Jim (career military and EMT) explains how to handle a Situation. If only he were.
a rough chronology to follow at some point, but right now I feel a little sick.
edit: an the hits just keep on coming. Updated.
good government. also compassion! assloads and assloads of compassion!
Why yes, we did know about the levee
Where the money went instead
Hastert Questions Rebuilding New Orleans
Hastert Tries Damage Control After Remarks Hit a Nerve
Condi Returns to D.C. After Bloggers and 'Post' Expose Vacation
Wonkette and Gawker got in on the action, with the latter revealing that she had just been spotted shopping for expensive shoes at a chic New York City boutique -- where she had to endure another female customer shouting at her about enjoying herself in such a way while thousands were perishing down South. All of this sparked criticism at many other sites.
Three or four times as I drove back to Pennsylvania I heard right-wing radio “reporters” “report” that the President looked out the window of Air Force One from a distance of only a few thousand feet and remarked repeatedly about the devastation. Now there’s a leader, these reports said. After only a couple of days, he went and looked out the window.
I have directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish an emergency leave transfer program to assist employees affected by Hurricane Katrina. The emergency leave transfer program will permit employees in an executive agency to donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina and who need additional time off from work without having to use their own paid leave.
Katrina destroyed Confederate President Jefferson Davis' final home Beavoir. It was also the site of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library. This is a significant loss to history. Yeah, a real tragedy. Like the destruction of one of Saddam's palaces or Mussolini's summer home.
OK, I propose a deal. For every low-income person's home we don't rebuild in New Orleans or Gulfport because those cities are flood-prone, we rip down one mansion in fire-prone Malibu. And if we run out of mansions in Malibu, we can start dismantling the gazillion-dollar vacation cottages and golf courses around Cape Hatteras. Or is it that we should only employ least-risk models for redevelopment when the people who live there are poor?
GOP Agenda in Action - Part II; Estate Tax To Be Voted On Tuesday
you know what those starving dehydrated homeless people need? tax cuts.
What was that about not playing politics with the disaster? On Wednesday, Hastert's office is rebuffing Pelosi's idea for an emergency bill. On Thursday, Hastert's office is saying it was their idea all along.
How did Hastert spend his time since the hurricane hit? Has he focused exclusively on saving lives and property in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama? Has he used his position and power to save the lives and property of people from around the Gulf? Well, no. Denny has had more important things to do. Just yesterday, Hastert wanted to make sure at least one Cabinet Secretary knew what Hastert considered real devastation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns visited John Hohenberger's Leland farm to see the damage from the 2005 drought.
Two days ago, we filled the tank with $2.71 gas. When I went into town today, both gas stations displayed $3.39 for regular, $3.79 for premium. The former eye is passing over us as I write this. Amazing that the effects arrived here even before the storm itself.
all those poor people going to the bathroom in Grover Norquist's bathtub
DROWN GROVER NORQUIST IN A BATHTUB
Oil Firms Turn Katrina Into Profits, Clinton Says
Still, no major oil or refining company appears eager to add a new refinery. Instead, more could close. A refinery in California is expected to shut its gates this fall. Two Texas refineries have been on the market for three years with no takers. And an offer by Saudi Arabia to help build several U.S. refineries brought not even a hint of interest on Wall Street. A new refinery project in Arizona has yet to break ground after five years of trying. "Today investors are in no mood for refinery building even if funding were available," Arjun Murti, managing director of Goldman, Sachs Co., told a recent congressional hearing on the dearth of U.S. refining capacity. Any executive who might pursue a new $3 billion refinery risks his company's stocks taking a hit, said Murti.
I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it's finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it's something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability. Mr. Speaker, tell me when that moment will be. Tell me precisely when the moment will come for accountability for the failures of our response, for the failures of our planning that have led to the devastation and the hardships that we are see now. And Mr. Speaker, tell me where the line forms to ask hard questions.
Say what you like about casting blame for the unfolding tragedy in NO, the bare facts of the matter are these: America suffered a serious attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That was four years ago. I think we had all assumed that in the meantime a lot of wargaming and disaster-mitigation planning and homeland security gearup had been going on. If this is what the Federal and State governments are going to come up with when the suitcase nuke goes off in D.C., then we are well and truly fucked.
While chatting with some of the National Guardsmen, another guardsman approaches and informs us that a woman is in the middle of a stroke around the corner. The guardsmen shrug. There is no emergency medical tent in the downtown area, and many people in need of medicine have no way of getting what they need, even inside the shelters. On our way into the French Quarter, a wild-eyed man flags down our car, begging us for insulin or information about where some can be found. We cannot help him.
