Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
BUSH BRINGS MUCH NEEDED HUGS, FROWNY FACES TO NEW ORLEANS
BELEAGUERED CITY'S DEPLETED SUPPLY OF PLATITUDES ALSO REPLENISHED
President reassures horrified nation: "Trent Lott's home will be rebuilt."
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Regular readers of this website know that I am no fan of the Bush Administration, but the situation in New Orleans beggars belief. I'm so outraged I can barely think straight. Bad enough that the White House (again!) ignored repeated warnings of impending disaster and (again!) diverted necessary resources to its wealthy patrons and ideological hobby horses, but the federal response to the catastrophe is like a goddamned cabaret show.
Conservatives often justify the slashing social programs to fund corporate tax cuts by saying, "A rising tide raises all boats." Well, the tide rose folks, and this is the result.
Posted on September 02, 2005 to Misc
Not sure but my guess is that Miss New Orleans is probably as outraged as you, me and others combined. I watched the hurricane come in then missed much of the news afterwards. But last night I had a chance to catchup. I read Jack Shafer's article at slate.com about anchors losing it on politicians. Good on them I say. No way would I have kept my composure.
Favorite Bushism so far: "Nobody could have predicted the levees wouldn't hold"
Best poor planning example: invite thousands to wait out storm in Superbowl, then forget to supply water and food.
We now have two Gulf tragedies, the first one due to Bush's incompetent actions, the second due to his incompetent inaction.
Those politicians can just burn in Hell.
I've been fuming for days now, and it's been getting worse and worse as time goes by. I told my friend the other night that the second the photo ops of politicians 'helping' people and corporations jumping in front of each other to be seen as the most 'caring' started, I wasn't going to watch tv news any more. I don't know when I'll start watching again, but it's gonna be a while, from what I see so far.
I keep asking people, where's the outrage about this? This is fucking disgusting.
Even the newscasters are ripshit. This article at Slate.com.. "The Rebellion of the Talking Heads."
About damn time.
It is 2005. We knew the hurricane would do major damage for days. Babies died inside the designated shelter because of heat/no food/no water. People should be thrown in prison for this.
The one take-away lesson from this disaster is that we cannot count on the Federal Government in time of crisis. This being the case, I urge you to join me today in a campaign of preparedness. Write your state, county, and city officials, urging them to review their disaster plans, and modify them to reflect the fact that FEMA is ineffectual. Ask that they seriously examine plans for evacuation, shelters, stockpiles, and rebuilding. Urge your Governor to recall National Guard troops to defend the state, the fundamental duty they signed up to do. Furthermore, persuade your Governor to make alliances with neighboring states and/or nations to provide reciprocal disaster aid. Do not forget to see to your personal preparedness with things like canned food, bottled water, flashlights, battery powered radios, and of course batteries. Plastic sheeting and duct tape are optional, but they can't hurt and might be useful. Your state may have additional information about likely threats in your region.
No, the one take-away lesson from this disaster is that we cannot count on this Federal Government in time of crisis... that is, unless it's an election year and a swing state. When disaster struck Florida in 2004, things went much better -- and Bush's poll numbers went up. When a professional with actual expertise is in charge of FEMA, instead of a friend of a friend, things went much better.
Don't write your state, county and city officials about disaster plans... write your friends, family and neighbors and tell them to stop voting for these people!
Matt (and any other blogger who ends up reading this comment) --
I've been trying to organize an online relief effort of sorts by bloggers... It's just a graphic to post on your blog and link it to any charity that you think yoru readers should donate to in the face of this tragedy.
It's just something small the blog community can do - trying to get readership to donate...
Oh, and just to chime in my two cents on everything --
I'm so sick of Washington DC Politicians coming off like the aristocratic class. I mean, there is blame at the local and state level (and it's the Superdome, not the Superbowl :p ) but really when Bush and the officials in Washington have been called upon to do something -- they seem indifferent to do it. "You know we could give a shit but that would effect our vacation time!"
Everyone is going to hear the race card brought out over and over again over this... It's not a White-versus-black thing though... It's a Rich-versus-poor thing. The haves - especially those in washington, no matter which party - want little to do with the have nots and cannot even grasp what it must be like to be a have-not...
That's why people have been suffering and dying. That's why, despite all the images on TV, there is a good contingent in Washington that are still aloof to what is going on and what has goen wrong...
You know, the realization that this could happen to New Orleans didn't suddenly arise during the Bush years. NO has been down in that bowl since it was founded. Yep, the government's response has been abysmal. But why didn't those people leave? 80% of the residents did leave. Don't tell me that those who stayed behind had no way out. They had two feet, maybe a bicycle or two and there are plenty of cars in all the film I've seen. Of course, there were surely sick and elderly people who undoubtedly needed help. We failed them and heads should have already rolled. Bush needs to get over his famous aversion to kicking his own people in the ass and start kicking. In the end, if you wait for the government to do something for you, you will wait a long time. We seem to forget that all up and down the Gulf Coast, government officials in the days before the storm literally begged people to leave. Yet they stayed.
As to the race card, the city was 66% black. Of course most of the people still there are black. They were the majority in the first place. If Salt Lake City gets nailed by a blizzard this year, most of the victims there will be white. Should we expect rioting and looting there? And yes, I know that Mormons keep a six month supply of food, etc on hand. They are prepared for what might happen, yet the people of New Orleans weren't prepared for what was really inevitable. That's not the Bush administration's fault.
"The Corps is studying enhancements that would deal with Category 4 and 5 hurricanes, which had been considered only a remote possibility, he said."
"About 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded after its levee system, which was designed for a Category 3 hurricane, failed. Katrina was a Category 4 storm when it struck early Monday morning."
That's right, the leevees had never been designed for Cat 4 or 5, only up to a 3. I wish I had the news story link, but quote was that the leevees had a 99.5% chance of lasting 300 to 500 years.
