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FEMA is not a first responder - Don't be so quick to pillory the federal response in New Orleans
Pittsburgh Post Gazette ^ | Tuesday, September 06, 2005 | Craig Martelle

Posted on 09/06/2005 5:35:09 AM PDT by pittsburgh gop guy

Craig Martelle: FEMA is not a first responder

Don't be so quick to pillory the federal response in New Orleans. Immediate emergency management is primarily a local and state responsibility

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

As one who has received training by FEMA in emergency management and also training by the Department of Defense in consequence management, I believe that the federal response in New Orleans needs clarification.

 
    Craig Martelle, retired as a major in the U.S. Marine Corps, lives in North Huntingdon. He recently launched the Strategic Outlook Institute, a public-policy organization.  
 

The key to emergency management starts at the local level and expands to the state level. Emergency planning generally does not include any federal guarantees, as there can only be limited ones from the federal level for any local plan. FEMA provides free training, education, assistance and respond in case of an emergency, but the local and state officials run their own emergency management program.

Prior development of an emergency plan, addressing all foreseeable contingencies, is the absolute requirement of the local government --and then they share that plan with the state emergency managers to ensure that the state authorities can provide necessary assets not available at the local level. Additionally, good planning will include applicable elements of the federal government (those located in the local area). These processes are well established, but are contingent upon the personal drive of both hired and elected officials at the local level.

I've reviewed the New Orleans emergency management plan. Here is an important section in the first paragraph.

"We coordinate all city departments and allied state and federal agencies which respond to citywide disasters and emergencies through the development and constant updating of an integrated multi-hazard plan. All requests for federal disaster assistance and federal funding subsequent to disaster declarations are also made through this office. Our authority is defined by the Louisiana Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act of 1993, Chapter 6 Section 709, Paragraph B, 'Each parish shall maintain a Disaster Agency which, except as otherwise provided under this act, has jurisdiction over and serves the entire parish.' "

Phil Coale, Associated Press
Flooded school buses in a lot, New Orleans, Sept. 1.
Click photo for larger image.

Check the plan -- the "we" in this case is the office of the mayor, Ray Nagin who was very quick and vocal about blaming everyone but his own office. A telling picture, at left, taken by The Associated Press on Sept. 1 and widely circulated on the Internet shows a school bus park, apparently filled to capacity with buses, under about four feet of water. If a mandatory evacuation was ordered, why weren't all the taxpayer-purchased buses used in the effort?

Who could have predicted the anarchy resulting as a consequence? The individuals who devolved into lawless animals embarrass the entirety of America. (I worked in a U.S. Embassy overseas for a couple years and I can imagine what foreign diplomats are thinking.) What societal factors would ever lead people to believe that this behavior was even remotely acceptable?

The folks in New Orleans who are perpetrating the violence and lawlessness are not that way because of low income or of race, but because they personally do not have any honor or commitment to higher ideals. The civil-rights leaders should be ashamed at playing the blame game.

The blame is on the individuals. The blame is on the society that allowed these individuals to develop the ideal that the individual is greater than the national pride he is destroying. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was very clear in her comments that she was offended at those who suggested the suffering in New Orleans was prolonged because of race.

As a retired Marine, I hang my head in shame to see my fellow Americans degenerate so far. I spent so many years in the Corps helping the citizens of other countries rise to a higher level of personal responsibility to ensure that in case of emergency, anarchy did not necessarily follow. When people are held to a higher standard of personal responsibility and they accept that, then they will do the right thing when the time comes.

It seems that the mayor of New Orleans is leading the effort in not taking responsibility for his actions. The emergency managers for the state of Louisiana do not have much to say either. The failure in the first 48 hours to provide direction for survivors is theirs to live with. When FEMA was able to take over, it started out behind and had to develop its plan on the fly. Now the federal government has established priorities -- rescue the stranded, evacuate the city, flow in resources and fix the levee. It appears that now there is a plan and it is being systematically executed.

