Hit Counter
Since 09-12-05

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