Thursday, September 29, 2005

Somthing to think about our own Press Corps

Jazeera reporter found guilty of terrorism.
Al-Jazeera's reporter in Spain, Tayseer Alluni has just been sentenced to seven years in jail after a Madrid court found him guilty of joining a terror cell and facilitating money laundry.This is bad news for Al-jazeera who's been defending and campaigning to protect their reporter and they obviously failed in eluding justice but the question that we must think about is; was Alluni working on his own using his media credentials as a cover or could it be that Al-jazeera itself is involved?It seems that twisting facts, biased coverage and supporting the terrorists morally aren't giving some media networks enough satisfaction so they began to give the terrorists a hand, practically I mean. This is not the first time where reporters and camera men are found to have connections with terrorists so it is definitely time to start questioning the networks themselves and the people in charge of choosing reporters and sending them to join terror networks, sorry! I mean to report the truth!
- posted by Omar @ 16:11

Iraqies doing it Themselves

Curtesy Iraq The Model

No one wants to come from outside to monitor the referendum? Fine!Because Iraqi intellectuals, artists and writers have taken it upon themselves to do the tasks, Azzaman reports:
In the absence of foreign monitors due to mounting violence, Iraqi writers, artists and other intellectuals have volunteered to oversee the referendum on the constitution scheduled for October 15.The Independent Elections Commission, the body organizing ballots in Iraq, has responded positively to a call from Iraqi intellectuals to register as independent monitors.“Thousands have already come forward and we expect the final figure to reach 40,000 monitors,” commission member Hussein Hindawi said.Iraqi intellectuals have seven more days to come forward to register their names as independent monitors, Hindawi said.The commission has formed 28 major groups with 14,000 members who intend to be present at the voting stations across the country.The groups will be assisted by civil society organizations whose members advocate the establishment of a secular, multi-party and democratic system of government.Hindawi said he sensed that the disparate Iraqi ethnic, religious and political groups are happy to have the intellectuals supervise the referendum.“The initiative shows the high esteem the society holds this sublime and high-standing sector of the community,” said Hindawi.He said the volunteering of this huge number of intellectuals despite security risk is proof “of how concerned and keen they are for the future of their country and people.”The initiative was taken because it was increasingly difficult to have independent foreign monitors supervise the referendum.

Isn't that great?
- posted by Omar @ 18:46

More Good News From Iraq

Care Of Iraq The Model

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today, American forces in the city of Kerbala officially handed over security responsibilities to Iraqi army and police units in the city.This makes Kerbala the second Iraqi province that undergoes this transition of power after a similar step was taken in Najaf nearly two months ago.The event which was attended by military and civil officials from both parties also included a parade for the Iraqi units that are going to assume responsibility for peace keeping tasks in Kerbala.Unfortunately no web links are available at the moment as the only source that reported the news was Al-Hurra TV. However web links will be added to this piece once available.
- posted by Omar @ 22:12

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DUH Lets State The Obvious

NASA administrator says space shuttle was a mistake

By Traci WatsonUSA TODAY
The space shuttle and International Space Station — nearly the whole of the U.S. manned space program for the past three decades — were mistakes, NASA chief Michael Griffin said Tuesday.
In a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board, Griffin said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo moon missions in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth.
“It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,” Griffin said. “We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”
The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it's finished — in 2010 or later — may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that.
Only now is the nation's space program getting back on track, Griffin said. He announced last week that NASA aims to send astronauts back to the moon in 2018 in a spacecraft that would look like the Apollo capsule.
The goal of returning Americans to the moon was laid out by President Bush in 2004, before Griffin took the top job at NASA. Bush also said the shuttle would be retired in 2010.
Griffin has made clear in previous statements that he regards the shuttle and space station as misguided. He told the Senate earlier this year that the shuttle was “deeply flawed” and that the space station was not worth “the expense, the risk and the difficulty” of flying humans to space.
But since he became NASA administrator, Griffin hasn't been so blunt about the two programs.
Asked Tuesday whether the shuttle had been a mistake, Griffin said, “My opinion is that it was. … It was a design which was extremely aggressive and just barely possible.” Asked whether the space station had been a mistake, he said, “Had the decision been mine, we would not have built the space station we're building in the orbit we're building it in.”
Joe Rothenberg, head of NASA's manned space programs from 1995 to 2001, defended the programs for providing lessons about how to operate in space. But he conceded that “in hindsight, there may have been other ways.”

Finally Some GOOD News

Pataki Ousts Freedom Center From Ground Zero

(New York -AP, Sept. 28, 2005) - Gov. George Pataki on Wednesday ousted a proposed freedom museum from its site at ground zero, declaring that the International Freedom Center has generated "too much opposition, too much controversy" to remain.
The decision follows months of acrimony over the Freedom Center, with furious families and politicians saying that the museum would dishonor the memory of the 2,749 people who died at the World Trade Center.
Pataki said in his statement on Wednesday, "I strongly believe in this nation's core principle of freedom and I personally believe that the celebration of freedom is not inconsistent with the goals of memorializing our nearly 3,000 lost heroes. The creation of an institution that would show the world our unity and our resolve to preserve freedom in the wake of the horrific attacks is a noble pursuit.
"But freedom should unify us. This Center has not.

