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August 30, 2005

Comments

does anyone want to pledge to match my blood donation, to help motivate me to overcome my massive wussiness?

K: I would, but having been on prescription drugs since I was 13, no one wants my blood.

you know, I used to love giving blood. (To be more precise, I was okay about the donation, and *loved* eating a lot of cookies afterwards, bathed in a glow of righteousness and sugar).

Then I lived in England during the Mad Cow years, and now the Red Cross doesn't want my blood. I wonder if they'll ever get over it?

But I've still got my three-gallon pin from the good old days--nice gold-plated tear-drop shape.

Aaaaargh! No!!!

Pshew! You had me scared it was something awful; some great cultural treasure lost, or something worse. But it's just something idiotic.

Sorry. Try this (general account of devastation and despair).

I'm incredibly wussified about giving blood. Would they want my blood if I've eaten boeuf tartare in France as recently as 2004?

I want to give blood, but doing so makes me skittish. Obviously, I'm looking for excuses...

Jackmormon--

They revise the questionnaire at intervals, so I don't know what it says these days. Maybe they'd exclude you. Maybe they'd let me back in by now. I should try.

Tad Brennan: Then I lived in England during the Mad Cow years, and now the Red Cross doesn't want my blood. I wonder if they'll ever get over it?

My wife had the same problem. She was a vegetarian for the duration of her stay in England, and they still refused her blood.

dang--

Just checked a Red Cross page here, which says I'm still scratched because of this clause:
"You cannot donate blood if you have:
....
....
Or, if between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1996, you have
Spent a total time that adds up to 3 months in the United Kingdom.
...."

One clause about Europe; nothing specifically about France; nothing about boeuf tartare.

Anyhow--you'll be fine giving blood: if you can eat that stuff, you've got a lot stronger stomach than I do.

Ah, Jackmormon: I remember whne I was seven, and we spent the summer in France, and one day, at a restaurant in Nice, my parents said that we could order anything we wnated, and I chose Steak Tartare, thinking that anything that managed to roll together two of my favorite things -- steak and Genghis Khan -- must be wonderful. My parents tried to persuade me that I wouldn't like it, but no: I was just entranced by the name. Then it came, and it was:

raw hamburger??!!

(the differences between steak tartare and raw hamburger were lost on a seven year old. I'm sure they were profound, but I didn't notice.)

I was desolate. And hungry, even at the end of the alleged meal.

when. wanted.

For years I've been sort of considered TB positive (no by Asian standards, yes by American standards, so no-one's quite sure what that means) and generally in ill health so I haven't tried to donate. I'm thinking the next few days may see a reversal of that trend.

hilzoy--
France? Genghis Khan? Raw meat? At age seven?

Why were you wasting our time on that other thread with Vietnam and communism and all that other nonsense, when clearly *this* was your most formative foreign policy experience?

Went to give blood on a date once - we both got turned down (she was too light, I had too checkered a past). We got cookies and t-shirts anyway. Somehow that did not lead to a stable, equitable relationship.

Moral: uhh, I've got nothing.

I heard something about the Army bringing in giant concrete barriers in sections via helicopter to try stopping up the levee leaks. But that'll have to wait for daylight.

I'm trying to remember if the 9/11 donations to the Red Cross totalled $150 million or billion. We're going to need another gigantic fundraiser to get the refugees back on their feet - wherever they wind up.

Katherine, I would totally do it (having gotten over my fear of needles during the flesh-eating bacteria incident) but last I checked, they still don't accept blood from people who admit they have had homosexual sex. And I'm glad to say that I have. (I mean for personal happiness reasons). Though not recently. Oh never mind this is getting to be a bit much.

Re New Orleans: it sounds like this is the flooding they have feared for more than 100 years. This is going to seriously suck.

Oh, and I heard a workmate say that at least all the rebuilding is going to be good for the economy. Argh, economic illiteracy sucks! It's bad for the economy because all that work should be creating new value, not recreating what was recently existing value. It is good for the GDP figures, bad for the economy.

