Shorter John Tierney

Ben Franklin Had the Right Idea for New Orleans

“Another thing that the free market is the solution to, is hurricanes.”


Comments: 20


“The short answer is that New York was attacked by fire, not water.”
Wrong! NYC was attacked by hijacked aeroplanes, those big shiny things that you use to fly through the sky, idiot! Of course, his example fails to illustrate the glories of the Free Market in any event, since the Feds pledged plenty of money to NYC after 9/11, just as they are to NOLA now. Disasters are disasters. You or I are not in a position to “insure” ourselves or our families against them. What a smug fool!


I hope his house is devoured by insatiable rabid monster goats.


I hope his face is eaten off by the goats first, leaving a bloody, pulsating mask of agony.


How would you be able to tell?


Admittedly I can’t bring myself to read Tierney, but if he’s suggesting that the privatization of EVERYTHING is a good idea, he should look into who’s been responsible for disaster management in New Orleans since last year.

And even if he wrote about something else entirely, he’s still wrong.


Hnuh. Off-topic, trivial, and perhaps mentioned before, but that’s one of the most obvious photographer-arranged hand-on-chin poses in the history of the universe.


There are no libertarians in New Orleans.

Now, anyway.


See, I have this fantasy: I’m on Real Time (with Bill Maher, no less!), on a panel with Tierney. And he starts spouting this shit. And then I pause, look beatifically into the camera and sigh, “this will be worth it.” Then I turn on him and pound and pound and pound at beat and pummel his sloppy face into a sloppier slurry.

The end.


FSA: Let’s put it this way. The column contains the following proposal to New Orleans, with Tierney playing the part of the federal government:

Here’s the bargain I’d offer New Orleans: the feds will spend the billions for your new levees, but then you’re on your own.

I’m going to repeat that, because, as Lewis Black says, it bears repeating:

“…then you’re on your own.”

The profoundly appalling nature of that statement may take a while to settle in, but to suggest that the government declare actual whole cities where real actual people live and pay taxes to be not worth the trouble to take care of is on a par with the administration floating the notion that they just might nuke somebody “pre-emptively”.

These are statements that are way too surreal to be regarded as coming from what I was taught America is supposed to be. But, honestly, over the last five years, I’ve seen a whole lot of profoundly surreal behavior from this adminstration and its supporters.

You’d think I’d have stopped being horrified by now.

Famous Soviet Athlete

D. Sidhe, you’ve inspired me to just shut up and read Mr. Tyranny.

Oh, I love his quick tour through American history! Let’s just scurry past the roll the Triangle Shirtwaist fire had in insuring building safety, shall we?

This boy is big on bargains. Even at bargain rates, most people went without flood insurance – only about a third of the homes in New Orleans carried it… People don’t bother to protect themselves because they figure – correctly – that if disaster strikes they’ll be reimbursed anyway by FEMA. Yes John, the poor are so feckless. This disaster serves them right for turning down such a tempting bargain.

You and others along the coast have to buy flood insurance the same way we all buy fire insurance – from private companies that have more at stake than do Washington bureaucrats. This has inspired me to shop for insurance. Does Halliburton offer policies?

You know, this guy is just one notch below the horrors of the Bush administration. At least he offers cut-rate prices.


He reminds me of a yuppie-type who over-extended his buying and now has massive debt and looks to lawmakers for relief from his self-inflicted problems while at the same time decrying the poor that want to declare bankruptcy.
“I need help because I’m over extended. Maybe DeLay can get tax relief for us well meaning but overly financial zealous patriots.
Those damn poor are dragging ‘free enterprise’ down and asking for a handout from us taxpayers. That’s ridiculous! As soon as I fill my Ford Escapade and get my dquash game in at the Club, I’m going down there and ridicule them for not caring about us!”, John – or words to that effect.


Various conservatives I know used to insist on explaining to me that Social Security privatization would be to my benefit, and therefore I should obviously vote for Bush. To which my reply was:
“Yes, of course. Because my generation can sink all its retirement funds into the stock market, and on the off chance we get lucky, we’re set! And, hey, even if we’re stupid or unlucky, the government will step in and reinstate a classical Social Security safety net for us, because you can’t just let an entire generation die in the streets*.”

And they’d blink a lot, and pretty often, they’d get it. Tierney never did.
There are a lot of things we can do to our own benefit, but that most of us don’t, because it would be detrimental to society. And since society is what makes us human as opposed to just weird territorial apes who can vocalize elaborately at spiders that wander into our lonely caves, to most of us it’s worth preserving, even at some expense to ourselves.
Bush doesn’t seem to have gotten it either. As far as I can tell, none of them have. They want a gated compound on a hill, and an armed escort to anywhere else they intend to go.
Land of the Dead seemed pretty familiar to me. Not in a good way.

*This part of the argument made much more sense last September, frankly.


The other thing Tierney seems to forget as he extols the virtue of taking responsibility for your own disaster management is that it’s really hard to find a flood extinguisher you can keep in your kitchen.


After hurricane Andrew, seven insurance companies ran out of money and didn’t pay the covered claims of thousands. Florida taxpayers now underwrite insurers, and because of that the state of Florida is now it’s own second largest insurance provider. Of course, payouts to corporations are different and okay, while payouts to individuals smack of Socialism, which is naughty.


it’s really hard to find a flood extinguisher you can keep in your kitchen
You should have more sponges and towels. I can’t believe I’m having to explain this – it should be obvious to any true citizen that they have a responsibility to stock-up on absorbant materials in case of flood. I never go anywhere without my flannel.


Kanga: I find tampons work better. Have you *seen* those commercials?
Sure, your guy friends will mock you for buying twenty five boxes of Super’Sorb Just Stick It, but who’s laughing when the flood’s over and you’re high and dry on a fluffy bed of soggy cotton?
I think it works better if you get some blue dye. I don’t know why that would be.


Yes, DSidhe, and not only are you afloat on a bed of ultra super absorbent fluffiness, but you also get to play tennis and go swimming and do jazz dancing and leap over fire hydrants…while the short-sighted “help me mr preznit” types are all, like, miserable and questioning their own freshness.

Tierney is gonna get one hellacious smackdown if he ever gets within a city block of me. The first thing I thought when I started to read his nonsense about fire and water was, hmm, what if a hundred airplanes had crashed into a hundred buildings in New York City within the space of a few hours, numbskull? A little bit more like New Orleans, maybe. But then the ridiculosity of it all swept over me and not even my super ultra raft o’ grrrl power could save me.


If the people of southern Louisiana are to be told “…you’re on your own,” then I suggest that they take the warning literally, withdraw from the United States, and set up their own government. Then they can charge a transit fee on all the goods and materials making their way to and from the farmers, merchants and manufacturers in the vast red-state region dependent on the port facilities of the delta.

I would further suggest that they base those fees on the principle of “all the traffic will bear,” in the great tradition of unfettered free enterprise capitalism. The revenues thus produced would pay not only for Dutch-quality protection for the city of New Orleans, but would undoubtedly be sufficient to reverse the erosion of the Mississippi delta and restore the entire region to ecological soundness and economic prosperity. Naturally, the new, independent Louisiana would also claim that strip of oil-rich territory extending off its sovereign shores.

Or, the United States could simply acknowledge that it needs a well-protected metropolis at that location to operate the nation’s largest port, and use some of the wealth generated by that port to help protect both that metropolis and the swampy hinterland on which it is ecologically dependent.


time to rebuild above sea level


Tierney is breathtakingly irrelevent and has been from his first column. It’s painful to watch. Any bets as to when he’s relieved of columnist duty?


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