New Orleans: Doing What We Can

Ralph
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New Orleans: Doing What We Can

Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:57 am

I'm proud that my school has passed the word to New Orleans law students with some local connections that they can attend our school free of charge until their own law schools are up and running (we don't have housing for any new people).

At least a half-dozen will be here on Tuesday for classes.

Obviously we can't do anything about the death and devastation other than give cash but I give my dean credit for making these offers yesterday.

Be interesting to meet these folks next week.
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Re: New Orleans: Doing What We Can

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:01 am

Ralph wrote:I'm proud that my school has passed the word to New Orleans law students with some local connections that they can attend our school free of charge until their own law schools are up and running (we don't have housing for any new people).

At least a half-dozen will be here on Tuesday for classes.

Obviously we can't do anything about the death and devastation other than give cash but I give my dean credit for making these offers yesterday.

Be interesting to meet these folks next week.
That is a stunningly original response to this crisis.

So are you up on the Napoleonic Code?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: New Orleans: Doing What We Can

Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:04 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:I'm proud that my school has passed the word to New Orleans law students with some local connections that they can attend our school free of charge until their own law schools are up and running (we don't have housing for any new people).

At least a half-dozen will be here on Tuesday for classes.

Obviously we can't do anything about the death and devastation other than give cash but I give my dean credit for making these offers yesterday.

Be interesting to meet these folks next week.
That is a stunningly original response to this crisis.

So are you up on the Napoleonic Code?
*****

Law students at schools like Tulane and Loyola of N.O. can opt for a course of study with intensive examination of LA Civil Law or take a completely "National" program. Relatively few from outside the state take the Code Napoleon, etc., courses. Tulane has a deservedly national reputation.

I hope med schools are doing the same as us although I suppose there are rich clinical experiences now in the city (and the rest of the Katrina-ravaged region).
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Post by operafan » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:30 am

Does anyone have a suggestion for charities doing the relief work in NWO other than Red Cross? My family would like to contribute, but dislikes the Red Cross model (get money, buy and distribute goods, send the bill to the victim). For the tsunami we did Oxfam, which is apparently not available here.
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Post by Haydnseek » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:56 am

operafan wrote:Does anyone have a suggestion for charities doing the relief work in NWO other than Red Cross? My family would like to contribute, but dislikes the Red Cross model (get money, buy and distribute goods, send the bill to the victim). For the tsunami we did Oxfam, which is apparently not available here.

AmeriCares is an outfit with a reputation for efficient use of resources:

http://www.americares.org/
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by operafan » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:19 pm

Thank you Haydnseek. The numbers for efficiency really look good.
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.c ... d/3289.htm
'She wants to go with him, but her mama don't allow none of that.'

Elementary school child at an opera outreach performance of "Là ci darem la mano!" Don Giovanni - Mozart.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm

operafan wrote:Does anyone have a suggestion for charities doing the relief work in NWO other than Red Cross? My family would like to contribute, but dislikes the Red Cross model (get money, buy and distribute goods, send the bill to the victim). For the tsunami we did Oxfam, which is apparently not available here.
*****

I have never heard of the Red Cross doing that. I gave to the online site of the Red Cross. Their local HQ is virtually next door to my school and I've gotten to know some of their staff, professional and volunteer over the years.

The Red Cross goofed big time after 9/11 when it took donations meant for immediate relief and put the money in a long-term disaster fund. They mea culpaed and won't do that again.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:35 pm

Yea
All the helping hand stuff is good, but why the hell is the United States Army (besides the fact that most are in Iraq) not patrolling the streets as we speak?
Why are there babies crying out of hunger in the middle of Canal Street?
Why are there corpses next to the babies?
And I’m not blaming anyone for the current situation, but it does give one pause as to the preparedness and where-with-all of the nation in general.
The Mayor of New Orleans just said “This is a desperate SOS”, there are not enough buses to transport people away from the carnage.
So far all the promises made in Washington are non existent (yes it’s just been 24 hours, but when you’ve been living in sewage for 4 days….)
At first I was in shock over the desperate conditions, now I’m heartbroken.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:39 pm

Ted wrote:Yea
All the helping hand stuff is good, but why the hell is the United States Army (besides the fact that most are in Iraq) not patrolling the streets as we speak?
Why are there babies crying out of hunger in the middle of Canal Street?
Why are there corpses next to the babies?
And I’m not blaming anyone for the current situation, but it does give one pause as to the preparedness and where-with-all of the nation in general.
The Mayor of New Orleans just said “This is a desperate SOS”, there are not enough buses to transport people away from the carnage.
So far all the promises made in Washington are non existent (yes it’s just been 24 hours, but when you’ve been living in sewage for 4 days….)
At first I was in shock over the desperate conditions, now I’m heartbroken.
*****

Ted,

I share your feelings.

