re: It was a matter of time

In my opinion many of you were right on with comments and others as has already been mentioned have missed the mark. First of all GENO,you have no reason to be apologetic about the timing of your post. There is never a better time to criticize than while the subject is fresh because later on people will have short memories and wrongdoing will be swept under the rug as usual. I am encouraged however the MSM has publicised a good deal about the budget cuts made to FEMA, the CORP OF ENGINEERS, and in particular the cuts made in the budget for levy improvements. Having said that however no one can be blamed for the hurricane and no one can be certain whether the budget cuts starting as far back as 2001 would have made any difference. NATIONAL GUARD, criticism about Louisiana leadership is incorrect. There is a great deal of differnce between this disaster and the 911 disaster and you cannot compare apples and oranges and come up with an intelligent conclusion. Just FYI; since FEMA was not responding with buses soon enough the Governor commandered busses from private commpanies and also school buses and drivers from many school districts to help evacuate victims.You also reminded me of Condi Rice saying no one could have imagined the terrorist using airplanes to fly into the world trade center. What a Crock. It was very public knowledge and most everyone in South LA. was aware that a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane in the right place would destroy New Orleans. LIVINDON you are absolutely correct about all the posturing. It was sickening to see the MS and AL Governors kissing up and pontificating in a purely political way and the Louisiana Senators were just as bad and the Governor of LA. is also not blameless. You may know more than others about the fact that former MS Republican congressman Michael Parker who was head of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers was fired in 2002 for having publicly criticized a Bush administration proposal to cut the corps' budget. Maybe that is why everyone kisses up. Incidentally Don FEMA was launched in 1979 under President Carter.

The fact that FEMA was headed up in 01 by a person with no experience in the field, that FEMA's budget was cut, that it was folded into the Dept. of Homeland Security, that some career professionals quit -- all of these things had to have an effect on their ability to respond. Again, GENO you have no reason to be apologetic. Fingerpointing if one wants to call it that will neither hurt or help the current efforts to alleviate this disaster.



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  • Geez! It seems my post really stirred all you to new heights. The following or resonses and various facts in no particular order for you to consider.
    The reason I mentioned FEMA being formed under Jimmy Carter in 1979 was simply because livindon had referred to him as being irrelevant. FEMA as originally formed was an immportant function sorely needed in this country and regardless of what aides may have advised, an irrelevant President would hardly have heeded them. Again, I remind you that I never voted for Carter but many good things were started during his term. livindon is correct that FEMA was politicized under Reagan and certainly even more so under the current President. In total contrast FEMA under Clinton was headed by people who actually had experience in emergency management.
    Until a finger is pointed investigations seem never to take place and it is good to see that political fallout has prompted The Senate Majority leader and House Speaker to call for a full investigation to be started. Certainly, I did not blame GWB for the hurricane and even went so far as to say that had budget cuts not been made it is doubtful that the aftermath of Katrina would have been any different. My posts did not praise the LA Governor. On the other hand I can tell you that had she called every guard in LA. to active service in NOLA a week before the storm It would have been equivalent to one person urinating on a house fire. On another matter I saw on TV a National Guard spokesman respond to the question of a reporter about whether the people in the superdome would have food. He responded by saying there were 9 MILLION mre's available to them. It was the Convention center where the victims had no food and water.I never mentioned global warming as being the reason for the hurricane although I suspect it may have had a role. Global warming is occuring, why, how long it will last, etc., is above my pay grade. I do personally know, having looked at the Athabasca glacier in the canadian icefields and seeing the regression of the points of that glacier clearly marked by the year, that something is sure as hell going on.
    I also flew my American Flag years before 911 but found a lot of people started to fly one after that event. I also know something about hurricanes having stayed on the coast through 3 but finally running when a big one was forecast. I was fortunate and had no water in my house but many friends and clients were not so lucky. My wife and I washed and dried clothes for others until our machine broke and then we went to the laundromat and paid to have them done there. I have not said anything about GWB and his administration that was not backed up by fact. No, I am not a fan of the current president but for factual reasons. I am a veteran from the Korean conflict although I saw no combat. My older brother is a decorated WWII veteran. My youngest brother is a hero and highly decorated marine officer and pilot during the Vietnam conflict.I am an american patriot and will damn well voice my opinion and point fingers any time I get ready.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-06-05 AT 04:40PM (CST)[/font][br][br]It is very apparent that eating cold food and $2.00 slices of Pecan Pie have not dimmed your intellectual wit. I couldn't have responded better.

