New Orleans: Doing What We Can

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:14 am

Ralph wrote: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.
I think that we should let them know that the Classical Music Guide is prepared to offer its advisory services free of charge.

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

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:32 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote: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.
I think that we should let them know that the Classical Music Guide is prepared to offer its advisory services free of charge.
*****

I belong to the American Trial Lawyers Association and I signed up yesterday to aid any LA or MS lawyers - whatever the nature of their practices - to help in any way such as reconstructing lost resources.

CMG members can also do what many of us did as early as Monday-GIVE MONEY!!!!!
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:40 am

Just heard the President's hangar comments. He said he's looking forward to sitting on the porch of Trent Lott's rebuilt home. What the f*uck was he thinking? His impromptu briefing sounded like a Broadway cast doing their first run through of a script.

And he's followed by a woman describing from the Convention Center how a woman gave birth last night without proper medical aid and "the baby didn't make it."
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:50 am

Ralph wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote: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.
I think that we should let them know that the Classical Music Guide is prepared to offer its advisory services free of charge.
*****

I belong to the American Trial Lawyers Association and I signed up yesterday to aid any LA or MS lawyers - whatever the nature of their practices - to help in any way such as reconstructing lost resources.

CMG members can also do what many of us did as early as Monday-GIVE MONEY!!!!!
I noticed in the FEMA scenario they rehearsed for this that one of the key outcomes involved the need for teachers. They were anticipating needing to call back teachers from retirement, use student teachers as teachers, etc. I don't quite get it, but that's what it said.

In any case, I'm not exactly available. I'm sending money. And I never do that.

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

operafan
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Post by operafan » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:58 am

Florida had too much practice with hurricanes last year. I notice that no one says not to rebuild central Florida, maybe because it is not technically under water, but still the idea of moving generators around to pump/lift sewage boggles the mind. http://www.highwayengineers.org/scanner010505f.html

Charley, Jeanne and Francis
Central Florida's Unwanted Tourists
Emergency Preparedness – Observations from the Region’s Transportation Agencies
Chris Rizzolo, URS
Jackie VanderPol, The Fulcrum International

Friday, August 13, 2004, Category 4 Hurricane Charley made landfall on the southwest Florida coast. Throughout the night Charley raced across the state, slamming into Central Florida and knocking over thousands of enormous oaks and other trees onto buildings, downing miles upon miles of power lines, and blocking roadways. Charlie was the worst hurricane that most Central Floridians had ever experienced. Damage was extensive and virtually shut the region down for nearly ten long, muggy, mostly-powerless days.

Within the next six weeks, three more hurricanes would make landfall in Florida, and two of these (Frances and Jeanne) would directly impact Central Florida. An already weary population suffered these two more blows with resignation to their fate, a quiet bravery, and an uncommon sense of teamwork. Statewide, more than 53,000 residential and business buildings were claimed as a total loss. Orange County topped the list in the number of insurance claims with more than 128,000, though “only” 808 facilities were deemed a “total loss.”

Thankfully, the transportation system faired comparatively well due to previous Emergency Operations Planning. Transportation agencies in Central Florida (FDOT District 5, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, and Orange County) each did their part to ensure safe evacuation routes and speedy system repair. Many heroes helped get Central Florida through these disasters…from sound planning before the storms, to Herculean efforts in the long and redundant recovery process.

Below are brief summaries of events and activities related to these natural disasters that could be applied to a variety of disaster plans for transportation systems.

Florida Department of Transportation
Under the leadership of District Secretary George Gilhooley, FDOT District 5 faced hurricane-related impacts in all nine counties of the District. The District was a flurry of activity even before the storms hit. All districts teleconferenced and made sure the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) was up to date. Staff meetings were held and then all employees were allowed to get their personal affairs in order. As each storm approached, Mark Wiseman, District 5 Safety and Health Manager/District Emergency Coordination Officer activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate disaster recovery with local and state agencies.

FDOT maintenance crews took home their vehicles and hardware such as chainsaws and were ready to act as soon as the worst of the storms passed. In the case of Hurricane Charley, which passed through Central Florida between 9:00 pm and midnight on August 13, this meant clearing the roads in the dead of night. By early afternoon, every State Road in District 5 was open to traffic. This was no small task, since many power lines in the area were knocked down and twisted amongst the debris. In cases such as this, FDOT maintenance workers worked closely with the appropriate utility companies before beginning any work.

The top priority when clearing debris from roadways was the Interstate system and essential roadways leading to hospitals, fire stations, etc. Once these facilities were cleared, work began on the state road system. Many roads were completely barricaded by fallen debris, and in some cases only enough room for one vehicle was initially provided. Once the State Roads were cleared, District 5 assisted local municipalities in their recovery efforts. This assistance did not end with clearing road debris. For example, Secretary Gilhooley provided 250,000 sandbags to various local municipalities and requisitioned a refrigerated tractor-trailer from Tallahassee for Lake County.

Loss of traffic signals was another huge impact from each storm. Hurricane Frances severely impacted the coastal regions of District 5, destroying or damaging close to 300 traffic signals. Within one week, District 5 repaired or replaced all damaged and destroyed traffic signals.

District 5 did not simply assist the citizens within it boundaries. When Hurricane Ivan ravaged the Panhandle in September, 36 District 5 employees with trucks and equipment assisted District 3 in their clean-up efforts. In addition, several District 5 workers are still deployed assisting FEMA with Public Assistance and Damage Assessments and may still be through May of next year. Just in time for next hurricane season! Florida’s ASHE National Director, Steve Tidwell, may still be in a tent on the panhandle of Florida assisting FEMA.

Central Florida’s Tolling Agencies
(Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise)
Tolling agencies were hard hit with about $14 million dollars in physical damages and nearly $48 million dollars in revenue loss as a result of suspending the tolls before, during and after each storm. These roadways were crucial to the evacuation of millions of residents and served exceptionally well in this capacity due to careful planning and coordination with other emergency services.

Activities Before the Storms
Well in advance of the storms, OOCEA key staff carefully reviewed the Emergency Operations Plan and updated the contact list. Before each storm’s arrival, the number one activity was clearing all debris from drainage structures and securing all signage and construction materials. The systems are undergoing a massive expansion and this was no small task.

OOCEA implemented a rule that there would be no lane closures before the storms and no construction-related work performed immediately after the storms. Knowing that tolls would likely be suspended before, during and after the storms, discussions were held with Florida Tolls Services, the private firm that operates the toll booths, to discuss toll suspensions and reinstatement plans. These plans had to be carefully communicated and coordinated with the Turnpike Enterprise. This was necessary to reduce confusion and prevent possible rear-end accidents at toll booths, since many of the routes feed directly into each other.

Emergency generators were rounded up and topped off. Contractors were contacted and put the systems on “First Call” for repair of tree damage and fence repair.