"Since June, we have offered the International Freedom Center (IFC) the time they needed to clarify their intentions and work with stakeholders to reach a consensus. Today there remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the IFC and we must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial to pay tribute to our lost loved ones and tell their stories to the world.
"Therefore, the IFC cannot be located on the Memorial quadrant. I have asked the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to work with the IFC to explore other locations for the Center. In addition, I am directing the LMDC to continue its efforts to identify programming for the Memorial quadrant that will tell the story of September 11th.
"I would also ask all parties to now join together and unite behind fulfilling our solemn obligation to the families of those we lost. We must reclaim the spirit that we saw the days and weeks after September 11th, a spirit of unity, resolution and purpose and we must come together to build a lasting memorial for the generations to come."
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

McCain was hoping to get publicity to use for his Presidential Run BUT

The Scumbag blowhards meeting didn't go as he planned following press conference Ms. exploit her sons death Shehan called McScum a WarMonger.

Sheehan calls McCain 'warmonger' after meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Peace mom Cindy Sheehan didn't change her opposition to the war in Iraq after meeting Tuesday with one of its supporters, Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran whom she called "a warmonger."
Sheehan likened McCain to Bush after their meeting. Later, she left a rally early; "she's exhausted," a spokeswoman said.
By Charles Dharapak, AP
Sheehan thanked McCain for meeting with her, but she came away disappointed.
"He tried to tell us what George Bush would have said," Sheehan, who protested at the president's Texas home over the summer, told reporters. "I don't believe he believes what he was telling me."
Sen. John McCain, Tuesday.
McCain, R-Ariz., also seemed disappointed in the meeting, which he said had been misrepresented as including some of his constituents. Only one person in her small delegation has ties to the state, and that person no longer lives there.
The two exchanged views about the war, and McCain described the conversation as "a rehash" of opinions already well known. He said he might not have met with Sheehan had he known none of his constituents was in the group.
Although McCain has criticized the handling of the Iraq war, he has supported President Bush's call to stop terrorism abroad before it reaches the U.S. Sheehan, whose son, Casey, died in Iraq last year, has energized the anti-war movement with her call for troops to be brought home.
"He is a warmonger, and I'm not," Sheehan said after meeting with McCain. "I believe this war is not keeping America safer."
"She's entitled to her opinion," McCain said. "We just have fundamental disagreements."
Sheehan's conference with McCain was one of several scheduled this week as part of her campaign to persuade members of Congress to explain the reasons for the war. She spoke before a massive anti-war rally Saturday on the National Mall and was arrested Monday demonstrating in front of the White House. (Related: Police take in Sheehan Video)
Sheehan and McCain had met once before, shortly after the funeral of her son. Sheehan said Tuesday that McCain told her then that her son's death was "like his buddies in Vietnam" and that he feared their deaths were "for nothing." McCain, however, denied he made such a statement.
Later, Sheehan cut short her appearance at the University of Maryland, leaving a rally after about 10 minutes.
Karen Pomer, a spokeswoman for Sheehan, said, "She's exhausted and she's not feeling well, but she intends to meet her obligations."

Monday, September 19, 2005



NASA Estimates Moon Rocket Will Cost $104BSep 19 1:00 PM US/Eastern

By MARCIA DUNNAP Aerospace Writer
NASA estimated Monday it will cost $104 billion to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 in a new rocket that combines the space shuttle with the capsule of an earlier NASA era.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, in unveiling the new lunar exploration plan announced by President Bush last year, said he is not seeking extra money and stressed that the space agency will live within its future budgets to achieve this goal.
He dismissed suggestions that reconstruction of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina might derail the program first outlined by President Bush in 2004.
"We're talking about returning to the moon in 2018. There will be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall the United States and the world in that time, I hope none worse than Katrina," Griffin said at a news conference.
"But the space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long- term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We don't cancel the Navy. And we're not going to cancel NASA."
The $104 billion price tag, spread over 13 years, represents 55 percent of what the Apollo moon-landing program cost measured in constant dollars, Griffin said. Apollo spanned eight years. The objective is to pay as you go and what you can afford, he noted.
The new space vehicle design uses shuttlelike rocket parts, an Apollo- style capsule and lander capable of carrying four people to the surface. The rockets _ there would be two, a small version for people and a bigger one for cargo _ would come close in height to the 363- foot Saturn 5 moon rocket. They would be built from shuttle booster rockets, fuel tanks and main engines, as well as moon rocket engines. The so-called crew exploration vehicle perched on top would look very much like an Apollo capsule, albeit larger.
"Think of it as Apollo on steroids," Griffin said.
The crew exploration vehicle would replace the space shuttle, due to be retired in 2010, but not before 2012 and possibly as late as 2014 depending on the money available, Griffin said. It could carry as many as six astronauts to the international space station.
If all goes well, the first crew would set off for the moon by 2018 _ or 2020 at the latest, the president's target year.
Unlike Apollo, the new lunar lander would carry double the number of people to the surface of the moon _ four _ and allow them to stay up to a week, or twice as long. It also would haul considerably more cargo, much of which would be left on the moon for future crews.
The Earth-returning capsule would be able to parachute down on either land or water, although land is preferable, most likely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Griffin said NASA did not set out to mimic Apollo with the new spacecraft and that many options were considered over the summer.
"It's a significant advancement over Apollo. Much of it looks the same, but that's because the physics of atmospheric entry haven't changed recently," he said. "...We really proved once again how much of it all the Apollo guys got right."
The space agency's ultimate goal is to continue on to Mars with the same type of craft, but Griffin said there is no current timetable for Mars expeditions.
NASA believes the crew exploration vehicle would be far safer than the space shuttle, largely because of an old-style escape tower that could jettison the capsule away from the rocket in the event of an explosion or fire.
Two shuttles and 14 astronauts have been lost over 114 flights, Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. Nonetheless, NASA puts the existing failure rate for the shuttles at 1-in-220. The failure rate for the crew exploration vehicle is put at 1-in-2,000.
On the Net:

