Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Brownie Introduces Me To My Hackles

I tell you what, I thought I knew what it meant to have my hackles raised during the Katrina aftermath...

Michael Brown is a lizard brained smarmy piece of salamander crap. Where does he get the gall to try and blame the Katrina fiasco on Louisiana and our elected officials.

Let me explain a few things... Louisiana does have an evacuation plan for the coastal areas, including the 1.2 million people of the greater New Orleans area. This plan was put into effect at least once a year, including the recent Hurricane's Ivan and Georges, and was well tested. We worked the bugs out long ago for the Contraflow plan. The country must understand that the city of New Orleans is effectively an island with only four exit roads: Airline Hwy., I-10 East & West and the Causeway over Lake Pontchartrain. These are ALL two lane bridges. Even with contraflow, the New Orleans area only had 16 lanes of road to evacuate almost a million people within 48 hours. To get 80% of the population out in this short notice is extraordinary.

And yes, it was only 48 hours notice. As of the Friday evening before, I even had a conversation with two individuals where Katrina came up, and I said we had nothing to worry about, Katrina was headed to Pensacola (unfortunately for them).


Michael Brown repeatedly stated that FEMA was working properly in Mississippi and Alabama, yet for some reason Mississippi Congressman Taylor kept reminding him that this was NOT true. That Mississippi was completely without assistance for a week. Brown even had the toadlike audacity to try and correct the Mississippi Congressman after he stated the "Federal Emergency Management Association" and then stated that the Congressman didn't even know that FEMA was a Government agency.

A few facts which should help give everyone an idea of where the trouble lay...

• When you have truckloads of food which can and must be delivered to starving people and a FEMA beaurecrat on the ground will not allow the food to go to the people who need it because there are no National Guardsmen to protect it, while there are 100 capable police officers standing nearby - who caused the problem?

• When you have FEMA beaurecrats on the ground seizing diesel shipments to a parish government, fuel desparately needed to maintain generators providing energy for the miniscule communications remaining, to such a degree that the parish government orders parish police officers to arm themselves and forcibly retake control of this fuel - who caused the problem?

• When suddenly the remaining communications available to one parish vanish only for it to be discovered that FEMA has come in and disabled a major antennae tower because it was not FEMA approved - who caused the problem?

• When there is a small group of National Guard troops who are trying to deliver truckloads of MRE's to the disaster area and are halted by a FEMA beaurecrat and the soldiers must then raise a superior officer on the radio who then fires (without the authority to do so) this idiotic beaurecrat thereby allowing the food to be delivered - who was the cause of the problem and who solved it?

Michael Brown you are the one who is dysfunctional and now, you are truly dispicable. DO NOT EVER THINK THAT YOU MAY STEP FOOT INTO THIS STATE AGAIN.

I do understand that there were failures on the state and local level, but according to FEMA's own "Hurricane Pam" exercise, THESE FAILURES WERE ALL PREDICTED.

Our people did their best with extremely limited resources under extraordinary circumstances.

I also must make a statement regarding Mayor Ray Nagin. I voted for this man in his first election, and will wholeheartedly do so again in the next. It is somewhat disgusting to me that parts of this country perceive him to be an idiot because he is African-American and speaks with a good ole New Orleans accent.

Nagin was a CEO of a major corporation before he decided to run for Mayor - bucking and defeating the old line corrupt power groups held by Congressman Jefferson and the Morial family. This man instituted New Orleans' first CTO position which eliminated outrageous things like long distance telephone service for the city government costing upwards of 25 cents a minute, by simply calling Sprint - contracts which were held by the cronies of Marc Morial and Congressman Jefferson. The CTO even began receiving death threats.

Mayor Nagin has done more for this city in his three or so years as Mayor than the last 5 mayors combined.


I also want to express my thanks, sympathy and understanding to Police Chief Eddie Compass. You are indeed a hero, as are the vast majority of the NOPD.


Blogger George A. said...

