"We are losing the city"

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Bogatyr
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Post by Bogatyr » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:53 am

And now you have buffoons like Kanye West making these idiotic accusations on national prime-time television, during a benefit telethon, no less. Any time a celebrity like that "makes his statement", it's so obviously a self-serving grandstand maneuver it painfully reveals that they have no shame or decency whatsoever. Did anyone who saw that catch the reaction look on Mike Myers? A perfect "What in God's name is wrong with you?" moment! George Bush doesn't care about black people? Why, then, have the last two Secretaries of State been black? Or the Secretary of Education? I know, I know, they don't count. Just like that other Uncle Tom, Clarence Thomas. I feel like Howard Beale right about now, and the windows are about ready to swing open.....
Wheee!

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Post by FredProgGH » Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:43 pm

Bogatyr wrote: I feel like Howard Beale right about now, and the windows are about ready to swing open.....
Ooooh, there's a good reference!! Let's see how long it takes for anyone to pick up on that one...

"Ad now, ladies and gentlemen-- the Mad Prophet of the Airwaves!!"
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Post by yyzmoose » Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:07 pm

I just saw the most amazing thing on FoxNews. It was a General speaking about the hurricane response. I wish there was a link to a transcript. He basically debunked about 90% of the criticism toward the federal response. It has not been perfect, and of course mistakes have been made. But we have never faced anything like this before. And anyone suffering from lack of food or water will certainly feel it has taken too long. The entire rescue effort in one giant logistical nightmare. Try coordinating hundreds of thousands of vehicles, drivers, vounteers, millions of pounds of food, water, medicine. Then try delivering this to victims in 4 or 5 states! An impossible task to do. Yet they have done it, just not fast enough for some. But the media has been absurd. At the 2 day mark they were referring to "starving" people. In 2 days? Nobody starves in 2 days, sorry.
And now for something completly different...

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Post by FredProgGH » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:07 pm

IMHO, if the ball was dropped, it was in the several days berfore the hurricane actually hit when some very basic precautions could have been taken. Not that I really want to join in the blame game and finger pointing, but if I was going to that's where I'd do it. I mean, geeze, they new the Superdome was designated as a place where 1,000's of people were going to be sent. Does it take a genius to order a couple truckloads of water and Port-a-pottys??

Anyway, the images on the news the last couple days are much more encouraging. Even Geraldo said so. :D
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Post by EIwing » Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:16 am

I completely agree with that. Its not as though it was an earthquake that happened in the middle of the night and no one knew about it.

They saw it coming.

But that doesn't mean my heart and prayers don't go out to those that need it (not those that are looting it...).

Samaritan's Purse, Billy Graham's son's ministry, is taking teams of five to go to Mississippi for relief work. If anyone has free time it'd be an incredible way to help.
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:46 am

This long, but I'm guessing its pretty accurate...


I promised a friend of mine to pass this on anonymously from her sister. We too have friends in Slidell, LA who tell somewhat the same. Their homes, all their belongings except what fit in their car are totally gone! So is that of all their neighbors. (And so went their jobs too!)

Pray for the survivors in these areas to have the strength and courage to
pick themselves up and rebuild their lives. God bless them all!

Nancy
LdyBearcat@aol.com

In a message dated 9/4/2005 3:57:20 P.M. Central Standard Time

As many of you know I have two sisters who live in New Orleans and it's been a long hard week for us. This is what one wrote to me about all the "FINGER POINTING" ...... Oh, by the way, both my sisters are safe. Since they are white and don't wait for someone to "come save them" don't expect to see them on the news.

It isn't about being black or white, It's about stupid, lazy and incompetent and irresponsible
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our dear Governor, asked the powers that be for 40,000 troops. They said yes, but she didn't follow through with the paperwork giving her power over to the Federal Govt. She never put her State Reserves on standby for duty either. That was her call! Not the federal governments call. Do you know how long it
takes to put a reserve unit to duty after they standby order goes out ... they all live in different areas that's
an order to get your bags packed ... the call may come at any moment ... that was never issued. They have 24 hours to get to the base you are assigned to, when the call does come in. Then you deploy which consists of role call first, then loading your gear and equipment, then heading out! That is the call for your own state reserves! It was never made!

