By Betty Freauf
September 9, 2005
On October 12, 1962 - Columbus Day - the Willamette Valley in Oregon was hit by a fairly wild and unexpected wind storm uprooting many trees and collapsing a few older buildings. Due to a long, oblong sign we had on our business advertising our name and which acted like a sail, we lost the roof on our building. It flew off into the sunset! But the insurance company was prompt and generous and a contractor was on the scene in a short period of time.
And since, we've felt a few minor earthquakes that rattled our windows and nerves a little but like with the neglected levees in the Gulf States, our Northwest public officials have done little to prepare for the predicted Big One!
However, our experiences have been like a Sunday School picnic compared to the damage that we've been observing on our TV screens in the comfort of our home that Hurricane Katrina has left behind in the Gulf states. Unbelievable.
Patrick J. Buchanan in his book WHERE THE RIGHT WENT WRONG says: Our 21st century military is able to see enemies from space and attack them from drones, from planes invisible to radar, and from cruise missiles fired from ships and aircraft hundreds of miles away. U.S. fighter planes, tanks, artillery, satellites, carriers and Stealth bombers are generations ahead of any weaponry China possess and it seemed as though America sent supplies and a medical hospital ship into the Indian Ocean after the December 26, 2004 tsunami faster than our own people in the Gulf States were/are being helped. But it took five days to begin to get supplies to those still stranded in New Orleans.
But a Friday, September 2, 2005 e-mail from a doctor at the Ritz Carleton Hotel in New Orleans, which sustained only a little damage, asks "Where is the National Guard?" They had set up a hospital in the French Quarter bar in the hotel and under police escort raided the Walgreen Pharmacy while looters were held back by gunpoint. He says there is no Red Cross or Salvation Army but reports I heard on the TV, these organization are not being allowed in without police or National Guard protection.
If government can't keep its citizens safe, it fails. We need only refer to the Declaration of Independence to understand that the security of this country was top of the list with its framers. Now that security may have meant an attack by a foreign power but an attack by Hurricane Katrina certainly was as destructive and the losses as great. This is Reality TV. We see the anarchy in New Orleans. And this is also why our borders should be secured. Authorities ignored the levee problem and look what misery this has caused. The signs are all around for those with eyes to see the problems with these illegal immigrants.
According to news reports 400,000 people are without work due to Katrina. Thanks to open borders those 400.000 Americans will have to compete with millions of Illegals for a job.
Reporters on the 90-square mile scene described it as Hiroshima, a "war zone" and like nothing they'd ever seen even when they are sent into current war zones to report the news.
The reason we have government is to secure our rights. If it fails in its first basic purpose, everything else it accomplishes pales in comparison. Survivors of the hurricane are asking, "Is this America?"
In 1992 after a Florida hurricane, the complaint by locals was that the federal response was totally inexcusable and there was resentment towards FEMA's representatives who went to Florida for photo opportunities and then returned to their nice living environments.
Another complaint was that the plethora of agencies got in each other's way and that there were jealousies and turf battles.
In that same time frame as above, San Francisco officials were still feuding with the FEMA over $100 million in repair bills for City Hall and other buildings damaged in the October 1989 earthquake. And now this OPERATION CHAOS will be added to the long, long list of FEMA failures.
But didn't President George W. Bush after 9/11 create Homeland Security which put all these federal agencies under one director to expedite services in emergencies? Now we have all these bloated federal agencies with one head and it took five days for them to begin to get their act together.
People were sick, starving and dying in the Gulf States, primarily in New Orleans, before supplies began rolling in. And leave it to a Republican - President George W. Bush to get the cart before the horse and to take that opportunity for another photo op telling us he'd asked former Presidents Clinton and Bush, Sr. to raise funds for disaster victims like they did after the December 26, 2004 tsunami disaster.
Survivors were/are in need of basics not a muddleheaded press conference announcing fund raising. While the effort is admirable, that could come later. If news reporters are becoming angry and frustrated, can you imagine the unrest in these crowds of thousands without food, water and sanitation facilities now for five and more days?
