Monday, September 12, 2005

The Cannibals Are Choking

Last week a media personality, and enemy of President Bush, claimed that poor people in New Orleans were eating the bodies of the dead. This nameless blip on the media screen later retracted his pernicious and deliberate lie, but the damage had already been done. The flood of misinformation flows from the enemies within our country to buoy up and embolden our enemies without. Americans eat themselves up to the cheers and delight of Alkada murders, South American dictators, French snobs, and German politicians.

Now for some facts:

1. Thousands of Americans were NOT KILLED by the most devastating storm to hit our country in many years. Previous storms have been just as powerful but there was far less to devastate. The devastation was not what our enemies had hoped for, but that did not deter them. Without a real failure of America, its enemies set about sharking up corpses in order to dismember our county.

2. Realize that not one American has died of starvation or thirst due to Katrina. These important necessities were made available not only to the hundreds of thousands that followed the directions of their chosen leaders and fled the city to safety, but to the thousands who did not leave the city when they could have. Many still refuse to leave. They and are being fed and hydrated by their fellow citizens, at great cost and sacrifice to us all. America’s government and President, and the leaders of States and Cities, communities throughout this land, have and continue to do all that is possible to alleviate the danger and mitigate the suffering of our fellows smitten by an over whelming act of natural power. To seize upon that suffering; fabricating specifics which the facts do not support; as a way of increasing one’s own political power; to misrepresent the extent and causes of disaster in order to bludgeon ones opponents to get gain in the next election is to truly cannibalize the dead.

3. This hurricane and the devastation it has wrought is neither the result of the anger of Ala nor global warming. Storms like Katrina, and greater, have been boiling about the oceans of this planet since before our ancestors crawled out of them. When such storms come ashore were people are - they hurt those people. Environmental and Islamic fanatics have long abandoned reason; now they search for sustenance by feeding on the dead. To blame an act of nature on God or man is to devour the dead to strengthen one’s selfish ambition.

4. The resurrection of the areas affected by the storm and flood is progressing at a rate ahead of all predictions and at a level which promises to improve the standard of living for those affected. I listened to a German Reporter on the NPR gushing with pleasure that the “One Superpower” had been brought to its knees by the might of nature. What a pleasure to see this ghoul made a fool. America has not been brought to its knees; it stands taller than ever as we reach out to serve each other. Those who wishfully speak of the failure of America are devouring themselves. Trying to sharpen their teeth on the bones of our lost loved ones they are consumed by their own lies.

We have seen this all before. The cannibals counted the slaughter on 9/11 - predicting 50, 000 dead and America weakened beyond recovery; they choked on the truth. The cannibals predicted the utter defeat of the United States in Afghanistan, licking their chops as they predicted our nation would follow the USSR into the morgue of history; they choked on the truth. The feasters on human flesh predicted that 20,000 Americans would be killed in the first days of the charge up the Euphrates, and that that many more would fall before the walls of Baghdad; they choked on the truth. Still smelling blood the naysayer call for another Vietnam in Iraq. They will find the truth hard to swallow. And now, baying for blood, those who would devour their fellows for their own gain condemn the Bush administration and other selfless servants of our nation, who rushed into the storm to bring safety and support to our countrymen in danger. Of these cannibals I say, "Let them choke!!!"


A_Shadow said...

Go figure, I just today caught up on my posting from the weekend and brought up a similar topic of the incompetence of the media in relation to Katrina, specifically.

I was watching the local Cali news on Saturday (I was in Cali, if you are confused and didn't figure it out yet, heh) when I heard the shocked report of reporters at the scene, counting the death toll something just had to be brought up. They just couldn't believe that only 300 dead (out of their self-proclaimed estimate of 10,000) were found in the waters the first day.

To give them credit, it's obvious that the other 9,700 people were eaten to sustain the thousands trapped there for... just a few days.

That's why it pains me that the director of FEMA stepped down. I still haven't found a satisfactory answer for it. For why someone without experience in disasters automatically can't do anything right (which is idiocy, we were all born without experience and we seem to be doing just fine, more or less). Granted I think the Admiral that took over is doing a wonderful job, but how is it that just because FEMA is under the Homeland Security organization that it automaticallly has been nuetered? I don't see the logic there.

But that's what I get for trying to rationalize what the media is reporting us.

I'm just a tad worried at the fact that in two weeks the hurricane relief effort has gotten as much as the entire Iraq war, and that's just from the U.S. government. Not counting all civillian aide, foreign aide, and so forth that might actually be a factor.

Unfortunately it looks like our beloved law makers fell into the media's lies about how underfunded everything was head first. While I don't deny that those people deserve every cent required to get them back into their lives, I would hope we wouldn't double and triple what is needed. I just really doubt that one storm did $100 billion dollars in damage (or more) to one state, let alone four of the worst hit. I don't think the Tsunami Aide went that hi, correct me if I'm wrong...

But that's enough, I could be on this one all night if I'm not careful.

Dan Simpson said...

Though I am sure it is not a popular thing to say, I have to question the wisdom of rebuilding New Orleans, especially with federal money.

I just don't think it is a smart or safe place to put a city. There will, without doubt, be more storms that hit this area. Does it really make sense to spend billions to make a place safer (not safe, but safer). You cannot easily make New Orleans safe, you would have to raise it above sea level at the least.

I agree that all efforts should be expended to help these people rebuild their lives, but I think it may be a sentimental mistake to rebuild New Orleans to prove that we can. We have nothing to prove, nature destroyed it, I don't think we have to prove we are more powerful than her.

Reach Upward said...

The enemies within are actually angry that more people didn't die in Katrina. James Taranto has a good post about that at under the heading "World Doesn't End; Angry Left Hardest Hit."

Orson Scott Card has a good parrallel commentary called "The Jackals After the Storm" at .

The fact of the matter is that no government anywhere is prepared to deal with a disaster as catastrophic as Katrina. The US' biggest human impact by a storm in recent history was Andrew in 1992 where 22,500 people required help to deal with their displacement. In Katrina over 254,000 have needed similar help. It is amazing how well our country is dealing with this.

