I've been reading all of the news about Katrina and feeling more and more guilty about not being able to do anything to help and not blogging about it at all. I think Xeni and others who have been tirelessly blogging about and doing something about it are doing an amazing job.

Each morning, I've been just choking up reading the front page of the newspaper, not even being able to make it past the first page. I really don't know what to say... so I haven't said anything.

However, chatting with some people and reading some of the blogs, I am beginning to wonder if the government is really doing everything possible. I wonder about the allegations of treating the underprivileged victims as more "expendable". I realize this is quite a harsh allegation, but something that I wonder about none the less. How much airplay is this opinion getting in the US and what is the public sentiment about this?

UPDATE: ("not being able to do anything to help" other than giving to the Red Cross which I have done.)

UPDATE 2: Xeni reports that "An article on the Army Times web page is referring to American citizens in New Orleans as 'the insurgency'."

80 Comments

This opinion is getting a lot of airplay now in the US, but I'm not sure if it's true or not, however it probably is. From some reports one would say that these people are being treated as expendable. Whether or not people should have been surprised at the enormity of this calamity given the numerous scientific studies done is an issue for another debate, but I believe quite frankly many people had no idea it would be so bad. This is the most likely cause of the slow response that has happened. For people outside of the United States they may not know that New Orleans is one of the most poorly run cities in the US. Corruption, poverty, and crime are rampant so monies that should be allocated on disaster preparedness issues tend to be spent in other ways. The poor in New Orleans have been treated as expendable before Hurricane Katrina so the treatment they have been getting doesn't surprise me.

Nelson
Bethesda, MD, USA

Things that shock me:
1. Why am I only seeing afro-americans crowding the dome and other refugee centres, in a very crowded space with no proper sanitation and with little support?
2. The violence and the looting. It's a mini-Iraq so to speak. I have zero respect for looters and I'm puzzled that there is so little army to do something about it. Sure, they're sending in troops now, but it's too little too late.
3. The blatantly poor preparation for the hurricane. This has been predicted for years and if you have a city below sea level, surely much better defence against the waters should have been planned. Heck, the Dutch have been doing this for ages. It turned out the budget for this was cut by the Bush government. Way to go.

If only New Orleans had an oil well.

I too can not quite get a picture of what is going on down there, and the images on the papers or the web do not make it any easier. Last night I blogged about it, just to get a few incoherent thoughts out there. This morning I had the following E-mail message from a friend living in the US:

"the federal government was slow to respond with relief supplies
because contracts had to be signed with corporations of the power elite
so that the massive federal dollars of relief would be funneled as
profits for the corporations of the elite and not to small business owners
this includes earth moving companies, heavy machinery, and construction
companies"

Now, this is one man's opinion, and speculation, but it would not surprise me to find evidence to support this accusation. First let's get to those people and help them in any way that we can.

Paul Krugman has written in the New York Times about thsese concerns.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/02/opinion/02krugman.html

The difference in coverage of the US gulf states' plight in the Western media compared to, say, the reporting of the devastation and order of magnitude larger number of victims caused by the monsooun in the Maharashtra province in India, or typhoons in South-East China is surprising.
Or rather, that difference in coverage isn't surprising at all :-P

It is hard to understand what is going wrong here. The reports I am reading are that there are about 20,000 people in the superdome. That sounds like a lot, but it should actually be reasonably manageable. It's only 50 or 60 flights to get those people out. To keep supplies flowing for that number of people should only require around 50 or 100 tons of supplies per day. You could do that on helicopters. Have these people heard of chemical toilets? Any two-bit festival organizer would be able to deal with a crowd this size, even at short notice. It wouldn't be pleasant, but it would at least be tolerable.

Frankly, the scale of this seems like Small Beer for the American military-industrial complex. I can't understand why they can't just apply some resources and sort this out. (Or why they didn't just put on some free buses before this mess happened.)

Thursday, on CNN's Situation Room, A woman a woman called in to let them know there were 300 people in the Ritz Carlton. On Friday she called back. Within minutes of being on the air helicopters (yes plural) were circling overhead. By Thursday night they were out -- but only after some of the doctors in the group went across the street to a pharmacy and "commandeered" (her word) some antibiotics to protect them from catching something as they waded through the water to the 18 busses sent to rescue them.

18 buses for 300 people -- I guess those accustomed to the first class cabin need a little more room. Meanwhile, thousands sat at the convention center -- their dead stacked in the corner.

"The difference in coverage of the US gulf states' plight in the Western media compared to, say, the reporting of the devastation and order of magnitude larger number of victims caused by the monsooun in the Maharashtra province in India, or typhoons in South-East China is surprising.
Or rather, that difference in coverage isn't surprising at all :-P"

your forgetting the massive flooding in Taiwin earlier this year too that arguably put the city under more water than New Orleans. I think the Western Media's coverage of this disaster though will naturally be more than the coverage of Eastern disaters. This is the west, and we have to deal with it. the big blogged story coming out of all of this is an allegation made in 2001 by the times-picayune that the army corp of engineers were assigned to fix the levies in New Orelans but were with drawn by order of Bush to prepare for Iraq. Frankly, I think that's the story here, New Orelans lucked out and got federal finacing to fix the levies and then the engineers with draw before anything got done, what happened to stall fixing them in the remaining 4 years before this disaster needs to be addressed before Bush can totally come to blame. My only real hope with this situation is that A. Americans and the west can finally come to terms with the reality of American poverty. Having scoured record shops in Mississippi for years for LPs, and coasted North Carolina's impoverished farm communities, I can safely say rural Americans live in a situation far more desperate than rural farmers elsewhere. Japanese or Korean farmers are protected by 400% trade barriers to keep their farms going (although they sitll exist on subsidides from what I understand), and farms in most of the 3rd world can provided a source of wealth that can keep a familing going and allow them to save, but in the U.S. the way that people have ignored and then (and this is what truly disgusts me about the u.s. media) blamed these people for the results of an election is just ridicilous. Alabama, Mississippi, and Lousiana consitute the Devil's Poor of the U.S. and hopefully we can finally take steps to help them (although both Georgia, Tennesse, and Alabama have already taken steps to help themselves).\

B. now that we have a historic and nice city under water here's the perfect opporunity to build a city that's actually energy effecient, well planned, and can sustain economic growth. It's really our chance to make a city that can embody America's new ideals instead of the commute-a-lot world of today.

http://cosmicvariance.com/2005/09/02/they-saw-it-coming-they-looked-away/

This is probably something of a rant, but whatever.

First, I think its kind of dubious that people as a whole wonder why "the government" (federal, predominantly) has been "so slow" to do anything about providing relief. From an ill-conceived effort, to having tens of thousands of troops redeployed in just days, that's not so slow. Getting the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized within 24 hours is not so slow. Maybe its not the magical immediate response that the Internet seems to think can happen. Why can't those guys move tons of sand faster into the broken levee? (Uh, physics? The laws of nature?) Why isn't XYZ Corp giving out free food/water/busses? (Uh, They haven't been allowed to yet, as its still to chaotic, I bet "THEY" will soon, once the Army restores order) Why isn't the Red Cross helping find people stranded on roofs? (Uh, They don't do that. They provide medical relief, not search and rescue missions.)

I'm waving my magic wand frantically with online outrage, but the water keeps rising. GRRRRR!

