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news of our fellow academics along the coast

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  • Rita Kirk
    Greetings. I have been monitoring several sites trying to learn news of our colleagues who may have been impacted by the hurricane. I hope the chatgroup will
    Message 1 of 45 , Sep 1, 2005
      Greetings.  I have been monitoring several sites trying to learn news of our colleagues who may have been impacted by the hurricane. 
      I hope the chatgroup will forgive this departure from normal communication topics. 
      Rita Kirk

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    • David Benfell
      ... It is because your comments are not those of an educated person. ... This is the only intelligent comment I have seen you make. Only, it completely misses
      Message 45 of 45 , Sep 3, 2005
        On Sat, 03 Sep 2005 21:20:02 -0400, sfseay wrote:
        > David,
        > Please state how my comments are "inappropriate for an academic
        > setting". Is it because you assume I'm not an academic, and don't
        > have the credentials, or is it that I have raised points
        > that concern you and you are unwilling or unable to respond?

        It is because your comments are not those of an educated person.

        To begin:
        > The guy below never mentions that Clinton did nothing about Global
        > Warming, provided no additional money to New Orleans for levy
        > strengthening, and also released federal wetlands to the State of
        > Louisiana and New Orleans.

        This is the only intelligent comment I have seen you make. Only, it
        completely misses the point. And it is wrong.

        First, I raised Clinton only because he was impeached for an offense I
        consider trivial in relation to what I consider the gross negligence
        of the Bush administration. Responding on this point requires a claim
        addressing that claim or an argument explaining how Clinton's offenses
        rise to the moral level of aggravating a natural disaster which has,
        if I'm to accept the word of the mayor of New Orleans, killed
        hundreds if not thousands.

        Just so we're clear. Clinton's offense was a consensual blow job.
        Bush's offense was contributory negligence possibly killing thousands.
        Now I realize they're pretty uptight where you were raised, but where
        I was raised, killing people is a lot more serious an offense than

        Second, Clinton signed on to the Kyoto Accords. Now, you might argue
        that this action was insufficient--it was. But Bush backed out of the
        accords altogether.

        Third, Bush repealed Clinton administration rules covering wetlands
        and streams. Again, you might say Clinton didn't do enough--indeed he

        But your claim assails Clinton's policy as comparable to Bush.

        > The State of Louisiana could have done
        > something about the problem with levys just like Florida is working
        > on returning the Everglades to their natural state (which I
        > support).

        You seem to imagine this project occurs without federal funding. In
        fact, the National Park Service administers the Everglades. "Vice
        President Gore, in a February 1996 visit to Everglades National Park,
        announced a new initiative to accelerate federal funding to about $1.5
        billion over the next seven years. This spring, Congress appropriated
        $200 million for restoration activities in Everglades National Park
        and the south Florida ecosystem"
        <http://www.nps.gov/ever/current/feature2.htm> (1999).

        > It you choose to live in a flood plain my tax dollars
        > shouldn't be used to bail out your house or protect your poor
        > decision making. If you live in the desert don't complain when it
        > gets hot, and don't ask me to pay for your air conditioning.

        I wonder where you live. And I wonder what contributions the federal
        government makes to your welfare. After all, the federally funded
        highways in your part of the country don't do me a bit of good. Why
        should I pay for them?

        Perhaps your local economy benefits from a military base. But I'm
        opposed to American imperialism. Funny, they aren't cutting my taxes

        I wonder what natural disasters your part of the country is prone to.
        Tornadoes, perhaps? Hurricanes, earthquakes, hail? How about
        avalanches or mudslides?

        Oh, maybe you live in Texas. Maybe we should all just pack up and
        move to Texas. Of course, all 300 million of us will have to get
        water from someplace. I bet it'll be the federal government that pays
        to get water to your utopia.

        Oh wait, I forgot. Texas has tornadoes. So obviously, you are too
        smart to live there.

        And you know, one reason a lot of people got killed in New Orleans is
        because they were too poor to evacuate. Do you really think they
        choose to live in a racist city like New Orleans? "Almost all the
        victims and villains were black and poor. Those who died or were
        unable to escape were helpless. They lacked money or cars, had no
        place to go to or were just too weak and old to flee"
        And lest you get any romantic notions about how racism is a thing of
        the past, "Blacks make up two-thirds of the population, but have the
        lowest median income of any group and live in crime-plagued,
        gang-ridden neighbourhoods, which are also the lowest-lying, most
        flood-prone areas." The article describes New Orleans' economy as
        "racially segregated," and as having been so "for a long time"

        But you say they "choose" to live there. You probably think they
        "choose" to be poor, too. Why not accuse them of "choosing" to be

        > Having
        > said that, I will be sending a check for $500.00 to help the relief
        > effort.
        Glad you can afford it.

        > These blame America first liberals don't care about anything but
        > politicizing every issue and blaming the "other guys". Guys like
        > David will destroy this country if they get their way. They are the
        > problem, they aren't just part of the problem.