Hurricane Katrina was a national tragedy -- not just in the number of lives lost or the amount of physical damage, but also in the failure of people to do what is right when no one is looking.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: cary; fema; firstresponders; hurricane; katrina; katrinafailures; neworleans; relief
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To: pittsburgh gop guy
Exactly. When it came to character, local and state authorities in LA fell short of what was needed. It was their responsibility to rescue, feed and shelter their citizens. The federal government is a responder of last resort. If the locals had done their job, the loss of lives would been held to a minimum and there would have been far less chaos and property destruction. Is it all President Bush's fault? A moment's reflection would establish that the feds did what they could and the reason it wasn't as effective as it could have been isn't due to the lack of a federal response but simply because local and state authorities couldn't be relied upon to do the things they ought to have done in the first place. That is why the relief effort got off to a slow start.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
151 posted on 09/06/2005 9:01:51 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: armymarinemom; kabar
"I think one of the fallouts of this tragedy is that States may loose some rights"

That's guaranteed if people don't start thinking. The Articles of our Constitution were set up as they were in such a way that the previously independent territories signing on retained a measure of that independence in the event of a dictatorship. Thus any state or commonwealth which secedes from the union, or in the event of catastrophic invasion resulting in the break up of the union, is already set up to act as an independent country. It's a brilliant and beautiful system. It's our country's major strength. Under this system, at least SOME of the federal republic will survive.

If states give up this independence because some people are worried about future flooding, we've lost our greatest weapon against conquer by a foreign invader or dictator.

152 posted on 09/06/2005 9:03:26 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: HateBill
The airport was under water. The one road in was filled with debris. How would you have gotten the massive federal presence needed to insure the security of the responders on site on Tuesday or Wednesday? (They did start arriving in large numbers on Thursday.)

I would have sent troops via chopper into the area near the Superdome and Convention Center to restore order. We have that capability. Friday morning is when the big 8 mile convoy went into the city. The MSM were in the city reporting on what was going on before and after Katrina hit. The televised pictures undermined the tremendous efforts that were being undertaken by feds.

153 posted on 09/06/2005 9:04:21 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

And when I decide that I know what is best for YOUR life, you would be ok with me making decisions on YOUR behalf, and contrary to your will? If so, you may have a point. But I don't think you mean that.


154 posted on 09/06/2005 9:08:03 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: SandyInSeattle; kabar
Dangerous train of thought, my friend. To hell with the rules? I don't think so.

Simply put, accurate, and to the point, SandyInSeattle. I've been reading kabar's posts and the posts of those who have responded. You bet it's a "dangerous train of thought". Thank God most people aren't going to ride that train.

155 posted on 09/06/2005 9:09:29 AM PDT by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything)
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To: najida
"I posted this on another thread, but did you hear her today on Fox insisting that buses WERE used in the evac? "

Buses are being used NOW, but they weren't before the storm hit. What're they smoking over at FOX?

156 posted on 09/06/2005 9:09:44 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: pittsburgh gop guy
The headline sez it all.

This is what Bush and WH spokespeople should be answering instead of the wishy-washy - "now is not the time to point fingers, cast blame" etc.

"FEMA IS NOT A FIRST RESPONDER"

157 posted on 09/06/2005 9:09:53 AM PDT by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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To: NCLaw441

Unfortunately, big government is with us and it makes plenty of decisions for us. We are becoming more dependent upon government and the bureaucracy, not less.


158 posted on 09/06/2005 9:10:57 AM PDT by kabar
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To: dfwgator

Don't bet on it. The press and libs don't care how many suffer as long as they can attack the President.


159 posted on 09/06/2005 9:11:48 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: Chena

The bureaucracy runs by rules, which become more important than the mission. I'll repeat. When the rules don't make sense and are costing people their lives in a time of crisis, then they should be ignored and commonsense should prevail. Afterwards, we can change the rules. We can't retroactively give people back their lives.


160 posted on 09/06/2005 9:15:27 AM PDT by kabar
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To: SandyInSeattle
The federal government does not have the right to shove to states aside, nor should it.

Well, probably not in this circumstance, but in general, it is possible and desireable to have the Feds assert their superior authority in some cases.

It's happened before, when governors flouted Federal court orders.

I agree that the relationship, red tape and other aspects need to be looked at. I am not hopeful that a review will produce results in the next disaster. Politicians act in self interest, and bureacrats act in self interest - with both holding that principle above the interests of their constituents.

161 posted on 09/06/2005 9:15:31 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: dalebert

The truth is like a flood, it may start coming out as a trickle, but eventually the level rises to where it cannot be ignored. I believe the deluge is imminent.


162 posted on 09/06/2005 9:16:05 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: kabar

In the next election, we should elect a dictator. Then we won't have to be bogged down by an ineffective president who honors state's rights, federal laws, etc. The feds can step in ahead of all hurricanes, and arrest everyone in the predicted landfall area. We'll need permanent posts set up around the country for disasters that come with no warning. Any other suggestions?