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another Reason McCain Should be put out of our misery

September 11, 2005
McCain Breaks McCain-Feingold Law
We emailed a similar version of this to our members last week:
As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Especially if you wrote the law.
Last week Sen. John McCain cut a TV ad endorsing a candidate in the CA-48 special election.
As reported by the Orange County Register, “One thing the first airings of the ad did not include: [House Candidate Marilyn] Brewer does not state that she approved the ad. That’s now required by law. Specifically, the law co-sponsored by McCain himself.”
And recently PoliticalMoneyLine reported that “Talk of 2008 - Sen. John McCain’s Straight Talk America” registered again as a federal PAC…The phone number on their form is also listed as the fax number on the website of the Reform Institute, a 501c3 organization supporting McCain’s goals.” The IRS has a strict prohibition against 501c3 organizations conducting political activity.
We’re waiting for the so-called reformers to file a complaint…or McCain to turn himself in.Posted by Andrew Roth at September 11, 2005 12:04 PM TrackBack Print

Katrina Time Line Courtesy Of the NutHouse

Dozens of local, state, and federal disaster officials meet to discuss FEMA Disaster Declaration No. 1601 that was issued as a result of tropical storm Cindy damages that occurred in July.
They also briefly discussed Katrina – although not quite in the context you might think:
“We’ve got this one storm we’re clearing up, yet we have another in the Gulf,” he said of Katrina, a rapidly strengthening storm that crossed south Florida on Thursday night and is expected to make a second landfall as a strong Category 3 hurricane somewhere between Louisiana and Florida late Sunday or Monday.
The subject of Friday’s meeting was serious, but as is often the case, participants relied on a bit of humor to ease the tension.
“Shouldn’t we just apply for Katrina money now? It would save time and taxpayers’ money,” joked Jim Baker, operations superintendent for the East Jefferson Levee District, one of the public agencies in line for a FEMA check.
Wonder what the group thought about this?
Off and on throughout the morning, Smith and Col. Steve Dabadie, Louisiana National Guard chief of staff, used a hand-held device to keep a check on Katrina’s track.
When the storm began a slight shift to the west, the device was passed from hand-to-hand for others to get a look.
Bet that room sobered up quite a bit after that.
The Mississippi Valley Division of the Army Corps of Engineers activates teams along the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coasts to prepare for a potential response to Hurricane Katrina. (HT: Random 10)
Governor Blanco declares a State of Emergency for all of Louisiana. The President also issues a State of Emergency declaration and directs DHS and FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts. Revised 9/8.
Overnight, Katrina strengthened and was drawing a bead on the gulf coast, moving west-northwest at 15 miles an hour and packing winds of 115 MPH.
A press conference with Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco sounded the alarm. The Mayor urged residents to take the storm seriously saying to residents of low lying areas, “We want you to take this a little more seriously and start moving — right now, as a matter of fact,” Nagin said he would open the Superdome as a shelter of “last resort” for people with “special needs.”
He advised anyone planning to stay there to bring there own food, drinks and other comforts such as folding chairs, as if planning to go camping.
“No weapons, no large items, and bring small quanties of food for three or four days, to be safe,” he said.
Nagin spokeswoman Tami Frazier stressed that the mayor does not want citizens to plan on staying in the Dome—instead, they should make arrangements to leave the city if possible.
Police Superintendent Edward Compass said that looters would be “dealt with severly and harshly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
By mid-afternoon, officials in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Jefferson parishes had called for voluntary or mandatory evacuations.
Mayor Nagin issued a voluntary evacuation order at 5:00 PM.
Nagin said late Saturday that he’s having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he’s been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses. “Come the first break of light in the morning, you may have the first mandatory evacuation of New Orleans,” Nagin told WWL-TV.
The National Hurrican Center warns officials that Katrina is strengthening and will probably make landfall as a Category 4 or 5. This is really scary. This is not a test, as your governor said earlier today. This is the real thing,” said Director Max Mayfield. “The bottom line is this is a worst-case scenario and everybody needs to recognize it,” he said.
National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield calls Mayor Nagin at his home telling him that a mandatory evacuation was needed. He also calls Governor Blanco informing her of the strength of the Hurricane and its potential damage. Revised 9/7
By 8:00 AM, Katrina, a category 5 hurricane, is headed straight for New Orleans. According to this peice in Editor and Publisher FEMA Director Brown, DHS Secretary Chertoff as well as local and state officials are informed by National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield via electronic briefing that the storm will cause massive damage and flooding – including levee toppings (not breeches) – in New Orleans 32 hours before the eye of the storm makes landfall. Mayfield briefed the President later in the day via video conference.
“Mayfield said the strength of the storm and the potential disaster it could bring were made clear during both the briefings and in formal advisories, which warned of a storm surge capable of overtopping levees in New Orleans and winds strong enough to blow out windows of high-rise buildings.” Revised 9/10
The Superdome opens at 8:00 AM and begins to take people in.
In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation. The President’s call came just prior to the news conference and occurred after the decision had already been made. for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. Revised 9/6 (HT: Jay) Lexis-Nexis Subscription needed to access link.
“There doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight,” Blanco said.
The Mayor’s office announces at 9:30 AM that RTA (Regional Transit Authority) busses will pick people up at 12 locations throughout the city and take them to shelters – including the Superdome. This is in accordance with both the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for the city of New Orleans and The State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan Supplement 1B which clearly states that people who cannot be evacuated will be taken to “last resort” shelters such as the Superdome.
At 11:30 AM the President delivers a statement vowing to help those affected by the hurricane.
Governor Blanco requests that the President declare an “expected major disaster” for the state of Louisiana under the auspices of the Stafford Act. The declaration is designed to start major relief supplies flowing immediately to the affected area. Revised 9/8By noon, the city puts its contraflow traffic system in effect so that both sides of major highways will allow for traffic out of the city.
The Coast Guard Auxillary was preparing to deploy. “William Crouch, Vice Commodore of the Auxiliary Eighth District Central Region stated this afternoon that “units from outlying areas are preparing to depart for the disaster area as soon as the situation becomes clear.”
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state’s National Guard on Sunday. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn’t come from Washington until late Thursday. Revised 9/7
National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield holds a video conference call with President Bush in which he outlines the strength of the hurricane and potential damage. Revised 9/8
By 3:00 PM, more than 10,000 people had either made their way into the Superdome or were standing outside. Those with medical problems were shuffled over to one side of the dome. Everyone else went to the other side:
“The people arriving on this side of the building are expected to fend for themselves,” said Terry Ebbert, the city’s homeland security director. “We have some water.”
About 150 National Guard soldiers, New Orleans police and civil sheriff’s deputies were patrolling the facility. Some weapons were confiscated.
Officials were settling in for what they predicted would be an incredibly hot and uncomfortable night. They expected flooding on the field and loss of power early today.
But officials were confident they could care for those with special needs.
“I’m not worried about what is tolerable or intolerable,” he [Ebbert] said. “I’m worried about, whether you are alive on Tuesday.”
Mayor Nagin ordered a curfew for the city beginning at 6:00 PM.
Louisiana Senators send a joint letter to the President thanking him for his actions and requesting that he visit the storm ravaged area “as soon as practical.”
The Coast Guard closes the ports and waterways into New Orleans. “The Guard also moved 40 aircraft and 30 boats and cutters in positions surrounding the expected strike zone, such as Houston and Jacksonville, readying to conduct search and rescue and humantarian missions, the Guard release said. ”
