Life Under Occupation

NBC's Brian Williams blogs from New Orleans:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

And:

It is impossible to over-emphasize the extent to which this area is under government occupation, and portions of it under government-enforced lockdown. Police cars rule the streets. They (along with Humvees, ambulances, fire apparatus, FEMA trucks and all official-looking SUVs) are generally not stopped at checkpoints and roadblocks. All other vehicles are subject to long lines and snap judgments and must PROVE they have vital business inside the vast roped-off regions here. If we did not have the services of an off-duty law enforcement officer, we could not do our jobs in the course of a work day and get back in time to put together the broadcast and get on the air.

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  • ||

    That's super.

    Good thing my day is almost done and I can go get a fucking drink.

  • ||

    Don't forget, last week the issue was that Bush hadn't sent the military in fast enough.

  • ||

    Don't worry Brian - Mother Sheehan's got your back and pretty soon she'll drive those evil soldiers out of the Crescent City. Free occupied New Orleans!

  • ||

    All other vehicles are subject to long lines and snap judgments and must PROVE they have vital business inside the vast roped-off regions here.

    So now spewing the party line for half and hour is vital business. O-kay.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Don't forget, last week the issue was that Bush hadn't sent the military in fast enough.

    Were people complaining that he hadn't locked down the city, put the military in charge of everything, and set up a Potemkin power supply?

  • The Anti-Puritan||

    If we're lucky, all this mischief will instill a healthy distrust of government in a new generation.

  • ||

    no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out ... It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

    It's not making me jump to any conclusions that I hadn't already jumped to.

  • Coyote||

  • ||

    Were people complaining that he hadn't locked down the city, put the military in charge of everything, and set up a Potemkin power supply?

    I believe a few people were complaining that they hadn't shot enough people yet. Maybe they're just working up to it.

  • ||

    "Don't forget, last week the issue was that Bush hadn't sent the military in fast enough."

    Ah, yes, the mentality of the corrupt cop. "You don't like that I kick whoever's ass I feel like? Fine, I just won't do nuthin when the rioters get to your store. Let's see how you like that."

  • ||

    Maybe we should keep our military deployed in the Middle East for the next few generations...

  • ||

    OK, answer quickly,

    If you were from New Orleans, and instead of people from Texas helping you out, lending you the Astrodome, raising incredible amounts of money, they send soldiers to Louisiana and keep this type of military presence up. And no matter what you said or did, they kept electing a governor who kept up the occupation...

    How many of you would start blowing up Texans?

    Uniformed Texans in New Orleans?

    Civilian Texans in New Orleans?

    Uniformed Texans in Texas?

    Civilian Texans in Texas?

  • ||

    "Don't forget, last week the issue was that Bush hadn't sent the military in fast enough."

    Walker beat me to it, but, yeah--as I recall--people were complaining that the government didn't evacuate people fast enough, didn't provide sufficient water, food, clothing and medical care fast enough, etc.

    I don't remember people complaining that the government didn't occupy the city like an invading army and declare martial law fast enough. There may have been a peep or two about lootin', but, relatively speaking, that was just a peep.

    ...but if you meant to suggest that the Bush Administration is just as culpable for its incompetence as it was last week, then you're right of course.

  • ||

    joe, what ARE you on about?

  • ||

    US out of New Orleans!

    No blood for beads!

  • ||

    All I'm saying, SY, is that if something like that were to come to pass, the Louisianans would totally hate the Texans for their freedom.

  • Windypundit||

    OK joe, but would it be okay to blow up civilian Louisianans in Louisiana?

  • ||

    I've always thought of people from Texas as an occupation force, especially on Redskins/Dallas week.

    ...I've said it before and I'll say it again--the next time they decide they want to go, we should just let 'em.

    Are alternative histories still popular or has that fad already had its flash in the pan? ...What if Texas hadn't been admitted into the Union? Maybe no escalation in the Vietnam War in '64? ...Maybe no Kennedy Assassination? ...Maybe no Great Society? ...Maybe no Iraq War?

  • ||

    If we're lucky, all this mischief will instill a healthy distrust of government in a new generation.

    You would think so, but my observation has been that no matter what outrages government perpetrates, people don't come to the conclusion there's anything inherently wrong with government, they come to the conclusion the "right people" need to be running it.

    If they haven't learned their lesson by now, I doubt they're ever going to.

  • ||

    SY,

    Joe's making rationalizations for terrorism.

    Pitiful.

  • ||

    Pull the military out and tell the NO police to go back to normal ops and let the people loot the place. I liked the "Bush doesn't care" rants better than the Cindy Sheehan "stop the military occupation of New Orleans" rants.

    Its a fucking disaster area. Private citizens are not there to watch over their property and a lot of people out there would love to take advantage of that and loot. No one should be going into New Orleans right now unless they own property there, have a reason to go and the area they live in is safe, or they are a part of relief effort. If I owned property there, I would sure as hell want the National Guard and the police down there in force making sure that no one took avantage of the situation.

