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Katrina every day
August 10, 2006 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Stress building in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina anniversary could spark more problems Like many other New Orleanians nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina, John McCusker was experiencing the overwhelming stress of rebuilding his life. McCusker, a photographer who was part of The Times-Picayune's 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning staff(reg. required, but worth it. Trust me.), was seen driving wildly through the city Tuesday, attracting the attention of police. He eventually was arrested, but not before he was subdued with a Taser and an officer fired twice at his vehicle. During the melee, he begged police to kill him. For some, it's still Katrina every day.
posted by ColdChef (141 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by dersins at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jesus, that's dreadful.

How did this country get so completely fucked up? How could we let this happen? Why is it still going on?

We're the goddamned United States of America, this should have been all taken care of by now.
posted by empath at 5:05 PM on August 10, 2006


I worry that New Orleans is going to turn into a Baghdad on the Mississippi if we don't get our shit together soon.
posted by empath at 5:06 PM on August 10, 2006


Reelecting an incompetent mayor a la Marion Barry was not a good way to rebuild after a hurricane knocked down the last shambles of a decaying infrastructure.

The city is never coming back.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:14 PM on August 10, 2006


"How did this country get so completely fucked up?"

It all started with the Declaration of Independence and continued with a little concept called "checks and balances". I'll say it again, "The US federal bureaucracy is not big enough to respond to a situation like Katrina."
posted by mischief at 5:38 PM on August 10, 2006


Reelecting an incompetent mayor a la Marion Barry was not a good way to rebuild after a hurricane knocked down the last shambles of a decaying infrastructure.

Other then the hurricane, what made Nagin so incompetent? The reason I ask this is that I would rather not get into a debate about his competence during the actual event, but if he were incompetent to be a mayor, that would probably manifest itself in other ways, right? There were other problems with Marion Barry besides the bitch setting him up, right? So what were the other problems with Nagin? And how was his opponent better suited for the job?


If you are speaking only of disaster response, what credentials did his opponent have that would make him better suited for dealing with that sort of situation?
posted by delmoi at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2006


"Reelecting an incompetent mayor a la Marion Barry..."

Reelecting incompetents is an american tradition. Just look at the White House as far back as, say, Nixon.
posted by mischief at 5:45 PM on August 10, 2006


delmoi writes "If you are speaking only of disaster response, what credentials did his opponent have that would make him better suited for dealing with that sort of situation?"

None, delmoi. Other than a political pedigree.
posted by brundlefly at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2006


The city is never coming back.

Just what my co-worker, whose family is in New Orleans, said the other day.
posted by everichon at 5:50 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Paging Richard Dawson to New Orleans... the ICS Network needs you on the set.
posted by zek at 5:50 PM on August 10, 2006


It all started with the Declaration of Independence and continued with a little concept called "checks and balances". I'll say it again, "The US federal bureaucracy is not big enough to respond to a situation like Katrina."
That's one of the stupidest things I've heard all day. And trust me -- I've heard some good ones.
posted by verb at 5:55 PM on August 10, 2006


Really, verb? What is so stupid about it? What exactly do you expect of the federal government and how exactly do you expect to pay for it?
posted by mischief at 6:01 PM on August 10, 2006


I don't remember what I was reading, but I read something in the last few days that said that parts of New Orleans *still* didn't have power. I was boggled.

I understand the level of devastation. My in-laws relocated to Houston because of Katrina, and they didn't even live inside NO proper. But it's absolutely unacceptable that a year later there's a new roof on the stadium, but no power in poor areas.

In unimaginable that the schools are still closed, that buildings still haven't been cleared, that New Orleans is not rising from the ashes already. How much mud is a southern lady supposed to wallow in before someone offers her a hand?

We've mortgaged our grandchildren's future to pay for a never ending civil war in Iraq, but we can spare a billion or two for our own people?

What. The. Hell. America?
posted by dejah420 at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2006


Really, verb? What is so stupid about it? What exactly do you expect of the federal government and how exactly do you expect to pay for it?
Try this on for size: Our federal government, when run by individuals who believe it should not respond to disasters and who set budgets and priorities accordingly, is incapable of responding to large-scale disasters effectively.

You act like this magnitude of fuck-up is just something we're supposed to shrug our shoulders at and shake our heads sadly. "How do I expect to pay for it?" In the time it took you to read this post, we spent sticker price of a new car keeping the war in Iraq going. In the time it took me to write it, we spent the cost of a new house.

Our current leaders don't mind pissing money into the wind to fund their fucked up nation-building, but when it comes time to do rebuild a fucking city devastated by disaster, you act like the government's hands are tied?

Give me a break.
posted by verb at 6:13 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Romenesko's entry on Mr. McCusker. I assume there will be links added as the story progresses.

I need to call my friends and see how they're doing.

.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:15 PM on August 10, 2006


Mischief
How Americans Pay: record, unprecedented levels of government debt
What They Get: Massive, no-tender contracts for Iraqi reconstruction going to Halliburton, not enough left for N.O.
posted by achilles_hunt at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2006


I sat up all night transcribing police scanners onto an irc channel the night of Katrina, because I felt so helpless and wanted to do something.

I can just think about how this guy is feeling. He was a hero, he did something, he did all he could in horribly difficult circumstances, and tried to make a difference.

Even though he did all he could, the storm took away everything he had and he can't get it back. The poor guy. I really feel for him.

.
posted by Jerub at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2006


Wow, this great depression, world war and dustbowl thing really sucks. Too bad the federal government can't do shit about any of it. Let's just give up and do nothing then.
posted by empath at 6:20 PM on August 10, 2006


It's all about compromise, deja, since a good proportion of the US population do not believe that such relief on that scale is outside the purview of the feds.

I wrote last year that significant progress would not be evident until well into the next hurricane season. Bureaucracies are sluggish at their best, and rebuilding such a large area demands planning that spans city, county and state governments, utilities, and private construction firms and other for-profit organizations.
posted by mischief at 6:21 PM on August 10, 2006


Organizers of the summer art festival White Linen Night estimated that attendance would be down this year, but they still purchased as much alcohol as before, thinking that it would be necessary.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:27 PM on August 10, 2006


The military is 'pre-paid', an institution that is 'in-place', and its existence is unquestioned by both parties.

My challenge still stands, verb, What exactly do you expect the federal bureaucracy to do? And, whose jurisdictions must the feds usurp to accomplish your plan?
posted by mischief at 6:27 PM on August 10, 2006


People outside of New Orleans also get depressed.

"Death by cop" was invented way before the hurricane.
posted by smackfu at 6:33 PM on August 10, 2006


Wow, this great depression, world war and dustbowl thing really sucks. Too bad the federal government can't do shit about any of it. Let's just give up and do nothing then.

Credible scholars believe that government made the great depression worse.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:34 PM on August 10, 2006


Credible scholars believe

Weasel words.
posted by empath at 6:43 PM on August 10, 2006


Smackfu - the story is, oddly, less about Mr. McCusker, and more about everyone else in New Orleans. Note the way the police commander spoke about the incident. Most people in such situations would give the old cop hard-line talk. He didn't. He spoke with clear empathy. Read blogs from people in New Orleans. You'd expect at least one person to say that they don't understand how someone could be driven to do such a thing, how weak and cowardly he must be to beg for a suicide, but no, everyone's in agreement. "There but for the grace of God go I" is the overwhelming sentiment.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2006


mischief , I hope you dont mind if I qoute you because you took the words out of my mouth when you said...""The US federal bureaucracy is not big enough to respond to a situation like Katrina.""

