Monday, 12 September 2005

An Alternate View of the World

Rarely, I get cogent, courteous e-mails from people whose views differ markedly from my own. My comments policy is to allow comments via e-mail, and to publish any I think worthwhile, no matter whether I agree with them or not. Here's a recent one, from reader Brandon Freels :

The city transit system was being used for evacuation because
those busses could transport more people and had air conditioning.
Also, commercial transport stopped entering and leaving the city as
of the Saturday before. That means no plane or train or bus would
take you out of the city. After the flood, those school busses were of
little use since they and the roads were mostly underwater, just as
the food in submerged groceries was ruined.

AND it being the end of the month, many of the poor were living
from paycheck to paycheck, and many of those people wanted to
leave and their employers said "If you leave, you will not come back
to a job." Having lived in areas of the USA where you can get
tornadoes and earthquakes, if you ran away every time they
announced a disaster, you would never spend any time at home. If
they left and this didn't happen, there goes their security.

As a quick reminder, this flooding occurred not because of Katrina
itself. There were even reports that New Orleans had survived the
hurricane. However, Katrina caused the underfunded levees to
break and that is where the real disaster lies. The Bush Crime
Family with their Homeland Security and Patriot Act have gutted
many of the civil programs to help the American people for their
illegal war in Iraq.

Everything that they do can be summed up as follows: The Bush
Crime Family and Republicans care more about things and
possessions than they do people.



Stephen Macklin said...

I shall try to be equally courteous in my response.

1. How many people if given the choice of facing a strong category 4 hurricane in a city below sea level or escaping in an un-airconditioned bus would choose the hurricane?

How many people if given the choice between escaping in an un-airconditioned bus or being stuck in the un-airconditioned Super Dome or Convention Center with thousands of other people would pick the Dome?

The very sad truth is that transportation resources existed to move thousands of people out of the city of New Orleans before the hurricane. These resources were included in the city's emergency evacuation plans. These resources were not used.

The levee funding argument has been so thoroughly shredded I am surprised people are still making it. Funding for NOLA flood management under The Bush Crime Family Administration is higher than it has been in decades. The levees that failed as a result of the hurricane are the ones on which federally funded upgrades were most recently completed.

The funding cut that so many are complaining about was related to a STUDY of improving the levee system to withstand more than the category 3 storm they were built to withstand. The STUDY, fully funded, would not have been complete until 2008.

Xopher said...

Having lived in Florida, New Orleans, and Connecticut which experience Hurricanes and Arkansas which is Tornado Alley I think I can safely say the government doesn’t issue weather warnings on a whim. Frankly, you ignore them at your own peril. Having served in the Navy and been an avid small boater I have experienced a lot of weather. You only need to experience a Cat 1 Hurricane or even a tropical storm to figure out it is not a minor nuisance or warning. We have made great advances in storm tracking in the last 10 years.

Instead of watching CNN and the whiner parade find some evacuees and talk to them. Chances are if they were earning enough income to pay taxes, they are pleased with the help they have received. They were also the same people who headed the warnings to leave. Also, 75% of people below the poverty line own cars in the US. How many cars were flooded? How many were flooded in the poor zones? These people did not take responsibility for themselves and leave.

New Orleans had an evacuation plan and did not implement it. An unconditioned bus ride is no fun (Yes, I’ve done it in Arkansas in the summer) but it is survivable.

Talk to the Guard members who have been mobilized much faster than previous, smaller scale disasters. This covered an area the size of IDAHO! Among other facets of my job I move multi-ton pieces of equipment via rail, air and truck. Logistics on this scale with the airports and highways covered in debris or washed away is no joke. Frankly miracles were accomplished.

Finally, since Zoe is in Australia, many non-US citizens don’t understand the separation of powers between States and the Federal Government. The county and state are the first responders. The Governor was responsible for requesting assistance from the Federal Government, which she did NOT do for 2 days after President Bush called her. By LAW, he could not act without her consent. This is so that the Federal Government does not grow too strong. Balance of Power and all that. It was in your Junior High Civics course if you were awake.

Steven admirably sums up the funding issues.

I disagree with Bush on certain issues, I think he doesn’t say no to spending and should use his veto more often. But please, instead of just hating Bush and writing some inane nonsense, do a little research(
and become informed first.