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Author Topic: Broussard on Meet The Press
FiredrakeRAGE
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RickyB said:
quote:
In any case, while Giuliani's way is indeed preferrable, I'd argue that I'd rather have the leader who breaks down crying than the one that can't get the dumb smirk off his face, or refrain from blithely picking out his absolutely most negligent and incompetent underling for public praise.
<chuckle> Not naming any names, right? [Smile]

--Firedrake

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
I agree that Giuliani's public reaction was preferrable to Broussard's (although if Jefferson Parish has suffered anything like NO, then Broussard has been hit far harder than Giuliani).

In any case, while Giuliani's way is indeed preferrable, I'd argue that I'd rather have the leader who breaks down crying than the one that can't get the dumb smirk off his face, or refrain from blithely picking out his absolutely most negligent and incompetent underling for public praise.

True. I can't believe Bush has singled out Norman Mineta for praise. [Wink] [Eek!]
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EDanaII
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@ Everard:
quote:
Because it shows a serious lack of empathy. You haven't gone through what he's gone through, and yet you are criticizing him for having an emotional reaction. Attacking ANYONE for having an emotional reaction to a devastating event is shameful. We can't really control our emotions in extreme circumstances, and everyone reacts differently to them, and we don't know how we, ourselves, would react to that cirucmstance until we experience it.
So, how about the people who are shooting at the rescue workers in New Orleans? Should we not attack them for their bad behavior? Is it shameful that we do so? Are we showing a serious lack of empathy to their pain? Or are we, as with Broussard, demanding that they use their heads and think their problems through?

Once again, a false dichotomy is being offered here. People who suffer great emotional trauma are STILL accountable for their actions. A man's pain is STILL not a "get out of jail free" card.

Ed.

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Everard
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Actions, yes, emotions, no, and you're holding him accuntable for his emotions.

You are still mis-characterizing what I'm saying, Ed.

"Once again, a false dichotomy is being offered here. People who suffer great emotional trauma are STILL accountable for their actions. A man's pain is STILL not a "get out of jail free" card."

The only bad logic going on here, Ed, is yours. Its called "straw man."

[ September 06, 2005, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Jesse
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Ed, sorry, comparing the fact that this man broke down in tears to commiting an act of attempted murder is disgusting.

Lincoln spent a good deal of his time weeping during the darkest days of the Civil War, at least according to his close friends and family. I wonder if he would have been able to keep it together in public had he been expected to do hours of face to face press coverage?

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velcro
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Ed,

In fits and starts, you make a valid point. Broussard did not show good leadership when his emotions caused him to accuse people of murder.

However, your condescending tone ("cry like a baby") overshadowed any attention that point should have gotten. And rather than cut the guy some slack, since his whole world is destroyed, on his watch, you nail him for being a "bad leader". Fine, add him to the 99.9% of the leaders in the world that would behave the same way under those conditions.

What if he cried like a baby to beg people to send money to help? What if he cried like a baby to express frustration at the insurgency in Iraq, thereby increasing support for the war there? Would he still be pathetic? Is it the emotion, or the cause?

If it is the emotion, then I disagree with the contempt. Crying is not shameful. If it is the cause, then you are entitled to your opinion, based on the fact that you don't agree with the cause. But don't call the guy pathetic when he did an inconceivably difficult job to the best of his ability, and you don't agree with his politics.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Velcro said:
quote:
If it is the emotion, then I disagree with the contempt. Crying is not shameful.
Yes, it is. Feeling emotion is fine. Demonstrating helplessness in a public setting when people are looking to you for leadership is not fine.

In another topic I separated anger from sadness for a reason. Anger stimulates action. Sadness does not. There is no cause not to feel sadness over the massive numbers of casualties caused by Katrina. However, some self control should be demonstrated by a leader in a public setting.

--Firedrake

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Everard
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"Yes, it is."


I feel contempt for your lack of humanity for expressing this position.

However sound your reasoning may be, however much I may respect your debating skills, that is outweighed by your complete lack of empathy and compassion as demonstrated by this statement. Without empathy and compassion, all the logic in the world is useless, because you won't reach conclusions that are humane. Untempered by humanity, logic and intellect are useless in any sphere where the discussion touches upon human life and livlihood. And that most CERTAINLY includes politics.

[ September 06, 2005, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Everard
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Again, if you want to say the effect of breaking down is bad, thats one thing. If you want to express contempt for the man because he's human, it simply shows that you really don't have any empathy, and are worthy of the utmost contempt.
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The Drake
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Contempt, no. Lack of admiration, yes. I think Ev and I are not too far off on this, which makes me a little afraid.

