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September 03, 2005

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Etienne

Thanks for hitting the nail exactly on the head. In the end, this will become the much needed discussion of government's purpose and function in our lives. This is a discussion the American people need to be having out loud, in an honest fashion, with honest facts ... not something being sold to them like a slick Madison Avenue product, without them understanding even the basics of the specifications.

We saw with Social Security that, despite Bush's supposed popularity at the time, when the American people were faced with losing this beloved government program, they did not want to let it go. The more they learned about what was being proposed, the more they wanted to keep what they had.

So what DO Americans want from their government, and how do they think it should be paid for? If this is a democracy, people should finally be voting on this issue with some kind of knowledge of the discussion.

The question of Giuliani is an interesting one. Would Rove really want to boost Bush's successor in this way? Is this the new standard bearer he wants? And the question would swiftly arise: WHY was Giuliani able to be so effective on 9/11? Certainly, the challenge he faced was less complex, but he also had at his disposal something we here in the liberal Northeast take for granted - an efficient, competent, well funded, well educated emergency response system, administered by our government. A government beset with the usual bureaucratic woes, but one that takes its responsibility to the public seriously, and performs when needed. Government that the citizens can trust and respect.

Government performed very inefficiently and incompetently in this crisis - at all levels. But was that because of an inherent inefficiency in government (not a problem on 9/11, Giuliani's one and only real claim to fame) or because of an inefficency created by a complete disrespect for - and lack of attention to - government's proper function for its citizens?

It's going to be THE question of the next election cycle, and its going to be harder now to have the kind of conversations where partisans just scream people down with meaningless slogans. We deserve an educated and meaningful debate on this subject, as citizens of a common nation.

TM

Thanks very much - we may agree on the questions, but now we can spend three years battling over the answers.

Anyway, I seem to be on the same page as the NY Times (troubling news for them and me).

David Brooks

The Bursting Point

By DAVID BROOKS

As Ross Douthat observed on his blog, The American Scene, Katrina was the anti-9/11.

On Sept. 11, Rudy Giuliani took control. The government response was quick and decisive. The rich and poor suffered alike. Americans had been hit, but felt united and strong. Public confidence in institutions surged.

Last week in New Orleans, by contrast, nobody took control. Authority was diffuse and action was ineffective. The rich escaped while the poor were abandoned. Leaders spun while looters rampaged. Partisans squabbled while the nation was ashamed.

The first rule of the social fabric - that in times of crisis you protect the vulnerable - was trampled. Leaving the poor in New Orleans was the moral equivalent of leaving the injured on the battlefield. No wonder confidence in civic institutions is plummeting.

And the key fact to understanding why this is such a huge cultural moment is this: Last week's national humiliation comes at the end of a string of confidence-shaking institutional failures that have cumulatively changed the nation's psyche.

And the politics:

As White House Anxiety Grows, Bush Tries to Quell Political Crisis

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
and ADAM NAGOURNEY

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 - Faced with one of the worst political crises of his administration, President Bush abruptly overhauled his September schedule on Saturday as the White House scrambled to gain control of a situation that Republicans said threatened to undermine Mr. Bush's second-term agenda and the party's long-term ambitions.

I am the master of the CW.

goddessoftheclassroom

I am exasperated by the ignorance of so many about the separation of powers among local, state, and federal governments.

Blaming President Bush seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. I truly hope that after some order is restored, calm evaluation can take place.

My main point: President Bush COULD NOT LEGALLY INTERVENE until AFTER the hurricane. Even then, he doesn't have a magic wand. I wish people would examine the timetables and responses (and inaction) from all the levels of government.

Les Nessman

TM
"The case can be made that a more energetic evacuation effort by the New Orleans mayor would have saved many, many people."

Heh. Yes. Best understatement I've seen in awhile.

etienne
"..when the American people were faced with losing this beloved government program, they did not want to let it go. The more they learned about what was being proposed, the more they wanted to keep what they had."

The problem being that 'Don't Change Anything' means that everyone under 40 will be screwed with drastically cut benefits and drastically increased taxes.
Change WILL happen. We can let it build up and hit us with extreme and sudden consequences, or we can stop being timid and/or greedy and plan for it ahead of time...gosh, kind of like having a hurricane plan in place.

