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Thread: FEMA blames the victims

  1. #31
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    And, OMG, Bush apparently doesn't think there has been any justification for the people stranded in NO to be taking food and water from stores. This is from Scott McClellan's press briefing yesterday.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0050901-2.html

    Q Scott, do you cited the President's zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?

    MR. McCLELLAN: I think you heard from the President earlier today about his zero tolerance. We understand the need for food and water and supplies of that nature. That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help. Looting is not the way for them to do it.
    I'm sorry, but taking food and water and shoes to survive from abandoned stores in an abandoned city does not come anywhere close to stealing in my book. Does Bush have absolutely no empathy or compassion? Everything he has done over the past few days seems to make it so clear that he doesn't.
    Anne

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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaraW

    I'm also amazed that this hurricane hit on Monday, it is now Friday and Bush is only now doing his tour. He should have been there late on Monday or Tuesday, at the latest. Someone on one of the news shows this AM commented that he was much quicker to respond/tour a disaster site during an election year. :mad:
    I think logistically it is better that he not be there. He requires much security and planning and I think those resources are needed elsewhere.
    Karen

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by beacooker
    And, OMG, Bush apparently doesn't think there has been any justification for the people stranded in NO to be taking food and water from stores. This is from Scott McClellan's press briefing yesterday.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0050901-2.html



    I'm sorry, but taking food and water and shoes to survive from abandoned stores in an abandoned city does not come anywhere close to stealing in my book. Does Bush have absolutely no empathy or compassion? Everything he has done over the past few days seems to make it so clear that he doesn't.
    Well no he doesn't -- what actions has he taken that would give anyone that idea. He lives in an isolated world of privilege and free rides -- always has and always will.

  4. #34
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    At the risk of being flamed and berated...

    why are y'all spending so much mental energy on a debate that at this moment has no real use? Your energy would be better spent thinking of ways to help the victims or to plan relief for the poor or disadvantaged in your own areas.

    Later, when we are not in a crisis state of relieving the immediate needs of those made homeless and bereaved by this natural disaster, discussion on how the event was planned for, handled, reacted to, and recovered from is necessary and important in order to prepare for the future.

    But right now, negative energy does nothing to help the thousands of people who need support. They have enough negative thoughts and energy on their own.

    --Kristin
    Your actions speak so loudly I can hardly hear you - Henry David Thoreau

  5. #35
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    Regarding why Bush waited so long to go to the storm area, today was actually his second trip. He flew over the day after the storm.

    Concerning the issue of why he supposedly waited so long to provide aid, he declared the area a disaster two days BEFORE the storm just so FEMA could get underway to get in there and help those people.

    There's a whole lot of blame going on, as well as a whole lot of help going on that we may not be hearing about in the media. It will be a while before we have a clear picture. But there's no question that something needed to be done a whole lot sooner. I would never have imagined that we couldn't do a better job--locallly or nationally--to help our citizens in a situation like this.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonghornGal
    At the risk of being flamed and berated...

    why are y'all spending so much mental energy on a debate that at this moment has no real use? Your energy would be better spent thinking of ways to help the victims or to plan relief for the poor or disadvantaged in your own areas.

    Later, when we are not in a crisis state of relieving the immediate needs of those made homeless and bereaved by this natural disaster, discussion on how the event was planned for, handled, reacted to, and recovered from is necessary and important in order to prepare for the future.

    But right now, negative energy does nothing to help the thousands of people who need support. They have enough negative thoughts and energy on their own.

    --Kristin

    This is a link to Colbert King's column in the Washington Post speaking to just what you said.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...090202075.html

    I think your thought on helping the disadvantaged in our own areas is very important.

    I posted this thought on another thread....Maybe this experience will help all of us better understand the plight of the poor in the US. The people that we are seeing on tv did not have much to begin with. When the evacuation order was given they did not leave because they had no where to go nor anyway to get there. They had and have no choices.

    Many of us are not in a position to actually do anything about this horrible disaster except write a check...hence all the bitching. But maybe we can take this energy and do something positive in our own communities.

    And that is my self-righteous soap box for today.
    Michele

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  7. #37
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    The inability of FEMA to act appropriately is directly due to Bush's policies as well as the people who chose to operate the system. My God, supplies were air dropped to the tsunami victims within 2 days.

    For those who are interested, here is an article from today's NY Times which contains a short history of FEMA and how it was weakened during the Bush administration precisely because of that administration's political views.


    September 3, 2005
    Leader of Federal Effort Feels the Heat

    By ERIC LIPTON and SCOTT SHANE

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 - On Thursday night, Michael D. Brown, the federal government's point man for managing the response to Hurricane Katrina, made a remarkable confession on live television.

    Speaking of the thousands stranded at the convention center in New Orleans without food or water, Mr. Brown said that his agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, had just learned of their plight.

    CNN's Paula Zahn was incredulous. "Sir," she said, "you aren't just telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?"

    "Paula," Mr. Brown replied unequivocally, "the federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today."

    The comment symbolized what some have described as a deeply flawed federal response. President Bush praised Mr. Brown's performance on Friday, but Mr. Brown's remarks prompted Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security, to call on President Bush to fire Mr. Brown or Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

    "That was just a boneheaded statement from someone who should be in charge of this situation," Mr. Thompson said. "The president will have to change the leadership so that a response this bad will never, never happen again for the American people."

