My public life and private musings from 2004-2008.
Come on, Nick! The mayor of New Orleans had plenty of warning and resources to evacuate a significant portion of the city, but did you hear about any N.O. buses leaving before the storm hit? The only evacuees I heard of before the fact were mostly individual families with enough sense to run inland. And all the refugees are not crammed into just a few locations. There are shelters open everywhere from Georgia to Michigan to Arizona. As per the city being "under water," only a portion is significantly flooded. Most of the city has drained, only the lowest portions closest to the shore are still stagnant. The National Guard has to deal with the idiots that are shooting at their engineers first, then they can get to work on repairing the levees.But enough of that. I have to finish packing and drive back down to State.
The mayor may not have made the best decision he could have but he did take action to warn as many people as possible and arranged for busses to take people to the Superdome and other last-resort sites. Yahoo! News: New Orleans Braces for Powerful Katrina (Aug. 28) And whatever the mayor's decision beforehand was, there is absolutely no excuse for our government to have reacted as slowly as it did. As one reporter put it, "it's as if FEMA had never seen a hurricane before." Not to mention that the director of FEMA and the Secretary of Homeland Security never had any experience in disaster management."all the refugees are not crammed into just a few locations." Actually they *were* crammed into a few locations. Namely, the Superdome and the Convention Center. People were told to go to these places and that food, water, and medical care would be coming to them shortly, but it came too late, by at least 5 days.The portion which is/was significantly flooded is/was a significant portion of the city. Does that really make it any better? Not to mention it flooded the poorest parts of the city at that.If help had arrived sooner, there wouldn't have been as big a crisis as we've been seeing.Bush leaves his vacation a few hours early and a day after the devestation of Katrina became clear, giving a VJ-day speech and sleeping another night at the ranch. Contrast that with how quickly he sprung into action when Chief Justice Rehnquist died. The Chief Justice died on Sunday. Later that day, he met with Roberts for half an hour, and then early the next morning Bush nominated Roberts to the Supreme Court. How can one reconcile these two very different reactions?
Oh, and if you listen to the discrepancies between what our government is saying and what actually went on. FEMA's director was saying the response to Katrina is the best we've had in the history of the country, when thousands of desperate people were dying for 5 days without food, water, or medical care.
And talk about preventing terrorism... what if it had been a terrorist who had breached the levees? For 4 years we've been told we're safer than ever before, that Homeland Security and such were well-oiled machines that would spring into action as soon as something happens. How can we think progress has been made with such a long time to respond to the disaster?