Sebastian: aargh is right. By those standards we could keep the economy in tip-top shape by periodically bombing one of our own cities -- and that way we could evacuate the inhabitants first.

People, go check the current Red Cross blood donation rules.">http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_557_,00.html">rules.

My previous obstacles (living in Europe) have been removed, so I have no more excuses. They aren't even interested in your sex life anymore (not that I have any - I'm married with small children).

I'm going tomorrow. And 56 days after that. And if they want platelets in between, I'm their man. Who's with me?

Katherine? You're on. I'll match you and, in fact, if you go give blood, I'll give once now and again as soon as they let me.

If you need additional motivation, the Gov's spokesperson just said that looters are trying to break into the (locked) Children's Hospital and as of 11:45 eastern, there was one available to help them.

I know you can manage one needle after hearing that, right?

I'm amazed that no one who posts here (so far, anyway) can give blood! I'm lucky, I guess.

idook, I think that site is kinda misinformative - anyway there are a lot of caveats in the fine print, e.g.

Persons who have spent long periods of time in countries where "mad cow disease" is found are not eligible to donate.
.

I have decided to try again -- it was ages ago that I was sternly informed that no one with my toxic cocktail of a blood supply could possibly donate.

their website says that the next blood drive in Chicago isn't until 9/15. Can that be right? There's a good chance I'll have a job interview then, so I can't even make the appointment.

Btw, everybody better brace themselves for the coming political storm over the part funding cuts and equipment diversion to Iraq played in the disaster. I won't link to it here, but there seems to be a lot of documentation of short-sighted policy decisions to fight about.

"Btw, everybody better brace themselves for the coming political storm over the part funding cuts and equipment diversion to Iraq played in the disaster."

Perhaps you mean something like this?

There are also quite a number of pre-emptive responses on the right; naturally, see NRO, for instance.

Doesn't "countries where mad cow disease is found" include the US nowadays? Oh well, I'll have to go in and see what they say.

Katherine, at least here in the SF Bay Area there are several places open every day. Shouldn't be that different in other metro areas?

You'd think, this being the third largest city in the country and all. Unless the appointments are filled already, which would be a good thing. I guess I'll call the hotline tomorrow.

Gary - yep. [dark humor snipped].

The President lauded dead and maimed US soldiers and their families for their sacrifices in his "noble cause" that is Iraq. I guess he'll be full of praise now for the people of New Orleans.

Gary Farber noted this

Left Coaster goes a bit deeper and notes this

I'm so sorry.

I've been re-reading the Benjamin January novels recently (Barbara Hambly's 19th-century detective) and thinking about a city that I now will never see.

The loss of lives is terrible. The loss of a city - somehow that's as terrible, even if not a single life had been lost. A city is more than the sum of people who live there: it's lives gone by, the lives of everyone who lived there and made it what it was.

My thoughts go out to everyone in New Orleans now or who got out in time but has lost their home - and those who have friends or family in New Orleans.

Giving blood is safe, not especially painful (except for having to answer a battery of questions exposing my utter lack of a love life) and possibly even beneficial for a smoker like me.

I used to be milked, a pint every eight weeks for a couple of years, until the blood bank closed its local office and went mobile. What really stopped me was that, when I explained the health benefits to my sister, she wondered how beneficial my carbon-monoxide-contaminated blood would be to its recipients. "As beneficial as it is to me," I replied, or should have, but it did put me off.

Katherine, you don't have to wait for a blood drive; you can donate anytime at a donation center. If you call 800-GIVE-LIFE, they'll point you to a local donation center. I gave back on Aug. 20, so I'm not eligible for several more weeks.

idook, they most certainly do ask sex-related questions on the screening, each and every time. Not only do they ask men if they've had homosexual sex, they also ask if they've had sex with anyone who accepts money or drugs for sex.

