I find it pretty sad that anybody would be pulled off rescue efforts to
protect material objects instead of saving life. It's a sad day in this
world that we are more worried about a TV more then somebodies life.
Hey Roy, in this case I don't think it was that as much as the shooting at
rescue workers... kinda hard to rescue with bullets flying.
According to one of my relatives close by, there was a rescue effort
consisting of a flotilla of over one hundred "Bubba's in bass boats"
scheduled for yesterday morning (and welcomed by the "authorities", LRod),
who couldn't do what they came for because of that.
You could be right. I couldn't tell if Mark and/or Juanita was refering
to the shooting at rescue workers or if it was the case where the Gov.
pulled the police out of the rescue work night before last to stop the
looters in general.
Let them have the TV's etc. there will be no power to plug it into
anyway. Beside they will be selling their hide for a drink of water
Nah, protecting property is apparently far more important than saving lives.
As for the lack of planning, there have been plans, plans, and more plans
about the catastrophic failure of those levees and dikes in place for
Read "The control of Nature" by John McPhee, he, among many writers, was
talking about the role of the Army corp of Engineers in that area and their
plans years ago.
"Mr. Bill" of SNL fame did a flippin PSA about the levees breaking well over
a year ago.
Contrary to Mr. Bush's comments, a lot of people knew exactly what would
happen when the levee's were breached. They were asking, begging and
pleading for federal money for decades to help fix the problems.
What they got was decreasing budgets every year from the last 3
administrations. Contracters working on the last series of local/state
projects went without pay for a year in order to complete their work. The
last local budget was used to pay contracter's for work done the previous
The lack of leadership from the federal government is mind numbing. The
president went to a freakin golf course AFTER being informed that a class
4,5 hurricane was less than 100 miles from landfall.
The directors of both FEMA and of Homeland Security have exactly zero
experience in emergency/disaster preparedness and response. Mr. Brown of
FEMA had to be told by television reporters the extent of the problems
erupting at the New Orleans convention center. And these are the people who
are in charge of things? God help us when we actually get attacked by
And where was the government of the State of Louisiana? When did it become the
responsibility of the federal government to fix local problems? Why should
taxpayers in Utah or Indiana or Maine pay for repairing levees in Louisiana?
See above. Not a federal responsibility.
What, you think he could have done something to change its course?
Immaterial. Trying to manage a disaster response from a thousand miles away
isn't going to work anyway. What counts is whether the local officials on the
scene know what they're up to.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
That started right around the time that the locals began paying
taxes to the Federal Government to support programs that weren't
strictly Federal in nature. In the instant case, perhaps protecting
NO, Biloxi and Mobile from Natural disasters became a Federal
Problem when the Feds started levying tariffs on good passing
through those ports. Keep in mind that the states cannot
levy tariffs of their own.
Well the seaport of New Orleans contributes quite a bit to the the
economy of the entire country. Perhaps as much so as the Federally
subsidized farming in Indiana, the Federally-regulated fishing in
Maine (probably a bad example as I doubt that the fishermen there
think the Feds are _helping_) or the Federal highway system in Utah.
(I know, the farmers aren't PAID by the Feds, but they do benefit
from the subsidy program) Everybody gets Federal aid at the local
level, maybe we'd all be better off without it and just pay less
tax to the Federal Government, but that is not the way it is or
has been for about a century or so. And as noted above, seaports
are special in that they cannot directly tax the imports/exports
to raise revenue themselves.
Part of the problem is that once the Feds do get involved, then
the locals get used to suckling on the Federal teat and stop
fending for themselves. Then if the Feds do a half-assed job
or pull out of the program the locals don't have the management
or infrastructure in place. In the case of NO, one imagines that
few administrations were willing to build up the levies and
the return (in campaign contributions) was probably higher if
the available funds were spent on other things like the infrastruce
needed to support tourism. Not a good thing. Not an excuse,
just some commentary.
I may be wrong, but I thought that the decision to pull the police
from rescue to looter control was due to looters looting gun stores,
armed bands raping and stealing from stranded folks, drug stores being
emptied from all sorts of controlled substances, coordinated attacks
on people holed up in hotels and on doctors in hospitals, etc., etc.
This bull of referring to the looters as those poor folks just trying
to get some food and water has lived its day and we have to see what
happened as the nasty, violent perdition of animals that it was.
