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John Simkin

The Politics of Hurricane Katrina

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Why so many people with different opinions often after trying to argue their point of view decide to leave??? 

This happened here and there and I feel sad. Debates tend to be one sided and unjust. Is this forum a megaphone for one single view? Or should this forum be a multitude of opinions and debates and ideas and views?

Why it’s not so then? How much are we all loosing in our intellectual ability when the “right views” are forcing different other views away?

Carrie has not been forced to leave this forum. Nor has anyone else. However, there has been a tendency for people with right-wing views to leave the forum while engaged in intellectual debate. I have always assumed that this has got something to do with an inability to argue their case.

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A few thoughts from Sweden …

Here's something from the website of the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (one of those 'welfare state' agencies in Europe):

"The Swedish Rescue Services Agency’s (SRSA) planned departure of aid to the disaster area New Orleans didn’t go ahead on Sunday. However, planning continues so that aid can be despatched at a later stage.

The reason the SRSA flight didn’t depart on Sunday was that the US authorities do not at present have the facilities to receive foreign humanitarian aid.

The SRSA’s planned despatch includes, for example, water purification plants and communications equipment. A team of five would accompany the equipment.

If aid is eventually despatched it will be by Hercules aircraft of the Swedish Armed Forces taking off from Landvetter Airport, which is just outside Gothenburg.

The SRSA will, over the next few days, maintain continuous contact with the relevant Swedish and US authorities.

It was on Thursday evening that the SRSA responded to the general request from the US for overseas help. The Swedish Government decided on Friday to task the SRSA with the planning for and execution of despatching humanitarian aid to the US if they request it."

The initial response from Sweden came on the day of the disaster when the Embassy in Washington offered Swedish aid. It took until Thursday lunchtime, Swedish time (i.e. Thursday morning, Washington time) for the response to be answered by the US.

What the SRSA can and will provide includes pre-fabricated houses and an emergency mobile telephone system (for existing cellphones).

There have been a couple of good articles by Paul Krugman in the New York Times about the consequences of 'starving the beast' (i.e. minimising public services in favour of private ones). Basically, if you think that the private sector can create a civilised, fully-functioning modern state, then think again. The United States had a good public sector for enough years in the 20th century to provide a basic infrastructure, and it's taken 30 years or so of neglect for that infrastructure to start showing the strain. In the first years after the freeze on investment and the privatisation of all the 'profitable' bits, the machine will keep running on its own momentum. Then things start to break down (take a look at the UK water, electricity, gas, sewerage, public transport, telephone, etc, etc systems or the Swedish electricity supply system after deregulation).

The tragedy for just about all of the Sun Belt states is that their basic infrastructure was never that good in the first place and that there just weren't any people in positions of authority who pushed to provide states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama with a 'first-world' society. Perhaps one of the 'good outcomes' of this terrible natural disaster, though, will be to help wean European voters off the idea that you can cut public services without there being any real costs.

---------

Two of the countries which have offered aid to the USA, by the way, are Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba has offered the services of 1100 doctors and Venezuela offered to send 2000 troops to assist in maintaining law and order. Now I'm sure that Chavez was just wanting to make a point (since the Robertson 'take out Chavez' suggestion the week before), but Cuba's provided highly-qualified professionals enough times to enough places for me to think that Castro's motives included genuine humanitarianism (please note the word 'included'!).

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A few thoughts from Sweden …

Here's something from the website of the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (one of those 'welfare state' agencies in Europe):

"The Swedish Rescue Services Agency’s (SRSA) planned departure of aid to the disaster area New Orleans didn’t go ahead on Sunday.  However, planning continues so that aid can be despatched at a later stage.

The reason the SRSA flight didn’t depart on Sunday was that the US authorities do not at present have the facilities to receive foreign humanitarian aid.

The SRSA’s planned despatch includes, for example, water purification plants and communications equipment. A team of five would accompany the equipment.

If aid is eventually despatched it will be by Hercules aircraft of the Swedish Armed Forces taking off from Landvetter Airport, which is just outside Gothenburg.

The SRSA will, over the next few days, maintain continuous contact with the relevant Swedish and US authorities.

It was on Thursday evening that the SRSA responded to the general request from the US for overseas help. The Swedish Government decided on Friday to task the SRSA with the planning for and execution of despatching humanitarian aid to the US if they request it."

The initial response from Sweden came on the day of the disaster when the Embassy in Washington offered Swedish aid. It took until Thursday lunchtime, Swedish time (i.e. Thursday morning, Washington time) for the response to be answered by the US.