Second, where is the blame directed at Louisiana? Who cares what Bush has done, or not done? Maybe you guys outside the USA don't know, but in the grand scheme, Louisiana has been rife with corruption for decades. Monies designated for public works get diverted to the local official's brother-in-law's project to build roads to nowhere, etc. Go type in "corruption in Louisiana" into Google. I am not a fan of Bush. I do not like anything about this administration, but I'm not so blinded by my hatred to lump all this into his lap. Keep the blame where its warranted. Bush-Iraq, Louisiana's various and sundry politicians over the past 40 years-the lack of resources and preparedness leading to the problems caused by Katrina.

Third, I find it disgusting that people are so quick to turn this into a racial problem. Much of that seems to come from places like Jesse Jackson and from the "Congressional Black Caucus." These guys have their own agenda, and to see them use this disaster as reasons to pull out their stump speeches is sickening. Sure, poor parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas are overwhelmingly black. They have been for as long as there have been a Louisiana, Mississippi and an Arkansas. This can probably be said for every state in America. Their feigned "outrage" is as empty as any other political stunt. This does make a good platform for Jesse to get more media play to keep himself "relevant" and continue his own race-baiting and extortion through "Operation Push." Go look that up too if you don't know what I'm ranting about.

Fourth, its hard to keep up my compassion when I keep getting inundated with images of people running through the streets with looted tennis-shoes, Hilfiger Sweats, and Plasma TVs. After three days of no water or food, sure, I can see desperation making people break into stores to eat. So, am I to believe that the next logical leap is, "Well, I'm already breaking the law so I can eat, I might as well dress sharp while I'm doing it!" Sorry, but I'm not having any of it. Those people need to be shot. When hurricane whatever hit Virginia last year, I had no power or potable water for 7 days. I sat in the dark (or candlelight), ate canned food, drank bottled water and listened to my FreePlay wind-up radio in relative luxury. Of course, I could drive 30 minutes away to a friend's place and stay there and watch Cable TV News Coverage of the aftermath and microwave pizzas if I wanted to. I chose to stay in my house and make sure that no idiots came looting in the neighborhood.

Sure, my experience was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to what these people in Louisiana or Mississippi will have to deal with over the next six months (at least)...my point is that in the seven days that I sat in the dark, I never once had the idea to go next door and take my neighbor's plasma TV. These fuckers were stealing entire racks of clothing and high-end electronics within 24 hours. And I wouldn't even have needed a shopping cart to lug my neighbor's crap through 24 inches of standing water and sewage! Maybe I'm just not as enterprising as some of these "poor victims" are.

Fifth, to the person who said "If only New Orleans had an oil well": I understand your attempt at irony, but go fuck yourself. A very large chunk of the oil, gasoline and natural gas comes from the Gulf Coast. Much of which runs smack through New Orleans and Louisiana. Dozens (if not hundreds) of oil drilling platforms in the gulf were damaged in the storm. Several of the pipelines themselves were damaged, cutting off the flow of gasoline to states as far north as Virginia, where prices were going about double normal in some areas, and three times as much in Georgia and further south. Go look up "Colonial Pipeline" "Gulf South Pipeline" "Williams Companies" etc. Your thinly veiled attempt to say that the neglect of natural resources to plunder is what renders the area unworthy of Bush-co's attention was just flat out stupid.

Duh, now lets say that the US ignores Darfur because there is no oil there either. Oh, yeah, Sudan is teeming with oil too. Hmm...I guess it must be a race thing there too. Let's get Jackson on the phone...he hasn't been over there in a year when he tried to get Libya to help him, I mean, help Sudan.

A week has passed and the "First Response" to the Katrina diaster is all but over. It's high time we made some "medium term" responses. Those same people who could get to shelters or relatives early will also be able to cope with the red tape presented by FEMA, the Red Cross and other agencies. The people I'm most worried about are those who were already slipping through the social safety net before the hurricane hit.

I don't care whether their skin is black, white, green or purple. Every country will always have an underclass but we, the haves, are foolish if we think that underclass needs to be miserable, squalid, undereducated and angry. In this emergency we need to pitch in to build up their self-reliance.

I propose the US private sector (and folks from other countries who share this point of view) respond to this emergency by creating thousands of small (80 people or less), medium-term (3-12 month), recreational vehicle villages -- Katrina Villages -- that provide destitute Katrina victims with a platform from which to start rebuilding their lives.

This idea is expanded on http://loopcntr.xwiki.com/xwiki/bin/view/Main/EMERGENCY+KATRINA+VILLAGES so I won't repeat the details here. Go there to read and post responses for yourself.

My organization, LO*OP Center, Inc., is looking to locate 50 do-gooders with community organizing skills who can liberate themselves for 6 months to a year to volunteer for this project. In that time we can provide opportunity to many thousands of previously disenfranchized, currently displaced residents of the richest country on Earth. At the same time, we can contribute a model for managing refugees that could be adapted to conditions around the globe.

Please inform yourself about the Katrina Village Concept. If you like the idea, pass it on as widely as you can. If you love the idea, volunteer whatever you can on the contributor's page http://loopcntr.xwiki.com/xwiki/bin/view/Main/Contributor+Page

At the very least, we're going to need computer saavy people to facilitate data collection and management for the project and to serve as online teachers in every subject for displaced people of all ages. If you can read this blog you can do some of that.

Thanks,

Liza Loop

I am so frustrated it's hard to express in words. I've written my Senator twice, for all the good that will do.

I am so thankful for the straight reporting we are seeing; much better than we've seen the past few years.

I don't agree w/the racial thing; it's more of a poor, underprivileged thing.

The State of Florida was extremely well attended to by FEMA and the National Guard during the 2004 Hurricanes Ivan, Jeanne and Frances. That's right, at least THREE hurricanes hit Florida last year. I remember Governor Jeb Bush, who only had about two continuous hours of sleep last summer, running up and down the Florida coast coordinating assorted military and rescue types. He did not take a six week vacation, unlike his brother. The Rescue (Sallies, Red Cross, FEMA) and Military (National Guard) types were in place PRIOR to any stated need (I think Jeanne was even a Category 3 Storm). I am sure that this had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fact that Florida Governor Jeb Bush happens to share DNA with President BUSH (brothers). Neither Mayor Negin nor Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco have this good fortune. Note the sarcasm.

I believe the extreme efficiency of FEMA in 2004 was to a large degree a result of familial nepotism. On Sunday, Hurricane Katharine roared into Louisiana as a Category 5 Storm, there was no excuse for the lack of military or FEMA presence. The first responders to the crisis were the Army Corps of Engineers (God bless them, they have both brains and courage), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (for the boats to carry the evacuees from their rooves) and the U.S. Coast Guard (who air-lifted the good citizens off of their rooves via helicopter). FEMA and the National Guard were nowhere to be seen, and what really burns me is that FEMA is now trying to shift blame onto the mayor and governor for not "activating" them. What, FEMA director Michael Brown has no access to CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, FOX News, the internet (The Interdictor) the Washington Post or The New York Times? Michael Brown does not know how to operate a telephone? He certainly knows how to hold a press conference congratulating himself on his "efficiency"... Please, give me a break, he should do his damn job. FEMA has tried to "spin" this disaster since Monday. I don't know if you've heard Mayor Negin's interview on Wednesday night to WWL-AM radio, but he said what needed to be said.

There was NO significant FEMA or National Guard aid (with respect to provisions and security) arriving into New Orleans for four days after the flooding. The refugees/evacuees are mostly poor and black. That is the truth. Whether this is the reason for FEMA's lack of planning, I do not know. Could the realignment of FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security have been a factor? It is possible.

