Sunday, September 04, 2005

I'm working on a more extensive article about hurricane Katrina, its aftermath and just who is responsible for the additional loss of life that didn't need to occur. In the meantime I want to offer simply this:

The failure was completely, one hundred percent and totally that of New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin. Period.

The Mayor failed to plan in advance, failed to evacuate the city, failed to provide adaquet shelter for those who he failed to inspire or help to leave. He failed to inspire or lead his police force who, unbelieably, deserted, and he failed to offer comfort -- or even food or water -- to those whom he had failed twice already.

Think back to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his response to 9/11. He led. He provided. He inspired. He was everywhere. His leadership was heroic and it inspired those around him to be heroic. Now think of Mayor Nagin. Foul-mouthed, panicking, out-of-control and pointing fingers.

It was this difference in leadership that saw New York's first responders run into collapsing buiildings to save people and New Orleans' cops deserting the force to save only themselves.

Don't get me wrong. Some of the Mayor's first responders acted with great heroism. Some, in fact, performed their jobs while being shot at and threatened by thugs. Thugs that the Mayor allowed to roam the streets. But that heroism was despite, not because, of the inept, panicked, foul-mouthed finger-pointer.

First responders...plans of evacuation, provisions for those left behind, the local cops and firemen and the distribution of resources to hospitals are all local responses. Of course they are and that was the entire failure of the process. The "delay" in Federal response was no delay at all. That gap was where the local and state authorities were supposed to be and weren't. When the Feds took over everything suddenly -- magically I suppose -- ran like clockwork. The President's team WAS heroic, properly supplied and inspired. I hate to say it, folks, but it's the difference between the "help me I'm powerless" attitude of a Democrat Mayor and the strong, confident and heroic leadership that comes from Republicans -- be it President Bush, Governor or Mayor Giulini.

25 comments:

Brady Westwater said...

Feel free to use some of my posts starting on Sunday morning.

EPorvaznik said...

My apologoes for the lengthy post that I received, but it's too much of a perfect companion piece to what Evan wrote. Troof, ain't it a wonderful thing? When people have the courage to say it, that is....

An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State
by Robert Tracinski

It took four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it also took me four long days to figure out what was going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists—myself included—did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency—indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story: "Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

"The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

"Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

" 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.' "

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows a SWAT team with rifles and armored vests riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to speed away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Superdome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage one night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"—the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels—gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of those who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then told me that early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails—so they just let many of them loose. [Update: I have been searching for news reports on this last story, but I have not been able to confirm it. Instead, I have found numerous reports about the collapse of the corrupt and incompetent New Orleans Police Department.]

There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit—but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals—and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep—on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. In a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters—not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. And they don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

People living in piles of their own trash, while petulantly complaining that other people aren't doing enough to take care of them and then shooting at those who come to rescue them—this is not just a description of the chaos at the Superdome. It is a perfect summary of the 40-year history of the welfare state and its public housing projects.

The welfare state—and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages—is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Source: TIA Daily -- September 2, 2005

MiamiMiami said...

C'mon dammit. We ALL know that this storm was created by the white man to kill the black man, but only black liberals. Don't try to deny it!


(Parody, not to be taken seriously...)

Anonymous said...

Just more attempts by Republicans to disenfranchise the poor.

EPorvaznik said...

Amongst all this media (and otherwhere) victimization and disenfranchising of the dipshits who voluntarily stayed in New Orleans (elderly/crippled/truly helpless excepted), where has all the coverage, recognition and applauding of the people who were responsible enough to evacuate the hurricane areas gone?

Aren't they paying out of their own pockets to either travel to friends' homes or stay in hotels as they sort out their lives? Aren't they just as deserving of the temporary handout the Salvation Army and (largely anti-Semitic) Red Cross has given to those quartered in the Super- and Astrodomes?

No quarter asked or given, all while Rev'rund Jesse's flock and like-minded leeches continue to milk the system for all they can get.

To bum from my favorite American socialist artist (who doesn't hold a candle to my faves the Clash), ain't that the new America, for your pocketbook and mine, baby?

Cleanin' up the evenin' slop,
EP

MiamiMiami said...

