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Rex 84
September 11, 2005 3:45 AM   Subscribe

Back in April monju_bosatsu posted something on FEMA and the REX 84 Program and Concentration Camps in the U.S. So Katrina hits, the news reports talk about how bad the evacuee (or 'refugee' for you racist bastards) camps were, people dying from stomach flu at the Astrodome and Russ Kick is chewing over the impact of possible escaped monkeys from the level three infectious disease biolabs in NOLA, the authorities bar the Red Cross, but Blackwater gets the go-ahead, FEMA is under homeland security and chunks have been 'privatized'... REX 84 was a plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis like a major disaster, massive internal dissent, or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad requiring martial law. Trifecta anyone?
posted by Smedleyman (68 comments total)

 
Paranoid? Yes.

Ranting? Yes.

Alarmist? Yes.

...I forgot where I was headed with that...
posted by Smedleyman at 3:47 AM on September 11, 2005


Ah yes. Comments from dash_slot-'s earlier post

"The state of Louisiana's emergency response and recovery program is activated under the command of the director of the state office of Homeland Security..."

It's not martial law, but it's close.

(obviously I concede BushCo somehow engineering the hurricane as rediculous, but they have been opportunists - for good and for ill)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:52 AM on September 11, 2005


/btw I'm on sick and on codine so...
posted by Smedleyman at 3:53 AM on September 11, 2005


This is the second "omg, camps!" post in a few days, and they set off my crackpot alert pretty quickly ... but as time goes on and things get weirder (Mercenaries in New Orleans?) I'm beginning to doubt my tinfoil hat gauge.

But now I've read some of the links and it seems that the gauge is pretty much right on. Sorry, Smedleyman. I'm still not entirely sure what the point is.
posted by blacklite at 4:05 AM on September 11, 2005


Are we nearly there yet?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:12 AM on September 11, 2005


Finally coming true?
posted by caddis at 4:55 AM on September 11, 2005


I'm volunteering at the Cajundome, in Lafayette. Last night the evacuees (the term we must use) held a Back-to-school dance. The night before, a local choir. There's a newsletter now, The Daily Dome. Mostly information and feel-good stuff, but hey. Probably around 3,000 people in the area have signed up to work as volunteers. The dome is housing about 2,200.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:57 AM on September 11, 2005


It's broken that martial law suspends civil rights. This will always be broken. It's the collision between practicality, security, dignity and inalienable rights (that are not so inalienable after all).

I don't know how to fix it, but it's interesting that expectation of inalienable rights in all circumstances is a very recent thing, historically.

Are people who are always going to get the short end of the stick (the poor, the minorities, the disempowered) just delusional about ever getting the long end?
posted by kalessin at 5:08 AM on September 11, 2005


How is "refugee camp" racist?

They are seeking refuge from a whole range of dangers and hardships in New Orleans... So they are refugees, and if they are interned somewhere, they will be in a refugee camp.

Mincing with words makes little difference.
posted by SharQ at 5:11 AM on September 11, 2005


Now this one sounds like a concentration camp. via MetaChat
posted by caddis at 5:20 AM on September 11, 2005


I'm volunteering at the Cajundome, in Lafayette. Last night the evacuees (the term we must use) held a Back-to-school dance.

Manzanar had a baseball league.
posted by craniac at 5:44 AM on September 11, 2005


Yeah I don't understand how refugee = racist. Could someone explain it to me so I can get upset too?
posted by j-urb at 6:30 AM on September 11, 2005


I don't understand how refugee = racist.

