Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

LA Gov plays 4 corners in NOLA
September 7, 2005 6:35 PM   Subscribe

Nagin Knockin Noggins on Blanco Na-Na? "The mayor certainly has ordered [mandatory evacuation of New Orleans] but the governor, and that would be me, would have to enforce it or implement it. We are trying to determine whether there is an absolute justification for that," she told FOX News - Wed Sept 7 2005
posted by dand (39 comments total)

 
you stay here and guard the prince, I'll go...
posted by dand at 6:38 PM on September 7, 2005


It appears here that at all levels of the government, people have no idea what their responsibilities are. The president, instead of asking the governor, "what do you need? I'm at your service," instead tries to strongarm the governor from what he believes is a negotiating position of strength. The governor, instead of listening to the mayor and trying to figure out how to help him, now says, "I'll help him if there's an absolute justification." What is wrong with these people? Do they have any understanding of the concept that they are public servants, not contestants in "Quien Es Mas Macho?" ?
posted by deanc at 6:45 PM on September 7, 2005


Nagin Knockin Noggins on Blanco Na-Na?

Could you...um...tell me what that means?
posted by ColdChef at 6:45 PM on September 7, 2005


I've been wondering about this all afternoon.

If I wanted to stay on my property, which I have a God-given right to defend, I'm staying. Period.

If I die from disease or anything else, I'm still paying for my own goddamn funeral!
posted by snsranch at 6:48 PM on September 7, 2005


deanc, you're right on. The first thing I thought when I heard about rounding up people who don't want to leave was, "These guys are doing nothing but exercising their authority, instead of trying to find out what is really needed."
posted by snsranch at 6:50 PM on September 7, 2005


I've noticed a lot of posts lately that sound like they would have been better as fark headlines...
posted by nightchrome at 7:09 PM on September 7, 2005


Nagin Knockin Noggins on Blanco Na-Na?

Could you...um...tell me what that means?

I'll give translation a try: Is Mayor Nagin angry at Governor Blanco's hesitancy to evacuate New Orleans?

You see, it's funny because they have funny names. Or rather, that's why it would be funny if it were.
posted by scottreynen at 7:18 PM on September 7, 2005


i agree with snsranch. if it's my property i have the right to stay there if i so choose, no matter what.
posted by brandz at 7:25 PM on September 7, 2005


Might, in this case, the governor be exercising a proper check on local authority (although local powers have no constitutional authority--their power is derived from the states or elaborated upon in state constitutions and statutory law, court decisions, etc.). Maybe she's also checking federal authority? Are there larger questions of personal liberty involved here, or does the need for public safety and a larger common good outweigh any such issues? It's not a small question, especially when you keep in mind that evacuees are being treated like prisoners in cities across America, with curfew times and the works.
posted by raysmj at 7:35 PM on September 7, 2005


It's the "Na-Na" I can't figure out.
posted by ColdChef at 7:41 PM on September 7, 2005


Anyone know what statute people can legally be forcibly removed under? I'd like to read it.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on September 7, 2005


if it's my property i have the right to stay there if i so choose, no matter what.

I'm sorry, the pure democracy you're looking for is down the hall to the left. This is the United States.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:55 PM on September 7, 2005


Well snsranch and brandz, I think they are trying to prevent an epidemic. There are a lot of nasty microbes floating around in that water, if someone were to pick up a nasty bug then it would probably spread pretty quickly.

So it's not just their own funeral, it's (potentially) everyone they come in contact with.

Otherwise, I'd be all about them staying put and dealing with their own consequences.
posted by idiotfactory at 7:57 PM on September 7, 2005


Yeah, you're welcome to stay on your land as long as you don't need anything from outside it (like clean water) or release anything unwanted into the neighboring land (like your infectious sewage). Put up or shut up.

Anyway, I think snsranch, etc., are dragging a red herring. Do you really think that the thousands of people dying in New Orleans are there because of some überlibertarian attachment to their real estate? I suspect that there's a middle ground somewhere between, on the one hand, forcing people off their land at gunpoint and, on the other hand, leaving them to die in the flood (and forcing help away from them at gunpoint). Even a pretty destitute city should be able to buy its taxpayers a bus ride to high ground when they need it most.
posted by hattifattener at 8:14 PM on September 7, 2005


if someone were to pick up a nasty bug then it would probably spread pretty quickly.

If someone were to pick up a nasty bug, it would already be present.
posted by tkb at 8:15 PM on September 7, 2005


NPR reported this afternooon that the NO police force isn't actually following this order. I suspect the military can't legally do it (yet) and the Gov won't order the Guard to do it.

You also have the Mayor deciding to give food and water to the remaining people, then declaring they were going to stop and most recently indicating that they would continue.

Unfortunately, these mixed message might end up killing people.

Justinian: I think the Gov's declaration of emergency suspends many rights.
posted by probablysteve at 8:16 PM on September 7, 2005


I think they are trying to prevent an epidemic.

^That, and the risk a coordinated rescue poses each time one of the many many volunteers tries to help someone escape from a dangerous area. It's a domino effect, and the folks would be wise to get out before their stubbornness creates more danger and disorder than already exists.