Playing the race card may not be 100% accurate in this case, but if it makes the point and gets aid to the proper parties - fine. The United States is the richest country on the planet and is presently the only Superpower. I am not bragging or prideful, I am stating a fact. For the situation in New Orleans to have evolved as it has is inexcusible. Especially since the situation is being exploited by all our political leaders, including President Bush, as a photo opportunity to highlight their "conservative compassion." (I believe that Condoleeza Rice went to a Broadway Show and went shoe shopping in New York on Thursday - so not much compassion evident there...) I am deeply ashamed of my country. I have even e-mailed my Congressman and Senators to complain of what I see as a GROSS dereliction of duty by FEMA, the National Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and the Navy.

The scary thing is that FEMA is directing donations to "Operation Blessings" (Pat Robertson's charity) on its website... After two days of criticism, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson apologized on August 24th for his controversial suggestion that the United States should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and now FEMA is recommending his charity on its website. WTF?!?!?!?!

cgoggans

agree with some of your points, but here's one small problem

"Second, where is the blame directed at Louisiana?"

Turns out New Orleans and Lousiana had already invested a project to have Lousianna more sustianable and all of that by 2010

http://www.top10by2010.org/

they were relying on the army's engineers to patch the levies, when they were recalled they called in a new group who were set to start just when Katrina struck.

peace,
a

Having had a second career in the security industry (the kind with guards and alarms, not computer stuff) for over 20 years, I can tell you the lack of preparedness boils down to one thing: Money.

This is why I stopped being a consultant. I got paid a great deal of money to make recommendations and prepare action plans that no one would follow because they didn't want to spend the money required to be truly prepared. Instant response not only requires having supplies and equipment set aside and idle, but also training and drills on how to use the material. Not to mention developing leaders who know how to act in a real emergency. We don't have as many people in civilian society these days who've been in our military, where such skills are part of the culture. (Yet another reason to bring back the Draft.)

As for your guilt, Joi; you're a rich man. Write a check to the American Red Cross.
Even Condi Rice says we're not too proud to take help from others. And when you consider the number of times the USA has been there for others in similar situations, maybe its time for the rest of the world to ante up.

Oh, and the problem was not so much race as class. Poor people don't have the resources that rich people do in a capitalist society...and that is true in Japan as much as here. I recall what happened after that earthquake hit Kobe.

ok this is the last one and then I'm done posting here for awhile. World Changing has a rather nice well written and fairly objective opinion from one of the urban designers contracted to rebuild lousiana before Katrina hit. From that post:

But in the technical language of sustainability theorists, "respite time was shorter than response time." That is, the signals had come too late. Awareness of the threat had finally reached some key decision-makers in a convincing way ... but not in time for them to overcome various kinds of resistance -- economic, political, psychological -- and begin to respond. It turned out that the clock on the time-bomb, the amount of "respite time" left before irreversible catastrophe struck, had only a few years left on it. This was insufficient time to make, or even to convince people to start making, the massive investments that would have been required to avoid this catastrophe.

In other words: Even if the regional leadership, from the moment some of them had truly understood the nature of the threat, had begun mobilizing all of the available resources and willpower to try to protect the region from such a storm, and even if they had started a frantic process of rebuilding lost landscapes (which buffer the region from storm and storm surge), raising levees, redoubling the pumping infrastructure and the like, it would probably not have had time to avoid most of what Katrina has now done to New Orleans.

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/003425.html

Well, this certainly isn't about being anti-american. America, as has been said has come in with the heavy lifting power of its military might in places like Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The question isn't whether the US is a generous country (it is), the question is why it isn't sorting out its own backyard by providing emergency services promptly on its own coastline. Is this racism? Incompetence? Something else? I don't know, but it looks to me like there's definitely something wrong and there's no point denying it.

It also isn't about lack of planning (although that's obviously an issue). The storm was expected, and those people could have been evacuated in a few hundred bus loads. Equally, the amount of resources needed to provide basic sustenance to those people looks well within the ability of the US, even on an emergency basis.

I don't see how donating money to the American Red Cross would make a damned bit difference, except perhaps as a gesture. There isn't a money issue here that I know of. Condi Rice was referring to technical help, I think. The problem is that few countries have relevant resources in the region to be able to provide meaningful help.

Joi: I wonder about the allegations of treating the underprivileged victims as more "expendable". I realize this is quite a harsh allegation, but something that I wonder about none the less. How much airplay is this opinion getting in the US and what is the public sentiment about this?

My opinion is that the answer is "yes", to all of your questions above. These days, racism may be harder to see in this country, but it is still the stinking elephant in the room. If you don't believe me, please view the following two pictures, read their captions very carefully, and then compare the two.

A looter carries a bucket of beer out of a grocery store in New Orleans (AP) Black dude in photo.

vs.

Two residents wade through chest-deep water after fiding bread and soda from a local grocery store. White kids in photo.

I spent a good part of my youth in Oakland and Berkeley, California. There are many African Americans that live in the area. Aside from my African American friends and acquaintances, I often felt that most African Americans there would instantly judge me as being racist and wrong because I am white. This would get me really self-rightheous. Some of the things I would think to myself:

"My slate is clean. I'm not responsible for racism or slavery."

"My ancestors didn't have slaves. They weren't sucking down mint julips while overseeing the plantation. Why blame me?"

"I never pre-judge black people. Why do they do me that way?"

It was all a stupid persecution complex. Because I was born white and into a relatively well-off family. I have worked hard in my time, but I was born standing on the shoulders of life from day one. Automatically, I had a leg up. But most Black kids are not born with this help; they're stuck down in the dirt from baby-hood because that's the way it is in this country.

As privileged folks we should not waste time with feeling guilty or persecuted. The overriding realization should be that because we are privileged, it is our responsibility to use that power to change the way things are for the unprivileged.

Antoin O LachtnainThe question isn't whether the US is a generous country (it is), the question is why it isn't sorting out its own backyard by providing emergency services promptly on its own coastline. Is this racism? Incompetence?

The answer to all of your questions is "yes". This storm has exposed to things:

1. It has put racism, class division, and poverty in this country in stark relief.

2. It has shown that our military is completely overstretched and tied up in Iraq. Security and emergency relief infrastructure simply could not get to New Orleans because they were already in Baghdad!!!

If you don't think we're racists in America, just look at Rwanda and Iraq and then ask yourself how/why we formulated our policies regarding those countries.

I read a very good point recently- Spend our energy helping when we can help. Then when the crisis is over, we can criticize. As any person under a deadline knows, criticism in tense conditions can be more harm than help.

Even if you can't directly help the people who need evacuation, those who have evacuated also need assistance. Many have fled far and wide in search of a place to stay. Those who are feeling the need to do something but are restricted to local efforts may want to consider offering up housing, a washing machine, a shoulder and cup of coffee. Does anyone know if they're accepting aid in terms of goods in Baton Rogue? I bet the people there need a lot, too, with all those who escaped there and the refugees still being evacuated there.

I heard on the radio that these people need a postal address, a few phone calls, Internet connections, and most of all, a job. As pointed out, these people don't have much money and no way of earning money to pay rent, feed their families, contact family to let them know they're alive, and provide for other basic necessities. They're suddenly unemployed and homeless, if alive. Sounds terrifying to me.

I think it is very natural to wonder if the government is really doing everything possible. We're all upset just like you. We want to help. We want the government to help. Time doesn't move backwards, though, so (IMO) now is not time for an inquiry. This is the time to encourage people (and governments) to do more and focus, expending our energy on where it will do the most good.

I came to this blog to see the reaction to Katrina, because Japan (and Valley money) has a reputation for Dixie-flavored racism. What I found was only surprising in the accuracy of the assumption. Guilt? Try outrage.

@ freecia (15)

Good stuff you wrote there. Beautifully said. But I think it's good to keep up the momentum of the criticism.

