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Judy G. Russell
September 26th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Truth, it is often said, is the first casualty in a war. In a hurricane and its aftermath, too.

Remember all those terrible stories about the terrible things those bad people in NOLA were doing to each other? (With the unspoken comment being why should we bother to save such animals... They deserve what's happening to them...)

T'ain't so (http://www.nola.com/newslogs/tporleans/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_tporleans/archives/2005_09_26.html#082732) says the Times-Picayune.

Gee... what a surprise...

Lindsey
September 26th, 2005, 05:59 PM
T'ain't so (http://www.nola.com/newslogs/tporleans/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_tporleans/archives/2005_09_26.html#082732) says the Times-Picayune.
Interesting. That squares with an oral account from a woman who was in the Convention Center that I heard on "This American Life." She said she saw none of the violence that she heard described later on, and she was incensed at the characterization of the people in those two shelters as "like animals," but she also noted that the Convention Center was partitioned into separate areas, and she could only vouch for what she saw in her area. Of course, I've been accused of being too credulous...

"And they (national media outlets) have done nothing to follow up on any of these cases, they just accepted what people (on the street) told them. ... It's not consistent with the highest standards of journalism."

I hope he's not holding his breath...

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
September 26th, 2005, 11:48 PM
What just infuriates me about these sorts of comments about the way people behaved in NOLA (and I don't blame the media too much -- when the police chief and the mayor both say the same sort of thing, it's hard not to believe them) is how the reports are misused by those who have their own agendas: I can't tell you how often I've heard people excuse the failure to respond adequately with a kind of "well, why should we try to save people like that?" comment. It's enough to make my blood boil.

Lindsey
September 27th, 2005, 05:46 PM
What just infuriates me about these sorts of comments about the way people behaved in NOLA (and I don't blame the media too much -- when the police chief and the mayor both say the same sort of thing, it's hard not to believe them) is how the reports are misused by those who have their own agendas: I can't tell you how often I've heard people excuse the failure to respond adequately with a kind of "well, why should we try to save people like that?" comment. It's enough to make my blood boil.
Not to mention that even had the reports been true, those critics have cause and effect the wrong way around.

I have to wonder, too, how docilely they themselves would behave if they were subjected to the same conditions.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
September 27th, 2005, 07:35 PM
Not to mention that even had the reports been true, those critics have cause and effect the wrong way around.Details, details...

I have to wonder, too, how docilely they themselves would behave if they were subjected to the same conditions.Ain't that the truth... Fact is, we all descend pretty quickly into anarchy when faced with anarchic conditions. It's a sure bet that if I saw helicopters flying all around picking up other people while my kids were dying, I might be angry or crazed enough to shoot at the helicopters. It's an even surer bet that if I needed food or clothes or medicine I'd loot them if I had to, and...

Dick K
September 27th, 2005, 08:13 PM
Not to mention that even had the reports been true, those critics have cause and effect the wrong way around.
How's that? Are you sure you don't mean that they are confusing correlation with causation?

Judy G. Russell
September 27th, 2005, 09:59 PM
More cause and effect, I think. The people I hear this from are saying, in effect, the conditions in the Superdome and Convention Center were bad because "those people" were bad. Frankly, I think 99% of the bad conduct of the people trapped at the Superdome and Convention Center were because of the conditions they found themselves in there.

Lindsey
September 27th, 2005, 11:27 PM
How's that? Are you sure you don't mean that they are confusing correlation with causation?
No, I mean that the people Judy spoke of were implying that the inadequate response to the situation in New Orleans was the result of the bad behavior of the people there, when it really would have been the other way around.

--Lindsey

Bill Hirst
September 29th, 2005, 01:39 AM
It's an even surer bet that if I needed food or clothes or medicine I'd loot them if I had to, and...
If you get arrested for looting, then they have to feed you. I'd be scrounging for edibles myself if I had to.

But it was interesting how many of the looters picked beer as their beverage. Maybe the diet cola went first... yeah, that's probably what happened.

Judy G. Russell
September 29th, 2005, 09:26 AM
But it was interesting how many of the looters picked beer as their beverage. Maybe the diet cola went first... yeah, that's probably what happened.And maybe the photographers took more pictures of looters who took beer than looters who took what little bread and milk and water and soft drinks there might still have been in a city that had been under hurricane warnings and evacuation orders (voluntary and then mandatory) for days...

I don't know about where you live, but where I live, every time there's a major storm forecasted in the area (rain, hail, snow, whatever), by the end of the day when the worst warnings are given, the shelves at every grocery and convenience story will be pretty much stripped. Milk -- gone. Water -- gone. Soda -- mostly gone.