The Republicans have managed a nifty trick over the last twenty-five years. They have worked ceaselessly to make government less effective, while at the same time deriving political benefit from inadequate government. The Republican attack on good governance involves the cutting of necessary funding, the wholesale transfer of critical government capabilities to the private sector, the stocking of government agencies with inept, corrupt, and obstructionist appointees, and the sellout of regulatory agencies to the industries they're supposed to observe.
If there was ever a time for Bush to cop to a mistake, it was yesterday, in his comments to the nation about the Katrina disaster. It is increasingly evident that warnings about New Orleans’ ability to withstand a hurricane were not heeded, and the week’s TV images portray a disturbingly sluggish emergency response. When the facts and the images are so unfavorable, any attempt to ignore them is a recipe for a loss of credibility. Yet Bush, in typical form, did not acknowledge any failings in his address yesterday
“It seems to me that the poor should have had the EASIEST time leaving. They don't need to pay for an extended leave from their home, they could have just packed a few belongings and walked away to start over somewhere else. What did they have to lose? When the wealthy evacuate, they leave behind nice houses, expensive cars, possibly pets that they treat as members of the family, valuable jewelry, family heirlooms, etc. This makes it emotionally difficult for wealthy people to leave. But by definition, the poor do not have this burden
With all due sympathy for the governor, it’s hard to avoid wondering why the heroic measures couldn’t have been taken before the storm, rather than after. Oh, wait, I know! If we’d had a plan to evacuate the tens of thousands of New Orleans residents who didn’t own cars, someone might have gotten something for free that they didn’t deserve. Which, in questions of American public policy, is always and forever the most important concern.
FEMA, Homeland Security and the importance of having the right friends
The difficulties of coordination seem to indicate we've returned to the bad old days where the FEMA administrator position is given away on the basis of political favor, rather than hard experience. The whole story of FEMA's response to Katrina has yet to be written, but it has always troubled me that Bush has appointed, in succession, his 2000 campaign manager and an Oklahoma lawyer whose only emergency management experience prior to joining FEMA was as an assistant city manager
CHRONOLOGY....Here's a timeline that outlines the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration. Read it and weep:
FEMA Dir. Mike Brown fired from prior job at Horse Assoc.
Yes, that's right... the man responsible for directing federal relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, sharpened his emergency management skills as the "Judges and Stewards Commissioner" for the International Arabian Horses Association... a position from which he was forced to resign in the face of mounting litigation and financial disarray.
I'm sorry. I know we're supposed to be observing an accountability free moment for the president. But there are just too many examples out there of the ways in which his policies have contributed to and accentuated this crisis: systematic cuts in levee and pump construction around New Orleans (second article here), phasing out FEMA and the apparently the whole concept of national coordination of the response to natural disasters. That's a great idea, isn't it?
Michael Chertoff responds with DC subway safety training
...But there was perhaps no clearer illustration of the disconnect between how emergency officials view the situation at a distance, and how it is viewed by those actually living it on the ground, than Brown's comments to CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday evening about the evacuation of hospitals in the city. "I've just learned today that we are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well," he said. Shortly after he made those comments, Dr. Michael Bellew, a resident at Charity Hospital, where more than 200 patients were still waiting to be evacuated, described desperate conditions... At another local hospital, Memorial Medical Center, a small fleet of helicopters was brought in to evacuate patients and staff after hospital officials were told "by officials on the ground to take the matter into our own hands," said Trevor Fetter, president of Tenet HealthCare Corp., the hospital's owner.
We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall its search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so.
Then there's the speed of the Bush administration's response to such disasters. Just one week ago the White House declared that a major disaster existed in Louisiana, specifically most of the areas (such as Jefferson Parish) that are now under water. Was the White House psychic about the disaster ahead? Not exactly. In fact the major disaster referred to Tropical Storm Cindy, which struck the state a full seven weeks earlier. That announcement triggered federal aid for the stricken areas, where the clean-up had been on hold for almost two months while the White House chewed things over.
Who weeps for the Pentagon?
in a show of solidarity with his boss, Mr. Chertoff protects his beautiful mind from the news
A panelist on Washington Week Tonight reported that a doctor at Charity hospital had operated on Al Gore's son years ago and he had somehow communicated with Al Gore who made arrangements for two American Airlines planes to evacuate patients to hospitals which had agreed to take them. But FEMA would not approve the plan because they can only work with public officials and Al Gore is now a private citizen.
