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August 29, 2005

Hurricane blog

Stephen Baker

Good analysis of the hurricane on Weather

Underground. A note of very relative optimism: "The New Orleans levees are likely to be breached - but NOT of Catastrophic proportions." (from Earl Mardle)

08:41 AM

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Hurricane Relief: Too Little Too Late

Our government at work after 4 years of Homeland Security preparedness http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9162009/site/newsweek/

Its time for our National Leadership to speak out regarding the lack of timely response on behalf of our Federal Govt in the South. Many thousands of American lives will be lost in the next few days alone if the situation in the south is not brought under control immediately. On Tuesday, our President was in California shaking hands, joking it up, and PLAYING GUITAR with country music musicians on a Navy Ship, rather than taking command of the situation in the Southern States, a situation, which by all predictions on Sunday and Monday, could easily end up with the loss of tens of thousands of lives. Our President did not put National guard troops into action or mobilize Navy relief efforts until Wednesday (by all accounts five days late), by the time those shamefully modest resources get into place, fully one week will have passed, any many people will be dead.

Our Nation has had four years to prepare for such an event as Hurricane Katrina,with billions spent on FEMA, the Homeland Security Dept. and NorthCom, and yet the response to the situation is woefully tardy, and woefully indequate. I call on all Americans to speak with one voice and demand the Federal Government TRIPLE the troops (30,000 to cover and area the size of England is nowhere near enough) and resources sent to the area immediately. Minuites are precious, and our American brothers and sisters are dying needlessly of starvation and dehydration. It takes a human being three or four days to die of dehydration, and there are over 100,000 people in New Orleans alone, not counting other ares, who have not had food or water for at least that long. For the first time in modern history, Americans may witness tens of thousands of people die from starvation in the next two or three days. Food and water should be being airdropped into unreachable areas, as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they're not. Hundreds of Military Helicopters should be being used to tranport the thousnds of people caught on rooftops, but as of Thursday, only FOUR helicopters were being used in search and rescue in the whole city of New Orleans, and those were being shot at. Civilian helicopter operators should be being recruited, commandeered if necesary, to help with airlifts, but they are not. Thousands of Coast Guard Reserves Nationwide should be being called up, but so far only five hundred have. Marine Amphibious assault vehicles should be being used to get to the neighborhoods tht have not been reached yet, but they are not. The FEMA holding camps that are set up at military bases around the US, and that are capable of holding up to three million people collectively, should be being readied to hold refugees, but they are not. The USS Comfort, the Navy's floating hospital ship, will not be deployed until Sunday of this week...one must wonder why it was not standing at the ready ten days ago, in position to arrive as soon as the storm winds died down on Tuesday. American Babies are dying in their mother's arms while our government lumbers into action like a herd of bedraggled, apathetic snails.

“This is a national disgrace,” said Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans’ emergency operations. “FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control,” Ebbert said. “We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims but we can’t bail out the city of New Orleans."advertisement. "We have got a mayor who has been pushing and asking but we’re not getting supplies.”

He said the evacuation was almost entirely a Louisiana operation. “This is not a FEMA operation. I haven’t seen a single FEMA guy.”

News reports showed a crowd of refugees, including children, stranded without adequate food, water or medical attention at New Orleans' downtown convention center, even though it had been designated a shelter after the Superdome filled up. Seven bodies were strewn outside. When was asked on National Public Radio why no help had been sent, Homeland Security Secretary Miachel Chertoff said he was unaware of the problem (!). One must truly marvel at the incopetency of a man who must be the ONLY person in America who was unaware of the situation at the Convention Center.

“This is a desperate SOS,” New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said in a statement made available to CNN. “Right now we are out of resources at the convention center and don’t anticipate enough buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people”. “They don't have a clue what's going on down there,” the Mayor told WWL-AM Thursday night." Mayor Nagin warned that thousands of residents could die if remaining water supplies are cut off or contaminated. Some 50,000 residents are still on rooftops awaiting rescue, he said. Many if not most have past the "Golden 72 hours" without food or water that Emergency Experts know are crucial to survival.

As of Friday, a chemical explosion is spreading noxious fumes around the already destroyed city of New Orleans, threatening thousands. Not since the Civil War have we seen such destruction, such suffereing on US soil. 911 pales in comparison. This is truly a National Disgrace of tragic porportions, and the situation needs to be adressed NOW, before thousands more, perhaps tens of thousnads die needlessly of starvation and third world diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

The American people need to call Senators, Representatives, Governors, the White House, the Media, Celebrities, Clergy etc. and demand that someone speak out, and take action. We have spent billions in Homeland Security preparedness, have tremendous resources, and yet are government is dispersing aid like molasses from an eye dropper, while people die. Many thousands more will die in the next few days if action is not taken.

Time to speak up America. Time to wake up Mr. President.

