Reader Feedback 09/13/2005

Our most commented-on article from last week was--predictably--"Where Was the National Guard?" Numerous of our vigilant readers wrote to let us know that we messed up and called the (male) Senator Lindsey Graham a "she." Sorry for that.

Here are some more reader emails on Katrina and the National Guard:

I think you really need to get the facts correct about the national guard as well as all of the military before you put that liberal BS in your articles. The fact is that only about 1/3 of our forces are deployed all over the world (and that is not just Iraq & Afghanistan). I believe that if the Governor of LA had asked for them, they would have been there. I also think the mayor should have used those 2K or so school busses to get those people who would leave to do so.

(Bill S.)



[The governor of LA and the mayor of NO] are the persons responsible for requesting National Guard and federal troops in the days immediately preceding and the days immediately after the disaster. Sitting on their hands for two days while the city totally ignored its own disaster plans doesn't make much sense from the persons primarily responsible for first response. The constant refusal of local and state authorities to declare martial law contributed to the terrible toll of damage and destruction. Allowing mayhem to reign supreme before "finally" asking for federal help is immoral and unethical behavior that rests directly on the local and state officials.

(Beatrice T.)

It is not correct that Governor Blanco didn't respond to the crisis. In fact, she declared a state of emergency on Saturday, August 26.



Doesn't New Orleans now qualify as a wetlands environment that should be protected? It would never be approved now if it was applying for its first building permits. Hasn't all of the Corps of Engineering work around the Mississippi negatively impacted the delta? Wouldn't rebuilding just be setting us up for another disaster in the future? Why does the Federal government insure buildings in flood plains? Why does it allow re-building? When are we going to learn?

(William K.)



On a lighter note, here's some feedback on "Mr. X in Burma":

Such a pity that Mr. X is having a difficult time opening a bar in Burma, where he seems well aware that he will be facilitating prostitution. Those girls didn't sit on their mothers' laps and say, "When I grow up, I want to be a hooker so that I can get STDs and be mistreated by pimps and johns." It's a form of slavery, not a profession. If a government wants to make it a regulated industry with worker protections, then that is a matter that can be debated. Until then, anyone who sees prostitution as a bonus attraction for their business is even more cynical than I am. Perhaps Mr. X might think himself too moral to ever be a pimp, but he wouldn't be much better than one under his business model.

(Kevin L.)



Does anybody believe "Mr. X" actually exists? I haven't read so much manufactured bad prose since Hemingway croaked. Who invented the yuppie soldier of fortune persona? This has to be some 40-year-old spinster chained to a word processor, with an unlimited supply of Dry Sack. And who calls himself an "expat" anymore? Looking to buy a bar? In exotic Rangoon? Then on to Venice. We'll always have Harry's Bar & Grill, Hortense. Excuse me, I'll just down this shot of Cinzano and we're off for more excitement in Saigon. If I get bored I'll take a bath and head for the annual running of the tourists in Cannes. If I can't find a hooker, I'll go for the Palm d'Or while watching a Paris Hilton commercial on my palm pilot. C'mon.


True to the principle that truth is often stranger than fiction, Mr. X is a real person who really was a private contractor in Baghdad and who really is globe-hopping now in search of a bar he can buy. We're going to have a serious word with him about his life being a cliché mix of Casablanca and Full Metal Jacket... an unacceptable lapse of good taste.


Posted 09-13-2005 4:39 PM by Doug Casey