Mining Rove’s Katrina Legacy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SMM, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #1
    This story is from the NY Times, Times reader. It speaks to the ongoing legacy of when political cronies are placed in positions they do not belong.

    In my opinion, it is also another example of where congress should be holding investigations. Katrina has been discussed at great length. But, it stopped with dumping the blame on Brown. This however is only the tip of the iceberg. As a long-time activist in the environmental movement, I can assure you that the war to protect our environment, the world our children will inherit, has been as big a disaster as Iraq.

    There is no question about some Democrats being culpable in this rape policy. When we go to the polls, it is important to know who should be guiding our future. That means cleaning house, regardless of party.
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Rove/Brown/FEMA/Katrina? If I hadn't worked in post-hurricane disaster relief efforts before there was such a thing as FEMA, I might join the gripers. Unfortunately, having been on the ground after such events, I just see it as a bunch of political finger-pointing, done mostly by people who've never seen that particular elephant.

    My picks for any blame are homegrown Louisiana pols: The governor of the state, and the mayor of New Orleans.

    This seems far more factual, insofar as Katrina:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/2315076.html

    'Rat
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #3
    And here I thought this was about the mining tragedy, which is kinda the same thing.

    So blaming the feds for screwing up is political finger pointing, but blaming the locals is ok?

    Uh... maybe we should just blame all of them since they all played their part.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    "So blaming the feds for screwing up is political finger pointing, but blaming the locals is ok?"

    In this particular instance, the facts warrant my opinion. Doesn't mean I think the feds were anywhere near perfect, but the yowling and howling was pretty much purely political BS and not based on fact.

    What the mayor and the gov did--or didn't do--exacerbated the problems before, during and after.

    But, as long as people think that government is the answer to their safety and security in a time of dangers from natural hazards, they're living in a dream world. When reality hits and the dream becomes a nightmare, they want somebody to blame--and refuse to blame their own intransigence...

    'Rat
     
  5. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #5
    What facts?

    Yes, they played their part, but that's what FEMA is for, and they completely failed. Still are actually. They can blame local gov for not doting the i's all they want, but the fact is they should have been there to help no matter how bad local gov was (and I won't say they weren't). Not only were they not helping where they should have, but in many cases they actually made things worse. Still are.

    I kinda can't believe we're still having to argue this.

    And so did FEMA. Don't try to downplay it 'rat, trying to make it seem like the only partisan politicking was on the Dems side. Local gov was ineffectual, and completely unprepared, dropping the ball on what little they could have done. But the feds should have been there to do what they were supposed to, no matter what local gov did. Especially after 9/11. And all they did was make things worse. Still now, some prefer to blame the victims and put more of the responsibilities of local gov than warranted to try to negate some of the blame of the feds, as if their failings at all excuse FEMA's and Bush's (and his cronies).

    Government failed us 'rat, all of it, and to try to shift responsibility and say the criticism of any of them is partisan in nature to attempt to downplay their failures or blame it all on the parts that aren't your party is disingenous at best.

    For those who couldn't do for themselves, or who actually expected the gov to their jobs, yes, this was a rude awakening. This is what gov is for 'rat. It's what FEMA is for. We should be able to count on them for stuff like this, and yes, we're angry if we can't. It's a cop out to blame the victims, as there were a lot of people who didn't think it would be this bad, and/or had no way out, no where to go. If it was me, I know I'd be angry that the gov failed me. For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone would be ok with the fact that they did, saying they shouldn't have to. That whole, I'm my own island thing just isn't working for us. Especially if this was a terrorist attack, I'd love to see them try that one then. Guess they'd only be mad at the part run by the Dems eh?

    This is what happens when you drown the gov in the bathtub 'rat, you wind up drowning a lot of it's citizens with it.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    A few points: I know now, but didn't know then, that many of the tens of thousands of the Ninth Ward had no way to evacuate. No cars, no bus/plane-fare money. That's part of where the Nagin regime utterly failed. Recall the school bus episode, among other incompetencies.

    Much of the federal effort cannot begin until officially requested by the governor. If you'll recall, she dithered around for an incredible length of time in order to maintain control of incoming federal money, etc.

