The Roanoke Slant
This file is a very brief journal and scrapbook and LTEs of some examples of the Roanoke Times slant. Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Focus on the job
Roanoke Times, 9/29/05, Pg Business 1: Medicare answer man is muzzled from media.
The Editor still hasn’t figured out what the word "business" means. He’s back on the business page with the story of a government bureaucrat who received lots of RT coverage for the tenor and content of his Medicare drug benefit meetings with senior citizens: Click on links for the ongoing saga:
Now he’s muzzled from the media! Wow! That’s hard to understand.
As I read the past news articles I was sure he was on the Roanoke Times staff. It appeared he worked directly for The Editor with the express mission of telling seniors how bad the new program is instead of explaining its options and opportunities and savings and which option might best suit a particular person.
As a contrast: when I visited the Roanoke Social Security Office to "sign-up" the folks there were pleasant, informed, helpful and assisted me in getting all the required paperwork processed correctly in a very short time. They did not give me a political science course on how our program does or doesn’t meet their personal wishes and desires.
Just In: Justice IS Blind!
Roanoke Times, 9/29/05, Pg 16 A: Man will stay in hospital in lieu of possible jail stay. 62 year old man kills stray cat and threatens woman who tried to help cat.
Prosecutor said: he is and will remain in a locked facility where hopefully he can be watched and treated.
Compare this case with Hinckley who shot Pres. Reagan and who now is out walking about unescorted in public.
What’s the lesson here?
Who’s in charge of the asylum? The PETA folks?
Gov. Blanco takes Virtual-5th
Roanoke Times, 9/29/05, Pg 10A: Governors address Congress on hurricanes.
We are looking forward, not backward she said when asked about her actions relative to Katrina.
And her Congressional friends on the committee were OK with that! What a sham! Sounds just like Ted Kennedy after Chappaquiddick.
Here we have THE person most responsible for the lack of action in saving tens of thousands of persons from a horrible situation and she prefers not to talk about it!
Do the words dereliction of duty, negligent homicide or denial of basic services and civil rights ring a bell? Don’t they have an oath of office in Louisiana?
The Editor put this item in small print back on pg 10. Perhaps even he is embarrassed by this blatant lack of personal responsibility and accountability.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Roanoke Times, 9/28/05, Pg 1 & 11: Former FEMA leader Brown blames others.
The Editor was not even able to give Mr. Brown his say on the front page which was "supposed to be" coverage of a Congressional hearing on Katrina.
Instead the front page article was filled with the "rebuttal" of those big mouth politicians whose contribution to solving this problem was zero.
Two key items Mr. Brown presented (nicely tucked back on Pg 11) were:
1) I’ve done a good job while overseeing over 150 declared disasters!
2) My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional, two days before the storm hit
And it appears based on Mayor Nogin’s "plan" to immediately bring back 150,000 people without water, sewer, power or emergency services that the dysfunctional "leaders" are still in Louisiana.
Pg 8: New Orleans’ police chief quits amid roiling boil. Department in shambles and about 15 percent of the officers are accused of deserting.
Reports during the crisis indicated that 500 officers were AWOL and that a number of officers had joined in the looting. Not clear what the chief was doing during the crisis.
Could this be part of the dysfunction Brown was talking about?
Pg 1: Post-Katrina violence, anarchy mostly a myth. Reports of 200 dead at the N.O.-Dome. Facts: Six dead at Dome: 4 – natural causes; 1 – OD’d; 1- suicide.
Could this be part of the media-frenzy that Brown was talking about that created an environment of hysteria and hostility and emotional trauma by many viewers and readers?
Nice job media! Next gig: Yelling FIRE in crowded theatres!
Also, Where are the 10,000 bodies that Mayor Nogin said were floating in the streets and stuck up in the attics?
Talk about being stuck on stupid!
Pg 9: Rita victims are living "like cavemen" in wake of storm.
15,000 out-of-state utility workers coming in to help!
Mr. Owens - What part of "mandatory evacuation" didn’t you understand?
