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This sickens me

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serenity blaze
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25 posted 05-30-2008 10:19 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

One more thing--

there is one very vital question that was asked by a news reporter of a Fema representative and I'll ask it of you all right now:

"Would you live in one?"

The man actually laughed.

You know how enraging that is?

He laughed and said "no more questions".

So no, there should be no more questions.

What there should be are some expletive ANSWERS.
Bob K
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26 posted 05-30-2008 11:05 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

        The story is actually more painful than it initially appears, according to the research I’ve done over the past few days.
http://understandingkatrina.ssrc.org/Smith/

     Neil Smith in his 2006 article talks about some of the pre- huricaine contributions to the disaster, including the Bush budget cuts which deep-sixed plans for improvements in the levee system and its pumping capabilities.  All in all a total of 80% of that budget was cut.  Administration plans turned “hundreds of square miles of protective wetlands” over to developers, with predictable results.  Despite the plans made by the Army engineers to deal with such eventualities, the history of storms and floods in the past and the knowledge of the deteriorating state of repairs, Bush was later to pretend that the situation was utterly unforseeable.  The link goes into other issues in considerable and interesting depth.  I am not familiar with the political slant of the source.

     Charles Perrow in an articles from an article in the same series offers some interesting side comments on the same material.  Perrew is from Yale, which one tends to think of as a conservative institution, but his point of view here seems studiously neutral.  You’ll have to judge for yourself.
http://understandingkatrina.ssrc.org/Perrow/

     Perrew points out that FEMA was an organization that was foundered by Jimmy Carter in 1979 with a dual mandate.  On one hand, it was supposed to help with security issues and problems arrising from them, and on the other it was supposed to deal with natural disasters and relief of natural disasters.  Which mission it takes as its focus tends to depend on the politics of the administration it works for.  Thus, under Reagan, Bush and the current President, it has focused on defense issues, and under President Clinton, it forcused on civilian relief and disaster relief issues.  

     Particularly useful in this article is the section labled FEMA Under Bush.  I urge EVERYBODY to have a look at this section, because it explains an awful lot of the original questions I think all of us had about how such a thing could be allowed to happen in the first place.  It doesn’t justify it, mind you, but it does seem to explain.

     A clearly left wing blogger (yay team!) posted material about a similar FEMA incident in Kansas that sounds pretty familiar as well.
http://www.preemptivekarma.com/archives/2007/05/fema_is_no_long.html

     Because of the bias, I include this only because it reads so much like so many of the news reports I saw and heard over TV and radio at the time.  It also sounds like the accounts I’ve heard from people who have told me they’ve been there.

     Once the immediate force of Katrina had dissapated, the government through FEMA began to designate people who would take charge of the reconstruction efforts.  The contracts were awarded to four of the same contractors who have taken much of the contract work for the government in Iraq.  Bechtel, CH2M Hill, Shaw,
and Fluor by some incredible twist of fate proved to be exactly the right people for the three billion dollar Cost Plus contracts.
http://www.gao.gov/htext/d08106.html

     Now I too find it difficult to believe that the GOA was only asked to investigate a limited amount of detail about these contracts, but that seems to be exactly the case.  I continue to look for something that seems to fit more closely with my sense of reality, but there you have it.  Only a small number of “non-representative” transactions were investigated and in these about 32 millian dollars worth of fraud and theft was uncovered.  I wonder what might have been the case if a thorough investigation of the whole thing might have been undertaken.  

     Balladeer, I understand that you don’t agree with Susan here.  I am not sure that here terms are more or less factual than anybody else’s here.  When you say, “The levees broke. The hurricane hit. Over a hundred thousand people were instantly homeless. The government acted, without taking the time to sit around in groups and brainstorm.” I believe that your history is off base.  If fact, the government, because of the way it it views FEMA these days, made a point of not acting, and in preventing other people who might have made things better from acting as well.  I’ve supplied you with the links to support that above if your memory needs to be jogged.

      The government did better when the victims were Republican in Texas or Florida, but even so didn’t do as well as iut had been able to do before FEMA had been merged with the Department of Homeland Security.  Lord help us, Something the Democrats helped to come up with and certainly didn’t stand up against when it was being formed.  Another not so proud moment in Democratic party history.
    
     The form that the action took was to give out non-competitive cost-plus contracts to the buddies of the administration, and to pretend that such Hurricanes hadn’t been predictable given the deteriorating shape the N.O. levees were in and the funding cuts from the corps of Engineers.  There was time to plan for and prevent many of the problems.  If the contracts had not been cost-plus contracts with profit built in, the companies might have been a bit more worried about quick delivery, and might well have been able to provive quick inexpensive fixes.  It wasn’t in their economic interests to do so because the party that believes in letting the market work, really only means that for peopole that they aren’t cozy with.  They didn’t structure it for the market to work in favor of the government or the people who needed the services, but the people who were providing them.

     Susan doesn’t know how many of the children will sicken and die from exposure to formaldehyde fumes.  Is she wrong to panic about the number of them that will be adversely affected?  I am compelled to give two answers here.  One is that she is theorizing in advance of her data, so she doesn’t know and she can’t tell for sure.  The other is that she’s got pretty good reason to think that formaldehyde at least contributes to COPD and asthma at levels below what’s common in those trailers.  She’s got pretty good reason to believe that there are going to be some pretty sick kids for reasons that could have been prevented.  And that cost/benefit analysis of profit taken in versus damages paid out per death due to formaldehyde poisoning by the contractors manufacturing those trailers is an extremely cynical method of deciding what materials should be used.  It makes the Chinese plywood cheaper, even if you do count in the number of people who will have to be paid off for the deaths that will be caused, so by all means, use the chinese plywood.  More money to be made there.  They teach coursework in cost/benefit analysis, you know.

     Knowing that business routinely uses such analyses should not add to her peace of mind.  It doesn’t add to mine and I suspect it souldn’t add to yours, Balladeer.  It didn’t go out with the Corvair.

     On the flip side, I am compelled to acknowledge that there is nothing to what you’re saying, Balladeer, that has data behind it that’s any more compelling than Susan’s.  Why would you assume that formaldehyde wouldn’t have the effects she suggests.  It’s one of those ingrediants in tobacco that makes it more toxic, it’s used as an embalming agent because it’s really not very good for promoting health and growth but for freezing it and killing it in its tracks.  I’d say that it’s pretty much a toss up with more data apparent on Susan’s side.

     I’m always willing to be convinced otherwise, of course.  

     Best to everybody about this interesting topic.  Sorry about the complexity of the GOA link.  It’s driven me quite mad with all the letters and numbers and trying to keep everything straight.  I believe I’ve got at least the general gist, however.  I really want to see if there’s some GAO document someplace that tackles the whole Three Billion dollar ball of yarn.  Anybody else looking?

     Best to you all trying to make sense of this, and love.  BobK.
Balladeer
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27 posted 05-30-2008 11:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Must I really watch each and every word I use so that it doesn't give you a viable reason to try to discredit what I say?

Words are what you are using to make your point, Susan, and, yes, you should watch them when you are making direct statements.

BTW~ The term "will" that I used was used in the respect of the ones that will die (as in in the future anyone that does die) not as in there will most certainly be deaths from this.  

Aha. Then you are simply making the statement that everyone will die someday, not that there may actually be deaths from this. Have you considered a career in politics, by any chance?

"The ones that didn’t lose all hope and maybe even their sanity when they lost everything they had worked their entire lives for and/or on top of all that lost their family members as well."  

The "maybe" you emboldened here relates to sanity in your sentence only. The rest of the statement is listed as fact and all-encompasing to those living in the trailers.

~ you quoted this by saying: "So now anyone who had to live in the trailers have lost hope, eventual sanity, everything they have worked for, and the death of their families?"
I did not say the ones that lived in the trailers were the ones that had lost hope, and MAYBE even their sanity………but was referring to the vicims of Katrina…


Er, you mean you don't see the words in the sentence IN THE TRAILERS before saying you did not say the ones that lived in the trailers?

can I ask why you choose to take some things out of context by leaving out the word maybe?

I left out no words. I copied and pasted your exact words and nothing was taken out of context at all. I simply called you on the exact statements you made. If you find that offensive that I would use your own statements to make my point, then there's not much I can say about that. It's interesting that the only words you did not embolden in your showing of the article was "Doctors cannot conclusively link her asthma to the trailer.".

You may regard me as the enemy here. I'm not. I told you there were many things I agree with but you simply went too far in your comments which weakend the good points you were trying to make. Everything you say is based on conjecture. MAYBE children will get sick and die. MAYBE people will have their whole lives shattered. MAYBE the huge rise in autism had to do with asbestos. But if thousands got a place to stay, regardless of the fact that it was probably going to kill their children later, and only a few thousand children die, it was a balanced decision, right?   and Telling myself that maybe it wouldn't happen to me or my children and when it did happen, hating myself and doing harm to myself after I had taken care of my now dead child Where does this melodrama come from? It does not help the valid argument you are trying to make by creating these "maybe" scenarios....and all because of an article of one child born in one of the trailers becoming sick.

I repeat, I agree the trailers should have been safely constructed. They weren't and the question remains was it better to use them or not? Listening to your comments, not only will thousands of children die because of the trailers, also there must be either a governmental agency or an official high up in the organization who said, "Send the trailers. What's that? Thousands of people will die and lose everything because of them? No big deal. Send them anyway."  That is basically what you are saying, that they knew the trailers were extremely dangerous and sent them anyway. Sorry. I cannot believe that anyone would do that, regardless of their political party.
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28 posted 05-30-2008 11:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, It's not that I don't agree with Susan at all. The trailers should have been safe. Will thousands die because of them? No, she doesn't know how many of the children will sicken and die, if any, and yet she refers to all of the ones that WILL die and I think that's wrong. No, Bob, I'm not saying anything with data behind it because I'm not saying that needs to be proven with data. I'm only saying it's not a proper presentation of the facts to paint the doomsday scenario based on nothing but theory and without data. I also disagree with the fact that the agency would intentionally do something like this, knowing it would kill the children.

The government did better when the victims were Republican in Texas or Florida,

I'm embarrassed for you to feel you had to stoop that low, Bob.
serenity blaze
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29 posted 05-31-2008 12:04 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Mike?

Your question is interesting too.

Because I distinctly remembering people asking where the trailers were...?

I recall one of our local investigative reporters finding hundreds of empty trailers just sitting on a lot in...Arkansas, I think. Everybody was wondering what was going on then too.

Now it seems we're still left to speculate.

Did Fema realize that the newly built trailers were too "hot" (too toxic--but nevermind) and were allowing them that "dry" time?

It's speculation, but it sure makes sense over why they would do such a thing. I mean, we had plotted out communities ready for the trailers, and they sat there--for months. With a very quiet Fema organization shrugging off questions by stating that there had been administrative changes...

And that was just for the community trailer parks designed to replace public housing. We had more than a few that were planted right here on front lawns. I had one friend who had been coming to my house to shower, because well? His Fema trailer had arrived, but they said they were just the delivery boys. So there was no water and sewerage hook-up and good-luck-to-ya-buddy, because the sewerage and water board was pretty busy.

And yes, I get angry, and yes, maybe I am too close to the situation to think clearly on it, but consider yourselves lucky that you have the distance. But Mike, I happen to know that there are Fema trailer parks still in Florida from Hurricane Andrew.

I'd be interested in hearing a comparison/contrast in how those families fared--were the trailers built by the same manufacturer? Did families get ill from toxic formeldehyde fumes? If they did, why didn't we hear about it?

Seriously, I'd like to know if anyone can come up with some facts about that--because my concern isn't just about me and mine--that hastily built community in Florida that was wiped out because they didn't conform to safety standards remains very much in my mind. Especially as I watch "carpetbaggers" come in to my hometown and attempt to make some "house-flip" money.

I thank you BobK, for recognizing anger as the voice of pain.

Like I said, we need answers.

The answers won't change what happened, but maybe they will help formulate a plan to make damned sure that THIS--will never happen again.
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30 posted 05-31-2008 12:14 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'd be interested in hearing a comparison/contrast in how those families fared--were the trailers built by the same manufacturer? Did families get ill from toxic formeldehyde fumes? If they did, why didn't we hear about it?

NOW we are getting somewhere. Excellent question, serenity gal. I'm going to research that as best I can.
Susan Caldwell
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31 posted 05-31-2008 09:24 AM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

"NOW we are getting somewhere."

Michael, nothing, and I mean nothing, bothered me more on this thread than that statement.  I am deeply offended by it.  

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

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32 posted 05-31-2008 10:11 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

i'm very sorry, Susan. I had no intention of offending you, nor was it meant as such. It was excellent of you to introduce the thread as I think it is something that should be known.

Karen is looking for answers. What about the Florida trailers? Were they the same? Is there anything to be learned from them which would indicate how valid the possibility is that sickness occurs in any kind of significant number? She did not create the scenario of thousands dying or families losing everything because of the trailers. She wants to know the possibilities and probabilities based on a similar instance with the same guidelines.

You deserve the credit for bringing it up. She deserves the credit for her realistic search for information. That's all..
Not A Poet
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33 posted 05-31-2008 12:35 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Wait a minute Karen. Where exactly was it that I "picked on" Susan? I believe my only comments in this thread pretty much agreed with her concerns. And yes, she did start the thread.

My only negative, and somewhat whimsical, remark was related to quoting CBS as a reliable source for "discovered internal documents." And I still stand by the declaration. Now, if Susan was quoting a you, quoting a source, then I suppose I should have directed my comment to you. Consider it done.
serenity blaze
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34 posted 05-31-2008 06:02 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

grin...

I suggest a good old fashioned mud wrastlin' match.

Pete & Mike vs. me & Susan

Anybody care to meet me in St. Bernard?

I'll bet I get a big "no" from everybody on that one.
Susan Caldwell
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35 posted 05-31-2008 06:21 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

oh I have been hitting the weights too!

I am there!

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

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36 posted 05-31-2008 06:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Gee, let me think about it. Rolling around in the mud with two purty wimmin, mano a mano? Does that really sound like something a man like me would want to do?



Y E S ! ! !
serenity blaze
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37 posted 05-31-2008 06:58 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay...but um, let's skip the benzene mud.

Make it...JELLO!

gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Not A Poet
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38 posted 05-31-2008 07:24 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Whoopee, count me in too Mike.

[This message has been edited by Not A Poet (05-31-2008 10:22 PM).]

