home

Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans

Don't miss the op-ed by New Orleans-born author Anne Rice in the Sunday New York Times, Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans? She answers the question, "Why didn't they leave?"

Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.

What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.

And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.

Later on, she writes:

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.

< Permalinks for Katrina News Articles | Bush Tries to Blame Blanco, Documents Say Otherwise >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    ...how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
    Any of the SFBs (Shills For Bush) care to answer that one?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Perhaps these buses might have been useful for evacuating the people with no transport - instead of the leaking, polluting, ruined mess they are now. TL can't mention that though, since it would point to a failure of imagination outside the administration. TL, like the rest of the left, sees this entire mess mostly as a stick with which to beat their political opponents.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Cool...apparently at least one shill was semi-awake at this hour. Some questions...first, can you fit 100,000 people on those buses? Second, where would you have driven those buses to? Third, and most important, why are those buses (and a lot of people) underwater? Could it be because the money to shore up the levees was sent to Iraq by a certain Mr. Bush?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Based on the math I saw, those buses, used once, could have carted off 13,000-15,000 people. Not as many as were left, no, but a whole lot better than zero to be sure. Your response reminds me of the sales guy who is currently collecting $100k from a client. On new negotiations, the client makes it clear that the choice is between a new deal at $25k, or no deal at all. The sales guy clings to the (now not possible) $100k, thinking it's a choice between $100k and $25k - when it's really between $25k and 0. So - in your world, since no perfect solution existed, no partial solution was valuable? And as to levee funding - do some research. The first step was going to be a study - that was going to take 8 years. The assumption was then that implementation would take 30 years. So even had the administration fully funded everything the corps asked for, starting in 2001, the result would have been... The same thing we see now.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#5)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    I'd like to quote old movies and point out the absurdities of arguing in a flooding house (or city... or several cities)... but all this bickering is the result of George Bush's America. He and his party have been in control and he's failed at being a "uniter, not a divider." The arguments are getting tiresome: --"We stand united." --United we stand. --"We stand united." --UNITED we stand." --Let freedom ring! --"Let freedom reign." --Let freedom RING. --Let freedom REIGN. ...shall we call the whole thing off?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#6)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    According to Shepard Smith, they could have walked out of the convention center using the freeway and walked to Gretna Louisiana, but they were prevented from doing so by the National Guard. I guess this isn't America anymore, where US citizens can walk the streets freely. Or maybe it's just Black people that aren't free to go where there will.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#7)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Mr. Robertson: Are you an American? What is with you? What a despicable display of compassionlessness for those who did not for whatever reason have the means to leave. I looked at those stupid pictures. I did not see buses. I saw long rectangular shapes of yellow & white. High-resolution pics, huh? Biloxi, Mississipi is a mess as are other places along the coast.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    JR...OK, so they load up 15,000 people. I notice that you didn't answer question number 2. Where would they have dropped them off? Read this about the levees.
    A May 2005 Corps memo said that funding levels for fiscal years 2005 and 2006 would not be enough to pay for new construction on the levees.
    Tensions over funding for the New Orleans levees emerged more than a year ago when a local official asserted money had been diverted to pay for the Iraq war. In early 2002, Parker told the U.S. Congress that the war on terrorism required spending cuts elsewhere in government.
    NO new construction/improvement on the levees in 2005 and 2006, in order to pay for the Iraq debacle. May I remind you that the levees failed in what was essentially a catagory 2 hurricane in New Orleans. Perhaps some shoring up was all that was needed. The engineering studies should clear this up. But the fact remains that Bush certainly did his best to make sure that New Orleans wasn't ready and would NOT be ready to deal with a big hurricane long into the future. Why? Because Iraq was deemed more important. Keep spinning JR...you have met the real enemy and it's the Bushies "War on Terror". It keeps us safely underwater, where the terrorists can't find us.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Dörner identifies four habits of mind and characteristics of thought that account for the frequency of our failures:
    Dörner missed one very important one - Inability to admit mistakes. This one relates to such complicated, advanced concepts as: * Take ownership... * Take responsiblity... * Be accountable... * Be respectful (hey - you get what you give!)