What the SRSA can and will provide includes pre-fabricated houses and an emergency mobile telephone system (for existing cellphones).

There have been a couple of good articles by Paul Krugman in the New York Times about the consequences of 'starving the beast' (i.e. minimising public services in favour of private ones). Basically, if you think that the private sector can create a civilised, fully-functioning modern state, then think again. The United States had a good public sector for enough years in the 20th century to provide a basic infrastructure, and it's taken 30 years or so of neglect for that infrastructure to start showing the strain. In the first years after the freeze on investment and the privatisation of all the 'profitable' bits, the machine will keep running on its own momentum. Then things start to break down (take a look at the UK water, electricity, gas, sewerage, public transport, telephone, etc, etc systems or the Swedish electricity supply system after deregulation).

The tragedy for just about all of the Sun Belt states is that their basic infrastructure was never that good in the first place and that there just weren't any people in positions of authority who pushed to provide states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama with a 'first-world' society. Perhaps one of the 'good outcomes' of this terrible natural disaster, though, will be to help wean European voters off the idea that you can cut public services without there being any real costs.

---------

Two of the countries which have offered aid to the USA, by the way, are Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba has offered the services of 1100 doctors and Venezuela offered to send 2000 troops to assist in maintaining law and order. Now I'm sure that Chavez was just wanting to make a point (since the Robertson 'take out Chavez' suggestion the week before), but Cuba's provided highly-qualified professionals enough times to enough places for me to think that Castro's motives included genuine humanitarianism (please note the word 'included'!).

Law and order in New Orleans at the best of times has presented difficulties.

It would be better for President Chavez to simply send refined oil products at whatever asking price he has in mind.

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John-

   I've been wondering about the reactions of otehr countries to our tragedy. I appreciate your thoughts. However, not all is at it seems. The money to re-inforce the levees had been allocated by our Congress for over 20 years. New Orleans as a city refrained from using it and would frequently take the money from the allotment to go toward other things. Most of New Orleans current plight is their own fault. Yes, the majority of those left behind are black. New Orleans is a primarily black city. I've been there several times. These minorities are  not just poor. Many of them are well off and own and run the businesses in the Quarters which are central to the annual Mardi Gras Festivities. The people still in New Orleans for the most part, simply chose not to leave.

SNIP

The responsibility for the ramshackle and corrupt government which has infested New Orleans for so long has to rest with somebody.

I would imagine that the tens of thousands of people earning minimum wages or waiting for welfare checks would be trapped in Pompeii.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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Why so many people with different opinions often after trying to argue their point of view decide to leave??? 

This happened here and there and I feel sad. Debates tend to be one sided and unjust. Is this forum a megaphone for one single view? Or should this forum be a multitude of opinions and debates and ideas and views?

Why it’s not so then? How much are we all loosing in our intellectual ability when the “right views” are forcing different other views away?

Carrie has not been forced to leave this forum. Nor has anyone else. However, there has been a tendency for people with right-wing views to leave the forum while engaged in intellectual debate. I have always assumed that this has got something to do with an inability to argue their case.

The rehnquistian imperative of states' rights over federal power should not apply to a third world administration in Louisiana.

New Orleans has been a cause for despair for more years than I can remember. Corruption was systemic and a fact of life in New Orleans.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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Carrie has not been forced to leave this forum. Nor has anyone else. However, there has been a tendency for people with right-wing views to leave the forum while engaged in intellectual debate. I have always assumed that this has got something to do with an inability to argue their case.

Inability to argue or not …… If debaters decide to leave the Forum with the feelings that their line of arguments are not at all accepted or welcomed you will soon be forced to debate solely with yourself. Your closely to 5000 of postings suggest that it would not be a problem for you!

I, on the other hand would found it boring.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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I would imagine that the tens of thousands of people earning minimum wages or waiting for welfare checks would be trapped in Pompeii.

It is a good comparison. The people of Pompeii got adequate warning when Vesuvius began erupting in 79 AD. However, thousands were killed by poisonous gases or by the falling buildings. Why? The rich got out but insisted on their slaves staying behind to protect their homes from looters. The vast majority of people killed in New Orleans were the descendants of slaves. They were not ordered to stay but they lacked the necessary funds to get out. Like the US government, the Romans believed in charity rather than a state run welfare system. One would have thought we would have made some advancements in 2000 years but in some countries that does not seem to be the case.

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Carrie has not been forced to leave this forum. Nor has anyone else. However, there has been a tendency for people with right-wing views to leave the forum while engaged in intellectual debate. I have always assumed that this has got something to do with an inability to argue their case.

