and much more ... from 'the most advanced bullshit-detector on the internet'
By Winter Patriot on 9/9/2005, 7:42pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

I've heard it said more than once that the blogger who uses the name Xymphora may have the most advanced bullshit-detector on the internet, and I am not about to argue. Had I not been so overwhelmed lately I would have been reading him more regularly, and I would have been in a much better position to write yesterday's post, Secrecy, Incompetence and Disaster --- What Is The Truth Behind Katrina?.

Better late than never; no? Here's a quick look at Xymphora's recent Katrina-related posts. They are all full of sound reasoning and reliable references. I encourage you to click on these links, read these posts, and check out the references...

...but only if you want to know the truth!

September 1, 2005: The Symbolism of Katrina

All the ironies and all the contradictions brought to the United States by the Bush Administration have come together in the perfect storm of Katrina:

Katrina is a storm caused by global warming (though the wingnuts have a spin for that too), an issue which Bush refuses to face. Of course, any actions taken by Bush would not have prevented Katrina, but might help ameliorate some storms in the future, and the symbolism is perfectly clear. Flooding along the coast is going to get worse, and the Bush Administration's response is to pretend that everything is just ducky. The failure to pay any attention to science is the consistent approach of the current American government, and includes such things as support for intelligent design, failure to take account of ecological warnings, and opposition to stem cell research.
...
The Battle of New Orleans in 1815 was a brilliant victory for the fairly recently-born country of the United States of America, its coming out party as a major world player (the subject of yet another song). The Sinking of New Orleans one hundred and ninety years later represents the beginning of the end of American dominance, caused by an amazingly symbolic collection of Bush Administration stupidities and mistakes.

September 1, 2005: Public good, and the economics of disaster

The particular combination of specific policy decisions that collectively led to the disaster on the Gulf Coast is just part of an ongoing war against the concept of the public good. From an article by Chris Floyd:
But as culpable, criminal and loathsome as the Bush Administration is, it is only the apotheosis of an overarching trend in American society that has been gathering force for decades: the destruction of the idea of a common good, a public sector whose benefits and responsibilities are shared by all, and directed by the consent of the governed. For more than 30 years, the corporate Right has waged a relentless and highly focused campaign against the common good, seeking to atomize individuals into isolated 'consumer units' whose political energies kept deliberately underinformed by the ubiquitous corporate media can be diverted into emotionalized 'hot button' issues (gay marriage, school prayer, intelligent design, flag burning, welfare queens, drugs, porn, abortion, teen sex, commie subversion, terrorist threats, etc., etc.) that never threaten Big Money's bottom line.

Again deliberately, with smear, spin and sham, they have sought and succeeded in poisoning the well of the democratic process, turning it into a tabloid melee where only 'character counts' while the rapacious policies of Big Money's bought-and-sold candidates are completely ignored. As Big Money solidified its ascendancy over government, pouring billions over and under the table into campaign coffers, politicians could ignore larger and larger swathes of the people. If you can't hook yourself up to a well-funded, coffer-filling interest group, if you can't hire a big-time Beltway player to lobby your cause and get you 'a seat at the table,' then your voice goes unheard, your concerns are shunted aside. (Apart from a few cynical gestures around election-time, of course.) The poor, the sick, the weak, the vulnerable have become invisible in the media, in the corporate boardroom, 'at the table' of the power players in national, state and local governments. The increasingly marginalized and unstable middle class is also fading from the consciousness of the rulers, whose servicing of the elite goes more brazen and frantic all the time.

They had about a week to shore up the levees, evacuate the poor, and prepare for disaster management. They knew all the details of the full scope of the disaster, and the official warnings were as bleak as any official warnings can be. They didn't try to do anything. Bush golfed and pretended to play guitar. Since the funding, manpower, and equipment that would normally be used for such purposes was in Iraq, trying to do something constructive would only have embarrassed them, so they just relaxed and let it happen. Needless to say, the next step will be the announcement of billions of dollars of reconstruction contracts for Halliburton and Bechtel, thus proving that Bush really does care. Disaster is another opportunity to make money, while trying to stop disaster is just a drain on public finances.

September 2, 2005: Negerrein

The U. S. State Department drifts into stand-up comedy with helpful hints on how to identify conspiracy theories. You want a conspiracy theory? Here's a conspiracy theory found on Boing Boing, from Ned Sublette (my emphasis in bold):
The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number - 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources - meaning, the political will - weren't there to get them out.

They wanted to make New Orleans into Disneyland, but the black people ruined everything. Now all the stories in the mainstream media are about how all these 'animals' are murdering, raping and looting, and how the police now have orders to shoot to kill. You really have to wonder about whether FEMA, turned by the Bush Administration from rescue management experts into Big Brother, and now in charge of managing personal freedoms, allowed those levees to break on purpose.

September 3, 2005: NOLA odds and ends

On the planned ethnic cleansing of blacks from the new New Orleans (to be reestablished as a resort and casino destination called "Jazzworld", with condos starting at $1 million):

"Will the "New" New Orleans be Black?" by Glen Ford;

Dennis Hastert is the first to raise the issue of gentrification: "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."

For what its worth, Voice of the White House describes part of a conversation overheard at a tony Washington club:

It is well known here that the Bush family and many of the top advisers at the White House are racists but instead of detesting Jews, in this case, they all detest blacks. Their rationale, aside from their view of racial superiority, is that blacks are all 'welfare queens, unwed mothers and drug dealers.' It was the very firmly stated view of the host that it was better for everyone that New Orleans was under water for the time being.

