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October 03, 2005


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All well and good to talk about "states" and ignore the federeal govt, but the very first para of the Homeland Security Mission statement notes that this newly created officez is responsible for both terrorism and natural diasters. The difference, by the way, between 9/11 and Katrina (or at least one difference) is that one came as total surpirse; the other known in advance that it would likely hit more than one state! That being the case, the federal govt and not merely the states should have been immediately involved. And what does all this tell us about the National Guard?

Lexington Green

To touch on one point in your post -- "Cities are networks" Yes, but some cities are more networked than others. New Orleans' poorer neighborhoods were atomized, not networked. Louisiana measured last on social connectedness among the 50 states, and the poor parts of NO were a big part of that outcome. Some cities merit preservation more than others. The functioning parts of NO will come back because there is a big incentive to restore them, but the slums are probably just as well "swept away". I don't mean to be heartless, but life in those areas was a lot worse than it probably needed to be, and those families might be better off if they were dispersed into better-functioning places, where the people could be woven into existing "networks". New Orleans, for many of its residents, was not working. The hurricane disclosed that fact, along with much else.

Rich Cohen

I am from Massachusetts which has a very srtong historical tradition of "local autonomy" with every inch of the state in a "town" or "city", and with virtually no government at the "county" level. Decisions are quite close to the people, with decisions made by town meetings of all citizens in small towns like mine.

The problem with localization of government functions, and a weak state role, is that there is tremendous variability of resources and competence, from municipality to municipality.

I do not want to live in a world, like the found in South America and other unstable regions of the world, were the very poor live in proximity to the very wealthy, but the educational and other government resources are not spread equitably across the regions. State governments serves to spread the wealth, and share resources in regular times and times of need, so that each little community is not forced to sink or swim on its own.


As next week’s anniversary of Hurricane Katrina triggers recollections of rooftop refugees and massive devastation along the Gulf Coast, the White House has begun a public relations blitz to counteract Democrats’ plans to use the government’s tardy response and the region’s slow recovery in the coming congressional elections.

President Bush will visit the area Monday and Tuesday, including an overnight stay in New Orleans. He probably will visit the city’s Lower 9th Ward, the heavily black area that remains mired in debris, and is expected to meet with storm victims. …


Had a little time to put in my 2 cents today. I just had a discussion with a customer who was putting down on the rescue effort in new orleans post katrina. And having been there for 2 weeks immediatly following the storm, i asked his basis for compaining. He replyed the government didn't do enough to help. Well, that is just wearing thin in these parts now. It is recongized in this part of louisiana that it was not the fed govs lack of support, as much as was the local and states failure to MANDITORY evacuate civilians. Also its now coming out that the billions that were allocated for levee building was misappropriated.

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