If you didn’t evacuate, then life without power, fuel, water, septic or a local Stop-In is not going to be pleasant. (there are lots of folks doing that as they hike the Appalachia Trail -- never thought of them as "cavemen").
-Constructive Senatorial Comments:
"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Moved to Editorial Page
Roanoke Times, 9/27/05, Pg Va 8: Editorial: Strip Medicare of sugarcoating Prescription drug coverage will be confusing, and not all seniors will benefit. A dose of reality, offered by an advocate, prescribes a bitter pill.
It’s a good thing to move what is clearly a highly biased personal crusade from the Business Page to the Editorial Page where it belonged in the first place.http://www.roanoke.com/printer/printpage.aspx?arcID=33737
"Not all seniors will benefit". That’s a positive NOT a negative! The program is NOT designed for ALL seniors. It is intended to provide some assistance to those who are in need.
Instructions are confusing: Surprise! Have you read any government document on Social Security that is written in simple form? How about the Income Tax 1040 Instructions? That’s why people like Mr. Abell are being paid to help folks understand the documents and apply for what is appropriate for them. He’s not getting paid to harangue them with his views of what he thinks it could or should be! He’s not being paid to be on The Editor’s anti-Bush bandwagon! He could well emulate the folks at the Roanoke Social Security office who have been very good at helping me and others with Social Security questions and processes.
If people like Mr. Abell are not able to put aside their personal socialist crusade and help seniors apply for the benefits they need, then he should step aside and let someone who wants to help take over!
Roanoke Times, 9/27/05, Pg A 3: Orderly arrests cap protest.
Article and Picture showing Sheehan smiling as she is carried away from sit-down protest outside White House.
Another mother’s view:
"I would like to say to Cindy Sheehan and her supporters don't be a group of unthinking lemmings. It's not pretty," said Mitzy Kenny of Ridgeley, W.Va., whose husband died in Iraq last year. The anti-war demonstrations "can affect the war in a really negative way. It gives the enemy hope."
History has shown that peace is not the opposite of war. Peace has often been a convenient blanket for suppression, absence of human rights and downright slavery.
Folks who advocate "peace" should be a little more specific as to their goals for their fellow mankind.
Using their simplistic definition of "peace" clearly lead to Pearl Harbor, WW2, the North Korean invasion of the South, the North Vietnamese invasion of the South and more recently 911. Each time we have followed the ‘simplistic path of peace’ we have been slammed by enemies of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
Why not give the people of Iraq a chance for Liberty and Freedom and as a byproduct give suppressed folks in the middle-east some hope for a better life.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Another Hurricane, Different Result
Roanoke Times, 9/26/05, Pg 1: Destruction, but still overwhelmingly positive news. Early evacuations saved lives, FEMA official says.
Let me get this straight, it’s the same George Bush, it’s the same FEMA but there’s a different Governor and different Mayors for the impacted cities than were involved with Hurricane Katrina.
For those who didn’t evacuate, the results are very similar. A horrible experience and rescue a few at a time with helicopters and small boats after the storm and wind and rain have subsided.
So, what might we learn from this?
How about that local incompetence and personal stupidity can result in bad outcomes that can’t easily be fixed by the arrival of the Cavalry
Children can you say Governor Blanco and Mayor Nogin?
Roanoke Times, 9/25/05, Pg H 5: New York Times Article: Almost before we spoke, we cussed, say researchers.
Large article with big graphic depicting profanity.
What a joy this article is. At a time when our society needs rational meaningful discourse The Editor finds a need to publish this heifer-dust! (Ops, almost jumped into profanity there!).
Apparently fostering and encouraging self-discipline and self-control is no longer fashionable. The language on TV, radio, music and in many public places are confirmation that our society now condones what once was considered inappropriate talk.
Apparently this is just one more example of how liberating and wonderful the liberal life-style is. Then again, how do the liberals square this with their big emphasis on politically-correct speech? For example: It’s apparently OK to swear at George Bush but not Ted Kennedy! Interesting! Sounds fair and balanced to me.
