Thursday, September 29, 2005
Change of Address for HISTORIUM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
Want to see a graphic demonstration of the difference between "the truth" and "the whole truth"? Want to see a perfect example of how the media uses this distinction to spin and distort "news" coverage on a daily basis,while technically telling "the truth" but avoiding "the whole truth" when it gets in the way of the story they want to tell?
Then go HERE and see how a little photo manipulation (without actual alteration) distorts reality and presents a false picture.
You've heard the expression "figures don't lie, but liars figure"? Same for photos... photos may not lie, but liars use photos.
Hat tip to Little Green Footballs for presenting this gem!
Leaked memo on FEMA happens to contain the truth
Embattled former FEMA director Michael Brown says he was initially unaware of desperate conditions at the New Orleans Convention Center because it was not a planned Hurricane Katrina evacuation site, according to a congressional memo.
After learning from television about the thousands of evacuees who gathered at the center, Brown ordered food and water be delivered there. But Brown, who on Tuesday faces a House inquiry into the government's slow response to the Aug. 29 disaster, told congressional aides that "there is no reason FEMA would have known about it beforehand."
In Katrina's aftermath, thousands of people gathered at the convention center, where adequate food, water and other supplies were lacking and where violence was common.
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, was written by a Republican congressional aide who attended a 90-minute briefing Monday with Brown, who resigned as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sept. 12.
Those interested in looking at facts, instead of rehashing the rumors and falsehoods that ran rampant after Katrina, will recognize that the contents of this memo are the truth. We know now that the Convention Center was never designated as a shelter, and state and local officials never notified FEMA that it had become one.
We also know now that the AP story quoted above repeats one of the enduring myths of Katrina: the widespread violence at the convention center.
Contrary to widespread media reports, most of which have gone uncorrected, there were no piles of bodies, no mass rapes, no 40 incidents of gunfire involving swat teams, no armed mobs running wild at the convention center.
What there was at the convention center were a whole lot of folks who were never evacuated by state and local officials (yes, evacuation was THEIR job, not the federal government's) without supplies or relief workers because STATE officials (yes, STATE officials) refused to allow relief supplies or workers into the city (as confirmed by the Red Cross) in an atmosphere where it is surprising there wasn't more violence because the New Orleans cops were busy looting the Wal-Mart (as seen on film) or hiding out and the Governor refused to allow the 7,000 available Louisiana National Guard troops to enter the city.
I have yet to see any quantifiable, documentable facts which tend to show a SLOW federal response to Katrina.
Sure, lots of little anecdotal isolated incidents, like turning away Wal-Mart water trucks. But with an undertaking of any size, you're going to get those incidents. I have seen nothing that indicates the federal response overall was slow OR ineffective.
And if Governor Blanco had consented to federalize the National Guard response, there wouldn't have been any paperwork delays in bringing in Guardsmen from other states... although 7,000 Louisiana Guard troops should have been more than enough to maintain order in New Orleans, if she would have actually authorized them to do so.
Everybody's perception seems to be based on the Superdome, where the Governor refused to allow relief supplies to be delivered (FEMA had prepositioned 14 semi-trailer loads of supplies there...what became of that?) or relief workers to respond, while failing to provide any means of evacuation, and a whole bunch of hysterical, wild-eyed rumors that got reported over and over again as facts.
At some point during the 2004 election campaign, the MSM in this country abandoned all pretense at presenting news, and became an all-out propaganda machine for its own leftist agenda. That trend has continued, and is reflected in the grossly inaccurate coverage of Katrina.
Friday, September 23, 2005
New Orleans flooding already underway
Good thing those incompetent stumblebums in the federal government told the heroic Mayor to shut up and quit telling people to come back, eh?
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Another leftist loses an election...and his grip on reality
BERLIN - A belligerent performance by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in a TV talk show after German elections, which his party narrowly lost, has drawn widespread criticism and fuelled alarm the country could be lurching into a political crisis.
