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Hurricanes, Florida Style

Today, John Hawkins has a new column up on Townhall called It's Time to Get Over Katrina Already. He makes an excellent point:

Two years after Katrina, everywhere you turn, there are people carping, whining, and kvetching. Just why hasn't the pity party for the citizens of New Orleans run out of booze and chips yet?

It's not as if hurricanes are a once a millennium event in the United States. In fact, residents of Florida have so many of them that they don't even cancel a barbecue for anything under a Category 3.


Can I just say how true that is? We get hurricane warnings constantly. Most of the time, I yawn. And honestly, if it's a Category 1 or 2, it's a non-event... unless, of course, you are a surfer, in which case you can be counted upon to be at the beach trying to take advantage of the good waves, all the way up to a Category 4, when police have to be there to forcibly keep them away.

To us, hurricanes are kind of like big thunderstorms. Unless a really big, bad one comes along (like a 4 or a 5), it's pretty boring.

A few years ago, Florida got hit by four hurricanes in one season. Two of them, Frances and Jeanne, came through Jacksonville. My friends and I were all pretty excited. At the time, I was living at the beaches, and at my parents' request, came to stay with them further inland. Their house lost power for a few days due to downed power lines, my apartment at the beaches didn't. Wind and rain was minimal. Some friends and I even threw a hurricane party, completely ready with non-perishable food items, "beverages", and lots of candles. We were all set and ready for the exciting stuff to happen. But as we waited, and the hours passed, nothing happened. We didn't lose power. There were no gale force winds, no trees whipping about. The surfers ate it up out at the beach, and while some people lost power for a while, it was pretty much a non-event. It wasn't that anyone wanted large-scale destruction, but we were waiting for something to happen! You know, give us some strong winds, some power outages. It was more eventful a few months after 9-11, when the entire city lost power for no apparent reason (and there was definitely no hurricane in sight). Jacksonville hasn't had a major storm hit since the 1960s, and I'm not betting on it happening any time soon.

In the areas where the hurricanes were much stronger, like in Pensacola and the southwestern tip of Florida (Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, etc.), there was large scale damage and destruction that took years to rebuild. But did you see those people clamoring for the government to swoop in and solve everything for them? Did they whine and cry to the media about how the government wasn't paying enough attention to their plight? No! It was actually a pretty inspirational story, in my opinion, to watch these people see everything they owned destroyed, and pick themselves back up and keep going. Not only did they show resilience, but (to use a corny phrase), the spirit of brotherhood was alive and well. People from all over the state traveled to help with the rebuilding efforts. Neighbors pitched in to help neighbors. They worked together, usually selflessly, and over time, things got better. Then again, we also didn't have Louisiana politicians to screw it up for us, either.

There was no looting. No influx of crime. No Army Corps of Engineers needing to be called in to rebuild, only to be attacked by angry residents. Shit happened, and people took care of themselves. They picked themselves up, and went on with their lives, without requiring the rest of the United States to do it for us.

Contrast that with Katrina. And when it comes to Katrina, specifically, how many people remember that New Orleans was not the only city affected? States from Mississippi to Texas were affected, hit badly, yet how much media coverage and aid went to them? Was there an outpouring of compassion to help rebuild those cities? I'm sure there was some, but it was nowhere near the spectacle of New Orleans. We've spent more on rebuilding New Orleans than we did on the Marshall Plan, for crying out loud. At what point does enough become enough? I mean, sheesh. Obviously, there are Katrina victims who have picked up and moved on to lead productive lives. There are too many, however, who are enjoying the situation, milking it for all its worth, and happily living off the taxpayers' dime.

I'll say it again: shit happens. In Denver, it was massive blizzards. In Minnesota, it was a bridge collapsing. In the midwest, they have tornado alley. Here on the east coast, we have hurricanes. Bad things sometimes happen to good people, and there's only one thing you can really do if you want to survive: Pick up. Move on. Get a life.


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Comments (62)

Katrina was played as a pol... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Katrina was played as a political football. And always will be.....

"Jacksonville hasn't had a major storm hit since the 1960s"
Good to know, I have two brothers who just moved their families to FL., one to Jacksonville, the other ON the beach (haha) in St. Augustine. I told them to watch out for GLO-BALL warming, and BIG hurricanes. lmao

You're kidding right?... (Below threshold)
Paul:

You're kidding right?

Do you really not understand the Hurricane did almost no damage to New Orleans????

That it was a man made flood that killed the town?

Do you not realise that 150,000 homes where destroyed by the hand of man?

Your ignorance is astounding.

I understand what you're sa... (Below threshold)
J-Ho:

I understand what you're saying, and I don't disagree. Many of my neighbors here in NOLA are still standing on their street with their arms out whining because no one is giving them cash. You don't here about the majority of people who have worked hard to rebuild their lives. You only here about the ones crying for someone to save them.