A 10:00 PM Katrina advisory by the National Hurricane Center has the storm moving slightly to the east and weakening.
About 26,000 people are taking refuge in the Superdome. “To help keep them fed and hydrated, the Louisiana National Guard delivered three truckloads of water and seven truckloads of MREs — short for “meals ready to eat.” That’s enough to supply 15,000 people for three days, according to Col. Jay Mayeaux, deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Wes McDermott with the Office of Emergency Preparedness reports on conditions inside the Superdome. There are between 8,000 and 9,000 (later reports put the number at 26,000) people with more than 600 people with medical needs on hand.
Also, General Ralph Lupin, who commands the 550 National Guardsmen at the Superdome, reports that an additional 400 people have been sent to area hospitals before the 11:00 PM curfew. Revised 9/10
Louis Armstrong Airport closes late Sunday night.
Overnight and Morning
More than 4,000 National Guardsmen are mobilizing in Memphis” to help police New Orleans streets.
The city’s director of homeland security said tonight that officials hope Katrina gets through the region Monday with several hours of daylight left so they can get up in the air and assess the damage.
“We are going to have very limited communication,” Terry Ebbert said. “The first order of business will be life-saving operations.” That may mean relocating thousands of people in the Superdome once power goes out and temperatures start to rise above 100 degrees, he said
At 3:00 AM the National Hurricane Center reported Katrian three hours from landfall with winds of 150 MPH.
Aircraft in position to help assess the damage and carry out rescues:
Aircraft are positioned from Hammond to the Texas border ready to fly behind the storm to check damage after it passes over New Orleans, said Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, head of the Louisiana National Guard.
Search and rescue operations are being coordinated by the Guard with the state Wildlife and Fisheries Department and Coast Guard poised to help search for survivors stranded by the storm. Guardsmen are also deployed at the Jackson Barracks ready to head into the city using high-water vehicles, Landreneau said.
Director Ebbert said rescue priorities would be given to those stranded in their homes and those hospitalized. “If the storm passes by 2 p.m., Ebbert said, “we have a few hours to get these people out before dark. It may involve some airlifts.’’
Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans at 8:00 AM with winds at 120 MPH and a storm surge of 18 feet. Revised 9/8
As the Category 4 surged ashore just east of New Orleans on Monday, FEMA had medical teams, rescue squads and groups prepared to supply food and water poised in a semicircle around the city, said agency Director Michael Brown.
Brown, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said the evacuation of the city and the general emergency response were working as planned in an exercise a year ago. “I was impressed with the evacuation, once it was ordered it was very smooth.”
Levee break at 17th street floods about 20% of the city.
At 11:00 AM, FEMA Director Brown arrives in Baton Rouge at the State Office of Emergency Preparedness.
FEMA Director Brown sends a memo to DHS Secretary Chertoff requesting the additonal 1,000 FEMA employees engaged in victims assistance (aiding residents in filling out disaster relief forms) and community outreach be dispatched to Louisiana. Brown indicates that the employees have two days to report to LA Homeland Security headquarters. Revised 9/7
FEMA issues a statement urging first responders from other states not to come to disaster area unless there’s coordination between state and local disaster management officials. Revised 9/6
At 1:30 PM, boil order goes into effect for water.
At 1:45 PM, President Bush declares the states of Louisiana and Mississippi “Major Disaster Areas.”
Midafternoon: First reports of looting. TP terms it “widespread.”
At midafternoon Monday, a parade of looters streamed from Coleman’s Retail Store at 4001 Earhart Blvd. The looters, men and women who appeared to be in their early teens to mid-40s, braved a steady rain and infrequent tropical-stormforce winds to tote away boxes of clothing and shoes from the store.
By 2:00 PM, “Wes McDermott, from the office of emergency preparedness in New Orleans, said officials have fielded at least 100 calls from people in distress in the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans.”
At 3:00 PM President Bush said in a speech in Arizona “the federal government has got assets and resources that we’ll be deploying to help you.”
At 3:00 PM, Director Ebbett said “Everybody who had a way or wanted to get out of the way of this storm was able to. For some that didn’t, it was their last night on this earth.’’ He also said that the city had 100 boats to carry out search and rescue operations.
At 3:45 PM Louisiana Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said this afternoon that it’s too early to give an estimate on damage in New Orleans, because he is unable to get a team into downtown. The water level in St. Bernard Parish had reached the second story of the courthouse. Revised 9/8
By 5:00 PM, hundreds of reports are coming in of people trapped by the flood.
At 6:50 PM, more reports of looting.
Search and Rescue teams work through the night to bring people to safety.
[Wildlife Secretary] Landreneau said by dawn he will have more than 200 boats in the water, 120 more than he had Monday. He said he has a commitment from Texas for another 50 boats.
Red Cross issues a statement. Expects largest recovery operation ever:
American Red Cross spokesman Victor Howell said 750 to 1,000 Red Cross personnel are now at work on hurricane recovery in Louisiana, and 2,000 more volunteers will be here in the next few days.
The Red Cross will bring in three large mobile kitchens to prepare 500,000 meals per day. There are 40 shelters statewide, housing about 32,000 people, “and you’re going to have more,” Howell said.
Mayor Nagin, in an interview with TP relates a conversation with federal disaster officials. “FEMA said give us a list of your needs,” said Nagin, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “And let me tell you, we’re giving them a hell of a list.”
Overnight, New Orleans city officials consider whether or not to use the Ernest E. Morial Convention Center as an additional refuge for survivors:
City officials said they might open the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as a temporary refuge to shelter an estimated 50,000 people made homeless by the storm.
This is the first mention by city officials of using the Convention Center, a shelter not listed in the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan nor listed in any other public statements as a place of refuge for residents. As of 9/7, there is no evidence city officials ever told FEMA or LA Homeland Security officials that they planned to use the Center to house evacuees. Revised 9/7
My Way News reports 4725 LA National Guardsmen deployed on Tuesday. Revised 9/6
DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff activates the National Response Plan and declares Katrina an “incident of national significance”:
The National Response Plan (NRP) fully mobilizes the resources of the entire federal government to support response and recovery efforts for state and local authorities – particularly in the event of a catastrophic incident. Secretary Chertoff has declared the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina an incident of national significance – the first-ever use of this designation. Revised 9/7
Water continues to rise with officials at a loss how to explain it.
It is announced that 500 “special needs patients” at the Superdome will be moved by the end of the day “by whatever means necessary.” Also, Director Landenreau says that 350 boats are in the water looking for trapped residents with 60 more on the way from Texas.
By midmorning it is confirmed that 4 people have died at the Superdome; 3 sick patients and one probable suicide.
Prisoner evacuation from two jails begins.
President’s statement on Katrina devastation.
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on 9/7, Fox News Correspondent Major Garrett reports that the American Red Cross was ready to go to the Superdome “on Monday or Tuesday” to assist in the relief of the 25,000 people who had taken refuge there but were prevented by the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security from doing so. According to Garrett and this FAQ at the Red Cross website, the reason given was because their presence “would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.” Revised 9/8
At the request of FEMA, the military begins to move additional ships and helicopters to the region. (HT: Jay) Revised 9/6
TP evacuates - moves to Houma.
In an interview with Tim Russert on 9/4, DHS Secretary Chertoff reveals that the first he heard of the 17th street levee break was “midday on Tuesday.” Revised 9/8
Pentagon spokesman Di Rita issues statement saying “the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs, with at least 60 percent of the guard available in each state. He said about 6,500 National Guard troops were available in Louisiana, about 7,000 troops in Mississippi, nearly 10,000 in Alabama and about 8,200 in Florida.