On whether to rebuild New Orleans, one infrastructure specialst that grew up there says that we must at least rebuild the two ports because over 50% of our agricultural exports go out there and over 40% of our industrial imports come in there. The cost of tyring to move these operations elsewhere would far surpass the cost of rebuilding the ports. He noted that while New Orleans is a horrible place for a city, it is an essential place for shipping.

Anonymous said...


"Katrinal exposed serious problems in our response capability at ALL levels of government to the extent the fedral government didn't do its job right." September 13 2005

Hey, that is a stand up kind of admission -- President Bush, thanks for being honest!

Now, if Lysis could be honest for a minute . . . .
There he is now! Hiding behind his agenda! Spin! Spin! Spin!

Anonymous said...

Lysis should remember that old dark human attribute that is best expressed by the German word schadenfreude- pleasure in the misfortune of others. Unfortunately, since the beginning of recorded history lesser states have reveled in the misfortunes of the mighty. Right or wrong it must have been very satisfying for the dominated to see Athens brought low by the Spartans. Or to chortle at the Romans for vengeance of the Gods on the decadent Pompeii as it was destroyed. Let’s not forget the joy of our forbears in the US while Napoleon ravaged Europe and threatened the Brits. We even traded with both sides. Har, har. Grow up Lysis. When our nation is in the driver’s seat of world power, wealth, domination, etc. history teaches that the rest are just waiting for us to fall and when we fall, even a little bit, whooo boy! But you see, as an empire (which we most certainly are) we are very young and inexperienced. We (apperantly especially Lysis) think the rules of being a great power don’t apply to us. Like Woodrow Wilson, Lysis takes the stance that the US is an exception to the rule. Wrong. Let History be the judge, but eventually the American Empire will come to an end. I am concerned about the hubris of comments such as these. What if we had another Katrina plus and earthquake and a stock market crash, would we be so willing to tell the world to shove it? Power is power, others envy it, DEAL. We’re not special, this is not a ‘hate America’ thing. This is merely a ‘laugh at the rich and powerful’ thing. ~Lysis Verus

A_Shadow said...

Anonymous2 - Since you have refused to name yourself, I shall use this designation. I find it interesting that Lysis defending his country could be cause for him to "grow up". I think the actual growing up would be required from the opposite side (go figure, a conflict of interest). The point in making that comment is that pointing out the failures (however small) of your enemies and blowing them up to absurd proportions to "hurt" them is an immature way of dealing with things. It has been since the dawn of time. Physical conflict HAS ALWYAS BEEN less desirable then diplomacy. Even Sun Tzu taught this ages ago in ancient China. Using brute force is ALWAYS second best. That being in mind, the fact that it has ALWAYS been done this way is no argument. It's a statement. Who cares if our enemies love to point out any sort of falter at all because they hate us? Does that make them right? I would say not. And it is our attempt here to blow their arguments out of the water. When we fall, the world will know it, but until then if we even so much as shift our balance the world screams with the glee of the "impending" fall.

It's idiocy no matter who does it, when, and for how long. Deal.

Now to go back up to DannyBoy's comment. I definately agree. I've long been puzzled why a state like Florida, for instance (I'm picking on them because they are involved somewhat in virtually EVERY hurricane that ever hits our eastern shores) has survived or was even originally colonized. Those storms have always come, and likely will come until there is no water left to power them. Never much understood why they rebuild, but that's just me, I suppose. I have heard that argument from many these days, that New Orleans isn't fit for the site of a city any longer. And if you think about it, if they leveled the city they could make room for a bigger port there (I'm mostly jesting at that, but it's also prudent planning).

Now to respond to Anonymous numero uno. It's nice to see that you read the news and quoted the speaker, I actually had that exact same CNN article on tap to respond today, because it's a perfect example of the government bending over backwards to try to please the naysayers. The problem is a) they really did it the only way that it could be handled and b) it won't change things in the future. The thinking behind that last statement is that if America strove to single handedly defeat every negative argument the naysayers could ever fabricate, they'd still find something wrong, and most likely generated by that attitude in the first place.

It reminds me of a parable that my Sophmore World History teacher told us. Can't quote it for the life of me, but it involves an old man, a small child and a donkey. Essentially they go town to town and each town demands something different of them. Well they end up trying to fulfill all of the demands and end up losing their "ass".

Kinda cute little parable, too.

Anyways, before I forget, the article link for that story is here at CNN. I still maintain that it was the wrong approach here, as demonstrated by the quoted attackers shortly after that quote that you shared.

I think that's about enough out of me today, have fun.

Anonymous said...

a shadow (certianly not your real name!) I have identified myself as Lysis Verus (the True Lysis) You state that I'm telling Lysis Primus to grow up for defending his country. No. I am telling him to grow up for whining about what some Eurotrash and Third Worlders dribbled out. Who cares!? Pish tosh, why grow up? So I can sound like you? (Go figure) Defending one's country is fine, if there's a threat. Its no threat to have to some German guy getting his giggles because were suffering. Its just lame. Why do you and Lysis care about defending against the opinions of these vultures. Your invective lends them credibility they do not deserve. The truly strong and the truly great let such blather go past like the 'idle wind'. Ergo, maybe you shouldn't respond to my well reasoned criticism, unless you have a well reasoned response to offer. "When we fall, the world will know it, but until then if we even so much as shift our balance the world screams with the glee of the "impending" fall." Exactly, so why the venom about the SPIN? Like so many unfortunate Neo-Cons (from what I can gather from this blog) you guys are obsessed with perceptions and spin as opposed to reality, rational thought and facts. That's why I took the name... ~Lysis Verus
Oh quick question- If using brute force is ALWAYS second best, why are we (still) in Iraq?

Lysis said...

Dear Anonymous One: I agree with you. Bush showed great class. He is truly a man and a leader of quality. He is a far grater man than I am or ever could be. I can only aspire to follow his example.