On the other hand, all of that money that has been given hasn't even made it close to most of the "folks" here. They're still waiting for help that hasn't shown up in two years. Their entire lives were destroyed and help was promised, but hasn't come yet (you can thank the state and city for that. It's not Bush's fault.)

Plus, when FLA gets hit by a hurricane, they don't have 12 feet of water standing in the city for weeks at a time. It's not really the same.

Other than the San Fran Earthquake, or the Galveston Hurricane, we really haven't had incidents of an entire Major city being destroyed. So you have to know it takes a while to rebuild.

Remember the Dems attempt a... (Below threshold)

Remember the Dems attempt at Katrina-fying the Kansas tornado earlier this Spring? I sent out an article to some friends, one of whom sent it to a former friend (and full-blown BDS sufferer) who lives in New Orleans. He hit "Reply All" to my addressees (isn't that a No-No if it wasn't sent to you in the first place???) and tore me a new one. Some people (and the Democratic Party) think they have absolute moral authority when it comes to Katrina, but it's more like absolute a-moral authority!

When I was home to visit in... (Below threshold)

When I was home to visit in Minnesota the local papers were whining about getting State aid for a section of one county that had a wind storm that blew over a whole lot of trees.

It was embarrassing.

It's not as though it wasn't a big clean up. The fairly small lakeside park that one of our family reunion picnics was in had lost 40 or more large oak trees that had to be cut up and the stumps ground out. But really... a tree messing up a park or across someone's back yard is a mess, not a tragedy. And since when does a person have the right for someone else to pay for it?

That's nothing compared to the devastation in New Orleans, of course, just an example that yes, other people whine a lot, too, and for less reason.

I am sooo tired of hearing ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I am sooo tired of hearing of the Katrina victims.

Yeah, it was bad, very bad...so now you are waiting for the American tax payers to bail you out.

Got news for you...move...go get a job..don't wait for the US taxpayer to make you whole again. Thousands, if not millions of people in this country have faced adversity and with hard work and personal determination you can enjoy living in the best country in the world.

I love New Orleans, by why anyone would want to live there is beyond me. If your ass is living eight to ten feet below sea level, for god's sake, go buy a boat.

There was no looti... (Below threshold)
Paul:
There was no looting. No influx of crime.

Sigh... Because us wonder people in Florida would never loot after a hurricane

nope

Not in Florida

Ignorance in the age of google is stupidity.

"On the other hand, all of ... (Below threshold)
Wordygirl:

"On the other hand, all of that money that has been given hasn't even made it close to most of the "folks" here. They're still waiting for help that hasn't shown up in two years. Their entire lives were destroyed and help was promised, but hasn't come yet (you can thank the state and city for that. It's not Bush's fault.)"

I would have much more sympathy for those in New Orleans if they hadn't turned right around and re-elected that idiot Nagin. They put themselves squarely back into his hands and now they are reaping the benefits of his "chocolate city" leadership.

"I love New Orleans, by why... (Below threshold)
J-HO:

"I love New Orleans, by why anyone would want to live there is beyond me. If your ass is living eight to ten feet below sea level, for god's sake, go buy a boat."

Well, it's home. That's why. And I do own a boat. And how is living in NOLA any less safe than say Miami, Oklahoma, or Los Angeles. I would never live in L.A. (or San Fran).

People here see the ACE as having let them down horribly. Then they were promised help, and in a lot of ways, that help (the help you whine about giving) has not shown up. Insurance companies won't pay. No one is helping. And you're bitching about "I'm tired of hearing about Katrina victims" shows your ignorance.

People can't sell their damaged homes, they can't get insurance to pay them, they can't get the LRA to pay them, they still have to pay their mortgage on a destroyed home (and they have to still have insurance for a destroyed home, even though the insurance co. won't pay), and they are waiting for the help that was promised. That's what they're asking for - what was promised.

Meanwhile you sit in your nice living room, and act like you know something.

I've gutted 27 houses here, for people who had nowhere to go and no money to move. I'm sorry if I get defensive, but some of you need to shut the hell up, or come down here and help.

While I am sure there are w... (Below threshold)
lowmal:

While I am sure there are way too many people in the New Orleans area who are just as lazy and gobmint-dependent now as there were prior to Katrina, I really don't think you can lump what happened there with some of the other disaster examples you cited..

To sum up what happened:

The city is here..

Katrina came..

Um.. No more city..

Minimizing what occured in NO would be the same as comparing the devastation of the 9-11 attacks to nothing more than the damage caused by a roadside bomb..

