June 26, 2017

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Friday, September 02, 2005
My last post made no mention of Hurricane Katrina, because like many of you, I thought New Orleans had just been saved. The hurricane had turned east, and the predicted storm surge went way down which meant that the levees should hold, and things would be ok.

But, we were all wrong. The worst case scenario was not for the levees to break in a Cat 5 hurricane - the worst case scenario is one where people let their guard down, the storm passes, and tens of thousands of people are left stranded in the city.

And even that is not the worst case. The real worst case is the above situation, and a government that fails its people. This has been a complete and utter failure of our government at every level.

First there is the people. Looters and thugs shooting at rescue workers - my God. These people need to be shot on the spot. I don't care how hungry they are. They are causing the deaths of hundreds because rescue workers and volunteers are refusing to go in. They are causing the suffering of thousands. But of course, this was completely predictable. Everyone knew how much poverty and ignorance runs rampant in New Orleans. People saw teenagers killing each other for a pair of shoes when things were normal. They were shooting at police. Why would they suddenly become sane and law abiding when there is catastrophe in the air? The government was simply not prepared. They should have had military in the air as soon as helicopters were able to fly and military and supplies on the ground as soon as they could be down there. It didn't happen. And now, there are animals roaming the streets shooting at the innocent... animals that are shooting at people that are giving themselves to try and help others... animals that are, as far as I am concerned, not worth saving.

Local officials knew how vulnerable the area was, and yet mandatory evacuations came very late for some areas. In a city like New Orleans, those people should be the most prepared city on the planet for flash floods and hurricanes. Images on TV show nothing but failure in this respect. Not only were the evacuations late, but they were not prepared to place those who could not leave their city on their own. New Orleans knows how many people live there without transportation, and yet, they had no plan to get them out of the city. Instead, they decided to leave them in the city, in the Superdome. Shame on you New Orleans.

State officials knew how crucial the city of New Orleans is to the state (it practically is the entire economy of the state) and yet it was not given the protection it deserved. There were only two things protecting the entire city: the levees, and the pumps - and BOTH of them failed. Shame on you Louisiana government. You have failed, and continue to fail your citizens. I lived in Louisiana long enough, and know enough Louisiana history to know that you have ALWAYS failed them. You have completely depended on the federal government to walk in and solve your problems when you should have been prepared to handle them yourself.

And federal officials... my lord. FEMA and its leadership have been beyond failure. In fact, I believe it is criminal. An agency designed and funded to do nothing but be prepared to respond to a catastrophe. And this wasn't an earthquake, or a nuclear bomb, or anything else where people could understand some miscommunication and confusion... this thing spun around in the gulf for a week! This thing was a Category 5 hurricane! This thing was headed for a city below sea level! What the hell does this agency do? I mean, these people should be prepared for the flooding, the winds, the damage, the looting, the criminals, the lack of cell phones... these are not excuses for an agency such as FEMA! This is their job. They have been a disgrace to this nation. The president authorized the director of FEMA to ask for anything - that everything was on the table and that he would get anything he asked for - and yet... days later, people are dying in the street. Shame on you federal government. You were not prepared. And stop talking on TV about all of the great things you are doing. You are failing. As we speak, you are doing an atrocious job. Stop getting on the damn TV and arguing with reporters about how great of a job you are doing. Turn on the damn TV you morons... does that look like success to you?

If I sound furious, it is because I am. This country is vulnerable, and we just sent out a broadcast message to every ignorant terrorist in the world that we can be brought to our knees by breaking a damn levee.

This country, the richest nation in the world, can send a laser-guided bomb through a window almost anywhere in the world within hours, and yet, we somehow cannot get food, water, and transportation to one of the biggest cities in the United States to save our own people. What a shame.

And we haven't begun to feel the effects of this. These failures of our governments will cost us... the people... in immeasurable ways. The economy and framework of this nation have been dealt a huge blow by the failure of our elected officials.

I hope that people think about this when they vote to hand over other things to the government. Maybe they will offer you cheap phone and internet service. Maybe they will offer to provide you healthcare. Maybe they will offer an agency to oversee some industry to protect "the people". I hope people remember this and think about what they can expect from our government - someone who has the power to make mistakes and not be accountable... someone who does not compete with anyone else... someone who has a track record as they do.

For those that are fed up, visit http://www.lp.org

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