At 4:30 PM, officials send out a call for anyone with boats to help in the rescue effort.
TP reports that police and firefighters are joining in the looting:
At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand out provisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass looting. Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the giveaway was announced over the radio.
While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and appliances on handtrucks.
Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television. (Um…read the whole thing. You won’t believe it. Ed.)
Director Ebbert announces that work has begun to plug the 17th street levee. (Note: Work on plugging the levee did not begin at this time. It is unclear whether he was told that it was beginning or whether he assumed it was from a conversation with the Army Corps of Engineers who said work would begin that afternoon. Ed.)
Levee repair timeline uncertain. This from National Guard Commander Jeff Smith:
Col. Jeff Smith with the Louisiana National Guard said the Corps has informed the state that they are beginning to plan how exactly to fill the holes in the levee, which observers described as several hundred feet long.
Ebbert says work has started. Smith says work has started on planning. This would be a possible explanation for both Ebbert and the Mayor’s frustration. Could they have misunderstood?
Also, hospitals are being evacuated and rescue operations continue. The Governor made it clear that search and rescue was the highest priority:
Blanco said that while search and rescue operations continued that officials were also getting supplies to hospitals and people who sought refuge at the Superdome, which is receiving more residents as people are rescued. After officials have completed all of their rescue operations, they will begin to assess how to evacuate other people in the city who are in high, dry locations.
People being rescued and others looking for food and water are told to go to the Convention Center by local officials. When they get there they find no food, no water, and just a few police. (First mention of Convention Center shelter by TP at 11:09 PM on Wednesday)
A man in a passing pickup truck from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries finally directed Wallace and the 50 other evacuees under the overpass to the convention center.
But they would find little relief there.
New evacuees were being dropped off after being pulled from inundated eastern New Orleans and Carrollton, pooling with those who arrived on foot. Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions. They waited both inside and outside the cavernous building.
The influx overwhelmed the few staffers and Louisiana National Guardsmen on hand. Added 9/5.
At 5:50 PM Bush announces he is cutting short his vacation and returning to Washington.
As of Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the storm had passed over the area, this represented the federal response to date as publicized to the disaster. Here are some highlights: Revised 9/8
FEMA deployed 23 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from all across the U.S. to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana and is now moving them into impacted areas.
Seven Urban Search and Rescue task forces and two Incident Support Teams have been deployed and propositioned in Shreveport, La., and Jackson, Miss., including teams from Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Three more Urban Search and Rescue teams are in the process of deployment.
FEMA is moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible, especially water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents, and tarps.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) dispatched more than 390 trucks that are beginning to deliver millions of meals ready to eat, millions of liters of water, tarps, millions of pounds of ice, mobile homes, generators, containers of disaster supplies, and forklifts to flood damaged areas. DOT has helicopters and a plane assisting delivery of essential supplies.
The National Guard of the four most heavily impacted states are providing support to civil authorities as well as generator, medical and shelter with approximately 7,500 troops on State Active Duty. The National Guard is augmenting civilian law enforcement capacity; not acting in lieu of it.
At 6:30 PM Mayor Nagin issued an urgent bulletin:
Nagin said efforts to stop the flow of water at the breach on the 17th Street Canal are failing, which means the floodwaters will rise again.
Nagin said the waters will soon overwhelm the pump, shutting it down. He said the water will rise to 3 feet above sea level – or 12-15 feet in some places of east Jefferson and Orleans parishes.
The additional flooding causes 80% of the city to be underwater.
At 8:10 PM, TP reports that more than 24 hours after it started, looting is now city wide.
“People are leaving the Superdome to go to Canal Street to loot,” Thomas said. “Some people broke into drug stores and stole the drugs off the shelves. It is looting times five. I’m telling you, it’s like Sodom and Gomorrah.”
At 8:55 TP reports that the Army Corps of Engineers is working frantically to try and fix the breach in the 17th street levee.
Mark Lambert, chief spokesman for the agency, said that a convoy of trucks carrying 108 15,000-pound concrete barriers – like those used as highway construction dividers—was en route to the site Tuesday night
The USS Bataan deploys two helicopter squadrons for search and rescue operations in New Orleans. Revised 9/6
At 9:02 PM TP reports that the State Attorney General’s office is denying that martial law has been declared.
At 10:40 PM TP reports that 40 additional state troopers have been deployed more than 28 hours after initial reports of looting.
At 10:15 PM, Governor Blanco releases a statement calling for the evacuation of the Superdome.
She set no timetable for the withdrawal but insisted that the facility was damaged, degrading and no longer able to support the local citizens who had sought refuge in the Dome from Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s a very, very desperate situation,” Blanco said late Tuesday after returning to the capital from her visit, when she comforted the exhausted throngs of people, many of whom checked in over the weekend. “It’s imperative that we get them out. The situation is degenerating rapidly.”
My Way News reports an additional 700 National Guardsmen from TX, OH, and OK are deployed in LA. Revised 9/6
Early Aug. 31, an MC-130P Combat Shadow from Hurlburt’s 16th Special Operations Squadron flew a team of combat controllers to the New Orleans airport to set up lights which would allow reopening the runway for nighttime operations. The airport has no electrical power.” Revised 9/6
Governor Blanco called for a total evacuation of the city of New Orleans.
In an interview on Good Morning America, the Governor said “We’ve sent buses in. We will be either loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is necessary.”
When asked about looting the Governor said “We don’t like looters one bit, but first and foremost is search and rescue.”
Blanco said she wanted the Superdome — which had become a shelter of last resort for about 20,000 people — evacuated within two days, along with other gathering points for storm refugees. The situation inside the dank and sweltering Superdome was becoming desperate: The water was rising, the air conditioning was out, toilets were broken, and tempers were rising.
Governor Blanco asks the President to send federal troops to conduct law enforcement activities.
At 10:00 AM TP reports that a spokesperson for the Texas Governors office says refugees from the Superdome will be put up in the Astrodome:
FEMA is providing 475 buses for the convoy and the Astrodome’s schedule has been cleared through December for housing evacuees, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.
A spokseman for Homeland Security:
Mark Smith, a Louisiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said 3,000 Louisiana National Guard members are helping with the rescue effort and that more guard troops are on their way from other states. The main focus Wednesday morning is to evacuate patients from hospitals and to evacuate the Superdome, where conditions are deteriorating for the estimated 15,000 people sheltered there. (HT: Blueguitar guy) Revised 9/6
Yahoo News:
Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she has asked the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop looters.
“We will restore law and order,” Blanco said. “What angers me the most is that disasters like this often bring out the worst in people. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior.”
Governor Blanco announces that Superdome evacuation will begin Wednesday evening.
Department of Social Services Secretary Ann Williamson said the buses should start rolling later Wednesday. About 475 vehicles have been arranged to ferry the evacuees to Houston.
State officials said they hope that bringing in the Army to help with search, rescue and relief efforts will allow National Guard troops to redirect their efforts to restoring order and curtail the widespread looting taking place in New Orleans and elsewhere. “We’re trying to shift our resources,” said Denise Bottcher, a Blanco spokeswoman.
“This is one of the largest, if not the largest evacuations in this country,” said Col. Jeff Smith, deputy director of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
