Let them eat press conferences

by Henry on September 4, 2005

The president of Jefferson Parish on Meet the Press

The guy who runs this building I’m in. Emergency management. He’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said. Are you coming. Son? Is somebody coming? And he said yeah. Mama. Somebody’s coming to get you.. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday. And she drowned Friday night. And she drowned Friday night. Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody’s promised. They’ve had press conferences. I’m sick of the press conferences. For god’s sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.

Mary Landrieu on Bush’s tour visit.

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast — black and white, rich and poor, young and old — deserve far better from their national government.

I’ve had difficulty in writing about what has been happening the last several days because I can’t find the words. I’m too angry. I was at Margaret Levi’s presidential address to the American Political Science Association on Thursday. She began by talking about what was happening on the Gulf coast and in Iraq, and went on to speak about how the state has obligations that go beyond the protection of property rights and the rule of law. It’s supposed to protect its citizens’ basic rights and welfare, and to do its best to protect them from the vagaries of fortune. This is obvious stuff, but it helps clarify what has happened and is happening. The US state, under George W. Bush has failed in this most basic of responsibilities. It has failed to protect its people, to an extent which amounts to criminal negligence. It has shown an indifference verging on contempt for its weakest and most vulnerable citizens. It has systematically gutted the government in pursuit of crony capitalism and jobs for its friends even when they’re hopelessly unqualified. It seems more interested in political spin and damage control than in facing up to what has happened, and is continuing to happen.

What we’ve seen over the last several days is evidence of how fundamentally American politics have been corrupted (others, including some Democratic officials, are participants in this corruption too and share the blame). In a parliamentary democracy, George W. Bush would almost certainly either have resigned by now or be on the point of resigning. Bush and his friends and supporters tell us that they’re conservatives. Conservatism, if it has any moral content at all, is supposed to be a political philosophy of values, of taking responsibility for one’s actions and inactions. Not press conference spin, blame shifting and Potemkin relief efforts. This is depravity, pure and simple.

(Update: some changes to wording).

Update 2: Link to video of Aaron Broussard, via Laura Rozen.

{ 48 comments }

1

John Isbell 09.04.05 at 12:29 pm

The No Buck Zone.

2

Davis X. Machina 09.04.05 at 12:32 pm

Conservatism, if it has any moral content at all…

Faulty premise.

3

Jake 09.04.05 at 12:37 pm

I would have to say that George Bush fails the Mensch test.

4

J. Goard 09.04.05 at 1:00 pm

Doesn’t that Jefferson Parish story have more than a whiff of FOAF?

5

fifi 09.04.05 at 1:19 pm

It’s not too late to save America. Just break his legs and tell him never come around here again.

6

abb1 09.04.05 at 1:41 pm

What’s amazing tho, is the extent of arrogance and stupidity in these folks.

They fancy themselves as ‘big picture’ executives, great all-powerful leaders who dispatch their orders to their loyal deputies and then wait for the ‘mission accomplished’ report to be delivered. And then they hire kiss-ass yes-man political supporters to be their deputies. Is this a new Rome or what?

7

Antti Nannimus 09.04.05 at 2:00 pm

Hi,

At the time of Bush’s appointment by the Supreme Court to the U.S. presidency, it was clear that things would have to get much worse in this country before they could start getting better again. By November of 2004, I thought we were so obviously in the tank that we could finally get rid of him. But nooooooo, the American electorate still hasn’t had enough of compassionate conservatism. On average, we are a very mean, stupid, people. Has it splashed back on us enough yet? Is it worse enough yet, I wonder?

Have a nice day,
Antti

8

yabonn 09.04.05 at 2:09 pm

The US state, under George W. Bush has failed to do this, to an extent that amounts to criminal negligence.

I may not have absorbed enough information on this to emit a sound judgement, but increasingly, negligence seems to me the optimistic interpretation.

What i would like to know is the marginal cost in human lifes of the strictly enforced check points, of the corraling of the people, of the trigger happy-ism of the cops and army and of the use of the scarce first ressources for law enforcement purposes rather than rescue.

It may be a tragedy of incompetence too, but i just would like to know the number of people that died because, for the current administration, the black, poor people of New Orleans have “dangerous classes” written all over their faces.

9

jonathan 09.04.05 at 2:11 pm

To what extent is this just the administrations fault and how can a new administration better the state-apparatus? How deep and fargoing is the corruption?

