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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 11:11 AM   #21
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

In the midst of frustration, there are many to thank.

Thanks to the Canadians:

Aid from Canada three warships and a coast guard ship departed for the Gulf Coast on Thursday, more than one week after Canada first offered to send military support. Ottawa has been careful not to criticize the slow U.S. response and simply repeated their willingness to help when Washington finally accepted its offer of assistance.

Several Sea King helicopters and about 1,000 personnel were aboard the Canadian ships, which will take several days to arrive off Louisiana. The ships were loaded with medical supplies, 1,200 cots, body bags, assault boats, lumber, pollution cleanup equipment even diapers, baby wipes and teddy bears.

Navy divers were also dispatched to New Orleans from Halifax and British Columbia to inspect damaged levees and help U.S. officials clear navigational hazards.


Many other countries have made offers and given as well.

Churches have also done an amazing job at responding to needs.

People are giving like never before with $500 million in cash and pledges raised for relief efforts by US charities. The Red Cross had raised $409 million. http://tinyurl.com/9vz93

See JG, the world is not filled with greedy a**h**s
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 11:20 AM   #22
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
But there are plenty of clowns...
True. We all agree on that. The issue that we disagree on is who the clowns are.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 11:38 AM   #23
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Originally Posted by justin
True. We all agree on that. The issue that we disagree on is who the clowns are.
I think most here have said that there is plenty of blame to go around. Eagle said it nicely: Several hundred school buses and several hundred city transit buses get flooded, when they could have been used to evacuate people. The city's evacuation plan called for these buses to take the infirm and the poor out 24-48 hours before the storm hits. Didn't happen. Once the Mayor directed people (correctly) to the Superdome, Security should have been sent. Enough security to watch over 10-15 thousand people. Didn't happen.

After the flooding, the feds are guilty as hell. The National Guard should have been there within 24 hours. Planes and helicopters dropping food and water. If the reports are accurate about the FEMA director not knowing the people in the Superdome didn't have food or water, he needs to be fired.

And of course, both local and federal officials did not rectify a levee and a pump problem that everybody knew about. Decades knowing it could happen passed and no one acted.


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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 01:47 PM   #24
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

The NOLA incident is a leadership and planning issue.* I have listened to the COE folks (my DD Father was a hydrologist for the COE), they knew that the flood walls wouldn't hold against a level 4 hurricane and that is what broke.* Evidently they didn't put out the alarm.. probably the folks who knew didn't have the authority to scream the alert.* For that I blame the Feds.*

Disaster planning should be a State and Federal responsibility that uses local resources as needed/available because any fool should know that those in the center of the disaster can't respond at an adequate level.* Although both knew the risk to NOLA neither put in place resources to execute a plan.* The COE should have put out an alarm, FEMA should have rallied resources quicker.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 03:22 PM   #25
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

There's a danger to everyone agreeing that, "there's plenty of blame to go around", having a group hug, then agreeing politely not to discuss the painful matter again. This is often the first step in avoiding action and accountability.

Blame is of no value to anyone unless it is followed by action. Finger pointing won't get the job done. . . But problems won't get fixed without understanding the root cause. And often the root causes are specific people.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 03:43 PM   #26
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Good point SG. I would also add that simply having a few heads roll won't cut it either. So fire the head of FEMA, then what?

I hope we can look at system problems somewhat dispassionately. Too much money pork is distributed based on power rather than need.






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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 03:45 PM   #27
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Originally Posted by Martha
Good point SG.* I would also add that simply having a few heads roll won't cut it either.* So fire the head of FEMA, then what?*

I hope we can look at system problems somewhat dispassionately.* Too much money pork is distributed based on power rather than need.*
I agree.* I'm afraid that the two political parties are going to agree not to expose what's under each others kimono's (sp?) and we'll get nothing changed.* *





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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 03:56 PM   #28
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
There's a danger to everyone agreeing that, "there's plenty of blame to go around", having a group hug, then agreeing politely not to discuss the painful matter again. This is often the first step in avoiding action and accountability.

Blame is of no value to anyone unless it is followed by action. Finger pointing won't get the job done. . . But problems won't get fixed without understanding the root cause. And often the root causes are specific people.
At least in part, I agree with you SG (did I really say that? ). I don't for a second think we should say "well, everyone tried their best" and not search for the root causes. On the contrary, we should thoroughly dissect the whole mess from Washington to Canal Street to determine what went wrong.

My point it that it isn't likely there was one single point of failure by one individual or even a single group of people (FEMA, for example). The root causes are very likely to be organizational and structural, not just indivdual. I'm not saying we shouldn't hold individual(s) accoutable if gross negligence or gross indifference is discovered. If that is the case, I say ship them off to live in the fetid waters of NO and give them a bucket to help bail out the place. But let's insist/demand on a transparent, thorough investigation before convicting and hanging anyone or any organization in advance.

My experience is that you get the best results when you design and implement a system that is as close to 'idiot proof' as is humanly possible. The goal, IMHO, is to develop a disaster relief system that can be managed by even mediocre leadership, since that's what we often seem to end up with at all levels of government. (My apologies in advance to all you dedicated govt. workers out there.)

My $0.02 worth...

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 04:34 PM   #29
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

If you try to make things idiot-proof, they'll just invent a better idiot...

As much as I enjoy assholes politicians getting their comeupance, what I really want is a system that works.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 04:43 PM   #30
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
If you try to make things idiot-proof, they'll just invent a better idiot...