A word with a negative connotation, used to describe a group of people, against their wishes. Accuracy of the word seems secondary to the emotion evoked within the group, described by the word.
posted by DrDoberman at 6:43 AM on September 11, 2005


Political prisoners? :)
posted by KantoKing at 6:48 AM on September 11, 2005


Apparently, it has something to do with this.
Personally, I think it's utter bullshit for us to suggest that American citizens are above the label. I think it's rather fitting and it never occurred to me that I was using it in a way to suggest second-class citizens or non-Americans. Shit happens to us too, just like the developing world. Evacuee is just a euphemism to mask our shame. Bah.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 6:50 AM on September 11, 2005


Regarding refugee= racist term, check out a Sept 6 Mefi post: Is "Refugee" a racist term? The Rev. Jesse Jackson seems to think so.
posted by dabitch at 6:51 AM on September 11, 2005


beaten by TheGoldenOne and one minute. darn preview.
posted by dabitch at 6:52 AM on September 11, 2005


I don't understand how refugee = racist.

Look at it this way...if it would upset Al Sharpton, it's racist in today's America. This requires a lot of updating of course, but it's a good barometer.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:58 AM on September 11, 2005


Actually, I think one good barometer is whether you are nominating a token non-pink person as the ultimate judge of racism when in fact it might be best if you did your own thinking and your own judging.

It's too easy to delegate the duty of thinking to an obvious spokesperson.

It seems to me that the thinking person should be able to make his or her own judgements about what is appropriate and what isn't.

That way, if you're wrong, you have no one but yourself to blame.
posted by kalessin at 7:15 AM on September 11, 2005


(MetaTalk callout for the refugee semantics debaters.)
posted by tomharpel at 7:22 AM on September 11, 2005


I wonder at what month/year away from home the "evacuees" become something else. Will displaced person be considered racist too?
posted by Mitheral at 7:30 AM on September 11, 2005



A word with a negative connotation, used to describe a group of people, against their wishes. Accuracy of the word seems secondary to the emotion evoked within the group, described by the word.


Good description of PC-speak, hmm... the overwhelming of logic by emotion...

But not just the emotions of the refugee/evacuees. We're also concerned with managing public opinion via their emotions. Feels a lot better to have American evacuees than American refugees for sure...

I wonder at what month/year away from home the "evacuees" become something else. Will displaced person be considered racist too?

One imagines they're not supposed to remain an identifiable group, they're supposed to just dissappear into the general population. Guess we'll see about that.

Displace Persons used to be called DP's after WWII. It was very derogatory to call someone a DP. 'Refugee' carries a little credit for possibly being someone who proactively fled, a DP was lower: someone who stupidly allowed themselves to be caught in dire circumstances then passively pushed around by others.
posted by scheptech at 7:43 AM on September 11, 2005


Trifecta? Are you wagering on this issue? If not, stop learning English by reading FARK.
posted by fleener at 7:50 AM on September 11, 2005


I just don't see any racist connotations in the word "refugee." To me, that word just means people who are fleeing (and seeking refuge from) from intolerable conditions, be it war, oppression, or in this case, a natural disaster.

Having said that, if we have to use an alternate word, I hereby nominate "survivor." "Evacuee" strikes me as a really ungainly word. "Survivor" carries all sorts of positive connotations, confers a sense of hardiness on those who survived, and evokes the typical American awe for people who, through their own resourcefulness or the grace of God, have escaped calamity.
posted by spacewaitress at 7:53 AM on September 11, 2005


> Accuracy of the word seems secondary to the emotion
> evoked within the group, described by the word.

Rather like 'niggardly', you mean?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:08 AM on September 11, 2005


Uh...what is this post about again?
posted by LarryC at 8:27 AM on September 11, 2005


It always disappoints me to see paranoid rants about how America might turn into a police state.

It rather distracts attention from the facts about prisons in America, reported here by those tinfoil Bush-haters, the British government.

I was surprised, too, to learn recently about the Louisiana cotton plantation which is still worked by slaves (mostly black, of course, but a few token whites too). But I guess that's because I spend so much of my time watching the X-files.
posted by cleardawn at 8:32 AM on September 11, 2005


Falls Creek. ahahahahaha.

FC is the "church camp" where all the kids go each summer to get some nookie from each other in the woods.