As a matter of law federal troops can only be committed to peacekeeping duties if a governor so requests. If that happens ALL state Guard troops must first be federalized.

I don't think the Army is needed for law enforcement but deployment of the Guard has been too slow.

That social disorder greater than sporadic crime would break out should have been obvious once it was known the levees had failed and that waters would not recede as is common after a hurricane.
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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:44 pm

There is a reason why in the distant American past looters could be shot by troops on sight during a riot or following a natural disaster. Several scholars are still doing interesting primary source research to come up with an accurate death toll for people, admittedly some who weren't looters, shot by Army units under GEN Funston's command in San Francisco in 1906.

Of course I'm not suggesting killing kids or even adults running from a 7-Eleven with food but it's a different story with possibly armed and semi-organized gangs looking for electronics or cash. Their boldness increases by the hour.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:44 pm

Ted wrote:Yea
All the helping hand stuff is good, but why the hell is the United States Army (besides the fact that most are in Iraq) not patrolling the streets as we speak?
Why are there babies crying out of hunger in the middle of Canal Street?
Why are there corpses next to the babies?
And I’m not blaming anyone for the current situation, but it does give one pause as to the preparedness and where-with-all of the nation in general.
The Mayor of New Orleans just said “This is a desperate SOS”, there are not enough buses to transport people away from the carnage.
So far all the promises made in Washington are non existent (yes it’s just been 24 hours, but when you’ve been living in sewage for 4 days….)
At first I was in shock over the desperate conditions, now I’m heartbroken.
There is no precedent for the destruction of a first-world city of half a million people in a natural disaster. Everything at this point becomes hindsight, as it did with 9/11.

Thank God they evacuated as many as they did.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by operafan » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:47 pm

Ralph wrote:
operafan wrote:Does anyone have a suggestion for charities doing the relief work in NWO other than Red Cross? My family would like to contribute, but dislikes the Red Cross model (get money, buy and distribute goods, send the bill to the victim). For the tsunami we did Oxfam, which is apparently not available here.
*****

I have never heard of the Red Cross doing that. I gave to the online site of the Red Cross. Their local HQ is virtually next door to my school and I've gotten to know some of their staff, professional and volunteer over the years.

The billing thing was during the Loma Priata 1989 earthquake here - I could be mistaken about how wide spread it is.

The Red Cross goofed big time after 9/11 when it took donations meant for immediate relief and put the money in a long-term disaster fund. They mea culpaed and won't do that again.
My employer matches charitable gifts - we are being asked to make them out to American Red Cross - Hurricanes, (not Katrina) so that they have some flexibility in using them.
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Post by Kevin R » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:15 pm

Ted wrote:Yea
All the helping hand stuff is good, but why the hell is the United States Army (besides the fact that most are in Iraq) not patrolling the streets as we speak?
Why are there babies crying out of hunger in the middle of Canal Street?
Why are there corpses next to the babies?
And I’m not blaming anyone for the current situation, but it does give one pause as to the preparedness and where-with-all of the nation in general.
The Mayor of New Orleans just said “This is a desperate SOS”, there are not enough buses to transport people away from the carnage.
So far all the promises made in Washington are non existent (yes it’s just been 24 hours, but when you’ve been living in sewage for 4 days….)
At first I was in shock over the desperate conditions, now I’m heartbroken.
Having lived in the city for 18 years, it is indeed distressing to see those images on the TV. So many places I'm familiar with, but can't recognize. My brother and his family left well before Katrina hit. Talking to him has been very depressing. He doesn't know if his house is standing or not, and tells me that it could be months before they can go back and check. 99% of everything they owned is in the city. Multiply his story, and it is simply shocking. And he seems to be one of the lucky ones in that he made it out.

