Friday, September 09, 2005

Fwd: Explains a fews things, or does it?

Below you will find an email forwarded to me by dear old dad explaining why the Bush administration is not at fault for the hurricane response. Besides the fact that is clearly a piece of right wing propaganda and engages in the exact same tit for tat attacks they accuse democrats of making, it is flawed on several levels.

I don't have time to go into WHY the administration has just plain dropped the ball, but I can point out rather quickly one main reason. Bush is responsible for appointing officials to serve in all the departments, such as FEMA and Homeland Security. Perhaps if he appointed competent officials, instead of unqualified stooges, the response of national agencies would have been much better (click the title).

Look, I don't want it to come off sounding like im exhonorating one side over the other. The way I honestly see it, is everyone has dropped the ball in this situation, local, state and national administrations. Instead of playing the blame game (which BOTH sides are doing with equal tenacity), we need to acknowledge that our response to this disaster has failed miserably. We need to go back, look at what went wrong, and make the necessary changes to prevent these problems in the future. Chances are, these changes will also have their own problems, but we should be critical instead of congratulating everyone, patting eachother on the back, while New Orleans remains under 10 feet of water.

Finally, I do want to point out that ironically, the first argument the letter technically makes is technically, as Jon Stewart so correctly pointed out, that NO is to blame simply by existing. . .


Joan Benkoil

Salvation Army
Music Department
USA Western Territory


by Lee Ellis
Sep 3, 2005

Watching both Fox and NBC after President Bush had
been inspecting the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, I was
shocked at how the nets, and even some newspapers,
were trying to blame the Bush Administration for the
slowness in which help was reaching the damaged
Obviously, Brian Williams and his news team do not
know the law, nor do they know the past history of New
Orleans--a city built in a bathtub of a swamp. This
is a city where the dead, for centuries, have had to
be buried in above-ground structures because the water
is so close to the surface of this sinking city. If
coffins are put in the ground, they will rise to the
surface as the underground water pushes them up. I
have been to these cemeteries personally to witness

For decades, New Orleans has been told that the city
is sinking, and that the old levees have to be rebuilt
and modernized in order to keep the city from being
flooded. Local officials never finished the work, nor
have pleas to Congress for additional federal help
been heeded. Congress has simply never seen fit to
fully complete this effort, whether controlled by
Democrats or Republicans.

"Why did it take five days for Bush to help?" is the
mantra constantly voiced by all the "Talking Heads" on
TV. Here are the reasons:

(1) It is against the law for any President to order
troops into a city or across state lines without a
request and permission from the Governor of that

John Armor, a First Amendment lawyer and one of my
favorite writers, told me, "Federal law prevents the
President from sending in the National Guard until the
Governor gives the order. It is little known, but the
Commanding General of the National Guard in every
state reports to the Governor, not the President,
until the Governor says otherwise. U.S. military
units (regular Army, not the Guard) cannot be used
because of the Posse Comitatus law, until the Guard
has been authorized."

Continue reading this article below

According to some news sources, the Governor of
Louisiana, who knew the levees were weak, who knew
that the city had been slowly sinking, and who knew
that a major # 5 hurricane was approaching her city,
did not call Washington for help.

(2) The Mayor of New Orleans did call for evacuation
over a loud-speaker, but did nothing to be sure that
the police went door-to-door, followed by
transportation, to pick up all those who did not have
cars or any ability to leave.

There was no other leadership practiced by the mayor
there, as had been in New York City during 9/11 by
Mayor Giuliani.

(3) The hurricane veered east and saved New Orleans,
Brian Williams announced a week ago, and all breathed
a sigh of relief...until the levees broke a day or two
later allowing the surrounding waters to pour into the

(4) It was this predicted levee failure which had
been ignored for so long that doomed the local people
to be held hostage in their attics or on rooftops, not
the storm. It was also the failure of the local
bureaucrats and local elected leaders to maintain law
and order, and to have pre-arranged for complete
evacuations of the city.

