The Politics of Katrina

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OldRegular, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    I recently received an email with the following information. I thought it put the continuing political turmoil surrounding Katrina in perspective.

    THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT
    North Dakota News


    This text is from a county emergency manager out in the western part of North Dakota state after the recent snow storm.

    WEATHER BULLETIN
    Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a Historic event--may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions"--with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities
    and cut power to 10's of thousands.

    FYI:

    · George Bush did not come....

    · FEMA did nothing....

    · No one howled for the government...

    · No one blamed the government

    · No one even uttered an expletive on TV...

    · Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit

    · Our Mayor's did not blame Bush or anyone else

    · Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else either

    · CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC did not visit--or report on this category 5 snow storm

    · Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.....

    · No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House....

    · No one looted....

    · Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something

    · Nobody expected the government to do anything either

    · No Larry King, No Bill O'Reilly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera

    · No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found

    And

    · Nope, we just melted the snow for water

    · Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars

    · The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny

    · Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snow bound families

    · Families took in the stranded people - total strangers

    · We Fired up wood stoves

    · Broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns

    · We put on an extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die"

    · We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

    · Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early...we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

    "In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% most of the world's social problems evaporate."
     
  2. ASLANSPAL

    ASLANSPAL
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    Katrina in comparison to unlinked event in North Dakota is not even close...not ever.

    [​IMG]

    It is like comparing a giant pumpkin to an orange.

    OldRegular link the story and good for them if it is true but again the comparison does not even come close.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Agree with A-Pal on this one.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    <img src =/2844.JPG>

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    Same here. How's that for a shocker.
     
  5. Daisy

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    Plus, it is inaccurate, according to Snopes (linkie).

    See this letter (linkie pdf) from the ND governor to Bush requesting FEMA aid.
     
  6. OldRegular

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    So! I did not compare the devastation of Katrina to a snow storm in Dakota. What do all the above responses have to do with the political turmoil regarding Katrina some six months later?

    The Federal government may have some initial responsibility in the event of a natural disaster but they can't play nursemaid forever. People have a responsibiliy to pick up the pieces and start over. Apparently the damage in Mississippi was much worse than that in Louisana, yet there has been less whining and less attention.

    Wonder where all the libertarians are?
     
  7. OldRegular

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    A MINORITY VIEW
    BY WALTER E. WILLIAMS
    RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2006, AND THEREAFTER

    IN GOVERNMENT WE TRUST

    What lessons should we have learned from last summer's deadly and destructive hurricanes? The primary lesson is that we shouldn't have much faith in a federal bureaucracy like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They amply demonstrated their incompetence, but what's our response? We'll give them more money and more authority. That's not smart.

    The FEMA fiasco is discussed in several articles in the December 2005 issue of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty magazine, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, the nation's first free market think tank (fee.org). Hillsdale College professor of economics Robert Murphy points to some of FEMA's stupidity in response to Hurricane Katrina, which includes "delaying firefighters two days in Atlanta hotels to receive sexual-harassment training and watch videos on the history of FEMA while people were dying in New Orleans."

    By contrast, private firms like Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Home Depot had trucks on the road immediately after the hurricane. Stores even gave away items like chain saws and boots for rescue workers, sheets and clothes for shelters, and water and ice for the public. Wal-Mart was so efficient that there was talk among some Louisiana officials of letting Wal-Mart take over FEMA's job and a suggestion that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott run FEMA. Freeman editor Sheldon Richman says the latter suggestion misses a very important point. Wal-Mart was effective because it was not a government agency. If Mr. Scott were in charge of FEMA, he wouldn't do much better than its former director, Michael Brown. Government cannot achieve the efficiencies of a business. Trying to get government to be as efficient as business is as hopeless as trying to teach cats to bark and dogs to meow.

    Dwight Lee, University of Georgia professor, penned an article with the instructive title "Mitigating Disaster: Abolish FEMA and Let Gas Prices Rise." I've written several columns about the surge in gasoline prices and criticized the "price-gouging" demagoguery. Professor Lee has an insight that I overlooked. He asks whether it would have been a good idea, in the wake of supply disruptions of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, for Americans to continue using gasoline as if there hadn't been those supply disruptions. After the hurricanes, more gas was suddenly needed to bring rescue personnel, evacuate the homeless, clear rubble and a host of other things to get the reconstruction efforts underway. If gas prices had remained what they were before the hurricanes, Americans would have continued using the same amount of gas. Professor Lee says, "The higher gas prices motivated tens of millions of drivers to conserve gasoline, allowing more to be available where it was badly needed." What's more, we didn't need a government edict; we voluntarily cut back on gasoline consumption.

    Professor Lee explains that the waste, delays and incompetence are an inherent part of all federal programs and we'd be better off without FEMA. He gives many reasons why private or local disaster relief will produce a better outcome. However, Lee omits a question that I always ask when people assert that this or that government program is an absolute necessity. My question is, what did we do before? In 1871, a fire virtually destroyed Chicago. In 1900, a category 4 hurricane wiped out Galveston, Texas, and killed as many as 12,000 people. In 1906, an earthquake leveled San Francisco. Loss of life was estimated at nearly 3,000 people, and the damage estimated at the time was $400 million -- about $8 billion in today's dollars. After those massive disasters, each city recovered. I'd like to have an explanation, from those who'd argue that federal disaster relief and an agency like FEMA are the only ways to recover from a disaster, how these cities recovered.

    http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/06/govt.html
     
  8. elijah_lives

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    Even my mother, a flaming liberal, thinks FEMA got a raw deal on Katrina.
     
  9. Daisy

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    What would be smart would to appoint competent managers with experience in disaster management instead of useless political cronies.

    Well, one huge difference is that businesses are run to make money. When they cannot provide services profitably, they either cut the service or fold and go out of business. Government can not do that and so become the providers of last resort to the neediest.

    Does Prof Lee explain how private or local disaster relief will function when they are overwhelmed by wide-spread disaster?

    No one has ever argued that federal disaster relief and FEMA are the ONLY way to recover - strawman - but that they can speed recovery and that most the money expended may be recovered by the quick return to productivity and tax-paying.

    That's like saying the hospitals and modern medicine aren't really necessary after all because Europe recovered from the Black Plague killing a third of its population without them.

    The current administration must take some responsibility for FEMA's failure as far as it appointed atrocious administrators. Any agency can be run into the ground that way.
     

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