Yesterday the Houston Chronicle reported that Halliburton has been hired by the Navy to repair its damaged facilities in Mississippi and perform initial damage assessments of facilities in New Orleans. The work was assigned, reported the Chronicle, "under a 'construction capabilities' contract awarded in 2004 after a competitive bidding process." But it raises a question it is not at all too early to ask. The egg is pretty much cooked on the relief operation. But in the coming days and weeks we will move into a recovery phase in which, no doubt, tens of billions of dollars will be spent cleaning up and rebuilding not just New Orleans but big sections of the Gulf Coast. Does anyone believe that the Bush administration can handle that money and that task without widespread waste, fraud and cronyism?
From today's Times: "Brian Wolshon, an engineering professor at Louisiana State University who served as a consultant on the state's evacuation plan, said little attention was paid to moving out New Orleans's 'low-mobility" population - the elderly, the infirm and the poor without cars or other means of fleeing the city, about 100,000 people.'
"At least nine articles in the
Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars...In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain
Leader of Federal Effort Feels the Heat
S "This can't be serious," you say. "Surely, his work overseeing horse shows was a short-term position, right? I mean, maybe he had some kind of relevant experience before then, right?" And you'd hope so. But if you skip to the end of the piece, you'll find a big ol' "Sadly, No!"
Everything we've said, for years, about Bush's incompetence, his backwards priorities, his personal weirdness and the pervasive dishonesty of his administration, is now on public view, in a way that brooks no excuses and leaves very little room for spin. And the media isn't just angry at what's happening in New Orleans; it's horrified. Network anchors are losing their shit on-camera. GOP spokespeople are staring like headlit deer. The public seems nearly insensate. After all the blaring orange alerts and relentless pimping of national security -- the use of 9-11 to justify every national setback, every policy initiative, every unpalatable decision the Bush administration has made, a foreign war of choice at enormous cost -- finally, an emergency happened. And it was worse than we, even we, had feared. The combined strength of the DHS and FEMA, the National Guard, and the Presidency and its powers, not only allowed a disaster to happen as though in slow motion, while warnings shrieked through the press; but even now, days later, they CAN'T EVEN GET IT TOGETHER TO DELIVER SUPPLIES into a major American city.
"City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own."
10 Mind-Numbingly Stupid Quotes About Hurricane Katrina And Its Aftermath.
Atrios directs us to this story, which points out that Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing is high on FEMA's list of recommended organizations for Katrina donations. There are more reasons to object to this than just the obvious ones.
In order to survive these certain catastrophic attacks, all Americans needed to do was give unprecedented power to the federal government, meekly support all foreign misadventures, and be quiet while Washington went on a historical binge that saw the major defense stocks soar in value by more than 70% since the Twin Towers fell and formerly obscure companies getting billions of dollars of taxpayer money to protect the nation from attack. And with “homeland security” as the stated top priority for the nation, it was assumed that the federal government might be at least slightly better prepared for another disaster … especially a disaster expected by everyone, even those at FEMA.
while they waited
the Red Cross: where we were
NO Mayor C. Ray Nagin's Interview
first, shoot to kill. then, food
The Business End of an M16
Via BoingBoing: The Army Times is now referring to certain Americans in New Orleans as “the insurgency.”
No. There is no one. There is no one in charge of this effort. They seem to be throwing it back between the national guard, city police and state police. The plan seems to be changing by the hour. These people were told to go to the superdome, then to the convention center, then they were told buses would pick them up, and so they are just livid that they keep being told things but nothing is happening...
Our biggest adventure today was raiding the Walgreens on Canal under police escort. The pharmacy was dark and full of water. We basically scooped the entire drug sets into garbage bags and removed them. All under police escort.
Judging by when they are getting there and other things, they were probably contacted Tuesday or Wednesday. Probably Tuesday, because WE were contacted about how many we could send IF they asked for us on Tuesday at the latest (I'm not sure. I was off work. The email I got was sent on Tuesday.) So, as far as getting Guard troops called up and on their way, that happened pretty quick. Because the levees broke on Tuesday, right? That's fast. The military doesn't often move this fast. And, you have to understand, most of those Army Guard troops live far away from their bases and were busy working at their civilian jobs. Many Army Guard troops like more than an hour from their bases (it's different than Air Guard. An Air Guard base will have most jobs on it that an active duty base will. An Army Guard base is often more specialized.)-
"Buses taking Hurricane Katrina victims far from the squalor of the Superdome stopped rolling early Saturday. As many as 5,000 people remained in the stadium and could be there until Sunday, according to the Texas Air National Guard..."We were rolling," Capt. Jean Clark said. "If the buses had kept coming, we would have this whole place cleaned out already or pretty close to it."In the meantime, medical staff has been evacuated out of the Superdome
Our Fearless Leader's excellent adventure
resting up from vacation
If the reason Bush returned to Washington is that he is more effective here, then why didn't he come back two days ago? If the White House considers the return from vacation largely symbolic, then what is the symbolism of his long vacation during a war?
