March 03, 2006

The Big Truth

It took until the seventh paragraph, but Washington Post reporters Peter Baker and Spencer S. Hsu uncovered the Big Truth about the AP's newly released Hurricane Katrina meeting video:

In its substance, the video reveals nothing that was not already known from previously released transcripts and government investigations. But in politics, images carry a power far beyond written words, and the video, played again and again on cable television, instantly provided new fuel for an emotional debate.

This debate is not a story of substance, but one of emotion.

The disaster response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest, fastest rescue in American history.

Yes, mistakes were made on all levels. The levees were poorly built. Evacuation plans were not followed. Leadership collapsed, and in some cases, hindered the rescue effort. There is plenty of blame to go around, and no shortage of imaginitive ideas to help boost our response capabilities for future storms to levels never before imagined.

But none of that is the focus of the media. Over 1,400 people were confirmed dead, and more are missing. Damages exceeded $75 billion, making this the costliest hurricane in history, and what does the media worry most about?

Three days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans, President Bush appeared on television and said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." His staff has spent the past six months trying to take back, modify or explain away those 10 words.

But Bush was, despite all media claims to the contrary, correct. Fictional hurricanes "Zebra" and "Pam," were used to train for the event of a New Orleans hurricane strike, and neither exercise anticipated levee failure. According to Greg Breerwood, deputy district engineer for project management for the Army Corps of Engineers:

We knew if it was going to be a Category 5, some levees and some flood walls would be overtopped," he said. "We never did think they would actually be breached."

Katrina made landfall at 6:10 am CDT on August 29 as a Category 3 hurricane, far less than the feared category 5 strike. Of course they didn't think it would be breached in a weaker storm that hit off-center.

Another new video has also surfaced late yesterday, where Gov. Kathleen Blanco said nearly six hours after landfall:

"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video that was obtained Thursday night. "We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time."

Officials did not expect a breach of the levees before Hurricane Katrina, and still thought they'd dodged a bullet almost six hours after the storm made landfall.

That's the Big Truth of what was expected of the New Orleans levees, and the Big Truth about ten words that some opportunists would conflate into a disaster all their own.

Update: The Associated Press backtracks:


Clarification: Katrina-Video story

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.

The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.

The day before the storm hit, Bush was told there were grave concerns that the levees could be overrun. It wasn't until the next morning, as the storm was hitting, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had inquired about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.

To further clarify the AP clarification: Bush was told that the levees could be overrun (which is still inaccurate as a technicality, but as good as we are likely to get from the media), or topped, but he was not told the could be breached.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 07:26 AM | TrackBack

Trying to make this into a political issue is distracting from the help that is still needed in New Orleans and Mississippi. Instead of focusing on the truly awesome aspects of the rescues in New Orleans and in Mississippi, the very swift response, and the remarkable evacuation that was doen, it's clear the media want nothing more than to smear Bush.

While they are playing their games, people in Mississippi towns such as Biloxi, Gulfport, Pass Christian, D'Iberville, Waveland and others are still sleeping in tents six months after Katrina hit.

This political game is hurtful to us as we try to recover and rebuild. It causes people to think about Katrina in a negative light and makes many who might have been willing to help not want to do so.

Posted by: seawitch at March 3, 2006 09:18 AM

Yeah, that's it. The media should start doing stories about the positive aspects of Hurricane Katrina, like the fact that she missed Wisconsin. I would guess the media will get to that story after they write about how great things are going in Iraq; how much people like having their phones wiretapped; how the new Medicare drug plan is only a problem for people over the age of 65 and, how much the whole Bill of Rights is overrated and maybe we could make do with six instead of 10.

Posted by: shiloh at March 3, 2006 01:07 PM

Some people predicted a levee breach as early as 2001. Isn't it the duty of disaster management planning to prepare for a worst-case scenario? Hope for the best, but expect the worst. For Katrina, they expected the best, and got screwed by the worst.

Posted by: Jeff at March 3, 2006 01:32 PM

Of course - nothing new here, move along.

Finding out what went wrong and assigning blame only means dwelling on the negative. George Bush and Michael Chertoff did nothing wrong.

Most people who aren't blind right wing zealots had already concluded that this president and his administration are uncaring about common Americans, don't believe in the common good, and are incompetent to boot. The latest video only confirmed this for the 65% of us who still think.

As for the rest of you, nothing new here, move along ...

Posted by: Anon at March 3, 2006 01:37 PM

Just move on? To what, pray tell? The importance of this video is it's affirmation of Bush's disengagement, his simple lack of curiosity combined with his tendency to mouth platitudes. Every time this Administration has someone accept responsibility, nine of that person's fingers point to others who were "more to blame", gave "bad information". And to those right wing cry babies who hate to see poor George dragged over the coals, life without a Fox spin is rough, but deal with it. If you want people to "move on", I don't want to hear another word about blow jobs, or about Chappaquidick (something that happened loooooooooooong ago).

Posted by: Dan at March 3, 2006 01:54 PM

Actually, what we want is for you people (the 65% of people who 'think'), to come up with some actual legit complaints. Those "right wing crybabies" are the same ones raking Bush over the coals for emmigration, ports, his personal lawyer pick for the supreme court, tariffs, spending, budget, etc etc etc, but since we dont buy into your bullshit you have a problem. Since there is nothing to your spin to the Katrina story, then yeah, move on. Last I checked, Clinton was actually getting blowjobs, and Kennedy actually wrecked his car and killed someone. And I see no one other than you bringing either of those up here.

Posted by: buzz at March 3, 2006 02:43 PM

You spent too many words needlessly to explain why the President was absolutely correct and truthful, and that none of the problems are of his doing. He has made that clear all along. Those who question him, are just traitors to the country. As the White House said this week, he was actively engaged during the entire disaster. The result of his engagement in Katrina, Medicare Drug Benefit, Iraq, Social Security is obvious by the resounding success of those solutions.

Posted by: Lew at March 3, 2006 03:28 PM

With regards to Clinton and now Bush neither one of these men will be remembered as one of our better choices to lead our nation. President Bush continues to lead by not leading at all. He failed by choice or incompetence to grasp the seriousness of Katrina's potential. The simple fact is, we are able to mount relief efforts half way around the world faster then we responded to our own peoples suffering.

Posted by: Mark Hoffman at March 3, 2006 03:40 PM

1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005







Posted by: Slippery Pete at March 3, 2006 03:57 PM

You state that the media "worry most" about the president's false statement that nobody anticipated the levee breaches. This is also a falsehood. Far more print has been devoted to the effects of the hurricane and the aftermath than those 10 words.

This is a fact. It may not feel "truthy" to you, but it is the truth.