To that, I say thank god it's not. Mischief, I'm with you on this.
posted by BillsR100 at 6:50 PM on August 10, 2006


The biggest concern seems to be those who lived in the 9th Ward? Thusly:

How many of the displaced people from the 9th Ward owned their homes? How many rented? How many 9th Ward landlords live in New Orleans? How many other landlords are corporations? How many landlords have already cashed their insurance checks and are now pumping the feds for rebuilding money?
posted by mischief at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2006


mischief : I'm looking for statistics to prove it, but I'm willing to assert, without evidence, that the 9th Ward had well above-average levels of home ownership, with the exception of the Bywater. And the Bywater didn't flood anyway.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:01 PM on August 10, 2006


I (yet again) encourage everyone to check out Harry Shearer's Le Show.

Harry loves New Orleans and moved there permanently (he already had an apt there before) after Katrina. Le Show is recorded there.

Every week he has some news about the unbelievably, incredibly sorry state of affairs in New Orleans. The shitty job the federal government is doing. The shitty job the Army Corps of Engineers did and is continuing to do. The utter, utter pathetic disgrace of it all comes to light when you realize that other countries have dealt with large sections being below sea level.

Every time I hear how much money we have spent in Iraq I get queasy realizing how much that money not only could have been used to clean up New Orleans after Katrina, but largely it could have been used properly over time to make Katrina a hurricane that would have been a blip on the map of history instead of a the contemptible disgrace that it has become.
posted by smallerdemon at 7:02 PM on August 10, 2006



Weasel words.

My arse. Someone prevents a less-than-relevant opinion as fact, I refute in as few words as possible.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2006


The census site is complex - I'm having to find out what census tracts the Ninth Ward encompassed - but, according to this article, home ownership in the Ninth Ward was lower than the national average, but markedly higher than the national average for black people.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:15 PM on August 10, 2006


The Netherlands comprises a total area of 16033 sq mi. Louisiana total area, 51843 sq.mi.

At 3 times the size of Netherlands, the state of Louisiana should be more than big enough to handle its own sub-sea-level problems.
posted by mischief at 7:21 PM on August 10, 2006


mischief writes "At 3 times the size of Netherlands, the state of Louisiana should be more than big enough to handle its own sub-sea-level problems."

I don't see how you could possibly make a comparison like this based on land area. Population, maybe. More likely tax revenue, GDP, or per capita GDP. But area? Pretty weak, mischief.

I mean, if anything, doesn't the fact that it's bigger means that it will take more effort to protect from flooding?
posted by mr_roboto at 7:24 PM on August 10, 2006


I mean, if anything, doesn't the fact that it's bigger means that it will take more effort to protect from flooding?

Using similar logic, couldn't one argue that the population density doesn't warrant nonresident expenditures for flood prevention?
posted by Kwantsar at 7:31 PM on August 10, 2006


Federal government caused the fucking problem, they should fix it.

“if you live behind a federally warranted levee and that levee fails, you shouldn’t be penalized if you don’t have flood insurance,” because the government has effectively promised householders that they won’t need insurance for those circumstances. Therefore, Washington had a moral obligation to all New Orleanians damaged by the flood, even the un- or underinsured.
posted by ColdChef at 7:38 PM on August 10, 2006


This is a sad reminder that not only are the people of New Orleans struggling to rebuild their city, they are still struggling to rebuild their lives.
posted by ColdChef at 7:40 PM on August 10, 2006


Given the lack of community supports and in fact ongoing trauma I just can not see how the towns and cities of Louisiana can meet those needs under present conditions without federal help.
posted by ColdChef at 7:43 PM on August 10, 2006


mr_r: ask smallerdemon; he's the one that brought the Netherlands into this. Pick a metric, any metric; it won't remove the bulk of the responsibility from the city and parish.

Foam at the mouth all you will, but it won't turn the federal level of government into a fairy godmother with a magic wand.

suckerpunch: from that article, 59% of the 9th Ward "own their homes". So right off the bat, we can write off 31% of the homes as investment properties. Now, of that 59%, how many of those homeowners agree with some plan of action? In fact, how many different plans of action divide those homeowners?

ColdChef: Were those levees federally warranted? How much do you think suing the US government would cost?

More to the point, which plan of action do you all expect the federal government to ram down their throats?
posted by mischief at 7:45 PM on August 10, 2006


My arse. Someone prevents a less-than-relevant opinion as fact, I refute in as few words as possible.

You can find a credible scholar to say just about anything, it's utterly meaningless.
posted by empath at 7:46 PM on August 10, 2006


Oops, flip flop those last two paragraphs.
posted by mischief at 7:46 PM on August 10, 2006


First off, having been to NOLA a couple months ago, it was a depressing mess - we twice saw multiple houses on fire, and many skyscrapers still had borded up windows. Neither the high end nor the low end was in good shape, although the French Quarter looked nice.

On the Great Depression and New Deal, from Robert J. Samuelson:

Many economists now believe that the New Deal, apart from its gold policy, probably had little impact on economic activity. At the heart of the early New Deal were the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA). Created in Roosevelt's first hundred days, they sought to promote recovery by propping up prices. The idea was to improve incomes and halt bankruptcies. The AAA tried to eliminate agricultural surpluses (pigs were slaughtered, crops destroyed) and paid farmers not to plant. The NRA allowed companies in the same industry to set wages, prices, and working hours in an effort to check "destructive competition." This approach rested on a remarkable contradiction: the way to get recovery, which requires more production, is to have less production. There never has been much evidence that it worked, and the Supreme Court found the NRA unconstitutional in 1935.

The New Deal did relieve suffering. Perhaps 10 million to 12 million Americans worked at some time on public works or in relief jobs (through the Public Works Administration, the Works Project Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps). People had their bank deposits protected with the advent of deposit insurance. The Securities and Exchange Commission regulated the stock market. Roosevelt maintained faith in democracy.

But there was a cost. The New Deal also caused suffering. Sharecroppers were often thrown out of work, for example, when the AAA paid landowners not to grow. The New Deal also fostered class consciousness. Roosevelt increasingly blamed the depression on the wealthy—"economic royalists," as he called them. The loss of business confidence in government policies may have deterred new investment, offsetting any economic stimulus of higher public spending. But by 1933 the economy had been so ravaged that only a partial recovery may have been possible until the huge wartime boom.


...in case anyone cared,
posted by blahblahblah at 7:59 PM on August 10, 2006


Bush was by far the most irresponsible, detached and incurious, with incompetent cronies at the helm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 PM on August 10, 2006


Regardless of when Washington should have taken action, there is no question that investing in the levees and wetlands could have made the city safer, said Ivor van Heerden, a professor at Louisiana State University.
posted by ColdChef at 8:10 PM on August 10, 2006


You can find a credible scholar to say just about anything, it's utterly meaningless.

Oh, bother.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:14 PM on August 10, 2006


Cold Chef: I recall reading that the parish (or maybe the city) was given the choice of "category 5 levees" or "category 3 levees and some other project" (something along those lines). The local politicians chose the latter. Any comments?
posted by mischief at 8:15 PM on August 10, 2006


What a load of doctrinaire, partisan pants.

I assert that the US Federal govt could have done much better before, during, and after the disaster.