    The whinnyness of some of the readers and writters at Reason is just amazing. "We want the federal government down here now!!" "How dare the Army or police search a car trying to keep looters out!! WAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    Bottomline is people are going hate him either way, so I wouldn't blame Bush if would have just let the whole place fall into the Gulf of Mexico, because God knows had it not been for the Feds the state and local governments of NO and Lousianna would have never done anything. They would have hated him anyway and I wouldn't be getting stuck with the tax bill of rebuilding a city that has no business being there and replacing the homes of people who insist on living in an area where they know a hurricane is going to come and wipe out everything they own every ten years or so yet still manage to act shocked and expect the taxpayers to pay for it when it happens. I wouldn't have to suffer through anymore pissing and moaning than I do now and my tax bill would be a lot lower.

  • ||

    I could tell a story or two about the likes of me down at the 501 Club on Bourbon Street.
    Has anyone else here had the pleasure of the fraulein/dominatrix there

  • ||

    Hey, Tom Crick:
    No matter how much good 'ole boy hick accent he tries to spin, Dubya was born in Conneticut, so he ain't no Texan. Unfortunately I can't say the same for LBJ.

    That having been said, Roger Clemens (born in Dayton, OH) is.
    (I've come to accept this hipocrisy.)

  • ||

    "No matter how much good 'ole boy hick accent he tries to spin, Dubya was born in Conneticut, so he ain't no Texan."

    Bush may have been born in Connecticut, but he was the governor of Texas. ...and if he hadn't been the governor of Texas, he probably wouldn't have been President.

    ...To me, it's kind of like a Parcells thing. Parcells wasn't born in Texas, but he was part of the evil up north that did its best to divide the righteous from our rightful place in history. Now he's made himself part of that most loathful, hideous abomination. If he keeps it up, he may achieve that diabolic, satanic visage Landry commanded. I think that's what he wants.

    ...Parcells and Dubya, they might not be from Texas, but they might as well be.

    P.S. I'm with you on the accent. If that isn't an effected accent, I've never heard one.

  • ||

    reguardless its nice to see a very mainstream tv dude kick the shit out of the government consistently --

  • ||

    Party-line republicans irritate the shit out of me - far more than Cindy Sheehan ever could. The sun does not rise or set at Karl Rove/George Bush's say so, so stop acting as if it does. THIS IS THE WORST PRESIDENT WE'VE HAD SINCE LYNDON JOHNSON. Clinton could not hold a candle to this man's penchant for spending, lying, and spending somore more. This goes to show: Texans should not be allowed in the white house.

    And to John: No one is bashing the military. They're bashing martial law that is now gripping NO.

  • ||

    It appears Joe had a few too many Zimas down at the People's Republik.

  • ||

    Actually, I agree with a lot of what John says. It's a disaster area. Civilization collapsed under an assault from Mother, and it's the bloody jungle if civilization isn't imposed. I remember the libertarians singing the praises of a different sort of gun toting type a week or so ago. And you were right - in a situation like this, it gets ugly, and you need civiliation to be imposed again.

    But you have to admit, John, a military occupation suuuuuuuuuuucks. It's the sort of thing you need to avoid if at all possible. You shouldn't be going around looking for excuses to put soldiers and civilians in that situation.

  • ||

    Windypundit, "OK joe, but would it be okay to blow up civilian Louisianans in Louisiana?"

    I'm going to sit here in my home office, and type an empathic "NO!" into my keyboard, and then I'm going to go polish the bottle of California chardonnay in my fridge.

    Yippee for me.

  • ||

    On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, according to the ad at the right hand side of my screen...

    I'm gonna learn--jiu jitsu?

  • K1avg||

    Police cars rule the streets.

    So? They rule the streets here too. It's fucking pathetic.

  • ||

    The whinnyness of some of the readers and writters at Reason is just amazing. "We want the federal government down here now!!" "How dare the Army or police search a car trying to keep looters out!! WAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    --John

    A-fucking-men, John. I don't give a shit for Bush either way, but Reason is like reading the fucking Nation or Daily Kos these days. Just calm-the-fuck-down about Bush already. He's bad. He's destroyed conservatism. But that doesn't mean every single thing he does is wrong.

    The complaints about looters were a whole lot more than a "peep." All law and order had broken down. With very few people in NO, who's going to keep order. There's no community there to hold things together. Just ruins and the police and army.

    The "occupation" will end when it makes sense. A week or two after the hurricane doesn't fit the bill.

  • ||

    The difference between this board and The Nation or Daily Kos is that the posters here regularly criticize Democrats and liberals. But since the Republicans are in power (and I think it's clearly evident that they're no more honest or competent than the Democrats), they're naturally going to be doing something worth criticizing more often.

    Are you suggesting that we shouldn't think critically about the manner in which martial law is being carried out in the United States?

  • ||

    Another John fan here.

    This is exactly what the government is supposed to be doing, protecting the people's property. That's one of the main tenets of libertarianism, right? I also agree with joe (gasp!...jk), that this sucks for those that are trying to get around down there legitimately, and needs to end ASAP.

  • ||

    You people are so full of shit.

    There are no troops in New Orleans. It's Bush's fault!

    There are troops in New Orleans. It's Bush's fault!

    It's cloudy! It's Bush's fault!

    New Orleans and Louisiana are using their budgets to give away millions and millions of dollars to millionaire NFL and NBA owners instead of preparing for hurricanes. It's Bush's fault! He started it!!!