Peter Creasey
September 30th, 2005, 08:49 AM
>> Truth <<

Subject: Canadian editorial with another slant on truth...


George Bush, the man
David Warren.The Ottawa Citizen

Sunday, September 11, 2005

There's plenty wrong with America, since you asked.
I'm tempted to say that the only difference from
Canada is that they have a few things right. That
would be unfair, of course -- I am often pleased to
discover things we still get right.

But one of them would not be disaster preparation. If
something happened up here, on the scale of Katrina,
we wouldn't even have the resources to arrive late. We
would be waiting for the Americans to come save us,
the same way the government in Louisiana just waved
and pointed at Washington, D.C. The theory being that,
when you're in real trouble, that's where the adults
live.

And that isn't an exaggeration. Almost everything that
has worked in the recovery operation along the U.S.
Gulf Coast has been military and National Guard.
Within a few days, under several commands, finally
consolidated under the remarkable Lt.-Gen. Russell
Honore, it was once again the U.S. military
efficiently cobbling together a recovery operation on
a scale beyond the capacity of any other earthly
institution.

We hardly have a military up here. We have elected one
feckless government after another that has cut corners
until there is nothing substantial left. We don't have
the ability even to transport and equip our few
soldiers. Should disaster strike at home, on a big
scale, we become a Third World country. At which
point, our national smugness is of no avail.

From Democrats and the American Left -- the U.S.
equivalent to the people who run Canada -- we are
still hearing that the disaster in New Orleans showed
that a heartless, white Republican America had
abandoned its underclass.

This is garbage. The great majority of those not
evacuated lived in assisted housing and receive food
stamps, prescription medicine and government support
through many other programs. Many have, all their
lives, expected someone to lift them to safety,
without input from themselves. And the demagogic mayor
they elected left, quite literally, hundreds of
transit and school buses that could have driven them
out of town parked in rows, to be lost in the flood.

Yes, that was insensitive. But it is also the truth;
and sooner or later we must acknowledge that welfare
dependency creates exactly the sort of haplessness and
social degeneration we saw on display, as the
floodwaters rose. Many suffered terribly, and many
died, and one's heart goes out. But already the
survivors are being put up in new accommodations, and
their various entitlements have been directed to new
locations.

The scale of private charity has also been
unprecedented. There are yet no statistics, but I'll
wager the most generous state in the union will prove
to have been arch-Republican Texas and that,
nationally, contributions in cash and kind are coming
disproportionately from people who vote Republican.
For the world divides into "the mouths" and "the
wallets."

The Bush-bashing, both down there and up here, has so
far lost touch with reality, as to raise questions
about the bashers' state of mind.

Consult any authoritative source on how government
works in the United States and you will learn that the
U.S. federal government's legal, constitutional, and
institutional responsibility for first response to
Katrina, as to any natural disaster, was zero.

Notwithstanding, President Bush took the prescient
step of declaring a disaster, in order to begin
deploying FEMA and other federal assets, two full days
in advance of the storm fall. In the little time
since, he has managed to co-ordinate an immense
recovery operation -- the largest in human history --
without invoking martial powers. He has been
sufficiently presidential to respond, not even once,
to the extraordinarily mendacious and childish
blame-throwing.

One thinks of Kipling's poem If, which I learned to
recite as a lad, and mention now in the full knowledge
that it drives postmodern leftoids and gliberals to
apoplexy -- as anything that is good, beautiful, or
true:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

Unlike his critics, Bush is a man, in the full sense
presented by these verses. A fallible man, like all
the rest, but a man.

Wayne Scott
September 30th, 2005, 10:42 AM
And maybe the photographers took more pictures of looters who took beer than looters who took what little bread and milk and water and soft drinks there might still have been in a city that had been under hurricane warnings and evacuation orders (voluntary and then mandatory) for days...

I don't know about where you live, but where I live, every time there's a major storm forecasted in the area (rain, hail, snow, whatever), by the end of the day when the worst warnings are given, the shelves at every grocery and convenience story will be pretty much stripped. Milk -- gone. Water -- gone. Soda -- mostly gone.
My Marion used to say, "We've got to stock up before the hoarders get it all."
That was our family joke in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, earthquakes, fires, floods and all the other good stuff we went through.

Wayne Scott
September 30th, 2005, 10:46 AM
>> Truth <<

Subject: Canadian editorial with another slant on truth...