Like most European nations, Germany has a parliamentary system in which the Chancellor, the equivalent of a Prime Minister, is chosen from the party with a parliamentary majority. When, as is the case in the German election, no single party wins a majority, a coalition government is formed by agreement among parties with enough members to total a majority. Schroeder, however, is demanding that votes be counted differently than they have always been counted and insisting that, once recounted as he demands, his party will have won the election. (Sound familiar?) Schroeder’s performance on German television was, to put it mildly, surreal:
A grinning Schroeder first accused the TV moderators of having "an intellectual problem" and not being objective in their reporting and questioning.
Turning to a grim-looking Merkel he said: "Do you seriously think my party will accept this offer for talks with Frau Merkel? ... Under her leadership she will never get a coalition with my party."
This was strong stuff given that Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) came in first with 35.2 per cent, compared with 34.3 per cent for Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD).
The CDU/CSU won about 440,000 votes more than the SPD and will have a three-seat majority in parliament's lower chamber, the Bundestag.
Schroeder insists, contrary to German post-war tradition, that the CDU and its Bavarian CSU sister party must from now on be treated as totally separate parties. Under this interpretation his SPD would indeed have come in first on Sunday.
Most newspapers said Schroeder had "run riot" during the half-hour TV show dubbed "the elephant round". The Berliner Zeitung, which generally backs the Chancellor, called it "a bizarre appearance".
Other German commenters found the performance disturbing.
Arnulf Baring, a leading German political historian, termed the Chancellor's performance "shocking".
"He spoke on election night as if he was on the verge of carrying out a putsch," said Baring in a B.Z. newspaper interview, adding: "The way he is treating democracy and majority rule is truly threatening."
Members of Schroeder’s own party suggested he may have been drunk. Still others suspect that Schroeder’s intent is to throw the system into disarray and force new elections. Since most parliamentary systems don’t have a rigidly-scheduled national election, like the US, new elections are a possibility any time a coalition government cannot be formed.
The Free Democratic Party, which pulled 9.8% of the vote, would not be enough to put either Schroeder’s SPD or Merkel’s CDU into a majority, but is obviously a much-sought coalition partner. Either major party, with the FDP on board, could then scrounge enough minor-party votes to form a government.
Schroeder’s obnoxious behavior may have hurt his party in this regard, as he may have foreclosed the possibility of FDP participation with an insulting and heated exchange with the head of the FDP, Guido Westerwelle:
"You cannot be taken seriously," snapped Westerwelle who refused to address the defeated Schroeder as "Herr Chancellor" and instead called him "Herr Colleague" given they are both members of parliament and Schroeder is now only acting chancellor.
When Schroeder tried to slap down Westerwelle with a lesson on German politics from the 1960s, Westerwelle swiftly turned the tables.
"I may be younger than you - but I'm not more stupid," said Westerwelle, whose liberals increased their share of the vote to 9.8 per cent and are being sought both by Schroeder and Merkel as a coalition partner.
Following the TV talk show, Westerwelle declared his party would not even hold exploratory talks with Schroeder's SPD.
Like Gore, who, despite several recounts which showed otherwise, apparently still thinks he should have won, and Kerry, who from time to time takes a break from his windsurfing to mutter about “vote suppression”, Schroeder appears unable to grasp reality and accept his loss. Surely it is to some extent an ego thing. Gore and Kerry clearly believe themselves to be superior to George W. Bush (and everyone else, for that matter, at least in Kerry’s case.) It appears equally obvious from Schroeder’s condescending tone that he considers himself superior.
I wonder, though, if there is something more to it. Few people realize that, anticipating the defeat of George Bush in 2004, leading Democrats (Hillary was there, and Joe Biden, just to name a couple) traveled to Norway to meet with the European leftist parties (in European politics, those folks are socialists, by the way) to plan the new world order which would follow the ousting of the evil right-wingers from power in the US. One wonders if, along with discussing the role of the UN in enforcing a world-wide liberal agenda, they may have discussed the Democrats’ playbook for trying to destabilize and discredit electoral results they don’t like.
We all know the Democrats have such a handbook… how to dispute elections when there is no legitimate grounds for dispute. A few copies of it surfaced in the 2004 election. Maybe they shared it with their America-bashing socialist world-government allies from Europe?
By the way, I’m not making any of this up. I read about the leftist conference in Norway on the English language site of a Norwegian magazine or newspaper. But it was a couple of years ago, and back then I wasn’t saving links and pages by the hundred in case I needed them later. I believe I do have a hard copy someplace, and if I can find it maybe I can track down a link or some more information.
Environmentalist groups caused New Orleans flooding
In a real eye-opener of a piece of writing, Human Events Online has reported on a long history of environmentalist lawsuits that may well have contributed to the massive flood damage caused in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project designed to prevent a Category 5-hurricane-storm surge from filling Lake Pontchartrain and flooding New Orleans was blocked by environmentalists intent on preserving “natural water flow” in 1977.
Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) used a lawsuit against the Corps based on the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to halt the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project.
These folks have a website where they brag about battling the Army Corps of Engineers and New Orleans officials over flood-control measures, all of which, of course, they see as evil plots to drain wetlands and promote development. But I’m obviously not the first or only one to pick up on this issue, because in the last few days they’ve been busy getting stuff up on their website to explain why the flood control measures they blocked wouldn’t have helped.
Which is just plain stupid. Would it have prevented all damage? Who knows? Probably not? Would it have helped? Well, duh, common sense tells you that less flooding is better than more flooding, so anything that would have lessened the impact would have helped.
Furthermore, please note that their argument against the project wasn’t that it wouldn’t be beneficial, or even that it was unnecessary… but that the paperwork wasn’t adequate to demonstrate that the project was absolutely necessary:
SOWL’s argument against the Corps’ Lake Ponchartrain project claimed the Corps’ environmental impact statement was inadequate. U.S. District Judge Charles Schwartz, Jr., agreed, issuing an injunction prohibiting the project. “Testimony reveals serious questions as to the adequacy of cost-benefit analysis of the plan,” he wrote in his opinion. “It is the opinion of the court that plaintiffs herein have demonstrated that they and in fact all persons in this area, will be irreparably harmed if the barrier project based on the August 1974 FEIS [Federal Environmental Impact Study] is allowed to continue.” Schwartz also ruled that associated flood prevention plans in Chalmette and New Orleans East must be stopped.
Perhaps Judge Schwartz would like to take another look at the “cost-benefit analysis” today. He might also wish to re-evaluate his assertion that “all persons in this area will be irreparably harmed if the barrier project … is allowed to continue.” In retrospect, it kind of seems like maybe some folks were irreparably harmed because the barrier project didn’t continue.
We (you and me, U.S. taxpayers) will now be expected to spend billions of dollars repairing damage that might very well have been avoided. How many lives would not have been lost? Or disrupted or destroyed? And what do you suppose is the environmental damage sustained as a result of Katrina?
So what was the nature of this plan the environmentalists scuttled?
The project would have built flood gates to block storm surges from moving into Lake Pontchartrain from the Gulf of Mexico, and also would have built additional levees in flood-prone areas. It had been drafted in the aftermath of Hurricane Betsy in 1964, and authorized as part of the Flood Control Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, five years before NEPA came into effect.
But you see, that project can’t be considered in a vacuum. You have to look at the big picture…which seems to make environmentalist groups even more culpable:
In 1986, nine years after they had been blocked in court, the Corps formally dropped the Lake Ponchartrain Hurricane Protection Project as part of a compromise with environmentalists that allowed the Corps to raise the levees around St. Bernard, Orleans, East Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. But the levee-raising program was not designed to protect the area against anything stronger than a Category 3 storm.
In other words, to settle a group of suits by environmentalist groups and be allowed to do something about flood control, plans intended to guard against a category 5 storm were abandoned in return for being allowed to go forward with plans to protect against a category 3 storm.
Are you following along, boys and girls? Plans developed in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s to guard against a category 5 storm were abandoned in order to settle environmentalists’ lawsuits and proceed with plans to guard against a category 3 storm. We have all heard it a trillion times… Katrina was a category 5, the levees were only designed for a category 3. Because the environmentalists had used the federal courts to block plans for a system to protect against a category 5 hurricane.
The 1986 settlement, of course, was not the end of it:
The House Task Force on Improving National Environmental Policy said NEPA lawsuits have prevented protection plans in New Orleans at least twice. In addition to the 1977 SOWL suit, the task force cited a 1996 suit brought against the Corps by the Sierra Club to stop a plan to raise and fortify Mississippi River levees. This suit argued that the Corps had not considered “the impact on bottomland hardwood forest wetlands” and the effect on Louisiana black bears and bird breeding.
Wonder how three to six feet of water have effected those birds and bears? And what do you suppose is “the impact on bottomland hardwood forest wetlands” of massive uncontrolled flooding?
Monday, September 19, 2005
Bill Clinton: classless trash in an expensive suit
His continuing self-aggradinzing effort to rewrite history, aided and abetted by the fawning leftist media, is disgusting. His personal conduct while in office, from having an affair with an intern, to lying about it under oath in order to perpetrate fraud upon the court in a lawsuit, to selling pardons to tax evaders like Marc Rich, was disgusting. His sucking up to the Hollywood crowd while paying lip service to leftist ideology while sticking close to the middle of the road to keep those poll numbers up was disgusting.
His exploitation of blacks and the poor was, and is, disgusting. Anyone willing to look at actual facts will find that the truth is the Bush administration has done much, much more for these groups than Clinton ever imagined. The Bush tax cuts removed millions of low-income workers from the tax rolls completely and shifted the tax burden even more disproportionately to the wealthy. Core education spending for the urban poor has more than doubled under Bush. The list goes on and on.
But Clinton, whose ego apparently knows no bounds, seems to believe that he is special. Rules don't apply to him. And he gets away with it. He is a serial molester of women and a political fraud. He had nothing to do with the economy of the 90's, which was managed by Alan Greenspan and driven by a Republican congress pursuing the balance of Ronald Reagan's agenda, such as welfare reform.
Clinton's true political legacy is "the campaign that never ends", to which we owe, in large part, the viciously acrimonious partisan climate of today's American politics. Clinton, perhaps driven by some deep-seated realization of who and what he really is, had no clue as to the separation between campaigning and governing traditionally observed in American politics. It was Clinton (and his charming wife) who kept private detectives on the payroll to dig up dirt on anyone who dared say anything negative. It was the Clintons (not the "Republican attack machine", or the "vast right-wing conspiracy") who developed and perfected the "attack and spin" style of politics: attack the critic, not on any issue, but personally, and then spin, spin, spin, using a friendly media to turn that critic into the one making attacks for cheap, petty personal reasons.
Well, I guess trash is as trash does, and Bill can't help bein' Bill. So we now have the (hopefully) final chapter in Clinton's "I'm the only one that matters, the hell with the country and the hell with the future" philosophy. Former presidents keep their mouths shut. They do not criticize successors, let alone seek out opportunities to go on national tv shows hosted by their old cronies and attack sitting administrations. Never in American history has a former president acted like Clinton did this past weekend.
But this is Bill Clinton we're talking about, and rules and traditions mean nothing. Bill is above all that. Bill is special. All that matters is Bill.
No matter how you wrap it up, trash is still trash.Bill Clinton sickens me.
UPDATE: I've changed the title of this piece since I posted it. The original title was "...trailer trash in an expensive suit." I didn't change it for reasons of political correctness, which is one thing I don't worry about on this page, but because "trailer trash", while catchy, didn't really reflect the utter lack of class and crass gracelessness which is the point of the piece.
POWERLINE has an excellent itemized catalog of the litany of factual untruths spewed by Clinton in the interview. This should surprise noone, since Clinton has never let the truth get in the way of his personal agenda.
Blanco admits responsibility to state legislature
"I really should have called for the military," Blanco said, while chatting with her press secretary in between TV interviews. "I really should have started that in the first call."
Unbeknownst to Blanco, her bombshell acknowledgment was recorded on a network satellite feed, and by Tuesday the clip was getting wide exposure in Louisiana news broadcasts.
In the early days of the Katrina crisis, disaster management experts repeatedly blamed the failure to send in the National Guard for the city's descent into chaos.
As has been previously discussed on this site and elsewhere, the decision not to send the 7,000 available Louisiana National Guardsmen into New Orleans was Blanco’s call, as was the decision to refuse to allow relief workers, including the Red Cross, into the city. Particularly, the widely reported misery at the Superdome was not the result of any slow federal response, but the result of Blanco’s decision not to allow workers and supplies which had been prepositioned for that very purpose to go to the Superdome for fear that people would want to stay instead of being evacuated. (See my previous few posts for links and details.)
Furthermore, it has become clear, especially since her taped admission, that Blanco initially refused federal assistance and troops, instead turning to a Clinton-era former federal official to try to manage the disaster on a state level.
Caught with her hand in the cookie jar, Blanco, speaking to the Louisiana legislature last week, admitted her responsibility and dropped her repeated attempts to blame federal officials for her disastrous decision-making and failures to act:
Where earlier she and her aides had openly blamed the Bush administration for bungling Katrina rescue efforts, Blanco announced: "The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility."
Just as surprising were Blanco's words of praise for the White House: "I want the people of Louisiana to know that we have a friend and a partner in President George W. Bush. I thank you, Mr. President."
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
I'll be taking an early retirement
For the reasonable fee of $250 per person (I'm not greedy) plus expenses (round trip fare) I'm going to charter buses in Cleveland, Ohio, and run them down to Houston so my clients can collect their $2000 government hand-out debit cards. I'll collect my fees and expenses from my clients, in cash, at the first ATM we see on the return trip.
Got proof of residency? "Washed away in the flood."
Got identification? "Washed away in the flood."
Somebody thinks this is a good idea. How long do you figure it will be before somebody actually implements my "early retirement plan"? Wanna bet somebody is already operating some variation of my plan? Wanna bet they end up giving out more cards than the total adult population of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama combined?
I remember when disaster relief meant somebody set up some temporary shelters, and you got a place to sleep, a shower, toilet facilities, and something to eat. Probably hot dogs, beans and macaroni and cheese, washed down with water or powdered drink mix.
And people were grateful.
Now we have people stampeding (according to an ABC tv broadcast this morning) and all-but rioting because they aren't getting their $2000 cash card fast enough.
I guess that's disaster relief in the age of entitlements. They figure somebody owes them something, as opposed to being thankful that somebody reaches out to help.
And for the benefit of those morons who want to turn Katrina relief efforts into a racial issue, let me point out to you that across the midwest, every year, hundreds, and some years, thousands, of folks are left homeless and destitute by tornadoes. Nobody rushes in to give them $2000 cash cards less than two weeks after the disaster. And quite frankly, most of them are white.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Governor Blanco... worse and worse
Well, the Red Cross website says it's the awful truth:
Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?
Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.
The Red Cross shares the nation’s anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.
The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.
The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.
As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.
So the truth is, while the mayor of New Orleans was screaming about not having any relief supplies, relief supplies that could have been delivered weren't, because state officials thought it would make people want to stay and the state wanted them to leave.
The state, of course, failed to provide any means for them to leave. So there they sat, suffering, perhaps even dying, because Governor Blanco is an idiot.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
What did the governor do, and when did she do it?
"The Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan is intended to provide a framework within which the parishes can coordinate their actions with State government in order to deal with a catastrophic hurricane."
So, these state and local officials actually did have a plan. The document clearly recognizes the possibility of a category 3 or higher hurricane causing exactly what happened… huge numbers of refugees, stranded people, flooding on a monumental scale. Yet if you review the plan it is obvious that state and local officials failed completely to implement any of the steps in anything like a timely fashion:
"Local transportation resources should be marshaled and public transportation plans implemented as needed. Announce the location of staging areas for people who need transportation. Public transportation will concentrate on moving people from the staging areas to safety in host parishes with priority given to people with special needs."
Hey, Mayor Nagin, what about all those school buses? Wouldn’t they be considered “local transportation resources?" Is it true that someone actually suggested using them, but the idea was rejected because they weren't insured for that use?
And state officials? The plan calls for the State to
"Mobilize State transportation resources to aid in the evacuation of people who have mobility and/or health problems. Deploy to support risk area parishes."
Yeah. The state managed to mobilize nothing. And please note, nowhere do the official plans call for the Federal Government to handle an evacuation.
