I think I have the answer. I put myself in the head of one of these refugees (there really is no other way to describe them now).
Here's what I think goes thru the mind of an indigent person ahead of Katrina.
"I've got two babies and a wife to try to move. Ain't got no car. Ain't got no busfare, cuz I live day-to-day on my small paychecks from two or three jobs, and besides, no hurricane ever destroyed a city (ed note: that's assuming he bothers to watch the news with his "ample" free time). So what am I goin' to do?
I guess I'll ride out the storm in my house, cuz I got food and water here and if I try to walk out of the city, what if the hurricane follows me? I'll be on the road with no food or water, nothing. And besides, the gubmint will be able to get food and water and stuff into New Orleans (or Biloxi or wherever). They did it for Florida. I remember seeing that President in the papers handing out bottles of water to them shiny white faces."
This blaming the victim crap has got to stop. You can spin spin spin all you want, but the simple fact is, the governments at all levels failed miserably, but most of all, the Bush administration is guilty of the murder of thousands of innocent poor people. It's genocidal what happened here.
You see, a mayor can order the evacuation of a city (which Mayor Nagin did). A governor can declare a state of emergency (which governor Blanco did). But only the Federal government can deploy the necessary resources to both enforce and facilitate an evacuation of a half million people and to protect those few who simply cannot or will not move.
See, I figure there's about a one percent "crackpot and deathly ill" factor in any population, who simply can't or won't be moved. So if more than 5,000 (in New Orleans case) are stranded, then that's who's left. Anything above that, and you've got a serious breakdown in governance.
It's no wonder guns were the first thing stolen from Walmart. As abhorrent as I find them, I would have grabbed me about five or six and protected myself, my house, and used them to get food and water for those I care about.
It's very easy for a civilized man to degenerate into savagery, far harder for the savage to discover civil behavior.
Let's do a comparison of the various responses to major hurricanes in the past century:
In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd -- a category 3 -- was bearing down the Carolinas and Virginia.
President Clinton was in Christchurch, New Zealand - meeting with President Jiang of China (you know, actually working). He made the proclamation that only Presidents can make and declared the areas affected by Floyd "Federal Disaster Areas" so the National Guard and Military can begin to mobilize. Then he cut short his meetings overseas and flew home to coordinate the rescue efforts. This all one day BEFORE a Cat-3 hit the coast. That is how you do it.
How about this dope's own father during Hurricane Andrew?
Once again, President Bush (41) -- August, 1992 -- was in the midst of a brutal campaign for re-election. Yet, he cut off his campaigning the day before and went to Washington where he martialed the largest military operation on US soil in history. He sent in 7,000 National Guard and 22,000 regular military personnel, and all the gear to begin the clean up within hours after Andrew passed through Florida. 'Cause, you know, those people and their stuff was actually where it belonged, rather than being used for insurgent target-practice halfway around the world in a vain effort to make Iraq safe for Iranian takeover.
In August of 1969 when Cat-5 Hurricane Camille hit roughly the same area as Katrina, President Nixon had already readied the National Guard and ordered all Gulf rescue vessels and equipment from Tampa and Houston to follow the Hurricane in. There were over 1,000 regular military with two dozen helicopters to assist the Coast Guard and National Guard within hours after the skies cleared.
Bush 43 - August 2005 - Cat-5 Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf. Both states are down nearly 8,000 National Guard troops because they are in Iraq -- with most of the rescue gear needed. Bush is on vacation.
The day before Katrina makes landfall, Bush rides his bike for two hours.
The day she hits, he goes to Johnnie McCain's birthday party; and lies to old people about the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company welfare boondoggle. People are dying, the largest port of entry in the United States (and fifth largest in the World) is under attack. Troops and supplies are desperately needed. The levees are cracking and the emergency 1-1/2 ton sandbags are ready, but there aren't enough helicopters or pilots to set them before the levees fail. The mayor of New Orleans begs for Federal coordination, but there is none, and the sandbagging never gets done.
So Bush -- naturally -- goes to San Diego to play guitar with country singer and lie to the military about how Iraq is just exactly like WWII.
The levees give way, filling New Orleans with water, sewage, oil and chemicals. Ten percent of all US exports, and 50% of all agricultural exports ordinarly go through this port. It is totally destroyed.
Bush decides he'll end his vacation a couple of days early -- TOMORROW --BECAUSE HE HAS TICKETS TO A
PADRES GAME! He goes back to the Fake Farm in Crawford, with every intention of doing something on WEDNESDAY about this disaster that happened starting last Sunday night.
And this guy is a neo-con!
Tip o the hat to owlbear1