    I think the real problem was the phase of the
    Moon. That caused the storm, made everyone become disoriented and is now causing everyone to sit back and point fingers.
  • How could this disaster NOT be a political animal? Political debate is usually an argument over the allocation of goods and services. The levees were bought and paid for by tax dollars, and so the folks who collect and allocate the tax money were responsible for their upkeep and improvement. Despite what the President keeps saying many people knew the levees could fail, and fail disastrously. Those warnings were ignored, and money was allocated elsewhere. Almost two years ago I saw a program on NOVA that eerily predicted this disaster in detail. The only difference on the NOVA show was that they had a CAT 5 hurricane slamming directly into NO, instead of a strong CAT 4 merely brushing past. I think if I were one of the thousands of people who lost a brother, or a wife, or a child, or a parent I would be looking for some accountability...if fact I'm sure of it.
  • The other day I saw a blog that postulated that the reason so many blacks were being moved to Texas was to erode the Democratic Party base in NO. I thought that was unfair, uncalled for and just plain nuts. However, I don't think the other extreme...where ALL questions or differing opinions are stifled and discredited, is any more valid. Don, I imagine you had an opinion or two when the Twin Towers went is your right...and my guess is that you stayed right where you were while offering those opinions. If I'm wrong....if you jumped in your car, zoomed right up to New York, got your hands dirty and THEN offered your opinions...I sincerely apologize.
  • >Who among us is asking for an infusion of them
    >into our peaceful burg or neighborhood?
    >None of us seem to want them. Let someone else have them. Not in my
    >neighborhood please. Let the government take care of them.

    HUD is trying to organize housing authorities in the states surrounding LA & MS, asking for all available Section 8 vouchers and vacant public housing units to be designated for refugees. Unfortunately, our housing authority just recently changed the qualifications to be admitted to our programs, in that we eliminated "preferences" for county residents or the disabled or involuntarily displaced persons, etc., which would move someone up the list faster than someone that doesn't have those qualifications. We already have people on our waiting lists that are homeless. The uproar would be deafening if we bumped those we've already agreed to house in order to accommodate hurricane victims, so we've decided not to make any special effort to recruit new housing applicants. If hurricane victim families arrive in our area and they want housing assistance, they will go through the same application and approval process that everyone else does, and they'll have to wait the average six months before we can house them. We are not going to turn them away, unless they don't qualify for participation in a federal program due to a criminal history or owing money to another federal program. None of this should infer that we don't want them. But a town the size of Columbia Missouri (81,000) can't really accommodate very many on a permanent basis.

  • "And that is that a primary reason cities and groups are not jumping up and down to request a busload or two of these refugees is that they are 'the unwanted'. A large number of them depended on the social welfare system. A large number neither had nor sought jobs. They eeked-by, day by day, and that met their daily needs. A large number were borderline or dug-in criminal element already, some just needing a 'prod'. A large number were already teetering on destitution and are poor, but were surviving somehow."

    Don, how in the world could you possibly know that? Being poor does not equate to all that you have assigned to them.

    You are making generalizations and assumptions that are unfair and stupid.

  • Dash, wake up and smell the coffee. Don's statement is the tip of the ice berg.
  • >[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON

    >If you report to me that people who had
    >transportation were able to escape but thousands
    >were not because they have no money or
    >transportation, I can pretty well assume the
    >people are teetering on the edge of destitution.
    >Can you not do that?

    Don, this is the paragraph that created a lot of anguish for as liberals. Not everyone who can afford it owns a car (in NYC, I personally think it
    lunacy to own one). There were no rental cars available. Many tourists couldn't get out. Obviously, a government (take your pick between local, state or federal) didn't think to provide buses to get people out of the city. Many of the people who didn't leave were the elderly living in nursing homes or senior citizens facilities (again, take your pick of which government should have thought of or planned to evacuate them). Finally, there were the sick (whether in hospitals or at home) who also needed help getting out of NO (again, take your pick of which governement agency to blame). This is not to say that there weren't people who have lived on welfare who didn't leave. And there is no sympathy for law breakers. But to make a blanket statement about why people didn't leave is wrong.
    For the record, I spent yesterday afternoon and evening helping to load a convoy that left NY today
    for the Gulf.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-07-05 AT 12:53PM (CST)[/font][br][br]I have strongly agreed with the things you have been saying recently, but I am wondering if you are really aware of what many states are doing to help.

