OT: Wheres the World donations for NO?


winrockpost wrote on 9/2/2005, 3:56 PM
This disaster was handled so poorly ,makes me wonder what we have learned. I do believe it is the state and cities rersponsibility to have a plan in place. La is one one the most vocal states in keeping the feds out and letting them do their thing, then they cry no one will help. Having said that there is no excuse for people to be starving and dying days after the flood, have no answers ,but I dont blame Washington. states are always crying big gov is messing with them,, well maybe they should if they cant do it themselves.
Damn I hope no one is hungry tonight.
MUTTLEY wrote on 9/2/2005, 4:33 PM
How bout everyone stfu and help:

American Red Cross

- Ray

winrockpost wrote on 9/2/2005, 4:38 PM
your a class act mutt
filmy wrote on 9/2/2005, 4:53 PM
September 2, 2005

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

Let me first thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented natural disaster. Your pledge of assistance for the initial and long-term recovery efforts is reflective of the tremendous outpouring of support by the citizens of our great country. Although we have been dealt a devastating blow, I can assure you Louisiana will recover, rebuild, and restore our communities.

Based on our initial assessment, I have previously requested significant federal support to include: an additional 40,000 troops; trailers of water, ice and food; commercial buses; base camps; staging areas; amphibious personnel carriers; deployable morgues; urban search and rescue teams; airlift; temporary housing; and communications systems. Even if these initial requests had been fully honored, these assets would not be sufficient to address our critical, immediate needs. Additional assistance requirements for the federal government are outlined below. As we continue to assess our needs, I will ensure you receive our updated requirements.

I request the expeditious return of the Headquarters of the 256th Brigade Combat Team as they have completed their mission in the Iraqi theatre of operations and they are urgently needed here at home. I request that you remission this unit to Louisiana where they will become part of the recovery efforts in their home state. As the remainder of the Brigade returns, I request that they be missioned by the Department of Defense to assist civil authorities in Hurricane Katrina recovery operations in Louisiana.

To increase the responsiveness of our humanitarian relief operations, FEMA should establish a second Operational Staging Base (OSB) in Baton Rouge. Currently we have only one OSB in Pineville. Establishment of a second OSB will cut in half the response time to our most affected parishes. This will raise our local distribution points from 21 to 35, significantly increasing our support to the neediest citizens. Our current requirement for water, ice and MREs is 100 trucks of each per day; our requirement will increase to 200 trucks of each per day when we increase local distribution points.

Our communications grid was devastated and we need significant assistance in restoring governmental communications. The reestablishment of cell phone coverage and public safety networks is necessary to establish communications among governmental officials at all levels and among response agencies. The radio system that is currently operational in the greater New Orleans area was designed to support 800 users; there are currently 2500 users. To address the radio communications requirements, we need additional frequencies: 25 800-MHz trunking repeaters, tower crews, 1000 portable radios, three hundred-foot tower trailers, and additional BellSouth and Motorola staff. I also require additional staffed mobile command centers that provide satellite uplink to support additional voice and data needs at public safety and governmental sites.

I want aerial and ground firefighting support to address the growing danger of fire. This support should include both equipment and trained personnel.

A critical element of our military response is equipment, particularly vehicles. As military units are flown in to assist us in our recovery efforts, I request a fleet of military vehicles that will remain in the affected areas. Therefore, I am requesting access to military trucks, HMMWVs and other vehicles. Fort Polk, Louisiana, has a prepositioned fleet of military vehicles that could be accessed very quickly; however, there may be other sources that may be available quicker.

I request 175 generators to enable the parishes to provide electricity for critical local operations and state offices to better support affected citizens. As I review this requirement with our parishes, this number will undoubtedly increase. I need additional diesel fuel supplies.

Preventative health is a priority to prevent the spread of disease. Our state medical team is currently assessing these requirements; I need considerable personnel, equipment, drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies.

We have experienced a significant loss of life and as we transition from our initial emphasis on search and rescue, we require assistance with mortuary affairs. It is my pledge to the citizens of Louisiana that we will conduct this task with as much dignity as possible; to accomplish this I need federal assets to work closely with state and local officials.

Livestock and other animals were also victims of this tragic storm. I need assistance to deal with injured animals and also with animal remains.