    Mr. Brown, 50, is a Republican lawyer who worked for the International Arabian Horse Association before joining FEMA in 2001 as general counsel. This week he has become the public face of an agency that critics say has lost focus and clout since it was absorbed in 2003 by the new Department of Homeland Security.

    Now that FEMA is part of a much larger bureaucracy created to counter the threat of terrorism, its role in dealing with natural disasters has been diminished, state emergency management directors, disaster experts and former FEMA officials say. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, asked the president to name a new cabinet-level official to direct the effort.

    Representative Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, said FEMA should be separated from the Department of Homeland Security. "FEMA should not be hindered by a top-heavy bureaucracy when they are needed to act swiftly to save lives," Mr. Foley said.

    Since FEMA's absorption into Homeland Security, its ties to state emergency programs have been weakened, and it has reduced spending on disaster preparation, critics say.

    Russ Knocke, press secretary at Homeland Security, denied that FEMA's move to the department had hurt it. "Not only does FEMA have the resources but it has the backing of the department to do the job," he said.

    Mr. Brown was brought to FEMA in 2001 by the then-director, Joe M. Allbaugh, an old friend who had run Mr. Bush's first presidential campaign. He was promoted to deputy director in 2002 and to director in 2003.

    The public first saw Mr. Brown's folksy manner when he led the response to the 2004 Florida hurricanes. FEMA was later criticized for giving millions to undeserving residents.

    This week he has displayed striking candor, saying he awakened Monday thinking the agency had underestimated the storm and later admitting that the lawlessness surprised him.

    Andy Lester, a friend who practiced law with Mr. Brown, called him "an incredibly compassionate, very dedicated fellow in a thankless job."

    Mr. Allbaugh said Mr. Brown is "doing a great job."

    "I know a lot of people right now want to point fingers and criticize, but people should keep their powder dry," he said. "Disasters, particularly one of this magnitude, are always ugly to begin with."

    FEMA was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 after criticism of the government's fragmented response to a series of disasters, including Hurricane Camille in 1969 and California earthquakes in 1971.

    Hurricane Andrew, which struck South Florida in 1992, demonstrated that the federal government still had not sufficiently figured out how to respond smoothly, as thousands were initially left without shelter or water. The agency had a reputation for political patronage and pork barrel spending.

    It was with the appointment in 1993 of James Lee Witt, from Arkansas, that the agency began to earn respect.

    Mr. Clinton made FEMA a cabinet-level agency.

    "Witt shaped it into an organization that was not only to respond to disaster but attempt to mitigate disaster by taking actions before they occurred," said Michael Greenberger, a domestic security expert at the University of Maryland and a former Justice Department official.

    After severe flooding in the Midwest in 1993, FEMA under Mr. Witt, for example, bought more than 10,000 properties adjacent to rivers and relocated residents and businesses. In Grafton, Ill., where 403 residents and businesses applied for disaster aid after the 1993 flood, only 11 applied when the river overflowed again in 1995, FEMA said at the time.

    The approach to disaster management changed with the arrival of President Bush, experts in emergency management say. Mr. Bush appointed Mr. Allbaugh, who was Mr. Bush's chief of staff when he was governor of Texas.

    Testifying before Congress in 2001, Mr. Allbaugh said he was concerned that federal disaster assistance had become "an oversized entitlement program" and made it clear that the new administration wanted to curtail FEMA's mission.

    His goal, he said, was to "restore the predominant role of state and local response to most disasters."

    While Mr. Allbaugh was FEMA director, the Bush administration, with the backing of Congress, reversed the emphasis on preventing flooding, cutting the formula for such federal grants by half.

    "It just does not make good sense," said Larry A. Larson, director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

    FEMA's budget in recent years under the Bush administration has grown, from $4.6 billion in 2002 to $5.038 billion as originally enacted this fiscal year.

    But after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the agency was merged along with 21 other agencies into the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. Grants previously distributed directly to local and state governments were assigned to a separate Homeland Security office. As a result, three out of every four so-called federal preparedness grants now are spent on counterterrorism.

    Representative Thompson, whose Mississippi district was damaged by Katrina, said that during the Bush administration, FEMA had lost its focus.

    "FEMA went back to being treated like a political resting place for favors that were owed," he said. "The entire emphasis of it was demoted."

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grace
    I still have to ask you all how does this all fall into Bush's lap? The government of the State of Louisiana is who is responsible for setting up a good, viable evacuation, rescue and recovery plan. The plan they had SUCKED. How is that Bush's fault? If everyone wants to blame Bush now for the slow response after the fact, I might not argue, but the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of NO had the responsibility for coming up with a plan that also protects their own poor constituents. It has been posted all over this board how they KNEW that anything over a Category 3 hurricane would cause a huge disaster. They KNEW that they have a huge contingency of poor concentrated in one area. They KNEW that the levees couldn't withstand anything more than a category 3. They KNEW they weren't going to get the funding to fix it. They KNEW that a big hurricane someday was very, very likely. And yet they had NO plan for it. That, my friends, is NOT Bush's fault, or Clinton's fault or even FEMA's fault. It is the fault of the state of Louisiana.
    Grace I couldn't agree with you more here. I think the ball was dropped statewide. It's sad that the blame game is going on at all but lets not put this all in Bush's lap. I think the mayor of NO and the Gov of Louisiana could have and should have done more before the storm. They knew 2 days in advance the storm was going to be a catagory 5, no one survives a cat 5 hurricane. They should have bussed people out of those urbans areas where they didn't have the money to get themselves out. Who knows their constituency better than the local government? They knew they were below poverty and would be unable to get out themselves financially speaking. Why didn't the city use every bus available in the state to move these people out? http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...lpc21109012015 Why didn't they stockpile water/food in the Superdome? Why didn't they ask Houston to use the Astrodome to house the people who couldn't afford to go anywhere before the storm hit? Why, why, why, why? So many why's and what if's could be asked. That doesn't change the fact that no one can do anything to prevent the damage that was sustained by a category 5 hurricane. They should have had a better plan in place statewide for something like this, they always feared it would happen, why were they not better prepared?

