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September 01, 2005


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They are sinners, Tutor, but they can be helped. And I think it's important to point out that many middle aged white males try very hard not to loot. The majority of them are relatively trustworthy, and one needn't lock up the valuables when they come over. They do the best they can, poor things, and it would do more harm than good to profile them for law enforcement purposes.

We've got the next best thing .. the publis is being flogged by the repeated images, the interview with looters saying " I got no gun on me, I got no shoes, I'm jus' gettin' me some shoes, nome sayin" ...."

The image of "this is what looters look like" is being burned, one whip scar after commercial after another, into the North American consciousness. And what's even better, this proves that the prime time action dramas were right !

here's Candy (oops, Condi ?) ... I get so confused .. leading the way!

The difference is only skin deep. And on the internet, everyone looks alike.

BTW, there were two Yahoo pictures yesterday. One showed a white couple "finding" food. Another had a caption under a black person that this person was "looting" food.

The pictures Debbie mentioned have been preserved for posterity by the Capital of Nasty.

Presidents Rumple, Stiltskin, and Whatisis were on TV today - President Whatisis looking like Bob Geldof.
The other two looked like real estate salesmen, really successful ones.
It would be sweet of the Information Organizers to put some nice black faces up on the National Bulletin Board.
Probabaly it's hard for them to find any right now.
Images of the devastated citizenry marching, in ordered ranks, out of New Orleans - headed for Houston.
Or some place.

There's an employee, or perhaps a prinicple owner of "DirectNic," a webhosting company, posting a blog from a "secure" skyscraper in downtown New Orleans, about his efforts to keep his customers satisfied, while decrying the actions of the looting "monkeys" who he surveils with a webcam feed while calling for full military intervention.


Wonder how many poor people got trapped in the city because they had no way to get out. What is "racial mix" there after the storm?

Boing boing

There are hundreds of people tonight facing the nightmare chaos of New Orleans who have the immediate responsibility of doing something, their job, their duty. Anything that makes that in any way less than heroic and right is inhuman, and ultimately evil.
That includes saying it's God's will to smite the heathen and the hedonist.
That includes the Social Darwinists who see an appropriate trimming of the excess population.
That includes the smug haves viewing the have-nots from a distance as the thinnest bonds of social cohesion break down. As though looting was the only real problem.
Swamp-niggers, sand-niggers, but niggers just the same.
It's the popping of a boil on the body politic, people want there to be loss of life, they want it to be the bottom that's trimmed, they're resentful that they have to do without, face scarcity, sacrifice, while the obviously undeserving flounder and flail and run off through the thickening stench with $400 dollar appliances.
All those and more are arrayed against the rescue and medical aid responders.
And I think that needs to get firmly emphasized.
Telling a doctor that the people he's treating don't deserve to live.
Telling a cop that stopping theft is more important now than saving lives.
Constantly pumping the images of "looters" and the phrases of covert racism into a passively watching collective presence.
These are perfidious exhibitions of an inhuman grasping after earthly election, the separation of the saved from the left-behind.
The will of God.
God's broad strokes, collateral damage catching the random innocent along with the malefactors.
Tell that to each and every grieving relative.

Well said, rollo.

Was interested to see that the story of the racism in reporting looting vs. finding or whatever was picked up by a network program on the disaster (ABC, I think). They also plugged in Bush from the morning program being asked about it and him saying "zero tolerance". The lack of compassion is appaling, and only hurts recovery efforts. Rollo is right, this anti-social behavior cannot go unnoticed and uncriticized.

Reconstruction will offer some prime contracting opportunites for Halliburton, et al. There's a silver lining in this sow's purse. Obviously, many of the displaced will never return. It's not like they owned their homes or property. The damaged old slums and projects can be torn down, and Starbucks, Targets and Walmarts built in their place. Not only will New Orleans come back, but the New New Orleans has the potential to become an urban Disneyland, a Mardi Gras Las Vegas. Look what they've done with Times Square after eviciting the riff-raff. Just as the World Trade Center will proudly be replaced by even taller towers, taller, stronger levees will allow New Orleans to sink further into its sub-sea-level dreamscape.