Mr. President, only your personal involvement will ensure the immediate delivery of federal assets needed to save lives that are in jeopardy hour by hour. I know you will take the actions necessary to make this happen. As the recovery efforts continue, I will provide you a reassessment of needs. Again, thank you for your support of the citizens of Louisiana.


Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
State of Louisiana
Coursedesign wrote on 9/2/2005, 5:36 PM

Thanks for showing us what leadership looks like.

It's easy to forget that when we see it so rarely.

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 9/2/2005, 6:11 PM
I agree with Ray - but that doesn't matter - the people here that haven't stopped won't stop until this thing is locked - and that's probably not too far off, as this has just turned into another "I hate bush" / "I like bush" / "I hate bush" / "I like bush" - WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT POLITICS ON THIS FORUM?!?! - It's not like you guys don't know that it's not appropriate, let alone that baiting someone into an argument about the president is gonna lead to this type of thread (how does it always go to him?)

Please show yourselves adult enough to restrain furthering this kind of thread for the first time ever w/o requiring a lockdown. - (did that make sense?!?! :) - you know what I mean)

farss wrote on 9/2/2005, 6:36 PM
i agree,
from the other side of the Pacific and no doubt elsewhere on the planet all these threads seem to do is expose the worst side of the USA. I've got my own views on Mr Bush and all I'll say is we ALL get the leaders we deserve, beyond that I save my views for the ballot box.
Coursedesign wrote on 9/2/2005, 6:57 PM

Your post appeared just after mine, so I was wondering if you were somehow misinterpreting my statement?

To clarify what should be obvious:

1. I didn't mention any party or person whatsoever.
2. I only expressed joy over seeing true leadership, where somebody (the governor of LA) took the time to figure out exactly what was needed, and then very clearly asked for it, from the most appropriate, most elevated person with the most resources at his disposal.

That is worthy of recognition IMHO.

The governor set an example for others to follow, especially for these natural disasters which will of course continue to happen from time to time, in other states as well.

Last time I saw leadership like that was here in Los Angeles after the 1991 Northridge earthquake. I was very impressed by how quickly they were able to restore everything back to normal, including rebuilding a collapsed segment of the 10 Freeway that was deemed impossible to fix in under six months, but was completed in 3 months including earthquake proofing.

People were helpful everywhere, and grocery stores handed out free waterbottles (no water mains pressure) when they couldn't use the cash registers anyway due to loss of power. I volunteered to take stranded people in West L.A. back to San Fernando Valley, and saw that nobody panicked even when the road over the mountains cracked under us with six inch gaps popping up all over the place.

Very civilized and great planning afterwards.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 9/2/2005, 7:24 PM
No - coursedesign - I just wanted to comment on it. Had absolutely nothing to do with your comment. I just get sick of all this love/hate bush garbage and it just pisses me off to keep hearing it. Nothing more than that. Sometimes I get sucked in a bit - but I try not to do much as soon as I realize.

busterkeaton wrote on 9/3/2005, 12:38 AM
Jay, here is a very interesting interview with a geologist about New Orleans

He talks about the science and the history. One thing I didn't know is the most flood-threatened city in the United States is Sacramento, CA.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/3/2005, 4:28 AM

Interesting article, Buster. Thanks for sharing that.

My real intent, although heavily veiled, was to point out that any time man attempts to do anything to circumvent nature he looses.

Someone above mentioned the condition of the levees being at fault. I'm not going to debate that one way or the other. For me, it's a moot point. The reason being, there is nothing man can do, nothing he can build, that hold back nature when she decides to move!

Such ventures as New Orleans, in my opinion, are a crap shoot. Those who built and live in the city rolled the dice last week and lost. It is truly tragic. All the moaning, groaning, debating, finger-pointing, and arguing won't change any of what happened or relieve any of the suffering.

As Ms. Mieszkowski said, "... we will lose the battle of the inevitable."

So the real question is: What have we learned from horrific exercise?

craftech wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:12 AM
From a Chicago Tribune article September 1, 2005:

"Despite continuous warnings that a catastrophic hurricane could hit New Orleans, the Bush administration and Congress in recent years have repeatedly denied full funding for hurricane preparation and flood control.

That has delayed construction of levees around the city and stymied an ambitious project to improve drainage in New Orleans' neighborhoods.

