Ben Stein: Get off Bush's back

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  • #1
Pengwuino
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Main Question or Discussion Point

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8693 [Broken]

In reponse to another left-wing self-stroking by the discredited film maker Michael Moore.
 
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  • #2
Skyhunter
Pengwuino said:
http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8693 [Broken]

In reponse to another left-wing self-stroking by the discredited film maker Michael Moore.
You should really find better sources if you wish to be taken seriously. :rolleyes:

PS It wouldn't hurt to use a spell checker either.
 
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  • #3
Gokul43201
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That Ben Stein really is funny. Loved his show on Comedy Central.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Did you ever see when he paired up with Frank Zappa?

Frank'n'Stein?
 
  • #5
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This from a guy who wrote speeches for discredited republican president Richard Milhouse Nixon?
 
  • #6
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Now to address Mr. Stein's comments directly...

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.

Agreed. All the more reason to punish the negligent.

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

Strawman argument. A really bad 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.

"worst" is arguable. This is shaping up to be the worst natural disaster in human history. The death toll has not yet exceeded the Galveston Flood, but to try and minimize the disaster is pointless. And offensive.

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.

There is clear cut evidence that global warming exists. There is good evidence it's man-made. There is some evidence it has increased the strength of hurricanes over the last twenty years. It likely would not have been affected by Kyoto yet, but it would have been years from now. And Bush is responsible for its failure. Again with the strawman.

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.

Yes, obviously he had nothing to do with the plans. That's the problem. As President of the United States of America, he's responsible for FEMA. They're the ones responsible for coordination in just such an emergency. He appointed somebody utterly unqualifed as FEMA, so it goes back to him. If I'm a CEO of an airline, and I hire a mentally retarded baboon to pilot one of my 747s, and that 747 flies straight into the ground immediately following takeoff...

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.

No, he didn't. And it didn't even happen. Reports of raping and shooting at rescuers were either highly exaggerated or they didn't happen at all, as it turns out. No doubt this is do to racism. Remember, black people "loot," white people "find." Calling them "gangsters" is itself an example of this. Since to Stein, "looters" = black, and black = "gangsters", therefore "looters" = "gangsters." Another thing Stein should be ashamed for.

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.

If Bush were the least racist President in history, he wouldn't be appealing to the white racist vote. He's a legacy of Nixon's racist "Southern strategy," which if I'm not mistaken Mr. Stein was himself involved with.

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.

He is now. He spent a couple of days on vacation first, and then flew around giving photo-ops and generally getting in the way. The lawlessness in the city was also a result of failure to get National Guard units into place.

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.

The War in Iraq clearly diminished the response to the emergency. Thousands of LA NG were in Iraq and unable to help. Furthermore, millions of dollars were diverted from the Army Corps of Engineers (from both levee maintenance, and emergency response). To say it didn't diminish the response is a pure lie.

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.

The New Orleans city authorities acted competently and bravely. The acts of criminals was exactly what one expects when all of society breaks down. This strategy of the Bush administration and its apologists of blaming people who did what they were supposed to and shirking their own failures is a familiar one from the 2004 election. You'll remember when Bush (a chickenhawk and draft dodger) portrayed John Kerry (a decorated war hero) as a measly, unreliable coward.

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.

"Sticking pins" is the only way to keep it from happening again. If it wasn't for "sticking pins," Michael "Drownie" Brown would still be head of FEMA.

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.

No, it's an example of breathtaking callousness of government offials at the top level. This reminds me now of the Abu Ghraib scandal. i.e. the Bush WH blaming the grunts, and not the people in charge. Passing the buck, as it were, only downhill.

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

Godbless the real victims. Bush can screw off.

****
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?

Because unlike Bush's incompetence, the sniper story is untrue.

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

Al Sharpton is pentecostal. Somebody who talks about slander shouldn't be accusing Sharpton of "singling out people by race." Especially a former Nixon crony. Rev. Sharpton follows the old school of thought "judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

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?

The media has just been reporting what's been happening. If the facts happen to look bad for the President, shame on the President. Quit trying to blame the media. Besides, you're part of the media. Looks like the media, at least in your case, is doing the opposite of what you're saying it's doing.


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?

No. Furthermore, an able-bodied person who is supposed to rescue people but does not, they should prepare to reap the whirlwind. As it were.

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?

Mr. Bush is, if he sits around on vacation for a couple of days.

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?

Silly argument. Apparently, in Stein's view, Bush is not responsible for anything.

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

Does Mr. Stein mean hatred, criticism, and mockery of the Katrina victims?
 
  • #7
I had no idea ben stein was such a moron. but what a talking point that really is right? to say that the whole katrina episode only demonstrates why government in general should be limited, but not that the current administration f'ed up. say it with me now, the federal gov't, led by g-dub and his cronies, messed up. we can top that off with the fact the state and local gov't messed up too. personally, i don't vote for their government, but I do vote for the office of the presidency.
 