Entering into an argument about exactly how, what agencies should be responsible, or the pro and cons of the New Deal/ Marshall Plan/Long administration is all quite beside the large, embarassing point.
posted by achilles_hunt at 8:17 PM on August 10, 2006


Source?
posted by ColdChef at 8:18 PM on August 10, 2006


Sorry. That should say:
I recall reading that the parish (or maybe the city) was given the choice of "category 5 levees" or "category 3 levees and some other project" (something along those lines). The local politicians chose the latter.
Source?
posted by ColdChef at 8:20 PM on August 10, 2006


Mischief, Billsr100? Let me just express my complete and total disgust and contempt for both of you.

The US will have spent one TRILLION dollars on this crazy war -- a war that has gained Americans nothing. If we'd spend one BILLION dollars on the levees of New Orleans, heck, if we'd spent $100 million, 1% of 1% of the total costs of the war, we could have saved the city.

*The reason the government is there is to deal with things that are too large for any individual or district to deal with*.

Let me also add that the government has spent untold billions of dollars on "Homeland Security" which is supposed to handle *just this sort of emergency*.

America is the richest country in the world. If killing hundreds of thousands of people who never offered it any threat is more important to it than saving one of its historic cities, it deserves to die miserably.

So let me just wish, Mischief and Billsr100, total disaster and catastrophe on you -- destruction of your homes and everything you've ever had. Then we'll quote your heartless words right back to you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:29 PM on August 10, 2006


CC: My source is the internet from last year. Don't you know what political wrangling occurred to make those choices? That's your home area, is it not?

Actually, screw that, it's ancient history. Answer this instead: Has anyone decided yet whether to replace the 9th Ward sewer system or repair it? What about the water mains? Gas lines? Will the electrical delivery system be above ground or below ground? Will the phones be above or below?

Are these questions that people want the federal government to decide?
posted by mischief at 8:33 PM on August 10, 2006


lupus: Iraq = strawman. Yawn.

Also, I am fully insured. I have taken responsibility for my life and the welfare of my family. Keyword: responsibility.

Be in contempt. I don't care. If I were a New Orleans resident, the last thing I would want is the federal government making decisions for me. The residents there probably already have their hands full fighting against stupid plans by the city and the state.
posted by mischief at 8:39 PM on August 10, 2006


... and what exactly do you find contemptuous? That I don't trust Shrub Inc. to succeed at anything?
posted by mischief at 8:43 PM on August 10, 2006


CC: My source is the internet from last year.

Oh, well why didn't you say so? That makes your argument rock solid.

Are these questions that people want the federal government to decide?

Ummm. No. And no one here suggested that the federal government should decide those types of things.

What I am suggesting, however, is that a whole region of our country, due to a disaster caused by the federal government's ineptitude, is suffering from severe and widespread depression and mental fatigue, that in no way is being treated by the government that is elected to protect it from such things.

I'm suggesting that there is a need for infrastructure and hospitals and federal aid.

I hope you insured your sense of decency, because I think you've got a big payday coming.
posted by ColdChef at 8:48 PM on August 10, 2006


mischief, I agree with you, mostly, but everyone I know in NO had insurance... and big insurance isn't helping - they're doing everything in book to get out of it. It is really a mess.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:52 PM on August 10, 2006


I've been following the New Orleans situation fairly closely over the past year and the way I feel about it I may follow it for the rest of my life. I've never been there but New Orleans is part of our country and our government and our people let part of this country down as if it had been Iraq in the middle of the insurgency. I will always feel ashamed of many of my fellow americans because of this and the whole middle east situation as well as the idiots that stole our government and sold our souls to corporate america for a song.

I feel like I am watching an entire nation and it's people fiddle while Rome burns around them and there is nothing I can do but talk to others about what I see and ask them to consider changing their outlook on life to one of benevolence and caring rather than that of nihilism and isolation. As the saying goes, 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall'.

As far as the government's responsibilities and capabilities regarding Katrina, past administrations were able to mobilize FEMA adequately to respond and repair the damage from hurricanes and tornadoes that have pounded the south and midwest in years past and the repair and renewing from those damages is inarguable evidence of that. The only reason that New Orleans wasn't made whole again is due to one reason: Corrupt Incompetence on the part of the Bush administration and their deluded sociopathic followers.
Forget being americans and remember that as civilized human beings we all have a duty to care for one another. Instead the U.S. has become a nation of clinically defined sociopaths where if something makes one feel bad, just ignore it and go shopping or go to a club or otherwise drown the reality of it in a manufactured truth.

I can't do that. I have a conscience and from what I see here on Me-Fi at least, so do many of my fellow posters.

I just hope that someday we can do something to make this right here in the U.S. and overseas to all those countries who's people's and freedoms have been wronged. And for John McCusker, I hope he's able to put all this behind him and renew his life better than before as well as all the people of New Orleans.

Here's to John

.
posted by mk1gti at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


CC: The federal government is responsible for not stopping a hurricane?

Did not Congress and the President already allocate funds? Has the bureaucracy not started to distribute that federal aid?

Did you not know that sewer, water, gas and electric are part of "infrastructure"? Are all the hospitals closed?

As for the levees, I was not making an argument; I was asking for information. You brought up "federally warranted levees". I asked were they actually warranted? I don't know. Further, if the levees were built for category 3 hurricanes, how can you expect the feds to warrant them against category 5 hurricanes?

You see, you are making a lot of allegations; now I am asking you to back up those allegations. Just because one reporter goes bonkers does not mean that no progress has been made in New Orleans.

as civilized human beings we all have a duty to care for one another.

Umm, no, we don't.
posted by mischief at 9:03 PM on August 10, 2006


big insurance isn't helping - they're doing everything in book to get out of it.

Are the banks that hold the mortgages not getting involved? Seems to me, they have more at stake overall than do the homeowners.
posted by mischief at 9:06 PM on August 10, 2006


Metafilter: My source is the internet from last year
posted by HyperBlue at 9:11 PM on August 10, 2006


"as civilized human beings we all have a duty to care for one another.

Umm, no, we don't."


Mischief, you could have saved us all a lot of time by revealing yourself thus in the first place.
posted by achilles_hunt at 9:15 PM on August 10, 2006


CC: The federal government is responsible for not stopping a hurricane?

Jesus. You really have no idea what you're talking about. The hurricane wasn't the disaster. The disaster was the failure of the federal levee system. If the levees would have held, the city would have had a few feet of water and a hell of a lot of broken glass. The city sank when the levee walls collapsed.

Did not Congress and the President already allocate funds? Has the bureaucracy not started to distribute that federal aid?

No. It hasn't. As others have mentioned, federal aid still hasn't touched most of the poorer neighborhoods, which are still without basic utilities.

Did you not know that sewer, water, gas and electric are part of "infrastructure"? Are all the hospitals closed?

As hard as this may be for you to believe, most hospitals are, in fact, still closed. It's easy to sit far away and imagine that life has returned to normal.

As for the levees, I was not making an argument; I was asking for information. You brought up "federally warranted levees". I asked were they actually warranted? I don't know. Further, if the levees were built for category 3 hurricanes, how can you expect the feds to warrant them against category 5 hurricanes?

You honestly have no clue. Katrina WAS a category 3 storm when it hit land, and the levees still failed.

You see, you are making a lot of allegations; now I am asking you to back up those allegations. Just because one reporter goes bonkers does not mean that no progress has been made in New Orleans.