For instance, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested $27 million for this fiscal year to pay for hurricane-protection projects around Lake Pontchartrain. The Bush administration countered with $3.9 million, and Congress eventually provided $5.7 million, according to figures provided by the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

Because of the shortfalls, which were caused in part by the rising costs of the war in Iraq, the corps delayed seven contracts that included enlarging the levees, according to corps documents.

Much of the devastation in New Orleans was caused by breaches in the levees, which sent water from Lake Pontchartrain pouring into the city. Since much of the city is below sea level, the levee walls acted like the walls of a bowl that filled until as much as 80 percent of the city was under water.

Similarly, the Army Corps requested $78 million for this fiscal year for projects that would improve draining and prevent flooding in New Orleans. The Bush administration's budget provided $30 million for the projects, and Congress ultimately approved $36.5 million, according to Landrieu's office.

"I'm not saying it wouldn't still be flooded, but I do feel that if it had been totally funded, there would be less flooding than you have," said Michael Parker, a former Republican Mississippi congressman who headed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from October 2001 until March 2002, when he was ousted after publicly criticizing a Bush administration proposal to cut the corps' budget. "

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on August 31:

"No one can say they didn't see it coming.

For years before Hurricane Katrina roared ashore Monday morning, devastating the Gulf Coast, officials from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have been warning about their vulnerability to the storms that swirl menacingly in the Gulf of Mexico every hurricane season. Now, in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation.

On Tuesday, looters could be seen carrying away whole shelves of merchandise from stores in New Orleans with no police in sight. A shortage of boats left people stranded on their roofs a day after the storm passed. State, local and federal rescue workers, all supplied with different radio equipment, were having trouble communicating with one another.

Meanwhile, local officials said that had Washington heeded their warnings about the dire need for hurricane protection -- including fortifying homes, building up levees and repairing barrier islands -- the damage might not have been nearly as bad as it was.

"If we had been investing resources in restoring our coast, it wouldn't have prevented the storm, but the barrier islands would have absorbed some of the tidal surge," said Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La. "People's lives are at stake. We need to take this more seriously."

This is nothing NEW. The paper reported about the consequences of budget cuts on the levees in June 2004:

"For the first time in 37 years, federal budget cuts have all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, a complex network of concrete walls, metal gates and giant earthen berms that won't be finished for at least another decade.

"I guess people look around and think there's a complete system in place, that we're just out here trying to put icing on the cake," said Mervin Morehiser, who manages the "Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity" levee project for the Army Corps of Engineers. "And we aren't saying that the sky is falling, but people should know that this is a work in progress, and there's more important work yet to do before there is a complete system in place."

Despite these facts when George Bush "allowed" Diane Sawyer from ABC to interview him he stated: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
In typical cowardly media fashion Diane Sawyer failed to challenge him. And in an online article ABC News completely ignored Bush's false and self-serving claim that nobody anticipated the breach.

In the weeks to come the media will systematically let George Bush off the hook for this. They let him off the hook for less than Katrina (Iraq).


Jimco wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:38 AM
The governor set an example for others to follow, especially for these natural disasters which will of course continue to happen from time to time, in other states as well.

Last time I saw leadership like that was here in Los Angeles after the 1991 Northridge earthquake.

Are you kidding? The governor of Louisiana had many troops at her disposal. She had a full force of State Police at her disposal. She (and more shamefully, the Mayor Nagin) did not properly prepare for this crisis and the mandatory evacuation was issued far too late.

Once the crisis occurred, there was no clear command and control center. Chaos ensued and the rest is and will be history. Fortunately for the likes of her, she has snowballed you (and many others) by writing a letter to the president (assuming the letter is genuine.) She can write a letter, true enough, but that’s certainly not a demonstration of leadership.

Based on your statement, I can only assume that you were hibernating during the response to 9/11 by Mayor Giuliani. Now THAT was true leadership. Where’s Rudy when you need him?

Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/3/2005, 9:06 AM

Quote all the articles you want. You cannot, with any legitimacy, blame what happened on anyone person or group of persons.

Too, I am outraged that anyone thinks National funds (tax dollars) should have been spent to "improve" the levees in New Orleans. You can't throw money at Nature's wrath, there simply ain't enough of it in world.

The truth is, boys and girls, you're going to see more and more of this kind of thing as time passes. And thinking that throwing money at it will stem the tide is foolish.

Increases in natural disasters by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.

