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Get Off His Back
American Spectator ^ | 9/4/2005 | Ben Stein

Posted on 09/04/2005 2:36:33 PM PDT by visagoth

A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:

1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.

2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.

3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.

4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world's worst polluters -- China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.

5.) George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush's fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It's not George Bush's fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.

6.) George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell.

7.) George Bush is the least racist President in mind and soul there has ever been and this is shown in his appointments over and over. To say otherwise is scandalously untrue.

8.) George Bush is rushing every bit of help he can to New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama as soon as he can. He is not a magician. It takes time to organize huge convoys of food and now they are starting to arrive. That they get in at all considering the lawlessness of the city is a miracle of bravery and organization.

9.) There is not the slightest evidence at all that the war in Iraq has diminished the response of the government to the emergency. To say otherwise is pure slander.

10.) If the energy the news media puts into blaming Bush for an Act of God worsened by stupendous incompetence by the New Orleans city authorities and the malevolence of the criminals of the city were directed to helping the morale of the nation, we would all be a lot better off.

11.) New Orleans is a great city with many great people. It will recover and be greater than ever. Sticking pins into an effigy of George Bush that does not resemble him in the slightest will not speed the process by one day.

12.) The entire episode is a dramatic lesson in the breathtaking callousness of government officials at the ground level. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten her way and they were in charge of your health care.

God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.

****
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, 2:13 p.m.:

More Mysteries of Katrina:

Why is it that the snipers who shot at emergency rescuers trying to save people in hospitals and shelters are never mentioned except in passing, and Mr. Bush, who is turning over heaven and earth to rescue the victims of the storm, is endlessly vilified?

What church does Rev. Al Sharpton belong to that believes in passing blame and singling out people by race for opprobrium and hate?

What special abilities does the media have for deciding how much blame goes to the federal government as opposed to the city government of New Orleans for the aftereffects of Katrina?

If able-bodied people refuse to obey a mandatory evacuation order for a city, have they not assumed the risk that ill effects will happen to them?

When the city government simply ignores its own sick and hospitalized and elderly people in its evacuation order, is Mr. Bush to blame for that?

Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush's fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind?

Where did the idea come from that salvation comes from hatred and criticism and mockery instead of love and co-operation?


Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He also writes "Ben Stein's Diary" in every issue of The American Spectator. Please click here to subscribe.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: back; benstein; bush; katrina; nola; stein
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1 posted on 09/04/2005 2:36:34 PM PDT by visagoth
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To: visagoth

okay....what about 9/11, then? /sarcasm>


2 posted on 09/04/2005 2:42:07 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: visagoth
God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush.

Amen.

3 posted on 09/04/2005 2:44:05 PM PDT by Dolphy
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To: visagoth

The MSM loves to blame Bush for not being omnipotent apparently.

Maybe GW should go down to the ocean and order the tides to stop. When they don't, we'll all know he's a mere mortal.


4 posted on 09/04/2005 2:44:23 PM PDT by Arkie2 (Mega super duper moose, whine, cheese, series, zot, viking kitties, barf alert!)
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To: visagoth

Good post. Thanks.


5 posted on 09/04/2005 2:44:42 PM PDT by Eagles6 (Dig deeper, more ammo.)
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To: visagoth

I wish I had Ben Stein's money


Doogle


6 posted on 09/04/2005 2:44:45 PM PDT by Doogle (8th AF...4077thTFW....408MMS....Ubon Thailand "69"..Night Line Delivery ..AMMO)
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To: visagoth

Conveniently avoided the shuttle disaster & the tsunamai, too.... /sarcasm>


7 posted on 09/04/2005 2:47:10 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: visagoth

As ever, the clear-eyed Mr. Stein tells it like it IS:)


8 posted on 09/04/2005 2:47:11 PM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve..)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Dolphy

"God bless all of those dear people who are suffering so much, and God bless those helping them, starting with George Bush."

If it were Clinton, the MSM would be worried about how he was holding up under the crisis.


10 posted on 09/04/2005 2:47:39 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: visagoth

Good post, Ben Stein rox!

I can understand some of the people in NO not having the means to get out, but don't understand the lack of planning to evacuate by people in power who should have had one.

He makes a very good point about taking responsibility for yourself or suffering the consequences.


11 posted on 09/04/2005 2:49:44 PM PDT by Theresawithanh (As long as Dean's the head of the D-N-C, it just looks better for the G-O-P!!)
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To: visagoth

Thank you for this post.

How about at least some of the blame going to the people who thrive on having as many people dependent on government as possible. Let's examine exactly WHY so many do not have vehicles, or money to get out of town.

I noticed the expression "living cheque to cheque" as opposed to the more common expression "living pay-day to pay-day". What a shame that so many live on hand-outs.

The way I see it, President Bush would be delighted if every American was prosperous enough to take care of himself, and help someone truly in need at the same time.

The venom being poured out against this man is beyond belief. The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.