The state government, starting from Governor Blanco on down, apparently did nothing, absolutely nothing, either, depending on which reports you accept, out of an inability to comprehend and react (i.e. they “froze” at the moment of truth) or because of partisan or personal political reasons. Did the Governor really need 24 hours to make a decision on accepting Federal help after it was offered because they (meaning the Bush administration) would “get the credit”? Or was this perhaps an effort to discredit FEMA, part of an on-going fight between that agency and the State of Louisiana, which allegedly misspent $30 million in homeland security money, and which the federal government has demanded be re-paid?
Did the governor really withhold 7,000 Louisiana National Guard troops and abandon the city of New Orleans out of fear that without “overwhelming force” there might be someone shot?
What the hell did she think was going on the city as it was? And quite frankly, 7,000 armed and equipped National Guardsmen would have looked pretty freakin’ overwhelming to a bunch of thugs roaming around the city with guns looted from Wal-Mart. You wanna use a .22 from Wal-Mart to take pot shots at an armored personnel carrier with a .50 cal machine gun?
Why did the state police turn back technicians summoned to repair the New Orleans emergency radio system after it collapsed?
No political officials, federal, state or local, caused the hurricane. But much of the disastrous aftermath appears to be clearly the result of state and local ineptitude.
By the way…at what point did the Governor actually get around to asking for federal help? Because quite frankly, the federal government has to be invited into a state. At what point did she ask for help from other states? That’s how the national guard works, you know. States control the national guard, and can ask the federal government to coordinate, and can “lend” their guard units to the Federal government. But the Federal Government, on its own, can not deploy guard units from one state into another. Governors, however, can. So when did Blanco ask anybody for help? According to Mayor Nagan, she rebuffed Bush’s initial offer to get things moving because she “needed 24 hours to make a decision”.
What did the governor do and when did she do it? Not much of anything, and way too late.
Friday, September 02, 2005
"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night.
"They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn — excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."
The people of New Orleans should be "pissed" too... at this imbecile.
Here's a clue for you, Mayor Nagin: your administration left your city totally and woefully unprepared for a disaster which was not only forseeable, but inevitable. You see, when your city sits below sea level near the coast, sooner or later you are going to end up under water.
Nagin, knowing he will be aided and abetted by the Bush-hating leftist national media, wants to shift attention and blame for what is a disaster made infinitely worse by his own ineptitude and negligence. It is not now, and never has been, the responsibility of the federal government to provide instantaneous aid in a local disaster. The first responders are, by geographic necessity, local and state personnel. And in the critical 48 hour period following the hurricane, New Orleans demonstrated it was absolutely unprepared for the disaster that the geography of the city had guaranteed was only a matter of time.
Here are a few questions for you, Mayor Nagin:
Why wasn't your city prepared for this? It didn't come as a surprise. Any fool can figure out that sooner or later a coastal area at or below sea level is going to end up under water, and that water is not going to recede quickly. Water does not run uphill, you know.
Much of your city sits at or below sea level. Why didn't your emergency respose forces have a flood-proof backup communications system? All indications are that the Police Department completely dissolved, unable to coordinate or communicate.
Why was there no mandatory evacuation of densely populated low-lying areas before the storm hit?
Why wasn't the National Guard already mobilized and on-station to oversee such an evacuation? Or, since there was no evacuation, to maintain order?
Why weren't plans already made for "refugee camps" of some sort? The city's total plan for dealing with a homeless population seems to have been "send 'em down to the football stadium." Once more: much of the city is below sea level. Floodwaters are not going to recede quickly. Eventually, you will be flooded.
Why didn't the city and state have an evacuation plan? Once more: much of the city is below sea level! Floodwaters are not going to recede quickly! Eventually, you will be flooded!
That a sizeable portion of the urban population would be left homeless in the event of a hurricane or severe flooding by the Mississippi River was absolutely forseeable. No plans had been made for dealing with that eventuality. And it was an eventuality, NOT a possibility.
The magnitude of this disaster can not be overstated. But quite frankly, it has been made vastly worse NOT by a slow relief efforts after the fact, but by the fact that the city of New Orleans, which was absolutely going to end up under water at some point, had apparently NO PLANS to deal with that contingency.
The ineptitude and negligence of the city administration, and probably a series of city administrations dating back to the aftermath of the 1927 flood, has resulted in hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of deaths because of a total lack of preparedness to deal with a situation that was absolutely going to happen... again... some day.
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