    And to touch briefly on FEMA...........The inablitity for FEMA to act properly had nothing to do with Bush, it has to do with the lawlessness in NO. You can't air drop supplies when you are being shot at, but imagine if they did, the riot that would ensue? People would be shooting other victims to get to those supplies. It's easy for us to sit here and criticize FEMA, but FEMA is not to blame here. FEMA depends on the civilian law enforcement agencies to keep order so they can do their jobs. Right now there is so much lawlessness going on in NO that they can't do their jobs. The police force to begin with was laughable, I read 1,500 police for a city of 1.5 million before the storm and the murder rate in New Orleans continued to rise under Mayor Nagin? After the storm some of the police force is gone in NO, some evacuated, some turned in badges, and in fact some joined in on the looting. Absolutely disgusting. :mad: People are looting, murdering, and raping while relief efforts are trying to get in. We aren't hearing this in Alabama or Mississippi where they took the brunt of the storm. Their cities were leveled yet they maintain order there. If the local government in NO would do their jobs then FEMA could have done theirs more swiftly. Bush sent in federal troops and out of state national guard as soon as the break down began, less than 72 hours later, now these troop have to clean up the local governments mess before they can begin to save lives and help those in peril. Don't blame FEMA and Bush, blame the hurricane, the looters, and the local government for the mess in NO.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tizzylish
    Grace I couldn't agree with you more here. I think the ball was dropped statewide. It's sad that the blame game is going on at all but lets not put this all in Bush's lap. I think the mayor of NO and the Gov of Louisiana could have and should have done more before the storm. They knew 2 days in advance the storm was going to be a catagory 5, no one survives a cat 5 hurricane. They should have bussed people out of those urbans areas where they didn't have the money to get themselves out. Who knows their constituency better than the local government? They knew they were below poverty and would be unable to get out themselves financially speaking. Why didn't the city use every bus available in the state to move these people out? http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...lpc21109012015 Why didn't they stockpile water/food in the Superdome? Why didn't they ask Houston to use the Astrodome to house the people who couldn't afford to go anywhere before the storm hit? Why, why, why, why? So many why's and what if's could be asked. That doesn't change the fact that no one can do anything to prevent the damage that was sustained by a category 5 hurricane. They should have had a better plan in place statewide for something like this, they always feared it would happen, why were they not better prepared?

    And to touch briefly on FEMA...........The inablitity for FEMA to act properly had nothing to do with Bush, it has to do with the lawlessness in NO. You can't air drop supplies when you are being shot at, but imagine if they did, the riot that would ensue? People would be shooting other victims to get to those supplies. It's easy for us to sit here and criticize FEMA, but FEMA is not to blame here. FEMA depends on the civilian law enforcement agencies to keep order so they can do their jobs. Right now there is so much lawlessness going on in NO that they can't do their jobs. The police force to begin with was laughable, I read 1,500 police for a city of 1.5 million before the storm and the murder rate in New Orleans continued to rise under Mayor Nagin? After the storm some of the police force is gone in NO, some evacuated, some turned in badges, and in fact some joined in on the looting. Absolutely disgusting. :mad: People are looting, murdering, and raping while relief efforts are trying to get in. We aren't hearing this in Alabama or Mississippi where they took the brunt of the storm. Their cities were leveled yet they maintain order there. If the local government in NO would do their jobs then FEMA could have done theirs more swiftly. Bush sent in federal troops and out of state national guard as soon as the break down began, less than 72 hours later, now these troop have to clean up the local governments mess before they can begin to save lives and help those in peril. Don't blame FEMA and Bush, blame the hurricane, the looters, and the local government for the mess in NO.
    Well said! I wondered why more relief wasn't air dropped and your rationalization makes sense.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonghornGal
    At the risk of being flamed and berated...

    why are y'all spending so much mental energy on a debate that at this moment has no real use? Your energy would be better spent thinking of ways to help the victims or to plan relief for the poor or disadvantaged in your own areas.

    But right now, negative energy does nothing to help the thousands of people who need support. They have enough negative thoughts and energy on their own.

    --Kristin
    Do you really think we are JUST debating; not really helping? Having the people of NO on our mind does cause this type of debate because so many people simply will not see W as he really is; rose-colored glasses or something. I really don't think this debate sends any kind of "negative energy"; it's a way for us to vent our feelings--against W and at our own relative inability to help those suffering in NO.

    In case you might think otherwise (and I don't know why I'm justifying myself), I have donated (what I feel to be generously)!

    Debbie
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tizzylish
    ] They should have had a better plan in place statewide for something like this, they always feared it would happen, why were they not better prepared?

    Maybe being better prepared would have helped but those who are suffering the most have no input in a statewide preparedness plan!