Sebastian, don't be too hard on the ARC for their rules on gay men donating; they follow the rules of the FDA. (Rules which I happen to think are outdated and need changed.) I say this at the risk of offending, and I know my wife would kill me for saying this publicly, but AFAIC, if you know you are HIV-, I don't think there's anything immoral about flatly lying during the screening.

Finally, to all, if you're going to donate to the Red Cross, please consider marking it for the National Disaster Relief Fund rather than for Hurricane 2005 Victims. The reason I say this is because, thanks to some ill-conceived stuff that former ARC chairwoman Bernadine Healy pulled in the wake of 9/11, money designated for a particular disaster must, by law and by ARC rules, be used only for that disaster; and while people generously donate for a particular event, the Red Cross ends up having a shortfall for all the other challenges they have to meet all year long. Money to the DRF, on the other hand, can be used for any disaster, including the hurricane; and a donation there will help the ARC to help Katrina victims and make sure they're funded enough throughout the year.

For some reason this song keeps running through my head in Willie Nelson's voice:

But all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings hius song again
The passengers will please refrain
This train has got the disapearing blues

Singin' good morning America, how are you?
Sayin' don't you know me I'm your native son?
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.


Should be Arlo Guthrie's voice, J.

on hilzoy's infatuation with Genghis Khan, does anyone else recall Dick van Dyke singing a spritely waltzt-tune whose lyrics are:

I'm in love, I'm in love, with Attila the Hun,
A. the H., A. the H.
and we'll pillage
each village
and kill every one
I still love Attilla the Hun!

I suspect that was another Mel Brooks composition--before or after he penned ditties to Hitler? And why *didn't* he write any love-songs for Genghis Khan?

Attila's wife, who - when he walked in the door after work, said "hi, Hun!"...never got a dinner.

Should be Arlo Guthrie's voice, J.

No doubt it should be, but my earworm has picked up Willie Nelson singing it, and who can argue with an earworm?

Oh, that last was Red Buttons, IIRC.

Re. Rilkefan's prediction of the coming political storm over funding, etc.

Well, I suspect the usual stuff will be trotted out -- explanations like the government is just like a family sitting around the kitchen table budgeting their scarce resources.

My family sat around the kitchen table last night and, by unanimous consent pulled out of Iraq, raised our own taxes, cut a few agricultural subsidies (see, what a family) and, just for fun, seceded from the Union.

Have you noticed that no matter the dynamic growth of the economy extolled by the Kudlow/Glassman/Sowell media juggernaut to bolster the White House's economic case that lower taxes mean more revenues, the government is forever dealing with scarce resources and must tighten its belt at every turn?

Could New Orleans be a very large drowned baby?

Does it turn anyone else's stomach to see Haley Barbour run around directing the hated government, whose tax lifeline he strangles every chance he gets, to help?

Actually, if you laid him down sideways, he'd make a cheap levee. He could swallow most of that brackish water.

I love that song. My family used to drive from Bangor to New York every Christmas, and then later from New York to Acadia every summer, and that's the song I associate with those car rides.

Never been to New Orleans myself.

Thanks for the tips on donation centers & the hurricane relief fund.

As far as politicization:
1) the single biggest mistake to me seems to be that a city that everyone knew was at risk, did not have an evacuation plan for people who didn't own cars.

2) it is not clear what role global warming played here. Saying that it was "caused by global warming" is wrong, but certainty that it was completely unrelated to global warming is also not quite right--the Gulf is unusually warm right now & that does increase the violence of storms. What is perfectly clear is that this is more likely to happen again & to happen to other cities because of global warming. Sea levels will rise so it takes a smaller storm to do this, and the models vary about the way the intensity of hurricanes rise, but warm oceans feed hurricanes.

3) As far as the environmental causes of this one, the destruction of wetlands seems worse.

4) I don't know if the spending on the levee projects would have stopped this. What I do know is: Washington has GOT to f*cking stop playing games with disaster relief. The homeland security budget needs to be allocated according to need, and protecting people from natural catastrophes--hurricanes, epidemics--needs to be given equal priority.