During Hurricane Charley, the Turnpike experienced bumperto-bumper traffic for 80 miles; remarkably all traffic moved safely off the system within 24 hours. Interestingly, the Turnpike restricted the number of open toll lanes at the booths. This actually reduced congestion and provided safer travel, though a few frustrated motorists did not agree with the logic. This technique was modeled after the Homestead NASCAR race. Traffic moved safely and steadily throughout the evacuation period at 20 to 25 mph.

Plans were made by the Turnpike prior to each storm for a system Contra-Flow, if necessary, meaning both the northbound and southbound routes would become northbound. This presented many challenges and luckily was not necessary. But the Turnpike was fully prepared during each storm, having staff available and the proper equipment ready at each ingress and egress point.

During the Storms - Hunker Down
Personnel were asked to be with their families as the storm hit, and to report back to assist at the earliest possible time.

After the Storms
As soon as they were able, staff reported in to assess and repair the physical damage. Communications systems were unreliable so this presented many challenges.

Most damage at OOCEA was limited to downed signage and fallen trees. Toll booths suffered minor damages on roofs and from air conditioners that had blown off the tops of the facilities. There were no drainage issues due to early clearing. “We fared well because the system was designed to very high standards, and we took the proper steps to prepare,” said Mike Snyder, OOCEA Executive Director. “The biggest problem now is absorbing the financial impact, but suspending the tolls was the right thing to do,” he added.

Under Governor Jeb Bush’s approval, tolls on both OOCEA and the Turnpike were suspended for six days with Charley, seven days with Frances, and four days with Jeanne. “Collection of revenue takes a back seat to moving people safely to shelter,” said Evelio Suarez, the Turnpike Enterprise’s Toll Operations Director.

OOCEA and the Turnpike issued a joint press release when it was determined that tolls could resume. Emergency and disaster relief vehicles, including thousands of power service and tree removal trucks from other states, continued to drive toll-free on the system for an extended period of time. Agencies worked closely with FDOT District 5 and Orange County to ensure that major roadways connecting to the toll roads would be capable of handling the increased traffic once the tolls were reinstated.

TEAMFL, (Transportation Expressway Authorities Membership of Florida) an organization formed to bring together the talents of the state’s toll agencies and consultants, is in the process of gathering the Emergency Operations Plans from each toll agency in the state. They will create a comprehensive EOP that will be available upon request. TEAMFL’s Executive Director, Bob Hartnett, is spearheading that effort. (www.teamfl.org)

Orange County
“Disaster preparations for public agencies are fairly routine, yet communities suffer from hurricane amnesia,” said Jim Harrison, Director of Growth Management. “By that I mean, people tend to forget how severe these storms can be. We are fortunate at the County to have trained emergency personnel, very sound leadership, and a welldeveloped emergency response plan that allowed us to react swiftly and aggressively. With Charley, we dutifully studied the Emergency Operations Plan and prepared well. When Frances hit, we knew exactly what needed to be done. And by Jeanne we were disaster experts!”

Before the Storms
Key preparations before the storm included stocking up on traffic signals and signs, and locating and inventorying everything. The county roadway system did fairly well due to a long-standing policy requiring upgrades to mast arm traffic signals which are much less vulnerable. Drainage areas were cleared and retention ponds and lake levels were lowered as much as possible to create storage for the flood of water.

As did the other agencies, the County hired emergency debris removal contractors who were ready to hit the ground running at first light (clearing major arterials first for life/safety, then collectors, and finally local roads.) Field Operations Centers were created and staff was briefed and hundreds of county vehicles were fueled and equipment was positioned across the county.

County leaders initiated the regional Emergency Operations Center which included over 200 staff and agency representatives. An important early step was to implement a public information campaign for preparedness - locals will remember Chairman Crotty’s mantra “Folks, this is not a drill!”

After the Storms
The County maintains good communications regularly with other agencies such as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Public Works, and the utilities companies. Orange County staff from all departments…from public works, to legal, to administrative staff, worked side by side in recovery efforts after the storm. They performed search & rescue, damage assessment, manned information call-in centers, repaired roofs for the elderly or handicapped, cleared roadways, and distributed sand bags, water and more than 15 tons of ice to residents. There were more than 200 people working at the Emergency Operations Center in Orange County. At its height, the message center was taking more than 1,000 calls per hour.

One of the major difficulties included getting an accurate listing of signal outages. More than 300,000 residences were without power. “We need to, and plan to develop, a good database of the signals and a plan to inspect them,” said Harrison. These inspections had to be done manually; better signal maps would have helped the crews immensely. Crews were in close contact with various power agencies, and by mapping major power outages it was easy to see where the transportation problems would be greatest. Police and sheriffs directed traffic or free-standing four-way stop signs were posted at intersections without power. (Interestingly, after several days, power companies asked all residents to turn their porch lights on. In this way, they could visually determine where the smaller pockets of outages were.)

Debris clearing crews were mobilized before the storm, and then were out working at first light. The main priority was to make sure emergency vehicles could get through. There were more than 2.8 million cubic yards of tree debris in Orange County alone!

One other problem, and a big one for Orange County residents, was the fact that the sewage lift stations are electrically operated. Four hundred of the county’s 600 lift stations were out after Charley. “We had made inter-local agreements to share equipment such as generators with neighboring counties. But no one really expected such widespread damage. With none available to borrow, we rotated our 25 generators until more generators came.” Staff had to venture out in the pouring rain immediately after the hurricane, moving generators from one lift station to another every few hours.

County Chairman had declared the county in a state of emergency and accelerated purchasing activities early on. The cost of these storms to Orange County tops approximately $80 - $90 million dollars, $60 million of which included the debris removal. Thankfully, much of this will be reimbursed by FEMA
'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.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:08 am

As I implied in an earlier post, a great deal of this has to do with the fact that a major city--I mean a good old-fashioned city, not a sprawled area-- was involved. It's called geometric probability, and it simply means that (more or less) random phenomena will strike less densely populated regions 90% of the time if less densely populated regions make up 90% of the physical geography.

Before anyone jumps on me, I realize there was more than being in hurricane alley involved in this disaster.

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

herman
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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:56 pm

In terms of population New Orleans is not "a major city". Population is half a million. Columbus, Ohio, at 650000 is a larger city.

What happened here is that federal and state authorities were scrimping on protection against calamitous circumstances such as Katrina, for ideological reasons - God helps them that help themselves - and because of the Iraq War, which (of course) is a war fought for ideological / politcal reasons. (Not a single US citizen was being threatened by Iraq in 2003.)

FEMA has been gutted in the Bush years.
35 - 40 % of the National Reserve is not available; they are in Iraq.

These factors have nothing to do with the size of the city or the size of the hurricane.