    Oh, sorry, I forgot. Bush should have sent the Magic FEMA Force into New Orleans with all of its food and candy to spread love into the city. When we were complaining that the federal government wasn't there, we were actually talking about the Magic FEMA Force. Yeah, that's it. And there is a Magic FEMA Force, Bush just doesn't want you to know about it!!!

    Now let's be good little libertarians and support the consolidation of power to the feds so that we can whine when the feds consolidate power.

  • ||

    Now hold on. I don't know much about the technical aspects of how power is restored after a disaster, but I can speak of what happened when Hurricane Hugo roared through my corner of the Carolinas in 1989. We were without power for nearly two weeks, but... we DID have sporadic periods where the power would come on VERY briefly and then go off. From what I heard later, it appears to have something to do with the process of reconnecting downed lines...It was frustrating, but I don't know if it had anything to do with visits by government dignitaries.

  • ||

    OK, lemme clarify that. The power came on twice during that nearly-two-week span, for like an hour each time.

  • ||

    From what I heard later, it appears to have something to do with the process of reconnecting downed lines...

    There's a huge current surge when you re-energize the grid. It can burn out transformers, even generators. NYC had this problem during their black outs in the past.

    Problem is, how do you make everybody turn everything off, so you can minimize the surge when the grid comes back up.


    Ammonium,

    It's cloudy! It's Bush's fault!

    I'm one libertarian who said from the start, it isn't Bush that ought to get roasted. I got nothing against roasting Bushes, but at least roast them for what they deserve.

    Most people -- including many libertarians around here -- respond to what they get out of the MSM. And the MSM has been doing their very best to sow the outrage. They should get an award, they've done well.

    Everybody says "don't believe what you see in the MSM". But in the end, everybody believes what they see in the MSM.

    Bush is just doing what any democratically elected politician would do under the circumstances. What else did anybody expect? This particular problem isn't Bush's fault, it's just the nature of democracy.

    Democracy is a long way from perfect...and it is the reason that we will all pay to "rebuild" NO, however that ends up getting done, whether we like it or not.

  • ||

    joe,

    Ah, yes, the mentality of the corrupt cop. "You don't like that I kick whoever's ass I feel like? Fine, I just won't do nuthin when the rioters get to your store. Let's see how you like that."

    Thankyou for describing the nature of government in general, yourself included.

    Civilization collapsed under an assault from Mother...

    Sorry, things in the Big Easy aren't as bad as you (or CNN) paint them, nor are human beings the Hobbesian creatures that you paint them to be either. Heh, I always wonder what connected limousine liberals and fire and brimestone Christians. Now I know.

  • ||

    Does everyone remember the body count that was supposed to rise into the thousands (ten thousand?)? How the aiport wasn't supposed to be open for months since it was going to be a triage center? We're seeing a similar overreaction regarding law and order issues.

  • ||

    BTW, its in the best interest of many people to paint this situation as if it were the battle of Stalingrad. They can more easily seize your property, rights, etc. that way.

  • anon||

    I'm going to sit here in my home office, and type an empathic "NO!" into my keyboard, and then I'm going to go polish the bottle of California chardonnay in my fridge.

    It's great that you have a home office, but do you really need a fridge to sit in while polishing a wine bottle?

  • ||

    Joe,

    I agree that we need to get the active duty military out of there pretty soon. NO and Louisianna have a national guard and a police force. What we going to do start sending in civil affairs teams to rebuild New Orleans? (Actually if you know that much NO government, it might do them so good) There is a national guard that is supposed to do Title 32 state functions like keeping law and order in a diaster area. My guess is that that is who the reporter saw because Posse Comitatus prevents the regular military from doing that kind of stuff.

    I agree with you though, we need an exit strategy from New Orleans, at least for the active duty military. How long the National Guard stays there is the STate of Louisianna's business.

  • ||

    I have also defended Bush to the death on a lot of things but I am not defending him on this boondogle to rebuild New Orleans. We need to help the people who have lost everything and get them back on their feet. I have no problem with the government doing that. It is rediculous, however, to spend billions of dollars to rebuild the city. If its effencient to be rebuilt, then the private sector will do it with no help from the government. Every poll I have seen is running two to one against spending big money to rebuild New Orleans, and at least here in Texas, not many of the people evacuated from there want to go back. Why on earth are we going to waste billions of dollars rebuilding the city? What, so a bunch of corrupt good old boy land speculators in Lousianna can steal my tax dollars in some rebuilding scheme?

    I think Bush is going to loose a lot of his base over this one and its a huge political mistake. He has let the MSM and the daily Kos brigade in their hysterical reaction to the disaster goad him into to doing something really stupid and ultimately very unpopular.

  • ||

    There are all of these complaints up thread (John, John Fan, Ammonium) that the complaints about the military presence of Bush-bashing, but when I look at the original post, and the comments that preceded this counter-attacks, I don't see Bush mentioned at all.

    Fellas, you're getting a little quick on the draw with the "pathological Bush hatred" excuse. What, you can't make a counter argument, so you write "You hate teh President?" Weak, dude.

  • ||

    "Sorry, things in the Big Easy aren't as bad as you (or CNN) paint them, nor are human beings the Hobbesian creatures that you paint them to be either."

