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boomer1949 On January - 19 - 2010

I must admit, I’m not well-versed when it comes to Matt Taibbi.  However, I am familiar with David Brooks because he appears frequently on “The PBSNewshour.” Brooks’ column in last Sunday’s NYT put him directly in Taibbi’s crosshairs on Monday.

Not many writers would have the courage to use a tragic event like a 50,000-fatality earthquake to volubly address the problem of nonwhite laziness and why it sometimes makes natural disasters seem timely, but then again, David Brooks isn’t just any writer.

Full article here: Translating David Brooks

Categories: News & Politics, The Media

Written by boomer1949

...do the right thing because it is the right thing to do... Political Views: neutral...lean toward humanity

67 Responses so far.

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  1. KevenSeven says:

    Not every aspect of what ails Haiti is external to Haiti.

    Much as an alchohalic would be better off not drinking, some cultures would be better off moving in one direction or another.

    I think it cannot be denied that things could be better in Haiti. I think that if the Haitians came to certain understandings, like the way America has generally come to the understanding that blacks and women should be treated with the same respect as whites and men.

    What exactly should the Haitians do differently? I don’t know. But I do know that what they are doing is not working for them.

    Hell. Look at Mexico and the way the narcotrafficers have ratcheted up the violence there over the last several years. That is obviously a cultural development that is not good.

    Russia has a culture of alchoholism. I defy anyone here to defend that. America has a culture of violence. That is not good.

    The Taliban has a culture of cutting off the noses or throwing acid in the faces of girls who dare to gain an education. Who wants to defend that? Anyone?

    No. What is the point of having values if you don’t value them? I am of the opinion that women and brown people and gays are as good as men and white people and straights. That is a value that I hold. In many cultures that is not the norm. I do not respect those cultures.

    And despite what has been said, I have never said that the Haitian people are inferior to anyone else. People are born into circumstances, and sometimes those circumstances suck.

    Every person can be better than he or she is. Every culture can be better as well. I do not approve of a permanent welfare state where people can live on the dole in perpetuity, as a policy for America. I would be happy for Haiti if some effort was taken to use this horrific tragedy to see reforms there. Lord knows those people need something, and a welfare check is not what the doctor is ordering just now.

  2. KQuark says:

    Again if you want to call another culture superior over another culture, which I think is bullshit, the most superior culture I ever witnessed were the Cuna Indians who live off the coast of Panama.

    I was fortunate to take a cruise that visited the Cuna Indians and an anthropologist that lived their for decades described their culture. They are 100% matriarchal society that has had only one murder almost 400 years of recorded history since the Spaniards “discovered” them. They still live in a mostly “primitive” society even though they have limited use of things like electric generators and even have access to TVs mostly to keep track of the weather. But they still live in huts made of straw, do limited farming and kept most of their ancient traditions. They live on a series of islands just off the coast of Panama so they don’t have to contend with the ravages of the inland jungles.

    The way women rule is the power they have to set up all the marriages. A young Cuna male must marry a woman from a selected group of other tribes on other islands. The effect is a group of tribes where all the women are related, grow up and live with each other for their whole lives while the men have to deal with living in different tribes with different families. The effect of this matriarchal structure is that it prevents any concentration of power with males who are related to each other. This was actually a social change they made centuries ago because their bloodlines became too limited. In fact they still have one of the highest rates of albinoism amongst any ethnic group. We saw one albino Cuna stick his head out of his hut to see us but their lives are pretty tragic because they have to live in their huts most of their lives so they don’t get skin cancer. The woman control the most important parts of the social hierarchic while men are allowed to be figureheads to trade with the West like they have been for about almost 400 years.

    We got to stay their for a day and since I’m six feet and their are all about feet or less I felt like a giant. The funniest thing I remember is that they had a basketball court on sand. All I kept on thinking is if they saw basketball players like Shaq they would think they were giant gods or something.

    A culture with no violence now that I might call superior.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Uh, huh.

      If you had a daughter, would you want for her to live under the rule of the Taliban?

      Cultures improve, cultures decline.

      America is better than it was during Jim Crow. America can get better.

      Haitian culture could evolve in a positive way, and that would be good for the Haitians.

      I don’t know why everybody fears recognizing that.

      And I think the Danes have a pretty excellent culture. Which is better than that of the Russians.

      Ask yourself, which culture do you find more appealing?

    • Khirad says:

      I think there may or may not be something interesting about their language, but I’m probably mixing it up with another.

