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September 02, 2005

Comments

If I were in an emergency situation I would do what the National Guard told me to do and line up for provisions from the Red Cross. If the National Guard didn't show up for a couple days and there were no provisions I might consider hunting up some food and drink for my family and myself - even to the point of entering, uninvited, into commercial building. Or an abandoned home. As social niceties start to disappear and things start looking like the Grownup Lord of the Flies I might consider trying to arm myself from the nearby General Purpose store. If I had some difficulty gaining attention of rescue workers I might consider firing a couple shots in the air so they would hear me. I don't know how many of these things I'd actually do - I'm not in an emergency situation. But there is a desparate reasonableness to all these actions in an extreme situation.

"66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from floods that bring no richness to the lnad and steal what little richness is there." pg. 150

~Then it don't matter. Then i'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can't eat, I'll be there. Wherever there is a cop beating up a guy, I'll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad and I'll be in the way kids laugh when they are hungry and they know suppers ready. And when our folks eat the stuff they raise and live in the houses they build-why, I'll be there. See? God. I'm talking like Casy. Comes of thinking about him so much. Seems like i can't see him sometimes...It's just stuff i've been thinking." pg. 572

From The Grapes of Wrath

The Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief fund is not as highly rated as other charities, but they do have relief people loacted near the affected areas. They are working in cooperation with the Red Cross and Salvation Army:

Online: www.namb.net/disasterrelief


Feeding Units Activated in Partnership with American Red Cross and Salvation Army
Louisiana

Baton Rouge
Rolling Hills unit (LA), Oak Crest Baptist Church
TN state unit, Jefferson Baptist Church
OK state unit, Florida Blvd. Baptist Church
TX, SBCT unit, site undetermined
Alexandria
Top of Texas, Horseshoe Drive Baptist Church
Lafayette
Texas state unit, Cajun Dome
Bogalusa
Illinois state unit, FBC Bogalusa
Covington
Louisiana state and Taminy unit, FBC Covington
Spirit of America, Taminy Parrish Fairgrounds
Hammond
Texas Tarrant unit, Woodland Park Church
Prairieville
Arkansas Forrest City unit, Fellowship Baptist Church
Kenner
Arkansas Independence, Veterans Parkway

Mississippi

Biloxi
Mississippi state unit, FBC Biloxi
Pascagoula
Georgia 11F unit, FBC Pascagoula
Hattiesburg
Florida state unit, Main Street Baptist Church
Kentucky unit, site undetermined
McComb
Missouri state unit, FBC McComb
Meridian
North Carolina state unit, FBC Meridian
Clinton (Jackson)
Kentucky state unit, Camp Garraway
Laurel
Arkansas state unit, FBC Laurel
Lucedale
Georgia 9, FBC Lucedale
Columbia
South Carolina unit, FBC Columbia
Tylertown
Michigan unit, FBC Tylertown
Picayune
VBMB unit, FBC Picayune
Columbia
South Carolina unit, FBC Columbia
Prentiss
SBCV unit, FBC Prentiss
Wiggins
Henry's Kitchen

Alabama

Mobile—Alabama state unit, Moffett Baptist Church

Georgia

Carrollton—Georgia associational unit

There are approximately 110 Southern Baptist units (feeding, recovery, shower, communication) activated at this time.

Consider giving to one of the charities working in the Mississippi/Alabama coastal areas at this time. Most of you probably have already. This is what we can do, and the least we can do.

Wouldn't it be neat if there was an organization designed to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world, based only about a thousand miles away from New Orleans, that could provide purified drinking water and medical aid to help prevent the rapid onset of secondary effects of a disaster?

There is. DART

But:

Prime Minister Paul Martin phoned U.S. President George W. Bush to offer Canadian sympathy and support.

"If you need help, just ask and we'll be there," he told Bush on Thursday in a 15-minute phone call that was to have been a sharp discussion of the softwood lumber dispute but instead became a call of sympathy and condolence.