The foul mouthed Mayor of New Orleans, Nagin, also black, asked the governor for help, but told the press he was not overwhelmed. (His words exactly). He could not fill out the paperwork or follow through either, (it was floating around somewhere), everyone promised to perform, but the law does not allow the Feds to come in and take over until all those under it, state and local have officially passed on the baton...They had five days warning to prepare and neglected to follow through from the get go.

They never passed the baton nor was Marshall law declared in New Orleans. It was called throughout the Mississippi torn areas and in Mobile Alabama to curb and curtail looting and other vicious crimes! Mississippi and Alabama had their Reserves on Standby Alert! Again that is a Governor's call in times of disaster ... not the Feds call!

So if you want to look at it in an Archie Bunker sort of way, a "yous people" and our woman Governor screwed up. It costs hundreds of lives. The reason there were so many blacks, is because the whites were hiding in the hotels, and in their homes, having been warned not to show their white faces on the streets, because there was almost no police presence. So the cameras showed mostly black faces.

And CNN plays a race and class card on reporting the news! Despicable irresponsible reporting!
Makes excuses for those gang rapings, (not only circling women and innocent children in a shelter), beating and robbing old people at the shelters, robbing boarded up houses, stealing, pillaging sporting goods stores, carrying new big plasma TV's on their shoulders through 4 feet deep water filled with sewage, jewelry, liquor and clothing stores, robbing children's hospital and the nursing homes.

CNN Newscasters making excuses for them as they shot at rescuers, police officers, hijacked ambulances turned over police vehicles! Making excuses for this behavior on international TV was an atrocity to our whole nation every man woman and child who calls them selves an "AMERICAN" should be appalled at their slant on the news and making excuses for this type of behavior!!!

KUDOS to FOX NEWS they didn't make excuses for despicable behaviors from where their reporters were stationed they reported what they saw as they saw it no excuses. But not all cities carry FOX NEWS. I was told that their news people helped more people and did more than our own city officials did! They made calls on their satellite phones, they helped directed rescue workers and aide and evacuations, gave needed assists where ever they could. KUDOS to this news team! They took leadership responsibilities upon themselves and helped thousands of people in our city! There are many thousands of wonderful law abiding decent hardworking black people in our city! Many who are on assistance because they are poor and need it with little beautiful dependent children and they deserved better treatment than this city provided for them! Our elderly, infirm disabled and our innocent children were not treated with respect or dignity by our own people here!

CNN stated: "They were angry, they were being neglected, they were being discriminated against!" They are black and they are poor." Whose fault was it? We hear everyone blaming President Bush on all the radio stations and most main stream media news stations. No one knew the depth and scope of this KATRINA Hurricane. No one prepared! Where was the Governor's head? We knew her hands were wringing ... we saw that on TV! Where was the leadership of our City and State of Louisiana?

The news did make one statement correct: Nagin is not like Julliani! His police officers shot at by gang members looting, they couldn't shoot back, they had no communications for back up assistance, Marshall Law was not in force, National Guard MP's had no orders to move in, nor were unauthorized troops called in. So we hear a great many of our policemen said "SCREW THIS" turned in their badges and tried to find their way to and locate their families. We are talking black and white police officers. People wading though water waist deep and higher in filth and backed up sewage they didn't know where to go, rescue workers didn't know where to take them, only take them to high ground and go rescue more, no one was directing them when they got to high ground, what hopeless despair they felt due to the fact this city of ours had no responsible leadership!

The whites were scared and I don't blame them. Additionally, New Orleans is 75% plus black, that most live close to the downtown area, where there is public transportation. Most of the whites live in the burbs (they have cars), and on St. Charles Street. Most of them left when strongly urged to. Many stayed behind to protect their homes, pets and belongings if they possibly could.

It did not flood in the garden district bad, so they stayed in their homes where they had food and water and shelter and guns. They did not have electricity but most had cells phones and cars and were able to leave the city via Interstate 10 and / or call for assistance after the levies broke.

But that was not where the story was, so the press got and told the story they wanted to tell. I know this because I live on the North Shore, and it got zero coverage...

And Slidell that got wiped off the map, and just 10 miles from downtown New Orleans also got no press because they are white communities. Slidell flooded, Mandeville flooded, and lots of people died, but we don't make for a sensational story.

Only the Baton Rough TV stations told our story. Don't believe everything you here on the big stations, it's only a small slice of the whole story. 1/3 of Mississippi is GONE wiped out! So are a lot of Parishes and
townships in Louisiana you are not hearing about!

The Coast Guard and Navy was here without being asked from the moment the eye wall passed rescuing people even while being shot at by roving armed gangs of thugs! Those gangs went on an immediate rampage the moment the 9 PM curfew was called, breaking and entering every mall and store they could with no thoughts of helping others. On the night of the evacuation orders by our Governor. Before the hurricane even hit landfall! They were having hurricane parties ignoring the curfew.

You might want to pass this info on to some unsuspecting people who have once again been brainwashed by the media. I suggest we lynch our stupid wimpy woman governor before she kills someone else. Incidentally, she confessed her error on local TV. She will not be reelected.
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:59 am

But Franklin Graham, who heads the evangelical charity Samaritan's Purse, said on the Fox News Channel on Thursday night that the mayhem and looting in New Orleans could be traced to a lack of religious instruction.

"This happens in our country when we have taken God out of our schools and God out of our, out of society. We don't have a moral standard," he said.


Maybe FG was referring to the rape, beatings and pillage of NO - not Katrina.
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Geophysicist » Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:09 pm

I have been out of the country, and have only heard some of the details, but I lived in New Orleans for five years and had to make hurricane decistions on the fly. Some thoughts:

Most of New Orleans is below sea level. Lake Pontchartrain to the north is higher than the city, with a small levee to protect the city. To the south (largely) is the Mississippi River which is quite a bit higher than the city. It is unnerving to stand at the base of the M. River levee and watch the boats pass a couple of stories above you.

Another nail in the incipient coffin is that the city is surrounded by lake, river and swamp. The existing highways are grossly insufficient to evacuate the city in a timely way. If you don't make your decision to leave at least two days ahead of an evacuation order, you run the risk never getting out of the city.

Given these facts, it would behoove the governments of New Orleans and Orleans Parish to have a plan to protect the people who voted them into office. The next level of response would have to be from the State of Louisiana. Another concern of the state is the Old River Control Structure upriver of New Orleans. This structure almost failed during flooding in 1978. If this had happened, the Mississippi River would have shifted away from New Orleans and down into the Atchafalya Bay. Salt water would encroach on the old river course and fill with clay. Did I mention that this would remove the source of drinking water for New Orleans?

All of these problems are magnified with the approach of a hurricane, even a minor one. The reality is that the hurricane plans of New Orleans consisted of hoping that the hurricane wouldn't hit them. They are victims of decades of corrupt and incompetent leadership. Imagine that Katrina had stayed category five and the dirty side of the storm went right up the river and over Lake Pontchartrain. The city would have been inundated in minutes instead of over a period of a couple of days.

The response of the governor has been despicable. She will never be re-elected even in Louisiana.

A good part of the reason I left this charming and frustrating city was the concern that it wasn't a safe place to live.

Since my return, the press coverage has been its usual incompetent self. What my family has seen on the ground while I was gone:

Large numbers of New Orleans employees are now working from Houston. A large number of companies have already made the decision to leave New Orleans. Large numbers of people are getting care in the Texas Medical Center (in Houston). My daughter-in-law, who works in the pulmonary care section of Texas Children's Hospital is working 12-16 hour days. More companies will be making these decisions over the next couple of months.

