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Author Topic: Katrina: Left! Left! Left, left, left!
Sterling
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Why is it that Card is continuously willing to ascribe the most negative interpretations and statements to the greater American left-wing (and that prized conservative chestnut, the Liberal Media) but on the statements of "Why didn't the poor evacuate"- which came pretty much exclusively from the RIGHT-wing- the sources of those statements get a pass?! Do, in fact, get vaguely lumped in with the left-wing "jackals" of the earlier paragraphs?

No one I've heard is suggesting that Bush somehow could have stopped Katrina from occuring. But the agencies responsible for emergancy management could have had _some_ sort of evacuation and relocation plan ready and on the ground, and they didn't! To this day, the official federal response continues to waffle and hedge on even basic ideas like the cockamamie debit card scheme. Meanwhile, far too much of the real work has to be done by private individuals and groups like the Red Cross- but I guess that's the glory of privatization and deregulation in action, isn't it?!

Try starting from the beginning and working towards the end occasionally, Card, instead of starting from "How can we blame the left for this one" and working backward. It's getting old.

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Blackthorne
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You're an angry one, aren't you.

I don't really think that anyone is to blame for what happened in New Orleans, considering how it was a "Natural Disaster". You could try blaming God, but I doubt you'll get many friends that way.

There probably could have been better preparation, the levies could have been better secured, but honestly, only a handful of people even imagined it becoming such a large scale disaster. As for an evacuation, my personal opinion is that there would have been too much resistance for it to have had much success.

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Mark
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I did a google search on the words, "why didn't the poor evacuate New Orleans". The first site that came up was this one: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/01/katrina.fema.brown/ Are you sure this isn't what OSC was refering to? Can you provide me with some right wing people saying the same thing?

quote:
No one I've heard is suggesting that Bush somehow could have stopped Katrina from occuring.
quote:
Let's see ... what was it he was supposed to have done?

Stopped the hurricane? Slackened it? Kept the rain from falling?

No, no, of course not, the jackals reply. He should have been better prepared to deal with it, that's all.


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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark:
[QB] I did a google search on the words, "why didn't the poor evacuate New Orleans". The first site that came up was this one: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/01/katrina.fema.brown/ Are you sure this isn't what OSC was refering to? Can you provide me with some right wing people saying the same thing?

Well, we could start with Brown, who is a Bush appointee. Or I suppose we could say 'was', since he just resigned.

Then there's Rick Santorum:
"I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving.” –Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Of course he backpedalled furiously- after he realized he might take some heat for such comments.

And both the "Bush should have stopped the weather" and "pork to line the levee" arguments are utter and complete Straw Men, since as far as I can tell, NO ONE is making those arguments except for Card's imaginary jackals. You didn't need to pour money into the levee to have emergency response available to get people _out_ of New Orleans when all reports indicated that A) A class five hurricane was headed that way, B) It had been long established that even if the levies DID hold, the same levies that were meant to keep normal high waters out would also disasterously keep the waters IN in the event of such a hurricane, and C)Previous attempts to evacuate New Orleans in the event of an emergency strongly indicated that the current, localized plans for such an evacuation would meet with failure. I had heard B and C on NPR more than a year ago. But I suppose no one in government listens to NPR. Apparently Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff doesn't anyway. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.chertoff/)

"As far back as Friday, August 26, the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm could be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, with New Orleans directly in its path. Still, storms do change paths, so the possibility existed that it might not hit the city.

But the National Weather Service prediction proved almost perfect.

Katrina made landfall on Monday, August 29."

New Orleans is under sea level, and the result was predictable. Yes. Bush doesn't control the weather? No one is arguing that he does! Does that change the fact that just as in the occupation of Iraq, there was no plan in place, no resources were in place to deal with a predictable disaster? That there wasn't even enough of a plan in place to deploy the resources that were available without them getting swallowed in bureaucratic process? Does it change the fact that we're being asked to treat Bush coming off of vacation two days early as some sort of grand, magnanimous gesture?

Meanwhile, there's a strong suggestion that as usual, while Bush mouths platitudes about it not being time to lay blame, the hatchetmen beneath him are working at doing just that- anywhere but at the federal level.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/03/AR2005090301680.html

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/11/katrina.washington.ap/index.html

quote:
You're an angry one, aren't you.

I don't really think that anyone is to blame for what happened in New Orleans, considering how it was a "Natural Disaster". You could try blaming God, but I doubt you'll get many friends that way.