Didn't really pay attention to that report did you? How about - they were
pulled off of search and rescue to attempt to restore order in the face of
shootings, rapes, fires, explosions and yes - looting. Do you really
believe all of the looting that's going on down there is in the name of
"necessities" and that it's a benign environment? Better to consider it a
sad note that 4 days into this disaster, our highly funded disaster
preparedness organizations such as FEMA have fumbled so badly with this
whole thing. Not to mention that the state and local authorities had no
real plan to deal with what was a guaranteed eventuality in their area.
I don't think it it the material objects' protection so much as the
people doing the looting are also engaging in other acts of violence
(several murders, multiple rapes every night in the SuperDome, gangs
roaming the streets stealing from people at gun-point, stealing the buses
that are coming to evacuate people) That's what is causing the police to
have to be pulled off of rescue efforts for law enforcement -- people are
getting hurt and killed by thugs.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
I could agree with that, except for the fact that the "emergency managers"
kept predicting, correctly as it turns out, just how bad it was going to be
for three days beforehand ... didn't they believe their own damn
Yeah, funny how much easier it is to get your shit together, when you
have power, water, and all that stuff. Face it - people are going to
bitch about the response no matter what. Some of it is legitimate
criticism, some of it is just people making noise instead of doing
Sorry, as I've already stated, their predictions three days out turned out
to be very accurate ... IMO, the _leadership_ does get paid to have "the
strength of their predictions", so to speak.
I have no problem whatsoever in criticizing what was an obvious lack of
_leadership_, particularly with regard to 'command and control' issues, at
both local and Federal level. I also predict you will hear a lot more in
that regard when the chips finally fall.
On a brighter note ... just delivered another truck load of
blankets/towels/books/games and clothes, compliments of more of my neighbors
who filled up the bed for the second time in two days. The Methodist church
is handling the former, the next door Baptist church the latter ... nice to
put aside the red state/blue state thing, and all the other divisive issues,
and see everyone dividing up the work and getting it done.
I still think it highly unlikely <anybody> on this planet would have
been able to predict the magnitude of the result and have plans in place
to cope given the geography of the area.
It's all well and good to reevaluate and update procedures for the
future but to harp on it now is simply beating on the dead horse.
Where, for example, would they have found and how could they have gotten
a sufficient number of seats to move 50,000 people w/o transportation to
somewhere else (and where would that somewhere else be)? At 100/bus, it
would be 500 buses at least. And, how would you suggest they could have
gotten all of those people to even go to get on the buses before the
It's wishful thinking and some things could be going better, but most
while tragic is almost inevitable in the short term.
The only thing I think that really could have been done that doesn't
seem to have happened is much more massive air drops of water and food
to the stranded.
That's good...we Methodists here are collecting and have sent five
semi-loads of water and MRE-type food--left yesterday to head straight
through to the Baton Rouge area and coordinated w/ another Methodist
What? The HISTORY of the Gulf Coast, and the KNOWN effects of a huricane
(wind and water) on same, should give even the piss poorest of the
leadership a clue.
... beat that dead horse now, so that you can keep the next one alive.
READ again what I said ... granted, there are some things you can't do
anything about, but there is simply NO excuse to NOT have 'command and
control' worked out in advance when you know PRECISELY the nature of what
you have to deal with (see first above).
I can tell you, firsthand, that single, most important aspect is what gets
most combat units through tough times, _without_ them having the advantage
of knowing in advance what's going to be thrown at them.
That aspect alone, being able to direct/ and manage efforts/rescue efforts
more effectively, with adequate commincations, would have helped immensely
in the "emergency management" of this latest disaster.
There is no doubt this was lacking, that it was a leadership problem, and
there is simply NO excuse for that not being in place at both local and
I knew after I sent it I didn't word what I meant well...it's one thing
to <know/predict> it's yet another to really envision what actually
occurs. I think there's a conceptual leap there virtually impossible to
grasp as it is so far beyond the expected. Just as the complete
destruction of the areas hit by the Tsunami was <known>...
And, yes, I'll agree there has been apparent slow response--why and who
I'm not up to assessing at the moment and don't think it does anything
constructive <at this point>...
I brought it up merely as a preface to predicting that it will produce
something constructive ... if it doesn't, we need to look elsewhere for
leadership in these times, from the top on down.
And I am not kidding when I say someone of the leadership caliber of Rudy G
and what he did in NY during those times ... and I have no earthly idea of
his political persuasion, nor do I give a rat's ass.
And what I'm saying is that while I agree he appears to be a damn smart
cookie (and I don't recall for sure his persuasion either, but I think
he's a Red Stater???) I think he had <far> more resources to call upon
than does the State of LA or the City of NO. And, I don't think he had
a <whole> lot to do with that having been in place before he ever showed
up (or was born, even)...
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