Refugees

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    This post by a preacher in northern Louisiana, from another forum:

    "I've spent the past four days organizing a whole bunch of relief projects in Louisiana, and I just have to let off steam. Hopefully you'll also learn what's behind the headlines, to a certain extent...

    First, we have a piss-poor, incompetent, steaming pile of excrement posing as the Mayor of New Orleans - and his emergency management director is of similarly high quality. They were completely unprepared for this disaster, despite having taken part in disaster planning, run-throughs of different disaster scenarios, etc. They ignored all the recommendations that have been made over the years, and once the proverbial brown substance had hit the rotary air impeller, they proceeded to micro-manage their own incompetence into a truly disastrous situation for their people. All of their yelling and screaming about "Where is FEMA?" and "Where's the beef?" are just a smokescreen to disguise their own catastrophic mismanagement of the relief effort. They were directing their own cops, fire department, and other emergency personnel at cross purposes, fouling up the most basic administrative tasks, and generally causing more problems than they were solving.

    A good example is the issue of relief supplies, as in "Where were they?" Guess what? They began reaching the city on Tuesday morning - only to have those delivering them ordered (yes, I said ordered, on pain of arrest for non-compliance) to hand them over to City officials, who would "supervise the distribution". Needless to say, said City officials did nothing of the sort. I'm informed that some of the recent arrivals have found mounds of crates of water, emergency food supplies, etc. sitting in the blazing sun, just where they had been impounded after delivery on Tuesday, without any effort having been made to deliver them. I can only hope that this incompetence - which, to my mind, amounts to criminal negligence - finally gets reported: but my guess is that the media won't say a word about it. After all, the Mayor and most of his staff are black, Southern and Democrats, and one can't risk affecting their image, now can one?

    As for my own little portion of the relief effort, as you know, I've posted an appeal for funds here, and another to the API List: but it's going to be hard going. Many folks are donating to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army (an outstanding organization, BTW), and other national efforts, but our smaller project is kinda lost in the background noise. Still, I can hope... it's a very important project, and I hope we can get it up and running ASAP. We've already sent out three field reps to start work, but in the absence of anywhere livable in the disaster area, they're having to go in in the morning, spend no more than two or three hours on-site, then get out (it takes two or three hours to get in, and the same to get out, given the paucity of working roads and the traffic-jam of other relief traffic). The sooner we can get them trailers, so that they can stay on-site for a few days, the better.

    (Guys), I don't know how you're experiencing the refugee situation in Texas, but in Louisiana, it's a nightmare of increased crime and associated problems (despite the strenuous denials from many local Sheriffs and other LEO's). Here in the Alexandria area, I've personally seen many gang-banger types cruising the streets, insolently shouldering their way into shops and malls, and gathering in groups, flashing gang signs at passers-by. Local gangs seem to have gone into hibernation for fear of (highly aggressive) competition. There have been several assaults in my area, and a couple of rapes, even on Church property, and some shop-owners whom I know personally tell me that there has been a vast increase in shop-lifting. One of them who confronted two particularly blatant offenders was threatened with a knife, and when the cops arrived, she was advised to "suck it up" and "live with it", as there was nothing they could do. All local gas stations now operate on a pre-pay basis, as the rate of drive-offs without paying for gas has trebled or quadrupled since Tuesday, and most of the offenders seem to be refugees from Katrina. Again, the gas-station owners are being shrugged off by local law enforcement, according to what they tell me.

    I'm afraid that the "criminal underclass" of New Orleans, always strong and virulent, is now being spread across many States in the region. I hope the rest of you guys in these States are taking precautions to deal with this mess, and I hope that your hospitality to refugees is not soured by the criminal antics of this underclass.