Beautifully put. I am getting sick and tired of all these people (none from new orleans or louisiana) trashtalk the mayor's preparation and response. Given the amount of resources and time he had, he is far more deserving of praise than Rudy Giuliani was after 9/11. Im not saying he wasnt deserving of praise but Ray had a lot more on his plate to deal with. Furthermore, Michael Brown (and Haley Barbour) would have both probaly agreed during the immediate response that the "blame game" was not the right course of action, but just look at who's doing the blaming now. Despicable. Viva Nagin

3:54 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger Lisa said...

Well said. If I still lived in Louisiana, I'd vote for Nagin for governor in a heartbeat.

I just read on nola.com that Eddie Compass is stepping down.

4:14 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as Brown's a bureaucrat, Nagin's a blowhard. He opens his mouth before thinking about what he's saying. Don't confuse loud yelling with action. Both are incompetent in my book. It took multiple people to screw up the response that badly.

4:37 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger WillowLu said...

A Google news search for "Nagin Katrina Pets" STILL yields zero results . Approx. 50,000 animals left behind and not a discernable word from Nagin about any of it. Yeah. Great guy.

5:10 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Ellen in Conn said...

willowu - try removing the quotation marks!

6:31 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger WillowLu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:58 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willowlu- using the quotation marks in a boolean search only find articles in which "nagin katrina pets" is found in that *exact* language sequence. Leaving out the quotations will find pages with all three of the keywords.

Learn before you teach.... (or preach)

7:05 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger WillowLu said...

Also, unable to find documented pet related statements from Nagin searching the following:
Nagin + Katrina + pets

Plus signs, quotation marks, whatever the search engine format, I have been looking for any reliable news source that quotes Nagin addressing the ongoing pet emergency in NOLA over the last four weeks. Still looking....

Believe me, I'd love to be wrong about this, but sadly it has publicly been a non-issue for Nagin, although it has affected thousands of NOLA residents.

7:42 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Sam said...

The official New Orleans evacuation plan (http://www.cityofno.com/portal.a...tal=46&tabid=26) notes that 100,000 people will be unable to evacuate and calls for “evacuation buses.” How is failure to use city buses as a part of a city evacuation plan not the mayor’s fault? His leaving so many thousands of people significantly magnified the disaster and made the state and federal response much more difficult.

7:50 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger Chuck said...

Well said, Troy. I'm an animal lover, have 7 pets (from pigeons to pigs) and truly sympathize with those who cannot or have not been able to save/find/rescue/re-unite with their pets.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for those folks like Kelsey and the Iberia and St. Mary's Parish Humane Societies. As I see it, they have done incredible things here way beyond what could be asked of them.

Given all that, I think you need to find something more substantial than failing to mention the animal population of New Orleans to slam Ray Nagin for.

Mayor Nagin, I do believe has had a lot more on his plate than beloved left behind pets. And I do believe he has conducted himself admirably. Of all the faces in the National news, Nagin's is the ONLY one that has a clue that what New Orleans needs most right now is her people back. And I do believe that getting her people back is what Mayor Nagin has been about.

Think about it, Willowlu... who better to save their pet now than the owner of it.

And Sam.. about the buses...As I understand it, the buses ran until those citizens who drive then had to get their own families evacuated. You can't force people to get on one and you can't ask a bus driver to stay beyond what is reasonable either.

Either way, like Nagin or hate him, he's what New Orleans has right now and he IS a damned sight better than what New Orleans ever had the 16 years I lived there.

10:25 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Richard said...

Check the facts.

Reported from the Baton Rouge Advocate, Sept. 19th:
"Hours after the hurricane hit Aug. 29, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a plan to send 500 commercial buses into New Orleans to rescue thousands of people left stranded on highways, overpasses and in shelters, hospitals and homes.

On the day of the storm, or perhaps the day after, FEMA turned down the state's suggestion to use school buses because they are not air conditioned, Blanco said Friday in an interview.

Even after levees broke and residents were crowding the Louisiana Superdome, then-FEMA Director Mike Brown was bent on using his own buses to evacuate New Orleans, Blanco said.

The state had sent 68 school buses into the city on Monday.

Blanco took over more buses from Louisiana school systems and sent them in on Wednesday, two days after the storm. She tapped the National Guard to drive them. Each time the buses emptied an area, more people would appear, she said.

The buses took 15,728 people to safety, a Blanco aide said.

..Blanco...realized she had made a critical error.

"I assumed that FEMA had staged their buses in near proximity," she said. "I expected them to be out of the storm's way but accessible in one day's time."

It was late Wednesday. The buses wouldn't get to New Orleans until Thursday. By then, many of the sickest and the weakest were dead or dying."

10:29 PM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous ames said...

good post, Richard -- it's good to know what the reality of the situation really was...

...It would be one thing if Brown had even an ounce of empathy in his voice - could not get over that he really thought he was defending 'himself' in court today....instead of looking past himself and seeing the bigger picture. Where is the sense of humanity and reality that *anyone* would feel or *should* feel in his position? Lacking. Sorely lacking.

12:15 AM, September 28, 2005  
Anonymous Sam said...

I stand corrected. These are things that they don't report on the news in Houston; not even the anti-Bush crowd here seems to know. Thanks for the info.

12:27 AM, September 28, 2005  
Blogger Owen said...

I happen to think Ray Nagin did the best he could - in hindsight there was probably more he could have done and some things he could have done better. But comparatively speaking, of all the people in the chain of command from the President on down, as far as I can tell he did the best - and about the best that could be done in the circumstances. And second best was Blanco.

But far more important than that - when he broke down and cried on live radio about the situation he showed that he was a real person, a real human being, someone who cared. Again - the only one in that chain of command (Blanco may have done too but damn sure nobody else did....)

Brown showed today just what the problem was and is. And he isn't alone - Chertoff (or whatever his name is) is worse. The two of them should both be facing prosecution.

12:57 AM, September 28, 2005  
Blogger artie said...

Your blog has kept me from throwing my tv out the window. Your loyalty to NOLA is one of the things that will make it an even better place to live once the levees are restored and improved.

8:00 AM, September 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the characters to blame & praise, I give Nagin the highest marks and Brown the lowest. That asswipe Brown ought to be tarred, feathered, run out of town on a rail and horsewhipped. As for Nagin, I predict he'll be re-elected in a landslide. He's got my vote again, that's for sure.

9:56 AM, September 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, sam, in the evacuation plan, "evacuation" doesn't mean evacuation from the city but evacuation from their homes to the shelters of last resort like the superdome. city busses were being used for this throughout the sunday before katrina hit, even though most of the rta personnel had fled.

there were a lot of concerns about using the school busses because 3 elderly people had died while evacuating on one because of the heat on that very day. so, they sat there.

12:19 PM, September 28, 2005  
Blogger Antonio Gramsci said...

I like almost everything you said.

However, Cable Guy will sell this city out from underneath you and don't think he won't.

He is a Republican cut from the same cloth as Michael Brown.

I pray that someone who represents the real people of New Orleans runs for mayor so that I can vote for that person. I want someone who is going to stand up to the speculators and carpetbaggers and Baptists who want to "make New Orleans better."

I don't mean to sound bitter.

11:00 PM, September 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Louisiana and have lived all over the US. I miss my home. I miss my family. I hate seeing my home under water, but I will always support my state and my people.
Most people outside of LA. have no concept of Louisiana, New Orleans or any of our small communities. I am so sick of people complaining about how we didn't take care of the poor or we did not have plans. Ultimately, people do not like to see what issues they have in their own backyard and are quick to focus on our problems. They do not realize it takes funding to take care of the problems - such as coastal wetlands restoration, levee control, public transit and so many other needs.
AND then the VULTURES. The opportunistic investors who want to purchase homes at rock bottom prices and then sell them at California prices. I want the people from New Orleans to have their homes not investors. It will not be our home.
FEMA, Brown, Chertoff and our photo ops "Pres. Bush" aka Shrub are absolutely worthless. I really think it is our citizens and our neighbors that help us. The gov "reaction" is extremely poor as compared to Camille's response.
Also, Houston learned from us and allowed us to take our pets.
Many thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped our people, pets and sanity.

12:14 AM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments about our city and Mayor Nagin & Chief Compass.

We don't know all that's going on, but these people gave their all and did their best under unspeakable circumstances.

I especially resent the national news media and others being critical of the people of New Orleans and commenting on things they know nothing about.

5:13 PM, October 02, 2005  

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