I also think that more than a little of this is cultural, even within the context of the United States. In the New England where I grew up, crying was most definitely shameful for men, and not even very acceptable for women.

Any emotion is something to be handled privately or not at all. But I've learned that not everyone is raised or chooses to live that way, so my comments remain tempered by that understanding. But how I "feel" about Broussard, nobody wants to hear that outburst.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard said:
quote:
If you want to express contempt for the man because he's human, it simply shows that you really don't have any empathy, and are worthy of the utmost contempt.
I keep saying this. I have no problem with him breaking down - in private.

--Firedrake

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Everard
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I have a SERIOUS problem with you thinking that everyone, even all leaders, are capable of not breaking down when talking about hte situation which is causing them extreme emotional trauma. Private, public, I don't care. I think your position is dispicable.
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The Drake
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I continue to disagree. If you know you are going to break down or freak out, stay away from the press. Why do you think Bush never hold press conferences or open town hall meetings [Razz]
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Everard
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How does he know he's going to break down? No one knows until they are in that situation. How do we know he didn't have good composure until he got in that situation? Its completely possible he was in an emotional state where he believed he wasn't going to break down, and then he got on the show, and started talking, and reacted to the situation of talking publicly about a massive tragedy that he was powerless to prevent... and broke down quickly.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard said:
quote:
I have a SERIOUS problem with you thinking that everyone, even all leaders, are capable of not breaking down when talking about hte situation which is causing them extreme emotional trauma. Private, public, I don't care. I think your position is dispicable.
If he cannot speak rationally on the topic, he should not be speaking publically. It is one thing for J.Q. Public to do so. It is another thing entirely to do so when you are being looked to for clear-headed leadership.

--Firedrake

[ September 06, 2005, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: FiredrakeRAGE ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard said:
quote:
How does he know he's going to break down? No one knows until they are in that situation. How do we know he didn't have good composure until he got in that situation? Its completely possible he was in an emotional state where he believed he wasn't going to break down, and then he got on the show, and started talking, and reacted to the situation of talking publicly about a massive tragedy that he was powerless to prevent... and broke down quickly.
So his judgment was poor?

I'm not suggesting we draw and quarter the guy. I just do not feel that he should be held up as a good representation of leadership in New Orleans.

--Firedrake

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The Drake
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And if that happened, he could have said, "I'm at a loss for words. My heart is breaking, and my people need help."
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FIJC
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Watching someone burst into tears during a crisis would not make me feel protected at all.
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EDanaII
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@ Everard:
quote:
Actions, yes, emotions, no, and you're holding him accuntable for his emotions.
From my post, directly on top of your first post in this thread:
quote:
I have no problem with his emotional display. I do have a problem with how he used it. I also agree with Firedrake that it was an innappropriate use of his feelings. Personally, if he sincerely believed his accusations, then anger would have been the appropriate response, not tears.
Now, just what exactly AM I talking about when I say "I do have a problem with how he used it," and "if he sincerely believed his accusations." Am I talking about his emotions, his actions, or BOTH?

Now, Ev, scroll up, to the point where I explain to Funean just what the full extent of my disgust for his actions come from:
quote:
There are two sides to every coin, Funean. Am I being callous to Broussard? Or am I being sympathetic to those he accused of committing murder? Which has the greater weight? An accusation supported by an Appeal to Emotion that does not come anywhere near the Prima Facie rules of evidence? Or the potential consequences levied against those if that Appeal were to be taken seriously.
quote:
The only bad logic going on here, Ed, is yours. Its called "straw man."
And, yet... the question at hand, "Does one's pain justify poor behavior?" remains unanswered...


@ Jesse:
quote:
Ed, sorry, comparing the fact that this man broke down in tears to commiting an act of attempted murder is disgusting.
I was comparing poor behavior (unjustified accusations of murder) with poor behavior (shooting at rescue workers). True, Broussard's "poor behavior" does not rise to the level of attempted murder, but... accusing people falsely of murder is pretty disgusting anyway.


@ velcro:
quote:
However, your condescending tone ("cry like a baby") overshadowed any attention that point should have gotten.
It's called "fighting fire with fire." He made an Appeal to Emotion and I countered it with one. Like it or not, he did "cry like a baby," and I did find it disgusting. I did not, however, find some of the other instances of grown men crying during this disaster disgusting as none of them were pushing an agenda.

quote:
What if he cried like a baby to beg people to send money to help? What if he cried like a baby to express frustration at the insurgency in Iraq, thereby increasing support for the war there? Would he still be pathetic? Is it the emotion, or the cause?
What if he calmly stated that the Federal Government had let him down and then calmly asked for an explanation of their failure? I would have had a lot more respect for him if he had.