In a small way I have tried to be such a leader. This past summer three of my employees got tickets in a single incident in Yellowstone Park. For years our staff have worked so hard to be trusted in the Park but these three did not properly store their food in bear country. I had told them what to do, and our Nature and High Adventure Directors had seen that they had finest training to insure that they would follow the law – but they did not. When the Ranger called I took responsibility for the falure of MY CAMP! I, not the camp, paid the fines, and we all resolved to learn from our mistake and move on our efforts to regain the faith and trust of our Ranger. I do not say this for my on credit, but to illustrate that in a tiny, tiny way I can empathize with our Great President and I believe I understand why he has taken responsibility for the failure of HIS GOVERNMENT – which is also mine!!! I hope he will also receive the credit for our government’s success as we rebuild and strengthen our nation.

To Lysis Verus – Thanks for joining our discussion. You are right we “Neo-Cons” need all the diversity of thought we can get. I enjoyed very much reading both your posts. I agree with you that “the small” will always celebrate the stumbles of the great. However, please note that Rome long survived Pompeii’s destruction and the chortling of its lesser foes.

A note about Napoleon and the Brits – we also went to war with both nations at that time. But I am afraid I miss your point. Are you suggesting we (as Americans) rejoiced in the reign of Terror and the mass slaughter through out Europe that the French set off? I challenge that assumption for Americans then and now!

As for our empire; I AM proud of it. I disagree that we are very young and inexperienced at empire. Name another modern government of 220 year duration. We have been the world’s most powerful nation since 1918, perhaps since the Spanish American War! We took down Germany, Japan, and the USSR was always a phony power!!! One would have to go back to Rome to have a run like that!

As for our empire coming to an end; I don’t agree with our pessimistic prognostication. Our Empire is based on Justice, Freedom, and Equality before the law. It will spread as knowledge does, and spread throughout the world!

Boy, Lysis Verus, you sure had to pile up the disasters to bring us down: another Katrina plus an earth quake, plus a stock market crash!!. We have all of these under our belt – study your history!! Maybe you ought to go for the sun going nova!!

Indeed we are envied for our power. I acccept that as natural; but what troubles me is the cannibals, the devourers of their own, Americans who in order to get political gain, lie about wars and floods to hurt their country.

Lysis Verus; a comment on your second post: I will try to grow up. Your continued guidance would be much appreciated, but I will not shut up about the whiners and naysayers who weaken our nations resolve and endanger our country and our heroes. I will continue to question the rationality and motivation of any cannibal who devours his country to sate his own bloated appetite for political advantage.

Shadow – thanks for the info and the clarity!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis, I am gratified at the civility of your response. Touche about the duration of Government. I must clarify about the Napoleonic Era. I meant only that for a time Americans, when we were the weaker sister, small-time power type of nation prided ourselves about keeping out of the affairs of the Old World. I have read some editorials of the time chiding the silly but powerful Europeans for their wars, gleefully predicting demise. Regarding Rome, I am with you, I realize Pompeii was by no means a death-knell for the Empire.

Speaking of Empire. I am truly pleased to find another intellect who can see the US for what it is, an Empire. Now that we can agree on that fact we can discuss our rights and responsibilities as pre-eminent power. So true, one has to go back to the Romans to find any rival to the USA. We agree on much Lysis. One of my greatest challenges is getting my Neo-Con friends (and I have many) to openly admit the realities of our position in the world.

I do not mean to predict doom on our fine nation, by no means. Sun going nova indeed :) I should clarify that I am positing these calamities purely in the hypothetical.

Political haymakers can be found on both sides of the aisle. I think we both know that. I had not heard of the silly cannibalism thing prior to stepping into your agora. Thanks for the conversation space and welcome. We can all grow up togeher ;) LV (anon2)

Dan Simpson said...

Well, to his credit, it seems LV is definitely willing to discuss things civily, (unlike another former anonymous whose foul wind hasn't been felt here for awhile).

As far as New Orleans, I definitely see the need to have the ports and the places necessary for economic survival. It is a very good port, it is just a ridiculous place for a city. If people want to live there, by all means, but I just don't see the wisdom in the Federal government footing a bill that could exceed 100 billion to make it livable and rebuilt.

As far as some of the other comments, I have actually often wondered what exactly a neo-con is. I have been called everything on blogs from a fascist to a semi-liberal (a label that surprised me to no end, and gave me not a little amusement.)

Oh, and I came across one of the most oddly nutty ideas I have ever heard this week. On the Open Forum at the law school someone put forth the idea (with complete belief in it), that a plane did not actually hit the pentagon. He backed it up with some french website that claims that the entire attack was a hoax, that there was no hyjackings etc.

It would have been laughable if it wasn't so dissappointing.

Aeneas said...

Is there a bigger cannibal than Ted Kennedy?

Reach Upward said...

And apparently getting bigger all of the time. The current Mrs. Kennedy jokes that as Teddy has aged he has moved the mirrored ceiling in their home from the bedroom to the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I would rather the United States spend 10 billion to rebuild New Orleans than 10 billion to rebuild Bagdad/Iraq -- the U.S. can hardly afford both, so which should be cannibalized?

A_Shadow said...

I'm sorry to find cause to disagree in a moment of hugs and kisses, but I've always taken issue with the statement that the United States is an empire. I think it would be an argument of it's own and I'm not sure that I should bring it up in this post. But if you want to play the "economic empire" card please be prepared to defend how the government has any influence in the fact that our corporations are world wide. They can regulate them here, but not oversees, not by themselves. Last time I checked, as well, historically we gave up our Empire shortly after World War II when we released the Phillipines. Much of the world joined us at the time, that's why many countries now have their independence from that era.

As for a few other things, what spin? I made a great deal of effort to actually grab and bring links here to share information. If simply having an opinion of something is having a spin, then I am guilty as sin. But I find it hard to believe that you could point out this huge whirlwind of "spin" coming from someone who actually quotes the sources where available.

Why are we in Iraq if physical violence is always second best? Because giving up is worse. To quote it directly from my copy of the Art of War (Sun-Tzu "The Art of War" New translation by Ralph D. Sawyer (c) 1994) on page 177 it says:

"In general, the method for employing the military is this: Preserving the [enemy's] state capital is best, destroying their state capital second-best. Preserving their army is best, destroying their army second-best. Preserving their battalions is best, destroying their battalions second-best. Preserving their companies is best, destroying their companies second-best. Preserving their squads ist best, destroying their squads second best. For this reason attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of excellence. Subjugating the enemy's army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence."