Sheesh

Even Blanco finally admitte... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Even Blanco finally admitted this week that it is the individual's responsibilty to evac. Shame it too her to be under oath to finally come clean on that one.

Cant wait to hear Nagin under oath, whenever that day may be.

NOLA caused its own demise. Nagin chose to care more about the hospitality industry, and NOT order an evac, than to care about his people, and tell em to get the hell out. How many buses didnt he use? How many Amtrak cars didnt he take advantage of? (Show me a major city with a Dem mayor, and I'll show you ineptitude and corruption at its finest, along with a host of murder, drug, education, and budget issues.)

Anyone in a hurricane zone who doesnt have 3-5 days worth of food, water, and other supplies is a friggin idiot, so, the people clamoring for water Monday afternoon should have just knelt over and taken a sip.

Except for the elderly and infirm(specifically addressed in the NOLA evac plan that was NEVER followed) I have not 1 bit of sympathy for the people too stupid to evac with a cat 5 on the way.

Darwinism right?

There is a balance to be fo... (Below threshold)
smartguy:

There is a balance to be found here. I don't want to minimize the devastation that was experienced by the residents of the hardest hit areas during Katrina. However, I agree - it is up to the individual to take responsibility and move forward. Unfortunately the left has done their best to indoctrinate Americans with the mindset "I can't do anything on my own, I need government to do it for me". The Katrina experience put that on display perfectly.

There was no looting. No in... (Below threshold)
Ken:

There was no looting. No influx of crime.
Sigh... Because us wonder people in Florida would never loot after a hurricane
nope
Not in Florida
Ignorance in the age of google is stupidity.
8. Posted by Paul |

Yeah, except that NOLA is now one of the most dangerous cities in America due to lack of law enforcement. A couple of instances of looting in Florida after major storms does not equate that city with Florida. And this disaster (the flooding of parts of NOLA) was man-made. Katrina was a CAT 1 storm when it hit NOLA. Those failing seawalls were coming down regardless of any other outside agency.

"Even Blanco finally admitt... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"Even Blanco finally admitted this week that it is the individual's responsibilty to evac. Shame it too her to be under oath to finally come clean on that one"

Except that during her testimony she also blamed the feds for not doing enough to prepare NOLA for the worst and then not ride to the rescue fast enough when the shit hit the fan. She should stick to one narrative -- is it up to the individual to take care of things, or is it the government? She can't blame her constituents AND the feds for failure while pretending no will notice her contribution to this mess.

Ken I'm referring to the st... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Ken I'm referring to the stupidity of the whole post... "Florida can get thru hurricanes because our people are so wonderful but the people of NOLA are too stupid."

Please....

Katrina did very little damage to New Orleans.... It was the man made flood that did us in..

LET ME SAY IT IN THESE WORDS....

Everyone in New Orleans would have taken 3 Katrinas in 3 weeks in a row if we could have given back the "dam break" that occurred when the floodfalls feel.

Let's let an Air Force Bomber accidentally drop a nuke in downtown Miami and let's see how well the people down there do. -- You can bet your ass nobody would be telling them to "get over it."

The post is based in ignorance at best, stupidity at worst.

"Other than the San Fran Ea... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"Other than the San Fran Earthquake, or the Galveston Hurricane, we really haven't had incidents of an entire Major city being destroyed."

J-Ho,

Do the words "Chicago" and "Fire" ring a bell?

Yes, it wasn't the whole city, but then again, neither was SF.

Actually Rance New Orleans ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Actually Rance New Orleans was also destroyed by fire.

Twice.

The "French Quarter" which is world renowned for its architecture, is actually Spanish architecture, the French didn't have the money to rebuilt the town at the time but the Spanish did...

It should really be called the Spanish Quarter.

"Let's let an Air Force Bom... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"Let's let an Air Force Bomber accidentally drop a nuke in downtown Miami and let's see how well the people down there do. -- You can bet your ass nobody would be telling them to "get over it."
The post is based in ignorance at best, stupidity at worst."

That first statement is so rediculous it doesn't justify a response. The problem that this post is addressing is that one can assume, based on news reports and the bitching from many people in NOLA, that not much is being done nor has been to provide assistance to those who have been displaced in this tragedy. The truth is far from that.

How many billions of $ have the feds provided to LA. state and N.O. local governments? Something like $115 billion. How many churches and other non-govt groups have been and continue to provide volunteers and support? A ton.

The devastation to the city was huge, but it is time to stop asking why this- or that-group isn't giving me what I want, and why haven't other people taken care of me.

If my house was wiped out tomorrow due to a natural cause, I would move elsewhere, look for a job and get on with my life. If you want to continue living in a devastated city you better be prepared to spend years rebuilding, and don't be upset if the government - at ANY level - lets you down.

