Effect Measure

Are you Ready or are you ReallyReady?

Katrina. One year later. Heck of a job, FEMA, Bush, Brownie, Chertoff and all of the Department of Homeland Security gang of fuck-ups and their bosses.

Some people think that Joe Lieberman’s idea to put FEMA in DHS was a bad idea. But DHS is the right place for FEMA. Incompetent, screw-up agencies should always be grouped so it is easier to deal with them when a new administration comes along (we hope in two years). In the meantime . . .

DHS has a website, recently updated: Ready.gov. When the Federation of American Scientists first looked at it they thought it could be, well, let’s say, improved. Improved as in: better writing; better, more complete and more accurate advice; clearer advice. Minor stuff like that. So they threw all the considerable resources of a non-profit at it: a summer intern. In two months she had thoroughly critiqued the DHS site and produced a better one: ReallyReady.org.

DHS’s response — believe it or not — was that their site was constructed by federal experts, not a summer intern and that the ReallyReady site would confuse people. Confuse them with better, more accurate information? Couldn’t have that. Better that there be one message, even if it’s wrong. Nothing confusing about Iraq having WMDs, after all.

The topper, here, is that now DHS is going after the FAS site on the grounds of trade-mark infringement. This, via BoingBoing:

“On August 1st, Boing Boing featured an article about the efforts of my summer intern, Emily Hesaltine, to improve on the Department of Homeland Security’s website Ready.gov. Her website, launched by the Federation of American Scientists, is called reallyready.org. Now the Department of Homeland Security is coming after us because they believe we have infringed on their ‘intellectual property.’ Specifically, they take issue with our use of a green check mark over the word Ready. I have posted their letter to us and our response. For the record, it cost them more money in lawyer time to write the letter then it did for us to create the entire website.” (Boingboing)

Don’t take our word for it. Go to both sites (keeping in mind that the DHS site has been recently improved as a result of the FAS criticism).

Heck of a job, DHS.

Comments

  1. #1 merciless
    August 30, 2006

    Our government is being run by a class of middle-school kids. Sigh.

    On a tangential note, I was reading the paper the other day and came across an article saying that some company was moving its headquarters to my town (Albuquerque). The reasons for the move included the cost of living and the paucity of natural disasters in this part of the country (italics mine).

    It struck me that I’d never heard that reason used before, and certainly never so prominently. But it’s true; here we have no hurricanes or tsunamis, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. I guess businesses are catching on too.

  2. #2 PA
    August 30, 2006

    Was the F-word really necessary?

    Thought this was a classier website.

  3. #3 caia
    August 30, 2006

    F-word… FEMA? I know, it’s a dirty word after Katrina, but it’s necessary to use it sometimes.

  4. #4 Jimmy
    August 30, 2006

    Combine Neocon Libertarians with Dispensationlists and you advance further into this dualistic control-denial politic which infiltrates so many ‘western democratic’ administrations these days.

    The Neocons took the day with Katrina. But I’m betting the Dispensationalists will seize the day once pandemic comes especially if it’s a nasty one. Think Katrina with Inquistional style parsing of survivors. Are you saved? No? Line up over at that wall, please.

  5. #5 FC
    August 30, 2006

    I agree with PA. There is no need for filthy language. Such language simply detracts from the quality of your comments.

  6. #6 revere
    August 30, 2006

    PA, FC: LOL.

    Just hold your ears and say la, la, la, la, la, …. We’ve used “the F word” at least a dozen times over the last couple of years and no one has died from it. One of the nice things about being a blogger is you get to say what you want, how you want to say it.

    And we definitely wanted to say it.

  7. #7 william
    August 30, 2006

    I think Revere’s use of the F word is appropriate for Fema.
    Please read the article below, and then tell me what you think of Fema.

    Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

    by Allen L Roland

    August 20, 2006
    Salon.com Blogs

    Email this article to a friend
    Print this article

    We are dangerously close to a situation where ~ if the American people took to the streets in righteous indignation or if there were another 9/11 ~ a mechanism for martial law could be quickly implemented and carried out under REX 84.

    The Cheney/Bush administration has a plan which would accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens during times of emergency.