Here in California, I just called our local Mayor's office to have them help coordinate a special refuse pickup that has been scheduled for weeks: 4 toilets, 2 doors, corrugated fiberglass, etc. The Mayor's rep had an associate go down the hall to wake up my Councilman's rep who wasn't answering the phone and I held on the open line as she did. "So," I said, "how's your job?" "Oh, since the New Orleans disaster, it has been a trial. So many people calling in, wanting to help, feeling sad and helpless. It's been hard, I lost 13 relatives in Mississippi, 13. Many of them were young, some old, living in an apartment complex that was in the flood path. A few others were drowned trying to drive away from the water. It's been hard for me to cope but being here, being busy, helps some." "God, handling silly calls like mine must be annoying then. 4 toilets." "No, not really, your call is legitimate. It's the calls where they're just generally angry at the city that try your patience. One guy came up here and threatened to jump out the window if things didn't improve. We showed him the best place to jump and opened the window for him, he walked down the stairs looking sheepish."

Thanks, Rollo, blogged the links.

I think Klaus has nailed it, above. A little sick-making to realize it is virtually inevitable. The Magic Kinkdom as urban renewal, again.Those displaced with the better attitudes can apply for fuzzy mascot jobs. They're always fun to kick.

"Fit in or Fuck Off" - that would make a good tagline for WB.

Hey, I like that!

This is about the only place where I do fit in. Think I'll make myself comfy and smoke a ceegar.

Anybody got a fiddle? I want to accompany George:

Strummin' while people drown.

The Music Man.

"Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans

By Joseph R. Chenelly
Times staff writer

NEW ORLEANS — Combat operations are underway on the streets “to take this city back” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”"


Halliburton gets Katrina contract, hires former FEMA director
1 Sept. 2005

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- The US Navy asked Halliburton to repair naval facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the Houston Chronicle reported today. The work was assigned to Halliburton's KBR subsidiary under the Navy's $500 million CONCAP contract awarded to KBR in 2001 and renewed in 2004. The repairs will take place in Louisiana and Mississippi.

KBR has not been asked to repair the levees destroyed in New Orleans which became the primary cause of most of the damage.

Since 1989, governments worldwide have awarded $3 billion in contracts to KBR's Government and Infrastructure Division to clean up damage caused by natural and man-made disasters.

Earlier this year, the Navy awarded $350 million in contracts to KBR and three other companies to repair naval facilities in northwest Florida damaged by Hurricane Ivan, which struck in September 2004. The ongoing repair work involves aircraft support facilities, medium industrial buildings, marine construction, mechanical and electrical improvements, civil construction, and family housing renovation.

In March, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is tasked with responding to hurricane disasters, became a lobbyist for KBR. Joe Allbaugh was director of FEMA during the first two years of the Bush administration.

Today, FEMA is widely criticized for its slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Allbaugh managed Bush's campaign for Texas governor in 1994, served as Gov. Bush's chief of staff and was the national campaign manager for the Bush campaign in 2000. Along with Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, Allbaugh was one of Bush's closest advisers.

"This is a perfect example of someone cashing in on a cozy political relationship," said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog group. "Allbaugh's former placement as a senior government official and his new lobbying position with KBR strengthens the company's already tight ties to the administration, and I hope that contractor accountability is not lost as a result."


Thanks, Klausmania, blogged the link.

I bet that the handful of white people at the convention center were the most well protected refugees in New Orleans. Protected by the black people there, I mean.

a couple of clips with Harry Connick jr., who visited the convention center without protection.


let em loot
they need nikes dont they?
who cares?
let em loot
they need microwaves
who cares?
let em loot
they need jewelery dont they?
let em shoot
they need crack
dont they?
let em loot
they need drugs dont they?
its dem white folks wanna shoot em anyway!
let em loot!
it be dem white folks anyway!
i jus cant hep mysef!