It's calling into question many many things that the press has ignored for the duration of the Bush administration thus far. And without the loud criticism we've already had, those people would probably still be stranded out there after a week without drinking water, food, and medicine!!!

BoingBoing should be yellow for the type of 'journalism' it indulges in.

Per your second update: the Somalia note should be a clue -- he's just using military terms, probably to help establish in the soldiers minds what they're facing.

If these guardsmen see those with the guns as 'people of New Orleans who just happen to be shooting people', they're going to hesitate. Describe them as the 'insurgency', there is no doubt how the soldiers are supposed to react.

As for the expendable -- Joi, if you want to accuse the government of incompetency, fine. But next time you hint that they want these poor blacks to die because they're expendable, I am going to rake your butt over coals in my weblog and you won't know what hit you.

Sorry for being angry, but Joi, we don't need this kind of crap now. You're not a back woods ignorant jerk who doesn't know what's what.


A friend of mine created this:

http://thinknola.com/wiki/index.php?title=NOLA.com_Forum_Feeds

I'm using it to create this:

http://thinknola.com/wiki/

Because people are posting all their information in the only real social networking software they know of, the NOLA.com forums.

The forums loose data however, it scrolls off the page. So, I'm Wiki ing it. I told Shelley Powers about this, and have asked for help from people.

I'm going to keep doing this until someone tells me not to.

It has already helped once, it might help again:

http://engrm.com/blogometer/2005/09/02/wiki-in-case-of-emergency.html

http://thinknola.com/wiki/index.php?title=Xavier

Anyway, I know people think that New Orleans is destroyed, but people are organizing. You can see it in these forums, but no one is looking at these forums.

Those feeds are connected to T-1, so add them to your feed reader and watch the best news to come out of this disaster real time.

God bless you all.

You can help.

Help organize people:

http://thinknola.com/wiki/

I had a longer post. But, I lost it in here. Cheers.

http://thinknola.com/wiki/index.php?title=NOLA.com_Forum_Feeds

Good news here. It's heartbreaking to see these good people organize almost all alone. I wish you people would subscribe to those feeds. There are amazing stories unwinding in them.

The people of New Orleans are totally without their web servers and e-mail servers and they are turning to the only thing they know exists for them, the old fashioned NOLA.com forums. They are not waiting for your AJAX applications, but using what's available, what they know.

And they are using it well.

We created those feeds so real news could get out. Please subscribe to them. Please, please, please.

Billmon, at the Whiskey Bar, has photos to muse over comparing the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River with Katrina...most pointedly the evacuation of the white before black.

http://billmon.org/archives/002123.html

At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line — much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday.

I don't know what to think about if the US is doing everything that they can do but I think the insurgency comment is probably more of a limited army vocabulary (remember, the Army is trained to fight the enemy) than it is in dealing with this sort of thing in New Orleans. That being said, you have to wonder what they could have been thinking. Then again, maybe that is me just desprately wanting to think the best in a horrible situation like this.

Here do this.

Grab this feed: http://jeffrafter.com/nola/imok.rss

It is a feed of the NOLA.com I'm okay forum.

Add it to a database. Contact me. I'll organize it. alan@engrm.com

Joi - I'm barking here, because I know you really, care, and I know that would really help. Read those NOLA.com messages. People of New Orleans go there first.

We should greet them.

We should answer their questions.

There are 14,000 messages posted to the Orleans Parish forum alone.

There are 2,000 names in the I'm Okay forum. Are they in the databases?

You can help! alan@engrm.com Contact me. Or figure it out for yourself. I don't care.

I'm getting really sick of hearing the criticisms and the hypocricies here. I had friends in New Orleans and thankfully everyone got out before the storm hit. There was ample warning. They happened to be mostly white and some asian and middle class (by louisiana standards but below the American per capita income level). They did have cars so they were able to drive an hour away to safety and crash with friends or family.

The people who are suffering greatly either had no place to go (except the superdome) or were of the mindset that they wouldn't leave their "stuff" no matter what. It's the people in this latter boat that are causing much of the trouble by shooting at rescue helicopters, looting stores and carjacking their neighbors.

These are the same people that Boingboing suggested should seccede from the US (http://www.boingboing.net/2004/11/04/my_modest_proposal_t.html). Boingboing also encourages abandoning American liberties for a Castro-run system (http://www.boingboing.net/2005/09/01/katrina_anecdote_on_.html). Tireless blogging was what they were doing in the past in generating the hate and isolation toward these people as they drank in their elitist lifestyle. Now they change their tune to get more hits and get more advertisers and look like the 'good guy' as they blame the government for everything. I wonder how much of their ad revenues is going to be donated to Katrina. Maybe a dollar or less?

For those of us outside of the US, I'd like to point one more thing out that might not be obvious. The deep south is the poorest part of the US by per capita income with Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama ranking 47th, 50th, and 46th respectively. The poorest and least educated areas of any nation are the most challenging to manage.

There is a lot being done to bring peoples live back. My alma matter has opened its doors to all university students who can't matriculate at Tulane or wherever they used to go. The association of medical schools is working to find residency and student spaces in other schools so that doctors in training can continue their studies. My company sent three satellite linked buses full of communicaitons equipment and donated many millions of dollars plus is doing full employee matching.

Joi, you can raise money like a banshee. Your offices are in a beautiful high rise in one of the most posh places in Tokyo. Your home is gorgeous. Your interpersonal network is unrivaled. Why can't SixApart start a a satellite office in Louisiana and hire some locals/help people communicate? Why can't technorati donate its search/database infrastructure to create an ad-hoc way of linking the various recovery databases and communications efforts? How many people could your frequent flier miles help to get out of the region or help students get to universities that are volunteering to take them in? How many executives at Japanese companies like Sony, Nokia and DoCoMo could you call and ask to make a donation? I don't mean to call you out but rather just to illustrate that everyone can make a big difference in someone's life. And if we're lucky enough to have some special resources and skills, it's not that hard to change someone's circumstances especially when they're down in the dumps.

BAM! Great work Trudge. He's been checking up on on properties in Mid-City! Look. He's using the Wiki to file

The Trudge Report!

http://thinknola.com/wiki/index.php?title=Uptown_The_Trudge_Report

But, oh, no. Let's talk about Bush, why don't we?

Joi, you can raise money like a banshee. Your offices are in a beautiful high rise in one of the most posh places in Tokyo. Your home is gorgeous. Your interpersonal network is unrivaled. Why can't SixApart start a a satellite office in Louisiana and hire some locals/help people communicate? Why can't technorati donate its search/database infrastructure to create an ad-hoc way of linking the various recovery databases and communications efforts?


Hey, why don't you go to one of these pages and make phone calls?

http://thinknola.com/wiki/index.php?title=Uptown

You think these people want to wait for your AJAX application?

Read through the forms. When it says call me with info about X, go find info on X can call that number.

Help! alan@engrm.com

> Joi, you can raise money like a banshee.

Or here's an idea. Go to one of the missing persons sites, and look for a missing person. Then look them up on five other missing persons sites.

Do it ten times.

That's were we're at.

So much good news at NOLA.com :

http://www.nola.com/forums/townhall/index.ssf?artid=23899

Laurelstreet #14239 by Daisycat, 9/3/05 20:39 ET

Sorry, I finally got out of the house for a few hours. Bought and packaged some hygiene items to drop off at a relief station for refugees and THEN HAD A BIG MARGARITA! Whew! I needed it! I’ve been spending 18 hour days at the computer. Anyway, you’re just a few blocks from Drew, and that area is fine. He’s seen nothing but minor roof damage and fences going down. So even if I can’t confirm your specific block, I wouldn’t worry. As Trudge has said, things are quiet. I think everyone from this part of Uptown can pretty much breathe a sigh of relief and be very thankful that their homes escaped the fate of so many of their fellow citizens!

