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Sep. 6th, 2005 @ 10:41 pm Fact, or fiction?
Why is it that older people seem to think the Internet is for forwarding around various crappy emails of all sorts, seemingly not even reading them, surely not fact checking? I get some from my dad and my mother-in-law (although much less than I used to because I told them that either 1) I've already seen it or 2) it's a crock and I'm not interested). The last few I've replied to simply with a link to the page on Snopes that refutes the mail.

But I got 2 emails from Dad today that I couldn't do that with. They're both stunningly similar, come with a long forwarding list in front, and are both unreferenced or not found on the Internet by Googling key phrases. The most damning thing about them in terms of them possibly not being true is that they're attacking the two people who have been most outspoken about the Fed's response to the Katrina disaster.


I don't want to spread this stuff, because I'm pretty sure they're not true, but I think it's an interesting glimpse into what is presented as fact in the Internet circles in which my dad travels (I have no doubts similarly poorly defended stuff goes around the lefty Internet cliques, but my mother-in-law sends less of that.)


-------------------------------------------------------------
Politics over duty


This is a post from a Merritt Is, FL, reporter who's been
researching what went on before the storm hit


--

I think all of Nagin's pomp and posturing is going to bite him hard in the
near future as the lies and distortions of his interviews are coming to
light.

On Friday night before the storm hit Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane
Center took the unprecedented action of calling Nagin and Blanco personally
to plead with them to begin MANDATORY evacuation of NO and they said they'd
take it under consideration. This was after the NOAA buoy 240 miles south
had recorded 68' waves before it was destroyed.

President Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his
advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a
state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the Posse
Comitatus Act or having to enact the Insurgency Act). Just before midnight
Friday evening the President called Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to
sign the request papers so the federal government and the military could
legally begin mobilization and call up. He was told that they didn't think
it necessary for the federal government to be involved yet. After the
President's final call to the governor she held meetings with her staff to
discuss the political ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was
decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as if
they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.

Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin
requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal assistance, that
they declare the state an emergency area, and begin mandatory evacuation.
After a personal plea from the President Nagin agreed to order an
evacuation, but it would not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the
governor still refused to sign the papers requesting and authorizing federal
action. In frustration the President declared the area a national disaster
area before the state of Louisiana did so he could legally begin some
advanced preparations. Rumor has it that the President's legal advisers were
looking into the ramifications of using the insurgency act to bypass the
Constitutional requirement that a state request federal aid before the
federal government can move into state with troops - but that had not been
done since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was called into question to
use before the disaster.

Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past decade to NO for levee
construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to fund a marina and
support the gambling ships. Toss in the investigation that will look into
why the emergency preparedness plan submitted to the federal government for
funding and published on the city's website was never implemented and in
fact may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining additional federal
funding as we now learn that the organizations identified in the plan were
never contacted or coordinating into any planning - though the document
implies that they were.

The suffering people of NO need to be asking some hard questions as do we
all, but they better start with why Blanco refused to even sign the
multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which
further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard from adjoining
states. Or maybe ask why Nagin keeps harping that the President should have
commandeered 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his own
emergency plan and documents he claimed to have over 500 busses at his
disposal to use between the local school busses and the city transportation
busses - but he never raised a finger to prepare them or activate them.

This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been
destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands more
suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be pointing fingers
and trying to find a bigger dog to blame for local corruption and
incompetence. Pray to God for the survivors that they can start their lives
anew as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid them in
the future


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Subject: Friday before the hurricane


It's a shame the media doesn't report these facts. I am sure some readers
will not accept any of this as true, but,having lived in New Orleans, I
can believe it.



Subject: Last Fri. Bush urged mandatory evacuation

Our Constitution provides autonomy for the State governors. They are the
only ones now that can mobilize their National Guards within their States
to assist in their States, except in the extreme situation where they
themselves are defying a Supreme Court order (like 1954 in Little Rock,
Arkansas)

President Bush urged Gov. Blanco on Friday last to order a mandatory
evacuation of New Orleans. She called for a "voluntary" evacuation on
Saturday afternoon, saying the President Bush had urged her to evacuate.
(I assume that was so she could blame him if the storm passed them by)
Bush declared Louisiana and Mississippi disaster areas of national
emergencies two days BEFORE the hurricane hit. That is unprecedented as
far as I know, but by doing that a lot of FEMA supplies and personnel
could be prepositioned in those States to assist. (But he first had to get
the Governors to request that he make these declarations.)

On Saturday night the Mayor of New Orleans was still dithering with
lawyers about their liability if he should order the evacuation of New
Orleans be mandatory. He and the lawyers decided to have people sign forms
refusing mandatory evacuation, and then Sunday morning he finally ordered
mandatory evacuation.

