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    Next, He'll Give New Orleans a Tax Break

    bush.jpgQuote: "I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this." President Bush, responding to reports of lawless chaos in New Orleans

    Figure: Heterogenium (het er oh GEE nee um), the figure of distraction.

    Heterogenium is Greek for "different kind." It's a way to change the subject, distracting the audience from the main issue by, say, blaming the victim. Did looters slash the budget for fixing the dikes? Are they the reason federal help was so late in coming?

    And what does "zero tolerance" mean? That a young mother grabbing formula from a wrecked store should be treated the same as a gun nut shooting at helicopters?

    Snappy Answer: "There should be zero tolerance for politicians who call for 'zero tolerance'."

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    Reader Comments (4)

    I'm in 100% agreement--no tolerance for politicians who make such statements--especially the president!
    September 1, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterm.r.g.
    Did looters slash the budget for fixing the dikes?

    How can you fix them? They weren't broken. It's like saying you should've fixed your ford fiesta's engine after you blew it up driving 150 MPH. If you didn't push it outside its limits, it wouldn't have failed.
    September 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTom
    You tell 'em Tom! If that weather had minded its manners, nothing would have gone wrong with the dikes that hadn't been shored up in 25 years!
    The fallacy with YOUR comment is that it presumes that New Orleans should have CHOSEN not to have a hurricane if it didnt want pesky dike problems.
    September 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy
    The levees in New Orleans were poorly maintained, due to cuts in the federal budget. This is well known. The levees were actually never topped by rising water, they failed. Hence, the comparision with a blown engine is fallacious.

    Or rather, the more apt automotive comparison is failing to replace the timing chain. Preventive maintenance was neglected.
    September 28, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdave

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