It was only after a request went out to the President
that troops could be sent in. Can you imagine the
anti-Bush media screaming that Bush had invaded
Louisiana as he had done in Iraq if he had gone in
before being asked? I can just imagine The New York
Times headlining, "A Repeat of Shock and Awe by Bush!"

Bill O'Reilly, on Fox News, was the only commentator I
heard who explained this. All the other network
commentators seemed too willing to allow the
implication inferred by the viewers, that this was all
the fault of the Bush Administration.

I guess the Far Left also works in mysterious ways!

Now you know why my channel is glued to Fox News, and
why I no longer listen to NBC or its aide-de-camp,


At 9:56 AM, Blogger Joe said...

I didn't RTFA, but I read your post and I can't believe you are using this as an opportunity to politicize this stupid hurricane. The reason why the response was so slow was because of the idiotic citizens of New Orleans. I would say about 97% of those people are way below the level of intelligence of a dalmation. They lacked common sense to evacuate the city when a MANDATORY evacuation was issued. Forget this nonsense about how they didn't have cars or enough money to get out. If they had two legs they could have walked out. This has nothing to do with race or living below the poverty line, it has to do with common sense. You don't need to go to school or be wealthy to learn that 125 mph winds are going to seriously fuck up your house and probably kill you. If anything, the local government should have set up a service for the eldery and anyone else unable to physically walk out of the city. In my opinion, you place all the blame on the local government for not coming up with a plan for the helpless. At the same time, all the nonsense about who should have done what to prevent this is stupid to argue about because if anyone had basic survival skills they would have left before the thing came. And to those people that stayed and then SHOT AT THEIR RESCUERS, well those people can choke on their own turds (as I have already mentioned in a recent blog post). WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Never count on any form of government to help you. I never would have gone to the Superdome and sat in their with a bunch of whiny savages who complained about how they weren't served a hot meal. I would have walked out of the damn city. They had 24 hours to do it. Walk away from the water and up to dry land. Hitch hike. Find a bus. Ride a bike. Take a raft up the Mississippi. Rather than go in to some red tape filled bullshit investigation over what went wrong and who is to blame for the hurricane and why the levees broke, they should start a government agency that has the sole responsibility of explaining to people that a hurricane will destroy your house and your life and you have no one to blame but yourself if you stuck around for it. Then they should start another government agency that explains that cities below sea level will be destined to flooding forever. Stop living below sea level and your problems will be solved. The argument is not about politics, its about realizing that the majority of the people in the world lack basic common sense.

At 2:27 AM, Blogger LJ said...


you are a tool.

--Take a raft UP the Mississippi?

--Reports of shooting and looting are greatly exaggerated.

The Government is supposed to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and ensure domestic tranquility." It has done neither in the Katrina aftermath (nor in the preceding four years, by all conservative accounts).

Tell you what: once you are on dialysis and live on less than 6k a year in a major American inner city without transportation or money to go anywhere or do anything once you get there, then I will listen to your bigotry. Until then, STFU!

The argument is not about politics, it's about realizing [the ruling minority] lacks [perspective and compassion for anyone with skin darker than theirs or a without a overflowing bank account]

At 2:31 AM, Blogger Big Ed said...

Right on Joe. They could take some lessons from us in Buffalo. When a snow storm is coming everyone hits Wegmans and Tops and loads up - especially on the beer. Then we sit home and watch it rip. We don't need gov. assistance or guidance. We know what kind of beer to buy and how much we will need based on the quantity of snow.

At 5:31 AM, Blogger TomServo0 said...

I get E-mails like this forwarded to me a lot, but this is one of the first I've seen with the author's name attached. Check out this other article by Lee Ellis ( and figure out what's wrong with the first paragraph (sorry about the HTML). I didn't want to read any further than that. If we don't stop listening to half-informed idealogues we're going to turn into them.


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