    Cue Hak, dressed as Kevin Bacon, yelling "All is well!"

  • ||

    "Heh, I always wonder what connected limousine liberals..."

    I drive a Civic and work in severely dislocated former industrial center, Frenchie. How about you?

  • ||

    joe,

    Cue Hak, dressed as Kevin Bacon, yelling "All is well!"

    Cue joe yelling out fabrications. When did "aren't as bad" equal "All is well!" again? joe, why do you always have to depend fabrications? Anyway, its nice to finally figure out that your modus operandi is that of a misanthrope.

    I drive a Civic and work in severely dislocated former industrial center...

    Right. Sure you do. :)

  • ||

    Oh, no! Jean Gary Croesus Hak just accused me of presenting misleading details about myself to improve my perceived standing in an argument!

    Whatever shall I do? My grief is so intense, I must decamp to Little Round Top with my buddies from the French Marines.

  • newsblaze||

    I agree with you though, we need an exit strategy from New Orleans, at least for the active duty military. How long the National Guard stays there is the STate of Louisianna's business.

    Would that be the same state government that was so paralyzed just a short time ago and couldn't do anything to help itself and wanted the feds to do it.

    Exit strategy - now there is one man in charge and I'm sure he knows the real situation there and is also talking to the state government. He will decide when the time is right. Just because it is quiet now doesn't mean there isn't a need for the curfew and military presence. That's part of the reason it is quiet.

    Public opinion wants a declaration of victory, pull out the troops, then complain they pulled out too soon and therefore the government is obviously incompetent. Instant gratification is not realistic. No matter what they do, they are wrong - its the polarized nature of US politics.

  • ||

    joe,

    I'm curious, when have I ever presented misleading details about myself to bolster an argument? I never have.

  • ||

    joe,

    Your argument via fabrication technique is quite amusing.

  • Shannon Love||

    joe,

    Strangely enough, something very much like your hypothetical Texas invasion actually occurred in Louisiana.

    It seems that sometime back these nutjobs in Massachusetts and some other similar places took moral offense to the long-standing social order and cultural practices of Louisiana. Incredibly, when Louisiana said, "If you don't like us, we don't want to be associated with you anymore," the people from Massachusetts actually invaded! After much bloodshed, Louisiana was placed under military occupation.

    Just as in your hypothetical, brave Louisianians did strike out stealthily against the occupiers by riding out a night to attack the soldiers and those locals who supported them. Fortunately, (from your perspective) the freaks from Massachusetts didn't have the strength of will to follow through and the occupation ended shortly and Louisiana reverted back to a cultural, political and social order very much like the one it had before it was so brutally attacked.

    Perhaps you should read up on the episode. There are a few books available on the subject, some quite good. I might direct your attention especially to the term "Copperhead" which dates from the events I describe. I think you will find it has some personal resonance for you.

  • ||

    Everyone who has been reading this blog knows exactly what I'm talking about, Jean Bart, and you do, too.

    You really aren't fooling anyone, you know? How's the room mate, the gay partner, and the Jewish wife?

  • ||

    joe,

    I think you are confusing having various personas with presenting misleading details about myself to bolster an argument. Not the brightest guy in the world, are you?

  • ||

    joe,

    So, I ask you again:

    I'm curious, when have I ever presented misleading details about myself to bolster an argument? I never have.

  • ||

    Buh bye, Hakluyt. I'll leave mocking your protests to the rest of the crew when they get back tomorrow. You probably should, too - between cleaning up from the storm, writing legal briefs, and finishing that software engineering project, you've got a busy weekend.

    Man, I sure do miss Jean Bart. It was a lot of fun arguing with him, before he went back to France, where they don't have the internet.

  • ||

    joe,

    I have never claimed to have a gay partner, BTW. I have told you folks that I used to sleep with men before I got married. Somehow crimethink could never bend his puritanical mind around that.

  • ||

    OK, fine, I couldn't help mocking "him" a little bit more.

    Can you blame me?

  • ||

    joe,

    Nice bit of avoidance on your part. :)

  • ||

    joe,

    I can't help but laugh at your avoidance a little bit more. :)

  • ||

    Software engineering project? You must be confusing me with someone else. Ooops, better hurry before you miss your limo!

  • ||

    joe,

    You never did answer my other question:

    When did "aren't as bad" equal "All is well!" again?

    It doesn't of course.

  • ||

    "If we're lucky, all this mischief will instill a healthy distrust of government in a new generation."

    I wonder if the Rodney King riots did a lot to bolster private gun ownership in LA? I would think it should have, and that would have been a great thing in my opinion. If the recent Katrina tragedy had a similar effect while also adding a healthy distrust of Gummint, that would be the silverest of linings. But I doubt it, from what I see, the overall reaction is a want of a stronger federal gummint.

    Yeah all kinds of fuckers were asking for troops and a stronger faster federal presense in NO. I for one wanted Bush to take the very unpopular stance of; "Hey those people fucked up and are now screwed", "lets see if they can bail themselves out of it, because they ain't getting federal funds or federal troops"

    "Hmmm local cops don't seem to be doing their jobs now, what a surprise, I'd like to help, but really I have no sympathy for unarmed men" "They should have known that a storm was coming and they should have known that local law enforcement, particularly that of the corrupt variety breaks down during disasters."