163 posted on 09/06/2005 9:16:15 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Impeach Judge Greer - In memory of Terri <strike>Schiavo</strike> Schindler - www.terrisfight.org)
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To: najida; cake_crumb
... did you hear her today on Fox insisting that buses WERE used in the evac?

Yep. She said tha Nagin had the busses roaming neighborhoods and evacuating people. She didn't say to where (destination - ThunderDome).

164 posted on 09/06/2005 9:17:53 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: kabar

You said: To paraphrase LTGEN Honore, "Let's not get stuck on Stupid." You can quote all the legalisms, reuglations, annexes, you want, but that doesn't save lives. Eventually, commonsense has to take over. This is the greatest natural disaster ever to hit this country. The hell with process and the rules. Address the needs of the victims, tend to the paperwork later.

What would you have thought if FEMA didn't act, and Bush didn't give the order, but Honore had simply taken the initiative on his own to go to NOLA and act? That is analogous to what you are saying FEMA should have done. And don't forget, this is something that could and should have been EASILY resolved. Bush asked Blanco for the authority and she declined.


165 posted on 09/06/2005 9:18:12 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: cake_crumb

Not Fox,
The governor was insisting that they used buses to pick people up and help them evacuate.

It was bizarre!


166 posted on 09/06/2005 9:18:35 AM PDT by najida (I run with scissors and I don't play well with others.)
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To: kabar
"Unfortunately, big government is with us and it makes plenty of decisions for us. We are becoming more dependent upon government and the bureaucracy, not less."

So we should continue becoming more and more dependent on the federal government to make all of our decisions for us because the federal government already makes some of our decisions for us?

That sounds like Blanco blaming the federal government for not coming in 24 hours before the 24 hours she demanded to decide whether the federal government should come in.

167 posted on 09/06/2005 9:20:13 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: BykrBayb

Elect a dictator? I guess that gives him legitimacy. What I am talking about is taking executive action (cutting through the red tape) during the greatest natural disaster ever to hit this country. In a crisis of this proportion, you want action not someone spouting states rights and rules, etc. as an excuse for why something is not being done to save people's lives.


168 posted on 09/06/2005 9:21:41 AM PDT by kabar
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To: najida
"The governor was insisting that they used buses to pick people up and help them evacuate."

We've got aerial photos galore of the parked, flooded NO city and school buses. She's completely lost it. Sanity, scruples.....completely gone.

169 posted on 09/06/2005 9:22:30 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: pittsburgh gop guy
That's the most succinct explanation I've seen.

Book marked. Thanks!
170 posted on 09/06/2005 9:24:19 AM PDT by elfman2 (2 tacos short of a combination plate)
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To: kabar
OMG!!!
It is impossible to know what is being done right OR wrong when you're not on the ground!! When the information you are getting is not reliable!! You cannot possible know that until AFTER the fact unfortunately.
FEMA is not a mind reading organization!
Dang!!! Again I ask you WHY the feds were too slow in your opinion???
Notice these problems were not going on in Alabama and Mississippi??
And btw, it was these great liberal minds who insisted on shoving FEMA into Homeland security, creating the bureaucracy in the first place!
171 posted on 09/06/2005 9:24:31 AM PDT by jackv
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To: kabar
"Elect a dictator? I guess that gives him legitimacy."

Saddam did after every referendum. How do you think he would have responded to a major natural catastrophe (that he didn't cause)? Would the trains and buses have run on time?

172 posted on 09/06/2005 9:26:07 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: jackv

Rush is on - making the point you just did - wait for a Hellary solution "MORE BIGGER GOMINT"


173 posted on 09/06/2005 9:26:47 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Newbie, PhD. Tenure allows you to stay put - NOT evict others.)
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To: cake_crumb
So we should continue becoming more and more dependent on the federal government to make all of our decisions for us because the federal government already makes some of our decisions for us?

We are a nation of almost 300 million. When a Katrina strikes or some other natural or man-made disaster of similar magnitude strikes, only the federal government (including the military) has the resources to respond. That is not going to change. Allowing the incompetency of Blanco and Nagin to cost lives in the interest of local automomy is not an acceptable response.