Yes, oh patronizing one, I'm angry. Private citizens have airlifted people out of New Orleans because the government failed to. Promises made by elected officials have been broken. People died who didn't need to. Invalids died in hospitals and nursing homes waiting for promised help that never came. I have every right to be angry. Why aren't you? I don't blame God for the existence of gravity if my house falls down around me, but I certainly do blame the architect for the failure of his planning.
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Shawshank
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Who would that be- the French for putting the city there in the first place?
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Will B
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You keep saying that there was no plan in place. There was. I posted it on another thread for this; it's the New Orleans evacuation plan, at the City of New Orleans site. It does cover evacuation of the entire city. It calls for using those buses that stayed in a flooded lot 1.2 miles from the Super Dome.

The mayor chose not to put the plan into action. He has been asked why in an interview. His reponse was, "I am the wrong person to ask."

No resources in place: well, there were. FEMA started collecting them 2 days before the disaster. The state forbade them to bring these to the city. The Red Cross tried to bring them to the Super Dome; the city forbade it.

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0range7Penguin
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OSC has his views and you have yours. To disagree and post your disagreements makes sence but telling OSC to change his opinions will probably not accomplish anything.
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tern
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I know I get tired of all of the "blame Katrina and everything related on Bush". Sure, he could have done some things better, but that's true of everyone involved - nobody was perfect - and some were far more culpable than Bush. The mayor and the school bus photo comes to mind. Yay for Tim Russert! So when the message from the MSM is pointing the finger almost solely at Bush, it is condescending, it is arrogant, and it assumes that most people are stupid enough to believe it. I get my news from CNN and Yahoo, and it's all pointing the finger at Bush. It does seem like it is for partisan political advantage, and that's contemptible.

So people made mistakes, including Bush. Fine, then, when the smoke clears, then investigate, determine who (from every political party) was at fault, figure out what to do to fix it, and then make a plan and require people to follow it. (I'm not going to say anything about the existing plan which wasn't followed) Treat it as a learning opportunity. Make lemons into lemonade.

But the Left, and it is the Left, pointing their fingers at Bush for everything possible during this disaster smacks of despicable political gamemanship.

As far as the Right Wing media - such as there is - there's been a little bit of blame everybody, including Bush. It's tame, however, compared to the frothing hatred coming from the Caring Classes.

Me personally, I really really wish he would have just parachuted Giuliani and then stood back and let him square things away. [Smile]

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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Will B:
You keep saying that there was no plan in place. There was. I posted it on another thread for this; it's the New Orleans evacuation plan, at the City of New Orleans site. It does cover evacuation of the entire city. It calls for using those buses that stayed in a flooded lot 1.2 miles from the Super Dome.

The mayor chose not to put the plan into action. He has been asked why in an interview. His reponse was, "I am the wrong person to ask."

No resources in place: well, there were. FEMA started collecting them 2 days before the disaster. The state forbade them to bring these to the city. The Red Cross tried to bring them to the Super Dome; the city forbade it.

Funny; the news on the ground generally hasn't been about the state government forbidding the allocation and distribution of resources; it's been about FEMA doing so. It's possible that there's confusion on the ground, but that's not what I'm seeing reported.

http://www.infowars.com/video/clips/news/broussard_meet_press.htm

http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2678976

And from the open-mouthed incredulity that this could be happening we're seeing from Brown and Chertoff (FEMA and Homeland Security), you'll pardon me if I find it hard to believe the existence of a workable plan at a federal level.

As far as Nagin's response to the storm, the "Lion Kuntz" reply at this link pretty much sums it up:

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/northamerica/article_1046859.php/Report_New_Orleans_strayed_from_plan

Perhaps it was a mistake not to round as many people up as possible in the time available. Or perhaps we would have seen buses without qualified drivers trying to get passengers out in eighty mile-per-hour winds, to uncertain "safe" locations. Yeah, there's blame to go round. Whatever his flaws, Nagin was on the ground dealing with it rather than on vacation.

The mainstream media hasn't been "out to get Bush"; they've just finally gotten a spine about holding accountable an administration that is designed largely to deflect and redirect blame from the top down. Some time, the buck actually has to stop with the leader of the country, right? Not the leaked CIA agent's identity, not the Downing Street Memo, not the absence of WMDs in Iraq, not the various snafus related to energy deregulation, but SOME TIME, right?

Yes, there's blame to go round. But some of it goes to the president and the federal government, and there are people of both sides of the political spectrum who recognize that.

quote:
So when the message from the MSM is pointing the finger almost solely at Bush, it is condescending, it is arrogant, and it assumes that most people are stupid enough to believe it.
From the polls I've read, yeah, a lot of people are "stupid" enough to believe that the president has some responsibility when an incompetent is appointed to FEMA, the budget is allocated away from natural disasters and focused on the hot-button topic of terrorism, and it takes nearly a week to get a federal response on the ground. Damn that democratic process.