"..9/11, Giuliani's one and only real claim to fame.."
Well, he may have also sucessfully governed one of the largest and complex cities on Earth, so maybe he has two claims to fame.

Etienne

Successful government of this complex city, Les, is not an accomplishment unique to Rudy. Liberal cities, in general, seem to be rather more amenable to being governed, perhaps. Not a bad way to live, I can vouch for that, here in the 21st century....In any case, I'd love to see the Repubs run Rudy. It would be worth the popcorn just watching them sell his "charisma" in Dixie.

If our "president" couldn't intervene until after the hurricane, does that explain why he was golfing, eating cake, singing country tunes and strutting for the cameras in those hours of death and destruction...rather than huddling with his aides and brainstorming, preparing, paying attention to the needs of his citizens?

Les, I'm afraid any last chance for privatizing Social Security was washed away in the flood - that and the rest of the conservative agenda. You know what we are going to need? God help us, but someone realizes this - We need another NEW DEAL for this country. A public works program, to start, pairing up as many of these homeless unemployed people as possible with government funded, well paying public works jobs rebuilding their city. We need government to do that, because farming that job out to private contractors is only going to result in the same uncontrollable, graft ridden, corrupt profiteering that got our country into this mess.

And that's just for starters. People are going to be asking a whole different set of questions after this, and for a very long time.

richard mcenroe

A good, another New Deal. The last one only prolonged the Depression by five or six years...

Etienne

rm, what a unique perspective on the Depression. I must have led a sheltered existence, haven't heard that argument.

spencer

Are we remembering and making valid comparisons to 9/11.

9/11 was limited in area and scope.
So other local communities were free to send emergency responders. but this was not true of NO, other local first responders were tied up in their own emergencies and were not free to go to NO,

This makes all the difference in the world,
So in evaluating the role of the Mayor. In NY the primary role of the mayor was as a public voice and head of an operation that came together very quickly.

In NO the mayor had no other resources to draw on and the Governor had very limited local resources to use --- one of the worse reports is that he arrange with another state for their Guard to come on Monday and
Pentagon prevented it.

The real problem here is that the leadership of the FEMA failed. Notice, that after they actually started to do something, apparently after others took over form FEMA, the Federal reaction has been outstanding. So the fact that the Feds have done a great job once they finally started to do something clearly demonstrates that it was not a failure of government. Rather it was a failure of the federal leadership.

TexasToast

From Laura Rozen:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.


This is beyond "blame the locals". Its Potimpkin Village time.

syn

People who live in NYC cannot forget what the city was like for a couple of decades BEFORE Guiliani was elected. It was a crime-ridden hellhole and was the very reason why the Democrat controlled NYC people elected him.

Basically, before Guiliani came into office NYC government was exactly like New Orlean's current government, only it was not sinking into the ground as fast and NYC has way more people than NO.

Oh, I recall over the Guiliani years NYC Leftists proclaimed Guiliani was a Nazi Hitler BUT all that changed when 9/11 happened, Guiliani maintained law and order, lead and commanded as all mayors should in order to save all the citizens including the Leftists and their sorry 'Guiliani is a Nazi' blathering butts.

Now that Guiliani was a hero, all the Leftist's HilterNazi crap had to go somewhere so the insane Leftist's turned their attention towards Bush.

Guiliani was a leader long before 9/11 came along, it is just that his actions after 9/11 stopped Leftist claptrap dead in their tracks.

syn

Etienne
If you believe for one minute that America is going to become a Socialist hellhole because you don't understand the meaning of self-reliance and civic responsibility, think again.

By the way it is because of the New Deal, a Great Deal of misery, poverty and suffering is facing millions of retiring babyboomers who have unfortunately relied all of their lives upon The Government to Save Them in their old fragile age.

syn

Spencer

When Nagin cried why isn't The Government sending 500 buses cause "We need 500 hundred buses" he should have thought about the hundreds of buses he left sitting empty and unused instead of moving these buses to higher ground before the storm came.