10

Stephen M (Ethesis) 09.04.05 at 2:12 pm

BTW, for those who have been taking the invitation to drive out, pick up some refugees and bring them back home with you, at Church today they asked us not to join the members who had driven down, run out of gas, been unable to get more and caused more trouble.

They suggested that we donate cash to useful groups and keep on the list to provide space in our homes.

11

onlurker 09.04.05 at 2:12 pm

So *this* is “compassionate conservatism”.

12

Stephen M (Ethesis) 09.04.05 at 2:48 pm

“caused trouble” err, that is, joined the stranded.

btw, a good link from someone else’s congregation:

http://www.timesandseasons.org/index.php?p=2564

13

bob mcmanus 09.04.05 at 2:54 pm

Henry almost banned me. Got to back to look at that exchange with Pat Hayden.

Comity has killed people.

14

Susan 09.04.05 at 3:00 pm

re: FOAF, I don’t think that story is the crucial part. What makes my gut do flip-flops is an elected official on TV shreiking “Nobody’s coming to get us!!”. What makes my gut do flip-flops is that there’s so little help available that a prominent local citizen and official who should be spending his time organizing efforts was instead helping haul sandbags because there was no one to take his place.

15

Bob B 09.04.05 at 3:06 pm

Of historic interest:

“Tony Blair last night [11 September 2001] declared that Britain stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the American people against the ‘new evil of mass terrorism’, and warned the perpetrators of the New York and Washington atrocities that ‘their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity’.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,550524,00.html

I’ve not come across reports of any speech by Tony Blair about the Katrina hurricane and its aftermath.

“British survivors of Hurricane Katrina have started arriving back in the UK, after being rescued from New Orleans. They are among thousands finally being evacuated from the city, after days in appalling conditions in rescue centres. Meanwhile, fears are growing for a further 140 to 150 Britons who are thought to have been in the city when the storm struck and are still missing. And the [UK's] Ministry of Defence has said it is sending 500,000 ration packs to the hurricane-affected area, for survivors. . . “
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4212684.stm

16

bob mcmanus 09.04.05 at 3:11 pm

Let me expand. Bushco does not care what the people think. The rest of the world is nothing to them. Nor do they care what the media say, Democrats say, or what moderate Republicans think.

Conservative Republicans have informed them that the site of poor people dying in the streets of New Orleans has made it marginally more difficult to eliminate the estate tax. Thus full-scale media campaign.

The only way to influence Bushco is a chain. Moderate Republicans must go after conservatiive Republicans tooth-and-claw until conservative Republicans go after Bush tooth-and-claw. Now since Rove and Delay and pals can still utterly destroy their enemies, how can we get moderate Republicans motivated enough to throw away their career prospects, be shunned by their friends, have their reputations ruined as were the reputations of Clarke and O’Neill?

I suggest by not having lunch with Dan Drezner.

17

shinypenny 09.04.05 at 3:53 pm

Here’s a link to the video with Aaron Broussard. One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen televised.

18

Semanticleo 09.04.05 at 5:16 pm

To understand this monstrous and now terribly visible boil on the backside of the body politic, you have to understand a simple story.

It is the story of the tortoise and the scorpion.
The scorpion is allowed by the tortoise to climb on his shell in order to cross the highway. After crossing the road the scorpion stings the tortoise and as he lay dying, he asks the scorpion “why did you sting me after I helped you cross the road?”

The scorpion replies matter-of-factly, “you knew what I was !”

These people controlling the White House, both Houses and now, Scotus, don’t think federal government has a role in regional issues. This disaster is a little too visible for the sake of their poll numbers and now they are scrambling. Will America remain alert and keep in mind this betrayal of the public trust? Time will tell.

19

catherine liu 09.04.05 at 5:31 pm

I think this has gone beyond influencing Bushco — we have to take the long view and change the way people talk about politics, corporate malfeasance, economic justice and public discourse in this country. We have to find a way of re-endowing what is “public” with dignity and merit after three decades of a Right wing led war on the polity.

20

jet 09.04.05 at 5:43 pm

For the last 3 days, I’ve been saying to myself that the only way Bush and FEMA could come out of this okay is if New Orleans went Mogadishu after the hurricane. Sunday, nearly a week after the hurricane hit, several Army Corp of Engineer contractors were crossing a bridge and started taking fire from “bad guys”. The cops killed ~5-8 people shooting at them. It has been 6 days since the chaos began, and relief workers are STILL getting shot at. I’d say no one could have planned for that (and not been immediately fired as a racist).

Maybe you all need to get a grip and realize that the MILIARY is referring to people in New Orleans as INSURGENTS.

Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans

No one, including myself, wants to believe that it was just too dangous to mount a real rescuse operation, but that is turning out to be the case.

21

marek 09.04.05 at 5:48 pm

Bob B

I am not sure quite what point you are seeking to make, but it took me all of ten seconds to find Tony Blair quoted on the No10 website:

The whole of this country feels for the people of the Gulf coast of America who have been afflicted by what is a terrible, terrible natural tragedy, and we want to express our sympathy and our solidarity and give our prayers and thoughts to the people who are affected by what has happened out there on the Gulf coast.

And as I said to the President yesterday, this country will stand ready to help in any way that we can. But I know that people, particularly people who will know from this country, know people in that area, will feel for them very deeply at this time.

http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page8119.asp

22

soubzriquet 09.04.05 at 6:22 pm

jet #19:

But that is exactly where you are wrong. Many people (and perhaps you) *do* want to believe it was too dangerous, because it is a convenient retroactive excuse for gross incompetence, or worse. And just as clearly, some are trying to spin it this way (although only recently. funny that.)

Too bad it’s bullshit. Even if it were true today (which doesn’t look likely, given the way things are proceeding) it wasn’t days ago. You know, when they should have already been there in large numbers, with the necessary supplies, and a clear and viable transportation plan.

Although I doubt anyone (and certainly not I) would condone the behaviour of some of the stranded, it is understandable and completely predictable. Let me reiterate, in the hopes that no-one will attempt to twist what I am saying: While condeming these actions, and being certain that things would have been better off all around without them, any study of human nature would lead you to predict that this was indeed quite likely to happen in a situation such as the one that developed this last week. So your saying `I’d say no-one could have planned for that’ is either extremely naive of disturbingly dishonest. The truth is that this is what usually happens, historically, when you have a large group of people who (rightly or wrongly) believe they’ve been abandoned, probably to die. You have a large population of people in NO who have no reason to put too much trust in authorities, who are in a crisis situation, and who feel that have been abandoned, who lack basic necessities. Some of them have gone quite feudal, clearly. This is a terrible shame, and has undoubtably contributed to suffering and loss of life.

But you should be ashamed of yourself to take any part in the attempt to try and construct some fantasy world where this fact in any way excuses or explains the culpability of those who have failed to act in the disaster. It remains to be seen whether we are witnessing mere incompetence at work here, or something far more sinister. Nothing, though, can make it anything but a massive failure.

23

bob mcmanus 09.04.05 at 8:47 pm

“I think this has gone beyond influencing Bushco—we have to take the long view”

In the long run we will all be dead. Home heating oil prices are going to skyrocket, and since most of the assistance programs have been slashed by Congress, this winter poor and elderly people are not going to be able to pay some bills and
many
will
die.

Bush must resign. Stop Bush before he kills again.

24

jet 09.04.05 at 10:16 pm

soubzriquet,
I didn’t start listening to the scanner until Thursday afternoon, but here’s what I can remember hearing about.

-A ferry boat pilot evacuting people was shot.
-NG was shot patrolling.
-NG was shot at Superdome.
-Cop was shot patrolling.
-Sheriff and three aid workers shot and stranded without help near docks. No idea what happened to them.
-Police guarding hospital rounded up by armed men and held hostage. Special forces sent to deal with them. No idea how this resolved. But apparently there was an interview with hospital staff about the horrors that happened wwhen the looters showed up looking for drugs that I missed.
-~50 firemen pinned down by snipers. Had to abanden their equipment and be evacuated by a Marine chopper. One sheriff was killed.
-Diesel supposed to be making delieveries shot at and the driver almost killed some cops as he raced his 10,000 gallons of fuel away from the sniper bullets.
-Police precient shot up and had to have guards just to make sure the police station stayed safe.

Now I’m sure that my one channel I could listen to and the few hours I could actually spend time listening didn’t catch a hundredth of what happened.

And you saying that people should have planned for US citizens to ban together, and as the Governor of LA said, try to take NO for themselves, should have been planned for? Are you shitting me? Are you saying that hurricanes in Florida don’t need armed National Guardsmen, but Huricanes in NO do? And what evidence do you propose that the violence magically started on Thursday? I don’t think anyone outside of the police knows exactly what went on. But my understanding is that by Tuesday police were getting shot at and Wednesday and Thurday were full on warzones. Or maybe you missed the NO Mayor talking about how his police couldn’t look for survivors because they were cordoning off the city trying to hold back the armed gangs away from the collection areas. Not arrest or stop them, they didn’t have the manpower. They were reduced to just trying to hold them back, as the Mayor stated.