"The budget for the Corps has not suffered because of the war in Iraq, Strock said. "The reason I say that is, if you look at the funding levels of the Corps from prewar days of 2001 and 2002, it has been a fairly steady level. We are spending a lot of money, and the Corps of Engineers is involved in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. But we're able to balance that with our human resources. And it is not directly affecting our budget.""
So in other words: B.S. The Bush Administration did not cause the flooding nor the deaths in New Orleans by invading Iraq.
No, the Bush administration didn't cause the flooding, but to delay the help for as long as they did and to pretend that this was a great big shock - that IS their fault. There's a lot of fault to go to the local and state too, don't get me wrong.
And yes, Davey, people really don't have cars. 20% of the city doesn't have cars. There were some people who chose to stay. Those that chose to stay, for the most part didn't go to the Stupordome - the people who didn't have a way out did BECAUSE THE MAYOR TOLD THEM TO!
I'm getting pissy about the whole thing. Still none of this excuses the violence.
Digger, that's charming.
However, it's also totally wrong. First, assume that statement is 100% correct, and the Corps of Engineers budget has been untouched. Now, put on that independent thinking hat I know you have, and read that statement a little closer:
Increased demands (Iraq and Afghanistan).
The math there states, simply, that there's going to be less funding left for domestic projects.
I'm not saying that that caused the flooding - in fact, there was really nothing to be done in a short period of time to really prevent it. However, by all that you hold holy, stop repeating bull you hear and start critically analyzing things! You have a brain for a reason! Stop letting politicians (on all sides) just screw with you.
Now, on the other hand, that statement about funding isn't even true. Bush has been steadily cutting USACE funding since 2001. Every. Year. In particular, in this last fiscal year, the Corps of Engineers petitioned for funding for two major projects in New Orleans - one to update the levee, and one to improve drainage. I don't remember right now, but I think the funding was cut to like 25% and 50% respectively? Cited reason: money needed for Iraq. As a result, neither task was finished.
It kind of seems to me that preparing for a cat.5 hurricane is like building a skyscraper that could withstand a 10.5 earthquake. Not only is it going to be incredibly expensive, but the chances of such an event happenning are too low to even start worrying about it.
If the cause is inevitable, then the effects are inevitable, too.
I must confess I don't remember ever having heard that expression before, so I suspect "conservatives" don't use it allthat often (not that I'm a conservative, mind you). Seems like you were digging for the pun.
On other hand, I share your outrage, and simply point out that by any reasonable expectation this failure of response would have manifested in just about any administration of the last 85 years. All administrations have gambled on New Orleans and failed to provide for its protection. I can't understand how anyone could expect that putting more money into an organization that has utterly failed to deliver could possibly meet with success.
"Rarely has it been so clear how much we, the ordinary people of this country, are better than our rulers. I hope that lesson is not lost on anyone, of any political persuasion. We are better than them and there is no good reason anymore -- if ever there was -- to keep on putting up with their lies." -Nick Weininger
The phrase is a pretty common one. It's even used in political science papers and economics papers. That said, politicians don't use it that often, and it's used by both conservatives and liberals. I think it originates (politically) with JFK, but I'm not sure on that one.
It IS used by economists to describe the administration's economic policy, though.
To Davey, from MSNBC:
Nearly 30 percent of people in New Orleans live below the poverty line, and only a handful of large American cities have lower household incomes than the Big Easy.
Most of the people who evacuated before the storm either a) put up in hotels and motels, or b) went to stay with relatives. Think about it. If you're living below the poverty line, where are you going to scare up the cash to rent hotel rooms for you and your family for even one night? As for the other alternative, statistics show that folks born in New Orleans tend to stay there, so the "staying with the in-laws" was not an option for many as "the in-laws" probably also still lived in the city. How are you even going to get far enough away? A lot of people who are that poor can't afford the luxury of owning a car (gas, insurance, taxes, upkeep), and I believe the term for taking one that's not yours is "grand theft auto". Sure, they have bicycles and their feet. Any idea how long it would take you to walk far enough inland to have been safe? Baton Rouge is over 50 miles away, they could have made it there if they'd started walking on Friday. Assuming, of course, that everybody making the trek was healthy enough to have withstood walking for three days in what can sarcastically be described as "warm" conditions (humidity in Kentucky in August saps one's will to live, imagine what it's like in Louisiana and Mississippi), and didn't have any inconvenieces like children or elderly relatives to look out for on the trip. Then again, once they would have gotten someplace safe they would still have been faced with the "how are we going to eat" question.
As for the "who cut the Corps budget", there's enough blame to go around. Every President since Jimmy Carter has shorted the Corps, so it's not like it a recent phenomenon. The key is to reign in the pork. Think about it: New Orleans levies versus the $1 million dollar bus stop in Alaska. That one should have been a no brainer.
That said, it is pretty bad that we could get help to Indonesia in a couple of days, but there are still cities in Mississippi that have yet to see a FEMA representative. I do suspect that response would have been better if a Bush relative in need of a boost in the polls would have been governor, or if there would have been a lot of rich retirees involved instead of a bunch of lower class poor people.
C. I agree with you that there were people in NO incapable of moving themselves out of harm's way and said as much in my original post. But if you can lug a flat screen TV through 3 feet of water, then you can walk to one of those levees and stand on top of it.
The "how are we going to eat" problem you pose is moot. That problem faced everyone, whether they chose to go or stay.
On one of the Sunday morning shows today, I watched a rescue worker stand in a boat and scream at a woman to get in the boat with him. She refused. He kept telling her that the water wouldn't drain away anytime soon. In the background, you could see her van parked, with water almost all the way to the roof. What was she thinking?
By the way, New Orleans is overrun with termites. All that chewed up wood is now getting soaked and will begin to rot soon. Buildings are going to start collapsing. It's gonna get worse before it gets better.
In the end, folks, when there is no government to rely on, you have to rely on yourself.
Enough blaming the victims, enough bickering over levees and how they broke. There are thousands of people who won't go home again for months and many have already died not by being swept away in a flood but by neglect from the very people who could help them. No amount of tinned food in my cupboard or flashlights will help me when my house is under eight feet of sludge and I'm displaced and lacking adequate water and sanitation... what is your disaster plan for when your entire region suffers?