“This (plan) buys us some time so we can figure things out,” said FEMA spokesman Bill Lokey.
At 1:40 PM State Secrertary of Transportation and Development Johnny Bradberry said Lake Pontchatrain has receded by two feet since yesterday as water levels equalized between the lake and the flooded city interior.
“The good news here is that we’ve stabilized. Water is not rising in the city,” Bradberry said.
The feds declare a Public Health Emergency:
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt Wednesday declared a federal public health emergency and accelerated efforts to create up to 40 emergency medical shelters to provide care for evacuees and victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Working with its federal partners, HHS is helping provide and staff 250 beds in each shelter for a total of 10,000 beds for the region. Ten of these facilities will be staged within the next 72 hours and another 10 will be deployed within the next 100 hours after that. In addition, HHS is deploying up to 4,000 medically-qualified personnel to staff these facilities and to meet other health care needs in this region.
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police – or however many officers were still on the force – to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets of New Orleans to stop looting. Revised 9/8
Governor Blanco issues an Executive Order allowing the National Guard to seize school busses in order to help in the evacuation:
National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, said the order, signed by Gov. Kathleen Blanco late Wednesday, means “we are going to take the buses. We need to get people out of New Orleans.. . . .Either they will give them up or we will take them.’’ It is unclear whether the Governor is referring to the hundreds of school busses in a New Orleans city parking lot 1.2 miles from the Superdome that contained 255 busses, all underwater. She was also procuring busses from around the state. In an press conference the next day, General Honore says that busses from FEMA have also arrived. (HT: Tony & Junkyard Blog) Revised 9/6
My Way News reports 6500 National Guardsmen from AR, CO, KS, MO, NV, OH, OK, and TX are deployed in Louisiana. Revised 9/6
At 12:30 AM evacuees from the Superdome begin arriving in Houston.
Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said this morning that the evacuation of the rest of New Orleans was in full swing. At least 70 buses had picked up refugees from the Superdome, and officials were considering using trains and boats to ship people to safety.
At 4:15 AM TP reports that the Coast Guard says it has rescued 3,000 stranded victims from the city.
President Bush calls for “zero tolerance” for looters or price gougers in an interview with Diane Sawyer.
More snafus in attempts to fix the levee at 17th street:
Spokeswoman Cleo Allen of the state Department of Transportation and Development said the agency is coordinating with railroads and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise the Seabrook bridge, the Almonaster Ave. bridge and the Danziger Road bridge. Farther southwest, authorities are also trying to raise a bridge at Larose so that a barge loaded with relief supplies can get through Bayou Lafourche.
More National Guard troops on the way:
Lt. Col Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard also said 7,500 guard soldiers from around the country are en route to Louisiana to complement the 3,000 from Louisiana who have been helping with search and rescue operations and security since Katrina struck on Monday.
President Bush agrees to have the federal government pick up the entire tab for relief efforts.
In an interview with NPR’s Michael Seigel, DHS Secretary Chertoff admits he knows nothing of the people stranded at the convention center. Revised 9/6
Governor Blanco announces at a press conference that there are less than 2400 people left at the Superdome.
The Defense Department announces the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to the Gulf region.
State and Federal authorities begin the evacuations of Charity and University Hospitals. They are halted briefly when shots are fired at helicopters evacuating patients.
In an article on Thursday afternoon, Brian Thevenot of TP reports that officials are starting to get control of the city.
As military and humantarian efforts finally began to take hold, the anarchy that has consumed New Orleans over the past two days, making the city resemble a Third World war zone, had not fully subsided but authorities appeared to have amassed sufficient numbers to seize the upper hand.
Neighborhoods that had been populated by bands of wanderers and armed thieves looked nearly empty, save for police patrols that were non-existent a day earlier. In Uptown, the Central Business District and the French Quarter, substantially smaller crowds of refugees and potential looters found themselves surrounded by ever increasing numbers of National Guard troops and police officers.
Mayor Nagin explodes on live radio, railing against federal relief efforts. If you’ve come this far with me, all I ask is that you read his comments and compare them to what has been reported in this timeline previously.
“You know the reason why the looters got out of control?” Nagin said. “We have most of our resources saving people. They were stuck in attics, man, old ladies. You pull off the doggone ventilator and look down and they’re standing there in water up to their fricking neck.”
“I need reinforcements,” he said. “I need troops, man. I need 500 buses.”
The relief efforts made so far had been pathetically insufficient, Nagin said.
“They’re thinking small, man, and this is a major, MAJOR deal,” Nagin said. “God is looking down on this and if they are not doing everything in their power to save people, they are going to pay the price. Every day that we delay, people are dying, and they’re dying by the hundreds, I’m willing to bet you.”
Rolling now, Nagin described distress calls he’d heard. Nagin mocked the efforts to block the 17th StreetCanal breach.
“I flew over that thing yesterday and it was in the same shape it was in after the storm hit,” he said.“There is nothing happening there. They’re feeding the public a line of bull and they’re spinning and people are dying down here.” (HT: Ghosty) Revised 9/6 – moved from Friday to Thursday.
In an interview with Paula Zahn, FEMA Director Brown says he just heard about people stranded at the convention center “a few hours ago.” Revised 9/6
My Way News reports that an additional 3000 National Guardsmen from 15 states are deployed in LA. Revised 9/6
In the early morning, 20 deputies and six emergency medical technicians from Loudon County, Virginia were turned away because “neither FEMA nor the Louisiana authorities was willing to act on the request from Jefferson Parish.” (HT: Jay) Revised 9/6
At 9:35 AM in a speech given in Mississippi, the President praises FEMA Director Brown saying “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
State Rep. Karen Carter, D-New Orleans, made an urgent plea Friday morning for gasoline and buses to ferry victims to safety who have been stuck in New Orleans under deteriorating conditions since Hurricane Katrina struck the city four days ago.
“If you want to save a life get a bus down here,” said Carter, whose district includes the French Quarter. “I’m asking the American people to help save a wonderful American city.” Her voice cracking with emotion and her eyes bloodshot from fatigue and distress, Carter said pledges of money and other assistance are of secondary importance right now to the urgent need for transportation.
“Don’t give me your money. Don’t send me $10 million today. Give me buses and gas. Buses and gas. Buses and gas,” she said. “If you have to commandeer Greyhound, commandeer Greyhound. … If you donn’t get a bus, if we don’t get them out of there, they will die.”
Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, who is coordinating federal relief efforts on behalf of the National Guard, could not say when people can expect to be rescued. “If you’re human you’ve got to be affected by it, Blum said. “These people, their heartstrings are torn as are yours. (But) the magnitude of this problem is you cannot help everybody at the same time.”
The Coast Guard announced it has rescued more than 4,000 victims of the hurricane and flood.
President Bush visits New Orleans, taking a helicopter tour with Mayor Nagin. According to the Mayor Bush tells him that “he [the President] was fully committed to getting us the resources we need,” Nagin said in the tattered Hyatt hotel next to the Superdome. “I told him I knew we could work together, and he said he understood.”
In an interview with CNN on 9/5, Mayor Nagin says that Governor Blanco resisted a request from the Federal government to nationalize the relief effort when meeting with President Bush aboard Air Force I. Blanco is reported to have asked for 24 hours to “think about it.” (HT: Sue Hanley) Revised 9/6
In a special briefing on efforts to repair the damaged levees carried out by Lieutenant General Carl Strock, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Chief of Engineers, the General summarized the difficulties he was experiencing in closing the breaches, including the difficulty in reaching the site of the breach by land (land ops couldn’t start until a causeway was built), by water (bridges couldn’t be raised to allow for the huge cranes to pass), and air (helicopters were being used to rescue people). Revised 9/7