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    There were buses to move between 10,000 to 20,000 people. They weren't used. Contempt for the poor isn't limited to the federal government. It's not partisan, although conservatives and liberals disagree on how much the state should provide for the most deprived citizens of a country. Conservatives these days seem prefer that private charity take care of the least fortunate--like magic. Katrina was a "sign": it was a test of the theory that the market should decide what happens to those least fortunate. Even if the buses were used to transport the destitute, they wouldn't be able to afford to live for very long, and without any plan, there wouldn't be any place to go. Did it occur to the estate planning lawyer who heads FEMA to keep an inventory of the state and local resources available in case of emergencies? I somehow doubt it.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#12)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    If just ~ 1 in 6 folks leaving the city had taken one of their unfortunate neighbors without a car or ride all those without means could have left. These folks were first abandoned by their neighbors.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Where would the buses have taken them? I don't know - but it's up to the local authortities to have a plan. Let's not forget that everyone - state, local, and federal - should have been more aware of the threat to NO. Is it your assertion that local officials should do nothing and always just wait for the feds? That's just stupid. If you want to talk about failure, fine. Just make sure to include officials at all levels, because that's what happened here. What I object to is the left's petty insistence on making everything an occasion for partisan stick waving.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    MacLane - Hear! Hear! Rich vs. Poor is the real battle here, not Left vs Right, Red vs. Blue or State vs. Federal. For me, the two issues that have come to light most graphically during this tragedy are just how thin is the veneer of "civilization" in the USA and secondly, just how much contempt the rich have for the poor over there. I think that both of these issues are strongly illustrative of some of the underlying flaws in American (and Western) consumerist culture. What we are seeing is nothing more than the inevitable consequences of a social system founded entirely on the pursuit of material wealth. Those who so joyfully proclaimed the downfall of "socialism" and the victory of market capitalism with the collapse of the USSR (Francis Fukayama, PNAC et al) are now witnessing the catastrophic failure of their own flawed social model. Because ultimately, America is not built on "freedom" or "democracy" or "the rule of law" but on two principles: 1.Self reliance 2.Property rights are sacrosanct Everything else about the American Dream flows from these two concepts. In other words: If I work hard, depend on my own resources and acquire enough property, I can thrive in the USA, maybe I'll even get to be President. Sounds splendid, doesn't it? It evokes a vision of strong, pioneering, independent men and women striving towards a better future. These images are the very essence of the American Dream. No need of Government, no need of outsiders interfering, no need of welfare or aid. Just leave the market to provide and make sure that the state does nothing more than protect those with property from those without. But the dream is flawed. At its best, and for most of the time the dream "works" in that it keeps everyone on the same path, provides a unifying basis for American society, provides a set of shared goals to stop society disintegrating into anarchy. Most of the time, (i.e. when the rich are not in any way threatened by the vast majority of Americans who are not rich), the two ideas serve as a form of "mental pacifier" to keep those with less wealth in their place. Hence the counter-intuitive way in which poor people support tax cuts that overwhelming benefit the rich. After all, if you're poor and don't have much, then surely it makes sense to hang on to what you have by enforcing property rights for all. Surely, if you just work a little harder, a little longer, you should be able to keep the little extra that you earn and not have to give it to "the Government". Self reliance. Property rights. These are the myths that the poor are sold by the rich. But there is a dark side to a society based on these myths. When push comes to shove, when the hurricane hits, when the riots and looting starts, "Self reliance" becomes "Every man for himself" Throw in a liberal approach to private ownerhsip of handguns to the mix and you're in real trouble. When the mask slips, and the poor start exercising a little too much "self reliance" (by helping themselves to that which has been left behind by the rich when they fled town) "Property rights are sacrosanct" becomes "Property Rights trump Human Rights every time. Shoot to kill!" These are the inevitable consequences of a selfish culture. And I'm going to catch a lot of flak here for this, but on the subject of looting, I would like to ask this: Since when did theft of a widescreen TV carry the death penalty? Shoot to kill? Good God. What exactly is wrong with a man who has nothing, who has just seen his house destroyed, who has seen little or no response from those in power, who has been basically left to fend for himself whilst everyoe who had the means has just skipped town, deciding to help himself to some of the things he has been made to believe will make him happy but which he can't obtain through normal means? Those with adequate insurance for their homes and businesses will get all their possessions replaced with brand new ones. Those without will be lucky if they get rehoused. Who is the real victim here? Are those who call for looters to be shot really expecting us to believe that the owners of the stores are likely to come back (in 4 months time according to some), rinse off the mud from the wide screen TVs and put them back on sale? New Orleans is, in insurance terms, a Total Loss. The whole town is under water, for god's sake. So what if someone takes a few pairs of sneakers from Foot Locker. Their own sneakers are probably somewhere a few miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. So what if they steal some cigarettes and a bottle of booze. Do people really begrudge them a bottle of Jack Daniels whilst they wait six days for anyone to come and help them? It's the right wing who constantly claim that those on the left simply don't understand human nature. Well, human nature is not a static thing. If you constantly tell people that it's every man for himself, don't expect restraint when Everyman sees a chance to stick it to "the Man". And one final thought. Interesting how strongly the government is condemning looting when it's American property being looted. Funny how they didn't step in to stop the looting in Baghdad when it was only Iraqi property being looted. (I know, I know - I just couldn't make it through a post without bringing Iraq into it. Sorry.)