In other parts of the world, when a catastrophe like this hits, countries everywhere offer help within days. In the rest of the world now, they're waiting for the most able, wealthy, powerful nation to step up and look after itself. No, governments don't make disasters happen (the global warming angle notwithstanding), but they are responsible for the safety and basic living security of its citizens.
Interesting that I used the same exact title for my New Orleans post yesterday (God, I love that song, and so many like it, which you used to be able to hear while sitting on the floor at Preservation Hall...*sigh*)
Anyway, thank you for succintly expressing mine and my husband's rage at every image of Dubya "comforting" a hurricane victim, and at the comments about Trent Lott's house...how could anyone be so...not crass, not tacky, but just plain...CLUELESS to think that any of those people (or any of US) care about Trent Lott's house?
We're in Arkansas, and we're doing everything we can for our neighbor to the south. It never seems enough, but to see gratitude from people who have lost everything and still maintain lovely manners, is just....heart-rending. Bush could take a lesson.
I was wondering how long it would take for Bush to get blamed for this.
God in heaven.
There is a name for the neurosis of people who are so buried by their hatred of Bush that they can no longer think straight: it is called Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Matthew, you have exhibited all the symptoms of BDS over the last 3-4 years, but I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. You have a great sense of humor, a love of games, and lots of other characteristics that make you seem worthwhile.
Sadly, after the NO flood, those with BDS are now revealing themselves to be the unretrievable hate-filled morons that they always were. I'm really sad that you are among them.
It was Bush that ordered the evacuation of NO, after the mayor waffled.
It was the mayor who let the busses rot, despite the fact that the Evacuation Plan called for him to use them.
And frankly, it is horrifying that people would use a tragedy like this to embody their hatred of a political figure who trashed them. Twice.
Matthew Baldwin: you are pathetic fucking garbage.
If the Federal government had stepped in quickly with aid to NOLA and the gulf coast, Bush would have been accused of usurping the authority of the state governments. Of course our aid to Indonesia and Thailand arrived more quickly....he didn't have to wait to be invited by partisan Democratic State government officials.
It is ridiculous to expect the Federal government to oversee the minute details of local level disaster preparedness. That has to come from State and local government.
Man from Guam: Care to provide a link (from someplace other than Newsmax and Fox) to back up those claims about the evacuation, etc.?
'Cause they sure look and smell like you just pulled them right outta your ass.
Nagin called for the evac. Nagin also called for aid in the form of National Guard/food drops/etc. NoLa and parts of Mississippi are STILL waiting for help. Are you calling longtime Republican lobbyist Haley Barbour (the MS governor) a partisan Democrat too?
Bush will send every single bit of aid he can get to NO as SOON as they declare it a State of Emergency there, which the Governor/Mayor has yet to do, which BOGGLES MY MIND.
A State of Emergency has not been declared as of yet (last I heard) in New Orleans and thus, Bush cannot send his people down there to take over this incredibly sad relief effort that is happening right now. The government in Louisiana does not want to call Bush in on this because they don't want the Republicans coming down and fixing their problems, because then they'd have to fess up to their inability to fix their own damn levees and evacuation procedures and let the Federal aid take care of things.
No, now we get to sit here and wait for the democrats running the show down there to finally get so sick to their stomachs of the disaster that is taking place down there that they drop their pride and political standing to just CALL FOR HELP when its needed, no matter WHO is in office.
For the record, The Army Corps of Engineers asked for a grant of money to help fix the levee system down in NO back in 1998, when President Clinton was in office, but we didn't hear about his reply and there is nobody coming out and calling him the worst president ever to be in office, like I've heard about Bush. Clinton denied them the grant to fix the levees, maybe he needed the money to fund Midnight Basketball? Let people drown sometime in the future so I can keep the inner-city votes going Democrat for a while. Smooth move. Politics make me sick.
Quit trashing Bush, he's not my favorite president, he has certainly done many things I do not agree with, but blaming the White House for EVERY DAMN THING that goes wrong in this country or in other countries is completely rediculous. Get off it people.
It's interesting to see your nation attending this event and its aftermaths.
To the rest of the world, US is the big guy in the neighborhood, the one that is strong and menacing and takes away the candy from the kids.
I suppose, y'all know how do people treat the big guys knocked off and lying on the floor.
No offence but from here it seems that the worms has eaten out themselves from the apple. It's strange that after the tsunami in Asia there was no news on raping and rioting but now the news is full of them. Kinda comparison, you see.
Not forgetting the people who died and suffered.
MJ, there's a simple reason for that.
This didn't happen on Clinton's watch. Call it stupid, unfair, or whatever you want - but when you make a decision like that, you're gambling. Some president DID bolster the levee system. Some didn't. Recently, very few have. Those that chose not to improve the system, well, they gambled, and won. However, Bush did not win. His decision means thousands died, period. Imagine, instead, that he's a CEO - maybe he made the same mistake the other CEOs made, for years before him, but guess what? If the flame hits the powder on his watch, that's his fault.
It's also all the more evident because recently, statistical techniques have improved, and the ability to generate accurate models of disasters with high confidence and low error has leaped dramatically, especially with regard to natural disasters. The evidence presented over the last few years has been several orders of magnitude more compelling than evidence in 1998.
In reality, though, Bush didn't cause the floods, no matter what people say. How much of the federal blundering is his fault, I don't really know. The photoop business at the levee breach certainly doesn't bode well. Nor does his ability to act decisively after Chief Justice Rehnquist died, but his inability to act decisively, to even speak decisively, after a major American city is flooded. Maybe, though, it's not his fault at all - I can't say, there's really not enough information right now. I'm just waiting for Tulane refugees to arrive here, so I can at least help someone out a little.
But for now, please, none of this bull about state rights. Governors CAN declare States of Emergency, but the federal government can declare a federal state of emergency with or without a state declaration. In fact, without a federal declaration, federal flood funds can't be used. It's very uncommon to declare a federal state of emergency without a local one, but it can technically be done (though, I don't think it's ever happened).