Selective Environmentalism Again
Roanoke Times, 9/25/05, Pg H 2: Editorial: Putting profits before species; The Endangered Species Act risks extinction in the House.
The Editor is publishing once again examples of his Environmentally Bipolar Disorder Syndrome.
When it comes to projects he likes (like decimating the Log Perch, Snail Darters and mussels in the Roanoke River) the Endangered Species Act is of no concern, but it’s very important to keep it front and center for projects he doesn’t like.
Perhaps The Editor should document how the Endangered Species Act has helped the environment and our society and compare that to the costs associated with the bureaucracy involved.
Endangered species: something about Darwin, something about evolution, something about millions of species that are now part of our crude oil. Would be interesting to have them all here, now, at the Roanoke Times building.
Roanoke Times, 9/25/05, Pg BUSINESS 1: Reality Check
This is NOT A BUSINESS article! It is a sad and slanted political view of the introduction of the new Medicare drug program for seniors. (And, once again The Editor is demonstrating both his political bias and his total lack of understanding of the term "business".)
What a shame that this new and very tax-expensive addition to Medicare is not being presented in a fair and balanced way to people who need its benefits.
Apparently this has become just another example of how vicious the left-wing folks will go to ensure that any Bush initiatives are discounted as much as possible.
Instead of focusing on the benefits of this new program, The Editor’s hero is hawking his vision of what a perfect socialist program would be and this isn’t it! Perhaps Mr. Abell and The Editor could move to Norway where billions of dollars of nationalized oil money can pay for their every need and desire.
Hopefully seniors will have access to other folks with fair and balanced information so that they may begin to benefit from this program!
I’m sure that when Hillary takes over The Editor and Mr. Abell will be much happier with this program and perhaps it’s expansion into Hillary-Care.
Roanoke Times, 9/22/05, Pg Va 5: Law hits local divisions hard; Federal dollars will help the state comply with "No Child" law, but locatlities must dig deep. Federal dollars will cover state-level costs, but school divisions(districts) will be underfunded.
Board of Ed. Member Anddrew Rotherham noted that the shortfall is less than 1% of what the state spends on each student ($7800/year)
Great editorial slant: Big Hard financial hit! But it’s less than 1% per student.
Based on The Editor's love for tax increases this should be very easy!
Since we’re spending $100,000 per graduating student for their education, if an additional 1% will make a significant improvement, why doesn’t The Editor promote that as a good thing to do?
Is it because NCLB is a Bush initiative? If that’s your motivation, shame on you Mr. Editor!
Talk about educational spending priorities, didn’t we (the state) just give Beamer a $12 million contract? How many students are helped by that money?
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Playing The Race Cards
After watching, listening and reading a steady stream of nasty and vile racial accusations directed toward President Bush relative to the New Orleans situation, it was clear that race relations in the US would be a major casualty of the New Orleans hurricane crisis and that counter-attacks would be launched.
Nasty racially-oriented cartoons and "jokes" are already on the internet.
And now, the backlash has started in earnest. Fox News is quoting an AP Wire news report on the initial feedback from local police where evacuees are being temporarily housed. These background checks are intended to protect those who are hosting the evacuees.
They (the AP) are reporting that the background checks of evacuees indicate 50% have past criminal records. It’s not clear what unpleasant items are yet to come.
Those folks who found it advantageous to play the race card should have know that using the tactics of Al. Sharpton and his friends would result in major adverse consequences for all of us.
A pox on all their houses!
We need now more than ever to focus on ONE AMERICA!
Click for the AP Wire news report via Fox News net:
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Roanoke Times, 9/21/05, Pg Va 8: Editorial: Possee Comitatus Act needs no revision. New Orleans chaos was a result of limitations of leadership, not limitations on the military imposed by an 1878 act that restricts martial law.
The New Orleans chaos was indeed the result of Mayor Nogin and Governor Blanco not implementing the "mandatory evacuation" declarations with the thousands of school and commercial busses available in New Orleans and Louisiana manned by if necessary Louisiana National Guards, State Troopers and government workers.
