Wednesday, November 29, 2006

He Never Even Noticed

OK, this has been getting under my skin all day, so I'm just going to go ahead and post it. See what you think.

It's Newt Gingrich, in the Manchester Union Leader:
MANCHESTER - Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.

"We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade," said Gingrich, a Republican who helped engineer the GOP's takeover of Congress in 1994. Gingrich raises alarm at event honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech

OK, first of all, these guys just keep insisting that the problem here in America is that we have too much freedom. It's dangerous. If we have freedom, then the terrorists have freedom, too and we can't let them have it, so let's throw our own freedom away.

Apparently, to some people that makes sense.

OK, so a guy like this says something like that. This kind of thing is not normally worth repeating. It's idiotic: big surprise.

But it's that last paragraph. We'd better surrender our freedom "before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade."

That rings a bell... lose a city ... lose a city ... lose a -- ah, yes.

It's like he doesn't realize that we already lost a city. To this administration's incompetence. It's like New Orleans just never registered in Newt Gingrich's brain somehow. People standing in their attics, up to their necks in stinking water, pounding on the roof for someone to rescue them, while the government argued about whose jurisdiction it was, and whether they had the right permits for the generators.

It's like he didn't even notice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


So now whenever anyone mentions a terrorist threat to a city, we must stop for a moment of silence for New Orleans? Ridiculous. Did you know there is a significant portion of the population in New Orleans that believes the government blew up the levees on purpose to flood the poor sections of town. Are you friends with any of those guys? You seem to suffer from hyper-extrapolated paranoia.

We'd should know more specifics about what Gingrich is suggesting before jumping to conclusions.

November 30, 2006 12:04 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon ... I think everybody who paid attention during Katrina realized that it didn't really matter whether human planning or nature caused the disaster, the response had all the same dimensions. You have to rescue, relocate, clean up, rebuild, no matter. And after those years of orange alerts and re-organizing the whole federal government around "homeland security" and all the talk of making America safe, the Bush administration was shown to have done nothing except put friends in high places. It was good at least that Al Gore was able to save a few hundred people -- even our military was powerless to go where reporters in SUVs had no problem. Or maybe they just didn't want to get their combat boots wet.

Whenever somebody mentions that we might "lose a city," I think it is appropriate to realize that we have already lost a beautiful American city. That really shouldn't be so hard to understand.


November 30, 2006 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FEMA Told to Resume Storm Aid
Judge's Ruling May Affect Thousands On the Gulf Coast
By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 30, 2006; A01

The Bush administration unconstitutionally denied aid to tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and must resume payments immediately, a federal judge ordered yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said the Federal Emergency Management Agency created a "Kafkaesque" process that began cutting off rental aid in February to victims of the 2005 storms, did not provide clear reasons for the denials, and hindered applicants' due-process rights to fix errors or appeal government mistakes.

"It is unfortunate, if not incredible, that FEMA and its counsel could not devise a sufficient notice system to spare these beleaguered evacuees the added burden of federal litigation to vindicate their constitutional rights," Leon, a D.C. federal judge, wrote in a 19-page opinion.

"Free these evacuees from the 'Kafkaesque' application process they have had to endure," he wrote.

The decision again casts a spotlight on the fate of the poorest members of the diaspora created by the 2005 disasters in New Orleans and along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. The hurricanes forced a search for housing that was one of their least visible but most far-reaching consequences.

November 30, 2006 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees? Would New Orleans have been safer that way? Neal Young

November 30, 2006 7:39 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

No, of course not, Anon - let's forget New Orleans-The city that was destroyed by incompetence- before and after Katrina. And what is the point of saying some people think they blew up the levees- some people also think the gov't blew up the twin towers- some people think aliens abducted them. That isn't the point here- except that you want to draw attention away from Newt and his ilk.

And who suffers from paranoia- I vote for Newt.

And assuming you are the same anon - and I do- The APA did not say bestiality is not a disorder or that it is normal. Kind of like the BS you posted when you said the only thing that psychiatry and psychology questioned was Reparative "therapy". Do you ever actually look anything up on real sites or just get your stuff from poorly researched right wing websites? Don't tell me- I know.

November 30, 2006 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That isn't the point here- except that you want to draw attention away from Newt and his ilk."

Well, for one thing, did Gingrich have anything to do with FEMA or the administration? Assuming this administration's completely responsible- and that's questionable- I don't think, Gingrich is involved. I've actually heard him criticize this administration.

The other is that, whoever is responsible for Katrina, it doesn't change the fact that there are people in this world who would destroy our cities without a second thought because they hate freedom and democracy so much. While one can debate how far we should go, one still would have to acknowledge that, despite Bin Laden threats, his attacks have thus far been thwarted.

Also, consider that the episode once again shows the impotency of government in providing relief. The ones on the scene fastest were evangelical groups like the Salvation Army. My two teenage kids spent two weeks with their youth group there this summer in a very dangerous section rebuilding houses. They saw church groups from all over the country working there.

November 30, 2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon says: "Also, consider that the episode once again shows the impotency of government in providing relief."

A government run by people who fundamentally do not believe in government (or don't care about governing) is not likely to work very well. FEMA became its own disaster a year or so into the Bush II Administration, after the top career administrators left in disgust as to how the agency was being run. Compare that to the excellent performance of FEMA under James Lee Witt during the Clinton Administration.