5) I wish the Democrats would simply say: look, we need to raise taxes. Soldiers are dying in Iraq without enough armor, they do not get the health care and benefits they should when they return, the national guard and the military are stretched too thin and are having trouble recruiting, the war is not going well at all, the deficit is huge, Congress and the President have proved over and over that they lack the political will to cut spending, and now we have one of our greatest cities and many surrounding communities destroyed, 1 million people whose homes and jobs are underwater now and may have been destroyed, refugee camps--this cannot go on. I don't like paying taxes anymore than anyone else does, but I like abandoning our soldiers, letting our military be stretched too the breaking point at an extremely dangerous time abandoning our fellow citizens who have just been through hell, the great Mississippi delta and the city of New Orleans, or bankrupting the government--I like those things much less. We can get through these problems--we've pulled together before and gotten through worse times--but we won't do it not by pretending
they don't exist.
I don't think such a message would be politically disastrous.

the single biggest mistake to me seems to be that a city that everyone knew was at risk, did not have an evacuation plan for people who didn't own cars

I'd guess the same would be true of Tampa, Miami, and Mobile, as well as the lesser-populated coastal cities.

I don't think the proper degree of urgency and panic has been reached yet. Levees have been breached and apparently can't be fixed; that means the entire city will be underwater in days. There could be 60-70,000 people left in there who will possibly die if this happens. There should be a military evacuation effort roughly equivalent to an amphibious invasion starting yesterday.

Oh, last political issue: it really seems like the initial National Guard callup was not adequate. My guess is that there were enough National Guardsmen in the United States to respond in spite of Iraq, but not enough in the affected states, and I assume the governors needed some sort of federal authorization before calling in troops from other states. If that is true, they should have gotten it, and the President should have made sure of it. And obviously he could have called in the army. I really don't understand why he didn't change his schedule. (Hell, for political reasons alone--this is an easy one.) It's not like this was completely unexpected. The storm was weaker and hit New Orleans less directly than everyone thought the night before. That National Weather Service advisory...This is not the first time there's been a delayed response to a disaster, and this time the delay may really have made a difference.

That said, if I'm guessing wrong about governors' authority to call in the guard please do correct me. (Is declaring it a "disaster area" authorization enough? The news articles make it sounds like that affects FEMA and relief, not the Guard and evacuation.)

Oh, last political issue: it really seems like the initial National Guard callup was not adequate.

Probably not, but that doesn't mean there's not enough guard available.

Again, my guess (and it is only a guess) is that there are enough guardsmen across the nation, but what I'm wondering is, does the governor of one state have the clear authority to order in another state's guard?

Good question, but I'm thinking that Jeb (for one) wouldn't hesitate to deploy. What's unclear is who pays. Not that I mind; there was so much in the way of out-of-state resources brought into play last year that we owe, and owe big.

"We" being Florida, of course.

No, he probably wouldn't have. They probably didn't think of asking. No level of government seems to have had its head on entirely straight, which is inevitable but really, really unfortunate. Have they even started getting people out of the Superdome?

inevitable to some degree, not necessarily this degree, that is. So much of the casualty level of a natural disaster depends on manmade factors.

I'd heard the Superdome had been declared unfit for human habitation and was being evacuated, but I have no idea to what extent that's been accomplished.

Good question, Katherine: anyone out there know the answer; as to exactly WHO coordinates the NG callup and/or deployment efforts? As of yesterday, I had not seen any differnt figures than the 31,000 or so Guard "available" in the 4-state Gulf Coast region: and it seemed like only a few thousand had actually been mustered up and deployed to the affected areas. Louisiana, frex, supposedly had 6,500 Guard "available"; which seems like WAY too few to deal with widespread devastation like Katrina. There are, of course, tens of thousands of NG on call nationwide: like you, I wonder how and when they can be sent in to help, if needed.

Slightly off the topic, here's at least a partial list of non-NG military relief efforts.

"Have they even started getting people out of the Superdome?"

Yes:

Blanco also said planners were working on evacuating between 12,000 and 15,000 people who sought refuge at the city's Superdome sports arena.