After the storm hit and all major bridges and roads were out evacuation could only be done by 1’s and 2’s with helicopters and small boats. Not a nice option with thousands of stranded folks who were experiencing horrible conditions.
Click for a map-view: http://www.roanokeslant.org/NO-Roads.jpg
It’s interesting The Editor is so protective of the Posse Comitatus Act. That act has been described as the KKK Protection Act in that it precluded Union troops from interfering with the KKK’s reign of terror. Even today, federal troops may not act as law enforcement agents even when crimes are committed right in front of them! Apparently The Editor thinks that’s a good thing even during a major disaster with rampant crime like we saw in New Orleans.
Current discussions about this act are directly related to what actions the federal government may take when city, local and state leaders fail to act in a crisis (as was the case with this storm). At issue is what state powers should be taken over by the federal government including: nationalizing the State Guard (as Eisenhower did to get the black children past Gov Faubus and into intergrated schools as was directed by Federal Courts), and nationalizing state employees and assets required to protect life and property.
If we want to hold the federal government responsible for local actions, then we’re going to have to give them the authority, responsibility and resources to do that. Let’s not do that! It’s so much more fun and games to just bash Bush than to address and solve the real problem!
On the other hand, IF local and state control and management worked, as it has in Florida for many recent major storms, then we wouldn't have to turn to the federal government.
Click for Home rule and local control:http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/09/home-rule-fails-again.html
The Incompetence Continues
Roanoke Times, 9/20/05, Pg A6: New Orleans mayor suspends city’s reopening because he’s concerned about Storm Rita.
It’s comforting that Mayor Nogin has finally found something he’s concerned about that hasn’t happened yet!
Apparently he "thinks" his "plan" to immediately bring back 150,000 residents into an environment and situation that PETA says is not even fit for pets is not an issue for him!
And yet The Editor and his media associates have not yet (not even once) indicated that Nogin is totally and completely irresponsible and incompetent.
With friends like that, you can do no wrong!
Prior detailed item:http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/09/yellow-journalism-continues.html
Left-wing media in denial
Roanoke Times, 9/20/05, Pg A4: German candidates both lay their claim to chancellor’s office.
The Editor and his media associates are in SHOCK!
If Schroeder (the leff-wing hero of the coalition of the unwilling) had won this election it would be in HUGH print with a BIG picture on the front page.
But, that’s not what happened. No! A right-leaning conservative who wants to reform German socialist economic policy and re-establish positive relations with the US WON!
Yes WON! As in got more votes! And the glorious leader of the coalition of the unwilling got 34.3% of the vote.
Chirac of France is next – watch to see how the RT handles that outcome!
ps: the rumor that George Bush just sold Louisiana back to France for $25 million is not true, it’s just another left-wing effort to discredit Bush!
Hiding Women Voters Advances
Roanoke Times, 9/19/05, Pg 1: Afghan vote held with little incident.
Roanoke Times, 9/18/05, Pg A15: (little fine print well hidden and very anemic): Local election will give women 1st chance to vote in Saudi Arabia election.
The Editor and his media friends can deliver three BIG PAGE 1 articles on Saudi Women in women-only classes at VT – but – how squirrelly they are when there’s an opportunity to highlight that Muslim-women are making great strides in getting proper recogntion and rights.
In Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iraq there is significant progress for women rights. Why can’t The Editor, his media associates, NOW and other women’s-rights folks including our famous VT-professor acknowledge this significant positive accomplishment?
It isn’t because it’s happening on George Bush’s watch, is it?
Roanoke Times, 9/18/05, Pg Va 7: Congressional task force examining effects on 1970 federal law NEPA that enables unrestrained lawsuits to block and delay public works projects. There are currently 1500 such suits now in process.
The Sierra Club objects to reports that these suits are a problem and relates to New Orleans levees or escape routes.
Law suites not a problem?