If you'd have RTFA, you'd see that the whole point is that the failure of the government to live up to its responsibilities is causing most of the strife in day to day New Orleans life. I don't have the patience to explain how flood insurance works to someone who is obviously trolling and talking out of his ass with half remembered stories that "he heard on the internet last year", but let me sum it up for you the best I can:

The government builds levees. People buy insurance based on how much stress the levees can hold. The levees fail under much less strain. The government refuses to compensate the citizens on it's failed promise. I'm happy that you've bought insurance to cover your family, but for the government to tell an impoverished people that certain flood insurance is not necessary is a failure of morality, if not the law.

as civilized human beings we all have a duty to care for one another.

Umm, no, we don't.

I don't even know why I wasted my time explaining this to you. I'm done with you, Troll.
posted by ColdChef at 9:24 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fine, whatever. If you can't back up your arguments with someone from the middle (or even educate them), how are you ever going to convince someone who is right-wing?


Crying wah-wah is not going to get New Orleans any further aid. You need to educate people with hard facts, not fluff pieces like this.
posted by mischief at 9:34 PM on August 10, 2006


Hmm, from WaPo, Aug 9: FEMA Contracts Now Total $3.4 Billion

Of course, how much of that will be wasted due to ineptitude, fraud and corruption has not yet been determined. However, you can't say that aid is not being distributed.
posted by mischief at 9:56 PM on August 10, 2006


Anyway, back to the original story in this post:

In Interview, Troubled 'Times-Pic' Photog Detailed Katrina Aftermath
Imagine going to bed one night, and waking up and everybody in your entire neighborhood and everybody that they know and everybody that they know is gone and you don’t know where they are. And some nights, you know, I gotta tell you, some nights that just in despair you lay in your bed, and like you’re a three-year-old and you just lay there and say, Oh my god. I want to go home. And you can’t go home.

"And it’s, you go some days where you don’t think about it and things are okay and you just kind of move along through your life. But then one day, maybe you get a FEMA rejection letter, maybe you have a terse discussion with the guy handling your SBA loan, maybe your insurance adjuster promised to meet you somewhere and he doesn’t show up, you know, and anything. And you’re right back to August 29th."

posted by ColdChef at 10:06 PM on August 10, 2006


Mischief is a synonym for maroon.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 PM on August 10, 2006


The guy sounds severely depressed. Depression often comes with delusions that the situation is worse than it actually is.
posted by mischief at 10:16 PM on August 10, 2006


fff: exactly the color shirt I am wearing this instant. ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:17 PM on August 10, 2006


Also:
There are currently only 22 psychiatrists practicing in the New Orleans area, leaving many with severe problems, without a place to go.
posted by ColdChef at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2006


... and what's with all this name-calling? Is that how you guys debate politics around here? Sheesh.
posted by mischief at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2006


On the bright side (and in contrast to sentiments expressed above by trollish persons), a study released Tuesday by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that most Americans aren't afflicted with Katrina fatigue and they still possess a deep reservoir of empathy and a willingness to help.
posted by ColdChef at 10:22 PM on August 10, 2006


Mischief, what do you mean "convince someone who is right-wing?" The American right seems to take no coherent stance on Federalism/anti-Federalism. Or do you see Libertarianism as the right-wing?
posted by kid ichorous at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2006


So, CC, what are Louisiana's senators and representatives doing?

And as long as we're selectively quoting: "Forty percent of black people surveyed said they thought about Katrina and its aftermath "often" while 18 percent of white respondents said it was frequently on their minds."
posted by mischief at 10:30 PM on August 10, 2006


Mischief - have you been to N.O.? Do you have any fucking clue of what you're talking about?

Like someone else said - I hope you lose EVERYTHING and then we can quote you're shit right back at you.

FUCK YOU.
posted by photoslob at 10:30 PM on August 10, 2006


The American right seems to take no coherent stance on Federalism/anti-Federalism.

Really? You could have fooled me. Perhaps in recent years they have been a bit blurry, but I personally would not hold Shrub Inc. as representative of the entire right wing.
posted by mischief at 10:34 PM on August 10, 2006


In addition to the 96 inpatient psychiatric beds lost with the closure of the flooded Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, or Charity Hospital, they say, some 200 other such beds in the New Orleans area remain closed. The city reported in mid-June that only two psychiatric beds were available within 25 miles of New Orleans, they add, and there were no inpatient substance-abuse detoxification beds closer than Baton Rouge.
posted by ColdChef at 10:37 PM on August 10, 2006


I love you too, photoslob. ;-P

BTW, after my second heart attack (or was it my third), I did lose everything, in a bankruptcy and a divorce, due to disability. My current net worth is written in red ink. However, I have 70% disability insurance that pays me a monthly income while I try to get healthy again to resume my career.

You see, I made contingency plans for my future. I took responsibility for my family's welfare. I did not make excuses and act lazy in the hope that the government would bail my ass out.

However, if you believe that Shrub is your fairy godmother, that's your business. heheh
posted by mischief at 10:42 PM on August 10, 2006


More from Editor B in the heart of New Orleans: video from Mid-City "Eleven Months Post-Katrina"
posted by ColdChef at 10:47 PM on August 10, 2006


I was in N.O. 3 months ago and met people who were much like me. They were middle class, paid their taxes, sent their kids to good schools and participated in their communities. They purchased insurance. Home owners and flood. And time and again I got the same story from them - the insurance companies told them to go piss up a rope after Katrina. I spoke to one woman who lived in a house that was over 100 years old and worth well over 1 million and she said she was going to have to SUE Alstate to pay out. This was a woman who's home was insured to the hilt. Time and again I heard the same story. From Biloxi to N.O. White, black, whatever - SAME STORY. WTF will it take to convince some of you that people are being screwed out of their homes, their livelyhoods - their LIVES. These folks did everything right. They didn't buy flood insurance because the insurance companies told them they didn't need it and then the insurance companies refused to pay out when the canals - not the levies - flooded their homes. The ones who did have flood are in the same boat. Do you understand? You brave souls who talk about self reliance and responsibility. Do you not get it that the government you seem to trust so much in is the same one that regulates the insurance companies. The same one that is run by politicians that line their pockets with campaign contributions from insurance companies. The same one that is burning through billions every month to fight a war - whether it's right or wrong - in Iraq while the citizens of the U.S. in N.O and the Gulf Coast are left to fend for themselves.
posted by photoslob at 10:50 PM on August 10, 2006


One reason why progress will inevitably be slow:
A Heap of Sorrows
A controversial New Orleans landfill is set to close, but eco-disaster still looms
At least the EPA does not appear to be standing in the way. You know, the federal agency EPA?

The local vietnamese are getting screwed though.
posted by mischief at 10:55 PM on August 10, 2006


OK, photoslob, fine, thanks for the anecdotal evidence. Now, answer the question I posed earlier:

What are the banks that hold the mortgages to these houses doing? They stand to lose more than any individual homeowner. Why are they not taking an active interest in suing the insurance companies?

Like I said, back up your assertions. I'm only asking questions here, looking for answers.
posted by mischief at 10:59 PM on August 10, 2006


I am a native New Orleanean who didn't lose a damn thing, really. My neighborhood got a few feet of water (the house I lived in was on three foot pilings, and my room was on the second floor). Nothing. I lost nothing. I evacuated to Berkeley, CA to stay with my father. Met someone in a bar who would become my boss, so now I'm here. I want to go back to NOLA, but my friends are scattered across the country. My family (mother, grandfather, uncle, aunt) is planning on moving within the next year. There's nothing, personally, to go back to. I'd be lying if I said I was emotionally stable right now.