BB gun.

looting's worse than letting people die because the commandments don't cover death by neglect but they are very specific about theft and most of the concerned observers feel more than capable of avoiding death by neglect but being stolen from is a constantly increasing source of anxiety as the bonds of social cohesion snap like cheap rubber bands

Looting, polluting, murder, mayhem are wrong regardess of whether overt or covert, by rich or poor. The police who looted Wal-Mart since they otherwise had no food were also wrong. The rape and carnage was wrong. The forward planning was irresponsible. The whole mess is like a rorschach blot into which we read our darkest fears of political oppression and/or disorder. Did government fail? Civil society? Businesses to whom flood contrl had been contracted?

Lots of bidness gone be available now ... no-bid contracts ?

Who will be the real-estate developers who win big ? The next few years will be fascinating to watch ... will we continue to introduce civil society to Iraq while making NO better than ever ? As the tax cuts get voted into permanence, the new Bankruptcy Act will begin to take effect.

Social Security ? Why, it won't be necessary, as the good citizens of Texas and other nearby states will have proven that a wide range of Americans know how to (and welcome) helping and/or taking care of those with few or no resources.

Grover Norquist convinced the Republicans and most of the democrats, I think) quite some time ago that we don't really need a government except to threaten and scare foreign governments. What was his quote ? Something like "I want to see government reduced to the size where I can strangle it in a bathtub". The free market will take care of the rest.

Ayn Rand's ghost is the senior strategic adviser to FEMA.

"The whole mess is like a rorschach blot into which we read our darkest fears of political oppression"

It's only that way if you lack the analytical framework with which to understand what happened - and since lonely old Karl Marx provides the only analytical framework which allows the observer to comprehend how capital works, most of us, the Great un-Marxed, see the blot. (It looks like a bat, by the way.)

I hate bats. Always squeeking and swooping. Fuckers.

bats are your friend and never would hurt you

I have a false Rumours album. I got tired of it and tried to sell it on ebAy (a few times.) The US Government (disguised as Warner Bros Records) sent me a nasty email saying that if I didn't stop trying to spread false Rumours on ebaY they would revoke my write to spread Rumours of any kind (false or no) at auction or anywhere. This seemed a little bit harsh, so I re-read the usinfo.state.gov site, and checked snopes.com, then asked my dead uncle (by ouija) if the email seemed legitimate. The first two sources were indeterminate, but Uncle Joe came through. Y-E-S, he said. So I put the kibosh on the whole operation. It's always good to check your sources (and re-sources) before taking on the US Government disguised as a Record Company. They may only make a fraction of a penny on each note, but given the power of Rumours, that shit does add up.[disclaimer: I did not discover the linked Rumours myself. They may have been planted for me to discover by persons unknow and nefarious. I only pass them on to illustrate a point. Do not use these crayons to write a symphony. Symphonies are seldom written in crayon. And no one will think you're smart.]

Was NOLA christened Little Somolia
via Pentecostal glossolalia?
Maybe it's really xenoglossy -
That General seems extremely bossy.

A secret ghetto's greedy wraith,
kingfisher of oblivion she screamed
over your brother.
When the tornados left
she manipulated our light-speed
movies, invisible pillows,
the journalistic seismograph
on the rescue rowboat: flat-lined. And your
addicts were semiotic.

how the poor got trappedAddresses some basic transportation questions i had...via

Great links, Flipper. One thing I notice about the renewed onset of PR/Propaganda about NOLA is that it brings releif and hope, like a children's story. They are spinning it now as, "The wonderful American spirit in action, as volunteers do all they can, etc." Meanwhile, how long will Dallas maintain these inner city blacks? Will they turn them lose to forage for jobs in Dallas? Ship them to KS? Will they be sheltered for months in private homes. The message as always, in NOLA was, "You are on your own, do not look to government for help, each one help the person next to you." And meanwhile those with money and cars fled. The whole Emersonian, Ayn Rand, philosophy, the whole Social Darwinist philosophy, lay exposed for what it is, the Survival of those with SUVs and the death of the unfortunate. "Giving" intervenes as a stop gap. Then when this tragedy is displaced by the next, we start over, leaving unsolved the systemic problem that self-help plus a little giving does not equal social justice, or a society whose social contract is intact. For the lowest of the low, what compact? Dog eat dog? Flee or perish, where flight is impossible?

Hmmmmm. Food for thought, Tutor.