Inside the sports arena, toilets were overflowing and there was no electricity or air conditioning to provide relief from 90-degree heat. (See the video of conditions in the dimmed and damaged stadium -- 3:53)

"Well, it's a logistical nightmare," Blanco said. "We have identified other shelters in other parts of the state. Communities are ready to receive these people to help them out."

"They've been running buses in through the night. We're going to get them out, either by boat, lift them out by helicopter, or if we can walk them to the buses, we'll do it. Whatever is necessary, whatever measure is necessary is what we'll do.:"

There are also about a thousand people killed in a single incident in Iraq.

"Good question, Katherine: anyone out there know the answer; as to exactly WHO coordinates the NG callup and/or deployment efforts?"

I may be wrong, but my guess is FEMA.

It's a big job.

They've opened the Houston Astrodome as an evacuation shelter.

Lots of coverage here.

What's at stake for the economy.

I should modify my "yes" here about the Superdome, as I can't verify that people have actually been removed and gotten elsewhere yet.

More on economic effects although this is for short run effects on consumers.

And even more this time from DOE, via dailykos diary.

"I wish the Democrats would simply say: look, we need to raise taxes."

I agree that taxes ought to be raised and that the longer we delay saying so the worse the ultimate need is likely to be. However, shouldn't the Republicans, as the ruling party in both the executive and legislative branches, be the ones to say it? (Yeah, yeah, I know: that's about as likely as the levee spontaneously healing itself...)

According to the NYTimes, the Astrodome is going to be used to house refugees from the flood until at least December. Four months living in a stadium? Ye gods! I don't mean this as a criticism of the decision. It's probably the only available solution, but living in a stadium with 10,000 other people for an extended period of time sounds...challenging.

A somewhat more upbeat view of overall economic effects

WTF! A stadium until December!?! Surely a tent city would be better!

Honestly, I'm not making this up. A quote from the article: "The Astrodome will be available to house them at least until December, and longer, if necessary."

Katherine-

Blood donation matched. Go on down and donate. (And so, of course, should everyone else who may.)

Dan: Or an in-kind donation of hotel rooms in surrounding, undamaged cities. With a one-time special tax writeoff for hotels that do so.

WTF! A stadium until December!?! Surely a tent city would be better!

In the South. In late summer/early fall.

Better think again. The Astrodome has both climate control and limited mosquito access. Yes, it's going to suck. The point is, it's probably going to suck less than a tent city.

The company my wife works for is tasked with providing temporary housing such as was provided in the Port Charlotte, FL, area. This is certainly a better option than tent cities OR the Astrodome, but much slower to emplace.

Phil,

Are you talkin' to me?

Sorry, I meant Jackmormon.

A click-through to the article shows that other arrangements are being made, as well.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to need temporary homes for indefinite durations. The authorities were looking at renting apartments, putting people up in trailers and establishing floating dormitories.
Ok, floating dorms is a little crazy, given what we've heard about fire ants, but the other solutions are rational. Hopefully the Astrodome will serve as a very temporary measure.

Slart, yeah, you're right about the AC. I realized that a couple of minutes after my earlier comment. (While I'm sitting here sweating in my unconditioned apartment in NYC, I recognize that the heat and humidity are prolly lots lots worse in Texas.)

Slarti: Is the Astrodome climate controlled? I had the idea it was one of those stadiums with no roof over the field. The mosquitos of Louisiana are going to be very happy this year. Anybody know if malaria is still endemic in Louisiana? If it is, it's about to make a comeback. Encephalitis too, most likely. As if they didn't have enough problems already.

WTF! A stadium until December!?! Surely a tent city would be better!

In the South. In late summer/early fall.

Better think again. The Astrodome has both climate control and limited mosquito access.

Not to mention, in October/Nov/Dec., heat.

Personally, I object to my tax dollars being spent on welfare for people who obviously don't have jobs or the foresight to own insurance. That's not the job of government! Government should be restricted to what's in the Constitution, such as national defense. I don't see anything about providing lazy gadabouts who can't bother to get jobs or savings accounts, with free shelter, and probably free food and medical supplies!

