September 1, 2005

Government Response

The complaints are already rolling in and gathering momentum. Why was the goverment caught so flat-footed? Why is it taking so long to mobilize?

Will Bush really do anything to ensure that adequate help arrives, and arrives soon? Or will he just make stupid pronouncements and not give a damn because most of the victims are poor blacks?

How will the Republican theory of "too bad for you" affect the level of federal response to this? You know they're sitting there saying that all these people somehow deserved their fate for A. Being poor, B. Being black, C. Not being able to afford to just pick up and drive out of the area ahead of the hurricane and stay in a nice hotel, and likely C. That they shouldn't be living there in the first place.

Sure, Republicans were affected too. But their destroyed beach homes were vacation homes anyway. They just sat at home and watched it on TV. And they're no doubt insured for any losses, both to their homes and their businesses, though they're no doubt more concerned over the insurance companies solvency and ability to pay claims than the fate of their fellow man. They'll do fine. It's just an incovenience and a lot of work.

For the majority of the poor and middle class, they're wiped out. Even if they can survive and return, they have nothing to return to. No place to live. No place to work, no community, nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. Their lives are simply gone.
One simply can't fathom the depth of their loss. There is NOTHING left for them. Nothing at all.

What is your opinion on the response, or lack of it, so far?

One bright spot however; so far, Falwell and Robertson havn't gone on TV to say this is God's punishment for the massive gambling interests on the gulf coast, and punishment for the fun-loving people of New Orleans.

**Addendum - Could someone explain to me why, with thousands of people finally getting to leave the Super Dome, about ready to lose their minds, but now finally getting on the move to a better place, why they would STOP the evacuation because some idiot took a few pot-shots at a military helicopter??!!

I'm sure I'm missing something, but this makes no sense to me for these reasons:

A. It's a military helicopter. They get one random shot fired their way and they decide to let people suffer and potentially die so they can run and hide? Why wasn't there hundreds of troops or cops or whatever sent out to capture whoever was doing the shooting? And even if they couldn't catch them, why the hell should they let desperate and potentially DYING people suffer because some jerk fired off a few random shots???

And they're supposed to be the MILITARY... they're not supposed to run and hide when someone shoots a pistol somewhere in their general area!

This situation is life and death. People are dying all around the city. People's lives hang in the balance on whether they can get out of town and get somewhere to get basic necessities of life. They stop the entire effort because of the risk of some goof with a gun? People are DYING all over, does it make sense to risk thousands of people's well-being because you're afraid someone might get grazed by a bullet? I have no doubt that some people's level of desperations is to the point where they'd gladly take a slug in the leg if they were promised that they'd be taken out of the area and given a place to shower, food, water, and a cot.

B. And wwhy did they stop the BUSES from driving to Houston because a HELICOPTER was shot at?? What does that have to do with the ability to drive buses out of town??


At 9/01/2005 7:42 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Just wanted to leave a thought that has been going through my head the last couple days.

After seeing aerial shots of the flooded N.O. with obvious huge oil slicks oozing through neighborhoods, and seeing huge fleets of semis half covered with water, tens of thousands of submerged cars, and likely many leaking and damaged storage tanks containing gas, oil, and any of hundreds of toxic, and extremely flamable liquids, I had a horrible thought, and one which hasn't been mentioned by anyone in all the jabber on TV.

And that is the prospect for almost the entire city to go up in a conflagration.

It wouldn't take much. A spark, a match, anything. We've already seen several buildings burning with the fire dept. unable to respond, and with no water and no water pressure, there's not much they could do even if they could get to the fires.

But the water is full of fuels and oil. Oil and gas is a major industry in the area, and with the entire town full of water, it seems terrifying, but plausible, that if a big enough blaze starts, it could ignite oil slicks which would follow back to storage tanks or industrial sites, etc. etc.

The fire could literally spread everywhere as it flowed with the water. And there would be literally nothing that could be done to stop it once it got out of control.

The only thing that could make the unimaginably bad situation worse would be for the town to be consumed with flames. And it's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

At 9/01/2005 5:11 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

I think it's abundantly obvious from previous experience that planning for anything other than "best case scenarios" is not BushCos forte.

What will these poor people do whose lives have been wiped out? Join the military. That's pretty much been BushCo's unstated objective since coming to office and doing his damnedest to turn the largest economic growth period around 180-degrees. Republicanism is war on the poor. Kill the economy and you'll hopefully fill up the military with the disaffected. has a very interesting take on why New Orleans is suffering as it is right now:

At 9/01/2005 5:12 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Hey Dope, don't you hate these SPAM postings you get? I get them too. How the hell do we block these assholes?

At 9/01/2005 7:29 PM, Blogger moline83 said...

Daily Davenport has a nifty little spam trap.

At 9/01/2005 9:39 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

First, I apologize to my friend Dope for not having been here or corresponded in a while. Yet another matter has fully occupied my last two weeks. But alas, I return, with continuing appreciation for the fact that this wonderful site is still here, fully intact, thoroughly insightful, and wholly deserving of high gratitude from those of us less able or willing to devote so much time to the advancement of our local political thought.

I have watched with both anguish and fury the horrors now suffered by our fellow countrymen in the South. The color-coded terror warning system has done nothing to help the dead and the dying masses whom our leaders were sworn to protect. Katrina's aftermath demonstrates, to the utter dismay of even those who distrust our current administration, that our Government, in its current form, cannot protect us. Our leaders have told us that since 9/11, we must be and we are on a heightened state of awareness. We hold mass disaster drills. The latest terror warnings scroll across the bottom of our television news, in order to ensure that we are always ready and persistently diligent in our preparation for the worst.

And the worst came.

How can this possibly be? How could our nation be so ill-prepared? How could our government just let them suffer and die?

Shame on our government. Shame on the Republicans and, dare I say it, shame on the Democrats. Shame on all the leaders, charged with the solemn responsibility of protecting our country's own, who have thus far failed us so miserably. Do not boast of preparedness, and do not tell us that our homeland is secure. Do not tell those poor people to be patient, and do not promise them that help is on the way.

Get there now. Use all of our might, and all of our wealth, and end this suffering. You can save your apologies for Election Day.

If history will judge us by how we protected our own, then surely the legacy of this week's catastrophe will not be kind.

The world is watching us tonight. And it too must be horrified.

At 9/02/2005 1:49 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Matt, Blogger does offer a means of blocking spam, but I've held off implementing it as it requires all commenters to first type in a series of letters and numbers to verify that they're an actual human trying to comment.

Alas, I guess I'll have to put it in place.

Let me know if it's worth it.


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