We are witnessing the death of a city
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Post by Kevin R » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:17 pm

Prof Reynolds (on his blog) has a list of recommended charities.

http://www.instapundit.com/

Give what you can!
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Post by herman » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:13 pm

here is no precedent for the destruction of a first-world city of half a million people in a natural disaster. Everything at this point becomes hindsight, as it did with 9/11.
Except,of course, there had been plenty of signals something was going to happen soon in the summer of 2001, but the people in charge chose to ignore those signals. Why bother?

Similarly in the case of New Orleans defense structures against natural disasters appear to have been ludicrously deficient, and the evacuation measures started way too late, once it was clear there was no avoiding a disaster.

So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.

But I did hear coca cola is distributing giveaway cans at some intersection in NO.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:24 pm

herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
Ten thousand people died in Europe two years ago because of what to us seems a simple heat wave. Do you really want to go there?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:17 pm

Unfortunately New Orleans is not NYC, as the excellent article below points out:

Taken from:
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_08_31_05ng.html
..
the locals and outsiders who try to help New Orleans in the weeks and months to come will do so with no local institutional infrastructure to back them up. New Orleans has no real competent government or civil infrastructure—and no aggressive media or organized citizens’ groups to prod public officials in the right direction during what will be, in the best-case scenario, a painstaking path to normalcy.

The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city. Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater; what is it going to do now, as waters continue to cripple it, and thousands of looters systematically destroy what Katrina left unscathed?

A city blessed with robust, professional police and fire forces, with capable government leaders, an informed citizenry, and a relatively resilient economy can overcome catastrophe, but it doesn’t emerge stronger: look at New York after 9/11. The richest big city in the country in more ways than one mustered every ounce of energy to clean up after 9/11 and to rebuild its economy and its downtown—but even so, competing special interests overcame citizens’ and officials’ best intentions. Ground Zero remains a hole, and New York, for all its resources, finds itself diminished, physically and economically, four years on.

In New Orleans, the recovery will be much, much harder. The city’s government has long suffered from incompetence and corruption. Just weeks before Katrina, federal officials indicted associates of the former mayor, Marc Morial, for alleged kickbacks and contract fraud. Morial did nothing to attract diversified private investment to his impoverished city during the greatest economic boom of the modern era.

...

New Orleans teems with crime, and the NOPD can’t keep order on a good day. Former commissioner Richard Pennington brought New Orleans’ crime rate down from its peak during the mid-1990s. But since Pennington’s departure, crime rates have soared, to ten times the national average. The NOPD might have hundreds of decent officers, but it has a well-deserved institutional image as corrupt, brutal, and incompetent.

How will New Orleans’ economy recover from Katrina? Apart from some pass-through oil infrastructure, the city’s economy is utterly dependent on tourism. After the city’s mainstay oil industry decamped to Texas nearly a generation ago, New Orleans didn’t do the difficult work of cutting crime, educating illiterate citizens, and attracting new industries to the city. New Orleans became merely a convention and tourism economy, selling itself to visitors to survive, and over time it has only increased its economic dependence on outsiders. The fateful error of that strategy will become clearer in the next few months

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Post by herman » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
Ten thousand people died in Europe two years ago because of what to us seems a simple heat wave. Do you really want to go there?
Clearly you are completely incapable of looking at this situation - an evidently bad situation with serious govt negligence - in any other way than the Cold War perspective. "Over there people die too."

Heat wave deaths, as we all know (except maybe you), are notoriously cooked figures. Any 80-years old granny who dies during a heatwave summer becomes a heatwave victim. I believe the same things happen in the US, in China and everywhere else.

But anyway, why don't you just continue fighting your little Bamberg Cold War. You clearly think the gvt did everything they ould, both in the case of 9 / 11 and in Lousiana.

Or rather I think you should put your money where your mouth is, and go right back to the wonderful, caring US of A, preferably settling in Mussissipi or Lousiana.

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Post by Barry » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:42 pm

Herman,
With the virtually non-stop and neverending anti-U.S. crap coming from Europe for the past few years, excuse some of us for saying you should make sure your own house is clean before slinging mud at ours (and did you really think someone wouldn't take some sort of issue with your post after your sarcastic remark that closed it?).

There have been three fires in Paris recently in which immigrants living in rundown housing died. Finally, after the third one, Chirac said they need to look at reforms for housing.