I was born and raised in OK and this is just hilarious. My mother is a sheriff's deputy - therefore I know a lot of OK State Police by association. If you told them "we're gonna lock up all the 'people of color' in Falls Creek!" they'd laugh you out of the room.

It's obvious at this point that FEMA can't plan its way out of a brown paper bag.
posted by mrbill at 8:35 AM on September 11, 2005


People think I have got the power cause I've got the monkeys. Nope. I've
got the power because I'll let the monkeys loose...

posted by any major dude at 8:36 AM on September 11, 2005


The camps that are in use so far are in isolated places with press not allowed. There's no opportunity for the people in them to leave or go find work, or anything.

...The occupants of the camp cannot leave the camp for any reason. If they leave the camp they may never return. They will be issued FEMA identification cards and "a sum of money" and they will remain within the camp for the next 5 months. ...

They're not camps, but prisons.
posted by amberglow at 8:39 AM on September 11, 2005


Just for those of you who'd like a summary of that pdf link, here's the key data from that British Home Office report:

● The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, some 686 per cent of the national population, followed by the Cayman Islands (664), Russia (638), Belarus, Kazakhstan (522), Turkmenistan (489), Belize (459), Bahamas (447), Suriname (437), Dominica (420).
● However, more than three-fifths of countries (62.5%) have rates below 150 per 100,000.

The United Kingdom’s rate of 139 per 100,000 of the national population places it above midpoint in the World List; it is now the highest among countries of the European Union.)
● Prison population rates vary considerably between different regions of the world, and
different parts of the same continent. For example:
● in Africa the median rate for western and central African countries is 50 whereas in southern African countries it is 362;
● in the Americas the median rate for south American countries is 107 whereas in Caribbean countries it is 297;
● in Asia the median rate for south central Asian countries (mainly the Indian sub-continent) is 54 whereas for (ex-Soviet) central Asian countries it is 426;
● in Europe the median rate for southern European countries is 69 whereas for central eastern European countries it is 213;
● in Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) the median rate is 110.
posted by cleardawn at 8:40 AM on September 11, 2005


...The armed military guards at the aforementioned closely guarded military gates would answer no questions regarding whether the New Orleans insurgency would be able to clear the gates to access the quickie mart, located down a rather steep hill about three miles from the Detention Camp Utah. Nor would the guards answer questions regarding whether they would allow the New Orleans insurgency to re-enter Detention Camp Utah if somehow they were able to gain an exit.

Detention Camp Utah is a windblown and barren military installation atop the foothills of what is known as the Oquirrh (pronounced ochre) Mountains. It is isolated and surely quiet....


And why didn't they tell people where they were sending them? Time and time again, people getting off planes have said that no one told them where.
posted by amberglow at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2005


i have to deal with the sunshine project all the time at my workplace. these people are kinda crazy and i would descibe them as alarmists. that being said, it would be of major concern if BL3 labs were destroyed as a result of the storm and/or if infected monkeys were roaming NOLA. lots of serious questions here.
posted by brandz at 8:46 AM on September 11, 2005


President Bush announces new FEMA director: Walton Simons?
posted by nervestaple at 8:48 AM on September 11, 2005


They're not camps, but prisons.

Yes, but are they refugee prisons or evacuee prisons, that's what I'm still not clear on.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:48 AM on September 11, 2005


The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, some 686 per cent of the national population

Um. That would imply a US prison population of about two billion, given a US population of about 300 million.

Do you mean a rate of 686 per 100,000?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on September 11, 2005


oops, "per cent" should read "per hundred thousand, my bad!
posted by cleardawn at 9:06 AM on September 11, 2005


Dang, and I forgot to close my twinks as well. I shouldn't post when I'm this drunk, but hey, my keyboard doesn't have a breathalyzer.

I guess the key here is that the extra 100,000 folks from New Orleans (those with nowhere else to go but the FEMA camps) will only be a 5% addition to the prison population.

