Friday, January 15, 2010

Naomi Klein a Dweeb as Normal.

As usual, liberals and progressives create these "deep thoughts" of understanding about how politics is manipulated to shape society but fail to use the same analytical tools to understand their own ideological manipulations and contortions. The usual suspects had pointed out a blog post by Naomi Klein entitled: Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again.

Starting with the linked comment of "unpopular pro-corporate policies" which instead of linking to something "unpopular" she links to Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas This list appeared in an email sent by Rep. Paul Teller on September 13, 2005. But she failed to tie Paul Teller's letter to the Heritage Foundation. Pretty sloppy. Secondly the document she is upset about was to Things to Remember While Helping Haiti. While providing no actual reason to oppose their ideas or to even a chance to elaborate on those ideas she quotes a portion that she feels epitomizes her feelings without a substantial commentary.
"In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region."

Yes, it does provide opportunities simply as the old structures are destroyed then new and hopefully better social as well as political and economic structures can form. Her meddling in their affairs are not likely to help them, but I do wonder why she would be against the US improving its image unless she really does hate the USA. A portion of their post is below:
The U.S. government response should be bold and decisive. It must mobilize U.S. civilian and military capabilities for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform. President Obama should tap high-level, bipartisan leadership. Clearly former President Clinton, who was already named as the U.N. envoy on Haiti, is a logical choice. President Obama should also reach out to a senior Republican figure, perhaps former President George W. Bush, to lead the bipartisan effort for the Republicans.

Seems like reasonable suggestions but not for the Liberals that I guess have a problem with the Heritage Foundation as Thom Hartmann also has a problem in his blog post entitled Haiti & George W Bush
Yesterday, following the tragic earthquake in Haiti, the conservative Heritage Foundation suggested that “President Obama…reach out to a senior Republican figure, perhaps former President George W. Bush, to lead the bipartisan effort” to assist the beleaguered Caribbean country. Indeed, it is now being reported that Obama has asked the former Republican president to join with U.N. special envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton to raise funds for the nation. What a great idea. Maybe Bush will bring along with him Condi Rice, who was shopping for shoes in New York while people died in New Orleans, or Brownie, who did such a heck of a job, or John McCain, whose birthday party Bush attended while people were drowning in New Orleans? Isn’t this a bit like asking the underwear bomber to head up a fundraising program for airport security? Some people are speculating that Bush will turn down the offer specifically because he’s concerned his involvement will remind people of the thousands of people he let die in New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Obviously Thom is just a partisan hack as people also died in floods already during the Obama presidency also. I posted a comment on his blog also.

In addition to suggesting that we use US resources to the fullest possible and suggesting that George Bush help create bipartisanship efforts at the relief efforts the writer for Heritage Foundation also suggests for stopping illegal drug trafficking, counter negative publicity by socialist countries and lastly to insure that aid actually gets to those that need it most. Nothing really that controversial.