Inability to argue or not …… If debaters decide to leave the Forum with the feelings that their line of arguments are not at all accepted or welcomed you will soon be forced to debate solely with yourself. Your closely to 5000 of postings suggest that it would not be a problem for you!

I, on the other hand would found it boring.

All opinions are welcome on this forum. It is reasonable however to expect discussion on a discussion forum. Sometimes (indeed quite often) it is appropriate to adopt a contrary position in the course of discussion - especially when you disagree with someone :D

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I hope you will forget the rhetoric and respond to the facts.

My dictionary defines rhetoric as “skill in the effective use of speech”. I suppose this is therefore a compliment. I have tried to stick to the facts. For example, in a report published by the National Academy of Sciences in March, it was argued that the raising temperatures of the oceans was going to result in more and more dangerous hurricanes. The report pointed out that New Orleans was particularly vulnerable. It predicted that unless effective evacuation plans were put into place, 65,000 people would die if it suffered a category three hurricane.

This was the last of several reports sent to the Bush government. Its response was to actually cut the aid needed to protect the people of New Orleans. For example, when the Army Corps of Engineers asked Bush for $105m to reinforce the levees, he gave them $40m. The reason this money was unavailable was because he had been spent on other things, for example, giving tax cuts to the rich and running the war in Iraq. This is a question of priorities. Bush may not have read these reports (apparently he does not like reading). He also apparently did not read his briefings after Hurricane Katerina struck (he told a television interviewer that the failure of the levees had not caused the flooding in New Orleans).

This is a question of competence. If he can’t be bothered to read reports and briefings he needs to make sure that he employs intelligent people who can read. Bush has a reputation for employing cronies to do important jobs. This goes to the heart of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) debacle. The first mistake he made was to make it part of the department of homeland security, whose prime concern is terrorism, not natural disasters.

Instead of appointing a professional with experience of dealing with natural disasters, Bush selected an old political friend, Joseph Allbaugh. He immediately began cutting back on FEMA’s preparedness programmes (including those meant to protect New Orleans). Allbaugh also recruited Michael Brown as deputy director of FEMA. He also had no professional experience of disaster management. In fact his experience was in overseeing horse shows. Brown was not very good at this either and as a result lost his job. Allbaugh, who had been Brown’s college roommate, decided to give his old friend a helping hand by making him deputy director of FEMA. One can imagine what this kind of cronyism does for staff morale. Bush then increased the problem by appointing Brown to succeed Allbaugh as director of FEMA.

Here is just one example of Brown’s incompetence. When the hurricane struck the huge assault ship, the USS Bataan, was in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite the fact that it had six operating rooms and 600 hospital beds, Brown decided not to use the ship’s facilities.

I know that anything that Bush does is ok by you. I find your inability to question any of his decisions frightening and is another example of how you committed intellectual suicide years ago. Hopefully you are in a minority and America will eventually get its problems of an incompetent and corrupt government sorted out.

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It was a pleasure to read this article which is in its balanced views and conclusions far more explanative that postings which absolutely and definitely know how the effect of Katrina should be interpreted ……. And not to forgot whom to blame!

I hope that at least some members of Education Forum will find more knowledge and intellectual stimulation by reading “Where to Point Fingers”.

washingtonpost.com

Where to Point the Fingers

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, September 9, 2005; A25

In less enlightened times there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."

Let's be clear. The author of this calamity was, first and foremost, Nature (or if you prefer, Nature's God). The suffering was augmented, aided and abetted in descending order of culpability by the following:

1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. He declared a mandatory evacuation only 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit. He did not even declare a voluntary evacuation until the day before that, at 5 p.m. At that time, he explained that he needed to study his legal authority to call a mandatory evacuation and was hesitating to do so lest the city be sued by hotels and other businesses.

2. The governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery. Indeed, she issued an authorization for the National Guard to commandeer school buses to evacuate people on Wednesday afternoon -- more than two days after the hurricane hit and after much of the fleet had already drowned in its parking lots.

3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head. On Thursday, Sept. 2, he said on national television that he didn't even know there were people in the convention center, when anybody watching television could see them there, destitute and desperate. Maybe in his vast bureaucracy he can assign three 20-year-olds to watch cable news and give him updates every hour on what in hell is going on.

4. The president. Late, slow, and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster. The second he heard that the levees had been breached in New Orleans, he should have canceled his schedule and addressed the country on national television to mobilize it both emotionally and physically to assist in the disaster. His flyover on the way to Washington was the worst possible symbolism. And his Friday visit was so tone-deaf and politically disastrous that he had to fly back three days later.

