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Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:47 AM

President Obama IS on top of the crisis, and Staten Island IS NOT the lower ninth ward!

The suggestions, in two current threads, based on news reports from the South Shore area of Staten Island, one suggesting that the President is somehow no longer "on" the crisis and needs to get back "on" it, and the other comparing Staten Island to the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans during Katrina, are scandalous and irresponsible.

I understand that people are suffering terribly, but those who are in the worst predicament find themselves in the situation they are in, in large part, because they failed to heed evacuation orders that were issued well in advance of the storm's arrival. Some have pointed out that in NYC, many folks don't own cars. I am well aware of this: I am one of them. But, particularly in that part of Staten Island (which is not exactly a poverty-stricken area), there are very few households that don't own at least one car, because unlike the other boroughs, things on Staten Island are more spread out, making it more difficult to function on a day to day basis without a car. But even setting that aside, not only were evacuation orders (including directions to available shelters) given well in advance of the storm's arrival, over 24 hours notice was given prior to mass transit shutdowns.

So, evacuation orders were given in plenty of time prior to the storm's arrival, and there was plenty of advance notice regarding mass transit service shutdowns. But, an unfortunate result that occurs when large numbers of people fail to heed evacuation orders, and the natural disaster turns out to be every bit as bad as or worse than predicted, is that relief and rescue efforts are further complicated, resulting in greater delays in delivering relief and rescue efforts for everyone affected. Don't get me wrong: these folks are no less deserving of a compassionate, expeditious response than any others. But when they fail to heed adequate warnings and fail to avail themselves of assistance that was offered just prior to a natural disaster, they shouldn't exactly be surprised when, in the aftermath, relief can't be delivered to them as quickly as might be needed.

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Reply President Obama IS on top of the crisis, and Staten Island IS NOT the lower ninth ward! (Original post)
markpkessinger Nov 2012 OP
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #1
K8-EEE Nov 2012 #7
Tx4obama Nov 2012 #2
defacto7 Nov 2012 #3
Suich Nov 2012 #4
Cha Nov 2012 #5
JPZenger Nov 2012 #6
EmeraldCityGrl Nov 2012 #8
lunatica Nov 2012 #16
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #20
lunatica Nov 2012 #25
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #24
EmeraldCityGrl Nov 2012 #27
SleeplessinSoCal Nov 2012 #9
ellisonz Nov 2012 #10
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #11
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #12
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #13
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #14
lunatica Nov 2012 #17
Squinch Nov 2012 #32
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #35
Squinch Nov 2012 #36
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #37
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #15
napkinz Nov 2012 #18
intheflow Nov 2012 #19
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #28
Squinch Nov 2012 #33
Blueprogress Nov 2012 #21
Laura PourMeADrink Nov 2012 #22
Melinda Nov 2012 #31
RoccoR5955 Nov 2012 #23
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #29
starroute Nov 2012 #26
CapnSteve Nov 2012 #30
Squinch Nov 2012 #34

Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:50 AM

1. + brazillion

You are correct.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 02:52 AM

7. eleventy gazillion!

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:59 AM

2. US Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to travel to Staten Island, New York, on Friday, ...



US Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to travel to Staten Island, New York, on Friday, inspect Sandy recovery - White House via @NBCNews

https://twitter.com/breakingstorm/status/264233268482809856

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 02:13 AM

3. People who don't heed those warnings

need to know, it's not just them. They put many other people who are willing to risk their lives to get to them and help them at risk. They should never look at the rescue teams as something they deserve but something to honor and respect. It's a privilege to have the kind of help that's there. When they just take it for granted or think they know better and end up doing foolish things, they risk the lives of others who have their own families to think about.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 02:20 AM

4. Excellent post, markpkessinger.

Thank you!

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 02:22 AM

5. Thank you, markpkessinger! So nice to have FACTS and REALITY of the crisis instead

of those who spout off in a panic or push drudge talking points!