      I like how there was thought put into this and the Iroquoian culture. The joke about the matriarchal (or matrilineal) structure of the Celts was more an issue having to do with the relaxed mores known euphemistically as the “friendliness of the thighs”.

    • nellie says:

      Reminds me of the Iriquois — I think that’s the nation — who are governed by women because every decision they make must be considered for the impact it will have on the seventh generation. The Iriquois people decided that the women were more likely to care about those impacts than the men.

    • kesmarn says:

      KQ, as happens almost every day here, I learned something new. What a fascinating description of a culture I knew nothing about. I must say the notion of five foot tall albino basketball players gives me hope that there’s a team somewhere in the world I could play for. 😆

      But to get back to cultural comparisons: even here in the US, we have a very interesting group in our Amish population. Here is a sector that is--among many other things--virtually recession-proof.

  3. boomer1949 says:

    The reason behind my posting of the Taibbi/Brooks commentary was to bring attention to Brooks’ insensitivity to a natural disaster for which the Hatian people had absolutely no control.

    For Brooks to admonish Haiti and its citizens for his perception of what did, did not, could have, should have, would have, or whatever-the-hell other haves he had or has spinning in his holier-than-thou head was nothing short of arrogance and condescension. Brooks is a snob; he is a snob.

    Could Matt Taibbi have written a more “professional” piece? Sure, if a “professional” piece was what he was going for. I agree he probably wrote it in anger — or at least a slow burn — so what? The point is at least he had the balls to write it, and with a dash of sarcasm no less.

    All too often the likes of Brooks, O’Reilly, Scarborough, Hannity, Huffington, Rumballs, and other pundit-types are ever called out for some of the crap they spew; they do it all day, every day, seven days a week! Even God took a day off for cripes sake, so I’ve been told.

    At any rate, Matt Taibbi has not been the only one having Brooks in his crosshairs. There are others who have since taken Brooks to task:

    From workersworld.org: Racist U.S. commentators slander Haiti

    From blogs.ssrc.org: David Brooks outdoes Pat Robertson

    From fair.org: Heartless, Patronizing Haiti Pundits

    From christmyrighteousness9587.wordpress.com:
    An Open Letter to David Brooks on Haiti

    From truthout.org: An Open Letter to David Brooks on Haiti

    • Mightywoof says:

      Thanks for these links boomer -- I’m still reading them but I wanted to give you all a heads up -- the truthout.org article has a way for you to sign the open letter in solidarity (which I have done) -- I hope this link works

      http://bit.ly/898gdM

      I’m a little late to this conversation but, to add my two pennuth, Canada has a large Haitian community in Quebec and our Governor General (Michaelle Jean) was born in Haiti -- I would much rather listen to their opining on what needs to be done to help the Haitians than any pundit!

      • boomer1949 says:

        Mightwoof,

        I made another entry so it would come to the top, besides after reading many of the comments after my initial post, I had follow-up.

        Don’t worry about “being late to the party” — there’s so much to read and comment on here, I don’t think anyone is caught up — with the exception of AdLib. Sometime I think he knows what we’re typing before we hit Submit, eh? 😉

        The link worked and I signed.

  4. Khirad says:

    Threads below were gettin’ narrow.

    kesmarn said:

    Haiti might have produced a Shakespeare or a Wynton Marsalis itself.

    Choucoune


    Taken from words by Oswald Durand

    On the music front:

    Rodrigue Milien


    Wyclef Jean


    Haitian art is posted on KQuark’s “You call that Art?” article.

    The cultural relativism arguments are intricate, and there can be a combination of factors contributing to a culture’s material success -- colonialism and “reparations” to be paid by the slave revolt to the French, were not a good start. As to blaming Vodou, one could ask if they would have had independence without Dutty Boukman in the first place. It was not the first nor last time a spiritual leader served as a catalyst for such a movement. And don’t confuse culture with governments. I myself would but offer Iran and China as examples -- Russia was mentioned (maybe if they had Mediterranean real-estate and a less autocratic govt. was seriously not the argument against that culture, was it?). One with a proud literary tradition and two ancient civilizations with few peers in many regards, which I would not choose to live in at the moment -- intentionally provocative reductionist logic notwithstanding.

    • kesmarn says:

      Khirad, you make a very good point. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Haiti hadn’t produced anything culturally valuable!

      Thanks for posting such wonderful evidence of a vibrant culture.

