Democrats & Liberals Archives

Our government has failed us

It’s easy to say the Bush administration has failed us in regards to New Orleans and Katrina, because it has so many times before. We are neck deep in a war that has depleted our financial and military might. They have done relatively little to provide protection along our porous borders, chemical and nuclear facilities. They have provided little relief to the poor and elderly who are being crushed by medical costs.
They have underfunded schools. They have hurt our international standing. The list goes on and on.
But when it comes to the tragedy in New Orleans, we must hold all in government responsible.

This is a complete and total failure to provide adequate protection and quicker evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans, who did not have the financial means to obey the order to evacuate.
Think about that. They could not afford to flee. Their punishment for not having a good line of credit was seen by millions on every channel. Thirst, hunger, suffering and even death.
Our government is at fault. Were the people left behind because they were black? Poor? Or was it because our government is so incompetent as leaders that we should learn to lower our expectations and accept their failures as par for the course? Once again thousands die. For what?
From The Washington Post:
"Michael Parker, who was forced by Bush to resign as assistant secretary of the Army for civil works after accusing the White House of shortchanging the Corps of Engineers, said the culprit is not the president but government-wide resistance to investing long-term in projects such as flood control."

"You have watched during a period of 72 hours a modern city of New Orleans [become] a Third World country, and it is all because of the disintegration of infrastructure," Parker said. "Everybody is to blame -- it transcends administrations. It transcends party."

Bush sucks, but he's not alone.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at September 6, 2005 5:48 PM
Comment #78510

An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State

by Robert Tracinski
Sep 02, 2005
by Robert Tracinski
It took four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can’t blame them, because it also took me four long days to figure out what was going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city’s infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists—myself included—did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency—indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

“Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

“The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire….

“Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

” ‘These troops are…under my orders to restore order in the streets,’ she said. ‘They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.’ ”

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows a SWAT team with rifles and armored vests riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to speed away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Superdome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage one night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. “The projects,” as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night’s television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of “the projects.” Then the “crawl”—the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels—gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of those who remained, a large number were from the city’s public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then told me that early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city’s jails—so they just let many of them loose. [Update: I have been searching for news reports on this last story, but I have not been able to confirm it. Instead, I have found numerous reports about the collapse of the corrupt and incompetent New Orleans Police Department; see here and here.]

There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations—that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit—but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals—and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep—on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. In a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters—not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American “individualism.” But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider “normal” behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don’t sit around and complain that the government hasn’t taken care of them. And they don’t use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don’t, because they don’t own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

People living in piles of their own trash, while petulantly complaining that other people aren’t doing enough to take care of them and then shooting at those who come to rescue them—this is not just a description of the chaos at the Superdome. It is a perfect summary of the 40-year history of the welfare state and its public housing projects.

The welfare state—and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages—is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Source: TIA Daily — September 2, 2005

Posted by: DAVID at September 6, 2005 6:32 PM
Comment #78521

No, I don’t buy it. When we walk into an election booth every fourth year, we are casting a vote for the guy who will be responsible for the success and failure of our government. Nobody expects the president to have his finger on the pulse of every possible situation, however, it’s not unrealistic to expect him to surround himself with experts and advisors in every field. And those people should be expected to develope a hierarchy of intelligence that will give us the very best chance of minimizing the effects of natural and man made disasters. Ultimately, it is the president’s responsibility to lead and protect us.

“No one could have imagined…” is NOT an acceptable excuse.

Posted by: THOM HOUTS at September 6, 2005 7:04 PM
Comment #78533

“No one could have imagined…” - a more miserably incompetent leader?
(I guess some voters might need an excuse…)

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 7:35 PM
Comment #78535

“Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?” — David

Uhh, because they are deperate, scared, and starving. People do not often act rationally when thrust into those conditions, particularly when they’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 25,000 other desperate, scared, and starving people in one fetid location and the smell of death in the air. The were told help was arriving. Day afer day after day. Which clearly deepened the despair and the lashing out. Blaming their actions on the “welfare state” is misguided, inhumane, pseudo-elitist logic. But if you still want to cling to it, please ask Mr. Bush why poverty has increased in each of his first four full years as President. He’s the one creating your “welfare state.”

