Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Translating back and forth

I've been sitting by the computer almost a full day, only interupted by children screaming like that flower in Little shop of horrors: FEED ME!

The best thing with children,however, is that you can feed them almost anything as long as it's not good for them. The only child here, that actually eats something that's good for her, is of course LittleAngel.

I was also interupted by my mother calling, asking for help to get two tires from the workshop attic. That sounds real professional, doesn't it? Oh yes, until you realize that the workshop in fact is a barn that saw it's best during the battle of Lützen.

Mother promised dinner for my efforts. She ordered pizza.

Now, what was so important that I sat all day long? Katrina, of course. By following so many blogs, and through them finding even more horror stories and horrible facts, I feel like I'm pretty knowledgable about many of the events before and after. Add television and it almost feels as if I've been there.

Early this morning I found a swedish blogger who wrote, as an answer to a swedish journalist who criticized Bush, something like this:

"Please, tell me, because I'm really suffering not sharing your deep knowledge about hurricanes, since you, as a swede, know everything so much better considering that so many hurricanes strike Sweden every year. Pretend that all of Stockholm had to be evacuated, 1 billion people leave the city to search for shelter on higher grounds. They build levees and prepare as much as possible before the hurricane hits. All this and much more was done in New Orleans.
How are you supposed to prepare for such an event and all thinkable scenarios?"

And at the end:

"Doesn't the hatred for Bush have any limits?"

I got a bit surprised because, as I had understood everything in american media, the preparations had been few and inadequat. I like to prove people wrong so I started to research, starting with all the blogs I normally read. These blogs led me further on to news articles and eventually to all kind of links to different magazines and videos from CNN, FOX, ABC and so forth.

I decided to only use the hard cold facts that could be verified, gathered these, translated it all to swedish and came up with no less than three full Word documents of how the preparations did not work, mistakes that were done, the witnessed incompetence of some FEMA officials, and offered help that was refused. I translated it all to swedish and sent them to his blog comments. I think he will re-think what he was writing. I've never gotten so pissed over things that happen in another country.

And please don't ask me to translate it back to english...

One of the more helpful pages was Daily Kos.

And I almost forgot Crooks and Liars.


Virginia Gal said...

So what was the final conclusion, I think everyone involved (federal, state, local) has some blame to bear, no?

AngryBlackBitch said...

Translate it into English!

Just joking...

Crystal-Lynn said...

President Bush is responsible. He should go read up on the role of the President of The United States. President Truman, a Missouri man, had a sign on his desk that said "The Buck Stops Here." This meant that he's responsible, period. In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman said, "The President--whoever he is--has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

And President Bush is the only man with the power to solve a domestic crisis. He could have federalized the National Guard immediately -- he doesn't need a Governor's permission. He could have sent in the U.S. Army and over-ruled Rumsfeld's (Sec. of Defense) objections. He is the Commander in Chief of all armed services -- warships sitting in port up north could have been sent south on his order. He could have issued an Executive Order from his ranch immediately making all medical licenses recipricol throughout the 50 states so doctors from out of state could assist in triage without fear of losing their licenses. I'm pretty sure he could have ordered the airlines flying in and out of Dallas, Houston, Little Rock and Memphis to send empty jets to New Orleans or a nearby Air Force base to pick up evacuees rather than stuff them into the Superdome. (We have a free market, but on 9/11 he ordered all planes in U.S. airspace grounded -- and it was done.) The President of the United States has almost unlimited powers when it comes to martial law, a state of emergency, etc. President Lincoln eliminated Habeus Corpus during the Civil War and some scholars believe his decision to wage the Civil War itself was unconstitutional -- the doc gives the states the right to cecede. Nice point of academic noodling, but the president can pretty much do what he wants in a crisis -- then and now. President Kennedy sent the National Guard into Mississippi to enforce school desegregation in the 1960's. We've had lots of hurricanes in the U.S. and each time the full force of the U.S. federal government is on display in in support of local officials -- if they can't handle it, the cavalry comes marching in. Usually. That's why everyone's pissed off about this.

Sorry for the long comment, but Virginia Gal's got it wrong. The federal government has the power it does because the buck stops there. Not in some parrish in New Orleans.

thatfarmgirl said...

Good grief. There is plenty of blame to go around and plenty of people who need to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for a piss poor job all around. Elected officials (that means Mayor Nagin & Governor Blanco) have a responsibility to their respective constituencies. The President (Bush or whomever) cannot be all things to all people. That's why there are elected officials, agencies and others. It's called delegation and sharing of responsibility. Bush is no great leader, but he did not single-handedly create the mess in Louisiana.