    The plan is called REX 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984. Through Rex-84 an undisclosed number of concentration camps were set in operation throughout the United States, for internment of dissidents and others potentially harmful to the state.

    The Rex 84 Program was originally established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.

    Existence of the Rex 84 plan was first revealed during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987

    ” These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.”

    And there you have it ~ the real purpose of FEMA is to not only protect the government but to be its principal vehicle for martial law.

    This is why FEMA could not respond immediately to the Hurricane Katrina disaster ~ humanitarian efforts were no longer part of its job description under the Department of Homeland Security.

    It appears Hurricane Katrina also provided FEMA with an excuse to “dry run” its unconstitutional powers in New Orleans, rounding up “refugees” (now called “evacuees”) and “relocating” them in various camps. “Some evacuees are being treated as ‘internees’ by FEMA,” writes former NSA employee Wayne Madsen.

    “Reports continue to come into WMR that evacuees from New Orleans and Acadiana [the traditional twenty-two parish Cajun homeland] who have been scattered across the United States are being treated as ‘internees’ and not dislocated American citizens from a catastrophe”

    We are dangerously close to a situation where ~ if the American people took to the streets in righteous indignation or if there were another 9/11 ~ a mechanism for martial law could be quickly implemented and carried out under REX 84.

    Be forewarned ~ the Cheney/Bush administration will stop at nothing to preserve their power and their ongoing neocon mis-adventure and they have currently proposed having executive control over all the states National Guard troops in a national emergency.

    Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa, called the proposal ” one step away from a complete takeover of the National Guard, the end of the Guard as a dual-function force that can respond to both state and national needs.”

    The provision was tucked into the House version of the defense bill without notice to the states, something Vilsack said he resented as much as the proposal itself.

    Under the provision, the president would have authority to take control of the Guard in case of ” a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe” in the United States.

    Do remember, to the Cheney/Bush administration ~ the Mob at the Gates that they truly fear is not terrorists but, instead, the people demanding the truth.

    REX 84 AND FEMA

    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004/FEMA-Concentration-Camps3sep04.htm

    MINDFULLY, 2004 – There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached. . . The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.

    Rex 84 allowed many military bases to be closed down and to be turned into prisons.

    Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government.

    FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.

    The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby. The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners.

    Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold thousands of people.

  8. #8 M. Randolph Kruger
    August 30, 2006

    William, man you just kill me with this stuff. Yeah REX 84 was in response to the Mexican invasion by refugees, not concentration camps for US citizens. Well maybe sending Mexicans to Alaska would make them stay in Mexico. Anyways, listen Garden Plot is an expansion in a state of emergency or martial law situation that was devised by FEMA during the Clinton Administration. If you think that these guys are going anything but quietly you are nuts. Come January of the next election you will be sadly mistaken as Bush turns power over to the next president.

    This coup stuff is horseshit and it aint going to happen because the courts will not allow it for starts. How would they maintain power when the military turned on them. A private in the Army can relieve the President or the Vice President if he has clearly violated his authority. That doesnt mean declaration of martial law either. If you think for one minute that the troops would follow those orders you have another thing coming your way. You might be reading just a tad too much alternative media such as Daily Kos. Just because someone said smoke if you got ‘em it doesnt mean marijuana. Get witht he program Sarge, this would never happen if for no other reason than the military is outgunned. Sure if all conditions were equal they could put the hurt on the population but how would they maintain that control? Not the military… nope.
    I can tell you also there are more out than in now and they know how the Army/Air Force works. We would be in a civil war so fast it would make your head spin and they would lose. Kind of hard to drop tactical nukes on your own people too. Someone somewhere in the chain of command would pull out the .40’s and start wailing on the button pushers. Bush and Cheney will be out of there in just a little over 2.5 years. Take a break……