George Bush, the man
David Warren.The Ottawa Citizen

Sunday, September 11, 2005

There's plenty wrong with America, since you asked.
I'm tempted to say that the only difference from
Canada is that they have a few things right. That
would be unfair, of course -- I am often pleased to
discover things we still get right.

But one of them would not be disaster preparation. If
something happened up here, on the scale of Katrina,
we wouldn't even have the resources to arrive late. We
would be waiting for the Americans to come save us,
the same way the government in Louisiana just waved
and pointed at Washington, D.C. The theory being that,
when you're in real trouble, that's where the adults
live.

And that isn't an exaggeration. Almost everything that
has worked in the recovery operation along the U.S.
Gulf Coast has been military and National Guard.
Within a few days, under several commands, finally
consolidated under the remarkable Lt.-Gen. Russell
Honore, it was once again the U.S. military
efficiently cobbling together a recovery operation on
a scale beyond the capacity of any other earthly
institution.

We hardly have a military up here. We have elected one
feckless government after another that has cut corners
until there is nothing substantial left. We don't have
the ability even to transport and equip our few
soldiers. Should disaster strike at home, on a big
scale, we become a Third World country. At which
point, our national smugness is of no avail.

From Democrats and the American Left -- the U.S.
equivalent to the people who run Canada -- we are
still hearing that the disaster in New Orleans showed
that a heartless, white Republican America had
abandoned its underclass.

This is garbage. The great majority of those not
evacuated lived in assisted housing and receive food
stamps, prescription medicine and government support
through many other programs. Many have, all their
lives, expected someone to lift them to safety,
without input from themselves. And the demagogic mayor
they elected left, quite literally, hundreds of
transit and school buses that could have driven them
out of town parked in rows, to be lost in the flood.

Yes, that was insensitive. But it is also the truth;
and sooner or later we must acknowledge that welfare
dependency creates exactly the sort of haplessness and
social degeneration we saw on display, as the
floodwaters rose. Many suffered terribly, and many
died, and one's heart goes out. But already the
survivors are being put up in new accommodations, and
their various entitlements have been directed to new
locations.

The scale of private charity has also been
unprecedented. There are yet no statistics, but I'll
wager the most generous state in the union will prove
to have been arch-Republican Texas and that,
nationally, contributions in cash and kind are coming
disproportionately from people who vote Republican.
For the world divides into "the mouths" and "the
wallets."

The Bush-bashing, both down there and up here, has so
far lost touch with reality, as to raise questions
about the bashers' state of mind.

Consult any authoritative source on how government
works in the United States and you will learn that the
U.S. federal government's legal, constitutional, and
institutional responsibility for first response to
Katrina, as to any natural disaster, was zero.

Notwithstanding, President Bush took the prescient
step of declaring a disaster, in order to begin
deploying FEMA and other federal assets, two full days
in advance of the storm fall. In the little time
since, he has managed to co-ordinate an immense
recovery operation -- the largest in human history --
without invoking martial powers. He has been
sufficiently presidential to respond, not even once,
to the extraordinarily mendacious and childish
blame-throwing.

One thinks of Kipling's poem If, which I learned to
recite as a lad, and mention now in the full knowledge
that it drives postmodern leftoids and gliberals to
apoplexy -- as anything that is good, beautiful, or
true:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

Unlike his critics, Bush is a man, in the full sense
presented by these verses. A fallible man, like all
the rest, but a man.
You will now feel the fury of the Bush haters, the US haters, the whole VLWC group.

Peter Creasey
September 30th, 2005, 11:01 AM
>> You will now feel the fury of the Bush haters, the US haters, the whole VLWC group. <<

Wayne, Surely the people you refer to, if residing here, will be amenable to having a balanced portrayal of the "truth".

Bill Hirst
October 2nd, 2005, 02:17 AM
My Marion used to say, "We've got to stock up before the hoarders get it all."
That was our family joke in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, earthquakes, fires, floods and all the other good stuff we went through.
Stores around here (Fort Lauderdale) start displaying floor to ceiling stacks of bottled water, canned food and batteries about five days in advance of a hurricane. By the time a storm is within 24 hours of landfall, shelves are empty of everything except perishables. (Fresh milk doesn't last too long if the electricity goes out, and it usually does when wind gets strong.)

Fortunately, we were still pretty well stocked before the storm season began, and now we know the portable TV only runs four hours on a set of batteries.

RayB (France)
October 2nd, 2005, 03:48 AM
You will now feel the fury of the Bush haters, the US haters, the whole VLWC group.

That's why I didn't bother posting it, Curm.

Glad to see that the fires aren't out your way. Have you been on your cruise yet?

