Monday, 15 September 2008
|0909 - Clueless leftists and clueless media|
(But then, I repeat myself...)
The FAA has, as is normal practice, issued a TFR (temporary flight restriction) prohibiting flight of aircraft along Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, where Hurricane Ike landed on Texas. They regularly do that to keep sightseers and others not involved in rescue operations away from disaster areas so that rescuers can operate without worrying about hitting other aircraft.
The local media is howling, and now an entry in The Daily Kos is claiming it's all so FEMA can cover up its incompetence or some such.
There's only one problem with this: The TFR only prohibits flight below 2000 feet above sea level! I don't know what altitude news helicopters normally operate at, but you can still see a lot from 2000 MSL, and higher would probably let them show more devastation anyway. (Don't believe me? Find a friendly pilot and take a ride.)
The Left never lets the facts get in the way of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
current mood: annoyed
So you think Katrina was handled properly? That we might not want a little extra oversight to make sure they don't screw up again? This has nothing to do with "Left" this is just a natural response of the people to make sure a government agency with a track record of screwing up HORRIBLY and allowing hundreds of Americans to DIE doesn't do it again.
I've got no problem with people wanting to keep an eye on the government. The problem I've got is that people are so ready to assume the worst that something perfectly usual and normal, that in no way affects folks' ability to keep an eye on the government, is spun as "OMG! They're trying to hide their incompetence!". That is where I think Bush Derangement Syndrome comes in.
The TFRs are perfectly usual, and issued for lots of disasters big and small. They're very narrowly tailored to only have the desired effect, of keeping sightseers out of the way of folks doing air rescue and disaster management. They're not for the purpose of hiding anything, and would not accomplish that purpose even if they were.
This has nothing to do with "Left" this is just a natural response of the people to make sure a government agency with a track record of screwing up HORRIBLY and allowing hundreds of Americans to DIE doesn't do it again.
Different agency, wrong state. That was in Louisiana, this is Texas.
But Jay's point is that the TFR doesn't change anything about the oversight possible. Just that you can't go below 2000 feet. (Which is a damn good idea anyway.)
Besides which, overflights wouldn't fix anything, if they were screwing up, overflights wouldn't change that.
FEMA and FAA both start with "Federal." Texas and Louisiana are both in America, and these are both Hurricanes.
Anyway the average media person doesn't know VFR from IFR, I'm not defending them. I know the point of the post was re: flight rules but Jay brought the "lefty media" into it.
All I'm saying is that people should be more concerned about how disasters like this are managed -- and these are MINOR incidents compared to what FEMA was originally designed to be prepared to handle. People should be CAREFULLY monitoring how this is handled regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.
You won't catch me arguing against carefully monitoring the response to this.
What got me going was the claim that the government was trying to hide the truth, when the objective facts do not come close to supporting that claim. The Left, and the media, are both making it, and I contend that the media is doing it because they're leftists and see an opportunity to slam the Bush administration.
FEMA and FAA both start with "Federal.
While pedantically correct, irrelevant.
Let's look at what you said: a government agency with a track record of screwing up HORRIBLY and allowing hundreds of Americans to DIE doesn't do it again.
Neither the FAA nor FEMA had a tract record of screwing up HORRIBLY and allowing hundreds to die. If you want to blame government in general, that's one thing. But you appeared to be casting aspersions onto FEMA unfairly.
The failures were almost totally the New Orleans local government agencies. With some blame accruing to the LA state government, more to the governor, who panicked and failed to declare a disaster (thus precluding the Federal agencies from providing preparatory assistance), despite specific and direct pleas from Bush and experienced administrators in other states.
Which utterly destroys your point of pendantancy. All I'm saying is that people should be more concerned about how disasters like this are managed
I'd be happy if they were concerned over making sure they knew what happened and assigned credit and blame correctly. I hate to make it sound as sharp as that, but precision matters. If you don't know what was supposed to happen, then you can't fairly grade the events. And the current Media Paradigm is wrong, places the blame squarely elsewhere from where it's deserved, and as a result, cures based upon it are unlikely to work well. (Such as the hundreds of thousands of trailers rotting in the midwest now.)and these are MINOR incidents compared to what FEMA was originally designed to be prepared to handle.
FEMA was never _originally designed_ to "handle" anything. Nothing. Period.
FEMA was designed to come in _after disasters_, and provide mostly _monetary support_ and some minor logistical support. Cots. Blankets.
They were designed to write checks
This model worked until 2001, when they started giving FEMA "Homeland Security" duties, and especially 2005 when the utter, total failures of the local and state governments around New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina (Which did almost no damage to New Orleans), and the post-hurricane levee breach.http://www.emergency.com/femafran.htm
. Plans are under way for a 35-member National Emergency Response Team (ERT-N) to deploy to the South Carolina
Emergency Operations Center in Columbia early Thursday morning.
Actually, we ended up being about 50ish people, all told. *wave* I was a member of 3 more ERT-N's before leaving the state in '99. I didn't do much. I sat there and made sure the computers worked.
FEMA was *not there* to go in and deal with emergency situations. They had some trailers for housing - they could get them in in 3 to 7 days. Maybe. We were expected to be the sole support for the state for 5 days.
The accusations against FEMA in the wake of Katrina was
leftist media and BDS. Note that there were no such accusations against FEMA in Mississippi - which got flattened by Katrina. Nor in 2004, when the same management team was heading FEMA and 3 hurricanes crisscrossed Florida from both sides.
So (the totally revamped, overhauled, and retasked) FEMA and the response now has nothing to do with the aftermath of Katrina. Not that it means there shouldn't be oversight. But you've got to know what to oversee before you can judge it.
(whoops, minor edit: I was part of the state ERT - not the ERT-N. Sorry. Got busy with the acronyms and pasting (at the time it was more "Hey, Hurricane, get over to Emergency Management.))
That's ok, the administration* doesn't seem to let facts get in the way either. ;)
*the administration. not "Republicans", not conservatives. In fact, I find self-identified conservatives to be some of the most agreeable politicos out there. self-identified Republicans on the other hand... (no malice intended)
pps: sorry, semi-anonymous internet snark frightens me sometimes. I don't mean it personally, and would hate for it to be taken as such. Just, you know, sayin'.
As much as I truly dislike the way you've worded this post (because I am really tired of everything being about "left" or "right", rather than simply what makes some kind of sense) I do agree with you on this one. I give two shits less about the media coverage when first responders need that airspace.