September 04, 2005

Saw This When It Aired, Just About Made Me Cry

This guy really tried to put a strong face on, but broke down about halfway through. The only people supporting the government's actions in this are wildly out of touch with reality and shilling for the Republican party.

Edit: Also, another great post on Eschaton. Seriously, does anyone believe government aid can't get into the city? Wal-Mart got aid into the city. CNN had reporters there on Day 2. Harry Freaking Connick Jr. got into the city with aid. And as to the predictability of the level of disaster, I've been hearing a lot of people, including my friend Keith last night, arguing that based on news reports on Day 2 people thought it wasn't going to be very bad and that this explains why the government's response was so bad. Well, firstly that doesn't really explain why aid didn't start trickling in until this weekend, but let's set that aside for now. I don't want the government relying on CNN's reporting when they're deciding what they should be doing. I mean, you're a government agency in charge of disaster relief and you hear the phrase, "Hey a hurricane hit New Orleans." Should your reaction be, "I'll turn on CNN to see how bad it was." ? I certainly don't think so. I'd lean more towards, "I should send some of my staff down there to assess what we need to be doing. In fact, they should probably use one of those government helicopters so they can do it fast. We should also start gearing up for major relief just in case. After all, we're freaking FEMA." I mean, say what you will about how good CNN is at covering news, they're not the Army Core of Engineers. They're not the first line of defense against disaster. Sometimes they get things wrong. If people's lives are on the line and it's your job to protect them, you check for your damn self.


Anonymous said...

There seems to be widespread ignorance about what the federal government (let's be honest, this is all about blaming Bush, scoring cheap political points, and not about understanding what happened). It is illegal for the feds to send troops into a state without being asked to do so by the governor. We all saw how she reacted in a crisis.

What about the National Guard? They report to the Governor. The same useless twit who didn't ask the feds for troops and aid.

Why didn't that corrupt toad Nagin order the fleet of school and city busses to be used in transporting the poor and vehicleless out of the city? Why didn't the equally corrupt police enforce evacuation?

NO is a city (or was), so corrupt that it could not function at even a minimal to save itself. The wages of incompetence and corruption are death, as we see here. Unfortunately, the innocent are punished along with the guilty.

Noumena said...

Bush cut funding for building and reinforcing the levees despite all the reports saying something like this was just a matter of time. As I understanding it, this was money which the White House was responsible for doling out; you can't put the fault on Congress for passing the budget. It's all on the shoulders of this administration.

Now, it may be that the governor of Louisana didn't do some things she should have. The levee bloke and flooding started very suddenly, after it appeared the city was going to weather Katrina mostly unscathed, so maybe the governor had enough time to mobilize the national guard and evacuate, maybe she didn't. But FEMA does have the authorization to mobilize without permission from the governor, and all they did for quite a few days was keep people, especially poor people, in, and volunteers, such as the Red Cross, out.

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to repeat this; it's all in MosBen's original post, which you clearly did not bother to read before trolling.

Noumena said...

*broke, not bloke

"The wages of incompetence and corruption are death, as we see here."
You've never lived in Chicago, have you? There's a city notorious both for its efficiency and its incompetence and corruption. In fact, in a poll this summer, slightly over 45% of Chicagoans *supported* the corruption at city hall, because the wheels were so greased it makes things run very smoothly.

You've never read Thomas Hobbes, have you? His central thesis is that totalitarian government is the best way to maintain civil society, social tranquility, and prevent war. He makes some huge leaps to get there, and I certainly don't endorse any of it, but he has some arguments that are nearly persuasive.

You've never read Foucault's Birth of the Clinic, have you? He argues that the public health measures first developed with the black plague and the forms of social control in modern (post-16th century) Europe are two sides of the same coin.

You don't actually know how FEMA and martial law work, do you? The motivation for both of these is that natural and civil disasters are best dealt with by authoritarian governance.

MosBen said...

Thanks for letting me know what my motives are in running my blog about politics. The mystery is finally solved...and by a stranger on the internet!

First, your first paragraph is either a lie that you're repeating without knowing anything about it, or you're just being dishonest. The governor sent a letter to President Bush whereby he notified the President that he was in need of aid and that Louisiana was in a state of emergency. He sent this letter on the Saturday before Katrina hit. Let's go over that again, he requested aid before Katrina hit, but it didn't really start coming until a week later.