That said, Nagin declared a state of emergency on SUNDAY. The day he ordered the evacuation. No federal declaration has followed suit. Yet, a federal declaration happened 2 DAYS after the Indiana floods in 2003.
I'm now waiting for someone to claim that's not utterly moronic.
Here, check this out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/28/AR2005082800146.html
Everybody from Bush on down urged those people to leave. Bush declared a state of emergency before the storm even hit. Even Mayor Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation before the storm hit. He told people to go to the emergency shelters prepared for a 3 to 5 day stay and they didn't listen. So all you people trying to say that Bush should be reviewing the emergency plans for every city in the country can fuck off. He did what he was supposed to do; it's a free country and you're free to be stupid. Lots of people were and now they're paying for it. Bush and everybody else involved are taking the necessary steps to save them from themselves.
I get really tired of people trying to blame Bush for every single thing that goes wrong in this country. It's not Bush's job, nor any other President's job, to put food on your table and keep a roof over your head. The President cannot turn away a Cat 5 hurricane, but he can warn people to prepare and that is what he did. They didn't listen and he's going to help them anyway. He is doing what he was elected for.
Matt, you gotta quit getting political on this page. Keep it light, please?
Back off wrt Matt's political stance. It is *his* blog and he can do whatever he likes with it. I read it because it is entertaining, smart and periodically insightful ... if it turns out not to be smart in a manner with which you concur, go read some of the luminaries of literacy on the other side of the spectrum. No one is compelling you to hang out here, or likely very interested in keeping you around.
To me, funny = smart, and conservative + mean = uncreative. I give more weight to the opinions of people who I consider bright and creative, because their whole idiom is more appealing to me. Don't be telling the guy "I enjoy what you have to say, as long as I can dictate which parts you say."
Actually, the mayor and governor declared their respective states of emergency the day before the hurricane hit. And Bush made a similar declaration at about that time. If you're gonna enter an argument get your damn facts straight.
The federal declaration was meant to ease the way for FEMA and other agencies to move quickly. That leaves two questions: Why didn't FEMA move faster, and why didn't Bush ride herd on them once it became clear they were dragging their feet.
As for you numbnuts saying we blame Bush for the hurricane, get a clue. NO ONE has even hinted at that. But he does undoubtedly carry some of the blame for the sorry state of the relief efforts. He's the president of the richest, most powerful country on earth -- no one can get things done faster than he can with one phone call. Yet all indications are that he was in no rush to move the mobilization.
hey buggy, and it is Davey's comment and he can do whatever he likes with it.
Hey buggy, it is davey's comment, and he can do whatever he likes with it.
I *think* no one has just come out and said this yet: DY, you are right.
You are exactly right there.
A British TV reporter was interviewing a National Guardsman on the news...
Reporter: "Why didn't you get here sooner?"
Guardsman: "Well sir, you have to understand... this was all under water until a few days ago, we couldn't get here."
Reporter: "You have the backup of the US Army, and you couldn't get here? I was here, and I didn't even have a helicopter..."
I don't want to play the blame game. People are in an awful situation and at this point it is up to all of us to assist those in need. There are people, old, and young, mothers, fathers, babies, dying, dead, homeless, scared, sick and confused. I think that we should all be compassionate and give what we can of ourselves to help.
I live in Florida and this could have been us (except for the levee). However, when they tell us to evacuate, WE GO. I know of many that stay. Now is the time to rebuild and help those in need.
We are a strong nation and this childish blaming/arguing makes us all look asinine. Please work together....aren't we supposed to come together and assist each other in times of need?
I'm writing this comment to support Davey. He's right. Those people who stayed in New Orleans deserved what they got. I mean come on, everyone has two feet, those who are amputee's can leave in a wheelchair or crawl, and I know that dialasis machines are on wheels. And everyone should have thought, not only of stalking up on supplies (after all a Red Cross back pack is only $70/person--no problem!) but they should have also put them on their roof, everyone knows that. I agree that everyone should take care of themselves and stupid people deserve what they get. That's why I'm not going to bat an eye if there is a terrorist attack in New York, London or any other major city. Everyone knows that it's going to happen so people who don't leave those cities are just stupid and deserve what they get. In fact, the only ones who are justified in complaining about a tragedy are the Mormons, they live in places no one would attack, they stock up on food, and they have many wives (often young teenage nubile ones) that can easily repopulate their sparse areas. Anyone else deserves whatever is comming to them. BTW I also think it is the responsibility for everyone living anywhere where crime occures to rellocate, otherwise don't come crying to me when your stereo gets stolen or your child assulted.
You know you're doing a bad job when third-world countries offer to help.
I heard Bush yap about Trent Lott losing his home. As if that would somehow how comfort the victims. What the fuck is he thinking?
That was perfect.
I was going to post a comment about all those stupid old ladies sitting in the astrodome dying in their wheelchairs of exhaustion and dehydration. Why, oh why, didn't they just get up and walk out? I mean really. How lazy.
For those of you in the south, moveon's organizing some sort of hurricane housing campaign. Basically if you have a spare room or wing in your house, you have the option of offering it up to a few refugees. Offering housing for a month, week or however long you can manage it is infinitely better than just throwing money at the problem; you get to offer concrete help where they need it most at this time. (unless you can donate a month's worth of rent to a specific family, I suppose)
Yeah, nevermind that the local and state government did nothing to prepare for this. Bush dropped the ball, but so did those who were tasked with preparing, preventing, and initially responding.