What really pisses me off is that these folks who are so desperately trying their best to remind folks that they are black and poor is that they don't even have the guts to come out and say they are racist. I mean, look, I am no fan of the KKK but at the very least they admit to their racism. They don't, for the most part, try to hide it in some type of disguise like the Rev'rund Jesse Jack-sun. Bnoth of these are, for me, the equivalent of the extremely dumb and stupid but as far as honesty goes the KKK has Jack-sun beat.

You know what I see? I see Americans. Plain and simple. Now is not the time to start dividing us into poor and rich, white and black. Assholes like the Rev'rund Jack-sun need to shut up and help.

They'll be plenty of time for this debate for years to come.

Jeanne said...

Makes me wonder why Rainbow Push doesn't have a group of volunteers helping the "poor, black" victims.

Alva Goldbook said...

Gee, I wonder why the Bush administration took Brown of his duties in the Gulf? I wonder, how could a group of Canadian rescue volunteers from Vancouver could get to St. Bernard Parrish FIVE DAYS before anyone from the US? I wonder why Brown fabricated his resume for his job qualifications? I wonder why most of his experience came as the head of the Arabian International Horse Association, where he spent a year investigating if a mare had liposuction on his buttocks? I wonder why Brown was FIRED from that job? I wonder why the chair of the 9/11 Commission criticized Bush's response to the hurricane? I wonder why Condi was too busy shopping for $2,000 shoes instead of accepting Cuba's offer to send doctors and rescue workers who are experts in dealing with Hurricane rescue missions? I wonder why FEMA flied evacuees to Charlestown, WV instead of Charlestown, NC where they gave medical authorities only a half hour to prepare, and left waiting for a plane that never came? I wonder why the top 5 officials at FEMA have had ZERO experience in dealing with emergency operations? I wonder why FEMA gave Miami-Dade county residents 21 million dollars after Hurricane Frances when the hurricane never hit them? Did it have anything to do with the presidential election coming up in a few months in a key battleground state of Florida? I wonder why FEMA is censoring the media from taking pictures of the people they helped to kill by their inaction? I wonder why THREE TONS of food, water, and supplies were halted from delivery while Bush visited the Gulf Coast? I wonder why Bush announced the he would be investigating himself on finding out what he did wrong in dealing with the hurricane? I wonder my MSNBC LIED about Governor Blanco having to be "begged" by Bush to declare a state of emergency? I wonder why "a senior White House official" LIED to the Washington Post saying that Blanco hadn't declared a state of emergency, when she ACTUALLY declared it before the storm hit the city? I wonder why the reich wing media is lying about Mayor Nagin not evacuating the city, when in fact he issued a mandatory evacuation before the storm hit? I wonder why Bill O'Reilly lied about Governor Blanco not asking for more National Guard troops, when in fact she accepted New Mexico's offer to send in extra Guardsmen before the storm hit? I wonder why it took 5 days for Washington to approve that offer? I wonder why FEMA sent 1,000 firefighters to be trained on sexual harassment in Atlanta instead of sending in much need firefighters into New Orleans? I wonder why Navy pilots were reprimanded for saying hurricane survivors, and reassigned to guard a kennel for servicemen? I wonder why FEMA didn't bother to send anyone to the Gulf Coast for two entire days, and when they did they only sent 1,000 men? I wonder why FEMA's director said that the purpose of the mission was not to rescue desperate Americans but to convey a "positive image" to the public? I wonder why the former FEMA head Joe Allbaugh is now a consultant for Halliburtion who could very well profit from FEMA's lack of response? I wonder why the reich wing media endlessly said that there were rapes in the Superdome and babies with their throats slit when the New Orleans chief of police said that no rapes or murders had been substantiated, and no witnesses or victims had come forward? I wonder why on Meet the Press Michael Chertoff said he read the newspapers saying that New Orleans "dodged the bullet" when the Washington Post read "Storm Thrashes Gulf Coast", the New York Times read "Hurricane Slams into Gulf Coast, Dozens Are Dead", The Washington Times read "Katrina Pounds Gulf Coast", and the New Orleans Times-Picayune read "CASTASTRPHIC"? I wonder why after Bush first visited New Orleans all the FEMA rescue teams packed up and left after the cameras stopped rolling? I wonder why the USS Bataan sat at port in New Orleans for days when they had doctors, hospital beds, food and the ability to produce up to 100,000 gallons of water a day, and yet the order never came for them to do anything? I wonder why Bush didn't bother getting off vacation for two days after the hurricane hit, and when he did he went to go eat cake and strum a guitar? I wonder why a chorus of New Orleans residents had to chant "help! help! help!" in front of the media and help didn't come? I wonder why FEMA put Pat Robertson's charity Operation Blessing as a key charity to donate to, when Robertson has been caught embezzling money from his charity to profit off of diamond mines in Africa? I wonder why VP dick cheney was too busy buying real estate in Wyoming and enjoying a vacation when Americans all along the Gulf Coast were suffering? I wonder why Bush had left 6,000 Louisiana national guard troops in Iraq along with all their high-water rescue equipment? I wonder why the FEMA director had no clue that anyone was waiting for help for days at the city convention center, and had to be told by a reporter what the rest of the country already knew? And most of all...I wonder why when all of this happened, you heartless right wing son of a bitches have the audacity to blame the locals instead of the federal government?