Nagin has buses BUT he left them empty, now sitting in flooded parking lots. Most likely explaination for his decision to leaave those NO buses was because he wanted THE GOVERNMENT to pick up the tab.

TexasToast

Three days to get fed boots on the ground is reasonable. It was the dire need for immediate rescue that created the perception of slowness. The cause of the dire need was local incompetence and/or political malpractice. Take your pick. - Boris

FEMA was put “in charge” on ">http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050827-1.html"> August 27 .
Three days from August 27 is Tuesday – not Friday.

Apparently, putting this administration’s FEMA in charge was a mistake in other ways …. “Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines….” ">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790/"> Meet the Press .

Oh, quit bitching. - Syl

After this ?

“I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees …I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting, or price-gouging at the gasoline pump or taking advantage of charitable giving, or insurance fraud " – GWB on Good Morning America

And this?
“And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night.
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...
MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.”

And this ??? http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/002485.html "> Laura Rozen

Etienne

If you believe for one minute that America is going to become a Socialist hellhole because you don't understand the meaning of self-reliance and civic responsibility, think again.

By the way it is because of the New Deal, a Great Deal of misery, poverty and suffering is facing millions of retiring babyboomers who have unfortunately relied all of their lives upon The Government to Save Them in their old fragile age.

Because I dont understand self reliance and civic responsibility? I think it might be well for you to remind yourself we are strangers on a posting board. I have never taken a dollar of government money outside of my 6 years of Coast Guard pay. I have relied on the government for exactly NOTHING in my life. I personally have no problem with independence, since I feel far safer relying on myself and my family . However, unlike you, I realize this strength comes from things many people are not as lucky to receive in life as I am - a strong family, intelligence, health, mental stability. I do not begrudge others the assistance I am fortunate not to need. I believe in the principle of community and nationhood.

Stop throwing your "socialist" mud at everyone who diverges from your darwinian utopianism. It was old before. Now it's sick.

I have listened to conservatives - including you, syn - explain that society is best organized by respecting the natural order brought about by human selfishness and greed. Out of the other sides of their mouths, these same conservatives explain that all the destitute among us will be cared for because of the goodness of human charity. These two conservative philosophical hallmarks represent diametric opposite evaluations of human character. That's why the conservative "dream" was never humane, realistic or anything other than a license for exploitation by the strong of the weak.

Things have to change in America now. We have a diaspora of over a million destitute American citizens to deal with. We have our major port city in ruins. The mayor of New Orleans can't fix this. The governor of Louisiana can't fix this.

We need a leader. We don't have one in the White House. We are in trouble as a nation right now, with that same asinine war still raging (12 more US soldiers died while we were entertaining Katrina) and an energy crisis eatng average Americans household budgets limb from limb.

Am I the only one that thinks the Texas Princeling would like to curl up in his bed at Crawford and forget this whole "leader of the free world" thing ever happened to his incompetent ass?

Etienne

Forgot to ask syn - are the baby boomers going to have as much suffering and misery as the pre-New Deal elderly? From the time when eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty? That was the utopia we need to get ourselves back to?

You might have been able to sell that bridge last week, but I don't think you'll have many takers in the years to come.

Les Nessman

"Liberal cities, in general, seem to be rather more amenable to being governed, perhaps."

Right. Cities like New Orleans, for example. Lots of good governance going on there.

Les Nessman

"From the time when eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty?"

What year did 'eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty'? And what percent of the general population lived in poverty that same year?

Crank

Broken link again; try this.

The Apologist

TM - I think you underestimate the American public's resistance to MSM agit-prop. Glenn notes this ABC News Poll. People don't trust the mainstream press to give them the whole story. (The rise of blogs anyone?)

etienne - this

rm, what a unique perspective on the Depression. I must have led a sheltered existence, haven't heard that argument.

isn't surprising. Your grasp of economics is obviously limited. When you take money from one person and give it to another over and over you have only moved resources around. Capital investments require wealth accumulation. If no is allowed to have more than they can eat in a few years everyone will starve. It's called the Soviet Union. Read a book. WWII saved America from FDR's perpetual economic toilet bowl. Paying people to plant trees and push brooms just so you have an excuse to pay them is stupid. The only good spending by the State is infrastructure expansion and maintenence (highways, electricity, water, web access) and even that can go private once it's in place.