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Those of you who aren't totally disabled by blind hatred of the administration might want to consider where authority actually lay here - New Orleans has a disaster plan, and it lays out what to do pretty clearly - you can find it online here. That document lays out who is responsible for primary action - the mayor. It makes it clear who didn't take any of the actions he was supposed to take - the mayor. The President cannot order people out (which is why all he did was exhort the mayor and governor to order such an evac - he himself has no authority to do so). Read the plan - it's quite detailed. It shows that, pre-disaster, New Orleans had a plan. It also shows that local officials did not act on the plan ahead of time. It lays out a timeline for evacuation, including the evacuation of those who cannot, on their own, get out. This is about much more than not using busses - the city government simply did not act. When things went wrong, the city government started pointing fingers. The left, only too pleased to find a new stick with which to beat their partisan opponents, piled on. Forgotten in all this is the disaster plan for New Orleans (the one created by the city), which the city did not follow. Perhaps you should ask the mayor why that plan wasn't followed.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    James, I looked for you at this site, which one are you? Or at the very least you please exlpain to us just why FEMA is without any resposibility in the horrendous lack of response? I have yet to find it the documents that you provided a link for where it says that in Louisiana FEMA doesn't have any authority.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    If just ~ 1 in 6 folks leaving the city had taken one of their unfortunate neighbors without a car or ride all those without means could have left. These folks were first abandoned by their neighbors.
    Pigglewiggle, you may have just nailed the biggest problem our society has, right there... a deceptively simple "Nobody Cares!" or "I got mine!". Law & Psychiatry Institute - Antisocial Personality Disorder Fact Sheet "Antisocial personality disorder is much more prevalent in males than in females, with a rate of about 3% of males, and 1% of females in the general population." --------- Is there anyone here with a combined background in criminology & psychology? I didn't see a date on that web page - I wonder what the growth rate curve on this looks like... In the meantime, I think we'd be wise to elect a woman as president, quickly. Us men have done a too good job of screwing up... and it's time we faced the facts...

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Et al - Why didn’t they leave? Because the Governor and Mayo waited until it was too late. They didn’t have resources? Why didn’t they turn to the feds? We now know, from this link, that:
    ....shortly before midnight Friday,(3/26) the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover...
    But she refused. She waited until Sunday morning, after Bush had appealed again. By then it was too late. That is why thousands were stuck. If you want to know who was the major obstacle, it is obviously the people who turned down the help offered on August 26, around midnight. BTW - One young man, twenty year old Jabbar Gibson took a school buss, loaded it with people and drove them out of harms way. He should be the mayor. Houston Chronicle article

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    ShermBuck - nice attempt at strawman building. My blog is non-political, and covers Smalltalk (software development) and IT - which is why I tend not to link it to places like this. If you Google my name, you'll find it pretty quickly. As to authority, look at your copy of the Constitution. The federal government does not have emergency powers that allow for it to evacuate unless there's a state of insurrection, or unless the state and local authorities have explicitly granted such authority. In this case, the feds asked for that power from the state, and did not get it. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing seems to depend on your politics at this point in time, but there it is.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Insightful post there, Ian:
    human nature is not a static thing. If you constantly tell people that it's every man for himself, don't expect restraint when Everyman sees a chance to stick it to "the Man".