If Card tries writing a few essays on political topics without parroting the right cliches about the Remarkably United in Their Contemptible Wrongheadedness American Left and their scheming cronies in the Media, I'll have a lot more respect for him and find it a lot easier to believe there's a cogent thinking process behind these rants. There _are_ conservative commentators I respect. But they have to show more than using the usual predetermined biases (the media, the academics, the intellectuals, those allegedly compassionate but actually arrogant Liberals) as stepping stones before their writings become worthwhile. Card isn't there, and it's a shame, because he's a damn good writer. If he could see the fallacy in assuming those whose beliefs he opposes have shallower motives and reasonings than he endorses in his writing books for throw-away fictional characters, it would be a huge step.

Right now, his descriptions of the "arrogance" of his essay's villains rings hollow. And no, I don't expect Mr. Card to change his opinions based on my disagreement, because first I would have to believe he was ready to listen with an open mind to someone with my point of view, rather than dismissing me as an Intellectual Academic Liberal.

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Synesthesia
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Here's the thing-Bush is a poser and a posturing. Constantly he comes out with grand gestures and dramatic pauses designed to show what a strong leader he is and he says that things are getting better, when they are clearly not.
He's like a doctor saying you're getting better as soon as you cough up a gallon of blood.
That is why I dislike Bush. Even now he is making too many mistakes which to me seem more like negligence and an inablility to look at the larger and finer details.
This cannot continue. Trying to silence this with cries of the liberal media are out to get him just covers up how incompent he really is and what a danger that is to the people....

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Will B
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quote:
Funny; the news on the ground generally hasn't been about the state government forbidding the allocation and distribution of resources...
Given who writes that news, I completely believe you. Of course, there's also news (which I just cited) that conclusively shows the state and city blocking federal efforts, but I see that doesn't interest you, so I won't go any further. Your mind isn't open, so there's no point throwing evidence at it.
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TomDavidson
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Whereas your mind is open, Will? [Smile] Or are both your minds pretty closed?
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Irregardless
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quote:
Funny; the news on the ground generally hasn't been about the state government forbidding the allocation and distribution of resources; it's been about FEMA doing so.
Then it would seem that you are misinformed. There are "news" organizations reporting such, but they are wrong. Here is one article that blames FEMA:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm

Here is a more accurate news article:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/08/katrina.redcross/index.html

... which is consistent with the ARC's own statements:

http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html

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0range7Penguin
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I actually liked Bush right up untill this Katrina debacle. I haven't agreed with everything he's done but I voted for him in the last election but I really think Katrina could have been handled more efficiently.
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rjzeller
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This is amazing. We have people who are blasting Card and others for their support of Bush, who insist Bush is entirely at fault (or mostly at fault), who want to denigrate every effort he makes, and yet they give a pass to the governor and the mayor. Apparently they believe that the leaders CLOSEST TO THE PROBLEM bear no responsibility here.

Let's send Bush into EVERY hurricane situation and demand he have a full plan developed for them.

Card's point was perfectly valid -- it is always easy to second guess someone after the fact. But if Bush had shown up in New Orleans that Sunday before katrina hit, what would you have had him do?

Everyone seems to forget that we are NOT an oligarchy, we are NOT a dictatorship, and we are NOT a monarchy. The president does not have all power to do as he feels necessary. There are very firm and significant legal divisions of power here. The president of the US has limited authority in certain matters.

He has no authority to take action in New Orleans without the consent of the mayor and governor. I applaud Geraldo's balling on the camera, quite a bit of dramatic journalism, that. But I would like to know exactly what steps you expected the President of the US to take to prepare for a big whammy of a storm? Should he take the same steps for the current storm off the coast of Carolina? How about future storms over the midwest that threaten tornados and heavy rain. Maybe he should run to every potential disaster site in the country.

We had a situation where everybody knew a hurricane was coming, but nobody thought it would be this bad.

Oh, I know...someone will quip, "I thought it would be that bad!" But they'd be lying.

The Louisiana National Guard, under the control of the Governer of Louisiana, as well as many other organizations, were limited by local authority. All the parts were in place, it is up to the mayor and governor to decide how best to use those pieces. Not only was this not the president's fault, nor his responsibility, he had no legal right to intiate action. He can only do what he did -- call the governor and beg them to evacuate New Orleans before Katrina hit, and put the pieces in place to be available if they're called upon.

