Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Someone Won Ben Stein's Brain

The latest urban myth to be examined on Snopes (per their syndicated feed) is:

Claim: E-mail reproduces Ben Stein's defense of President Bush's actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Status: True.

in which Ben goes on to explain in rather patronizing tones (appropriately pepped up with words like "scandalously " and "slander") that President George W. Bush isn't responsible for natural disasters, because liberals all seem to believe that GW could actually control the weather, and we're wrong - and those liberals who believe in global warming are also wrong, but if they're right, it doesn't have anything at all to do with Kyoto. Somehow I doubt anyone in New Orleans was really focusing on Kyoto as the source of their problems over the last week - at least not during the time they were without food and water. But Ben's right about GW creating/influencing weather; if we believed that, we'd be wrong. No one believes that actually praying for good weather (or any sort of weather at all) is effective and can change the natural world. Nobody. Except for people at the Luis Palau Twin Cities Festival this summer. Actually, if you just follow the Google query +pray +"good weather" +minneapolis, you'll seen Minnesotans praying for good weather all over the place and assuring themselves that it worked. I'm not even going to search for other cities - I'm sure the ones who voted more strongly for GW pray even harder for good weather. Maybe no one was praying hard enough.

We're also treated to this wonderfully callous statement, particularly given that poverty is increasing under GW and he is responsible for working to alleviate that problem:
"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."

But I'm more impressed with Ben's tirade against health care, local officials and Hillary Clinton all in the same bullet, with a sort of reverse spin to point out that you should be thankful GW and his administration are currently in charge of your health care. You always want to finish on Hillary - maybe someone will think she caused the hurricane or that everywhere would look like New Orleans if she were in charge of anything. After all, dissing Hillary should be the anchor for any compassionate, non-politicizing treatise on New Orleans.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.