December 01, 2006 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Theresa, "You know, Texas, Mississipi, Alabama, all managed to do just fine ....Yes, FEMA failed. But the real failure was Nagin, the idiot."

According to the White House in March 2006:

"Roughly 80 percent of the debris caused by the storms has been cleared in Mississippi and 54 percent has been cleared in Louisiana.

...The debris that remains is largely on private property, either in back and side yards or inside houses that need to be gutted or demolished. To remove this debris, the Federal government, local leaders, and the homeowners themselves will have to work together:
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners remain displaced, some hundreds or thousands of miles away. The Federal government is working with local officials to expand temporary housing closer to where the rebuilding must occur, and is providing financial assistance to homeowners to allow them to begin rebuilding. This is being done through FEMA and as part of recovery plans developed by the States."

According to the DHS as of September 2006:

"President George W. Bush declared major disasters for areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is continuing to actively manage federal assistance to these affected communities.

...HUD determined that housing markets in Louisiana had experienced rent increases due to the enormous impact of the storms, and thus increased its Fair Market Rents (FMR) in the New Orleans metropolitan area by 35 percent and in the Baton Rouge area by 25 percent. HUD is continuing to monitor the rental markets in these two areas, and will modify FMRs again if needed. In addition, HUD is monitoring rental markets in other areas (Beaumont-Port Arthur, Dallas, Jackson, Houston, Little Rock, San Antonio, and Shreveport), which are housing significant numbers of hurricane evacuees, to determine if the reduction in rental vacancies in these markets would also warrant FMR increases.

...The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been assessing oil and gas supplies, and electricity.
All petroleum refineries and crude and petroleum product pipelines that were affected by Hurricane Katrina are back to normal operations.
In Mississippi, electricity has been restored to all customers who can safely receive it.
In Louisiana, electricity has been restored to all customers who can safely receive power. Some areas of New Orleans remain without power (parts of the Lower Ninth Ward and Lakeview).

...Since Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has funded the removal of about 100 million cubic yards of debris in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi through mission assignments to other agencies such as the USACE and the USCG.
100 percent of debris has been removed in Texas (Rita) and Alabama (Katrina), while 99 percent of debris has been removed in Mississippi. Louisiana is 72% completed.

... In July 2006, EPA completed cleanup of oil and hazardous materials in Mississippi and Alabama, and transitioned responsibility for remaining activities to the State.
In Louisiana, EPA has completed the collection of approximately 80% of household hazardous waste, 99% of the large container removal and 95% of the large appliances for disposal. EPA continues to collect containers and household hazardous waste and consults with the state on landfill operations at the 13 area landfills being used for debris disposal. EPA activities are currently focused in the St. Bernard and Orleans parishes. Work is expected to be completed in October 2006."

Theresa blames Mayor Nagin for the way the federal government is going about its natural disaster clean up work and I don't think that's fair. Lousiana is a blue state and this administration helped the red states first. Is anyone surprised by that?

And for Anon whose kids helped with church groups from all over the country in the clean up, DHS reports that tax dollars were used to mobilize that effort too:

"HUD’s Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) produced the Hurricane Toolkit: Recovery After the Storm, an informational guide to Federal and local resources available to hurricane victims, and the organizations serving them. To date, over 50,000 hard copies have been distributed. CFBCI also directly contacted nearly 20,000 faith-based and community organizations, enlisting them in the Agency’s effort to promote and apply fair housing practices to post-Katrina projects, and to help HUD enroll victims in the assistance program."

December 01, 2006 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U.S. Senators Investigate FEMA Trailers in Hope

Friday April 21, 2006 6:51pm Reporter: Pamela Smith Posted By: Amanda Manatt

Hope - A congressional committee investigating response to Hurricane Katrina met in Hope, Arkansas, Friday to discuss over 10,000 mobile homes sitting on Hope's airfield.

Since October, FEMA (website/news) has stored the housing units designated for hurricane victims in Hope. Friday, FEMA officials responded to hard-hitting questions on how much money was spent on the housing units and why they're not being put to use.

Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor and Senator Susan Collins, chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, took aim on the issue.

(Sen. Mark Pryor – D, Arkansas)"We have people all over that part of the country that need housing and we have housing right here in Hope that need people."

(David Garratt, FEMA) "The initial plan was that we were going to set-up these very large mobile home communities outside the flood plane, removed from the affected area."

FEMA says three factors contributed to the excess of mobile homes. For one, the homes were intended for large group sites -- an idea rejected since the sites are not located in close proximity to devastated areas.

Garratt also says there's been reluctance to accept manufactured homes. Some counties are adamantly opposed. The third reason, and perhaps most puzzling, is FEMA's own policy preventing mobile homes from being used in a flood plane.

(Sen. Susan Collins – R, Maine) "FEMA's own regulation prohibits placing manufactured homes in flood plains, yet FEMA went ahead with their purchase knowing that virtually the entire affected region sits in a flood plane."

Garratt says the mobile homes are being put to use. Three thousand mobile homes will be sent to Louisiana in mid-June. The remaining will be stored for future natural disasters.

One picture worth a thousand words:

December 03, 2006 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Andy Scotts said...

I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion but they must also be careful on what words they say and what ideas they are promoting.

October 29, 2014 11:11 PM  

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