We're aware things aren't going as well as they should in New Orleans. We're aware that the government wasn't as prepared as it should have been. We'll hopefully learn a lesson from the experience and be better prepared if such a situation arises again, either in New Orleans or elsewhere.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Herman
You are the most negative person I have ever had the displeasure to endure.
I’m sure the people you associate with in Dutch Sierra would not disagree with me

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Post by Febnyc » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:03 pm

herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
This could be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen anywhere anytime. Sheer and utter claptrap.

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Post by Febnyc » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:11 pm

Barry Z wrote:We're aware things aren't going as well as they should in New Orleans. We're aware that the government wasn't as prepared as it should have been. We'll hopefully learn a lesson from the experience and be better prepared if such a situation arises again, either in New Orleans or elsewhere.
What? Barry - what the heck does this mean? How could ANY government, society, institution, whatever be prepared for something that never happened before? For how large an unknown does one plan? Should we have an emergency plan in case the sun explodes?

And why aren't "things going as well as they should...?" Who's estimate is that? Is it the media's? Or is it yours? Who, pray tell, is qualified to measure the effectiveness of the effort? Television is showing us, as usual, the miserable side (in an ever-pathetic effort to fill their 24-hour news vacuums) - sure there are plenty of people who are in dire circumstances. But also much progress is being made against enormous obstacles.

To wit: The Houston Astrodome - shown on TV - is completely equipped with thousands upon thousands of neatly-made cots, replete with sheets, pillows and blankets. And there are many other services in place there now - medical, nursery, feeding, etc. In how many societies would a mammoth undertaking like this one appear almost overnight?

This catastrophic event took everyone by surprise. And it isn't going to be solved in a few days - as the media would want it to be. And everyone cannot be helped immediately. It just doesn't work that way.

C'mon Barry - as much as you'd like to ascribe it as so, Katrina and her aftermath isn't the fault of the Bush administration.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:14 pm

Febnyc wrote:
herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
This could be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen anywhere anytime. Sheer and utter claptrap.
*****

Yes. I'm sorry to concur but as our citizens suffer we have a right to expect or at least hope for responsible, compassionate responses especially from countries where Americans died to liberate their citizens from oppression.
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Post by Febnyc » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:16 pm

Ralph wrote:Yes. I'm sorry to concur but as our citizens suffer we have a right to expect or at least hope for responsible, compassionate responses especially from countries where Americans died to liberate their citizens from oppression.
Amen, and amen.

(And we are receiving same from the more rational of citizens of other countries.)

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:40 pm

I don't know much about Senator Landrieu (D-LA) but she is impressing me with her quietly impassioned comments on CNN. She seems to be a very straight thinker and talker.
Last edited by Ralph on Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:44 pm

Febnyc wrote:
Barry Z wrote: How could ANY government, society, institution, whatever be prepared for something that never happened before? For how large an unknown does one plan? Should we have an emergency plan in case the sun explodes?
Come on, everyone knows that a major hurricane hitting New Orleans was a statistical certainty over a period unfortunately only marginally longer than any individual's political career. Better planning and command structures should have been in place, and probably would have been in any other major city. Unfortunately, New Orleans has a long history of corrupt and incompetent local government.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:10 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:
Febnyc wrote:
Barry Z wrote: How could ANY government, society, institution, whatever be prepared for something that never happened before? For how large an unknown does one plan? Should we have an emergency plan in case the sun explodes?
Come on, everyone knows that a major hurricane hitting New Orleans was a statistical certainty over a period unfortunately only marginally longer than any individual's political career. Better planning and command structures should have been in place, and probably would have been in any other major city. Unfortunately, New Orleans has a long history of corrupt and incompetent local government.
*****

Part of the analysis goes to preparation and part to response. While this is the most disastrous hurricane in our history there have been many, many severe hurricanes causing huge property losses and often significant loss of life.

Currently, Barnes & Noble has at least three current books on different hurricanes from the pre-war period and "Isaac's Storm" about Galveston still sells well. Preparing for hurricanes is different than the sedate discussion about comets and meteorites striking earth.

As to response, apparently simply getting air drops of food and water in a short time after flying was possible wasn't possible.

Federal unpreparedness in particular is an emerging tragic story that has very long legs.
Last edited by Ralph on Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Barry » Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:26 pm

Febnyc wrote: C'mon Barry - as much as you'd like to ascribe it as so, Katrina and her aftermath isn't the fault of the Bush administration.
Frank,
That's maybe the first unreasonable statement I've ever read from you on here. I find it a bit insulting to be honest. If you've looked on some of the other threads, you know I'm one of the staunchest supporters of the Iraq War on here. By your logic, I'd be following Lilith and Herman in jumping all over Bush for the war at every opportunity.

