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post Sep 3 2005, 07:47 PM
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I wanted to make another thread for this, because my point wasn't really relevant to the other one. My point is that this disaster has been so catastrophically mismanaged that so many people need to be fired (or possibly imprisoned, or shot) as a punishment for allowing it to happen that it's not even funny.

I've heard people say "this is an environmental disaster, it's not a political issue". It's political as hell. I'm gathering a little compendium of failures, idiocies, and horrific neglect. In no particular order:

The Red Cross is banned from entering New Orleans. Highly questionable.

The FEMA official in charge got his job through nepotism, has no relevant experience, and was in fact fired from his previous job overseeing horse shows. There's a guy you want looking after you.

The same lovely gentleman blames the people who didn't get out. Because absolutely everybody, no matter how poor they are, or how elderly or infirm, or whether they've got a car, everyone is perfectly capable of leaving their home for an indefinite amount of time.

But wait, these dispossessed folk could always get a Greyhound out of there, couldn't they? Well, sure, except that they closed the Greyhound station on Saturday. It's almost as if somebody didn't much care.

"In addition to Guard help, the federal government could have activated, but did not, a major air support plan under a pre-existing contract with airlines. The program, called Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, lets the government quickly put private cargo and passenger planes into service." No comment.

The IEM, the company to whom the job of protecting New Orleans from hurricanes was delegated, is suddenly trying to hide the fact that it ever had that job. What on Earth could they be trying to hide?

But in the face of all this, the President sees a ray of light. I'll quote:

The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)

What's that you say? You can't afford to just rebuild your house from scratch then invite the President over for tea? Huh. Sucks to be you, I guess.

Comments, discussion and contributions appreciated.

Every sort of expert knowledge and every inquiry, and similarly every action and undertaking, seems to seek some good. Because of that, people are right to affirm that the good is 'that which all things seek'...
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post Sep 8 2005, 07:56 PM
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Just so everyone knows, the tales of lawlessness and rioting with which the media are being seeded are bigoted lies (Chicago Tribune, registration required).

I quote the article in full below:

BATON ROUGE, La. -- They locked down the entrance doors Thursday at the Baton Rouge hotel where I'm staying alongside hundreds of New Orleans residents driven from their homes by Hurricane Katrina.

"Because of the riots," the hotel managers explained. Armed Gunmen from New Orleans were headed this way, they had heard.

"It's the blacks," whispered one white woman in the elevator. "We always worried this would happen."

Something else gave way last week besides the levees that had protected New Orleans from the waters surrounding it. The thin veneer of civility and practiced cordiality that in normal times masks the prejudices and bigotries held by many whites in this region of Deep South Louisiana was heavily battered as well.

All it took to set the rumor mills in motion were the first TV pictures broadcast Tuesday showing some looters—many of them black—smashing store windows in downtown New Orleans. Reports later in the week of sporadic violence and shootings among the desperate throngs outside the Superdome clamoring to be rescued only added to the panic.

By Thursday, local TV and radio stations in Baton Rouge—the only ones in the metro area still able to broadcast—were breezily passing along reports of cars being hijacked at gunpoint by New Orleans refugees, riots breaking out in the shelters set up in Baton Rouge to house the displaced, and guns and knives being seized.

Scarcely any of it was true—the police, for example, confiscated a single knife from a refugee in one Baton Rouge shelter. There were no riots in Baton Rouge. There were no armed hordes.

But all of it played directly into the darkest prejudices long held against the hundreds of thousands of impoverished blacks who live "down there," in New Orleans, that other world regarded by many white suburbanites—indeed, many people across the rest of the state—as a dangerous urban no-go area.

Now the floods were pushing tens of thousands of those inner-city residents deep into Baton Rouge and beyond. The TV pictures showed vast throngs of black people who had been trapped in downtown New Orleans disgorging out of rescue trucks and helicopters to be ushered onto buses headed west on Interstate Highway 10. The nervousness among many of the white evacuees in my hotel was palpable.

Few stopped to contemplate that the reason nearly all the people shown on TV were black was because that's who was left behind when the better-off New Orleans residents with the money and means to escape evacuated the city in advance of the storm.

Nor did they seem to notice that most of the refugees were bedraggled mothers and exhausted fathers and frightened children and ailing old people—ordinary, law-abiding citizens who had had little to begin with and escaped with absolutely nothing except the clothes on their backs and their lives.

And it wasn't just the uninformed, the idle and the bigoted spreading the poison with loaded language.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, himself an African-American, blamed the state for sending "New Orleans thugs" to be sheltered in Baton Rouge and promptly slapped a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the main River Center shelter, which held 5,000 refugees from the storm.

"We do not want to inherit the looting and all the other foolishness that went on in New Orleans," Holden was quoted as telling the Baton Rouge Advocate in Thursday's edition. "We do not want to inherit that breed that seeks to prey on other people."

It was left to the Baton Rouge police chief to go on TV later in the day to try to cool the growing hysteria and point out that a single knife had been seized in the shelter. The mayor later said he had been misquoted by the newspaper.

But the damage had been done. The doors to my hotel stayed locked.