Posted by: Mister Magoo at September 6, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #78536

It seems you have all made up your minds without investigating the true facts of the situation. I will wait to pass judgement. I beleive that the Mayor (NO) and Governor (LA) have a lot of explaining to do first.

Posted by: discerner at September 6, 2005 7:42 PM
Comment #78543

discerner -

So, basically, it’s the ‘hey, look over there!’ defense.

Of course there are others who dropped the ball, but the Bush Administration is in charge, and they were charged with making sure we could respond to a disaster like this. He/they failed. No matter how many others can be dug up and thrown in front of him - he is the leader. BUSH failed. (I seriously doubt facts have much to do with people’s avoidance of this fact.)

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 8:02 PM
Comment #78545


In the spirit of objectivity, I suppose your next “cut and paste” will address the bright and shining success of the corporate welfare state and the criminals related to same, both seemingly impossible to separate from specific elements of the Republican Party which appear to be nothing more than a un-American neo-fascist cult originating and governing from the sewers of the American political, business, religious, and media communities.

Same selective b.s, same hypocrisy!

And Discerner,

True facts as presented by the corporately manipulated news media?

Posted by: dtom21 at September 6, 2005 8:13 PM
Comment #78549
Our government has failed us … The list goes on and on. But when it comes to the tragedy in New Orleans, we must hold all in government responsible.

It’s hard to hold government responsible, when it has designed government so that those that run it are almost completely unaccountable.

And, when the people vote, they simply vote such that it lets both main parties take turns at being irresponsibile and unaccountable, while also blocking access to 3rd party and independent candidates to ballots and debates.

The list goes on and on is an understatement. The list is almost as astronomically big as the National Debt:

  • continued growth of government to nightmare proportions (while politicians vote themselves bigger rai$e$ and cu$hy perk$);
  • refusal of government to deal with tough problems for fear of risking re-election;
  • government ignores many problems, allowing them to grow worse in number and severity;
  • pork-barrel, waste, graft, corruption, greed, laziness, arrogance, etc.;
  • fiscal irresponsibility; fiscal and moral bankruptcy; $370 billion per year (and climbing fast) in interest alone; massive borrowing;
  • $8 trillion National Debt, which has grown every year for the last 45 years; representing $50 trillion in interest over the next 127 years (but only if debt stops rapidly growing now, and also starts to be decreased by $1 billion per day);
  • election fraud, government for sale;
  • big money and blatant influences on elections and government (90% of elections are won by those that spend the most) by a few with vast weatlh and power;
  • presidential pardons for convicted criminals (even those that pled guilty like Rostenkowski pardoned by Clinton);
  • politicians spend a large percentage of their time raising money for the next election;
  • unfair and oppressive tax system;
  • main parties blocking 3rd parties access to ballots and debate; severely decreased and limited choices on voting ballots;
  • perpetual partisan squabbling that distracts voters from substantive issues, pressing problems, and the fact that government is failing us;
  • legal plunder (abuse of eminent domain laws);
  • plunder of entitlement systems (S.S., Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) & pensions & PBGC insolvency;
  • the falling dollar, printing more money to (by design, to reduce debt, but futile since it causes inflation, economic destabilization, etc.);
  • refusal to secure borders while pretending to care about homeland security and calling “Minute Men” vigilantes;
  • using illegal immigration to increase population of future tax payers;
  • insufficient and selective law enforcement;
  • increasingly unaffordable and unreliable health care;
  • decreasing quality and increasing cost of public education;
  • corporate/investor fraud (baby boomers lost trillion$ in the last recession);
  • falling incomes, globalization, global pillage (not global village) & the race to the bottom;
  • energy vulnerability and no energy plan or serious leadership to reduce dependency on oil;
  • rejection of term limits by both parties;
  • rejection of campaign finance/election reform by both parties;
  • violation of the 1st Amendment;
  • shrinking middle income population;
  • increasing poverty;
  • top 5% of wealthiest have 59% of all wealth, the bottom 60% only have 5% of all wealth;
  • pandering;
  • perpetuation of the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else;
  • incarceration and execution of innocent people;
  • perversion of the laws to do the very things the laws were supposed to prevent;
  • WMD ?
  • decreased homeland security, options, and solutions when needed most (due to irresponsibility for so long in so many areas);
  • and increasingly apathetic voters who feel it no longer matters who they vote for (and their correct to think that), as they watch both main parties simply take turns at being irresponsible, unaccountable, and sabotaging each other, intent mostly on getting in, and filling their pockets; without regard for the welfare of the nation;

Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2005 8:36 PM
Comment #78550

The facts will be difficult to attain, but the medias presentation is polarized at best. Its extreme viewpoints supporting racism to categorical denials are more then likely in error.

So where do we get correct, truthful, unbiased information? We read, hear and purchase to our opinions and support it with our dollars. In other words, it may not truly exist anymore. Which means that society will continue to become more polarized and divided as time moves forward.

We may never truly get all the facts, so let’s just pretend we do and come to judgment anyway.

Tony…You want Bush to fail at everything, therefore for you, he has, and he will.

Posted by: discerner at September 6, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #78551


My advise for you is to move to another country. I think you may find some form of happiness there.

Posted by: Cliff at September 6, 2005 8:41 PM
Comment #78552

Tony…You want Bush to fail at everything, therefore for you, he has, and he will.

No - actually, I wish he would succeed at something, one thing… anything. Failure of our leaders makes us all look bad. He is inept, and no amount of spin can permanently cover this. Are you happy with his leadership, or do you think we should demand more from the most important job in our country?

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 8:45 PM
Comment #78555


I think you are on the wrong blog. Sounds like neo-con rationalization to me. Putting the blame on the victims - You should be ashamed. It just couldn’t be that people just “lost their minds” in the most horrific situation imaginable. This is just the most cold, callous and selfish thinking I can imagine. I have heard a lot of blaming going around, but this is about the most ludicrous by far. The only one that may top it or even come close is that God sent a hurricane to destroy the wicked much like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Have you never considered or been taught compassion or empathy. Guess not. Your bread is apparently buttered and you look down and judge the less fortunate. I actually feel sorry for you and anyone who thinks as you do. You are the truly poor ones. The ones with no hearts, no souls. Pity!

Posted by: Donna at September 6, 2005 9:15 PM
Comment #78557


Actually, under the circumstances that Bush has had to deal with, I am content with his leadership. It’s not perfect by a long shot. but I know what he will do and there is no second guessing the man. Neither Gore or Kerry could do that.

Posted by: Discerner at September 6, 2005 9:26 PM
Comment #78564

Actually, under the circumstances that Bush has had to deal with, I am content with his leadership. It’s not perfect by a long shot. but I know what he will do and there is no second guessing the man. Neither Gore or Kerry could do that.

… and where are your facts for this assumption? And what exactly does Gore or Kerry have to do with this? Let’s get out of the party politics and discuss what’s real.

BTW - The circumstances for the first 72 hours of this catastrophe… Bush was still on vacation. This wasn’t exactly an email you could answer when you got back into the office.

When was his first official public address on the dire situation in New Orleans? (After his guitar lesson and WW2 cake eating?) He wasn’t on the ground there until FRIDAY… How many people died before he took direct action. He is the President of the US. Who else could make things happen quicker than he could?

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 9:51 PM
Comment #78566

I found this link to be very sad…This New Orleans Plan was never used…

Posted by: Cliff at September 6, 2005 9:52 PM
Comment #78568

I found this link to be very sad…This New Orleans Plan was never used…

Posted by: Cliff at September 6, 2005 9:54 PM
Comment #78571

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by ‘This New Orleans Plan was never used’? It’s a public service notice on a web site… to disseminate information that might be helpful in case of an emergency. I’m guessing it’s up to individual families as to whether they used these guidelines/suggestions or not.

