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View Diary: Southern National Guards defying Hagel order to recognize same-sex military spouses (193 comments)

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  •  Norm in CHicago: (5+ / 0-)

    check your facts.
    Here's a quote from that article:

    The truth about the National Guard's role in Hurricane Katrina is gradually emerging. John Hill, senior Louisiana government reporter for Gannett, put together a huge take on the Louisiana Guard operation in the current issue of Louisiana Life. "While those stories of violence whipped across the nation from a press corps isolated on high ground on Canal Street near the river, the National Guard and state responders set about doing their work," Hill wrote.

    Still, the existence of a functioning command center at the Superdome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Mayor Ray Nagin, source of many of the unfounded rumors of widespread civil disorder, was staying at a hotel near the Dome. Why didn't he or his police chief, Eddie Compass, move their command center there, where they could tap into the Guard's awareness of the situation in the city? Why didn't they run aid requests through EMACs? Like Compass' three-day disappearance, this is a genuine mystery.

    Governor Kathleen Blanco, meanwhile, had a direct pipeline to the command center and clearly knew what was going on, which might explain why she maintained her authority over the Guard and resisted calls from the President to federalize it. It also explains her apparent callousness to those stuck in the Dome - she knew the real situation was not as bad as the media was reporting. At the very least, she deserves credit for standing up to the national media and following the advice of the junior officers on the scene.

    Here's your claim.
    As far as natural disasters go, during Huricane Katrina the Guard was used to shoot civilians and keep the desperate poor on their side of the bridge.  Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy to have a taxpayer funded redneck militia.  Agreed?

    So let's shrink the defense budget, put the money where it's more needed, and shut these Guard units down.

    I call bullshit.

    Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, Norm in Chicago, this ain't the Bush League Nation anymore.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 09:40:06 AM PST

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    •  We're still in Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not all of the Bush League policies have been abandoned by Obama.  Why does it take 8 years to end a war a Republican starts in 3 months?

      Correction noted on the Guard during Katrina.  But I have to ask, why does disaster rescue have to be done by soldiers armed with assault rifles?

    •  Budget priorities (1+ / 0-)
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      Sue B

      I'm not willing to accuse the National Guard of shooting people in NOLA.  Your points are good ones.

      But can you offer any justification for the amount we are spending?  2/3 of a billion dollars a year?  Just for the MS National Guard?

      We are being asked to cut back CDC, NIH, NOAA, NASA, NEA, NEH, and dozens of other federal agencies that support science, health, primary research, weather forecasting, etc.  We are dealing with an intensely damaging sequester.  Our budget deficit is shrinking, but the national debt is still growing, albeit more slowly.

      At some point, there really is going to have to be more austerity for government programs that provide little long-term economic, health or scientific benefit. Shrinking the National Guard by 30% or so seems like a no-brainer to me.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 10:17:38 AM PST

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      •  why are we spending money for the Guard? (2+ / 0-)
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        blue aardvark, pelagicray

        because we need boots on the ground at the site of the event when the fecal material impacts the rotary air impeller device, and we need not to have to ship in people whose faces and accents will mark them as potential enemies to the folks they're trying to help, and whose presence on the job to do the helping will be hampered by the shipping-in or the suspicion accompanying that.

        True facts: the Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Texas parks and wildlife departments all did SAR during Katrina / Rita; so did those states' health departments -- we had people deployed from my office in Lubbock for 21 days after Rita. Now those folks are NOT mostly (albeit game wardens are more so) young healthy used-to-outdoor-work / SAR-trained personnel. They're just not, but they're first responders (it's a six-hour drive from Lubbock to Austin, and Austin's two hours from the coast but it's the State Capitol and was judged the nearest likely-safe location for a statewide emergency command post for Rita. Yes, we had some of our makeshift emergency response forces go down in the effort, complicating the problems the hurricanes made.

        The parks and wildlife folks had trucks and boats and lifejackets and flashlights handy. What they did NOT have was medevac equipment, or the means to deliver massive amounts of food and water and blankets and cots and first-aid (treatment for exposure, for shock, for loss of needed meds for chronic conditions, &c. That was one of the big lessons learned: we need shelters to have connexions to sources for those materials and we need some basic things like that in place before the storm -- MREs, blankets, flashlights, cots, bottled water, a phone bank to help replace lost medications, EMT-trained staff) and we need a fast ambulance service -- some people are in such rough shape a night in a shelter is not the answer. They need to get to the hospital, stat. For that you need choppers (the distances in Texas are such that you need 'em anyhow for everyday traumas like 12-car pileups on the Interstate, never mind exploding fertilizer tanks). For that you need pilots, fuel, and support / maintenance and for that you need a budget. The military has those built in to the Guard. Getting appropriations to start such capability from scratch in the states (and keep it going) ... na ga ha pun. Just ain't happenin'.

        We are not being asked to cut back federal services: we're being told we can't have the money the corporations and their officers refuse to contribute in fair payment for the benefits they've derived from our national infrastructure, including our military. Roads, bridges, highway patrol, fire and EMT service to their plants ... yeah. They're sucking that down like it's free, and bitching when we ask them to pay some pittance toward the maintenance.

        Therefore, there's no money to pay the country's internal bills, anymore than its external ones (see default as an end to the shutdown).

        The problem's a REVENUE problem. Actually, it's a HOARDING problem, and the culprits are the anti-tax bigots who want everything for nothing. You might know them as Teawadhadjinutjobs.
        Their patron saint is Ted Cruz of the Presidential aspiration.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 11:17:21 AM PST

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      •  The National Guard (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, schnecke21

        allows states to fill gaps that cities and states cannot with their regular public safety workforces in time of emergency or disaster, and the National Guard allows the country to mobilize quickly, for good or bad, in time of war.

        It is about boots on the ground, people to do the hands on work.  You don't have enough fire fighters/law enforcement/medical personnel in a major metropolitan area or state to handle a widespread emergency or disaster.  There simply aren't enough people and certainly not in the "right" places.  A National Guard allows Governors to plug those gaps, and seek aid from neighboring states, until a significant Federal response can be mobilized.

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