Not sure why they didn't leave when advised but I hope they get rescued asap. I read upthread that Janet Napolitano is going there tomorrow and I'm sure all those who are in Charge are doing everything possible to help everyone who needs it. Crap happens but it's of the ultimate importance to have those in charge who are competent and care. And, they are and they do.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 02:51 AM

6. Erin Burnett demands to know why FEMA hasn't stopped looting on Staten Island

Last night, Erin Burnett did a rather disrespectful interview of the FEMA Director, who certainly held his own. She demanded to know why FEMA hasn't stopped looting on Staten Island. .... ah... isn't that the Police Department's job? She also demanded to know why FEMA had not completed a house to house search of every house on Staten Island. He said that they have rescue teams responding to reports of missing persons.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:09 AM

8. Staten Island is home to many Firefighters. They of all

people should have known better.

I remember during Katrina people saying that would never happen in their area
because people take care of their own and they are the pull yourself up by your
bootstraps kind of people. I don't think we'll be hearing too much of that anymore.

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Response to EmeraldCityGrl (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 07:08 AM

16. Perhaps firefighters hang around to help during emergencies?

What a strange thing to say. That firefighters should have left their cities during an emergency that they are supposed to respond to.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:07 AM

20. And their families?

Who should known better that happens in these situations? Who should have known better than to let spouses and children try to ride out the storm?

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:53 AM

25. Was there a story about firefighters' families not being evacuated?

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Response to lunatica (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:52 AM

24. The families should have evacuated

I have no idea why this was hard to understand

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Response to lunatica (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:23 PM

27. They should have observed the mandatory evacuation orders

and gotten their families out. Don't even begin to justify families remaining there
just because they have a high number of first responders in the community.

Somewhere on DU there is a video of a journalist that spent that night with a
Staten Island family. Initially there was a lot of bragging and carrying on about how
they were capable of taking care of themselves. When cars started exploding and
the homes started burning they wanted out immediately.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:34 AM

9. From the tv coverage the day before Sandy,

I couldn't believe how many people - all over the region - thought they'd be fine because of "Irene".

I'm sitting way over here and I could tell this was different.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:41 AM

10. Bingo. n/t

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:43 AM

11. Missed a lot of this because I had no intenet until tonight because of this storm...

but having lived in four of the five boroughs, Suffolk County on Long Island, and Union County in New Jersey, I have some familiarity with the area.

Evacuations are horrendous anywhere, and particularly anywhere around here. Routes are narrow and there are maybe 20 million people living in the general area that will be hit, and most of them have no reason to think that they will be in danger for the first time in history, although they do expect some inconvenience.

And, aside from the logistics of moving them, where are 20 million people to go?

Realistically, of course, only a few hundred thousand should move, but even that is a major undertaking. Anyone living close to water should have moved to at least higher ground, but there's that thing nobody wants to think about-- what do I do after the flooding and storm damage and I have no house? Kinda clouds your thinking when you get a day or two warning it's gonna be real bad. You don't wanna think it's really going to be that bad.

Digging out of the devastation is far worse than the logistics of evacuation, as every relief and disaster worker knows. The work is a little harder when you think about just what the bulldozers are consigning to the dump sites.

I am very lucky and grateful that my part of Long Island got very little damage and the lights were back on by Monday. Cable, with phone and internet, just came back on tonight, and when the lines at the gas stations calm down, you would never think this town had a storm. Others were not nearly so lucky and are still digging out in the dark.

Some people have lost everything, and I can't imagine sitting around here with the lights and heat on and passing judgment. And in the past I've been there where all looked lost, and still couldn't pass judgment not knowing what was going on beyond my tiny little field of vision.



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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:51 AM

12. +1 nt

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 04:12 AM

13. My intent was not to pass judgment

And as I said in my OP, these folks are no less entitled than anybody else to an expedient and compassionate response. But at the same time, I also think some are passing unfair judgment on various government officials. I'm sorry, but comparing the situation in Staten Island to what went on in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans during and after Katrina is irresponsible and scandalous. This is not a case of government neglecting a particular population. Nor was it a case where government had made insufficient plans and provisions for getting people to safety, and neither was it a case of various government agencies, and levels of government, failing to work together. It is simply the case that this was a terrible natural disaster with widespread damage to an extent that resources for providing relief have been stretched to the maximum. My point in mentioning the failure of folks to heed evacuation orders was simply to point out that their decision contributed to the very delays in getting assistance to them that they now need.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 04:36 AM

14. Oh. Sorry. I wasn't referring to you...

but there seems to be a lot of fingerpointing and waving all over DU (what else is new?) about all the things going wrong dealing with the storm.