'Molly' sounds just like a friend of mine, who in all seriousness said to me "you mean those poor folks didn't have 5 bucks to get on a Greyhound and hightail it out of the city instead of spending that money on crack?"
well, other than the fact that the last time you could get anywhere on greyhound for 5 bucks was probably sometime in 1975...
yet it's true, there are a percentage who for either good or bad reasons chose to stay even though they had a way out. There was this article in the AJC about Fats Domino who was one of those inhabitants of the 9th ward who, in spite of his publicist calling him from Nashville telling him to get the fuck out, chose to stay because he didn't think it would be "that bad". (he survived)
However, I have a lot of trouble believing that the 100 thousand or so that remained trapped in the city did so because they just 'didn't feel like' evacuating. It's not statistically sound to use one image of a woman on the telly who refuses to be rescued on some boat (considering the conditions in the Superdome, can anyone blame her? she probably had an inkling about that) and use that to build an argument that all these people deserved or even wanted to die.
Reminds me of an argument a smoker once made to me: "I saw a 90 year old woman smoking a big fat cigar while sweeping her porch somewhere in Cuba in a documentary. See? She didn't get no cancer and stuff! All this anti smoking crap is bullshit."
Wow - Molly is either completely heartless or being incredibly sarcastic. I hope the latter.
So the people who went to the shelter of the Superdome got what they deserved because they didn't have the means to escape the city? Do you really expect a poor person who lives from paycheck to paycheck and is taking care of children and/or an elderly parent or grandparent to be able to leave on their own? Before the hurricane, traffic was backed up for miles and gas was hard to come by, but then most of these people didn't even have cars and were completely reliant on public transportation. Once out of the city, where were they supposed to stay? They can't afford a $50+ a night motel no more than they can afford one of those $70 a person backpacks you mentioned. Tell me how exactly are people supposed to put supplies on their roof during a hurricane? The flood water came on these people so fast that they didn't even have time to save loved ones, let alone put a box of canned food on the roof.
I sincerely hope Molly is never faced with poverty or a natural disaster. I'm guessing that she must live in the middle of nowhere and far away from reality.
For those who had no real way to get out, the Superdome was their only option. The last time it was used as a shelter they had huge problems, with not only vandalism (seats being ripped out) but violence and robberies.
I wouldn't be suprised if that's a reason some choose to stay at home and risk it.
p.s. 'molly' WAS tongue in cheek. Either that or a troll. If the latter case then not much worth paying attention to anyway.
'molly' was merely an attempt to put what davey and others of the blame the victim/personal responsibility camp say in proper perspective.
It is very sad, this hurricane, and I will miss my frieds that were taken by it. But why is it that when this Tragedy happened in the states the other Amercans are all running around so upset, but when similar things happen in other parts of the world, Americans care little? It seems that other countries care about eachother, America pretends to care, and really only cares for itself.
A very sad world it is.
considering how quickly american volunteers, forces, etc responded to the tsunami less than 6 months ago, yet how poorly and awkwardly they responded to the hurricane, I'd be hard pressed to make a blanket statement such as the one above without feeling a wee bit stupid.
Suggest all you Bushwackers READ! The New Orleans
Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan at
WWW.cityofno.com. It spells out what actions should have been taken and by whom. You should also ask the Mayor of that city why hundreds of school busses now sit under water when they ould have been used, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning to move people without transportation out of harms way.You might also want to ask the Governor why she didn't activate the 60% of the national guard she still had available before the hurricane hit. You complain about the percieved slow response from FEMA yet they were
positionig assets to respond over the weekend. I
suppect you idots have no idea how big an area of
devistation this is and how difficult it is to respond to an area where there is no power, linited communications and hardly any passable transportation lanes. If you folks had two brain cell to rub together you would understand that a
major portion of the relief material had to be bought and moved to an assembly point before it
could loaded on vehicles to be moved into the area. I guess it is just easier to blame Bush
than it is to admit that the local and state
democratic leadership dropped the ball and are not fit to govern. I look forward to he hearings that will conferm this.
To the Man from Guam,
President Bush and other prominant Republicans have admitted that the federal response to Hurricane Katrina was less than adequate. So I do not understand your extreme anger at the Yeti for his anger at an admitted poor showing by FEMA and others. I think you need to do some serious introspection to find out where your anger should be properly directed.
Frankly, I think your name calling of the Yeti refects your character rather than the Yeti's. I have met the Yeti and he is a pretty okay guy.
My posting was tongue and cheek. It suprises me that there were some people who didn't get that. Sorry, maybe I should have been more blunt in trying to rip Davey a new asshole!!!
Right, Sam, and your stance is SOOO MUCH BETTER AND CONSTRUCTIVE than the so-called Bush whackers: "oooh! let's blame this and all the problems of the universe on the Democrats' micromanagement pansying ineptitude!"
Rub your two neurons around this idea: your accusation is off-base and even more surreal than the 'bushwhackers' considering what little political clout the democrats have in this administration at this time. Who knows... maybe the democrats trying to get anything achieved is impossible in an administration that basically ignores their needs, etc? Even during a time of crisis?
As if the bipartisan system wasn't inherently corrupt as it is...
Man from Guam: Once, I made an inappropriate comment on DY's site, calling a friend of his, whom I did not know, a "fuck-head". After DY chewed me out I put up another comment apologizing, bc upon reflection it was totally out of line. It's a shame that I needed him to chew me out to cause me to reflect, but sometimes that's human nature, as is occasionally saying inappropriate things. May I suggest that you should, without hesitation, apologize for such an over the top unwarranted insult. You may disagree with him, but come on, calling anyone "pathetic fucking garbage" should only be reserved for "special moments".
please read this article:
it's re. Hurricane Ivan in sept of 2004, the one that was SUPPOSED to be Katrina, the one that would've been Katrina had Ivan not changed his mind...
it's too eerie how EVERY ASPECT of what happened this year was already in question a year ago... everything from the inappropriateness of the shelters to the inability of the poorest ones to leave... everything.
I support Bush, generally, but I also agree that the heads of FEMA and DHS are saying staggeringly moronic things and that FEMA is mis-directing all sorts of volunteered help. But just as folks to my left are running to first principles and blaming it on Bush, this disaster has reminded me again that big government is a false promise for dunces when it comes to efficiency and organization. (No need to point out that Bush has long-since abandoned the small-government portion of the GOP and the right-wing-- as if the existence of the bloated DHS isn't evidence enough.)
