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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

H. Katrina:
   Was the Response Handled Well?

From the pen of Alex, son of famed science fiction writer (and one of my favorites from younger days) Jerry Pournelle.

Alex "is involved in the California emergency response teams".

Hmm. Well. "Well." Certainly not well-handled as compared to what we'd like.


Compared to building the canals high enough, and compartmentalize the city enough, that the damage would have been limited?

Compared to having NO evacuated before the hurricane hit?

Compared to having the state, parish and city officials follow their own emergency plan?

Compared to federalizing the response on Saturday the 28th? (Remember, the State has to ask before the Feds can move in. Few talking-heads seem to know this.)

Compared to having the Governor call out the LA Guard on Sunday...Monday... umm... before Wednesday?

Compared to not having the 17th Street and Industrial Canals collapse and scour?

Compared to not having the NOPD completely collapse?

Compared to being compelled to restore order in the city before establishing a post-flood evacuation?

All those bad things happened. So: Compared to reality?

Compared to reality, the Federal response has been both wretched and nothing short of awesome.

Wretched at the top, and awesome below that. Wretched: Lack of coordination at the top, the know-nothing head of FEMA, the lack of immediate acceptance of non-Federal (and foreign) support, et very cetera.Many died unnecessarily. More will still.

Awesome: The early repair (24 hours before the already optimistic deadline) of the 17th Street canal, the air bridges, the movement of displaced persons, the medical evacuation, the beginning of restoration of infrastructure in N.O., etc. A quarter million people moved to TX in four days. With help, another quarter mil moved to other places. Without a single NO City orNO school bus usable.

10,000 rescues--TEN THOUSAND--by the Coast Guard alone, with one (non-fatal) helo crash.


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