Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ungrateful Punks

Kanye West decided to inject some racial friction into the Katrina Reliefe effort with his recent comment in which he voices some of the nonsense that other black artists like Martin Lawrence say for humor. If you saw Boomerang, you know the comments. How come the black olives come in a can and the green olives are in a jar? The can is another word for jail. Why is it that in pool, the last ball in is the black ball? Why is it that the white ball hits all the others? Martin Lawrence says these absurd things because they are funny. Kanye West shows his level of thinking by muttering similar absurdities. What is really funny, is that you get liberal writers like Robert Hillburn from the LA Times supporting such out of place comments in the middle of a disaster recovery.

The president could not go to New Orleans for very practical and technical reasons. First, where would the president land if he is on Air Force One? Our relief efforts would be much faster if we could fly supplies in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding affected areas. We'd fly supplies in and people out. Immediately after the hurricane and flooding, the only way in or out was driving.

Let's say the President chose to use Marine One to visit New Orleans. It is known that some of the people of New Orleans were shooting at relief helicoptors. Why would a President go where his security cannot be assured? The secret service and other agencies are responsible for his safety. As President, GW is not his own person. He belongs to us, the American people. He and his bodyguards are responsible for his safety. Usually, the Secret Service can make arrangements in advance of a presidential visit with local authorities. How would that happen when the local mayor is afraid to go outside?

The third reason is related to the last one. If the president did go to New Orleans, he would require the police and other services. By being in New Orleans so soon after the disaster, he would have been more harmful to the effort.

Now, referring to the speed with which the relief effort took place. Refer back to the knowledge that airports around the area are out of commission. The only way in or out for supplies is by road. That takes time to load up, deliver, and distribute. If you recall, all helicopters, which don't require an airport, were busy rescuing people from atop their roofs. If they took time out to pick up supplies, many more people could have died. Besides, how many places stock millions of bottles of water, thousands of bags of MREs, thousands of blankets, and other suppplies? It takes time to gather these things and to arrange to transport. Furthermore, once you load things up, you have to arrange to fuel the trucks to get the stuff to the site. With no power, you can't stop at a gas station to refuel. These things take time to arrange to get the job done right.

The fact is, rescue efforts are like emergency room triage. You take care of the more serious cases first and then progressively attend to the less serious issues. For example, first priority is to prevent more immediate deaths. You go out and find survivors and bring them to safety. Once you are satisfied that you have found as many people as you can, you attend to their needs. You bring water, food, and bedding.

As for the difference between looking for food and looting, it's simple. When you look for food, you enter a store or other place and get food then run off to take it to your family. In the case of looting, you enter a store or other place, get some sneakers, jewelry, or some other non-essential item and run off to pawn them. It all depends on what you take and from what store. Grocery store pillaging is looking for food. Sporting goods, shoe store, or other places don't have food, so that is looting.

So, yes, we have troops on site to restore order to the area and authorized to shoot lawless citizens. So far, we have witnessed ingrattitude over what we have been able to do in so little time, complaining about cold food, complaining about the lack of portable toilets, we have seen shooting, looting, and some really base behavior out of some of the residents. I am going to help because it's the right thing to do. However, I am really disappointed by the attitudes of the victims who feel entitled to more. Nevermind that they are alive and have a damn good chance of remaining alive because of our efforts. You people critical of the effort, shut up and do something.
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