Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Katrina Links and Nagin Rant

I am trying very hard to stay out of the blame game. However, I must say that one person in the chain has earned my contempt - Mayor Nagin from New Orleans. The man is at best a fool not worthy of his job; at worst a criminal. Outside of that, this will be where I link articles I find good; discussions I have been in; arguments I have come to make; and philosophical/religious arguments worth reading.

Let's start out with this chronology. It is being updated (at least through 9/7) and he is actively seeking anyone who can give him confirmed, linkable information to adjust the chronology with. Part of this is coupled with my:

Nagin Rant
[I probably wouldn't go off on him if not for his appearance on Oprah]

Who is most responsible to the people of New Orleans. Is it local government with only that as a responsibility - or the federal government with the whole country to oversee? It has got to be the locals. Look at this section of the very good timeline [My comments in brackets]:

* * *
Saturday Afternoon:

[Just before this (see here )the hurricane was upgraded to a 3 (limit of levies) and expected to hit land as a 4]

A press conference with Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco sounded the alarm. The Mayor urged residents to take the storm seriously saying to residents of low lying areas, “We want you to take this a little more seriously and start moving — right now, as a matter of fact,” Nagin said he would open the Superdome as a shelter of “last resort” for people with “special needs.”

He advised anyone planning to stay there to bring there own food, drinks and other comforts such as folding chairs, as if planning to go camping.

“No weapons, no large items, and bring small quanties of food for three or four days, to be safe,” he said.

Also: "This is not a test. This is the real deal,” Nagin said. “Things could change, but as of right now, New Orleans is definitely the target for this hurricane.” The mayor said he would stick with the state’s evacuation plan and not officially call for residents to leave until 30 hours before expected landfall, allowing residents in low-lying surrounding areas to leave first. But he recommended residents in low-lying areas of the city, such as Algiers and the 9th Ward, get a head start." [I think he is ahead, and behind, the game here. The New Orleans plan called for evacuation anywhere up to 72 hours. Later, the National Hurricane Center warns that the storm surge could come over the dikes up to 32 hours before landfall. The state plan was too short term; but he tries to get people moving early. Did he send buses into these areas to help those without transport get out? Nope]

Nagin spokeswoman Tami Frazier stressed that the mayor does not want citizens to plan on staying in the Dome—instead, they should make arrangements to leave the city if possible. [My emphasis: NO!!: The start of the Superdome Plan. This is when those school buses, and RTA, should have been moving. Anybody showing up at the superdome without a way out of town should have been loaded up as they showed up.]

Police Superintendent Edward Compass said that looters would be “dealt with severly and harshly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

By mid-afternoon, officials in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Jefferson parishes had called for voluntary or mandatory evacuations.

this is where people died and got hung out to dry at the Superdome

Mayor Nagin issued a voluntary evacuation order at 5:00 PM

Nagin said late Saturday that he’s having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he’s been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses. [My emphasis: I think he should be indicted for not calling for a mandatory at this point - especially for this reason. School buses, and RTA buses should be moving. Contraflow established] “Come the first break of light in the morning, you may have the first mandatory evacuation of New Orleans,” Nagin told WWL-TV.

The National Hurricane Center warns officials that Katrina is strengthening and will probably make landfall as a Category 4 or 5. This is really scary. This is not a test, as your governor said earlier today. This is the real thing,” said Director Max Mayfield. “The bottom line is this is a worst-case scenario and everybody needs to recognize it,” he said.

National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield calls Mayor Nagin at his home telling him that a mandatory evacuation was needed. Revised 9/7


By 8:00 AM, Katrina, a category 5 hurricane, is headed straight for New Orleans. According to this piece in Editor and Publisher FEMA Director Brown, DHS Secretary Chertoff as well as local and state officials are informed by National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield via electronic briefing that the storm will cause massive damage and flooding – including levee breaches – in New Orleans 32 hours before the eye of the storm makes landfall. Revised 9/6

The Superdome opens at 8:00 AM and begins to take people in. [Buses, buses, where are the buses?]

In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin. [9:30am: At least 16 hours late]

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation. The President’s call came just prior to the news conference and occurred
after the decision had already been made for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. Revised 9/6 (HT: Jay) Lexis-Nexis Subscription needed to access link.

“There doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight,” Blanco said.

The Mayor’s office announces at 9:30 AM that RTA (Regional Transit Authority) busses will pick people up at 12 locations throughout the city and take them to shelters – including the Superdome [My emphasis: The Superdome again? This is about 18 hours after he advised people to get out of low-lying areas; and 16 hours after voluntary evac notice]. This despite the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan that calls for busses to be used to evacuate citizens out of the city. Revised 9/7

At 11:30 AM
the President delivers a statement vowing to help those affected by the hurricane.

By noon, the city puts its
contraflow traffic system in effect so that both sides of major highways will allow for traffic out of the city.
* * *

Read the rest of the timeline. He updates it as he gets more information.

Deliver Us From Evils. Subsidizing Subsidiarity. On the Wrath of God. The Compact of Civil Societies
Eurota(MSM: Questions Answered, Loops Closed , In Their Own Words, A Continuing Series and Blamestorming Under the Radar ). Interactive Map. The nomination of Michael Brown to head FEMA, Read from here up, What Went Wrong at Superdome and Convention Center; Faulty levies, not Overtopping; Death Toll at Superdome

Opinions of Note:

The View From a Professional.

Royal Buck Passing (and other degenerate blaming):
Nagin Blames Others (and Asks for Buses!), Some local and state folk, Killed by Contempt (and The Fulminator)
Political swats:

Send me any links you think should go on the list.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly