One post from the thread mentioned above:
Posted: 2005-09-06 03:40
The following is an Opinion Piece from Haaretz (an Israeli Newspaper):
Let the poor die
By Yitzhak Laor
Why is it that broadcasters stood in the wind, in raincoats, and nevertheless we did not know the dimensions of the disaster when it occurred? What became clear to us in the days after Hurricane Katrina was first of all the deception called live broadcast from the site of the event.
For two decades now, we have become accustomed to digesting information that is only a false image of information. This is not "new," of course. When the United States destroyed Iraq, it allowed the television broadcasters to be only in certain places and to give us an image of the overall picture.
Along came the hurricane, and it testified to the fact that filming does not do what a thousand words do, and a thousand words do not do what scientific forecasts and political analyses and economists' numbers should do. The boring and not always dramatic truth cannot be transmitted well in a live broadcast, not even with the help of satellite maps and charismatic weathermen who explain the exact location of the eye of the storm.
Numbers, especially those of weak populations, buses, readied airplanes, relevant airports - in other words, planning - remain outside the general picture. Moreover, planning today belongs exclusively to economic firms. Only they know, more or less, how to calculate, in the name of profit, the number of people who live in a given area and how many of them are likely to purchase a new product, or watch television, or buy gas for their cars. This does not come across in any live broadcast, because there is no one who has an interest in general information like this. It's inevitable that a developed society built only on economic interests will eventually arrive at a situation like this, of government failure, as was revealed in the United States. If there are no people with economic interests who are interested in preventing a natural disaster, it is not prevented.
Most of the experts on climate know how responsible the developed countries, and particularly the United States, are for the destruction of nature, how they are heating up the globe and to what extent these hurricanes are connected to the warming of the oceans near the African continent. Let Africa be covered in desert, they say in the large business circles in the United States, especially those that voted for President George W. Bush, among other reasons in order to empty the Kyoto convention of content.
Does anyone imagine that there is a difference, as far as they are concerned, between the blacks of the American South and the blacks of Africa? Does anyone imagine there is a difference, as far as they are concerned, between poor blacks and poor whites? Ever since Ronald Reagan became president of the United States, politics in the West has been flourishing under the motto attributed to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher: There is no society, there are only individuals. This was not only the motto for the dismantling of the welfare state.
Innumerable ideologists have arisen since then and have spoken about the free economy: It does not benefit only the wealthy, they have promised, but "ultimately" it will benefit everyone. Beyond the daily disappointment of hopes, a gradual destruction has been carried out - which has now come to the front of the stage in the United States - of the functions of the modern state: the provision of water and electricity, health, education, culture, even prisons; everything has been put up for sale to the highest bidder and promises profits to investors and minimum expenditures for the taxpayers.
From within all this, the vision of Robinson Crusoe has been reborn: a society in which no one is responsible for anyone else. In the South, where the struggles for riding on "integrated buses" marked the beginning of the struggle for equality in the United States, the world has discovered that there are no buses, there are no trains, there are no public services. The state mechanism, which had been the greatest democratic achievement of all - not the army, but rather the public services - was depicted in all the temples of the new religion as one of the attributes of the Devil, who must be overcome. What about the poor? Let them die.
There is no need to be a villain in order to imagine senior people at the huge real estate firms replanning the South, a huge potential for tourism, thanks to the climate and the beaches. The evacuation of the population has, after all, been done "naturally." How far is this scenario from a possible explanation of the indifference that preceded the storm, from the great delay in the help? It is not far.
I printed the entire piece because the link to the origional did not work.
How many people still care about those displaced from New Orleans?
Libertarianism Makes You Stupid