Saturday, September 03, 2005

"Many of the law enforcement offcials were driving around with their guns out the window."

dispatches from The Interdictor

"What a bowl of fubar soup we got served for dinner tonight. Yummy. Fuel is still a no-show. No ETA on my resupply schedule tonight.

Was waiting on the street freaking out the Federal Cops guarding the Bogs building until the actually came over to talk and found out who we are and what we're doing.

Then Homeland Sec comes driving by and yells water and hums a 20 ouncer at our feet without slowing down. I know I'm not looking too hot right now, but come on. I'm standing out there with my flashlight on in the middle of the road, obviously waiting on a convoy.

Bunch of stressed out, trigger-ready police and military types driving by suspicious as all hell. It's not safe just standing out on the street even if you look like you belong there.

Anyway, I'm gonna sit tight up here until something definite appears on the street."

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Noam Scheiber

"What makes the post interesting is that it cuts to a central dilemma for conservatives, which is that, at the level of worldview, they simply aren't able to accommodate an event like Katrina. They want to be able to say that government's job is basically to defend us against external enemies and criminals, and that short of that it's every man for himself. But despite efforts by people like Haley Barbour to try to fit Katrina into that rubric (with their preoccupatoin with shooting looters, who have come to occupy the role terrorists played in 9/11), it just doesn't fly. Yes, looters and armed thugs are now a problem in New Orleans. But, beyond the obvious (i.e., a category 4 hurricane and New Orleans' unfortunate geography/elevation), the reason the city has become such a hell-hole isn't looters; it's that the government wasn't very competent either beforehand or afterward at mitigating the effects of a natural disaster which were clearly possible to mitigate."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Couldn't Pay the Price of Admission

"Lots of people in that area - the poor and the old and the sick - get checks from the goverment on the 1st of the month. They spend for the month with that money, so by the end of the month they are broke.

The storm hit on the 29th.

Many people could not afford the $50 to fill their gas tanks to leave. The interviewee said they people were begging him to please loan them the money for gas. They were forced to stay, and forced to stay when they were broke."

Why no mention of race or class in TV's Katrina coverage?

"But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians--and perhaps black Mississippians--suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, 'Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?'"
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Why city's defences were down

"'There doesn't seem to have been much attention paid to people who didn't have private automobiles,' he said. 'I didn't hear anything about school buses or city buses being used to aim people out of town.' He said that there appeared to be little forward planning to cater to those on low incomes who would be unable to return to their homes for up to two months but who would not have the money to pay for that time in a hotel. 'The Department of Homeland Security says on its website that it deals with natural disasters,' he said. 'They don't seem to have done a very good job. There doesn't seem to have been any long-term planning.'"

"A tipster informs us that down in New Orleans, they have a name for the flood waters that have invaded the city: Lake George. "
How New Orleans Was Lost - by Paul Craig Roberts

"Chalk up the city of New Orleans as a cost of Bush's Iraq war.

There were not enough helicopters to repair the breached levees and rescue people trapped by rising water. Nor are there enough Louisiana National Guardsmen available to help with rescue efforts and to patrol against looting.

The situation is the same in Mississippi.

The National Guard and helicopters are off on a fool's mission in Iraq.

The National Guard is in Iraq because fanatical neoconservatives in the Bush administration were determined to invade the Middle East and because incompetent Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld refused to listen to the generals, who told him there were not enough regular troops available to do the job.

After the invasion, the arrogant Rumsfeld found out that the generals were right. The National Guard was called up to fill in the gaping gaps.

Now the Guardsmen, trapped in the Iraqi quagmire, are watching on TV the families they left behind trapped by rising waters and wondering if the floating bodies are family members. None know where their dislocated families are, but, shades of Fallujah, they do see their destroyed homes.

The mayor of New Orleans was counting on helicopters to put in place massive sandbags to repair the levee. However, someone called the few helicopters away to rescue people from rooftops. The rising water overwhelmed the massive pumping stations, and New Orleans disappeared under deep water.

What a terrible casualty of the Iraqi war – one of our oldest and most beautiful cities, a famous city, a historic city.

Distracted by its phony war on terrorism, the U.S. government had made no preparations in the event Hurricane Katrina brought catastrophe to New Orleans. No contingency plan existed. Only now after the disaster are FEMA and the Corps of Engineers trying to assemble the material and equipment to save New Orleans from the fate of Atlantis. "

"French Quarter, Nov 5, 1941" by Charles W. Cushman

(thanks Plep)
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Boing Boing: Email attributed to NOLA rescue worker; economics of disaster

"The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out. "
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old Penny Postcards from Biloxi, Gulfport etc, in better times, looking vulnerable, too open to the ocean, helpless. My deepest sympathies for everyone affected, especially the displaced.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Anodyne's list of favorite books includes a poem I wrote in the seventies!
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Rue Hazard:--Latta's back!!

"Reading against one's clique--that is, omnivorously, unhesitantly, exceedingly--is the sine qua non of any robust criticism (or its recent simulacrum of "author-divvying") or poetry writing. Part of the job description. To constitute it as a particular "project" (donc, "admirable," donc, "worthy of our attention") smacks, yes, of dilettantism, attending schematically to a superficies. Gourmandizing. "