>That first statement is so... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>That first statement is so rediculous it doesn't justify a response.

Why? The Feds accidentally dropped millions of gallons of water on New Orleans, how is my analogy flawed?

Please explain.

>How many billions of $ have the feds provided to LA. state and N.O. local governments?

I don't know myself. Further I'd paypal you $100 bucks if you can answer that question.

>Something like $115 billion.

OH? Can you give a definitive link on that? I'm not talking "allocated" funds, I want to know how many dollars the feds have actually sent to state and local governments.

Again, I'll give you $100 for the number.

>The devastation to the city was huge, but it is time to stop asking why this- or that-group isn't giving me what I want, and why haven't other people taken care of me.

DO you really think a city of a million people is just sitting around waiting for the Feds to do everything for them?

Do you really believe that or is it just fun to say?

Please answer the question... Because on your search for the answers, you just might learn a bit.

BTW Ken, can I get your par... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW Ken, can I get your party affiliation? -- If it's not too rude to ask.

I'm not exactly Mr. geograp... (Below threshold)
Trainee Con:

I'm not exactly Mr. geography, but this part struck me as rather odd:

In the areas where the hurricanes were much stronger, like in Pensacola and the southwestern tip of Florida (Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, etc.)

Did you a Miss Teen South Carolina moment?

OH? Can you give a definiti... (Below threshold)
Ken:

OH? Can you give a definitive link on that? I'm not talking "allocated" funds, I want to know how many dollars the feds have actually sent to state and local governments.

You may have a point here -- I have seen the $115B number numerous times, as far as how of that has been spent/provided I do not know. Who is responsible for distribution of the money once it has been allocated? And if it is/has been provided to local and state govt., what are they doing with it? Part of the problem here is there are too many news reports with interviews of residents who point a finger straight at Bush for him not doing anything, and that's just not the case. Has nothing been done in your city over the last two years? Are there no positive stories of rebuilding or people who have survived and succeeded? Of course there are, we just don't get to hear about them.

"DO you really think a city of a million people is just sitting around waiting for the Feds to do everything for them?"

No, but once again you can thank the MSM for creating the impression that there are a whole lot people doing just that. The MSM is maintaining that narrative whether you like it or not.

Paul, I'm a conservative.

And last year we were suppo... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And last year we were suppost to be having all those hurricanes and it was a fizzle year too bad for the eco-wackos

Couple of points Kan that y... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Couple of points Kan that you sorta have to glue together...

* The local newspaper on the day of the second anniversary had a 2 word headline. "THANK YOU"

That was the message to the 1.1 million American people who have come to help. It brought tears to many eyes because it was dead freaking on.

* The thing about Katrina costing more than the Marshall Plan is pure abject fantasy.

* The Bush administration says that ~ 100 billion has been "made available" in the Katrina recovery. That's fantasy too. -- For starters, (only for starters mind you) that includes $15 billion for new levees that has specifically NOT been made available.

And as I covered yesterday, some of the monies the Feds say are "available" require (NO JOKE) a half a million pieces of paper to claim. The state will never get that money obviously.

Hawkins is in complete fantasy land when he said New Orleans got $115 billion. That's simply insane. The bulk of the direct aid from the Feds was a lump sum of $10 billion and MORE WENT TO MISSISSIPPI THAN LOUISIANA

BTW you didn't tell me what was wrong witht he nuke analogy...

"Conservative" thing addressed in next post.

>How many billions of $ ... (Below threshold)

>How many billions of $ have the feds provided to LA. state and N.O. local governments?

I don't know myself. Further I'd paypal you $100 bucks if you can answer that question.

I'll chip in to a fund for anyone who can answer those questions. Fact is, even of the money that actually DID arrive in the states, MS started spending the money they got ASAP. LA didn't. Thanks, Blanco! And furthermore, it's been reported in plenty of places that MS got more money for less damage. But the point is that people haven't received the money they were promised.

And Ken, since when do conservatives buy the media narrative? I thought we were supposed to be smarter than that.

require (NO JOKE) a half... (Below threshold)

require (NO JOKE) a half a million pieces of paper to claim.

The joke among my friends and family is that the forms need to be completed with a ball point pen - and are printed on oiled, waxed paper.

So you're a "conservative",... (Below threshold)
Paul:

So you're a "conservative", Hawkins is a right winger and I'm both and a Republican to boot.

If the narrative from the right is correct, then George W. Bush should be fired. Twice.

The story being told is that New Orleans got $127 BILLION to rebuild. And the city is still a mess.

New Orleans has just under a half million people in it. That would be well over a quarter million dollars per person. So a family of 4 would have had well over $1,000,000.00 spent on them just by the federal government.

The right wing partisans can't have it both ways....