Martin said Bush didn't ask for help, but predicted he will. cite


"They hate you 'cause they're scairt. They know a hungry fella gonna get food even if he got to take it. They know that fallow lan' s a sin an' somebody' gonna take it." Chapter 18, pg. 262

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"On the highways the people moved like ants and searched for work, for food. And the anger began to ferment." Chapter 21, pg. 363

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"The Association don't like government camps. Can't get a deputy in there. The people make their own laws, I hear, and you can't arrest a man without a warrant. Now if there was a big fight and maybe shooting - a bunch of deputies could go in and clean out the camp." Chapter 22, pg. 378

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"I can see your black soul a-burnin'. I see that innocent child in that there girl's belly a-burnin'." Chapter 22, pg. 409

More Quotes from The Grapes of Wrath

Time to get back to work.

NeoDude, what charities have you given money to, and do you have any suggestions for how the rest of us can help?

The Assemblies of God church, I grew up in and still attend with my mother, had a pretty intense service last night...gave there.

My wife doesn't trust most churches, she gives to the Red Cross.

"Wouldn't it be neat...."

International response. Including Canadians on the way.

"NeoDude, what charities have you given money to...?"

I think I missed where it became anybody's business to ask that of anyone.

It's OK...I'm surrounded by the patriotically self-righteous all day...I'm used to it.

And I include myself, in that depraved bunch.

NOLAWeblog

Read it and weep. Keep up with it. Watch when the hospitals stop begging desperately for help, for that will mean the doctors, nurses, patients are dead. Understand there will be very strong pressure not to do a body count. "All washed to sea." Or "we don't know how they died. Probably in the storm."

"NeoDude, what charities have you given money to...?"

I think I missed where it became anybody's business to ask that of anyone.

Look, I was asking for constructive advice and NeoDude responded. That's what I have tried to talk about. This is not about blaming anybody, but is about challenging people to help in anyway they can. Thanks, NeoDude for your contributions.

Third World Country

Read how a civilized country with a decent caring administration handles a disaster. Wish I had been born there.

International response. Including Canadians on the way.

As a Vancouver resident and industrial first aid guy, I recently received emergency response training from one of the guys on the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue team, who showed some slides of Canadian rescue work in Kobe and Taiwan. These guys are good, and pretty fanatical about rescue work.

Some of the scenarios presented scared the hell out of me, with the second-to-worst scenarios being trapped in Vancouver's downtown core for a week, and the logistical problems that would face the rescue teams. These sounded a lot like what New Orleans is going through right now.

Here's to hoping that they can do some good.

As another Vancouver resident and downtown worker, er, what scenarios are those d-p-u?

As another Vancouver resident and downtown worker, er, what scenarios are those d-p-u?

Worst case scenario was a massive 9.1 earthquake. As there's nothing that can be done in that case, we didn't cover it.

Second-to-worst was a 8.0 quake. Lions Gate Bridge disconnects at either end, Burrard and Granville Street bridges collapse, and the downtown eastside, which is built on landfill, completely collapses, suffer gasline explosions, and burns. Cambie Street bridge survives, but is guarded by troops as an emergency access route.

Assuming that the fires in the downtown core are dealt with (those blue fireplugs downtown are the new salt-water pumping system that has been installed to prevent the downtown becoming a firestorm after a big earthquake), you have some 150,000 people trapped downtown. With two grocery stores.

Normally, it takes about three days for the international rescue effort to take effect, but Vancouver's airport will be flattened and flooded, as well as Abbottsford airport. Rail lines will be wiped out in the downtown eastside, so it will likely be five days or more before significant rescue efforts are started.

I work in the West End. Imagine how thrilled I was with this information. I'm brushing up on squirrel-trapping techniques and eyeing the best spots in Stanley Park for become a hunter/gatherer.

Anyway, I'm not being critical of the rescue efforts at this point, as I have a small taste of the logistical problems. I hope things are improving today.

FEMA Charity List

Overwhelmingly dominated by conservative religious organizations. The graft and corruption, the manipulation of people's better natures, the exploitation of mass suffering for financial gain, throwing money into the pockets of the President's buddies has just begun.

But I am going to spam the NOLA blog. People crying for help, not getting any, dying before my eyes. Post everytime a new desperation appears.

Glad the President is getting briefed, Haley is going such a great job, congratulations all around, pats on back to all.

"Story: A friend's Mom is trapped in her house at 2220 Fern street, off
of Claiborne. Her name is Grace Troxcalir. She is running out of heart
medicine. Please anyone that can help - Please rescue her.
Thank you - Eliza Schneller"

Double-plus-ungood, you'd be far better off with ten days of ready to eat food, and five gallons of drinking water.