What if this socialistic policy was extended to others in need?!? We might end up with almost all homeless people being provided shelter and minimal food and medical care, and that would be un-American!

This is just the sort of wedge the commie socialists look for. Don't give it to them! Let these people stand on their own two feet, the American way, and stop taking tax money from honest hard-working Americans to throw away on riff-raff, I say! Bah! Humbug!

"(While I'm sitting here sweating in my unconditioned apartment in NYC, I recognize that the heat and humidity are prolly lots lots worse in Texas.)"

It's 95 (heat index 102) in Houston, according to the Weather Channel. If I remember Texas summers correctly, highs won't be below 90 until October, most likely. There's a reason Sherman made that comment about preferring hell to Texas: the climate's better in hell.

Slarti: Is the Astrodome climate controlled?

Sure!

the central air-conditioning has to circulate 2.5 million cubic feet of air a minute.

"Is the Astrodome climate controlled? I had the idea it was one of those stadiums with no roof over the field."

I know squat about sports, and couldn't tell you who plays there, beyond the "Astros" (baseball, right?), but I'm fairly sure I know what a "dome" is.

Are the refugees going to live in the stands, so the baseball season can continue - which would keep them entertained (through October anyway [if one moved the World Series there])?

uh-boy, that seventh-inning stretch is going to be a doozy.

Gary,

The Astros moved out of the Astrodome several years ago, into a new stadium originally called Enron Park, and now Minute Maid Park. Jokes about the ball being juiced just write themselves there (and, for that matter, at Tropicana Field, where the Devil Rays play).

Oops. I think I got it mixed up with Texas Stadium, which is in Dallas (and has a hole in the roof). Given that I'm from Dallas, that's one embarassing error...far worse in the local cultural context than the ignoring the "dome" in the name "Astrodome" that Gary pointed out.

I'm in Jackson, MS. The power has been out at home since Monday and will probably stay out for at least another couple of days, could be longer. Because the office has power and we have ties to MEMA/FEMA I was able to help out today and get some welcome air conditioning.

One of the worse things about being involved in a disaster like this is that without power we don't really know what is going on. Here in Jackson around 93% of the population has no power and we have over a half million people here from the coast and they can't really keep up with what is happening either. Right now I'm not sure how much blood is needed but I would guess that non-perishable food and water are needed more. It's really hard to get a grip with how dependent you are on power until it's gone, especially when it's gone for a couple of days or more. You have NO refrigerated items. If you don't have a gas stove you can't really cook ANYTHING so I hope you like PB&J. Without power we have no gas stations to pump gas and those that do have power run out of gas pretty fast. You try to stay at home and don't drive to save your gas but without power there really isn't much to do around the house except listen to portable radios which have sprung up everywhere. The phones just don't work very well right now so you cannot communicate with anyone south of here. I've only been able to get in touch with my sister in Hattisburg twice in two days of trying (she's fine and has come up to her mother-in-laws here in Jackson).

I expect things to be getting back to normal here sometime this weekend, maybe. Gas could be short for longer than that. Jackson is something like 130-150 miles inland, Katrina was only a Category 1 or 2 when it hit here and there was, of course, no storm surge here. Biloxi, Gulfport and all those towns along the coast are orders of magnitude worse off than we are here. My friend and co-worker down in Biloxi survived the hurricane but he's lost pretty much everything. You can see his blog over at bigjim.org.

If you really want to help I think getting money and/or non-perishable food to a charity would be the best way. The people down on the LA/MS coast are going to need a LOT of help for quite a long time.

Meanwhile, the Astrodome is turning people away left and right.

In the meantime, the Astrodome is turning away refugees who aren't part of the Superdome evacuation. That was bad news for 29-year-old Nureka Jacobs of New Orleans. This afternoon she sought shelter at the Dome for herself, five daughters age 5-10 and a 95-year-old woman Jacobs cares for.

