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Katrina A Year Later: What Have We Learned? Op/Ed

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posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 12:57 PM
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Today, August 29th, 2006, is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and the destruction that followed. Vigils and marches in honor of those lost have been held, and are currently being held. Many areas of the US Gulf Coast are yet to be rebuilt, and some areas are yet to even begin cleanup. What was learned is that our government on all levels have serious flaws in their response to disaster. What we learned was how unreliable our government has become.
 


What are we going to do about the situation? Daystar last year had posted an OP/ED asking this very question. A year later, the betrayal reeks just like one of these moldy houses that remain. The betrayal is massive. The media has highlighted every possible aspect of what we can be condemned for. A year later I can answer this question as a citizen of New Orleans.

There are some that say "it's your mayor", there are some that say "it's your governor", and of course, there are some that say "it's your president." When will people get a grip and come to any realization. It was everyone! Not one or the other, all of them. Why is this so hard to see? How childish is it to say "my president may be at fault, but not like your mayor." What?!?

This piece echoed my feelings exactly. It is what I see everyday, and wonder every day. What have we learned, what lessons have we even sought to learn? I found this to have been an exceptionally powerful OP/ED. It made me wonder, what would have happened if more people would have asked these questions while I was trying to get out of New Orleans. Would people have stood up and listened? Would the reaction have been faster?

What else have I learned, and what have the people here learned:

* Do not rely on the government, your tax dollars go to rebuilding and helping Iraq. You are nothing to them.

* Look for the bright stars in the dark sea of people, there are those that care, but there are more that would prefer you to be a situational whipping boy.

* FEMA is not here for natural disasters, they are here for
horse shows and Al-Qaeda. What would have happened if Al-Qaeda blew up the levees?

* No matter what you tell people, some will insist it was an Act of God, even though again, it has been admitted that the levees were shoddy construction.

A lot of people have learned. The forgotten people of other areas have learned. The people of Plaquemines Parish have learned how to be forgotten. I can't even comprehend how they feel, they saw the storm before we did. Many people will say we're built on a bowl, we're built where's inevitable. We have learned where we stand. Civil war and more destruction is inevitable in Iraq, yet we are still pouring money there. We have learned, and we know how we'll be treated if forbid, this ever happens again.

We have also learned a peace within ourselves, a peace that was natural for us, and more apparent to us now. We can take the barbs that evil people will want to throw at us for their insecurities for sacrificing a bit of their inhumanity for compassion. Our peace has tought us one lesson above all others; these people can continue to kick us when we're down, but if any disaster ever happens to them, our understanding of pain will be what brings us to their side immediately, because we know firsthand what betrayal is, and we will stand by them to keep them afloat.

Appease me, if you will, this is the only request I truly have on this anniversary from anyone. Look at this picture:



If you cannot feel pain when you see this, if you cannot be angry at what had happened. If all you can do is point fingers and condemn the people that need you, then I have learned something else. Compassion is dying. Simplistic humanity, the basis of our lives, our hearts and love, is being lost.

I am saddened today, I am watching at this very moment President Bush standing in St. Louis Cathedral standing there like a chimp staring around like he is bored out of his mind and doesn't want to be there, at the anniversary mass to remember what happened here. Our Christian Right president, can't even sing along with a simple hymn. At least some things can remain constant. Beside Laura Bush, is Gov. Blanco, Lady Paxil herself, Mayor Nagin was nowhere to be seen. They all look bored, and this is not a surprise. What a shame, just a shame.



Related News Links:
www.wdsu.com
www.msnbc.msn.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Katrina Victim: A Followup Interview




posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Nice Op/Ed


In associated news, ex-FEMA Chief Bob Brown has come out swinging and accuses the Bush administration of not adequately funding disaster planning. Brown also laid the blame for the incoherent federal response at the feet of President Bush and Homeland Security Chief Chertoff.


Ex-FEMA chief blames administration

WASHINGTON - Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who lost his job because of Hurricane Katrina, said Tuesday his biggest regret a year later is that he wasn't candid enough about the lack of a coherent federal response plan.

"There was no plan. ... Three years ago, we should have done catastrophic planning," Brown said, charging that the Bush administration and his department head,
Michael Chertoff, "would not give me the money to do that kind of planning."

As levees broke down at Katrina's strike against New Orleans and people were forced from their homes, Brown said he sought futilely to get the 82nd Airborne Division into the city quickly.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 02:22 PM
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What we have learned from Katrina?

That our nation is incompetent when it comes to the needs of Its people in a case of disaster.

From the top to the bottom on our leaders hierarchy nobody knew where their heads were at a time when one of our states was in an emergency and in need.

For a nation of plenty we rated disgraceful after Katrina.

That is what we have learned.

Now what has been done to make sure that it never happens again? I am afraid that no a darn thing has been done.


[edit on 29-8-2006 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 06:33 PM
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Very nice, Niteboy.

How true!!!


Those people are still in a stinking mess and what have we learned? Nothing.