    Bush sent in federal troops and out of state national guard as soon as the break down began, less than 72 hours later, now these troop have to clean up the local governments mess before they can begin to save lives and help those in peril. Don't blame FEMA and Bush, blame the hurricane, the looters, and the local government for the mess in NO.
    Less than 72 hours later--do you realize that is three days? I can't imagine why it takes just short of three days to send help! Again, you can blame the local government and looters but that still is not helping those suffering in NO. I think if W can justify the war in Iraq, he could find a way to handle the looters in NO!

    Debbie
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  12. #42
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    Explain all you want -- for four frigging days, the hospitals of NO were BEGGING and pleading for supplies and evacuation -- Are you actually claiming that the Federal government which evacuates soldiers as part of SOP was unable to get it together to land helicopters on the roofs --

    And FWIW, the police of NO weren't looting -- oh my Gawd -- what kind of news broadcasts do you people listen to and then accept as gospel truth. They were based in a Walmart because everything else was flooded and were using that for supplies. They also were siphoning gas from abandoned cars for their own vehicles because they needed gas. There really is an undertone in these posts with regard to the victims of NO that is making me feel somewhat uneasy.

    And I'm not sure what the size of a police force has to do with anything.
    I live in LA which is severely undermanned because people are unwilling to pay the cost -- read HIGHER TAXES. NO as is true of most urban areas is disproportionate poor because the wealthy have left for the suburbs even if they actually earn their living in the city -- most cities don't tax income of non-residents for example. So if the next big earthquake hits, I am at fault if I am trapped somehow because the mechanism of government that is supposed to work fails -- hmm - as the title of this thread indicates FEMA isn't alone in blaming the victims.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM
    Well said! I wondered why more relief wasn't air dropped and your rationalization makes sense.
    Again, I would think if W can send troops into Iraq with all the unrest, he could manage relief aid to NO!!
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Do you really think we are JUST debating; not really helping? Having the people of NO on our mind does cause this type of debate because so many people simply will not see W as he really is; rose-colored glasses or something. I really don't think this debate sends any kind of "negative energy"; it's a way for us to vent our feelings--against W and at our own relative inability to help those suffering in NO.

    In case you might think otherwise (and I don't know why I'm justifying myself), I have donated (what I feel to be generously)!

    Debbie
    Brava Debbie -- At let me add that I am lucky to work at a company that immediately set up a website which matches all employee donations to Red Cross -- and I have donated.

    The hurricane couldn't be avoided - that's an act of God. The human tragedy afterwards is a direct result of the policies of the man in the White House -- squeeze Federal funding for urgent programs; deplete the state National Guards rather than face reality in terms of troops needed for a war that was started on the basis of a big lie and major incompetence.

    I get just as mad when I read about the troops who still lack necessary armoured vehicles -- symptomatic of the rot at the very top.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Again, I would think if W can send troops into Iraq with all the unrest, he could manage relief aid to NO!!
    That's easy to say. How, when and where troops enter Iraq is a complicated, planned process. It certainly didn't happen overnight, or in a matter of days. How, when and where relief aid goes into NO has also been complicated by the flooding and unrest. We can debate this all day long. I feel sad for all the people that have been in their from day one rescueing and helping people, risking their own safety. Thousands and thousands of people have been saved. How must they feel when all they hear in the media is how there's been no help?

    I actually heard somone on TV blame the hurricane on President Bush, saying that the hurricane was caused by global warming and that's his fault.

  16. #46
    I don't come to this board very often, and I'm starting to remember why. The political undertone, the air of self righteousness, blah, blah, blah.

    But I'll play along for a while. Maybe I'll learn something.

    A few points for consideration (some of which have already been stated...forgive me if I plagerize. And a brief footnote...I am neither a Bush supporter nor opponent.):

    1. The Assessment of Blame - If anyone thinks that this can be pinned on a single individual or department, no matter how high ranking, they are simply ignorant and short sighted. Everyone is to blame at various degrees. The Feds are possibly to blame for not having a catastophic recovery plan ready to roll in case of such an emergency. The local government has recognized the risk of a Class 4 or 5 hurricane for decades, and has done nothing to reinforce the levees (rated to Class 3). And as much as this is not politically correct, the local populace is also to blame. We are largely looking at a societal group that is incapable of providing for itself. In several cases, they have lost all discipline of simply being a human being. For example, you don't just drop and defacate in the same area that you sleep and your children live. Even hamsters know better than that. But I would suggest that overall blame should be directed at a complete lack of leadership, at all levels.

    2. The Enormity of the Situation - I cannot recall an American urban area of this size being this decimated. Similar to 9/11, this is a situation that nobody has ever had to deal with before. From a logistic perspective, there was no preparation or solution available. But how does one plan for a situation like this? And how would one get the compliance of the population to, say, rehearse an evacuation plan?

    3. Looking Logically at the Logistics - C'mon, NO is 10-20 feet below sea level. Has been for over 100 years. If I lived in NO (and I would love to, by the way), and I saw a Class 3+ hurricane headed for NO, I wouldn't be waiting to get out of town until the governor told me to. Even after people were warned to leave, they still didn't. And before we get into the debate of the poor not having the means to leave, stop and think that many people made the active decision NOT to leave. I saw that Fats Domino was rescued from his house a couple days ago.

    In summary, this disaster WAS A KNOWN QUANTITY. People at every level KNEW it could happen, SAW it coming, AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING to lessen the impact to themselves or the environment.

    Chew on this.