"Story: My mother is a doctor, and works for the city of New Orleans.
She was told to report to work at the Superdome at 7AM on Sunday 8/28.
Over my objections, she did. We have gotten 4 calls from her on her
cell phone since then. The first was Monady afternoon, when she was very
reassuring. The second was Thursday morning when she called to notify
us that they had moved the medical staff to the Hyatt Regency because
"the security situation was deteriorating in the Superdome". She
thought they were going to send an armored bus to evacuate them to Baton
Rouge, where I am. She was still quite calm, but she said she was the only
person there with a cell phone that still worked. The third was
Thursday night around 9PM, at which time she asked us to try to put pressure
on the governor's office, or somebody, to try to get them out. She
called back again at 4:30 on Friday to ask that we try to do something to
get food and water to the Hyatt. Apparently the State Police are in
charge of the people at the Hyatt."

"Story: Please go to 2110 Royal St. apt 719 and rescue my 81 year old
mother, Rosalie Rabel who is trapped in the building with many other
elderly people in need of medication, food, and water. I beg for your help
before they dehydrate. God bless you and thank you for the help you
can give. Please contact me by calling 305-979-4926 or 305-262-1380. My
name is Beatriz del Valle and I live in Miami, Florida."

I saw on tv not long ago (geez, I wish I had cable), streams of buses going into New Orleans. They said there were enough to evacuate 15,000 a day.

Then they said "unfortunately, there are about 300,000 people waiting."

Which is far and away the largest figure I've seen, and so I don't take it as gospel, or reliable at all. But even if you cut it in half....

Local PBS is doing an all-Colorado telethon tonight; 450 Colorado National Guard were sent late last night. University of Colorado at Boulder had a phone bank yesterday to answer calls; they're taking in all students from New Orleans colleges, no questions asked, we'll figure out the details later, full admission.

FEMA Charity List

Overwhelmingly dominated by conservative religious organizations.

So what? These are the people who have the infrastructure (church buildings and their kitchens) in place and near the people who need help.

Good on Colorado, by the way.

What DaveC said. You won't find a bigger atheist than me, but who the hell actually has a problem with Catholic Charities USA handing out food and sheltering people in churches? Or the Salvation Army? Or the Baptists?

Jeebus. Get it together, people.

Not to be unserious about the severity of the situation, but seeing this gave me a good laugh, and we could all use one right now.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/hurricanes/list/

Check out the FIRST NAME on the list.

Double-plus-ungood, you'd be far better off with ten days of ready to eat food, and five gallons of drinking water.

Agreed, but storing that much for 150,000 people is a little difficult. Storing it so as to be accessible and safe after an earthquake even more so.

By the way, folks, here's a handy bathroom tip. Keep a large supply of plastic trashbags for emergencies. When the plumbing cuts out, you have a real sanitation problem, and then health crisis, as the N.O. stadium shows.

Empty the water from the toilets, and line the toilet with three plastic trash bags, each one inside the other, before letting anyone use the toilet. When the toilet is half-full, remove the two uppermost bags, tightly seal, and place the waste-filled bags in a safe location that is unlikly to leak. Replace two more bags in the toilet bowl. Repeat as necessary.

I think the complaint (and I'm not sure if it's a valid one) was that secular organizations were not on the list, rather than that religious organizations were. I'm not sure which organizations should have been on the list and weren't, though.

"Jeebus. Get it together, people."

Phil, the point is not about the religious charities included, but about the secular charities deliberately excluded. Follow the link.

C'mon, Hilzoy- it's hard work.

I did, bob. I'm going to take issue with the word "deliberately," given this:

This list of organizations is provided by the National Organization of Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in having your organization added to the list.

The listing of or omission of an institution or organization on this Web site does not refer to programmatic capability nor does it confer any official status, approval, or endorsement of the institution or organization itself. This listing does not purport to be a listing of all organizations that are providing relief in the affected area. Additionally, there may be organizations providing relief in the affected area that are not accepting donations at this time. It is not the purpose of this Web site to make, or enable to be made, any representation to the public concerning the organizations listed. This listing is for informational purposes only. Any contributions you choose to make from links on this Web site are at your sole discretion.