JJKizak wrote on 9/3/2005, 9:57 AM
Well let's see, FEMA says don't build in the flood plain or you will eventually get flooded out. Army Corps of Engineers say's "no problem, we will spend billions to build dykes to keep out the water and billions more on the Mississippi River shoreline to prevent erosion and add a bunch of dams to control flooding". HMMMMM, 80% of New Orleans built in the flood plain. What a testament to American intellect and ingenuity. The people in power must have come from Holland. Oh I forgot, their dykes broke some time ago and flooded half the country and killed over a thousand people. Mother Nature always wins.

johnmeyer wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:12 AM
Increases in natural disasters by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.

There is absolutely zero evidence for this statement. In fact, as has been reported countless times over the past few weeks, there were actually far, far fewer hurricanes in the past thirty years, which is what lulled so many people to build homes and businesses in such vulnerable areas.

What HAS changed (as you note) is the ability to report on such things and, through satellite technology, bring the pictures to you almost immediately. As a result, you know about a typhoon in Sri Lanka that, fifty years ago, would have gone unreported, or would have appeared, three weeks after the fact, as a one inch story on page twenty-two.

The "world is ending" nonsense is simply a product of consuming way too much media. I might also add that, since the beginning of time, there have been people who exploit natural events like this to convince others that the world is ending, and to follow their path. The most gruesome was the leader of the San Diego cult who convinced his followers that the comet Hale-Bopp was a sign of the coming Armageddon, and convinced twenty-nine people to commit suicide.

Calm down and get a grip on things. The world is just the same as it has been since the beginning of time: totally messed up. Even if you aren't religious, read a few chapters in the Bible or Torah or (I assume) the Koran. Nothing but floods, pestilence, murder, etc.

That's life.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:15 AM

John, you're whistling in the dark. If that makes you feel better, then go right ahead.

johnmeyer wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:30 AM
John, you're whistling in the dark. If that makes you feel better, then go right ahead.

Why do so many people want to feel bad, and moreover, seem to go out of their way to make other people feel bad?

Whistling in the dark implies that I am aware of the problem but hoping, in a Pollyannish sort of way, that the problem will go away if I ignore it. Not only am I not ignoring it, but I have just recently been put in the position of being able to control over a quarter million dollars that must be donated to charity within the next two years. Initially, we were going to give it to a hospital in Illinois, but clearly the need here is greater. However, I am extremely conflicted about how to give the money. I desperately want to help these people, but the reports of large numbers of them shooting the rescuers, and the obscenities launched at the National Guard today make me wonder what sort of people we are dealing with. There was a post earlier in this thread about how New York did not descend into this kind of anarchy. Someone responded by posting two links to some articles about shootings in the days after 9/11. However, NYC and any other big city has a few shootings every day. What is different is that in 9/11, there were no pictures of looters, no one shooting at the rescuers, no one shooting at the police stations, etc.

Thus, I am very much aware of what is going on, am trying to understand all the details of what is happening -- and why.

To say that I am whistling in the dark is, well, a statement which itself is made totally in the dark. The whistling you heard was definitely not coming from me.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:54 AM

John, I don't feel bad, nor was it my intention to make you or anyone else feel bad.

In my opinion, ignoring what is happening right under one's nose and attributing it to other things is "Pollyannish," as were your remarks to my statement. That is your right to think that way, just as it is the right of those of us who think otherwise. Understanding "what" is happening without the "why" is not going to provide anyone with anything useful regardless of the situation or circumstance.

There is no comparison between a hurricane, like Katrina, and 9/11. Yes, both were horrifically tragic, but the former was natural while the latter was man-made. Too, the aftermath of each is significantly different, as is the impact on the country as a whole.

My family and I are surviors of hurricane Andrew (1992). The north eye wall (the most powerful part of any hurricane) passed directly over our neighborhood. I know what it's like to suffer through such an event. I know what it's like to wait to be rescued. No one in my neighborhood was running around like a bunch of thugs. No one here shot at rescuers, there were no shootings at the police stations, etc.

The fact is there are far too many arm-chair quarter backs (and I'm not referring to you) shooting of their mouths that have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.

Spot|DSE wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:57 AM
Why has this tragedy of nature and the fallacies of government and humanity become a political point?
It doesn't feed, clothe, shelter, or bathe anyone.

I'd propose a different sort of discussion;
What has anyone here done to assist in relief efforts?