Capitalism creates wealth by encouraging innovation through profit motive. Innovation leads to more efficient use of finite resource inventories. It also leads to the use of previously useless resources in new and profitable ways. Don't worry. There are enough of us who understand how wealth is managed and created that we'll keep the world spinning for you. But don't expect anyone to vote for you more than once if one of us is within earshot.

kim

Well, you got one part right, Etienne. If New Orleans is rebuilt it will be a public works project, or at least public money that does it. No one else will underwrite rebuilding below sea level in the path of hurricanes.

No one else is stupid enough to do so.

Here's a thought I had today: They'll rebuild the port because that makes economic sense(the oil port was only down from lack of power, not destruction), they'll rebuild the French quarter because it will make economic sense as a tourist draw. Housing for service workers will be above sea level or built with tax dollars. But New Orleans is gone; I suspect jazz has fled.
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TJ Jackson

It becomes clearer each day that the degree of incompetence and corruption in Louisiana is beyond belief. The mayor ignored his own evacuation plan and bungled every measure that would have insured the lives and property of the residents of New Orleans. The gov. appears to have been completely inept refusing to authorize an evacuation or mobilize her state's national guard assets or even use the state police to as a precautionary measure.

I'm surprised at the speed that the Federal government reacted.

Etienne

Les, I should have clarified that I meant enlightened, educated liberal cities such as we enjoy here in the blue states. It has been a subject of much interest the past few years that in the very states that voted for Bush (and LA is one of them), the poverty rates, educational failure, level of gun violence, etc. are all scandalous when compared to the states that voted against him. I've been castigated across all kinds of discussion boards about this "prejudice", despite its being borne out in every statistic.

My point is that here in the Northeast, where even the Repubs are too liberal for y'all, we enjoy an exceptional degree of good government and a modern quality of life that is the result of hard work in difficult circumstances, i.e. we deal with a very competitive economy and a very harsh climate, yet manage to keep our streets safe, our kids in school and most of our poor living in dignity. There is a jihad against liberalism coming from the right, has been for some time, and I've yet to comprehend what utopia it is they are bent on creating. Liberal politics have created a very accountable, responsible, competent system of government here in the Northeast. We have absolutely nothing to apologize for, and a tremendous amount to be proud of.

As for Nagin, or whatever his name is, he does appear to be corrupt, as does all of that city's govt. Nagin also appears to have been a Republican, a corporate type himself, prior to changing his registration three days before running for office.

kim

Your going to lose the Utopian race when quality of life is objectively analyzed and compared red area to blue area.
==================================================

kim

Our objective measure? Growth of population. Red niches are preferential for human increase than blue ones.
==================================================

Etienne

You've got to be kidding me kim. I've driven through your red states. The poverty is devastating. It is beyond anything I've ever seen in my life up North - the scope of it, the sheer Third World destitution. The images from New Orleans were representtive of what I've seen down there. It's shameful and it shames our entire nation, not just the red staters who consider it acceptable.

My brother lived in SC for awhile when newly married. They liked the cheap real estate and low taxes. They felt like rich people. However, they were disgusted by the racism and poverty. My sister in law, a teacher, was overwhelmed by the lack of resources and the incomprehensible lack of preparation of her 8th grade students, felt like they were 3rd grade level, had to deal with many parents who were functionally illiterate. On Halloween, she was heckled by "christian" 'adults for dressing her 3 year old as a devil, and forced to abandon trick or treating with a crying child. They couldn't find a concert, play, art show for miles. They had a lot of material goods, and a pool, but no life, and no friends they could carry on an intelligent conversation with.

Now they are back in Connecticut, living with a great deal less material possessions, but enjoying wonderful schools, intelligent neighbors, clean environment. It seems that red staters who have money are content just to get for themselves, and screw everyone else. In our liberal oases, we demand that our communities reflect our values as human beings, not just as machines of mass materialistic consumption.