Bob K
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39 posted 06-01-2008 02:21 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

           Sorry to hear you believe my comment, the first one quoted below, deserves the response you offer.

quote:

The government did better when the victims were Republican in Texas or Florida,

I'm embarrassed for you to feel you had to stoop that low, Bob.



     If you'd had a look at some of the links beforehand, you would have noted that I was paraphrasing their research.  In point of fact Louisiana commissioned a study about the distribution of funds among the various states hit by Katrina.  It was carried out by The Nelson A. Rockefeller Foundation of Government.  While my earlier contention had been about services between Katrina, Wilma and Rita, the Study spoken about in this link is specific to Katrina alone.  I thought you might appreciate the additional reference to understand I was not making anything up here.

     I too was upset, but my upset was directed toward those who had actually handled the funds in this fashion, and not toward myself for actually bringing the situation to your attention.  You can blame me for pointing out the data to you all you would like; I did not arrange the way the government chose to spend the funds.  Blaming me does not make their behavior any more palatable.
http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/09/la_given_less_than_its_fair_sh.html

     To offer decent data doesn't seem to me to be stooping to anything but an attempt to reach the truth.

     I know that you are more loathe to believe ill of our government than I am.  I urge you to recall that I while I am a Democrat, I tend to be upset about what I see as Democratic failures and do not hesitate to say so.  I believe that holding a liberal political position includes being as honest about your own flaws as you are willing to be about the flaws of those who oppose you.  Being Liberal means admitting to mistakes in the hopes of being able to correct them.

     If I spent more time, I could probably find more sources that would offer the same information, Mike.  If you chose to, I suspect you'd be able to as well.  How does backing up what I say with a fair amount of research amount to stooping to anything?  "Nelson Rockefeller," does that sound terribly left wing to you?

     Sincerely, Bob
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40 posted 06-01-2008 09:02 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"Louisiana politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, say their state has gotten less than its share of many kinds of rebuilding money, from housing to health care to fisheries. Meanwhile, Louisiana's Democratic leaders contend that Mississippi -- buttressed by strong Republican leadership at a time when the GOP controlled all the halls of power in Washington -- has consistently received more than its share of federal money."

So what's new?

"The report isn't entirely flattering to Louisiana. While blasting federal agencies and rulemakers for being too inflexible in the face of an unprecedented disaster, it also said Louisiana made its Road Home program too cumbersome with "multiple layers of rules .¤.¤. designed to answer those who maintain the state is too corrupt to be trusted with that much money."

A valid point, I would say, since Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, has possibly the worst corruption levels in government in the country. This is not unknown, by any means. Handing them blank checks does not mean money will get to where it needs to go. Shall I then say, Bob, that the democratic-led New Orleans is the most corrupt city in the US, as if to indicate that the reason they are so corrupt is because there are Democrats in power? Then I would be doing exactly what you did with your comment,,,,,

You could have said the government did better in Texas and Florida but, inserting Republican-led into it, adds that little politically-biased spice into it, I suppose. It's not Republican's fault that Nagin and Blanco were such incredible losers who did nothing during the approach of the hurricane, did nothing during the hurricane, and only came out of their shells after the hurricane to scream for money. I could just as easily say that Florida, Texas and Mississippi fared better because the Republican-led governments rolled up their sleeves and went to work instead of whining, but that would be insulting to the New Orleans residents who actually did just that, despite their governor's and mayor's non-actions. I had not injected political bias in my earlier comments and I'm disappointed you took that route...that's all.

BTW..did you happen to read the comments on that last link you sent, the comments from N.O. citizens? There are pros and cons but the anger at their own Louisiana politics, corruption and misuse of funds is prevalent. These people should know what they are talking about much better than we.

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (06-01-2008 10:19 AM).]

rwood
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41 posted 06-01-2008 06:03 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Well I didn't die. But I did get sick from the fumes. Not from a FEMA trailer...but a regular single-wide mobile home that many just like me lived in years ago. My parents had no idea that the "glue" used in mobile homes would give off such and I developed severe allergies and breathing problems. Ran around for two summers with giant red blotches all over my body...and the docs thought it was ragweed irritation, but when I stayed with my Grandmomma down the road, it went away...hmmm. She had the same weeds there.

My parents did what they'd planned to do in the first place. They sold the mobile home once our family home was built/bought. I never suffered any more complications, but I was lucky. Then they published a news article about "irritations" and such affecting many kids and elderly, so we finally had an answer to my mysterious problem.

I'm very sad for those children and their parents because they are no where near as fortunate as I and we were pretty pinched for pennies.

where do they go when temporary seems permanent? where do they go. what to do.

so sad.
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42 posted 06-01-2008 06:25 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That's very interesting, Regina. May I ask how long ago that was? You said years ago and that would indicate that all trailers, not only FEMA ones, were constructed with these same problems. It begs the question of how this could have continued for so long? One would think that, if a problem like that were discovered, action would be taken, as in the case of asbestos.