Okay. If anyone want's to tell me where I can post my updates, some place not under the spell of Murdoch, let me know. Who is out there looking for a simple way to help?

anon's post: "It's the people in this latter boat that are causing much of the trouble by shooting at rescue helicopters, looting stores and carjacking their neighbors...The deep south is the poorest part of the US ... The poorest and least educated areas of any nation are the most challenging to manage."

Is this supposed to be some sort of excuse? This does not justify the federal government's failure to meet the needs of its citizens. These are our fellow human beings you are talking about, not demons.

I am disgusted by this elitism, and ashamed that it is representative of our country's government. Our neighbors needed support before the hurricane, our neighbors needed support from the day it hit, and only after five days the federal government began sending resources in. It is the perfect example of our government's carelessness and apathy towards the poor.

I agree that we shouldn't be fingerpointing. I've donated what I can. I would love to get in there and help, but I'm limited geographically. (I'm an architect in California).

But, I'm sure like most of you, I've been doing a lot of thinking and questioning. And I believe having a dialogue is absolutely crucial to the relief process. Without it, we might not have seen results come quicker. It's not about blame, but about accountability and addressing all our needs -- including the marginalized -- in the recovery.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.response/
http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp

The other as-yet-uninvestigated story appears to be a significant, probably uncoordinated effort by the government and military authorities to prevent a number of timely private-sector aid convoys from entering the city.

I can see why they might do this, for many of the same reasons you don't send medevac personnel into areas where you're taking fire from the ground. Rule number one of search and rescue is not to become a casualty yourself.

That having been said, there are now a not-insignificant number of reports of ice trucks being held for 3 days and self-financed trucker convoys being prevented from entering the city. Indeed, even the Red Cross has indicated that they were (are?) similarly constrained by gov't officials.


Why is this happening? I believe it is the unfortunate result of a combination of 3 factors:

1- a set of gov't bureaucrats anxious to cover their butts at all costs. It appears that they weren't willing to go in, or weren't ready, so they decided that no one else should either. There has been an obscene amount of self-congratulation everytime an elected official was on camera during the past 6 days or so. I am trying not to be so cynical as to assume they didn't want to appear ineffective by allowing private parties to do what they couldn't, so I must assume it is out of concern for their safety.

2- a populace who has come to assume that the first response to disasters should always come from government. Somehow people have come to believe that only the government (vice private parties) could ever have the means to help in a meaningful way. This is an incredibly dangerous meme.

3- a government that has forgotten for whom it works. The whole idea of keeping the people inside the Superdome at gunpoint would seem to support this assessment. (I won't even get into the morality of disarming the people and them locking them into a place where they were preyed upon without protection. There's a special ring of hell reserved for the people who did that.)


The deadly result is that the American people themselves (with the possible exception of food-stockpiling Mormons in Utah and a few others) have largely abdicated disaster preparedness for themselves and their families.

When an individual does attempt to take some initiative in this sort of area, the likely response from the American media or others is to tar that person with the epithet "survivalist" or "militia man." I can think of far worse things to be called, if they describe someone willing to take some responsbility for their own safety.

I can only ascribe this condition to a desire to avoid acknowledging the reality that bad things can and do happen to good people. (I also wouldn't be surprised if a bit of it stemmed from the belief that for all of the money we pay the Uncle Sam, he HAD BETTER be in a position to fix all ills.)

I fear that #1 is the biggest contributor to the instant situation. I respect the TV news people who chose to express their real horror at the scenes in which they found themselves. It was the first credible thing I've heard out of any of them in years. I am certain, however that they made no friends in the government, whether state or Federal by doing so. (Though his history is rather melodramatic, I think the clip on the Net of Geraldo Rivera and Shep Smith agonizing about the imprisoned Superdome people appeared to present real outrage and fear.)

Salon has an interesting article about the uncharacteristic candor with which the news people have confronted the politicians. I fear it won't last.

"...Panic, disaster, public disorder, the mass movement of refugees, tightening military occupation, combined with the key linkages between the disruption of oil production and refineries and long-term economic dislocation and debt accumulation; these are just the initial components of Katrina-Baghdad as a "strange attractor." This emergent strange attractor we now call Katrina-Baghdad will spin off and/or accelerate a series of complex economic, political and social iterations over the near and longer .."term. -ARTICLE

I think they should add another 10 billion in the Federal relief package and build more refineries here in America. After all the whole nation is feeling the gas prices go up as a result of Katrina. The President should have been quicker to act as well as the rest of our always fast acting and honest Governments around the world lol. I remember when gas was 89 cents a gallon and for 10 bucks you could get almost 11 gallons I put 10 bucks into today and got 3 gallons. I am only 27 years old so I am not talking about 1960, 70, or even 80 1990 just almost 8 9 years ago.

Who is responsible for what? From: City Of New Orleans Emergency Preparedness

"Under the direction of the Mayor, the Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate activities in accordance with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to assure the coordination of training programs for all planning, support, and response agencies. Departments, authorities, agencies, municipalities, and all private response organizations bear the responsibility of ensuring their personnel are sufficiently trained."

"The person responsible for recognition of hurricane related preparation needs and for the issuance of an evacuation order is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Concerning preparation needs and the issuance of an evacuation order, The Office of Emergency Preparedness should keep the Mayor advised."

"The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Office of Communications shall also devise a mechanism whereby the largest possible segment of the population can be sufficiently educated in disaster events to minimize panic and misunderstanding, including elderly and special needs population."

"Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours."

"Following a disaster of such magnitude that far exceeds the City's and State's ability to meet the needs of the community and results in the requesting and granting of a Presidential Disaster Declaration..."

What is a Presidential Disaster Declaration and who makes the request? From: A Guide To The Disaster Declaration Process And Federal Disaster Assistance
"Local and State governments share the responsibility for protecting their citizens from disasters, and for helping them to recover when a disaster strikes. In some cases, a disaster is beyond the capabilities of the State and local government to respond.

In 1988, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206, was enacted to support State and local governments and their citizens when disasters overwhelm them. This law, as amended, establishes a process for requesting and obtaining a Presidential disaster declaration, defines the type and scope of assistance available from the Federal government, and sets the conditions for obtaining that assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), now part of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with coordinating the response."

THE DECLARATION PROCESS

The Stafford Act (§401) requires that: "All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State."

According to reports in the media, the government has now done what it should have done 5 days ago and airlifted the 50,000 people in the city out of the state. Maybe FEMA reads joi.ito.com?

A society that is more concerned with the safety and security of material possesions as opposed to the safety and security of newborns and centenarians is in no way a civilized society. The "have nots" suffer first and foremost without regard to race. Coincidentally the "have nots" are comprised mostly of people of color. Many people who thought they were in the "have" crowd found out the hard way that certain variables can reduce you to the "have not"!!!! While hopefully most of them will be recover from the situation quickly, i'd imagine that that harsh dose of reality has exposed them, if only for a short while, to the angst encountered on a more consistant basis by others. Sometimes there is just nothing an individual can do to improve their situation for themselves and having to be dependant on any other earthly entity can indeed leave you quite vulnerable. Sometimes for a lifetime.

The Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard was interviewed on NBC's Meet the Press. Watch the entire clip -- this is the kind of despair at the local government level in the Gulf Coast.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/04.html#a4783

The military calling the looters "insurgents" and comparing New Oleans to Samolia is dispicable. The military were not even in the city. The US is becoming a total police state. The military personnel are becoming too powerful and their thinking too distorted. They want an evil enemy they can see and kill and black looters in New Orleans seemed like a good target so they started to label them "insurgents" and to make references to Somalia where American solders bodies were dragged through the streets. All the more easy to shoot at them when you think you are shooting at Somali insurgents.

Hi Joi, what do you think of Japan's contribution to Katrina's aid relief efforts? So far Japan's pledged $200,000 and $300,000 if needed. That seems pitiful to me when compared to poorer (less GDP) countries like India ($5 mill), Taiwan ($2 mill), and Mexico ($1 mill) have all contributed more.

Do you think there are any political issues involved as to why Japan hasn't so far contributed very much? I just assumed it was because Japan didn't think the U.S. needed very much aid in the first place.

Jessica, Japan provides more aid for the United States than any other single economy - it is just not called aid. If you want to know where the $10billion dollars is coming from that Congress has earmarked - you might care to think about where the US funds most of its expenses, beyond the tax revenues that it receives from its people - and that is debt. And which single country finances the lion share of US Debt - yes you guessed it Japan - by purchasing an enormous amount of US treasury bonds.

Jessica wrote @44:
what do you think of Japan's contribution to Katrina's aid relief efforts? So far Japan's pledged $200,000 and $300,000 if needed. That seems pitiful to me when compared to poorer (less GDP) countries like India

Let's look at the whole picture, shall we ? Japan's government has lent about USD 700 BILLION to the US Government. Surely at least part of it can be put to good use by the Federal government ? ;-)

seen from France, blacks & poors seem to be undercitizens... isn't it ?!

We had our own little emergency here. A 2,500 acre brush fire shut down our power for about 33 hours. Interstate Five was shut down for six. The response involved firegithers and others from at least three counties and counties here are not small.

The local authorities in New Orleans were overwhelmed. It seems that many police officers just quit and two, including the media spokesman, stuck a gun in their mouths and took their lives.

They finally started doing what they should have done from the beginning; shooting looters and armed gang members on sight. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. The Army sent in a three star
general, Russ Honore, who is native to that city. His troops are armed but the first thing he did was to tell them to not point their weapons at people, but the ground. Appropriate response is his watchword. He also daid. "If it were easy, ti would have been done already".

The dimensions of the tragedy are just beginning to emrge and there will be plenty of blame to go around. Expect to see another government report like the one on 9/11. (That one reads like a novel).

This is a very strong, resiselent nation, so there is no question that we will recover.
As mentioned before, those who want to help should simply donate money to the American Red Cross. The have a web site which will tell you how.

Japan's contribution? We carried the burden of defending that nation for over 50 years. That helped them become an economic superpower. It should be millions not thousands.

I am Mr Bush has shaken as bad tackled this crisis.
I have donated money for the victims of the Hurricans since this is the siivollste way of the help I spirit this away.
This harms these catastrophes get more and more in this world.
Cause of the greenhouse effect and the global warming connected by it?

Francis Hamit wrote @47:
We carried the burden of defending that nation for over 50 years.
Against whom ? Besides, it's not as if the Japanese psyche is so spineless as to be unable to bear the thought of sending its sons to war to defend the country, isn't it ?

the race card is being played at the wrong end of things.

The people left in NOLA are not being screwed over in the rescue because they're black, they were screwed over in the evacuation because they're poor.

The real question for americans is why 8 out of 10 of the people living in poverty in pre-katrina New Orleans were black.

Any time one is calling for the armed forces of america to shoot their own citizens, the government has failed them, and it has failed us.

This is another example of it being hard to imagine how the current administration could've fucked up any more. The incompetence is totally staggering.

Buying bonds is not aid... That's like saying that putting money in a bank means that you're consciously trying to aid home and business ownership--b.s. Considering the size of Japan's budget deficit (over 6% of GDP in recent years--the US is around 3%) and the current interest rates in Japan, the Japanese government is actually making a ton of money by borrowing Yen and buying US bonds.

And yes, the Japanese are pretty spineless when it comes to their military. What has the SDF done lately? Have they done anything helpful in Iraq? Done more than put together a dance video?

What about the 800 people who died in Iraq last week? A life lost anywhere is a tragedy.

'not sure that i have all understood... My english seems to be too bad :)

we were all N.Y. citizen on 9/11, be sure that french and other are all N.O. friends and give all that we/they can to help u. worst time will be after... When water will go back... Be strong and smart. Sustainable development is our all and only way. Bush and his staff should know...

nothing about "defending that nation" but about saving lifes.. together ;)

Buying bonds is not aid...

You know what ? When an entity is out there trying to borrow money, it's actually helpful that somebody comes forward to lend it money. It adds liquidity to the market, and, by supplying the funds, exerts downward pressure on the interest rate the borrower would have had to pay, had that lender not been present. Now, wouldn't even anti-Keynesians agree that (a) lower benchmark rates and (b) increased government spending made possible by the supply of these funds will have at least some positive impact on the country's growth ? Especially if we're talking about a supply of funds equivalent to about 140% of the Federal government's annual deficit ?

Considering the size of Japan's budget deficit (over 6% of GDP in recent years--the US is around 3%) and the current interest rates in Japan, the Japanese government is actually making a ton of money by borrowing Yen and buying US bonds.

1. What has the Japanese, or the US budget deficit, got to do with “making money” ?
2. The Japanese government's liabilities are denominated in JPY — i.e. it will have to pay back in JPY, sooner or later, the large borrowings it made that have been converted into US Treasury Bonds. These assets, held by the Japanese government, unfortunately happen to be denominated in USD. Now, what has been the general trend of the JPY-USD exchange rate since, say, the Plaza Accord ?

Mostly Vowels(50): Francis Hamit wrote @47: We carried the burden of defending that nation for over 50 years.

Against whom ? Besides, it's not as if the Japanese psyche is so spineless as to be unable to bear the thought of sending its sons to war to defend the country, isn't it ?

I think the main point the guy was trying to make is that $250,000.00 is a pittance coming from Japan. And he is right about that.

Joi,
I want to give you a view from someone who has been trained as a scientist/engineer.
I am in alternative energy business, whose fortune depends very much on the price of oil. Accordingly, I am very sensitive to something, which might affect the price of oil, such as harricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. I am aware that National Weather servise has predicted that there would be more harricane this season due to the rising sea temperature, caused by green house effects.
On August 26th, during day time, TV news was saying that the newly born Harricane Katrina was category 1 and would likely head to west Florida. But, as I wached weather.com and Hurricane web site in the evening, they began to predict that it aimed at near New Orleans area. By Monday morning, they were cleary predicting that it was aiming at N.O. Also, they warned that it might potencially grow to category 5 due to unusually high sea surface tempetarature.
If I were someone who was responsible for something related to a Harricane damage, I would be preparing for the worst case senario. The key is to anticipate before an event rather than to react after an event.
There were in facts many TV news warning for potential catastrophe to New Orleans during daytime Monday. They even showed a computer model to show what could happen.
The problem was that these warnings were totally ignored by key people,who were resposible. Correct predictions and anticipations are not easy but they are the essential and critical tools in many areas of expertise.


MI

>Mike B. @57:

I think the main point the guy was trying to make is that $250,000.00 is a pittance coming from Japan. And he is right about that.