If a Republican President and a Republican congress spent $250,000.00 PER PERSON in New Orleans and the city is still destroyed, they should all be fired.

See what happens when people babble from ignorance?

Laura,I sorta spok... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Laura,

I sorta spoke for you above...;-)

Would you take 3 Katrina wind storms if only the levees would have held even half the water they where designed to?

Would you take 3 Katrina... (Below threshold)

Would you take 3 Katrina wind storms if only the levees would have held even half the water they where designed to?

Yes, indeed.

Why, look - Frances didn't ... (Below threshold)

Why, look - Frances didn't "come through" Jacksonville:
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at200406.asp

And neither did Jeanne:
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at200410.asp

Of course all Jacksonville got was some bad weather. Jeez.

"I'll say it again: shit ha... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

"I'll say it again: shit happens. In Denver, it was massive blizzards. In Minnesota, it was a bridge collapsing. In the midwest, they have tornado alley. Here on the east coast, we have hurricanes. Bad things sometimes happen to good people, and there's only one thing you can really do if you want to survive: Pick up. Move on. Get a life."

Hmmm...I can't speak for the other places you mentioned....but living in Denver when we had our blizzard last December..the MSM ignored the hundreds of lives lost...they ignored how 40% of Denver left town and have yet to return...
Thank you for Finally...placing the horror and trauma We went through with those whiners (and You know what color whined the most?) in NOLA..
My wife is from MPLS MN ....I can tell you...all of her family left town after that bridge collapsed....I am sure you know...over 20% of people living in that area were smart enough to leave BEFORE the collapse...as for those fools who did not...they deserve what they got...
Thanks for WIZBANG to give you a forum to give us the truth America and the MSM are too afraid to tell...

Boo Hoo,I don't give a rats... (Below threshold)
BFF:

Boo Hoo,I don't give a rats ass about any disasater anywhere,be it man made or natural,even if it happened to me,god,the people in this country have become such pathetic whiners,except the military,only saving grace,and Paul,your're just rambling.

Example,take the floods las... (Below threshold)
BFF:

Example,take the floods last week in the midwest,they interview a guy(white,for nogo) from either Illinois or Ohio,can't remember which,he breaks down crying,so your house is a little flooded,at least your're not dead ya stupid asshole.

Go ahead and reread Bush'... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Go ahead and reread Bush's address after Katrina http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/15/bush.transcript/
and then anyone dare tell me that he will tell us the truth when a major catastrophe like the flood of New Orleans happens again.

Tell me what you really think this country is prepared to do in the event of another cataclysmic event, natural or otherwise.

Americans better smarten up. This group is only interested in one thing. Don't count on any social, economic or judicial accomodations if you aren't of the upper crust. Just because only two of the original gang of theives are still in the WH it doesn't mean the rest of them aren't operating.

New Orleans was a high crime of gross negligence and no one was ever held accountable. It will happen again.

CB,See,thats the p... (Below threshold)
BFF:

CB,

See,thats the problem with you liberals,you sit around and worry about everything,and think if the government is involved,all will be better,can't you do anything for yourself.

It *has* to be Bush's fault... (Below threshold)

It *has* to be Bush's fault because that is the only way to keep on believing that government is the answer instead of the problem.

If we'd just elect Edwards or Hillary they'd put the government in charge of even more stuff... but *they* would do it right.

Just for reference, Hurrica... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Just for reference, Hurricane Andrew destroyed or seriously damaged (to the point of non-livability) over 100,000 homes in Dade County alone - with about 1/3 of them being written off in the long run. About 90% of them had their roofs ripped off or damaged to the point of needing replacement - and the rains that came with the storm did about as much damage as flooding them from below would have.

They definitely had some looting after Andrew - though not that much, overall. After a short initial spate of violence, local officials clamped down on the looters and rioters (in the few places they had people acting like morons).

New Orleans? They're still not getting their act together, organization-wise. They really, really need some local political clout. No, they don't need more Federal help, they need someone (or a group of someones) to start doing the hard job - telling some of the folks in New Orleans to either fix their homes or tear them down - it's a zoning issue.

And a lot of homes need to be torn down anyway, for a better levee system (I mentioned this in another post) - New Orleans needs a system with some redundancy - a rebuild of the current levees will still leave the town exposed to another massive, catastrophic single-point failure. Which means a LOT of homes need to be torn down for the new system.

...and a big part of the lowest land needs to be cleared out and not be rebuilt. Every other flood zone in the country is subject to this sort of restriction, and New Orleans should be no different.

This group is only inter... (Below threshold)

This group is only interested in one thing.

Yes, the Democrats in Louisiana ARE far more interested in political power than in releasing what little disaster relief money HAS actually made it to LA. How non-partisan of you to point it out. There's hope for you yet, cb.