Prisons in the US are a profitable business, as slave labor usually is. The good folks who run the private prison corporations will be happy to take some FEMA money in addition to the profits from the operation, in return for keeping the evacuees/refugees/Americans/slaves off the streets.
posted by cleardawn at 9:13 AM on September 11, 2005


Here's a better link on private prisons in the US.

And a discussion of similarities and differences between Abu Ghraib and American private prisons.

And here's some more people who have not been accused (let alone convicted) of criminal acts, but who are still in American prisons.
posted by cleardawn at 9:28 AM on September 11, 2005


Actually, at the risk of saying something odd, there might actually be health reasons for keeping evacuees separate from the main population where the people will be temporarily relocated. Most of them have been in contact with water containing 100 to 1000 times the acceptable concentration of bacteria, and may be carrying a myriad of diseases not usually seen in the US, and to which most Americans have little resistance.

Of course if that is the case you'd think that FEMA would actually explain it in those terms, but then as we've seen you can't expect much sense from FEMA these days. Unless the storm somehow caused thousands of Arabian horses to become evacuees...
posted by clevershark at 9:28 AM on September 11, 2005


> Is "Refugee" a racist term? The Rev. Jesse Jackson seems
> to think so.

Oh, well then! That's different! If The Rev. Jesse Jackson says so, it MUST be true!

Jackson is an opportunistic loon.

(and this coming from someone who is, generally, both sympathetic to the overall political stances Jackson takes, and a self-identified lefty)
posted by spincycle at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2005


cleardawn: I figured, but didn't know whether it was 686 per 10K or 50K or what.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:59 AM on September 11, 2005


New Orleans gun confiscation is foolish and illegal
posted by homunculus at 10:19 AM on September 11, 2005


spincycle, I was trying to point those who wanted to discuss semantics to a currently live and very recent thread where this exact word is currently being discussed. So terribly sorry.
posted by dabitch at 10:20 AM on September 11, 2005


Sorry, ROU_Xenophobe, it was an artefact of Acrobat's crappy text copy facility, which deleted some words. I then incorrectly corrected the deletion. Still, working together, we got there in the end!

So, now we've established exactly what kind of country the US is, does anyone have any good ideas for what to do next?

At times like these, in all the books, there's a small army of vicuñas hiding out in the hills, ready for the call, or someone with the foresight of the Sleeper Service, or at least a couple of hobbits with a plan.
posted by cleardawn at 10:30 AM on September 11, 2005


amberglow, that Falls Creek, Oklahoma link is well worth reading, primarily for the somehow both levelheaded and outraged commentary by the original poster, Valhall. Thanks.
posted by mwhybark at 10:38 AM on September 11, 2005


What is this thread about, again?
posted by fixedgear at 10:43 AM on September 11, 2005


Fixedgear: It's about what this thread is about, again. Or at least, this bit of it is. Before that, escaped monkeys, enslaved people, and concentration camps, with a few detours around gun control and political correctness, both of which seem to have Gone Mad. Hope that helps!
posted by cleardawn at 10:52 AM on September 11, 2005


tomharpel, the phenomenon we're witnessing with the derail in question is called "agent provocateur", though probably an "unconscious" one.

In this case the "job" is to derail the thread before anybody sorts out and posts anything about any of these places they're putting the refugees that is both accurate and likely to make people upset at the government and the socioeconomic structures it supports with its armed might.

(I feel within my rights to post this comment both in the Blue and the Grey as it applies to both.)
posted by davy at 11:13 AM on September 11, 2005


From a linguistic standpoint: REX 84. A curious blend of images both monarchial and Orwellian, at the same time. How convenient! Clever Double-Plus! Vive le Roi!
posted by eclectist at 11:13 AM on September 11, 2005


I'd just like to clarify that people aren't dying from stomach flu. The very story linked to says it quite clearly. Several people have died from a bacterial infection of Vibrio vulnificus a serious disease (though somewhat rare) particularly for people with immune system problems, that you can get from eating raw shellfish or exposing a wound to seawater ... in addition to that there have been some outbreaks of Norwalk Virus at shelters, which is a stomach flu which runs it's course in about three days rarely causes serious illness (Houston is having an outbreak of it at the Astrodome right now).