I feel the guilt of a native New Orleanean, lucky as all hell, who is not there and cannot justify (or afford) going back right now. So, when you think about the sorrow of those in New Orleans, think also of the half-city who are not there. Those folks who cannot go back to their homes because their homes are gone, who have lost their home town.

Like I said, I'm a lucky sonuvabitch. I moved for self-interested, financial reasons. All I'm saying is that, if you live in the US, you're probably going to see, if not identify, displaced New Orleans folks in your town. Keep in mind that they are just as fucked in the head right now as that suicidal T-P photographer.
posted by brundlefly at 11:00 PM on August 10, 2006


Still Cleaning Up After Katrina

205,000 houses were severely damaged by last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes. As of May, 60% remained unoccupied.

Displaced families have moved an average of 3.5 times since the storms.

In March, the New York Times found that more than 1 in 10 New Orleans evacuees were homeless or had no permanent place to live.

Fewer than 35% of New Orleans’ 462,000 residents had returned to the city as of March. Only half are expected to return by September 2008.

State Farm and Allstate will no longer sell homeowners insurance in New Orleans.

Eight months after Katrina, fewer than 1 in 10 New Orleans businesses had reopened.

The Small Business Administration has rejected nearly 70% of the 2.4 million loan applications received from hurricane victims.

36 countries and international organizations donated $126 million to federal rebuilding efforts, half of which remained undistributed six months after Katrina.

FEMA spent $431 million on 11,000 trailer homes that were never used, $3 million for 4,000 unused cots, and $10 million to fix up 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six people.

Carnival Cruise Lines got a six-month, $236 million contract to house evacuees on three of its ships, which sat half empty off the Gulf Coast for weeks.

The GAO found that there was insufficient oversight on 13 reconstruction contracts, including $100 million to Bechtel.

Experts predict there is a nearly 50% chance that a Category 3 or greater hurricane will hit the Gulf Coast this season.

On a scale of 1 to 10, FEMA director R. David Paulison gave the agency an 8 in terms of preparedness for this year’s hurricane season.

More than 100,000 families in Louisiana and Mississippi live in FEMA trailers that Paulison said “should not, or could not, ride out even a Category 1 storm.”
posted by ColdChef at 11:09 PM on August 10, 2006


Thanks for this post, ColdChef.
Also: SELF LINK.
posted by brundlefly at 11:23 PM on August 10, 2006


All right, Mischief, we get the point. You don't care about New Orleans. Now could you kindly do us the favor of not caring about it enough to get the fuck out of this thread.

I lost my home and most of my possessions thanks to Katrina -- and I was lucky in that I didn't lose everything, and didn't lose friends or family. Your inhumanity is just galling. Go back to reading Ayn Rand and let the rest of us try to move on with our lives. Which, thanks to the collossal fuckups of the Bush administration, is taking a lot longer than it should have.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:26 PM on August 10, 2006


Oh, yeah. Fuck you sideways, Mischief.

(I meant to include that in the last post.)
posted by brundlefly at 11:33 PM on August 10, 2006


FEMA spent $431 million on 11,000 trailer homes that were never used, $3 million for 4,000 unused cots, and $10 million to fix up 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six people.

Carnival Cruise Lines got a six-month, $236 million contract to house evacuees on three of its ships, which sat half empty off the Gulf Coast for weeks.

The GAO found that there was insufficient oversight on 13 reconstruction contracts, including $100 million to Bechtel.


... and you said the federal government isn't doing anything. Looks to me like the feds are doing exactly what I have said all along: fucking up.

Yet, you want the feds to do even more?

You mentioned infrastructure. Fine, let's concentrate on electricity. How is that to be delivered? Above ground or underground? Who makes that decision? Have they made that decision? Are they in the concept generation phase, the design phase, the planning phase? Are they being held up by decisions about other utilities?

Or hospitals? Why are only 22 psychiatrists in the area? Why is the one hospital closed? Are they lacking funds or are they lacking something that money can't fix? If the feds decided they were to take over that hospital and open it, what local politicians would object? Or place conditions on occupancy?

How can the feds do anything without stepping on the toes of some local jurisdiction?

Astro Zombie: You obviously don't get my point, that being, blaming Shrub for this mess is misguided. Expecting the feds to be omnipotent is foolhardy. For the feds to act in any way would require that city, parish and state governments get the fuck out of the way and let the Washington bureaucrats make all the decisions. Is that what people really want?

Even with the best, most efficient civil planning on the planet, the regrowth of New Orleans would take years.
posted by mischief at 11:36 PM on August 10, 2006


MetaFilter: all talk, no walk.

Good night all. See you in the morning.
posted by mischief at 11:39 PM on August 10, 2006


More Than $9,000 Raised For Arrested 'Times-Picayune' Photographer
posted by ColdChef at 11:40 PM on August 10, 2006


Ah, if only New Orleans had oil. Why, then we could destroy the area and then rebuild it at tax payer expense. Sure, some of the poor brown people would die in the process, but most of America has already shown that they don't care.
posted by nlindstrom at 11:44 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


And from the "Look for the silver lining" Department:

TASER International, Inc. (a market leader in advanced electronic control devices) announces TASER Device Prevents Post-Katrina Suicide Attempt
posted by ColdChef at 11:45 PM on August 10, 2006


At 3 times the size of Netherlands, the state of Louisiana should be more than big enough to handle its own sub-sea-level problems.

(1) Louisiana, unlike Texas apparently gets little to no proper taxation on the oil drilled off their shores.

(2) Proper comparison point? Simple. It's a country to country comparison.

(3) Like it or not, New Orleans is still the mouth of the Mississippi River. And like it or not, the Mississippi is still a vital part of the American shipping infrastructure. And like it or not, New Orleans is still a vital part of the oil industry's processing and shipping of its product.


Pick a metric, any metric; it won't remove the bulk of the responsibility from the city and parish.

Oh, sorry, wrong. See points 1 and 3. If New Orleans actually had financial control of their ports, they would be one of the wealthiest cities in the world.

Foam at the mouth all you will, but it won't turn the federal level of government into a fairy godmother with a magic wand.

Oh yeah... you know, nothing like building a bridge to nowhere.

Oh, and sources for my "claims":
Harry Shearer's Blog at Huffington Post and Le Show.
posted by smallerdemon at 11:52 PM on August 10, 2006


The Storm that Keeps Killing by Nola's Chris Rose.
posted by ColdChef at 12:11 AM on August 11, 2006


Professional Sports Photographers react to McCusker's tragedy

(Which led me to this: The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma: The Dart Center is a global network of journalists, journalism educators and health professionals dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. The Center also addresses the consequences of such coverage for those working in journalism.)
posted by ColdChef at 12:15 AM on August 11, 2006


smallerdemon: As for point one, you can blame Louisiana's congress critters past and present.

Point two, you're comparing a little itty bitty country to a huge state? OK, whatever.

Point three, to the best of my knowledge, the ports and oil production are already running smoothly. As for other commerce, even Hollywood has returned and is shooting movies again. They even blew up a ferry in the river with Denzel Washington.