Every sort of expert knowledge and every inquiry, and similarly every action and undertaking, seems to seek some good. Because of that, people are right to affirm that the good is 'that which all things seek'...
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Posts in this topic
- CommieBastard   Hurricane Katrina   Sep 3 2005, 07:47 PM
- - {Gothic Angel}   QUOTE Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the Na...   Sep 3 2005, 08:30 PM
- - CommieBastard   It's from a clearly biased source, so take it ...   Sep 3 2005, 10:44 PM
- - CommieBastard   Ah, and here's another gem showing how much th...   Sep 3 2005, 11:29 PM
- - Kitty   Totally irrelivent but it's been bugging the h...   Sep 4 2005, 02:19 AM
- - CommieBastard   I did double post, to add new information to the t...   Sep 4 2005, 07:22 AM
- - markslut   http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Tempers_flare_...Orlea...   Sep 4 2005, 01:07 PM
- - moop   QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Sep 4 2005, 08:22 AM)I...   Sep 4 2005, 02:30 PM
- - sjbbandgeek   I highly suggest that if you do donate anyhting, g...   Sep 4 2005, 06:29 PM
- - CheeseMoose   QUOTE (moop @ Sep 4 2005, 02:30 PM)QUOTE (Com...   Sep 4 2005, 07:12 PM
- - Astarael   This entire situation has just erupted into insane...   Sep 4 2005, 08:07 PM
- - Tarantio   I can almost understand about the Red Cross not be...   Sep 4 2005, 10:53 PM
- - CommieBastard   Tara: the rationale given for not allowing the RC ...   Sep 4 2005, 11:36 PM
- - CommieBastard   Update: Meet the Press, Sept 4. I'll quote rel...   Sep 6 2005, 10:47 AM
- - Calantyr   Is anyone else annoyed at the way mercenaries are ...   Sep 6 2005, 06:17 PM
- - CommieBastard   But apparently, if you evacuated? Everything's...   Sep 6 2005, 06:48 PM
- - Calantyr   Yup... the incompetance and sheer callousness seem...   Sep 6 2005, 07:08 PM
- - CommieBastard   Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke proposed t...   Sep 6 2005, 07:24 PM
- - CommieBastard   Wow. Not only did Bush's visit to NO not help ...   Sep 6 2005, 11:05 PM
- - little_bear   Please, everyone, watch this video. I couldn...   Sep 7 2005, 12:04 AM
- - Calantyr   Wait... isn't Bush the head of an investigatio...   Sep 7 2005, 12:41 AM
- - pgrmdave   Did he just say... I mean... no, he couldn't...   Sep 7 2005, 02:40 AM
|- - little_bear   QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Sep 7 2005, 03:40 AM)Did he...   Sep 7 2005, 04:52 AM
- - Overfriendly_Kitten   I'd just like to thank Commie for this thread ...   Sep 7 2005, 03:23 AM
- - CommieBastard   While Dubya will be heading an investigation, Cong...   Sep 7 2005, 08:09 AM
- - little_bear   Transcript from the video of what I can only assum...   Sep 7 2005, 08:49 AM
- - pgrmdave   http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/current...trina...   Sep 7 2005, 12:49 PM
- - CommieBastard   I love that. "It's cool everybody, they w...   Sep 7 2005, 04:24 PM
- - CommieBastard   This post on Making Light relays the account of so...   Sep 8 2005, 09:38 AM
- - CommieBastard   The White House declared a state of emergency in L...   Sep 8 2005, 04:51 PM
- - Calantyr   I was under the impression that the President coul...   Sep 8 2005, 05:09 PM
- - CommieBastard   In a shocking twist that nobody could possibly hav...   Sep 8 2005, 07:00 PM
- - Calantyr   http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article...=PA%2...   Sep 8 2005, 07:41 PM
- - CommieBastard   Incidentally, I'm getting most of these from L...   Sep 8 2005, 07:49 PM
- - Calantyr   Mexican Army crosses the Rio Grande! http://w...   Sep 8 2005, 07:51 PM
- - CommieBastard   Just so everyone knows, the tales of lawlessness a...   Sep 8 2005, 07:56 PM
- - Overfriendly_Kitten   QUOTE (Calantyr @ Sep 8 2005, 08:41 PM)http:/...   Sep 8 2005, 10:48 PM
- - CommieBastard   Congress is holding its own inquiry - Bush isn...   Sep 8 2005, 10:56 PM
- - arachnidoc17   There's a lot of things going wrong here, for ...   Sep 8 2005, 11:01 PM
- - CommieBastard   Thus far, you may be forgiven for thinking that Mi...   Sep 9 2005, 10:53 AM
- - CommieBastard   I'm not a fan of the man, but I want to thank ...   Sep 9 2005, 01:39 PM
- - Calantyr   http://washtimes.com/upi/20050908-112433-4907r.htm...   Sep 10 2005, 07:31 PM
- - Mata   A year later... Has the aid actually got there? Ha...   Nov 28 2006, 12:41 PM
- - CommieBastard   My God, I was just a posting machine in this threa...   Nov 28 2006, 03:06 PM
- - bug0112   I think I read somewhere that a judge is trying to...   Nov 29 2006, 06:11 PM

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