Alva Goldbook said...

Gee, I wonder why the Bush administration took Brown of his duties in the Gulf? I wonder, how could a group of Canadian rescue volunteers from Vancouver could get to St. Bernard Parrish FIVE DAYS before anyone from the US? I wonder why Brown fabricated his resume for his job qualifications? I wonder why most of his experience came as the head of the Arabian International Horse Association, where he spent a year investigating if a mare had liposuction on his buttocks? I wonder why Brown was FIRED from that job? I wonder why the chair of the 9/11 Commission criticized Bush's response to the hurricane? I wonder why Condi was too busy shopping for $2,000 shoes instead of accepting Cuba's offer to send doctors and rescue workers who are experts in dealing with Hurricane rescue missions? I wonder why FEMA flied evacuees to Charlestown, WV instead of Charlestown, NC where they gave medical authorities only a half hour to prepare, and left waiting for a plane that never came? I wonder why the top 5 officials at FEMA have had ZERO experience in dealing with emergency operations? I wonder why FEMA gave Miami-Dade county residents 21 million dollars after Hurricane Frances when the hurricane never hit them? Did it have anything to do with the presidential election coming up in a few months in a key battleground state of Florida? I wonder why FEMA is censoring the media from taking pictures of the people they helped to kill by their inaction? I wonder why THREE TONS of food, water, and supplies were halted from delivery while Bush visited the Gulf Coast? I wonder why Bush announced the he would be investigating himself on finding out what he did wrong in dealing with the hurricane? I wonder my MSNBC LIED about Governor Blanco having to be "begged" by Bush to declare a state of emergency? I wonder why "a senior White House official" LIED to the Washington Post saying that Blanco hadn't declared a state of emergency, when she ACTUALLY declared it before the storm hit the city? I wonder why the reich wing media is lying about Mayor Nagin not evacuating the city, when in fact he issued a mandatory evacuation before the storm hit? I wonder why Bill O'Reilly lied about Governor Blanco not asking for more National Guard troops, when in fact she accepted New Mexico's offer to send in extra Guardsmen before the storm hit? I wonder why it took 5 days for Washington to approve that offer? I wonder why FEMA sent 1,000 firefighters to be trained on sexual harassment in Atlanta instead of sending in much need firefighters into New Orleans? I wonder why Navy pilots were reprimanded for saying hurricane survivors, and reassigned to guard a kennel for servicemen? I wonder why FEMA didn't bother to send anyone to the Gulf Coast for two entire days, and when they did they only sent 1,000 men? I wonder why FEMA's director said that the purpose of the mission was not to rescue desperate Americans but to convey a "positive image" to the public? I wonder why the former FEMA head Joe Allbaugh is now a consultant for Halliburtion who could very well profit from FEMA's lack of response? I wonder why the reich wing media endlessly said that there were rapes in the Superdome and babies with their throats slit when the New Orleans chief of police said that no rapes or murders had been substantiated, and no witnesses or victims had come forward? I wonder why on Meet the Press Michael Chertoff said he read the newspapers saying that New Orleans "dodged the bullet" when the Washington Post read "Storm Thrashes Gulf Coast", the New York Times read "Hurricane Slams into Gulf Coast, Dozens Are Dead", The Washington Times read "Katrina Pounds Gulf Coast", and the New Orleans Times-Picayune read "CASTASTRPHIC"? I wonder why after Bush first visited New Orleans all the FEMA rescue teams packed up and left after the cameras stopped rolling? I wonder why the USS Bataan sat at port in New Orleans for days when they had doctors, hospital beds, food and the ability to produce up to 100,000 gallons of water a day, and yet the order never came for them to do anything? I wonder why Bush didn't bother getting off vacation for two days after the hurricane hit, and when he did he went to go eat cake and strum a guitar? I wonder why a chorus of New Orleans residents had to chant "help! help! help!" in front of the media and help didn't come? I wonder why FEMA put Pat Robertson's charity Operation Blessing as a key charity to donate to, when Robertson has been caught embezzling money from his charity to profit off of diamond mines in Africa? I wonder why VP dick cheney was too busy buying real estate in Wyoming and enjoying a vacation when Americans all along the Gulf Coast were suffering? I wonder why Bush had left 6,000 Louisiana national guard troops in Iraq along with all their high-water rescue equipment? I wonder why the FEMA director had no clue that anyone was waiting for help for days at the city convention center, and had to be told by a reporter what the rest of the country already knew? And most of all...I wonder why when all of this happened, you heartless right wing son of a bitches have the audacity to blame the locals instead of the federal government?