But hey, if everybody wants to take aim at DC, fine. Start with Louisiana's senators and representatives. After all, the legislative branch decides spending, and the concept of 'weak executive' is the basis for checks and balances.

Oh, I forgot, "checks and balances" is stupid. Oh well, I recommend no one hold their breath waiting for Shrub Inc. Bush's dick is too hard fucking the mid-east to care much about the Gulf coast.
posted by mischief at 2:37 AM on August 11, 2006


smallerdemon: As for point one, you can blame Louisiana's congress critters past and present.

Point two, you're comparing a little itty bitty country to a huge state? OK, whatever.

Point three, to the best of my knowledge, the ports and oil production are already running smoothly. As for other commerce, even Hollywood has returned and is shooting movies again. They even blew up a ferry in the river with Denzel Washington.

But hey, if everybody wants to take aim at DC, fine. Start with Louisiana's senators and representatives. After all, the legislative branch decides spending, and the concept of 'weak executive' is the basis for checks and balances.

Oh, I forgot, "checks and balances" is stupid. Oh well, I recommend no one hold their breath waiting for Shrub Inc. Bush's dick is too hard fucking the mid-east to care much about the Gulf coast.
posted by mischief at 2:45 AM on August 11, 2006


Thank you for this post, ColdChef, painful and raw as it is to read. I hope you, brundlefly, Astro Zombie and all others who have personal knowledge continue to testify. This national disgrace is something that will continue rippling for decades.

I went to a blues festival in July, and one day was devoted to musicians from New Orleans and the area, as a show of support for the musicians. Marva Wright told about her experiences losing everything - and having to rebuild in Maryland. Tab Benoit was particularly eloquent and spoke to his outrage with our government abandoning an entire region. He suggested that no one give to the major charities and government bodies which are not delivering - rather, to go there ourselves, spend money as tourists, and find ways to offer help and support on a more human to human level. The New Orleans day was both painful and joyous - you know, the blues.

ColdChef, you are our local voice ... if there are organizations that we can support or ways that we can contribute, keep letting us know.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:06 AM on August 11, 2006


Uncharted Territory - Mental Health Experts Struggle to Forecast Katrina's Psychological Impacts -- and Best Treatments

"A few days after the terrorist attacks of 2001, mental health experts descended on New York, poised to help residents cope with a wave of psychiatric problems that never materialized. But experts in disaster psychiatry predict that the repercussions from Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophe without parallel in modern American history, are likely to be far greater and to last for years.

"This is unprecedented," said New York psychiatrist Spencer Eth, who was involved in treating survivors of the World Trade Center attack, which unlike the hurricane, killed many victims at the scene and destroyed several office towers, not entire communities. "People are not going to bounce back and resume their lives and recover" at the pace seen after other disasters, Eth predicted.

The previous disasters on which experts rely for lessons about how to handle the victims of mass tragedy -- plane crashes, earthquakes and hurricanes including Andrew, which struck Florida in 1992; the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995; the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- are all dwarfed by the devastation wrought by Katrina."


Myths & Realities about the Impact of Katrina and Other Trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress Reactions (PDF)

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
posted by madamjujujive at 4:22 AM on August 11, 2006


BTW, after my second heart attack (or was it my third), I did lose everything, in a bankruptcy and a divorce, due to disability.

Sounds like you have been through a lot, that's too bad. I guess it's understandable that after so much pain, you have had to erect some solid walls around yourself. I hope your heart continues to heal.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:39 AM on August 11, 2006


>> I'll say it again, "The US federal bureaucracy is not big enough to respond to a
>> situation like Katrina."
>
> That's one of the stupidest things I've heard all day. And
> trust me -- I've heard some good ones.

It's almost certainly true, though. The feds can't rebuild Baghdad on demand--not enough resources because of other competing demands, and what resources they have are clumsily applied because people can't agree what to do. Likewise New Orleans-- not enough resources because of other competing demands, and what resources they have are clumsily applied because people can't agree what to do. And the option of doing a better job is a figment, like the option of flapping your arms and flying. It seems doable, because you can imagine it, but when it comes time to try it just doesn't work. There are some projects that are complex beyond what can be handled by individual intelligences or well-integrated small groups, and beyond that point adding more hands and minds not only doesn't help, it actively hurts--left hands don't know what right hands are doing, and people can't agree what to do. If something as complex as a city (or a country) doesn't work pretty well on autopilot all by its deaf, blind self, it can't be forced to work by the kinds of intervention available to humans. Thus cities and civilizations have always died, and the survivors just have to move on.
posted by jfuller at 5:08 AM on August 11, 2006


The feds can't rebuild Baghdad on demand

Are you sure? I heard it was going to be a cake walk.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:55 AM on August 11, 2006


BTW, after my second heart attack (or was it my third), I did lose everything, in a bankruptcy and a divorce, due to disability. My current net worth is written in red ink. However, I have 70% disability insurance that pays me a monthly income while I try to get healthy again to resume my career.

You see, I made contingency plans for my future. I took responsibility for my family's welfare. I did not make excuses and act lazy in the hope that the government would bail my ass out.


So, lets say that the agency that was delivering those monthly disability checks stopped delivering them for some reason. Your name was lost in the system, or they couldn't verify your claim, or they were just too over-taxed to deal with your claim...

By your logic, that would make you lazy and irresponsible, right?

I'm just asking questions here.
posted by papercake at 6:03 AM on August 11, 2006


as civilized human beings we all have a duty to care for one another.

Umm, no, we don't.


Ha. What an asshole. Here's a summary of mischief: "I got mine so fuck you." And remember kids, personal responsibility will always prevail over unforeseen circumstance. If it doesn't, you've done something wrong and are therefore only worthy of a condescending shrug of the shoulders.

Here's to mischief's next heart attack...
posted by effwerd at 6:54 AM on August 11, 2006


Here's a link to a Frontline documentary about Post-Katrina.

I will say it again for mischief: The government's response in the past in similar situations was well co-ordinated and got it's citizens up and running again in fairly short order. If you look at similar cases across the globe those countries (even third world) who experience such disasters respond fairly quickly and the world community assists as they did during Katrina. The difference here was that the U.S. declined international assistance the same as. . . . North Korea would.

Ever since FEMA has been rolled into the Department of Homeland Security and has had it's funding stripped to fund other H.S. departments it has been crippled. That is the direct fault of the Bush administration that had a very real responsibility to it's citizens to provide for and protect their security, just as every other administration has in the past going back as long as FEMA and similar organizations have been around.
posted by mk1gti at 7:07 AM on August 11, 2006


Here's to mischief's next heart attack...

I kind of liked reading his comments throughout the thread. Perhaps I will buy him a double cheeseburger and a large order of fries.

You want one of those fried apple pies, too? I can get ya one of those. Cheers!
posted by bradth27 at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2006


You're a giant fucking hypocrite, mischief.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:13 AM on August 11, 2006


Thanks for the post, ColdChef. I must say it's frustrating to read all of this and not know what can be done to help fix things; it all just seems like a cesspool of corruption and incompetency. I second madamjujujive's sentiments: ColdChef, you are our local voice ... if there are organizations that we can support or ways that we can contribute, keep letting us know.