The conditions in New Orleans are deplorable. How much effort would it have taken to air drop bottled water, food packages and some medical supplies to the survivors rather than dropping sand bags by helicopters into the gaping holes in the levees while the electricity is out and the pumps aren't working? This was like spitting in the ocean while people should have been their main priority. No one seemed to be in charge. There was no help available.
Were the police caught looting for survival? Emergency responders must be torn between their duty to the public and anxiety for their own families especially when roving gang members had guns and were ransacking and the situation seemed insurmountable?
I used to chuckle when I'd see in my own community all those "first responder" drills performed for the TV listening audience and I thought, "Ya, sure!!" If the infrastructure goes like it did in New Orleans, the first responders are helpless. A small snowfall in my town causes stress, traffic jams and accidents.
Americans have become so dependent on Big Brother they are unable to think ahead and prepare for disasters. Maybe this is a wake up call for others to have a disaster kit ready to grab and their gas tanks at least half full at all times. In the case of an earthquake, we may not have advance warning.
While hurricanes plague the Gulf coast states, tornadoes plague the mid-west, people on the Pacific Ocean are plagued with the possibility of another big earthquake and possible tsunami and who knows when Mt. St. Helens may blow its top again.
My heart goes out to Gulf state residents as I see them struggling to survive in a land of plenty and I had flashbacks of, God forbid, do I dare say the words - the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing? I understand that 67% of New Orleans is black, but news reporters, who appear shaven, well groomed and fed and have been able to come and go, don't mention this fact. But the pictures on our TV screens tell the full story. One blogger even dared to comment that 60,000 were trapped in FEMA's 21st Century Superdome concentration camp.
Most are probably minimum-wage workers serving the tourist industry living from paycheck to paycheck. How could they heed the call to vacate the city when they may not even own a car? Besides, they've lived through other hurricanes and many probably figured this would be just another blip on the weather screen. Surely those in charge would realize the possibility that some may not leave, take this into consideration and have standby aid in the wings just in case but this did not happen. It took five days to mobilize. This is inexcusable.
National Guards from other states began arriving after five days of bedlam. Oregon's National Guard was preparing to leave on 9/2 but the report said, "their equipment is in Iraq." They did have their own guns.
And now the blame begins. Why was New Orleans built below sea level in the first place? But once built, why were the levees only built for a Category 3 Hurricane? Were they playing Russian roulette with a Category 4 or Category 5? Others are asking why the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor didn't declare an emergency before the Hurricane struck and help would have arrived sooner.
Others are asking if God may be removing His hand of protection that has since its inception been covering this Blessed nation? God only tolerated Sodom and Gomorrah for so long and then there was the wickedness and immorality in Noah's time and finally God said "Enough already." The radical Muslims hate us for these same reasons.
Reporters were saying they've seen the best and worst of people. The best came when one person would reach out to help someone in need. The worst were the looters of materialistic items and some must hate our military so badly they were shooting at their aircraft. What other reason could be possible?
Wherever the authority of scripture is removed, chaos soon follows. Society is deteriorating. It's falling apart at the seams. Things are NOT going to get better. Staggering and mind boggling events will continue to occur such as more bizarre weather, earthquakes, volcanoes, nuclear and biological terrorism, perhaps frightening new viruses and all types of diseases from the Gulf States. And as our national debt continues to escalate and money must be borrowed from the IMF or printed without the backing of gold, inflation will cause prices on everything to increase - eventually economic collapse! This is why our Founders gave us the Second Amendment and common sense so we might protect ourselves when such times as these arrive.
If they decide to rebuild New Orleans, and for historical reasons, I suppose they foolishly will, jobs should be offered as quickly as possible to those that lost everything in this tragic disaster. Portable trailers for living purposes could be brought in after electricity, the sewage system and water gets up and running again. Will New Orleans rise again? Only time will tell.
© 2005 Betty Freauf - All
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Betty is a former Oregon Republican party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, and a precinct worker for many years but Betty gave up on the two-party system in 2004 and joined the Constitutional Party.
Wherever the authority of scripture is removed, chaos soon follows. Society is deteriorating. It's falling apart at the seams. Things are NOT going to get better. Staggering and mind boggling events will continue to occur...