    That is what I would have liked Bush to say.

    But really the only difference between a republican and a democrat is that democrats are slightly worse. Yep, Kerry would have been worse, but in many cases not by much. Worse than very bad, if you will.

  • ||

    Hakluyt,

    If you are sending questions to one person, why don't you write one long post instead of 10 short ones?

    Also are you going to be at the H&R meeting in NY today?

    Also, you big gay French marine, you, why do you not believe Joe owns a Civic?

    Are you serios about the used to be gay thing?

  • ||

    Shannon Love,

    Your statements ignore the significant contributions of Louisiana to the Union cause. Thousands of whites joined the Union army and Louisiana had the largest black contingent of soldiers in the Civil War (numbering ~30,000). Though the 54th Mass. gets more play these days, the first black regiment in the Union army actually came from Louisiana - the 1st Louisiana.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I don't give a shit for Bush either way, but Reason is like reading the fucking Nation or Daily Kos these days. Just calm-the-fuck-down about Bush already.

    As Joe points out, the word "Bush" appears nowhere in the post. Don't get me wrong -- at this point I hold the man in contempt, and I think his response to Katrina has been terrible. But neither this post nor anything else I've written about the storm has focused on the president. The problems we're seeing are systemic, and they go a lot deeper than one obnoxious officeholder.

    This isn't the first time we've seen commenters rush to attack those awful "Bush-bashers" when there's actually precious little Bush-bashing going on. It's a weird sort of projection: They accuse their ideological opponents of letting their feelings about the president distort their views, but they're the ones who keep dragging him into everything. What gives?

    Finally: Those of you who don't like "whininess" should look into the mirror. You're upset that people criticize Bush no matter what he does? What do you expect? He's the president. Someone or another will criticize every significant decision he makes, and half the insignificant ones. That was true of Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter -- pretty much everyone aside from William Henry Harrison, who died before he could make any decisions at all. The important issue is which of those criticisms are accurate, not the fact that they take place.

  • ||

    kwais,

    If you are sending questions to one person, why don't you write one long post instead of 10 short ones?

    Habit I suppose. :)

    Also are you going to be at the H&R meeting in NY today?

    Well, I was probably going to be out of the U.S. before Katrina hit, then i decided not to go, and now I'm in the U.S. and away from the disaster area but too busy to go.

    I don't consider my sexuality to be limited to any particular gender. But one when gets married, and you commit yourself to one person, that's a binding commitment. Apparently folks who like to sleep with people of the same sex can't make that sort of commitment; at least that's the feeling I generally get from folks like crimethink, joe, etc.

    Shannon Love,

    That's out of a total population in 1860 (free and unfree) of ~700,000 people.

  • ||

    kwais,

    Long and the short of it is, I did consider going, and I could have gone if it were in late August, but shit got in the way.

  • Shannon Love||

    Hakluyt,

    Gee, I don't know if the fact that a minority of Louisanians supported the invasion would make of impact on joe. After all, to take a wholly unrelated contemporary example, the Kurds, who comprise 15% of the population in Iraq, are enthusiastic supporters of both the invasion and the occupation yet joe doesn't seem to think that matters.

    I mean, what percentage of a local population has to support an invasion to make it both moral and practical? I am sure that if you had a completely fair election at the time of the occupation of Louisiana the majority of people would have voted against the invasion, the occupation and the changes that the invaders sought to make.

    My major point was that hypothetical conditions that joe postulated did in fact exist and that the people of Louisiana did strike back against the invaders and their local supporters. Joe finds this resistance reasonable and even moral and implies that he would do the same thing in a similar circumstances.

  • ||

    Shannon Love,

    Its more like a majority did, since nearly of half of Louisiana's population in 1860 were slaves (and from what we know their behavior, they flocked to the Union lines whenever Union armies got close), and tens of thousands of the free (black and white) supported the Union as well. The untutored tend not to realize that the Civil war was as much of a slave insurrection as it was a war between sections of the country.

    I am sure that if you had a completely fair election at the time of the occupation of Louisiana the majority of people would have voted against the invasion, the occupation and the changes that the invaders sought to make.

    Given that neither women nor blacks (free or unfree) could vote in Louisiana in 1860, it would have been a meaningless gesture.

    Your fight with joe over Iraq doesn't really enter into my statements. I just want you to correctly understand the political, etc. dynamics that were going on Louisiana during the Civil War.

  • ||

    "The only difference I've found in Congress between the Republican and Democratic leadership is that one of'em is skinning us from the ankle up and the other from the ear down."

  • ||

    I think you are confusing having various personas with presenting misleading details about myself to bolster an argument.

    This strikes me as a distinction without a difference.

  • ||

    mediageek,

    Do explain. If I say "I am x, therefore you should believe y," then joe's claim would be correct. But I've never made such a claim.

    Huey P. Long's Ghost,

    Hey despot, I bet you're much chagrined over Carl Weiss aim, huh?

  • Shannon Love||

    Jesse Walker,

    "'s enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions"

    So, what "certain conclusions" were people jumping to? It seems clear that the implication is that the power was restored briefly as a potemkin display associated with the presidential visit. The only question is whether the display was intended to fool Bush or was intended to fool the national audience for Bush's benefit. Given the wink-wink phrasing, it's fair to conclude that Williams thinks the power was restored for latter reason.