And mischief: you seem to spending a lot of energy and caring on not caring. Just an observation.
posted by witchstone at 7:14 AM on August 11, 2006


mischief isn't a giant fucking hypocrite. mischief is a giant fucking hypocrite times infinity. . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:18 AM on August 11, 2006


This North American (and particularly American) fiction that self-reliance and personal responsibility is the cure for all ills really needs a rewrite. Don't get me wrong — I do believe that self-reliance and responsibilty are VERY important. I have zero patience with those with entitlement issues who choose to live beyond their means or who can't be bothered to acquire the education and skills that would increase those means, or who don't take proper care of their children, and then make stupid excuses for not doing those things. But I find the attitude that anyone who honestly can't cope with their huge problems must be to blame somehow and at any rate shouldn't get help from anyone equally odious. Being a good citizen used to mean that you took care of yourself AND that you pulled your fair weight in terms of civic responsibilities. Now it seems that it's generally considered that you take care of yourself and your own family. It's a concept blind to the facts that no individual ever succeeds without benefiting from circumstances completely beyond his or her control, and it's not good for communities or society.

Problems this huge, such as natural disasters and failings of the infrastructure, require aggregate effort to solve them. It won't matter how hard you work if you have no utilities, no roads, schools, access to medical care, or economy which gives you goods in return for your services. And geography plays a huge part of our destiny. We've had it so good for so long that we've started to pride ourselves on it, to buy into the idea that our success is entirely dependent on individual effort. We need to realize that no individual is really master of his or her own universe.
posted by orange swan at 7:30 AM on August 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


NPR: A Day in the Life of New Orleans, a photo slideshow.
posted by ColdChef at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2006


Nice catch, OC. Seems to me that all too often, the people who are least compassionate toward others are often those who have needed — and received — the compassion of others.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 AM on August 11, 2006


ColdChef: thank you for all the links and comments, now as well as during and after Katrina. I was going to post here, looking for somewhere to donate money to John McClusker, so especially thanks for the link to friendsoftimespicayune. It clearly would have been better to help him rebuild his house before he got to the point of breaking down, but it's still great to have a concrete way to give something.
posted by A_Dollar_Three_Eighty at 8:50 AM on August 11, 2006


So apparently, mischief actually has enough money to support himself through privately obtained disability insurance, but he is attempting to get Social Security disability benefits as well? Beyond being the 2nd best piece of irony ever to hit metafilter, that probably counts as federal fraud. Time to write the agency.
posted by felix at 8:59 AM on August 11, 2006


Kid Ichorous: The American right seems to take no coherent stance on Federalism/anti-Federalism.

Mishchief: Really? You could have fooled me. Perhaps in recent years they have been a bit blurry, but I personally would not hold Shrub Inc. as representative of the entire right wing.


Eisenhower wasn't recent years, and he wasn't "a bit blurry."

What you are saying is a common meme, but it doesn't strike me as half true in the last lifetime. Find me Republican administrations under which the federal government provably shrinked in executive power and spending. I'd be surprised if we could find one, let alone enough to establish grounds for this meme.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:53 AM on August 11, 2006


Er, that would be "provably shrunk." Perfect tense of "to get smaller," rather than "to administer psychotherapy." :)
posted by kid ichorous at 10:55 AM on August 11, 2006


This thread is kind of weird. At first, the point seems to be that we need to care more about people in N.O. We need to be compassionate to the people in N.O., most of whom are strangers to us. Doing this will take a lot of work and money, but Metafilter members are ready to take necessary action and feel compassion for everyone. So far, so good.

But when one of our own expresses views that we disagree with, and refuses to back down under mounting peer pressure, a whole lot of people decide to verbally bully him, instead of trying to politely explain their POV. Where is the compassion in that?

Why is it so easy to be compassionate about an entire city full of far away people considered in aggregate, but so hard to be compassionate to one person right here?

Is it because he said that people are not technically required to help other people if they dont want to? That's when things got ugly. I doubt that means mischief never helped anyone, I think he is just directly addressing the point that forcing people to help other people can lead to weird, unpleasant situations.

Maybe we should not continue to bully mischief, or threaten to sexually assault him, or wish him another heart attack, or attempt to screw him over with some Fed agency, or call him a hypocrite, just because he does not sound as compassionate as we do.
posted by b1ff at 11:14 AM on August 11, 2006


Well, jeez, I didn't realize we had to be polite to assholes.

Good to know, good to know.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:20 AM on August 11, 2006


If anyone wants to help, supporting these guys would be a good place to start.
posted by brundlefly at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2006


Why is it so easy to be compassionate about an entire city full of far away people considered in aggregate, but so hard to be compassionate to one person right here?

Because he's a hypocrite, whereas that entire city is not. They pay federal taxes just like us but all of a sudden "wah-wah support me because i hurt myself" mischief decides that while it's okay for him to suck off the government teat because he couldn't manage his health, it's not okay for a ruined city and its inhabitants to be supported by the government.

We should be kind to all men until they demonstrate that they don't deserve it. There are millions in the Gulf Coast who need our help, and who are good-hearted. Mischief is just an asshole.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2006


This was a wonderful post. Reading this thread was seriously depressing, though, I am pretty sure that mischief exemplifies everything I hate about ... well, a lot of things.

I wish I could help New Orleans. It's such a clusterfuck of mismanagement and disorganization down there, still, and that's so sad. The U.S. government needs replacing. An overhaul. Something. What fucked up priorities it has. And it's pretty sad that this hasn't been front page news every day since Katrina. New Orleans is hardly there anymore.
posted by blacklite at 11:36 AM on August 11, 2006


Not caring? Ha! I care plenty about how my tax dollars are wasted. Burn me at the stake, if you will, but I am far from being the only individual who does not support a welfare state.

As for previous storms (none of which caused as much damage), are you all sure that the federal response was as "successful" as you believe? I'm not.

As for applying for SSDI, that is a condition of receiving disability insurance payments, but since SSDI currently has a freeze on processing all but initial applications, I certainly won't be receiving any benefit from that quarter. BTW, deductions from my paycheck specifically paid for SSDI. I guess a good many of you still do not understand the concept of insurance (regardless of who is the underwriter). So, paint me as a hypocrite, I don't care.
posted by mischief at 12:25 PM on August 11, 2006


Federal taxes and social security deductions are not the same thing. As a voter, I have very little control over the Social Security Administration, but I do have a lot to say about how taxes are spent.

Further (and this is a response to kid ich), why this focus on the administration(s)? Constitutionally, we have a "weak executive", and you all seem to have forgotten about Congress. Does Lousiana not send senators and representatives to DC? Those are the people who are responsible for getting the attention of the money funders and for overseeing the administration's various agencies.

Scapegoating Shrub Inc. is not going to solve this problem, if you believe that the federal bureaucracy can solve it. Any resolution must start in Congress.

Finally, and I think I already stated this, even with the best civil planners and full agreement and cooperation of everyone involved, New Orleans would not be much further in its regrowth as it is now.
posted by mischief at 12:37 PM on August 11, 2006


Vegas baby! I'm off for a weekend of gambling and carousing.
So have fun with this, everybody; I will let you have the last word.
;-P
posted by mischief at 12:42 PM on August 11, 2006


There are millions in the Gulf Coast who need our help, and who are good-hearted.

You mean the kind of good-heartedness where they know how compassionate everyone needs to be, and when someone's opinion differs, they unhesitatingly and mercilessly abuse him? For crying out loud, people wished he would have another heart attack, and one guy wanted to actually sic the Feds on him without really knowing anything for sure. Where is the compassion in that?! Talk about Hypocrisy!

