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August 30, 2005


A poster on dKos says Halliburton is already angling to get some of those reconstruction contracts. Has anyone here heard anything about that?

That would just be the icing on the cake, wouldn't it? The worst natural disaster in US history becomes yet another financial bonanza for Cheney's old company.

"The greatest disaster in American history."

Just being quibbly to be friendly: "natural disaster."

Myself, I think I'd nominate the Great Influenza of 1918, when 40 million people died, and 500,000 Americans.

True, property wasn't much affected, but I don't think that's really the important measure, myself. Of course, other criteria or definitions are reasonable, too.

"True, property wasn't much affected, but I don't think that's really the important measure, myself. Of course, other criteria or definitions are reasonable, too."

Forgot the influenza epidemic. But I do consider the property and economic and cultural effects important. When people lose their jobs, homes, property and have little prospects...sometimes death is just postponed. And I think the wider economic impact is being underestimated, in part because perceptions can create a reality. A lot of middle-class people are going to default on mortages and max out credit cards.
Bankruptcy bill in effect yet? No restart for you, dude. Oops, I am trying to avoid politics, Thullen is doing well, and my thoughts would get me banned or arrested or committed.

Sometimes I do think about what it would be like to be on a curbside with just the clothes on my back and no insurance or savings at 55. I guess I would be glad to be alive. For a while.

PS: The Great Depression compared to this would be like the difference between weather and climate.

So, in the thread noodling off of Thomas' Redstate post mentioned above .. something really tickled me.
John Thullen, I love your posts, but if you have to read those kinds of threads to power it, you are really suffering above and beyond for your art.

I'm still trying to get through to my folks, who are in Carriere, Mississippi (here is a map, Carriere is just north of Picayune on the interstate), so I think avoiding politics is a good thing for the moment, but I feel compelled to give this link. Perhaps I am being one of those gloomy Eeyore types, but the economic impact on this area is going to be ferocious.

If there's anything we can to help LJ (or anyone else looking for family), let us know.

I have had to completely foreswear reading Redstate for the duration. The Usual Suspects over there have been spouting some particularly monstrous and eliminationist rhetoric at the slightest (entirely justifiable) hint that maybe, just maybe, some policies and funding priorities of Bush's might just have exacerbated this disaster.

LJ: what Anarch said. Anything at all we can do, just ask.

Look blood isnt needed. This thing is going to take $300-400 from everybody in the US to fix. I dont want it to be all govt responsibility. Please consider giving to FeedTheChildren, Southern Baptist Convention Relief efforts, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army or Samaritan's Purse. These orgs already have people that live there and that will provide help immediately. Red Cross is Ok, but if you can give where it can get to people who are already there then it is very good. I believe in having multiple solutions, not having to go thru govt beauracacy, or wondering whether a large NGO like Red Cross can mobilize people locally quick enough. For the Tsunami, I did choose Red Cross as my charity, because they were well known.

This is very important that you as individuals please give something to the relief effort. This is not a case where we can wait for someone else or for some type of legislation to fix this. People need drinking water, etc, right now.

DaveC: seconded.

Thanks, everyone, but I don't think there is anything to do but wait. It's 3am there, so I'm going to stop trying to call, and will try again tomorrow (their time, not mine) There have been no reports of casualties for the area, and my folks are living next door to my brother, so they are in a lot better shape than those who are waiting on I-10 overpasses.
The NOLA web site has a section on Picayune and Carriere and several posts from people who have been able to text message people there say that it is not too bad, minimal flooding and few buildings damaged, and at there is no news, which I take to be good news.

Thanks again.

Another look at the economic impact from a kos commentor who I respect the analysis of.

This is IMHO going to create a huge chasm in our economy. It is not going to be the temporary gasoline price spike with minor ripple effects the talking heads are discussing, with the economy returning to normal in a month or 6.

We are going to have a sustained period of significantly higher energy costs (and the demand for transportation fuels is going to increase as goods will need to be shipped to port by methods other than river barges, something which is not being discussed much). We are going to have a year with low farm incomes, as farm produce shipping costs rise. The cost of new housing is likely to increase significantly, as supplies are diverted to deal with repairs on the Gulf Coast.

Whoops, I was mistaken, blood donations are needed because people who ordinarily donate in Louisiana and Mississippi are unable to do so.

But it's good to keep in mind DaveC: blood donations are important, but they're not going directly to the people harmed by the flooding. It's to adress a supply shortage, not a vastly increased demand--just like driving your car less to conserve gasoline & prevent shortages, only with life-and-death consequences (that's an easy one for me, I live in a big city, drive a Honda Civic--not a hybrid but not bad--and we weren't going on vacation anyway). But neither of those things are any substitute for giving directly to the victims.

LJ, you did see this, right?

An update on the oil situation.

My cites of the near term effects of this disaster haven't sparked comment. Many people are looking with horror at the present, and I fully understand and agree with that. Many people, here and elsewhere, are starting to point or deflect the fingers of blame. That I don't support. There are too many dire things to worry about in the future to spend time villifying over the past.

As a country, we need to spend some time thinking about how to prevent a larger disaster from happening -- a fall where crops' paths markets here and abroad are made more expensive due to the transportation system having holes in it, leading to famines abroad and empoverishing our own citizens, both the farmers who cannot sell their crops, and the consumers who cannot pay for them. A winter where heating oil and natural gas prices rise to the point that many of our citizens die because they cannot afford to keep their homes heated, where epidemics spread far too easily.

The administration has proven in the last week that it does not have the foresight (hopefully not the willingness) to take the necessary steps to prevent dire occurrences. So the question is what can we do?


"paths to market"

I am trying to locate relatives from Covington La. Collin Lockfield, Chad Lockfield, Cindy Preito. If they get this message, I have a place for you to stay Please contact me, I am worried sick about you.

And since Katrina was not enough of a blow to our economy, look at what The Oil Drum is predicting from Rita. And more bad news . And with the National Weather Service predicting roughly 15% chance of Rita hitting each of Port Arthur, Galveston, Freeport and Port O'Connor (and they are far enough apart that they are all separate chances), it is looking like we are in for a bigger disaster than we have already.

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