Katrina/ lack of response to our fellow citizens

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  #1  
Old 09-01-05, 12:56 PM
aomeara
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Katrina/ lack of response to our fellow citizens

Dear All,

I was curious as to whether any of you were feeling the frustration that I do in watching what is going on in the Southern States due to Hurricane Katrina.

The lack of response and/or slow reaction from our own government seems to me, deplorable. I went through 3 hurricanes last year here in Orlando and can tell you even 24 hours without power in 98 degree heat seems like a week. Thankfully, Jeb Bush and others were on the ball with their sleeves rolled up able to get things done....yes there was voting power here.

What I am seeing is that New Orleans and other cities contain the poorest of the nation and do not have the political clout that Florida had....So they suffer... left uninformed, and without basic life sustaining water and information. (George Bush was not going to fly over until tomorrow, but some one on Airforce One flew him over yesterday at 2500 feet, ($6500.00 an hour for fuel at the old rate) Seems this was the first he had heard of it!

Funny, we can get leaflets printed and dropped to enemy nations to get out the word, but here in America, because of flooding, our neighbors have no idea as to what is happeing, and the government explains it will take about 6 days to get them (serious) help due to too much water!

What happens if it is your state is rocked by a hurricane, flood, earthquake, major tornado or attack by terrorists? Are you ready to accept the same response?

OPINIONS PLEASE!

Thanks,

Aimee
 
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  #2  
Old 09-01-05, 06:31 PM
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aomeara,

Here's my 2 cents worth.

In what I have seen via media, the catastrophe of Katrina has not provided any new brains, just more politics in which to waste taxpayer’s money in rebuilding.

I am surprised that we are going to rebuild New Orleans which is in a bowl, below sea level, surrounded by water on 3 sides and think that patching up the levee's will make things alright. It will not. We are not allowed to build such homes on such a site without good drainage. How can they do this without looking at the reality of things? The endeavor seems to minimize the true cost of a human life.

We again are challenging nature’s awesome fury, allowing it to take its toll on those less fortunate. Who is willing to take the blame for this massive engineering flaw? Who is going to say it will not happen again? At what cost do we say, enough is enough?

I'm angry at the Government for lack of initiation to make things happen sooner versus all the talking. Seems too many chiefs and very few indians. I'm saddened by all those that are suffering and to those who lost their lives. I'm shocked at the ignorance of those that think rebuilding in a potentially and now, proven failure of engineering technology, of placing a City inside a "bowl" was or is the wisest choice? I have heard that many residents have always thought about the inevitable, levee breaking and creating mass flooding. Well, who is responsible for this? Who has paid the highest price for this grave error? Who will pay for it to be rebuilt?

Does the Gulf are get hit with hurricanes - yes! Does it happen yearly - yes! Has the improved building codes proven to lessen structural problems - somewhat! Can you deem the changes a success - no!

At what cost have these code changes cost the consumer? Must we design homes/business and make materials to sustain Cat. 5 Hurricanes? Will that even be enough?

Those that talk about earthquakes being an issue is nothing like this. We KNOW hurricanes come every year, with 3 or 4 being major in destruction. Katrina seems to be the worst ever. Earthquakes can come at will but we strive to make the structures more stable to such events. Even then, is what we do is ever enough?

I guess when you are a "gambler"; anything can be gained or lost within a blink of an eye. Are the risks really worth it?

Sorry - just darn frustrated!
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-05, 03:41 AM
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"Political Clout" Of a few states should have nothing to do with it. The United States Gov should be down there in full force helping our fellow Americans even if it means pulling out of some of these other countries.

Where's the U.N. ???

Whatever happened to looking out for #1 ??
 
  #4  
Old 09-02-05, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Aleshire
I have heard that many residents have always thought about the inevitable, levee breaking and creating mass flooding. Well, who is responsible for this? Who has paid the highest price for this grave error? Who will pay for it to be rebuilt?
In a much-circulated article in the newspaper trade journal Editor & Publisher (E&P) entitled "Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?," author Will Bunch noted that the Times-Picayune had consistently reported over the past several years that the administration had slashed tens of million dollars for hurricane- and flood-control projects, and, in nine articles, had related the cuts explicitly to the unanticipated costs of the Iraq War.

"After 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward [the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA] dropped to a trickle," according to the article. "The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security – coming at the same time as federal tax cuts – was the reason for the strain."

On June 8, 2004, according to the E&P report, the emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Walter Maestri, complained to the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money [proposed by the Corps of Engineers for SELA] has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

The Corps' project manager, Al Naomi, was quoted at the same time as warning that "the levees are sinking … and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement. The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."

Members of the Louisiana congressional delegation also repeatedly called on the administration to restore funding to the Corps to strengthen the levees and other coastal protection measures but were repeatedly rebuffed, according to other accounts.

Despite the increased frequency of hurricanes in 2003 and 2004, Bush earlier this year requested only $10.4 million for SELA's hurricane-protection project, a sixth of what local officials had said they needed, according to Newhouse News.

-Jim Lobe

***

I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded.

-xxxxx xxxx (Presidents name removed only)
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***

I don't know, Doug Aleshire, we could say the space shuttle programme should be scrapped too. Yet NASA engineers did anticipate the Columbia disaster, and only failed to save those astronauts because National Reconnaissance Office was then booked up with targeting a certain overseas dictator - marking the first time US Strategic Command rebuffed a NASA request for spacecraft imagery. The cameras point wherever the country thinks they're most needed. During war, you make sacrifices, you gamble. You take money out of shoring up the levees, fingers crossed.