Lindsey
October 2nd, 2005, 09:54 PM
George Bush, the man
David Warren.The Ottawa Citizen
Who is David Warren, and what makes his opinion worthy of note?

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 3rd, 2005, 09:01 AM
I certainly agree that Canada would be hard pressed to respond to a disaster the dimensions of Katrina (or remotely approaching it). That doesn't mean that our response was acceptable. It wasn't. Period.

There's more than enough blame to go around. The city and state officials don't get a pass. But neither do the feds. Nor should they. And if you think they should, perhaps you should go chat with local officials in Texas about FEMA's response after Hurricane Rita. Ask about generators sitting in a truck and FEMA refusing to release them to police and fire officials because of paperwork. Ask about MREs sitting in trucks and FEMA refusing to release them because of paperwork. THEN tell me what a good job the feds are doing these days... for people in YOUR state and not those sit-at-home welfare-guzzling good-for-nothings in New Orleans that folks from the right like to blame for everything that went wrong in NOLA.

MollyM/CA
October 3rd, 2005, 02:02 PM
We're currently working with, daily, a number of people who have and/or had relatives in the path of Katrina. The relatives who survived have been writing. One colleague was able to trace some of the history leading up to the death of his uncle. Their stories pretty well parallel the horror stories that made the news, purportedly quoted from people in the Katrina flood and destruction area. Those who got out got out by private means: a local resident going about filling up his own small boat, time and time again. Further out, locals who had motor vehicles usable in the conditions. Or they walked and avoided the blocks placed on roads and bridges. The two we know of who didn't survive had survived several hurricanes by sitting it out in their second and third stories with supplies of water and food, and thought they could do it again. One was in his eighties, born on the bayou, lived on and from the bayous all his life. His nephew thinks he more or less decided that if his house went he'd go with it. It didn't, exactly, but he was found dead in it when the waters subsided.

None of these people were on welfare. Neither were they rich. They've done the best they can with what they had all their lives, and were successful families in that they raised children who got themselves advanced degrees and work in their chosen fields. I wonder if they were among those 'looting' the Walmarts and chain drugstores for the food and bottled water behind their locked doors, after their own supplies ran out...

Peter Creasey
October 3rd, 2005, 02:51 PM
>> folks from the right like to blame for everything that went wrong in NOLA. <<

Judy, Your attack seems harsh against the "folks from the right". I don't think your designated "folks from the right" are the only people asking questions (which is not assigning blame)!

Consider me as an independent trying to understand. Here are some things I've seen people mention:
1) People from Florida after 4 hurricanes dug in and worked to solve their problems;
2) Mississippi folks dug in after Katrina and worked to solve their problems;
3) Texas folks dug in after Rita and worked to solve their problems;
4) California folks dug in after the wildfires and worked to solve their problems;
5) New Orleans and Louisiana folks largely immediately looked to others to solve their problems.

Many of the people in 1 - 4 are still in dire straits like those in 5.

I understand the foregoing is overly simplistic; still, I don't know how to answer people who are drawing contrasts between 1 - 4 versus 5.

Judy G. Russell
October 3rd, 2005, 03:14 PM
None of these people were on welfare. Neither were they rich. They've done the best they can with what they had all their livesI have no doubt that describes the vast majority of the working poor everywhere, and those are among the ones most affected.

Judy G. Russell
October 3rd, 2005, 03:18 PM
5) New Orleans and Louisiana folks largely immediately looked to others to solve their problems...I think you paint with a brush both too broad and too narrow. First, it's far too broad a brush to paint all of Louisiana and New Orleans as if it were one picture. It wasn't and isn't. Lots of folks in Louisiana (and indeed in various areas of New Orleans) did and are continuing to do everything any human being could be expected to do for himself/herself. Second, it's too narrow to try to paint a major American city into the same picture as a series of little towns (vastly different conditions when you're dealing with concentrated problems) and towns that didn't have 12' of water covering most of the city for days and days and days (vastly different situation from places that were dry as a bone within 48 hours).

Peter Creasey
October 3rd, 2005, 03:35 PM
>> towns that didn't have 12' of water <<

Judy, Nope, the towns were gone...demolished.

Some (many) would say that the issue has more to do with mindset than the degree of scale.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Judy G. Russell
October 3rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
Some (many) would say that the issue has more to do with mindset than the degree of scale.And some (many) would look for proof before tarring and feathering folks. City officials across the country are told: hold out for three days (72 hours) and the feds will be there. If that's what they're told (and they are), then planning for those three days makes sense. Well, three days came and went and guess what...