There are places like the Raritan River that flood all the time, and midtown Manhattan that never had a flood not caused by a water main break, but somehow everyone's more of an expert than the experts.

And, yeah, the comparison with New Orleans is a cheap shot.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 07:13 AM

17. It's that passing judgement that pisses me off

thank you for your post. It needs to be said. Exactly where do the population of 15 States evacuate to? Because that is the number of States that are affected, and before the Hurricane hit land no one knew where it was going to hit.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 06:30 PM

32. 20 million evacuated? Hundreds of thousands evacuated? Where are you getting these numbers??

In Staten Island, as it turns out, 70 people evacuated.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 07:07 PM

35. I'm obviously pulling them out of an imaginary hat...

But where did I say millions evacuated? I believe I said millions were in possible danger and a few hundred thousand might be in grave danger in areas that should have been evacuated.

According to the Census Bureau-- "As per the 2010 Census, the New York City metropolitan area continues to be the most populous in the United States, by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) definition (18.9 million) and the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) definition (22.1 million)"

And no, I'm not giving you any links. You don't deserve them and you can do your own homework after that intellectually lazy post.

So, around 20 million in the way of this storm just around here, with the south shore of Long Island (which includes Brooklyn and Queens), the Jersey shore, low lying areas of NYC, and many other floodplains in danger and ripe for evacuation. Evacuation orders were given and many did listen in areas from Staten Island to Montauk and Cape May. Connecticut, too, which is right off the Bronx.

Many didn't move and the storm didn't care-- it broke what it broke whether anyone was there or not. Storms are funny that way.



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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 07:52 PM

36. You said:

"Evacuations are horrendous anywhere, and particularly anywhere around here. Routes are narrow and there are maybe 20 million people living in the general area that will be hit, and most of them have no reason to think that they will be in danger for the first time in history, although they do expect some inconvenience. And, aside from the logistics of moving them, where are 20 million people to go?"

And no, Connecticut is not "right off the Bronx." Westchester is between them.

Speaking of intellectually lazy posts.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 08:01 PM

37. So, howcum you ignore the part where I say...

only a few hundred thousand would be moved to move? I never said the whole 20 million should move. It would be hell if they had to, though.

And, OK, I forgot about Westchester, but so what? Yet more coastline to worry about and it has no affect on my point.





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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 07:02 AM

15. Kick

for attention.

Already rec'd

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 08:00 AM

18. Staten Island elected Tea Party candidate Michael Grimm

Congressman Michael Grimm is a Tea Party Republican.

Now all of a sudden he wants the government to help?

Why is no one pointing out the hypocrisy?

(Of course, the government MUST help. It doesn't matter that Staten Island elected as their representative someone who is against government assistance. But the hypocrisy must be pointed out ... for the next election.)



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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:05 AM

19. Also, the 9th Ward was underwater for more than month,

residents were atop roofs for a week in searing temperatures without water or food, surrounded by toxic waters up to their rooflines, and parents and children were purposefully separated during helicopter evacuations. Bush didn't even declare the area an emergency until FOUR DAYS after the storm! The comparisons of Staten Island to the Ninth Ward is a complete bullshit rewrite of history.

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Response to intheflow (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:46 PM

28. Thank you -- very good additional points! n/t

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Response to intheflow (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 06:31 PM

33. Relief trucks of food and water rolled into SI on the second day after the storm ended.

Kind of the minute it was safe for the first responders.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:19 AM

21. +1000

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:39 AM

22. Thanks for calling attention (albeit cast in a negative light) to my post of last

night. It gives me an opportunity to clarify what I was trying to say.

Number 1...although poorly worded, for sure, I never, ever, intended to say that Obama was not "on top of it". Merely that the country needed to see a show of force emblematic of our government helping. Navy, coast guard, a Lt Gen Honore type figure leading the way. This can help counteract the impression that people are getting from those constant clips of people begging for help. Plus, it could actually help these people. Never did I say that Obama should be there passing out cans of food. And, as for politics, it is my personal opinion that him staying in DC would do him more good than campaigning.

