Friday, September 02, 2005


Excuse me?

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues, as do the relief efforts. How well the relief efforts are progressing, it seems, depends a great deal upon whom you ask.

Are people and organizations jumping for the opportunity to help? Yes, they are, and it's heart-warming to see.

On the flip side, a lot of people are quite angry... because, of course, all this is Bush's fault! Here's one example of such (courtesy of Arthur Chrenkoff), titled "I Won't Contribute To Katrina", and it's one of the most disgusting examples of self-indulgence I've ever seen:
I just stopped at the grocery store to pick up a candy bar. They only had one line open, plus the do-it-yourself area where you have to play amateur cashier. I hate that do-it-yourself area, but the other line was too long so I used it.
You poor dear. People are dying in one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States, ever... and you have to pick the line you didn't want to buy your candy bar. Damn, what a hard life you must be having right now.
After I managed to get the candy bar's bar code to fit perfectly over the little laser and figured out how the machine worked so I could waste twice the time it would normally take me to buy a candy bar, an employee approached me and said, "Would you like to give a dollar for Hurricane Katrina?"

I said, "No."
Okay, a dollar to help desperate Americans is too much for you. Why, pray tell?
First off, I'm offended that the store employees are wandering around fundraising instead of helping customers, especially when it's so obvious that the store conglomerate uses these do-it-yourself machines to cut down on the number of employees necessary to help customers so that the store conglomerate can turn a larger profit while having fewer of those pesky union workers to deal with.
Oh, now I see. You don't want to help Katrina victims... because it's a store conglomerate asking you. (To whom might you have said "yes", I wonder? Janeanne Garafalo? John Kerry? Jane Fonda?) Or was it because the store employee had the temerity to ask you for help, instead of helping you buy your ever-so-important candy bar? Or was it because the conglomerate (which, I note, you don't mind giving money to) is anti-union, or so you think? Hmm, maybe I don't see.
But beyond that, I'm sick of footing the bill for George W. Bush and the rest of his so-called compassionate conservatives. It's been well-documented over the past two days that there were all kinds of warnings about what could happen to New Orleans and that the levees designed to keep out the water were sinking or uncompleted.
Indeed -- there's documentation of warnings, about those levees, going back to the beginning of the Clinton era, and considerably before then. (Which, of course, makes it all Bush's fault.)

Personally, I'm quite willing to accept that more could have been done; there's always more that can be done. But now is not the right time to complain and point fingers; now is the time to save lives. (Kudos to Bill Clinton, by the way, for saying exactly that on CNN.) And I'm really in no mood to complain that the levees were inadequate... for protection against a force-five hurricane! (I mean, come on, now. If the San Andreas Fault gives way, are we going to blame the Bush Administration for not filling it with cement, or something?)

"Sick of footing the bill"... interesting. (Where did you spend your tax refund, sir?)
What did Bush do? Nothing. Actually, worse than nothing. He was so busy fighting his cowboy war in Iraq (cheers to Hugo Chavez for the analogy) that he actually diverted money away from the projects that might have saved New Orleans because the war was so damn expensive! And now I should pony up to help out? Sorry, Charlie.
I'll ignore the tired old argument "why fight that nasty war in Iraq when we have social programs right here at home?"... not worth rebutting. (If friend Blunderford doesn't think the war in Iraq was worth fighting, a sentence or two here won't help.) But I find it interesting that disaster relief isn't worth his money... because of what the President did. Now that's what I call personal responsibility.
Let Bush open his wallet. I'm sure he's still got a few nickels rolling around his pockets from flipping the Texas Rangers like a Miami condo.
What, another pet peeve? Self-service checkout lines, chain-store conglomerates, compassionate conservatives, the war in Iraq, and now the Texas Rangers? You've got quite a few of those pet peeves rolling around in your pockets, bucko.
You 60 million losers who voted for this loser open YOUR wallets. This president declared war on the poor long ago, and while some of us cared enough to vote for someone who gave a damn, you buried your heads in the sand, babbled about abortion and family values, and voted for the doofus.
We are, Blunderford, we are, we really are. But we could use your help.

In the meantime, apparently, your idea of "helping the poor" amounts to "vot[ing] for someone who gave a damn". In other words, to paraphrase P. J. O'Rourke, you're not willing to contribute a single dollar voluntarily, but you were willing to vote for someone who would take disaster relief out of your taxes by force. Bully for you. (Hey, maybe that's why you resented the anonymous store-employee from the anonymous conglomerate. The employee shouldn't have asked for help; he should have just taken it, the way Al Gore would presumably have done.)
And now you want to act all high and mighty and come asking me for a buck or two to help these poor people? Sorry, Charlie. Take an extra buck or two out of the fund you set aside to buy seventeen Support Our Troops magnets to stick all over your car to show how patriotic you are.

You want disaster relief? Impeach George W. Bush.
Well, as he says, he's sure no "compassionate conservative". Please remind me not to knock on his door to ask for a cup of sugar. (Please remind me not to answer when he comes knocking, either!)


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