We should be kind to all men until they demonstrate that they don't deserve it.

And who will be judge and jury of that? It must be scary to live in a world where you know that the minute someone disagrees with you about something, you will be subject to ever increasing levels of abuse until you capitulate. I think the evidence of mischief's unkindness is tenuous at best. He maintained his calm demeanor, never stooped to the level of his abusers, and tried to continue rational discussion even as the conversation degraded. He only said that people are not obliged to help others, not that he never helped anyone. How is this proof that he need not be treated decently?

If you can't deal with one of your peers rationally disagreeing with you on a message board, exactly how did you plan to help millions of actually needy and stressed out people in New Orleans? Maybe you didn't...
posted by b1ff at 1:11 PM on August 11, 2006


Lack of decency does not equal lack of compassion. mischief is a capitalist goatsie and I respond accordingly. That doesn't mean if he were on fire I wouldn't help put him out.
posted by effwerd at 1:26 PM on August 11, 2006


mischief: So, CC, what are Louisiana's senators and representatives doing?

What should have happened 60 years ago.
posted by lsusd2003 at 1:33 PM on August 11, 2006


Damn, my companion is running late, so you all may be graced by my presence for a short while.

Now where were we? Ah, yes, social security. Any benefit I receive from SSDI will be a pittance compared to my insurance check. In fact, it won't even cover my income taxes, so it will go right back to the feds anyway. BTW, that's why I moved to Nevada, no state income tax. heheh

Now what was that other point I wanted to make? Oh, yeah, a charge of hypocrisy.

No doubt those getting all blustery have made no more effort themselves to help Katrina refugees than to post comments online. Perhaps some have given something, but I'll bet that fraction does not even approach one third.

Ah, there's Candy at the door now. He's such a sweetheart. TTFN!

x&o - luv m
posted by mischief at 1:41 PM on August 11, 2006


Lack of decency does not equal lack of compassion. mischief is a capitalist goatsie and I respond accordingly. That doesn't mean if he were on fire I wouldn't help put him out.

Interesting. The concept of burning mischief had not been brought up until you mentioned it, and your promise to put out mischief's hypothetical combustion is encouraging. On the other hand, you will likely never have an opportunity to demonstrate your compassion in this way, so maybe refraining from abusive behavior is a better way to go.

I am not sure why you go to the trouble to argue semantics about decency and compassion and then in the next sentence use the word accordingly which can either mean correspondingly or consequently. So which is it? Did you feel that his comments abused you and you responded correspondingly, or is it that his comments were offensive to you, so you consequently abused him?
posted by b1ff at 2:01 PM on August 11, 2006


when oh when will the abuse end?
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:05 PM on August 11, 2006


On the other hand, you will likely never have an opportunity to demonstrate your compassion in this way, so maybe refraining from abusive behavior is a better way to go.

Okay, thanks mom.

So which is it?

You can't figure that out?
posted by effwerd at 2:10 PM on August 11, 2006


You can't figure that out?

Not really. I refrain from engaging in mob pile-ons, so I have no basis for understanding that mentality.
posted by b1ff at 2:24 PM on August 11, 2006


I commented at mischief on my own. The fact that others already had did not concern me or encourage me. You've got assumption down, evidently.
posted by effwerd at 2:30 PM on August 11, 2006


You've got assumption down, evidently.

I don't think you are the one to be talking about assumptions..

Ha. What an asshole. Here's a summary of mischief: "I got mine so fuck you." And remember kids, personal responsibility will always prevail over unforeseen circumstance. If it doesn't, you've done something wrong and are therefore only worthy of a condescending shrug of the shoulders. Here's to mischief's next heart attack... posted by effwerd at 6:54 AM PST on August 11

Post after people are throwing f-bombs. Put words in his mouth, Wish him another heart attack? Yeah, that's not participating in a mob beatdown. Whatever, dude.
posted by b1ff at 3:14 PM on August 11, 2006



posted by dhartung at 3:41 PM on August 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


The fact that it occurred during a "mob beatdown" is inconsequential to my motives, dude. But you keep reassuring your self-righteousness with whatever you like, biff. I'm sure you're very happy in your enlightened state where rude comments equal abuse and a general lack of compassion, and en masse disgust at the attitudes of a heartless motherfucker is a "mob beatdown," and where a flippant summary equals putting words in someone's mouth. I hear that PC bullshit plays really well. You should go far.
posted by effwerd at 4:04 PM on August 11, 2006


I hear that PC bullshit plays really well. You should go far.

So commenting on the treatment of a "heartless capitalist goatsie motherfucker" on MeFi is PC now?

The fact that it occurred during a "mob beatdown" is inconsequential to my motives, dude.

Interesting. What exactly were your motives, effwerd?
posted by b1ff at 4:43 PM on August 11, 2006


What exactly were your motives, effwerd?

Probably the same as mine. As a former resident of New Orleans, I was getting pissed on. I did what I would do to anybody else who though this sort of pissing was acceptable -- I told him to fuck off. Sorry if this offends you -- perhaps there is another Internet somewhere where people are unfailingly polite to even the most unpleasant troll. This ain't it.

"Mob beatdown" is a ludicrous description, by the way. Mischief is in Vegas, for fuck's sake, not bleeding in a ditch or hanging from a tree.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:46 PM on August 11, 2006


For Astro Zombie:
Dark humor pervades Katrina-themed plays
posted by ColdChef at 8:46 AM on August 12, 2006


Give me a break!

If you look at the guidelines for this (and most) boards, the intent is for civil discussion. The namecalling and other crap thrown at mischief is clearly not condoned. Just because mischief is not bitching about it does not mean that it was OK, It still screws up the conversation for everyone, and for no good reason. If an individual has good arguments, there is no need for them to resort to that BS.

Just because you are offended by what someone says, does not really give you the moral right to shout down, namecall, or otherwise quash that person's speech by whatever means are at your disposal. It has a corrosive effect on that discussion and on the forum as a whole. It should be obvious that people's willingness to post their observations is affected by the treatment they see others receive.

You call him a troll, but what about the people wishing him harm, and swearing at him? Do they get a free pass? Or are they to be considered troll "victims" with poor impulse control? Or is "troll" now just code for "someone who does not agree with me"? Being vicious to a poster because you do not think he is nice enough, and then calling him a hypocrite is, well, hypocritical.

Why is this such a mystery to some people? If you don't like what someone says, either post back in a civil manner, ignore it, or suck it up and move on. Have some respect for yourself, for other posters, and do not trash the board for other people.
posted by b1ff at 1:47 PM on August 12, 2006


You call him a troll, but what about the people wishing him harm, and swearing at him?

The harm-wishing, not so much, but the swearing? Hells yeah. More people should swear.
posted by brundlefly at 2:30 AM on August 15, 2006


Uh, derail?
posted by wilberforce at 12:43 AM on August 16, 2006


'Times-Pic' Photog McCusker Says Medication Caused Tragic Incident
posted by ColdChef at 9:29 PM on August 29, 2006


I told (Assistant Managing Editor/Photo) Michele McNally, "Please send me anywhere else in the world but New Orleans. I'll work as many days as you want me to, but I'm just not ready to go back to New Orleans. Last time was very bad."
Vincent Laforet, contributing photographer, The New York Times
posted by ColdChef at 7:15 PM on September 1, 2006


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