Testing The Levees

Tell us what's happenng in your part of the world.

Postby AJRC_CS » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:48 am

Mdkilmer, i never took you for someone who "plays the victim", go figure. If i was talking about you specifically i would name you, i don't pussy foot about, if i want to rant to someone i rant to them directly, always have always will. Your opinions are not alone, they are shared by a lot of other Americans. But i stand by what i said, i see Americans attacking their own simply because they can't help themselves. Should we all dump our hatred and bile on everyone who suffers after a natural disaster? Should we all expect people who have lost everything to just say "well this city sucks so we'll just move, that will solve everything."

BTW, i also stand by what i said when i stated that you're only allowed help if you're white, middle class and from a red state.

Bedford wrote:Basically, New Orleans brought it upon themselves, and it appears they haven't learned their lesson, as they re-elected Ray "School-Bus" Nagin (D).

If they insist on being stupid, I saw let's prove Darwin right.


I rest my case. :teach:

Also, have a look at where your tax dollars to help in the aftermath of Katrina are really going.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3474580
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Postby mdkilmer » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:40 am

The monies are being alloted by N.O.'s mayor. He's known to be crooked. He never spent a penny on the upkeep of the levess all the time he was in office before Katrina.

He was originally elected because he's black. After Katrina and the total muck-up he made of it, he was re-elected because he's black. And if aid isn't getting to poor people and blacks, it's mostly because of him because he directs where the monies are spent. It's really sad whwn voters let their bigotry, rather than intelligence, govern ther voting.

Right now the mayor is asking that the federal government that he's been maligning "do something" because the crime rate is rising sharply. Isn't that also his job?

American Socialism. Bah.
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Postby AJRC_CS » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:50 am

I saw a lot of mistakes made after Katrina, by the mayor and by Dubya. Politics again making for good conspiracy theories, the right blaming the mayor the left blaming Dubya. The State blaming the Federal government and the Federal government blaming the State. It really would have been comical to watch if it hadn't been about a natural disaster that caused so much destruction.

I wonder who would have been blamed if the mayor had been republican, Clinton? :D

I don't read into any of the conspiracy theories as to why Nagin was re-elected. His colour probably did play a part, you have to remember that a large percentage of New Orleans is black, but in truth no one can say for sure.

I'm sure if Nagin had reacted quicker and evacuated more people, the death toll would have been significantly less than it was. But the woefully inadequate response of Dubya and the Federal government must take 50% of the responsibility as well. Politics aside both sides made huge mistakes that cost lives. You can play the blame game as much as you like, but at the end of the day the State and Federal governments must take an equal share of the blame.

As i've said the right wing will always lump 100% of the blame on Nagin because he's a Democrat, it really is as simple as that.

Also surely if the tax breaks are in Alabama how can the mayor of New Orleans have anything to do with them?

Also, are you sure all the monies are the responsibility of the dreaded leftist mayor? Sounds as if Nagin isn't the only crooked politician in New Orleans.
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Postby mdkilmer » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:41 pm

The fact is, whether he's Left, Right, Middle or Luddite, it's the responsibility of the local government to plan for and alleviate wrongs. First city gov't, then county, then State, then Federal. That's the way it's set up in the US (I realize that it may be different in England).

The Right blaming the Democrat Governor is partisan crap. But anyone pinning the blame on Nagin is exactly right. It's the mayor's responsibility to see that the levees are mantained and adequate, that evacuations are carried out promptly and successfully, and that things are taken care of afterwards in an efficient effort.

he failed at all these things. He spent the monies earmarked for levee maintence elsewhere-- on tourism promotions, if memory serves me right (I may be mis-remembering here).

Blaming FEMA and Bush is just as obviously Left crap. FEM (by law) can't respond until call in by the local government (again Nagin). He didn't make the call until 48 hours after Katrina had passed. He should have made the call for help immediately. As for rhe President, his job is one of morale. Both Clinton and Bush did exactly the same thing-- look the place over and promise "the full support of the federal government".
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Postby AJRC_CS » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:58 pm

I realise that Nagin should have reacted sooner, i did say that in my previous post. But like i said pinning all the blame on him is just so much right wing bullshit. Yes, a significant amount of lives could have been saved if Nagin had started the evacuations sooner, but also a lot of lives could have been saved if FEMA and Dubya had reacted sooner. To say they could only react until Nagin called them is more partisan excuses.

Mdkilmer wrote:The Right blaming the Democrat Governor is partisan crap.


Sorry, but i have no idea what you're talking about with this quote.