From that quote I derive that defeating an army without bloodshed is always best as you will avoid your own loss as well. The key goal of any general is to gain maximum victory with minimal loss. But you are forced into fighting. I don't see how you take a statement of "fighting is second best" as an argument AGAINST the war in Iraq. It is against wars fought for no reason. It is against wars fought when diplomacy has not been tried. We had 12 years of violations of treaties and mandates from Saddam and his regime before we invaded again. I'd say we gave him his chance and did what needed to be done.

And what I meant by identifying yourself was giving us something other then "annonymous" to go by. If you want to choose such a name for yourself, fine. I just prefer to have something a bit more concise. LV works enough. And A_Shadow might not be my birth name, but I am called by it far more often then my legal name, so what's in a name? A_Shadow by any other name would be as dark.

A_Shadow said...

Whoa, an article that doesn't blame the weather on Bush, Al Qaida OR Global Warming.

Have fun with that one.

Dan Simpson said...

I disagree about where the 10 billion should go. I believe that you gain much more from the billions spent to rebuild Iraq (look at what we acheived through the money spent through the Monroe Doctrine and to rebuild Japan), than you would get from spending the money rebuilding a city that will surely be destroyed in the next hundred years by another storm.

Port yes, city no.

Lysis said...

I think that’s Marshal Plan not Monroe Doctrine, but I agree with Danny Boy. We cannot go back. Anything built in the “Old City” of New Orleans will only be a plastic fake anyway!!!

It is odd isn’t it? Those who pretend to be interested in the “little guy” now claim to be only interested in American little guys. The same “Neo Libs” who condemn the USA as arrogant and isolationist now demand that the US desert the struggling democracy in Iraq. It reviles once again the flaw of a relativist philosophy that has no foundation in truth.

Reach Upward said...

If you read the article A_Shadow linked to (very informative, by the way), I think it makes very little sense to rebuild the city at the bottom of a pit that continues to sink. Surely the ports are necessary and surely we need to have places for the port workers to live and raise their families, but surely those places should be above sea level.

Apollo said...

Friends, greetings and appologies for not posting in so long on this blog. I have not read through so I'm not going to do a major post for fear of saying something stupid. ( I'll probably manage the feat anyway!) Port cities are crucial and we need them. Beggars can not be choosers when it comes to being above or below sea level and I hardly think it pertinent to be discussing this at this moment should not we be talking about relief and how we can help?


Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Not rebuild New Orleans because it might be destroyed again in 100 years? -- what an interesting precedent.

FEMA could just ignore the rebuilding needs of any U.S. city in the upheaval of cataclysm by saying, "It might happen again 100 years from now, so no help for you! Besides the money would be better spent in Iraq to help their fledgling democracy."

When (not if) the "big one" hits Salt Lake City and cosmopolitan areas, it is clear that everyone would have to abandon what is left because another cataclysm COULD happen and Federal monies would be wasted for "plastic" rebuilding projects.

If this appears too harsh, perhaps FEMA would only rebuild demolished cities that existed in red states or "absolutist" communities that had been pre-determined by worthiness.

What a splendid cost saving idea!

Lysis said...

Apollo, when would be a better time to talk about how best to rebuild New Orleans? After we have pumped millions of dollars into a hole? We should provide a safe harbor for our national commerce and safe homes for our citizens. We have no obligation to throw good money after bad to try and rebuild someone’s vanity.

Silver Lining said...

A-Shadow - it is not just the local news in California, as Lysis has said in follow up comments, the sentiment is widespread in the national news as well. It has been interesting to see the reactions to the lower death toll after all predicted such a high one. Some have been grateful. Others, well see Lysis' post I suppose.

To the first Anonymous who quoted George Bush and complained about Lysis' spin, Bush said just a day or two after the hurricane that the effort was not enough etc. I notice that went by the wayside as well. You present us with Bush's Sept. 13 comment. I am glad you did. He is telling the truth and has no reason not to. People ought to be pleased, but poll numbers would indicate otherwise. I wonder how many are aware of the piece of information you shared. I noticed that you characterized Bush's statement as an admission. Perhaps I read too much in, but I dare say the context suggests that you use of the word admission is that he admitted wrongdoing. You complain about Lysis' spin??? Bush can't tell the truth about the situation without it being spun negatively. What is up with that?

Lysis Verus made me think a little harder. I always appreciate that. I do ask though why there can't be an exception to the rule of being glad when the big guys go down. Are we so pessimistic about human nature that we have given up on our hope and belief that we might someday grow and progress beyond our own immaturity. There are moments when that happens, and I think that is part of the great frustration with the press and their canabalistic tendencies. We certainly expect better from them. Who knows why, but it seems to be the case.

Silver Lining said...

Dan, I think we will see a lot of the rebuilding done privately. The private sector is simply better equipped and more efficient at it. My brother was down for a visit, and we were talking about this in the context of football (where are the New Orleans Saints going to have home games and how soon until they have their own field again.) I guessed by next fall. He thought longer as sports is a much lower priority. Again, enter the private sector. Priority shifts greatly, and I think we will see a lot of that. I also don't think the city will be what it was but will evolve into something different. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous makes a good point about the East bench in Salt Lake City etc. It is dangerous to build there too as is cliff side or hill side buildings in California (mudslides) etc. The question becomes how much an individual should take responsibility to insure their home for where they have chosen to live and to what extent we should expect the government to insure our homes for us.

Reach Upward said...

Anonymous 3: If you read the link posted by A_Shadow, you would realize that we're talking about the city possibly being destroyed next year (and maybe every year for the next 60), not 100 years from now. Silver Lining makes a good point about the balance of responsibility in decisions of home and infrastructure building. The federal government usually has little to say about how and where cities allow expansion and creation of infrastructure (except for EPA rules). Yet somehow when a catastrophe occurs and the home built in the flood plain or on the cliff is destroyed we expect Uncle Sam to foot the bill of rebuilding. Is that right? We should have a thorough national debate about this.