If you enjoy your quality of life down there, more power to you. But please stop trying to peddle the myth that it represents an ideal we blue staters should be envious of. Nothing could be further from the truth.

kim

Well you have hit on why 'objective' standards are tough to apply to quality of life issues.

You've certainly described schoools in some of your urban paradises. That is of course except for the private ones so many liberals send their children to. What do you think of charter schools?
==========================================

kim

Ah, and you've driven through red poverty areas, but I'll bet you've edged around Harlem.

And large areas of Brooklyn and Queens. Ever see the Third Avenue Ragamuffins? Careful, it's a trap.
=================================================

Etienne

My children went to NYC public schools and have excelled at all levels. My daughter is on full academic scholarship to Boston University. My son is currently student teaching in a Bronx high school as a math teacher. The kids have some academic deficiences (I'm not saying we have no poverty here, just that we addresss it), but nothing like what my sister in law encountered. In addition, they have recruited people like him, giving him an opportunity to drop some of his student loan debt in return for giving needed service to the community. He's also involved with the school track team and loving it (he's a marathon runner), loves the kids. It looks like what you need down South there is some kind of VISTA program.

I could care less about charter schools, vouchers or any of that junk. If the public schools have problems, address them. We are intelligent human beings, we can do that. Finding new ways to have taxpayers subsidize private schools is an asinine misuse of public funds. Every "creative" idea I've heard from conservatives is just another twist on the idea that the profit motive is the only motive human beings respond to. I reject that notion, based on my entire life experience, which has taught me above all, that wealthy elitists will never tire of finding new ways to pick the pockets of the less fortunate. Never.

The lesson of our liberal blue states is this: Responsible government is possible. Government that exists to serve the needs of the citizens and make their lives better is a fine ideal for an enlightened society. The results of liberal blue state government is better by every measure. The rest of the country might finally have had the wake up call to look into this.

kim

Do you know enough about charter schools to show me the profit motive?

Charter schools seem to be both responsible and responsive in a way public schools, in many places, have failed to be.

You appear to be ignorantly dismissive of them.
===========================================

kim

I've mispoke. Charter schools are public schools. By use of a contract they involve students, parents, and teachers in a mutually accountable system, to produce a co-operative and synergistic dynamic that 'traditional' public schools, in many places, have failed to create.
=========================================

Etienne

Like I said, don't know much about charter schools, because don't see the need for them. Last I heard, they were performing less well than traditional public schools, but the rightwing was spinning that as a measure of their newness.

I believe in fully funded PUBLIC education, as Jefferson imagined it - an engine of an educated, free thinking population. I have no use whatsoever for private education, either as a playground for rich slackers like George Bush, or a laboratory of weirdness, as so much religious education is.

What we have now in education is a meaningless morass of standardized testing called No Child Left Behind. Schools with no resources cannot meet the standards, so what happens? They don't get any more resources. And parents can apply for vouchers to keep them from paying private tuition. That is, if they live in the kinds of areas that have private schools - or public schools performing better than their own. If not, they are SOL, only doubly so, because the feds have an opening to cut their funding even further.

Who gets help through this plan? Overwhelmingly, parents with means who desire religious education for free. Who gets hurt? Overwhelmingly poor families with no alternate schools available anyway. And who gets hurt overall? Our educational system, reduced to nothing but teaching incessantly to standardized tests.

The conservative agenda fails all American citizens except the wealthy and -in this question of NCLB - the grotesquely religious.

Les Nessman

Et:
"Les, I should have clarified that I meant enlightened, educated liberal cities such as we enjoy here in the blue states."

So you are calling New Orleans an unenlightened and uneducated liberal city?

kim

You heard wrong. Tlhat was propaganda from the NEA. They do as well or better, despite newness. They are public schools, publicly funded.

I believe the Feds should pay for part of the NCLB testing. Why do you object to the measurable progress that is shown post intitiation of NCLB, particularly in previouslyl poorlly performing areas.

And it's easy for you to despise private schools. Your kids have had great public schools. You live in the 'nice' area, not 50 miles from public school messes. Both areas solid blue.
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Les Nessman

Et:
"From the time when eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty?"

