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September 19, 2005

How They Do It

-- by Dave Johnson

Following is an e-mail that is circulating. This came from a friend who got it from a friend who works at a major defense contractor.

This is how they do it. Read between the lines. This is a series of propaganda points reinforcing a long-term strategic narrative ("government is bad") disguised as humor. This stuff works.

Subject: humor - responses

How various governmental entities might have responded to hurricane Katrina...

US Postal Service - Takes two weeks to deliver supplies to New Orleans; 10% of the supplies are lost. Nevertheless, demands that no private firm be allowed to deliver supplies. Recipients must wait in line for hours at a few inconvenient offices to receive their supplies. A few postal workers fire guns at recipients. Asks for a postage increase.

NASA - Evacuates New Orleans for two years while they study the problem. Eventually, rebuilds the levees exactly as before, but installs a network of television cameras to watch the levees. As soon as the city is repopulated, the levees leak again. Asks for more money.

FDA - Same as NASA, except 10 years, no television cameras, and when the levees leak, sues the levee manufacturer and demands that all cities with levees be closed.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - Requires all evacuees to pass through a metal detector and remove their shoes for inspection. Evacuees without shoes, not covered by regulations, are required to stay in the city. Maintains a secret "no-evacuate" list. Asks for more money.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) - Surrounds New Orleans with snipers and shoots anyone attempting to escape. Eventually requests military support to bomb the city with napalm. Afterwards finds some unregistered firearms in the rubble; officially exonerated for its actions. Asks for more money.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac - lobby to create "Cindy Lou", the Catrina National Disaster Loan Unit (CNDLU), specializing in zero-down-payment, below-prime loans to homes likely to be destroyed in five years or less. In ten years, amasses a portfolio of $500 billion in loans. Insists it doesn't need a bailout.

Child Protective Services (CPS) - removes all the children of New Orleans from their parents, on the grounds that their parents are unable to provide a safe and clean home. Relocates the children to foster homes in Baghdad. Asks for payment for each child relocated.

CIA - Sends covert operatives to 20 other American cities to report on the water level. Concludes that there is no flood risk. Asks that its budget be secretly increased.

Congress - Holds six months of hearings to investigate the problem, finally placing blame on some low-level staff workers at the NOAA. Passes new legislation banning hurricanes from entering the continental U.S. Votes itself a pay raise.

Supreme Court - Concludes that hurricanes are an Act of God, and by a 5-4 vote, bans them from federal property and public schools. The dissenting opinion holds that it should be up to the states to decide if they want hurricanes in their schools.

FEMA - See Postal Service.

I suspect this originated in a Washington-based "conservative movement" think tank because of references to the initials of agencies, knowing what NOAA does, insider joke about the FDA drug approval process, throwing in a reference to the evils of gun registration... Also note the dig at the CIA - you didn't used to see something like that.

Is this a sign of what's coming? Bush's Katrina response proves that government is bad...?

Posted by Dave Johnson at September 19, 2005 5:01 PM

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Comments

Yes it is funny Dave, and it's funny that you can't guarantee success but you can guarantee failure.

Imagine Lance Armstrong spending his days on the couch drinking Budweiser and smoking Marlboros instead of training and eating right.

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 12:27 AM

I ran into one today that really burned me up. I was visiting friends in a public place so I saw person A read it and say "good one!" before showing it to person B who thought it was very good as well.

It was an email that started off talking about how the rich were hurt as much by Katrina as the poor and how the hurricane didn't discriminate then it went on to talk about how giving everybody was and how many church groups were doing such wonderful work.

The next paragraph says "What I didn't see" The ACLU, the NAACP and another liberal group. Didn't see them feeding or helping out in any way.

Of course I said that it felt hateful and that I knew a lot of people in those groups who gave to those efforts, but we gave through other avenues.

Some days what we are up against seems insurmountable.

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 4:34 PM

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