I'm sorry to hear that happened to you and I share your sympathy for those with no choice.
Bob K
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43 posted 06-02-2008 04:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

           You ask what's new?  Certainly not that the Democratic leadership would protest Mississippi's larger share of benefits.  It seems clear enough that Mississippi was basically shortchanged to some degree as well, and the more one reads about the clean-up the more that seems evident.  The G.A.O. report I quoted spoke about some of the Mississippi money, and the amount that was actually audited by them was only a small and non-representative sample.  Even that showed 32 Million dollars of waste and fraud in the federal spending.  You can only imagine what a more detailed accounting of the complete program would do.  

     What was new, and which you didn't make note of as being new was the agreement of both Republican and Democratic Senators and Congressmen in the Louisiana delegation that the administration had not done a good job in dealing with the storm, with the recovery or with the citizens of Louisiana in general.  In a state where Politics is only a little bit more dangerous than boxing, that's making a fairly serious statement.

     The Rockefeller Report is not entirely flattering to Louisiana, I agree, Balladeer; and that's why I thought it important to include the link to this particular report rather than to something more one sided.  I'm not in the business of trying to make anything black and white/good and evil; I'm trying to get the best and most in focus view of things I can come up with.  I thought a Rockefeller Report would get more of both sides in than either a purely right wing or a purely left wing write up.  I try to be straight about my own bias.  I try to let everybody know as much as I do about the bias of anybody I quote, and I want the picture to be as full as possible.  I believe the state has corruption problems.  I'm not at all sure that they're more extensive, however, than similar problems in Massachusetts, or Texas, or Florida, or Illinois or Missouri or any of a bunch of other states who will gladly tell you stories of the convoluted levels of corruption in their state and municipal governments.  Some are Democratic, some, such as my birth state of Ohio, are usually Republican.

     I don't know that anybody except yourself has suggested that blank checks be offered to anybody.  ("Handing them blank checks does not mean money will get to where it needs to go.")  Why you would suggest that even this government would do something like that for anybody but  Bechtel or other massive government contractors is way beyond me.

     If you were to suggest, however that there were seriously corrupt Democratic municipal and state governments about, I'd have to say that I certainly would assume so.  New Orleans has that kind of reputation.  I actually wasn't aware that it was run by a Democratic machine though I knew it was a Democratic town.  Everything Serenity seems to say certainly seems to agree with what you're saying there, Balladeer, and you're a standup guy, even though you do get a bit carried away with enthusiasm from time to time.  I'd have to say that those are a pretty corrupt bunch of Democrats in power down there, wouldn't I?  And that would be true, wouldn't it?

     And, as the Rockefeller Report suggests, and which you have chosen not to deal with, the government did better in the states with records of voting Republican:  Texas and Florida.  I didn't happen to add the politically biased spice, Balladeer; I simply tasted the gumbo and noticed that it was hot.  I simply—to switch metaphors once again—reported that the emperor wasn't wearing any clothes; I didn't undress the man myself.

     I have no idea where you get the idea that Nagin and Blanco "were such incredible losers who did nothing during the approach of the hurricane , did nothing during the hurricane, and only came out of their shells after the hurricane to scream for money."  You should check back with some neutral accounts of events, which will tell you that Blanco especially was trying to get a state of emergency called by Bush 48 hours before the Hurricane hit New Orleans, and that both were trying to Get Through to The Federal Government During and after the Storm and were having their calls ignored because the Department of Homeland Security was treating the storm not as a natural disaster but as the equivalent of an attack.  This is why they stopped emergency vehicles from going in and many of the victims from going out in the first days after the storm hit.

      When The Then Director of FEMA tried to Blame Governor Blanco in testimony before congress for the very things you accuse her and Nagin of, she released the text of the letter she sent President Bush before Katrina hit, and Mr. Brown had the good sense to keep his mouth closed about the poisonous spew thereafter.

     Should you wish to talk about the difference between The Republican Led Governments and the government in the Louisiana, which I understand is mostly Republican, except for New Orleans and the relative recoveries, perhaps we can take that up at another time, when I can go into the legislation the U.S. House and Senate tried to Burden Louisiana with as a condition of giving the funds in the first place.    As a minimal-government interference Republican kind of guy on general prinicples, you should be especially proud of these.  I know I am.

     My very best to you, Mike, yours, BobK.


Balladeer
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44 posted 06-02-2008 07:50 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I believe the state has corruption problems.  I'm not at all sure that they're more extensive, however, than similar problems in Massachusetts, or Texas, or Florida, or Illinois or Missouri or any of a bunch of other states who will gladly tell you stories of the convoluted levels of corruption in their state and municipal governments.

Then you would be one of the few in the country, I believe, who is not sure. Having gone to high school in Louisiana, albeit the northern part, we were certainly aware of it and, when high school students can be aware of anything, it's usually major!  If you like, I'll do some research and we can compare. The only other city I can think of in comparison is the old days of Chicago, with the "best police force money could buy".