I’ve just about reached the limit of what I would like to accomplish with this project. I’m sure much more information on the actual response of local, state, and federal government to the disaster will come to light in the next weeks and months. But with the exception of a few more links to highlight the military’s response, most of what we’re seeing is what officials didn’t do rather than what they did or how they coped with the tragedy.
If I may be allowed a personal opinion?
This has been a clusterf**k from the get go on all levels and with a few unbelievably heroic exceptions – mostly the LA Fish and Wildlife employees who were out in boats rescuing people almost before the storm passed and our selfless military who performed with their usual spectacular competence and courage. I am convinced that any Commission or Congressional investigation – if even slightly impartial – will find enough stupidity, incompetence, panic, blame shifting, lying, and bureaucratic ass covering to sate the appetite for name calling and blame assigning of even the most partisan among us.
This was a failure of leadership and competence. But it was also a failure of will. And for that, you need look no farther than the mirror in your bathroom, dearest readers. We elected this crew. We elected the Congresses over the past 25 years – Democratic and Republican – that failed to do the things necessary to make New Orleans safer.
Elections have consequences. Consider that fact the next time you pull the curtain in the booth to cast your vote. If nothing else, the aftermath of this tragedy reminds us of that, then perhaps something worthwhile will have been learned.
Rick Moran posted at 12:19 pm permalink