And ARC and America's Harvest are NOT the only secular organizations on there -- Bill Clinton's National Service is on there, too. And B'nai B'rith and Feed the Children are hardly what I'd call proselytizing organizations. Neither is Catholic Charities.

C'mon, guys. Don't make me agree with political opponents. It gives me gas.

"It gives me gas."

But will you price gouge as a result?

Seriously, Phil is right. There's way more important things to worry about than this.

N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin goes">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/audio/2005/09/02/AU2005090200888.html">goes off on FEMA and the state and federal response in a radio interview (WaPo audio link).

Hmm, link doesn't seem to work. Try this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/audio/2005/09/02/AU2005090200888.html

"C'mon, guys. Don't make me agree with political opponents. It gives me gas"

Go ahead and move to the dark side, Phil. The ranking or placement in the list is considered important to most of the left blogosphere. Would seem not objectively irrelevant to most observers.

"Story: THERE ARE ABOUT 40 ELDERLY & MENTALLY DISABLED CITIZENS TRAPPED IN AN APT COMPLEX AT 1226 S. CARROLLTON AVE . 90+ YEAR OLD FATHER OF A FRIEND HERE IN LAFAYETTE..NAME IS DELERY LANDRY HE IS IN APT 315..NO FOOD OR WATER & THEIR CAREGIVES LEFT THEM PRIOR TO STORM...THEY MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH INSIGHT TO MAKE THEMSELVES NOTICEABLE TO RESCUERS...MATER DESOTO APTS NEXT TO CHURCH ON 1226 S CARROLLTON AVE. 10 RESIDENTS PER FLOOR..4 STORY BUILDING..PLEASE HELP THEM QUICKLY...DAUGHTERS NAME IS SUSAN LANDRY CHIQUELIN FROM LAFAYETTE SHE HAS LOST CONTACT WITH HIM A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO....ELDERLY & MENTALLY DISABLED RESIDENTS"

Part of point in this is to attempt to counter the administration line about slackers deliberately staying behind, deserving their fate.

Dantheman, not only won't I gouge, you can have all my gas for free!

bob, that doesn't speak highly to the priorities of the left blogosphere. And I'm not sure you're in a position to speak for "most observers." I would hope, if Jesse or anyone else were standing in between Presbyterian Disaster Relief Service holding an MRE, and a hungry victim, they'd go ahead and pass the goddamned thing along rather than smack it away out of spite.

God is looking down on this. The mayor breaks down on-air.

Whatever,Phil, you are right and I am wrong. I apologize to anyone offended.

"Story: ANDAIYE FROM ZION TRINITY IS TRAPPED
AT 1555 GENTILLY BLVD....
11:20 AM - SEPTEMBER 2, 2005

please go there to help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That's not what it's about, bob.

American Red Cross is doing great work in Houston for refugees. If you have doubts about other organizations, give to them.

I suggested smaller religious organizations because they might give help in locations that have been overlooked. I encourage everybody to do what they can, now. There is plenty of time to dissect what went wrong later, and plenty of legitimate criticism can help us prepare for the next catastrophe, which will surely come some time.

Feed The Children has a toll free number, I believe 888 58-child. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief accepts PayPal and all the money goes to relief efforts.

People trapped and dying.

We are a small poor country hit with the unpredictable and unexpected. Take many days to get the resources in place. Rescue must be prioritized.

Bush getting great pictures on CNN. Compassion in floods, arms around black girl.
No more nasty convention pictures.

We will be hit again this year with another hurricane. Maybe a terrorist attack. High heating oil prices this winter, gov't assistance cut. Or the dismantling of the safety net. With these people in charge thousands will die again and again. This is what it is about.

If you want something that's actually worth getting jacked about, try this.

bob, I understand that things are really, really bad. I know that you feel bad about this. We all feel bad, and frustrated, and wish that the tragedies happening at this time did not happen. I am not a church-goer, by the way. But if they can do some good, I am all for it.

"Story: My sister (Sister Claudia Marie Citize) had somone to call and
say that they need help. She is in her seventies, a nun with the Holy
Family Order in New Orleans La. The message was recieved 9-1-05 and
said they had run out of water and was very low on her insulin supply.
They are on the fourth (4) floor of a five (5) story building Immediate
help is needed at:
D'LIL INN NURSING HOME
6924 CHER MENTAUR BLVD."