174 posted on 09/06/2005 9:26:56 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Cboldt; najida
"She said tha Nagin had the busses roaming neighborhoods and evacuating people. She didn't say to where (destination - ThunderDome)."

OK, so where are the evacuees who were bussed from the city before the storm hit?

175 posted on 09/06/2005 9:28:24 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: cake_crumb

You don't "elect" a dictator repeatedly. Those aren't real elections unless you want to change the meaning of the word.


176 posted on 09/06/2005 9:28:32 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

only the federal government (including the military) has the resources to respond.
__________________________________________________

I believe you mean "ONLY THE MILITARY" has the resources to respond....

How many trucks, planes and buses does the Department of Transportation have? How many battalions does the Department of the Interior have?


177 posted on 09/06/2005 9:30:10 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Newbie, PhD. Tenure allows you to stay put - NOT evict others.)
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To: kabar

What "something" are you claiming is not being done? A hell of lot is being done, just not by you.


178 posted on 09/06/2005 9:31:42 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Impeach Judge Greer - In memory of Terri <strike>Schiavo</strike> Schindler - www.terrisfight.org)
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To: kabar
Besides, GWB is not running again for election.

Okay, but it would be nice if PRESIDENT BUSH was given the opportunity to finish the term he was duly elected to serve.

As you have already been told, if PRESIDENT BUSH had done as you suggest, there would exist, for the first time, legitimate grounds for impeachment.

If PRESIDENT BUSH sneezes, our "friends" from across the aisle, want to impeach him for spreading germs and endangering millions.

I understand your frustration, however, something you will not hear often, it is ...
NOT PRESIDENT BUSH'S FAULT!!!

179 posted on 09/06/2005 9:32:54 AM PDT by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem !)
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To: NCLaw441

If, if, if. Let's deal with the actual situation. Generally, the federal response has been magnificent. However, they were a day late and a dollar short in their initial response to the conditions in NO. It is something that should not be replicated in the next disaster.


180 posted on 09/06/2005 9:33:16 AM PDT by kabar
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To: najida
Why wasn't the mayor or the governor at the Superdome?

Exactly. That was their responsibility. Food and water and the SuperDome; FEMA clearly tells them don't count on us for 48 hours.

181 posted on 09/06/2005 9:33:45 AM PDT by Howlin (Have you check in on this thread: FYI: Hurricane Katrina Freeper SIGN IN Thread)
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To: kabar

It wasn't the rules that didn't make sense, it was the decisions made by the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans that didn't make sense. You choose to blame the "rules", not the "rulers" (i.e. Gov. of LA and Mayor of NO). I respectfully disagree with you. I would never want to allow the President of the United States to supercede the authority of our states' governments, unless they ask the President to do so.

It's easy to sit back now, after the fact, and say that in this particular situation it would have been better for the citizens of LA and NO if the President had taken the authority away from LA. Yet, how can one completely ignore the fact that once you go down this dangerous path, you are opening Pandora's Box?


182 posted on 09/06/2005 9:36:23 AM PDT by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything)
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To: kabar

DUH!!!

NOW---WHY were they so slow please???????
Again----because of the disastrous communication and performance at the state and local levels!

End of story.


183 posted on 09/06/2005 9:36:32 AM PDT by jackv
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mark for later


184 posted on 09/06/2005 9:36:49 AM PDT by afnamvet
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To: kabar
Let's deal with the actual situation.

Let's do; we have laws and regulations for a reason; because we've done it over and over on the east coast. And the way it's done it works.

You don't see any East coast governors standing around waiting to hear from the White House or FEMA to decide what to do to save their state.

And you sure as hell don't catch East Coast governors not returning the president's phone calls for 24 hours.

If you would give us your phone number, we can call you later in the week and you can be in charge of the next storm that's coming.

I'm sure you'd do a perfect job.

You all need to lighten up.

185 posted on 09/06/2005 9:37:49 AM PDT by Howlin (Have you check in on this thread: FYI: Hurricane Katrina Freeper SIGN IN Thread)
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To: cake_crumb
OK, so where are the evacuees who were bussed from the city before the storm hit?

They weren't. Blanco is lazy and imprecise in her speech. To her, "evacuation" includes evacuating people from their homes and into the SuperDome.