"We've got what it takes to do more than one thing
the levee repair he was watching? staged. they stopped when he left
Politicizing A Tragedy: BushCo Fakes Levee Repairs for Photo-Op
Bush Visit Grounded Relief Helicopters
There was a striking discrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV. ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time. The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.
CNN's Jack Cafferty, moments ago:
Jack Cafferty: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the gulf coast happening at the very same time were a coincidence today?
Wolf Blitzer: Uh, well, we'll, I'm sure our viewers have some thoughts on that as well. These pictures, by the way, Jack, that we're getting in...
Wolf Blitzer: Jack a final thought before I let you go.
Jack Cafferty: It's embarrassing [followed by dead silence]
We heard a convoy of those trucks on this online scanner feed last night. They were en route, and the drivers were asking about the parking situation at the Superdome, not long after midnight.
They held the trucks.
The Potemkin Photo Op
In that sense, the inequality of the suffering has not only exposed the sham of the relentless photo-ops with black schoolchildren whom the president trots out at campaign time to sell his "compassionate conservatism"; it has also positioned Katrina before a rapt late-summer audience as a replay of the sinking of the Titanic. New Orleans's first-class passengers made it safely into lifeboats; for those in steerage, it was a horrifying spectacle of every man, woman and child for himself.
the benefits of privatisation
it's all one thing: New Orleans: private enterprise disaster planning
It seems that a Baton Rouge company called IEM Inc. got a half-million dollar FEMA contract to devise and run the emergency services plan for a catastrophic hurricane striking New Orleans. I think it is may not be entirely premature to to say this idea may have had some shortcomings. (preliminary discoveries in comments)
For days, and days, and days, the expendable poor of New Orleans have been begging for someone, anyone, to come. Be careful what you wish for. It’s not just, finally, Bush and some troops who are ambling into town. Here come the mercenaries.
not like you heard
soldiers surprised to find victims, not predators
"These people are behaving themselves," he said. "They're taking care of each other." He said he covered the aftermath of Andrew, and people there behaved much worse even though they had more.
'Fats' Domino Discovers a Good Samaritan in LSU Quarterback
'There Was Real Heroism'
It was haves vs. have-nots in Katrina evacuation - Politics - MSNBC.com
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the nation's official poverty rate rose from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002. Four out of 10 of those poor people live in the South, the poorest part of the nation. In Louisiana, the poverty rate is a third higher than the United States as a whole. Over the past three years, 17.9 percent -- nearly one in five people -- have been poor in this state. That's basically a tie for highest poverty rate in the nation with Arkansas, where the poverty rate officially stands at 18 percent.
If every single person in New Orleans had a spare $300 and a car, most of them could have run. Now turn on the TV again and look at how many stayed.
In looking through the painful photos coming out of this ravaged city, I was particularly struck by the scenes shot at the New Orleans Superdome -- which seemed to have transformed, almost overnight, into the world's largest disaster shelter. Besides people trying to adapt to the building as living quarters, what I found ironic was the fact that this was the only way the lower income evacuees -- not to mention the needy or indigent -- would ever get close to these field level seats.
Class, Race and Katarina
Hurricane Katrina: Is Looting a Question of Skin Color? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News
# The missing demographic context to the images you`re seeing on Tv:
# 67 percent of the residents of New Orleans are black,
# Nearly 30 percent of the residents live below the poverty line,
# Half of all children in Louisiana live in poverty
I keep hearing various folks in the post-Katrina media barrage talking about "race and class," and how they have influenced who has borne the brunt of this disaster.On one hand, I'm cheered that, at long last, the gatekeepers of our public discourse have seen fit to address the issue of poverty. The same bunch who couldn't pause for a moment's breath in their last few weeks of their hideously absurd coverage of rich, white, missing Natalee Holloway (during a war, no less) are actually talking about the tragedy of poverty and the inhumanity of the stark inequality that so often lies beneath the visible surface of this "richest country in the world." On the other hand, I want to tell them to shut the fuck up.
our people would rather die of cholera, exposure, deydration and untreated minor medical conditions and injuries than take your stinking aid. I'm sure if they could get past the armed soldiers at the checkpoints they'd tell you so themselves
An article in the Post suggests the US military was ready to begin emergency food drops into New Orleans much earlier in the week. But they were waiting on a request from FEMA. Lousiana Gov. Blanco accepted an offer of state National Guard troops from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Sunday, just before the storm hit. But the paperwork from Washington, allowing the troops to deploy, didn't come until Thursday.
