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RFields5421

Agenda's yes...but Katrina confusion was more than that

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http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB....html?mod=blogsTo follow up on my previous post on how we failed New Orleans.There was failure. At every level, no one is exempt from accountability for failure during the intial Katrina efforts.On the other hand, there are differing levels of culpability. Local government was the most culpable, because they had feet on the ground from day one and before.The federal government's blame lies clearly at the fed's inability to get good Intel. And while we are talking about Intel failure, (you know, like "Iraq...no WMD?") the biggest blame for Intel failure around Katrina lies clearly own our own Mainstream Media's doorstep.The harsh reality that MSM is having to accept is that they were fooled by the "fog of war". A hard humbling for those elite 4th Estate folks, but a humbling nonetheless.The bigger question is if MSM can't get New Orleans right, what makes you think they understand diddly about what is going on in Iraq? What Katrina showed us is bad things happen. Sometimes you can't change the course of Nature, and good and bad exist in the world.For me, the biggest message from Katrina is like all good Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared".Just my 2 cents, thoughts?bt

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There is plenty of blame to go around. But I don't blame *anyone*. I keep asking myself if I were in the position of power would I do a better job. Not sure at all. So let's not blame government (local or federal) for whatever happened. In fact during such massive disasters I don't expect anything to ever go smoothly.Michael J.

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Having relatives who evacuated from the New Orleans area on Friday before the storm hit - I was quite critical of the efforts of the local government.Having served 20 years in the US military and being aware of the logistics of mass movements of supplies - I was still critical, but not overwhelming so, of the federal response.Having worked in the public relations / media field - I felt the FEMA and Homeland Security team were wholly incompetent.But a little over a week ago, I drove to a small town near Galveston to help my son board up his home, load up irreplacable items like pictures and paperwork, and drive out with him and his family.The mayors, county judge and governor told people to evacuate - Guess what - they did !!!!We were lucky, we were able to get off the official evacuation routes after 5-5 1/2 hours. We were able to get out of the county after about 9 hours and use backroads for the 300 mile journey across Texas.What I saw first hand was a public response which exceeded not only the planning of the officials but the capacity of the roads and the state of Texas.There are a lot of very good lessons about mass movements of individuals to be learned from this exercise - and I really hope someone is working on documenting those and planning to deal with them as much as possible.One of the things I find hilarious is the people who say "well this was a hurricane with warning - what would have happened in a terrorist attack or a dirty bomb explosion"I got news for these folks - man has yet to devise anything as destructive or dangerous as a hurricane, earthquake or volcano.The most important thing to be learned in my opinion is how to do a better job the next time. Because it will happen again.

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Of course there were mistakes made. When people have to respond in a hurry, especially government agencies that normally can't do anything without months of conferences and meetings to decide anything at all, mistakes happen. That's normal and you shouldn't blame anyone (but take action to reduce the chances of at least those same mistakes happening again).The intel failure is completely to blame on the local authorities.According to all the scenarios laid out in the management manuals for federal agencies they are to be given information (and permission to enter the area...) by the local authorities.The local authorities in NOLA were extremely lacking in this, deliberately (it is now known) withholding crucial information from FEMA and others and preventing agencies like the US Red Cross from providing aid to those in need.FEMA themselves are not blameless either, mainly because they failed to set aside rigid timeconsuming procedures here and there.For example volunteer staff were sent on "racial sensitivity" courses lasting days before being allowed into the area.Volunteers already at work when FEMA arrived were told they should stop working and apply for official status (including those courses) first by FEMA staff afraid they'd be sued if those volunteers made any mistakes (thank you to all ambulance chasers and litigation-happy Americans in general).The MSM didn't get NOLA right because they didn't want to. They have their agenda too and it's the exact same one as the extreme left of US politics: to spin anything and everything so as to harm the reputation of the president and the GOP in general."What Katrina showed us is bad things happen. Sometimes you can't change the course of Nature, and good and bad exist in the world."And that's indeed what it showed. It also showed that when nature gets nasty, there's little we can do but try and get out of the way and pick up the pieces afterwards.Nature is stronger than anything we can put up against her at her worst, it's time people realised that and stopped trying to control the climate because we can't (yet we spend hundreds of billions trying which could be better spent elsewhere)."For me, the biggest message from Katrina is like all good Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared"."Be prepared and don't think Man is stronger than Nature and can control Nature in anything.Levees and floodgates can help control the damage, they can't prevent the cause of that damage.

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One of the most interesting quotes I saw during the Katrina mess went something like this:"It doesn't matter how good you are, how well prepared you are, how many people you save, how many people you bring help to - the world will still hear about those who were missed. No one can get to everyone in need on the first day. The world will hear about the others, not what you did right."This was a quote about the Katrina response from a fellow in the Indonesian government reponsible for much that's countries' disaster response to the tsunami.

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Correct. It's always the same, the MSM has no interest in reporting what went right because blood and gore are so much better for the salesfigures.Like it or not, people are morbid. It's the same in Iraq, the public doesn't hear about another school reopened or a helicopter crew getting smiling faces and thankyous from village kids when they drop footballs and maybe some soccer outfits.Instead you hear about another carbomb killing one or two people, a rate of attrition not much higher than traffic accidents.

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It seems were getting our share of mother natures wrath again.Every so often She shows us that we are just like the rest of the worlds animals.With one exception,some of us turn on each other in times of stress,like caged rats. Not all, but some!In the course of history ,whole species have been eradicated.The ultimate disaster we face,is that big rock getting ready to shake this world up.Then what do you do?The prospect of the end of mankind is sobering.In those last few hours we may have left,I'm sure it will be spent on blaming some one for it.This I think troubles me most.The politics of disaster.One side using human misery to,hurt the other side.Politicians,who by virtue of there wealth, position,and influence,don't give a dam about the average person.Instead of offering real comfort,and spiritual guidance,they instead,fan the flames of discontent,doubt,and show their greed,and thurst for power. They are only interested in their own power,and wealth.As if it would make a difference if who was in charge. Being "in charge " is what they seek.Our hearts go out to all those people who have gone Thru this.I recall "Charlie"vividly, here in So.West Fla. along with three other hurricanes which hit us last year.Many of us here are still trying to get it together,after over a year.America has great people,they have compassion,and understanding to wards their fellow Americans,that I know. Politicians,on the other hand,all of them,leave a lot to be desired.There was a time in a national crises, all, the government that is ,would rally the country, and who ever stumbled,was lifted up,those who tried their best,under difficult circumstance, and failed, were thanked for their effort,and not like our dark heritage in Salem, hung in public. We come a long way,we still got a long way to go,I hope we make it. VIN

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So many of those areas in Texas were evacuated not for flood/storm surge, but because their houses would be destroyed in the wind. I think that in the near future, you'll see most, if not all southern coastal areas building structures to a Florida type of building code. We don't have mandatory evacuations here for anything other than storm-surge. Of course, you can't prevent people from evacuating if they are just trying to flee the storm. That happened here the year after Andrew. A storm was heading toward South Florida, and against the Hurricane Center and officials reccomendations, people fled to places like Orlando, even though they were not in an evacuation area. Guess what - they storm hit Orlando, and not South Florida.

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I ran across something last night.The often quoted death toll from Camile of 256 - is broken down to 143 on the Gulf coast and 113 in Virginia.The state of Mississippi raised their official death toll from Katrina to 221 on Saturday.Why were 50% more people killed in Katrina than in Camile in Mississippi?Did that state fail to warn and evacuate their people?Why was the area so vulenerable encouraged and supported in putting more homes, more workplaces and more people at risk?

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