Your actions may be an inspiration to others to help those in need. (or not)

Arguing about whether it's an act of god or an act of nature or an act of the failure of man isn't going to change the intent of god or prevent nature from doing its thing, nor will it fix the error of man. And doesn't convince anyone that their right or wrong in their viewpoint. Isn't the bigger point that there are people living in what has become less than a third-world environment, within our own country? Shouldn't we be talking about how we can/have helped?
Kudos to WEVA and 4Evergroup for starting a relief effort within their own organizations of videographers.

For the first time ever in all the ups, downs, and craziness this community has been through, my feeling is that this is the most shameful thread yet.

Whether it's fitting mattresses to cots at the local shelter, gathering clothing, helping people find a means of contacting loved ones, or donating funds...all of us can help out, even just a little bit. Wouldn't you have hope for help if this happened to you?

There will be plenty of opportunity for finger-pointing and debate when this is all over and people aren't dying anymore. Or, maybe I just have a totally whacked view of the situation.
Paul_Holmes wrote on 9/3/2005, 11:04 AM
It's good to see John Meyer and DSE bringing us back to the main point! I don't have much but have donated a little to the Red Cross and will donate a little wherever asked (ie, checking out at Whole Foods here in Saint Paul). Thank God millions of Americans have charitable hearts and are eager to do what they can.
fldave wrote on 9/3/2005, 11:35 AM
We had some bags of clothes ready to donate to our local mission. Instead we took them to a local church, who is making a run to MS on Monday. That church went to MS on Wednesday and cooked and fed 5000 people. We actually went through our closets pulling additional clothes, shoes, towels that we normally wouldn't have donated. Easily a few thousand dollars worth of clothes. I can always buy more.
mattockenfels wrote on 9/3/2005, 11:42 AM
Why do the fallacies of govenment become a political point? When people are dying.

Discussions such as this one do serve a very important purpose: enough of them will light a fire under certain polititians butz and get them moving! The screaming reached a pretty good level on Wednesday and Thursday, and we started to see some real action on Friday. If this kind of finger-pointing and debate has stepped up the process by just one hour, I find that beneficial, not shameful.

What IS shameful is that we can airdrop food and water to tsunami victims within two days, half a world away but cannot do the same for our felllow citizens in New Orleans. What IS shameful is that the majority of our National Guard, whos original mission was to serve within the United States, are off in another part of the world when we need them most. What IS shameful when an agency like FEMA has a news conference denying that they've not seen definative evidence of dead bodies while all TV news outlets were showing this the day before. These people are all supposed to work for US. And if we believe these agencies, funded by our hard-earned tax dollars, are not meeting OUR expectations, we should bloody well complain.

And in our American Democracy, its not just our right to complain. In this case its our duty to our fellow citizens who can't speak for themselves right now.

One more question to consider: Once most of these victims are out of harm's way, and are able to read discussions like this, will they feel like it was a waste of time? Or will they be grateful for the effort?

BTW, I contrubuted to the Red Cross effort on Tuesday, and continue to make contributions each time I'm at the local Safeway (they're contributing, too.) I ENCOURAGE everyone to do what they can.
Jimco wrote on 9/3/2005, 12:29 PM
I'd propose a different sort of discussion;
What has anyone here done to assist in relief efforts?

Great idea, Douglas. I typically don't like to speak of charity, but in this case, I have noticed that the majority of the publicity has been negative and downright disheartening.

I live in Keller, Texas, and one of our local churches has just taken in a whole slew of refugees. I dropped by this morning to visit and just see what was needed. I spoke to some of the refugees, most of whom seem somewhat shell-shocked but genuinely happy to be on dry ground.

My wife, kids, and I then proceeded to grab as many old suitcases as we could find and pack them with items. A few suitcases contained clothes and toys for girls, some contained clothes and toys for boys, and we packed one each for an adult man and an adult woman. We then rounded up a double stroller and an umbrella stroller. I packed all of this in my truck and took it to the dropoff point. Sadly to say, there were not many there donating, but news of such things sometimes takes a while. It was still nice to know that my community is taking such an active role in helping these folks.

I am also working with several folks from my church to try and get some things done, including donating food and time to feed these people a nice, hot, home-cooked meal tomorrow at lunchtime.

Look around your community. Chances are you can find some groups who are doing some things to help out!