And, as the Rockefeller Report suggests, and which you have chosen not to deal with, the government did better in the states with records of voting Republican:  Texas and Florida.  I didn't happen to add the politically biased spice, Balladeer; I simply tasted the gumbo and noticed that it was hot.

No doubt the political bias is there, Bob, and not initially by you. Reports are good at that. If I do a count and come up with the fact that there are more left-handed people in florida than Louisiana, may I then claim that FEMA treated states better with larger amounts of left-handed people? I'm not going to believe that any government, Republican or Democrat would make such biased decisions based on whether the governor was of their party. One thing about gumbo, Bob. The flavor of the shrimps can make a big difference. Some of the inferences we read come from shrimps.

I have no idea where you get the idea that Nagin and Blanco "were such incredible losers who did nothing during the approach of the hurricane , did nothing during the hurricane, and only came out of their shells after the hurricane to scream for money."

I'm sure Serenity could tell you all about Nagin but let's not ask her because we don't want to be responsible for such a rise in blood pressure. Suffice to say he hid in a hotel room until it was all over and then popped out afterward like Ponche-something Phil and basically screamed, "Somebody DO something!"  Blanco wanted to handle it on her own all the way up to the end. She did not want a Republican government coming in to save the day. Perhaps she wanted to show that Democrats could take care of their own, without help from someone as despicable as a George Bush. We had some extensive threads here, as I'm sure you can imagine, right after the hurricane, filled with a lot of facts and input. It could make interesting reading for you, should you have the time. Just look for the dates in the Alley after the time it hit. You will recognize the thread by the pictures of the hundreds of school busses sitting in flooded parking lots because Nagin didn't want to use them for evacuation purposes.

I'll get into the blank check statement when I have more time.
Balladeer
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45 posted 06-02-2008 07:57 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Btw, Bob, if you ever have some free time - and if you already haven't done so, may I suggest you read a book called 1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose, columnist for the Times-Picayune? It is a day-to-day account of life in N.O. following the hurricane. No, it is not politically biased in any way, either way, and he received a Pulitzer nomination for the book.

Karen was kind enough to send it to me and I opened it to read a few pages and put it down after having read the entire book in one sitting. I recommend it highly. The introduction hooked me good and it was non-stop reading after that. It begins like so...

Dear America,

I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We’re South Louisiana.

We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We’re not much on formalities like that.

And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know you didn’t ask for this and neither did we, so we’re just going to have to make the best of it.

First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food, your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has come to our rescue.

We’re a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don’t cotton much to outside interference, but we’re not ashamed to accept help when we need it. And right now, we need it.

Just don’t get carried away. For instance, once we get around to fishing again, don’t try to tell us what kind of lures work best in your waters.

We’re not going to listen. We’re stubborn that way.

You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you’d probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.

We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.

But we’ll try not to judge you while we’re in your town.

Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our dead in LSU sweatshirts.

Often we don’t make sense. You may wonder why, for instance - if we could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to your state - why in God’s name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots?

We can’t really explain that. It is what it is.

You’ve probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is, many of us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that place we call Elsewhere.

The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that hooey, really, the best thing about where we come from is us.

We are what made this place a national treasure. We’re good people. And don’t be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens all the time.

When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.

But don’t pity us. We’re gonna make it. We’re resilient. After all, we’ve been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That’s got to count for something.

OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times.

But what the hell.

And one more thing: In our part of the country, we’re used to having visitors. It’s our way of life.

So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season of our despair.

That is our promise. That is our faith.
rwood
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Tennessee


46 posted 06-02-2008 09:44 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

That would have been 1972. And yes this has been going on for that long and longer. It's not all models/makes of mobile homes. And it's not just the mobile homes. Modular offices, cubicles, pods (like the ones they use for extra classrooms on over populated school campuses.)

If I'm not mistaken...it's also a chemical used in some carpets and many many other textiles and manufactured goods.

I was the only one who had a prolonged reaction or even a sensitivity to the substances in the family and I am very sensitive to whatever chemicals are used in the fabrication of those things today.

Formaldehydes? Or glues or dyes? All I know is my eyes burn badly and I begin to have breathing problems and I have to remove myself from the area. Prolonged exposure makes my skin itch and burn and I break out in a horrible rash. I don't wait for the rash to happen. They eye-burn thing is enough warning for me.

I had to get permission from the school to take my science class in the library, because it was held in one of those pods. That was in 1982.

So, I suppose that's why they haven't done much about it? I was only one in a classroom of 30 kids with a problem? And I think the conditions have to be right? I'm certainly not a scientist, but science matters in these instances because climate, humidity, volume of agent, and sensitivity may have to be just right in order for such to produce adverse affects.

I attended high school in Florida. And Louisiana summers aren't mild in temp.

Oh and the structure/fabrication has to be NEW...for me. It seems after a while the chemicals dissipate or breakdown with age and I'm not affected.

