[percy-l] hurricanes

J Rivas-Pita juliorivas at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 21:35:24 EDT 2005

Dear Karey,

Impeccable, in my opinion.

All these things you point out sadly remind me of Doris Lessing's 
premonitory novels such as The Four-Gated City, Memoirs of a Survivor and 

All over the world, it seems, we are being governed by -to say the least- 
very inept people.

Why this should be so I'll leave to others to explain -why the decent, good, 
intelligent, capable people let themselves be governed by the stupid or the 
corrupt (everywhere, absolutely everywhere, to the best of my knowledge)

All best wishes,


On 9/8/05, Karey <karey at kareyperkins.com> wrote:
> We need to examine what went wrong, where, with whom, and why, despite any 
> feelings that may be hurt in the process or any ill will this might engender 
> to those involved, those in power, or those anywhere: 
>   "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." (George 
> Santayana)
>  A document a few years ago: "Osama bin Laden determined to attack within 
> the United States" didn't get the attention or action it deserved from the 
> administration, with tragic results. The reasons it was ignored were never 
> explored at length or rectified. And now, despite a plethora of evidence and 
> articles that the devastation of New Orleans would be inevitable if a 
> category 5 hurricane hit, this didn't get the attention or action it 
> deserved either. As a friend of mine says, this information - widely 
> available to the public as well as the administration for many years - might 
> as well have been entitled: "Hurricane Katrina determined to attack New 
> Orleans." History is repeated.
>  Why did FEMA fail? Why did the Bush administration claim no state of 
> emergency was declared by the governor of Louisiana when the PDF copy of her 
> Aug 26 declaration and the Aug 28 memo is actually available to the American 
> public on the web? Why did the Washington Post and Newsweek reporters report 
> from an "anonymous White House source") that no state of emergency was 
> declared (when even piddling uninformed citizens such as myself saw that 
> memo contradicting their reports? Why do WP and Newsweek feel compelled to 
> protect an anonymous source that feeds them lies? Why has a group of FEMA 
> medical personnel from Atlanta been moved all over the country, a different 
> state each night, to help evacuees - but have yet to find or reach a single 
> evacuee? Are they that hard to find? What are the answers to Teresa's 
> questions? These are questions that deserve to be investigated and answered 
> - that absolutely MUST be investigated and answered for the safety and 
> well-being of the American people - not just our physical safety, but our 
> economic well-being. The cornucopia of incompetencies (if that's all they 
> were) is endless - and Teresa's questions are just the starting point - or 
> perhaps, the answers to those particular questions are at the bottom of the 
> investigation.
>  The problem isn't that the city didn't have an evacuation plan to get 
> carless or poor people out - many would have stayed anyway, as we are seeing 
> now on the news: they won't even leave NOW for a variety of reasons. And 
> people were actually safe in the Superdome and convention center during the 
> hurricane. It's how it was dealt with afterwards; it's much bigger than 
> that. Or rather - it was how it was dealt with YEARS before it happened.
>  Here's a question that is just one answer to these questions, but by no 
> means the complete answer: Why does George W. Bush fire or drive away every 
> competent person who works for and advises him (Colin Powell; former FEMA 
> director, James Lee Witt; ambassador/diplomat/expert Robert Wilson, husband 
> of ousted CIA spy Valerie Plume, who investigated the African/Iraqi WMD 
> issues) to surround himself with "yes" men - no matter how incompetent they 
> may be? Does anyone wonder why this administration is incompetent?
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> *From:* Tommy Armstrong <tfa at brickengraver.com> 
> *To:* 'Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion'<percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org> 
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 08, 2005 9:16 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [percy-l] hurricanes
> Agreement = 100% 
>   Tommy Armstrong
> PO Box 484 
> Lillington, NC 27546
> http://www.brickengraver.com
>  ...with the method of science one beholds what is generally true about 
> individuals, but art beholds what is uniquely true.
>  Walker Percy
> Signposts in a Strange Land
> *From:* percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:
> percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] *On Behalf Of *Robert_Pauley at oxy.com
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 08, 2005 12:55 AM
> *To:* juliorivas at gmail.com; percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
> *Subject:* Re: [percy-l] hurricanes
>  You have seen through my clever and condescending manipulations of 
> surnames, Mr. Rivas-Pita. Hat's off. Or may I call you Julio? I don't wish 
> to exclude you from the "fraternity." 
> But really you may be assured these surnames you find so troubling are 
> either an excess formality on my part, ignorance or uncertainty about what 
> to call people I've never met. So I admit to inconsistency. In any case, 
> you may call me Robert. 
> "Third-world" was used as a synonym for inefficiency and corruption, not 
> as a defamation of unnamed countries. I agree that such conditions may 
> obtain anywhere, including the United States, as we have seen in New 
> Orleans. This is to be deplored. What may be even worse here, however, 
> beyond the breakdown of efficiency and transparency, is a "first-world" 
> phenomenon involving a sick collusion between the media and those skilled and 
> audacious enough to exploit it, that is to say, when the corrupt make 
> preemptive attention-grabbing attacks in order to distract from their own corruptions 
> and derelictions, and the media lap it up. They lap it up because it serves 
> their need for antagonism and controversy as a "substantive" narrative to 
> their ghoulish and pandering images (a narrative they're perfectly happy 
> to see degenerate a la Maury Povich). Once this narrative departs from the 
> course they would like to see it follow, they lose interest. This collusi
> ve spectacle serves the ulterior political agenda of both. 
> Mostly I lament the slow death of Good Faith. I mean the spirit to unite 
> in the aftermath of a disaster, the resolve and stamina to examine 
> thoroughly and fairly, but at the proper time, what went wrong and who 
> failed their civic charge, and the collectively apolitical determination to 
> make things right no matter the public relations consequences. I think this 
> did exist once, to some extent. The reason this should exist is because corruption 
> and incompetence are very bad for free society, far worse than any storm. 
> Unfortunately, I don't see a return of good faith for now. Instead I have 
> a dismal vision of how this all will play out: a deepening mire of 
> recrimination, with shrill charges and counter-charges, each citing one or 
> another "official report" as evidence of their own righteousness and the 
> other's malfeasance. Meanwhile, corruption and incompetence will whistle 
> merrily along. 
>  , OSB, 1924-1996) 
> ------------------------------
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Be Happy! (Fr. Benito Ballesteros, OSB, 1924-1996)
Sé feliz! (P. Benito Ballesteros, OSB, 1924-1996)
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