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jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1308
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 1:20 am:   Edit Post

Yesterday evening, the BBC broadcast the Spike Lee Documentary, 'When the Levee Broke'. 2 years to the day since Katrina hit New Orleans. Having seen limited news coverage over here and only one prior documentary (which was more to do with a famous photographer restoring his damaged images), it was horrifying to see the catalogue of administrative failures that ended up costing the lives of so many of your countrymen. I've discussed this once before with Micheal Delacerda but I still shed a silent tear when seeing the devastation that was caused and I was furious to learn that bodies were still being found in houses that had supposedly been searched 6 months after the event.
I'm guessing there are still people waiting for some kind of government aid to rebuild their lives. My thoughts and prayers are with those folk...

Graeme
terryc
Advanced Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 245
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 2:56 am:   Edit Post

Graeme, saw it too..you know we had a similar situation here this summer in Gloucester, here are two 'civilised' countries and both of them cannot even manage a major disaster, to see the citizens of Gloucester attempting to get water from empty bowsers was unbelievable. You would think we were as with New Orleans third world countries.
I guess it is okay for the British & American administration to support the Iraq conflict though at the cost of millions of dollars and pounds not forgetting the soldiers who have lost there lives.
I sometimes wonder where governments get their priorities
flaxattack
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1651
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 3:11 am:   Edit Post

graeme
thats one of the reasons we love our president...
friends first- people last.....
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1753
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 8:30 am:   Edit Post

You can't believe everything you see on TV. The images are clearly very powerful, but so is the propaganda. So many of these "documentary" programs are made by people with an agenda who present opinions that they agree with as truth. I haven't seen this program yet, but your reaction makes me believe that maybe it had some purpose beyond a historical account of events.

There's no doubt that the local, state and federal governments could have responded more effectively, but this was a natural disaster. How much time and effort to you suppose went in to building a response plan for such an event and whose responsibility do you think it was to do so? How many times do you think they ran practice scenarios to test out the plan, and how likely would it have been that such a plan would have worked flawlessly when really enacted? Why weren't the state and local governments channeling funds to the improvement of the levees to handle a category five storm over the past 20 or 50 years instead of waiting for one to hit? I'm paying extra taxes to support a new sewer system for the town high school, so why wasn't New Orleans collecting them to address the levees before they failed?

I am neither supporting nor condemning the actions of any of the government bodies involved here. After all, that's pretty much a taboo topic on these boards. Let's not turn this into a massive political debate. Let's focus our energies on remembering those who were affected by these events, assisting them to recover as we can, and figuring out how to prevent a repeat performance.

Sorry, I guess this is just one of my hot buttons. While I don't agree with everything governments do, or have done in previous administrations, they aren't responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world. In the last week I have seen Michael Vick's situation and opposition to the NYC ban on metal bats in scholastic baseball blamed on the federal government. Personally, I am sick to death that they haven't enacted and enforced a ban on halitosis after all these years.

If there were no Iraq war, do you think planning for New Orleans to flood in a hurricane would have bubbled to the top of the funding/effort priority list? I could see it if the country had dozens of big cities around the coast built below sea level. Preventing and responding to such disasters would be a regular part of the culture. The technology for preventing them would be improved as would the experience in responding. It is both unfortunate and fortunate that New Orleans is unique. If this happens a second time, though, it will be unforgivable.

People have to be responsible for the choices they make and for their own livelihood. Maybe I will just go buy some beach front property. I'll build a walled compound just off shore, drain out the water and build my house there. When it floods in a storm, I can look forward to the government paying me a bunch of money to rebuild it and restart my life, right? "Government aid" is nothing more than forced charity on the part of every taxpayer. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is also often abused. If you feel strongly, I am sure you can find ways to donate your own time and money to the cause of repair and recovery. We did.
eligilam
Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 55
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post

My favorite part of the documentary was when some of the interviewees claim they heard the blasting caps going off where the government had planted bombs on the levees.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2596
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post

You really can't blame the Federal Gov't for it's inadequate response. After all, how can you condemn Bush for appointing his good buddy Brownie as head of FEMA? I mean, who do you think should be in charge of emergency operations, someone with actual real life experience in the area, or a friend of the president who knows a lot about horses? What's the point of even being president if you have to give jobs to qualified people instead of your friends? And, as Bob points out, Katrina was a natural disaster. It was obviously nature that prevented the delivery of water, food, clothing and other basic supplies, wasn't it?