Posted by: Slippery Pete at March 3, 2006 04:00 PM

Facts vs. truthiness, cont.:

The design of the original levees, which dates to the 1960s, was based on rudimentary storm modeling that, it is now realized, might underestimate the threat of a potential hurricane. Even if the modeling was adequate, however, the levees were designed to withstand only forces associated with a fast-moving hurricane that, according to the National Weather Service’s Saffir-Simpson scale, would be placed in category 3. If a lingering category 3 storm — or a stronger storm, say, category 4 or 5 — were to hit the city, much of New Orleans could find itself under more than 20 ft (6 m) of water. (J.J. Westerink, The Creeping Storm, Civil Engineering Magazine, June 2003.)

Posted by: Slippery Pete at March 3, 2006 04:02 PM

The Big Truth is simple, the president was told before the hurricane hit, the levees were a very, very, grave concern. After the hurricane hit, the presdient said they didn't think the levees would be breached. He told an untruth and that's the real big truth. Exericises are only training tools, they are never close to the real thing. You can't anticipate the power of nature.

Posted by: Kevin at March 3, 2006 04:17 PM

"Nobody," in these situations, actually means "nobody important/respectable/sympathetic/orthodox enough for me to pay attention to," or "nobody who couldn't be dismissed as an alarmist/weirdo/special pleader/political adversary/&c,"

Posted by: Jack C at March 3, 2006 04:41 PM

Facts hurt when all you got to work with is spin and opinion to stoke your hate with. This is just more of the same crap from the illiterate MSM and the left leaning loonatics.

The video clearly shows the head of the National Hurricane Center say "the levees may be topped"

The video does not say anything about levees being 'breached' or 'failing'. Topped is not the same as breached.

At some point the Democratic Party will have kick the dunces out and try to rehab itself. The rest of the country...the other 90% or so...are watching this show with bemused amazement.

Next up: One Clinton was in favor of the port deal, actually working for Dubai, while the other one was leading the charge against it! That is your 'front runner'? DOH!!!

Harry Reid votes FOR the Patriot does Barbara Boxer! Double DOH!!!!

Gotta love those principled Dems.

Loonies get a are being played like a fiddle by the Democratic Party...they no more believe the crap they're spitting out to get your cash than George W. Bush does. They think you are all morons and too dumb to figure it out.

They're probably right.

Posted by: Mahatma at March 3, 2006 05:34 PM

Mr Yankie,

Are you being deliberately obtuse? I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve with this piece. The point is, and the video is just one more piece of evidence, President Bush is detatched and unconcerned with detail. He asks no questions in the video, he mouths platitudes. He continues his vacation while New Orleans drowns. He is wrapped in a buble, seemingly incapable of accepting any news that does not fit his world view. The video shows this in clear detail, then again, you are correct. Nothing new here, move on.

Posted by: Mark at March 3, 2006 06:18 PM

Making this into a political issue IS distracting from the real work that's being done there. It's also deliberately distracting from the work that needs to be done.

It cuts both ways: I suspect that many on the right side of the aisle still blaming Nagin and Blanco are searching for a reason to feel ok for not helping, and are simply trying to imply that the locals deserve what they're getting.

Fact is, it's not too late to help. And I'm personally still waiting for some evidence beyond a speech that this president could care less about any single person that didn't vote for him, especially those in New Orleans.

Posted by: jrc at March 3, 2006 06:19 PM

There was one made for TV movie and one documentary shown on TV a few month before Katrina struck.Both outlined in detail what would happen.Only the fictitiuos made for TV movie showed the effects not as bad as they proofed to be in reality.

Posted by: berger at March 3, 2006 08:42 PM

No one anticipated the levees failing. No one anticipated terrorists flying planes into buildings. No one anticipated (insert disaster).
Why not? Isn't that what DISASTER PREPAREDNESS means?

Posted by: curious at March 3, 2006 08:49 PM

"The disaster response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest, fastest rescue in American history."

Brother, that one takes the cake. I still can't believe you wrote it. Where I come from we call that some sorry s**t. I'll note your name and make sure I skip over your next offering should it come my way. But don't worry, I'm sure you'll find several other like minded people, those not familiar with the reality on the ground. Shame.

Posted by: James B. at March 3, 2006 10:42 PM

James B.: Find a community college, and see if you can develop basic reading comprehension. That statement was a direct quote from Popular Mechanics, not something I originated. It also happens to be true, all the same.

All: The Associated Press just issued what passes for a retraction in the modern media, a clarification that Bush was warned only of the possibility of overwash or topping, not a breach, as I stated above.

The exact wording of their "clarification" is noted in the update to this post.

For those of you who doubted my veracity; hey, no hard feeling.

Here's a parting gift.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 3, 2006 11:08 PM

Before attempting to deal out crow, you and those of your ilk should check out the relation of your now precious "topping" and "overwash" as it actually relates to the breaching of levies. But I know you wouldn't let facts get in the way of desperate spin. What's next for Bush, Bill Clinton World? "It depends on what the meaning of the word breach is."
So the hell what if it was in Popular Mechanics, you know the crap you're trying to pull. My comprehension is fine. I just could barely make it past your idiotic sighting or whatever you want to call it. F.Y.I., I seriously doubt you would question my education and comprehension credentials in person, especially if it was in this sort of context. I don't know you therefore I would never slur you like that. When I said yours was some "sorry s**t" I was reacting to what I thought you had written (i.e. your ideas.) Your approach seems an to attempt to discredit as opposed to a critical engagement in total. But I've come across some snarky pricks in my time so it's cool. Honestly, I'm sorry I came back to see if you had posted a response. It now feels like a waste of time and a temporary draining of my soul. You obviously are so blinded by party worship. So enjoy your Republican party as I shall enjoy its contortions.

Posted by: James B. at March 4, 2006 12:08 AM

After all of this I'm reminded of a Groucho Marx quote: "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 12:37 AM

Boy someone opened the doors to the loony bin on this post. Blaming Bush for what was a total and complete failure of the state and city govrnment is total political drivel.
1. N.O. was not hit by Katrina. N.O. was on the NW side of the hurricane and only experianced CAT 1 storm effects.

2. The levee's failed because they were not built correctly and the levee's are managed by local control boards not the FEDS,the corruption of the local GOV caused this whole thing. Billions were given to N.O. to upgrade and refurbish the levee's over the last thirty years and they pissed it away.

3. Governor Blanco told Bush and others that the levee's were not breached and that they were ok. The film of Bush being briefed was before the hurricane hit. If you listen you will keep hearing CAT 5 mentioned.

4. If you live in a city that is below sea level and you have a CAT 3 or better storm heading your way do you evacuate your residents or do you tell them everything is ok? Nagin screwed up big time and Blanco with him.

5. The state response plan was not followed at all either by the city government or the state.

6. FEMA states on their web site that local authorities cannot expect any help from them for at least 72 hours after the storm, what part of that statement do you moonbats not understand? I have been through two CAT 3 storms and they tell you that on the radio and TV here on the Gulf coast over and over again at the beginning of hurricane season.
This whole thing can be laid at the feet of the N.O. city and state government not the FEDS and nothing you say or make up will change that.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 03:34 AM

"This whole thing can be laid at the feet of the N.O. city and state government not the FEDS and nothing you say or make up will change that." - Oldcrow

Or you mind, either. Obviously.