The intention of your cur... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

The intention of your current president is to ignore any relevant constructive efforts outside of events that benefit the upper crust.

It's so apparent and each of you are so unwilling to admit where we are.

Foolish stupid Americanos.

Why do idiots still live in... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Why do idiots still live in Kansas?
Nebraska? Oklahoma? Texas?
Don't they know there are Tornadoes?
Anyone living in those
States whose home is destroyed...or who lose family..
I don't want to hear your tragedy...and for sure I don't want my tax $$ paying to rebuild your puny town..you chose to live there...
Notice Arizona isn't crying....

Between illegal aliens and ... (Below threshold)

Between illegal aliens and sheer demographics, Arizona will end up as part of Mexico, and believe me, you'll be crying then.

"So you're a "conservative"... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"So you're a "conservative", Hawkins is a right winger and I'm both and a Republican to boot. If the narrative from the right is correct, then George W. Bush should be fired. Twice. The story being told is that New Orleans got $127 BILLION to rebuild. And the city is still a mess."

It is late, but I'll offer this up -- you're "a conservative right wing republican!" Good for you. I am also, but you and I differ in I'm never surprised when government screws things up. They -- local and federal -- ensured a disaster would occur with shitty seawalls that would eventually fail. I feel for you, and wish it never happened.

Should Bush be fired, not just once but twice? Perhaps if that is your mindset, but you are simply tilting against windmills with dumb statements like that.

Ah, compassionate conservat... (Below threshold)
jim:

Ah, compassionate conservatism at work.

What, 1500+ drowned? Food and water delayed for days? Why, they should have just driven out of town in their SUV's and stayed in hospitals with their spare money. Let 'em eat cake, while they're at it.

Poor and brown, let 'em drown.

Their complaints are hurting my ears! Don't they understand how they're lowering the Tone?

Jim, your comments remain a... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jim, your comments remain as silly as ever. The failed evacuation was the responsibility of Democrats who ran Louisiana and New Orleans. Conservatives had nothing to do with it. Try to discuss like an adult.

SPQR, while I understand th... (Below threshold)
jim:

SPQR, while I understand that you don't want to consider conservatives or Republicans in any way responsible for the Katrina and post-Katrina debacle - that's not even what I'm arguing here.

I'm just pointing out the complete and total lack of sympathy being shown by this article, for dead US citizens and their surviving families.

Somehow people who dare to mention their 1500+ dead and thousands of homes washed away, are being called whiners.

I think that doesn't seem to gibe with "compassionate conservatism".

Hey Nogo---"40% of... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Hey Nogo---

"40% of Denver left town and have yet to return..." Is that fact? and if so, how does that play out politically.. Was Denver mostly Democratic? 40% is a big number. In a Red/purple state that could mean something.

Hey Cassy - stop by Bukkets... (Below threshold)

Hey Cassy - stop by Bukkets some time and I'll gleefully buy you a beer. Ask for Judy.

I am not going to get into ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

I am not going to get into the interal politics of the New Orleans flood debate because, frankly, I try not to appear stupid when I don't need to and I am definitely stupid about that issue.

I would like to simply suggest another point for consideration to those New Orleans/Gulf Coast residents who may feel people in other parts of the company are less than sympathetic.

I was in the middle of the midwestern floods last week and my town is now a state and federal disaster area.

Those individuals whose homes were destroyed last week in my community were no less affected than the individuals who lost their homes in New Orleans. When you are 80 years old and the foundation of your home is mixed with the shrubs from your front lawn in what used to be your basement and you only salvaged the clothes on your back, the fact that only 60 homes were destroyed rather than 60,000 homes (numbers picked at random) doesn't make you feel better. A personal disaster is a personal disaster.

But weren't the midwestern floods simply too much rain too quickly? Well that's what the MSM said. Truthfully, the situation was made far worse by the fact that little is done to clear rivers and streams in the area of debris from routine storms. The communities can do only what they can within their city limits, but the debris from miles upriver can cause a backflow that can devastate a town in minutes. We had sections of towns where one block got just a mess in their basement, but ONE BLOCK over, foundations collapsed and first floors were completely underwater. The amount of rain was the same. The rate of rain was the same. The proximity to the creeks is what varied.

Who has overall responsibility for the condition of the rivers and streams? The Army Corp of Engineers. In this case (the midest floods) it was neglect rather than negligence.

New Orleans needed a massive amount of money correctly used and that did not happen. Everyday thousands of communities need a minimal amount of money and that doesn't happen either. (In total a massive amount of money as well.) It's not easy for people to say "use the resources there" when they know that , on any random day, their own community also needs those resources for their own protection.