I'm not sure the gov hasn't done anything about it. Maybe they have in some ways but not in others?

Anything extreme such as a ban or outlaw of usage usually requires torrential downfalls of brain damage, cancer, and death before there are changes made affecting people within an environment when the majority are not affected. Doesn't it?

Yes, I really do feel for those affected by the walls of the only home they have to call home, and I really wish they would find something else friendly to all to hold those walls together.
Susan Caldwell
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since 12-27-2002
Posts 8464
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47 posted 06-02-2008 10:47 AM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

I won't offer my opinion anymore for reasons that are unimportant.  


http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.html#Health%20Effects[/URL]

Health Effects

Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop a sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans.  Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer. May also cause other effects listed under "organic gases."  EPA's Integrated Risk Information System profile -  

http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0419.htm

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/formaldehyde/

The 11th Report on Carcinogens classifies it as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen"

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/01/health/main3987944.shtml?source=related_story[/URL]

"The CDC initially said in February 2007 that, with proper ventilation, formaldehyde levels were safe in the short-term. FEMA immediately began citing the advisory as evidence that the trailers were safe."


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/16/tech/main3840261.shtml?source=related_story[/URL]

"Test results reported this week by the CDC showed formaldehyde levels in hundreds of FEMA trailers and mobile homes were, on average, about five times higher than what people are exposed to in most modern homes"

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/risk/formaldehyde[/URL]

"In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure (1). Since that time, some studies of industrial workers have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with nasal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, and possibly with leukemia. In 1995, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. However, in a reevaluation of existing data in June 2004, the IARC reclassified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen (2)."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14011193/


http://www.fox16.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=d9295de1-2695-4c8c-b219-4bebf209ef79[/URL]

FEMA is selling some of the trailers....



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/28/AR2008012802429.html[/URL]
http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/F5522.htm

"The perception of formaldehyde by odor and eye irritation becomes less sensitive with time as one adapts to formaldehyde. This can lead to overexposure if a worker is relying on formaldehyde's warning properties to alert him or her to the potential for exposure."


Form your own opinions.  



"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


48 posted 06-02-2008 12:50 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:


No doubt the political bias is there, Bob, and not initially by you. Reports are good at that. If I do a count and come up with the fact that there are more left-handed people in florida than Louisiana, may I then claim that FEMA treated states better with larger amounts of left-handed people? I'm not going to believe that any government, Republican or Democrat would make such biased decisions based on whether the governor was of their party.




     Were we talking about states with more left handed people, Balladeer?  If we were, I'd have to say it was highly significant, especially if there was extensive prior history of, say, the current President being governor of this state suspiciously packed with left-handed people, or the President's brother being governor of the other state being packed with left handed people.  Or the president's administration have worked closely with the former U.S. Speaker of the House to Gerrymander the electoral districts of the President's former state to favor the election of left handed people to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Yes, balladeer, I'd have to say that was significant.

     I am honored to be speaking to somebody who believes in the honor of governments and that they would not make a decision on the basis of the party of the governor.  I don't want to say anything here that would question that belief for you.  I would like to be able to believe that again myself some day.


quote:


I believe the state has corruption problems.  I'm not at all sure that they're more extensive, however, than similar problems in Massachusetts, or Texas, or Florida, or Illinois or Missouri or any of a bunch of other states who will gladly tell you stories of the convoluted levels of corruption in their state and municipal governments.

Then you would be one of the few in the country, I believe, who is not sure. Having gone to high school in Louisiana, albeit the northern part, we were certainly aware of it and, when high school students can be aware of anything, it's usually major!  If you like, I'll do some research and we can compare. The only other city I can think of in comparison is the old days of Chicago, with the "best police force money could buy".




     Heavens, Balladeer, what do you want?  I start off saying that New Orleans has a bad reputation for corruption.  Are you trying to suggest that if it's the worst that somehow it deserves the ill treatment it's been dealt not only by nature, but by the government as well?  Exactly what's your point here?

     You went to High School in Northern Louisiana and they were sure that Southern Louisiana was the worst place in the country.  In Ohio, where I was born, we were sure that Cleveland and Columbus took those prizes.  When I lived in Ithaca, New York, you could be sure to hear the exact same rap about the corruption in New York City, not to mention Washington.  New Orleans was just someplace you went on holiday to have a great time.  In Iowa City, Iowa, everyone thought Iowa City, Iowa was the pit.  Kansas City had a similar reputation well into the sixties.
When I lived in Montreal, Toronto was boring and corrupt and—worst of all—English.  After the language wars,
Toronto thought that Montreal was narrow, corrupt and nasty and was sure that they were the most cosmopolitan city in North America.  How are you going to measure corruptness when corruptness becomes a matter of bizarre municipal pride?

quote:


Here Bob quotes Balladeer:
     I have no idea where you get the idea that Nagin and Blanco "were such incredible losers who did nothing during the approach of the hurricane , did nothing during the hurricane, and only came out of their shells after the hurricane to scream for money."