In that way, we were told (and I was not the only person in the dining room who heard all this), this served to 'chase out the niggers' and permit Bush-supporting businessmen from buying up the soon-to-be condemned sodden houses for five cents on the dollar from friendly insurance companies (which one of them was a CEO of) and put up an enlarged and very profitable combination of industrial park and office building section. The money for this would, naturally, come from government grants which a terrified Congress (Mid Term elections are coming) had just voted for and the contracts to demolish the wrecked low-income slums would go, as a no-bid contract, to another stellar Bush supporter.

September 5, 2005: Ethnic cleansing in the USA

From cbs4denver:
"The first planeload of hurricane victims are in Colorado. An estimated one-thousand survivors will come to Colorado."

and [emphasis by Xymphora]:

"Representatives of the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter met each evacuee and gave them a personal comfort kit containing toiletries and personal items. Each child will get a teddy bear."

and, from Colorado Governor Owens [emphasis by Xymphora]:

"Owens said officials haven't finalized any long term plans for the evacuees after the 48 hours, but he said they will receive assistance for job and school placement while they are here. He said help will also be offered for those traveling to other parts of the country from Colorado.

'We'll give them job placement, give them professional training, so that they are prepared when they go back, go elsewhere, or stay here,' Owens said. 'We're doing what we can as good people.'"

They ain't going back. Even if they had a way to get back, which they don't for the very same reason they didn't have a way to evacuate, they won't be able to afford to live in the rebuilt city. Governor Owens has apparently been told the details of the Plan. This is what ethnic cleansing looks like. Could it be that the failure of the government to even attempt to supply food and water to the refugees for days was an attempt to kill off the oldest and sickest - the ones who would eat up government resources in the future - before the rest were shipped out to their permanent new homes across the country?

September 5, 2005: Ethnic Cleansing II

I can't keep up. What I've been thinking of as wild conspiracy theory is now being reported at CBC News as a practically a fait accompli:
"If those forced out of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina end up re-building their lives in new locations, it could be the largest U.S. black resettlement since the Great Migration of the 20th Century lured southern blacks to the North in search of jobs and better lives."

and:

"In Houston, which expected many thousands of evacuees to remain for a long time, interviews suggested that thousands of blacks who lost everything and had no insurance will end up living in Texas or states other than Louisiana.

Many evacuees like Percy Molere, 26, who worked in a hotel in New Orleans' French quarter, said they cannot keep their lives on hold for very long. Molere said: 'If it took a month, I'd go back, but a year, I don't want to wait that long. Hopefully we're going to stay in Houston just to stay out of New Orleans' for the time being."

Here is a list of the active efforts of FEMA and other US institutions in the control of the Bush Administration to prevent aid from getting through (see also here and here and here, and here or here). Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff outright lied - see here - in claiming that no one anticipated this disaster. It looks increasingly like FEMA did anticipate it, and in fact had a plan to ensure that New Orleans be ethnically cleansed should the proper storm come along. There is simply too much active sabotage of relief efforts to blame it all on FEMA incompetence. I wonder what other plans they have?

September 7, 2005: The New Orleans hostage crisis

From an important posting in Dispatch from the Trenches (emphasis in the original):
"OK, let's get this straight: Michael Brown is most likely an incompetent stooge but the fact of the matter is that when he refused to release supplies, National Guard troops, and construction equipment, and then ordered the Superdome locked and checkpoints set up along the roads leading out of New Orleans to turn back anyone trying to escape the destruction, he was following orders. None of it was accidental, none of it was a matter of poor decision-making or the wrong priorities. It was a deliberate attempt by the Bush Administration to blackmail the state of Louisiana into handing the city over to the Federal government.

On Friday, four days after Katrina hit, National Guard troops finally arrived, supposedly bringing food and water to those trapped in the Superdome. It's true that there was an initial delivery of emergency supplies, but it was hardly adequate. Everyone assumed more would be coming. But the NG came armed, supposedly to defend itself against bands of looters with handguns and rifles. Soon after, it became clear that the NG's real orders were to lock down the Superdome and prevent anyone from leaving.

Between Wednesday morning and Friday night, ships loaded with food, water, and medical supplies arrived. FEMA refused to allow them to be off-loaded. Michael Brown then ordered the communications lines cut that tied emergency workers together.

Shortly before midnight, the Bush Administration essentially delivered an ultimatum to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco: before they released the emergency supplies, they wanted her to sign the city of New Orleans over to the Federal government.

September 8, 2005: Apartheid America and the Right of Return

The plan is to use the ethnic cleansing to return the city to Republican party control. Remember these rebuilding plans when you keep hearing how 'uninhabitable' the city will be. Apparently, it will only be uninhabitable for blacks. With all the money that is going to be pouring into the pockets of local bigwigs to realize their grandiose white plans, it should be possible for the government to fund the return of all displaced residents. As Glen Ford states:
"Displacement based on race is a form of genocide, as recognized under the Geneva Conventions. Destruction of a people's culture, by official action or depraved inaction, is an offense against humanity, under international law. New Orleans the whole city, and its people is an indispensable component of African American culture and history. It is clear that the displaced people of New Orleans are being outsourced to everywhere, and nowhere. They are not nowhere people. They are citizens of the United States, which is obligated to right the wrongs of the Bush regime, and its unnatural disaster. Charity is fine. Rights are better. The people of New Orleans have the Right to Return on Uncle Sam's tab."

It would be a real shame if, on top of all the corruption, negligence, stupidity and malfeasance, the Bush regime also got away with destroying the culture of New Orleans in order to ethnically cleanse it into a Dixieland theme park that votes Republican.

Here's what I've learned today: When in doubt, read Xymphora.

Share article...