        Oh but you wouldn't go in for personal attacks, would you?

        I wonder if you have any concept of history whatsoever. Because if
        you did, you'd know that with thinking like yours, we'd still be part
        of the British Empire. Do you have any idea why the First Amendment
        guarantees freedom of speech, or of the press? It isn't so we can
        all agree with whoever is in power at the moment.

        > Global warming is not a proven scientific fact, but those tree-
        > hugging nuts would have you believe that because a few academic types
        > say that Global Warming is causing the Earth's Eco system to collapse
        > we now are to blame George Bush.

        Now, if you were an academic, you'd know that we deal with empirical
        evidence, not faith and hope. Your statement is based not on
        empirical evidence or even a reasonable sample of scientific opinion,
        but on faith and hope. The vast majority of atmospheric and climate
        scientists agree not only that global warming is occurring, but that
        man is responsible for it.

        A graph in my Biology textbook shows that the average temperature,
        after thousands of years of more or less staying about the same,
        suddenly began rising dramatically about the time of industrialization
        *in the United States* (we were about 50 years behind the British).
        The rise is not subtle; it is dramatic. You are simply wrong on this

        > There is nothing these guys can do but bash others. They have no
        > solutions, and the solutions they did have in the past were rejected
        > by the American people.

        And what solutions would those be? Perhaps you like the "trickle
        down" economics solution, of cutting taxes for the rich, that
        Republicans keep endorsing, and which have never, ever, in the history
        of the world, worked. Perhaps you like going to war over non-existent
        weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps you like abstinence-only
        sexuality education, as advocated by evangelical Protestants, despite
        a correlation in state levels of evangelical Protestant adherents and
        teen birth rates. Perhaps you prefer spending more money on the US
        military than the next six nations combined (State Dept., World
        Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers report). Perhaps you like
        the growing gap between rich and poor, not only in this country, but
        throughout the world. Perhaps you admire the sheer greed of
        Halliburton, which continues to garner contracts in Iraq despite
        continuing audits showing overcharges.

        So, I'm wondering, just what solutions you have to offer.

        > All
        > opinions should be heard. I blame no person or no political party
        > for the situation in the Gulf Coast, and I am offended by those that
        > choose to point fingers and assign blame for disasters such as the
        > recent hurricane. Where I was raised this is called an act of God.

        I wonder where you draw the line on "acts of God." When strip mining
        leaves ground bare and flooding results, do you call that an "act of
        God?" When people burn down the Amazon rain forest to clear land with
        topsoil so thin it can be farmed only for a couple years, or grazed
        for fast food hamburgers, and the carbon dioxide levels in the
        atmosphere rise accordingly, do you call that an "act of God?" And
        when people destroy the wetlands that can help to absorb storm surges,
        and the burn fossil fuels to raise the level of greenhouse gases, so
        as to aggravate global warming, intensifying hurricanes, you still
        call that an "act of God?"

        No, it is simply stupid. And where you assign stupidity to those who
        "choose" to live in a flood plain in all those luxurious slums, I
        assign stupidity to those who continue to advocate the destruction of
        the earth's environment. And where you assign arrogance to academics
        who call attention to these problems, I assign it to those who profit
        from them.

        But since you have so much faith, in this "God" of yours, perhaps
        you've forgotten where he gave stewardship of the earth to humans,
        meaning its *our* responsibility now. You want to blame your "God"
        for natural disasters, go right ahead, but you ignore your own
        doctrine in doing so.

        You blame no person or political party, because if you did, the finger
        would point right back at you, me, and everyone else here who lives in
        America and shares in the benefits of industrialization. The
        difference is that some of us acknowledge blame and seek improvements;
        you shrink from it and pretend it is all really okay.

        Your claims are fundamentally irrational, irresponsible, and
        incorrect. They are based on fable rather than fact, delusions rather
        than empirical evidence. And you expect your notions to carry some
        weight here. You are completely out of place.

        > I will try and bow out of further conversations (no promises) since
        > the "academics" should never be questioned or challenged. I will
        > choose to live and work in the real world and help to solve the real
        > problems in life rather than assign blame and preach from the
        > pulpit.

        And who are you to speak of the "real world?" You with your
        privileged existence, with a choice in where you live, that can call
        others stupid for having no choice in where they live? Who are you to
        speak of challenging academics when you know nothing of what you
        speak, argue from sheer falsehood, and presume to tell scientists what
        is scientific? And who are you to accuse us of preaching from the
        pulpit when you make claims from sheer arrogance, even ignorant of
        your own faith?

        Who the hell are you and what the f**k are you doing here?

        > You guys take yourselves way too seriously. You may be
        > smart, but you show a lot of ignorance about many areas of life.

        Obviously, you aren't here to learn. Funny, we all are, even those
        PhDs. Go ahead, ask 'em. See what they tell you.

        David Benfell
        There's an old proverb that says just about whatever you want it to.
        [from fortune]
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