It has to do with the unwillingness of the government to supply basic services to the people, especially if these people happen to be predominantly black.

For ideological reasons the gvt was not really willing to help (let's not even talk about prevent). Only now that the media and politcal pressure is rising there is some attempt to save people.
Last edited by herman on Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:03 pm

herman wrote:In terms of population New Orleans is not that big. Population is half a million.

What happened here is that federal and state authorities were scrimping on protection against calamitous circumstances such as Katrina, for ideological reasons - God helps them that help themselves - and because of the Iraq War, which (of course) is a war fought for ideological / politcal reasons. (Not a single US citizen was being threatened by Iraq in 2003.)

FEMA has been gutted in the Bush years.
35 - 40 % of the National Reserve is not available; they are in Iraq.

These factors have nothing to do with the size of the city or the size of the hurricane.

It has to do with the unwillingness of the government to supply basic services to the people, especially if these people happen to be predominantly black.
Would you care for me to enumerate all the cities in the lowland countries of northern Europe which are famous yet whose population approximates half a million?

I am so angry at your post at the moment that I dare not go on.

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

herman
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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:13 pm

Buck, your big mistake is thinking all the time that it's OK for the US to let their people die, because, hey, what would people in Europe do?

This is not a beauty contest.

But for your information, both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are over 500000.

Berlin's population is over 3 million. Hamburg 1,7 million. Munich 1.3 million.

Wanna know about Paris? Pop 2.5 million.

I think you could've checked this yourself, but maybe you have become too "emotional" to go to google.

Now you tell me how this is relevant to the way things have gotten out of hand in Lousiana and Mississipi.

I have already given you a comparison of the water defense structures in the US South and Holland, and your answrr, as per usual, was completely irrational and jingoistic.

herman
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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:26 pm

A little exceprt from MSNBC, which I find particularly interesting because of the way the National Guard presene is formulated. They're there to "shoot and kill" people.

Shades of Iraq?

MSNBC: Many National Guard troops have arrived now in New Orleans, and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanca says, “They know how to shoot and kill. They’re more than willing to do so and I expect they will.”  A statement that exemplifies what kind of a chaotic police state situation exists there.

Russert:  By Sunday they say there’ll be 30,000 National Guard and troops on the street, which gives you an indication of just how perilous it is.
But the fact is that, when there was no evacuation and no pre-positioning of supplies within the city, that led to the current situation.
President George W. Bush said the other day that no one expected the levees to break.

Well, with all respect, study after study, including FEMA's own tabletop exercises last year, all included the breaking or the giving of the levees.  Everyone who had studied the issue knew that with a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm, that was a very strong likelihood.

So, again, it’s very difficult in the midst of a crisis for people to be critical, but I have not talked to anybody, underscore anybody, in official Washington who believes the government at any level has done a good job.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:26 pm

herman wrote:Buck, your big mistake is thinking all the time that it's OK for the US to let their people die, because, hey, what would people in Europe do?

This is not a beauty contest.

But for your information, both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are over 500000.

Berlin's population is over 3 million. Hamburg 1,7 million. Munich 1.3 million.

Wanna know about Paris? Pop 2.5 million.

I think you could've checked this yourself, but maybe you have become too "emotional" to go to google.

Now you tell me how this is relevant to the way things have gotten out of hand in Lousiana and Mississipi.

I have already given you a comparison of the water defense structures in the US South and Holland, and your answrr, as per usual, was completely irrational and jingoistic.
Ok, fellow members, vote: Am I going to go there, or am I just going to let him rot in his own dung?

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

Barry
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Post by Barry » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:29 pm

herman wrote: Now you tell me how this is relevant to the way things have gotten out of hand in Lousiana and Mississipi.
Whether your system to handle floods is better than it is for the American south or not isn't the issue with regard to John's anger at you. When this sort of disaster occurs in another nation, the typical American response is to immediately offer assistance. We offer positive help; we don't sit around saying, boy, you guys really did a lousy job in preparing for that (and you aren't so stupid as to believe there aren't dire circumstances for which your country and other European nations aren't prepared as well as the U.S. is). Your relentless negativism, especially with regard to anything and everything related to the U.S., not matter what the circumstances, is telling, both of you, and if your attitude is typical of what's going on in Europe (and I have little doubt that it is), of Europeans.
"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

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Post by herman » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:36 pm

Barry Z wrote: When this sort of disaster occurs in another nation, the typical American response is to immediately offer assistance. We offer positive help; we don't sit around saying, boy, you guys really did a lousy job in preparing for that.
That's what you're telling yourself. I'm sorry but this is another American habit, looking in the mirror with your pink glasses on.

I suppose devastating Iraq is some kind of relief effort too?

And, no matter what, I think the first duty a nation's gvt has is to take care of these things, preferably in advance.

I'm assuming US citizens pay taxes not because they want to pry away some third world country away from the Russian or China influence, but because they expect to their gvt to do the right thing within its own borders.

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Post by Werner » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:58 pm

Herman: I haven't gone back in this thread very far, but feel it's up to me to offer a comment, at John's suggestion.

Over the months and years, I've detected an America'European antagonism which does not compliment either side. I've expressed myself in reaction to he anti-European side. Now it's time to tell you that I think you're going overboard in your anti-American outbursts.

I know that much of Holland sits safely below sea level - an example of what should have been, and hasn't been, accomplished in the Gulf of Mexico. Fair enough.

You've got your strengths and we have ours. I remember being in the European Theater of Operations in World War II and watched the recostruction of a devastated continent following those horrrible years. And as far as I can remember, the Marshall Plan did not exclude Holland.
Werner Isler

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:10 pm

Barry Z wrote:
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.
Barry - I ask of you a thousand pardons. I should not have added that last sentence and you're perfectly correct about your support of other Bush policies. And, furthermore...

Sure Katrina herself was nobody's fault. But, even though I voted for GWB twice (for reasons which are too complicated and too boring to expose here) I come to question more seriously many of the actions of his administration. And now, after wading through the gibberish on the 24-hour cable news outlets, and trying glean the true facts, I think that the Bush administration dropped the ball in a big way vis-a-vis the rescue efforts. At least, that's how it looks at this early time. There should have been better preparation at the local level, to be sure, but the federal response seems to be incoherent, lacking and late. I didn't want to pass judgement, as the media prefer to do, right away - but at the remove of almost five days now it's clear that the Pres's boys didn't do what they're paid to do. I find it distressing (and very scary).

My previous statement could have been insulting and that's the last thing I'd want to do to someone with whom I shared a lunch at the 2nd Avenue Deli. So, here's a salute to a fellow music-lover who also, when it comes to corned beef sandwiches, is a veritable epicure!!!

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Post by Barry » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:19 pm

Thanks Frank 8). Appreciate that. I voted against GWB both times, but I've learned to at least be reasonable enough to take him on an issue by issue basis, rather than throwing a negative blanket over him at all times. It hasn't been easy, because as I've said, there really is something about the way the guy carries himself that rubs me the wrong way.