5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place. The congressional response to all crises is the same -- rearrange the bureaucratic boxes, but be sure to add one extra layer. The past four years of DHS have been spent principally on bureaucratic reorganization (and real estate) instead of, say, a workable plan for as predictable a disaster as a Gulf Coast hurricane.

6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years -- but that is a column for another day. Now is not the time for constructive suggestions. Now is the time for blame, recrimination and sheer astonishment. Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: "New Orleans is a party town. Get over it."

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Interestingly enough, On its website, FEMA lists a series of possible charities. The top three charities are: the Red Cross, Operation Second Harvest .......and Operation

Blessing, which was founded by Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.

Of course Pat Robertson is the terrorist who wanted them to kill ("take out") the president of Venezuela.

Venezuela was the first country to offer help to the United States in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. On Wednesday, August 31st, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuelan state-owned CITGO Petroleum Corporation had already pledged US$1 million for hurricane aid. "It's a terrible tragedy that our North American brothers are living through," Chavez said. "We have a battalion from our Simon Bolivar humanitarian team ready in case they authorize it for us to go there, if they give us the green light." He offered humanitarian workers and fuel to help. "We are willing to donate fuel for hospitals, for public transport, everything we can do," Chavez said.

But at the same time Hugo Chavez sharply criticised US president G W Bush for his handling of the Hurricane crisis. "As more information comes out now, a terrible truth is becoming evident: That government doesn't have evacuation plans," Chavez said. Putting words to what many in the US must be thinking, he added that Bush, "there at his ranch, said nothing more than 'you need to flee'; he didn't even say how - in cowboy style." He also pointed out that the lack of a clear strategy on the part of the government hit the poorest sections of the population hardest. "We all saw the long lines of desperate people leaving that city in vehicles, those who had vehicles," he said, noting that the areas worst affected are amongst "some of the poorest in the United States, most of them black."

In contrast with the lack of action on the part of the US government, the Venezuelan government was able to help hundreds of Louisiana residents. CITGO, a company in the US owned by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, has a network of refineries and gas stations in the United States. One of these is based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was opened to give shelter and aid to some 2,000 residents of the area.

Politics - the business of how society is run - does not come to an end when a natural disaster strikes. It just puts the politicians to the test. It did not take Katarina to prove Bush incompetent. I rather like the quaint idea that the American government was too busy helping the people of Iraq .... or perhaps just helping themselves to their oil?

The companies with contracts to rebuild and repair include many of Bush's cronies and have now been given the green light to pay poverty wages to their employees to boot.

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It was a pleasure to read this article which is in its balanced views and conclusions far more explanative that postings which absolutely and definitely know how the effect of Katrina should be interpreted ……. And not to forgot whom to blame! 

I hope that at least some members of Education Forum will find more knowledge and intellectual stimulation by reading “Where to Point Fingers”.

washingtonpost.com

Where to Point the Fingers

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, September 9, 2005; A25

In less enlightened times there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."

Let's be clear. The author of this calamity was, first and foremost, Nature (or if you prefer, Nature's God). The suffering was augmented, aided and abetted in descending order of culpability by the following:

1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. He declared a mandatory evacuation only 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit. He did not even declare a voluntary evacuation until the day before that, at 5 p.m. At that time, he explained that he needed to study his legal authority to call a mandatory evacuation and was hesitating to do so lest the city be sued by hotels and other businesses.

2. The governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery. Indeed, she issued an authorization for the National Guard to commandeer school buses to evacuate people on Wednesday afternoon -- more than two days after the hurricane hit and after much of the fleet had already drowned in its parking lots.

3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head. On Thursday, Sept. 2, he said on national television that he didn't even know there were people in the convention center, when anybody watching television could see them there, destitute and desperate. Maybe in his vast bureaucracy he can assign three 20-year-olds to watch cable news and give him updates every hour on what in hell is going on.

4. The president. Late, slow, and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster. The second he heard that the levees had been breached in New Orleans, he should have canceled his schedule and addressed the country on national television to mobilize it both emotionally and physically to assist in the disaster. His flyover on the way to Washington was the worst possible symbolism. And his Friday visit was so tone-deaf and politically disastrous that he had to fly back three days later.

5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place. The congressional response to all crises is the same -- rearrange the bureaucratic boxes, but be sure to add one extra layer. The past four years of DHS have been spent principally on bureaucratic reorganization (and real estate) instead of, say, a workable plan for as predictable a disaster as a Gulf Coast hurricane.

6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years -- but that is a column for another day. Now is not the time for constructive suggestions. Now is the time for blame, recrimination and sheer astonishment. Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: "New Orleans is a party town. Get over it."