And let's not forget that right as Katrina was moving away from NO, EVERYONE was proclaiming how the city had dodged a bullet and missed the worst of the hurricane. EVERY SINGLE PERSON following the story gave a collective sigh of relief and felt it was behind them. Not until the levies broke did the real disaster spring upon them.

You can say that people could have been more prepared, you can say that better choices could have been made about whom to hire and how much funding to provide. It is nothing more than bias and contempt in the most ignorant form that allows people to lay blame at the foot of one person only -- especiall when that one person has the least jurisdiction over said affairs.

People really are that stupid -- I heard it from people every where. "Bush really messed this up" or other similarly trite remonstrations against the president. Many have no idea what the details are, they just know that Bush 'misshandled' this.

Then you have idiots like Kanye West using this as some form of twisted 'proof' that Bush hates black people.

The liberals are going to blame Bush, the conservatives are going to blame the mayor. But the simple truth is NOBODY in leadership saw this coming (oh sure, they all knew it COULD happen, but none really believed it WOULD), and everyone did as well as they could given the mixed information and terrible situation.

You can't say the president failed to respond correctly without asking why the mayor did not move the poor and dissabled out according to the city plans; why the governor did not utilize the national guard quicker or allow red cross units into the city before the levies broke; why funding (by BOTH parties in congress) was continually limited; and why, despite not getting as much as they wanted, those in charge of ensuring NO's safety did not take advantage of the nevertheless increased funding they did recieve.

The blame game is a spinning wheel and trying to stop it in one spot will only leave people dizzy.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
We have people who are blasting Card and others for their support of Bush, who insist Bush is entirely at fault (or mostly at fault), who want to denigrate every effort he makes, and yet they give a pass to the governor and the mayor.
Where are they, actually? On this site?
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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Will B:
quote:
Funny; the news on the ground generally hasn't been about the state government forbidding the allocation and distribution of resources...
Given who writes that news, I completely believe you. Of course, there's also news (which I just cited) that conclusively shows the state and city blocking federal efforts, but I see that doesn't interest you, so I won't go any further. Your mind isn't open, so there's no point throwing evidence at it.
If you're going to quote that much, I'll thank you kindly to present the paragraph in it's entirely before using it as sanction to blast my closed mind:

quote:
Funny; the news on the ground generally hasn't been about the state government forbidding the allocation and distribution of resources; it's been about FEMA doing so. It's possible that there's confusion on the ground, but that's not what I'm seeing reported.
If you thought I didn't like Bush, well, you'd be right. It's not an unreasoning feeling, though. It's a feeling that comes of watching him glide past any personal consequences of the wrongdoings of arrogance, hotheadedness and incompetence over and over again. It comes from watching him treat his history of drunk driving as youthful indiscretion that it was a dirty trick to bring up, and thinking of my twenty-year-old friend who was killed by some other idiot's "youthful indiscretion". It comes from seeing people I care about put in harm's way for his vindictive impatience, and then being told those who criticize his actions are somehow only trying to score political points.

So, no, I'm not in a state of mind to grant the man a lot of slack.

The reporters on the ground are seeing horrors like many have never seen before in their lives. Whether you think they're right or wrong, their response to that is a result of what they're seeing and reporting, not some massively scripted liberal attempt to smear Mr. Bush, and only someone who was predisposed to see that would think such a thing.

I've heard suggestions of what could have been done, from politicians and armchair generals alike: the availability of mobile housing, the standing readiness of the remaining Louisiana National Guard, preparations for clearance for aircraft to ferry people out of danger zones. It wouldn't have taken a dictator to bring about these things. Yes, hindsight is twenty-twenty, but even if the federal response had been been perfect, which it was far from, it was still terribly delayed. The aftermath of Katrina didn't have to be as bad as it was.

Now Bush says he takes responsibility for the failures of the federal effort. I'd like to believe he means it, not for his sake, but for the sake of the people who will be in the midst of the next disaster. Time will tell. His actions will tell. How the promised investigation is handled will tell. I hope, but I've seen gestures turn hollow when the public's attention wanders. This administration hasn't given me a lot of reason to hope. That's their fault, not mine.

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RunningBear
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I read most of this thread and skipped over the last few entries but the new orleans govt didnt use an evacuation plan????? what idiots. and I think in regards to Bush he doesnt control everything, in fact he has advisors which pretty much tell him what to do in certain situations. So dont blame him for FEMA until you know all the facts. I dont know the facts so I cant say he is free of blame either.
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