Friday, September 02, 2005

I finally had to switch over to Little House on the Prairie. All the devastation and horrible stories they keep showing all over the news are just too much. The hospital situation in New Orleans is beyond belief. They are trapped inside because of flooding and looters attacking the hospitals trying to get at medications (narcotics). Patients are dying. They are out of water and food, and have no way of getting any more. They have move all the patients into the upper floors to protect them from the violence of the looters. And now, they are reporting that the nurses have started IV's on each other so that they can hook up IV fluids so they won't get all dehydrated.

They are starting IV's on each other and taking intravenous fluids because there is no water to be had and they are becoming dehydrated. I just cannot grasp that concept. I cannot imagine something like that happening. Nurses are also hand-bagging their intubated patients, because there is no electricity and generators and backup generators have failed, so it is either bag or let them die. People are dying anyway.

This is a tragedy, and could have been prevented. Bush took money that was specifically designated to repairing and upgrading the levee systems in New Orleans and sent it to fund the war in Iraq. This after his own agency, FEMA reported that a hurricane hitting New Orleans was one of the top 3 major disasters that could happen in the US. There was warning, there was a plan set up to fix the problem, and Bush gambled and sent the money elsewhere. Not to mention the fact that today is the 5th day after the storm hit big time, and they are just NOW getting the national guard there. 5 DAYS!!! Know why???--they have been deployed to Iraq. Great. The NATIONAL GUARD, whose responsibilities are to guard THIS nation are not here, they are somewhere else in the world, and the people of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama are paying the price. And people voted this idiot into office??


Davinie said...

Hmmm, I wonder where your loyalties lie? Are you really blaming Bush for Katrina? Katrina would have devastated New Orleans regardless of any levy.

They sent out the word for city firefighters to head to New Orleans. Steve thought about it, but would be gone for at LEAST 30 days, and we need to sign for our house and move in less than 30 days. So he won't go. But he'd sure be a great asset to have! I must say, my Eagle Scout has a great level head on his shoulders. He said it is somethign he is interested in doing, so perhaps he will make himself more available when our children are older and we are more secure at home without him around. He's been working a ton this month and it's been really hard not to have him at home. Morgan doesn't understand. She just keeps asking for him, and gets a littttttle bit cranky.

Anyway, there sure are a lot of people to worry about in New Orleans, not just the major catastrophes the news chooses to talk about over and over. Police are having to take away from helping people to protecting them instead from street gangs, who live like animals from day to day, and don't care about anyone but themselves. And don't forget the varmints! People are in their attics with alligators and water mocassins! And bugs! You don't think about that! An added danger.

While I see that you certainly don't like Bush, you should also take into consideration who the media would vote for, and remember that they can't report on everything, so good things might be happening that aren't being talked about. It's a big disaster. You can't do everything right immediately. He may not be making the decisions you might have made, but I am certain he already has a full plate. They did try and evacuate the area before Katrina hit, which was a good idea. There's a lot of people, and where are they supposed to go?

Anyway, stay positive. Consider volunteering for disaster relief. You'd be an asset to Louisiana right now as well.

alyca said...

If the levees had been fortified and updated, they would have held. New Orleans had a lot of damage after the hurricane, but the bigger disaster happened later, when the levees failed and water filled the bowl of the city.

And.......I am sure Bush has a ton of 'work' on his plate, seeing that he was in the midst of a 5-week vacation, and was busy playing a guitar and hobnobbing with musicians while this all unfolded. Nice of him to fly overhead to see the devastation DAYS after it happened, and now he is marching around doing pretty much nothing but posing for pictures, and it is 5 DAYS afterwards.

Also, I have learned long ago not to read much into what is out there on CNN or MSNBC or especially FOXNEWS. I have tons of other sources that I look to for my information. I have been reading blogs of people who are currently IN New Orleans or the surrounding areas, as well as other un-official sites with firsthand accounts and pictures and livecams of the devastation.

AND many peope COULD NOT evacuate ahead of time. They had no cars, public transportation was completely overwhelmed, the freeways were so backed up that many people turned around and headed to local shelters, since they could not get out. Even the highways themselves were swamped, and many people had to be rescued from there. THere is no gas. Even if you have a car, you can't get anywhere without gas. A lot of people were very ill and fragile and could not leave. Dialysis patients, etc. Many of them were taken to the Superdome as a shelter, but that has all fallen apart. New Orleans has 28% of its population living below the poverty level. Where were they supposed to go? SHelters are full, they are being turned away, and their homes are now gone. It is a horrible situation. The national guard should have been mobilized on day one. Day zero. They knew the storm was coming, yet didn't get sent in until this morning. Unacceptable. Stuff could have been prevented.