We should have had the city secured and major needs met three days ago, so the door-to-door work can get started. Won't require a search, we have addresses.

Gary -
I'm hard-pressed to say that Nagin "breaks down" in that interview. Nagin's anger was manifest, to be sure, but I did not for a moment think he had lost control of himself.

And, with immense satisfaction, may I say - I posted about this four comments ago, Gary, where have you been?

Thanks for the additional information, DaveC. Everyone: you will feel a bit better after you do what you can to contribute, even if that's very small.

Need to do more? Encourage (don't demand) contributions from friends, family, coworkers; many people mean to help, but don't quite take the action until someone asks them personally. Provide phone numbers, email them donation links; make it easy for them to to act.

"And, with immense satisfaction, may I say - I posted about this four comments ago, Gary, where have you been?"

Cough. Sputter. Note to self: don't drink milk and try to read comments--milk coming through the nose is not a flattering look.

BLITZER: We spoke to a doctor, a physician from Charity Hospital in New Orleans on this program just a little while ago, and he made it clear that the situation there is pretty grim right now. And they need help to especially remove about 350 patients and 600 medical personnel because they're afraid to walk outside because of the floodwaters, the potential disease and the snipers. Some of their vehicles have already been shot on as they're trying to remove patients. I assume you've heard those stories as well.

BROWN: I have heard those stories. And we're trying to put non- law enforcement people in the field in addition, obviously, to the law enforcement people, just to get a read on the accuracy of those reports that we're hearing about snipers and everything else.

[Doctor are you sure you exist? Are you really at Charity Hospital? Would you double-check? Call me back.]

But I would say they're making the right decision. If there is still floodwaters around there, they shouldn't be trying to evacuate those patients by themselves. The Coast Guard, FEMA, all of those continue to do those rescue missions and we continue to do those evacuations and we'll certainly continue to evacuate all of the hospitals.

BLITZER: Knowing what you know now, Michael Brown -- and obviously all of us are a lot smarter with hindsight -- what would FEMA -- what should FEMA have done differently in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina to save people's lives in New Orleans? Because as you know, we're getting reports from the governor, from the mayor, that perhaps the death toll will go into the thousands.

BROWN: Well, I think the death toll may go into the thousands. And unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the evacuation warnings. And I don't make judgments about why people choose not to evacuate.

But, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. And to find people still there is just heart wrenching to me because the mayor did everything he could to get them out of there. And so we've got to figure out some way to convince people that when evacuation warnings go out, it's for their own good. Now, I don't want to second guess why they did that. My job now is to get relief to them.

[I don't want to second guess your decision to stay, Sister Claudia Marie, but it was a mandatory evacuation, and the mayor did his best. So this is for your own good.]

Something I didn't think of myself, but if you give certain ways, then some corporations may match your gift. My small company didnt do this - Feh - but I think that you can go to Ellen Degeneres' website and have your gifts matched, which will double your contribution.

"then some corporations may match your gift. My small company didnt do this"

My large Dallas company did.

My large SF-based company did as well.

"Gary, where have you been?"

Blogging and reading.

Phil: If you want something that's actually worth getting jacked about, try this.

Don't worry, we have a Presidential photo-op right here and now.

Oh, and as for Bush's "We didn't expect the levees to fail." Well, neither did the hundreds of thousands of people who stayed. Bush says it as an ostensibly sensible defense. When a starving poor woman says it, she is just stupid and deserves what she got for staying.

"Don't worry, we have a Presidential photo-op right here and now."

And Laura, and various military officials, and any A-list people available. The WH has gotten its act together, which means to get control of the framing and dominate the airwaves. The Media is more than happy to cooperate.

Click.


Dave,
Operation Blessing is not on the NVOAD list of national members. In fact, the FEMA website doesn't list all the NVOAD national members and that list is probably 50-50 secular/religious. A lot of religious organizations are expert at disaster relief and I have no problem with that at all. I just question how Operation Blessing got on there.

A sudden, bizarre thought just crossed my mind: If Bush rebuilds New Orleans will the French Quarter be renamed the Freedom Quarter?

Catastrophe and Social Insurance Tried it twice, and the link goes to the bottom of the page. MY's article is toward the top.

Matt Y makes some of my point, on the precarious and unpredictable nature of private charity. I have given, and I am sure as a native of Dallas I will have further opportunities to help (Habitat for Humanity I hope has a big presence here), but I do believe there are very strong reasons to make assistance a universal public committment, and I fear that that committment is being damaged.

Incidentally, along these lines, I visited Marxist.org to find the Lenin famine story, and Lenin did not say let the people starve so the gov't will fall. His argument (1906) was for private charity and non-cooperation with the gov't(Duma). Link provided if requested, usual dense and complicated Socialist politics speech. Unless there was more than one Lenin famine story.

Grim thought following the moment of (dark and twisted) levity I had above: The dome of the Superdome just got thoroughly soaked. It probably swelled as it did so. It is no longer raining and quite hot so the dome will probably dry and shrink again fairly soon. Will it then collapse? Can slarti or any other engineers out there tell me if this non-sensical paranoia on my part or a real possibility?

Your paranoia may turn out to accurate, Dianne.

But given what a hard time we gave Frist when he was practicing medicine based on a few video clips, I think real engineers might feel some justified paranoia in practice engineering without a thorough, on-site exam. Even civil engineers--and all the more so for software engineers.

the Freedom Quarter?

...the Freedom to drink all the overpriced frozen rum drinks you can afford.

Dianne, I remain much more worried about disease inside the Superdome than I do about structural failure. These people don't have much more time any way we parse the threat.

"Your paranoia may turn out to accurate, Dianne."

Sh*t! I was afraid someone might say that. I was kind of hoping for "don't be ridiculous: think about how many times it's rained on the Superdome already" or something similar as an answer. I know you can't make a definitive claim without a thorough evaluation, of course. I consider any answers I get more as speculation than as diagnosis.

GWB:

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.)

Probably-thousands of people dead, and he namedrops Trent Lott (why Trent Lott? Is Trent radically popular with the poor southern black community all of a sudden?) and tells a joke?

What the hell?

Jackmormon: Disease is definitely a threat. Start with the various GI illnesses likely to run rampant with all the crap (literally) around the place, from dysentary to hepatitis A, add in the threat of mosquito borne illness, the possibility of TB in an enclosed space with lots of people in it, the simple viral illnesses that could be deadly, especially to the young and old...Then, too, sooner or later people are going to start drinking the flood water because they are so thirsty that they don't care what's in it. That could lead to anything from diarrhea to dioxin poisoning--who knows what's in that water. (Ok, I'm ranting to no good purpose: we all agree that the situation is hellish and they need to get out quickly.)

Bush is letting his personality show..

"Probably-thousands of people dead, and he namedrops Trent Lott (why Trent"

It is always about politics, and politics is always about the base. The looting on TV was a huge problem for the WH with its base, and is likely the largest reason we have this increased effort.

The message sent with the dropping of Lott's name was that them that deserve it, people like us, will get the help they want, even tho they be millionaires. There may be something left over for the poor.

The one good news I've heard about my disease-fears is that the cholera bacteria is not very prevalent in the area, so an outbreak, even if the situation goes even further south, is unlikely. The other stuff remains a threat.

I heard Vincente Fox on PRI making a plea to Mexicans in the affected area to trust US officials. I hope he's not wrong.

Dianne--

No, you got me wrong--I'm no kind of engineer whatsoever, and my word would mean *nothing* in this regard, even if I were willing to speculate. (I'm an historian of Ancient Philosophy).

That's my point--a bozo like *me* might speculate, in an IANAE way, but no *real* engineer would do that.

So my reaction should have no effect on your level of credence at all--you might be right, you might be wrong, but you won't learn anything useful about structural engineering from me.

Cafferty on Blitzer's show:

Cafferty: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the Gulf Coast happening at the same time were a coincidence today?

Not really my field, Dianne, but the bigger worry is probably the standing water down on the foundation. Even if it's piled there could be subsidence.

Cafferty: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the Gulf Coast happening at the same time were a coincidence today?

Holy crap. Someone SAID that? George Bush's stock with the media really has soured.

I think what did it was the fact that the news crews managed to get in there and see the devestation and the overwhelming need, and were showing it live as FEMA and White House officials were assuring us it was all under control.

