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September 04, 2005


I believe this: http://kiro.liquidviewer.net/kiro-od/mayornagin.asf

is a link to the interview with New Orleans' mayor, Ray Nagin.

Well said. I'm generally apolitical. I have some liberal leanings, it's true, but I also have some conservative leanings. In general, I'm a moderate. I self-lable as a small-l libertarian.

All this is background so that when I say I loathe George W. Bush, you understand that I don't necessarily loathe all Republicans. This man is a menace, not just to our country, but to the world. His administration has been disastrous, and I can't imagine how anyone can do anything other than point a finger at him, his advisers, and their policies.

I wouldn't have said this a few days ago. I'm saying it now.

Not a big fan of the war in Iraq, I don't care for everything our current president does. But I don't understand the current favorite national passtime of Bush bashing. Seems to me that New Orleans in particular, being in the unique and borderline conditions it finds itself, should have been ever vigilant and well rehearsed for any possible weather threat. The local city authorities being sensitive and knowledgeable should have reated more quickly to their local threat and relied on plans in-place and resources earmarked for such emergencies. If these are inadequate, then the next level kicks in - the state. And, of course, then the national forces get rallied.
This was a natural disaster of incredible proportions. Just last year the nation witnessed four lethal hurricanes in the state of Florida - which is still in the process of recovery. Did those lessons go unheeded by the Gulf coast populace? Are our citizens so dependent on the government that they need to be told - several times - to flee harm's way? What of those who refused to leave - are their current circumstances the fault of the Bush administration?
Bush is not to blame for Katrina nor 9-11 for that matter; give the guy a break - he's got a tough job.
I'm guessing that had Bush early on declared an evacuation, the mayor and governor would have cried that he was overstepping his bounds. And, should he fire all FEMA officials - in the middle of an ongoing rescue and relief effort - would be totally irresponsible. Honestly assess that scenario and it's apparent that would cause more problems than solve. So why make noise about it? Perhaps our pundits and celebrities are too privilged and granted unearned platforms. It's easy to coach from the stands.
I live in Texas and our state has welcomed nearly half the population of New Orleans. I can tell you for a fact that this disaster was no respecter of race, creed or income. Our 'dome, civic centers, schools and churches are filled with all types of evacuees and all are being cared for.
There's always room for improvement and Bush certainly has administrative issues to fix - like all presidents. But these desparate times call for immediate humanitarian responses that meet the basic needs of these displaced people and help them cope and prepare for all the adjustments they are being forced to make. There is a time and place in this great nation of ours - even for outspoken, contrary armchair politicians - but it's not now. When it plays out, we'll see that it is the nation and its good hearted individuals, families, religious organizations and corporate sponsors that will accomplish the rebuilding and relocation.
Why in all this finger pointing are the mayor and governor exempt?

Anonymous Relief Volunteer, no one is exempt from blame concerning the Hurricane Katrina relief fiasco. But the federal government deserves the most blame.

Read this timeline of events.

Then try to tell me that FEMA director Brown and Homeland Security secretary Chertoff shouldn't be fired. Better yet, tell the relatives of the people who died because of the federal incompetence.

The Bush administration fiddled while New Orleans drowned. That's a fact. All the right-wing excuses in the world can't cover up the facts. Dead bodies floating in the water: there's a fact for you.

The fact of dead bodies floating in the water is indeed tragic. What compounds the tragedy is that those people should not have been there and suffered those consequences.

There is a chain of responsibility:
1) Individual or head of the family
2) Local city officials/Mayor
3) Parish president/county commissioner
4) State officials/Governor
6) President

Not exonerating Bush nor excusing any delay in his response, it appears that many levels of responsibility failed before it became his burden. I read the chronology you posted and was shocked by the administration's disregard. But that's only part of the story: http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007219

This also is a chronology of events but a year prior, written by someone who also had to deal with a natural disaster.