I did find one suggestions a potential root-cause for many of the casualties… ” If you need a ride, try to go with a neighbor, friend, or relative. ” I think we’ve all seen enough now to know better than this.

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 10:02 PM
Comment #78574


What did he NOT do that you wanted him to do? Bush does not have to “be there” to make things happen. Do you really think he was doing nothing? Does he have to tell everyone evey single thing that he or his people were doing before the Katrina hit? Does he have to be there to make things happen? Does he have to explain it to you? I think not…

AND I don’t think he will, because there are too many people that want to armchair quarterback what has happened, and they don’t know the facts. I am content to wait.

The State and the Fed have a relationship that is dictated and orderly. Is the Fed supposed to step in if the state thinks they can handle it? FEMA works within the states defined leadership not independently and certainly not to usurp authority.

read cliff’s link…it didn’t happen…

Posted by: Discerner at September 6, 2005 10:07 PM
Comment #78581

… and sometimes, a leader’s most important responsibility it make sure those in need know that help is on the way. People dies waiting to hear anything from him.

I think a leader has to be honest and accept responsibility for their charge. Do I think Bush completely disproved himself a leader in this single event? No. He has taken every opportunity since he took office to do so, he has a built a track record of wrong decisions and poor follow-through.

Actions (intelligent/correct actions) and Success speak louder than words. The Bush Administration is horribly weak on both.

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 10:13 PM
Comment #78585

read cliff’s link…it didn’t happen…
I did read it…. What didn’t happen?

“Emergency Guide for Citizens”

“Dear Parish Residents,

The safety and well-being of the citizens of New Orleans is my greatest priority…”


This is a helpful guideline for emergencies… Please, explain how this is to happen? Did people fail to read this? How do you know that no one read it?

Posted by: tony at September 6, 2005 10:18 PM
Comment #78593


I live just SW of New Orleans and the plan you linked to is the same general plan that we all go by, except tailored to fit our exact locations. The plan was used and, for the most part, followed.
So much is made of the people who didn’t leave. But what about the 80% of the city population, plus all the others in the surrounding areas, that DID leave?
When you read the plan, you see that it consists of two parts: Evacuation and Sheltering. They are what was used. The plan was articulated in the days preceding the storm, as is always done. Of course, those of us who live here all have copies of the plan for our locale.
For those whom have seen me post this same speech over the past few days, I apologize for repeating myself. My goal is to stop this incorrect assumption that somehow there was either no plan, or that a plan was not followed.
If you have a city of over a million people; any city, you will have a certain portion of the population that will not or can not evacuate. That is why there is a shelter system set up.
The situation that occurred after the storm when the shelter was surrounded by flood waters made it more difficult to begin the evac out of the city for those remaining.
Then the other factors had their effect (no point in going into them again).
There will always be those that get stuck in the storm and have to be rescued.
Many lessons were learned by the population. The major one was what can happen when that Category 5 hurricane hits us. It’s not something to be trifled with. We have all gotten through smaller storms in the past, and the feeling that some had, that they could weather this one, caused some serious problems.
I evacuated for this one, but did not for most of the past storms. I think I’ll probably evacuate a little more quickly in the future.

Posted by: Cole at September 6, 2005 10:36 PM
Comment #78617

My advise for you is to move to another country.

Cliff, that’s a valid option for me and my family. I can afford to do that, if necessary.
But, my entire family and I were born in the U.S., and we’d like to stay (if possible).
We’d like to make it better if possible.
But, you’ve people have to understand the problems before they can understand the available solutions. My web-site isn’t all about hating the U.S. It also proposes solutions (some that many other people agree with). What’s wrong with that ?

But, the way things are going, leaving may someday soon be a good idea. A lot of Americans are already living overseas fulltime.

But, what about you, and many other Americans ?
What will your life be like in the next depression ?