As far as the "detainment camp" at Falls Creek, there have been several rebuttals and explanations, one right on the same conspiracy theory forum where the initial story was posted.

I'm as wary of both the government and the mainstream media as anyone, but to start believing anything anyone posts on the internet about "detainment camps" or rape, murder and beatings at the Astrodome as absolute truth is just as ignorant as buying everything the government/MSM is saying unquestioningly.
posted by Orb at 11:55 AM on September 11, 2005


Get well soon, smedleyman, our prayers are with you. In the meantime, enjoy the codeine!
posted by cleardawn at 12:02 PM on September 11, 2005


What cleardawn just said.
posted by davy at 12:08 PM on September 11, 2005


US prison population of about two billion

That's a lot of taut soapy buttocks.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:26 PM on September 11, 2005


To expand a little on Orb's point, Vibrio is a pretty serious bug to deal with once it gets loose; it's part of the native ecology in the warm waters of the south and there are "blooms" of the bug many times when the water gets warmer. It's one of the bugs that, when it gets into wounds, is known as the "flesh-eating bacteria." A nasty little bugger that we see from time to time pop up in the ICU.

The Astrodome medical program has been a marvel of success, disappointing the CDC monitors who were sure that there was going to been an epidemic - given the levels of contamination and the close quarters, anything but a first-class effort could have been disastrous. Dr. Maddox did an incredible job, exhibiting great judgement and flexibility in the face of long hours and a crushing patient load.

There may have been problems at the Astrodome, but the medical team wasn't one of them, IMHO.
posted by Alwin at 12:34 PM on September 11, 2005



posted by fixedgear at 12:50 PM on September 11, 2005


I'm sure most MeFites are already aware, but still, as a general public service, here is some useful information about the Church of Scientology.

Just in case anyone was in any doubt.
posted by cleardawn at 1:06 PM on September 11, 2005


Scientology? now I'm really confused.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2005


That scientology pic evokes emotions similar to those from reading about the guys advertising for hot refugees on Craigslist.
posted by caddis at 1:58 PM on September 11, 2005


New Orleans gun confiscation is foolish and illegal

Camps. Gun confiscation. Jeebus X Kee-riiiist! What the fuck is going on? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

I used to make fun of statements like this: If martial Law IS declared anywhere any lefties, liberals, moderates, or freethinkers currently NOT in possession of firearms and a healthy stockpile of ammo had better get themselves some. One. Or two. Pronto. May I suggest a good Remingon 12 Ga and a simple .38 or .44 revolver.

This shit is just not funny anymore.
posted by tkchrist at 2:28 PM on September 11, 2005


A letter written March 1997 on congressional letterhead from Bill Hefner (D-NC) to Mr. Zell Setzer, civilian prison camps and civilian inmate labor programs were army policy at least four years prior to 911. I'm not sure what Mr. Setzer's position was with NC Department of Social Serivces at the time the letter was written, but he was on the Rowan County Department of Social Services Board for which he served as chairman the last two years of his term. In August 2003, he was appointed as Chairman of the Rowan County Housing Authority, which has now opened its doors for hurricane Katrina victims. Why in the hell does Mr. Setzer need to know policy for concentration camps in America? Combined with Cheney's 'Guns of August' still being in limbo, the conclusion of Sudden Response 05, and another hurricane approaching the Carolinas are we in store for something bigger? Is FEMA initiating 'Fortress America?'
posted by augustweed at 2:35 PM on September 11, 2005


How is "refugee camp" racist?

- tongue solidly in cheek there, just referencing the debate
initiated by the Sept 6 Mefi post: Is "Refugee" a racist term?,
not clear apparently, sorry.