And here Balladeer responds:
     I'm sure Serenity could tell you all about Nagin but let's not ask her because we don't want to be responsible for such a rise in blood pressure. Suffice to say he hid in a hotel room until it was all over and then popped out afterward like Ponche-something Phil and basically screamed, "Somebody DO something!"  Blanco wanted to handle it on her own all the way up to the end. She did not want a Republican government coming in to save the day. Perhaps she wanted to show that Democrats could take care of their own, without help from someone as despicable as a George Bush.




(The bold text above is mine.)

     You can't have it both ways, Balladeer.  I haven't researched Nagin at all.  But Blanco cannot be charged with doing nothing before and during, with coming out of her shell afterward only to demand money AND handling it her own way by showing Democrats can take care of their own without help from george Bush.

     In fact it was her job to demand money and she and the other governors did it.  It was the job of the Federal Government to use funds set aside for that sort of stuff or funds that they knew would be earmarked for that sort of stuff to supply that money and other forms of aid.  You seem to make her doing that job sound underhanded.  You certainly don't suggest that other Republican governors doing the same thing is anything else but business as usual.  It is business as usual for natural disasters.  

     There was never any question of Democrats or anybody for that matter being able "to do it on their own," and pretty much everyone knew it.  Why the congress and the President cut the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the levees and keep the pumps healthy when the
information about the vulnerability of New Orleans was known, however, was inexcusable.  

     I'll try to find the book you make reference to.  The writing looks great.  Yours, BobK.
Balladeer
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49 posted 06-02-2008 06:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Were we talking about states with more left handed people, Balladeer?  

No, bob, we were talking about selective finger-pointing. The Democrats, and apparently you since you found the desire to quote them, decided to claim states which were supposedly Republican, got better treatment for that reason. You can use left-handed, red-headed, or blue-blooded to get whatever result you want to encourage. Doesn't make it so. Btw, I said supposedly because, even though Bush's brother was the head of Florida, southern Florida, where the majority of the damage occurred is strictly Democratic. Dade (Miami), Broward (Ft. Lauderdale) and Palm Beach counties have consistently voted democratic since time began....believe it.

Heavens, Balladeer, what do you want?  I start off saying that New Orleans has a bad reputation for corruption.  Are you trying to suggest that if it's the worst that somehow it deserves the ill treatment it's been dealt not only by nature, but by the government as well?  Exactly what's your point here?

Yes, sir, you did start off saying that....and then followed it with...

I'm not at all sure that they're more extensive, however, than similar problems in Massachusetts, or Texas, or Florida, or Illinois or Missouri or any of a bunch of other states who will gladly tell you stories of the convoluted levels of corruption in their state and municipal governments.

So they are corrupt but not any moreso than basically any other state, according to you. I don't see where any of those states have anywhere near the national reputation for crime and corruptness that New Orleans has. What do I want, Bob? A statement without a big BUT behind it.

How are you going to measure corruptness when corruptness becomes a matter of bizarre municipal pride?

So if the residents are proud of their corruptness there's no way for it to be measured? That's quite a statement there.


You can't have it both ways, Balladeer. (relating to Blanco)

Of course I can. Blanco did NOT do anything  except to claim the Democrats could handle it....perhaps through some metaphysical power, perhaps?

Why the congress and the President cut the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the levees and keep the pumps healthy when the
information about the vulnerability of New Orleans was known, however, was inexcusable.


Well, which President are you referring to? New Orleans was told over 40 years ago that the levees had to be redone. They were given government funds to do so. A fair amount of that money went into the pockets of the political powers in control over decades.  There are links in the other threads I mentioned concerning this and many other points relating to Blanco and Nagin.

If it behooves you or anyone to go the finger-pointing route at the national government, go ahead. Louisiana and New Orleans governments have alway known that the city was a disaster waiting to happen. The levees were not able to handle such a storm, there were no evacuation plans made, no auxillary power set-ups for hospitals and necessary utilities and no organization of exactly what to do in such a case. Why not? I can only assume that each administration figured it wouldn't happen during their moment in the sun so they didn't worry about it. Yes, that's just my opinion but it seems to fit the bill.

Could FEMA have done a better job? Absolutely. I've never seen any disaster of this magnitude in which all goverment agencies ran smoothly and did not screw up in one way or another. Have you? Listening to the Democrats, though, the real disaster was not the hurricane but the actions of Bush and FEMA. Did FEMA do ANYTHING right? Not according to democrats. I beg to differ and I have little doubt that, if Slick Willie had been sitting in the Oval office, the Democrats would have praised FEMA's actions lavishly. But here they had another opportunity - and they are not a party known to miss an opportunity - to bash Bush and they took advantage of it, largely, I will claim, to cover  up their own failures in this tragedy. The best defense is always a good offense, right?

 
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