associated with the scale of
the storm and the massive yet insufficient relief outcome with the frustrated
criticism caused by the fact that we did not read the obvious signs and
prepare ourselves better. A city built below sea-level, near the sea, and
surrounded by a huge river is asking for trouble. We are the wealthiest
nation on Earth yet we could not find the resources to protect a city thought
by all to be a national treasure. What does this say about our priorities? I
do not fault Bush for creating a failure. I fault him for doing nothing to
stop bad policy.
There ya go! Keep it swinging boys!