I was speaking about the government at all levels; federal, state and local. At no point did I single out Bush and he wasn't on my mind when I wrote that, in spite of what you assumed. I admit to not liking Bush because of his stances on so many domestic issues and even his manner at times. But I'm not part of the crowd that has a knee jerk anti-Bush reaction regardless of what the issue is.

BWW gave a good response before I was able to read your post. Also, I've heard from a couple people that the system set up to protect from hurricaine related flodding was only good enough to deal with a level-three hurricaine (the government has apparently acknowledged that). Why wouldn't a major population center that is in an area that can be hit by a hurricaine have protection set up with a level-five hurricaine in mind (with that many people involved, wouldn't you plan for a worst-case scenario)? That's something that goes back way beyond the current administration.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Werner » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:26 pm

I have to agree with Barry here - as an opponent of Bush on many matters INCLUDING the conduct of the Iraq war. But the onslaught and aftermath of Katrina is too large and hugely tragic - it reminds me of the long and stressful clearing the consequenes of World War II in a devastated Europe - to be laid at the feet of any incumbent administration.

Any steps to guard against a catastrophe like this would have to be planned, legislated, appropriated and carried out years ago. Knowing how long this process is, it's unfair to lay the blame on Bush.
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:02 pm

One would have thought that years ago with an event like the one just witnessed bound to happen sooner or later that many more preventive steps would have been taken, such as checking the condition of the levees which didn’t go until after the hurricane had passed. It would seem that long-term erosion played a part. My friends in Holland, who also lives well below sea level, tell me that the levees there are constantly monitored and up-dated. Obviously this was not the case here, what’s the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

One would also think that in the face of such an overwhelming disaster the President of the United States would be on the ground almost immediately (he is Commander in Chief after all) and that National Guard members as well as the armed forces would have had a telling presence far sooner. The looting and lawlessness, in my view has to be looked at from two vantage points. If someone, who has been through this hellish experience, hasn’t eaten for day’s walks into a store and walks out with food, water and even clothing I can understand and excuse it. When I see pictures of looters coming out of appliance stores with shopping carts full of flat screen TV’s, many DVD players etc. I find that inexcusable, ditto to firing on helicopters attempting to airlift patients out of hospitals. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear. One can only hope that the government cleans up its act. I find the two addresses given by the president quite under whelming. But then, didn’t Mayor Giuliani step into the breech on 9/11 while the President kept his plane airborne? The other point to be made is the U.S military force is projected throughout the world, can’t they at least lavish the same amount of care on their own citizens, for shame.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:23 pm

Peter,

There are no parallels between 9/11 in New York, including Mayor Guiliani's role, and the New Orleans maelstrom. Tragic as 9/11 was for us here - shocking, terrifying - it was contained to a small part of our city. Deaths were many and injuries were few. It was not a test of our capacity to handle massive casualties. Hospitals close to Ground Zero had a surfeit of medical personnel, most of whom had literally nothing to do.

As I previously suggested to a poster, read Mahler's "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning," to see how quickly police lost control of one Brooklyn neighborhood following a blackout, a minor incident compared to the onslaught of a hurricane.

We simply do not know why the levees catastrophically failed. It may have been poor preventive maintenance or an irresistable force that overwhelmed the levees. We ought to withhold judgment until the technical analyses reveals why the levees failed.

The military is not pre-positioned and tasked to be initial responders to major natural disasters. The National Guard is deployed by governors when it becomes apparent that local resources are inadequate. Whatever one's views may be about the Iraq war, in its absence the military would not have responded with any greater degree of speed or efficiency. There are good reasons why the Coast Guard can and does deploy quickly and effectively for search and rescue missions. The other services can't.

Obviously change is in order. But both parties at the federal and state level have accommodated irrational and dangerous coastal growth and cities largely run themselves.
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:44 pm

Ralph,

I’m aware that there are few parallels between 9/11 and the carnage in the gulf. The current situation is far, far worse. The reason I mentioned 9/11 and the only reason was to point out how the President once again (why am I not surprised) failed to react in a timely fashion, like the very next day. I’m also well aware, having been brought up in the school system of New York City how the various levels of government interact and function as well as the sequencing of the time line and chain of command.