Cafferty has been pretty much slamming them all week (I didn't see the above quote, pulled it from another website). One hopes that, if true, Bush timed his arrival to coincide when relief finally arrived and not the other way around.

Wow, CNN is really sticking it to them:

-- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday. The sanitized view came from federal officials at news conferences and television appearances. But the official line was contradicted by grittier, more desperate views from the shelters and the streets.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.response/index.html

Yay -- Johns Hopkins, in addition to sending a large medical/public health/nursing team (which I had kind of expected, though I'm glad to see it anyways, of course), will also be admitting visiting students from colleges and universities closed by Katrina.

Tons more updates:
Convoys arrive; massive oil spill reported in Mississippi.

Fats Domino found again, this time presumably for good.

Messages from trapped people. I have no words.

Oh, no, it might be harder to cut Social Security and Medicaid; also, it's all the fault of homosexuals.

Charity Hospital evac resumed.

Zoomable satellite photo from this morning.

You can be a Red Cross volunteer and more.

More Interdictor and the sonic prototype being sent.

More from Houston; Astrodome gets own Zip Code.

Mr. Bill warned us.

And so on.

A pretty good http://images.dailykos.com/images/user/3/bathtub.jpg>propaganda poster.

"Yay -- Johns Hopkins, in addition to sending a large medical/public health/nursing team (which I had kind of expected, though I'm glad to see it anyways, of course), will also be admitting visiting students from colleges and universities closed by Katrina."

So far every single major university I've looked at is doing the same. One student commenting at Unfogged, who had just arrived at Tulane, said they'd gotten immediate acceptances at two Ivy League universities, and said this is quite a boon for students.

So there's a little good thing. [weak smile]

New Orleans Native

Laura Rozen posts an email to NRO. Don't know how this works, maybe I should have gone to NRO to get it. But I approve of Laura, and I approve of the analyis in the letter. Good stuff. Fair & Balanced.

FRM: Ouch.

Local news in NOLA just reported that the Army Corps of engineers said it would be 36 to 80 days before all the water is gone. 80 days is thanksgiving.

After finally getting a call from home, I ended up staying awake until evening, followed by one of those sleeps where I apparently did not move a muscle, because the imprints of the clothes that I had unpacked and slept on left vivid red marks.

I appreciate everyone's calls for donations and such, but I worry about donor fatigue. I think a case can be made for something that John Cole (I think) is doing, which is not simply a one time donation, but something along the lines of a tithe, an ongoing donation. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the organizations has the set-up for reconstruction and rebuilding people's lives. We look at the problems that have arisen in distributing the donations to the victims of 9-11, it is hard to imagine that any of the existing organizations can handle this. Mary Landrieu has asked the President for a cabinet level appointment for reconstruction which seems like a good idea.

One thing that I have found is that United and American have set up programs to donate frequent flier miles. United will either convert the miles to donations or pool them for flying those affected, while American will simply convert them to donations.

Heartsick doesn't cut how I feel. There has always been a divide between Mississippi and Louisiana, with Mississippians viewing Louisiana, especially New Orleans, as a world apart. Furthermore, the center of the city, which is historically Catholic and retains much of that world view, is surrounded by what are essentially Baptist suburbs which have also held a dim view of the city and will probably be the basis for some backlash for dealing with resettlement. I'm afraid that everything will break down along these faultlines and it will be two different countries. I'm now wondering not only if I should go home, even though everyone is ok, but if I will be able to.

lj: my thoughts are with you. take care, please.

lj - Rest well. Yeah, I mentioned John Cole's idea of ongoing donations, too, and I've decided to do likewise.

Can't tell how accurate it is, but to judge from the media coverage, it looks as though the cavalry finally *has* come.

Thank goodness. Let's hope systems start functioning again, and it gets no worse.

"In Biloxi, Miss., Bush encountered two weeping women on a street where a house had collapsed and towering trees were stripped of their branches. "My son needs clothes," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching several trash bags. "I don't have anything."

"I understand that," Bush said. He kissed both women on their heads and walked with his arms around them, telling them they could get help from the Salvation Army. "Hang in there," he said."

Understand what is going on here. Whatever subdivision you would like of the Republican Party believes that helping people whose lives have been ruined by disaster is not the gov't's business.

