Does Race And Economics Have Anything To Do With The Response To Katrinas Devastation In New Orleans

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by severian28, Sep 1, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Obi-Wan
    How about an entire town being under water?

    When NYC was hit on 9/11 who took the leadership role?

    MAYOR Guiliani. He was there every step of the way and coordinated the entire operation with Bernie Kerik.

    Now, where's Nagin and his Chief? Was the police chief one of the police looters caught on camera? Was Nagin hiding out in one of those buses he shipped in to evacuate tourists from a local hotel, ignoring his own residents in the convention center?

  2. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Bush can't possibly be a racist. I mean, how do you explain his illicit affair with Condi Rice?

    BTW, Brown just stepped down.
  3. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    8-}

    He should've. In fact, FEMA should not be led by a presidential appointee.

  4. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    I dont care that he's a presidential appointee - just as along as he's a crony thats qualified in risk management and structural engineering. All kinding aside its really a position that has to be manned by a qualified person. Crony-ism will always be abound in presidential appointments but obviously some positions need a liitle bit more thoughtfulness when assignments are being handed out. I mean, really, this guy Brown refused to foot the bill when emergency mangement units from California requested air passage to Louisana, forcing them to take a two day bus ride. That is really the height of absurdity. A couple of days ago I was scolded by a moderator because I pointed out that FEMA was put under the umbrella of Homeland Security, losing its cabinet position and a chunk of funding. Well, Im saying it again and since Im cpu illiterate this is the best I can do as far as " proof " of that. Hope this helps move the discussion along, 44.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/.../29/AR2005082901445.html
  5. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Likewise.

    Thank goodness. So much for him "doing a heck of a job." He did a miserable job.
  6. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    That's just Bush spin. Brown doing a 'great' job. It usually works, he's probably pooping himself now that it hasn't.
  7. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    In parliaments, "crony-ism" is implimented by design -- or rather it's lack of design. I'm not sure how the American system was originally intended, but in the British system the ministers take over thier departments with there being full knowledge and expectancy that the appointees often have no direct experience with the department they've been assigned. If you're lucky perhaps you ran something similar in private life, but often not.

    What keeps this system from falling over on itself is that the MP taking the cabinet position is the only employee. Although there's no rules against it, thus far going further and firing and hiring the bureaucracy beneath the MP, which is supposed to be apolitical is discouraged in the same way the Prime Minister is discouraged from going longer than 5 years without an election.

    In other words, there should be a set arena for "crony-ism" such that it doesn't effect the running of the state. You've got to be careful when leaders get in the habit of removing men and replacing them with those more loyal, and it's especially worrying if thier appointees begin rearranging the bureaucracies as well. Although it's a popular parallel, Hitler did the same thing, although it's a completely seperate issue from what the Nazis were known for (and they treated each other usually, with the exception of the Night of the Long Knives, more humanely than Stalin who would make up something clearly absolutely false and have you shot). He made certain the SS were fanatically loyal and that when the SA proved a problem it was removed. He replaced the leadership position of the Wermacht about 4 times before he got someone with the amount of loyalty he wanted.

    What this resulted in was that, and it should seem very clear, the closer you got to the top of the command chain, the more inept the leadership became. And it was this way because these men were chosen for thier loyalty to Hitler, not thier ability. It was not the Nazi leadership that was really responsible for Germany's magnificient war machine, it was the bureaucracy beneath it that was still in place, and that Hitler was not paranoid enough to feel was in need of removal (unlike Stalin, who paid the price for gutting his army of its leaders).

    Again, this isn't meant to say America is Nazi Germany or anything like that, it's meant to show what happens when the executive gets too much power behind closed doors and starts infringing on the bureaucracy. Because not all bureaucracy is red-tape, sometimes it can be well-oiled and sensible, even in government. But if you shake up TOO much of the leadership, replace too many of the largely figurehead positions, you lose a lot of experience and the ability to deal with dynamic situations.
  8. Divia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2005
    star 3
    I'm glad bobo the clown stepped down from FEMA.
    But really, did he have any other choice? He's lucky people didnt have pitch forks and torches at his house demanding his head on a platter.

    HOnestly though, I do blame the mayor and the gov and the prez. Like I said the lot of em are to blame.

    I'm not a Bush fan. Dont like the man. But I will confess he did well on 9/11. However he dropped the ball here. As some reporter said "There was no bullhorn moment." and I think that speaks volumes. People see him as a slow responder...and they equate that to he just didnt care about all those poor black people. I'm not saying its true, but many believe that and I dont think he will be able to shake that image.

    On a side note...I'm pleased to see the press are asking hard questions and demanding answers. Its about time!
  9. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Tell me Divia, what was the bullhorn moment for Hurricane Andrew?

    I'm just wondering.

    And back to FEMA this is going to be a rather upopular post for one rather dramatic reason.

    Please Post Proof OR Retract any statement fo the inenfiecency and or bungling and or slow response time of FEMA. This is not the same thing as saying "OMG Brown is incompetant!!!1"

    I've asked before and never got a resposne, what exactly did FEMA do differently this time that was wrong?
  10. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5

    Please Post Proof OR Retract any statement fo the inenfiecency and or bungling and or slow response time of FEMA.


    Here is just one of the things that illustrate the bungling by FEMA:


    FEMA AND THE LEVEES....Today's Wall Street Journal features an article about the levee breaches in New Orleans that asks, essentially, What did they know and when did they know it?

    "They" is the news media, some of whom got the story right and some of whom got it wrong. But "they" is also FEMA, and they got it disastrously wrong too: "It was on Tuesday that the levee ? may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday ? that the levee started to break," DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff told Tim Russert, but that wasn't true. The first levee breach happened on Monday morning:

    The New Orleans office of the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning at 8:14 a.m. Monday, saying "a levee breach occurred along the industrial canal at Tennessee Street. 3 to 8 feet of water is expected due to the breach."

    What is FEMA's explanation for this? It's one thing that some media outlets didn't notice this warning, but FEMA? Shouldn't they have been practically bonded at the hip with the weather service? How could they possibly not have known immediately about the levee breach?

  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Because Kevin Drum is still examining the situation using 20/20 hindsight.

    Instead of simply criticizing, what would be an appropriate example of Kevin's opinion as to what FEMA could have done at that stage?

    If a skyscraper catches fire in Chicago, for example, there isn't an immediate federal response to cover everything that may happen.

    The fact that the skyscraper may be sitting on a long forgotten major methane pocket which proceeds to explode, takes out a city block, and then requires a federal response, doesn't mean that FEMA treats every single fire as if it may ignite a long forgotten major methane pocket.

    It really wouldn't be productive after the fact to shoot off an opinion that says any agency should have proactively treated the fire as a major methane explosion before it actually was.

    Again, this isn't defending any one agency, or condemning any other. But far too many people throw around descriptions like Kevin does, without actually explaining what was wrong, or different, or below standards.

  12. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Mr44, he criticism was that FEMA had no clue what was going on, despite knowing the hurricane had a good chance of breaching the leevies, in which case their services would be needed by a lot more people in a much shorter time constraint. There was no communication between FEMA and any other agency, state or federal.
  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, I know, and how would reality change that?

    Let's recap again. The current levees have been in place for 40 years- since 1965. Every year there is a "chance" that the levees won't hold. They could have collasped the year after they were built, they could have held for another 40 years.

    Just based on where it is located, New Orleans experiences at least one hurricane situation per season. Sometimes more than that.

    Because of that, the municipal plan focuses almost exclusively on evacuation. That's what people keep forgetting. Out of 1.4 million people, 1.3 million were safely evacuated per the city's plan, before the storm even hit. For its focus, that seems like a pretty succesful plan.

    This time the levees did fail, which affected the roughly 5% of the population who didn't or couldn't evacuate.

    Now, based on how FEMA operates under any administration, what out of all that represents a colossal failure?

    Without providing an alternative, or discussing FEMA's actual role, or examing the actual situation as it exsisted, this passage forms the bulk of Kevin's criticism:

    "a levee breach occurred along the industrial canal at Tennessee Street. 3 to 8 feet of water is expected due to the breach."