You don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about and it doesn’t even appear that you’ve been watching the news.

It remains to be seen whether we are witnessing mere incompetence at work here, or something far more sinister.You are a complete jackass. More sinister? Fuck you.

25

mrjauk 09.04.05 at 10:36 pm

Shorter Jet: “Bush would have saved everyone had those dark people not been born with criminal minds.”

26

jet 09.04.05 at 10:51 pm

bob mcmanus,
If you want to worry about people, worry about Africans. I’m certainly no economists, but from how I understand it, US AG season is upon us. The NO docks were the number 1 AG export facility. A lot of that AG was meant for Europe, and some ot Africa. Europe won’t get it’s us AG on time, so it will get more from Africa by paying higher prices. And we all know what raising the price of AG in Africa equates to. Couple that with $70/barrell oil and next year could be a full on famine in parts of Africa (look at the oil crunch of the 70’s along side average price of food and you can’t help but see the corrolation).

So you, some americans will have to dig deep for heating oil. But the heat kills more than the cold, and the heat is not a problem for 10 months. I’m worried about Africa.

27

jet 09.04.05 at 10:57 pm

mrjauk,
Heh, you try to poke fun, but you make my point (I knew some sucker would). So yes, this is exactly my point. It turns out that unlike every other US hurricane, NO required some extremely heavy security. But if anyone would have actually have said that out loud before the hurricane they’d have an army of mrjauk’s asking for their head.

And you can’t help but love it. I sum up a list of crimes, point out that I couldn’t have heard all of them. Say that they probably had a tremendous effect on the rescue operations. And just like that I’m a racist. Funny how that works.

28

soubzriquet 09.04.05 at 11:13 pm

Grow up Jet. Do you really think you gain anything by name-calling like some junior school kid?

Yes i’ve heard all those news bits. Did you hear the ones preceding them? About people abandoned with not apparant plan in place to do anything for them? In bad conditions getting worse by the hour, these people were being told hold on … indefinitely. With an entirely inadequate force on the ground in the middle of an obvious snafu?

As I said, there is no codoning these actions. That isn’t the same as not understanding how it happens, or being able to predict that it might have happened. There is no evidence that in the presence of a functioning evacuation procedure things would have got this bad. That is speculative, of course. What isn’t thought, is to realize that the two things are fundamentally connected. You seem to be trying hard to convince yourself somehow that they aren’t. Why might that be?

As for `more sinister’, I don’t see why that set you off. At the very least we have a clusterfuck of mamoth proportions, an essential ddiscrediting of both the disaster planning in N.O. and FEMA, and beurocratic incompetence at all levels.

That’s the *best* case. Worse cases involves policy decisions that boil down to `screw ‘em, they’re poor’. If that isn’t sinister I’d like to see what you *would* consider to be?

You’re little enumeration didn’t address a single point that I made. Why aren’t I surprised?

29

soubzriquet 09.04.05 at 11:20 pm

Oh, by the way Jet, you are quite right that Africa is likely in for more grief due to all of this. It is a very worrying thing. Longer term, north america & europe are going to have some painful adjustments due to both oil markets and increased weather volatility. Short term, africa will get probably kicked pretty hard as you say.

30

Alan K. Henderson 09.04.05 at 11:43 pm

The idea that Bush bears the majority of blame for New Orleans’ flood control assumes a) it’s largely a federal issue, and b) the problem appeared magically during this administration – that the city had always been ready for a Cat 5 until Bush started office.

31

soubzriquet 09.05.05 at 12:05 am

I don’t really know where the idea that Bush bears the majority of blame comes from, either. Clearly the administration bears some blame, especially for not moving nearly quickly enough (cf Andrew). On the other hand, it seems clear a complicated mix of responsibilities (and managing or failing to meet them) is involved and the idea that a clear picture exists for anyone at this point seems unlikely.

32

bob mcmanus 09.05.05 at 12:20 am

“If you want to worry about people, worry about Africans.”

Absolutely correct. I am worried for the AG producers, for all those who depended on the River and the port. And yes, I realize who is hurt first and worst internationally by high oil prices. I am worried for us all. An age of triage and containment may be coming.

33

nick 09.05.05 at 1:39 am

The idea that Bush bears the majority of blame for New Orleans’ flood control assumes a) it’s largely a federal issue, and b) the problem appeared magically during this administration

a) It is. Look at the FEMA website, for starters.
b) Utter, pathetic non sequitur. Read about the diversion of funding, the emasculation of FEMA under Bush, and the federal response to Louisiana’s exercises and projections.

