Minus The Nemesis
A Collaboration of Some of the Finest Thought on Today's World


Monday, September 12, 2005
With the recent disaster that was Hurricane Katrina, there has been much speculation and finger pointing by many people. I am curious as to why there is such uproar across the government as well as the public about the "What Went Wrong" scenario. Many people have chosen to play the all to familiar blame game. It seems easiest to point fingers and perhaps shift the actual blame from its origin. What would seem logical to me, and perhaps others, is to quit pointing fingers and playing the blame game and get to the root of the problem...this is America we are talking about! This is not the richest country in the world, but certainly the best and most prolific in terms of freedom as well as democracy. To say otherwise is seemingly impossible to me. Others will not share this view, but still revel in the benefits afforded them by this great country anyway.

When I began my search, I was looking specifically for "natural disasters" and by proxy, the relief and contingency planning that is supposed to follow suit in the event of a disaster. What I found was Title 33, United States Code, Chapter 15, Section 701n. This chapter is titled: "Flood Control" and Section 701n is referred to as: "Emergency response to natural disasters". Basically the statute states that there is an emergency fund available for expenditure in the event of a natural disaster, of any type. In order for this fund to be dipped into, the determination must be made by the Governor of the affected state as to whether or not an "emergency exists or a declaration that a major disaster exists under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act". This determination should be a collective effort of both the Governor of the affected state as well as the Chief of Engineers. In this case, LTG Carl A. Strock. The Chief of Engineers has already stated that additional funding would not have corrected the problem, as the levees in question were already completed projects and "...the intensity of this storm simply exceeded the design capacity of this levee". Like I have said before: if you build a levee 12 feet tall, there will be a wave at least 12'1" tall to ruin your day. There are now pseudo-pundits of civil engineering that will provide an anecdote that the answer is to simply build a gigantic levee, possible of defending against all forms of hurricanes. This seems like a far-reaching compromise to me. Civil engineers actually do take the time to build these projects; there is an actual science involved in the process.

Even the Secretary of the Army may act through the Chief of Engineers to perform his functions of coordinating reconstruction efforts, etc. There would be no need for the Secretary of the Army to act on behalf of the Chief of Engineers if the Governor does not do their job initially. At which point does the President fit into all of this? Well, I was curious as well. He is part of the approval process. For example, in Title 42, Unites States Code, Chapter 68, Subchapter II including Section 5133, there is clear reference to the fact that if the Governor of the affected state does not let the President know of the emergency and associated hazards, he cannot approve dipping into the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund. To further that line of thought, there is a great comment to a post over at blogsforbush.com stating clearly the way the government is supposed to function in the event of an unfortunate situation such as Katrina. Here is the comment:
"In case you aren't familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work:
The chain of responsibility for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

1. The Mayor
2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
3. The Governor
4. The Head of Homeland Security
5. The President

What did each do?

1. The mayor with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

5. The President, urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self-reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime, have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them."
All told, I have plenty more research to read through. What I am garnering from all of this seemingly endless stream of references (only a few cited here), is that the federal government has no reason to act in this situation unless the state and local governments a) request the assistance, or b) are inept and cannot do their jobs. With a paltry exit plan, Governor Blanco has not disappointed many with her ineptitude. Apparently, she favors the James Carville school of thought: "Don't get mad. Don't get even. Just get elected then get even." Although hard to ignore the liberal bomb throwers, I will continue to read the facts as well as the reactions of those hired to do their state a service. In this case, however, the state was failed.


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