Dog eat dog. Tip the disabled child out of her rockingchair. Julia was just now trying to do as much. Then again, she's 4 1/2, an age when savagery is the norm and not the exception. We fight for attention. We tussle over resources. And then we are SHOCKED! SHOCKED! when we discover that we are no better than the children in Lord of the Rings. To the victor goes the spoils. Now in this living room, I am there to right the rockingchair and pick Maura up not just once but twice. Martial law. But what happens to a disabled person in the cold, cruel world? What happens to those with no one to protect them? What if I get swept away? Thoughts of having to make heartbreaking choices haunt me in the wake of this disaster. What if I had to leave? What would Maura do if I had to say to here, "Wait right here. I'll be right back." Julia would do just fine. She is a bit of a rough and tumble sort. She would figure out how to forage. But all Maura would be able to do is sit. And wait. And worry. And cry. As the wheelchair rises in the flood and tosses her about. Would she laugh at the uncertain adventure? And when would that give rise to terror at the realization that, for whatever reason, she'd been abandoned.

This news has produced in me a great deal of anxiety the likes of which I've never felt. Realizations, in this uncertain age, that could be me. Forced to abandon my daughter. Or my elderly mother. Looking at Gerry and realizing that it might be for the last time. Ever.

I think about the faimilies who will never, ever be reunited. And my heart aches. That could be me.

I cannot read any more news stories. I will because I am too outraged not to. But I believe I have reached my saturation point in photographs. Make it stop. Please, please, please, I beg you, make it stop.

Debbie, your dedication is an inspiration to all who know you. You, and others like you, are the light of hope. Look at your own life, at how much you have given of yourself. Rather than despairing be proud of your own faithfulness to those who need you. Whatever the opposite is of "dog eat dog," that is you.

Ok, time to quit this downer and get more upBEAT:Fifty Ways To Leave Your LeveeThe problem is all inside your head she said to meThe answer is easy if you take it logicallyI'd like to help you in your struggle to be freeThere must be fifty ways to leave your leveeShe said it's really not my habit to intrudeFurthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstruedBut I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crudeThere must be fifty ways to leave your leveeFifty ways to leave your leveeYou just slip out the back, JackMake a new plan, StanYou don't need to be coy, RoyJust get yourself freeHop on the bus, GusYou don't need to discuss muchJust drop off the key, LeeAnd get yourself freeOooh, slip out the back, JackMake a new plan, StanYou don't need to be coy, RoyYou just listen to meHop on the bus, GusYou don't need to discuss muchJust drop off the key, LeeAnd get yourself freeShe said it grieves me so to see you in such painI wish there was something I could do to make you smile againI said, I appreciate that and would you please explainAbout the fifty waysShe said why don't we both just sleep on it tonightAnd I believe in the morning you'll begin to see the lightAnd then she kissed me and I realized she probably was rightThere must be fifty ways to leave your leveeFifty ways to leave your leveeYou just slip out the back, JackMake a new plan, StanYou don't need to be coy, RoyJust get yourself freeHop on the bus, GusYou don't need to discuss muchJust drop off the key, LeeAnd get yourself freeSlip out the back, JackMake a new plan, StanYou don't need to be coy, RoyYou just listen to meHop on the bus, GusYou don't need to discuss muchJust drop off the key, LeeAnd get yourself free[These lyrics belong to Paul Simon. Do NOT repeat them, even mentally, without thinking fondly of him.]

Ah, Tutor. If only you knew about those who strive to discredit me. Sometimes shakes me to the core of my being. What if I really am a fraud? I don't always have the energy to do the stuff beyond basic survival. Some days if they are reasonably clean and clothed and fed, why, I need to be content with that level of parenting. And that distresses me, too.

I do know, however, that when it comes to a crisis, that I tend to be able to step up fairly well. My mother, ever the pragmatist, taught me to be matter of fact when it comes to sickness and related distresses. She also taught me about loyalty. She kept her promise to my dad to take care of him at home and she did so for eight long years. Sacrifice is a little heard term in the world when it's all instantaneous gratification and results. Sometimes it means plodding along and expecting that you have somehow managed to set the right course despite uncertainty.