Please note - I am not claiming that anyone has said anything different about the rest of the country. I'm just pointing out that the misinformation about disasters occurs in other parts of the country as well.

BTW, prior to Katrina, I was a Red Cross volunteer 1st aid and CPR instructor for 10 years. After Katrina, I contacted the local chapter, took a day off work to attend the disaster training and correctly filled out all my paperworks. My boss negotiated new vacation schedules with 15 employees to allow me 3 weeks together to commit to helping wherever the Red Cross thought I could be used.

I'm still waiting for the Red Cross to follow-up despite the dozens of phone calls, letters, and e-mails I have sent to various individuals and departments of the organization.

Ohio voter....rational thou... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Ohio voter....rational thought directly based on personal experience without political name calling...well you are just asking for scorn from some here...
As for me?
Thank you for your past involvement..I truly hope the need for your services in emergencies is rare...but I am proud there are people like you prepared when they happen...

note:my comments prior to this were meant as satire......no one died in Denver nor did 40% move...I only posted that to point out the lunacy of comparing Katrina and our blizzard last year.

I'll just note here that "f... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I'll just note here that "from Mississippi to Texas" is inaccurate. Mobile, Alabama took the strongest eastern side of Katrina, with the northern pushing winds, channelled right up through Mobile Bay.

It didn't make the national news much about any damage in that city, though. Governor Bob Riley is competent.

I'll take hig... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

I'll take high winds over floods any day of the year Mobile AL.

I'd just like to thank Paul... (Below threshold)

I'd just like to thank Paul for writing some of the most informed commentary about the Federal Flood over the past two years here at Wizbang.

That his fine work is occasionally polluted by tortured, stupid posts like this one is a shame. I also applaud Paul for being so willing to confront commenters who so willfully and persistently resist being disabused from their cherished myths. That's yeoman's work, and I appreciate it.

Look around you. Take a tri... (Below threshold)

Look around you. Take a trip to NOLA before you speak. I don't think you would be spouting if your home was washed away and you had NOTHING! Put yourself in someone's shoes who has lived their whole life in NOLA. Say they go back four generations. Come on get some true empathy man, if it's within your withered soul.

civil behavior, you prove y... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

civil behavior, you prove yourself an idiot every time you post. Is there anything you DO know about, because there hasn't been a topic yet on Wizbang in years you haven't amply demonstrated your ignorance in rant after rant.

High winds drive a storm surge. Focused through a bay, you get a higher storm surge. Mobile flooded pretty badly. But they had their shit together, unlike you, and unlike the leadership in New Orleans.

>Jim, your comments remain ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Jim, your comments remain as silly as ever. The failed evacuation was the responsibility of Democrats who ran Louisiana and New Orleans.


Typical comment from someone who doesn't get it. That you think the evacuation was "failed" shows how little you really comprehend the whole situation.

The evacuation was a phenomenal sucess. Even though it was presided over by Democrats.

Get you some edumacation

Paul:The big failu... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Paul:

The big failure of the evacuation wasn't in getting people out - they generally did that all by themselves - but in not using the actual government resources on hand to evacuate the people who couldn't get out. Like the "pool of buses" that ended up on the scrap heap.

There's a big difference between "evacuating" and "letting people evacuate."

Then, of course, there's the problem of the folks who wouldn't leave. The vast majority of the ones who were still sitting around when the waters came to their doorsteps - as has been pointed out, about four out of five post-flood evacuees had cars sitting in their driveways. In a helluva lot of cases, all they needed to do was get in their cars and drive a couple of miles to higher ground. Hell, if the car's not running, tie a rope to it and drag it there with another car...

No matter how great the risk, no matter how loudly you tell them, about ten percent of any given population won't leave during a major evacuation unless you literally hold them at gunpoint. And sometimes, not even then.

Last night (Saturday) on WW... (Below threshold)
J-HO:

Last night (Saturday) on WWL (I think) was a story about a memorial service for an elderly woman who died at the Convention Center. After the storm had passed, her son brought her to the convention center, where she died. So, last night he, and his two sisters, were expressing their anger that the gummint didn't get his mother out of the city. Yes, he and his two sisters (seemingly healthy and mobile) ALL STAYED DURING THE STORM. They didn't evacuate, and they didn't get their mother out of town - and it's the government's fault that she didn't get out and that she died.

I love NOLA - that's why I live here. And it angers me when people who are truly ignorant espouse their opinions on issues of which they know nothing. And it angers me when people bad-mouth the city.

I'm sorry this man lost his mother, that is horribly tragic. But, why didn't he get her out??? Why didn't his sisters get their mother out??? Why is that George Bush's fault???

So, I understand why some people have a negative view of NOLA - but a few anecdotes about the people with their hands out - still ignores the wonderful and amazing people and culture that make N.O. unique and beautiful..