They are not shy about it. The late help for New Orleans was not incompetence but policy that was adjusted because of bad PR. They are hoping next time the expectations are lower.

It gets worse:

Bush: "They'll get you some clothes, at the Salvation Army center..."

Woman 1: "We don't have anything..."

Bush: "I understand.... Do you know where the center is, that I'm talking to you about?"

Guy with shades: "There's no center there, sir, it's a truck."

Bush: "There's trucks?"

Guy: "There's a school, a school about two miles away....."

Bush: "But isn't there a Salvation center down there?"

Guy: "No that's wiped out...."

"The effort is on to make it two separate responses. One successful response along the "Gulf Coast" and one unsatisfactory response in New Orleans. Even Laura Bush was on it - saying how good things were going in Layfayette and that not every place was like you see on TV (she means New Orleans).

Watch how Bush emphasizes the locale in his speech (Biloxi, Mobile). We'll know later this afternoon when he hits New Orleans if he goes a bit negative. He already embraced FEMA head Mike Brown so who exactly has been "unacceptable" in their response? Blanco and Nagin? We shall see." ...joejoejoe commenting at Digby's

From Gary Farber's link to a "Repent America" statement:

"...this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence' (an annual gay festival/celebration), New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge," he continued." (parens & italics mine)

Ahh. The warmth, compassion and mercy of the faith-based community.

(Makes me want to puke.)

And I have to wonder if, deep down, this isn't GWB's position too. After all, NOLA is/was a democratic stronghold.
Nah. Couldn't be. Or...?

xanax, that speculation about W's soul isn't really helpful, is it?

Rilkefan: No, not helpful (to anyone but maybe me... I'm so furious I can hardly contain myself).

May I respectfully suggest channelling that anger in a direction (e.g., Mercy Corps) that is helpful to those in need and less liable to alienate people you and I respect?

Done.

And thanks, rilkefan.

ps. rilkefan, thanks to you, it was helpful after all.

The warmth, compassion and mercy of the faith-based community.

It's important to note that these are pre-existing rifts that are being exploited. However, it will be interesting to see if those on the Mississippi Gulf Coast will buy into it, especially after they start getting a better view of what has happened, as I think they is still little or no power.

The notion that there were two efforts, one successful and one not, can be refuted by the fact that there were still, as Susan Malveaux on CNN pointed out, corpses on the streets when Bush was doing his photo-ops. In fact, she seemed to hint at the fact that strict control was placed on the cameramen so that those sorts of scenes never appeared (one should note how limited the actual shots were)

Other reports on CNN have been equally harsh for the most part, but one can always count on Lou Dobbs to cheerfully step into the demagogue niche, wondering why questions about race and class can be raised by the Congressional Black Caucus but the fact that the city government and police force that is primarily African-American hasn't been discussed. Sadly, no one asked Lou how well any American city would last under the conditions that New Orleans found itself.

Right now, Anderson Cooper is tangling with Trent Lott on CNN. Sparks are flying.

CT has a number of interesting posts, but the most interesting in terms of turning over rocks is one that links to this China Mieville
post which points to the erasing of the fact that the emergency response was privatized.

Senator Vitter of LA

The Republican Sr says the death toll could reach 10,000 and gives the federal government an 'F'.

Whoa! What integrity and courage, huh.

Wait. In the world of Karl Rove, with his state in dire need, what could this mean?

A)Vitter is certain the federal money will be distributed fairly and evenly, according to need, and his criticism of the WH will be ignored.
B)He know that the decisions have been already made, and Louisiana is about to get royally screwed.

LA governor looking a little mopish? WH maybe not taking her calls? Democratic Lady governor begs George Bush for money to help feed the looters? How do you think that conversation went?

And Hastert saying maybe we won't rebuild NO? A gaffe, or inside info?

So we got a depressed Dem governor an a Republican Senator burning every bridge in sight. On the other hand, Haley & George & Trent were almost square-dancing today, hardly able to quell their high-spirits. Smiles and thanks and congratulations all around. George even came out publicly and cracked a joke about Trent's new porch.

"You LA Dem dirt, we are scamming that ten billion dollars, and I ain't afraid to come out and admit it. Watcha gonna do about it."

Oh, Bush really didn't say quite that. A paraphrase.

Privatized, eh? Dear god.

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