08 September 2005

The Delusions of the Left over Katrina

Anyone who knows me understands that I'm a news junkie. As I sit at my computer writing my blogs, modifying my website, doing research, or chatting, I have FoxNews Channel playing in the background. When I hear something that sounds interesting I watch. Some of what I include in my blogs comes from what I hear being discussed by guests or commentators on the cable news channel. So it is un-sourced. My reason, it is now public knowledge. That being said, I've been listening for days Nancy Pelosi's crying on TV about how FEMA Director Michael Brown should be fired. Well that is non-sense. How can I say that? I'll tell you how. Before Katrina made land-fall, President Bush declared the entire Gulf Coast a federal disaster area allowing Michael Brown to pre-position supplies and his 2,500 full-time employees to respond. BUT, no one knew where land-fall would happen. So those employees and supplies had to be centrally located to assist in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and/or Texas. Even this being done, those supplies and those employees of FEMA would take up to 48 hours to respond. This is a logistics problem that is going to be difficult to overcome unless science can accurately predict exactly where a hurricane will make land-fall. And I don't think that will ever happen. In contrast, for 5 days the track on the storm showed that New Orleans was going to be affected by Katrina. New Orleans is below sea level and most definitely within a flood-plane area. But the Mayor did nothing until 2 days (Saturday) before Katrina made land-fall. He ordered a "Voluntary Evacuation" of the City of New Orleans. That night, President Bush called Mayor Nagin and begged him to issue a "Mandatory Evacuation". But he didn't do it until the following morning citing that he needed to research his authority to do so. [take note of this] The President of the United States gave him the authority that he needed. If he had done it, more people would have gotten out. And if any blame needed to be assigned afterwards, it would have shifted to the President. And I for one would never fault him for erring on the side of caution. Governor Blanco, failed to follow the procedures of the Louisiana Emergency Management program as inferior as it is to begin with. The plan calls for the use of Public Transit and school busses to evacuate the poor and infirmed. But the authorization to use these buses to remove people from the city wasn't signed until Wednesday, 2 days after the hurricane made land-fall. FOR YOU LEFTIES OUT THERE: 2 DAYS AFTER KATRINA MADE LAND-FALL! Governor Blanco refused and still refuses to turn over control of the security forces (Police and National Guard) to FEMA. FEMA is an agency which coordinates relief services such as the Red Cross, area security, and assigns federal funding for the relief effort. But the Governor handcuffed FEMA from the start. Governor Blanco through the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security would not allow the Red Cross to enter the city of New Orleans immediately. The Red Cross was ready to go as soon as the wind died down. But were not permitted to do so. Mayor Nagin waited a week to order a forced evacuation of the city of New Orleans. And after doing so he authorized the Police and the Military to force people from their homes if they would not leave on their own. Well, he can't do that. First off, he can issue an order that would make it illegal for anyone who is not a first responder, relief worker, or military from the public streets but he cannot mandate people leave a private residence. Not without an arrest warrant anyway and no judge is going to issue one. Then there is the fact that the Mayor of a city hasn't the authority to authorize the Military to do anything. [Remember the authority question from before] That is the Commander-In-Chief's job (The President of the United States). Add to that a law called Posse Comitatus (Title 18 USC Section 375). US Military personnel are forbidden by federal law from participating in a law enforcement capacity (see Posse Comitatus). The only troops that can be ordered to do so are National Guard troops which are under the authority of the Governor not the Mayor. And Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin are not on the same page. They have been engaging in press mongering politics while the people of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana have been suffering. Now, the "Reverend" Al Sharpton and Howard Dean are starting to chant and play the race card. Because the city of New Orleans is overwhelmingly populated by a large African-American population and it is those people who are in distress. The woman that Geraldo Rivera saved from her home was white. The woman that the National Guard and Police arrested for having the gun was white. The man telling FoxNews from his balcony that he didn't need to evacuate because he wasn't surrounded by water (in the French Quarter) was white. So how is this race. Facts are facts, 75% of Americans living below the poverty level are white. The black community has a larger percentage as compared to the total number of African-Americans in the nation, but of the people living below the poverty level, 75% of those people are white. Why is it, every time the poor are befallen by some catastrophe, the race card gets played by these morons? Poverty is color blind. And so is ignorance as Sharpton and Dean have shown. Every time a report is on TV from a shelter, the majority of people there are black. The children are being featured, and the people are all saying that they are grateful for the help. So how is this a race issue? Sure, FEMA was slow in responding. But remember, for the federal government to respond, the local authority must appeal to the County (Parish) who must then appeal to the State (Governor Blanco), who then must appeal to the President. The President then must authorize FEMA to respond. The break down came at the state and local levels. Had they followed the plan, people wouldn't have been there to be in distress. Now, the plan is inferior even if it were followed. It calls for a minimum of 100,000 people needing to be evacuated by public transit or school bus (that didn't happen). The plan calls for them to be transported to the SuperDome or other shelters of last resort where no provisions were stocked. From there, people would be responsible for their own evacuations. The people were responsible for bringing their own bedding, their own food, and their own water. The people were then responsible for evacuating themselves from there if need be. An inferior plan not executed by an incompetent pair of elected failed leaders. Blanco and Nagin need to resign. Those two are the epitome of Nero fiddling.
Mississippi on the other hand, has been running smoothly. The destruction is more wide spread and there wasn't the flooding that New Orleans experienced. The looting wasn't as wide spread. The murders, rapes, and shootings weren't taking place there. Why? Governor Barber put Mississippians on notice, looting would not be tolerated. That he had instructed law enforcement to pursue looters aggressively. Mississippi followed an effective disaster plan. Governor Barber declared the affected areas a "Disaster Area" and appealed to the President. FEMA wasn't faced with the obstacles that they were in Louisiana. The Red Cross wasn't prevented from entering the affected areas. Supplies were a bit slow in arriving, but that too is improving. Why? It couldn't be the politics involve could it? Now I could do what our adversaries do and call it flawed political thinking (it probably is) but I won't. I'll call it political incompetence on the part of individuals. Blanco and Nagin have no business being elected officials. Governor Barber is a real leader. He had a plan and he executed it in a timely manner. He responded in a way that allowed federal assistance to arrive as quickly as possible. And did not resist federal involvement. He is still in command of the National Guard forces in Mississippi. And is still the top political leader in the state. So why are Governor Blanco (I bet re-election is politically impossible at this point) and Mayor Nagin (same here) fighting and playing media politics? Incompetence. I will go on record to praise 1 elected Democrat, Joe Lieberman. Today he made some statements on FoxNews which made the most sense that I've heard yet. When talking of the government, he said that there will be plenty of time for blame and investigation later. As for my blaming, I'm not actively involved in providing solutions. My job is to point out the hypocrisy and disingenuousness of the left. I am a commentator. This blog is about what I think. I could care less about what you think. If I did, I'd visit your blog. Don't have one, that just like not voting. If you don't vote you have no voice. If you don't blog, don't use mine to make your points. Get your own! And a special thanks to my friends at Outside The Beltway.
Blogger's 1st Amendment Pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. Gribbit is a contributing writer at Stop The ACLU and the co-founder and administrator of Stop The ACLU BlogBurst.

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