If the call goes out for Bush and FEMA to be found accountable and be replaced, the same scrutiny should be applied to the entire chain of responsibility. I think that it should start locally and work upwards.

New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport were not founded by the Bush administration. Bush was not the civil engineer that designed protection for a Category 3 hurricane when it was a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall. These are local problems and the inadequacies were no secret. And these inadequacies existed before Bush became president. He makes for an easy and popular target. He should be held accountable for his (in)actions but the first lines of defense were local - and critical. And they failed. The whole response/relief system is broken and needs overhauling - not just the Bush administration.

The most pressing, primary and immediate need is to help these displaced people and distraught families; provide them with the essentials to live - food, clothing, shelter. Find them temporary employment until they are able to return and rebuild.

Texas and the nation as a whole has done a great job aiding the evacuees. It's a daunting task and it will be a long, arduous process but the evacuees will heal and will return to rebuild. Now's the time to lend a hand to help them.


It seems that the Anonymous Relief Volunteer has some support - from the media!


Just out of curiosity - have you personally made efforts to help these unfortunate people?

Bob, we have--so long as "people" is defined to include animals. My wife is a huge animal lover, as am I (though less passionately). She's contributed to the Humane Society of America efforts to save non-human Hurricane Katrina victims. Often animals are people's best friends, so it doesn't make sense to rescue people and leave their animals behind.

I'll admit to mixed feelings about donating for relief efforts. As the New York Times editorializes today (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/opinion/08thu1.html?hp) the federal govt. wastes countless billions on pork spending, the Iraq war, and such. The American people shouldn't have to pay for relief efforts out their own pocket. That should be the role of government--to care for people who can't care for themselves.

There's plenty of money around to rebuild the Gulf coast and get people back on their feet. But the Bush administration has squandered our previous budget surpluses on tax cuts for the wealthy and sending our $$$ overseas to Iraq where the payoff has been minimal, to say the least.

Lastly, I agree with this analysis:

The debate is over about whether Bush, Chertoff, Brown, et. al. seriously screwed up. It's over. Even (open-minded) conservatives agree. Yes, some people who hold a "Bush can do no wrong" faith-based approach to politics won't open their eyes. But the blind shouldn't be dictating national policy.

A bottom line for me is that Bush had four years after 9/11 to get "homeland security" straight. Obviously he hasn't done that. As many other people have been saying, if the Bush administration can't respond to a hurricane that says "I'm coming to destroy you!" many days in advance, what trust can we put in Homeland Security to protect us against an unannounced terrorist attack. Bush has failed. End of story.

Well, Brian, I don't really consider animals to be people even though I am an animal lover myself.

Have you ever had personal contact with any victims of natural disasters? Or perhaps domestic violence? Anyone who has been affected by circumstances beyond their control? When you personally interact with them, you'll find that all they want is relief or a way out. They don't care who is at fault or who to blame. When you personally care for these victims, I think your heart may change.

Granted, President Bush did not act in a manner that many would applaud. But one man, no matter how much power he may hold, cannot make a difference overnight. But when many indivuals take action, great things happen.

I think if you would personally become involved in any sort of humanitarian effort, your outlook and focus (as well as your heart) would change.

I agree with your points on the chanin of command of responsibility wholeheartedly. But, lets put the blame where it really lies - Gov. Blanco. She has had an axe to grind with Pres. Bush since she took office. Example; the visit to Cuba to sell $15 million of sugar cane. This was a power struggle on her part, the President told her two days in advance that he could prepare for emergency funding and releif, and she refused help. He even asked 24 hours in advance, and she said she had the situation under control.

Lets face it, she is not a leader, and her indecisiveness caused alot of untimely events to fall in place. I do feel the federal government could have reacted without her approval, which came on Wednesday, two days later, since this was a disaster.

She made the matter worse by NOT reacting and NOT showing any leadership qualitites at all. She definitely wont get reelected.

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