Saturday, September 03, 2005

Let's Take a Trip!

The administration spin machine must have been asleep when the Red Cross posted this answer for why they weren't in New Orleans:

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

Yeah if I knew that some people were giving out drinking water in a flooded, soon to be disease-infested hell hole, I'd be first in line.


Chris said...

David, I was listening to NPR this weekend and I heard perhaps one of the best assesments ever of the difference between the federal response and private sector responses to the hurricane.

The guest that they had on was a representative of the energy company in southern Mississippi - Entergy - and his response to a question by the NPR host about the number of residences without power was, "Well, (name of reporter), as soon as the winds had died down under 30 mph on Monday the Entergy crew was out on the grounds immediately helping to restore the power to our millions of customers."

I was dumbfounded by the sheer brilliance of his statement, because just before this newspiece the coverage all weekend had been focused on the federal government's slow response to this unprecedented disaster. Especially considering the sheer stupidity of the Director of FEMA, Mr. Brown that they didn't even know about the people in the New Orleans Convention Center until 72 hours after the storm hit.

There are literally dozens of stories about private citizens on fishing boats throughout the Gulf Coast Region using ham radios to respond and evacuate citizens trapped in their attics. I guess it is another example of the fact that large bureaucratic institutions such as FEMA just are incapable of responding in a timely manner to a disaster as unprecedented as this one. Unfortunatley though, it has cost thousands of lives.

David said...

Exactly. And while I don't think people should have to pay upfront to be saved in times like these, I have to ask if the government had that additional incentive, wouldn't they be faster?