12 posted on 09/04/2005 2:51:29 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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To: tazman3

ping


13 posted on 09/04/2005 2:51:42 PM PDT by Sparkles
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To: visagoth

Just think of the enormity of this disaster...90,000 square miles. It didn't hit me how expansive this was until a PGA announcer indicated that this was the size of his country, Great Britain. People need to get a little perspective as just what a "limited" federal government can do...let alone has the assets for in a matter of days.


14 posted on 09/04/2005 2:52:45 PM PDT by cwb (Liberalism is the opiate of the *asses)
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To: visagoth
I hope that sooner or later the MSM discovers that New Orleans did have a written emergency plan to cover the evacuation of the poor, but that the idiot mayor of New Orleans ignored it, and allowed the evacuation buses to be ruined by the flood, forgotten.

The city leaders had at least two full days to use these hundreds of buses to evac the poor, exactly as their own emergency management plan called for.

Here's the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. Go to page 13, read paragraph 5. It states:

5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.


15 posted on 09/04/2005 2:56:20 PM PDT by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: All

Is the search button broke?


16 posted on 09/04/2005 2:56:27 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: visagoth

Ben Stein is great. Bump!


18 posted on 09/04/2005 2:56:41 PM PDT by Jaxter ("Vivit Post Funera Virtus")
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To: visagoth
I'm sick of the coverage by CNN and PMSNBC and even some on Fox.

Email to Networks:

To All News Outlets

Have been in rescues and disasters all over the world but the TV coverage is sad for reasons other than the destruction.

Just channel surfing before going back to Fox, the network with some common sense still left. I am ashamed about what I am seeing from CNN and now PMSNBC. Do you people have no shame. You can not even have a benefit concert with out turning it into a phony, name calling Cindy Sheehan Moon Bat debacle. PMSNBC what was that crying blubbering lunatic that you had on after Bush went to the Red Cross. Now is time for men and women to stand up and be counted. Obviously the man on your rebuttal to the president has mental problems and needs help. Of course your probably don't care as long as you get your biased points across.

I am watching, but can tell you that instead of feeling pity I am beginning to rage at the one sidedness of the coverage. Your hatred of Bush is absolutely affecting your judgment. CNN had a special on Larry King Live or should I say a Bush bash.

Have men become so emasculated by women's groups that they must cry like sniveling babies at every adversity. These people in charge need to quit blubbering and start working.

You can call me hard hearted but your hand wringing coverage leaves me no choice except to stand up and act like an adult.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket and you people are sitting around with your fingers in your butts waiting for real men to come to your rescue.

Lets Roll President Bush and show the race baiting liberals how to act like adults.
19 posted on 09/04/2005 2:57:09 PM PDT by OKIEDOC (There's nothing like hearing someone say thank you for your help.)
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To: visagoth

Ben is SPOT ON.

God bless GWB and Ben Stein


20 posted on 09/04/2005 2:58:56 PM PDT by roaddog727 (P=3/8 A. or, P=plenty...............)
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To: pepperhead
Is the search button broke?

Was this already posted? I did my standard keyword search for the title and Stein - nada...

21 posted on 09/04/2005 2:59:05 PM PDT by visagoth (If you think education is expensive - try ignorance)
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To: visagoth

Bueller


22 posted on 09/04/2005 3:00:20 PM PDT by Artemis Webb
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To: visagoth

OUTSTANDING POST! MANDATORY READING-MUST-READ BUMP


23 posted on 09/04/2005 3:01:08 PM PDT by Pajamajan ("Where there's life, there's hope-" Terri Schindler's message to the world-never forget)
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To: visagoth
Ben Stein is a true patriot.

Just imagine what he could do if he was President Bush's press secretary!

The limp-wristed whiners at the daily press briefings would be begging to be re-assigned elsewhere.Ben would drive them completely out of their minds.

24 posted on 09/04/2005 3:01:54 PM PDT by smoothsailing (Liberals are like blisters,they always show up after the hard work is done)
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To: visagoth

Yes two times.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?s=Get+Off+His+Back&ok=Search&q=quick&m=exact&o=score&SX=431b8c789b500ca343e3e0e2148299d951f68c33


25 posted on 09/04/2005 3:02:05 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: Travis McGee

Yeah, I think much of the Mayor's anger was really his projecting the guilt he must feel onto others as blame. I mean, it was hardly Bush's fault that all of those buses went unused.


26 posted on 09/04/2005 3:02:38 PM PDT by Aetius
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To: visagoth

There you go.

Imagine people equating Bush with the forces of nature. Amazing, isn't it?


27 posted on 09/04/2005 3:03:43 PM PDT by freekitty
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To: roaddog727

Writing this piece for the American Spectator Ben is preaching to the choir. I doubt, though, whether the NYT, Time or Newsweek would print it...


28 posted on 09/04/2005 3:04:18 PM PDT by Russ
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To: pepperhead

Yep... keywords on those didnt match the ones I used. Oh well, the more the better on this story. Thanks for your help.


29 posted on 09/04/2005 3:04:27 PM PDT by visagoth (If you think education is expensive - try ignorance)
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To: visagoth
Good job Ben Stein.

