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Disclosure: my wife used to live in Fargo. Her grandmother and aunt and uncle live there right now and have evacuated their house. I've been jumping up and down to tell them not to be a hero and get out. My wife lived in Grand Forks in 1997 when it was flooded. This is very real for me, but more real for them. But this is a yin and yang moment for me in a lot of ways. There's so much wonderful to be seen in the people of Fargo working together to protect each other. Through the snow, the mud, the inclement weather, and the frustrations, they're still working. It's something else.

Of course it's all sad that this has to be done. Another American city stands on the cusp of destruction at the hands of nature, and, possibly, due to ill preparedness. Now is not the time to get into accusations, but after 1997 Grand Forks, ND, and East Grand Forks, MN raised their levees significantly higher than the 1997 flood levels. The water level is higher there because more water comes in. Fargo, apparently, has not raised their levees in the same proportion.

Then I start hearing things that make me want to vomit. For example, Fargo is going to be OK because they aren't a bunch of welfare queens according to one commenter at NPR.


Just read this and be in awe.

B G (rlane1) wrote:
Wow! Very different reaction than New Orleans after Katrina. Where are the people on the rooftops screaming for government assistance?? Oh, that's right, they are self-sufficient hardworking people who take care of themselves and their families. It is not the government's fault that hundreds of poor black people couldn't heed the warning (4 days notice) and get out on their own. They stayed at their own risk, and then they blamed Bush. This is the sad state of our country.

I'm proud of those people in North Dakota for taking action and taking care of themselves and their property without blaming the government for an act of God.
March 27, 2009 3:20:18 PM PDT

Just in case NPR gets its act together and deletes that trash, the screen pic is here.

Look, the comparisons are going to be inevitable. We're going to watch—again—as a major American city is substantially destroyed by water. I'm sure there will be plenty of people that will point out that the government was more on top of getting the lilly white folks out of Fargo. I'm sure that may be true, but this is an apples and oranges situation.

But this kind of comment, I mean that's not an isolated example. This kind of seething anger is all over. It's aimed at AIG (rightfully, I think), it's aimed at "irresponsible homeowners" (yeah, they're sorry for losing a job, assholes). Has it always been there? Yeah. But these trying economic times seem to be taking fear and loathing to a new peak.

What kind of human being uses one disaster to disparage the "black people" who were apparently too stupid to leave New Orleans. Some of them didn't get word. Some of them had no way out, you fucking ass hole.

And so it's like implicit in this comment that by "self-sufficient" he means white. Well, there are—news flash—people on welfare in North Dakota. There are even a few minorities there. But the Red River of the North isn't going give you a drug test, a means test, or ask you if you're on welfare when it floods out the town.

I'm so upset I can't even type a coherent diary. What's the matter with people.

Anyway, three cheers for the people of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba for coming together in all of this. Can we say that without saying bad things about others. kthx?

Originally posted to Attorney at Arms on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 12:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why is the comparison inevitable? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Addison, Eloise

    More importantly, why are you getting so exercized over a blatant racist's comment on their website?  NPR can't control what someone off the street says on their comment section.  It would seem to me that leaving the comment up sheds far more light on the idiocy of the poster than any implied endorsement by NPR of the statement...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 12:56:23 PM PDT

    •  I don't think… (4+ / 0-)

      …you read my diary. I think you just posted a comment after reading a few words.

      (1) I never said NPR could or should control it. They can do what they want.

      (2) I never said this was about this one comment. I used it as a specimen. As I stated, this is not the only one. I'm hearing this basic argument everywhere.

      (3) It's not my opinion that the comparison is inevitable. I said "apples and oranges" if you read my diary, which you didn't. But people have and will make it. Don't pretend.

      Anyway, new rule: if you don't actually read a diary, STFU. Is that a new rule?

      Palin: I can see Russia from my house! Obama: I can see Lafayette Park from mine.

      by Attorney at Arms on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Is A Standard Wingnut Meme (5+ / 0-)

        When a river floods, you walk 10 or 20  blocks uphill and you're safe. Heck, the sun may even be shining. It doesn't involve trying to drive 400 miles on gridlocked highways as a hurricane bears down.