Posted by: gg at September 2, 2005 03:16 PM

I'm appalled at both the leadership and citizen’s actions in the wake of the hurricane's destruction. First the leadership should not be looking at a way to evacuate the citizens after the incident, but should have been looking at ways of sustaining the citizens for a process of cleaning and rebuilding their neighborhoods. This should also have been the message put out to the citizens by leaders at all levels. The evacuation should have taken place before the hurricane and an effort made to bring citizens back immediately after to start cleanup and rebuilding efforts. As far as the citizen’s actions, they should not be asking for handouts and asking where the help is, because they should see themselves as the help, it’s their homeland. Every able body man and women should not be seeking for a way to leave their homes after the fact. The leadership and government’s response in simple terms should be asking the majority of the people who can help, to stay. They should be setting up construction camps in the areas, and bringing in the supplies to help the people help themselves. If this were my home, I would be returning to start rebuilding, not evacuating after the storm and expecting someone else to do it for me. Quit blaming the President, quit blaming the governor, quit blaming someone else! Yes mistakes are being made. How can anyone be prepared for something on such a large scale as this. It's a disaster and disasters happen all the time. Citizen, ask how you can help, don't ask for a handout but ask for a shovel or a broom. Leaders, provide the citizens with a means of immediate sustainment. Provide the shelters ie tents, bring in the trucks and the shovels. Quit complaining and get to work.

Posted by: PAC at September 3, 2005 10:18 AM

PAC, until New Orleans can be drained, it makes little sense to bring back citizens for rebuilding. It would be a public health disaster.

Posted by: steve baker at September 3, 2005 10:44 AM

this admin.,both republican and democrat have almost taken our country to the ground.in less than six years they have treasonesly invaded a country which did not have any thing to do with 911,took our rights away from us,depleted all our resourses,lied to us,took away our civel rights, which took the citizens years to wrangle away from the powers that be. they say they were misinformed as to the war and now hurricane katrina, what this administration has done should be considered grossly stupid,uncaring,and criminal.The administration will now appoint a comission to investigate who was responsible for the five day delay in getting water to new orleons, remember the warren comission,the 911 comission, now the katrina comission?? how much will this cost and who will be fired or prosecuted.I would think that now they will find ben lauden,so they can use his hiding place!!!

Posted by: raven at September 5, 2005 01:38 PM

It's a terrible shame that with all the politics, all the race cards, I am finding it so hard to immediately feel the compassion I should for all the people who were affected by this Natural Disaster. Our elected leaders, and all of the unelected Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's of our country should try to restrain their rhetoric and politics, long enough to help the people who need help and let the rest of us feel the empathy we should be feeling, instead of the anger I find myself feeling when I hear the unimportant opinions of some, the media hype slanted towards their politics and the Hillary Clinton's trying to get in a few early campaign points. When we do have this situation under control, the first question should be where was the planning by the local government, Mayor? Governor? Forgive me if I think its wrong to start at the top of our leadership, I'm from Chicago, where Mayor Michael Bilandic lost his job because he didnt have the foresite to know we would have a terrible snowstorm that year, and he didn't have enough salt and trucks! Funny how things change from day to day and issue to issue. Most days these same politicians and their lobbyists are looking for the state to have control of their cities for things like gay marriage, but I guess if it affects all of their citizens and it takes some planning and reacting by the locals, it must be fair game for them to play the blame game. I pray for all of the people affected by the hurricane, and I pray for our country to get back to the days of common sense and human compassion. These things seem to get lost in the ridiculous and tiresome politics we have endure.

Posted by: Ginny at September 7, 2005 05:25 PM

The current Hurricane Katrina excuses given by Bush and others in the Federal Government ring hollow. The idea that they had no responsibility at the start of this disaster is totally ficticious. Yes, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi had a duty to help and protect their citizens, but the Federal Government also had a duty they did not perform. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause spells out the responsibility the Feds have. In 1824, Justice John Marshall ruled the Feds had the ability to regulate interstate commerce. This in the end means to protect the same.

New Orleans is the Hub of Commerce at the Mouth of the Mississippi River. 90% of U.S. Corn Exports and 60% of Soybeans Exports go through New Orleans. The Port Generated $13.4 BILLION in COMMERCE in 2001. There are predictions that upriver corn and soybean shipments will bottleneck as harvest season continues. The imports to this country Coffee, Bananas and the such have been negatively affected. The Gulf is the Major Producer of U.S. Oil not to mention the Oil Imports that arrive from OVERSEAS COMMERCE. The oil that allows the rest of the country to continue COMMERCE from trucking products to your grocery store to just allowing you to drive to work.

The Commerce Clause was cited when the Congress passed the law for "Gun Free School Zones" which was later struck down by the Supreme Court. What the Commerce Clause was written for is the Disaster that we see now. The Feds DUTY is to PROTECT the PEOPLE and PROPERTY that are NEEDED to continue the COMMERCE that keeps our nations ECONOMY HEALTHY.

Posted by: Bad Dawg Radio at September 8, 2005 01:23 PM

I just wanted to say that critical comments are always given priority over favoring ones but a critic should keep in mind that criticism is positive and doesn't target an individual. This is against the idea of freedom of speech.

Posted by: Jeni at January 14, 2006 06:48 AM


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