Some of these posters above are exactly right-- though years and years of plotting and planning supposedly occurred, it seems as though the City of New Orleans either failed to execute or failed to train-- either way failed to enact any plan. The mayor had to be goaded by President Bush to declare a mandatory evacuation. (AP) School buses and apparently metro-transit buses weren't used for the initial evacuation. The Superdome option was a fairly good short-term option that had no flood contingency-- why can't these people plan everything as though their city is below sea level?
No option was offered for the poor or carless to get out, and that is, without a doubt, the city's responsibility first, and the state's second. The State was, I've read, supposed to have plans, too-- facilities for evacuees, food for 3-4 days (which, as they've been told, is the minimal response time for federal aid). No such execution. Delays. Liability fears. The Army Corps of Engineers wins no prizes for delaying their announcement of the broken levees.
Yeah, Bush needs to fire some people, and he's not really the man for reforming what needs to be reformed. It's unfortunate that any defense of Bush must involve a laundry-list of blame for massive local-government fuckups that the federal bohemoth is left to cope with. It'd be fine by me if the White House was caught unawares every time a disaster happened, as long as the local people were prepared. That'd be a very reasonable compromise.
Molly and Ellen,
I wasn't going to perpetuate this discussion any further, mostly because enough people couldn't figure out that you were posting tongue-in-cheek that I was content to let hang from your own petards. But I couldn't stop myself.
Molly, you're a dolt. Go back and read my Sept 3 post. Of course there were sick and elderly and we failed them. You and me and Bush and the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana and any body else you can think of that should have been on guard, failed them. There seem to be about 10,000 people there who have refused to leave. Rescuers have even begun withholding fresh water from them, in the hope of forcing them out. I watched a rescue worker on TV scream at a woman to get in his boat and she wouldn't. Behind her, in her driveway, was a van with water to the roof. I'm all for helping those people, but aren't they now making a horrible situation worse? When they get sick, and they will, somebody will have to go back and look for them. If that woman had left in the first place, like most of the other sentient beings in that town, the aftermath of the storm would be much more manageable than it is. Sure, Bush and pretty much every other government official is at fault to one degree or another. But that doesn't absolve an individual of the responsibility to take care of oneself or one's family. For cryin' out loud, if you wake up one day and there's no government left, wouldn't you get up and go for help? Damned if I would wait for somebody from the gummint to show up and pull me out of the toilet bowl. I'll get out of the toilet bowl myself, thank you.
Okay, people, let's get something straight. You can heap abuse on me, that's fine -- I run a public website, and negative feedback is part of the package. But people who comment on this site are my guests, and I will not have my guests maligned. That means no tearing anyone a new asshole, Molly, and that means no calling anyone names, Davey.
Disagree all you want, but keep it civil.
(This is a democrat talking.) you know.. it's always easy to be right after the fact. i like your site.. but i'm tired of people bitching about bush. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. they "heard about a possible terrorist attack pre 9/11 but didn't warn people" so therefore he's an asshole... well now he warned people with enough time that the crippled could have rolled out of town in their chairs and now he's an asshole. so basically what everyone's saying is that bush should have had 50,000 buses waiting on the outskirts of the affected area to come flying in and sweep everybody away. That's a great idea.. except for those buses were being used as transportation for other cities. The government doesn't have a plethera of buses just sitting around in case a town gets flooded. I think that if you're all realistic and put down you bush bashing stick, you'll realize it really wasn't that absurd. ask yourselves.. if kerry took that long.. would we be yelling so much? Doubtful.
The other thing i'll say is that if those folks that stayed behind would have saved up a little from every welfare check they got.. they could have bought a basic wooden boat and two oars just to keep on their roof in case this happens. I mean.. for crying out loud.. you live BELOW SEA LEVEL PEOPLE.
(and for those mad about the welfare statement.. you know it's true.)
Matthew.. love you dude. don't be that guy that deletes a comment because it goes against the general flow.
"if those folks that stayed behind would have saved up a little from every welfare check they got.. they could have bought a basic wooden boat and two oars just to keep on their roof in case this happens."
"Welfare" is a generic term that could apply to several different social programs, but according to the 2004 supplement of the Social Security Administration, the average monthly TANF payment to a poor Louisiana family was $251.50.
Median rent in New Orleans during a similar period was $673 for a 2-bedroom.
You do the math.
OK, Dad. At least I wasn't profane.
Ok, Dad. At least I wasn't profane.
Between LAN3 and monday morning quarterback, I think they've nailed it.
Those of us who live along the Atlantic & Gulf coasts are sitting targets for hurricanes, yet most of us are in denial about the fact. It's human nature to believe that 'it can't happen to me!' Unfortunately, the last two hurricane seasons have proven that yes, folks, it can & probably will. That is why this writer is leaving her home 5 miles inland from the Atlantic & relocating to Central Texas NOW!
Mathew you have every right to be angry and are justified in placing blame on Bush and his administration. The fact is this disaster is too big to be handled with state resources. The feds needed to step in immediately and that did not happen. No Bush did not cause the natural disaster but his administration is to blame for the events that followed. Those events were anything but natural. It's unfortunate that so much of the resources were being utilized in an unneeded war in another country. Had that not been the case I am sure the people of NO would not have been stuck in an emergency shelter run by gangs for five days. I can't help but wonder if the children raped and killed in that building would have been if their parents had been the affluent people of California?
I would like to state somthing I found very insulting in the posts by Molly.
She says that Mormons have many wives. (often young nubile teenage ones.) Where did you get this information from? Have you ever known a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? We do not keep more than one wife. You would probably be ex-communicated if you did. Please don't say somthing about a religion when you don't really know about it.
Sorry Matt, my bad!!! As for the anger at my comments about mormons...it was meant to be tongue and cheek, please take it as such.
I keep hearing people saying, "they live below sea level for cryin' out loud! This was bound to happen sooner or later!"
Well, the entire country of Holland has been below sea level for centuries. They maintain their levees and dykes. I understand they don't get hurricanes like the gulf coast but, they also have never suffered the effects of a breach like this. Because they spend money to protect themselves.