Do you really think that the thousands of people dying in New Orleans are there because of some überlibertarian attachment to their real estate?

Exactly.

Earlier today, some were waxing philosophical about how folks were refusing to leave because they had visions of gentrification and the Trail of Tears dancing thru their heads.

Easy to make those suppositions when you're not sitting on your roof, taking crazed potshots at rescue workers trying to help you.
posted by dhoyt at 8:21 PM on September 7, 2005


since i do microbiology for a living, tkb makes an excellent point. suppose i stay on my property and don't pick up a nasty bug?
posted by brandz at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2005


probablysteve: Declaring a state of emergency may well give the governor the power to forcibly evict people from their homes. But it still needs to be written down in a law somewhere, and that's what I'm looking for.

I mean... yesterday I declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County. This declaration gives me the right to liberate the 52" plasma HDTV over at Best Buy. And yet when I moved to enact this order, the security goons claimed it was not legal.

So I'm looking for evidence that the government can now evict people.
posted by Justinian at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2005


at this point why would anyone trust the government, especially if you're poor or black or both? the government fuckups have been colossal.
posted by brandz at 8:28 PM on September 7, 2005


Justinian - Here is my lawyerly contribution to Metafilter for the day: Louisiana Statutes 14:329.6(A)(2) (Proclamation of state of emergency; conditions therefor; effect thereof) gives the chief law enforcement officer of an area that the government has declared a state of emergency authority to, among other enumerated powers, designate specific zones "within which the occupancy and use of buildings and the ingress and egress of vehicles of persons shall be prohibited or regulated." That's the law written down: in an official public emergency, law enforcement officials can tell you that you have to evacuate your home.
posted by esquire at 8:36 PM on September 7, 2005


law enforcement officials can tell you that you have to evacuate your home.

but can they MAKE you leave your home? arrest you?
posted by brandz at 8:45 PM on September 7, 2005


but can they MAKE you leave your home? arrest you?

"within which the occupancy and use of buildings ... shall be prohibited or regulated."

so yes, they can prohibit you from occupying your home.
posted by clarahamster at 8:56 PM on September 7, 2005


Oh, c'mon. You don't think the gummint can force you off your land (not like they haven't been doing that for over 200 years now), just like they can abridge your freedom of speech, your right to vote, your freedom of assembly, your right to bear arms? Where the fuck have you been and why is your hair so sandy?

The government is given many, many powers of coercion. The theory is that the people won't vote for officials who misuse those powers. It doesn't always work out that way (though we're still ahead of a lot of the alternatives).
posted by hattifattener at 9:04 PM on September 7, 2005


My wife and I keep coming back to the idea that we can hardly comprehend the lack of context and perspective these individuals have. When we wake up with Soledad and listen to NPR on the way to work, get CNN emails during the day and spend the evening listening to Aaron Brown, we, from the safety of our St. Louis home, at least have a measure of the scope.

No power for over a week. No TV. No internets. Probably no radio. No paper delivery. No screaming headlines. No comprehensive appraisal from trusted news outlets. And probably not a lot of trust of the news organizations that don't tend to focus on them to begin with.

Then a few burly dudes in fatigues with M-16's or the modern equivalent pull up in a boat and tell you to leave all your possessions behind because you have to leave? With, say, fifty years of experience of NO flooding, then receeding, and making do as best you can, and ZERO context of the greater situation, I'm not surprised these individuals rely on their years of experience over the new guys in the boats.

I've tried to pay some attention to this from all sorts of televised, print, and internet media, but the idea that these people are impaired by a total lack of context seems to me to be rarely discussed, and might contribute to their unwillingness to evacuate. How we bring it to them, in a more effective manner than an armed soldier showing up and asking them to leave, I do not know.

The fact that, as far as I can surmise from what I've seen, the great majority of those solders are white and armed, and those they are attempting to evacuate are black, may deserve a thread in itself.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 9:15 PM on September 7, 2005


Justinian:
Louisiana Revised Statute 29, §724 ¶D has all the powers of the governor in an emergency situation, including
(5) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response, or recovery.
and
(7) Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein.
¶G from the same section has private security exemptions right there in the emergency statute ("nothing herein shall restrict any uniformed employee of a licensed private security company"). Is it just me, or is that weird?
posted by blacklite at 10:32 PM on September 7, 2005


Oop, I lost. I actually had typed that comment before going out, and just noticed I hadn't hit post. Oh well.
posted by blacklite at 10:33 PM on September 7, 2005


Looks like the Mayor and the National Guard have different opinions on mandatory evacuations.
Mayor C. Ray Nagin ordered law officers and the military late Tuesday to evacuate all holdouts — by force if necessary.
Active-military troops said they had no plans to use force. National Guard officers said they do not take orders from the mayor.
posted by Serena at 10:43 PM on September 7, 2005


Seems to me the main thinking behind evacuation is a simple economic resource allocation one. They can't not keep 'em alive. So, in some areas, they have a choice. Either set up a regular helicopter delivery schedule to run up and down every street delivering food, water, and meds for the next several weeks (months?) or kick 'em out.