  9. #9 william
    August 31, 2006

    M.Randolph Kruger,
    I really like to read your posts, and thank you for responding to mine. You have a good sense of humour. Below is an article on REX 84 from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a far left organization, and has nothing to sell you. If you go to the Federal Register you will find executive orders authorizing the President the power to declare a national emergency, and give emergency powers to FEMA and the National Security Council. The North American Command headquartered in Colorado, which is the US military command responsible for the internal security of the US, would answer directly to the President. Congress and the courts would cease to function until the state of emergency was terminated. The President has the responsibility under these executive orders to notify the Congress before implementing martial law. Once martial law is declared, there will be no more presidential elections. Bush will stay in power until the state of emergency is declared ended by President Bush.
    Richard Holbrook said in the Washington Post recently we are in the most dangerous situation since the cuban missile crisis of 1962. There is the danger of a another terrorist attack in the US during this time of crisis. Both Iraq and Lebanon could blow up. There is the danger someone will use
    tactical nuclear weapons. If there is a terrorist attack or a bird flu pandemic, the President could declare martial law.
    President Bush may decide there is no reason to use election fraud to get Jeb Bush elected president. He may decide the best way to stay in power is to declare martial law, which he has to power to do under these executive orders.
    You are correct. There will be fierce resistance by US citizens. That is why the concentration camps exist. Who is going to try and resist against the North American Command? Do you really think civilians can stop US Army tanks, F-16’s, the US Marines, black hawk helicopter gun ships with night vision devices, US Infantry Batallions., the Coast Guard, the US Navy, etc. The US Army North American Command is a legitimate branch of the military, and the officers and men of this command will obey the orders of the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bush. Those under this command may be given orders to kill any rioters. The North American Command will take control of all military assets in the US. There will be night curfews. Anyone on the streets may be shot on sight, using night vision devices.

    Rex 84
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was a plan by the United States federal government to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of massive civil unrest or national emergency. Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen periodically. From 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the “ADEX” list. (Donner, Age p. 166.)

    According to scholar Diana Reynolds:

    The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.

    The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial rule. [1]

    Existence of a master military contingency plan, “Garden Plot” and a similar earlier exercise, “Lantern Spike” were originally revealed by alternative journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in “Garden Plot and the New Action Army”, (CounterSpy, 1975).

    Rex 84 was mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported on by the Miami Herald on July 5th, 1987. As news of the exercise spread, it was amplified by networks of people pursuing more elaborate conspiracy theories.[2]. See for example the Miami Herald article reproduced on this conspiracy theory website.

  10. #10 william
    August 31, 2006

    M.Randolph Kruger,
    Here is information on the executive order Bush would use to declare martial law.

    Establishing martial law in the United States
    From SourceWatch

    Should President George W. Bush proclaim and put into effect Executive Order 12919, “the President would put the United States under total Martial Law and Military Dictatorship.” [1] (http://uweb.txstate.edu/~lf14/conspire/execu.html)

    “The President need not wait for some emergency to occur, however. He can declare a National Emergency at any time, and freeze everything. Congress, and the States, are powerless to prevent such an Executive Dictatorship, as long as the President advises Congress in a timely matter.” [2] (http://uweb.txstate.edu/~lf14/conspire/execu.html)
    Table of contents [showhide] [showhide]
    1 Authority
    2 Concentration Camps: Rex 84
    3 Specific to a Flu Outbreak
    4 Documents
    5 Other Articles & Commentary
    6 SourceWatch Resources
    [edit]
    Authority

    Executive Order 12656 “Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities” (http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Exec.Orders/EO.12656.html), February 16, 2004 plus Executive Order 13074 (http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Exec.Orders/EO.13074.html), Amendment to EO 12656, February 9, 1998.

    “Executive Order Number 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S. citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United States and grant the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry.” [3] (http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1765545.php)

    Executive Order 11921 “Adjusting Emergency Preparedness Assignments to Organizational and Functional Changes in Federal Departments and Agencies” (http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-11921.htm) allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [stated as the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency] to “develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.” [4] (http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1765545.php)

    “FEMA’s powers were consolidated by President Jimmy Carter to incorporate: The National Security Act of 1947, which allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities; The 1950 Defense Production Act, which gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy; The Act of August 29, 1916, which authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency; and The International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which enables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.” [5] (http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/fema_executive_orders.htm)

    For the first time in American history, the reigns of government would not be transferred from one elected element to another, but the Constitution, itself, can be suspended. [6] (http://www.meta-religion.com/Secret_societies/Groups/FEMA/fema.htm)

    /govdocs/19981223_govdoc_index_exe.asp Index of Executive Orders, Beginning December 30, 1992], WorldNetDaily website.
    [edit]
    Concentration Camps: Rex 84

  11. #11 Ana
    August 31, 2006

    Gross and generalized incompetence (revere’s example is very telling and quite typical), meaning a loss of previous ‘standards’, ‘performance, efficiency’ or what have you, in a healthy situation, provokes all kinds of measures, procedures, attempts, that we can all imagine. (Even scapegoating can work.)

    When these fail or are insincere to start with, an eerie irrationality takes hold.

    Authoritarianism, crackdowns on the one side; doubt, insecurity and paranoia on the other; lies on the one, anger and accusations on the other. The feed back loops are positive and the situation spins out of control, nothing can be fixed, no innovation is possible, etc.

    The situation can only be changed by consequent, dramatic, even catastrophic changes. So says the theory. Takes time though.

    —–

    Daily KOS alternative media? It is a mainstream progressive democratic (as in the US political party, not the spirit) site that practices heavy censorship – conspiracy theorists and true leftists call the crowd there ‘left gatekeepers.’ Mr Kruger, you made my day!

    (I live in Europe, where we are perpetually astonished at the poverty of political choices offered Americans.. :)

  12. #12 william
    August 31, 2006

    Ana,
    I really like what you said in your post. Actually Americans have a vast choice. They can elect someone from the right wing fascist Republican party or the right wing fascist Deomcratic party, to be president.
    We are now submitted to an authentic neoliberal dictatorship, in which multinational corporations, with vast wealth, control the US government. Their money pays for the election of representatives that support their views. This is a corporate dictatorship, in which government and corporate power merge, just as they did under Hitler.

  13. #13 M. Randolph Kruger
    August 31, 2006

    Let me clue you into something William. Those laws are based on the unlikelyhoods of government. They have been able to declare it since they wrote the Constitution. Screw the EO’s. Executive Orders dont mean squat unless you have someone thats willing to enforce them. Sure if he wanted pure chaos he could do it. But the military isnt stupid contrary to popular belief. Most that are enlisting are not doing for college any more.

    There is also another little item. Its called secede. The States would simply pull out of the Union and they are afforded that right. Now what? Civil War?. Not likely. You are not going to get soldiers to shoot down US civilians William. They’ll shoot a Frenchman or an Iraqi in a heartbeat, but not brothers and sisters. I know all of the Executive Orders of which you speak and it would take one hell of a mess to get us to that and the NSA isnt designated as the people that are going to run the show. They make recommendations and thats it. And what would they have if they did? They would have a grasp on exactly nothing because within a week the economy would come apart and you cant make a farmer make food. A nationwide strike would ensue within days and it would bring the country back around on the fast track. The six month thing is in the Constitution if you want to read it up.

    You can also get the full text of the EO’s from the White House website on their search engine. But listen, lefties aside. If I were the government I would be in a anxiety attack if we approached what you are speaking of. It would be a real fight. Those units in Iraq are from the South. We know the difference between right and wrong unlike some and we know that going to Iraq was an inevitability now or later. But thats a debate. Most of my people VOLUNTEERED FOR IT. They believe in something. I can say the units of the military in the North would take a damned dim view of any attacks on civilians. Any ursupation of the Constitution by flagrant use of declaration of martial law/and or state of emergency would have Imelda packing her shoes up again. The South would be the key with history in the rear view I can say that about a third of the country would cast the US, its social welfare system, universal healthcare and above all Teddy Kennedy adrift. And since I exercise my right to keep and bear arms along with some 39% of Americans from the South, go ahead and make my day if they want a fight after declaring a bogus marital law. No plausible deniability on this one. You and the doomsayers are going to be dissappointed when Bush hands over power in 2 years. What will you say then? Too much spin out there Will. Stick to the facts and to the intent of the blog. We take too much time here.

    Oh yeah and the F-bomb from Revere…. I’ll take a thousand pounder hit of those bubba! Revere is right. The F-word is too light in my limited vocabulary but I dont have another word that fits. They fucked up big time. I will say this though, that once again a fucking Democrat governor waited two days (Lawton Chiles in Andrew last time in Bush 1) before siging the known, totally requisite, absolutely gotta have in writing federalization request in Katrina. Not “We need everything you have” from Blanco. She was told that by her own State EMA people. The President of the United States is prohibited by law and can be impeached if he mobilizes Federal troops in anticipation or pre-declaration of a diaster. The States wanted it that way and we got Katrina’s effects. Its one of the things they teach you as a NIMS responder.The levees were state maintained and they got 300 million dollars an no one can account for it. Certainly nothing was ever done with the levees. Blanco was dragging her heels and wanted Federal troops under her control and she was told time and again that this wasnt going to happen by law. She knew it, she fucked up. (F-bomb again). She was told that the troops take three days to mobilize and on day five here came the Cavalry. Notice that the Coast Guard didnt show until the day of the declaration? Its because of the law. Yep, lotsa blame to go around but lets make sure that we know that the exact same thing happened in Andrew. Chiles waited for two days while they “assessed” the damage, Blanco did too. Little pattern emerging here. End result is the same. People died, people didnt leave and oh shit, lets blame Bush. Why not? It cant possibly be anyones fault but Bush.

  14. #14 G in INdiana
    September 1, 2006

    >You are not going to get soldiers to shoot down US civilians.

    Kent State, although it happened decades ago, it could easily happen again. Right now the intelligence factor in the recruits is the lowest it has been EVER. The armed forces are taking in people they wouldn’t even touch just a few years ago. Case inpoint, one of my daughter’s school mates, a low IQ near drop out, was gladly taken into the Army last year. All he could think about was killing people, he didn’t care who. Did they find that little gem of an idea and boot him out, hell no. He is slated to go to Iraq and can’t wait.
    I come from a heavily military family; Navy, Army, and Marines. All the men who served from WWII to the Gulf I war are in agreement. The armed services of today are not what they were when each of those men served and NOT ONE of them would join up today if he could and all but one would go over to Canada if they were drafted.

  15. #15 william
    September 1, 2006

    M.Randolph Kruger,
    German army soldiers killed German civilians during WW11. Rioters were shot by police in New Orleans. When a US citizen becomes violent and threatens violence against US Army personnel, he will be killed or captured.
    The Northern Command was created by the Pentagon in 1992 to protect the internal security of the US. A terrorist can be a US citizen or a foreigner. If that person threatens the security of the US by violent acts, he will be killed or captured.
    Of course many will surrender, and will be placed in concentration camps. Hitler authorized the detertion and murder of political prisoners, including many German citizens that were Communists. Those political activists that oppose the imposition of martial law will be imprisoned.
    The FBI and CIA have a list of political activists. These people will be arrested and put in concentration camps.
    The American people will accept these actions. Those who do not, and commit violent acts, will be killed or captured. Americans voted for a right wing fascist president, and that is what they deserve. President Bush and Cheney will not fail the American people. They will maintain power at all costs, even if it means killing US citizens.

  16. #16 Ana
    September 1, 2006

    We are drifting away from public health.. I was looking for a link about ducks in Switzerland but couldn’t come up with anything. (Bird flu.)

    Just one comment about Katrina:

    In most of the EU countries I know, catastrophes like K. are handled by civil servants. Professionals who are veterans, often ‘hired for life.’ State functionaries – State, as in Gvmt. and not State, as in geographical area, as it is used in the US – people who are sworn in and devote a life.

    Politicians come and go, some are great, wonderful, others, you feel like sending them off to Tahiti with the Club Med with an annual subscription. Those professionals go to great pains to pass on their experience and knowledge to the younger generation. They have power. The pols listen…

    In the US, the president, apparently, can appoint at his own discretion anybody in a ‘top’ (don’t quite know the definition and reach) positions. In this way, sugar posts are given out, incompetents eff things up, functioning agencies are destroyed. The Gvmt. becomes an annex of ‘buddies’, enjoying the kudos, and milking the tax payer. (No ‘free market’ there..) All continuity is lost, funding is always a problem, etc. etc.

    Even the old USSR took pains to appoint people who had appropriate CVs.

    These political arrangements affect public health directly.