My hero was Harry S Truman. He said the buck stops here and he meant it. Same with me being a parent. I take blame for anything my children do or that doesn't turn out right. I'm always questioning my own intution. Slowly I am seeing wisdom and not just stubbornness in my choices. And that's gratifying.

But getting back to the larger matter at hand... How do we teach the value of sacrifice that isn't tinged with cynicism? How do we teach people the benefit of altruism, ie, expecting nothing in return? How do we talk about lessons of love and paying it forward without it turning into something I abhor most of all, ie, sentimentality?

My mother just turned 86. For her birthday celebration, she wanted to take us all to see "Wicked." The wizard of Oz is depicted as a man who describes himself as sentimental. He doesn't have any special powers but he wants people to believe he does. He wants to be a father figure. So what does he do? He makes up an enemy. Sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? He sings that it's wonderful to be thought of as wonderful. Overall, though, it seems as if he has an empty existence. When he leaves Oz, he's still thought of as wonderful.

Hey tutor - social contract sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me. The idea that there is a state of nature as opposed to the civil state is a lot of junk. That's because the "social contract" is not progress from a state of nature, but actually creates the category "nature." That is, the social contract depends on its exception for it's very existence - homo ludens is the product of the social contract. Civil society sustains itself via exclusion. The ghetto is the exception that sustains the contract. To say that a breakdown of civil society was what led to the NOLA catastrophe is meaningless.

Or put it this way, in banal terms of copyright law: the "public domain" is a retroactive invention of copyright. There was no public domain prior to copyright law, the same way that nature did not exist prior to theorizing about society.

I obviously don't have a full grasp of the history of these ideas because of my desultory auto-didacticism, but it seems to me that this is in part what Marxism/communism tries to address.

I hate fish. Always farting and canoodling. Fuckers.

Klaus, I take your points about the state of nature being a fiction, or shadow cast by civilization. But the social contract is one of the powerful and practical of philosophical ideas. Devastating, really. On at least one version (Rawls) the contract includes all citizens, all human bodies within a polity. All. And, the idea is, that the contract is one to which a rational being would assent prior to knowing what role he or she might play in society. Would we in heaven or behind a "veil of ignorance" willingly and reasonably assent to a set of rules, or a set of social contrivances, that let so many be literally "left behind"?

Alternately, say that the contract includes some but not all. Let's say that the rules we live by are only acceptable, when fully understood, to some people, those favored by the rules. What, then, of the others, those left out? What keeps them civil? Well, delusion, demoralization, indoctrination, or force.

Either way, the "lens" of social contract theory seems very powerfully to illuminate NOLA. We saw something like the state of nature, and it is deplorable, frighening. When we rebuild will be build in the same assumptions, same rules, or will be talk of the human right and dignity of all concerned, guranteed by - reason, justice, the social contract, or godlike spark in all of us - or will we go back to social darwinism, cost benefit analysis, and the use of force to restrain those who might be prefer chaos or crime?

Social contract theory functions as a standing warning to those in power. It says, in effect, that injustice breaks the social contract, and drops us all back into chaos. It says that force may work, but reminds us that even an Emperor surrounded by a Praetorian Guard can never sleep well, since so many are outside his "justice," dissenting, and waiting their chance. Voluntary submission of rational beings to reasonable and fair rules is the hope of liberal democracy, its founding ideal.

"What happened in NOLA, the free market solution of every man for himself, was not fair to those of limited economic means." - I find that a true remark. Social contract theory is the rational reconstruction, or explanation, or "deep grammar" if you will, of that moral intution.

Blind as a bat, but lacking in sonar,
nosing its way through levees and berms
no mole can live by scripture alone
unless accustomed to a Diet of Worms.

Klaus, the "Diet of Worms" bit is quite good, methinks.

Yes, tasty.

That is what I meant; pass the ketchup, please.

Shhhh! Killer Tomatoes could be monitoring the bordello. Naturally, the Bush administration is not on top of these terrorists, either. Last man to say pass the ketchup met a very sad end.

Killer Tomatoes are taking over America - And the press is silent!

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