    Talk about your non-descript, non-urgent warnings. Without the benefit of hindsight, what agency would have taken that, and concluded that a massive rescue operation is needed, regardless of the capabilities of the local authorities?

    It looks like criticism for critiicism's sake.

    That's why I provided my Chicago skyscraper example above. Until that hidden methane pocket actually explodes, no one, including the federal government, is going to assume that every fire is going to result in a massive explosion.





  14. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Also, 3-8 feet?


    For a levee breach ona city thats underwater? Uh.. no.


    What is distinctly more liekly is that report refers to overtopping of a levee, that is the water had risen above the levee and was flooding into the city. This is of course important, however the real problem occured hours later when the constant flow of water caused the levee to collapse allowing all the water that was blocked by the structure into the city.
  15. IkritMan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2002
    star 5
    People see him as a slow responder because the media keeps saying he is, regardless of any facts. The federal response to this disaster was the most massive and successfully executed in our history, yet liberal journalists keep opining how Bush is taking his time.

    From post-gazette.com:

    It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

    "Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

    But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

    Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

    "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

    For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

    Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

    So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

    I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

    More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.

    Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.

    Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:

    "We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.

    "The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.

    "You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.

    "No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."

    "You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear somewhere," van Steenwyk said.

    Guardsmen need to receive mobilization orders; report to their armories; draw equipment; receive orders and convoy to the disaster area. Guardsmen driving down from Pennsylvania or Navy ships sailing from Norfolk can't be on the scene immediately.

    Relief efforts must be planned. Other than prepositioning supplies near the area likely to be afflicted (which was done qui
  16. Obi-Wan McCartney Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    I think the problem is that they didn't begin acting until after the hurricane hit. Supposedly, this was all very forseeable, they predicted something like this could have happened last year.

    So perhaps the response was good if they had been taken by surprise, but all indications are that they should have been prepared for this and mobilized much sooner.
  17. IkritMan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2002
    star 5
    That is addressed in my post. There were forces being mobilized before the hurricane hit, but they couldn't have waited in New Orleans to start work right after the storm passed--they'd have been destroyed. Where would we have been then? A city is not only submerged in water but all rescue forces are stranded there as well.

    Such a proposition (that the military/national guard/FEMA should have been in the disaster area while the storm hit) is ridiculous, to say the least.
  18. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Katrina-Washington.html?hp&ex=1126670400&en=51cda2a00ecea36d&ei=5094&partner=homepage

    Bush Takes Responsibility for Failures in Storm Response

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: September 13, 2005
    Filed at 12:46 p.m. ET

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Tuesday that ''I take responsibility'' for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.
    ''Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,'' Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

    ''To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility,'' Bush said?

    -------------------------

    Finally! Its about time he had a ?buck stops here? moment. IMO, this is good leadership. Not hiding behind a bunch of goons who do your dirty work, but being man enough to take responsibility when you are in charge, for good AND bad.
  19. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Ikrit Man
    That's right. Honore stated relief units could only pre-position outside the hurricane's path because deployment of forces inside it would lead to their being just as disorganized and wrecked as the rest.

    DS77, can't say the same for those other "leaders"....Blanco? Nagin?

    I'm interested in what they find out once the investigation(s) are underway.
  20. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I wonder what he's up to. Because I don't for one minute believe he's sincere.

    And I suppose the comments you posted from a newspaper opinion column aren't politicized?
  21. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
  22. Father_Time Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    star 2

    I was just going to post that!

    I'm VERY SURPRISED that Bush is actually taking the blame.

    But I think he's up to something.
  23. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    I'll have to comment later, once I'e had a chance to read the whole article, but here's a bit about race, economics, and the Katrina disaster called The Other America.

    And it doesn't spare the left, either...
  24. Suzuki_Akira Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2003
    star 7
    Fire Ice, I think you might have missed my rebuttal post, it's on page 6 (25 ppp) on the bottom of the page - since it's at the bottom it may have registered as a phantom post, so I'm alerting you of it's presence.
  25. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    No, I didn't miss it at all.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.