@ All

Finally, let me add, just as Firedrake did, I'm not calling for "Drawing & Quarting" either. I am voicing my disgust at his behavior. I have, as yet, to voice my disgust at some of the other men that I have seen crying from this disaster.

Ed.

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The Drake
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I remember a similar breakdown after 9/11. Regrettably, I no longer remember the man's name. But he ran a financial firm of some kind, where a huge percentage of employees were lost to the tragedy. HE broke down on camera, but I respected him, because his words were about how the remaining employees were coming to work and muscling through the pain - not words of hate and resentment.

I didn't report for work on 9/12, and my boss called me into work. I resented it until I heard the testimonial of that man and his brave employees. I felt shamed that I considered not going to work.

That is leadership. If you want people to have empathy for you, your message must be one that invites empathy.

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canadian
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I can't believe you are even having this debate.

I hope to god none of you are ever in a position where your protected smugness is ever challenged. But if it does, I'll be the first to put a hand of comfort on your back as I wipe the snot from your nose.

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The Drake
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Your post is not sufficient for me to even understand what your point is, canadian.
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EDanaII
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He's being smug about his humanity, Drake.

Ed.

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canadian
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Well, if you're going to be perceived as being smug about something...might as well be for being compassionate.

I luh you...

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII: <Sarcasm>

Bad Ed! Bad, BAD, ED!

How DARE you speak out against this SAINTED man and his "warranted" accusations against the current administration!

</Sarcasm>

Either this man's actions are justified or I'm callous and uncaring. Talk about false dichotomies...

[Roll Eyes]

Ed.

Now, who gets emotional?

Let's all agree that we should never make Ed a leader of so much as the mail room on the North pole, he'll be ever so paranoid about being used by emotional people that he'll never ever do anything for anybody.
Ed, I'm just curious: do you have any kind of relationships? And do you have a leadership type of job?

Just because you can distinguish a few debating techniques doesn't mean they always apply.

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
I continue to disagree. If you know you are going to break down or freak out, stay away from the press. Why do you think Bush never hold press conferences or open town hall meetings [Razz]

Yes and he still sucks ==> bush, speaking about the devastation: "This type of situation is not gonna be resolved in one day"!!!!! The complexity and depth of the conclusions of that man!

I'd rather have Broussard anyday over bush, if only purely on those two media excerpts alone ....

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by FIJC:
Watching someone burst into tears during a crisis would not make me feel protected at all.

Be honest, fijs,
would bursting into tears by anyone, at any point in time, in any situation, make you feel positive? I just ask since you gimme the impression of being the classic, stereotypical WASP. Sorry if i got that wrong ... [Smile] [Wink]

PS also, remember that bursting into tears by women is a great afrodisiac towards men ... [Wink] sorry if 2 naughty ...

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TS Elliot
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Oh and to be purely 'logical' (in the harsh and Borg and Ed-sense of the word [Wink] ):
How do you know that Broussard was emotional when he made leadership decisions? You only saw him cry on camera. You simply lack data.
How do you know that emotions are really bad in when making decisions? Show me hard data. Aren't mericans the inventors of the concept of 'gut feeling'? How much logic and reason goes into that?

It almost seems to me (in my totally inconclusive armchair psychologist role, of course) that:
1. You reject anything about Broussard because he showed emotions, not because of the content of what he said.
2. you are so deeply shocked that he accused your beloved leader (bush) that you completely discard ANYthing he has to say.
Of course I have no way of proofing all of these motivations on your part, but seemed only fair since you seem to know this guy because of his 15 seconds of breaking down on camera, in public.

Everard, Velcro,
I like the way you worded your points, and I totally agree.

quote:
@ velcro:However, your condescending tone ("cry like a baby") overshadowed any attention that point should have gotten.
quote:
by Ed: It's called "fighting fire with fire." He made an Appeal to Emotion and I countered it with one. Like it or not, he did "cry like a baby," and I did find it disgusting.
Hence, you're equally disgusting. But since you're the one Appealing, it's OK?