    In Kansas the day the levy broke our governor offerred our local Guard. It took some time to get a yes, and they left early Thursday (Sept 1st) morning. She also announced that any state employee who had any type of disaster training would receive 20 days of paid leave if they decided to go help Katrina's victims.

    Our local electric company sent down a number of trucks almost immediately. Everyone here felt it was the least they could do when so many from the south helped us during a bad ice storm a few years ago.

    The city council met and determined how many evacuees we could support. They decided 1500 to start. This is just the city and does not include those the local churches are attempting to help. There has not been any mention of whether the people we take in will be someone who had a home and a job, or someone who was already homeless.

    Friday, the radio announced a semi would be loading up through the holiday weekend with food and clothing donations. They hoped to half fill it up. They filled up 3 trucks by Sunday and had to ask people to stop coming because they didn't have any more trucks.

    Every group I belong to, including SHRM who is organizing members to go down there to help, is involved too (at varying levels).

    We are a small city, but we are doing our best. I believe most other cities are doing the same. It is just taking too long. We are trying though, and hopefully most, if not all, of the evacuees will be living somewhere besides a dome within 2 weeks. You are right that we are not jumping up and down, but neither are we unwilling to help because we might get the wrong "type" of evacuee.
  • As everyone, I have been watching this nonstop for the last week and a half, taking time out to go to work, during which I listen to news radio stations.

    Despite being a livelong Democrat and liberal, there is a divergence when it comes to welfare and its impact on the people who receive it. I think that alot of people across the country cannot imagine the level of poverty and lack of education in the inner city of New Orleans. It is pretty close to third world in its extreme. I can't shake the notion that many of the people who didn't leave didn't think that they could, even though walking was an option with two days' notice before the hurricane hit. Self-reliance has been destroyed by entitlement.

    We are in the third generation of welfare in this country, unfortunately often in the same families. The silent mantra of "the government will provide" seemed to be at work there, and we have done a disservice to people and this hurrendous event has illustrated this, and what sent these people to the ill-equipped Superdome and the Convention Center was that they were told to do so by officials. As I write the Labor Secretary is saying that many people didn't leave their houses because then they wouldn't get their check (from the government, of course) who "will provide" no matter what, in spite of the health dangers.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-08-05 AT 08:40AM (CST)[/font][br][br]Just so you know, Louisville and Lexington, KY are going to receive some of these people who have lost everything. Both cities are already gearing up for these people. I think, here in Lexington, we are supposed to have about 300 people relocate here today.
  • While I agree it is important to identify the causes (primary, secondary etc) of this human tragedy, laying each ugly fact at the door of the responsible party will mire us in useless recriminations and paralyze any effort to find solutions. We will all contribute to the solutions just as we are all complicit in the causes.

    Lets start by asking important questions.

    In order to stop this cycle of welfare should we be investing the money in educating/training the next generation of likely recipients (perhaps a sort of GI bill for those 18-25)?

    Should metropolitan areas limit the percentage of their population that lives below the poverty line?

    Should we refuse to pay the insurance claims of those who rebuild homes and businesses on the beaches?

    When natural disasters are identifiable risks for localities do we plan and drill for the worst case scenario?

    Do we share best practices between areas that are prone to the same types of devastation?

    I'm sure the list of question could occupy our state and federal legislatures for years and perhaps have a truly useful outcome.....

  • "In order to stop this cycle of welfare should we be investing the money in educating/training the next generation of likely recipients (perhaps a sort of GI bill for those 18-25)?"

    This is exactly the sort of action we need to stop. Hell no! No GI Bill-type of program in order to wean people from public assistance.

    Cut them off, period. Sink or swim. You have choices and you have options. Join the military like many of us did! Go to college, do something productive with your life, otherwise, prepare to suffer the consequences of being destitute and living in poverty and NOT on my dime.

