"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sen. Kennedy's Colossal Nerve

A message making the rounds of the internet reports and comments briefly on an interesting statement recently made by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), which I confirmed by finding the relevant quote in the Washington Post here. The Kennedy statement was in regard to the federal government's response to Katrina, and the internet message is as follows:

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

20 comments:

Kathy Hutchins said...

I have an idea for a sci-fi screenplay: Ted Kennedy's body is taken over by aliens, who are staging Yet Another Bid To Take Over The World. They use Ted as a practice human, because they know that his behavior has passed so far over the line of self-parody that no one will notice if Alien Ted says and does things that seem too stupid to be real.

Or a Saturday Night Live skit (if SNL was still funny, that is): Ted Kennedy goes to New Orleans to volunteer to drive a schoolbus transporting Katrina victims to safety. Everyone declines, preferring to drown at home rather than in Massachusetts.

S. T. Karnick said...

Funny, Kathy. In the first scenario, I picture him as being portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio in the twitchy way he played his character in Men in Black—and the way he plays Detective Bobby Goren in Law and Order: Criminal Intent, for that matter.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died,"

Translation: "... those who depended upon the government died."

I can't help but draw a parallel between the Katrina disaster and the heat wave in France a few years ago.

The shift of responsibility towards the state is indeed dangerous.

Tlaloc said...

while you certainly may feel free to mock the source what he said was also quite simply true.



"Translation: "... those who depended upon the government died.""

Alternate translation: "those impoverished by the inequities in america were left to die."



"The shift of responsibility towards the state is indeed dangerous."

How exactly is relying on the state to provide highways for your car more responsible? Just curious.

James Elliott said...

Social Welfare: The expenditure of tax revenue for the public good.

Hope you don't enjoy taking your kids to public parks or driving on roads, CLA. Or eating uncontaminated foodstuffs. Or having a health system to fall back on if your local hospital goes under.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

"while you certainly may feel free to mock the source what he said was also quite simply true."

True? No. Misleading? Definitley.

"... a small percentage of those who were impoverished died along with many others who thought they could ride the storm out."


"Alternate translation: "those impoverished by the inequities in america were left to die.""

Are you still reading the papers from weeks ago? You know ... the ones that had outrageous claims of what happened in the Superdome?


"How exactly is relying on the state to provide highways for your car more responsible? Just curious."

You lost me ...

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

I'm not going to play the "reductio ad absurdum" game with you James.

Tlaloc said...

"Are you still reading the papers from weeks ago? You know ... the ones that had outrageous claims of what happened in the Superdome?"

Are you claiming the dead are not disproportionately poor?



"You lost me ..."

You claim having a car is being responsible while expecting any help from the government is being irresponsible. At the same time your car doesn't go anywhere except on government created roads and highways, and running off of government subsidized gasoline. In other words you are doing the exact same thing you castigate other for, but you don't even realize it.

James Elliott said...

Which was my point.

We're all on welfare, CLA. Some of us just realize it.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

There are certain things that "the state" has shown to be good at; building roads is one of them.

There are other things that "the state" has been shown to by abyssmal at; caring for elderly, evacuations, etc...

Exactly what were the problems in France? Poor healthcare system, no one caring for elderly ...

James Elliott said...

One might argue that no one caring for the elderly might have more to do with a selfish, consumerist society than the welfare state, CLA. In fact, I'd say that's exactly why people ignore their extended families.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

"One might argue that no one caring for the elderly might have more to do with a selfish, consumerist society than the welfare state, CLA. In fact, I'd say that's exactly why people ignore their extended families."


You may have a point, JE. I would remove your word "exactly" and replace it with "one reason".

Another reason: the extended families all assumed that their parents and grandparents would be cared for by "the state"; both with welfare and health care.

Why should I pay to help my mother when she can get the help from "the state?"

Oh ... and I don't want to hear about what a cruel b@$t@rd I am, I am merely (as in other threads) speaking about what may be someones motivations.

Tlaloc said...

"Exactly what were the problems in France? Poor healthcare system, no one caring for elderly ..."

Funny France has the highest ranked health care system in the world according to the WHO.

The heatwave caused many deaths because it was incredibly severe. Of course one might wonder if it had anything to do with climate change. The temperature was often 40C which is about 104 fahrenheit.

James Elliott said...

CLA, no fears on that score on this thread. In this instance, you're posing a hypothetical. Personally, I think you're a tad ridiculous in insinuating that in a welfare state, people abdicate all responsibility to their fellows. Research shows that actually quite the opposite is true.

ChETHB said...

"Funny France has the highest ranked health care system in the world according to the WHO."

So, it must be that the French government failed all those people who died. Why, they should have had the foresight to be prepared to evacuate all the poor, elderly, and infirm to Norway or Finland where undoubtedly it was much cooler.

Or in one of the earlier comments,

"Translation: "... those who depended upon the government died.""

Alternate translation: "those impoverished by the inequities in america were left to die."

Can I just substitute the word "france" for "america"? What difference does it make if it was a heatwave instead of a hurricane?

Tlaloc said...

"Can I just substitute the word "france" for "america"? What difference does it make if it was a heatwave instead of a hurricane?"

Well gosh one difference might be that Hurricanes are costal issues. They rapidly lose power once over land. Hence in a large country like the US it's really not hard to find room for the population of even a major city (temporarily) away from the sea. On the other hand Heatwaves are going to be less likely near the coast (water tends to act as a huge heat sink causing more mild temperature variations nearby in general). France is of course a much smaller country.

Your suggestion that france could evacuate it's people to another country is I hope a bit tongue in cheek. At the very least you have to admit that such a plan is ridiculously more complicated than simply moving people around within their own country.

Tlaloc said...

Oh and finally it might be worth looking at the demographics of the incident. Where as in New Orleans the poor were the ones to suffer I suspect that if you look at France it was the elderly who disproportionately died. That makes a certain amount of sense as the elderly tend to be more vulnerable to extremes of temperature.

The old were singled out by biology, the poor by inequity. The difference being that inequity is entirely within our control while biology is not.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Let's not forget that Mary Jo's parents took the hush money and hushed. "I traveled the Earth and the Seven Seas... some people want to use you and some want to be used by you..."

Ed Darrell said...

So, conservatives in this thread think it's funny that many people drowned in New Orleans?

The stuff that passes for humor among conservatives I can't understand. I'm not sure which is a bigger sin, swimming away from the scene of one death, or pretending someone else's having done so excuses hundreds of such deaths.

Let me take that back: I'm sure which is the bigger sin. Kennedy didn't commit it.