Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Orleans

I've been blogging quite a bit over on Bloggity about the hurricane. This is a sample of what I've been posting.

Give to Operation USAGive to The Red Cross

How to get a temporary job in disaster relief. I think I want to take those courses anyway, just to be ready. If the hurricane has taught us anything, it's that we need to be ready for disaster and have a week's worth of food and water available.

Speaking of being ready, here's a list of items to put in emergency kits, and advice on how to maintain those kits. Maybe we should start working on one ourselves. Via Garrett.

Boing Boing links to an essay on being poor. I recognize a few of those, enough to know that I have tasted poverty, but never really been poor.

This is the face of a hero.

Eighteen-year-old Jabbor Gibson commandeered an abandoned school bus and took 100 people out of New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston. He deserves honor. He might get jail for "stealing" the bus. "I dont care if I get blamed for it," Gibson said, "as long as I saved my people." He did what the National Guard didn't do: he didn't wait for orders, but went out and saved lives. He's a hero. God bless this man and give him the honor and praise he deserves. Via Boing Boing.

Wired directs us to a "Wiki" Map that allows people to describe the devastation in New Orleans by location.

Danger, Politics Ahead

CNN compares and contrasts the reactions of people on the ground in New Orleans to the utterly incompetent Michael Brown, head of FEMA and criminally negligent. If Brown doesn't serve prison time for this, there is no justice in the world.

Speaking of incompetence, MetaFilter has more on the people responsible for the failure of rescue efforts, and a roundup of FEMA/DHS's imcompetence leading to the crippling of relief efforts. You would think, from the links, that FEMA/DHS wants everyone left in NOLA to die.

We know who is at fault. From their own website: "In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility". Everyone in leadership positions at DHS and FEMA should be charged with criminal negligance and thrown in prison, preferably one that's still filled with dirty water from the hurricane, and left to rot. They didn't even make the most basic effort to help until it was too late for far too many, and their refusal to give the orders to let others help directly contributed to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. We had Americans on the ground helping recover from the Tsunami half a world away faster than we got help into New Orleans.

And now the [censored] in charge of "Homeland Security" are keeping people in the city AT GUNPOINT. They won't let the Red Cross in, and they refuse to let the people out!

And apparently our government is at war with the citizens of New Orleans, as they are now calling them "the insurgency". That would explain why Michael Chertoff and DHS are so determined to make sure they die. Via Warren Ellis.

The cops are turning away volunteers and donations at the Astrodome, even though they are desperately needed. What idiot is in charge down there?!???

Kos is hopeful about bipartisan investigations into the relief effort failures, but Billmon is sarcastically skeptical. I also have doubts that the [censored] responsible will ever be punished. Criminal negligence, and Bush will be handing out medals to all of them.

Billmon points out the reaction of FEMA to the hurricanes that hit Florida last year, before the election, was completely different than the reaction to the hurricanes this year. Oddly enough, the major relief efforts didn't start in NOLA until Bush came down for a photo op.

If you haven't seen the clip this MetaFilter thread links to, of Geraldo Rivera and Shep Smith screaming the truth at the talking heads on the FOX news network, then you need to go check it out. I can't stand Rivera, but this is one of those rare times he's worth watching.

Over at Kos, Hunter rants and describes this disaster as what it is: Unforgivable.

A howl of outrage at the incompetence of the rescue efforts, while BBC News' Matt Wells tells it like it is. As does Steve Gilliard.

Dave also rants, and includes a picture of those school buses that should have been used before the hurricane hit to evacuate people who didn't have cars and couldn't get out on their own.

I can't go on. I'm sounding shrill even to myself. But I cannot express my fury at the people who sat on their hands or played politics with red tape while people were drowning and starving in New Orleans and elsewhere in the hurricane's path. I can't even begin to articulate the rage that's building inside of me. The actions of the government during this disaster are truly unforgivable.

End politics

And lastly, give:

Give to Operation USAGive to The Red Cross

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