Let's consider that:
1. you are quite alone in this 'cry like a baby' thing.
2. you are equally alone in believing that Broussard's murder accusation are false. I bet that most people aren't entirely disagreeing with this. And if it happened exactly the way he said, it IS murder.

quote:
ED: I did not, however, find some of the other instances of grown men crying during this disaster disgusting as none of them were pushing an agenda.
This one really takes the cake. Here it clearly shows that for you, everyone can cry, as long as they don't cry anti-bush. and if they cry pro-bush, you seem to like that a lot.
Whew! Talk about bad logic ... Ev, Fun, Can, help me out here: is this called self-gratifying 'logic'?

[ September 07, 2005, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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TS Elliot said:
quote:
How do you know that Broussard was emotional when he made leadership decisions? You only saw him cry on camera. You simply lack data.
How do you know that emotions are really bad in when making decisions? Show me hard data. Aren't mericans the inventors of the concept of 'gut feeling'? How much logic and reason goes into that?

It almost seems to me (in my totally inconclusive armchair psychologist role, of course) that:
1. You reject anything about Broussard because he showed emotions, not because of the content of what he said.
2. you are so deeply shocked that he accused your beloved leader (bush) that you completely discard ANYthing he has to say.

I do not have a problem with what he said. I (personally) believe that the response from FEMA has been better than it has appeared in the media, but it is immaterial to address this thread. My response to this thread has dealt mainly with the manner in which Broussard presented himself, and the repercussions of a public figure visibly not being in control, not the data which Broussard presented.

--Firedrake

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Lady Starkiller
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The way you act in a public forum, like it or not, determines how you are viewed.

I would not want a rescue worker to start sobbing as he approached my flooded home.

I would not want a community leader to start sobbing and screaming when he tried to get help from me, or tried to tell me what to do.

Am I angry that he cried? Do I think it shameful? No. This is a horrific situation; he has every right to be emotional about it.

But we have every right to consider him a bad leader for the way he handled his emotions.

Emotional control is important in a leader; the leader's actions influence the community's, and the leader's emotional reaction, if large and public, tends to direct the emotional reaction of the community.

Someone on this thread (can't remember who, sorry...) said that we shouldn't criticize people for their emotions, only their actions. Very well, then; I am criticizing this leader for his actions. There are appropriate ways to handle emotional displays in public. Typically, this means toning down the emotional response, whatever it is, and this is incredibly important for a leader. I do not deny that he has every right to be angry and upset; I deny that he has the right to put on an emotional show in public, when he should be acting as a leader.

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Richard Dey
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Wow! What a clear-cut political division over a few tears, but let's face it: with so many drops of God's tears, Broussard was only adding to them.

When Broussard warned that New Orleans wasn't ready, whom should he have alerted first? Here, in under 500 pages of lite reading, is the national response system:

http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0566.xml

Here is the timeline (note that Bush II declared a state of emergency at dawn on the 25th):

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/katrina/interactive/timeline.katrina.large/frameset.exclude.html

When the hurricane hits, more than 1,000,000 are w/o power in Florida.

On the 27th, Nagin is meeting with his lawyers so that he can respond to Blanco's query "What should we do?"

Finally, on the 28th, at 10:00 AM, Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.

On the 29th, at 7AM the hurricane, almost incidental to the bungled politics, hits.

On the 30th, New Orleans has no power, potable water running out, dwindling food supplies, widespread looting, fires -- and steadily rising waters from major levee breaches.

Refugees (this is not a denigrating term) arrive at city-designated centers to discover no food, no water, no medicine -- start blaming Bush II.

Broussard was one of those who let down Jefferson Parish. He managed EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT! If, as he claimed, "We have been abandoned by our own country," it was Broussard who let down his own parish.

Isn't ANYbody suspicious that those responsible for local emergencies in Louisiana immediately threw up their hands -- and blamed Washington?

This corrupt crybaby was just subpoened in yet another corruption probe, Operation Wrinkled Robe. Broussard and 24th District Judge Kernan "Skip" Hand were subpoenaed regarding political donations made by Bail Bonds Unlimited. One judge, caught on FBI video with hot cash from BBU, has already been convicted.

Let's not get teary eyed about cry babies.

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canadian
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Let's also not castigate human emotion, which to me, is the real discussion. I'm no Broussard apologist and never claimed to be. I just don't happen to think it is decent to spit in the face of sorrow.

Some people think his sorrow prompted him to spit in the face of the Bush Administration unfairly.

I don't care about that. Maybe it was unjust, maybe it wasn't. I've seen leaders cry and in no way has it lessened my esteem for them. Perhaps if this guy cared about his future, or cared about his position, he would have clamped up and excused himself, I don't know.