      •  I read it. (0+ / 0-)

        It only occurred to me to put Katrina and Fargo together when you brought it up.  These are completely different circumstances.  You only quoted one comment, and mentioned similar others without links, so that's what I have to go on.  I grew up in the deep South and lived there far too long to get horrified by racism (I am far more surprised by its absence anymore), so forgive me if I am a little underwhelmed by your indignation here.  The poster you quoted is a rather shocking asshole, even to me, and I would be dissapointed if others at the NPR site weren't already shouting him down.

        You should probably walk away from the keyboard for awhile...

        No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

        by jarhead5536 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:16:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The same things were said (6+ / 0-)

      last summer when Iowa flooded.  All that "hardworking, honest" folk crap, people asking "Where's the looting?"  

      It's what they do.  Count on it.

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no comparison (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doctorj2u, chigh
      Fargo's flood is an act of nature. New Orleans flood was man made, more precisely, the aging levees, which should have been repaired under the SELA program (but were not because Bush stole the money) failed. Katrina did NOT flood New Orleans, it was barely a Cat3 when it hit. Katrina had passed when the levees gave way.

      Skunks Stink. Republicans Lie. It's their nature.

      by azureblue on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've always said the Internet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, pinkomommy

      is a veritable wonderland for moronic racists and general loons.  But I do think the comparison is inevitable simply because every time a disaster comes up, especially one having to do with water, the moronic bigots come out of the woodwork.

      Ann Compton to President Obama: "Wait! You're black?!!"

      by dlh77489 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:37:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 12:57:28 PM PDT

  •  The only way they'll be comparable is if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Toby Keith comes out and says "Barack Obama doesn't care about white people."

  •  Uhgg... we live in a flood plain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    David Brooks IS the Queen of Sheba.

    by namnick on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:00:25 PM PDT

  •  gahhh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, doctorj2u, luckylizard

    That quote makes me sick to my stomach.

    You wanna know my political ideology? Listen to "Fight with Tools" by the Flobots

    by rexymeteorite on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:05:43 PM PDT

  •  Fighting back (8+ / 0-)

    Here's the lovely version that shows up in a reader blog at Boston Globe reader blog

    Just a personal I watched the news coverage of the massive flooding in the Midwest with the levee's about to break in Fargo, ND, what amazed me is not what we saw, but what we didn't see...

    1. We don't see looting.
    1. We don't see street violence.
    1. We don't see people sitting on their rooftops waiting for the government to come and save them.
    1. We don't see people waiting on the government to do anything.
    1. We don't see Hollywood organizing benefits to raise money for people to rebuild.
    1. We don't see people blaming President Obama. (Except for Don Marchant, post #30)
    1. We don't see people ignoring evacuation orders.
    1. We don't see people blaming a government conspiracy to blow up the levees as the reason some have not held.
    1. We don't see the US Senators or the Governor of North Dakota crying on TV.
    1. We don't see the Mayors of any of these cities complaining about the lack of state or federal response.
    1. We don't see or hear reports of the police going around confiscating personal firearms so only the criminal will be armed.
    1. We don't see gangs of people going around and randomly shooting at the rescue workers.
    1. You don't see some leaders in this country blaming the bad behavior of the North Dakota flood victims on "society" (of course there is no wide spread reports of lawlessness to require excuses).

    Not be outdone another ass-hat writes:


    "Icy runways would have to be cleared, roads would have to be plowed."

    Do you have any idea even where these pictures were taken? It's Fargo, ND / Moorhead, MN and NOT Siberia. They even have an International airport where real planes, even big ones, can land there.

    I do agree with you that NoBama needs to stay away. These are real people who can look you in the eye and give you a firm handshake ... no teleprompter required.

    That put me above my own personal flood stage.

    I wrote back (hasn't shown up yet) and pointed out that the "real people" of Cass County ND (Fargo) went 53-46 for Obama.  The "real people" of Clay County MN (Moorhead) went 57-41 for Obama.