The process to get the 765KVA power lines from W.Va into Va was a litigation mess and resulted in a third-rate energy wasting solution.
We haven’t built a new oil refinery since 1970. OPEC isn’t the problem with fuel supply. We are the problem. We can't refine the crude oil when we get it!
There are hundreds of examples of needed infrastructure improvements that are not being pursued because of the NEPA act and its connection to the Endangered Species Act.
Interesting new view of Environmentalists Impact: The "scientists" who were so worried about logging impacts on the spotted-owl are now shooting as many great-horned-owls as they can! Turns out the big owls are picking on the little owls and competing for chow! Who/what are they going to shoot next?
Today’s environmental question: how many lambs and calves does it take to feed a pack of wolves?
Monday, September 19, 2005
The Yellow Journalism continues
Roanoke Times, 9/18/05, Pg H 1:
Katrina: A massive failure of leadership by Rosabeth Kanter, Harvard professor. An appearance of callous indifference by Bush.
The thin veneer of civilization by Timothy Ash, Oxford professor. The human crisis is Bush’s fault as is the poverty of all poor black folks.
The authors completely ignore who was responsible for the health and welfare and safety and evacuation of the people of New Orleans during the three days before the storm hit. They also brush past what political organization has been responsible for New Orleans and Louisiana for all of my lifetime
And the Louisiana and New Orleans leadership debacle continues! Mayor Nagin has invited 150,000 people to return to New Orleans this week. Apparently Governor Blanco is OK with that.
Perhaps the Mayor and Governor might consider:
The highly contaminated waters and sediment are everywhere.
There is no operational water system.
There is no operational septic and treatment system.
There is very little electrical power or gas utilities.
There is very little emergency or 911 communications
There is very limited emergency or medical facilities
There are very limited food, water or materials available
The City police and fire personnel are totally burned-out.
President Bush and the on-site FEMA director have pointed out to the Mayor and the Governor the above items and non-concur with this ridiculous proposal to reintroduce 150,000 people into this environment.
Since taking appropriate actions before the storm hit did not occur to the Mayor or the Governor, why would they be concerned by the above items after the storm passed.
Yellow Journalism: http://alt.tnt.tv/movies/tntoriginals/roughriders/jour.home.html
More New Orleans Sunlight
USA Today, 9/8/05, Pg 4A: The response and responsibilities in a disaster.
This is a very good and balanced and fair summary of the New Orleans disaster by a paper not known for cutting Bush any slack.
It summarizes the responsibilities and plans and actions of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Federal Government. The Editor and his media friends could well read this article and the article "Best-laid plan flopped, commentary by David Brooks of NY Times".
Of course why focus on the facts when bashing Bush fits in so well to their social and political agenda – and let’s not forget – the 2006 election campaigning has already begun!
Roanoke Times, 9/10/05, Pg Va 4: Appeals court says US need not charge Padilla; the panel upheld the president’s power to declare a US citizen an enemy combatant.
The ACLU expressed dismay over the ruling.
Yet again The Editor and his associates have been advised by the Courts that we are at WAR and during such times the Government has powers not normally allowed during peacetime.
However, an appropriate remedy like substantial compensation should be established should these "enemy combatants" be determined at some point to be falsely detained.
On the other hand - if found guilty by a military court - they should be handled in the same manner that FDR handled the Germany sabatours in WW2.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Seminaries and homosexuality
Roanoke Times, 9/17/05, Pg A8: Seminaries to be studied for "evidence of homosexuality". The inspection was authorized in the wake of the child-molestation scandal in the Catholic Church.
"It reflects the contention by some Catholics that the pedophilia scandal grew out of lax moral discipline and the presence of gay men among the clergy"
"’Anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations’ should not be accepted into seminaries, even if their last gay sexual activity was a decade ago".
Stunning! Amazing! What other words might apply?
Have these folks not hear of homophobic? Don’t they know about the labeling of folks who question homosexuality as being homophobics?
Don’t they know that even using the word ‘homosexual’ is totally and completely politically incorrect?