Most of us in the states understand Krauthammer is a FOX News personality. He has been for quite some time now. Thanks for the posting though!

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Well if Charles Krauthammer is a FOX News personality ....... what a beautiful label you put on him ....... meaning that you will ever never bother to consider his argument ....... what about the these quotations bellow?

Is it a more balanced information in your view??? Information taken from an article which tries to explain and understand instead of blaming and spreding misunderstanding …… which I feel is today a common way of arguing inside democrats in America and also quite often on this Forum.

Poll shows racial divide on storm response

By Susan Page and Maria Puente, USA TODAY

…………

”USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Thursday through Sunday finds a stark racial divide on other issues, including attitudes toward the hurricane's victims, the performance of President Bush and the reasons the government's early response was so wanting.”

“Six in 10 African-Americans say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one reason the federal government failed to come to the rescue more quickly. Whites reject that idea; nearly 9 in 10 say those weren't factors.”

” … Rae Clifton, 52, a Web designer in Atlanta who is black and was among those surveyed, is certain that race and class did count. "If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, somebody would have tried to get there faster," she says. "But because it was poor people ... caught in a situation, it was, 'OK ... we'll get there after a while.' "

Craig Betts, 54, a white man from Amityville, N.Y., disagrees. "Fifty years ago it would have been something else, but things are better now" when it comes to equal treatment regardless of race, he says. He attributes the problems to the unpredictable nature of the storm.”

”Overall, the president's job-approval rating is 46%, essentially the same as the 45% rating in the Gallup Poll 10 days earlier. That's at odds with record-low ratings of 38% in a Newsweek poll and 39% in an AP-Ipsos poll, both released on Saturday. An ABC News-Washington Post survey released Monday put Bush's approval rating at a record low 42%.”

”If Katrina has affected Americans' views of themselves, it also affected views of the USA from around the world.

Even from friends, the reaction has been shock. "Anarchy in the USA," headlined The Sun, Britain's largest newspaper. "Apocalypse Now" said Germany's Handelsblatt daily. "(Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden, nice and dry in his hideaway, must be killing himself laughing," France's left-leaning Liberation newspaper said.

For a country that prides itself on its resourcefulness and take-charge aplomb, these are unfamiliar accusations. Americans tend to see their country as compassionate and competent.”

”Yet Katrina's devastation laid bare some uncomfortable facts: The nation that rescued Europe in World War II, helped Bosnians when they were under attack and repulsed Iraqi forces from Kuwait could not, at least initially, rescue New Orleans. The nation that claims many of the world's wealthiest people also is home to staggering poverty. The nation that champions equal rights around the globe has not resolved its own racial tensions.”

”The Blame Game. Why were so many trapped?

One in four of those surveyed blame the mayor of New Orleans; another one in four blame the residents themselves. One in five blame the Bush administration. But blacks are much more likely than whites to hold the federal government responsible. Whites are much more likely to hold the residents responsible.”

”There's wide public support for an independent investigation into the government's slow initial response — 7 of 10 endorse that idea — though many are inclined to feel that congressional Democrats and Republicans are spending too much time at the moment trying to finger-point. About 4 in 10 say they don't have much confidence in the government's ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks next time.”

”And Bush? His strongest political asset — the perception that he is a strong and decisive leader — has eroded to the lowest rating of his presidency, 52%. That's 8 points lower than in the previous poll, and 23 points lower than immediately after 9/11 — when his response reshaped Americans' views of Bush. A majority of Americans say the president doesn't display good judgment in a crisis, doesn't inspire confidence and doesn't "care about the needs of people like you."

The rebuilding efforts ahead will take place in the White House as well as along the Gulf Coast, says Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas. "This goes right to the core of his strength and right to the core of the thing that has enabled him to stay plausible despite the political partisan divide in the country, …… "

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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And of course we all KNOW that the Post is "fair and balanced" :up)

Dawn

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The Post?? ……. Please inform me …….what are you trying to say? The Post is what ……….? We are mostly European on this Edu Forum … nurtured every morning by newspapers with the names like Dagbladet and Nyheter and Guardian and Le Monde …….

So what is so special with the Post ......

Oh yes … you probably meant Washington Post ….. Is it so bad ??!! …… Really so bad for you … to read this newspaper?

Which newspaper do you than read in the morning? Is your morning paper informing you more correctly about the world around you in comparison with the Post?? If you feel that it is … than congratulation to you ......

You anyway didn’t loose the confidence in newspapers.... provided that they are the newspapers of your own choice ….

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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