    Anyway, here's hoping for fund-raising success, and for a better-organized relief effort. Sorry to rant and moan, but it's been an incredibly hectic and demanding four days so far, and the crass stupidity and incompetence of the NO authorities are at least 50% to blame for the mess you see on TV. Dealing with them is like wading through molasses... slow progress and very sticky!"
    __________________

    I don't know how many on this board live in the states around the devastated area, but a certain amount of extra awareness is called for. It's a crying shame that a relative few can make things bad for so many.

    'Rat
     
  2. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #2
    I don't place odds on preacher's comments over the last few weeks, but I'd say 10-1 this one preys on authority more than he prays for it.
     
  3. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    "...preys on authority ..."

    What does that mean? Aside from cutsie-poo cynicism of some strange sort?

    I've not met the man. Several people for whom I have respect have met him, and speak highly of him as a person of integrity. From the tone and content of his posts over the last two years, I wouldn't dispute that opinion. FWIW, he's been a prison chaplain until a prisoner's attack partially disabled him.

    'Rat
     
  4. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #4
    Please come back with some genuine links. Until then, I applaud your heroic efforts to mitigate the fault of the Bush administration in handling the disaster.
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    'Rat, the "piss-poor, incompetent, steaming pile of excrement" seems to be coming from your "Northern Louisiana Preacher" in the form of thinly disguised fear mongering of the danger coming from poor, mostly black, "refugees." Sounds to me like he needs to focus on the role of what it means to be a fellow citizen and neighbor to those in need instead of stirring up his own witches' brew of bile.

    As to the Mayor's alleged incompetence, I've no doubt the local authorities lacked the resources or the management capabilities to deal with this disaster. That does not disprove the complaints the Mayor has lodged against most of the State and Federal efforts or removes the fact that in this disaster the primary responsibility for dealing with it lies with the Department of Homeland Security and its subsidiary organization FEMA.

    Lastly, I've a very hard time believing that supplies were left out untouched and not distributed because of the mismanagement of the local authorities. It seems clear that every bit of food and clean water available has been rapidly seized by desperate people looking to survive. If supplies were left out in the open they wouldn't have been left alone very long. 'Rat, this post is full of sleazy, blame the victim tripe - why would you pass along such vile nonsense?
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    I bet that preacher's never done an honest day's work in his life. Also, I'd be happy to put my intelligence up against his any day of the week.

    ;)
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #7

    I also feel that it shows that billions of dollars in creating the Department of Homeland Security, and the planning to help in a disaster is money that has been squandered to fatten wallets of the RNC wealthy faithful.

    Just as 9-11 was a wake up call to needs to address security and safety at home, Katrina has shown us that we failed in the four years since 9-11 to address the safety of our citizens when faced with disaster. As I have said in other threads, what if this was a terrorist attack of biological or nuclear origin? If the aid took as long as it appears to be in this case, we have wasted our money.

    This "preacher" seems to be working from a Rove playbook. What is needed are more actions like what I heard of a UK military helicopter crew doing training with our military in the Gulf Coast area. Supposedly they could not get clearance to launch rescue missions. They flew anyways.

    News reporters found a way into the city, yet the federal government couldn't.

    The purpose of a standing military is to protect the "homeland". Yet we have allowed our military to be stretched thin. The purpose of the National Guard is to protect the states they represent. We have co-opted their purpose to fill in - since we are too chicken to have "national service", as many other nations require.

    In this age of a post 9-11 world, Katrina shows us that we need to readjust the use of the National Guard. They should be kept home. I shudder to think where we would be if Katrina hit Florida just a hard in terms of total destruction, or heaven forbid we had a terrorist attack at the same time. Or what if the "Big One" hit San Francisco in the same week?

    The preacher should read:

     
  8. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    One group of refugees in Texas (Dallas area) got off the buses; several took off running. The surmise is that they're some of the released prisoners from NO jails. At another site, the drug dogs made out quite well. And one woman's luggage included some thirteen new purses, tags still attached. :)

    Hey, it's being said--WashPost--that the Gov and the Mayor didn't officially ask for federal help until Wednesday or Thursday--but they're whining and bitching that the feds didn't come help. In essence all those relief workers have had three separate bosses, independently giving orders.