Let us look at the hypocrisy that Naomi shows so openly in her own blog, just using a couple from recent blog posts. Her most recent recent was also published at CommonDreams entitled Ten Things the US Can and Should Do for Haiti. Let me briefly respond to each point with my comments in bold:
One. Allow all Haitians in the US to work. The number one source of money for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers in the US back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a chance. Haitians in the US will continue to help when the world community moves on to other problems.
I will agree with that including unlimited H1B applications from Haiti and I would suspect that Heritage Foundation might even agree with us on that matter.
Two. Do not allow US military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians. Hungry Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which will militarize the humanitarian relief - but do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Do not demonize the people.
OK. Well then who will maintain order? Do you think that people will all now act civilized? Did the writer ever experience when police and civil service units just collapse? Well it is not a pretty sight.
Three. Give Haiti grants as help, not loans. Haiti does not need any more debt. Make sure that the relief given helps Haiti rebuild its public sector so the country can provide its own citizens with basic public services.
I am sure that is in the plans but it could also use loans when long term development is important. Just reading the book "Dead Aid" and too much aid may actually hurt development for Haiti as it already has shown little benefit from aid to Haiti.
Four. Prioritize humanitarian aid to help women, children and the elderly. They are always moved to the back of the line. If they are moved to the back of the line, start at the back.
OK by me, but then how do you expect even a line to form let alone civil and organized humanitarian aid distribution without guns and men? Which violates guideline number 2.
Five. President Obama can enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with the stroke of a pen. Do it. The US has already done it for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan and Somalia. President Obama should do it on Martin Luther King Day.
NP, and Heritage Foundation might agree with that also.
Six. Respect Human Rights from Day One. The UN has enacted Guiding Principles for Internally Displaced People. Make them required reading for every official and non-governmental person and organization. Non governmental organizations like charities and international aid groups are extremely powerful in Haiti - they too must respect the human dignity and human rights of all people.
Sure respect but who will maintain that respect when the scorpions of society try to hoard or steal more than their share?
Seven. Apologize to the Haitian people everywhere for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.
Not hardly as those are two individual citizens of the USA. Silly idea even on the surface as I might expect all the world leaders to apologize to me for any transgressions by any member of their society.
Eight. Release all Haitians in US jails who are not accused of any crimes. Thirty thousand people are facing deportations. No one will be deported to Haiti for years to come. Release them on Martin Luther King day.
I believe that has been addressed and seems reasonable.
Nine. Require that all the non-governmental organizations which raise money in the US be transparent about what they raise, where the money goes, and insist that they be legally accountable to the people of Haiti.
Wrong again, it is a transfer from US citizens to Haiti and it must be legally accountable to US citizens. Haiti has no legal system now anyway. It is our responsibility to make sure that we have done everything to insure we are doing no harm not Haitians.
Ten. Treat all Haitians as we ourselves would want to be treated.
Doh! But in that case let them have complete and total access to our import markets. Let them immigrate more to the USA and encourage FDI in Haiti. That is all good neoliberal policies.

But the real kicker in their blog posts is one by Naomi Klein entitled For Obama, No Opportunity Too Big To Blow. Nothing in my opinion more easily shows "shock socialism" as reading her plans for how she would have "capitalized" on the situation.
Blown Opportunity Number 1: The Stimulus Package
When Obama came to office he had a free hand and a blank check to design a spending package to stimulate the economy. He could have used that power to fashion what many were calling a "Green New Deal"—to build the best public transit systems and smart grids in the world. Instead, he experimented disastrously with reaching across the aisle to Republicans, low-balling the size of the stimulus and blowing much of it on tax cuts. Sure, he spent some money on weatherization, but public transit was inexplicably short changed while highways that perpetuate car culture won big.

Most definitely using the financial crisis to not "stimulate" the economy but actually to transform society in how Naomi thinks would work. She may even have a point about a "Green New Deal" but sadly she will not address that she is a devoted member of the Shock Socialists. I will bypass point number two as it falls under this same category of shock socialism.
Blown Opportunity Number 3: The Bank Bailouts
Obama, it's worth remembering, also came to office with the big banks on their knees -- it took real effort not to nationalize them. Once again, if Obama had dared to use the power that was handed to him by history, he could have mandated the banks to provide the loans for factories to be retrofitted and new green infrastructure to be built. Instead he declared that the government shouldn't tell the failed banks how to run their businesses. Green businesses report that it's harder than ever to get a loan.

Imagine if these three huge economic engines—the banks, the auto companies, the stimulus bill—had been harnessed to a common green vision. If that had happened, demand for a complementary energy bill would have been part of a coherent transformative agenda.

Obviously a socialist is writing this and sadly it borders on Fascism in trying to force the mending of "classes" or industries to perform "social needs" above profits. Naomi thinks that "Man-Dating" actually creates jobs or can improve the economy.

As far as green businesses, I am sure they are like a lot of small businesses and find it harder to get financing. That was one reason the Fed has injected so much liquidity into the system, but making man-dates does not simply: "dramatically reengineer the failing industry so that its factories could build the infrastructure of the green economy the world desperately needs." It takes consumers that find your products of higher value than the alternatives.

Naomi Klein is a shock socialist!