But I do know that to sit dry and comfy and deride a person for crying as every person has or will cry in their life, is bordering on the contemptable. Or maybe it just makes them uncomfortable to see a grown man cry...

Either way, it's pomposity at it's best.

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javelin
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I don't understand what is pompous about saying, "This is how I believe a leader should behave, and I don't feel that Broussard behaved in this manner."

Is there something wrong with expressing your opinion that a leader should behave differently? Is it wrong because the leader had a legitimate reason to be upset? Even if you acknowledge that right, while maintaining you'd prefer a different, public, reaction?

I think calling this pompous is pretty out there.

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canadian
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No, jav...saying that is just fine.
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Everard
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Jav-
If firedrake and ed had said that, this thread would be half its current length. But they didn't. And thats why this thread is a mess.

I'm not defending Broussard's accusations. I'm defending his right to be safe from people expressing contempt for him for having an extremely understandable emotional reaction. I also think people who believe that his emotions should have been controlable should try to imagine how they would react if, for example, their entire family was executed in front of their eyes, and then they answered questions in a public forum. I have a strong suspicion Ed, and Lady Starkiller, and Firedrake, would lose control of their emotions in those circumstances.

I DO think I'm a better human being then the people expressing contempt for his emotional reaction. If you want to say he shouldn't have gone on TV, fine, thats reasonable. Though, I don't think its reasonable to say he should have known how he would react. Its fine to say that the effects of his emotional breakdown are negative. Its fine to say that his accusations are dead wrong and came from grief. But to express contempt for showing that grief? Thats wrong. Very very wrong.

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javelin
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Ah, I guess that I felt that's what they were trying to say.
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Lady Starkiller
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quote:
If you want to say he shouldn't have gone on TV, fine, thats reasonable.
That's exactly what I said. He should not have broadcast his emotions in public in such a strong, uncontrolled manner. I never said he shouldn't cry, or feel sorrow or anger; indeed, it is a mark of his humanity that he did.

There is a time and a place for all things - including grief. When your grief exacerbates a situation, it is not being expressed in its proper time or place. That is the problem I have with this man - not that he's grieving.

quote:
I have a strong suspicion Ed, and Lady Starkiller, and Firedrake, would lose control of their emotions in those circumstances.
I cannot speak for the others, but I can for myself: I have just recently been required to testify at my father's trial, in which he is accused of the attempted murder of my brother. I broke down and cried after he was arrested; I was a nervous wreck before the trial; I also broke down completely afterwards. But during the trial, when I was required to answer questions in a fairly public forum, I reigned in all those emotions. Why? It was not the proper place for their expression.

Before I'm jumped on, I am by no means comparing my own family troubles with the disaster of Katrina. But to say that a public figure cannot control himself in a public forum is to say that he is not acting as befits his office. End of story.

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Richard Dey
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Everard, it is not wrong to point a finger at a corrupt politician -- whether he's crying that he got caught or not. I have never disapproved of politicians who cry, only in this case I sincerely doubt what he says he's crying about.

It's like the guy whose bordello got swamped with filth, lamenting his loss of income.

If you choose to believe he's crying for fear of judgment day, fine; I prefer to believe that he's crying because judgment day has come and gone.

Where oh where can a neighborhood political boss find work in another city?

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Lady Starkiller said:
quote:
I cannot speak for the others, but I can for myself:
In that post, you can speak for me. [Smile]

--Firedrake

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Richard Dey
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Starkiller, you did exactly the right thing. The truth needs no public drama.

There is a point in the losses of life when tears don't serve a function -- and don't come. There is some point in the experience of life, after losses of friends, relatives, dogs, and money (wasted labor), when emotions go numb or rational thought goes numb. It is the reasonable man who can put his emotions on hold to allow his rational mind act.

Too many of us vote emotionally, often out of loyalty to some ideal, and resultantly put emotional people into office when our best interests would be served by rational decision-makers.

I know there's somebody here who wants a doctor who can hold hands and do a biopsy at the same time. That's the kind of doctor all of us would like to have, but I don't want that kind of doctor for my kid when he's in trouble, I don't want that kind of vet for my dog when he's in trouble, and frankly that's not the kind of politician I would want for my people when they're in trouble.

Emotionally, who wants the truth? Rationally, we need the truth -- even if it is to hear that we have 24 h to revise our wills or that New Orleans is no longer a practical location for a city.

Times of trouble are no times for emotion. New Orleans is paying the price for not paying rational attention to the venue chosen for its bonae horae. When the bad times hit, it became dysfunctional.

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