(As an aside, I know this isn't the right thread for this, but since you mentioned it, after years of it not being the case, we finally have quality deli in Philly!)
Last edited by Barry on Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"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 jbuck919 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:20 pm

Febnyc wrote:But, even though I voted for GWB twice (for reasons which are too complicated and too boring to expose here) I come to question more seriously many of the actions of his administration.
I'm sure you will be granted immunity when your testimony results in the proper instatement of Al Gore as President of the United States.

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 Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:21 pm

Okay, corned beef and/or pastrami sandwiches at the Second Ave. Deli for Barry and Frank are on me for a friendship lunch!
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:44 pm

Ralph wrote:Okay, corned beef and/or pastrami sandwiches at the Second Ave. Deli for Barry and Frank are on me for a friendship lunch!
Many thanks, Ralph.

Psst - Barry - you gotta come up to NYC now so we can hold Ralph to his offer. And quickly before a gallon of gasoline costs more than a deli sandwich!

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Post by Febnyc » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:49 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Febnyc wrote:But, even though I voted for GWB twice (for reasons which are too complicated and too boring to expose here) I come to question more seriously many of the actions of his administration.
I'm sure you will be granted immunity when your testimony results in the proper instatement of Al Gore as President of the United States.
I won't risk it, but thanks. I'll hide behind the good old Fifth.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:25 pm

Febnyc wrote:
Ralph wrote:Okay, corned beef and/or pastrami sandwiches at the Second Ave. Deli for Barry and Frank are on me for a friendship lunch!
Many thanks, Ralph.

Psst - Barry - you gotta come up to NYC now so we can hold Ralph to his offer. And quickly before a gallon of gasoline costs more than a deli sandwich!
*****

I hope we can get together and argue!!!!!
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:49 pm

From The New York Times:


September 3, 2005
Across U.S., Outrage at Response
By TODD S. PURDUM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 - There was anger: David Vitter, Louisiana's freshman Republican senator, gave the federal government an F on Friday for its handling of the whirlwind after the storm. And Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, declared, "We cannot allow it to be said that the difference between those who lived and those who died" amounted to "nothing more than poverty, age or skin color."

There was shock at the slow response: Joseph P. Riley Jr., the 29-year Democratic mayor of Charleston, S.C., and a veteran of Hurricane Hugo's wrath, said: "I knew in Charleston, looking at the Weather Channel, that Gulfport was going to be destroyed. I'm the mayor of Charleston, but I knew that!"

But perhaps most of all there was shame, a deep collective national disbelief that the world's sole remaining superpower could not - or at least had not - responded faster and more forcefully to a disaster that had been among its own government's worst-case possibilities for years.

"It really makes us look very much like Bangladesh or Baghdad," said David Herbert Donald, the retired Harvard historian of the Civil War and a native Mississippian, who said that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive march from Atlanta to the sea paled by comparison. "I'm 84 years old. I've been around a long time, but I've never seen anything like this."

Around the nation, and indeed the world, the reaction to Hurricane Katrina's devastation stretched beyond the usual political recriminations and swift second-guessing that so often follow calamities. In dozens of interviews and editorials, feelings deeper and more troubled bubbled to the surface in response to the flooding and looting that "humbled the most powerful nation on the planet," and showed "how quickly the thin veneer of civilization can be stripped away," as The Daily Mail of London put it.

"It's very disappointing," said Dr. Kauser Akhter, a physician from Tampa, Fla., who was attending a convention of the Islamic Society of North America outside Chicago.

"I think they were too slow to respond. Maybe the response would have been quicker if it had occurred in some other area of the country, for example in New York or California where there's more money, more people who are going to object, raise their voices," she said. "Those people are the poorest of the poor in Mississippi and Alabama, and it seems they had no access to anything."

Jonathan Williams, an architect in Hartford, originally from Uganda, said the delayed arrival of relief and aid supplies in New Orleans made him wonder about how the United States responds to disasters abroad.

"I am in utter shock," he said in an interview at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on Friday. "There is just total disarray. This far into the cleanup and they are still understaffed? I am just so disappointed. It's just a terrible, sad situation."

But Mr. Williams added: "You cannot just blame the president, or any one person. Everyone is partly to blame. It's the whole system."

It was the combination of specific and systemic failures that many of those interviewed - experts and ordinary people alike - echoed.

Andrew Young, the former civil rights worker and mayor of Atlanta who was Jimmy Carter's ambassador to the United Nations, was born in New Orleans 73 years ago, walked on its levees as a boy and "was always assured by my father that the Army Corps of Engineers had done a masterful job." But, Mr. Young said, "they've been neglected for the last 20 years," along with other pillars of the nation's infrastructure, human and physical.

"I was surprised and not surprised," he said of the failures and suffering of this week.

"It's not just a lack of preparedness. I think the easy answer is to say that these are poor people and black people and so the government doesn't give a damn," he said. "That's O.K., and there might be some truth to that. But I think we've got to see this as a serious problem of the long-term neglect of an environmental system on which our nation depends. All the grain that's grown in Iowa and Illinois, and the huge industrial output of the Midwest has to come down the Mississippi River, and there has to be a port to handle it, to keep a functioning economy in the United States of America."

Mr. Riley, the Charleston mayor, whose Police Department on Monday sent 55 officers to help keep order in Gulfport, Miss., said he had long advocated creating a special military entity - perhaps under the Corps of Engineers - that could respond immediately to disasters.

"It's not the police function," he said. "It's that it's an entity that knows how to quickly restore infrastructure and the essentials of order." He said his own experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency during Hurricane Hugo in 1989, when he had the National Guard on standby and then requested Army troops and marines, had convinced him that civilian bureaucracy was sometimes too caught up in the niceties.

"With the eye of Hugo over my City Hall, literally, I said to a FEMA official, 'What's the main bit of advice you can give me?' and he said, 'You need to make sure you're accounting for all your expenses," Mayor Riley recalled. "The tragedy of these things is the unnecessary pain in those early days, the complete destruction of normalcy."

Few suggested the challenges of this particular storm had been easy.

Priscilla Turner, 55, of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is a registered Democrat, but she said President Bush was being saddled with some unfair blame. "There is an instinct to be so negative," Ms. Turner said, "to wish for the worst, to anticipate the worse, to glory and wallow in the worst." If Mr. Bush had sent troops to New Orleans too quickly, she said, his detractors would have portrayed him as "going in with guns blazing."

As it is, criticism of Mr. Bush has been unsparing, especially abroad. European newspaper headlines used words like "anarchy" and "apocalypse" and some ordinary citizens in less fortunate parts of the world spoke with virtual contempt for what they saw as an American failure to live up to its professed ideals.