Next?

34

Charlie B. 09.05.05 at 6:35 am

I am astonished at the self-serving fantasies on display above. Supposedly the break-down in civil order was an outcome of being stranded without immediate assistance. Child rape, murder and gun battles becomes “the behaviour of some of the stranded”. Mayhem is ssen as the inevitable response of people to their situation, not of rampages by deeply embedded criminals.

At #22: “Although I doubt anyone (and certainly not I) would condone the behaviour of some of the stranded, it is understandable and completely predictable. Let me reiterate… While condeming these actions, and being certain that things would have been better off all around without them, any study of human nature would lead you to predict that this was indeed quite likely to happen in a situation such as the one that developed this last week.”

I do not think “human nature” responsible for the terror. It was the outcome of the society that was New Orleans before the flooding. In Jan to Dec 2004 (2003 in brackets) reported crime rates for the city were:
Murders 265 (274)
Rapes 189 (213)
Armed robbery 1381 (1583)
All violent crimes 4468 (4589)

The trend in 2005 has been upward. As recently as July 24, 2005 ABC-TV ran a report entitled “Weekend of Violence in New Orleans”.

This violence is a central element of New Orleans’ place as a drug capital – a trans-shipment point from South America, and a mecca for domestic supply and on-the-spot consumption.

In Feb 2005 an article in BizNew Orleans analysing the relationships in the latest phase of drug wars in Colombia quoted the US Attorney: “the violence in New Orleans is inextricably tied to drug consumption and the drug trade… Virtually every individual out there who is engaged in firearms violence in New Orleans is doing so because they’re involved in the drug trade” and commented: “If you take drugs out of the equation here in New Orleans, I think you’re talking about another city entirely.”

Then there is the New Orleans of prostitution and pimping, its culture of public drunkenness, its self-promotion as a loose excursion into escape from social control.

None of these disappeared when the middle class population (also heavily black) left the city, but were concentrated, and their pernicious qualities heightened. Yet nobody I have read spouting on New Orleans thinks either about this social reality, or, going deeper, how the respectable poor and sick of New Orleans were obliged to live with it year in year out.

35

Charlie B. 09.05.05 at 6:44 am

Nor has anyone asked – who are these gangs of organised criminals, these murderers and rapists? Where do they come from? What facts characterise their everyday lives? Who are their families, who provides them with everyday support? Or what has happened to the small army of drug addicts, heroin, crack and/or alcohol dependent? How many of them are there? What role did they play in the failure of New Orleans to be properly evacuated?

And where are they now? How and where will they seek to restore their criminal existences, with what consequences for refugees and hosts alike? is there a major obligation, responsibility, on the state to take this extraordinary opportunity to root out a significant segment of the cancer that afflicts black urban America? Or will the political attack on the President and the lop-sided analysis of events in New Orleans make that in effect impossible.

36

MFB 09.05.05 at 7:56 am

“Nigger mayhem prevented our Dear Leader from saving everybody according to His Divine Plan.”

And the gays attracted the hurricane in, of course. You left that out.

37

Charlie B. 09.05.05 at 7:59 am

Q.E.D.

38

No Preference 09.05.05 at 8:13 am

I sum up a list of crimes, point out that I couldn’t have heard all of them.

jet, we will see how how widespread the attacks on relief personnel were when the dust settles, or the water drains. But I’m willing to bet that much of what you heard was rumor.

39

soubzriquet 09.05.05 at 9:48 am

charlie b:

Obviously the societal situation in New Orleans contributes to the speed at which things broke down there. In what way do you fantasize that this has nothing to do with human nature? Are you being intentionally obtuse, or did you really think my `in a situation such as…’ somehow ignored that? It seems you wanted to provide support for my statement that this development was at least somewhat predictable. Thanks, but keeping track of the larger context would have improved your post manyfold.

I note that you have no comment about the vast majority of those left in the city, who have clearly at least attempted to make the best of a bad situation. Why was that?

As for your `cancer afflicting urban black america’, this is quite a revealing comment! One might be tempted to conclude that you are externalizing a fantasy world where the drug and violence problems of the endemic urban poor are some how self-created, with no culpability of the larger society. It actually sound like you believe the laughable idea that going in and rounding up the bad guys with this extraordinary opportunity would solve something in the long term. This sort of talk isn’t just race/classist, but also quite stupid.

