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Old 09-02-2005, 12:31 PM   #121
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I can't even express how much I agree with this statement.

[Q]"I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
[/Q]

I said it in my house about 72 hours ago.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:37 PM   #122
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I took this picture in a church in New Orleans last summer. It is near to the graveyard.. somewhere near the Congo square it was.

I am so saddened that all this culture is lost, and the beautiful churches and places and buildings. In my personal opinion, it was the most beautiful city in the U.S., there are other great cities like NY and SF but this one was always special to me.. I heard the blues there for the first time in my life when I was eleven;.. I dont know what has happened to the people I met there last year. The musicians, the gifted people, the ones on the street where you always had to say hows it goin, ..




Prayers to everyone who is ituck in the city and to BJs ballroom and evryone there..
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:38 PM   #123
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Why the fuck wasn't Condi and the VP driving one of these buses during the evacuation?


Damn that George Bush......he should have taken control over the buses that the local governement did not use for evacuation.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:38 PM   #124
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Newt can answer his own question. Nothing has been done. It's been 4 years of BS and scare tactics. We can't do it.

New Orleans is perfect proof that the US can't handle a major disaster or attack, nor will we ever be able to.

You're on your own.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:39 PM   #125
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Originally posted by MrBrau1
Newt can answer his own question. Nothing has been done. It's been 4 years of BS and scare tactics. We can't do it.

New Orleans is perfect proof that the US can't handle a major disaster or attack, nor will we ever be able to.

You're on your own.
And that is what truly scares me......
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:40 PM   #126
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You know, after four days without power, and living on the periphery of the disaster (all I lost was my power, and of course that's transient) I'm starting to agree that the relief effort is a mess. I'm reading horror stories that sound like some war scene out of a third world civil war. Floods, death, unprecedented destruction, and a badly bungled rescue effort. Is it OK for me to say "I'm pissed?"
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:41 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why the fuck wasn't Condi and the VP driving one of these buses during the evacuation?


Damn that George Bush......he should have taken control over the buses that the local governement did not use for evacuation.
C'mon Dread, people questioning the government's response is legitimate. I don't think anyone expects the Secretary of State to be driving buses to evacuate people, or thinks that Dick Cheney should be down in New Orleans handing out food and water, but there are many other things those politicians should be doing at this point and as yet they have failed to do so.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:42 PM   #128
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Newsview: Politicians Failed Storm Victims


Email this Story

Sep 1, 6:06 PM (ET)

By RON FOURNIER

(AP) Hurricane Katrina refugees Janova Jackson, left, and her sister Marion Young, both from the Nigh...
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WASHINGTON (AP) - At every turn, political leaders failed Katrina's victims. They didn't strengthen the levees. They ceded the streets to marauding looters. They left dead bodies to rot or bloat. Thousands suffered or died for lack of water, food and hope. Who's at fault?

{B}There's plenty of blame to go around - the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate. But all the finger-pointing misses the point: Politicians and the people they lead too often ignore danger signs until a crisis hits.[/B]

It wasn't a secret that levees built to keep New Orleans from flooding could not withstand a major hurricane, but government leaders never found the money to fully shore up the network of earthen, steel and concrete barriers.

Both the Bush and Clinton administrations proposed budgets that low-balled the needs. Local politicians grabbed whatever money they could and declared victory. And the public didn't exactly demand tax increases to pay for flood-control and hurricane-protection projects.

Just last year, the Army Corps of Engineers sought $105 million for hurricane and flood programs in New Orleans. The White House slashed the request to about $40 million. Congress finally approved $42.2 million, less than half of the agency's request.

Yet the lawmakers and Bush agreed to a $286.4 billion pork-laden highway bill that included more than 6,000 pet projects for lawmakers. Congress spent money on dust control for Arkansas roads, a warehouse on the Erie Canal and a $231 million bridge to a small, uninhabited Alaskan island.

How could Washington spend $231 million on a bridge to nowhere - and not find $42 million for hurricane and flood projects in New Orleans? It's a matter of power and politics.


Alaska is represented by Republican Rep. Don Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, a senior member of the all-important Senate Appropriations Committee. Louisiana's delegation holds far less sway.

Once the hurricane hit, relief trickled into the Gulf Coast. Even Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown, whose agency is in charge of disaster response, pronounced the initial results unacceptable.