  • #8
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kcballer21 said:
I had no idea ben stein was such a moron. but what a talking point that really is right? to say that the whole katrina episode only demonstrates why government in general should be limited, but not that the current administration f'ed up. say it with me now, the federal gov't, led by g-dub and his cronies, messed up. we can top that off with the fact the state and local gov't messed up too. personally, i don't vote for their government, but I do vote for the office of the presidency.
I was a bit suprised too. This sounded like those "John Cleese" and "George Carlin" fakes going around via e-mail. But his name's right on it.
 
  • #9
loseyourname
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kcballer21 said:
I had no idea ben stein was such a moron. but what a talking point that really is right? to say that the whole katrina episode only demonstrates why government in general should be limited, but not that the current administration f'ed up. say it with me now, the federal gov't, led by g-dub and his cronies, messed up. we can top that off with the fact the state and local gov't messed up too. personally, i don't vote for their government, but I do vote for the office of the presidency.
Not that I have much to say but "sure thing, buddy" to Stein's little essay here, but scaling back the responsibility of the federal government might not be the worst idea here. Every time we depend on them, they seem to fail. Even the great response to 9/11 was pretty much entirely local.

Notice that the first entity to actually bring relief to New Orleans was WalMart, which, as the largest retail chain in the world, knows a thing or two about quickly and efficiently shipping large amounts of supplies from point A to point B without the bureacratic haggling and delays that come from big government.

In response to Stein's contention that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with lessening the response to Katrina: I don't know if this is entirely accurate, but according to NPR, the Louisiana National Guard's deep water vehicles, which would normally be used to evacuate flood victims and keep the peace, were all in Iraq. What the heck are deep-water vehicles doing in a desert?!

P.S. Where the heck did you find that site, Pengwuino?
 
  • #10
Informal Logic
kcballer21 said:
I had no idea ben stein was such a moron. but what a talking point that really is right? to say that the whole katrina episode only demonstrates why government in general should be limited, but not that the current administration f'ed up. say it with me now, the federal gov't, led by g-dub and his cronies, messed up. we can top that off with the fact the state and local gov't messed up too. personally, i don't vote for their government, but I do vote for the office of the presidency.
When people from the entertainment industry get involved in politics I tend to dismiss them. However, Mr. Stein is truly disappointing and may explain why Bush supporters think intellectuals are dumb.
 
  • #11
Pengwuino
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loseyourname said:
P.S. Where the heck did you find that site, Pengwuino?
Snopes. Looks like the (as usual) response here was "ooo hes a moron because he doesn't follow our ideological rhetoric. Bush sucks!". Figures :rolleyes:
 
  • #12
Informal Logic
Pengwuino said:
Snopes. Looks like the (as usual) response here was "ooo hes a moron because he doesn't follow our ideological rhetoric. Bush sucks!". Figures :rolleyes:
Just to address a couple of Mr. Stein's claims, perhaps you have sources on how global warming is not real, or how FEMA did an excellent job in response to Katrina?
 
  • #13
Archon
Pengwuino said:
Snopes. Looks like the (as usual) response here was "ooo hes a moron because he doesn't follow our ideological rhetoric. Bush sucks!". Figures :rolleyes:
Hopefully, you meant to say "he's a moron because he doesn't follow reality." Hopefully.
 
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  • #14
Pengwuino said:
Snopes. Looks like the (as usual) response here was "ooo hes a moron because he doesn't follow our ideological rhetoric. Bush sucks!". Figures :rolleyes:
oh, you were hoping that a BEN STEIN article would convert all of us? :rolleyes:

what's worse is the only reason stein, who is himself a rhetoric spewing ideologue, the only reason stein gets published is because he is a conservative "celebrity." and that's somehow newsworthy.
 
  • #15
loseyourname
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Informal Logic said:
Just to address a couple of Mr. Stein's claims, perhaps you have sources on how global warming is not real, or how FEMA did an excellent job in response to Katrina?
The debate on global warming has been raging in the earth sciences forum for years now. There are myriad sources for both sides of the argument, if you're honestly interested in what the other side has to say.
 
  • #16
Informal Logic
loseyourname said:
The debate on global warming has been raging in the earth sciences forum for years now. There are myriad sources for both sides of the argument, if you're honestly interested in what the other side has to say.
True, but the debate is mostly in regard to causal relations (i.e., is it cyclical or man made?). But what I was thinking of is this:

The Bush administration acknowledges that global warming poses serious problems..."I don't think there's any disagreement that human activity has substantially contributed to the amount of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the environment," said John Marburger, the White House science and technology adviser.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/w...&node=&contentId=A5523-2002Dec3&notFound=true

And more importantly, questioning Mr.Stein's position regarding FEMA and global warming is not just ideological rhetoric. When members make absurd claims, they should be held to the task of defending it, no?
 
  • #17
loseyourname
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Informal Logic said:
True, but the debate is mostly in regard to causal relations (i.e., is it cyclical or man made?). But what I was thinking of is this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/w...&node=&contentId=A5523-2002Dec3&notFound=true
Well, it's pretty difficult to argue that humans put carbon dioxide into the air. What's in question is whether or not doing so has contributed to any global temperature increase above what is normal given the planet's regular cycles.