"I am absolutely disgusted," said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, watching a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to the Reuters news agency. "After the tsunami, our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering. Not a single tourist caught in the tsunami was mugged. Now with all this happening in the U.S., we can easily see where the civilized part of the world's population is."

There was anger closer to home, too, especially among blacks.

"Babies, the elderly are dying on the streets," said Rebecca Chalk, 60, financial aid director at Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore. "It doesn't speak well of America."

Ms. Chalk added: "People are desperate; they're hungry and panicky and they lost everything. The bureaucracy seems like it has to go through all these channels. They should have just gotten the people help by now."

Calvin Kelly, 40, works in a San Francisco food bank warehouse but was born in New Orleans and has been unable to reach elderly family members, including two grandmothers and a 99-year-old aunt, who still live there. "The National Guard is just now getting there," Mr. Kelly said, shaking his head. "The government should have been there when the storm first hit."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an unusual foray into domestic affairs, sharply disputed any suggestion that storm victims had somehow been overlooked because of their race. "We're all going to need to be in this together," she said in announcing offers of foreign aid. "I think everybody's very emotional. It's hard to watch pictures of any American going through this. And yes, the African-American community has obviously been very heavily affected."

But noting her own roots in Alabama, and her father's in Louisiana, Dr. Rice announced plans to visit the region this weekend and said, "That Americans would somehow in a color-affected way decide who to help and who not to help - I just don't believe it."

By no means did all the criticism come from blacks, or from Mr. Bush's political opponents.

Senator Vitter spent part of Friday touring the devastation with Mr. Bush and told reporters that he hoped a turnaround was in the offing. But earlier in the day, news agencies reported, he said the "operational effectiveness" of federal efforts to date deserved a failing grade, or lower.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who also spent part of the day with the president and went out of his way to praise the government's response, offered a sober assessment.

"We're going to be fine at the end of the day," Mr. Barbour said, "but the end of the day's a long way away."

Reporting for this article was contributed by Gary Gately in Baltimore, Laurie Goodstein in Chicago, Carolyn Marshall in San Francisco, and Jennifer Medina and Marek J. Fuchs in New York.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:56 am

jbuck919 wrote:
herman wrote:Buck, your big mistake is thinking all the time that it's OK for the US to let their people die, because, hey, what would people in Europe do?

This is not a beauty contest.

But for your information, both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are over 500000.

Berlin's population is over 3 million. Hamburg 1,7 million. Munich 1.3 million.

Wanna know about Paris? Pop 2.5 million.

I think you could've checked this yourself, but maybe you have become too "emotional" to go to google.

Now you tell me how this is relevant to the way things have gotten out of hand in Lousiana and Mississipi.

I have already given you a comparison of the water defense structures in the US South and Holland, and your answrr, as per usual, was completely irrational and jingoistic.

In the cold light of the (European) morning, I realized that Herman in his last paragraph was referring to an exchange we had on the other board to which most of you were not privy. He said that Holland was prepared for anything that might happen in a time span of 10,000 years. Need I go on?

Herman, I was not referring to Paris or any such place. I was referring perhaps to the numerous cities in northern Europe that do in fact have a population of under one million. It may have escaped your attention, but educated Americans are in fact aware that Bruges, for instance, is not a world-class metropolis in spite of the fact that Belgium might just regret losing it.

On the matter of the absolute value of tending my own back yard, I don't need a heckler shouting catcalls at me over the fence.

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 herman » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:19 am

jbuck919 wrote: He said that Holland was prepared for anything that might happen in a time span of 10,000 years. Need I go on?
You are of course bending what I myself said completely out of shape, to make it look as bad as you possibly can. (How this is helping Katrina's victims, which you're obviously so concerned about, is anybody's guess.)

At the other board I mentioned an op-ed article by a university professor at Delft - the Dutch MIT, as it were - whose work is about dikes, levees and the whole shebang. Accoring to him New Orleans' levee system was calculated to handle circumstances which have a statistical probability of occurring once every thirty years. The guy said the Dutch "Delta" works were constructed to handle circumstances up to those that would happen once in 10000 years.

For you this was an opportunity to rail out saying noone could calculate what's happening in 10000 year's time. You chose not address the critical issue, that 30 years is a very short time (strangely coinciding with the average career span of those who constructed the NO system). In other words, you made it into another beauty contest: "thousands of people die carelessly in the US? We'll your people are going to die too!" That's sort of your level of arguing, unfortunately.

I din't care much for the number of 10000 either (and I said so - something you have carefully chosen to ignore, too), but maybe it indeed just means that if there's going to be another Ice Age, Holland will not escape that, just like any other country at that altitude. Big deal.

People have been talking about my alleged anti-Americanism, and my callousness towards the victims.

I had already explained tht criticizing the way Katrina and its aftermath have been handled by the authorities is a form of compassion. The gvt needs to help these people, and there is only one way the gvt can be made to do this, clearly, and that is by applying political and media pressure, because it is pretty clear the federal and state authorities were not planning to do much without pressure. I do happen to think that's morally wrong, and indeed I happen to think that this disaster is a pretty damning emblem of what years and years of a politics of unfettered market forces has wrought.

I am concerned about this, too, because this is an ideology the US is still actively and aggressively exporting to most other parts in the world as the only way towards the future, and I'd rather not be part of that future. Nor do I want to be part of a future that Barry Z and Pizza (strange ideological bedfellows indeed) have gleefully been predicting for Europe, i.e. the oft repeated mantra of me and mine being forced to pray in a mosque in ten years' time. I'm sure that's compassion too, with a big grin on its face.

I was distressed, and posted to that effect twice, when the most common response on this board to the recent London bomb attacks was "well, now those slow-witted Europeans have no other choice but to address the terrorist / islamicist isuue our way, and fast." No one was saying he felt sorry for the dead and wounded (as I have done several times above); that was supposed to be obvious. To judge by the anger expressed by some of you above, it is a rather different issue when American lives are at stake.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:32 am

Do I know how to (however unintentionally) excite a hysterical response, or what?

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

herman
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Post by herman » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:51 am

good to see you're having such fun with this.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:04 am

herman wrote:good to see you're having such fun with this.
And is your whining anything more than your own way of having fun?

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

Peter Schenkman
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:10 am

Post by Peter Schenkman » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:59 am

I think this discussion needs a bit of Levity and what better way to achieve it then this classic from 1971. The link that follows is good as well.

Don McLean: American Pie

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I started singin’,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

They were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die."


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/03/opini ... ?th&emc=th

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:04 am

Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.

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

Peter Schenkman
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:10 am

Post by Peter Schenkman » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:22 am

jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:28 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
As a fellow holder of a double-entendre name (John) whose middle name happens to be Peter (actually Pierre), I do understand. We have to stick by the classic names our parents gave us. It doesn't help that "Pete" is a traditional nickname in the service for anyone who was considered an "old fart."