Senator_MJM said...

Alva, the idiot, is back. The true facts of the situation are simply ignored. You can't debate with an idiot.

Evan Sayet said...

Fact, truth and evidence mean nothing to the Democrat. they start with their conclusion (America is evil, Bush is Hitler, etc) and then work backwards to cherry-pick, spin and invent whatever is necessary to uphold their preordained and never changing "conclusion."

Thus Alva rambles on about troops in Iraq even though the FACT is that the problem wasn't a lack of troops in America it was the Democrat Governor who refused to sign the paperwork to allow the National Guard in.

Alva goes on about trivial points that have nothing to do with the real cause of the problem: the Democrat mayor of New Orleans failed to evacuate his city. Then, when at the last minute he recognized what was happening he ordered tens of thousands of people to the Superdome and then forgot that human beings might need, oh, say, a drink of water.

These things don't enter the mind of the leftist because truth is of no relevence to them. So, instead, somehow the fact that the Vice President might have been in Wyoming is the cause and not the corruption, stupidity and failures of the Democrats in Louisiana.

That's going to be the leftists' conclusion NO MATTER WHAT. The effort on their part is only to figure out which lies, spins and cherry-picked info to provide in their attacks.

MiamiMiami said...

I frequently comment on Alva's blog and I can honestly say that if it weren't for me constantly commenting there it would be an almost entirely left-wing orgy in that place. I like to think that I am doing my part in keeping him "fair and balanced". Currently I am in Atlanta Georgia with FEMA waiting to be deployed to help with disaster victims from Katrina. I say this for two reasons. The first reason is that I probably won't be able to post here for very much longer as i will not internet access in most areas that I might go to. Secondly is to let people like ALva know that you only know 1/10th of the story. What people like Alva forget is that FEMA is NOT the one to blame here for the INITIAL problems. I will admit that in some cases they were slow to respond but it is not because of FEMA. The state and local governments have the initial responsability to respond first to the emergency and they failed, miserably. FEMA is right now conducting the single largest rescue effort in the history of the United States. This is bigger the 9/11 in every aspect. In 9/11 FEMA was dealing with the dead because in reality there were only 6-7 people in the hospital, whereas there are thousands of living victims.

Stop judging and roll up your sleeve and help.

God bless you all.

Evan Sayet said...

The line I use about the Democrats is that they're always too busy pointing fingers to be able to lend a hand.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, folks, but it's the difference between the "help me I'm powerless" attitude of a Democrat Mayor and the strong, confident and heroic leadership that comes from Republicans -- be it President Bush, Governor or Mayor Giulini.
***********
WHY DO YOU "HATE" TO SAY THE ABOVE? ITS THE TRUTH!! You hate to say the truth?

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