186 posted on 09/06/2005 9:39:00 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: kabar

Might be useful to keep in mind what the head of USNORTSCOM said about US military preparations:

"USNORTHCOM was prepositioned for response to the hurricane, but as per the National Response Plan, we support the lead federal agency in disaster relief — in this case, FEMA. The simple description of the process is the state requests federal assistance from FEMA which in turn may request assistance from the military upon approval by the president or Secretary of Defense. Having worked the hurricanes from last year as well as Dennis this year, we knew that FEMA would make requests of the military — primarily in the areas of transportation, communications, logistics, and medicine. Thus we began staging such assets and waited for the storm to hit.

The biggest hurdles to responding to the storm were the storm itself — couldn't begin really helping until it passed — and damage assessment — figuring out which roads were passable, where communications and power were out, etc. Military helos began damage assessment and SAR on Tuesday. Thus we had permission to operate as soon as it was possible. We even brought in night SAR helos to continue the mission on Tuesday night.

The President and Secretary of Defense did authorize us to act right away and are not to blame on this end. Yes, we have to wait for authorization, but it was given in a timely manner."


187 posted on 09/06/2005 9:40:30 AM PDT by comitatus
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To: kabar
"Allowing the incompetency of Blanco and Nagin to cost lives in the interest of local automomy is not an acceptable response."

Then we'll just agree to disagree. IMO, demanding absolute power by any grifter who manages to buy an election to the Oval Office is unacceptable due to the potential consequences, which can be easily and accurately projected by looking at recent history combined with human nature. I refuse to demand a future Hitler, Castro, Mussolini, Stalin, Mugabe, Saddam or Chaves running this country to save lives which may never be in danger to begin with....unless from that future Hitler, Castro, Mussolini, Stalin, Mugabe, Saddam or Chaves.

I refuse to subject my children and grandchildren to such probable atrocities just because I thought it might save their life because they were too dependent and brain dead to try saving themselves during some possible, POSSIBLE catastrophe.

Anyone who thinks the government can run your life better than you can should emigrate to DPRNK, Cuba, Venezuela or any of a few dozen other countries where the gubmint makes all the decisions for the citizens. We don't need to turn our own country into yet another one.

188 posted on 09/06/2005 9:41:00 AM PDT by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them All and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Bush totally dropped the ball. By the second day he should of ordered the National Guard, Army, FEMA somebody should of been moving!

He funny how only republicans Bush and Hally Barbour (sp)get blamed!
189 posted on 09/06/2005 9:43:24 AM PDT by Dan Walsh
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To: Justanobody

Some Reps would have to join with the Dems to impeach. Not going to happen.


190 posted on 09/06/2005 9:44:05 AM PDT by kabar
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To: jackv
NOW---WHY were they so slow please??????? Again----because of the disastrous communication and performance at the state and local levels! End of story.

The Feds were slow initially because they allowed bureaucratic red tape to hinder the relief effort. The story is far from over.

191 posted on 09/06/2005 9:46:14 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

And round and round we go.


192 posted on 09/06/2005 9:48:27 AM PDT by jackv
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To: kabar

It's easy to sit back and say "Bush should have done more" or "the Feds should have moved faster" after the fact.

However, take a look at what Bush's record over the past five years and tell me that he isn't proactive or motivated to help people in a time of crisis.

Knee-jerk reactions aren't needed here. Take a look at all the factors that caused this and see that NO was a disaster waiting to happen and when the disaster hit, the state and local leaders did nothing to help their citizens. And to take this a step further, it's up to the people of LA and NO to take a little bit of PERSONAL responsibility for their own lives and the lives of their children.

If you live in a city that is built BELOW sea level, and there's a hurricane coming, and you don't have a car, and you can't get a ride out of town, and you can't get to a shelter, and you have half a brain.... go to the store, buy $20 worth of bottled water, some peanut butter, crackers, batteries, and whatever else you may need to make it through a few days without electricity or water.

Damn, I live in PA, at the top of a hill, nowhere near a flood zone but when there's a bad rainstorm or snowstorm coming, I make sure we have enough supplies in the house so that we don't starve if we can't get to the store.

Common-friggin'-sense. If you ignore the threat, you aren't a victim, you're an idiot.


193 posted on 09/06/2005 9:51:09 AM PDT by gruffwolf (Katrina - didn't blow as hard as the liberal left.)
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To: cake_crumb
I refuse to demand a future Hitler, Castro, Mussolini, Stalin, Mugabe, Saddam or Chaves running this country to save lives which may never be in danger to begin with....unless from that future Hitler, Castro, Mussolini, Stalin, Mugabe, Saddam or Chaves.