  • ||

    "It's a weird sort of projection: They accuse their ideological opponents of letting their feelings about the president distort their views, but they're the ones who keep dragging him into everything. What gives?"

    There's definitely a logical disconnect there. They seem to think that charging someone with "Bush Bashing" is a definitive way of debunking that person's argument. ...as if opposition to the President was somehow logically impossible.

    Having said that, personally, I believe that some of the problems we're facing are a direct result of Bush Administration incompetence. ...and because of that, I think the Bush Administration's fiscal incompetence, poor execution of the War on Terror, poor justification and planning for the War in Iraq and poor disaster response management are all excellent topics for intelligent discourse.

    I think Walker's right, up to the point that the comment was made, no one seemed to attack the President in this thread. However, there seems to be a passionate assumption by many commmenters supportive of the Bush Administration--and not just in this thread--that everyone critical of Administration policy is just "Bush Bashing", and that's an inaccurate assumption.

    ...I'd just add that, theoretically, if President Bush and/or the Bush Administration are part of what's going wrong, then, as a patriotic American, I should criticize the President, shouldn't I?

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    John, the first time you accused Reason of "whinnyness" I figured it was a typo, but since this is the third time I've seen you use that construction, I'll do you a solid and point out that whine contains only one n. Whiny and whiney are accepted adjectival constructions, and whininess is the spelling you're looking for. Now continue your braying.

  • ||

    Tom Crick,

    Its not patriotic to criticize a Democrat or a Republican. :)

  • ||

    "So, what "certain conclusions" were people jumping to?"

    Surely you've noticed, Shannon, that some commenters react to criticism of Bush Administration policy like it was a racial slur.

    ...and it looks like someone jumped to the conclusion that Reason's critics of Administration policy would criticize the President regardless of policy or facts.

  • ||

    Tom Crick,

    We should say more nasty things about Sen. Landrieu, Gov. Blanco, and Mayor Nagin I guess.

  • ||

    "We should say more nasty things about Sen. Landrieu, Gov. Blanco, and Mayor Nagin I guess."

    I suppose we should, and I know that's a common complaint of the garden varitey commenter that supports the Bush Administrion--can I just go back to callin' 'em Bushbots now?

    ...But one of the many things Bushbots don't seem to get is that none of those people--Landrieu, Blanco, Nagin--answer to me at the ballot box. ...so their screwups just don't bother me as much.

    I'm not saying that's smart or right or that that's the way it should be--I'm sayin' that's the way it is.

  • ||

    "Apparently folks who like to sleep with people of the same sex can't make that sort of commitment; at least that's the feeling I generally get from folks like crimethink, joe, etc."

    Huh? I'm a big supporter of gay marriage. You might have noticed that I argue that side of the debate every time the issue is raised on one of those threads. Or, if you're Gary Hakluyt, you might not.

  • ||

    "Surely you've noticed, Shannon, that some commenters react to criticism of Bush Administration policy like it was a racial slur."

    Yes! That's it exactly! They play the Bush Basher card as if it were the race card - the obvious implication being that, like being caught as a racist, being caught as an opponent of George Bush puts you outise civilized discourse, and renders your opinions irrelevant.

    Good catch.

  • ||

    I'm fascinated by the fact that some commenters here don't know the difference between FEMA and the Marines. I wonder if they know the difference between a fireman and a cop. Or an SS trooper and a grunt. Or a KGB informant and a good american citizen.

    Wish You Were Here (Waters, Gilmour)

    So, so you think you can tell
    Heaven from Hell,
    Blue skys from pain.
    Can you tell a green field
    From a cold steel rail?
    A smile from a veil?
    Do you think you can tell?

    And did they get you to trade
    Your heros for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change?
    And did you exchange
    A walk on part in the war
    For a lead role in a cage?

    How I wish, how I wish you were here.
    We're just two lost souls
    Swimming in a fish bowl,
    Year after year,
    Running over the same old ground.
    What have we found?
    The same old fears.
    Wish you were here.

  • ||

    Hakluyt,

    I don't know about you, but I know that in the leadup to Iraq War II, Jean Bart often referred to his experience fighting in Desert Storm to bolster his arguments.

    I even remember thoreau remarking that the hawks should pay more attention to what JB was saying, since he knew what war was really like...

  • ||

    I think whinnyness is just the sign of a neighgative attitude.

  • John Bartley K7AAY||

    Fascinating how prescient James Cameron was in DARK ANGEL, ain't it? You can catch the show in syndication on S�TV (DISH Network 159), BTW.

  • Shannon Love||

    Tom Crick,

    "Surely you've noticed, Shannon, that some commenters react to criticism of Bush Administration policy like it was a racial slur."

    Surely, you've noticed Tom, that SOME commenters reflexively criticize Bush Administration policy in manner that is analogous to racism?

    Perhaps you have noticed that SOME commentators seem to believe simultaneously that Bush is wholly in the grasp of Christianity when it comes to social issues or stem cell research but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion? It is nothing to read on Reason the same commenter arguing that Bush is a christian fanatic in one thread and then arguing in the next that he murdered thousands in Iraq for no other reason than personal profit of his cronies.