Political discourse about in this country no longer has much room for nuance. It's all personal, all binary, all the time. "I'm right, you're wrong, so shut up."

I suppose it follows, then, that the folks in NYC were pretty much expected to be on their own for "at least 72 hours" after the twin towers fell. It says so on the FEMA website.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 10:35 AM

The Coast Guard saved 30 THOUSAND people! That was a failure?

Nagin didn't follow his own evacuation plans and had thousands of people stranded in places with no relief logistics. That wasn't a failure?

Blanco doesn't send in the National Guard to maintain order (as has been done in devestating events for decades). That wasn't a failure?

Proportionally more white people died than black in the disaster. That's a racist response to a natural event?

You haters just care about politics, just another way to smear Bush and protect your little Democrat machine in Louisiana. We can all see what this is about, democratically led city and state governments across the country are as corruptly led as New Orleans and Louisiana. When the water recedes, the rocks are exposed.

Keep up the big lie, "Bush caused the hurricane to hurt black people". Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by: gm at March 4, 2006 10:39 AM

Thanks Confed for a great post, and thanks oldcrow for your input.

Meanwhile, the moonbats can do nothing but rage, rage, rage. I particularly enjoyed the dude who said "so what if it's in Popular Mechanics". Perfectly sums up the moonbat view. All emotion, all mommy state, ignore anything that doesn't fit into the view they've been fed by kos and atrios et al.

Good luck in 06 nd 08 moonbats. Your like will never achieve national power.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 4, 2006 11:08 AM

"You haters just care about politics, just another way to smear Bush and protect your little Democrat machine in Louisiana. We can all see what this is about, democratically led city and state governments across the country are as corruptly led as New Orleans and Louisiana. When the water recedes, the rocks are exposed." - gm

Democrat haters are Satan incarnate but Republican haters are on the side of the angels? Is that it?

Nothing like an 'Our haters who only care about politics are better than your haters who only care about politics' schoolyard scrap.

I expect that if President Reagan and Tip O'Neil were looking down at all this right now, sharing a cocktail as they often did because, for them, it was politics and not personal, if they were looking down at this they'd be shaking their heads sadly saying, "Stupid f**ks."

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 11:15 AM

"This whole thing can be laid at the feet of the N.O. city and state government not the FEDS and nothing you say or make up will change that." - Oldcrow

"Or you mind, either. Obviously."

First responders *have* to to be local. There are enough not resources for the feds to protect everything at once eveywhere. If you accept that fact, then you must accept the premise that responsibility for the medical/fire/police/rescue is state/local.

"Political discourse about in this country no longer has much room for nuance. It's all personal, all binary, all the time. "I'm right, you're wrong, so shut up.""

"I suppose it follows, then, that the folks in NYC were pretty much expected to be on their own for "at least 72 hours" after the twin towers fell. It says so on the FEMA website."

Actually, even in this case. Local firefighters, police and paramedics were on the scene in minutes. They and a lot of ordinary people did their jobs. This is why a lot of them died when the towers collapsed.

Those in the Towers on 9/11 *were* on their own. Some became heroes and helped rescue people. If they had waited for the feds to tell them what to do, thousands more would have died.

Have you ever wondered why it might take 72 hours to get FEMA support up and running? They need to preposition far enough away that they are safe when the disaster hits, then they need to assess the damage and set up communications. Then and only then can they start operations.

Posted by: EKP at March 4, 2006 11:25 AM

Fact: NOAA predicted with a 70% probability, that the hurricane would hit New Orleans as a CAT3 or better, 5 days prior to landfall.

FACT: The City of New Orleans, just like every other major city, has a web page. On that web page was their Emergency Services preparedness plan for several different types of emergencies. Hurricanes, and what to do when they struck, were one of several natural disasters addressed and planned for on that website.

From those two sites alone, you have nearly all the information you need, to correctly deduce who is to blame for the cluster fuck that was New Orleans.

Now, once you have researched, ask yourself these questions.

1. Did the Mayor of New Orleans follow his disaster plan?

2. Did Governor Blanco follow hers?

3. Why was it necessary for the President to call Mayor Nagin and ask him to evacuate that city 46 hours before the hurricane hit, when the city's disaster plan called for that evacuation to already be in place, according to that city's own disaster protocol.

4.Bush offered troops to Blanco nearly 4 days prior to landfall, why did she dither over that decision for nearly two days before making it?

5. What is your understanding of the Posse Comitatus Act?

6. FEMA maintains, and has always maintained that their response should not be expected for nearly 72 hours after a natural disaster. Was this factor ed into New Orleans's disaster plan, as well as the State of Louisiana's, and if so, why were they not ready?

7. How much money per year is given to the City of New Orleans for their levees by the Federal Government, and what was it spent on?

8. The people who sit on the city's Levee Board are charged with inspecting those levees every year, and maintaining them. What did they normally do on their inspection tours? (Hint, a former board member has since spoken out about what their normal day was like. His interview was interesting, but buried, or not even covered by the MSM).

I've not provided any links here, because I want YOU to do the research. I already have, and since I spent 3 months down there after the hurricane, with my guard unit, I've got a better than average idea than what went down. Getting the info from the net was simple, and should be done prior to any of you blasting the Feds/The President, for the cluster fuck that is, and was, the City of New Orleans. That is, if you are honest.

Posted by: Brad at March 4, 2006 11:41 AM

EKP - You're right, of course, in all respects. I do know that only the first responders in NYC, both city and civilian, were there, heroically, to do what needed to be done. And I do know that it won't do to have the materiel and personnel prepositioned for a calamity be taken away by that calamity.

I was just thinking, hey, if I can't singlehandedly raise the tenor of the discourse to a level of simple civility, at least I can have some fun with it and make the point at the same time.

Your reply to me is just that level of civilized debate we should all be having.

You're determined to ruin my fun, EKP.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 11:44 AM

When are those stupid ass liberals going to wake up and realize G W Bush cannot make a mistake?

Why this man has the intellectual prowess of an Einstein, the artistic skills of a Picasso, the athleticism of Jim Thorpe, and the machismo of John Wayne.

Surely a better man never lived!

Is he the result of a virgin birth? Perhaps the second coming of Christ?

God how lucky the world is to have this miracle man and his disciples!

That, for you conservative flaks in case you couldn't figure out, is sarcasm. Unfortunately I suspect it's very close to how you actually feel about this little nincompoop, or at least how you appear to the rest of us.

Posted by: toM at March 4, 2006 11:54 AM

Pertinent to nothing, today marks the anniversary of the day the U.S. Constitution went into effect.

217 years of '... securing the Blessings of Liberty' and counting.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 12:06 PM

And all this time I thought Planck's constant was
The constant of proportionality relating the energy of a photon to the frequency of that photon. Now I know it is the constant proportionality relating volume of noise generated by a moonbat that is inversely proportional to the knowlege of the moonbat.