I agree, but let's consider the short-, mid- and long-term help and assistance needed for the people in the affected areas:

• Items like drinking water, food, medicine, clothing, shelters, portable toilets etc. are urgently needed, but US governmental and non-governmental entities like the Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Response Teams, the National Guards, the Red Cross, corporations, volunteers etc. are much better positioned from a logistical point of view to provide that short-term help than Japanese entities that are across the Pacific Ocean.

• Mid-term, Japan could certainly provide assistance to the relocated people by shipping over to the US the kind of prefab container-houses deployed e.g. after earthquakes. This kind of shipping cannot happen overnight, and requires extensive preparation on the ground to install beforehand the required utility and sewage systems, for example.

• Long-term, the positive macro effects of lower benchmark interest rates in the US might well generate tens of billions dollars' worth of additional economic activity, part of which the people of the US collectively might choose to allocate to those in need.

MostlyVowels -

All excellent points. And needless to say, Americans had better start pointing fingers at their own leaders before they consider laying the blame on anything/anyone else. Then again, blaming the Japanese for the hurricane would be keeping consistent with the Administration's inept clown play that passes for governance.

Who were we defending Japan against? The Soviet Union, China...remember the Cold War?

After we A-bombed them into submission the Japanese lost their taste for military prowness and even have constitutional barriers to projecting military power.

And The Army Times is not an official U.S. Government publication. It never has been. It is currently owned by Gannett. So, like all newspapers, they often get it wrong.

Look, I'm no supporter of martial law, but the use of the word "insurgency" was chosen and used by a civilian reporter, writing for a civilian periodical, published by the one of the all-time largest media greedwhores, Gannett Publishing.

Let's put some perspective around this. If it showed up in Stars And Stripes, it's an issue. But it didn't.

This should be a discussion about responsible journalism, not "undeclared civil war". People, especially professional communicators, should learn to choose their words more carefully. Those that don't prove to the rest of us how obvious it is that they give no meaning or substance to their poorly crafted language.

Joi and fellow bloggers,

I have a friend in Texas that has organized her own relief effort. This makes my contribution to the red cross and frustration at not being able to help further seem insufficient. She is a little religious but her help is in kindness. Here is her email to me and her family:

I writing to all of you because I am so completely overwhelmed. Last Thursday night, September 1st, I was crying with Bob about what to do for the Hurricane Katrina victims still left without help in Louisiana & Mississippi. Nicki (our Type A 10 year old) was of the impression that I wanted to adopt several families & she already had them named!

Anyways, I prayed that night that God would put me where he wanted me to be to help His people. Well, be careful what you pray for... God just may ask you to do it!

There is no other way to tell this but in long form ... so here goes. Thursday night with the evening news I prayed. I woke Friday to a whole new world. We hangar 3 airplanes used for ministry flights, as you may know. One is down for maintenance from a deer strike. The pilots who fly contacted us right away and asked if some supplies for flights they were going to make could be dropped off at our hangar. That was Friday. We had 3 planes leave from our hangar by Friday evening loaded up with about 1500lbs of food, water & supplies, paid for by Great Hills Baptist Church and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Fund.

The planes that went out flew to Tylertown Mississippi. I dare you to find it on a map. Even if you find it, these 3 pilots found it at night with no power in a 3 county radius. (Miracle #1). When the pilots landed after sunset they were met by local police (4) in 2 pickups with no water, no food and no electricity for 5 days. Grown men in uniforms and rank in tears over the fact the supplies finally reached them. Turns out, the evacuation from New Orleans sent families in their direction and their tiny town and little churches now had 700+ refugees from Louisiana stuck in their little town just like them.

Without blame on anyone and with absolute gratitude, they received the supplies. The word quickly went back to Southern Baptist DRF of this remote town and their needs. Tylertown citizens couldn't drive even to the next town 20 miles away for help because they were out of gas. The generators used all the fuel they had.

By Friday night I had been asked to be the liaison and contact person for these flights of mercy. Capital Area Food Bank pledged as much food & water as we could get flown out to these remote areas. I was overwhelmed. Friday night and Saturday morning I used my networking skills and a lot more prayer. A retired marine who was coordinating this pledged to get a reserve unit to help me. I asked him to hold off because I thought of a better resource.... my PTA mom friends. They know how to organize and don't need to be told what to do!!!! And boy oh boy was I ever right!!

By Saturday afternoon we had 3 times the supplies from Friday night (which also arrived in the middle of the night!). By Sunday afternoon and tonight we have 10x the supplies from Saturday afternoon! Amazing.

I sent out an email to pilots and aircraft owners (through TXAA and one of our customers who is their Executive Director - Tre Deathe) and with much prayer awaited God's ability to do anything. Tre forwarded the email and lo and behold, we are the ONLY General Aviation group this well organized. I woke up to a call at 6:45 am this morning from Fredricksburg pilots ready to come. By 9:30am we had loaded at least 6 planes and 2 tons of food. Amazing! Only to end the evening with so much response and more from Dallas, Plano, Kerrville and all over the dad-gum state. We still are the only ones with this kind of organization. This is a sight to behold!!! If you can come be a part of the solution, then come!!

A husband and wife that took off this morning at 10:30am returned this evening from Hammond LA and she cried with me for 20 minutes over what she had seen and experienced. Anyone who goes to deliver supplies will never return the same. I am tearing up just thinking about what Linda told me. The Sheriff from Slidell (a Marine of 17 years) cried in her arms for 30 minutes this afternoon! Now that is powerful. She couldn't get through any full sentence without sobbing about what she saw and experienced. Keep them in your prayers. All of them. The victims, the survivors, the pilots, the suppliers. The people in Hammond work 24 hours on, 2 hours off. That is not a typo... 2 hours off.

I am so tired to the bone, but I have the luxury of sleeping 6 hours tonight before tomorrow starts. If you can come, then come. The people of Lago Vista have been so absolutely amazing and supportive. I am also forwarding you an email from Mary Faegan Phillips who is an awesome woman! I just tell her the airplane that is coming, the weight it can handle and she whips up the rest. She is an absolute wonder. Her email is attached. Not to be out-done, there are "regulars" who show up daily to help. The Rutherfords, Waddles, Bogarts, Smiths, Bakers, and it just goes on & on. Steve Watkins has made 2 runs, Derrich Pollock has made 3 - one each day. I worry about Derrich. But he is committed to help.

Enough for now. Love you all very much. I think ABC and NBC are picking up the stories and may even be out tomorrow. Goodness. I am so tired, but the work is so rewarding, I know God will work wonders.

Love you love you. Forward this to whoever.

Dee

D'Anne Gloris
512-267-0120
200 Flightline Rd.
Lago Vista, TX 78645

PS. Any contributions through our local Lions Club are Tax Deductible. Just put "Flight Relief" on the "For" part of the check make checks payable to the Lago Vista Lions Club Charitable Fund and you will receive a tax deduction form. I can personally guarantee these funds go out in the next week to survivors. Pictures available from each of these days. Amazing pictures from the pilots and the people here in Lago of the effort.

Long ago, some Brutish person said something like "We reserve the right to bomb the niggers." "Insurgents" are the new "niggers."

Long ago, some Brutish person said something like "We reserve the right to bomb the niggers." "Insurgents" are the new "niggers."

And now the alligators are feasting on their dead bodies.

Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.

Brought to you by the incompetence of George W. Bush and his cronies.

The elephant in the room, of course, is the apparent national security issue. If we are once again attacked by a foreign power, will the Bush admin. sit around and wait for the piss in their pants to dry before they act? Probably.

It is time to take measures against this half-witted oligarchy for our own self-defense. We must marginalize this so-called executive branch by means of the legislature.