We are much too concerned about Al Qaeda and notes left on airplanes to do anything about this. And when the next one comes, those people will have the same situation we had last year.
An accident waiting to happen....Someone said Bush said that in 10 years that place would be unrecognizable?
Why? Just what does he plan to do within 10 years that he hasnt been able to get started?
Makes you wonder.
I betcha that Superhighway going from Mexico to Canada will take priority.

His priorities are screwed up. He doesnt know what he's doing.

There is nothing redeeming about this administration.
Just writing some stuff down makes me upset.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:06 PM
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nice post. I'm in Bay St Louis, MS. I've seen a lot of recovery here, but there is still a long way to go. many friends and family are still in campers. My home was destroyed & we couldnt rebuild; for several reasons$$$. We now rent a house for double what it went for before the storm & have opened a business that we pay more in taxes than we actually make. I guess they have us right where they want us. I wish the folks down here would wake up to the fact that our gov't dosen't care about us.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:12 PM
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Argh! wrong thread.


I've learned that it doesn't matter how big or bad a country is, God/Mother Nature can wipe them out without any effort.

You RUUUUUUUUUUUN from the big bad wolf.

You need to have some money set aside for emergencies. The Government wasn't designed to bail you out.

[edit on 29-8-2006 by jlc163]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:32 PM
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Katrina happened the way it is because of the economic system we have chosen to adopt. Capitalism is just shy of survival of the fittest, or the richest anyways. Gives us great freedom though. Hopefully the defensive measures required have been thoroughly researched and will be put into development in the coming years in cities across america that face the same dangers by our government.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by jlc163
You RUUUUUUUUUUUN from the big bad wolf.

You need to have some money set aside for emergencies. The Government wasn't designed to bail you out.

[edit on 29-8-2006 by jlc163]


I don't run. I didn't run last time.

I did have money set aside for emergencies. The government was not supposed to pay for me to evacuate. That is my responsibility as someone who chooses to live here. That said, it is the governments responsibility to be held accountable for the levees that failed, by their own admission.

Please review my thread for the link that supplies you with the Corp of Engineers admission to fault on the levees.

Here is a quote from President Bush today:


"Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives," Bush said nearly a year ago. "And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again.

The president further vowed that the federal government had learned from the lessons of Katrina, and beefed up its ability to send life-saving aid to natural disasters. The Department of Homeland security, he said, has increased FEMA's manpower and training, strengthened relationships with the Red Cross and Department of Defense, improved communications with local emergency teams. FEMA, he said, now has the capacity to feed up to a million people for about a week, the president said.

"We looked at what went right and what went wrong, and we're addressing that which went wrong," Bush said. "Step one of rebuilding is to assure people, if another hurricane comes, there will be a better, more effective response."
Full Story


That is not a Bushism. That is a repeated announcement of the fact that things were done incorrectly. If you do not agree with what he said, and think he should leave it on us, all you have to do is click here and you can send in your email of disapproval by clicking the "contact" button at the bottom of the page.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:59 PM
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Hah, don't need to read the links. I listened WWL news radio during all my spare time surrounding the storm, and they read the fun parts of the reports over the air. I know. Also, my grandpa was a sureyor back about the time they build the things, and during Betsy. We do talk. Thanks for the links, though.

We were covering what I learned, not what I already knew. I knew the Government and its beaurocracy messes up everything it touches since I was about 5. Katrina couldn't teach me that. That's why you run and have money set aside.

1. The Engeneers need to be strangled.
2. The Levee boards are AS RESPONSIBLE. The Levee Board is NOT a federal problem, but a local one. The ammount of money to add onto what the engineers did that went into pockets, towards "beautification projects" and even worse things I don't want to think about.
3. Levees wern't originally designed to be the only barrier, but the last barrier. When they were first built, there were marshes that are now "inner city/suburbs" and there were barrier islands. If we want Levees to work, we need to build up more marshes, and rebuild the barrier islands. there's enough mud in the Mississippi to sift out and use in rebuilding. Could well take 3-6 generations to get that type of safety, since it took that many generations of storms & civilization to wipe it out.

mod edit, non-ATSNN word choices

[edit on 1-9-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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Niteboy, interesting commentary.
Yes, we need to take responsibility for our lives, and yes I know the government has put us in a position to not take care of ourselves.
As has been seen, you cannot count on the government. And, despite what many think, it is NOT the job of the federal government to bail out anyone, from the poor in NOLA to General Motors.

What have I learned?
It's a really bad idea to live below sea level. In a flood plain.
I would opt for safer surroundings.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 05:01 AM
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Niteboy

A question for you: have you seen the new levees that have been built? What is your opinion of them; do you think they can do the job this time?

I saw a special on TV with Nagin standing beside them. He seemed assured that they would hold; he pointed out some of their construction details.

The old, dirt levess were designed to hold back 12 or 13 feet of water. They washed out due to erosion and failed.

These new concrete levees are designed to hold back 20 feet of water, and have a splash panel built into the base to eliminate failure due to erosion.