    Nothing like an ad hominem attack to substitute for rational discourse, eh, mac? You seem to be better at that than at looking at anything besides some sort of "I hate Bush!" rhetoric.

    Oh, well. When folks don't know what they're talking about, name-calling against others beats having to think.

    'Rat
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #9
    I was wondering about those reports, especially considering that the National Guard of some states began staging people and supplies the "day before" and they were waiting for the official request to come in.

    Since the President had already declared the state a disaster area the day before, all the state officials had to do was ask for them -- no need to declare a disater.

    Plain screwey...
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    And the Washington Times is roasting Bush and company at the same time.

    So go try and figure who is telling the truth. While we still have people in need of help. While you may see comments by the Mayor and Governor as politically motivated, I see it as a cry for help. All the while our President joked about enjoying the bigger and better porch for Trent Lott.

    You seem no better that to say that Bush is right in all circumstances. So lets say it is a draw while we have lost so many lives so far, and will lose so many more.

    The point is that we have spent almost $200 billion in Iraq so far. $200 billion that could have been spent in truly protecting the citizens of the US us from terrorists and Mother Nature.

    In the end people want a leader that can inspire confidence at the worst times in our lives. Bush did do that well after 9-11. So far Bush is getting an F, even by his faithful press. Chertoff and Brown are being shown as the "political payoffs" that they are.

    I would have been willing to bet my years salary that you would be hanging Clinton, Gore, or Kerry out to dry for the failures to provide relief to those affected by Katrina, as the Bush administration seems to have given these poor folks.

    As mentioned in other threads, I live in the DC area. I am now relooking at the efforts I need to take an protect myself from a terrorist attack. For I do not have any confidence that the Federal Government will be there to help (unless of course Trent Lott has a home in this area that needed to be rebuilt. :D ).

    I would hold fault to any President that did not address the nation in these terms:

    "My fellow Americans, we have suffered a great tragedy in the last few days. We are only at the beginning of some tough times ahead. Recovery will mean sacrifice from each one of us.

    Recovery will not come in days, weeks, or months. It may take years. Many efforts have been made by states and their citizens. In such a time of need, we all need to make sacrifices.

    We have the need to find new homes and new jobs for those displaced by Katrina. We have the need to rebuild the infrastructure that the Gulf Coastal are provided to much of the nation. It will not be easy.

    Not since WW II have we as a nation, we as a people faced an issue that requires a national resolve. The days, weeks, months, and even years ahead demand that we come together.

    Working together, we can rebuild a better and stronger Gulf Coast. One that we can make better by learning by our past mistakes.

    But for now we need to focus on the needs of those that have felt the wrath of Katrina. I ask all my fellow country men to offer what ever assistance they can. If you have a home or an apartment that is empty, let us know. If you have a job open, let us know.

    This is one of the darkest times in recent times since 9-11. If we work together, the Gulf Coast and their people will be able to make us a better and stronger nation.

    From the ashes, we will make a better life for all. "
     
  11. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #11
    Hypocrite.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Good speech, Chip. Don't hold out any hope of George Bush making it, or anything much like it. He doesn't believe in asking Americans to sacrifice. We can have tax cuts and invade Iraq, a war on terror and go about our lives as usual.
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    'Rat, be careful about all that bs your swallowing. You might want to note this "official" correction by the Washington Post.

    emphasis and link added (link is a pdf file)

    I've no doubt Gov. Blanco and other State and Local officials made their share of mistakes in this tragedy, but for the the White House now to try and use lies about what others did to cover up their own incompetence is criminal.

    Primary responsibility for dealing with this disaster lies in the hands of the only people equipped to handle it - Homeland Security and FEMA, not in the overwhelmed State and Local authorities. For the Feds now to say "well they didn't tell us what the wanted to do" is the most feeble excuse imaginable. Where is this crap coming from? The usual source:

    New York Times emphasis added.