Francis Hamit wrote @61:
Who were we defending Japan against? The Soviet Union, China...remember the Cold War?
I bow before such competent geopolitical “insight”... Are you going to argue next that it's a self-evident truth that East Asian countries would fall like dominoes into communism if, say, South Vietnam were to be conquered by the North ?

Um... did I mention that I hate the usurper and inept motherfucker named George W. Bush?

Anyhow, Thomas Friedman writes like the wind about Katrina.

Go Tom, GO!

The Party's Over, Mr. President

Geopolitcal insight? Moi? Nope, I come from a family that is in the defending business. My father served in Japan during the Occupation and at 1st M.A.S.H during the Korean War and ten years later as Commanding Officer and Cheif Surgeon oif the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul. I was in Vietnam myself a few years after that and still have mixed feelings about that war. Japan's reluctance is rejoin the ranks of military powers in understandable,
but left it vunerable to its historic enemies, Russia and China. It was a bi-polar world back then. Much simpler. The enemy of my enemy is my freind and all that.

So now Russia and China are having joint military exercises and we've been tricked into a tar baby of a war far away. The Japanese are going to have to step up and make their military big enough to handle the threat without our help. And consider this: Vietnam wants us back in. Cam Rahm Bay is the port we need to replace Subic Bay in the Phillipines.
Better us than the Chinese. This will take another ten years, but the first small steps have already occured.

Of course, this is all theory. What do I know?

>Of course, this is all theory. What do I know?

So, if the US forces based in Japan — paid for in large part by the Japanese government, BTW — weren't there, you posit that Japan would have been a Soviet republic, say, in the eighties, or some province of China ?

Aw, come on, MostlyVowels. You are a tiger with razor sharp claws. You should go after bigger prey. ;) No offense, Francis.

Hey, wasn't there a hurricane Francis?

We imposed our own from of "re-education" on the Japanese. Made them unlikely ever to attack their neightbors again. This was part of the deal. We weren't ever likely to just walk away. We had to help them rebuild, after all. But they learned the lesson a little too well and became very dependent on us. Sure they pay us to be there. Don't you pay the cops in your town?

The Japanese want a permanent UN Security Council seat. That's for Great Powers. To be a Great Power you must have a large capable military that can project power.

>Aw, come on, MostlyVowels. You are a tiger with razor sharp claws.

Actually, I'm a dog — who barks a lot and likes to tease parochial mentalities — but nobody is supposed to know that ;-)

Unfortunately, nothing is going to change for these people. The "Victims" of Katrina will get their aid checks and buy some nice clothes and big screen TV's and then go right back into the slums. Most are professional victims and only want to continue beign victims of society or nature or anything else. They refused to utilize the opportunity for education provided by the government because it would have precluded them from continuing to live on government checks as their parents/grandparents did. They refuse to take personal responsibility for their position or even do anything to change it. People who chose not to evacuate were told the Superdome would be open as a shelter, but that they were to bring their own food and water. They were told 3 days prior to Katrina making landfall to evacuate or start making preparations. If you can't get together 1 weeks worth of food and water together you don't deserve to survive. The responsibility for initial response and recovery efforts goes to the individual first. I feel sorry for the old and the very young who had to stay because they were physically unable to take care of themselves. But the able bodied have no excuse. The evacuees will integrate into the cities that have taken them in and join the professional victims in that city waiting for Uncle Sam to take care of them.

Currdog. You seem, based on that rant, particularly well named. The people who went to the Superdome and the Convention Center had no other means of escape or shelter. Most live paycheck to paycheck and are the poorest citizens of our nation. They had no cars or money to get out of the way of Katrina. And hundreds of bright yellow school buses were left to drwon rather than being sent to do this rescue.
Beyond that at least 500 NOPD officers went missing. Either they deserted or they are dead. That's a third of the force. So we had a catastophre followed by another catastophre when the levees gave way.

So your racist humbug is not appreciated here. The function of government is do for citizens what they cannot do for themselves. Emergency Preparedness is on a level with National Defense and should not be left to political hacks, as it was here.

All you have done is blame the victims.

I find it interesting that the victims considered themselves victims of society before Katrina and will continue to be victims the remainder of their lives. The government has been doing for these people all their lives and they don't know any better or expect anything else. What had they done to change their status prior to the storm? What will they do now to improve their standing? As far a being a racist, there were lots of white folks in there. They just don't send as strong a message on the news as the blacks. Remember the mayor of NO is black also and he left those people and those school buses there. Its not race as much as a class difference. Would you wait for the Federal Government to step in or would you take your own steps to minimize the impact?

currdog, I find it hard to believe the those victims considered themselves victims before Katrina. I do not recalled hearing anyone say that. Far as the government, How do you know that the government was taking of these people. If the government was, then the government was doing a terrible job. The average income for NO people were 15,000 a years. After taxes, all money was going to food and rent. You do not see any whites on the news concerning NO is probably becasue they were able to leave (they had cars and a bank accounts). Please do not try to justify the US of treating those people in NO and MS like dogs just becasue that may have been receiveing little welfar benefits. They are human beings just like you and me.

Please note: Most of the people on Welfare are White. Do your research before making any racist statements, fool.

Currdog..your comment is stupid as hell...im black.. from MS..yes im a katrina victim..poor no...im military...in college..i take advantage of the govt. for my education..on my way to law school...and what have the govt been doing for the people of N.O.? huh? name something? besides the CITY have festivals and games to make money! The people of New Orleans been living like that for years...nothing changed..yes wish it could be much better but thats how its been and is..sad to say...but New Orleans have alot of heart..and thats why they love it there. I didnt look at the slow aid response as a *race* issue..but the damn media made it a *race issue* show a black person getting food from a store but call him *looting* but see the same thing from a white person..but its called *surviving*..i blame the media for that...and if u EVER been to New Orleans you would understand why the people couldnt leave...it should have been better prepared but nobody thought *this would happen* ...and i do blame the government and yes BUSH....when FL got hit...they was well taken care of..I wonder why...FL is Bush brother's state!!!!...after the hurricanes from FL...you would have thought FEMA would have been better prepared..here it is weeks later..and people sitting outside in line at 3am..camping out to sign up for FEMA and REDCROSS..its still bad down here...and it shouldnt be like this...so how about you come down here and see for yourself what the govt is doing...A number of countries asked BUSH for help and he told them...ummm we got it..we can take care of it!!! ..then tried to change his mind about it...if BUSH wouldnt have sent damn near all the money to Iraq and with the cuts...we could have been better prepared..Maybe you need to have your house destroyed or see you neighbors cryn and begging for help to survive then you will change your tune. We getting more help from donations and wonderful ppl opening up their homes...than the govt!!!

did anyone see this already? : http://www.theonion.com/content/node/40525

I'm so sick of being called a refugee.I thought I was from America.yes I was a victim of hurricane Katrina . I worked before the storm and had a good job. Also had been attending classes at night also. I'm African American, why is this such a issue to help us . When Florida gets hit by storms we don't here a thing about fema helping them. Just Louisiana, and Mississppi they have a situation to aid us. we have uncovered a issue of racisim I think everyone looking down on us. Yeah there were a lot of poor people who lost there lifes. They were Human Beings not ilegal aliens like everyone seems to be saying. They found a childs body in the lower ninth ward the other day. How sad, I cried my heart out. It's a shame I'm embarrased on how fast they came to or rescue . Shame on our President and how you treat fellow Americans like we are a third world country.

Man that shit is so wrong the way they had them waiting for somebody to come get them out the water but in way the people showed had just got out but some didnt think it was go hit that hard but they still dont give them the right to treat the people like that my commment 4 real your heared me im out.

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