What year did 'eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty'? And what percent of the general population lived in poverty that same year?

kim

You've got to explain, Etienne, why the very worst public schools are in the Heart of Blueness everywhere. Why is that? Is it because the teacher's unions and the Democratic Party are selling the black people down the River?
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Etienne

kim, my kids went to school in Jackson Hts., Queens, not a slum, just solid working class. Our family income was under $35K. You really don't know what you're talking about. I'm thinking you once flew into NYC for a Broadway Lights tour or something. Stop trying to pretend you know what you're talking about.

Did you know only 2/3rds of all American kids graduate high school and only 1/2 of minority kids? We rank among the lowest of developed countries in this area. And the WORST educational system in the country is in Texas, followed by Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida...all the red states. (And this doesn't even address the health crisis, gun violence, infant mortality, etc. in these red states. A comprehensive disgrace.)

Les, I never thought of New Orleans as a liberal city per se, but clearly it is undereducated and unenlightened. That could be said of almost any Southern city, unfortunately. You guys are in a different century than us.

I'll find your statistic on pre-Social Security poverty, Les. Gimme a minute.

kim

I'll tell you right now that many of the public schools in red-state America are similar to the ones in Jackson Heights.

And you missed my hint about Third Avenue Ragamuffins.

And you haven't addressed urban blue-state public schools in poor neighborhoods. What is utopian about them?
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Etienne

Uh, kim , darling, living on $35k in NYC is a poor neighborhood. You are completely out of it. And I could care less about whatever bit of trivia you picked up on your Broadway Lights tour. We have poverty in the blue states. We just don't have your kind of Third World tinshack destitution. And our poor kids have liberal programs to help them around every corner.

My nephew went to public school in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, and lived in the Clemente Projects. Is that poor enough for you? He graduated from NYU, summa cum laude. He's a social worker now, working in child protective services, giving back. We have problems. Difference is, we deal with them, we have government support, we make progress.

My neice, his sister, didn't like school as well, but still managed to graduate and attend John Jay College. She took the NYPD exam last month and will be attending the academy next year. Not too shabby, and not at all unusual in this fine liberal city.

kim

You're off-base on the Broadway Lights business. I lived in Brooklyn for three years, rode the train, to exhaustive and poorly paid work.

Your anecdotes do not answer my questions about why the bluest neighborhoods have the worst public schools.
====================

Les Nessman

Et:
" I never thought of New Orleans as a liberal city per se, but clearly it is undereducated and unenlightened. That could be said of almost any Southern city, unfortunately. You guys are in a different century than us."

I just don't understand how northeastern big-city liberals got the reputation as being haughty and contemptuous.

kim

TT, your ZDF report seems like classic agenda journalism. They were just hanging up a few facades on the rive gauche for your viewing pleasure as you cruise the River BDS.
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kim

So Etienne, why are they doing nuclear plant failure drills in Jackson Heights?
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kim

Forget my last post, based on a misunderstanding. But why, Etienne have your sister and brother moved out of the Utopian Paradise you live in?
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kim

I'll betcha where they live, in Connecticutt and up the Hudson, that they tell there new friends that they moved for school for the kids.

Now just to remove any personal suspiciousness from this scenario let's just say that it is their new found friends who say that.
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kim

97 out of 100 of the fastest growing counties in The US voted for Bush last year. These were refugees from urban utopias.

Look, really look, at the situation. Urban centers can seem utopian. Why do those who get pregnant flee?
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Sytrek

Etienne:

"Liberal cities, in general, seem to be rather more amenable to being governed,"
"I meant enlightened, educated liberal cities such as we enjoy here in the blue states."


Do you mean like Detroit and Philadelphia?

Les Nessman

" "From the time when eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty?"

What year did 'eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty'? And what percent of the general population lived in poverty that same year?


Posted by: Les Nessman | September 04, 2005 "

.

" I'll find your statistic on pre-Social Security poverty, Les. Gimme a minute.

Posted by: Etienne | September 05, 2005"


Maybe you will find those statistics and maybe you will not.
The point is that if 'eighty percent of US elderly lived in abject poverty', then about eighty percent of the general population lived in poverty, too.

Today's elderly have a better life because the general population has a better life.

Soc Sec as we know it is doomed. We can plan for it now and spread out the pain, or we can let greedy geezers screw their kids and grandkids harder.

kim

There is a growing segment of the voting age Americans(those for whom SS represents a bad deal) who will see Bush's warnings about SS come true and the nonsense from the Democrats turn out to be lies. It is inevitable as things stand now.

Democrats should be eager to change SS. Oh, wait; Krugman thought SS was in crisis 8 years ago.
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Harry Arthur

My brother lived in SC for awhile when newly married. They liked the cheap real estate and low taxes. They felt like rich people. However, they were disgusted by the racism and poverty. My sister in law, a teacher, was overwhelmed by the lack of resources and the incomprehensible lack of preparation of her 8th grade students, felt like they were 3rd grade level, had to deal with many parents who were functionally illiterate. On Halloween, she was heckled by "christian" 'adults for dressing her 3 year old as a devil, and forced to abandon trick or treating with a crying child. They couldn't find a concert, play, art show for miles. They had a lot of material goods, and a pool, but no life, and no friends they could carry on an intelligent conversation with.

Now they are back in Connecticut, living with a great deal less material possessions, but enjoying wonderful schools, intelligent neighbors, clean environment. It seems that red staters who have money are content just to get for themselves, and screw everyone else. In our liberal oases, we demand that our communities reflect our values as human beings, not just as machines of mass materialistic consumption.

Et, wow! I'm sorry your brother had a bad experience in the South and that you didn't like what you saw when you drove through, but you should take a look at what you've written. Does it cause you to wonder why someone might have less than a charitable response to your comments?

I appreciate your zeal in detailing that you live in a wonderful area but so do many of the rest of us and believe it or not many of the rest of us live in the South. Not in your stereotypical depiction of the South, but the actual South.

I don't have the time nor the inclination to address each of your brother's misconceptions. I will admit that we have Christians down here who don't act like it. We call ourselves sinners and since we're not perfect like our Savior, we disappoint each other and ourselves often. Most of us, however, understand the difference between dressing up like the devil and acting like the devil.

Sorry your brother had ignorant neighbors. Sometimes y'all from up North seem to think that a southern accent implies ignorance. Sometimes it's just that we're not as "sophisticated" or that we don't happen to share some of your beliefs. I've seen plenty of that attitude from both sides of several discussions here. Just because a man wears overalls, drives a tractor to grow your food, and may have a junior college degree, doesn't necessarily imply ignorance either. I've found that where people lack formal education they usually compensate with good ol' fashion common sense - not real sophisticated though.

School systems. I'll compare our schools in Virginia with any in the country. I grew up in a very blue state - California. Their school systems now, after years and years of "enlightened" neglect don't hold a candle to ours in Virginia. I think I've mentioned our excellent universities previously. You may have some excellent schools in your town but I think the parents of children in Washington, DC, Baltimore and Detroit, among other blue cities might have a different take on whether their schools deserve a "superior" ranking. And it's not for lack of funding. Washington, DC schools spend in excess of $10,000 per pupil to produce a genuinely lousy education. This is why virtually all politicians from both parties send their children to private schools.

I'd suggest their take on your "gun violence" observation might be similar. Washington, DC, has a virtual ban on guns yet has been one of the most violent cities in the country - often vying for "murder capital". Many of your large northern blue cities are similar. Richmond, VA, just a few hours from here, models effective gun control, not by limiting gun ownership, but by agressively punishing gun-related crimes.

Social Security. Suffice it to say that SS is a 75 year old relic that cries for an upgrade. My children will experience a negative return on this forced "investment" and that is a true shame. We can do so much better with privatized systems such as Galveston, several other Texas counties and Chile have adequately demonstrated.

I'm not trying to be overly argumentative or sensitive, just suggesting that you might want to rethink some of your misconceptions about other areas of the country, particularly when assigning greed and avarice as motivations for people who you have never met. These stereotypes of both the left and right, are not at all helpful in understanding each other's viewpoints or in participating in a productive dialogue.

kim

Harry, she apparently has a need to demonstrate her ignorance and bitterness. What life in utopia makes you.
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Wilson/Plame