Anonymous said...

"After we have pumped millions of dollars into a hole." -Lysis

I was just looking at the Wasatch Fault web site-

It seems "Fault scarps provide convenient sites for homes with a view"; ie, Layton and East Layton. Take a look at the pictures on the site; Lysis, you could find your own house, maybe.
"Earthquakes can generate several different geologic hazards. In addition to ground shaking, other hazards are SOIL LIQUIFACTION, surface fault ruptures, FLOODING, and slope failure. Not only are buildings, including homes, endangered by these hazards, but water tanks, dams, roads, bridges,railways, airports, and utility corridors carrying electricity, water, SEWAGE, natural gas, petroleum, and telephone service are all at risk -- SOIL LIQUIFACTION can occur more than 100 miles away from the epicenter of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake."

It appears that "WE" are living in a "hole" (just look at the surrounding mountains and lake) just as menacing as the one New Orleans exists in, and would experience with some very similar outcomes should we have a cataclysm of our own.
I would bet that Lysis could throw a rock and hit some part of the Wasatch Fault . . . (well maybe shoot his sling shot).

Question: If you and yours were able to survive such a cataclysm, would you rebuild? Would you seek and accept assistance from the Federal Government? Do you now carry earthquake and flood insurance? Why have you ignored the warnings of severe earthquake that geologists have been making for this area for the last 40+ years?

A_Shadow said...

I think annonymous is trying to weigh pebbles against stones.

Whilst the cataclysm that such a reckoning would be on Utah, it's not bound to happen all that often. I believe the last number I heard was every 1,500 years and we're already about 500 overdue. Let me check your website...


Well... You didn't provide a link, so I just googled it. I found this:

"There is no earthquake clock for small to moderate earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault. The lack of identified earthquake activity on the Wasatch Fault means that seismologists cannot determine the "earthquake clock" for small to moderate earthquakes on this particular fault. The danger from these earthquakes is real, but seismologists cannot accurately determine the risk. There is however, an earthquake clock for the entire Wasatch Front region that has been determined by various seismological data. There is a somewhat more precise clock for large magnitude (>6.5) earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault. This clock is determined by much different methods that are explained on the "Paleoseismic earthquake clock" page. This technique studies large prehistoric earthquakes in order to determine their recurrence interval and assess the future risk of large earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault"

Found here at the bottom of the page.

I find it interesting that there's no real clock on the events. But then when's the last time there was a major earthquake in Utah? I could look, but I don't find it all that important.

Anyways, dangers of liquifaction are indeed where most of the damage is predicted to come from. But what about when? No body knows. Everyone assumes it will happen, sort of like the "fall" of America, the "rise" of China or the flip of the magnetic poles. In statistics if you don't have a narrowed down range of information, you basically have jack. Maybe it's just wishful thinking. They figure there will be a major earthquake because of all of the lack of "smaller" seismic activities, but there's never been one in the past to my knowledge.

So the point: Salt Lake is infinately safer from catastrophe then New Orleans, as was previously mentioned. The people of the Gulf States NEW about the storms when they were settling. They had to, they've always been there. Liquifaction is a relatively new concept. It's still not understood nearly as well as we let on. I sorta doubt that the locals in Utah would have built their hospitals on a fault line if a) they knew it was there at the time and b) there was more frequent, major, seismic activity.

Pebbles against stones.

Also, I believe it was Apollo, pointed out that New Orleans was at danger because it was below sea level. True, that's also one of the arguments about not rebuilding. I'm mostly commenting because it's the same for most of north eastern africa. I thought it would be interesting to note that they pretty much have an "any minute now" outlook on when that will sink and be flooded by the Red Sea (if my history, geology and geography haven't failed my memory).

And lastly, for now, Silver Lining: I didn't mean to infer that it was a local news thing. It's just what I had as my source at the time. Indeed it was either local news or CNN that I was watching (it escapes me now, but it's not all that important). I just try to work with what I have experience with in these situations.

Oh, one more thing to whichever annonymous is silly enough to claim the argument. Stop manufacturing timelines. If you're issuing it as a hypothetical, that's fine. But none of us had actually issued a timeline on when and why another catastrophe would hit, other than maybe the hurricanes that come in yearly. And additional thanks to reach upward for reading the article and reminding our friend (who probably didn't) that the hurricanes will be "more severe than normal" (likely an artificial division) for quite some time to come.

It's not about rebuilding US vs. rebuilding Iraq. Or even rebuilding because a catastrophe "might" happen again. It's a cost benefit analysis of rebuilding a region as expensive as Iraq with the potential that it will happen yearly (not likely, but potentially). It's the worst storm in 15 years, not the worst storm of 100 years or any other integer.

Silver Lining said...

Unless I am mistaken, the Federal Government is the only guarantor of flood insurance.

Ares said...

To the most recent Anonymous,
I seem to remember reading much here about "growing up." I think that such accusations as "Lysis could probably throw a stone and hit the fault line" are pretty immature and founded with little bearing or knowledge. It was a pathetic ad hominem (also much discussed on this blog in the past) and one (namely you) needs to learn how to argue without those. Something another Anonymous had a hard time learning.

I find it particularly interesting that the oil prices that took such a huge jump in price because of the inability to import oil into this country has not made the turn around at the pumps. Last I checked, the stock for the oil was back up, the prices of oil were receding, but no difference (at least around my home) in the prices of gasoline. "Why is that?" is the question that is begged by this most interesting predicament we find ourselves in.


Reach Upward said...

Your local gas prices are determined by many factors in a long supply chain. However, they all come down to principles taught in Econ 101 of supply and demand.

While the impact on oil supply hasn't suffered much, we have had a modest impact on refining capacity. It doesn't matter how much oil you can produce or buy if you can't turn it into gasoline. The result is a somewhat tighter supply than we had before Katrina. That should relax as the impacted refineries come back online.