Bob's also right that people should take responsibility for their own actions. All those people in the flooded portions of New Orleans chose to live there. They could have chosen to live in Beverly Hills, Westchester County or on Park Avenue in New York, Pacific Heights in San Francisco, or any other place. They chose to live in New Orleans, so they should clean up after themselves. And while I'm talking about New York, those people all chose to live there. Why should everyone else's tax dollars be used to help out with the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks? And how about all those people who choose to be poor and choose not to buy health insurance. Why should those who choose to be wealthy have to help pay? It just isn't fair!

Bill, tgo

(Message edited by lbpesq on August 30, 2007)
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 549
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 11:26 am:   Edit Post

Bill,

I take it you're not a Republican and/or conservative then? ;-)

Alan
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1547
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post

Iím a pedestrian.

Democratic and Republicans alike walk all over my rights.

Ba-Dump_dah
Olie
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1754
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post

I agree with you there, Olie!
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 827
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post

I did not get to see the documentary. I don't think I will be watching anytime soon either, the scars are too fresh. I too think that there is a bit of propaganda with this film, just like the documentary on 911, ( I forget what it is called - never watched it either ) and Supersize Me. I am just saying this from what others have said, since I did not see it firsthand.

I know for a fact that there was much preparation over the years for a storm of this magnatude. We had drills and evacuations since I was a child. But nothing prepares you for the real thing.

I work at a large state healthcare facility. Where I work there are about two thousand employed there. It's pretty large for a hospital. We have 2 teams for our hurricane preparedness. The team I was on is supposed to come back to New Orleans after it was over and "pick up the pieces". Working closely with the disaster director before the storm, I knew firsthand what was involved here. Before the storm, we thought we had it under control and had thought of every scenario. When the storm came on shore, it was quite obvious that there is NO WAY anyone can prepare for something like this. All of the pre planning, backup plans and provisions were useless. Once you factor in rising water, panic, and the breakdown of law, it was obvious that all the planning in the world was for nothing. What did not help matters was that no one was rescued from where I work for over a week. Food was scarce, meals consisted of 4 green beans and a few ounces of water. People coming to the facility for refuge were turned away to litteraly drown in the streets. It was truly every man for himself. I am both sorry and glad that I was not there to witness it firsthand, since I was on the recovery team. But I regret that I was not there to help. My point here is that I cannot blame the planning, both at my facility and on the governmental level. It was just more than could be imagined. A sad, sad series of unfortunate events unfolded and I find it very difficult to point any fingers of blame. I just hope that it never happens again in my lifetime.

By the way, the blasting that people heard were river barges breaking through and over the levees on the Mississippi river bank. The barges broke free of their moorings and floated into the neighborhoods. This also happened in the same neighborhood in the mid 60's for hurricane Betsy.

I am back in my neighborhood and back in my home. It is completely rebuilt. AND I did not use one single penny of government money. And I cleaned up after myself! We are doing fine, but still waiting for furniture. I am sitting at a folding plastic table typing this on my work laptop. And when I go to bed tonight, I will be sleeping on the floor again. Here it is 2 years later and my life is still not what it was. But I am grateful, I know personally of others that did not fare as well. All we lost was our stuff. I am not looking for sympathy, I am just trying to give outsiders perspective. I am under the impression that people in other parts of the country think that all is fine here. It's not.
flaxattack
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1652
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 7:03 pm:   Edit Post

how could be possibly blame bush?
lets go to the video tape./...
he hired brown and chertoff-amongst other winners
he ignored the info provided prior to the event
he sat on his ass and let brown snooze at the wheel and say info was slow to come in when every news channel was showing the devastation.
the only guy who stood up and said we f'd up was the army corps of engineers saying they did a crappy job building the levees.
wonder what bob would say if his town was decimated and the govt snoozed away,,,,
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1756
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

Michael,

Kudos to you for your character and efforts to be a part of the solution. I think that was part of my point on the preparation side, that the reality was bound to throw challenges at you that were either so much greater in magnitude, or just totally unexpected. Now that this has happened, though, I expect that the experience should improve the planning for a possible future disaster.

Out of curiosity, when you say you're waiting for furniture, is it a matter of a shortage, transportation issues, insurance delays, or simply getting the funds together to buy what you need?

We have a few contractors as part of our business that are located in the area. We sent them several boxes of supplies in the weeks after Katrina for their use and to spread around their neighborhoods. Canned foods, socks, underwear, and kids toys were among the most appreciated items from what we heard.

We also sent a couple dozen people down there this spring for an off-site company meeting. We were going to send them to LA, but felt it might be beneficial to send some commerce back to New Orleans so we moved it. Things were definitely nothing like they had been a few years earlier and it showed in the demeanor of the people.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences. What we have heard from "real" people has been so much more important than anything the many propaganda machines have turned out.
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1126
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 7:10 pm:   Edit Post

Michael,

I work with a woman who was a mid-level university administrator. She wants nothing more than to be able to return permanently, but her job is gone for now. Since she leased her domicile, she isn't counted among the displaced. When she talks about visiting down there, going through her old neighborhood and just driving around town, tears fill her eyes.

I bet you have a thousand stories to tell that make her's sound like a fairy tale.

I cannot begin to comprehend what you all have gone through, and are still going through. With any luck, I will never be able to comprehend it. It is extremely important that we remember it, and you, and her, and all the real people who lost everything or simply didn't make it.

John
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5462
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 7:53 pm:   Edit Post

Friends; in addition to being an ongoing, heartbreaking disaster, this is also an ongoing, hot-button political issue. And while I think it important that we remember what has happened on the Gulf Coast and that we continue to help, I also think it important that in this forum we refrain from casting aspersions at each other. It's certainly understandable that this topic can elicit very emotional reactions, but directing our emotional reactions negatively at our fellow club members only results in hurt feelings and lingering anger.

Karma. When we treat others positively, positive energy spreads; when we treat others negatively, negative energy spreads.

There is a popular quote from Gandhi; "be the change that you want to see in the world". If you want to see positive change in the world, then a good first step is to begin to put positive change into practice in our everyday lives, at the post office, the grocery store, and with our friends in this forum.

So, while it's certainly understandable that this is an emotional issue, we don't have to attack each other here in our forum.

Thanks.
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 828
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 8:25 pm:   Edit Post

Bob; In response to your question about our furniture, I am not really sure of the answer. We have already paid for a house of furniture, but very few pieces have shown up. I guess that furnishings are in such demand down here that everything is backloged. I am not sure if it is at the manufacturer level or at the retail outlet. But we are promised that our bedroom set will be here by the end of September! I guess because we are so particular about our furniture it takes a while to make. Everything we ordered so far has not been anything the local stores keep in stock.

I guess it is like ordering a custom made bass!
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1757
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 8:49 pm:   Edit Post

That sucks. The furniture stores up here are packed with inventory and having regular sales to move things. It can't be economical to ship the stuff back and forth across the country, but you would think they could get enough inventory delivered to an area of high demand, especially two years later. Of course, if you're looking for a cocobolo headboard with ebony stringers, you might just have to wait. Here's hoping they deliver on time or ahead of schedule for you.
2400wattman
Senior Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 450
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 9:40 pm:   Edit Post

ever see a grown man cry?.....I did when I was eight. I was wrestling with my dad and punched him in the balls! This was before I knew of any kind of etiquette in wrastling!
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1311
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 1:01 am:   Edit Post

Oh Boy :-( I certainly didn't start this topic as a political debate, I was simply hoping to remind folks that there are still problems in New Orleans that shouldn't be swept under the mat. My original point was that I found the documentary emotionally draining and while Bob's right to say you can't believe everything you see on TV, I believe this was one case where the facts were presented in a pretty unbiased way. So, to repeat what Dave has said, "while it's certainly understandable that this is an emotional issue, we don't have to attack each other here in our forum".