Also, baby boomers had better be very nice to their children, who will be paying for the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
A lot of them are going to be living in poverty, since Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, GPBC & pensions, etc. are bankrupt. There’s no surpluses in those systems. Only I.O.U.s . So, the burden is going to get dumped on younger Americans. The only problem is: there’s not enough of them to support 77 million baby boomers. So, they’ll have to raise taxes (a lot).

It’s not hard to see young Americans leaving the U.S. when they start getting taxed 60% (which is what it will take to pay for S.S. and Medicare) for 77 million baby boomers.

It’s not hard to see the economic disaster that’s brewing.

Cliff, I’m trying to raise awareness, and find solutions. That’s the same reason a lot of people are here. It’s not all about just finding problems, fault, etc., because we’re all really to blame; we’re all utlimately responsible. OK. I’m repetitive, but not everyone reading these blogs are regulars.

The pressing problems facing the nation (listed above) are serious problems. Wouldn’t you agree ?

Have you done the math ?
We’ve got some serious economic problems brewing that can’t be hidden or ignored much longer.

Cliff, could you please give me an economic forecast for the next 5 to 15 years, considering the massive debt, and problems that politicians won’t tackle for fear of risking re-election.

Or, do you think it will all work it self out ?
What if the staggering debt is already be beyond remedy? And, then there’s history. Those that ignore it are doomed to repeat it.

Don’t believe any of that ?
See what some economists say (predicted depression in 2008):

But, don’t take anyone’s word for it. Do the math. Here’s a loan/accrual spreadsheet showing that it would take 127 years to pay off the debt if we started now: (1) stop borrowing $1 billion per day , (2) to pay the $1 billion of interest due each day.

Think government will ever have the discipline to stop borrowing ? And, pay down the debt ? It’s doubtful. What happens when the interest per day is too much to handle ? Print more money ? That’s what they’ll do. Then the dollar will fall even more. You may someday soon need a wheel barrow of U.$. dollars to just buy a loaf of bread.

Why do you think 95% of everyone says the U.S. government is bankrupting the country? Because, it’s true.

Cliff, you’re not the first person to advise me to leave the U.S. I get that all the time. It’s so trite, it’s barely worth addressing.

But let me ask you this ? If the nation really has serious issues (as listed above), what good does it do to advise those raising red flags, to leave the country. What if some of these doomsday economists are correct? Frankly, it’s pretty obvious. So, what’s wrong with raising awareness of a serious problem that’s going to economically devastate a lot of Americans ?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2005 12:08 AM
Comment #78626

Hey Cliff,

You people are screwing up America so bad, it’s beginning to look like a whole “nother” country, a two bit banana republic and as corrupt as they get.

Incidentally, I’ve already changed countries and George W. Bush’s America is looking pretty stupid from so far away, and that was before the hurricane!

Posted by: dtom21 at September 7, 2005 2:17 AM
Comment #78636


Please provide a simple link next time (perhaps with excerpts) instead of copying and pasting the entire article. In addition to being bad form, it is probably illegal.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2005 3:58 AM
Comment #78638

I’m sure that all of us who exercise our right, our obligation, to point out the shortcomings of our nation and our government have been invited to move elsewhere.
And it makes me sad that there’s a large segment of our population so content with the ills of our nation, they’d rather be consumed by them than hear about them, much less DO something about them.
But it pisses me off that there’s a segment of our population who look at some of the ills of our great country and consider them benefits.
“What I’m hearing is they all want to stay in Texas,” she said. “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.”
It’s one thing for Laura Bush to try to make Lemonade from lemons, but this is as insulting and racist as anything I’ve ever heard.

Posted by: Thom at September 7, 2005 4:26 AM
Comment #78643


Lawnboy is correct. Due to copyright liabilities, we must ask that you not reprint works by other authors in other publications on this site. Provide a link to it. Thank you.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 7, 2005 6:01 AM
Comment #78651


“I think you are on the wrong blog. Sounds like neo-con rationalization to me. Putting the blame on the victims - You should be ashamed.”