In otherwords Max Planck you are a pinhead who drinks cool aid by the gallon.

Posted by: Not a Yank at March 4, 2006 12:23 PM

The political spin both ways is energizing, evidently, to many people, but so predictable, even tedious, despite its heat. But everything does progress through the political process. Once GWB made the decision to go into Iraq using the evidence that he had, the whole political process has taken on a kind of holy war intensity, attacking or defending him. Some, maybe many, people think that fighting continual battles is the way to defend the right, get what you need, whatever.
The left is dying to get GWB any way they can and he is bumbling along giving them plenty of ammunition. Not much of value seems to be happening on either side at the moment..

Am I missing something?

We have learned that in certain kinds of emergencies, neither FEMA nor the local responders are adequately
prepared to respond effectively. It may be that it is
simply too costly to have all the fast, backup, and deep response that this situation would have required. No one on either side of the aisle will come right out and say that, but it may be the hardest fact of all.

Apparently we will pay huge dollars to fight a war, but
that something that IS happening, for better or for worse, not something that MIGHT happen. Paying huge money for things that MIGHT happen and having a lot of people around getting paid with not much to do most of the time is not a political winner for either side.
I do resent how much money is being spent on Iraq, but it is not clear how much of it would go to a better cause, if it weren't being spent there.


Posted by: dwight at March 4, 2006 12:26 PM

Hey, don't be too hard on the media. Consider its predicament - it's stuck in that 1972 time warp and can't get out. Oppressed women and oppressed blacks can do no wrong, by definition. So who to blame for not having crystal balls and magic wands? The guy on the spot, the mayor of NO? Oops, can't blame him, he's an untouchable. So go up the ladder, to the governor of LA. Oops, can't blame her, she's an untouchable too. So go up further to the federal level. Thank God, a white guy at last. He's fair game.

So, from there the story pretty much writes itself. Facts don't come into it - the dialectic points the way to truth, as always.

Posted by: tom swift at March 4, 2006 12:27 PM

Damn, you guys have a really bad hippy infestation here. It would be nice if the left had the ability to think logically. They have the arguing skills of little kids. I guess that's what happens when everything you believe in is wrong and stupid. Then logic becomes the enemy of your beliefs.

Posted by: Stankleberry at March 4, 2006 12:28 PM

Good grief. As a resident of the Gulf Coast who experienced Katrina I just can't believe all the crap that's being written about the response.

1. Just a note: 9/11 did not wipe out an entire city or region---like a hurricane. (Sadly) city emergency workers were available to respond quickly. This is certainly not to minimize 9/11. It's simply not a good comparison.

2. Far too many people in N.O. either didn't evacuate or waited too late. Response to a disaster is much like triage: difficult priorities have to be set. With so many people remaining behind, the immediate priority was to pluck people from their rooftops and attics. Yes, they got dropped off on some mighty hot and uncomfortable highway overpasses...but they were ALIVE. They were left there because every chopper, boat, etc. was still assigned to rescue people who would die otherwise. I never heard one single person on those overpasses wish they were back in their attic.

3. The city decided at the last moment to use the dome and convention center as emergency shelters, despite their not being stocked with emergency supplies or manned with trained personnel. Have you ever been to an emergency shelter? They ALWAYS have adequate security, medical staff, makeshift kitchens, etc. In N.O. they didn't even provide emergency lighting, leaving the occupants in a dark hell hole. This was a LOCAL failure to plan adequately even though they had ample warning. (No need to rehash the flooded school buses.) The absolute worst was the failure to evacuate those who couldn't help themselves---hospitals, nursing homes, etc. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

4. After the storm we always know we're on our own for at least a few days. It's miserable. Hot. Dirty. Trees to be cut. Roof needs tarping. Neighbors to help. Go to bed worn out, but it's too hot to sleep. And there's no coffee to help you stay awake! Stores are all closed and there's no gas to be had for 100's of miles.
Stand on line in the hot sun for hours just to get some ice and water. Just awful. YET...I never heard one person complain about "the government". We simply presumed they were helping those whose needs were greater than ours.

4. Speaking of government, our local officials were on the radio constantly keeping us informed. It was bad. Crews were clearing and repairing main thoroughfares, but we should stay home as much as possible. Emergency provision sites were set up near neighborhoods so we could walk with our little wagons, wheelbarrows, etc. Never, ever did any official complain or whine about a slow response from outsiders. They drove home the message that we had to help ourselves and each other for a few days. Having gone back and watched the footage I can't find one single time Nagin was seen passing along helpful information to his citizens after the storm.

Some people did eventually complain about how long it was taking to get the power back on. But again, priorities were set. Crews focused on grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, etc. I can't tell you how happy I was the day I could go to the store and buy milk, bread and ice. Those who complained missed the fact that those crews couldn't work in the neighborhoods anyway until fallen trees were cleared...which took several weeks.

This is long, so what's my point? Hurricane aftermath is miserable. Katrina was the worst ever. And our area only had wind damage, not flooding over the roofs of our houses. I just don't understand people thinking any person or agency could set up an instant response in such a devastated area...other than life-saving rescue, which was apparently done amazingly well. I'm sick of everyone trying to make goats out of people who were trying to find a way to help...while the local government seemed to be making that job harder by going on TV to set new priority demands every few hours.

And I hope the lesson has been learned: either evacuate early or make advance preparations so your family can survive unassisted for several days.

Posted by: jeanneB at March 4, 2006 12:33 PM

Meanwhile, those of us who have chosen not to live in a flood zone or behind a man-made levee or within 25 miles of a coast continued to be taxed to pay to bail out those who do. Remember Hurricane Camille?

Posted by: Letalis at March 4, 2006 12:39 PM

"In otherwords Max Planck you are a pinhead who drinks cool aid by the gallon." - Not a Yank

I'm always open to high-minded criticism. Thank you. You're probably right.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 12:42 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. Insurance rates should reflect risk. But your 25 mile swath is too broad. Hurricane flooding generally happens close to shore...even 5 miles is very extreme.

Now, when it comes to being BELOW SEA LEVEL, that's a no-brainer. Sorry, New Orleans. I just can't see re-insuring a sinking city that's already a bowl waiting to be filled.

Posted by: jeanneB at March 4, 2006 12:54 PM

JeanneB, I notice that you're the only person posting here who actually, you know, experienced this storm from somewhere other than the comfort of the easy chair watching cable news.

My inlaws lived in Gulfport a few blocks north of the CSX tracks, which held back the storm surge from Camille, a Category 5 storm. I was in the Coast Guard at that time and, coincidentally, my ship was dispatched to the Gulf for the days following that storm. Everyone agreed, at the time, that Camille was a once-in-a-century storm.

The storm surge from Katrina, not a Category 5 storm, DID get past the railroad tracks - by more than a mile. The families north of the tracks who chose to hunker down and ride it out, based on their Camille experience, met a bad end, including members of my inlaws' families.