    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    Then there's this, from the Ivan near miss:
    Residents with cars took to the highways. Others wondered what to do. "They say evacuate, but they don't say how I'm supposed to do that," Latonya Hill, 57, said at the time. "If I can't walk it or get there on the bus, I don't go. I don't got a car. My daughter don't either."
    Sound familiar? Perhaps the local government should have learned from their mistakes during Ivan?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    "Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government..." ...go george go... Many Evacuated, but Thousands Still Waiting White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials By Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu Washington Post Staff Writers Sunday, September 4, 2005; Page A01

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    edger - that's a nice way to try to deflect, but the fact remains - New Orleans had a disaster preparedness plan, and they utterly failed to implement it. Who's responsible for that particular failure?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    I have to post one more thing that it's clear the left is conveniently forgetting - the sheer scope of this disaster. As bad as New Orleans is, it's not the only problem area. An area 1/2 the size of France is devastated, from Louisiana through parts of Alabama and Mississippi. There's a massive aid effort all along the gulf coast, not just in New Orleans. Which proves to me that a disturbingly large proportion of the left is more interested in this as a political football than anything else.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    The left is conveniently forgetting the sheer scope of this disaster.
    Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy. Excuse me, James... you were saying?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We're captive on the carousel of time We can't return we can only look behind From where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game
    ...Joni Mitchell

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    Local, state and federal governments need to be jointly accountable for having detailed disaster plans ready for American cities whose incapacitation would threaten the nation's strategic interests. New Orleans would be one such city that would come under this umbrella, because it is the largest city in its region, and because it is such a major shipping and oil-refining center. You'd have thought that the current administration would've learned something after 9/11. But just combining agencies and departments to make one large department isn't enough. It takes an efficient, proactive and timely response to disaster to make a difference.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    edger, you miss my point, entirely. New Orleans is in awful shape, but there are needs all along the gulf coast. Resources are spread all along there. To look at how all those people got trapped there, I'll invite you to read the New Orleans disaster plan. You might take a look, and see which level of government was responsible for the pre-storm evacuation. Here's a hint - it wasn't the feds. You might take the time to realize that the primary failure was the utter failure to act by the state and local government. Until the Bush administration pleaded, they weren't going to order a mandatory evacuation.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    Inability to admit mistakes relates to such complicated, advanced concepts as: * Take ownership... * Take responsiblity... * Be accountable... * Be respectful (hey - you get what you give...)

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#30)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    James...you're needed on other threads. Actually you probably need to get a life...preferably in service to others. I think it would good for you....learn to get out of yourself....do something useful & humanitarian. Did anyone see where John Grisham set up a fund with a $5 million start...is he still in Oxford, MS?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#31)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    New Orleans is in awful shape, but there are needs all along the gulf coast.
    I got your point clearly, James. I aggree with you completely that there are needs all along the gulf coast... The ramifications are so much bigger than the gulf coast though... they will affect the global economy and the entire world. Please forget the rhetoric and don't tell me I am conveniently forgetting the sheer scope of this disaster. The scope is enormous... more so than most of us imagine, or can imagine.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    edger, What I'm trying to point out is that you - and a lot of the posters here - want to find a way to beat your partisan opponents with a stick - and this disaster seems to be the latest way to do that. There were failures up and down the food chain here. The city government utterly failed to implement their own disaster plan, with tragic consequences. The governor failed to call the Louisiana guard up soon enough (and yes, it is her responsibility). The feds allowed themselves to be tied up in bureaucratic tangles, which delayed action while middle managers with too much time on their hands waited for the proper rules to be followed. What I object to is the left's desire to pretend that the last failure is the only one - which tells me that the main objective is to get their partisan opponents, by any and all means possible.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    I was talking about scope and global economic effects James. You're talking about blame. Who is waving the stick here?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    The buses could have moved 13,000-15,000 people EACH TRIP. They could have taken a trip, loaded up with water and food, and driven back to unload the water and food, and taken another load. And regarding where, they could have taken them anywhere that had power and was above water. Certainly the Astrodome and many other sites had been set up long before buses send INTO the city were able to take people out to those sites.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#36)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    Stay on that roll, Squeaky. You've been on fire the last few days.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    The levee that failed had just been repaired. The ones that were not funded for work did not fail. And the entire levee system had just been designed for a level 3 storm.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    Squeaky! Jeeze! I can you roaring from here! Just about melted my DSL modem and blew out the fuses in my monitor comin' down the line! There was a blinding flash of light, and now the wall opposite the monitor is all sunburned, and my hair and eybrows are singed right off! What a forkin rush!!! Do that agin, will you? !!!