  17. #17 Jimmy
    September 1, 2006

    Ana: Here’s a ProMED link concerning H5N1 in birds in Swizterland in April/06. Doesn’t say if it was high or lo path.

    http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:::NO::F2400_P1001_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000%2C32535

    Recent indications are those numbers were premature.

    http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/adns/index_en.htm#

  18. #18 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 1, 2006

    William, you know someone burned the ROTC building at Kent State too and no one could identify the people that did it. Nor was live ammunition passed out to those troops, they were also NG rather regular Army troops. Strange but lets keep to the facts and no one in Congress could ever find anyone accountable either.

    You are right in saying that maybe one or two incidents would happen. But then the troops would have to make a decision. Shoot down Ma and Pa or turn on the government. Big decision. Never happen in this country. Besides they will simply be met as they try to collect weapons with gunfire. They are going to need a lot more soldiers if that happens. Also, please get off of the conspiracy rant. Get back to bugs…..

  19. #19 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 1, 2006

    William. Please also cite the passage where there were rioters shot down in New Orleans. That never happened as best I can determine. Some looters were shot, and there was a riot at a jail where they took a jailer hostage but not any in the street shoot downs…That I am aware of that is.

    Back to bugs if you dont have something else.

  20. #20 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 3, 2007

    Since there wasnt really any place better to bring this one up about, its Katrina Redux.

    Greetings from the near non-existent 9th Ward of New Orleans where I am caboosing off a DSL belonging to one of the churches here. Folks if you want to do something productive, schedule a trip to New Orleans as they could truly use the money and its CHEAP to be here now. I am making the trip at the behest of one of the city recovery workers, I am glad I did. I havent been here since the initial disaster plus ten days and didnt get out into the city then. Those that tried to corner the market on bringing in supplies, relief workers and help in general are gone as is much of the money that was voted for the recovery.

    I want to paint you a picture. Standing on the levee where you saw Lake Ponchartrain flowing in, there are whole city blocks where there is nothing more than trailers where the homes were. Yes Revere, I got to go into an occupied one. They arent really bad but they are small. There is no smell from the carpet. Up in areas where there was enough room, mobile homes are in place in camps if you will. Not unlike trailer parks. I asked about that smell thing and only one person complained. She said it was better in the mobile home than what she had before the storm but it it “set mah nose off” when it was first put in. One park is adjacent to a cemetary where armed security guards are still in place to prevent grave robbing. Everywhere there are blue vinyl tarps rotting over the tops of houses where they couldnt afford to replace the roofs. I asked several people why they hadnt fixed the roofs. To a man and woman they said they were told by the city that the federal government was going to do it. I didnt have the heart to tell these poor and mostly illiterate people that it wasnt going to happen.

    I spoke with the parish priest who allowed me to pony off of his DSL and he said that they were indeed told that and he fully knew that they werent. His Sermon this week on the anniversary of Katrina was that they all needed to work together to rebuild each house one by one and not stop at just “my block”. Dont wait for government is his message. Indeed, the parish was collecting money to buy shingles and materials. There were pictures of a previous roof out where the padre, people from Nebraska, and of course the residents were rebuilding a house. One of the kids had painted a target on the Reverend work pants butt so that when he was operating a roof nailer they all would shoot him with Super Soakers to cool him off. He said they were 750 short on doing the next house and that donations were slow in coming. It was of course a hint for a donation… I picked up on that and told him not any more as I wrote him a check for it. He looked at it and then me and a real look of relief came over his face.

    Paused for a minute and caught himself. “We really needed this”, he said. “It gives them something to do. Most of their jobs are gone and they just have started giving up. Each time we rebuild a house, it brings us closer and then back as a parish.” The city is IMO about 30% still in a shambles and its coming back in pieces, but way too slow even with the massive federal response. Some of it will never, ever come back.

    Thats not the last chunk of change I am going to send the good Rev. Direct intervention is always the best.

    I asked why it was taking so long. His answer was that they were on government assistance before the storm. So when it came in, it shattered the system. They couldnt in many cases prove they were who they said they were. In some they were defrauding the government so it slowed things up badly. How to imprison someone who has been stealing from the government for years when there is no system to adjudicate them? E.g. three social security checks and aged? The jails are near empty because there isnt enough tax revenue to support it for anything more than the most violent of offenders.

