Hurricane Katrina

The devistation of Katrina could turn out to be the worst "natural" disaster in American history. We can point fingers later - to the lack of efforts to halt global warming, the cutting of the Army Corp of Engineers budget to 1/6th of what was needed to make the necessary improvements to flood control systems in the area, to the Pentagon's sending personnel and equipment of the National Guard to a desert in the Middle East. There will be, and should be, a time for addressing those things and bring those responsible to justice.

But right now, thousands of people are in desperate need of help. I don't just mean discomfort, I'm talking life or death. Please do what you can through the charity of your choice. Click on the title of this post to go to the American Red Cross website. The site is super busy at this time of course, so you may want to call them at 1-800-HELP NOW. This situation is likely to get much worse before it gets better. Please help in whatever way you can.

Thank you.


The Moody Minstrel said...

I think the biggest disaster of all had less to do with nature and more to do with humanity, or, more appropriately, the lack thereof. Predictions of such a catastrophe had been bouncing around for years. Even so, not only was there basically spit in the way of preparation for such an emergency, but the current U.S. administration had actually cut funds that had originally been allocated to shore up the levees that wound up breaking. The money was used to invade Iraq instead.

How nice to see our leaders' priorities made very clear...

When the disaster occurred, it took Louisiana's governor far too long even to acknowledge that there was, in fact, a serious problem that required outside help. A lot of people have been blaming Bush, and he does, in fact, deserve a good thrashing for a great many things here, but I think the governor of LA should shoulder a much bigger portion of the blame.

(It was very much like what happened with the governor of Hyogo Prefecture when the Great Hanshin Earthquake trashed Kobe in 1995. That governor said, "We don't need any help. Everything's under control," and went on with his vacation at a golf resort with absolutely no clue as to what was really going on. When he finally figured it all out, appealed to the federal goverment for aid, and gave permission for international aid groups to come in, the situation had already become dire. Meanwhile, the Yakuza was providing disaster aid! Who are the real criminals here?)

Rant, rant, rant..."hqqkt"?

Pandabonium said...

What is it with these guys and golf?

Bush, who has spent 20% of his time in office on vacation, plays golf and doesn't show his face until two days after Katrina. Then he makes a press appearance and goes golfing again the next day.

In 1927 when the Mississippi broke the levee and flooded New Orleans and a large part of the state, Calvin Cooledge made a press appearance, promised to rebuild, and went golfing.

And you tell me the governor of Hyogo went golfing rather than deal with the Kobe disaster. Yipes.

And where are the Louisiana Guard's deep water vehicles when they are needed? In the deserts of Iraq.

It is one thing to be incompetent in planning for disasters, it is quite another to exhibit callous disregard for the suffering of the victims of that incompetence. It leads one to conclude that it was not merely incompetence, but indifference all along.

************* long string of explicatives deleted

The Moody Minstrel said...

Even worse:

Did you hear about the response of the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert (R-Il), to the New Orleans disaster? Apparently he refused to call an emergency session of the House of Representatives, saying that New Orleans wasn't needed and better simply bulldozed under.

He finally did call an emergency session...on September 2nd...after taking a good flaming. In a press interview he tried to explain that his comments were meant to infer that simply rebuilding New Orleans in the same location, i.e. putting people at risk yet again, wouldn't be prudent thinking.

Yeah, right. Just say the "n" word and get it over with, right?

Pandabonium said...

But I am sure Hasert will be 100% behind helping oil companies to rebuild their rigs, terminals, and refineries - in harm's way.

I read that in 1927, as a riverboat at only 1/2 capacity left a flooded New Oleans with only white people on board, the band struck up "Bye Bye Blackbird".

A USA with out the "Big Easy"? I say bulldoze D.C. first.