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September 05, 2005

Heartbreak Arrives

I don't know what's wrong with me. I cannot get away from this computer. This has got to be the worst Labor Day Weekend ever. I'm emotionally drained and just really can't take it any longer. This is about the third time this weekend that I've just broken down in tears and I'm not sleeping well and I need to take a shower. I'm going to go out and get some sunshine and try to recover. I know I'll be back here tonight...

  • Rush Limbaugh gets it right on race. I'm a little bit surprised, but not entirely. I like his rant.

  • Ann Rice recalls the flavor, and shames America's slow response.

  • David Brooks says:
    Reaganite conservatism was the response to the pessimism and feebleness of the 1970's. Maybe this time there will be a progressive resurgence. Maybe we are entering an age of hardheaded law and order. (Rudy Giuliani, an unlikely G.O.P. nominee a few months ago, could now win in a walk.) Maybe there will be call for McCainist patriotism and nonpartisan independence. All we can be sure of is that the political culture is about to undergo some big change.

    Oh man I agree with that. Here's where we talk about leadership. Ask yourself in all seriousness, in New Orleans, what would you expect from a man like Tom DeLay? Nothing. Exactly.

  • Bob Herbert says what Kanye West thought he was saying. Both of their bashing is an embarrassment.
  • Posted by mbowen at September 5, 2005 12:09 PM

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    Conservative government should be based on two principles:

    1. We will protect you from enemies and some Acts of God.

    2. We will protect other citizens from bashing your head in.

    That's it.

    I think government should do more, but I'm old school, not conservative.

    Now if Katrina constitutes an event government should have protected us from, then the government failed us. And have been trying to blame poor black men for the last week.

    Where is the embarassment again?

    Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:08 PM

    There is no embarrassment worth talking about 5 days from now when the city is empty. This is timeline sniping.

    My nickel says FEMA operating under new rules is bollocks, that there was a thicket of legal BS that nobody high up had the balls to cut through and that Nagin would have been a straight out hero if the catastrophe hadn't been catastrophic. Also I believe that a fued between Nagin vs Blanco contributed to the disarray. Yet nobody was prepared for the secondary effects of flooding.

    As a Conservative I say that the Federal government should be Swift, Accurate & Powerful, but not all three at the same time. This time they were accurate and powerful. They did the right thing with the right resource, but they were simply late. The correction to that which would have worked in this disaster would have been for the President to Federalize the National Guard the moment he heard about looters & levee breaks, and you and I both know how that would have played out. He would have been blamed for usurping power from a black mayor. As it is Bush put a black general in charge and Nagin credited him for it. So where is the praise for Honore coming from black liberals, eh?

    Bush did the right thing, just not at the right time. That's not a quibble, but jeez. All anybody had to say was that black looters had weapons of mass destruction and then you'd all be blaming Bush for bringing in the military too soon.

    Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:29 PM

    the feds were accurate. they knew this was coming.

    they were neither swift, nor were they powerful.

    given that people were forced to steal food, i'm not sure what federalizing the guards would have done regarding that. and given that most of them are in iraq i don't know how much that would have helped.

    fema hampered the cell-based organization around this issue that could have saved lives. if i read another--we had X at the ready but FEMA said "no" story, i'm going to slap somebody.

    honroe? i'm glad he's there. stop whining about praise when what we need is critique.

    praise for doing what they're SUPPOSED to do? what? are they chumps?

    Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:37 PM

    There are 400k National Guard and 90k of them are in Iraq. Louisiana NG is 11k and 3k of them were in Iraq. There's hardly a bigger lie than that Iraq detracted from the ability of the Feds to respond.

    Saving lives in this case relied on getting food from outside of the district. None could come from the east, the bridge to Slidell was out. Both airports were underwater, and James Doohan was dead so nobody could 'beam' supplies.

    I have a hard time assigning credibility to complainers who, with the entire blogosphere at their disposal don't seem to recognize how difficult such logistics are.

    Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 03:16 PM

    what was the requested budget for fema in 2000?

    what was the budget for fema in 2001? 2002? 2003? now?

    your own numbers show that the national guard was cut by somewhere between 20-30%...and then you say what?

    new orleans was built because it was easily accessible in 1718. so...exactly WHAT happened over 290 years that made it INACCESSIBLE? connick had no problem getting in. the photographer that shot the finooters had no problem. abc? no problem. wal-mart? no problem.

    Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 04:42 PM

    I think when all is said and done, people will be a bit jaw-dropped about what actually has been carried out, and all this early criticism will be dismissed. I look forward to hearing the criticisms when they carry the weight of body counts which I'm sure will be documented very nicely.

    Again, if you ask me, we're suffering from a surfeit of whiney puff journalists and not enough Michael Yons. So it just may be up to Guardsmen themselves to explain it.

    What made New Orleans inaccessible of the last 290 years, the invention of and depenedence on air travel. How about that? The first thing I did, because my brother works for FedEx was to try and figure out if they would be donating free shipping for a humanitarian airlift. The answer was, hell we don't even know where our own employees are.
    So you had the world class, absolute masters of logistics grounded and crippled.

    I also know that there were dozens of people in the area with fishing boats rescuing people, sure you can get in onesy twosy. There was never a time that helos stopped flying. But I'll tell you when I listened on the webcast of the FEMA police radios, it was kinda slow. Admittedly, that was 3am NOLA time but they were still actually doing work trying to get fuel around. But Nagin's entire point was in the first days that was not enough. Nagin was cool with Bush three days ago. I'm over it.

    So when we get out our green eyeshades and count beans we'll know exactly what time on Tuesday morning the Nagin 'Motor Pool' was flooded, and we'll recognize the 72 hour limit before Fed stuff can get in and we can parse all the details and assign blame like the litigious weenies half of us are. But I'll have nothing to do with that.

    Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 05:34 PM

    I think the one thing that I've already learned is that FEMA and Homeland Security need to spend more time on planning for naturual disasters and less on color coded systems.

    All levels of government share the blame. How is it that you issue a mandatory evacuation then four days later you see rows of buses and cars under water. Every school bus, mass transit buss and car on a dealership parking lot should have been used to get people out of the city. Worry about the cost later. The La National Guard should have been on standby two days before the storm hit.

    Personally, the only organization I trust to respond properly is the US Military. Put the army in charge and I'll bet money lives would have been spared.

    Posted by: james manning at September 6, 2005 11:56 AM

    I agree with you Cobb, but the consensus among black folks seems to be that it's all Bush's fault, and not just the response. I heard a man say that the reason the levees were not taller or stronger was because Bush wants to kill black people. The latest thing is the telethon. If the celebrities make it a point to bash Bush, one thing will be certain. Republicans will get even more of the white and hispanic vote next election and democrats less. They will have a negative reaction toward all this hysterical irrational talk, especially since it's telling them that they are all evil racists. I often wonder what the point is in the way that we, black people, most of whom seem to be leftist, and white leftists talk. Is the aim to sway people to the left? If it is, the techniques could not be worse.

    Posted by: Anita at September 8, 2005 07:04 AM

    I would say that it's not the consensus among blackfolks in the military or the national guard or any police department, and a dozen other groups I could name.

    It's frustrating to me as an African American that many blackfolks are swayed by rhetorical politics. It's a simple fact that there are certain things you can SAY and yet never DELIVER and a reliable contingent of blackfolks will agree. The last time this happened was when presidential candidate Howard Dean said, in the South, that he was going to make a change in race relations. Howard Dean promised and got credit yet delivered nothing.

    The sad fact is that people who are not racist have to jump through hoops of sensitivity placed there by black 'leaders' who really have nothing to contribute to the well-being of black communities. It will continue to be this way until people wake up.

    Until then I think it is important, nay crucial, that those of us who are not bamboozled stand up and speak out and demonstrate that we are not fools or invisible or stooges.

    Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 07:38 AM