When the Boy Scouts resisted having gays as scout leaders they were labeled as discriminators and banned from using public property and dropped from the United Fund list of recipients. They are still "black-listed" in many settings.
Where is the ACLU? Where is the Gay-Lesbian Alliance? Where is Act-UP?
Where is The Editor of the Roanoke Times?
Roanoke Times, 9/17/05, Pg Va 1: Failures cause Roanoke schools to lose students. Under No Child Left Behind, Title I schools that are failing improvement criteria must offer students the option to transfer to other schools. Roanoke has several such situations.
I could not find in this article a summary or discussion of the real issues involved in these failures. At what point will the school board, and the administrators address the teaching-learning environment in the classrooms and take the necessary steps to return the classrooms to the teaching-learning environment that’s required for each student to learn?
The best Teachers in the world cannot teach in chaos. We need a process and system to deal with disruptive students and we need it NOW!
Mr. Editor and folks at The Roanoke Times – why not take on this quest as a major effort that will help all the students in Roanoke and The Valley get a much improved education. Put aside the political-correctness mantra and get involved, creative and assertive in demanding classrooms in which teaching-learning can flourish! (Just imagine that George Bush is responsible for each and every dysfunctional classroom – and go get’em!)
Pledge of Allegiance Not OK
Roanoke Times, 9/15/05, Pg A10: Federal judge rules against reciting pledge.
The left-wing folks found a California judge to rule that the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional.
These are the same folks who want to derail Judge Roberts confirmation and who hold the ACLU in higher esteem than the Constitution or the Supreme Court.
Don’t you just love these left-wing jerks who, at the very time our troops are in battle with folks who want to kill and bury us, are working to reduce our society to the godless entity the Soviet Empire has been delivered from.
More Bad-boy Bolton
Roanoke Times, 9/9/05, Pg Va 10: Editorial - Bolton jeopardizes enduring UN reform. Oil-for-food scandals show need for reform, but Bush's appointee is derailing them.
USA Today, 9/12/05, Pg 8A: Bolton dives right in to effort to change U.N.
Significant article outlining the US effort to get the UN to make substantial changes in direction and management and oversight.
Isn’t it interesting that before-Bolton, Paul Volcker, the big name investigator appointed by the head of the UN to investigate the UN without any subpoena powers (talk about a conflict of interest coupled with no tools to get the job done) said there wasn’t much of a problem in the oil-for-food-scandal. However, now that Bolton is there, Volcker now says: Saddam got $1.7 BILLION in kickbacks under the UN supervised program! Talk about a change in the right direction! The Editor and his media friends continue to whine about Bolton’s appointment. What have they done to address this mess and help get the UN back on the path FDR envisoned 60 years ago?
Didn't read much about Bush's speech to the UN last week in the RT. It was very direct and specific and focused on the necessary and long overdue reforms the UN must make.
Some New Orleans sunlight starting to get through
Roanoke Times, 9/15/05, Pg Va 9: Best-laid plan flopped, commentary by David Brooks of NY Times.
After days of the most intense mis&dis-information the Roanoke Times and their media partners have launched in a long time, there is finally a reasonable and proper summary of the New Orleans and Louisiana Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans. Mr. Brooks (of the NY Times – hardly an arm of the RNC) highlights many of the key plan elements and describes how the plans were not executed; resulting in a situation that caused great distress for residents and huge unnecessary challenges for disaster assistance resources who could not quickly get into affected areas.
Roanoke Times, 9/16/05, Pg A 8: In aftermath of Katrina, the truth suffers, by John Solomon of AP.
Another ray of light into the media mis&dis-information program. The levees that broke were the ones that had already been fortified, not the ones the media said were not yet done! The Army Corps’ spending was $276 million for last 5 years under Bush and only $195 million under last 5 years of Clinton ( a big 42% increase NOT a decrease as the media has stated!)! And contrary to media reports: two thirds of the Louisiana National Guard was available to Governor Blanco, which she refused to deploy in a timely manner!