    The next disaster could well be the "big one" in California. Is there a catastophic recovery plan in place for that? I doubt it. Are we going to blame the government because they're convienient? Yep. The government is supposed to fix and control everything, even though we b*tch about every Big Brother reference that occurs.

    But if there is a 3 day notice that a 9.0 Richter scale earthquake is going to happen in SoCal, and I live in SoCal, and I don't do everything in my power to get to Texas, then the first finger I have to point is at myself.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo6901
    1. The Assessment of Blame - If anyone thinks that this can be pinned on a single individual or department, no matter how high ranking, they are simply ignorant and short sighted.
    Thanks but I'm neither ignorant nor short-sighted. Our commander in chief has the power to deploy aid with the flick of his wrist. If you don't believe that, maybe you are simply ignorant or short-sighted. Just remember, it took him 72 hours (that's 3 days!) to send help to NO!

    Many of us will vent against W's policies simply because we are frustrated. Frustrated because many will believe anything he says! He demonstrates his lack of truth in one arena by refusing to meet with people like Cindy Sheehan. If he had nothing to hide, he would give this grieving mother at least an hour of his time--but he hasn't.

    Debbie


    p.s. Another issue I'm extremely unhappy with is that Halliburton has been awarded the storm clean-up contract--wouldn't you think he'd learned this lesson by now?
    Last edited by luv2run; 09-03-2005 at 01:07 PM.
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  18. #48

    Why all the focus on the negative?

    Yes, I agree that the situation in NO could have been handled better by just about every government agency involved, but why is nobody talking about the fact that Mississsippi is handling the disaster much, much better and that there are many success stories coming out of that state? There are no discussions about Bond, Mississippi, a town of about 50 people or so that was just about completely destroyed. Some of them cut through 8 miles of fallen trees to get to the highway - all without any help from the government. In fact, according to this article, relief workers have driven right past this community. CNN.com - Forgotten town suffers, too small to be noticed - Sep 2, 2005

    Yes, some of the blame belongs to the City, State and Federal government, but, like it or not, in New Orleans, some of the blame also belongs to those individuals who stayed and began raping, shooting and terriorizing others. I know that I'm in the minority with my opinion, but, for me, it all comes back to individual choice and then taking responsibility for those choices.

    Cheryl
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  19. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Thanks but I'm neither ignorant nor short-sighted. Our commander in chief has the power to deploy aid with the flick of his wrist. If you don't believe that, maybe you are simply ignorant or short-sighted. Just remember, it took him 72 hours (that's 3 days!) to send help to NO!

    Many of us will vent against W's policies simply because we are frustrated. Frustrated because many will believe anything he says! He demonstrates his lack of truth in one arena by refusing to meet with people like Cindy Sheehan. If he had nothing to hide, he would give this grieving mother at least an hour of his time--but he hasn't.

    Debbie
    Hi, Debbie. Thanks for your thoughts. What made you think that I was referring directly at you as being "ignorant or short sighted"? Is it because you feel that "W" is solely responsible? That has to be the only reason. Read "political undertones" from above. Please keep in mind that the initial reports coming from NO showed no flooding in the French Quarter. And it will take some time for broken levees to fill that volume of a city. Sadly, if it wasn't for the often catastrophy-hyped media networks to start showing the size of the devastation and how fast it was growing, it may have been longer than 72 hours (that's 3 days!) for something to be set in motion.

    As for Cindy Sheehan, if I'm not mistaken, she did meet with Bush (a year ago?) with a group of other parents who lost their sons/daughters in Iraq. Now, she's newly divorced, and her ex-husband has even said she cannot let her son rest.

    That's Cindy Sheehan simply grandstanding. Simply seeking attention.

    And, frankly, what does Cindy Sheehan have to do with New Orleans?

    And why do you consider this a forum for your own liberal, political diatribe?

    I'm sorry you're extremely unhappy with Haliburton being awarded the storm clean up contract. Perhaps we should wait another 72 hours (that's 3 days!) to have it re-bid and re-sourced.

    Thanks again, Debbie.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Do you really think we are JUST debating; not really helping? Having the people of NO on our mind does cause this type of debate because so many people simply will not see W as he really is; rose-colored glasses or something. I really don't think this debate sends any kind of "negative energy"; it's a way for us to vent our feelings--against W and at our own relative inability to help those suffering in NO.

    In case you might think otherwise (and I don't know why I'm justifying myself), I have donated (what I feel to be generously)!

    Debbie
    Thank you for your donation, it will be an important part of the recovery effort. And no, I wouldn't expect the people of the rest of the US to be any less generous than the people in my community, selflessly giving their money, time, and prayers to those in need, regardless of their political stance.

    Please note that nowhere in my statements do I express political feelings or the right/wrong discussion of the actions of the leaders. I am discussing the actions of each of us as individuals and how it impacts the morale of those affected by the disaster.

    My point is that there is a time and place to spend energy looking for root causes and issues, and that this is not yet the time. Reading this thread was demoralizing for me after a day of intense physical labor in support of the relief effort. Now, that was just me, it's entirely possible I am the only one who felt that way. After a night's rest I am back to my old self, and the negative vibe of the thread doesn't affect me as much. So, your venting helped you, but your venting made me feel worse.

    All energy needs to be focused on stabilizing the situation and helping those in need. Money helps. I hardly expect people geographically removed to come here and help with the relief effort, but there are things you can do in your own city to help those that are disadvantaged there - and prevent the sort of tragedy that is playing out here. Or ways you can show your loved ones how you appreciate them so when tragedy strikes, you're not left with what-if's and loads of guilt like many of the survivors.