Your post should open some eyes and shut some mouths. Mine, included.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 01:05 PM

The grasping at straws by Bush-hating moonbats evidenced in this comment thread is really part of the the normal cycle associated with grieving. And they have much about which to grieve. See, one of their biggest phony memes just got blown up.

Here are the stages, of which several are evident:

Denial -- Big time. My favorite - "binary" - why do lefties hate right and wrong so much?

Anger -- Besides the normal anger associated with the "hate Bush" crowd, they're angry now because another phony meme just got exposed for the scam it was. And to be betrayed by the MSM!

Bargaining -- It'll come - "I'll trade you a Katrina for a Dubai Ports meme."

Depression -- Hard to detected in lefties - they're pretty depressing folks all the time anyway.

Acceptance -- Logical step once all other lies and avenues have been blocked. But being who they are, Lefties are not likely to accept anything - they just get crazier. Acceptance of reality in Lefty circles is akin to "impure thought."

Posted by: Michael at March 4, 2006 01:05 PM

I have literally stopped watching and listening to all news via the MSM. Nothing they say or write can be believed without first being verified by the New Media. Now that their asses are being fact-checked (something that did not occur, ever, until the past few years), they put out prominent lies followed by buried retractions that only bloggers and Rush ferret out. The MSM is so past their sell-by date they are noxious.

This damage to their credibility is causing people to discount the magnitude of true disasters and true mishandling, so it's not only the MSM doing damage to itself but to institutions on which we all depend.

I'm to the point where the word "Katrina" is a joke. This can't be a good thing.

Posted by: Peg C. at March 4, 2006 01:12 PM

"This whole thing can be laid at the feet of the N.O. city and state government not the FEDS and nothing you say or make up will change that." - Oldcrow
Or you mind, either. Obviously.
Political discourse about in this country no longer has much room for nuance. It's all personal, all binary, all the time. "I'm right, you're wrong, so shut up."
I suppose it follows, then, that the folks in NYC were pretty much expected to be on their own for "at least 72 hours" after the twin towers fell. It says so on the FEMA website.
Posted by max planck at March 4, 2006 10:35 AM
Max this is not a political issue and never was until the DEMS made it one in order to cover their asses. As for a debate, the response has been gone over again and again and Bush and specifically FEMA had some blame but most 90% is the city and state government the facts bair that out yet the DEMS insist on trying to lay this at the feet of Bush so at a certain point it stops being a rational debate and at that point I really don't care about what you moonbats think I post for the lurkers who come here not you, in other words you and the rest of the monnbats can kiss my pimply white ass! New York and 9/11 were completely different and you raise a strawman argument. Obvioisly you have never been in a hurricane zone so let me explain what it is like to be hit by a CAT 3 or higher hurricane. Imagine an F-2 tornado that is 400 miles wide and takes 12 hours to pass over you I am in the military and I have seen the aftermath of a major battle, the MS coast looked worse than anything I have ever seen. Look at the pictures everything within 20 miles of the coast from N.O. to Mobil AL was gone I dont mean destroyed I mean gone as in not even the foundations were left, so yes 9/11 was bad but there is no comparison to the destruction done by Katrina and just so you know yes NYC handled all the 9/11 response on their own because they had responsible competent leadership unlike N.O. and LA.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 01:31 PM

JeanneB, I notice that you're the only person posting here who actually, you know, experienced this storm from somewhere other than the comfort of the easy chair watching cable news.
Posted by max planck at March 4, 2006 01:05 PM

I live in Pensacola and personnely experianced Ivan(CAT 3), Dennis(CAT 4) and Katrina(CAT 3)just to give you an idea of how bad Katrina was N.O. is over 400 miles from here and we got hurricane force winds and lost power for three days and Dwight you are right some things you just cannot be prepared for no matter how much you wish it was not so a major hurricane CAT 3 or higher is a biblical disaster you just cannot be prepared for it that is why Nagin and Blanco are so F@@Ked up they should have ordered and evacution 92 hours before the storm hit.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 01:44 PM

Oldcrow, I appreciate your reply.

Just for the record, I was in the military, the Coast Guard, and was a respondee to Hurricanes Camille and Agnes. I was on deck as bodies were pulled from the waters of the Gulf and from Chesapeake Bay. I'm told that those who followed me gave a good account of themselves in NO after Katrina. That said, I grew up in coastal New England and remember Hurricane Gracie (Cat. 4) and the dozen storms that came after her, though I appreciate your primer on tropical cyclones.

I don't know what makes you think I'm a Dem. All about which I commented was for respectful discourse. Respect is neither a lefty or righty perogative. And I don't believe any of my comments here laid anything at the feet of the President (or anyone else, for that matter).

That said, I'll pass on the opportunity to 'kiss your pimply white ass', sir. If you don't mind.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 01:54 PM

Thanks for your service, I am in the Navy and I respect the Coast Guard a lot worked with them during Iraqi Freedom those guys did a fantastic job and continue to do so. I apologize for calling you a moonbat I get revved up to much sometimes by the otusement of the moonbats and I just start firng for effect and sometimes cause collateral damage. I am sick and tired of the lies it is stopping us from having a real discourse in order to fix the problem and make our response plans better.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 02:01 PM

I would still like to know who was responsible for hospital and nursing home evacuation. In my city it was the mayor---on advice from the Emergency Response Director. On Wednesday, 4 days before landfall, they triggered that part of the emergency plan (evacuation sites had been pre-determined for all such facilities). Patients were moved on Thursday.

Nothing speaks to the incompetence of N.O.'s local gov't more than their leaving the old, sick and handicapped to die in the storm surge. I recently saw some video of Veterans Hospital patients arriving at their new facility in Washington after spending a hellish week in N.O. It just broke my heart. And remember the guy who blubbered on Meet the Press about calling his 90-year-old mother at her nursing home before the storm? Why the hell wasn't he raising holy hell with other local officials asking why she and her kind hadn't been evacuated?! I recall that some nursing home operators are being prosecuted. I just wish they could prosecute whatever officials didn't make them leave.

Posted by: jeanneB at March 4, 2006 02:09 PM

Fair enough, Oldcrow. As you know, I'm looking for real discourse, too, with a dash of civility added in. Left or right, the American people are saying 'A pox on both your houses' because of the lack of civility, especially in these perilous times. I love my country and it's painful to see vitally important issues eclipsed by vitriolic rhetoric on the parts of both sides of these issues. They're too important to let the message be overshadowed by the its delivery. It's like an arms race of rhetoric. For every name someone's called, someone has a bigger, badder one in reply, and so on.

That said ...

In '70 I had the pleasure working with the Navy in 'Nam - Operation Market Time, '71. It was a successful joint USN-USCG op to block materiel headed for NVA by rivers and estuaries.

Thanks, too, for your service.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 02:25 PM

The Left have gone from "Bush Knew about Katrina!" and "Bush Lied about the Levees!" to "Bush seemed disengaged," "Bush did not ask the appropriate questions," and "Bush was not paying the appropriate attention to details."