The other side of the equation is demand, which diminished almost not at all in the face of higher gas prices. This sends a message to the market that consumers are willing to pay increased prices for gas. The market, of course, obliges.

We can rant and rave about obscene profits by big oil companies, but forcing socialistic price controls is not the answer. We tried that in the 80s and ended up causing supply shortages because of artificial pricing.

Oil companies have successfully erected a huge barrier to entry into their market. They assiduously and constantly seek to find that magic price where they can charge the maximum price without causing decreased demand and without making it economically feasible for development of alternative fuel sources. Their position is strengthened by both sides of the political spectrum. On one side they fund many campaigns. On the other side, environmentalist policies prevent exploitation of domestic oil resources and expansion of refining capacity, effectively creating a tighter market for gasoline.

These factors and others combine to bring you the price you pay at the pump. Don't blame your local retailer, who often earns less than a penny and a half per gallon. They have tighter margins than ever. It is a complex political and economic picture, so no single or simple "solution" will resolve it. In fact, some (such as price controls) can only make it worse.

Anonymous said...

Ares, you're right. I don't know anything about Lysis' rock throwing abilities -- how about; "He could hurl a dead cat and still hit some part of the Wasatch Fault." Or spit? Is spitting more politically correct?
I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone from PETA or the health department!
However, there was A LOT more to that last posting than my feeble attempt at humor -- why not respond to a few of the questions at the end of the post?

Lysis said...

There is a great Elizabeth Taylor movie, Elephant Walk, about an English man who builds his colonial estate in the middle of an elephant migration path in Ceylon. As the story unfolds we see a home of great tradition and pride. The English Master, like a peevish child, drives the elephants aside each year; at great expense in life and treasure. He does the year after year until he dies in vainglorious triumph. The estate passes to his son – Liz Taylor’s husband. The movie ends with the mansion in flames under the trampling feet of the Elephants.

Anonymous – Above you suggest that building cities astride the Wasatch Fault was foolish. I AGREE!! You imply that when the big one comes (BETTER GET READY HO HO HO , TO TIE UP THE BOAT IN IDAHO) my home may be destroyed and I would want help to rebuild it. I AGREE!!!


If my house were built in a hole that inevitably collapsed at every earth quake.

If earth quakes came at the end of every summer – and every tenth summer buried my house.

If I had to dig out of that hole after every earth quake and then insisted on rebuilding my house in it.

If I could move my house off the fault and out of the hole but insisted on not doing so.

If I insisted that others take money they need for other projects to dig me out and rebuild my house.

If when my children die and my possessions are lost I insisted that my country and its leader take full responsibility for my loss.

Then, anonymous, you could tell me to grow u1!

Every year the “elephants” stomp down on New Orleans. This year they’ve smashed it flat. Let’s grow up and move those parts of the city that are in the holes to safe ground. Now that would show some maturity.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Verus here, I'm the other anonymous. I was the one who chided Lysis to 'grow up', but in humor and only with regard to foreign opinion of our tragedy in the Crescent City. That is not an ad hominem attack ,its the same as saying 'get real' or 'come on'. We should 'get real' about our place in the world. BTW how do you all feel now that the president, has pledged your tax dollars to rebuild the CITY of New Orleans? Feel good? Conservative? HAR HAR!? Between Iraq and Afghanistan and the Dept of Homeland (In)Security etc Bush has spent more money and grown the governemnt more in five years than Comrade Clinton did in eight! Lysis Verus

A_Shadow said...

Right, because we definately have a unified wheel of government.

What has he done to "build" the government. I'm getting on this one because you feel that whatever it is that he has done, is bad.

What did he do? I guess I must have been asleep. He merged FEMA (still waiting on an argument for WHY that could be a bad thing). He merged our intelligence community and formed a central umbrella called Homeland Security. You've got an aweful lot of smack talk for having nothing to back it up. That's what always bothers me about your types. Comrade Clinton? Dude... I don't like Clinton, but I still see that as a farce (not to mention that should definately get you Godwin-ed right out of here). Clinton had TOO WEAK of a grip, that's what the problem was. Terrorists killed how many of are citizens under his reign? And what did we do? We shot cruise missles at their suspected camps. The ol' throw the rock at them, that'll teach 'em for stomping around in my garden.

Alas, I digress. But perhaps a point can be made other then stating it? For one who is truly "seperated" perhaps you could do something relatively unique for a change. Surprise us by backing up an off the wall statement. For once.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Verus here again. Perhaps you *have* been asleep. I thought common knowledge didn't need evidence cards. Do you deny that spending and deficits have increased under this president? Do you deny the Bush has instituted new programs at the federal level and onerous unfunded mandates on the states? Do you actually deny this and say I'm talking smack for bringing up real facts? I'm not making blind, off the wall assertions here. If you think W is any kind of fiscal conservative you really have drunk the coolaid my friend. Even his own Republican allies have been known to flinch at his tax and spend ways. If you need facts and figures, I guess I can hunt them down. Sheesh. Two things: What does 'Godwin-ed out of here' mean? Is it against the rules to mention the 'Ol Debbil Clintin'? Is that what you do to anyone who disagrees with you? I appeal to the Mighty Lysis to spare me "Godwin-ing" especially if its painful ;) And please enlighten me as to what you mean by 'separated'. Is that some kind of code? Lysis Verus out. (Perhaps forever? Please Lysis show me mercy!)

Silver Lining said...

Not that it matters, but as a mother of 3, I thought I would interject that it is Kool-Aid.

Otherwise, yes Bush has spent more. His spending on poverty programs is more than LBJ during the era of the new society. Spending is up elsewhere as well. I think the standing question is whether or not this is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

" . . . but forcing Socialistic price controls is not the answer"
-Reach Upward

Bush Signs Energy Bill, Cheers Steps Toward Self-suffinience -- Billions in Tax Breaks For Industry.

If price controls are Socialistic, what are Tax Breaks?

Anonymous said...

