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Hurrican Katrina

9.09.2005

Folks,
I know ive been rather quiet of late but things simply ran against me and i had little access to the laptop or the Internet. Anyway im back for a brief moment and i decided to throw two cents into the already overflowing fountain of comment (1, 2, 3...just google it)on the Hurricane.
I came across this comment in a post over at harry's place. It seems everyone is in a tangle over who exactly is responsible for what and how soon?
Well most of us agree that Federal Authorities too little too late, but the spotlight seems to require being directed at all levels and levers of government in this case. The point by neal is relevant in the context of division of power and other issues at stake in the blame game. The unfolding of the horrendous casualty stories is bound to ratchet up pressure on GWBush, his agencies, their heads (especially FEMA), and perhaps as importantly the state authorities and relations between state and federal level.
Anyway, to the post and the comment.
Post is here. Typical rant at the socialists attempt to capitalise on the issue.
Comment is the second one, for those lazy among us;

"Gene,
Certain parts of the administration's response would have been far better had troops not been stationed in Iraq. Clearly, the absence of troops slowed the response even though, as noted in the New York Times, some troops were sitting around when they might have been tapped for duty.

On the other hand, the most notable thing to recall - something no one seems to understand outside of the US - is that the US is a federal, not a national, system. The national guard is a state militia. Disaster relief is primarily a local matter. The state must actually request help - something, evidently, Louisiana failed to do for an extended period.

Which is to say, with all of Bush' ineptitude - and it is real -, it is only one small part of the story. The larger story is that our system is no better than the calibre of government available at the state and local level.

And, in the South including, most particularly, Louisiana, government is corrupt and incompetent and, evidently, not willing to protect its population. It is to be noted that large numbers - if I recall, a third of the force - of police basically failed to report in New Orleans. In New York or Boston or San Fransisco or Chicago, such an occurence is unimaginable.

Even then, Bush was amazingly incompetent. And, moreover, he seem disinclined to take the flood seriously, using the event, initially, as a photo opportunity to say he was doing something, albeit not much at all.

At this point, however, things have clearly been corrected. Presumably, had the response been prompter, fewer people would have died."

The argument here that moral outrage is something to be directed at authorities across the board, not federal authorities ONLY. Although federal responses to emergencies require better organisation and the presence of its leaders. The concept of pulling together seems to have died in the embers of 9-11. The old game of jurisdiction and other squabbles look set to dog a sad day in american history.
RR
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