I suggest that you read my article a bit more carefully.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 7, 2005 8:02 AM
Comment #78657


Those who support our current government without fail, either don’t care about the United States or have the uncanny ability to twist reality.
Those who suggest d.a.n should leave the country
may want to take their own advice. You obviously have such low expectations for your leaders you can pretty much live anywhere.
The United States government is in complete disarray. You want to pretend it’s not, no problem, but is it really neccessary for you folks to come out of the woodwork every time people question the current administration? Maybe you could offer fact-based information to add to the debate and not just judge us as un-American.
Our government is being run by the highest bidders.
Did you read the list provided by d.a.n?
You’re O.K. with that?
I hear Norway is nice.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 7, 2005 8:28 AM
Comment #78668

Thom -

(actually that was Barbara Bush making that obsurd comment.) I’ve not heard too many people discussing it - but it deserves a bit of attention. It’s that kind of attitude that allows poverty issues in New Orleans and elsewhere to exist at the level that they do.

Posted by: tony at September 7, 2005 9:12 AM
Comment #78669

Yes andre lets have the truth be know. Our government has failed us. 1st the local government ie mayor and secondly our governor they need to be made accountable.

Posted by: Thomas at September 7, 2005 9:12 AM
Comment #78672

It is beyond belief, albeit typical that the Liberals absolutely refuse to consider that there is even a remote possibility that individuals and/or situations other than President Bush and FEMA might bear a huge portion of the responsibility for this disaster.

We on the right are accused of having “closed minds” and nothing but a defensive attitude. You liberals need to look in the mirror. You have to stop projecting this “it is that way because we say it is attitude”.

Posted by: steve smith at September 7, 2005 9:23 AM
Comment #78697

steve smith,
You’re correct. This problem and it’s causes were decades in the making.
Bush is just one person. Of course, he deserves part of the blame. So does FEMA.
But, Congress and the entire Executive Branch, are primarily to blame.
Next, the people of this nation are also to blame for tolerating it.

Truly, we shouldn’t focus too much on just one person. We need to focus on:
[1] irresponsible government,
[2] and voters that allow it.

It’s understandable that most voters feel despair, and feel it doesn’t matter who they vote for. The result is we bounce between the two main parties, letting them take turns being irresponsible and unaccountable.

The Problem: government is irresponsible and unaccountable

The Solution: voters must stop allowing government to be irresponsible and unaccountable

How: Start voting only for non-incumbents, every election, until the top ten most important problems facing the nation are adequately addressed. First, transparency is needed to discourage corruption, and acquire accountability, which will yield more responsibility. Make everything public. For example, disect everything currently abused, and make public all aspects of that procedure, and change the procedure to make it easier to see what’s really going on.

A good place to start is with bills.
To reduce graft, pork-barrel, waste:
Only allow bills to have ONE PURPOSE.
This will keep unrelated pork-barrel from sneaking into each bill, now laden with pork-barrel, graft, waste, and consistinng of thousands of pages that few peoeple scrutinize, which makes it impossible to know why a Congress person voted for or against the bill (or why the president didn’t veto the bill). Lots of no-brainer, common-sense, simple improvements are possible. But government won’t reform itself. The voters must force a balance of power (not simply shift it) between government and the people. By voting out incumbents every election, the voters will peacefully force politicians to tackle tough issues if they want to ever get re-elected (rather than what they do now: ignore tough issues for fear of risking re-election).

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2005 11:01 AM
Comment #78711

The nation is facing many pressing problems,
but none can be resolved without first
eliminating the cause of so many problems.

We can chip away at the fringe issues and problems, only to have each replaced with more problems, or we can get to the core problem,
which when resolved, will cause solutions and
harmony, and abundance to naturally follow.

The problem is really in all of us (in general).
Laziness, which causes government to be
irresponsible and unaccountable, and causes
voters to apathetically tolerate it, and sink
ever lower into despair that reform may never be possible.

It is possible, but voters must focus on root causes,
and stop being distracted with petty partisan squabbling and nonsense.

If we don’t do it soon, we’re all doomed to repeat history. We are facing an economic disaster. Anyone who can’t see the increasingly likelihood of an economic meltdown, must be wearing rose-colored glasses.