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

Auntie Lynn
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:06 pm

My, my - anybody remember that dear old song "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans..."...??

I had hoped to depart this vale of tears to the tune of the South Rampart Street Parade...

Huckleberry
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Post by Huckleberry » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:01 pm

Auntie Lynn wrote:My, my - anybody remember that dear old song "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans..."...??

I had hoped to depart this vale of tears to the tune of the South Rampart Street Parade...
There's an article by Mark Childress in the New York Times that echoes this song:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/fashi ... xrxbtfvxNw

or go to www.nytimes.com/

+++++++++[/url]
I finally know what I want to be when I grow up:
Chief Dog Brusher, Music Room Keeper, and Assistant Sunlight Manager
in a hillside Mansion for Ancient Musicians.

Huckleberry
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Post by Huckleberry » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:04 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
As a fellow holder of a double-entendre name (John) whose middle name happens to be Peter (actually Pierre), I do understand. We have to stick by the classic names our parents gave us. It doesn't help that "Pete" is a traditional nickname in the service for anyone who was considered an "old fart."
Now, now ...
I finally know what I want to be when I grow up:
Chief Dog Brusher, Music Room Keeper, and Assistant Sunlight Manager
in a hillside Mansion for Ancient Musicians.

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:41 pm

Frist does a good day's work.

*****


Sen. Frist becomes medical volunteer
9/3/2005, 9:32 p.m. ET
By JONATHAN M. KATZ
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bill Frist took off his senator's coat on Saturday and flew for New Orleans as a medical volunteer. But what he found among the thousands needing treatment from Hurricane Katrina was a rescue effort in chaos: patients sleeping on luggage conveyors, teams of nurses who didn't know each other's names and a total communication breakdown.

"In the airport right now there is no communication between one unit and another," said Frist, R-Tenn., the Senate's majority leader and a surgeon.

"No coordination with how many people will be coming in the door 10 minutes later," he told The Associated Press. "That's sort of the most disappointing thing. It's probably the greatest failure."

Frist left Washington around 4:30 a.m. Saturday on his private plane. He spent most of the day helping to treat thousands of victims at Louis Armstrong International Airport and the New Orleans Convention Center.

He spoke by phone from a helicopter shuttling him between the two, taking a 45-minute tour above the flooded streets of downtown.

Frist also said the federal government had acted too slowly in dealing with the hurricane's aftermath.

"Given the escalation of catastrophe that occurred over the first three days, absolutely I would have liked to see the federal government respond quicker, more rapidly, with better command and control centers and much improved communication," Frist said.

"I'm not going to get into finger-pointing now. I did call for oversight hearings — I wouldn't have done that if I weren't concerned. We've got to do better."

The senator spent the day treating diabetics for low blood sugar and dealing with cases of high blood pressure and dehydration. Though he is a surgeon by training, there was no need to perform surgery on Saturday, he said.

After overnighting in Nashville, Tenn., following his day in New Orleans, Frist planned to return to the Gulf Coast on Sunday to work in storm-ravaged areas of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as returning with supplies to New Orleans.

He plans to be back in Washington by the time the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday. He said the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts will go forward as planned.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Darryl
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Location: Dallas, Texas

Post by Darryl » Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:58 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
As a fellow holder of a double-entendre name (John) whose middle name happens to be Peter (actually Pierre), I do understand. We have to stick by the classic names our parents gave us. It doesn't help that "Pete" is a traditional nickname in the service for anyone who was considered an "old fart."
I don't know if Ralph will take kindly to that statement, "Ol Pete's" picture in his living room and all :D

On a much more serious note, we're starting to see a lot of the folks here in Dallas looking for temporary quarters.

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:06 pm

Darryl wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
As a fellow holder of a double-entendre name (John) whose middle name happens to be Peter (actually Pierre), I do understand. We have to stick by the classic names our parents gave us. It doesn't help that "Pete" is a traditional nickname in the service for anyone who was considered an "old fart."
I don't know if Ralph will take kindly to that statement, "Ol Pete's" picture in his living room and all :D
*****

Everyone's entitled to be called by his/her preferred moniker. Think anyone ever called GEN Lee "Bob?"
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Darryl
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 11:36 am
Location: Dallas, Texas

Post by Darryl » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:35 pm

Ralph wrote:
Darryl wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Peter Schenkman wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, thanks Pete for reminding us that all pop music lyrics are based on the convenience of the moment in the head of the (often drunk or high) writer, and have nothing to do with anything.
Sorry but the name is Peter, I don't answer to Pete

Peter Schenkman
As a fellow holder of a double-entendre name (John) whose middle name happens to be Peter (actually Pierre), I do understand. We have to stick by the classic names our parents gave us. It doesn't help that "Pete" is a traditional nickname in the service for anyone who was considered an "old fart."
I don't know if Ralph will take kindly to that statement, "Ol Pete's" picture in his living room and all :D
*****

Everyone's entitled to be called by his/her preferred moniker. Think anyone ever called GEN Lee "Bob?"
Touché, Lawprof.

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Post by MartinPh » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:44 am

jbuck919 wrote:Do I know how to (however unintentionally) excite a hysterical response, or what?
Bravo, Herman. This kind of respons is sure proof that somebody is out of sound arguments.

In the end, no country can truly defend itself against overwhelming natural disasters - but looking at the events in New Orleans I do wonder whether the downside of all the great American optimism is an incapacity to anticipate true catastrophy occurring on home soil. So when it does, the respons is inadequate, almost dazed. At least when evil terrorists fly planes into buildings you can point fingers and lash out, if needs be at a country completely unrelated to the attack. But when the finger of blame points, as it does in this case, to the American government itself, which actively slashed funds for much needed improvements to dykes, there is only an eerie silence.

And meanwhile, in the streets of New Orleans, the American way of life, survival of the fittest, is seen in its degrading essence for almost a week, until finally the federal government starts to act.

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:52 am

MartinPh wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Do I know how to (however unintentionally) excite a hysterical response, or what?
Bravo, Herman. This kind of respons is sure proof that somebody is out of sound arguments.

In the end, no country can truly defend itself against overwhelming natural disasters - but looking at the events in New Orleans I do wonder whether the downside of all the great American optimism is an incapacity to anticipate true catastrophy occurring on home soil. So when it does, the respons is inadequate, almost dazed. At least when evil terrorists fly planes into buildings you can point fingers and lash out, if needs be at a country completely unrelated to the attack. But when the finger of blame points, as it does in this case, to the American government itself, which actively slashed funds for much needed improvements to dykes, there is only an eerie silence.