    When people are logically inconsistent in their criticism and adopt whichever argument of the moment will make their target look the worst, then it is fair to ask whether their criticism result more from irrational hatred than reason.

  • Jesse Walker||

    SOME commenters reflexively criticize Bush Administration policy in manner that is analogous to racism?

    How exactly would that work?

    "All those Bush Administration policies look the same to me."

    "Don't get me wrong -- some of my best friends are Bush Administration policies."

    "You may think you like the Bush Administration's policies, but would you want your sister to marry one?"

  • ||

    Shannon,

    Perhaps you have noticed that SOME commentators seem to believe simultaneously that Bush is wholly in the grasp of Christianity when it comes to social issues or stem cell research but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion?

    Though I agree that some folks harbor irrational hatred of Bush, I don't know if this is the best example. There are many examples of fundamentalists following the tenets of their religion in some cases and discarding them in others. But it's also important to note that George Bush has never demonstrated any type of deep, philosophical understanding of the Old and/or New Testaments or anything else I know of for that matter.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion?

    Honesty and compassion are Christian beliefs?

  • ||

    Shannon Love,

    It is nothing to read on Reason the same commenter arguing that Bush is a christian fanatic in one thread and then arguing in the next that he murdered thousands in Iraq for no other reason than personal profit of his cronies.

    One can of course be a Christian fanatic on some issues, and a practitioner of cronyism in others. In other words, it just may be that Bush is inconsistent in these ways and that the poster(s) in question (whoever these people might be - being vague gives you some cover I guess) are right.

    crimethink,

    Well, I know something about war. That I cannot help.

    joe,

    Right. Sure.

  • ||

    Shannon Love,

    ...but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion?

    Right. I have nearly two thousand years of history that tells me otherwise.

  • ||

    Hakluyt,

    Well, I know something about war. That I cannot help.

    Could you also not help pretending that you were in a war that you were not? Or do you now claim that you actually were in Desert Storm, just not as Jean Bart? Was that during your having-sex-with-guys phase?

  • ||

    crimethink,

    Tell you what, I'll make the same deal with you that I made with thoreau. If you meet me at the Lido in Paris, I'll tell you all about me. :)

  • Phil||

    Perhaps you have noticed that SOME commentators seem to believe simultaneously that Bush is wholly in the grasp of Christianity when it comes to social issues or stem cell research but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion?

    And? I mean, unless you're completely ignorant, surely you've noticed this phenomenon among other so-called Christians, particularly those of the evangelical/fundamentalist bent.

  • ||

    Right. I have nearly two thousand years of history that tells me otherwise.

    Damn, you're old.

  • ||

    Stevo Darkly,

    There can be only one!

  • ||

    "Surely, you've noticed Tom, that SOME commenters reflexively criticize Bush Administration policy in manner that is analogous to racism?"

    Analagous to racism? Amazing. Someone who won't even entertain the notion that racism might have had some influence on why so many black people ended up thirsing and starving, trapped in New Orleans, turns into WEB DuBois when people are disrespectful to the president.

    I'm coining a term for people like Shannon - "Farrakhannabees."

  • ||

    (with heavy Scottish brogue) Hello. My name is Ramirez. I'm from Madrid.

  • ||

    "Surely, you've noticed Tom, that SOME commenters reflexively criticize Bush Administration policy in manner that is analogous to racism?"

    Walker responded better than I would have.

    Initially, I thought I'd add something agreeing with you to a point. ...I thought I'd agree that comments with chimpanzee references directed at the President--rather than his policies--sometimes smack of something like racism. ...but then I remembered something. It often seems to be the case that getting the thoughtful attention of propaganda victims can sometimes require shocking insults.

    There are people in this country who literally refer to themselves as dittoheads.

    I understand that there are table pounding websites that issue alerts to their followers whenever a poster or commenter writes something on Hit & Run too painful for Administration apologists to bear. ...Judging by the comments of these people, their thought processes are frightening. ...and once they're that far gone, it's very hard to communicate with them.

    Sometimes a well phrased personal insult directed at the President, coupled with thoughtful criticism, is the only way to get their attention. ...and it helps if that criticism is in language with which they're already comfortable. ...How many propaganda victims support the President--at least in part--because they think he's good at keeping the budget down?

    Like I've written so many times before, most people don't base what they believe on logic and facts; what they believe is a function of the people they trust. ...That's why the President speaks with a drawl. ...That's why propaganda victims get so upset when the people they trust are attacked.

    ...But it's the people they trust that's the problem; that is to say, if you want to persuade such people, you have to attack the people they trust. Logic and facts isn't going to persuade them--not at first; logic and facts isn't the basis for what they believe. You have to point out that the people they trust aren't so trustworthy first--know what I mean?

    So if personal trust is the basis of their political support, and if the politician in question exploits that trust to support policy, then I can see how personal attacks against that politician could be entirely justifiable. ...in certain situations with certain commenters. ...sometimes.

  • ||

    "Perhaps you have noticed that SOME commentators seem to believe simultaneously that Bush is wholly in the grasp of Christianity when it comes to social issues or stem cell research but that he holds no Christian beliefs in terms of his honesty or his compassion? It is nothing to read on Reason the same commenter arguing that Bush is a christian fanatic in one thread and then arguing in the next that he murdered thousands in Iraq for no other reason than personal profit of his cronies."