    What I advocate is a pay-it-forward approach to releasing the feelings and emotions and energy generated by this event rather than a blame game. The time for troubleshooting and dissecting the actions of everyone involved is not now. Time spent on that is time that could be spent on providing relief. Later I am just as interested as you in finding out what systems broke down, and what should/could have been done better.

    I'll amend my earlier statement to include your feedback.
    "Right now, venting may help you to feel better, but it does nothing to help the thousands of people (both victims and relief workers) who need support. They have enough negative thoughts and energy on their own."


    --Kristin

    *edited for spelling.
    Your actions speak so loudly I can hardly hear you - Henry David Thoreau

  21. #51
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    Why I am dipping my toe into this again I am not quite sure.

    Reading in the newspaper today about the entire FEMA process simply convinces me that our government needs some streamlining.

    Although maybe it should be, it is not as simple as a flick of the wrist to order assistance. First, and this did happen before the storms hit, the President has to declare the regions available for federal emergency aid. That gives authority to FEMA to do whatever is necessary. But a federal agency just can't go in and take over, the local and state governments have to request FEMA to take over. Even then, FEMA has to make an assessment that local and state agencies can't handle the situation. The first request for actual personnel came from the state on Tuesday, but the request was only to figure out how many military hospital beds were available. Requests for troops did not come in until Wednesday. Those troops then need to be activated. Perhaps there is a flaw in the system, but I can see a reason for some of the procedures in place.

    A few years ago there was a horrendous fire here in Colorado. The local Army Base had the type of tanker plane necessary to drop the retardant and water. It sat waiting for orders for close to three days, when it was literally less than 100 miles from the fire. The orders had to come from some base in Idaho. It was insane to those of us who lived here and it frustrated the Army personnel locally to no end, but they couldn't just pick up and leave.

    A friend of mine sent me an email from a coach for Tulane (at least I think it was Tulane) who talked about leaving the city. She and her husband debated until the last minute about leaving. That just wasn't the New Orleans way; people had a tendency to think the predictions were overblown since they have weathered so many storms in the past. I heard this attitude from a friend of mine who lived there as well. So yes, while maybe many people did not have transportation to leave, many would not have left regardless.

    I guess the point of this is that there are many reasons why this disaster is as bad as it is now. If you are ticked at Bush because of the war, environmental policies, stance on abortion, whatever, then this gives you one more reason to be ticked. That's fine, but to say that solely the Fed. Gov't is responsible for the people in the Superdome or the Convention Center not having water or food (or any other problem) is ridiculous. There were failures all around. The best thing we can do is learn from the failures and if this happens again, know how to handle it better.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Thanks but I'm neither ignorant nor short-sighted. Our commander in chief has the power to deploy aid with the flick of his wrist. If you don't believe that, maybe you are simply ignorant or short-sighted. Just remember, it took him 72 hours (that's 3 days!) to send help to NO

    Well, you think you know what you're talking about, but you just don't. What you just wrote is absolutely incorrect, factually.

    He already declared the area a Federal Disaster Area TWO DAYS BEFORE the Hurricane. Secondly, the Governor knew that she had 7,000 National Guard at her disposal which she could have called up at any time (and it's her responsibility as the first person on the ground locally to assess the damage to make that call). She did NOT. She claims she didn't know how bad it was because the phones were out. What? No satellite phones? I suppose it was Bush's job to run down to the Best Buy and pick it up for her and send it. And if SHE didn't know how bad it was, someone sitting smack dab in the middle of it, how was anyone in Washington supposed to know???

    Lastly, because Bush deemed the area a Federal Disaster area ahead of time, the Feds WERE on call to jump in and help, but weren't called until Wednesday!! Why did the Louisiana officials wait to call? And once called, it takes time to put together an operation of the magnitude that was needed.

    BECAUSE the Governor knew she only had 7,000 national guardsmen to call on, and she knew that that likely would not have been nearly enough should the worst happen, she had the opportunity (the system's set up this way) to call Washington and tell them she only has 7,000 and will need more if the worst comes to pass. She didn't do that either!!! She did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Not one thing.

    You need to educate yourself on how the system works. Do some research about how the Federal government is called in on disaster relief. What is the Standard Operating Procedure. Don't believe me, research it for yourself. But you won't. You want to believe the story that feeds your hatred because it makes you feel better. Don't confuse you with the facts!!

    And on top of that, you're going to love this FACT too. FACT. Mr. Mayor was staying across the street from the Hyatt hotel during the storm (and afterwards) which had 400 people in it. He managed to get some busses to get those people out, who were then bussed to the Superdome, who then GOT TO BE FIRST IN LINE TO GET OUT OF NO!! All those poor people suffering in the Superdome, standing in line waiting to get out, and whoever these people were from the Hyatt (apparently they are not NO citizens - out-of-towners) got preferential treatment!!! He cared more about the well being of strangers than he did his own constituents who were obviously suffering far more than people holed up in a nice, comfy Hyatt. And the mayor is black, by the way, so no one can scream racism unless they believe a black man is a racist against his own race (which could be, I guess, but I don't believe that for one minute). He's simply a man (IMO) that doesn't care one bit about the people who elected him and obviously went into politics not for any altruistic reasons about serving people - particularly poor people which make up 25% of NO's population, but for the power and the money.

