We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My thoughts: Three or four days late and a dollar short. Finally, the Feds are forced to shove the locals out of the way and take over NO. Just like we said. Here. It may not be legal, but we now have de-facto martial law and a federal take-over of the failed LA and NO govts. But where was FEMA on Weds? And why wouldn't the Gov. call in the National Guard to deal with the "insurgents"? And why did the Fed agencies watch while the local authorities were paralyzed with indecision, ignorance, and obvious incompetence, with barbarians running rampant? (We read that as late as Friday the Governor refused to let the Feds take over.) I want to hear the story from Bush, the head of FEMA, Chertoff, the Gov. of LA, the LA National Guard, the Mayor of NO, the NO Chief of Police, and the NO Chief of the Fire and Rescue Dept., the Chief of the LA State Police, the head of the LA National Guard, and the the person in charge of NO disaster planning. Under oath, please. Again, not that this was a manageable situation but rather one which was certain to result in death and destruction - but you try anything. It was clear on Tuesday that things were going to hell, and all of the past predictions for NO came true. Heck, even Maggie's Farm predicted it last Sunday: "Crash on the Levee." But I already know the answers: there was no real plan for a Cat 4 or Cat 5 storm, other than hope. And hope is not a plan. And, may I ask, what is Chertoff doing with this? This isn't Homeland Security. Is it? Oh, I see, FEMA is now under Homeland Security. Why?
Combat operations in NO: An American Somalia
"Numerous soldiers also told Army Times that they have been shot at by armed civilians in New Orleans. Spokesmen for the Joint Task Force Headquarters at the Superdome were unaware of any servicemen being wounded in the streets, although one soldier is recovering from a gunshot wound sustained during a struggle with a civilian in the dome Wednesday night. “I never thought that at a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans,” said Spc. Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. “And I never thought I’d have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace.” " Read entire.
Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state’s emergency operations center said Saturday.
The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law.
"A feckless state governor and New Orleans' mayor repeated the same mistakes they made with Ivan, and hundreds of thousands of largely poor people were forced to endure conditions that one associates with the Third World - not the richest nation on the planet." Read entire.
The Race Issue: Bring it on, says Rick Moran
Rick discusses the destructiveness of the War on Poverty, Moynihan's prescient warnings, and the govt-created culture of dependency. I think he overstates the case, however: the black middle class has been growing rapidly, and it is not only blacks who got caught in the culture of dependency - more whites than blacks. Still, it's a thoughtful essay on a subject which has been highlighted by NO. One paragraph, re LBJ's War on Poverty:
"All these income distribution schemes did was hasten the destruction of the black family which led to a vicious cycle of more dependency, more frustration, and more anger. Even the welfare reform of the 1990’s did little to change what had become a national shame; a permanent underclass unable to escape the ravages of poverty. Millions of young men have grown up, lived, fought, and died in the streets who didn’t have to all because the compassion merchants and anti-poverty bullies have failed to grasp the debilitating effects of dependence on government and the causal relationship between that dependence and the “otherness” felt by African Americans in general but especially by young black men."
From a Lousiana guy, now living in New England
Brewton from View from 1776. commented on our NO post yesterday, re LA culture. One paragraph:
The ethos of the state, particularly in the southern, river delta half, became entirely one of "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." New Orleans was a great commercial city (the south's largest and richest as recently as 1945) that rebounded swiftly from the devastating 1927 Mississippi River flood. The self-reliance of that day is long gone.
Bill Clinton tells the truth...more or less: "Shit happens."