Graeme
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 2193
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 5:37 am:   Edit Post

Good Advice, Dave!

Thanks for always being the voice of common sense and reason.

Cheers,

Kevin
terryc
Advanced Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 250
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 6:18 am:   Edit Post

Jacko - guess the advice is right on general terms..don't discuss politics or religion in discussion whether in the pub or on an internet forum.
I can imagine the people in Gloucester don't care about the politicians..they just wanted clean water
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1552
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post

Very sound and good advice Dave.

To quote another very very important man (important to me anyway) "...Love your neighbor as yourself...."

Olie
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2597
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post

I apologize if my remarks went "over-the-line". Considering that I spend a good deal of my time battling a gov't that is trying to put my client in a cage because they have Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Glaucoma, MS, Epilepsy, etc. and followed a doctor's advice to obtain relief, it's not always easy to walk away from an opportunity to call the Feds on the carpet where they have acted contrary to the interests of the American people.

Bill, tgo
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 734
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 7:52 pm:   Edit Post

Unless someone has said something blatently uncivil, and/or for the sake of being deliberately malicious, they should not apoligize for what they've said.

It is my responsibility -first and formost to myself... but second, to others- to have integrity, and to show it in my words and actions.

It is my responsability to "call it as I see it" -and, of course, to do it with a heart free of malice. It is my responsibility to speak the truth as I see it, and to do it civilly, and, of course, to also acknowledge mistakes when I make them.

It is NOT my responsibility to assume responsibility for others; if others get bent out of shape over my civilly stating my opinion, that is, frankly, their problem. It is in their best interests to get over it, and to learn to rationally assimilate and integrate the thoughts of others without irrational responses -just as it is my obligation to do the same.

If someone states their opinion in a civil manner, then -no matter what I may think of it- I should respond (or not) in a civil and rational manner. The idea that others should not civilly speak their mind because I (and/or others) might get bent out of shape by it is absurd. Likewise the other way around.

There is no more worthwhile activity than human beings sharing their thoughts, opinions, and ideas in a civil manner. Nothing bad comes from this. "The bad" comes from censorship... external... or -even worse- internal censorship. And/or from people reacting irrationally because they haven't assumed responsibility for their intellect, integrated their emotions and reason, and instead seek to restrict others expression.

Speak your mind, people. Call it as you see it. Do it civilly and rationally, and don't apoligize for it. By all means, if you make an error, acknowledge it. If you wrong someone, apoligize for it. But don't apologize for saying something that "someone might get offended about." Because -trust me- THERE ISN'T anything you can say that someone can't or won't choose to be offended by.

I have many thoughts on the issue this thread was focusing on. But I'm not going to share them here and now -because I think it was more important to share my thoughts on this underlying issue.

Take care folks. I appreciate the intelligent thoughts I frequently see on this forum -and I hate to think I might be missing some that people are afraid to express.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1761
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 9:40 pm:   Edit Post

Mark, I think you're missing one key point. This is Alembic's house. Alembic has asked us not to delve into political discussion here because of where it inevitably leads. I don't recall, but I suspect that there are probably a couple other topics to be avoided for similar reasons.

There's a time and a place for everything, including expressing views on topics that matter to you. If a line was crossed here, it wasn't with regard to the political views that were expressed, but that political views were expressed at all. There are plenty of places for such discourses, but this is supposed to be neutral ground.

When I first posted on this thread, it was with the intent of pointing that out. I tried to write a relatively objective and neutral post, but apparently I failed to do so based on the aggressive and critical responses. A perfect example of why certain topics are to be avoided on these boards.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 739
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post

Bob, it is NOT "inevitable" that political discussion leads to anything negative; this simply isn't the case.

It IS inevitable that when people are irrational and/or uncivil, THAT leads to negativity.