The State Department said offers so far had come from Belgium, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, China, Australia, Jamaica, Honduras, Greece, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, NATO, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The United Nations has offered to coordinate the effort. Note that Bush rejected all such help yesterday morning, though apparently the State Department has decided to bypass Bush's "America takes care of its own!" macho talk and actually accept the aid.
Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area. Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.
Anticipating massive damage, the City of Chicago offered FEMA substantial aid even before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Chicago is offering to deploy a huge self-sufficient relief team (including 100 police officers) at a moment's notice . As of yesterday, the Agency had refused all help from Chicago, save a tanker truck
I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims -- far more efficiently than buses -- FEMA again dragged its feet. Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.
FEMA called in a company that owns and operates a fleet of air boats, to aide with the search and recovery of citizens trying to survive the disaster and who are still in their homes, etc. A friend of mine (from Arkansas) is one of the owner/operators of an air boat in that fleet. He responded to FEMA’s request and went down to assist, all at his own expense. When there, he reported to a FEMA manager or supervisor who told him, and I quote: ”We need your assistance and can use your help every day, there’s a lot of folks who have not been found. But, you will have to pay for your own gasoline for your air boat.”
The Red Cross has been ordered to stay out of New Orleans. Critical firefighting equipment is being left untouched. Chicago's offer of manpower and equipment is "snubbed" by FEMA, according to the Mayor. FEMA "forgets" to tell the military to airdrop food and water to the survivors. Northern Command has been ready for days, just waiting for the President to give the orders. Feds delayed paperwork giving permission for National Guard to act. Louisiana begged for federal help on Sunday in a formal request, but the Bush administration says they didn't know anything about problems until Wednesday. Meanwhile, reporters apparently grow weary of the spin doctors.
more assistance that was refused
the press notices
Pointedly, it declared that earlier today, "reporters listening to horrific stories of death and survival at the Biloxi Junior High School shelter looked north across Irish Hill Road and saw Air Force personnel playing basketball and performing calisthenics."
Body and Soul: The return of the press
When a network like Fox can't prevent its reporters from speaking the truth, you have to know the situation is so much worse than we've been told. Geraldo was crying, Shep Smith looked like he wanted to drive a knife thorough Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. How frustrating for them to watch reality get trumped by spinned photos of supply-laden ships arriving. The reality is that 12 hours after those ships arrived, nothing has changed for those in lock-down at the convention center or exiled on a highway.
Shepard and Geraldo - the video
O'Reilly is practically rolling his eyes with impatience at Smith's pussified outrage about the plight of a bunch of losers who were asking for it. He really, really wants to talk about scary black boogeymen and steppin-fetchit politicans. It doesn't work out. He looks relieved to move over to the Natalee Holloway story.
Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated. And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up. Do you get the anger that is out here?-
Bush lands in Mobile (more on that in a moment) and MSNBC chooses that oportunity to put up an elapsed time counter ( "4 Days 4 Hours 38 Minutes") on the right hand side of the screen.
The Man-Made Disaster
CNN.com - The big disconnect on New Orleans - Sep 2, 2005
In First Response to Crisis, Bush Strikes Off-Key Notes
The Rebellion of the Talking Heads - Newscasters, sick of official lies and stonewalling, finally start snarling.
James Wolcott: New Orleans Died for Bush's Sins
James Wolcott: New Orleans Died for Bush's Sins (II)
James Wolcott: New Orleans Died for Bush's Sins (III)
A Day of Contradictions
what you can do
I just can't stand this: people are posting requests for rescue to the Times-Picayune blog(!) because they can't get through to authorities.
send some money to Annti
Please do not send food, water, or money. This will be handled by Organized Charities. Send what you would personally want if you were placed in a very uncomfortbale position for a very long time with little or no money (use your best judgement).
Myasma picks up and goes
NOLA View weblog
Air America Radio's Public Voicemail is a way for disconnected people to communicate in the wake of Katrina. Here's how it works: Call the toll-free number above, enter your everyday phone number, and then record a message. Other people who know your everyday phone number (even if it doesn't work anymore) can call Emergency Voicemail, enter the phone number they associate with you, and hear your message.
Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief
What you are to do is to stop listening to emotionally evocative music this instant and answer the Skippy Challenge: skippy has donated $100.01 to the red cross for hurricane relief. and now, skippy challenges everyone who writes a political blog, no matter what side of the spectrum they inhabit, to do the same.
I know there's a Red Cross hotline, but folks can also call the state's information and referral network by dialing 2-1-1. If they're using a Lousisiana cell phone and 2-1-1 doesn't work, they can call 1-888-312-4567. 2-1-1 can provide shelter location information, information about access to available medical care (such as dialysis), requests for food, requests for prescription assistance, requests for diapers and formula, information related to accessing out of state Food Stamp or other benefits, and donation and volunteer information. (I'm told informally that the wait time hasn't exceeded 5-7 minutes in the last couple of days, and they've called in additional volunteers to staff the lines this weekend so they can continue to provide help.) The Department of State Health Services has developed two Katrina-related web pages that will serve as resources to the general public and health professionals. They will be updating these pages as information becomes available:
Chuck has resources and opportunities in Texas
Bats Left Throws Right: Katrina
Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach Him Now
The Storm Around the Storm
Smarter Than Jessica Simpson, Funnier Than Lukemia
I would like to thank Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale for the ten minute explanation of posse comitatus law. I trust the number of dehydration deaths in the audience during that period was minimal
bring in the lions
And now that the President has been injected with the mad array of chemicals that are needed to jump start his brain like the coughing, oil-leaking lawnmower motor that it is, he declares that "The results [of the relief effort] are not acceptable." And that's great, but they were also unacceptable on Tuesday, when Bush was making one of his worthless piece of shit speeches about how mighty a battle the Iraq War is, just like World War II or some such nonsense. But the Bush adminstration has broken the basic social contract in New Orleans, the one that goes all the way back to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, the one that says we adhere to laws because you agree to protect us, and thus the city and its citizens have returned to the state of nature, which is to survive, motherfuckers, just survive.
Oops! The President you are looking for could not be found here in Crawford. Please check in DC or somewhere else way above sea level.
The Bush administration's policy of turning over wetlands to developers almost certainly also contributed to the heightened level of the storm surge. In 1990, a federal task force began restoring lost wetlands surrounding New Orleans. Every two miles of wetland between the Crescent City and the Gulf reduces a surge by half a foot. Bush had promised "no net loss" of wetlands, a policy launched by his father's administration and bolstered by President Clinton. But he reversed his approach in 2003, unleashing the developers.
Can anyone confirm or deny the rumor that soldiers are forcing evacuees back into New Orleans? If the second is true, we're not seeing incompetence. We're seeing murder.
Food and water should have been on their way Monday night. They should have been on the ground Tuesday morning. There are supermarket distribution warehouses throughout the midwest that could have been federalized, with generous compensation and tax breaks to the corporations involved. You can go to REI and buy pen-sized water purification devices for a hundred bucks that - without power - would kill the pathogens in the flood water and help alleviate much of the suffering from dehydration. Those could have been requisitioned from MSR, then dropped throughout the city and surrounding countryside. Paul Martin has offered the assistance of the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team, which possesses osmotic water filters that could have purified tens of thousands of gallons of floodwater a day: Bush said no to that, and to the logistical and staff support DART would have brought. Today marks the end of the incubation of dysentery: the situation in the Delta is about to take one more goddamn turn hellward.
The entire argument is beyond insulting. The reason these communities haven't "requested" more aid? Because they have no working communications. They have no phones. Police and fire capabilities were all but destroyed, in some areas. Medical capabilities, even worse off. And yet it dawned on nobody, within FEMA or "Homeland Security" or anywhere else in this vaunted post-9/11 world, that maybe the flattened counties that nobody could contact and nobody could get information from NEEDED HELP?
Yet they completely cancelled the rescue operation because some bozo shot at a helicopter. And the national guard now refuses to escort patients who are being transferred from hospitals that have no power, food and water. Gosh I sure hope someone is guarding the oil ministry.
I wonder if maybe they were actually all askeered of the roving thugs that seem to have been reported everywhere, but rarely seen? A number of reports in today's newspapers are much more skeptical of the criminal anarchy that was reported all day yesterday. It was more than a little bit odd that the news crews that had access all over the city weren't able to get any pictures of these roving gangs of beasts that were said to be stalking everyone.