    'Rat, it would be better if instead of swallowing the White House line and accusing others of not knowing what they're talking about you do a little research yourself.

    Oh yeah, 'Rat, I'd appreciate if you'd at least include some of the wonderful stories of how the people of New Orleans have helped each other, along with your posts that seems to want to portray them all as looters and thugs.

    edit: explanation of link.
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #14
    Here we go with another huge expensive committee to see what really happened. :(

    Still just a little screwey what happened ... plain didn't work like it should at all.
     
  15. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #15
    i'm certainly skepticle of this " preacher". guess i've never heard one use " steaming pile of excrement" as a descriptive term...

    i'd like a link and/or a parish name...anything to make this seem like something less than a blatant attempt at fear-mongering.

    surely there will be some less than honorable refugees but anyone who has spent much time in LA. , especially on the wrong side of the tracks, can tell you that though many of these people are poor and largely uneducated, they are honorable, kind and under normal circumstances don't ask for or expect a handout.

    statements like this " preacher's " are a disservice to those who have been displaced by katrina.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Hey, I learned from the best! ;)

    Shall I treat the folks to a retrospective of your name-calling, mental masturbation, and ad hominems?
    Link'd
    Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

    I'll throw my vote in the hypocrite pile as well.
     
  17. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #17
    Hmm, dangerously close to a quote from "Liar, Liar", though I believe "cow dung" was the lawyer's preference.
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    Trying to get back on the topic of this thread... why are some of the victims of this event called "refugees" and other called "evacuees"? Are the evacuees the people who were able to get into their cars and go somewhere else before the storm struck, and the refugees the people who were left behind? Come to that, when was the last time we heard of any Americans referred to as "refugees?" Ever?

    It's all just language of course. Probably doesn't mean anything.

    Right?
     
  19. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #19
    The Congressional Black Caucus thinks it means something.

     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    Well it's nice to know that after a disaster like this, especially in these post-9/11 days, you won't get any help unless you fill out the right forms.

    I would like to point you to this guy's comments to see why people are pissed at the Federal Government and FEMA:

    http://www.zebrality.com/media/2005/aaron_broussard.mov
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #21
    Yeah, the refusal to breakthrough red tape is a brilliant example of leadership, especially when the examples of supposed bureaucratic roadblocks are lies on the part of the administration used to blame others for their own incompetence.
     
  22. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #22
    So the Mayor eff'ed up, the Governor eff'ed up, and Bush eff'ed up. I'll posit this, though: if the Mayor and the Governor drop the ball, isn't it up to the feds to provide some leadership?

    What kind of leaders do we have (at all levels) if nobody's willing to pick up the ball, or the blame? The recriminations will go on regardless, so indignance from both sides about "helping the victims before laying the blame" is stupid. Somebody needed to step up to the plate and finish the job, and nobody did.

    The mayor was overwhelmed and his preperations were inadequate, but that doesn't give any higher levels of government a pass on the crap that followed.

    As for the preacher, I don't know. He may be scared, he may even be prejudiced, but I can't dismiss his words out of hand. With the troubles we have all heard on the television with lawlessness (whether exagerrated or not) there are bound to be individuals who will take advantage of the chaos.

    Life's gonna be crazy for a while.
     
  23. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #23
    I really don't get why people are so upset with the "refugees" moniker. If it's so derogatory, then why does it get used at all? If we somehow think we're better than the Palestinian "refugees" (or refugees from wherever), then should we really be using it to describe them?

    You might make a subtler argument against the term, since "refugee" typically connotes a victim of political oppression, and someone who flees to a different country. But that doesn't make the term racist.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    People without a country is the most common usage. Racist or not, I suppose it's the overwhelming irony of using that term to describe mainly poor and black Americans that does it for some of us.
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #25
    judging on the weak initial response, i'd call that accurate.
     

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