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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

2 states, 22 observations



Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana versus Hurricane Rita in Texas:

1. Texas: Productive industrious state run by Republicans.
Louisiana: Government-dependent welfare state run by Democrats.

2. Texas: Residents take responsibility to protect and evacuate themselves.
Louisiana: Residents wait for the government to protect and evacuate them.

3. Texas: Local and state officials take responsibility for protecting their citizenry and property.
Louisiana: Local and state officials blame the federal government for not protecting their citizens and property.

4. Texas: Command and control remain in place to preserve order.
Louisiana: Command and control collapse, descending into lawlessness.

5. Texas: Law enforcement officers remain on duty to protect city.
Louisiana: Law enforcement officers desert their posts to protect themselves.

6. Texas: Local police guard against looting.
Louisiana: Local police participate in looting.

7. Texas: Law and order remain in control: 8 looters challenged it, 8 looters arrested.
Louisiana: Anarchy and lawlessness break out. Looters take over city, some even shooting at rescuers. No arrests made. Gun-toting criminals end up having to be shot by federal troops.

8. Texas: Considerable damage caused by hurricane.
Louisiana: Considerable damage caused by looters.

9. Texas: Flood barriers hold, preventing cities from flooding.
Louisiana: Flood barriers fail due to poor maintenance and faulty design, allowing city to flood.

10. Texas: Orderly evacuation away from threatened areas, few remain behind.
Louisiana: 25,000 fail or refuse to evacuate, many end up relocated to another flooded area.

11. Texas: Citizens evacuate with personal 3-day supply of food and water.
Louisiana: Citizens fail to evacuate with 3-day supply of food and water, and had to do without it for the next 4 days.

12. Texas: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials provide accessible distribution points.
Louisiana: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials prevent citizens from reaching distribution points and vice versa.

13. Louisiana: Media focuses on poor Blacks in need of assistance, blames President Bush.
Texas: Media can't find poor Blacks in need of assistance--currently looking for something else to blame on President Bush.

14. Texas: Coastal cities suffer some infrastructure damage. Mayors tell residents to stay away until cities are ready for repopulation. No interference from federal officials.
Louisiana: New Orleans is destroyed. Mayor asks residents to return home as another hurricane approaches--has to be overruled by federal officials.

15. Louisiana: Over 400 killed by storm, flooding and crime.
Texas: 24 killed in bus accident on highway during evacuation. No storm-related deaths.

16. Texas: The incarcerated are relocated to other detention facilities outside the storm-affected area.
Louisiana: Prisoners are set free to prey on shops, businesses, residents, and homes.

17. Texas: Local and state officials work with FEMA and the Red Cross in recovery operations.
Louisiana: Local and state officials obstruct FEMA and the Red Cross from assisting in recovery operations.

18. Texas: Local and state officials demonstrate leadership in managing disaster areas.
Louisiana: Local and state officials fail to exercise leadership, requiring the federal government to manage disaster areas.

19. Texas: Fuel deliveries can't keep up with demand. Some drivers run out of gas on the highways, requiring help from fuel tankers strategically-placed beside the freeways, before storm arrives.
Louisiana: Motorists wait until storm hits, and the electrical grid fails. Cars running out of gas, arrive at gas stations that have no electricity to pump gas. Gas in underground tanks mixes with flood waters.

20. Texas: Mayors move citizens out of danger.
Louisiana: Mayor moves himself and family to Dallas, Texas.

21. Texas: Mayors continue public service announcements and updates on television, with Governor's backing and support.
Louisiana: Mayor curses, governor cries, senator threatens president with violence on television, none of the trio having a clue what went wrong or who's responsible.

22. Louisiana: Democratic Senator says FEMA was slow in responding to 911 calls from Louisiana citizens.
Texas: Republican Senator says "When you dial 911, the phone doesn't ring in Washington. It rings at your local responders."

What if state and local elected officials were forced to depend on themselves and their own resources instead of calling for help from the federal government? Texas cities would be back up and running in a few days. Louisiana cities would still be under water next month.

Republicans call for action. Democrats call for help.



What's the liberals' anthem again?
Oh yes... Wah! Waah! Waaah!

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