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    What I object to is the left's desire to pretend that the last failure is the only one - which tells me that the main objective is to get their partisan opponents, by any and all means possible.
    I guess when the shoe is on the other foot, it is tight, it hurts and the conservatives squeal like pigs. No more partisan politics can be contemplated than the right during the Clinton administration. So STFU and on with the discussion at hand. I do agree with you. The failures of this crisis are everywhere. That includes local, state, AND federal government. The REAL problem here is the failure of the levis. Without that failure, the damage to N.O. would be have be bad, but NO where as severe and most people connect the restricted funding by THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to be that cause. They also blame W. for that lack of funding. Personally, I have a hard time justifying the total rebuilding of N.O. without a MAJOR plan to make sure it is TOTALLY safe from this sort of catastrophe in the future. I have in the past said about MANY places in the world, “They shouldn’t have built there”. N.O. is a very needed location to economy of the United States and it should exist, but allowing it to expand to places below sea-level, to destroy swaps to see it expand, is totally reckless. For this city to expand, it must go UP, not the urban sprawl of many U.S. cities that are built on the expansive plains of much of the country. I called my dad on Sunday morning, before the hurricane, and even though it was apparent that N.O. would not face a direct hit, I said that N.O. could be destroyed. I have never been there, live 1000 miles away and even I KNEW N.O. was in serious

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    George, "I guess when the shoe is on the other foot, it is tight, it hurts and the conservatives squeal like pigs. No more partisan politics can be contemplated than the right during the Clinton administration. So STFU and on with the discussion at hand." If you have read comments I've placed in other threads over time, you'll see that I've made this point. The left's obsession with Bush is as stupid - and as counterproductive - as the right's obsession with Clinton was. It's also politically stupid, as Republican's learned in 1996 and 1998 - and as Democrats should have learned in 2002 and 2004. The people making the claim that the administration didn't care because most of the poor are black are as pathetic as their analogs, the people who just "knew" that Hillary and Bill killed Vince Foster. Remember that? The current claims are every bit as stupid and ill informed.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    To make myself as entirely and completely clear as I possibly can: My intent in posting that link multiple times in a couple of different threads, is to hopfully make it clear that, while blame games (from both sides) may be fun (sarcasm intended here), I think it's time that we started to look at what we, as a planet wide society, and as a human race, might have coming down the pipe that we are going to have to live and deal with, as repercussions (did I spell that right?) from this awful catastrophe... We can't change what has happened, and the future just might get very ugly. Here it is again for those who care to contemplate what I truly hope is not a cold dose of reality. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy. and, of the global economy.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#42)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    Don Singleton:
    The levee that failed had just been repaired. The ones that were not funded for work did not fail...
    Don, if that's true, I'd hate to be the contractor(s?) that did the repair work. Blame, vindictiveness, and ruining someone in retaliation seems to be the order of the day...

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    James Robertson, I agree with what you said. I take it like this...It will go on no matter what. If you agree with it, chear it. If you disagree with it, ignore the real issues and start sniping. If you are smart ignore it.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    The people making the claim that the administration didn't care because most of the poor are black..,
    It's probably more accurate to say that the administration didn't care because the poor are poor, though it's difficult to separate the matter of race from the nonchalant government response.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    James is right... in the sense that this issue is bigger than Bush. What happened in the Gulf Coast during and after this hurricane is an example of what happens when you try to make the federal government small enough to drown in the bathtub. It could be argued that YOUR obsession with protecting the Bush administration and the Republican party no matter what, mo matter how morally bankrupt they are shown to be, is the true foolishness. And various FEDERAL elected officials were shown on TV and in the papers having a good time this week while New Orleans flooded with water. You think that's not a little counter-productive? So, anyway, Jimmy-boy, if we shouldn't rely on the government to try to protect us, then what was the point of the Department of Homeland Security?