It appears there is more media heifer-dust in New Orleans than septic overflow!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Home Rule Fails Again
Roanoke Times, 9/8/05, Pg 1: Trailer park owner gets 2-year prison sentence and $270,000 fine for sewage in his trailer park lagoon flowing into local stream for over 10 years.
Action at last! The real question now is why did the Federal Attorney General have to handle this case. Where have the counties and state been?
Sounds like Katrina! Yet another example where local home rule at the county and state level just doesn’t work.
If the three SML counties were doing a good job of stewardship perhaps the federal government (FERC) wouldn’t have taken over SML shoreline management and control.
If local and county and state governments were doing the right educational things we wouldn’t need the No Child Left Behind program.
Why can’t local governments do the right thing? We’re certainly paying enough taxes to support good local government.
The best government should be the government closest to the people.
Prior item: (video: We just do whatever we want, we don’t worry about it!)
Monday, September 12, 2005
Some New Orleans observations
In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work:The chain of responsiblity for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:1. The Mayor2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)3. The Governor4. The Head of Homeland Security5. The PresidentWhat did each do?
1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.
2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)
3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.
4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them
5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.
Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, the city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. (emphasis mine)The ball was placed in Mayor Nagin’s court to carry out the evacuation order. With a 5-day heads-up, he had the authority to use any and all services to evacuate all residents from the city, as documented in a city emergency preparedness plan. By waiting until the last minute, and failing to make full use of resources available within city limits, Nagin and his administration missed the boat.Mayor Nagin and his emergency sidekick Terry Ebbert have displayed lethal, mind boggling incompetence before, during and after Katrina.[…]
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Two dates that will live in Infamy
Two dates that will live in Infamy
Dec 7, 1941 and Sept 11, 2001
Click on the link for a unique graphic:
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
What If Quiz
A brief quiz on what to do preparing for the hurricane crisis:
1). If you were the mayor of New Orleans and had three days advance notice of a category-5 hurrican with winds of over 150 MPH headed for your city would you:
A) Ignore it
B) Worry about
C) Use all means possible to move your people out of its path including the hundreds of school and municipal busses available and request the Governor send state aide to help
If you answered (A) or (B) you could be Mayor Ray Nagin
2). If you were the mayor of New Orleans and had three days for a "mandatory evacuation" of your city would you:
A) Watch the folks who own cars drive out west on I-10
B) Wonder how the folks without cars are going to get out of town
C) Coordinate a massive evacuation with all available resources and with your Governor’s state help
If you answered (A) or (B) you could be Mayor Ray Nagin
3) If you were the Governor of Louisiana and had three days advance notice of a category-5 hurricane with winds of over 150 MPH headed for your state would you:
A) Ignore it
B) Worry about
C) Use all means possible to move your people out of its path including the thousands of school and municipal busses available and the State Police and the State National Guard and all available state employees all of whom are within you command and control.
If you answered (A) or (B) you could be Governor Kay Blanco
4). If you were the federal FEMA director and had three days advance notice of a category-5 hurricane with winds of over 150 MPH headed for a 200 mile wide shoreline would you:
A) Move all possible resources into the hurricanes path
B) Move all possible resources into staging areas where they could be dispatched to affected areas after the storm passed to assist state and local authorities as is your charter and was done for the four hurricanes that hit Florida.
If you answered (A) you could be the folks criticizing the current FEMA director.
Monday, September 05, 2005
La. Officials blast Bush
Roanoke Times, 9/5/05, Pg A 10: Sen. (D) Mary Landrieu threatened to punch Bush. Accuses Bush of not protecting New Orleans.
Mary’s claim to fame was to tell a news conference at the start of the disaster that looters should not be confronted because they’re only getting food and water. Shortly after that the looters with guns that they stole starting shooting at rescue helicopters, rescue workers, police and folks trying to evacuate Mercy hospital and raped and killed at will.