    I don't think you were referring to me in this comment--I haven't argued that the Bush Administration invaded Iraq for oil or cronies, and I haven't had much to say on stem cell research.

    I've never brought it up here before--at least not that I can remember--but I do find it hard to reconcile the logic behind the Torture Memo with the Sermon on the Mount. ...but then, I find it hard to reconcile the New Testament concept of a heavenly rather than an earthly kingdom with Evangelical Christianity in general.

    ...That is to say, I don't doubt the integrity of President Bush's profession of Christianity, but I have serious doubts about the integrity of the Christianity President Bush professes.

    In regards to the President's honesty, how can you expect people to watch the Secretary of State show bogus photographs of non-existent mobile WMD labs and not expect some of them to question the Bush Administration's integrity? In regards to the President's compassion, how can you expect people to watch the Bush Administration direct a bombing, invasion and occupation that kills thousands of civilians and not expect some of them to question the President's compassion?

  • ||

    Wait, is Hakluyt now claiming a military background? I haven't had a chance to read this thread in detail, but from my skimming I see crimethink alleging this, and then later Hakluyt replies: "Well, I know something about war. That I cannot help."

    crimethink, what were you responding to?

    As to way back when I said the hawks should pay more attention to Jean Bart because he knows war: I was fooled. I admit it. So, for the purposes of this post I'm amending my alias, as you can see...

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Wait, is Hakluyt now claiming a military background?

    Actually, I'm not making that claim. Remember, you and me at the Lido. :)

  • ||

    Tom Crick,

    Remember that the administration was honest in its errors re: GWII. At least that's what they keep on telling us. :)

  • ||

    thoreau rather,

    Why are you spoon feeding this person's ego?

  • ||

    There are instances where I disagree with joe, but I defer to joe's expertise on the question "What does joe drive?"

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Ask joe for the VIN on the Civic and we'll see what is what.

  • ||

    You're not getting any information that can be used to trace my address, creep.

    But it's a five speed 99 Civic, dark green, smelling of coffee, with the H logo on the trunk missing, and no cd player.

  • ||

    joe,

    I already have all I need.

  • ||

    Well, Hakluyt, if you are able to confirm using whatever tools at your disposal that joe does indeed drive the car in question, will we get an admission that joe was right?

    joe-

    No CD player? That's cruel and unusual punishment!

  • ||

    Only when I sing to my passengers.

  • ||

    In deference to some of our posters, I hasten to add that joe's singing in no way violates the Geneva Conventions. And even if it does, the passengers are not subject to the Geneva Conventions. And even if they are, his singing was simply the result of a single bad apple and is in no way the fault of the mayor of Boston.

  • ||

    Thoreau--

    The Geneva Conventions don't have a thing to say about Joe, singing or not. Nor do they discuss the treatment of voluntary passengers in Japanese cars. I suggest you learn about international law before you embarrass yourself further.

  • ||

    Joe>>>>"I drive a Civic"

    Ha! I knew it, Joe! All Kerry supporters drive imports. They would like to drive domestic, but Bush outsourced all the manufacturing jobs...

  • ||

    I, too, know something of War.

    They had a big hit in the 1970s titled "Why Can't We Be Friends?" It was on their "Galaxy" album and had lyrics like this:

    I'd kinda like to be the President
    so I can show you how your money's spent...

    I hear you're working for the C-I-A
    They would not have you in the Maf-i-a

    Why can't we be friends?
    Why can't we be friends?
    Why can't we be friends?
    Why can't we be frie-hends?

  • ||

    Oops. My mistake. "Why Can't We Be Friends" was from the War album titled "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

    The War album titled "Galaxy" came out later.

    I misremembered a review that was in a Times or Newsweek magazine that I found under my aunt's bed when I was a kid. (It's weird what sticks in your mind.)

  • ||

    "Sometimes a well phrased personal insult directed at the President, coupled with thoughtful criticism, is the only way to get their attention. ...and it helps if that criticism is in language with which they're already comfortable." - Tom Crick

    This explains a LOT about Tom Crick's approach to "discussion" of a whole list of subjects and his tendency to revert to foul personal insults. But here's the real kicker:

    "...But it's the people they trust that's the problem; that is to say, if you want to persuade such people, you have to attack the people they trust. Logic and facts isn't going to persuade them--not at first; logic and facts isn't the basis for what they believe. You have to point out that the people they trust aren't so trustworthy first--know what I mean?" - Tom Crick

    Am I the only guy in the room wiling to call BS on a guy who believes that it's OK if HE uses propaganda tactics if it's to intended to "deprogram" someone he thinks has been snookered by propaganda?

    Tom, whether you meant to or not, you've just explained to everyone here why your reading of the various documents you cite is so different from what other people see when they read them. You're willing to lie (oh, excuse me, use other tactics than truth and logic) to convince people you think are too stupid to respond to anything else.

    I guess in your world you can never go wrong by overestimating the stupidity of your audience.

    There are many words that spring to my mind to to describe your approach, but since most of them are profane, I'll leave it at just one:

    Sad.

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