She broke down crying when they all were turned away at the Kirby entrance.

"They're telling me to go," she said. "Go where? I don't have a home."

Jacobs said she had been staying at a motel on Cullen, but now was out of money and almost out of gasoline for her minivan. She and her six companions crossed Kirby to a parking lot where good Samaritans were cooking hotdogs for storm evacuees but doesn't know where to go next.

She said she has tried to get a job here as a nurse's aide, but that at least one employer has turned her away because she couldn't produce her Social Security card, which she left behind in New Orleans.

"I've given Houston all I have to give. This is cold," she said.

Angel Mackie, 39, said she and her family drove to the Astrodome after their hotel raised its rates.

"We're going to try to hang around and see if they'll let us in," Mackie said after she was turned away from the Astrodome.

Antionette Cambrick, 32, said she's out of options.

"We may have to sleep in the cars tonight. We don't have nowhere to go. We don't know what we're going to do," she said.

Some motorists turned away at the Astrodome said they've had no better luck at other shelters around the Houston area.

"We have no money. All we have is the clothes on our backs. This is our fifth shelter. Everybody keeps turning us away," said Rhonda Calderon, who drove 14 hours to get to Houston.

Desperate motorists argued heatedly with parking lot staff at the Astrodome

"Nobody's got no clothes. Nobody has any money. We've been on the road since Sunday. We're real frustrated," said New Orleans refugee Joseph Knight, 41.

In the same boat were Christy and Honald Salomon and five carloads of family members, including a 93-year-old great-great-grandmother.

The Salomons and their extended family have been staying at a Comfort Inn for $55 a night. News of a longer stay had the family searching for more permanent housing arrangements.

But they were turned away from the Astrodome a little before noon, with only a one-page information sheet of services offered by the Red Cross.

"People with no money will be able to stay here, but what about people like myself who have a little money to hold us?'' said Brian Salomon. "Where are we going to stay when we run out of money?"

"We might have to stay here and find a job,''said Honald Salomon.

Hiep Pham of New Orleans arrived at the Astrodome this morning looking for his sister, her husband and four children, but he too was turned away.

"I've lost my family,'' he said. "I really don't know if they are surviving or not.''
One local resident, Betty Lewis, 46, said she showed up at the Astrodome to volunteer and they would not let her in.

"They're just sending people on wild goose chases," said Lewis, a 13-year resident of Houston who has family in New Orleans. "People are pissed off.

"I'm not going to be leaving. I'm getting in there," said Lewis, a home health-care giver. "All I want to do is help."

[...]

Bill Lokey, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, said his agency is exploring long-term shelter options for displaced people from across New Orleans. The agency is considering purchasing land where mobile homes and trailers could be placed. It is also considering buying apartment complexes and hotels that are in bankruptcy to house evacuees. FEMA is preparing to shelter more than a million people if needed.

Italics mine.

From Gary's article: she and her family drove to the Astrodome after their hotel raised its rates

Wouldn't that be prosecutable price-gauging?

This whole thing is just so damned sad. It's always the people on the margins who get nailed by this sort of thing.

I'm glad you and yours are safe, Crock Pot. You're right: it sounds like sending MONEY is the best bet.

Crock Pot: I'm glad you're safe. Our hearts are with you.

"Our hearts are with you."

Which means that the veins and arteries to our livers, which are staying home, are really being stretched.

Katherine: it is a nice statement, but unfortunately what would happen is that in your next election campaign, your opponent would play this: "I like abandoning our soldiers" on an endlessly repeating loop.

re: Blood donation - I am going tomorrow (in San Francisco), though I am never able to due to low iron. here's hoping!

Spinach for dinner tonight. And a nice steak. Preferably cooked in a cast-iron pan.

"Preferably cooked in a cast-iron pan."

back to the non-stick cookware thread.

Once you get cast-iron properly seasoned, my guess is that it doesn't give up much iron each usage. It's only the pans in bad shape that leave rust-stains on your food. A well-seasoned cast-iron pan has a surface nearly as slick and impervious as teflon.