And who will suffer the most in the next depression ?
The rich and wealthy ?
Nope. They’ll move elsewhere if necesssary (to escape high taxes and oppression and decline of the nation). They may come back later when things are cheaper, and labor is dirt cheap.
The middle-income, the poor, and the elderly will fall into poverty as entitlements (e.g. S.S., Medicare, etc.), pensions become insolvent (they really already are insolvent actually).

The signs are there.
Psychology has a great deal to do with our current situation. It could all be inevitable.
There may only be one peaceful way to avoid
a repeat of history. Are we doomed to repeat
the pain of depressions, civil wars, revolutions,
oppression ? Must things always get much worse before they can get better? Do we always have to reach rock-bottom, before we find the courage to choose liberty and abundance ?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2005 11:43 AM
Comment #78719


Excellent ideas.
These are the real issues we must get across to Republicans and Democrats. We must abandon both parties and elect officials who are determined to reform our government and hand the power back to the people.

Steve Smith,

The article was not about bashing Bush. If you read it, you will note that it is directed at our government. Both parties. State, local and Federal.
I am trying to get all Americans to see that we need dramatic changes in our government.
New Orleans should be the catalyst for this change.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 7, 2005 11:59 AM
Comment #78796

Thanks Andre.
You make 5 or 6 now I think (Me, David R. Remer, Ron Brown, Stephanie, and you) that might support a movement to vote only for non-incumbents.

That approach has many potential benefits:
[] gives politicians an incentive to tackle problems, instead of ignoring them for fear of risking re-election; now they’d be unseated if they don’t start working and showing progress on the top 10 problems;
[] peer pressure; gives politicians an incentive to police their own ranks; otherwise they’ll all keep getting voted out repeatedly, until they solve the top 10 problems facing the nation; wouldn’t it be great if politicians pressued each other to be less corrupt, influenced by big money, and quick to vote themselevs a raise ?
[] eliminates the need for term limits;
[] it’s a peaceful approach that balances power (not simply shifts it); politicians still have power to do their job; they merely would have more incentives to solve problems if they want to ever get re-elected;
[] it would increase choices at the polls; more choices on the ballots;
[] it’s simple to understand, do, communicate to others, doesn’t need a lot of money, and doesn’t need a party.
[] helps raise voters out of despair; those that have felt for a long time that their vote was meaningless, and really made no difference anyway, since government still continued to be irresponsible and unaccountable;
[] it would reduce corruption, graft, waste, etc., if one of the top 10 pressing problems to be resolved is increased transparency (such as ONE PURPOSE per bill; publicizing voting records, salaries, decisions, election and campaign finance reform, etc.)
[] and, even if it didn’t work, no harm really done; government will merely continue to be irresponsible and unaccountable; besides, what we’ve been doing and now doing ain’t workin’

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2005 3:14 PM
Comment #78819


We have a few years. Maybe we can convince more people, but I think the government, led by this administration, will drive the voters to third party candidates in droves.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 7, 2005 4:37 PM
Comment #79164

Why did the Mayor and Governor fail so badly down in Louisiana? It is an embarrassment to Democrats. They knew clearly that 100,000 people would not be able to evacuate. It say’s right in their own evacuation plans. And it clearly states that the Mayor is responsible for the evacuation. What about the thousands of school and city busses that sat waiting to be flooded? You need to look at the link that posts New Orleans evacuation plan.
The plan clearly states what the Mayor and the Governor are in charge of, and neither one of them did any part of their job. The leadership of the local government is embarrassing and incompetent down there.
Below is a few clips off of New Orleans own website. Look who was not in control here. Check the link above and see the entire thing for yourself.

“”””The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.”””””
A. Mayor
* Initiate the evacuation.
* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.
* Authorize return to evacuated areas.
Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation.

They knew all of this. Why did they not act?

Posted by: Knopp at September 8, 2005 10:41 PM
Comment #119542

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Posted by: James at February 2, 2006 9:54 AM
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