Lysis Verus here
Gosh! Silver Lining, I stand corrected- on my improper branding. I thought you guys were conservatives. I guess as a Jeffersonian (classical old-school)liberal, I'm the real fiscal conservative here. Spending more money than you have is always poor policy. So, under the Clinton Regime we had Big-Governemnt Tax and Spend Democrats (which ran to a surplus) and now under the Bush Regime we have Big-Government Tax and Spend Republicans (which runs the biggest deficit in our history). But he's a conservative, right. When CLinton wanted socialized health care, Republicans went ape, but when Bush proposes the 'Free Drugs for Geezers' entitlement, they help him pass it. So inconsistent, perhaps not rooted in reality. Why do Republicans back this guy and forgive him everything? Just curious. Lysis Verus (making the most of my numbered hours on the board before A_shadow possibly unplugs me) Lysis Verus (humble questioner)

Silver Lining said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A_Shadow said...

Ok, for the n00b - LV: "Godwin-ed" is a sort of term for an event that happens in debates with n00bs. Especially in our modern day. Godwin stated that anyone who compared his opponent to Hitler automatically loses all credibility and the debate (it's a round about way of saying it). You should practically be Godwin-ed for comparing anyone as pitiful as Clinton to a communist leader. It was an observation, and none of us will throw you out, that would promote violence. Instead we do our best to laugh you out of the building when silly things our brought forth. The descision to come and go is always yours. (Unless Lysis changed policy somewhere that I'm not aware of).

Has Bush spent money? Duh. Has he spent a lot of money? I'm still playing the "Duh" card, here. But you are trying to insist that his spending of money and starting new programs has been somewhat out of the ordinary. What president hasn't spent money? What president hasn't spent money on new wars? What president has NEVER EVER EVER started a new program that "enlarges" the government. They all do, all have, and always will if I have much to say about it. Adapt or die. If Roosevelt (a democrat) didn't believe in deficite spending and creating new government programs, where the hell would we be?

Still up the Depression Creek without a financial paddle. Deficite spending makes the world go round. I can only assume you haven't learned anything of fiscal responsibility of that such yourself. Or did your parents pay cash straight up for their car and home? You can't survive in a modern world without deficite spending. The goal is not to bury yourself in debt, however. But as with any goal, it's not a "do or die" scenario.

The country was in trillions of dollars of debt long before Bush hit the White House. So insisting on him being the root cause of our debt will have me laughing you out of the building. A figure that I was given by a junior high history teacher was that (back when I was a wee-little seventh grader) our debt, as a nation, was so large that the interest added an extra $1,000+ every SECOND. And since it's not likely to have gone down, I'd bet that that figure is somewhat an underhanded guess by now. No country anywhere in the world would be able to pay that off. Actually, no 10 countries anywhere in the world could pay that off and continue to function. Why doesn't anyone call us on our debts? Because as soon as they do, we call in our old bills as well.

When you were talking about Bush's spending, I thought you were making some obscure point, not an obvious statement. I'm pretty sure Clinton got away with some deficite spending of his own. That's to be expected with a Capitalist system. That's why banks and credit exist.

Reach Upward said...

Sorry, but I have to agree that our president has a problem with the purse strings. See my blog where I pine for some fiscal responsibility. I'm a Reagan small government type, so the current levels of what I would class as non-essential spending kind of shock me.

A_Shadow said...

Love to get to your blog, but I was 404ed.

No need to fear, I found it regardless.

I can agree to a point. But then it strikes me, don't all budgets have to first pass through congress? And a further question. Has there ever been a president that denied a budget approved by congress? I speak out of seeking to make a point, and legitimate curiousity. Congress creates the budgets, Bush signs them. Does he push them, lobby for them? Indeed, but if the policy is bad, it should never make it back to his desk.

I believe the money sent to help in the aftermath of Katrina is too much, is too wasteful, but I'd have been loathe to be the man to return that one to congress saying "Ah, dang guys. Aren't we in enough debt? Do those thousands of homesless people really need all that?"

Ares said...

If that is what you call humor, then I fear to hear your droll days. I think that your comment was insuffcient and was lacking any backbone when you said it. What was it exactly that you were trying to say by that? Also, why mock Silver lining when she specifically said, "not that it makes much difference"? What kicks do you get out of a thing like that? I personally find that degrading and downright idiotic.

If I remember my sophomore year correctly, my history teacher told me that the economy was on its way down nine months before Bush was even elected. True, Bush has spent some money, but I think that it was because it was the only way to stay afloat in a world rocked my partisan Liberal Media. The political tirades that would have rocked this country on the part of liberals everywhere would have been the death-knell of any president that suggested that New Orleans not be reconstructed, aided and abetted once again, by our trusty liberal media.

Oh, and LV, have I been heeding the warnings of geologists of the last 40+ years? I think that is a moot point, as they have said themselves that they have ABSOLUTELY no idea when an earthquake might hit, and that we are already overdue for an earthquake is a weak point, because we won't be overdue to the point of worry for another 500 years anyway. Don't bore me with your mishmesh of attempted arguments.


Anonymous said...

Although I am only a mere student I have still been brought far enough elong to learn how to ask questions. why is it that when America (Supposed to be the greatest country on earth, a land choice above all others) receives an attack, whether environmental or civilized, the retaliation of the people is that of looting and rebelion. I've never heard of so many deaths occuring AFTER the original disaster without the cause being disease or sickness. Why, when they are finally receiving help and recourses, do civiliansfire upon those who are coming to help? Destroy what little assistance is being offered. A Tsunami, A Freakin Tsunami couldn't bring out that much evil from the hearts of men.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Verus here. Golly jeepers people, the level of venom and invective is noted. Couple of things: I dislike defending anything about Clinton, but under his administration we did have a balanced budget and a surplus. Under this administration we have record deficits. BTW I do have frm grasp of economics both micro and macro. Deficit spending (spending borrowed money) is okay if two conditions are met: 1 You can service the debt 2 Someone will lend you the money. I hate to go back to Econ 101 but those two conditions are increasingly in doubt at the national level. Would you prefer we default on our obligations before we discuss the issue? I happen to agree with Newt Gingrich, that deficits DO matter and a government spending program out of control MIGHT tank the economy. Am I the only fiscal conservative here? Other thing I must comment upon, this forum, like so many, has a surplus of lax spellers and grammarians (including myself). My comments to Silver linging were intended to be ironic (e.g. Funny that you care about spelling 'Kool-Aid' when some of us don't even bother to spell 'deficit' correctly) Pointing out irony is not mean spirited. Rather than attacking my arguments/points some here have chosen to attack me. That's okay but it undermines the sprit of reasoned debate that Lysis seems to have intended for this forum. To wit, you may (obviously) attack me personally but in my estimation it undermines your argument's legitimacy. Last thing By a-Shadow's rule -Should you guys "Godwin" out Lysis because he mentioned Hitler in a previous post? That would be most unfortunate. Tedium setting in ~ Lysis Verus

Silver Lining said...