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks for the wonderful experience. The ironic part is I started the art story a week before the quake and had already added the Haitian circle of life piece.

      • Khirad says:

        Wow, I have to admit, that is kinda spooky. I’m not given to superstition, but dang!

        I’m not sure how much this has to do with it besides the title (don’t know French), but it was on the local university channel, and I needed an excuse to post it:

        Josephine Baker -- Ha

    • Kalima says:

      Thank you Khirad, I’ve just commented about the exact same thing and left a link to the history of Haiti below.

      • Khirad says:

        I saw your comment in the middle of putting this together, Kalima, but swear I was already headed in that direction already!

        • Kalima says:

          Oh I never thought that you were not heading in the same direction for one minute. We were both rather disturbed to read that Haiti’s culture was inferior and had not produced anything, when in fact their inventive culture had even started reggae music before it was picked up by people in Jamaica, who then claimed it as their own and of course their rich and colourful art, but who needs actual facts?

  5. KevenSeven says:

    OK, everybody who feels the reflex to condemn the idea that some cultures are superior to others, tell me that you would be happy to magically become a woman living in Saudi Arabia. Or Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

    You know. Where female circumcision is commonplace. And hymen reconstruction surgery.

    Tell me that you would welcome such a change in your circumstances. Tell me of all the respect you have for those cultures.

    Or, while we are chatting, tell me of your respect for the cultural reflex in China to euthanize baby girls, because the govt has a one-child policy, and people value sons more than daughters.

    Do you respect that cultural trend?

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Whatever “reflex” is felt is against the choice of words more than the observations. There is no doubt that for various reasons many people on this globe live under oppressive cultural or governmental practices that lead to atrocities for the citizens. I freely admit I would choose where I am over the places you mention. But to say that “some cultures are superior to others” and bring up Shakespeare and jazz (wtf?) is guaranteed to rankle. It sounds pompous, and arrogates to itself the right to judge from a “superior” position.

      It
      just
      isn’t
      copacetic.

      • KQuark says:

        Looking at the history of the nineteenth and twentieth century with slavery, colonization, WWI & WWII, Nazis, Stalinists and about 200MM dead from warfare I would conclude that Western culture is inferior if I used K7’s logic.

      • nellie says:

        Or accurate.

        All one has to do is go to the Brazilian Amazon and witness the fierceness with which the indigenous people are trying to preserve their “backward” culture in the face of “progress” — THERE is a real study in values.

        • whatsthatsound says:

          Exactly! And what if one of them was to read a translation of Hamlet and say, “This is garbage! It’s just people whining and then killing each other! It doesn’t pass on any wisdom to the tribe!” would he or she be wrong? And would that make Hamlet any less great to those who DO value it?

    • nellie says:

      As I said below — people will almost always choose the familiar over the unfamiliar. Your question isn’t relevant. And even if I were to answer it, I would say that there are plenty of women in Saudi Arabia who would rather stay there than live here. I’ve seen people from many other cultures GO HOME after living here for a short while. Because they found this culture unbearable.

      It seems to me that you assume everyone has the same value set that you have. The world is full of different kinds of people with different values and priorities. When you impose yours on everyone else, you create a false measuring system.

  6. KevenSeven says:

    It would seem that Time Magazine is piling on:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100119/wl_time/08599195395900

  7. KevenSeven says:

    I pretty much always find Brooks pompous, smug and disingenuous.

    However.

    Taibbi’s column is remarkably offensive. I would expect better of a Jr High School student. It is a classic and unattractive compilation of strawmen (putting words in the other guy’s mouth in order to debate a point not actually made) and pretty revolting ad hominen attacks.

    Really. Only an infant introduces into a debate:

    “but my penis is only four and a third inches long when fully engorged”.

    Brooks’ column was wide open to an intelligent criticism. Taibbi in no way delivered any such criticism. Taibbi’s column is an example of a lazy hit job. He probably dashed it off in ten minutes. I am perfectly unimpressed with Taibbi here. Perhaps he has actually written something deserving consideration, but this column is not an example there of.

    Oh. And I have made no comment here of Brooks’ column, beyond to say that it is wide open to criticism.

    • kesmarn says:

      Granted Taibbi was over the top. But Brooks is smug. I don’t think one is more offensive than the other, when it’s all boiled down.

      Making cracks about the other guy’s “package” versus implying that floundering black communities need to be bullied into shape with “No Excuses” paternalism? Equally obnoxious.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Set aside Taibbi. Whatever Brooks wrote has no bearing on how sophomoric and stupid Taibbi was.