    And then there was the problem of physical access. You can't get where you can't go. Trees, power lines and parts of buildings all over the roadways. I regularly drive through that part of the world, both on the Interstates and on some of the back roads. Even today, there are many evidences of the destruction.

    Something else about FEMA: It's mostly a paperwork outfit. "Coordinating" and "estimating damage" and funding the efforts of others. FEMA doesn't have any sort of manpower to operate the equipment needed to get roads open or deal with downed power lines. That's all local stuff. FEMA and other fed-folks drive around and have meetings with local officials and fill out forms and approve this, that and the other actions or reimbursements.

    So FEMA can "coordinate" an Army convoy of equipment headed into a disaster area, but it's the local guys with chainsaws and front-loaders who get the roads open--after they've tried to deal with their own personal problems, first.

    It doesn't matter one iota what anybody's intentions are about any government program at any level, even were there unlimited funding and allout good-heartedness. Nature bats last. When something like a Cat 4 or Cat 5 is headed your way, you better be able to either evacuate in time or be prepared to be solely responsible for your own security for at least three days--if not longer.

    Three days. Maybe more. You're. On. Your. Own.

    'Rat
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #7
    Again, I'm not defending local gov. They did screw up. But what Blanco did was to refuse to hand over the National Guard to Bush's authorities. The evening of Sept. 2nd, days AFTER sending the letter that was required, on Aug. 27th. The same day Nagin announced a state of emergency calling for a voluntary evacuation and not order a mandatory evacuation until 30 hours before the expected landfall so those in low-lying areas could leave first, avoiding gridlocked escape routes. He did recommend that residents of low-lying areas of the city, such as Algiers and the 9th Ward, get a head start, saying the city would open the Superdome as a shelter of last resort for evacuees with special needs, advising anyone planning to stay there to bring their own food, drinks and chairs. The next day, the mayor and gov ordered a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.

    What happened next was possibly unavoidable (possibly not, there were warnings of the leevees breaking), but as I said, FEMA just seemed to make things worse in the aftermath. They deserve all the criticism they get. The fact that the locals made mistakes too doesn't change that.

    I don't know, maybe it's just me, but in a case like this you'd think you'd be able to count on the gov when you need them... or at least hope they don't make things worse. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    From my experience in post-hurricane cleanup (Celia in 1970 at Corpus, Fern and Edith in 1973 in the lower Rio Grande valley), federal folks are excessively "Do it our way" when it's local folks who really know who knows what, who has what, and who can actually do. The feds want to impose a Golden Rules deal, without the knowledge. (Them with the gold, rules.)

    And, I was fortunate enough to work with Herb Saffir and Bob Simpson, back in the '70s. Lots of discussions about storms like Carla, Beulah, Camille and the startlements of Eloise. Tours of all of the Texas coast, with folks like Neil Frank of the Hurricane Center.

    You have to have competent people in those key disaster-plan jobs. Too much cronyism, IMO. Or, purely political appointments for what's seen to be a relatively ceremonial job.

    Lemme put ti this way: Whatever FEMA did wrong is no more than I expected. I dunno why you'd expect competency from the feds; they've even lost money running a whorehouse!

    Were it not for the humidity, I'd consider living at Port Aransas or Appalachicola. But I'd have a modest dwelling at least 20 feet above mean sea level, and if I were in the direct path of an incoming hurricane I'd be long gone several days ahead. :D

    'Rat
     
  9. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #9
    You mean you wouldn't wait for the Federal government to tell you to do so? :eek:

    The argument I heard was that "the poor" couldn't afford to leave town. What the government should have done is sponsored a free Kayne West concert about 150 mile snorth of N.O. and that would have evacuated 90% of the Ninth Ward far in advance of the Hurricane hitting land.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    Not from these feds I don't, but that was kinda my point. We pay for FEMA 'rat. We payed for those levees. The gov is supposed to work for us. They all let us down, and that was my only point while you try to pin it all on local, because... Why? The feds are incompetent? Doesn't really help your point much.

    Your humanity, or should I say lack thereof, continues to astound me. God forbid we help those lazy poor people, eh. Just like Jesus taught. :rolleyes:
     
  11. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #11
    Wow. I knew you were racist before, but this is really telling.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    When you put people who despise government in charge of government what else do you expect?

    I recall FEMA doing a decent job after the '89 quake in my area...
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #13
    mac, for all that I rant and rave and gripe about the feds, they do have a goodly number of competent and caring people. I guess that's part of my frustration: I've met the Good Guys as well as the Idiot Brigade. Usually, though, it too often seems the case that the IB guys are in supervisory or policy positions.

    Anyhow, a primary difference between the '89 quake and Katrina was the sheer magnitude of the area of and degree of destruction of Katrina. And I doubt that the governmental agencies of California are/were as incompetent as in Louisiana.

    I thought I'd seen destruction, coming in the day after Celia to Port Aransas and Corpus. "Tweren't nuthin'" by comparison. Mustang Island's residences were 90% gone. Shrimp boats were piled up four deep in Conn Brown harbor at Aransas Pass. Corpus Christi was about out of window glass and trees, mobile homes and road signs: It was scattered all over Nueces County. But by comparison, nothing much happened. Post Katrina, the world was garbage from New Iberia to Mobile. And then came Rita...

    I'm just glad I didn't have Brown's job...

    Swarmlord, we publicized it fairly widely in the mid-1970s in Texas that the surge tide of a 100-year hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico would likely be nineteen feet above mean sea level. Inland folks might not know, but all the coastal area folks had a certain amount of education via meetings, newspapers and TV.

    That's reflected in our body of law about construction along the coast, as well as built into insurance policies. But it doesn't prohibit stupidity; you just run a little short on insurance coverage.

    'Rat
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #14
    Add-on: I was browsing at another site where the article was being discussed. One of the posters had this to say. (Yeah, it's the Internet; salt-shaker and all that. But, it's as likely to be factual as not.)

    "One of our sales' reps went down with his church group to help with construction.They had planned on spending two weeks just roofing houses.The locally supplied materials(shingles & etc.)that were promised & allocated months in advance didn't show up in the needed quantities.& the local suppliers didn't care.
    He came back with the impression that those who lived there didn't care if they lived in a dump-just so long as someone else was paying for it.

    One of our customers specializes in power line installs.The put up the poles & wires that bring the juice.Apparently they had a rather lucrative contract offerd to them so they sent a BUNCH of trucks down w/the intention of knocking out some big bucks in a hurry.The reality was that the locals are destructive theives.On more than one occasion they went out to the trucks in the morning only to find ALL the tires had been slashed/destroyed.6-10 tires on each of 20+ trucks* (& trailers) takes days to replace down there.Add to that vandalized equipment like broken windows,punctured fuel tanks,punctured radiators,-you name it,the trash down there worked it over.Absolutely zero help from the local gendarmes.Lots of excuses though.They gave up early & came back while they still had equipment.

    *by trucks I mean big GMC & Navistar trucks-the kind the power companies themselves use.Tires aren't cheap when replaced 150 @ a time."
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    That little comment should have gotten you banned. Unbelievable, but not surprising from such a great example of humanity.
     
  16. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #16
    I reported the post, but apparently it isn't ban-worthy.

    Funny that; I get banned for calling someone a bigot when they laugh at a gay man getting punched, but Swarm doesn't get banned when he posts blatantly racist things.
     
  17. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Well, actually, more sub-cultural than racial. You want the Rednecks to go somewhere? Offer a free Garth Brooks concert. Etc., etc.

    'Rat
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    He's posted worse, especially about Muslims. Usually it just gets deleted. I'm assuming he was at least warned.

    But I guess this is the new Katrina defense, it's all the locals' fault. Even when it isn't. The feds aren't responsible at all of course, because everyone knows their inept. :confused: Of course, the fact that the levees breaking was what really did the damage (lots of blame to spread around for that one), and the fact that a lot of that money they're supposed to be getting they haven't gotten, or it's gone to contractors and corporations that subcontract, or million dollar condos as other people have to fight through a mess of bureaucracy just to get a few thousand seems to be lost of some people. While a lot of locals have frankly just given up, some of them just leaving rather than continue to deal with the messes 2 years later.

    So let's completely ignore the Bush administration's culpability and focus only on the locals who are completely responsible for the problems there, because it's easier or something.
     

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