Mary’s statements on money are interesting. New Orleans spent $200 million to build the Super Dome – money they could have spent on protecting their people instead of entertaining them.http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/10/03/1096741900787.html?from=storylhs
Recently they have been planning for spending $174 million to upgrade the Superdome. If they knew they were at high risk why add more entertainment?http://www.stadiumsofnfl.com/future/SaintsStadium.htm
There are local experts whose view is that the Corps of Engineers had properly maintained the canal system.http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/01/national/nationalspecial/01levee.html
No one expected that weak spot to be on a canal that, if anything, had received more attention and shoring up than many other spots in the region. It did not have broad berms, but it did have strong concrete walls.
Shea Penland, director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of New Orleans, said that was particularly surprising because the break was "along a section that was just upgraded."
The bottom line is that local and state officials and government did not use the three day Category-5 warning to get their people to safety and utilize their first and second responder resources. After the roads and bridges were out and the dikes failed removing people was a one-at-a-time job.
**** What does "mandatory evacuation" mean? ****
Mayor Ray Nagin is no Rudy Giulani and
Governor Kay Blanco is no Jeb Bush and
Senator Mary Landrieu is a jerk and
Thousands of folks paid a high price for that.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Whose Job is it anyway?
Roanoke Times, 9/3/05, Pg Va 7: Editorial: Devastating Breach of Trust
The government can’t prevent natural disasters, but it can take steps to mitigate damages. The Bush administration skips preparedness.
The editor outlines at least six valid points (the government knew) about the risk of living in New Orleans below sea level and exposed to a Category 5 hurricane.
The actions for all this knowledge was of course the federal government’s job and the adverse consequences are all Bush’s fault!
The first level of responsibility and response was the city. Just as when floods roll into Roanoke and just as the 911 disaster hit New York City. The City has primary responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens.
The second level of responsibility is the state. The state has major resources including the State Police and the National Guard, which has greater police powers than does the federal troops. The state has thousands of school buses that can be mobilized. They have significant health resources to apply just as New York State did during the 911 disaster in NYC.
The federal government has the responsibility to ASSIST the state and local governments and not nationalize a local problem and local governments.
In this case it is clear that the City government and the State governments did not react properly before, during or after the hurricane hit.
In retrospect I’m sure that the federal administration wishes that they had declared martial law throughout Louisiana, totally bypassed the City and State governments, and taken over all aspects of the evacuation including the use of force where necessary. (And it appears the first immediate use of force would have been to arrest one-third of the New Orleans police force as they went AWOL).
Can you imagine how The Editor and his media friends would have reacted to that act of dictatorial power and the violent confrontations that would have resulted as people were forced into buses by federal authorities?
Whose job is it anyway? Who has the responsibility for the health, education and welfare of every person in each city and each state? Who is the first and second responder to flood, fire and famine in Roanoke? It’s not George Bush!
Friday, September 02, 2005
Some Hurrican Observations
Many folks in New Orleans are caught in a surreal version of a "skinner box" in which the pain is increased until they turn violent toward each other and the people who are trying to help them.
As the blame game escalates, fed by a media far hungrier than the victims, one might reflect and wonder about some basic concepts:
* What does "mandatory evacuation" mean?
* What personal responsibility do people have for their own behavior in ignoring a government order for mandatory evacuation?
* What was the New Orleans (a city both lower than and surrounded by water) plan for flooding?
* What was the Louisiana State plan for assisting New Orleans and other low-elevation areas during flooding?
* What happened to all the first-responder support that has been given to the states by the federal government for homeland security?
* Why did city law enforcement not immediately respond with force to the violent behavior when it started?
* Why was the State National Guard not made immediately available and empowered to stop violence (they are not constrained by the Posse Comitatus as federal troops are and they are under the direct and personal command of the governor)?
* Why wasn’t every commercial and school bus in Louisiana made available for evacuation away from the coast?
* What was the leadership role of the government of New Orleans?
* What was the leadership role of the state of Louisiana?
* One-third of the New Orleans policemen went AWOL (were did they run away to?) and what will happen to them now?