I hope someday people aren't saying about the people of Western Washington, "They lived at the base of a volcano for cryin' out loud. That mudslide was bound to happen sooner or later!"
Molly, Molly, Molly---
What are we gonna do with you? How insensitive, how politically incorrect of you to speak of Mormons in the way that you did. And, the phrase is "tongue IN cheek".
Now I'm really gonna torque you off. I found one organization that responded beautifully to the Katrina disaster. They were loaded and ready to go and they handed out food, clothing diapers, you name it. And they did it all much, much quicker than the government did. They are probably the second most evil organization in the world, after the Bush Administration. (See, now that was tongue in cheek.) I'm speaking, of course, of Wal Mart. Yes, Wal Mart, Molly. $20 million in aid they committed. 1500 truckloads of goods. Setting up mini Wal Marts in stricken areas, where they are GIVING AWAY stuff. Relocating their employees to new stores and jobs.
If those knuckleheads in Washington don't realize that the fastest, most responsive logistics operation on the planet is based right there in Bentonville, Arkansas, then they really should be fired. Homeland Security should right now be in contact with Wal Mart and contracting with them to provide logistics support for the next crisis that comes. WalMart moves a New Orleans-sized amount of goods every day as a matter of routine. They could have had stuff in place within hours of the storm ending.
But we can't have that, can we Molly? Wal Mart might make a profit off their services and that would be evil.
Oh...to be named Molly. If I were I could pretend that Davey's missives were directed at me and I could feel educated and enlightend by such an informed teacher.
Another organization that has done amazing work in the wake of the Hurricane is the Red Cross. Unlike our federal government, they responded the same to this disaster in the same way they respond to any disaster worldwide, and they do it for free, and don't seek recongnition. While they can cite numbers of people helped, housed, and meals provided, due to their impressive organizational setup, fema has no idea how many people they have helped as was evidenced in ABC news last night. It's difficult to measure your success if you don't know what it is you've done or not done.
Props to the Red Cross.
Don't forget the Mormon's and their truckloads of food from utah etc... They left DAYS before the hurricane. The government? Total retards..
I don't buy either the people who stayed in New Orleans all wanted to stay, nor that they all wanted to leave. There's always a minority that decides to ride it out, generally because the calculated risk of death worth more than the extravagant inconvenience of evacuating and leaving your home, sometimes pets, and, well, life behind. Hurricanes themselves generally kill very few people, and some people are prepared for flooding. (And some people are in spectacular denial, or else they over-value their possessions compared to their lives and the lives of their family members.)
As for the the people who wanted to leave but couldn't... this makes me sick. Of all the missed opportunities to save lives, I think this by far was the biggest. I don't know what to say to this-- literally tens of thousands of people who couldn't leave on their own could've left the city on a bus and thus avoid the chaos, shortages, crime, exposure, and, of course, the lethal combinations thereof. This is undeniably a local issue.
There's no reason that both of these populations can exist and that both 'sides' can't acknowledge this. The former group can take their lives in their own hands, but the latter should've had an option. I can see how much of a hardship it would be for I, myself, to get out of town, and I have access to some money (though no car). Without money, without a car, without friends close friends with a car.. I don't know what I'd do. But I know now that I should come up with a solution myself-- waiting for instructions could doom me.
Ideally, you make this stuff really local-- instead of having the Mayor (or, god help us, the Feds) order the bus drivers around, the bus drivers should know to report to their buses and queue for passengers at such-and-such pickup area. If nobody has to wait for orders, the plan will go through even if the city has lost its head, one way or another.
I heard an interesting interview of a Bangladeshi journalist on NPR. Bangladesh lost 100,000 people to tidal waves following a cyclone. The journalist said many poor people in Bangladesh did not evacuate because they had nowhere to go or no means to leave the area, or because they were literally more afraid of the consequences of evacuating -- possible loss of all their belongings to looting with no way to replace them -- than they were of the disaster.
Bangladesh apparently did three significant things following this catastrophe: 1. Replanted coastal forests to break the force of cyclones. 2. Rebuilt schools in the flood plains to serve as evacuation centers -- all the schools are on stilts or otherwise raised above the flood level. 3. Organized teams of volunteers to go into poor neighborhoods and offer counseling and assistance so that people will be willing to evacuate.
Frankly, I think we ought to be talking about doing something similar in this country. Poor people are not nuts: Poor people usually have very good reasons for making the choices they do, although they might not be the choices that more affluent people would make.
Politics, as when Andrew came thru Florida in 1992, we had a democrat for governor, and had to wait for 3 days for any assistance.
Can't we just all get along?
Can't we just go back to reading reviews of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo"?
Way to not blame the city or state governments for not responding (or evacuating or at least providing water or medical staff or police in the Superdome), as they are the first respondants in a disaster.
Seriously, the governor waiting 24 hours to call in the National Guard? Why don't we hear you complaining about that? Maybe it's because you're ignorant as to how the system is supposed to work, and just want to try and point the blame at your favorite straw-man again.
Hate Bush, that's fine.
Just hate him for the right reasons. The Feds responded when the city and state levels didn't. Get your facts straight.
Stop me if you've heard this...
Molly, Davey & a Mormon walk into a bar...
...the bartender says,"What'll you have?"
Davey says, "I'll have a beer."
The Mormon says,"I'll have six beers. One for me and five for my nubile young wives that are waiting to help me repopulate our sparse areas."
Molly says, "D'oh!"
Seriously... That is really insulting.
Hey Ugh. I think you're the one who needs to get the facts straight. The local government realized they couldn't respond to the magnitude of the impending disaster and called the Feds. The Feds didn't come.
The governor declared a State of Emergency on the 26th. Then requested a FEDERAL State of Emergency on the 27th which was declared. A Federal State of Emergency is declared when the scope of the disaster is beyond the ability of the local government to handle. Katrina hit land on the 29th. The levee was breached later that day.