        Critique Brooks independently of Taibbi, if you feel so inclined.

        But I would defy you to show me a culture that features Voodoo as its primary mysticism, in which you would wish to be a common citizen.

        Not all cultures are equal.

        • nellie says:

          If you’re implying that the Haitian culture is inferior to ours — one that just killed upwards of 100,000 innocent people in Iraq for no GD reason at all — well I beg to differ.

          Don’t even get me started on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

          • kesmarn says:

            Bravo, nellie and Kalima!

            • kesmarn says:

              There’s no culture in the world in which everything is as it should be. Tens of thousands of American minority citizens will tell you that America is hardly nirvana.

              I would ask you if you would willingly live in central Detroit in 2010? If not, does that mean all of American culture sucks?

              There’s no culture in the world that is without value.

              If I lived among the poor in Haiti or anywhere else, all I could try to do is to bring whatever light and learning I could to the people around me, without judging them. The same as I do here. In the process, I would bet I’d learn a lot from them.

              If I were a woman in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, all I could try to do is to present myself as an actual human being as well. And let the chips fall where they may. Believe me, presenting as an independent human can get you into plenty of trouble all over the world--outside the Middle East as well as in it. Most especially in America.

              Oppression and brutality are always wrong. Everywhere. But there’s no country where they don’t exist to some degree.

              Love, laughter, music, dance and generosity are plentiful in Haiti, Afghanistan and elsewhere, too. No country has a monopoly on them.

              Maybe if Western “culture” hadn’t been so brutal, if France hadn’t enslaved the Haitians and then demanded 150 million gold francs in extortion money, Haiti might have produced a Shakespeare or a Wynton Marsalis itself.

            • KevenSeven says:

              All three of you:

              Tell me that you would willingly become a member of the economically lower 90% of Haitian society.

              Tell me that, and then I will know that you think that Haitian culture is equal to yours.

              If you would not be willing to join that group, then perhaps you will tell me what it is you are trying to say?

              Haitian culture is equal to yours, but you would not under any circumstances join it?

              I would be OK with being transported to Japan. I would really like transplanting to Barcelona. And Rome or Buenos Aires would be all right for many years.

              I would resist like hell moving to any part of Russia.

              Tell me that any of you would willingly become a Saudi woman living in Saudi Arabia. Or to become an Afghan woman living in Afghanistan, with the Taliban in control of your village. You know, places where female circumcision is commonplace? Tell me of your respect for those cultures.

              Show me how you think that all cultures are equal.

            • Questinia says:

              Standards of living is a different construct from culture, K7.

            • Khirad says:

              Not to be anal, but in what places are female circumcision commonplace?

              As to the great cultural relativism debate, sigh. Leave me out of this.

              And if you must go to Saudi Arabia (and I don’t recommend it, from what I’ve heard), stay on the West Coast, like Jeddah, or near enough on the east to drive to UAE over the weekend.

            • nellie says:

              I would always choose the familiar over the unfamiliar. The question isn’t relevant.

              You’re imposing your own values on everyone else. Believe me, there are plenty of people who would rather live in the cultures you describe than here.

            • Kalima says:

              Whether I dislike something in other cultures or not, doesn’t give me the right to call them inferior, especially when their culture has been around thousands of years longer than my own and my own country has killed innocent people around the world for gain.

              Oh and if I had been born there, I wouldn’t know the difference because that is how it’s always been. To ask us if we would like to live there now has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not it is right to say that they are inferior to us.

            • Kalima says:

              Someone thumbing their nose at other cultures or looking down their nose and saying that one culture is far superior to others, annoys the hell out of me.

            • Kalima says:

              If you measure the value of any culture by the yardstick of what they have produced, then I think that your expectations are quite shallow. If your country had given aid to Haiti in a way that would have benefitted the country instead of dishing it out like a food drop with 50 loaves of bread for 1000 people waiting below to catch it, maybe by now now there could have been some progress there. To condemn a country and it’s people for being dirt poor and then start to compare them to Shakespeare and jazz goes completely off my moral radar and makes my head spin.

            • nellie says:

              Me too, Kalima. It reminds me of the Europeans who came to this continent and disdained the values of the cultures here — to the point of destroying them.

            • KevenSeven says:

              People refusing to accept that some cultures are more advanced and beneficial to its members than others, trouble me.

              Anglo-Saxon culture produce Shakespeare.

              African American culture produced jazz.

              Haitian culture produced?

          • Kalima says:

            Well said nellie and don’t get me started on Hiroshima and Nagasaki either, I’ve met survivors.

        • kesmarn says:

          I must admit that I find it hilarious that I find I’m somehow placed in the position of defending incivility in debate while you’re pleading for sweet charity. This feels like turnabout from the Hitchens debate. The irony of that is delicious.

          But in the name of freedom of speech I say Taibbi has every right to rant and what’s more, parts of his rant were pretty darn amusing to those who get a chuckle out of the notion that Haitians would be better off with degrees in Marketing from the University of Phoenix. Admit it: that’s funny.

          As far as Voodoo goes--I don’t have to live in Haiti as a common or uncommon citizen--so I figure the choice is theirs. If I did live there, and felt that the Haitians dug Voodoo, I hope I would not feel obliged to judge them my inferiors.

          Americans--all citizens of the world--have an obligation to help in a disaster. Period. And leave the cultural judgements for another day.

    • Marion says:

      I have never been impressed with Taibbi, who probably got the byline at Rolling Stone based on his father’s connections with NBC, and who gets gratuitous publicity for his appearances on Bill Maher’s show, another master of the ad hominem, schoolboy levelled insult journalism.

      Taibbi’s piece was sophomoric. That it’s getting kudos at all is emblematic of how low our level of debate and critical thinkin has sunk … We are all adolescents.

      • kesmarn says:

        Marion, with all due respect, I don’t think Taibbi meant his piece to be a dispassionate intellectual critique of Brooks’ article. I think it was--frankly--written in anger, with a twist of dark humor. And maybe even, as Keven said--in some haste. But there is some basis for the outrage.

        I think he makes a point when he says that Brooks is insensitive and patronizing. It would have been more respectful--as Taibbi said--to let the bodies cool before using American middle class values to start critiquing Haiti’s multiple, long-standing problems.

        Since I’m in health care, I would compare it to approaching someone who’s just gotten a diagnosis of lung cancer and saying: “Bet you’re sorry now that you smoked for all those years.” Would that be a “true” assessment of the cause of the problem? Well, yeah. But there’s such a thing as tact and timing. Would I react with anger to someone who said that? I probably would. I might even be sophomoric in the way I expressed it. Just look at some of our comments here when we saw the Mass election results (myself included). They might be called adolescent. Or they might be called just good old fashioned outrage, expressed spontaneously.

        • KevenSeven says:

          If you insist on waiting for the bodies to cool, America will forget that it had happened.

          I don’t think that the people of Haiti are going to read Brooks’ column, so I would not be too fussy about it being insensitive.

          An excellent way to avoid turning this massive tragedy into an opportunity is to insist that all of Haiti’s troubles are external.

          • kesmarn says:

            K7, I wouldn’t be too sure that Haitians won’t ever see Brooks’ or Limbaugh’s (for that matter) assessment of their worthiness for American “charity.” I suspect that, in spite of stereotypes to the contrary, there are some literate Haitians. They would be quite justified in taking offence. And plenty of people are taking offence on their behalf.

            Brooks may have a point in going on the offensive this early on in the disaster, if Americans are as ADD as they demonstrated in Massachusetts. Best not, perhaps, to let those bodies cool before we seize this opportunity to march in there and edify that bunch of benighted cultural throwbacks…teach ’em what a work ethic and capitalism are all about. Before we know it, they’ll become proficient at selling derivatives and getting billions in government bailouts. That’s what civilized citizens who are the flower of Western thought and culture do, isn’t it?

            • KevenSeven says:

              “Best not, perhaps, to let those bodies cool before we seize this opportunity to march in there and edify that bunch benighted cultural throwbacks

            • kesmarn says:

              If you read the article, that is, in essence, exactly what Brooks said.

            • KevenSeven says:

              Don’t lump Brooks with Limpballs. That is plain careless.

              I am not endorsing any particular remedy to the troubles of Haiti. But I think I can observe without fear of contradiction that what we have done in the past has not worked.

              As my wife observed: the Haitians with any gitty-up and go have gotten up and gone.

              Unemployment in Haiti is at what? 80%? What a mess. And they are not poor because I am a mean asshole, even if I am a mean asshole. They are poor because their culture does not promote wealth and industry.