Here, just read this: link

As to the busses, who exactly was supposed to drive those busses? With everyone evacuating and no National Guard there to help, what were they supposed to do? This isn't to say that the mayor or governor didn't make mistakes, I'm sure they did. Being in the center of a disaster is bound to breed mistakes, but this is exactly what FEMA's job is, to go *into* an emergency and help the local authorities get on top of their problems. Again, we're certainly aware that there were plenty of mistakes made on all sides, but that doesn't mean the federal governmet didn't make *more* or that their mistakes weren't worse (like, say, not completing the levies).

What I'm curious about is that you don't seem to think the government made any mistakes worth talking about.

Anonymous said...

Nothing Marshall has to say is worth reading. And yes, actually I have lived in Chicago and in Boston. Who do you think dies from the criminality and corruption of the criminal class of an incompetently run city/state government?

Here is a link to a much better site that actually takes the time to run through the time line of events with all sorts of maps and other solid information; not opinion:

Here for example is a bit from the Aug 28 Lincoln Star Journal
"President Bush calls Governor Blanco and urges her to evacuate the endangered areas. Publicly, he urges all those living in the path of the hurricane to put their personal safety ahead of all other concerns. He even takes the unprecedented step of declaring states in the path of the oncoming storm federal disaster areas ahead of time".

What trolling? My understanding of a troll is a snarky hit and run. I have refuted your "arguments" or carelessly worded tirades with a couple of facts. Maybe your nasty attitude towards disagreement is why you have so few readers and virtually no commenters.

Anonymous said...

Oops, your troll mangled the url:

Now I wasn't going to bother responding to this bit The governor sent a letter to President Bush whereby he notified the President that he was in need of aid and that Louisiana was in a state of emergency. He sent this letter on the Saturday before Katrina hit. Let's go over that again, he requested aid before Katrina hit, but it didn't really start coming until a week later. But as long as I am back I will.


The first FEMA advance team went in on Aug. 27. 32 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams were sent to staging areas in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee in preparation for responding to Hurricane Katrinaby the 29th, undoubtedly assuming that the city would be evacuated as per its own disaster plan. FEMA works with local disaster managers, it is not some army of people who come in and save the day. Was the response adequate? Clearly not. What more could have been done? Who can say at this early point?

We know that Nagin and Blanco (she, Noumena, not he) failed. The amount of blame, if any, to be apportioned to the feds, remains to be seen.

Noumena said...

Trolling is posting in a deliberately ignorant, irrelevant, or provocative fashion, so as to provoke an emotional argument. You ignored much of the content of the original post, and were quite dismissive of a prominent blogger, who presents both his opinion and links to yahoo news as sources. I would point out that the site you link to does much the same as Josh Marshall, editorializing or speculating about the situation and motivations of people involved while providing links to support factual assertions. I also note a number of ad hominem attacks on the mayor, and this final passage, which really does seem to throw the objectivity of this site into question:
"Moonbats begin blaming management failures of Blanco and Nagin on Bush.
Moonbats blame unprecedented global warming, not proven, on Bush.
Moonbats blame Katrina on global warming, therefore on Bush."

Next, the crucial time period of Sunday, 28 August and Wednesday, 31 August -- that is, between the time the hurricane make landfall and serious flooding starts -- is barely covered here. My understanding is that, as the hurricane approached land, it weaked down a tropic storm -- still serious, but much less dangerous. Serious flooding only began days later, in the middle of the night, and water levels rose incredibly fast. Perhaps this was why the evacuation was not enforced as much as, in retrospect, it should have been?

Finally, NONE of this excuses the behavior of FEMA immediately after the flooding began, when organizations like the Red Cross were prevented from entering the city to assist with the rescue and bring in supplies. This has been the centrepiece of my criticism, and you have consistently ignored it.

Anonymous said...

FEMA coordinates rescue efforts. If the Red Cross was kept out (which I have no where read but here), it is worth asking if they were kept out because the conditions were still considered dangerous.

American Daughter is certainly partisan but they link to primary sources which, of course, allows one to come to agreement or disagreement with what they say.

We will have to agree to disagree over whether what I wrote was irrelevant, ignorant or deliberately provocative. Too often, liberals find disagreement provocative (not to say, ignorant).

But since I have no interest in being your faux troll, I will not comment further, so that you guys can continue to congratulate yourselves on your grasp of the situation and your moral superiority to conservatives, catholics,people in NE Indiana and, everywhere else. Yeah, I have been reading through this stuff and am not impressed.