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Monday, September 05, 2005

[General] State of Disbelief

First a serious post and later a lighter post about the weekend.

New Orleans. What a complete fuck up.

So much time to prepare and yet the National Guard, Army, Navy, Airforce and Search and Rescue teams were nowhere to be seen for a week. Russell Brown writes:

So much here is troubling - the inadequate response at local, state and federal level, the alarmingly thin membrane of social order, the desertion of their posts by so many policemen. In the New York Times, David Brooks sees a "bursting point" that will transform political culture as much as America's sense of national failure did in the 1970s.

Kanye West said what I have been thinking for a while now: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. Follow the link for a video of his statement during a national telethon (his comments were removed when the show was rebroadcast to the west coast). It will never be really answered but it is far from impossible that the relief efforts are stalled because
New Orleans is predominantly African American. African Americans make up 67.3 percent of New Orleans (city) population, the only other major city that comes close is Atlanta (61.4%)*.

[*Note: Jackson, Mississippi has 70.6% but has a much smaller population size; 184,256 compared to 484,674].

Secretary of State Condelleza Rice said:

That Americans would somehow in a colour-affected way decide who to help and who not to help, I just don’t believe it”.

<>On Kanye West, don’t believe most of the news reports on the matter. Watch it yourself. West says how disgusted he was that he went shopping before he donated money. Oh, and if you think he’s lying when he says

“You see a black family [in the media] and they’re looting, you see a white family and they are looking for food”

then please read this link.

I’m not going to start a conspiracy theory here, but it is bloody strange. Tsunami victims on the isolated Andaman Islands got aid in the same amount of time it took residents of downtown New Orleans to get aid. AND WE ALL KNEW THE HURRICANE WAS COMING**!!!!!!!

[**Caps are for “incredulous disbelief” not “rage”]

Just watch this report by, of all people, Fox News. They keep saying that there are no answers to simple questions like “Why can’t aid get to these people?” “Why do people not know where to go?” and even “Who is in charge?” The reporters refuse to let the hosts tone it down.

The Dom Post has an article today (it’ll be somewhere here) in which it outlines that the Bush administration is blaming the local and state authorities for all of the problems. All the while National Guard troops sit around “playing cards” while police and firefighters (those that are left) run the rescue operation.

The US Army corps of Engineers has estimated 80 days to remove the water from New Orleans, that’s once the levies are repaired. So expect mob rule very soon. Already gangs are roving committing murders and rapes and other gangs are finding the perpetrators (or people who look like they might be) and killing them.

What next? Disease. Hundreds of thousands of people have to defecate in the streets. The stench is taking over many of the news reports. I’m expecting Cholera outbreaks in the least, and especially because there is no medicine.

Then there are the people who are really trying to help. Sorry that was sarcasm. There have been a number of people who have commented that Katrina was an act of a vengeful God; all have different reasons for the vengeance.

The Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that the hurricane and flood that followed in New Orleans were “two catastrophes” that presented and unprecedented challenge. What the fuck? Am I the only one who reads National Geographic? They have had numerous articles about the south over the past few months including the (short) article on what would happen if a hurricane like Katrina hit New Orleans (finally found the link). Basically everyone will die and the city will be a write-off.

That was from Nat Geo. But the Dept of Homeland Security (which is still at an “Elevated” Alert Level for terrorism) had no idea what to expect? In the ultimate irony the DHS is promoting on it’s website that this month is National Preparedness Month.

The last thing I would like to note before I finish on this topic is for you, the people who (I assume) are not in New Orleans. Over the next few weeks (or maybe already) you may receive emails regarding the hurricane. These may be asking for donations, they may be stories about the event itself.

Please, before you act on these, think.

Does it look suspicious? Has it been forwarded from 100 other people? If it looks even slightly dodgy (“Mermaid washed up after hurricane”) go to Snopes.com (also added to the sidebar). Search their site, if it is a fake it will be there. There are a lot at the moment on their “What’s New” page, take a look.

Just read this article about New Orleans Saints Wide Reciever Joe Horn visiting with the survivors at the Superdome. It's a strange article and I imagine that Horn will be quite affected by some of the things people told him.

A middle-aged man pushed through the crowd and approached Horn with a picture of his missing wife. He asked Horn to hold the photograph while he snapped a picture of the player and said he was confident he would find her...Horn held babies, kissing them on their cheeks and making them giggle. He sat down on cots and talked to the elderly. He tossed a football to a young boy and played a board game with another

1 comment:

Tom said...

If you look at the excellent Wikipedia article on Katrina, it's interesting to note that under "primary causes", the hurricane was only third on the list, behind leveeing of the Mississippi River development on the Delta. The hurricane itself was just the final trigger.

It also notes that Laura Bush gave a press conference on September 3, in which she noted that "bad things are not happening here" and urged the news media to convey the message of how communities are working to help people. Right, nice to have that cleared up, then