However, the Mayor of New Orleans didn't commandeer school buses and start
hauling people out. He pretty much left everybody to fend for themselves,
as far as I know.

The country knows that New Orleans is one of our most corrupt cities, and
Louisiana one of our most corrupt States.

New Orleans has a Democrat Mayor, a Democrat City Council, a Democrat
Chief of Police -- Louisiana a Democrat Attorney General, a Democrat
Governor, a Democrat Lt. Governor, 24 of 39 Louisiana State Senators are
Democrat, 67 of 105 Louisiana State House Representatives are Democrat,
there's a Democrat Representative in the House from New Orleans, and one
of two Senators in the Senate is a Democrat (The only Republican Senator
was just elected last year).

Governor Blanco did not ask for National Guard troops from outside
Louisiana to be prepositioned before the hurricane, and then was out of
communication with her own troops after the hurricane because of the
disaster taking down all the communication systems.

She did not request assistance from the federal government for additional
troops from outside Louisiana till Wednesday. (Democrats are always very
reluctant to use military, especially in situations that involve
African-Americans which composed 68% of the population of New Orleans, but
part of that was due to her not being able to get reports of conditions in
New Orleans due to communications being down.) Today, Friday, the National
Guard rolled into New Orleans.

Many people in New Orleans didn't leave because they had property they
wanted to protect from criminals, because they had elderly or sick
relatives or pets that they stayed to care for, or because their welfare
or Social Security checks were due to come on Sept 1.

Taking all these and other things into consideration, I think we need to
make new law allowing the federal government to assume the leadership role
in natural or terrorist disasters. We can't count on each State having a
"Giuliani" around to take charge.

There were disaster plans on the boards. Those plans called for mandatory
evacuation of New Orleans if threatened by a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.
The Governor and Mayor simply didn't do what they were supposed to do in a
timely manner, despite urging from the President.

We also need a plan for gathering up the poor and the infirm and getting
them out with their ID, and for guarding their property in their absence
as best we can, although the latter part of that is a real challenge. We
need a system for canceling any checks that are in the mail and reissuing
them in a timely fashion to shelters.

Certainly we need better communications networking with people on the
ground in the disaster areas. Bunkers for command and communications need
to be built with generators and satellite communications in some areas
that are most likely to be wiped out.

Just as the feds have been for some time now not insuring people who build
on the Mississippi River flood plain, but are rebuilding their homes above
the flood zones -- so do we need to recognize that New Orleans cannot
continue to live below Subject: Last Fri. Bush urged mandatory evacuation

PLEASE PASS THIS ON - PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW WHERE THE BLAME LIES FOR THE
AWFUL FIASCO IN NEW ORLEANS CAUSING SUCH SUFFERING FOR ITS PEOPLE!
BLESSINGS!
About this Entry
klaatu
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From:doughnutman
Date:September 7th, 2005 04:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
those are the talking points that the Republican Party will be using this week. They were just used by Bill O'Riely on the O'Riely factor.

As the Associated Press reported the federal government was totally unprepared. It should also be noted that the President does not need permission from the governor because as the LA Times reported he is the only one who can bring in FEMA before there mandatory three day waiting period. Not to mention the governor did in fact declare a state of emergency, which as far as I can see is how far she could have gone. The President has to call an area a disaster area before they can help, as seen when the Delaware flooded two years ago and Pennsylvania got federal help and New Jersey didn't, because New Jersey was not designated a federal disaster area.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture Icon]
From:jenniever
Date:September 7th, 2005 11:43 am (UTC)

rant

(Link)
I'm terribly curious as to who wrote these.

For a while during the campaign (perhaps because I'm iggnant), I took some consideration for the bloody-murder "liberal media" cries from the Republican party - media can be liberal. It's totally possible, and when writing a narrative - any narrative - it's hard not to show even the slightest slant one way or another. Even if it's a journalistic piece. The minute a narrative is written about something, the facts one chooses to omit, include, elaborate on, etc. (or even the facts one doesn't have) make a small difference in how the narrative portrays people and events.

However, there's a difference between politically slanted media and just being ridiculously wrong.

People don't want to trust the newspapers, news channels or news sites, in the fear that the New York Times leaves out the good republican side of the narrative too often - this could be easily remedied by using teh intarweb to read a bajillion different accounts of one story and piecing together all the facts and opinions to form a coherent whole in your head. It's a bit more work, but I just find it difficult to swallow that people don't want to trust the media, but they're totally willing to nod their heads at some bizarre, un-attributed e-mail forward. That's just lazy.