Trifecta? Are you wagering on this issue? If not, stop learning English by reading FARK.

fleener, that was in reference to G.W. Bush's quote regarding hitting the trifecta. I thought it was common knowlege. Although I'd be happy to wager that martial law is declared before the next presidential election cycle. I'd want 3 to 5 odds in my favor though.
...no, no, I'll call it even odds. Shall we be gentlefolk and call it $10? (If we want to be sporting we could make it an amount that would help in case of the outcome. In my case, since I'm betting on things to go to hell, I'd want enough $ to buy, say, a Barrett .50 cal, scope, some night sights, maybe 500 rounds of DPU.... but my wife would kill me if things turned out well.)


The camps that are in use so far are in isolated places with press not allowed./ Is FEMA initiating 'Fortress America?'(Et. Al)

Good Lord! Someone read the links!


I'd just like to clarify that people aren't dying from stomach flu.
My mistake. I thought it was just the Norwalk virus. I thought it was going to kill me when I got it.


Get well soon, smedleyman

thanks, cleardawn, davy. Being sick on your vacation is no fun.

This shit is just not funny anymore.
Y'know, that's the thing. One of my hobbies is conspiracy theory. They're just fun. It's nifty to dig through mounds of information and find surprising links to stuff. Nearly all unprovable of course, and my tinfoil hat guage is pretty solid.

But all this stuff, taken as a whole, just got me thinking. Especially the Navy officer who was reprimanded for attempting to help some folks.

Sorry for the vaguries in the post, but I tend to post things I want consensual validation or feedback on, so I cast as wide a net as possible. That and my ubercasual style and serious cold medicine usage can mcuk up the waters.


Interesting, perhaps more focused post, augustweed. If I was planning this kind of thing, I would do it now that the ball is in the air.
But I'm not positing that this is happening, only that there are LOTS of interesting questions not being answered.
That alone though should be a big red flag.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:57 PM on September 11, 2005


but my wife would kill me if things turned out well.

Hmm...perhaps FARK is my standard for english usage.

If things turned out well, my wife would then kill me for losing that kind of money.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:59 PM on September 11, 2005


Orb, I can't really say that I found the explanation in your link regarding the "detainment" camp to be very comforting. The government official seems to be displaying the same sort of strange priorities that FEMA and other government organizations have displayed throughout the disaster. The whole explanation has a strange tone to it - toys can't be donated because in the past, Christian groups have donated toy swords and guns, which "usually mean harm." People cannot donate food because they might donate poisoned food - the official brings up the good ol' urban myth about sociopaths randomly handing out poisoned Halloween candy [or Thanksgiving candy, as the official puts it]. The food donations also weren't OK because FEMA wanted to make sure all the [mostly adult] refugees ate up all their vegetables. All the cops and fences were put up to protect the poor confused refugees from the awful horrible scary media people.

Malign intent? No, probably not, but I find the attitude to be creepy, patronizing, paternalistic, and indicative of misplaced priorities.
posted by ubersturm at 4:59 PM on September 11, 2005


You're not alone ubersturm.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:56 PM on September 11, 2005


I find the attitude to be creepy, patronizing, paternalistic, and indicative of misplaced priorities

The sad thing is, a lot of these misplaced priorities are probably also being driven by the govt. being cautious and not wanting to be sued days/weeks/months/years down the road by someone for the treatment they did/didn't receive, or their conditions compared to someone one cabin over.
posted by mrbill at 6:43 PM on September 11, 2005


- tongue solidly in cheek there, just referencing the debate
initiated by the Sept 6 Mefi post: Is "Refugee" a racist term?,
not clear apparently, sorry.

If it makes you feel any better Smedleyman, it was dead obvious to me.
posted by dabitch at 2:31 AM on September 12, 2005


8/29 CHANGED EVERYTHING!
posted by davy at 10:12 AM on September 13, 2005


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