    But I'd go check your facts about how our government works (in general) before you start being mad about things you don't have a real clue about (and are just making assumptions about because you BELIEVE it's the way you think it is, not because you KNOW it's the way you think it is).
    Last edited by Grace; 09-03-2005 at 02:50 PM.

  23. #53
    "I can't help but wonder if all of these stranded people were white if they would be getting evacuated faster."

    Sorry, but I TOTALLY disagree with that statement, and I believe that it perpetuates racism rather than helps eradicate it. People were not evacuated faster because (a) they didn't or couldn't heed the warnings to leave; (b) the physical conditions of the area made it difficult to access; (c) the size of the area is enormous; (d) the logistical challenges of are enormous; and (e) the Republican government has other priorities.

    Don't like the government? Blame those who didn't vote Gore or Kerry into the Presidency...oh yeah, that's right, Gore actually was voted in, but whatever.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by todaysid01
    Sorry, but I TOTALLY disagree with that statement, and I believe that it perpetuates racism rather than helps eradicate it. People were not evacuated faster because (e) the Republican government has other priorities.

    Don't like the government? Blame those who didn't vote Gore or Kerry into the Presidency...oh yeah, that's right, Gore actually was voted in, but whatever.

    Good Grief!!! The government of the state of Louisiana is DEMOCRATIC!!! And how you talk out of both sides of your mouth!!

    "Sorry, but I TOTALLY disagree with that statement, and I believe that it perpetuates (hatred against those with whom you disagree) rather than helps it. People were not evacuated faster because (e) the Democrats are a bunch of crooks who don't really care about poor people."

    Do you see how substituting your words with equal tripe (just opposite of what you believe) sounds ridiculous? How can you claim that injecting racism into the equation is bad, but injecting politicism into it is good? Unbelievable. And you think hating Republicans is OK, but hating black people isn't? What's the difference? Hate is hate.

    Oh, and hiding behind an alter-ego says you're really proud of your opinions.
    Last edited by Grace; 09-03-2005 at 03:04 PM.

  25. #55
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    First off, I was responding to a post by Tizzylish regarding 72 hours. There is a difference between declaring a disaster area and actually sending relief help. I guess the Trent Lott statement really bothered me. Is it possible that the officials in Louisiana were in a state of shock regarding their request for relief?

    I really do not appreciate your condescending attitudes. We will have different opinions but the cheaps shots are really not necessary.

    As far as the post from mongo6901, I felt you were directing your post towards those of us who place blame on W.

    I won't post further on this thread because I don't like the fact that what could be a healthy debate has degenerated to the condescending level this one has.

    Debbie


    Edited to say: I don't hate anyone, not Republicans nor anyone else. A difference of opinion does not imply hate. Sounds like you may be the one with hatred issues.
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  26. #56
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    Ignoring the few truly ugly posts, and hoping we can have an actual debate...

    I have to say, I don't have a thorough understanding of what the proper protocols and procedures for this situation are. I think Grace is right and there is a *lot* blame to be laid at the feet of the NO mayor and the LA governor. But what kills me about Bush is that he seemed to just not really notice what was going on. I know I, and everyone else I know, was sitting at home, watching things and thinking that I would do whatever I possibly could to get food and water to those people. I didn't get any sense at all from Bush that he was feeling the same way. Couldn't he have called the governor and ripped her a new one for reacting so inadequately? Or at least given her some advice, or something?? I didn't get the sense that he really understood the desperation that the people in the affected areas must be feeling. And the comments he made that I posted, to me, attest to that. And that seriously seriously disturbs me. Especially in someone who supposedly is so overflowing with empathy for the Iraqis that we had to send Americans to lose their lives for them.
    Anne

    When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.

    Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

  27. #57
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    This is my post from the other thread...probably should have put it here:

    I am so sick to death of watching politicians on TV being "politically correct", and not wanting to "blame" anyone for this horrific atrocity, I could scream! But isn't that what we do so well in America?? Heaven forbid there should be some responsibility taken for this disaster! I hate to tell them, but someone is to blame...the leader...whoever that should be...this was a disorganized mess!

    When our electricity came back on Friday morning, I saw our local Channel 5 weathermen plotting the path of this monster...right across Florida, and heading straight for the Louisiana and Mississippi coast...a category 4 storm, going to an area below sea level..HELLO???? If Steve and Dean knew this, days before, why didn't anyone else??? Or worse yet...why wasn't organization and preparation already done...didn't they have a conference a few years ago, planning what to do if this should ever happen???

    Now billions $$$$ will be spent on a task force or committee to try to figure out what went wrong! They're still trying to prove that JFK's death was a conspiracy, for gosh sakes!

    My nursing colleagues from around the world have been e-mailing me in disbelief...is what they are seeing really true?? Are the sick in our hospitals dying in the richest, greatest Country in the world?? How could this be??

    Most of the physical problems will heal in time, but what about the mental anguish these people are having to endure...this will never go away...

    Even Fidel Castro had the intelligence to not comment on this horrific situation.

    I fear we have created a horrible injustice to mankind in the United States of America!

    ~Gail
    "I expect to pass through life but once.
    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
    -William Penn (1644-1718)

    ~~www.Nurse-Gail.com~~

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grace
    Well, you think you know what you're talking about, but you just don't. What you just wrote is absolutely incorrect, factually.