To say Nagin put levee money elsewhere is again right wing bullshit. There are records that the Levees when built where never meant to withstand anything above a Category Three hurricane, local officials stated this to the Federal government but no monies where forthcoming. Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the levees built could never withstand a Category Four and Five, the Federal government from 1995 earmarked $430 million to be spent on shoring up levees but never asked the Engineer Corps to make them stronger. In 2003 at least $250 million of the $430 million in crucial levee projects remained, which meant that as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside. In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, Dubya proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to this Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness:

The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.

The Lake Pontchartrain project is slated to receive $3.9 million in the president's 2005 budget. Naomi said about $20 million is needed.

"The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink," he said. "I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."


On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

That June, with the 2004 hurricane season starting, the Corps' Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."

The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back in spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane- and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs. According to New Orleans CityBusiness this June 5:

The district has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects are included in a Corps line item called Lake Pontchartrain, where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. Naomi said it's enough to pay salaries but little else.

"We'll do some design work. We'll design the contracts and get them ready to go if we get the money. But we don't have the money to put the work in the field, and that's the problem," Naomi said.


There was, at the same time, a growing recognition that more research was needed to see what New Orleans must do to protect itself from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But once again, the money was not there. As the Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22:

That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount.

But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money.


The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress early 2005 to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. In its budget, the Dubya administration proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Dubya proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need.

Washington knew that this day could come at any time, and it knew the things that needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans. But in the tradition of the riverboat gambler, the Dubya administration decided to roll the dice on its fools errand in Iraq, and on a tax cut that mainly benefited the rich. Now Dubya has lost that gamble, big time.

Dubya said that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives in America. Yet he moved billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf and let dead bodies float through the streets of Louisiana.

So here are the facts above the partisan bullshit. Tell me now how monies can be misdirected when there were no monies in the first place? The funds just weren't there to strengthen the levees, Dubya knew this when he cut the funds to the levee projects. Dubya took a gamble and lost big time, but he wasn't gambling with money, he was gambling with lives!
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Postby mdkilmer » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:52 pm

If all that is true, then wht didn't Nagin do his job? He couild've imposed special taxes, sold municipal bonds, etc.

Is this just another example of American socialism? "It's not my job, let somebody else do it".
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Postby AJRC_CS » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:58 pm

No, it's an example of the Federal government cutting the funds to strengthen the levees. You can blame Nagin or "Socialism" as much as you like, i agree Nagin should have done more. But the funds from 2003 onwards were cut so drastically the levees couldn't be strengthened. We all know the outcome of those funding cuts.
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Postby mdkilmer » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:13 am

Whatever the source of the cut funds, Nagin was still responsible for making sure that the levees were adequate.

From your post, Nagin knew that the monies wouldn't be forthcoming, and he knew that the levees were in trouble. As mayor of NO, it was his job to find some other way to strengthen them.

Look at it this way: Your house has a hole in the wakk where a window is planned. Winter is coming. You've just been told that your rich aunt who was going to give you a lot of money for the house has decided to give the money to a homeless cat shelter. Do you leave a hole in your wall all winter while whining about your evil aunt, or do you do something-- even cheap, temporary, and stopgap like plastic sheeting-- to take care of the problem? You could sell some stuff that you've had in your garage a long time, or ask for a private loan from the bank. Or something else. Still, it's YOUR problem as the master of the house. Telling everybody that your aunt is a bitch doesn't help.
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Postby AJRC_CS » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:34 am

I have never said Nagin wasn't responsible, i don't know how many times i have to say i agree with you before it sinks in. What i'm saying, and have been saying all along, is that it's wrong to lump 100% of the blame on Nagin. Yes he's corrupt, what politician isn't, but he's not a miracle worker. 50% of the blame must lie at Dubya's feet.

The Federal government promised $35 million to strengthen the levees, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that would be just enough to do the job. Dubya cut the funds from $35 million to $5.7 million, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said this was woefully inadequate.

We can all play the blame game, but in reality Nagin should have done more and so should Dubya. Nagin should have raised the funds himself when he found out Dubya had cut the funds, and Dubya shouldn't have cut the funds so drastically in the first place. This isn't about right vs left here, well it isn't with me, this is about State and Federal government screwing up big time which resulted in one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. A superpower being so helpless is not a good sight to behold, if a superpower screws it up what chance do smaller nations have?

That's why at the start of all this i was amazed at the attitudes of you and Bedford, well maybe not Bedford. It was almost like New Orleans wasn't part of America any more or had become a huge embarrassment that should be swept under the carpet. I see it time and time again of forums with both sides blaming the other, where as people like me can see the blame put squarely at both sides feet, State and Federal. I think until both sides realise they were both to blame, neither will learn the lessons that should have been learnt after Katrina.

BTW, i think we should all pray Hurricane Dean doesn't change direction and head for New Orleans. Because even after Katrina happened 2 years ago i doubt funds have magically appeared to stop another type 5.
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Postby forumadmin » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:44 pm

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