New Orleans will never recover its pre-Katrina state. They need to come up with a realistic plan to deal with the next hurricane. One approach is a dike system that sacrifices the outer city while protecting a core area. This has been a great tragedy, much (but not all) of it avoidable. But the people of New Orleans should thank God that they were spared the full fury of a category five hurricane.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but there seemed to be interest in some of the details that the press doesn't seem to be able to grasp.
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Post by FredProgGH » Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:21 pm

Geophysicist wrote:She will never be re-elected even in Louisiana.
(emphasis added)

Now there's a bold statement for anyone who knows anything about Louisiana politics :D :D :D
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Post by Bogatyr » Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:45 am

Just imagine the large amounts of excrata that would've missed the fan entirely if Huey Long were around today. And my bad earlier, confusing Ray Nagin and Gov. Blanco. Two despicable peas in a pod, yes, but far be it from me to emmasculate a fine mayor during a crisis like that....
Wheee!

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Post by theHermit » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:23 pm

Quote from the email that Steve posted on behalf of someone else above: "

Since they are white and don't wait for someone to "come save them" don't expect to see them on the news.

This is morally reprehensible. Many of the poor in New Orleans don't have any resources. Perhaps it's the corpses fault that they didn't save themselves, because you know, like all good protestants familiar with the work ethic of pulling oneselves up by their bootstraps, they obviously failed in this and therefore died or were stranded in the Superdome. It's their fault!

Note too the tone of that email that refers to the "woman" governor on more than one occasion. It's clearly derogatory, bigoted, and rather hate-filled.

Frankly it turns my stomach. Jesus was close to the poor and never shied away from them. He didn't blame them, he loved them, because love is where all healthy relationships begin, both in society and at home. Now we're not talking about the looting and crimes that were committed. Behavior like this is equally reprehensible. No, I'm talking about the law-abiding poor, by far the majority, huddled in the Superdome or floating face down in the water. The poor, who had little before and are now left with nothing. Jesus talked about giving these people the shirt off our backs. It's times like these that we need to realize the radical nature of Christianity as exemplified by Jesus's example during his time on earth. Forget the poor and God will forget you. It's that simple.

Franklin Graham is being disingenuous with his comments. Forcing God down people's throats in the public schools doesn't make anything Christian. America was founded on the principle of religious freedom, seeing that the Puritans left England for the freedom to practice their religion not for the freedom to discriminate in new ways. The spirit of God begins in the individual heart and grows from there. Governments cannot mandate this, in teaching or in action. The example of Jesus's love has to come from each one of us.

\rant...

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Post by theHermit » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:12 pm

I apologize in advance if my last post or the one I'm about to write offends in any way, but I feel very deeply about this subject and so I'm going to rant on a bit more. I honestly believe that if Christians and people of other spiritual traditions practiced the rub of their particular paths more consistently, and this goes for me as well, most of the talk about legislating this and doing that on a national level would cease because it wouldn't be necessary. People, and hence the government we elect, would demonstrate the power and sacrifice of love that is at the heart of all true religions in their actions. Now sometimes this level of interaction goes beyond the individual.

In my first post in this topic I reference briefly the Army Corps of Engineers complaining about their funding being cut to shore up the levees. I think we need to ask ourselves why was this funding cut and where that money went? Why? Because if that money had been spent to fix the ailing system in place, then a majority of the flooding that has wreaked so much havok in New Orleans would not have occurred. In this instance, however, this money was cut back out of taxpayer revenue, which is supposedly to be used for the good of society. Here we have a plain indication of what happens when corporate and individual greed get the better of a system that is setup to provide for the protection of all of the citizens. This is grossly irresponsible on several levels. The money required to shore up the levee problem comes out to approximately half a day's monetary expenditures in Iraq, or something to that effect. It's also an injustice to the people who live in the region. A tragedy of this magnitude has been feared in NO for many moons now, right up there on the pre-9/11 federal government list of terrorism destroying NY and earthquakes ravaging San Francisco. Many saw this coming, but like in many instances, greed overcame caution and now many more are paying the price.

I think as people of conscience, we need to seek that our leaders do a better job of providing for the common good, which is right there in one of this country's founding documents. Jesus certainly stood up for the disenfranchised and sought justice from the leadership of his day and you can bet he didn't give two bags of sugar about tax breaks and corporate finance theory. I'm extrapolating a bit, but you get the idea.

There is a segment of the population in this country and in the world that believe if you are poor then it must be because you are lazy or in some other way irresponsible. This is true in some cases to be sure. But in those cases where people are poor or destitute due to no fault of their own then if you follow the teachings of Jesus you have a responsibiity to alleviate their suffering, whether that be from donating food, working for better educational opportunities, or voting for leaders who will not actively forget the poor when it comes to making legislation and allocating funds. The tragedy in New Orleans has brought to light the level of poverty and suffering that exists in America today and it's a new challenge for some of us to practice what we preach. It's not really about blame, or about what the proper federal response time and effort should have been like. This tragedy is about how we proceed from here on out.

Some of those things Jesus is reported as saying in the Gospels, such as sell your belongings and follow me... Giving your coat off your back to those in greater need... The rich man and the eye of the needle, etc... These are hard words, at least twice translated to be sure, but the pointed context remains that the poor remain with us and we are not to forget them.

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Post by Geophysicist » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:58 pm

Hermit,
I agree with most of what you have said, but I would make two exceptions. I believe the best way to help the downtrodden is face-to-face in your own city, rather than routing tax money through bureaucrats in Washington, leaving only 5-10 cents on the dollar for the poor.

Secondly, you should be careful when blaming corporate greed for levee failures. In fact the levee that failed had already been shored up in a recent year's budget. It was not, as you implied, a failure because of the budget cut.

The work on the levees in New Orleans is part of a multi-decade project that has a budget that fluctuates according to that plan and political breezes. That budget is taken from individuals, greedy corporations, and community-minded corporations alike. Like the other inevitability in life (which is, of course, death), it is regulated by the government, far from the corporate board room.

In any event, the levee was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane (based on simple models developed in the 60s). That is why a properly shored up levee failed under the stress of a category 4 Katrina.
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Post by theHermit » Tue Sep 06, 2005 5:22 pm

I'm all for the states being better allocators of public funds, to be sure. As to the levee repair, read this from the region. It gives a good summary, if not overly technical, summary of the last ten years:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp ... 1001051313

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Post by Geophysicist » Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:16 pm

I've seen that same story in a number of places. The author obviously doesn't know much about New Orleans. It takes more than a couple of quotes from the Times-Picayune to tell a coherent story. And its quite a stretch to blame the flooding on the war in Iraq. But that's politics. The absolute absence of discussion of New Orleans and Louisiana politics and their impact on flood control policy is like leaving sunshine out of the daytime.

The mix of the 17th street canal with a description of New Orleans East is the first dead giveaway. The sinking levee in Metairie was not an issue for reasons that anyone in the city could give. Each one of the projects in the story could have been funded by the state of Louisiana if they had cared as much about the people as they did their casinos. They have a state university that could do a fine job of modeling hurricane category 4 or 5 models if they really cared.

The fact remains that the critical levee failure occurred on a state of the art section of the levee, which was still designed only for a category 3 hurricane.

Louisiana politics is another reason I left the state, and roughly why I am leaving any discussion of the politics of Katrina. I would be happy to discuss the science of the issue further, but I've had it with politicizing everything under the sun.

I guess I woke up on the offensive side of the bed, too.

BTW, Fred you caught the very essence of what I was saying about LA politics. Its clear you learned about them...
If I hadn't believed it, I wouldn't have seen it.
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