    I asked if they were angry at the government and he said not really so much anymore as he provides the announcements and then explains it to them. Basically put he said that he has told them they have to rebuild personal things on their own. Anything community related the federal government would assist. Indeed, I saw dozens of park playgrounds with new equipment adjacent to the apartments along I-10. But the apartments were vacant and very storm damaged from the floods. Picture row upon row of condo’s and apartments that were 2 and 3 storied, laying on their sides, burned, or turned on their foundations as they started to float. Many had no roofs at all. Thousands of people lived in those places. These were likely the relocated people to other cities.

    The Rev and I headed down a levee wall and as I drove and walked I saw many homes that have burned their top floors off. Product of fires that started during the flooding. The rest is/was below the water line. A surreal sight. The area around the aquarium and Bourbon street are clean to the nth degree, but there are no people. Its N. Orleans and I would say 50% of the eateries are closed, on a Sunday no less. Normally on a Sunday during a festival there wouldnt be enough room to walk, now you can see for blocks before a face pokes out. Normally its very crowded and the traffic sucks. Now its not crowded and there is no traffic at all.

    The Rev showed me the a really bad section of levee and the overtopped canal walls. Sorry folks, the federal government is only building the system back up to what it was before the storm. Its a better system as its Corps built and far stronger at the base but its still too low. There is a lot going on of course to get the levees/seawalls built back up but, inevitability resides in those things. This WILL happen again as its overtopped by a properly placed CAT 3 storm and time and mismanagment take hold again. The 300 million that Blanco refused to account for in Congress would have gone a long way to building a proper system before this happened. It wasnt Brownie Revere, its us. Brownie was a goat to be slain for the Democrats, Blanco was for the Republicans. Next time insert another incompetents name here____________. They will get him/her too. If the levees had not failed then there wouldnt have been Katrina from a N. Orleans standpoint. Some moderate roof damage and that would have been it. Easily taken care of. But the way they are building these things up ensures another one and that indeed it will happen again. Its flat too low. And that internal wall system they have on the canals I could kick over with a small Bobcat tracked vehicle (thats the old part). It would and will be overtopped by any storm on the NE side of the city on the Pontchartrain side of any strength. Get your next Telethon ready to go.

    To be honest Revere, in places it reminds me of a cheesey storm water runoff system you might see someplace else where it hardly rains. If you stood on top of a levee with the wall on it, any kid who plays in the sand could see that the walls were already in bad, bad shape. They were only about two feet thick and had no bakup support structure. Nothing to support the walls at all. Just wall being supported by the weight at the base. It was dredged periodically and you could see where the parish had dredged below the bottom of the wall. Instant disaster when something pushed on it. I would never say they got what they deserved but it hammered home what would happen if a panflu Katrina arrives. Everyone will expect government to do it all for them. Mismanaged, no oversight, no problem until our pandemic storm hits.

    The parishes are no longer in charge of this particular rebuild and the Corps is only allowed to rebuild to previous levels because that is the mandate from Congress. It makes and takes no account for future storms or sinking of the city by natural causes. We will see this again, and likely in our lifetimes. As for the 9th Ward the destruction is absolutely massive from the water. Houses by the dozens as you have seen from pictures are literally floated away. This was the area closest to the breaks in the canal system. There is a mountain of house rubble that is probably 60 feet high, and 20 blocks long awaiting disposal. I am told they dump it out at sea.

    In retrospect you can quarterback on Monday morning. If the levee’s and walls had held then it would have been business as usual in N. Orleans. Corruption, politics, the usual stuff you have come to expect from the place but this time the game took an unexpected turn for the worse. Get rady for the next one.

    Tommorow its the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I am told its not really there anymore. Waveland back to Pascagoula a wall of water not less than 28 feet high rose in front of the storm. It made 52 feet in one or two places. Pictures of this and N. Orleans on the download in the hotel.

  21. #21 Lea
    September 3, 2007

    Your report is great MRK, thank you for the insights. First hand knowledge is always beneficial.

    When you’re ready come our way. You’ll be bored to tears but you’ll see the place first hand, if you haven’t already.

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