              Brooks is plumb lazy and wrong to compare the Chinese to the Haitians, in no small part because the Chinese have achieved what they have over the last two decades because they have a three thousand year history of an advanced nation state with a strong, dictatorial executive, and an effective and massive bureaucracy. The Haitians have a history of dictatorship, but that is it.

              The Chinese also have a culture that rewards industriousness. And I don’t give a rat’s pitoot if Taibbi does not like it.

            • kesmarn says:

              China just might be wealthier because the entire nation hasn’t been occupied, enslaved and exploited by a foreign invader, which then paradoxically demanded something that looks a lot like reparations, and took 100 years to repay.

  8. Kalima says:

    Some people should be shipped off to an isolated island for thinking out loud, David Brooks is just one of them.

  9. bitohistory says:

    i have read Brooks in our local paper, heard him On NPR and watched him on PBS all in the same week. I have noticed he can give 3 different opinions all on the same subject. Point is Brooks is full of “sugar.” He goes off what he heard at the cocktail party the night before he writes or speaksafter filtering through his pompous-assed brain

  10. boomer1949 says:

    btw -- Thanks Editor on Duty! :-)

  11. SueInCa says:

    Great catch there Boomer. I have not seen alot of comment by republicans in general on this tragedy, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places.

    • boomer1949 says:

      Actually, and I must confess, I was perusing the “other place” this morning and found it by accident. Rather than give the “other place” points by using their link, I went to the original post and took it from there.

      Unfortunately, it took me awhile to figure out the quote box, and I finally got frustrated trying to link “Full Article Here” to the actual post.

  12. kesmarn says:

    OMG, Boomer, this article is a brilliant find, and I’m almost speechless after having read it. Talk about rapier-like wit. OUCH! Taibbi completely disassembled Brooks and left the tiny pieces scattered all over the internet.

    Imagine the arrogance of Brooks, though! Talk about blaming the Haitian victims!
    The first of many things that strike me would be the remarks about the Haitian building standards. “The buildings weren’t constructed to withstand an earthquake.” NO KIDDING? They haven’t had an earthquake in 200 years. Gee, Mr. Brooks ya think all that concrete and rebar might have been meant to make a structure that could survive a HURRICANE? How’s that for a concept? Haiti has those all the time! Any logic in building for what actually DOES present the most likely threat?

    Brooks’ assumptions that white, middle class American values are the only valid ones on the planet are jaw-dropping. As is his utter lack of compassion and any sense of decorum. I’ll grant him the fact that Haiti had some major problems before the earthquake, but to pile on now. Really, sir, at long last, have you no decency?

    Maybe Taibbi was a bit rough on him. But I think Brooks asked for it.

    Thanks for posting, boomer!

    • KevenSeven says:

      All Things Considered had a long investigation into Haitian structures and utter lack of a building code.

      They interviewed the only seismic/structural engineer in the whole country. He quite expressly said that there are no codes or enforcement in Haiti. Of any sort.

      For the obvious reasons: The nation is brutally impoverished. If the “government” were to enforce Miami or LA level codes, only about ten thousand Haitians would have any sort of roof over their heads.

      The same is true for Cairo, BTW. And apartment buildings collapse of their own weight on a regular basis. I dare say the same is true in every poor nation.

      Was All Things Considered racist for running a report on this topic?

      • bitohistory says:

        Miami and all of Florida didn’t have very strict hurricane codes until after Hugo wiped out whole sections of Homestead.
        I know of NO seismic codes in Florida!

      • kesmarn says:

        Kev, I’m not saying pre-earthquake Haitian buildings were up to code. I’m saying the people were probably doing the best they could with few trained engineers to build structures that might survive a hurricane. I don’t see why people would be surprised that they didn’t plan ahead for earthquakes. Why would they? Granted--it’s best to plan ahead for every contingency. But not many dirt poor countries can do that. Brooks didn’t seem to get that…or a lot of other stuff for that matter.

    • boomer1949 says:

      kesmarn,

      No, I don’t believe Taibbi was too hard on him, he probably wasn’t hard enough.

      Have you ever seen him on “The PBS Newshour?” He and his counterpoint, Mark Shields are on a couple of times a week, and I’ve also read his commentary in my local paper.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

      As I told Sue, I was perusing the “other place” this morning and fhound it there. However, rather than give them points by using their link, I went straight to the original post.

      Oh, and you’re absolutely correct. He deserved it, and it should happen more often. Now, if we could only nail the rest of them!


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