Probably what should happen here is a more focussed approach, that is, evac the areas still under water, and leave the rest alone. Course that would doubtless lead to more complaints about where the line is drawn so yeah, maybe just getting everyone out is the easy answer. Sort of a fair equal-evac-opportunity situation?
posted by scheptech at 11:14 PM on September 7, 2005


Thanks for citing the statutory basis guys!
posted by Justinian at 11:27 PM on September 7, 2005


Nagin has nominal control over the few hundred police officers who didn't abandon the city (about 2/3rds of the force stayed). It's these police who are trying to forcibly evacuate people. From what I saw on the news this basically involves speaking to people sternly.

I understand wanting to let people stay. How could would it be to be able to say you stayed in NO till it was drained? But come on. Half these people will die of dysentery or scurvy or some crazy-ass thing if they stay. CNN's assay of the floodwater indicated 100 times the safe level of e.coli bacteria. (the EPA says 10x).

I'm all for individual liberty, but some people are just stupid. At this point, they'll be taken care of.
posted by delmoi at 12:01 AM on September 8, 2005


How could would it be to be able to say you stayed in NO till it was drained? But come on.

I meant, how cool would it be...
posted by delmoi at 12:31 AM on September 8, 2005


On September 2nd, just days after Hurricane Katrina, Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., (R-La.) said that he was desperately pleading with the White House to help his state.

"I started making calls and trying to impress upon the White House and others that something needed to be done. The state resources were being overwhelmed, and we needed direct federal assistance, command and control, and security -- all three of which are lacking."

On September 3rd, he spent hours on the phone pleading with the Pentagon to send more C-30 helicopters to help evacuate people from New Orleans. The Pentagon failed to respond to his request in a prompt manner.

Now, however, Boustany blames his own state...

"Most of the red tape and problems have been at the state level. I have to say that the federal response has been focused on New Orleans with search and rescue operations which is going very, very well at this stage. But we've had a completely ineffectual state response and this is being borne by the local communities to help now. and I have asked the president to take this into consideration, consider that the state response is completely ineffectual and the full range of social and health care needs needs to be met."

Video available here.

Boustany is right about the Chinook helicopters. Not enough were sent. Infact, the Pentagon were aware of these requests, but intentionally held off sending additional support to help with the crisis.

As I was told by a Marine friend of mine on Sept. 1st:
"As far as we are concerned, right now we're sitting and waiting. Some of our logistics guys were going to head down, but that's not happening. The proverbial "they" has put out a request for generator mechanics and some other utility types, and there are four CH-53E helicopters down there now. Those are capable of holding 80 people and/or lifting 15 tons, so who knows what they'll be doing. I reckon if the situation continues to worsen maybe things will change, but for now, we sit and wait."

(See update #23 of my New Orleans Stories post for this quote.)

There were, of course, many more resources, many more helicopters, many more boats, etc. which could've been sent to help save people's lives, but hell... that would've cost the Federal government some money.

If the Feds could rapidly respond in a half-assed way, why couldn't they respond in a manner befitting the level of the crisis, by sending in more helicopters, more mechanics, and more military personnel earlier? Are we to assume that sending in only a few helicopters and requisitioning only a few people from the military to help requires no red tape and no delay, but that endless requests for additional help from the Feds somehow were stymied by delays at the *state* level?

Bush-shit.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:51 AM on September 8, 2005


Earlier today, some were waxing philosophical about how folks were refusing to leave because they had visions of gentrification and the Trail of Tears dancing thru their heads.

Easy to make those suppositions when you're not sitting on your roof, taking crazed potshots at rescue workers trying to help you.
posted by dhoyt at 8:21 PM PST on September 7


So then what you're saying is that you have no idea why people refuse to evacuate other than "they sure are crazy."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:46 AM on September 8, 2005


WTF??? Coastal Parishes Were Not Included in Emergency Declaration
posted by amberglow at 6:55 AM on September 8, 2005


insomnia_lj: A little background on the Boustany comments. He was singing a different tune earlier, before the spin control team kicked in.
posted by raysmj at 7:34 AM on September 8, 2005


Oh, you noticed as much. Never mind! Woops.
posted by raysmj at 7:34 AM on September 8, 2005


i agree with snsranch. if it's my property i have the right to stay there if i so choose, no matter what.
posted by brandz at 10:25 PM EST

Except, of course if Eminent Domain was used to seize property. Maybe the President could build himself a big ole sports arena?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:59 AM on September 8, 2005


esquire : Louisiana Statutes 14:329.6(A)(2) (Proclamation of state of emergency; conditions therefor; effect thereof) gives the chief law enforcement officer of an area that the government has declared a state of emergency authority to(snippy snippy)

But, out of interest, is that "government" the Mayor or the Governor? Does the mayor have the authority to declare this, or must it be the Governor? Just 'cos the mayor decides to order a compulsory evac doesn't mean the mayor has the legal authority to do it... perhaps why the governor's looking for "justification"...
posted by kaemaril at 9:50 AM on September 8, 2005


« Older Beyond Incompetence...  |  Next generation page for weath... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments