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This is perspective. - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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This is perspective. [Sep. 3rd, 2005|07:01 pm]
Lindsey Kuper

Paul Krugman on why this happened:

At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.

Yes. Where's the call for shared sacrifice? Why, for instance, aren't our public officials standing up and telling us to stop driving our cars so much for a while, helping to prevent gas prices from skyrocketing by lowering demand* (to say nothing of conserving oil for the relief and rebuilding effort over the coming months)? Why is "I would hope Americans can conserve if given a choice" the best Bush can do? Confronted with the amount of choice these people have, how can he dare speak of us not having a choice?

One more link, via Amanda hiamanda: you've got to watch this. Also, here are more ways we can help, courtesy of a friend of mine in central Louisiana.

* Full disclosure: For the most part, I know jack about economics, but I think that's how it's supposed to work.

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: agentrayevyn
2005-09-04 01:10 am (UTC)
Hang on, i'll open it up as a public post...
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-04 10:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: eliciel
2005-09-04 03:16 pm (UTC)
When one, like myself, is confronted with such evidence that leaves me feeling hopeless and unable to help, all I can come up with is trite simplifications.
Well, here's mine for the moment, until I figure out a way to be resourceful about this tragedy.

It would be against the Bush Administration's policy to ask people not to spend money on gasoline. First off, the Oil businesses are one of Bush's best financial supporters. This has been known and published since before Bush was elected. If Bush asked people to actually find an alternative to buying gasoline so that only the necessary drivers (delivery trucks, public transportation, electricity power plants using other kinds of oil) used fuel, then his oil cronies would lose money. A lot of money. And that isn't what his Administration is about -- its about getting them more money. So he supports the price raises, and warns that "price gouging", or lowering prices to make gasoline affordable where it can be bought affordably, is "illegal". (I kinda wonder about that. There is probably something about unfair competition, but somehow. . .)
Also -- and this is just a personal impression I've gotten -- Bush and his Administration is all about empowering the Haves over the Have Nots. If you Have the money to buy gas, by all means don't let this stop you. If you Have Not the money to afford these new gas prices, then God doesn't like you anyway and you're too stupid, sinful, or etc. to have gotten your life together and so why should I try to help you. (Especially if you're black, as the recent media regarding New Orleans has shown.)

Okay, done with ranting. I'm going to go back to those pages that have links to organizations and figure out where I can best donate my piddly five bucks of monetary aid.
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[User Picture]From: eliciel
2005-09-04 08:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, your right. Price gouging is putting prices above the market because no other option is available.
Whoops.
I imagine he/they is/are not terribly upset that prices are rising, though.

And yea, I heard that abut Halliburton. They were also hired to supply the food that they're air dropping.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-04 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yep.

OMG KARL ROVE CAUSED THE HURRICANE!!!!!!111!1

Heh...sorry...
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-09-04 09:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, Bush enjoys people dying so he can make oil companies rich. This is so obvious that no one has ever thought of it before. I think he probably drinks the blood of newborn babies and laughs as Halliburton makes oil rigs out of compressed baby seals.

It is far better to give lots of free money to people so no one has to work. It's also better to give free gasoline to people because everyone knows that the Arabs give oil away and it costs nothing to refine and distribute. They're just making money now because Bush is in charge. That has to be 100% right. It can't possibly be wrong!
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-04 10:40 pm (UTC)
I meant it as a rhetorical question, Electra. Bush knows who his friends are.

Bush and his Administration is all about empowering the Haves over the Have Nots. If you Have the money to buy gas, by all means don't let this stop you. If you Have Not the money to afford these new gas prices, then God doesn't like you anyway and you're too stupid, sinful, or etc. to have gotten your life together and so why should I try to help you. (Especially if you're black, as the recent media regarding New Orleans has shown.)

Well. I don't think Bush and his pals are necessarily racist or anti-non-Christian (yikes -- there's got to be be a less awkward way to say that) or whatever.* What seems more likely to me is that they're in favor of more money and power for themselves, and whatever else happens is just a side effect. In my opinion, to overemphasize the race issue draws attention away from the core issue. Bush could prove, in the eyes of the media, that he's not a racist with one hand tied behind his back. To prove that he's not a power-hungry warlord would be much harder, but no one's asking him to do that.

* I'll say this: Whether they are or aren't, I don't think it's stopped them from capitalizing on the fact that plenty of people are.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-09-04 11:16 pm (UTC)
A power-hungry warlord? Where do you get that from? Or is it hyperbole?
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[User Picture]From: eliciel
2005-09-04 11:25 pm (UTC)
PATRIOT ACT. Declaring war on Afghanistan and Iraq during his presidency.
Its only slight hyperbole. And I don't so much think of Bush himself as being a power-hungry warlord. Is more that he and his administration of cronies is powerhungry and knows that throwing America into a war is a way for their friend-group to profit.

The neglect that the Bush Administration has shown to both the soldiers' wellbeing in the war as well as the US citizens here at home kind of shows that they think of this too abstractly to demonstrate that they are making wise decisions that harm the fewest people.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-09-05 03:53 am (UTC)
I thought that US Presidents were supposed to do whatever they thought they had to do to bring stability to the US. I was wrong, it seems.


What would the ideal, non-power-hungry POTUS do, then? Please list for me some REALISTIC things Bush could have done to make the entire world turn their weapons into flowers and fight battles with candy hearts and giggles.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "power-hungry warlord" was slight hyperbole. But, last I checked, bringing stability to the US doesn't involve sending a third of Louisiana's National Guard overseas to fight an optional war while an oft-predicted hurricane slams into the coast they're supposed to be protecting.

Anyway, if long-term stability was the President's goal, he'd be trying to figure out how to lessen our dependence on cheap oil.
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[User Picture]From: allerion
2005-09-07 07:39 am (UTC)
"I thought that US Presidents were supposed to do whatever they thought they had to do to bring stability to the US. I was wrong, it seems."

I do not believe ignoring a hurricane which he was warned about back in 2001 as stabilizing. I do not believe attacking Iraq on the mere possibility of the existence of weapons of mass destruction is very stabilizing. I don't believe leaving Osama Bin Laden alone in order to wage that war was very stabilizing. The net result being that the Muslim nations who supported our invasion of Afghanistan and sympathized with us over 9/11 are now recruiting grounds for Al-Qaeda because Bush squandered that support. Recently that group has taken control of a town on the borders of Iraq. And, it's kinda funny, because Al-Qaeda was unwelcome in Iraq prior to our invasion. Osama and Hussein were kinda enemies. Now Al-Qaeda is proudly flying its banner in that town. And because we're overextended in the Middle East, we have no power to chastise North Korea, which actually does have nuclear weaponry. And, closer to home, I don't regard $3/gallon gas prices, up from what used to be $.95 in some place, to be very stabilizing.

But I could be wrong. I am, after all, merely human, while Bush is the President of the United States of America.

"What would the ideal, non-power-hungry POTUS do, then? Please list for me some REALISTIC things Bush could have done to make the entire world turn their weapons into flowers and fight battles with candy hearts and giggles."

Bluntly, that is not the President's job. Way to be irrelevant. But this is fun, so I'll address it.

For the sake of abstraction, let's try time travel. I would say don't attack Iraq. Focus on Bin Laden and Afghanistan. Then, if Afghanistan became a quagmire, we might have been able to get help from a large number of other countries, rather than the piddling amount we are currently getting. There are two ways of eliminating your enemies: utter destruction or strong alliance. We would not be turning the world's weapons into flowers, but they would certainly be turned away from us. Then FEMA would not have had its budget cut by 44% and would have freed it up to secure the levees protecting New Orleans.

Since time travel is not within the scope of modern science, let's deal with the present. That's a little harder. Currently we have no winning strategy because we have no enemy to attack. The only way to figure out where these people are coming from is a complete and detailed blanket of spy satelites. I'm not aware of how realistic that is now, but if Bush asked the relevant businesses it could be done. America became a war factory in World War II; I'm confident it could form enough a network of spy satelites that could allow you to locate the origin of all the car bombs. Otherwise I would advocate immediate withdrawal. Let the Iraqi people defend themselves if they are so eager for independence. I'm not entirely sure Al-Qaeda would attack Iraqi citizens given the political environment in Iraq. Doing so might involve killing possible recruits, and might also reduce their favor in the eyes of Iraqi citizens.
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[User Picture]From: eliciel
2005-09-04 11:32 pm (UTC)
Gah. I knew as I posted in frustration and anger that I'd get some facts and observations wrong. *sigh*

:-) Maybe its better to say that Bush Admin isn't racist or anti-non-christian, but rather they are super-pro-White and super-pro-Christian right. Like weighted grades or something.

Amen to your footnote.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-09-05 03:54 am (UTC)
I know Bush hates black people because Kanye West said so!
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[User Picture]From: matchgirl
2005-09-05 11:44 pm (UTC)
hi lindsey. will you come to punk rock night tonight? I'd really like you to be there (for support) and to see you.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-06 12:09 am (UTC)
Hey! I'm so glad you're feeling better! I was going to go see The Aristocrats with hiamanda and some of our friends here in a little while, but I'm kind of eh on the movie and I really want to see you too. When are you getting to Delilah's?
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[User Picture]From: matchgirl
2005-09-06 12:16 am (UTC)
Aww, the aristocrats is good, you may want to go do that. I am probably getting to delilah's around 9:30-10. Tim and I broke up today so it's kind of rough and I've been trying to decide whether or not to go.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-09-06 12:30 am (UTC)
Oh, geez. That really sucks. =( I hope you're okay. Well, I think I'll go to the movie and then head down to Delilah's after that...so if you go (I hope you do), I'll see you there around 10:15 or 10:30.

*hug*
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