I would love to go and help, but that is not possible. I have a RN license for WA only, there is a multi-state one that you can get, but you have to apply, take tests, etc to get it. Also, there is no way in hell my work would let me go. We are running at over 100% capacity as it is, and generally have hallway patients sitting around waiting for rooms. Since no one has health insurance anymore, we get tons more patients than we used to, and it is straining us a bunch. We never have enough nurses, are always running short, and it is a disaster in the making. Sooner or later, our patients will start getting sicker and people may eventually die because there are not enough nurses to take care of the patients, and it is unsafe. Hopefully we can figure out a way to deal with our own problem, but I can say that I have worked on days where the acuity of our patients was so high that I felt unsafe,like my license was on the line. It wouldn't take much to miss out on something important going on with a patient, some sort of change. When you have more and more sicker and sicker patients this is bound to happen.

Davinie said...

Don't confuse deployment with arrival.

Let's take into consideration the possible scenario:

When Steve goes to a large fire, they don't just all start running from all directions and start throwing hoses all over the place. They set up a command post, they assess the situation, and make a plan of action. Everyone must check in before they are routed to their needed destination.

It would be difficult to organize and assess the proper course of action with a situation that involves 3 states. The first and most important objective would be life safety. That's why helicopters, which are the easiest to organize and deploy, have been there since day one doing what they can to help rescue people.

The National Guard is national, so it must have been quite an undertaking to organize personnel, equipment, and suppliies, to make a trek across the country. You can't do anything until the damage is done, so it would have been impossible to have all of this organization done before the disaster had even occurred and you knew where you were needed most.

Trying to evacuate New Orleans was a huge undertaking. Of course not everyone was able to get out. But some did. That's a few less people to worry about.

Give Bush the benefit of the doubt in that the National Guard has probably been "setting up command" for a few days now, and that they have been working on getting down there as soon as they could. When the City Fire Departments got the call to get two person team volunteers, they heard they would be deployed to help in small communities and outlying areas, where they would actually provide minimal first aid, and would be more of an aid to communities with many questions, to help facilitate supplies and other aids to the many people affected by this disaster.

The second order of business is incident stabilization, which we are far from, and the third priority is personal property, which we are even further from caring about.

Anyway, that's the end of my two cents. I don't have time to watch the news and read news blogs, I just know that even if you didn't think Bush was doing a good job, you know he couldn't have been just sitting at home on his thumbs. You may not have been notified that help was on the way, but I am sure the ball had been already rolling prior to today.

When was the last time a hurricane hit New Orleans?

Mama-Beans said...

Five days seems like forever to the people living this nightmare, I'm sure. But in the real life scheme of things, five days is nothing. I'm sure Mr. Bush was aware of what was going to happen, and I'm sure he did all he was able to do to get what help there was available. It is sad that there wasn't more that could be done, and that is something the Govt as a whole has to take responsability for. But honestly, you can't hold one man responsable for a national disaster. No one could have predicted the devistation this hurricane would have caused. With efforts elsewhere at the time, and no long term advance warning that this was going to happen, what more could he do, really? I really feel for the people living through this. I have donated a fee to the red cross. That is all I can do for now. I may want to do more, but that is all I can do. I think, perhaps, Mr. Bush is feeling the same way. I really doubt he was sitting back and relaxing with his guitar while his country was ravaged. But how do you prevent something so unpredictable? How long ago did he decide the fate of these funds? How long ago did we learn of Katrina, and what she threatened? Note the HUGE gap in time.
As a side note, he is doing what the American people want. That's how he became president in the first place. More then half of the country support him in his war efforts. You can't blame the man for satisfying the majority, rather then the minority. It is his job to make us happy. We said "to war", so that's where he led us. The same is true for the rest of the decisions he has made that are so contravercial. Yes, turns out some of the decisions are bad ones, but WE made the decision, not him. He is the figurehead that enforces the decision.

alyca said...