Some on the Left are just upset because their new consensus does not fit on a bumper sticker or button.

Posted by: MnZ at March 4, 2006 05:38 PM

And remember the guy who blubbered on Meet the Press about calling his 90-year-old mother at her nursing home before the storm? Why the hell wasn't he raising holy hell with other local officials asking why she and her kind hadn't been evacuated?! I recall that some nursing home operators are being prosecuted. I just wish they could prosecute whatever officials didn't make them leave.
Posted by jeanneB at March 4, 2006 02:09 PM
Because like so many of the stories coming out of N.O. he was lieing that never occurred, turns out his mother had been moved and yes some of the nursing home operators are being prosocuted.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 05:42 PM

You are correct but I submit that the left have been the primary cause of this why? Because they believe Bush is not a legitimate President remember in thier minds he stole the election in 00 and 04 and also they wan't payback for the Clinton impeachment(which I thought was wrong and still do he did not commit an impeachable offense and I am ashamed of my party for doing it) all this combined with the total bias and outright lieing and misleading from the MSM and things just tend to escalate. A prime example is the 9/11 commission Bush was right to not want it done during an election year and it turned into a travesty how do I know this? Well I work in the INTEL community and ask anyone who is in that community and they will tell you it was a sad sad joke it did nothing to make us safer if anything it made us less safe becuase you added a layer of red tape to the mix and that is always a bad thing. The DEMS have no intention of offering any rational dialogue to the debate all they have is Angst,Anger and Rhetoric no solutions, They are totally focused on getting Bush and nothing else matters to them, it is almost like they are running a candidate against Bush not realizing he is not going to run in 08 because he can't meanwhile all of us lose and pay a price because of it. We need a two party system in this country it is healthy but the DEM party is no longer rational and therefore I hope it go's down the tubes, hopefully a new party will step into it's place soon and start a rational dialogue with the majority party.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 05:56 PM

I'm still waiting to hear someone respond to the solid questions from Brad, above. Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by: cdiddy at March 4, 2006 05:58 PM

I'm still waiting to hear someone respond to the solid questions from Brad, above. Anyone? Anyone?
Posted by cdiddy at March 4, 2006 05:58 PM
I would not even go there my blood pressure is already to high, I know the answers to those questions and if I thought about them I would really get angry.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 06:05 PM


Liberal and conservative positions both make valid arguments and those true to their positions are each patriots. These positions are the bases for a two-party system which, as you say, we do need because the U.S. is too large and too diverse for one-size-fits-all policies; the needs and problems of Pensacola, FL are different, for example, than those of Utica, NY. There are national priorities and there are local priorities (whereof comes the famous observation that 'all politics are local). All public office holders swear to preserve and protect the same Constitution.

That said, at the national level, the Democratic Party is abysmally out-of-touch with its constituency, but then, so is the Republican Party. Your point, though, is essentially that the Democrats have no 'message' other than "Republicans Bad - Democrats Good". The Republican Party has the same message but it's an implicit part of a larger, much better articulated message. As for me, I dismiss out-of-hand any messages from fringes of either party as pandering to the small constituency that agrees with them and is in no way inclusive of other ideas.

I haven't said for which party I have historically voted, nor will I, but for damn sure I won't vote for a candidate that panders, nor for one on the fringe, left or right. I WILL listen to reason, whichever party, and decide if that's what I think America needs when the time comes to make that decision. Right now the Democratic Party has no 'reason'. And neither party recognizes Utica, NY, if you know what I mean. The American people come from Utica, NY and Pensacola, FL and NYC and Ames, Iowa and Ogden, UT and everywhere in between and from their perspectives, when politicians talk, they don't hear how to bring the economy back in Utica (because They closed Griffiss AFB) or how They're going to sell the Wasatch Nat'l Forest off outside Ogden, or why No-one's done anything to help the commodity prices that have tanked in Ames. Or why new economy jobs are going to South Asia. Or why they can't fire bad teachers. All problems going back a decade or more, so both parties have a piece of that action. What they hear when politicians talk is that it's all about them, the politicians, and not them, the constituents.

And they're sick and tired of the rhetoric. They're sick and tired of earmarks (except, you know, their own particular ones). They're sick and tired of the crooks - and both parties have plenty of them. They're sick and tired of whatever party is in power right now, and neither is really doing a good job of convincing the farmer in Ames or the unemployed in Utica what the Party is doing for them. They get talking points from the Republicans and much of nothing but complaints about Republicans from the Democrats.

So, a two-party system is good and we need two parties to have one. I hope that the Democratic Party either gets their act together or steps aside for someone who better articulates. It will be good for both parties and good for America.

I meant what I said earlier - about President Reagan and Tip O'Neill. The politics was vicious but at the end of the day they could have a nip and talk old times and be able to look each other in the eye with respect. Disagreement, yes, but respect.

[This rambles but I'm loathe to spend more time to re-read it. I'll take my chances that some of it made sense. Besides, it's dinnertime.]

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 07:38 PM

No you did not ramble very good post. I love this country and it's people and I agree that our "representitives" in Washington have lost site of the fact they work for us and not the other way around however, what really bothers me and why I tend to get spun up at the DEMS and LIBS in particular is their blatant anti-Americanism aided by the MSM. I grew up in a union loving Democratic household but that was what I refer to as the old Democratic party that in the end believed in the greatness of this country, they just had a difference of opinion with how to make it better in other words it was an argument over process not policy now though since the sixties that has changed. It is now mainstream in the DEM party that America is an evil imperialistic nation and needs to be brought down a notch or two. I can never accept this point of view I would even say I reject it in the most agressive way I can mostly through words and debate. My hope is some day as I said either the DEM party rejects the people who are currently causing them to go off the track or as you said they step aside and let some other rational party take its place. As for the Republican party they are off the path also it seems to me and I believe the majority of the grass roots that our REPS in Washington have contracted a severe case of Potomac fever and no longer believe in the core conservitive principles they espouse they believe in and I really don't know how we are going to get them to get back on track I call and email my Congress critter and Senator all the time to let them know I am really getting frustrated with them and all I ever get is a form letter back or some lackey answering the phone in their office feeding me the standard feel good BS talking points. I really wish we had a viable third party along the lines of what Ross Perot started that really put the fear into them and why we got the contract with America but we have lost our way since then.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 08:49 PM

Oldcrow (is this an homage to Kentucky whiskey?),

There are members of both parties are off the reservation, in their own ways, I guess. I have a hard time, though, painting anyone 'anti-american' with so broad a brush as to lasso a whole political party and I think you probably do, too. I get the same response, by the by, from many of my own reps. The one who does have the courtesy, though, to reply less impersonally I rarely agree with. This, as it turns out, has been good for us both. I get to test my own beliefs and he gets to test his and - most importantly - we've both seen points we'd not otherwise have considered. I think he gets the better part of the bargain because he's in a position to do something with them. We get together to argue whenever he's in town and, heated might it get sometimes, we walk away friendly and look forward to the next time.