Calm down Lysis Verus like you asked Lysis to do. My reference to the spelling of Kool-Aid was humor (poor obviously).

Not every question is rhetorical either. Several of us here openly acknowledge that we don't have all the answers, so I would have to take issue with your blanket statement that you are the only fiscal conservative. There isn't enough information to come to that conclusion, and, in fact, from recent posts, there seems to be at least one other than yourself.

Anonymous said...


You have posted twice about how my comments are "insuficienct"(?) and how "degrading" they are; also, about how I "lack any backbone". In addition, you criticize my non-droll "droll" remarks (?) and characterize them as "idiotic".

Two suggestions
Put down the thesaurus and slowly step away.
Do not take the abuse any longer! You should immediately call 911 or LPD and report ALL insults and offenses to persons at this blogspot -- especially those guilty of the heinous non-droll "droll" rock throwing attacks.

The authorities shall surely give you satisfaction!

MY ninth grade English teacher advised me that I would never be able to "Win Friends and Influence People" if I persisted in being so sarcastic . . . go figure.

*The only person guilty of any real abuse is your ninth grade history teacher.

Anonymous said...

(With Lysis' obligatory four exclamation marks, even).

At the Agora a Ten Billion reconstruction cost was discussed last week, now Bush wants 200 B, and this morning I heard 300 B -- the administration must think reconstruction is like the price of gas!
I feel myself flipping on this one.
Sure,reconstruct New Orleans and do what is necessary to prevent the damage Katrina created by re-engineering the place against future flooding and even category 5 hurricanes; but, let's not turn the place over to the Halliburton profiteers and put the "good ol' boys'" economic blinders on once more.
Also, the poor will realize very little gain from any of this -- developers and the construction industry will enjoy the windfall. (Hannity's $200,000 per capita is a joke) So let's not be deluded about which political forces stand to profit most. A category 5 could hit the coastline of the Southern United States ONCE a year and administration friendly fat cats and developers would still be successfully holding out their dump trucks for reconstruction monies -- let's at least go through a bidding process this time.

How about 50 Billion for the troops in Iraq, AKA known as heroes. This very expensive war on the cheap could use monies to upgrade armaments on vehicles that are presently being CANNIBALIZED
(see blog topic)from down vehicles to give soldier's a minimum of protection, instead of money to reconstruct Bagdad/Iraq.

A_Shadow said...

I only feel the need to respond to one comment at this point (kudos, as always, to Silver Lining for bringing up prudent points and keeping me from commenting on anything that would proliferate blood pressure levels):

To the Anonymous owner of this comment:

"Although I am only a mere student I have still been brought far enough elong to learn how to ask questions. why is it that when America (Supposed to be the greatest country on earth, a land choice above all others) receives an attack, whether environmental or civilized, the retaliation of the people is that of looting and rebelion. I've never heard of so many deaths occuring AFTER the original disaster without the cause being disease or sickness. Why, when they are finally receiving help and recourses, do civiliansfire upon those who are coming to help? Destroy what little assistance is being offered. A Tsunami, A Freakin Tsunami couldn't bring out that much evil from the hearts of men."

A couple of points:

-We all here are students. As Silver Lining put it, none of us claims to have the sole truth. But that doesn't mean that we can't be right.

-What were the problems with looting after 9-11? I was heartwrenched by the claims of gunfire and vandals carousing the streets in New Orleans as well, but if you note the news, much of that was quickly done away with. You have to realize that in every society, there are men without values, at least without values sufficient to keep them from doing the things that we all know we shouldn't. Yes, there was a gun shot that haulted the Super Dome evacuation, yes there was looting. But how many of the thousands of people actually participated in that? I'm rather confident that if you ran a statistical analysis of the numbers, it wouldn't be much more abnormal than it is anywhere else in the country all of the time. It was just publicized better.

Not to mention that most of the "rapes" have little to no credibility. They are a whisper in the wind, as much as the Boogeyman. Whenever someone arrived on the scene to investigate, NO ONE - not even family - could be found to give ANY information on the "cases". Did something like that happen? More than likely, but at this point the majority of it has no basis of even a figment of truth.

Asking questions is swell, but we need be asking the right questions. We need to be questioning everything. I hardly think someone fulfills their duty in this regard by asking how something happens, one thing. We also need to verify the "answers".

What number of heinous deaths are you referring to? How many people have died from violence? From gunshots? From torture? In New Orleans (about to be New "New Orleans".)? Sure, scoundrals being reported as running around with AK47s isn't something that you'd expect from the world's finest country, but it's not so surprising if you actually delve into the recent past, and the real hot spots of the nation (trying learning something about the Bank robberies in California, and then talk to me about how bad it was in New Orleans. Last I checked there were no 45 minute gunbattles there, ever.)

Lysis said...

Thank you for all the great comments. I have though much more deeply on this subject, and will continue to do so, because of all of your insights. I hope everyone, kind enough to join us in the Agora, realizes that we are not met here to agree – but rather to think.

I would also like to say something in support of the exclamation point (!). Like most punctuation marks, except periods and question marks, it is sadly neglected. I tend to be rather “agitated” in my verbal communication – I only hoped to squeeze a little of my personality into text. Sorry if a startled anyone.

musical one said...

andelyn (2nd period student who listens in class) Lysis, I love your blog, You are an amazing history teacher and I don't think that you would be as good at any other subject in school. Rock on Mr. C.

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