40

Charlie B. 09.05.05 at 10:55 am

Without explicit recognition is does seem to me that people have ignored the extent of violent lawlessness that characterised New Orleans in “normal” times, and how very ugly it is. I am not talking about opportunistic looting, especially of foodstuffs. I am talking about murder, rape and woundings.

I did not venture an opinion on how such violence affected relief efforts, and I do not do so now. There are, however, important questions to be asked about the size and origin of the criminal segment that terrorised respectable residents. It is time to revisit the whole issue of the criminal culture that destroys the efforts and blights the existences of so many poor/minority Americans, and to break the influence of the deeply counter-productive cry that to do so is racist.

Black Americans in general are most certainly not the originators of extreme black criminality – they are its victims. If criminals are capable of turning with the unparalleled viciousness against defenceless, suffering, trapped fellow humans seen in New Orleans, the “culpability of the larger society” is simply an abstract irrelevance.

41

Jim M 09.05.05 at 11:08 am

WE NEED A GOVERNMENT THAT DOES NOT ITS PEOPLE DROWN.

42

No Preference 09.05.05 at 11:09 am

charlie b., we don’t have any idea of how widespread “murder, rape and woundings” were in post Katrina New Orleans. What we have heard are mainly anecdotes and impressions which, it seems to me, have been blown up to excuse the failure of relief efforts.

43

No Preference 09.05.05 at 11:25 am

jet, few of those incidents you report show up in Google News.

Maybe you should spend less time “listening to the scanner”.

44

R. U. Kidding 09.05.05 at 11:52 am

Ummm… did my computer browser somehow switch to MoveOn.org or some other pointless ranting illogical website, because this post appears to fit right in with the accusatory blather that is regularly spouted there. In your post I did not see where you criticized the Mayor of New Orleans, the Town Council, the Govenor, state representatives, FEMA, Dept. of Homeland Security, National Guard or the people themselves. No, you jump straight to GWB and accuse him of improper actions and call for his resignation. If I wanted to read a rant without much basis in reality I would read elsewhere, not CT.

45

jet 09.05.05 at 2:21 pm

no preference,
I’d say that fact that any of them show up in Google News is vindication of my source (shoutcasted police scanner).

I’ve got around a gig of the radio traffic as MP3. I wonder if I can find anywhere to host it and share it with the world.

46

shaughnessy o'brien 09.05.05 at 5:42 pm

Just as an addition to the original post–

http://www.heute.de/ZDFheute/inhalt/23/0,3672,2370967,00.html

Räumarbeiten nur für Bush?
Wo der US-Präsident das Katastrophengebiet besuchte, räumten Hilfstrupps vorher ordentlich auf – aber nur dort. Aus Biloxi zitierte ZDF-Korrespondentin Claudia Rüggeberg verzweifelte Einwohner, Bush solle in seinen Limousinen statt lauter Bodyguards und Assistenten lieber Hilfsgüter herbeischaffen.

Entlang seiner Route hätte Räumtrupps vor Bushs Besuch Schutt weggeräumt und Leichen geborgen. Dann sei Bush wieder abgereist “und mit ihm”, so Rüggeberg, “die ganzen Hilfstrupps”. An der Lage in Biloxi habe sich sonst nichts verändert, es fehle an allem.

47

Charlie B. 09.05.05 at 8:53 pm

“What we have heard are mainly anecdotes and impressions which, it seems to me, have been blown up to excuse the failure of relief efforts.”

I guess. And also a hundred and one other stories, to which immediate credence has been given here, and any scepticism about which has been greeted with a chorus of brickbats (pardon the metaphor).

(btw, I was most amused on an earlier thread when an e-mail from a specially smug Dutch person was passed on, recounting the brilliant way Holland had dealt with recent floods — unlike the richest country in the civilised world in the 21st century etc etc etc. No shit! The Dutch do floods! How long have they been practicing – 500 years? Certainly especially hard since 1953. P-lease, gimme a break.)

48

Alan K. Henderson 09.06.05 at 2:21 am

The idea that Bush bears the majority of blame for New Orleans’ flood control assumes a) it’s largely a federal issue, and b) the problem appeared magically during this administration

a) It is. Look at the FEMA website, for starters.
b) Utter, pathetic non sequitur. Read about the diversion of funding, the emasculation of FEMA under Bush, and the federal response to Louisiana’s exercises and Projections.

I’m talking about FLOOD CONTROL, not DISASTER RELIEF. I wasn’t aware that FEMA or any Fed agency owned the levees.

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