The hurricane was the first major test of FEMA since it became part of the Homeland Security Department, a massive new bureaucracy that many feared would make the well-respected FEMA another sluggish federal agency.

Looting soon broke out as local police stood by. Some police didn't want to stop people from getting badly needed food and water. Others seemed to be overwhelmed. Thousands of National Guard troops were ordered to the Gulf Coast, but their ranks have been drastically thinned by the war in Iraq.

On top of all this, Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the United States. The best leaders running the most efficient agencies would have been sharply challenged.

"Look at all they've had to deal with," former President Clinton told CNN shortly after joining former President Bush on a fundraising campaign for hurricane relief. "I'm telling you, nobody every thought it would happen like this."

That's not true. Experts had predicted for years that a major hurricane would eventually hit New Orleans, swamping the levees and filling the bowl-shaped city with polluted water. The politicians are doing what they do in time of crisis - shifting the blame.

"The truth will speak for itself," Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said of potential lapses by government. Later, her office blamed the White House for budget cuts.

If it's not the Republicans' fault, perhaps some in Washington would like to blame New Orleans itself. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., questioned whether a city that lies below sea level should be rebuilt. "That doesn't make sense to me," he said.

But for anybody living - or dying - in the devastated region, there are far too many villains to name.

"We're out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center.

Robin Lovin, ethics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said it's too convenient to blame one branch of government when they are all, at some level, failing people. From Watergate to Clinton's impeachment, governmental institutions have disappointed the public.

"Bush, Congress, the mayor - each of them are symptoms of a bigger problem, that we don't have accountability for disasters or challenges of this scale," Lovin said. "That's all the public wants in trying times - accountability."

Thus, Americans are doing what people do when government lets them down - they're turning to each other. Donations are pouring into charities. Internet sites are being used to find relatives. Residents of far-off states are opening their homes to victims.

The community spirit is reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. So is the second-guessing. It will happen again after the next crisis. You've heard the warnings: a cataclysmic California earthquake, another terrorist strike, a flu pandemic, a nuclear plant meltdown, a tsunami, the failure to address mounting U.S. debt - and on and on.

Will the public and its leaders be better prepared next time?
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:44 PM   #129
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Buy a gun build a shelter and stock it with canned food and water.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:44 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why the fuck wasn't Condi and the VP driving one of these buses during the evacuation?


Damn that George Bush......he should have taken control over the buses that the local governement did not use for evacuation.


it's called leadership. it's what Guliani did after 9-11.

as of Tuesday, the city government of New Orleans ceased to exist. it became a FEDERAL problem.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:45 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
You know, after four days without power, and living on the periphery of the disaster (all I lost was my power, and of course that's transient) I'm starting to agree that the relief effort is a mess. I'm reading horror stories that sound like some war scene out of a third world civil war. Floods, death, unprecedented destruction, and a badly bungled rescue effort. Is it OK for me to say "I'm pissed?"
If you say you're pissed it means you hate America.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #132
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Originally posted by Irvine511






the people are outraged at ALL our leaders.

yes, the Republicans are in power, but the Dems are hardly blameless.

we deserve better.

message to the people of the US: vote with your brains, not your emotions.

The governor of Louisiana is a Democrat. The mayor of New Orleans is, too, if I'm not mistaken, I do not know if New Orleans has partisan elections (we in Birmingham do not). It seems like there is blame enough to spread to both parties. Yes, the Republicans are in the White House and Congress but they're not solely responsible for the mess. We need to really be prepared for disasters, and it's not looking good no matter who wins the elections next year. If we elect all Democrats they're just as capable of screwing up big time.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #133
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Remain silent!

As they've done after every crisis, right-wingers are insisting that to question the Bush administration is unpatriotic. But no one should be afraid to hold our incompetent leaders to account.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joe Conason

Sept. 2, 2005 | For the third time since George W. Bush became president, Americans are paying a catastrophic price for bad government. As the costs are tallied once more in death and dollars, we are being told that the wise and patriotic thing to do is shut up -- as if good citizens are obliged to remain silent about unwise and incompetent leadership.

Honest political debate over how and why we lost the great city of New Orleans, according to the latest dictates from the right, means "an excess of recrimination," "finger-pointing" and "villain hunting." Such a "vulgar" exercise risks overshadowing our normal national unity and generosity in confronting disaster with "divisiveness" and "partisanship." We are piously advised instead to do good and find common ground, to "be humble, compassionate and helpful." Thus speak the sages of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal.