I'm no civil engineer, but they looked solid to me. But then, someone in another thread corrected me by saying there is already criticism that they will fail at above a Category 3.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 05:41 AM
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I've learned not to live in a city that is on the water yet below sea level. Thats like living in a grass hut and shooting fireworks through your sky light. Eventually something bad is going to happen.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 06:01 AM
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You have voted niteboy82 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

an excellent op/ed. maybe ATS can turn this into a special?

something i will never forget about Katrina, was the FOX reporter walking down a highway (i believe) and showing someone who died on the road, after trying to get help. the FOX reporter was trying his hardest to hold back the tears.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 06:52 AM
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What have we learned?

For the residents of NOLA NOTHING: Lets re-elect the incompetent mayor who shares the blame for this disaster.

Lets rebuild a city in Hurricane alley that SITS BELOW SEA LEVEL

We learned that when you are asked to evacuate YOU LEAVE

Lets hope the honerable Nagin actually uses the school buses to make an evacuation posssible rather than worry about the damage HIS citizens will do to it.

Oh we also learned that FEMA disaster cards can be used to purchase porn, Luis Vuitton, and Crystal among other things.

Okay Im done



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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jlc163: good and apt input there...especially #2, #3, (boxed below)





Originally posted by jlc163

2. The Levee boards are AS RESPONSIBLE. The Levee Board is NOT a federal problem, but a local one. The ammount of money to add onto what the engineers did that went into pockets, towards "beautification projects" and even worse things I don't want to think about.
3. Levees wern't originally designed to be the only barrier, but the last barrier. When they were first built, there were marshes that are now "inner city/suburbs" and there were barrier islands. If we want Levees to work, we need to build up more marshes, and rebuild the barrier islands. there's enough mud in the Mississippi to sift out and use in rebuilding. Could well take 3-6 generations to get that type of safety, since it took that many generations of storms & civilization to wipe it out.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The OP/ED itself:

there's one element that is being overlooked (imho) And that's the Insurance
Industries obvious failure to pay out the Billions or at least 100s of Millions Due all those policy holders!!!

Just recently a (kangaroo court?) judge ruled that the ~welching~ Insurance Corps. could legally not pay for the damages that homeowners or businesses
thought/believed was covered in their policies.
Wind damages are mumbo-jumboed by the Corporations Adjusters as either storm damages @ .05 on the dollar, or passed off as Flood damage which the mega-Insurance corps. have exclusions from paying.

Sure the Gov't safety-net is found wanting But an equal share of the blame are the
Insurance Companies who have dragged their feet, and are seriously devious in getting every (unrightious & non-ethical) loophole imaginable to their advantage!
For the purposeof not paying the ?millions? of policies
that had ?Billions? in Premiums paid..
for years upon years...even as the levees were deteriorating from neglect!!

The Insurers knew what was going on, there was an evil & sinister conspiracy
underway in NOLA for at least a generation...(i won't rationalize the dynamic as 'doing business' between the Ins. industry + local gov't + the courts...)

a good++++ (4 of 5) OP/ED piece



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:25 AM
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The media along with many officials blew it way out of prooportion thats what we learned. Yes it was tragic for sure, but it was not as bad as Nagin and others made it out to be.

Read Glen Becks Trasnscript



BECK: OK. Ray Nagin on Oprah`s show said they have people that have been in that, quote, "frickin` Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people and raping people." True or not, James?

JAMES MEIGS, "POPULAR MECHANICS": No, it wasn`t true. You know, there was so much of this kind of thing, about armed gangs going around shooting helicopters, rapes and murders in the Superdome. The Superdome was a mess, but it wasn`t a prison riot.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


That is just a portion read the whole thing and you will get the message.




[edit on 9/2/2006 by shots]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 02:22 AM
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Originally posted by shots

The media along with many officials blew it way out of prooportion thats what we learned. Yes it was tragic for sure, but it was not as bad as Nagin and others made it out to be.

Read Glen Becks Trasnscript


The Superdome was a mess, but it wasn`t a prison riot.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


But it wasn't a cakewalk either. Something went on there that had people we took care of comming out of there frigtened to go alone to the bathroom. I'm talking about 60 year old men my father went to the bathroom with, scared to go alone. You go to the bathroom on a sunny day down here witout fear that a hurricane is going to get you while you are on the toilet.

The reason it wasn't a prison riot is because for all the bad that happened, there were people looking out for each other.

People had weapons in the Superdome, even if it was only a pocket knife. There was at least one proveable rape. There was at least one suicide. There were a hell of a lot of people that refuse (still refuse) to talk about what they went through. There's no way in the world that was like a prison riot because the conditions inside the superdome were not even up to jailing standards. Their shelter was falling apart, and many thought they would die in there. That always brings out the best and the worst in people.

If you want to know what happened there, talk to someone who lived through it. Not some helathy strapping man, who is more likely to be the aggressor (and there were some angels who were healthy strapping men, so I'm not even romotely saying that all helathy strapping men were rapists in the superdome), but an elderly person, or a woman, or a child, someone who was likely to feel helpless, and ask them if any of it was true. We're not getting a lot of contradictions from people who were there, down here. Bad stuff happened. Some just doubt the severity.



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