  • Can't you, just once, be generous enough to acknowledge that not all Democrats and liberals agree, and certainly not with your generalizations. I, for one, don't support the "giving" of money to anyone without having some sort of standard for judging success. I do support a "safety net" and probably more than you do but not the generation after generation government dole.
  • You're correct, there are and have been a million permutations of programs aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty. Most have ended up simply reinforcing it for a great many people.

    So we've been unsuccessful so far. I still believe that someday, somewhere, someone will come up with a better solution.

    Look at the success of the GI bill, we boosted a whole generation into the middle class, why can't we replicate those results? what's different?

    There has to be a solution, we simply can't turn these people loose to survive on their own, how would that be different than what happened to them in New Orleans?
  • >Look at the success of the GI bill, we boosted a
    >whole generation into the middle class, why
    >can't we replicate those results? what's

    That's simple: Motivation. Even incentive. Soldiers plan to continue contributing to the society they've already committed to and sacrificed for. 3rd & 4th generation welfare recipients "know" they don't have to give anything back to that society, so they're not committed to its success (or their own), nor do they feel they need to sacrifice for it. Cutting them off (after a weaning period, or not) will force them to sacrifice something, I'd think.

    By the way, it may not be very evident in some communities, but HUD now requires healthy partipants over the age of 17 to perform a minimal amount of community service (volunteer work) if they're not working or participating in a welfare to work program. I think it's 8 hours per month, but if they wanna stay in subsidized housing, they gotta do it, and prove they did it, every month.

  • This is good discussion, and hopefully it will be held in many other public forums in the years to come.

    I'm glad it was taken up and continued, as I had to lie down and catch my breath after Don's #18 post. I am rendered retortless by Don's mastery of the non-sequitur.

    True compassion and humanitarianism would have to include the critique of a system which has proven not to cure poverty or promote productivity. I can't see any sort of hate referenced in that post; it was nothing more than a social (not political) observation and commentary. Any reference to a political party was a frame of reference, and the "divergence" is my own personal one, not the party's. Generalizations of each party member's idealogy of such magnitude are not realistic today and maybe never were.

    At any rate, it seems like my point was made in the last paragraph of that post, so there's hope after all.

    As for what I am doing personally, I am giving to a fund created by a prominent consumer advocate here who guarantees and promises (and I believe him) that every dime will go directly and personally by him to the cause, no administrative costs. For me, that will be for animal rescue. And, on Saturday, as every Saturday, I will work at a local private shelter which is caring for the animals of evacuees brought to Denver. Please don't flame for this; billions are being raised for the people. Let's hope it is used where it is needed.

    It is indisputable that the thousands were in the Superdome and Convention center because they were told to go there; if other television and newspaper reports are unconvincing, then page 46 of the current Newsweek, dated September 12, 2005.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-08-05 AT 06:46PM (CST)[/font][br][br]At the risk of putting another head on this snake, while we're talking about who's paying for what and income levels and poverty and getting a job instead of populating the welfare roles, how about paying the folks who are working full time a minimum wage that will allow them to rent a decent apartment and pay for food? If we paid them adequately for their work, we wouldn't have to pay them welfare and furnish food stamps. Why do people say they hate to pay for those who won't work, and in the next breath say they hate to hurt business by increasing the minimum wage? Why is it in this non-third world nation you can work 40 hours a week with a second job and not be able to pay rent? Why do CEOs and celebrities have multiple homes with multiple vehicles and entry level employees rent rooms or live with parents? I hated it when I was told I shouldn't apply for a job I really wanted with a reputable company because you had to be in a two-income family to afford to do the work.
  • "Cut them off, period. Sink or swim. You have choices and you have options. Join the military like many of us did! Go to college, do something productive with your life, otherwise, prepare to suffer the consequences of being destitute and living in poverty and NOT on my dime."

    I agree with you Gene, but it will take at least a decade to accomplish. Those with no job and no education and no motivation to do anything else except cash that monthly AFDC check will breed the next generation with the same attitude and outlook. We can't rely on schools, teachers, churches to make a significant change in the next generation. It won't work.