In short, we must simply write checks to the Red Cross and choke off any critical impulse.

Following such worthless advice would require us all to keep quiet even while the president of the United States again speaks falsely about matters of the utmost importance to the nation.

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," he told Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America."

That statement was wholly untrue, as Sidney Blumenthal noted on Wednesday in Salon -- and as the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the former chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency all tried to warn in recent years. Cutbacks in funding for flood control and emergency preparedness by the Bush administration and the Republican Congress over the past several years probably made a terrible event much worse.

The president's defenders can tolerate no discussion of those realities, however, because they have no plausible answers. Instead they urge us all to keep quiet or be accused of undermining America.

Does this all sound strangely familiar, like a nightmarish flashback?

A repetitive pattern is emerging whenever a terrible event occurs that is due at least partly to governmental incompetence. The president and other high officials offer deceptive utterances to excuse themselves. And reinforcing their self-serving statements is a chorus of admonishments from the right against any dissent or criticism.

After 9/11, the White House falsely claimed that there had been no warnings and that the Bush administration had been preparing for an attack by al-Qaida since its earliest days in office. Anyone who said otherwise -- or who merely wanted to investigate the underlying weaknesses that had enabled the attackers -- was a "partisan" seeking to "undermine the war on terror."

There was also, we should recall, much chatter back in those dark times about the wonderful unity and generosity of the nation. That is true now and was true then, as far as it went. Unfortunately, the "united we stand" spirit didn't survive the moment when, several weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Bush advisor Karl Rove boasted to his fellow Republicans about his plan to use the war on terror to win the 2002 midterm elections.

The pattern continued with the invasion of Iraq, which has become a disastrous misadventure owing to the poor planning, inept management and mendacious propaganda of the White House. To examine the errors and lies that have landed our troops in quicksand and drained away hundreds of billions of dollars is to provide aid and comfort to America's enemies -- or so we have been warned, especially since the president's popularity ratings have been in free fall.

And now we are told that only bad people dare to criticize their bad government.

So we are not to mention the downgrading of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from a Cabinet-level agency to a neglected sideline of the Department of Homeland Security. We must not say that FEMA was turned away from its mission when the president replaced its superb director, James Lee Witt, with political cronies who knew nothing about disaster planning. We cannot talk about the consistent underfunding of the Army Corps of Engineers, whose efforts to rebuild the Louisiana levees practically halted because of budget cuts last year. Above all, we must never, ever ask whether global warming might be making the annual perils of tropical weather systems much, much worse.

None of this is to say that the hurricane is "Bush's fault," which would obviously be unfair. But as with 9/11 and Iraq, the president and his administration deserve to be held accountable for poor judgment, damaging decisions and false statements.

Neither bullying bluster nor banal pieties can deter candid debate about federal emergency planning and funding, the underlying causes of harsher hurricanes over the past few decades, and the crippling domestic costs of an expensive, unnecessary foreign war. The right's capacity to intimidate has been much diminished by the proven lies and failures of this administration.

We are likely to face still more fearsome challenges, from natural disasters and human enemies, in the months and years to come. The governing style and habitual dishonesty of the Bush Republicans represent a severe danger to our future well-being. Nobody should be afraid to say so.


salon.com
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:47 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
You know, after four days without power, and living on the periphery of the disaster (all I lost was my power, and of course that's transient) I'm starting to agree that the relief effort is a mess. I'm reading horror stories that sound like some war scene out of a third world civil war. Floods, death, unprecedented destruction, and a badly bungled rescue effort. Is it OK for me to say "I'm pissed?"
Verte you have been in my prayers all week. My wife's Uncle has been on the phone with her telling her HORROR stories. I would never say you have no right to be pissed. Knowing you as I do, you would probably tone it downmore than you should.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:47 PM   #135
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it's called leadership. it's what Guliani did after 9-11.

as of Tuesday, the city government of New Orleans ceased to exist. it became a FEDERAL problem.
Exactly. Be there. Rudy was there big time. Condi was buying shoes and Dick is working from home. They're not leaders.

At least Bush is there now. He needs to fire ALOT of people.
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