As much as I enjoy assholes politicians getting their comeupance, what I really want is a system that works.
So what is your recommendation? Better politicians or better idiots? (I realize that question is largely redundant, but what the heck... ) How do we get "a system that works"?

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 05:05 PM   #31
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
So what is your recommendation?* Better politicians or better idiots?*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Jefferson
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 05:32 PM   #32
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Well put, Tom...

I used to be lukewarm at best about term limits, the thought being that I'd like to have experienced people in control. However, that only works if the assholes politicians use their experience to actually govern effectively.

They can't manage our money, can't plan/execute a war (let alone obtain ACCURATE intel), can't fix a pothole, can't respond to disaster...

Throw the bums out!!
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 05:59 PM   #33
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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How do we get "a system that works"?
There's clearly no one answer, but IMHO the root cause of much of the suffering is the fundamental disparity in resources in this country.*

Certainly some will be left behind in any emergency.* But when vast numbers find themselves with no automobile to their name; no credit card or cash for a ticket out; nowhere to go and no way to pay for the meanest motel room even if they could get out; and no faith in the "safety net" to care for them on the road; then something is even more fundamentally wrong than a lack of pre-emergency planning or post-disaster aid.

Even now you have people who won't leave sodden, disease-infested homes because a future as a "refugee" looks riskier than does staying put.

Maybe what we ourselves can do is to make sure that we and our families are prepared, and that we include our poorer neighbors in our planning. Also, we can actively press our local governments for short-term crisis planning that includes the less fortunate, and long-term social planning to address the root causes of the type of poverty we've seen on our televisions this week.

Caroline

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 06:17 PM   #34
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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How do we get "a system that works"?

REW
You don't. It's a sucker bet.

JG
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 07:19 PM   #35
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Also agree with Eagle43.

How do we get a system that works? Quit playing partisan politics over this one (Jackson et al) and quit deflecting blame (Bush, FEMA director, Governor, Mayor et al) and honestly figure out what went wrong. I don't expect to see that at the leaderhead level (President, Governors, and probably not mayors) but hopefully those that are in the organizations and do the real work can get things realigned to work better next time. And there will be a next time.

I'd also like to have more trust in the media. TV coverage these days is all about cool shots and feelgood moments, or at least it was for the first 24-48 hours. I recall the L.A. earthquake where from TV pictures you'd think the whole city was on fire, but it was only a couple of buildings. I still don't know for sure how much of New Orleans was under how much water, but from reports you'd expect to see water rippling over the 3rd floor carpets in every building yet the TV pictures show peple wading through shin-deep water. On the other hand I think when the media started concentrating on the Superdome and the Convention Center is when fires got lit under a few butts and things started moving quickly. At least from my airmchair position. Perhaps I'm wrong and it really was impractical to start bussing people out before the 5th day. Time will tell.

Once the troops arrived in force I think the evacuation went rather quickly. I still can't help but think they got there a few days later than necessary and practical.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 07:42 PM   #36
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Quote from: REWahoo! on Today at 04:43:38 PM
How do we get "a system that works"?

REW

You don't.* It's a sucker bet.

JG
This puts me in mind of a story I once read:

Frederick Douglas was one of the chief speakers at a crowded meeting in Faneuil Hall.* Douglas had been describing the wrongs of the black race, and as he proceeded, he grew more and more excited, and finally ended by saying that they had no hope of justice from the whites, no possible hope except in their own right arms. It must come to blood; they must fight for themselves, and redeem themselves, or it would never be done.

Sojourner Truth was sitting, tall and dark, on the very front seat, facing the platform; and in the hush of deep feeling, after Douglas sat down, she spoke out in her deep, peculiar voice, heard all over the house,--


"Frederick, IS GOD DEAD?"


I'm not a believer in a higher power myself, except as it exists in my fellow human beings.* In that sense, however, I'm with Sojourner -- faith is the way to go -- people of good will can and will make things better.




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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 08:02 PM   #37
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Caroline, that is a good story to have on tap for these sorts of discussions.

Ha
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 09:24 PM   #38
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Hmmm

C(three) and and I - was lacking as usual - they actually got got better over the years(1974-2004).

But everyone who knew anything about the problem - a cat 4 at the wrong speed, diameter and angle was beyond the scope of resources availible !prior to the event!

People were bluntly told if - if you stay you die or if you live not to expect any help within several weeks.

Interestingly - the reaction was way better than I expected - given my experience with past hurricanes.

Lack of coordination* is nothing new.

You get lazy over thirty years - I stubornly maintained the evac drill - in spite of two preconceived recent misses - 1998 George and Ivan.

Just learned - one of my old buddies from the plant - 15 foot pilings - two miles down the road is missing - hope he didn't stay. My 12 foot pilings and his 15 foot were no match for a 25 foot plus storm surge.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 09:53 PM   #39
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Hmmm

People were bluntly told if - if you stay you die or if you live not to expect any help within several weeks.
UncleMick: Hope that your drill included a list of personal papers, pictures, etc. that would be impossible to replace.

Keep your chin up.

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 10:12 PM   #40
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Originally Posted by Caroline
. . .* In that sense, however, I'm with Sojourner -- faith is the way to go -- people of good will can and will make things better.*
Absolutely. And things do get better. 200 years ago slavery was still an accepted practice in much of the world. We had limited laws to protect children and the working class from life threatening exploitation more recently than that. Life was miserable for many in the middle ages. If you don't take a long term, global view it is easy to believe that humankind does not progress. But a broader view shows we do.
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