May 19, 2008

Why Not?

It's the party of the Klan, and the party of black separatism. I actually don't see much of a contradiction, here.

But I would invite my friends of color to get off the Dems' plantation, and embrace the party of the Great Emancipator.

Posted by Attila Girl at May 19, 2008 04:40 PM | TrackBack

You're living in the past. Republicans would no more vote for Abraham Lincoln today than they would for Barack Obama. Byrd has apologized for his involvement in the Klan. In 1998 the Southern Poverty Law Center found 26 U.S. elected officials with ties with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the vast majority of whom were Republicans.

Posted by: The Hipnerd at May 19, 2008 11:08 PM


Read the Jonah Goldberg book, and we'll talk.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 20, 2008 05:43 AM

The party in charge during Katrina? The party that used Willie Horton against Dukakis? The party that used push-polls about "illegitimate black daughters" against McCain in 2000? The party that allowed baby Sun Hudson to die while fighting for the life of Terry Schiavo?

I'm not sure you're on solid ground arguing that the GOP is the party most concerned with the rights and lives of African Americans.

Posted by: Rin at May 20, 2008 10:46 AM

Rin: N.O. and LA were in Democratic hands during Katrina.

PACs affiliated with both parties have used ugly push polls.

What most African Americans want is steady employment, economic growth, and low taxes.

I'd love to be a Libertarian, but I can't handle the isolationism of that party. I therefore vote--most often--with the party of Walter Williams, Larry Elder, and the one and only Thomas Sowell (smartest man in the world).

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 20, 2008 11:17 AM

My sense has always been that the debacle of Katrina, including the underfunding of levee repair beforehand, the rife poverty on the ground, the failure to plan, the slow response when it went to hell, and the tone of the response itself (the blockading of good neighborhoods, the lack of supplies at the stadium, the appallingly slow repair efforts now) are largely to be laid at the feet of the federal government, FEMA et al.

A Democratic governor and mayor were nominally in charge, sure, but not so much in charge as the Feds who called the shots and didn't find the money.

Posted by: Rin at May 20, 2008 12:09 PM

Your "sense," Rin, was shaped by the mainstream media, which had two specific agendae to push: (1) whenever possible, anything bad must be laid at the feet of the Bush administration, and (2) when in doubt, anything that should be done must be handled at the Federal level, rather than the State level.

Blanco and Nagin diddled around and took no action. When the time came to formally request Federal aid, Blanco refused to do it, even when personally reminded to by President Bush.

To have FEMA violating the purview of the states by entering a state without a formal request from state officials would be very, very dangerous and destructive.

Compare Blanco to Schwarzenegger: he actually showed up for the wildfires, and requested help in a timely fashion. The municipal officials in CA took action, rather than waiting until all the schoolbuses were flooded and useless, as Nagin did.

FEMA may have made some mistakes in its response, but the corruption in LA and N.O.--combined with rumor-mongering on the part of the mainstream media, with no fact-checking and maximum yellow journalism--were more to blame for what happened in N.O.

Also worth noting: the states surrounding LA were hit just as hard, but didn't see the same degree of suffering that N.O. did. Why?

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 20, 2008 12:43 PM

MYTH: "The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history."--Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005

REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.

Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day--some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, "guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways," says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.

These units had help from local, state and national responders, including five helicopters from the Navy ship Bataan and choppers from the Air Force and police. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dispatched 250 agents in boats. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state police and sheriffs' departments launched rescue flotillas. By Wednesday morning, volunteers and national teams joined the effort, including eight units from California's Swift Water Rescue. By Sept. 8, the waterborne operation had rescued 20,000.

While the press focused on FEMA's shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success--especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST reminders from Katrina is that FEMA is not a first responder. It was local and state agencies that got there first and saved lives. Where the feds can contribute is in planning and helping to pay for a coordinated response. Here are a few concrete steps.

Think Locally: "Every disaster starts and ends as a local event," says Ed Jacoby, who managed New York state's emergency response to 9/11. All municipalities must assess their own risk of disasters--both natural and man-made.

Include Business Help: "Companies realize that if a city shuts down, they shut down," says Barry Scanlon, former FEMA director of corporate affairs. During Katrina, many companies coordinated their own mini relief efforts. That organizational power can augment public disaster management. "If 10 Fortune 100 members made a commitment to the Department of Homeland Security," says Scanlon, "the country would take a huge leap forward."

Prearrange Contracts: Recovery costs skyrocket with high demand during a crisis. Contracts with local firms must be signed before disaster strikes. "You know beforehand that everyone is ready to move," says Kate Hale, emergency management director of Florida's Miami-Dade County during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. "The government blows the whistle and the contractors go to work."

MYTH: "They have people ... been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."--New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Sept. 6, 2005

REALITY: Both public officials and the press passed along lurid tales of post-Katrina mayhem: shootouts in the Superdome, bodies stacked in a convention center freezer, snipers firing on rescue helicopters. And those accounts appear to have affected rescue efforts as first responders shifted resources from saving lives to protecting rescuers. In reality, although looting and other property crimes were widespread after the flooding on Monday, Aug. 29, almost none of the stories about violent crime turned out to be true. Col. Thomas Beron, the National Guard commander of Task Force Orleans, arrived at the Superdome on Aug. 29 and took command of 400 soldiers. He told PM that when the Dome's main power failed around 5 am, "it became a hot, humid, miserable place. There was some pushing, people were irritable. There was one attempted rape that the New Orleans police stopped."

The only confirmed account of a weapon discharge occurred when Louisiana Guardsman Chris Watt was jumped by an assailant and, during the chaotic arrest, accidently shot himself in the leg with his own M-16.

When the Superdome was finally cleared, six bodies were found--not the 200 speculated. Four people had died of natural causes; one was ruled a suicide, and another a drug overdose. Of the four bodies recovered at the convention center, three had died of natural causes; the fourth had sustained stab wounds.

Anarchy in the streets? "The vast majority of people [looting] were taking food and water to live," says Capt. Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department's commander of public affairs. "There were no killings, not one murder." As for sniper fire: No bullet holes were found in the fuselage of any rescue helicopter.

NEXT TIME: "Rumors are fueled by a shortage of truth," says Ted Steinberg, author of Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disasters in America. And truth was the first casualty of the information breakdown that followed the storm. Hardening communications lines (see page 3) will benefit not just first responders, but also the media. Government officials have a vital role in informing the public. Ensuring the flow of accurate information should be part of disaster planning at local, state and federal levels.

Posted by: Darrell at May 20, 2008 12:44 PM

As much as we try to prepare for catastrophic disasters and to reduce our risk from their devastation, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other disasters still happen.

When they do, local and state officials are the first to respond. If the loss of life and property overwhelms this response, the federal government ... including FEMA ... is called upon to help.

Local First Responders (Arrive First at Scene) -->
Alert -->
Mayor/County Executive (Activates Local Emergency
Operations Center) --->
Request Aid From -->
Governor (Activates State Emergency Operations Center) -->
Requests Presidential Declaration

1. To the maximum extent possible, internal State and local resources should be used as the first line of support in response to a disaster. Intra-State and inter-State mutual aid can provide an additional option for timely and cost-effective resource support that can be executed prior to a Presidential disaster declaration. Mutual aid can be particularly useful in a disaster that depletes the resources of an individual State or community, but does not require a Presidential declaration.

Source: State of Louisiana website, Sept. 2005 Fluffy does not want link.

Posted by: Darrell at May 20, 2008 12:51 PM

How come the Feds are all about states' rights, except when a state wants to legalize medical marijuana or gay marriage?

(btw, I'm a bit more caffeinated than is really wise, today, so if my tone seems a little combative, it's not about you and it's not meant as an insult or dismissal of your positions or your right to have them... I'm just crabby)


Posted by: Rin at May 20, 2008 12:58 PM

THERE IS A CRITICAL DISTINCTION TO BE MADE between the dictates of normal Federalism (or states' rights) and the defense of Posse Comitatus, which prohibits the use of Federal forces for normal law-enforcement functions. That is a necessary protection to us . . . the actual PEOPLE in this country.

This is not a trivial matter; Blanco's failure to observe normal protocols should not deprive the rest of us from protection from Federal intrusions simply because one of the most incompetent state administrations in the Union was unable to perform its duties.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 20, 2008 03:08 PM

Seems to me that the Democrats and the Left let Sun Hudson die at that moment from thanatophoric dysplasia. Terri couldn't be saved from a death sentence handed down by a probate court judge for any amount of money. Several people offered Michael millions to drop his action. On the other hand, anyone could have taken Sun Hudson to another medical facility or another State just by showing up with a medical team and the proper documents. If just a fraction of the $millions the Dems had spent overthrowing the will of the Florida legislature (Terri's Law) was applied to Sun's care, we wouldn't be talking about this--even though the comparison is idiotic.
Food and water and a normal lifespan versus an incurable, irreversible, progressive genetic disease worsening with each day of growth and weight gain? C'mon.
Know what thanatophoric means? Death bringing. And by the way, the provisions in the Texas law on this subject predate George W. Bush. The Texas Advance Directives Act (1999) signed by Bush added patient protections and a "grace period" to code already in place.

Guess Democrats and the Left only care about scoring political points--not the actual lives of citizens being used as puppets for their cause. Just like with Blanco in Louisiana. Wonder if the NSA still has the recordings of the phone calls between Blanco and the DNC from that special satellite phone she was carrying around?

Posted by: Darrell at May 20, 2008 11:18 PM

Might as well deal with the Willie Horton nonsense too. Racism? Only if you can provide names and faces of all the non-African Americans that were purposely excluded from the ad campaign that committed crimes while on Dukakis's weekend furlough program while serving a life sentence without the possiblility of parole. Willie Horton-ing sounds a like like Swift Boating--using inconvenient truths or facts that counter the Dem candidate's spin and the MSM echoing of same.

Posted by: Darrell at May 21, 2008 12:14 PM

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