    The willingness of right-wing crazies to spin ANYTHING and EVERYTHING completely pssies me off sometimes.

  •  diarist nails it. Racism (0+ / 0-)

    we won't hear idiots in congress musing aloud about whether a city on a flood prone river should bother with rebuilding.
    We won't see no bid contracts that are actually no-work contracts.
    We won't see poisonous trailers delivered months late...
    The latter two are because there's a new govt, but the first is because those "hardworking" folks are lily white.
    I mean no slam against the people of Fargo. Just the hypocritical asses who have such a different take on what is virtually the identical catastrophe.

    BTW I got the following flood info from this link.

    Red River major flood history last 100 years:

    I love my home. It's even paid for. But, damn, i'd consider moving if i had a history like that threatening me.

    During the campaign, CHANGE was always in caps. I will not settle for small change.

    by kamarvt on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:21:49 PM PDT

  •  well a few things: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty

    Fargo is 90K people, quite a few yes but it is not a major US city, it doesn't even crack the top 250, and the flood is not going to destroy it in any fashion close to what New Orleans was. This is not minimizing the effect of the flood or the importance of the city but you are doing the same thing you are railing against, to a degree, you are comparing the two disasters to one another when they are pretty dissimilar except that they occur on American soil and involve water.

    The comment section of any news outlet is going to be filled with absolute tripe, it is one of the great joys the Intermocracy has brought us, so... you said you have seen/heard this elsewhere?

    Yeah the anger is out there in general right now, but that is at least due in part because we live in such unsettled times, this anger has been with us for awhile but has been exacerbated recently by the financial uncertainty. AIG? As bad as it was/is they are essentially a scapegoat right now, and people are trying to make political hay out of it.

    I am sorry, but you are right, this isn't terribly coherent. It is up to you if you want to e blinded by rage over idiots on the internet, it is also up to you how you handle it.

    "Biden's tears did more for the equality Of the sexes than Palin's presence" - Leah Renna

    by edgeways on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:23:32 PM PDT

    •  Seen elsewhere? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a pretty common "comparison" showing up in many comment threads on the Dakota flooding story. As you note, such comment threads are well filled with tripe, and this just happens to be the "tripe du jour, ala mode" if you will.

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 01:40:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dog Whistles are Blowing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, rockhound, pinkomommy

    The Dog Whistles are constant now on the Right, urgently blowing their shrill messages:

    It's us versus them.   Us, the "real (White) America" against them, the aliens in the cities and suburbs, blacks, hispanics, asians, immigrants and white traitors (mostly communists) who are trying to take it from us.   We have to stand up (read: head to the gun store) together with other real Americans (Joe the Plumber), against the fake Americans who've managed to put this Socialist (IS HE EVEN AMERICAN?) into the WHITE House.

    How bitter, small and petty this person is, to turn a scene of people fighting for their homes, families, and community into a weapon of hate and contempt.

  •  If it's inevitable, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound, Hastur, chigh

    then let's make sure to include a few relevant facts:

    Fargo/Moorhead has a population of about 100,000.  If memory serves, NOLA's was in excess of 2 million.  

    The Red River floods almost every year - this event is extreme, but some amount of flooding is expected by the residents.  They are prepared for it.  They don't need to loot the local Wal-Mart for food and water, because at least one of the local Wal-Marts is probably still open for business and will  remain so throughout this disaster.  

    Nobody is herding the residents of Fargo to the convention center, or the SuperDome and telling them they have to wait there for rescue.

    The Red River will never trap and drown people in second story attics - the topography is too flat, the water will flood miles of farmland, and cause huge amounts of property damage, but it will not sit in a 30 foot bowl and stagnate for a week until it can be pumped out again.  Fargo residents won't have to worry about heat stroke, dehydration, dysentery, or cholera.  

    FEMA is no longer run by Brownie.  That's a biggie.

    Best of all, there are no water moccasins in Fargo.  ;)

    Steny Hoyer = a slam dunk argument for term limits

    by jlynne on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 02:18:40 PM PDT

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