>The big failure of the eva... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>The big failure of the evacuation wasn't in getting people out - they generally did that all by themselves - but in not using the actual government resources on hand to evacuate the people who couldn't get out. Like the "pool of buses" that ended up on the scrap heap.


I could see your point from an outsiders perspective but that's not reality...

Everyone says "Why didn't these people leave?"

They did...

They went to an evacuation shelter set up by the government.

You have to remember evacuating is very, very expensive. We're talking $200 a day (or more) by the time you pay hotel and food. For many people "self-evacuation" was simply not possible.

So the government has 3 choices.

1) Tell the poorer citizens "screw you you're on your own." Apparently this is what many of my fellow republicans wanted them to do.

2) Evacuate the 40,000 out of the area... TO WHERE? Remember we have hindsight and we know Katrina was going to hit and the floodwalls fail... But this is my third or fourth evacuation in my life...

Where can you put 40,000 people every 3-4 years? Is Houston going to open the Astrodome every time a storm threatens New Orleans? Then what if the storm goes to Houston??? Now what do we do???

3) Set up the Dome as a shelter of last resort to serve the people who could not evacuate.

OK, you're mayor. You're in charge of emergency management... Which do you pick?

By saying Nagin should have used the buses you're picking option 2. -- Which is completely impracticable.

===============================================
BTW if you search the archives, you'll find posts where I blast Nagin over the buses. I was wrong.

Like so much of Katrina what seems dead obvious wasn't.

It's only thru hours of reading and thinking as an emergency manager can you really appreciate the complexity of the decision making process.

Just a mention, since we he... (Below threshold)

Just a mention, since we hear hgow conservatives don't care about Katrina's victims.

Texas is very conservative, especially in the Southeast where most of the refugees came.

Tell me Houston does not care?

San Antonio?

College Station?

We took in hundreds of thousands, we gave them food and clothing and shelter and jobs.

Do you know how many chose to stay here? And why?

Before you answer that the refugees were helped by people who were not Republicans, let me say in advance I agree - we helped, Republicans and Democrats and Independents and whatever else people called their politics, because we were helping people. Republicans, when it comes down to it, are people, same as people anywhere. The difference in politics never meant we don't care about folks just because they are different.

So the little 'Republicans don't care' lie was blown to pieces in Texas, 2005. So was the 'Republicans are racist' lie. We don't much like people playing the race card for their own advantage, like Nagin did and does. But the record shows that when it was time to step up, we did as much as anyone else, and more than some.

Now this article today was not about ignoring the dead from that flood, anymore than a review of Al Qaeda's plans means we don't care about the people they killed, or because I observe that the Virginia State report on the massacre at Virginia Tech was a total CYA job by the bureaucrats somehow means that I have forgotten the victims of that psychotic monster. But this article is about the people whining now, the people who have had opportunities and ignored them, who have watched others move on or rebuild but expect everything to be done for them. There are unfortunately a number of people who sit on their butts and actually expect things to be given to them, because they have never developed a sense of personal responsibility.

Have the people of New Orleans been dealt a bum hand? Sure, and in some cases a really bad string of problems. But they've had as much or more in help and opportunity given to them than many I can think of.

Who hired everyone in Allentown when the steel mills shut down?

Who gave Enron employees back their pensions?

Who rescued the Vietnam P.O.W.s left behind after 1975?

There's a point where you have to see where you have no help but your own, and your backbone and grit must serve to make your way.

Great, DJ - those are good ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Great, DJ - those are good arguments for the existence of compassionate conservatism.

This article is an argument against it.

So the government has 3 ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

So the government has 3 choices.

1) Tell the poorer citizens "screw you you're on your own." Apparently this is what many of my fellow republicans wanted them to do.

2) Evacuate the 40,000 out of the area... TO WHERE? Remember we have hindsight and we know Katrina was going to hit and the floodwalls fail... But this is my third or fourth evacuation in my life...

Where can you put 40,000 people every 3-4 years? Is Houston going to open the Astrodome every time a storm threatens New Orleans? Then what if the storm goes to Houston??? Now what do we do???

3) Set up the Dome as a shelter of last resort to serve the people who could not evacuate.


So is this really the only three choices, even today?

And you're saying the Dome is the only way to go?

Well, if so, was the Dome properly stocked and prepared by Nagin?

Is it now properly prepared for future floods/hurricanes/other disasters?

May we contrast the "failed... (Below threshold)

May we contrast the "failed" evacuation of the New Orleans metro area, in which 90% left, to the mandatory evacuation Jeb Bush ordered for Key West prior to Wilma, in which 90% stayed?

Is that considered "Florida Stylie"?




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