And more importantly, questioning Mr.Stein's position regarding FEMA and global warming is not just ideological rhetoric. When members make absurd claims, they should be held to the task of defending it, no?
True enough.
 
  • #18
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
Well, it's pretty difficult to argue that humans put carbon dioxide into the air. What's in question is whether or not doing so has contributed to any global temperature increase above what is normal given the planet's regular cycles.
Without the greenhouse effect, the earth would be a snowball.

http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~westside/ge/snowball.html [Broken]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth

There is really no dispute among climatologists that the greenhouse effect is real. There is dispute as to how much of the current warming trend is attributable to Anthropomorphic Global Warming, but the greenhouse effect is as real as gravity.

To imply that it is not is just an attempt to obfuscate the issue.
 
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  • #19
loseyourname
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I'm not part of this debate, and I'd rather not get pulled in. Argue with men who know what they're talking about. That doesn't include me, at least with respect to this particular topic.

Edit: I should mention that I'm at least smart enough to know that one of the reasons the earth is habitable to begin with is because of atmospheric trapping of heat given off by the surface. I've never heard anybody try to deny that, whether in the service of obfuscation or anything else.
 
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  • #20
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Informal Logic said:
True, but the debate is mostly in regard to causal relations (i.e., is it cyclical or man made?).


when you are treading water in a flood who cares what percent is cyclical or man made in the first place

limiting some greenhouse gases will limit some future flooding
:uhh:
and just may limit future hurricane wind speeds too a little
 
  • #21
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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.

There is clear cut evidence that global warming exists. There is good evidence it's man-made. There is some evidence it has increased the strength of hurricanes over the last twenty years. It likely would not have been affected by Kyoto yet, but it would have been years from now. And Bush is responsible for its failure. Again with the strawman.

have you ever heard of normal climate cycles? Are you aware that the world is actually in a cool cycle compared to other times in history, and we are just now starting to come out of it. while greenhouse gasses may have some role in the warming of the globe, it is not because of bush.
would you like a link discussing global warming and climate cycles, which actually looks at both sides of the issue?

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast20oct_1.htm [Broken]


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.

Yes, obviously he had nothing to do with the plans. That's the problem. As President of the United States of America, he's responsible for FEMA. They're the ones responsible for coordination in just such an emergency. He appointed somebody utterly unqualifed as FEMA, so it goes back to him. If I'm a CEO of an airline, and I hire a mentally retarded baboon to pilot one of my 747s, and that 747 flies straight into the ground immediately following takeoff...

While you could argue his appointment for the job, you can't put the blame on Bush. I know that it is nice and easy to just blame the head of state, but he does not run the whole show, he can't, there's not enough hours in the day. To blame one man for the failure of the rescue opperation is simply unfair. The governor could have stationed the guard before the storm, and if she didn't have enough, she could have asked for help from other states. The mayor could have followed his plan, and he could've found transportation for those who don't have it.


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.

No, he didn't. And it didn't even happen. Reports of raping and shooting at rescuers were either highly exaggerated or they didn't happen at all, as it turns out. No doubt this is do to racism. Remember, black people "loot," white people "find." Calling them "gangsters" is itself an example of this. Since to Stein, "looters" = black, and black = "gangsters", therefore "looters" = "gangsters." Another thing Stein should be ashamed for.

To say thats its racism is pure opinion, not fact. I know thats its nice to call the dumb southern rednecks racists, but that just looks stupid. Besides, some of the people that were telling us these stories were black (Mayor ray of new orleans). So is the black man a racist?


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.

If Bush were the least racist President in history, he wouldn't be appealing to the white racist vote. He's a legacy of Nixon's racist "Southern strategy," which if I'm not mistaken Mr. Stein was himself involved with.

again, your view of things.



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.

No, it's an example of breathtaking callousness of government offials at the top level. This reminds me now of the Abu Ghraib scandal. i.e. the Bush WH blaming the grunts, and not the people in charge. Passing the buck, as it were, only downhill.

Like i said twice above, bush cannot babysit those under him. I wonder if he ever knew of abu ghraib before it came out? its nice to have one person to attack for everything that goes wrong, or in some cases, the opposite. kinda like how Thomas Jefferson attacked the king for everything that went wrong in the colonies, while most of it was really the house of lords and the house of commons making the laws. In history, people have always blamed the one most visible member of government for everything that goes wrong.
 
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  • #22
Informal Logic
1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 - I agree with you on much of what you have posted. However...

In reference to global warming - large ice shelves have collapsed into the sea resulting in rising sea levels. We know that humans generate pollution that causes many adverse effects such as holes in the atmosphere, pulmonary problems, etc., etc., etc., and know we must take action to protect future generations. Bush's stance on the environment has been pitiful.

In reference to Katrina - No one is blaming ALL the effects of the hurricane on Bush -- Even Bush himself took responsibility for his part toward the disaster. Since there has already been thorough discussion on the problems Bush is responsible for, rather than bore everyone else, you may feel free to look at earlier threads on Katrina.

In general this seems to be the age of no accountability, and blind loyalty to leaders people elect (which your post illustrates so well).
 
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