This endless fingerpointing serves no good purpose and accomplishes nothing. The MSM keeps focusing on the negative and allowing the leftwing to bash the President and members of his administration. Even though emotions are running high and people are frustrated, that's no excuse for this horrible human catastrophe to devolve into pure gutter politics. The MSM is in the middle of a feeding frenzy. They smell blood and they realize this is an a perfect opportunity to get the President.

30 posted on 09/04/2005 3:04:33 PM PDT by Reagan Man (Secure the borders;punish employers who hire illegals;halt all welfare handouts to illegals.)
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To: smoothsailing

Just imagine what he could do if he was President Bush's press secretary!

Now that is an excellent idea.


31 posted on 09/04/2005 3:05:32 PM PDT by morans14
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To: visagoth

Huge Ben Stein fan BUMP! He's always right on the money and very concise with his thoughts, and this piece is no exception.


32 posted on 09/04/2005 3:09:14 PM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: visagoth

Ben Stein bump!


33 posted on 09/04/2005 3:09:59 PM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: morans14
Thank You,Thank You! (Bowing repeatedly) ;o)
34 posted on 09/04/2005 3:12:20 PM PDT by smoothsailing (Liberals are like blisters,they always show up after the hard work is done)
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35 posted on 09/04/2005 3:13:11 PM PDT by Cougar66 (The only liberal movement is what's in their diapers. .)
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To: visagoth

Ben Stein is an absolute genius.


36 posted on 09/04/2005 3:16:57 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Hell may well seem heavenly, to those whose entire mortal life was brutalized by Islamic tyrants.)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: visagoth

Great post!!

You might consider sending a copy to FOX, as for the past several days, they have lost all objectivity and grip with reality. Perhaps somebody at FOX can find a Conservative to read it out loud to Geral'dildo and Sheep'ard!!


38 posted on 09/04/2005 3:18:48 PM PDT by Gator113
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To: visagoth

While I agree with almost everything in this post, I must be the only Freeper that thinks Bush did not act quickly enough. I may also be the only one that thinks that FEMA was screwed when they were reorganized into the DHS and when a lawyer was appointed to head that subagengy. (You just will have to forgive my opinion of lawyers.) Once Bush did act (and it was not immediate as the comments about how long it takes to deploy troops would imply) he did it with force. He did kick a$$ finally and you can see the result. My opinion is that did not happen fast enough and 1.)lives were lost, 2.) we who suport him have taken and will continue to take a beating in the court of public opinion. We can afford neither. Flame away but I cannot opine otherwise, even if I am the only one with this view. It is what it is, and it will sort out, and we will see if this could have been managed better from the federal level. (Clearly the local and state levels both executive, NOPD, and LANG screwed up big time. Reacting to that reality quickly was THE imperative)


39 posted on 09/04/2005 3:20:29 PM PDT by Les_Miserables
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To: visagoth; pepperhead
Don't worry about the double-posting.Neither one included the update.

So your post in fact,stands alone.

Like you said,the more the merrier(particularly when it comes to Ben Stein!)

40 posted on 09/04/2005 3:21:44 PM PDT by smoothsailing (Liberals are like blisters,they always show up after the hard work is done)
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To: visagoth

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1476744/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1476485/posts


41 posted on 09/04/2005 3:24:26 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: visagoth; pepperhead

This version includes updates dated today at 2:13 PM that the prior two posts did not include. So thanks for posting it!


42 posted on 09/04/2005 3:25:59 PM PDT by SFConservative
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: visagoth

The Democrats are doing the only thing they are capable of doing: blaming Bush. Look at the Louisiana State government and the New Orleans government. Why is it these people are totally incapable of handling a natural disaster. The Democrats are blaming Bush to divert attention from the incompetence, crime, government dependency, and corruption that their policies and their attitudes have created.


44 posted on 09/04/2005 3:30:55 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: bushpatriot911

I saw that too.......yes, Hannity did very good!!!!


45 posted on 09/04/2005 3:31:53 PM PDT by Gator113
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To: visagoth
NAGIN: I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here.

I'm like, "You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."

That's -- they're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy.

Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00

'The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating'...


they're thinking small, man!
they're thinking small, man!

they're thinking small, man!
they're thinking small, man!

they're thinking small, man!
they're thinking small, man!

they're thinking small, man!
they're thinking small, man!

small thinking man! small thinking man!

46 posted on 09/04/2005 3:31:54 PM PDT by Bommer
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To: bushpatriot911

Good for Sean. Gerald needs to cut out his drama queen antics and I'm glad someone was man enough to tell him.


47 posted on 09/04/2005 3:33:10 PM PDT by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: Russ

But if it was in the NYT, Newsweek, or Time, I wouldn't read it.


48 posted on 09/04/2005 3:33:35 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Les_Miserables

Bush had to overcome both the hurricane and the incompetent Louisiana state government. Which one was more difficult is hard to say. I don't think he anticipated the level of incompetence of the Governor and the Mayor. An understandable mistake, but hopefully one that won't happen again, live and learn.


50 posted on 09/04/2005 3:34:52 PM PDT by dfwgator
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