And meanwhile, in the streets of New Orleans, the American way of life, survival of the fittest, is seen in its degrading essence for almost a week, until finally the federal government starts to act.
Without wishing to discourage a newer poster, my response was, if anything, sure proof that Herman does not know his anal passage from the next divet he trips over while crossing the lawn on the way to the latrine.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:39 am

MartinPh wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Do I know how to (however unintentionally) excite a hysterical response, or what?
Bravo, Herman. This kind of respons is sure proof that somebody is out of sound arguments.

In the end, no country can truly defend itself against overwhelming natural disasters - but looking at the events in New Orleans I do wonder whether the downside of all the great American optimism is an incapacity to anticipate true catastrophy occurring on home soil. So when it does, the respons is inadequate, almost dazed. At least when evil terrorists fly planes into buildings you can point fingers and lash out, if needs be at a country completely unrelated to the attack. But when the finger of blame points, as it does in this case, to the American government itself, which actively slashed funds for much needed improvements to dykes, there is only an eerie silence.

And meanwhile, in the streets of New Orleans, the American way of life, survival of the fittest, is seen in its degrading essence for almost a week, until finally the federal government starts to act.
*****

I don't think the criminal behavior of a few reflects anything about "the American way of life." In the absence of law enforcement the same behavior has been seen in every culture and every time.

Taking food and water in a crisis isn't even a crime when there is no alternative. The number of true criminals who seized guns and alcohol and committed assaults or rapes is few but their depredation is prominent in news reports. Those persons almost certainly were lawbreakers before Katrina.

It's sad that a natural disaster is an opportunity for uninformed bashing of a country that has done more to help victims around the globe than any other nation.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:50 am

One remembers Chernobyl. The Russians, for political reasons, turned down US help. They did not, or chose not to, understand that we would have given them everything they needed, and asked for nothing in return but the satisfaction of knowing that we are ennobled when we come to the aid of a people in great need.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:02 am

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
The ugly truth

Sunday, September 4th, 2005

Bubbling up from the flood that destroyed New Orleans are images, beamed around the world, of America's original and continuing sin: the shabby, contemptuous treatment this country metes out, decade after decade, to poor people in general and the descendants of African slaves in particular. The world sees New Orleans burning and dying today, but the televised anarchy - the shooting and looting, needless deaths, helpless rage and maddening governmental incompetence - was centuries in the making.

To the casual viewer, the situation is an incomprehensible mess that raises questions about the intelligence, sanity and moral worth of those trapped in the city. Why didn't those people evacuate before the hurricane? Why don't they just walk out of town now? And why should anyone care about people who are stealing and fighting the police?

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line.

By almost every statistical measure, New Orleans is a bad place to be poor. Half the city's households make less than $28,000 a year, and 28% of the population lives in poverty.

In the late 1990s, the state's school systems ranked dead last in the nation in the number of computers per student (1 per 88 ), and Louisiana has the nation's second-highest percentage of adults who never finished high school. By the state's own measure, 47% of the public schools in New Orleans rank as "academically unacceptable."

And Louisiana is the only one of the 50 states where the state legislature doesn't allocate money to pay for the legal defense of indigent defendants. The Associated Press reported this year that it's not unusual for poor people charged with crimes to stay in jail for nine months before getting a lawyer appointed.

These government failures are not merely a matter of incompetence. Louisiana and New Orleans have a long, well-known reputation for corruption: as former congressman Billy Tauzin once put it, "half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment."

That's putting it mildly. Adjusted for population size, the state ranks third in the number of elected officials convicted of crimes (Mississippi is No. 1). Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI raid on the business and personal files of a Louisiana congressman.

In 1991, a notoriously corrupt Democrat named Edwin Edwards ran for governor against Republican David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan. Edwards, whose winning campaign included bumper stickers saying "Elect the Crook," is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for taking bribes from casino owners. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax fraud.

The rot included the New Orleans Police Department, which in the 1990s had the dubious distinction of being the nation's most corrupt police force and the least effective: the city had the highest murder rate in America. More than 50 officers were eventually convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery; two are currently on Death Row.

The decision to subject an entire population to poverty, ignorance, injustice and government corruption as a way of life has its ugly moments, as the world is now seeing. New Orleans officials issued an almost cynical evacuation order in a city where they know full well that thousands have no car, no money for airfare or an interstate bus, no credit cards for hotels, and therefore no way to leave town before the deadly storm and flood arrived.

The authorities provided no transportation out of the danger zone, apparently figuring the neglected thousands would somehow weather the storm in their uninsured, low-lying shacks and public housing projects. The poor were expected to remain invisible at the bottom of the pecking order and somehow weather the storm.

But the flood confounded the plan, and the world began to see a tide of human misery rising from the water - ragged, sick, desperate and disorderly. Some foraged for food, some took advantage of the chaos to commit crimes. All in all, they acted exactly the way you could predict people would act who have been locked up in a ghetto for generations.

The world also saw the breezy indifference with which government officials treated these tens of thousands of sick and dying citizens, even as the scope of the disaster became clear. President Bush initially shunned the Gulf Coast and headed to political fund-raisers in the West.

That left matters in the bumbling hands of the director of emergency management, Michael Brown, who ranks No. 1 on the list of officials who ought to be fired when the crisis has passed. Even as local officials were publicly reporting assaults, fires and bedlam at local hospitals, Brown took to the airwaves to declare that "things are going well" as mayhem engulfed the city. When asked about the rising death toll, Brown attributed it to "people who did not heed the advance warnings." Brown's smug ignorance of the conditions of the place he was tasked to save became the final door slammed on the trap that tens of thousands of the city's poorest found themselves.

The challenge for America is to remember the faces of the evacuees who will surely be ushered back into a black hole of public indifference as soon as the White House and local officials can manage it. While pledging ourselves to remember their mistreatment and fight for their cause, we should also be sure to cast a searching, skeptical eye on the money that Bush has pledged for rebuilding.

Ten billion dollars are about to pass into the sticky hands of politicians in the No. 1 and No. 3 most corrupt states in America. Worried about looting? You ain't seen nothing yet.
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Post by Donald Isler » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:33 am

I wonder if any of our Dutch friends are giving money to help the hurricane victims, as some of us are dojng? That's ALSO part of the American way!
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Post by Lilith » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:41 am

Ralph: That is an excellent article from a surprising source (NY Daily News). Thanks for posting it.

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Post by Febnyc » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:44 am

Leviathan in Louisiana
It is likely that Katrina's lingering reverberations will alter the makeup of the nation's mind far more than 9/11 did.

By George F. Will
Newsweek

Sept. 12, 2005 issue - Americans tend to believe in God and to disbelieve in government. Time will tell how many are moved to rethink one or both of those tendencies in the aftermath of Katrina. It is, however, likely that the storm's lingering reverberations will alter the nation's mind far more than 9/11 did.