In addition, when there has been a Federal State of Emergency declared, FEMA (a FEDERAL agency, not local) is running the show. The Governor doesn't "call in" the National Guard, the Federal Government is supposed to send them. Oh but wait.... 24 hours after the hurricane, on the 29th, the pentagon claimed there were already enough National Guard in the area. Guess they were wrong.
On the 31st the President organized a task force to coordinate Federal response. THE FRICKIN' THIRTY FIRST!!! That's 4 days after a Federal State of Emergency was declared. Two days after the hurricane hit land.
So yeah, I'm blaming Bush.
"The Governor doesn't "call in" the National Guard, the Federal Government is supposed to send them."
I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong, Ellen. In cases of disaster relief concerning a state, it is the duty of the Governor to call them in. From the Army National Guard Website: http://www.arng.army.mil/About_Us/
"For state missions, the governor, through the state Adjutant General, commands Guard forces. The governor can call the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, fires, earthquakes or civil disturbances."
Naglin didn't leave any supplies or medical aid for the refugees in the Superdome, and hundreds of schoolbusses sat empty in parking lots rather than ferrying out the poor and homeless. The Governor didn't call in the Guard in time. But PLEASE, if it makes you sleep better at night, blame Bush. It's not the first time he's been made out to be a strawman.
Sorry. Not sure what a "strawman" is. Doesn't matter though. I get your point.
Actually, it doesn't make me sleep better. It scares me to death.
I believe the important words in the quote you pasted are the first three..."For state missions". When Louisiana declared a Federal State of Emergency it was no longer a "state mission".
If it helps you sleep at night to blame Naglin go ahead. Blaming the victim is always easier and denial is a more snuggly bedfellow.
"I keep hearing people saying, "they live below sea level for cryin' out loud! This was bound to happen sooner or later!"
Well, the entire country of Holland has been below sea level for centuries. They maintain their levees and dykes. I understand they don't get hurricanes like the gulf coast but, they also have never suffered the effects of a breach like this. Because they spend money to protect themselves...."
Posted by: ellen on September 7, 2005 09:28 AM
Sorry Ellen - Not true.
In '53, there was a breach that cost 1800+ lives. (http://www.thehollandring.com/1953-ramp.shtml)
Yes Hendrick, that is true. But the difference between Holland and our government is that Holland then Investigated what went wrong, Determined what they needed to do to prevent such an event from occurring again and then Spent the necessary capital to beef up their levee systems. This included constructing some incredible water control gates. It appears that even after investigating the 9-11 experience, we did not determine the critical flaws in our disaster planning and then put into place a plan that would work, most especially in the area of communications. Why, because certain politicians are not willing to spend the money!
Hendrick, you're right. My bad.
So, we'll see what the future months and years bring. Will this administration take the necessary steps to prevent another disaster? Only time will tell.
Everything about this situation infuriates me, breaks my heart, and makes me want to wail and gnash my teeth. But at least you just made me laugh for a minute with that mock headline.
Thank you, Defective Yeti.
For all the comments on what the Feds should do for Louisiana, we're overlooking the fact that LA already takes more Corps civil works $ than any other state.
Even if all that money went to flood control, is there a point when someone has the obligation to tell folks that living behind levees below sea level is a losing proposition?
OK. Why don't you go down and tell them. I'm sure they'll slap themselves on the foreheads and say..."crap! why didn't someone say something sooner?!"
Really, after giving it more thought, I really am sick of the amount of Federal dollars we've wasted on that state. I mean, a bunch of idiots who choose to live below sea level don't really deserve it and now that they've gotten themselves in this pickle they want more? I'm sure the entire nation hasn't benefitted from the fact that New Orleans has one of the largest deep water Ports in the country. Screw them!
Hendrick? What state do you live in? Are you safe from the possibility of flood, earthquake, mudslide, hurricane, volcano eruption and tornado? Or worse yet...terrorist attack? Because if you aren't then what are you doing living there? It's just a matter of time....
I'm not sure this is right time to be touting the deep water in NO, port or not. Maybe you're being ironic, and I missed it.
I'm not saying that there is anywhere that is 100% risk-free. I'm saying that some locales are inherently more risky than others. Those risks have costs to society measured in dollars and lives.
No one saying NO residents are idiots. But I'm not sure how we can continue to do the same thing (build below sea level) and expect anything but the same same result.
Well, at least Bush won't have to purge those voters in New Orleans from the rolls in 2006 and 2008. I'm glad the GOP did everything it could to help the poor and the black die quicker. As Jesus would have, so they say.
Too bad the Louisiana National Guard was guarding oil wells in Iraq instead of the pipelines in New Orleans.
Oil companies = casinos and/or drug cartels. Oil prices will only go down when the deaths of oil executives only go up.
No no no Hendrick. My reference to a deep water port was neither insensitive nor ironic. I was trying to make a point about why that city is important to our entire nation and my snarky attitude got in the way.
So, to clarify... The Port of New Orleans is very very important to the US for it's major import and export business. It sits at the base of 5 or 6 rivers (now..."base"? not sure that's the correct term). Tons and tons of export business comes by barge down those rivers to the port where it is exported. The same is true for imports going the other way. It would cost much much more to transport another way than it would cost to maintain and/or repair that port.
Large cities always exist around large ports...hence New Orleans. I guess our forefathers, or the French in this case, thought it was worth the risk of being below sea level.
So, without being a smart-ass, my point was that the expenditure federal dollars has and will benefit the entire nation, not just the state of Louisana.
I apologize if someone has already laid into "Davey," but I would just like to point out--having lived half of my life on the west bank of NO--that in order to WALK or ride a bicycle out of the area into safety would require you to start going as soon as the alerts of a storm forming were announced. It is not only NOLA itself that is below sea level and flooding, but the entire surrounding areas. But that dumb ass point aside, here is a better question.
Why didn't they use the school buses and city buses to relocate people?
And why, why, whywhywhy do people continue to defend Bush in the face of such gross inadequacies? How many atrocities will you fools willingly suffer and continue to smile and sing the song?