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September 6, 2005

Those Words, Señor
Posted by Patrick at 10:32 PM *

Defense Tech has a succinct answer to the frenzy of blame-the-locals emanating from some quarters:

In the last few days, some have tried to shift the blame onto the state and city authorities. A whole bunch of it is well-deserved. […] But the City of New Orleans’ ability to cope with a crisis isn’t a matter of national security. The Department of Homeland Security’s ability is. Ray Nagin isn’t going to be responding to terrorist attacks. That’s what DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and his team have been hired to do.

DT, which is subtltled “the future of the military, law enforcement, and national security”, also raises an eyebrow toward readers who complain about the Katrina coverage:

“I thought the name of this web site was Defense Tech?” asks JD, echoing the e-mails of several folks who wrote in over the weekend. “Enough with your personal political views about Katrina. This is not the place for it.”

With all respect, JD, I have to disagree. This isn’t about politics. This is about all of our safety.

Of course, Defense Tech is written from the sensible idea that “national security” means national security, whereas for a significant number of people the phrase simply means blowing up bad guys. If killing people isn’t on offer, it’s not “national security”. This is one of those divides that’s so obvious that it generally goes unremarked.

Comments on Those Words, Señor:
#1 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 11:37 PM:

It's not about defense. Apparently it's about photo-ops.

Please, y'all, pleasepleaseplease tell me that a thousand trained firefighters weren't =really= turned into insurance agents and backdrop props?

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_3004197

#2 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 11:58 PM:

By the way, isn't it a good thing the country made the right choice last November? 'Cause otherwise, we could have been hit in a way that was devastating.

#3 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:37 AM:

I'm gonna vomit.

Hey, does anyone know if the Exclusive Brethren (religious sect) has any ties to the Republican Party? I'm trying to figure out how a cult with less than two thousand members in New Zealand managed to put out a hundred thousand dollars worth of anonymous pamphlets in a smear campaign against the left and centre-left political parties a week before the NZ elections. Surely they must have had funding from, oh, somewhere?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10344402

(Just in case you thought all the craziness was limited to the USA)

#4 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:38 AM:

You know that picture of NOLA that's been going around, with the Grover Norquist quote about drowning government in the bathtub? I was thinking it might do better with a shorter text on it, such as "Elections Have Consequences".

#5 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:47 AM:

DonBoy: Yeah.

And it's even snappier than "Thanks Again, Nader Voters."

#6 ::: Christian Griffen ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:56 AM:

We might thank Nader voters for 2000, but 2004 rests on the shoulders of homophobes.

My short text would simply be, "Moral Values?!?!"

#7 ::: will Shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 01:14 AM:

Patrick, thanks for the reminder to get back to work on ending the Electoral College!

#8 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 02:06 AM:

FranW: $100k divided by 2K is 50. The Exclusive Brethren are, collectively, a whacko millennarian cult, and they tithe. I don't think it's necessary to cite any other facts than those.

#9 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 02:57 AM:

Heh, and I'd have thought that something called "The Exclusive Bretheren" was a techno group.

On topic, wow but the NY Times editorial page has been on fire. Even Friedman and Kristoff have been critical of the administration's response to the hurricane and frank about it's disproportionate impact on the poor.

#10 ::: Anna ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 03:27 AM:

You may want to read this.

Or, you know, not, since it makes me sick.

http://inbabyjail.blogspot.com/2005/09/something-i-think-everyone-should-read.html

#11 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 04:05 AM:

Thanks for the link, Patrick. Defense Tech is great, and I hadn't been there in a while.

#12 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 06:19 AM:

Read all that Defense Tech piece. It thoroughly demolishes the idea that the DHS couldn't do anything until State Governors asked for help, by quoting the DHS.

We know that the US Coastguard reacted rapidly. Does anyone know whether the USAF combat rescue forces reacted as quickly? If they're not in Iraq.

#13 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 07:00 AM:

Blame the locals blows up on the very simple fact that maintenance of the levees wasn't a local responsibility, it was a federal responsibility, and it was not performed.

So is succor in disaster, and that wasn't done, either.

The locals were doing pretty good until the feds not showing up to the party -- despite big chunks of the military being all saddled up and ready to help -- handed them a problem they couldn't possibly solve.

Similarly, blaming either Nader voters or homophobes blows up on the simple fact that they weren't responsible for either the massive, systematic voting fraud nor the fraudulent vote counts nor the refusals, backed by force, to count the votes or allow votes to be counted.

#14 ::: Lizzy Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 07:15 AM:

Blame the locals also sinks when you recognize that coordination of outside help -- say, from states not majorly affected by the disaster -- cannot be done by the locals themselves. That's what we have FEMA for. But then, the Bushies are fond of asking people to elevate themselves utilizing their own bootstraps, and I guess they think disaster aid can be managed according to the same principles.

Bring me the head of Michael Brown! (for starters.)

#15 ::: Tom ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 09:28 AM:

That's what really bothers me about blaming the local authorities. Most disasters will come with less warning. Local authorities will have no time to do anything before and no infrastructure to do anything afterwards. These are the situations DHS needs to be able to respond to. In New Orleans they had it easy. Regardless of the local mistakes, the majority of residents were evacuated before the hurricane struck. If DHS can't pick up a situation like that and get it under control, there is no chance they could deal with a major earthquake in LA or San Francisco, or an actual terrorist attack, or a tsunami. The local mistakes are local business. I didn't vote for those officials, and I'm not affected by their decisions. DHS is everyone's business.

#16 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 10:46 AM:

Something else to look at:


The "city" of Louisiana (Keith Olbermann)

They still aren't getting it, it appears.