For some it will be today's version of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, when perhaps 60,000 deaths stirred doubts about the existence, or at least the benevolence, of a God that could will or allow such random misery. The theologically serious and mordantly witty Peter De Vries wrote in one of his novels about a Connecticut river flood to which a local pastor responded by praying "that a kind Providence will put a speedy end to the acts of God under which we have been laboring." At any rate, until the raping, looting and gunfire abate, it will be difficult to continue this summer's argument about whether we and our habitat have been intelligently designed.

Regardless of where individual Americans begin or end in fitting Katrina into their interpretation of reality, the storm's furies and, even more, the social furies it unleashed will deepen Americans' sense that, in Aristophanes' words, "whirl is King, having driven out Zeus." In the dystopia that is New Orleans as this is written, martial law is a utopian aspiration. Granted, countless acts, recorded and unrecorded, of selflessness and heroism attest to the human capacity for nobility. But this, too, is true: The swiftness of New Orleans' descent from chaos into barbarism must compound the nation's nagging anxiety that more irrationality is rampant in the world just now than this nation has the power to subdue or even keep at bay.

Which is to say, Katrina will condition the debate about Iraq. Here is why.

Politics is a distinctively human activity, but it arises from something not distinctively human—from anxiety about security, and fear of violent death. On the firm foundation of this brute fact, Thomas Hobbes erected a political philosophy that last week reacquired urgent pertinence.

In 1651, in "Leviathan," Hobbes said that in "the state of nature," meaning in the absence of a civil society sustained by government, mankind's natural sociability, if any, is so tenuous that life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Thoughtful conservatives—meaning those whose conservatism arises from reflections deeper than an aversion to high marginal tax rates—are conservative because they understand how thin and perishable is the crust of civilization, and hence how always near society's surface are the molten passions that must be checked by force when they cannot be tamed by socialization.

Katrina drove from the nation's television screens numbing pictures of daily carnage in Iraq, where—speaking of how quickly crowds can become mobs—last week perhaps 950 Shiite pilgrims were trampled to death in a panic induced by a rumor about a suicide bomber. Iraq's insurgents, the creators of an atmosphere of deadly suggestibility, are now attacking the power grid and other elements of urban infrastructure, an attempt, not unsuccessful, to create a Hobbesian state of nature. Their hope is that Iraqis will demand a Leviathan—any authoritarian regime capable of imposing order.

America's "reconstruction" of Iraq is an attempt, now in its third year, to conjure from the desert air something that Katrina dispersed in New Orleans in a few hours—civility. It will not be long until, and will not be unreasonable or mean-spirited when, many Americans wonder whether rebuilding schools and sewage-treatment facilities in Iraq competes with rebuilding them on America's Gulf Coast.

Urban disasters can have beneficial effects. London's Great Fire of 1666 cleared ground for genius—for a rebuilt St. Paul's Cathedral and other Christopher Wren churches. The fire that swept central Chicago in 1871 produced three ingredients of that city's architectural fecundity—many vacant spaces, an openness to builders with novel visions and an eagerness to build with nonflammable materials. Soon structural steel, plate glass and the elevator made Chicago the great pioneer of tall buildings.

But it is hard to imagine New Orleans benefiting in any way, or even recovering, from Katrina. The city relied for its prosperity too much on merchandisable charm—tourism, conventions, gambling—that may be impossible to revive for Americans who have seen the bodies floating in the sewage. Neither Newark nor Detroit has really recovered from the 1967 rioting.

In Katrina's collision with New Orleans, the essence of primitivism, howling nature, met one of mankind's most sophisticated works, a modern city. But what makes cities such marvels—the specializations and divisions of labor that sustain myriad webs of dependencies—also makes them fragile. Forgetting that is hubris, an ingredient of tragedy.

So Katrina has provided a teaching moment. This is a liberal hour in that it illustrates the indispensability, and dignity, of the public sector. It also is a conservative hour, dramatizing the prudence of pessimism, and the fact that the first business of government, on which everything depends, is security.

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Post by Huckleberry » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:14 am

A thought-provoking, fair-minded article in my view. Thanks.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:21 am

The cathedral of St. Paul's in London which was lost in the great fire was one of the greatest of gothic churches. It was much larger than the Wren baroque cathedral, which, no matter how lovely, remains a product of the famous British self-promotion that semi-deified Nelson, Newton, and R. F. Scott. London is a city that never quite got there.

In fact, I have been wondering how the only really historic building in the entire city of New Orleans, the cathedral of St. Louis, has been doing. (They had a new organ, too.) But we can't equate this with London, or Chicago for that matter. There was a necessity in the rebuilding of those cities. I don't expect New Orleans not to be rebuilt, but in principle if the country just absorbed everybody who lived there and no one went back, the difference would hardly be noted. It's happened before in history. Ask any inhabitant of the teeny tiny suburb called Carthage.

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Post by Vaseena » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:12 am

Isn't it time we start demanding the leaders we need as opposed to the so-called leaders we seem to deserve? Intellectual curiosity and a passion for reading are central to effective leadership. Why then do we put people in leadership positions who celebrate anti-intellectualism and revel in an unwillingness to read.

Bush said:

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Excuse me????

Tens of thousands of us around the country knew about the risks posed by levees from the Times Picayune and other sources.

Check out the October 2001 issue of Scientific America. A 10-page feature coming at the very moment of 9/11 entitled "Drowning New Orleans" foreshadowed current events. Here's the blurb:

"This 10-page feature article by S.A. contributing editor Mark Fischetti describes the causes of the ever-increasing vulnerability of New Orleans to a major hurricane. The article includes research and quotes from several LSU faculty. The article summary in the Table of Contents goes like this "A major hurricane could swamp the city under 20 feet of water, killing thousands."

Mr. Rove may want to read this one and tell the President what he missed.

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:33 am

Vaseena wrote:Isn't it time we start demanding the leaders we need as opposed to the so-called leaders we seem to deserve? Intellectual curiosity and a passion for reading are central to effective leadership. Why then do we put people in leadership positions who celebrate anti-intellectualism and revel in an unwillingness to read.
Welcome to the board, by the way.

The current occupant of the White House has a a diagnosed learning disability known as dyslexia. In plain English, he can't read. My sister, a speech and hearing therapist, is convinced that on top of that he has a speech disorder. Of course it is PC to point out that people with such disorders can be of normal intelligence, and I suppose that George W. Bush at least qualifies that way.

Modern presidents are elected by enormous and complicated machines Their weird functioning explains the remarkable fact that the two alleged parties are almost exactly evenly divided at the national level. But alas, the character and qualities of the man who actually holds the job have become almost irrelevant. We're not going to have a sinner as president ever again, but we are probably also never again going to have a saint. In the meantime, we are still stuck with a man whose every normal human miscalculation is multiplied at the global level.
Last edited by jbuck919 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:59 am, edited 4 times in total.

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