Hasn't anyone studied this, i.e. working with really well-seasoned pans and seeing how much iron they still impart?

And relatedly--the excellent non-stick properties of well-seasoned cast-iron presumably have to do with the fact that the fats and oils are not only embedded in the metal's pores, but are actually modified by the repeated high-temp exposure. Maybe the even polymerize? Maybe they even turn into some things that are fairly different than, and less innocuous than, the fats and oils that they once were?

Too bad that such pans are so generic that no group has much of an interest in these questions either way.

I just noted in a Borders before I left the US that Harold McGee's _Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen_ has just been reissued as a 2nd edition and it looked to be completely updated. I'm sure he discussed these points and even if he didn't, the book is well worth it.

"I'm sure he discussed these points and even if he didn't, the book is well worth it."

You're just saying that because you hate Bush.

You can bounce over to Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall to get some info on the downgrading of FEMA, including removing its mission of disaster preparedness.

This is all part of the Homeland Security reorganization. But just as one of the prime reasons Rove/Bush embraced the newly misnamed department was to break the back of public sector unions, so the degradation of FEMA has its origins in the Republican Party's effort to reeducate the American people in all facets of their lives, from condom use to what we might come to expect from the Federal government: a very small baby choking on the diluted formula of Republican Constitutional literal interpretation.

The government is being purposely designed not to work. I expect jokes at this point from those who thought the U.S. Federal Government could bring chocolate cookies to Iraq. I understand.

The oddly detached President Bush and the weird lack of preparation for this disaster is a way of letting us know we're on our own. As we will be when Social Security and Medicare cuts begin.

For a cite, read this comment again. I made it up, but I think it's pretty close to nailing the Republican Party's vision for the country.

It'll be fun. Every man and woman for him and herself.

I have mine, and when I run out, all bets are off.

A commenter at Drum has an estimate of tens of thousands dead.

While I know it's a distant secondary consideration to relief efforts for the hundreds of thousands of people affected, there is also the matter of rescuing and providing care to countless pets and other animals affected by the disaster. If anyone is looking for an alternate or additional avenue for charity, please consider HSUS.

[/bleedingheartvegetarian]

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network.

Pass the word around.

Hmmm....20 Oil rigs are missing, and Gulf (of Mexico) daily oil production is at 9%

Very cool stuff over at Redstate under Thomas' byline -- entitled: The American Left and Human Filth -- Distinquish.

Lots of pretty good analysis in between, and then comes the other bookend, at the end ... describing the American Left's criticism of Bush regarding the New Orleans deal ....

The American Left: "... an uncompromising, barely human mass of malignancy, that exists only to be crushed electorally and culturally once and for all... The EVIL Party."

Yes, I think I'm right. Or maybe I'm left, in a barely human sort of way.

Trevino weighs in later with pinkies held high -- downgrading the leftist storm to merely "loathsome".

But I think the political levees are collapsing and the pumps are gagging.

Phil, no need for that somewhat apologetic tone -- I think this blog has a pretty high ratio of vegetarians and animal-rights symps. Thanks much for the link (although when I follow it, the site seems to think I might be Leigh-Anne Dennison).

"vegetarians and animal-rights symps"

Me! Me!

(Though I'm not against animal testing on certain species, for good reasons.)

CNN crawl:Gov of Tennessee to open the doors of its colleges and universities to the refugees.

It will take weeks for this to sink in. Makes 9/11 look like a three-car pile-up. The greatest disaster in American history.

I don't think they will spend $100 billion to rebuild NO, cause I don't think the insurers will cover, which means the banks won't loan. New Orleans is gone, like Galveston. A tourist shell.

(paragraph on politics deleted)

So, in the thread noodling off of Thomas' Redstate post mentioned above .. something really tickled me.

A global warming argument broke out and Thomas (the filth-meister) broke in to admonish folks for name-calling.

Even though I'm barely human, I aspire to be fully human like Thomas.

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