#17 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 10:52 AM:

And another one:

DeLay points to local officials

Right. Blame the victims.

#18 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 11:47 AM:

Blame the locals blows up on the very simple fact that maintenance of the levees wasn't a local responsibility, it was a federal responsibility, and it was not performed.

I think the idea is that everyone is supposed to be personally responsible for their own levee.

#19 ::: Lizzy Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 11:57 AM:

Damn, of course! I knew I was missing something. Where the hell's my levee (bridge, highway, sewer system, water plant...)? I'll be happy to take care of it as soon as I know where it is. I can pull weeds and paint. Not so good with a wrench, though. Aaargh.

#20 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:12 PM:

TomB --

Pity they forgot to change the laws about it, then, isn't it?

Civilization got started with flood control projects, in Egypt and Summer and China. It's pretty much the oldest central government responsibility there is.

#21 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:51 PM:

It thoroughly demolishes the idea that the DHS couldn't do anything until State Governors asked for help, by quoting the DHS.
We know that the US Coastguard reacted rapidly...

Quote DHS? The USCG isn't part of the Department of Defense, or even the Department of Transportation, at least, not anymore. The United States Coast Guard now answers to (surprise!) DHS.

In other words, if DHS couldn't legally do anything, then every Guardsman involved has committed multiple crimes. Proudly, I might add.

#22 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 01:05 PM:

OK, this is Work In Progress, but I want to share it. It goes to a nice little lullaby tune.

CHORUS:
Chertoff, Bush, and Brown
Drowned New Orleans town.
You may think it was Katrina,
But these three were much, much meaner:
Chertoff, Bush, and Brown.

Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake;"
Michael Brown said "For heaven's sake,
They all were told to evacuate!
If I heard that I wouldn't wait,
I'd get in the back of my long black car
And tell my driver to take me far
Away."

And when somebody hollered "Shame!"
He said "It isn't the time to blame
Chertoff, Bush, and Brown."

CHORUS.

#23 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 03:54 PM:

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/San_Diego_hospital_closed_to_acommodate_Bush_visit_No_ch_0906.html

"San Diego hospital closed to accommodate Bush visit; No chemo
"Miriam Raftery

"Editor's note: This article was held over from last week because of the hurricane.

"SAN DIEGO, Aug. 30 -- The Naval Medical Center in San Diego's Balboa Park was shut down to accommodate a visit by President George W. Bush Aug. 30, RAW STORY has learned, forcing patients to cancel chemotherapy treatments and hundreds of scheduled patient visits....

"When a haircut given to President Clinton aboard Air Force One inadvertently delayed air traffic and inconvenienced travelers, the media was quick to criticize the President. No such outcry has occurred over George W. Bush’s aborted photo op, or the interference it caused in medical care for seriously ill patients.

"After civilian patients and volunteers were sent home in preparation for the President’s visit, "remaining military personnel were told to show up looking very spiffy, to appear in the auditorium and to remember that they will be on film," one hospital insider told RAW STORY. "In other words, 'If you want a career, and not to be sent to Iraq, cheer like hell.'"

Break off Barton

Blow away Bush

Chain down Chertoff

Cast off Chertoff


Dump DeLay

Rend Rove

Sack Santorum

#24 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 03:57 PM:

I'm a long time lurker but this is my first post, so apologies if I contravene any local by-laws or customs. This seemed the most apposite recent thread to highlight National Geographic's article on the likely fate of New Orleans that was printed last October.

#25 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 05:32 PM:

And it's even snappier than "Thanks Again, Nader Voters."

Though "Thanks again, Bush voters" has a nice ring to it.

#26 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 06:44 PM:

Juliet: thank you, and whoa!! Here is the third paragraph of that article:

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

Date of article: October 2004.

#27 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 07:05 PM:

"When a haircut given to President Clinton aboard Air Force One inadvertently delayed air traffic and inconvenienced travelers, the media was quick to criticize the President.

Over a false rumor. There were no delays.

No such outcry has occurred over George W. Bush’s aborted photo op, or the interference it caused in medical care for seriously ill patients.

Well some, because we know about it, but it should be front page news.

#28 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2005, 12:32 AM:

Graydon: while I don't blame Nader voters, I do still get the urge to give a gonad smacking with a crowbar to the morons who insist there's no difference between Bush and Gore (or Bush and Kerry).

Neither Gore nor Kerry would have gutted FEMA and put Brown in charge. I doubt they'd have created Potemkin relief efforts for photo ops either. Hell, I'm not even sure *Nixon* was that evil a fucker. Bush is though.

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2005, 12:46 AM:

Hell, I'm not even sure *Nixon* was that evil a fucker. Bush is though.

I remember my brother and some of his friends wanting to go to a Nixon speech in San Jose. They got tickets at the local GOP office, and showed up, in respectable-looking clothes, at the auditorium on the appointed evening. They were told the place was full, and turned away. After that, though, there were people who arrived, showed their tickets, and were let into the hall. This was about 1973 or 1974, and some of the other non-allowed people, at least some of whom may have become unemployed due to the defense cutbacks of the time, started tossing small objects at the motorcade as it left. (IIRC, this was after then-governor Ronnie waved with a peace sign at the crowd). The affair was reported in the news as a riot: about eight people, some eggs, and some gravel.

Bush - or Rove - learned a lot of his tactics from Nixon.

#30 ::: Syd spies spam ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2012, 12:54 AM:

@ #30

#31 ::: Buddha Buck sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2014, 10:34 AM:

Perhaps I should just go away and let others clean up the spam?

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