Friday, September 02, 2005

Dead: New Orleans and the Myth of the Responsive Government

Well, there's no doubt about it now - if you are poor, and there's any kind of emergency, there's no such thing as a government safety net. New Orleans this week is getting shockingly little federal aid, despite all the FEMA folks claiming over the weekend that "supplies are being stationed just outside of the hurricane zone." Yeah, right. Would that be in Seattle, Washington or Portland, Maine?

The hurricane was over days ago; the flooding, while horrible, isn't as bad as it could have been, and yet people are still isolated and desperate. I don't excuse the looting for TVs and guns and liquor because the behavior of some of the individuals in New Orleans has been horrible. But why did Wal*MART leave things like guns in their stores when they knew looting was a strong possibility? And why not just distribute necessities like food and diapers and medicine and the like when it was clear the electricity was going to be out for a while?

But the "promises-promises" of the federal, state and local government(s) to the people of the South have been reprehensible. So you can understand that desperation of people who haven't had basic sanitary facilities in a few days, who see busses and boats go away without them on it. Some of the local preparedness has been less existant than I would have expected. I'm still floored that hospitals didn't have adequate generators, water or supplies for all this.

People have been dying all over town and the bodies have been left to rot.

So where is our federal government in all this?

Apparently, they've been too busy guarding the various Federal Buildings in New Orleans to help with relief efforts. And, lets not forget, our National Guard troops are thousands of miles away.

What about the state and local governments? Who knows? I've seen relief workers out in rural areas, checking for bodies and the like. I've seen very busy people in New Orleans, rescuing people by boat and helicopter over the last few days. But why didn't they ensure the SuperDome and Convention Center had emergency supplies BEFORE TELLING PEOPLE TO REFUGEE THERE???

When people say how wonderful it is to live in the South, I've, frankly, always been stunned. I like to visit the South - I've been to New Orleans and Florida at least four times apiece over the last 17 years. But, live there? Sorry, give me blizzards over hurricanes and tornadoes any day. I don't plan on buying any land around Lake George, the former New Orleans.

If you have a solid home and any cash at all, make a contribution to the Red Cross. We already did, but I want to do more. The "Liberal Blogsphere" is a way to funnel your cash to the Red Cross. As I've added to the Katrina Relief ad you'll see on every page of my Web site, I'm donating all the dpsinfo GoogleAd revenues to this fund on 10/1. Now, most months that would be about $50. But consider making an ad click or two during the next month at this site so I can send even more money.

People can help even with a government rapidly sinking to third world capabilities due to Bush and buddies. Yet another example of getting the government we deserve...

As uggabugga pointed out this morning (by capturing a great photo of Bush's latest photo op) Bush bored with the whole affair:

FEMA Director Bores Bush While New Orleans Burns...

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