Which, of course, is why being irrational and/or uncivil should not be tolerated.

It does not follow that people should exercise self censorship because others may be uncivil and/or irrational.

And Susan herself told me this is "our forum". Of course, we should be appreciative and gracious, and conduct ourselves accordingly, in a civil manner. And I think most of us do, most of the time. And I've seen several examples of people apoligizing for things they've said/done. So the system works.

One thing I feel compelled to point out, is there has been a pattern, time and time again, where members DO post threads of a philosophical nature -often political and/or religious- and nothing is said to suggest they edit or delete said posts... it's only when someone else challenges them or discusses them -the logical response to such posts- that we hear the old "these kinds of discussions aren't appropriate here" comments.

You can't have it both ways. If you have a problem with philosophical posts, then logic and consistency demand you take issue with people that make/start such posts, rather than taking issue with those who respond to them.

Doesn't that seem fair and reasonable?

Of course, if we're afraid to have civil philosophical discussions, that would be pretty sad. But if the powers that be really want to not have any philosophical discussion, maybe the miscellaneous section should just be removed all together, and have an official rule that there will be no conversation or discussion of any kind other than music and instruments. That would be sad, and I'm skeptical anyone would really want this... but... unless we have that... the alternative IS to have/allow/permit philosophical discussions. In which case, we should simply insist on civility, and take issue with those who are uncivil.

Take care folks, that's all I have to say. Again, I respect and enjoy the intelligent and civil posts I read here, and I'm glad to seeing people sharing their thoughts in a civil manner -even when I disagree with them.
:-):-):-)
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1763
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post

Mark, I agree that the initiator of such discussions is at least as much to blame as the ones who respond. Often, it is just a little sarcastic comment that starts the ball rolling and it can be very hard for a reader to hold one's tongue under such circumstances. Some forums are plagued with trolls who would throw out a quick post to agitate things and then step aside with a bag of popcorn to watch the fireworks. Personally, I would rather this weren't one of them.

While there are all sorts of posts that can create disagreement, I think it is generally accepted that politics and religion are dangerous topics because of the fervor with which people defend their positions. Is it truly inevitable that such threads will devolve? No, but experience says that they do with regularity, and what frequency and level of hostility makes for an acceptable threshold?

As far as the Miscellaneous forum is concerned, there are an awful lot of valuable things that we discuss here other than religion and politics. I think it would be shortsighted to eliminate this resource entirely because of the occasional thread that goes too far. We can disagree about which of the motorcycle roads in the NC/TN area are the most enjoyable to ride without it getting personal. Between this thread and the "Didn't see that coming" thread, I think we've done a pretty good job in showing the ugly side of what happens when religion and politics are the topics of discussion.

Finally, I'd say we're not in an environment that wants to be heavily policed with users banned for bad behavior. What other recourse is there for those who incite others or escalate tensions? I believe that we are better served by reserving our positions on such matters for expression in other forums and focusing our discussions here on less divisive topics.
jakebass
Junior
Username: jakebass

Post Number: 18
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 2:56 am:   Edit Post

I Haven't read the entire thread, so apologies for any inaccuracy, what I have understood from glancing through most of the posts is that, as Mark eloquently points out, is that discussion, for the vast majority of the time is being held here in the most civil of terms, sometimes people get heated. So far most here seem intelligent enough to cope with that (I myself try to be understanding of peoples weak spots by remembering that I too have some glaring ones)
I understand that this forum is hosted by and mainly for Alembic and its almost magical produce, that understood, I for one value hearing the views and opinions of my fellow musicians, however polemic. bsee and 8_string_king are expressing some core philosophical values that I delight in knowing are being expounded outside my own house (where I tend to rattle on ad infinitum)and whats more in my daily life I have few and far between opportunities to encounter this breadth of intelligence, discussion and opinion. despite the odd bit of heat It seems to me that we self regulate pretty well here with the help of some seriously well natured and level headed moderation (i refer to Dave of course) So if I may say without apology. KEEP IT COMING GUYS.
Yours in the spirit of Liberty
Jake.

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