Number 2...I lived in New Orleans for three years after Katrina and know full well that the situation on SI can not be compared. We had 1,200 people washed out to sea. BUT, for me, and likely for many others out there, it was listening to people beg for help that immediately brought back memories of people begging for help in Katrina. It is a gut feeling of helplessness. And, for Katrina, this was ameliorated when the army, coast guard, and marine contingencies arrived.

And lastly, in a perfect world, people here could express their ideas, feelings, and emotions, without personal attack, without being labeled a troll, a Drudge follower, a wingnut, crazy, drunk, whatever.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 11:42 AM

31. I just admire the heck outta you, Laura.

I didn't know about your experiences with NO and Katrina; Sandy must have been one hell of a trigger for you, and then to be savagely and cruelly torn apart by fellow long-term DUers as you were, well sweet Jesus, no wonder you were in tears.

There's always a contingent of folks quick to look for the bad, point out the weak, place the blame, ignore what doesn't fit into 'their' world-view. And unless every single person who went after the SI and/or other victims of Sandy has suffered through the exact same circumstances that each resident has, then they haven't any idea of how they'd handle those circumstances. I wrote a post yesterday that of course sank like a stone. In the thread (which included a poll) "Would you comply with a mandatory evacuation order", I said:

Would that it would be so simple to make an 'either or' choice.

Unfortunately approximately 46% plus Americans live below the poverty line, which means that the majority of those are senior, disabled, single parents, working poor, and/or homeless (this includes veterans). The largest number of these that do have an income live from paycheck to paycheck; for example, SSI recipients receive their benefits on the first of every month. Think about that.... Sandy hit on the 29th of the month. When one lives from month to month, or paycheck to paycheck on a very limited amount of money, what's left over to facilitate your evacuation?

I am an immense of empathy and compassion for those who did not evacuate OR leave, for whatever reason.

My 2 cents.

Oh, and I chose 'other'.
------------

Re the ruthless ugly responses to you on your thread: I had the same type thing happen here years ago, and it resulted in me posting less and less to the point where I rarely posted at all for years. I haven't the strength to push back like you do, and I just want you to know how much I respect you. People were real shitheads toward you, and you didn't deserve any of those responses. No one deserves to be treated badly.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:24 AM

23. You forgot to mention

The large number of whiny teabaggers in Staten Island. My sister lives there, and I hear it all the time.
The next bunch of whiners I expect to hear are the teabaggers in Bay Ridge.
Yeah, they are in need, but they are not above everyone else, no matter what they may think.

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #23)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 03:49 PM

29. I'm aware of that...

That may be true enough, but I didn't see the need to politicize this in the wake of such a terrible disaster. Whatever their political inclinations, they are still deserving of a compassionate response.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:56 AM

26. The GOP wants to paint this as Obama's Katrina

Just as they want to paint Benghazi as Obama's 911. And just as they are still looking for excuses to impeach Obama because Nixon was impeached and the attempt to get Clinton fizzled out.

I don't even think this is politics with them. It goes beyond the media's false equivalences. I think there's a kind of deep-seated guilt over the multiple Republican crimes, scandals, and failures over the past 40 years -- and instead of facing it honestly, they want to drag the Democrats down to their level.

So they really, really need to paint the displaced middle-class homeowners of Staten Island as being the same as the impoverished African-American community of New Orleans. It's all they have left.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 08:19 PM

30. Look, I don't want to get into a suffering game, but...

Seriously, how much whining from Staten Islanders who did not heed the evacuation orders do we really need?

I know you New Yorkers (I love you all - even though you have your own special level of narcissism!) are suffering, but I feel your pain:

9/13/2008, Hurricane Ike creamed my house...110mph winds, 14' storm surge, mandatory evacuation, 5 days until we were allowed back into the neighborhood, 14 more days without power, 36" inches of salty water in the house, three trees downed on the roof, holes in the roof, rain and wind damage in addition to flood. 10 months living in a 29' travel trailer in the driveway.

The good news is all is back to better than it was before...it will be OK. You will get what you need.

Unlike we were (hurricane hits Texas? Big deal!) you are the focus of the entire nation...

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Response to CapnSteve (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 06:34 PM

34. It is relevant too that we are hearing nothing of the sort from the other neighborhoods in the area

who were equally devastated. Breezy Point, Rockaways, Sea Gate, etc.

Many in these areas had to wait a lot longer than Staten Island for relief.

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