Actually.....he WAS playing his guitar. He had a publicity stunt all set up and he chose to go ahead and do it--he played guitar with some famous musicians, hung out, etc. It happened. the first post I put up on this, with the link in it. It was written in 2001 based off of reports by Bush's own FEMA, and almost word for word describes what would happen if a hurricane hit New Orleans or that vicinity. There are a bunch of other reports written in 2002 and 2004 that are the same. All by his people, all ignored, even though they say this is one of the biggest potential disasters that could happen in the US. THey laid it all out there, and he ignored it and sent the money elsewhere, cutting the program that had already been approved and put into place by the Clinton administration to fix those levees. The leves failed AFTER the hurricane was already gone, and let millions of gallons of water into the city. That is exactly what was predicted, and exactly what has happened. There were warning flags everywhere.

AND, it was known that this hurricane was heading straight at New Orleans 3-4 days before it hit. But they did not begin mobilizing the national guard until 2 days afterwards, and they arrived 5 days afterward. THe red cross managed to mobilize BEFORE the storm hit, had things in place somewhat, and have been doing what they can. But the NG was needed. Each state organizes their own national guard--there is the Washington National guard, etc. IT is run at the state level.

And don't even get me started on the whole'we elected him' bit. The majority do NOT support the war, Bush's first election was shaky, at best, and in his second election, I believe he won the electoral votes, but he DID NOT win the popular vote, meaning that more people voted against him than for him. At the very least, he is at 50-50. Read up on this. All this information is out there, if you just look.

Davinie said...

He was still elected and you should be supporting your own team.

He gambled. When the money was needed elsewhere, he chose to put it there, not to fix a levee. How was he to know in 2001 that a hurricane would hit in 2005? I think Camille was the last big, devastating hurricane to hit the area, and that was 1969. You can't predict the future. It was just bum luck that a hurricane hit the area while he was in office to give anti-bush supporters something else to criticize about with regards to his presidency. Clinton was in office two terms. He had 8 years to fix the levee's himself if he was so determined to do so. Don't blame Bush for levee's. Apparently they were a problem even before he came into office and hadn't been fixed before.

And as for Iraq, if we don't come in to help, who is going to? Were we supposed to just sit back and let Osama and Saadam do their thing? We would have become involved whether we asserted ourselves or not. The US is a big threat, and a big target.

Mama-Beans said...

No one could have predicted that this would be as bad as it is. No one fixed it before, so it was obviously low priority for all. Those reports were full of " What if's" and " Maybe's". The war is REAL, it is HERE, and we are forced to deal with it. As far as the National Guard goes, we had them elsewhere. It takes TIME to get people moving. Plus, what Guardsman is going to be in a hurry to run and help people who are SHOOTING AT THEM. Looting from their neighborhood buildings ( and I'm not talking about the people who stole water or food.. I'm talking about the gangs of thugs stealing TV's and clothing.) They are there to help people, and they have to fight through these asshats to get to the people who want help. How is THAT Bush's fault?
Mr. Bush is the president. WE put him there. It sucks to be him in that as soon as he gets in office all this horrible stuff starts happening to the US. Sure, if you're anti-Bush there are TONS of articles out there, reports filed, etc. against him. Yet the fact remains that he WON THE ELECTION. WE PICKED HIM. When you go looking for dirt, you find it. The problem is, as far as all this goes, all you're looking for is DIRT. You're looking for someone to blame.

alyca said...

My last post on this topic........
So. This was not/should not have been a low priority.

"How was he to know in 2001 that a hurricane would hit in 2005"
Umm.....he should have read the report he had FEMA write up on the biggest, most LIKELY disaster that could happen here. That was how he should have known.

AND....Clinton passed the bills that authorized the money and set up an agency to fix the levees. Bush took that away later. It had already been delegated, set aside, discussed, planned, etc and was being worked on when the money was yanked away and sent to Iraq. Take money away from, say, risk #25 or risk #57, but don't be an idiot and take away from risk #1 or #2. That is just stupid.
Basically, there WAS a problem with the levees, it was KNOWN, it was in the process of BEING FIXED, and the money was TAKEN AWAY.

As for Iraq, there were better ways to go about this other than by how the US handled things. What right do we have to assert ourselves out there and say that all the other countries must have democracies. THere are many different ways of governing a country, and while I agree that Saddam and his regime needed to be changed, I do not agree with how we did it or with our forcing the Iraqis to conform to OUR vision of the 'right' way to govern a country. This having been said, once we invaded Iraq and started dropping bombs, we are now obligated to stay until we rebuild what we have destroyed. We will be over there for a very long time, and that sucks. for the NG not wanting to be in a hurry to run and help people who are shooting at them, umm....what exactly do you think is going on in Iraq??? Have you seen the news in, say the past two YEARS?? Do you want the exact body count?? I am sure I could find the exact number of killed or wounded NG members in Iraq.