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    If just ~ 1 in 6 folks leaving the city had taken one of their unfortunate neighbors without a car or ride all those without means could have left. These folks were first abandoned by their neighbors.
    I hope you mean the loosely-defined version of "neighbors", because the middle/upper class neighborhoods that had room in their cars to take others with them are probably located well away from the lower-class neighborhoods where people drowned because they didn't have cars or couldn't afford to leave.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    JR...you come across more than a bit hypocritical with your tirade against partisanship. Just look at the link you posted early on in this thread. Well let's be fair...if youre gonna bash Louisiana Democrats then you must also bash Mississippi Republicans. Neither state seemed to have the plan to get their people out or to help them quickly once the storm went through. As for Bush, it's pretty clear he was a hindrance all the way around. The fact remains that he placed his Iraq adventure above the funding of projects at home to mitigate disasters. Big budget cuts were made to pay for Iraq. Large scale deployments of National Guard personnel and equipment were sent to the wasted mission in Iraq. The well being of people in this country were compromised by that policy. THAT IS INDEFENSIBLE. The levees that broke actually failed in what was a catagory 2 hurricane. New Orleans did not get cat 3 winds at any point in the storm. I am looking forward to reading the engineering report. My initial feeling is that someone did some shoddy work. If this is the case, then they should FRY no matter what their political affiliation is.

    Re: Why They Didn't Leave New Orleans (none / 0) (#48)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:23 PM EST
    After Celine another Canadian comment on THE MESS! Less than one month ago there was a program broadcasted on TV 5 (the International French Channel - not shown in the States of course, since only US news are not biased, at least that's what the Bushies wants you to believe). Taped more than two years ago it was totally scary in it's previsions of what a major hurricane hurting New-Orleans and the bayous (atleast what remains of them) could imply. The environmental s..t that was imposed upon this region, principally by the petroleum companies is unbelievable and even then the Federal Governement was sitting tight assed on all projects for regeneration of the bayous, restauration or stabilization of phreatic mass, strenghtening of the levees and other engineering devices to protect the area, etc. Not only George W's government of filthy rich petroleum executives and polo managers did nothing but, of course there was never any talk of making the petro whores to pay for the upcoming disaster that was forecasted in a very near future. (And now they are reaping more profit than ever , thanks to Katrina and the psychosis that they created about the oil reserves) Since then Dubya just decided to divide by 6 the amount of money spent yearly to consolidate the lands of this sensitive area. Just because he needed more money for his picnic party in Iraq which still has the petroleum that Louisiana doesn't have any more! Lucky that the French prevision was for a hurricane 4 or 5, which didn't happen in Ol Naw'lins (sorry for the folks that were hit more directly, but New Orleans and the whole of South Louisiana did not get hit only by an Act of God but also by numerous acts of greedy humans with absolutely no vision for the future except to put cash in their pockets) Otherwise there would be nothing at all left to salvage in all the South of Louisiana. As for civil protection, last year they ran an evacuation exercise in N.O. and it was known then that at least one third of the population could not or would not leave. Facing that a plan could have been devised, along the line of a carpool, to a force people to carry a minimum of passengers per car leaving the city. At least the annoying Humvees would have been of some use for once. As for those buses, same remarks, a plan of evacuation of the very poor using those should have been implemented. As was said before 10 to 20 thousands people safely evacuated is better than zero. Isn't it totally horrible and heartwrenching to hear stories of people that did not want to be evacuated by helicopters because they thought that they could not afford it! ---In the richest country in the worldstrong>!--- Where should these people have gone? Remember Sept.11? Dozens of planes and thousands of passengers were force to land in the little Newfoundland village of Gander and stay there for days. Well everybody was welcome, fed by the community and housed as best as possible in this remote place with no planes flying to bring provisions, cots or blankets! Are Canadians more hospitable and generous than Americans? Does the U.S. has really lost all sense of the real values in life? I hope not but when I see in the News that one third of the police force of New-Orleans is a.w.o.l. I wonder where ethics and sense of duties are gone. That's probably why it took a Canadian singer, with no previous history of political activism to say loudly and emotionally what a big part of the American population really feel and give a wake up call for those who still believe that a pseudo war to find unexisting arms of mass destruction is worth more than genuine war for a safe environment and against poverty, in the bosom of the richest country on earth! Posted by at September 7, 2005 01:33 AM