So should New Orleans be rebuilt? Are there higher priorities? What about rebuilding Baghdad? Should fixing Baghdad come first since America promised to rebuild it even before deliberately breaking it? Or render all those deaths (American or Iraqi, take your pick) meaningless by "cutting and running"? You say (of New Orleans), "How can they do this without looking at the reality of things? The endeavor seems to minimize the true cost of a human life." but the current group-think in America is that New Orleans is a noble cause Americans must go on sacrificing their lives for. If something isn't working, that's a good sign because it means you're locked onto a problem and you're fighting it.

Practically, though, it seems to me those people will return if only because they're too poor to relocate. Look at Bangladesh. So we encourage and pay for their relocation, or we accept that catastrophe must strike them again and again. And we can assign meaning that, or not.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 10-02-05 at 07:46 AM.
  #5  
Old 09-04-05, 07:28 PM
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Failures started at the bottom of the chain.....meaning the mayor and others not using the resources that they had written right in the evacuation policies in January of 2000, to use school buses (over 100) for those who could not leave the area due to financial or health restrictions.

Those buses sat in a parking lot without use. That is where the mayor failed its community, the loud mouth that was cussing trying to blame it on the government first. Personal responsibility comes first. The real picture shows that the buses were sitting there, not in use. They knew in mock tests the levees were gonna blow.


I hope to see all the people of political office fired for their lack of participation and "not thinking ahead of the game, not following the books that were procedure for years" in due time.

They gambled with the lives of their city and lost.
 
  #6  
Old 09-05-05, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobuchi
So should New Orleans be rebuilt? Are there higher priorities? What about rebuilding Baghdad? Should fixing Baghdad come first since America promised to rebuild it even before deliberately breaking it?

Absolutely not should Bagdad come 1st. Priorities change and America needs to look out for #1 first then help out the rest.
 
  #7  
Old 09-05-05, 06:01 AM
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Somehow I knew that eventually (probably sooner than later) that the Federal government (read President xxxx) was going to get blamed for the problems. I'm with you, Dunbar; where were the Mayor, Governor, and oh by the way Senator Landrieu in making sure there was a viable evacuation plan in place. I've never BEEN in New Orleans except as a stop-over in the airport and I KNEW it was going to get flooded out in a worst-case storm. Surely those closest to the citizenry knew it. Always easier to point a finger at someone else. Wonder how many of the tens of thousands of flooded out properties had the federally-subsidized flood insurance. I'll take a guess, ummm.... 10%.

Interesting question on whether to rebuild it. Logic would say "No", given it will take about $50 billion to do it. Would you take your OWN money and invest it in a below-sea-level ocean-front development? Well, that $50 billion is OUR own money for the most part. There's no doubt in my mind that we WILL spend the money and spend the next 50 years (if we're lucky) praying that every major Gulf storm turns away from the city. We'll also be spending at least that much when the "big one" hits San Francisco and California wants to rebuild the city on the same fault lines. Such is life (couldn't remember the French spelling). I notice Kuwait is going to pony up a large chunk of money for the relief effort. Very commendable. At least they are likely to give the money with no strings attached. Any aid that comes from other so-called "friends" (France, Germany, Russia) will either come with strings or they will include references to it whenever they need a stick to beat us with.

And please save me from the far-left radical environmentalists ranting about the whole thing being the result of global warming and Mr. xxxx's policies.
Puh-lease .

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Last edited by Sharp Advice; 10-02-05 at 07:49 AM.
  #8  
Old 09-06-05, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DUNBAR PLUMBER
Failures started at the bottom of the chain...
Though I pasted that article pointing to federal... uh, sacrifices, I couldn't help marking some incongruous facts: SELA had been requesting tens of millions for "studies", and then the material cause of all this flooding traces to one breach stretching just two blocks long, AND that particular section was under contract for repair. Can't help but wonder if that contractor had a few well placed friends in local government.

We're taking about two blocks worth of rubble fill and concrete? Like the old saw about a horse lost for want of one horseshoe nail, cavalry loses the charge, army loses the battle, war is lost, and so on. Or do we blame Bush's diversion of funding to support a demanding foreign posture? Or something in between: that inscrutable bureaucratic black hole millions (maybe tens or hundreds of) of dollars disappear into every budget cycle? In my experience, these perfect storms require unwitting collusion on many fronts, or, many levels.

Those 100 school buses parked in the lot is pretty shameful, though. Maybe New Orleans could do better with the decentralized arrangements proven successful in other countries? Each public school, for example, could be prepared as a neighbourhood emergency shelter and evacuation point. Then of course community doctors, police, and so forth go to their appointed centres in an emergency, keep order, find out who's missing, etc.

***

Mattison, you asked "Where's the U.N. ???" Insofar as the United Nations is a facility for dialogue, coordination, and cooperation between all member states, it's everywhere, even in Louisiana.

Help from other countries is on the way, or has already arrived. While the president flew overhead, his staff were talking to relief organizations and foreign liaisons, mine for example. That's "the U.N." talking to itself. We're sending money and material aid and others are too. I know the Urban Search and Rescue team based in my city airlifted to St. Bernard Parish a few days after the storm. They live for these situations, primary function being the ticklish extraction of disaster survivors (including swift water rescue) but also operate a field hospital and other services needed in New Orleans. They are self sufficient and working under direction of the local authorities. We've also sent some warships to the Gulf of Mexico - they'll be ferrying fuel, food, medical supplies, etc. over the coming months. Venezuela has offered free gasoline and food aid, no strings, so long as it goes to "the poor". Cuba has offered 1,100 doctors with 26 tonnes of medicine - this team will completely take care of it's own logistics, no strings. The list of donors is large and growing. Tow Guy pointed out that it's in the interest of certain news organizations and politicians to admit these selectively to the American public. If politically (or legally) necessary, the Venezuelan and Cuban aid can be supplied - on paper - by the Canadian Navy.
 
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