THIS is how political debate should be conducted. We're inundated more than enough with talking points and spin and doctrine and rigidity.

I absolutely agree with your insightful observation about the 'old Democratic party'. Where did THEY go off the reservation? How did they end up with Clinton and Gore and Ted Kennedy. Personally, I think they were sunk when Bobby Kennedy was killed and four years later they ran George McGovern. George McGovern! Whatever moral high ground they may have had they ceded with that bizarre nomination. (you should read Ted White's "The Making of a President - 1972". Seriously, Oldcrow, you should read it if you haven't already. It was a cautionary tale whose point no-one got, Dem or Repl., but mostly Dem. Personally, I believe this was where the Democratic Party went off the reservation.)

As a collorary to your very good point about the value of a two-party system I'd go as far as to say that the best governing has always been when the legislative and executive branches are held by different parties. Doesn't matter which holds which. This provides the best checks and balances going. It opens the political process to the bright light of review by peers and public and that is good. I like the idea of people who disagree with me keeping me honest.

As far as MSM is concerned, they're off the reservation much of the time, too. The thing is, though, the alternatives' best purposes are served where people who disagree are concerned - like my rep and me. The problem with that is that too often the non-MSM are viewed and read mostly by people who already agree with them. That's a little too much 'inside baseball' for me. Some people read it all, MSM and non-MSM of both colors, and then form their opinions. I do. Then I know I've got the whole story and not just the McNuggets. It's hard to know who to trust, these days. Having the whole story, so to speak, helps.

Let me ask you a provocative question: Is there any democrat holding a public office that you can point to and say, "His/her policies make me want to tear out my hair, but he/she isn't evil"? My rep is my example.

It's going to be interesting to see, long after you and I are gone, how history will treat the last 20 years of US politics.

Another long-winded blather from me. I appreciate your thoughtful replies.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 10:03 PM

Oldcrow (is this an homage to Kentucky whiskey?),
osted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 10:03 PM
No it is a homage to my military specialty which is Electronic Warfare. It is a nickname given to those who practiced my job in WWII and is still used today.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 10:20 PM

JeanneB, I notice that you're the only person posting here who actually, you know, experienced this storm from somewhere other than the comfort of the easy chair watching cable news.
Posted by max planck at March 4, 2006 01:05 PM

I was hit by Wilma, Frances, Jeane and Katrina (which only rattled my shutters). I wasn't watching cable tv, the power went out for up to a week at a time. My neighborhood lost a man to a heart attack because although I gave him CPR during the storm, paramedics weren't coming until the winds died down to below 70mph. We didn't have adrenaline, de-fibs oxygen or any real hope.

That's what a disaster teaches you, that civilized life is at the long end of a chain, when the chain breaks you deal with it or you die.

Posted by: Eric at March 4, 2006 10:32 PM

Let me ask you a provocative question: Is there any democrat holding a public office that you can point to and say, "His/her policies make me want to tear out my hair, but he/she isn't evil"? My rep is my example.
Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 10:03 PM
With the exception of maybe Ted Kennedy, John Kerry I don't consider any of them evil and I only think those two are evil because they are all about personnel power and nothing else OH forgot Hillery she is made in the same mold. As for taering out my hair well pretty much all of them drive me nuts at one time or another. I guess my biggest problem is remember the old saying politics stop at the waters edge? The DEMS forgot that during the Vietnam era and continue to do there utmost to undermine our country abroad, from Al Gore in Saudi Arabia to Jimmy Carter and his insane blather about telling the U.N. he promised them the travesty called the Human Rights Commission reforms would go through, I ask because maybe you know, what the hell is wrong with them? I can't understand how they can not know what they are doing to us during a time of war is undermining that effort and what really drives me insane is how can they support an idealogy(radical Islam and by their actions they are supporting it)that is anathema to everything they claim to believe in? Are they lieing when they say they are for gay rights, Womans rights and so on? I am beginning to conclude they are or they are just to stupid to realize what they are doing or they are following the old addage "the enemy of my enemy(U.S.)is my friend".

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 4, 2006 10:38 PM

"No it is a homage to my military specialty which is Electronic Warfare. It is a nickname given to those who practiced my job in WWII and is still used today." - Oldcrow

Well, beats the hell out of bourbon. I never heard the term. Typical of us shallow-water sailors. Back in my day, we called them 'Radarmen'.

"Conn, combat. Surface contact designate Skunk one bearing 230 range 12,000 yards. Constant bearing, decreasing range."

"Conn aye."

"Conn, combat. Just where do you plan to ram her, sir?"

"Combat, conn. Eat me."

"Combat aye."

Or something like that.

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 10:42 PM

"I ask because maybe you know, what the hell is wrong with them?" - Oldcrow

Beats the hell out of me. Maybe they think that if they take them all out for ice cream cones they'll be our bestest friends.

Seriously, I can't say because they can't say. It's part of the same thinking, I guess, where they can say what they're against (Republicans and losing elections) but can't say what they're for (except winning elections).

When we fought WWII and Korea, we knew what we were about. When it got to Vietnam, it was different. There was no 'goal'. Tonkin Gulf ended up being a sham Lyndon Johnson perpetrated, so that's how we got into it. Then we stayed in it long after it was clear that it wasn't the kind of war that was 'winnable' without, you know, nuking them from the face of the earth. It became hugely unpopular as the American casualties ran into the tens of thousands without a clear reason that the American public could get its arms around. Also, it was a class war. Only the kids who weren't rich enough or lucky enough get into college were the ones dying.

Politics keeps getting its feet wet, doesn't it?

I think part of the problem now is that the dems are in the minority in all of the federal government - legislative and executive - and are just out there, leaderless. There's no elder statesman to step in, no voice. So they swat at gnats. I don't think they're intentionally sitting down and saying, "What can we do to undermine America today." The problem is that they're not sitting down and saying anything. They're running around in circles and when a tough issue hits, it's like deer in the headlights. Their reaction is to blame Republicans. Hell, even Republicans voted FDR back three times.

I don't think that they're following that 'my enemy' adage intentionally. THAT would be evil.

As for the rest, your guess is as good as mine, sir.

I obviously have waaay too much time on my hands, don't I?

Posted by: max planck at March 4, 2006 11:17 PM

Don't take this the wrong way but you must have got out of the Coast Guard awhile ago. We now use track numbers instaed of skunk and it is all digital data link tracking although we still train on the old chart table and DDRT. If you ever get a chance to tour a ship you will be amazed at the technology we have now, we use chatrooms instead of R/T COMMS and message traffic has pretty much been replaced by email for tactical and planning stuff. We track surface out to 200 miles and air out to 2000 via the data links.