    Cutting them off; letting them sink or swim WILL work for the adults. But this country will not let innocent children suffer the ignorance of their parents. We'll keep paying the tab even though the money is ill-spent in the stewardship of the parent. The solution would be to cut them off and when the child suffers from neglect, he is removed from the home. Then what? Our tax dollars are spent on foster care programs and the child is separated from his natural parent. We'd have to shift our money to social services programs. Is that a hard line? Sure it is. Will it work? Probably not in this generation, but it may impact the next one. It might help rid some people of the 'entitlement' attitude.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-09-05 AT 12:46PM (CST)[/font][br][br]I heard a caller on a talk radio show yesterday say something that hit the nail on the head. "Fifty-one weeks out of the year, we tell government to stay out of our business (lives), this past week, we asked why the government took so long to help us." I thought that was very inciteful.

    We have propogated an environment where there is no motivation or responsibility for those that are happy living off of someone else's dime. As said many times before, this is something that crosses generations. Some people, whether it is a sense of entitlement or laziness, simply will not work, even though they are as capable as you or me. Yet we complain of "illegals" coming and taking jobs - jobs that "Americans" are too good to do. When did I become too good to do anything that would enable me to provide for my family? You want to offer motivation, make them work for the check they receive from the government (I know there are those that truly are not able, but there are numerous people that are and choose not to), give them the "undesirable" jobs. Make them pick up trash along the roadways and parks in the heat for minimum wage. Make them cut grass, paint government buildings, dig ditches, etc. I personally believe it would not take them long before they find a place with A/C that is to their liking. We are paying these individuals to sit at home, make them earn the money. Makes no difference to me if they are black, white, purple, or polka dotted.

    Conversely, we need to support those that lost everything from Katrina. Bush has signed numerous checks this week and yesterday said that the federal government is not going to penalize states that have heped those in need and will reimburse them for the cost of taking care of American citizens. He also told the people that have lost everything that the federal government will be there for them for years to come. Most just want their lives back and to return to normal. They want to go to work, have dinner at the table with their kids, and play baseball on the weekend. We need to make sure that they have every chance to get back what they lost. But we cannot become "enablers" for those that have no desire to better themselves or to accept responsibility for themselves and their families. It is about the choices that people make.
  • >I heard a caller on a talk radio show yesterday
    >say something that hit the nail on the head.
    >"Fifty-one weeks out of the year, we tell
    >government to stay out of our business (lives),
    >this past week, we asked why the government took
    >so long to help us." I thought that was very

    I sure hope you meant "insightful," even though your usage could be appropriate.

  • You're right, I meant insightful. You're also right, it was inciteful.
  • We have them in Nashville. There's a guy that usually stands at the bottom of the off-ramp on I-24 where I get off. He holds a sign saying "HELP-VETERAN" and panhandles. If you look closely on the side by the bushes you will see either a 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor or some sort of screw-top bottle of cheap wine wrapped in a paper bag.

    I refuse to give him a penny, although once I did buy his dog a bag of dog food.
  • I salute you. Well said indeed.
  • I was trying to figure out the rationale of giving someone who's homeless a debit card with $1,500 on it. What would you buy and where would you put it? I would think pampers, formula, non-perishable food, clothes, a roll bag, cigarettes, bottled water, soap, brush, toothpaste . . . But they'll still remain homeless. Can the debit card pay a first month's rent? The concept is a good one for people who can spend wisely. I agree that it supports a family's immediate basic needs. There is no way any government can monitor the use of the cards, but it's a good quick fix; Neosporin and a bandaid.

    There is so much work to be done and so many great needs and I say 'kudos' to every volunteer, especially those who don't sound a trumpet in doing so. I believe in Americans in general and I agree - send the 'pilfering parasites to the pillory.'
  • This discussion reminds me of a conversation I overheard in the doctor's office a couple of weeks ago. A female stated she worked part time at a local hospital. The male asked if she received medical insurance. Her reply was that she did not from the hospital but she had "the best insurance out there". She then said, "I have Medicaid." Seems to me there is no incentive to work full time for benefits and insurance (which may require a premium contribution from the employee and which probably has a deductible and copay). Medicaid pays at 100% with no deductible.
  • I have read this thread twice. Because I want to keep posting on the forum, I will not respond further other than to say "You win. All the people caught up in the New Orleans chaos are stupid, poor, foolish, looting, killing, welfare recipients, etc. I give up!"

    Have a happy weekend.

    Awe, shoot, you know I'll be back on Monday. I come from a long line of educators.
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