Comments Posted By worn
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KATRINA RESPONSE: A STUDY OF INCOMPETENCE

Oh and Lisa: Rubik's cubes are incredibly easy to solve if you know the "formula". I learned it when they first came out and would often be pressed to put on the "amazing 11 year old" show when my parents had guests over...

Comment Posted By worn On 11.02.2006 @ 15:26

Rick - several times in your post you reference the number of conflicting reports the White House was receiving about the state of affairs in New Orleans on that critical Monday. This is certainly a probable assumption, but the number of reports and the degree of their conflicting nature is by definition a whole lot of supposition on your part. I perused your timeline and there's very little (if anything) on the nature of these "hundreds" of reports for either Monday or Tuesday. But you seem to be implying (unless I'm totally misreading your words) that FEMA/DHS were better off trusting than someone on the ground, empirically observing the scene. Let's not forget Brownie was in Baton Rouge at this point.

Do you have any substantiation to the claim of contradictory reports by the "City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, and others at FEMA who are more technically competent"?

I think Martin Morgan has it right above when he points out that once the levees were breached, it was a done deal. That really makes this rather a silly thing to write:

Even Mr. Bahamonde’s report didn’t mention that the pump system would be unable to handle the flooding as of Monday night.

Unfortunately your blog software won't let me follow your "gave way" link, but it should be patently obvious to anyone that thinks about it that once any of the levees "broke" (NOLA quote) that the City was doomed. There isn't a pump system in the world that is going to be big enough to wage a successful battle the rain-swollen Mississippi or Lake Ponchatrain (which equates the entire damn ocean in essence). And an massively overtopped levee very quickly turns into a breeched one; that's Hydraulics 101.

But back to the apocryphal conflicting reports for a second...

You claim:

What were those media reports based on? Why information coming from city officials and state DHS employees of course.

My recall is somewhat different. While early reports did indeed report the Federal government's line, I distinctly recall the news media quickly disconnecting from the 'official' proclamations and beginning to report that the true dimensions of what was unfolding were much more severe than what officials (i.e., Chertoff's clueless interview on NPR) were saying publicly, especially as they, too, began to talk to people on the ground.

None of this is to say that any one party is the guilty one - certainly there was enough confusion frosted with incompetence to go around. But my most salient memory of those times was of that political photo-op Bush on Tuesday. You know the one - it was much-ballyhooed by the Left.

Here's what I wrote to friends and family that Wednesday:

It just gets under my skin. I mean, here is Bush literally goofing around instead of doing anything remotely Presidential (can you say "leadership"?). Look at the grin. Then look at the guitar presented to him by Mark Wills. Now those of you have some familiarity with the instrument he holds may understand my use of the word "goofing". You see, when you learn to play guitar, inevitably either the first of second chord you learn is G major in the open position. And Bush is certainly aping the hand position like he's playing said chord (maybe he saw it in a picture book). But the notes fingered actually spell out something more like an AbMa7#9#11, which in reality is horribly discordant.

And so maybe in a weirdly ironic way, the note cluster depicted is really quite the fitting analogy to the President's actions over the past two days as well as the appropriateness of this particular photo op. I just am not sure the White House realized it at the time.

The tradegy that unfolded in New Orleans was in no way surprise. That is clear from reading about the reports, disaster simulations, etc. that were done for years and years preceding the event. It was one of FEMA's two most critical worries (the other being a disasterous West Coast quake). The preparation and response by everyone - but most especially at the Federal level, owing to the magnitude of resources that can be mobilized only at this level of government - really borders on criminally negligent IMHO.

I'll guess this comment will count among your readers as a Bush-bashing, anti-American screed, so I'll now withdraw prepare to get flamed out of existence...

Comment Posted By worn On 11.02.2006 @ 15:22


 


 


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