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Post by Barry » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:09 pm

If what I'm seeing reported on TV is accurate, then it most definately sounds like government negligence at its worse. People were apparently told by government officials and police to go to the convention center by the thousands, but there was no food or water there and hasn't been for four days. They are at the point of complete desperation.
Last edited by Barry on Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:14 pm

When many of the top CNN types, some of whom are very good throw up their hands in sheer disbelief at the ineptitude to date of the Federal Government it’s time to take note. Some of them sound outraged as they describe the events that they are witnessing.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:02 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:When many of the top CNN types, some of whom are very good throw up their hands in sheer disbelief at the ineptitude to date of the Federal Government it’s time to take note. Some of them sound outraged as they describe the events that they are witnessing.

Peter Schenkman
The day that CNN doesn't blame the federal government for something, from global warming to hemroids, is a day I might start paying attention to them as a responsible news source.

Of course it's the federal government's fault that people blithely built in an area that was one natural disaster away from oblivion, and that insurers repeatedly insured rebuilding after repeated floodings, and that state and local government officials refused to spend the money on a decent flood control system and repeatedly ignored warnings of federal officials to do something about the beach and marsh erosion, the overbuilding, and the underpowered levee system.

It was only a matter of when, not if, so of course it's the federal government's fault!
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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:08 am

Febnyc wrote:
herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
This could be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen anywhere anytime. Sheer and utter claptrap.
I'd be interested to hear what you regard as the basic job of the gvt, if protecting against enemy attacks and natural disasters aren't wto major ones.

Parking tickets, perhaps?
Ralph wrote:Yes. I'm sorry to concur but as our citizens suffer we have a right to expect or at least hope for responsible, compassionate responses especially from countries where Americans died to liberate their citizens from oppression.
I would have expected you to be able to make a disctinction between criticizing the atrocious way the city, state and federal agencies are handling this disaster, and feeling no compassion about the victims of this disaster. Of course I'm horrified at what's happening to people in LA and Miss, but this is a disaster that is clearly doubled by bad, lackadaisical response from the gvt (not to mention the dismantling of FEMA during the Bush years, and the gutting of the National Guard). Katrina didn't lock tens of thousands helpless people in the Superdome without water and food. People in power did, who had no idea what they were doing.

I think criticizing rather than cheerleading a clearly deficient gvt repsonse is really the responsible thing to do. And also the more compassionate reaction. If you're satisfied with the gvt response, well, then I'd say you don't really care, and the next disaster will be as badly handled, because the authorities got away with it.

Oh, and Holland was liberated by Canadians. Not that that matters greatly to me, in this respect.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:19 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:Ralph,

I’m aware that there are few parallels between 9/11 and the carnage in the gulf. The current situation is far, far worse. The reason I mentioned 9/11 and the only reason was to point out how the President once again (why am I not surprised) failed to react in a timely fashion, like the very next day. I’m also well aware, having been brought up in the school system of New York City how the various levels of government interact and function as well as the sequencing of the time line and chain of command.

Peter Schenkman
*****

Just my view, I don't see any focus on Bush having either relevance or utility here. He's exercised his powers and rescue and relief operations are very complex in what all now recognize is an unprecedented crisis.

There will be much analysis and study in the future and I doubt that Bush's role will be a major issue one way or the other.
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Post by Lilith » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:22 am

I find it sadly amusing that when I called for the President to get out of Texas and get to Washington 36 hours before he finally decided to do so,
many of you who are now critical of the federal response, said I must be a fool. "He can handle things fine from Crawford", 'He's done everything he can", "You just want to criticize Bush" were the type of comments you made.
This tragic situation was made infinitely worse by a perceived and actual lack of control and authority at every level. Starting with a President chopping wood while everyone predicted the anniliation of a major US City, and going down to an ineffectual Governor and Mayor, inadaquate planning for an event that was inevitable, and a weak response to the rampant looting and pillaging.
There's plenty of blame to go around, but I wouldn't be so quick to point fingers when you were wrong from the beginning.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:23 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:When many of the top CNN types, some of whom are very good throw up their hands in sheer disbelief at the ineptitude to date of the Federal Government it’s time to take note. Some of them sound outraged as they describe the events that they are witnessing.

Peter Schenkman
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I virtually never watch TV news except in a major crisis and the CNN anchors are unfamiliar to me. I am impressed by the sharpness of Soledad O'Brien and Paula Zahn in questioning government officials. O'Brien in particular seems genuinely angry.
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:29 am

herman wrote:
Febnyc wrote:
herman wrote:So, double negative whammy. Basically one of the raisons d'etre of a federal gvt is you pay them to protect you against enemy attacks and natural disasters. Seems like it isn't really happening in the US.
This could be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen anywhere anytime. Sheer and utter claptrap.
I'd be interested to hear what you regard as the basic job of the gvt, if protecting against enemy attacks and natural disasters aren't wto major ones.

Parking tickets, perhaps?
Ralph wrote:Yes. I'm sorry to concur but as our citizens suffer we have a right to expect or at least hope for responsible, compassionate responses especially from countries where Americans died to liberate their citizens from oppression.
I would have expected you to be able to make a disctinction between criticizing the atrocious way the city, state and federal agencies are handling this disaster, and feeling no compassion about the victims of this disaster. Of course I'm horrified at what's happening to people in LA and Miss, but this is a disaster that is clearly doubled by bad, lackadaisical response from the gvt (not to mention the dismantling of FEMA during the Bush years, and the gutting of the National Guard). Katrina didn't lock tens of thousands helpless people in the Superdome without water and food. People in power did, who had no idea what they were doing.

I think criticizing rather than cheerleading a clearly deficient gvt repsonse is really the responsible thing to do. And also the more compassionate reaction. If you're satisfied with the gvt response, well, then I'd say you don't really care, and the next disaster will be as badly handled, because the authorities got away with it.

Oh, and Holland was liberated by Canadians. Not that that matters greatly to me, in this respect.
*****

The Canadian forces were under U.S. command and were logistically supported by us (just for the record).

My point, Herman, is that you (and some others) make broad accusations of negligence in a complex, unprecedented situation. There are so many aspects that must be investigated and studied if any effort to prevent repetition can be successful.

No one is claiming that there isn't clear evidence of unpreparedness but the chaos has multifaceted origins.

Judgment should be withheld until at least all victims are rescued and made as safe as possible.
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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:07 am

Ralph wrote:My point, Herman, is that you (and some others) make broad accusations of negligence in a complex, unprecedented situation. There are so many aspects that must be investigated and studied if any effort to prevent repetition can be successful.

No one is claiming that there isn't clear evidence of unpreparedness but the chaos has multifaceted origins.

Judgment should be withheld until at least all victims are rescued and made as safe as possible.
Well, I'm sorry, but I think you're dead wrong if you're saying the appropriate response should be to wait in respectful silence and see how things turn out.

If there wasn't increasing criticism of the outrageously inept handling before, during and after Katrina hit, the relief effort would stay as inept as it has been. Bush is experiencing some political and public pressure now, and maybe that will make him do something. That doesn't erase the fact that thousands of people have died whose lives could have been saved i the gvt had been on the ball.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:17 am

herman wrote:That doesn't erase the fact that thousands of people have died whose lives could have been saved i the gvt had been on the ball.
We definitely do not know that, and should not jump to that conclusion.

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Post by Ted » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:23 am

Bush: ” Results are unacceptable”
An understatement of enormous proportions, but significant for a man who absolutely refuses to admit mistakes.
Up until now I would have never have thought anything could top 911 as his biggest challenge , but this crisis supersedes the attacks in NYC and DC by a country mile

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Post by Barry » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:42 am

Ralph wrote: I virtually never watch TV news except in a major crisis and the CNN anchors are unfamiliar to me. I am impressed by the sharpness of Soledad O'Brien and Paula Zahn in questioning government officials. O'Brien in particular seems genuinely angry.
I try to avoid her, but every time I have the misfortune of watching Paula Zahn for even a few minutes, I have to fight hard to stop from vomiting.
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:43 am

Ralph wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:Ralph,

I’m aware that there are few parallels between 9/11 and the carnage in the gulf. The current situation is far, far worse. The reason I mentioned 9/11 and the only reason was to point out how the President once again (why am I not surprised) failed to react in a timely fashion, like the very next day. I’m also well aware, having been brought up in the school system of New York City how the various levels of government interact and function as well as the sequencing of the time line and chain of command.

Peter Schenkman
*****

Just my view, I don't see any focus on Bush having either relevance or utility here. He's exercised his powers and rescue and relief operations are very complex in what all now recognize is an unprecedented crisis.