And, for the record. 'I' did not put Bush anywhere. I did not 'pick' him, nor did I vote for him. A bunch of ill-informed people did, but that was NOT ME. Nor was it this state (WA), or even yours (OR) Both voted democratically. This is a liberal section of the country, and that is one reason I like it here. I disagree with what is going on in the government at a national level, I cannot tell you how much I do. I don't think Bush is evil. I look at him and he seems like a nice guy, sort of a fatherly kind of guy, seems very nice, etc, but he is running this country into the ground. We are now seen internationally as a bully. We are in the United Nations, yet we act like we are above all the other countries. We asked them to invade Iraq, they said no, there are better ways, then we invaded anyway on our own and have the nerve to call names and hate France, etc because they don't want to come in and help with this massive cleanup effort going on now.

I support our troops. Jamaar was over there and I know a lot of what he went through. I know these guys are giving their all and doing the best they can. It is not their fault. They are following their orders, doing as told as any good military person should do. I do not support the regime that has sent these young men and women to their deaths. More than that, almost, is the ones who are injured and coming back without limbs or with life altering disabilities. One of our surgeons flies out to Walter Reed once a month to advise the MD's there on how to deal with amputations, since that is his speciality. I see this stuff. We have had several soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan on our unit for injuries sustained there. It sucks. I no longer join in with the Nat'l Anthem at sports games, I don't put my hand over my heart, I don't support what this country is doing in MY NAME. I support the people here, I support many of the ideals of even the staunchest Republican, but I do not support the presidency.

And that's about it.

Davinie said...

I'm not going to post any more either, but just wanted to point out that improvements to a city start at the city level, and if New Orleans thought they were in such an urgent need for a levee, it would have started at the city level, and gone up from there. An urgent need would have had urgent pressure on the government. Maybe Bush was able to focus the money elsewhere because he wasn't getting the urgent pressure from the ground up, no matter what FEMA's report said. I don't know. Like I mentioned earlier, how was Bush to know that a huge, massive, city destructing hurricane was going to hit New Orleans while he was in office, when the last one was 1969? And if Clinton had already designated money's, why weren't they being put to use already? You would think the City of New Orleans or the Governor of Louisiana would have said something about that already.

But let's forget about the levee. They are 14-15 feet, and they were getting 30 foot storm surges. Those levees probably wouldn't have made much of a difference, and they are there to protect New Orleans from the lake and the Mississippi, while the storm hit from the opposite side.

Anyway, I still think you should support your team. No, we don't always care about the same issues, but we are still on the same team. It's anti-american semitism that creates cracks in the team.

War kills people. But somebody has to take the stand to help other people. I am very proud of the lesson Americans learned from the tragedy of Vietnam, and the support we give our troops now. I thank them for doing their duty, no matter where the call takes them.

Lastly, quit looking at the media. They only report on the bad things, and I am sure there is a lot more good happening that people aren't taking the time to write about on their blog. There are millions of people affected. A report earlier about the evacuation of a hotel with 200 people talked about the arrrival of 18 buses, surrounded by armed vehicles with helicopters flying overhead for added protection. That's a lot of personnel to get 200 people out safely. They are doing the best they can, as fast as they can. People need to be thankful they are even alive. Obviously, the devastation is much greater than ANYONE had anticipated. They are doing the best they can. When everything is an urgent need, I'm sure it's hard to decide where to begin. Nothing can be trusted. Safety, power, water, food, bugs, aligators, sewage.... there are sooooo many elements, and sooooo many people affected, and only soooo many resources. Steve read the Oregonian this morning and was impressed by the military arsenal that they have there. I'm sure the media isn't reporting on it much, because they only like to focus on the tragedies, and OF COURSE there are going to be many of those. Millions were affected, and this was such a poverty-stricken area, Millions have nowhere to go and nothing to their name. I'm just thankful that I don't live with that kind of potential tragedy. I can't even imagine.... I just keep thinking about people in that Superdome, and the poor babies that don't have diapers. When they are young, you can't tell them to wait until you find them a corner to go in. It must have been so hard to be there. I am glad they finally evacuated that dome.

Anyway, I'm going to focus my energy on aiding in any way I can, rather than criticizing what may or may not have been done. You can't change the past!