I don't know what the solution is for the politics thing. I do know we are facing the worst enemy we have faced since WWII. With the USSR the adversary was at least rational and put survival ahead of idealogy, we do not hav ethat with this enemy they look at survival as desirable but only so they can kill more of us. I fear that before this is all over we will see a major World War along the lines of WWII and a similar loss of life and treasure. Teh LIBS/DEMS and the MSM better start understanding that becuase we cannot win without everyone on board this is going to be an all hands effort before it is over. I have hope they will come around but the cynic in me does not think so. Well have goodnight it is time to for bed.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 5, 2006 12:08 AM

Don't take this the wrong way but you must have got out of the Coast Guard awhile ago." - Oldcrow

Except for CGC Eagle, the other three ships on which I served (Gresham, Pontchartrain and Madrona) are all razor blades now. Gresham's keel was laid as the USS Willoughby, a 311' Navy seaplane tender in 1939, turned over to the CG after the War and recommissioned as Gresham, Pontchartrain's as a 255' cutter in 1944, and Madrona's as a 180' seagoing buoy tender in 1943 (I think it was).

I enjoyed discussion today, sir. Fair winds and a following sea.

Posted by: max planck at March 5, 2006 01:15 AM

Max and Old Crow
Now that the dialogue has gotten more civil (and not as in Civil War) let me chime in on the internationalist
piece that you two seem to agree has something to do with the Democratic Party's current walkabout.

The perceptions of a large chunk of the college-educated population has gotten more international and less nationalistic (you would say patriotic, probably)
as such a high per cent of college kids now go abroad for a year of study. In past years, far fewer people went overseas when they were young, unless they were in the armed forces, in which case you have a built-in
American identity and PX coming along with you.

Many in the older generation are baffled why folks
would even care about the French viewpoint, the Islamic viewpoint, the Chinese, the Sudanese...etc. If you are firmly rooted in just your own country and see everything only
in terms of what is good for "my country", which often means, "what is good for people who think like me in my country", you might get outraged by people who think any other way. The John Birch Society was an
early (in my lifetime) manifestation of this outrage at
Internationalist, Trilateral Commission, blah blah thinking.

For whatever reason GWB decided, or had a vision on the road to Damascus that war against Iraq was the way to go; it would get rid of Saddam, remove a rogue state, get us an insider's chance at the oil, set up the potential for a democratically elected state etc. He has shown a passion and single-mindedness (of both the salesman and the true-believer) in supporting
this vision that one third of the country loves, because it's not the damned Clintonian shades of gray and the odd missile here and there, approach; one third of the country despises him and his approach because it is NOT the Clinton approach, and the
remaining third (and these thirds, of course, are fractions of the people who even care enough to vote)
goes back and forth, depending on the usual (and always the deciding factor) upper and lower level winds, booms, busts, quicksands, quick fixes, and quagmires.

GWB may be the only man who could cut through some of the extreme partisanship with his bully pulpit, but many would say he was doing it from weakness, he would lose people on his far right wing, but it seems to me that it is needed and what a true statesman would do.

Does he have it in him? Clinton did, but also had the excess baggage which destroyed his effectiveness. GWB has to find the language, the positions, the statesmanship to conciliate and rebuild a middle. He and Rove were wonderful campaigners, masters of going after the Dems weak spots, but now they have to rebuild something and just deriding the Dems won't work.

Should the Dems also be doing something similar? Of course, but they aren't yet, and if some Obama or who knows who can emerge to build a middle, it's going to take a while. I think that the public senses that as long as the Dems approach is just sniping at Bush, then they
don't have much to offer...but since everything is political and they want to make off-year election gains, which may well get us closer to the checks and balances system that Max, I think, mentioned, it's hard to see much happening for another year, as things slowly settle mudward.

Thoreau with Kids and a Gun

Posted by: Dwight at March 5, 2006 06:40 AM

I'm hoping that the reason it's taking some folks so long to answer my questions, is because they are researching their answers. On the other hand, it's probably fair to say they have come to the conclusion that those answers might bring them face to face with some rather inconvenient facts, so they are avoiding the questions altogether. Instead they, like Tom above, are busily composing a sarcastic, barely coherent rant, that avoids the questions altogether. Typical of todays far left, and further proof of just how hollow their arguments really are.

Posted by: Brad at March 5, 2006 11:53 PM

Hey Brad, As a retired teacher, I can tell you that if you ask a question that requires a lot of thought...or research, you will generally get no response from the left... or the right.

Evidently you believe that you have figured the whole thing out, but hey, it's a day later...and no one seems to care. People are evidently on to other things. It's how we all...on the left...or on the right...survive. :-)

The Thoreavian gardener, gunman, grandfather


Posted by: Dwight at March 6, 2006 05:20 PM

About the only thing I've noticed missing so far in the Blame Bush for everything group is that He should have known that the damage to the levee would be so severe because HE actually caused the Huricane to begin with.... by failing to sign the Kyota Accords. Obviously this failure made the Hurricane Greater than it would have otherwise been,..everybody knows that..don't they?

Posted by: Dennis at March 6, 2006 07:37 PM

Dennis -

The actual facts (as opposed to your fake facts) are these: Some scientists think global warming is making hurricanes more severe. No scientist - NONE - has claimed that Katrina would have been less severe if Bush had signed the KYOTO (not "Kyota") accords.

I have to honestly ask: What is the point of making up fake facts to demolish? Do you find that challenging?

Posted by: Slippery Pete at March 7, 2006 11:00 AM

This is a classic in the annals of rewriting history Orwell-style:

Oldcrow: "N.O. was not hit by Katrina"

Really? LOL.

Posted by: Slippery Pete at March 7, 2006 11:06 AM

Slippery Pete, yeah, that's right. The brunt of the storm hit to the east of NO. We were all giving thanks in churches on that Sunday, that they'd dodged a bullet, that the worst of the storm had missed the greatest center of population. The flooding began next day. The reason that President Bush tried to get Gov. Blanco to Federalize the National Guard before the storm was that he was informed and concerned about the possibility that a storm would cause a hundred thousand deaths. He can't, by law, do that,himself, except in case of insurrection. This is part of limited government. Over the centuries, thousands of times more people have died as a result of government action than from natural disaster. This fact is not, as far as I know, in dispute. I certainly do not hate Democrats. I used to be one. I find them silly and non-quantitative, but I don't hate them.

Posted by: Michael Adams at March 7, 2006 01:46 PM

This is a classic in the annals of rewriting history Orwell-style:
Oldcrow: "N.O. was not hit by Katrina"
Really? LOL.
Posted by Slippery Pete at March 7, 2006 11:06 AM

No N.O. was not hit by Katrina moron if you bothered to check the facts before you open your pie hole you would know that. As Michael Adams said it passed to the east of N.O. if you knew anything about hurricanes you would know that the west side of a hurricane is the least destructive. Katrina hit MS not N.O. and I am sick of hearing about the poor pitiful people of N.O. and not a single word about the people of MS who were the ones who took the direct hit from the storm. Here is a LINK take a lokk idiot.

Posted by: Oldcrow at March 8, 2006 03:36 PM