There will be much analysis and study in the future and I doubt that Bush's role will be a major issue one way or the other.
Wasn't it Harry Truman who said "The buck stops here?"

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:58 am

herman wrote:
Ralph wrote:My point, Herman, is that you (and some others) make broad accusations of negligence in a complex, unprecedented situation. There are so many aspects that must be investigated and studied if any effort to prevent repetition can be successful.

No one is claiming that there isn't clear evidence of unpreparedness but the chaos has multifaceted origins.

Judgment should be withheld until at least all victims are rescued and made as safe as possible.
Well, I'm sorry, but I think you're dead wrong if you're saying the appropriate response should be to wait in respectful silence and see how things turn out.

If there wasn't increasing criticism of the outrageously inept handling before, during and after Katrina hit, the relief effort would stay as inept as it has been. Bush is experiencing some political and public pressure now, and maybe that will make him do something. That doesn't erase the fact that thousands of people have died whose lives could have been saved i the gvt had been on the ball.
*****

You've misread my comments. Evidence as to the conditions and responses emerge by the hour and certainly are a force in government actions at some level. All I've said is that this complex catastrophe can't be fully investigated, analyzed or understood until after stability is restored. AND some of the attacks on Bush simply reflect continuing hostility by critics and add zero to comprehending both the calamity and the rescue efforts (and I'm as big a Bush Basher as any).

The role of ANY president in a sudden crisis is more complex than casual and historically uninformed people realize. When Eisenhower was elected, Truman remarked to the effect that the poor incoming chief executive was used to giving orders as a general and they would be implemented immediately. Truman ruefully commented that that didn't happen for presidents.

Part of the problem is endemic competing bureaucracies not only between federal agencies and between state agencies but through the friction inherent in our system of federalism.
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:01 am

I continue to cherish the possibly out-dated notion that the residue of a civilization is its culture. People come and go, but the arts remain - so can anyone suggest a performing arts group, university or museum in Luzianne that's going to need help getting back in shape...??

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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:01 am

Part of the problem is endemic competing bureaucracies not only between federal agencies and between state agencies but through the friction inherent in our system of federalism.
Exactly. The relief efforts last year for the hurricanes that hit Florida were near spotless by all accounts. The key difference IMO is New Orleans' well known history of corrupt and incompetant local government

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:07 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:
Ralph wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:Ralph,

I’m aware that there are few parallels between 9/11 and the carnage in the gulf. The current situation is far, far worse. The reason I mentioned 9/11 and the only reason was to point out how the President once again (why am I not surprised) failed to react in a timely fashion, like the very next day. I’m also well aware, having been brought up in the school system of New York City how the various levels of government interact and function as well as the sequencing of the time line and chain of command.

Peter Schenkman
*****

Just my view, I don't see any focus on Bush having either relevance or utility here. He's exercised his powers and rescue and relief operations are very complex in what all now recognize is an unprecedented crisis.

There will be much analysis and study in the future and I doubt that Bush's role will be a major issue one way or the other.
Wasn't it Harry Truman who said "The buck stops here?"

Peter Schenkman
*****

Sure-and I agree that ultimate political responsibility is the President's, that's the way it should be. But that reality doesn't explain what happens and why when there's a major, complex situation.

Right now a former LA senator is saying on CNN that all in New Orleans knew for decades that the city was a "bull's eye" for disaster. Now another expert is reporting on many long ago reports about the vulnerability of the city. Yes, funds were cut back by the Bush administration for flood preparations but the three-star Corps of Engineers honcho just said that even those appropriations would probably have been irrelevant to levee failure. I can listen to all these reports but I can't analyze them or sort out conflicts.

There are so many issues and controversies here-CNN is doing a good job of highlighting myriad angles but much deep investigation must follow. Stay tuned for the announcement of a National Commission-that's guaranteed.
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:10 am

BWV 1080 wrote:
Part of the problem is endemic competing bureaucracies not only between federal agencies and between state agencies but through the friction inherent in our system of federalism.
Exactly. The relief efforts last year for the hurricanes that hit Florida were near spotless by all accounts. The key difference IMO is New Orleans' well known history of corrupt and incompetant local government
*****

I'ver never been to New Orleans, even had to turn down three or four free trips there. Most of my colleagues have been there and I'm struck by comments that the city has a small area devoted to tourism and a huge mass of substandard housing and barely controlled crime.
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