    He already declared the area a Federal Disaster Area TWO DAYS BEFORE the Hurricane. Secondly, the Governor knew that she had 7,000 National Guard at her disposal which she could have called up at any time (and it's her responsibility as the first person on the ground locally to assess the damage to make that call). She did NOT. She claims she didn't know how bad it was because the phones were out. What? No satellite phones? I suppose it was Bush's job to run down to the Best Buy and pick it up for her and send it. And if SHE didn't know how bad it was, someone sitting smack dab in the middle of it, how was anyone in Washington supposed to know???

    Lastly, because Bush deemed the area a Federal Disaster area ahead of time, the Feds WERE on call to jump in and help, but weren't called until Wednesday!! Why did the Louisiana officials wait to call? And once called, it takes time to put together an operation of the magnitude that was needed.

    BECAUSE the Governor knew she only had 7,000 national guardsmen to call on, and she knew that that likely would not have been nearly enough should the worst happen, she had the opportunity (the system's set up this way) to call Washington and tell them she only has 7,000 and will need more if the worst comes to pass. She didn't do that either!!! She did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Not one thing.

    You need to educate yourself on how the system works. Do some research about how the Federal government is called in on disaster relief. What is the Standard Operating Procedure. Don't believe me, research it for yourself. But you won't. You want to believe the story that feeds your hatred because it makes you feel better. Don't confuse you with the facts!!

    And on top of that, you're going to love this FACT too. FACT. Mr. Mayor was staying across the street from the Hyatt hotel during the storm (and afterwards) which had 400 people in it. He managed to get some busses to get those people out, who were then bussed to the Superdome, who then GOT TO BE FIRST IN LINE TO GET OUT OF NO!! All those poor people suffering in the Superdome, standing in line waiting to get out, and whoever these people were from the Hyatt (apparently they are not NO citizens - out-of-towners) got preferential treatment!!! He cared more about the well being of strangers than he did his own constituents who were obviously suffering far more than people holed up in a nice, comfy Hyatt. And the mayor is black, by the way, so no one can scream racism unless they believe a black man is a racist against his own race (which could be, I guess, but I don't believe that for one minute). He's simply a man (IMO) that doesn't care one bit about the people who elected him and obviously went into politics not for any altruistic reasons about serving people - particularly poor people which make up 25% of NO's population, but for the power and the money.

    But I'd go check your facts about how our government works (in general) before you start being mad about things you don't have a real clue about (and are just making assumptions about because you BELIEVE it's the way you think it is, not because you KNOW it's the way you think it is).

    I'm interested in this. Could you please quote the source of these facts - those I've highlighted in red.? Thanks.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcgee
    I'm interested in this. Could you please quote the source of these facts - those I've highlighted in red.? Thanks.
    I honestly don't know what news reports that poster listens to or how the stuff gets filtered.

    Here's a previous post from this person reported as fact when it was completely inaccurate:

    I'm fairly certain this poster also stated as fact that the New Orleans police were looting.

    For those who actually do care about the truth -- here is a report from the NY Times regarding the Hyatt evacuation. The mayor was staying there to be close to the people despite the fact that he was being urged to evacuate to Baton Rouge.

    At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line -- much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday.

    ''How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?'' exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

    The 700 had been trapped in the hotel, near the Superdome, but conditions were considerably cleaner, even without running water, than the unsanitary crush inside the dome. The Hyatt was severely damaged by the storm. Every pane of glass on the riverside wall was blown out.

    Mayor Ray Nagin has used the hotel as a base since it sits across the street from city hall, and there were reports the hotel was cleared with priority to make room for police, firefighters and other officials.


    With so many factual inaccuracies in her posts, how can any kind of valid inferences or conclusions be drawn therefrom or any meaningful dialogue.I don't know if they put them in the Astrodome, although I wouldn't be surprised, but I do know they opened the jail doors and let everyone walk out. The went around with bull horns first telling everyone to leave, and that they were letting everyone in jail out and they wouldn't be able to protect anyone, so just get out. Crazy.

  30. #60
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    I got the report about the people being let out of jail directly from a lady who was interviewed on the scene in Louisiana who stated that she heard the police bullhorns shouting at her to get out, and that they were letting the prisoners out. She heard them with her own ears, and I heard her telling the story with my own ears. So was that person lying? Maybe. I already addressed this on another thread. DH and I were walking the dogs the other night and discussing the whole situation and he heard the same lady as I did. I told him that the news/newspaper reports were now saying the story about prisoners being let out wasn't true. I asked him if he thought the lady that was interviewed on TV was lying. He didn't know. I don't know either. I just had to believe (at the time, and at the time I wrote that), that the lady was not lying. I can't imagine why anyone would lie about that. If it turns out to be untrue, then the lady on the street is the one who started the rumor, not the news. I took it as fact not because a reporter told me, but because a lady in the streets of NO told me. Sorry if I believed an eye witness

    And the NY Times is not the be all end all of the truth. Sorry. And you don't know that my facts are inaccurate. You just THINK they are because you choose to believe your source. PROVE to me that my facts are inaccurate. And "this poster" never said anything about the police looting. I don't actually give a rat's behind about that.

    As for the Hyatt story, according to your facts, the story is true. So why the accusation that my version of everything untrue? Because your story has some supposed rationalization to it? They did it so that police and firemen, etc. could use the hotel? OK fine, but what does that have to do with the fact that once at the Superdome, they got to jump the line and be first out before the others who had already been there waiting?

    I'll be back with back up for the other stuff.

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