I refuse to subject my children and grandchildren to such probable atrocities just because I thought it might save their life because they were too dependent and brain dead to try saving themselves during some possible, POSSIBLE catastrophe.

Get off your moral high horse. I don't want any of things either nor do they logically follow from what I said. I believe the federal government must act to save the lives of American citizens during a major crisis like Katrina. Bureaucratic fault finding doesn't save lives and is not an acceptable explanation.

194 posted on 09/06/2005 9:51:46 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Howlin

Howlin, don't you know we're all wrong? It's Bush's fault because unlike Castro who stood on his little island empire, Bush did not yell at the hurricane to go somewhere else!


195 posted on 09/06/2005 9:52:49 AM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: kabar

I am not prepared to concede, at this early point in the assessment of the local/state/federal response, that the feds were late or short at all. They may have been, and they may not have been. Most in this forum would prefer that no blame be ascribed to anyone at this stage, but that compassion and action go forward to bring as much relief as possible in this situation. It was not the right that started this blame scenario, but it having begun, we cannot retreat from it. I think there are enough unknowns for everyone to hold fire at this point.


196 posted on 09/06/2005 9:54:36 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: gruffwolf
It's easy to sit back and say "Bush should have done more" or "the Feds should have moved faster" after the fact.

It is more difficult to make those comments before the event happened. I did say the Sunday morning that Nagin declared a mandatory evacutation, that we should have sent in military aircraft to evacuate people.

However, take a look at what Bush's record over the past five years and tell me that he isn't proactive or motivated to help people in a time of crisis.

Never said that. We are talking about this crisis. I don't doubt his motivation to help people. He understood the nature of the threat by declaring the whole Gulf Coast a disaster area before the storm hit to facilitate assistance.

If you live in a city that is built BELOW sea level, and there's a hurricane coming, and you don't have a car, and you can't get a ride out of town, and you can't get to a shelter, and you have half a brain.... go to the store, buy $20 worth of bottled water, some peanut butter, crackers, batteries, and whatever else you may need to make it through a few days without electricity or water.

Sure people should be personally responsible. Kids, the infirm, aged, and sick should not be held to that standard. There was also a mindset that this was just another example of the government crying wolf. The last time NO had been hit by a major hurricane was 1969 with Camille. Whatever they did or did not do, they deserve assistance.

Damn, I live in PA, at the top of a hill, nowhere near a flood zone but when there's a bad rainstorm or snowstorm coming, I make sure we have enough supplies in the house so that we don't starve if we can't get to the store. Common-friggin'-sense. If you ignore the threat, you aren't a victim, you're an idiot.

Does that same rationale apply to folks who build there homes on fault lines, e.g., San Andrreas fault?

197 posted on 09/06/2005 10:02:31 AM PDT by kabar
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To: NCLaw441

Agreed, but I do know that the Feds could have alleviated the situations at the Convention Center and the Superdome sooner. They could have also cracked down on the looters and armed thugs who were hampering relief efforts.


198 posted on 09/06/2005 10:05:20 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
Chertoff and Brown are lawyers with little real executive experience directing large organizations. They were busy drafting up documents so that Bush could negotiate with Blanco. This is a lawyers' response not a leaders' reaction to a crisis.

This was to be expected. It is unfortunate, but it is an egotistical proclivity of those who have passed the bar to believe that they are competent at all other things. Recent history suggests strongly that the general intelligence of the legal "community"(?) has passed its apogee and is proceeding down the right side of the Bell Curve.

Being aware that the Earl of Chesterfield advised his son to never malign an entire group of of people, lest one make the entire group their enemy, nevertheless lawyers have become so ubiquitous in US society that it is ludicrous to any longer consider them as respected professionals, but as pests. Any lay person would be well served to maintain a healthy mistrust of any lawyer beneath a feigned vernier of respect.

199 posted on 09/06/2005 10:06:23 AM PDT by elbucko
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To: kabar

You said: Agreed, but I do know that the Feds could have alleviated the situations at the Convention Center and the Superdome sooner. They could have also cracked down on the looters and armed thugs who were hampering relief efforts.

***
Yes, they could have, just not legally. Once the threshold of requiring the law to be upheld is crossed, all bets are off. When a federal agency can override those in lawful control, the risks are more enormous than a CAT 5 hurricane ever could be.


200 posted on 09/06/2005 10:08:50 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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