The Circus Begins

Watching the confirmation hearings I had the Joy of listining to Teddy bloviate on and on, only to be followed up by Biden sounding like some crazed reverand in the church of there is no god...

What a clown act this should all be shown on comedy central instead of C-Span

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Great Post From David Vance of A Tangled Web


You want to know who to deal for the drowning of New Orleans - I'll tell you who - the radical environ-mentalists who even at this time seek to shift responsibilty for their recklessness to President Bush, aided and abetted by a less than investigative MSM. Check this out.
"Decades ago, the Green Left – pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical “diversity” over human life – sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.
The key fact here is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Barrier Project planned to build fortifications at two strategic locations, which would keep massive storms on the Gulf of Mexico from causing Lake Pontchartrain to flood the city.
But the Greens sued and the authorities capitulated. Nothing was permitted to be done. Now the city lies drowned as Lake Pontchartrain has emptied itself EXACTLY as predicted. Bet the MSM won't push this angle.
Posted by DV on September 08, 2005 at 09:00 AM

God Bless Rummy

Donald Rumsfeld commented that there are so many differences between Iraq and Vietnam that it would take too long to list them all. Well, just for the record, assuming that our friends in the "mainstream" media might need some help, I'd like to list a few of the most important.

* Iraq, we destroyed a large opposing army in little more than three weeks.
* In destroying that army, we liberated 25 million people from one of the most brutal dictatorships in modern history, and freed the world from an unapologetic supporter of terrorism.
* In Iraq, we have helped a people to create a new, representative government that may become a model for the region.
* The continuing insurgency has little support within Iraq.
* Our success in Iraq has convinced other regimes, such as Libya, to abandon their quest to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
* And we have done all this, to date, at the cost of the lives of approximately 1,864 American soldiers, sailors, and marines. That comes out to an average of about 750 deaths per year; in Vietnam the average casualty rate was about 5,000 per year.

9/11 Four Years and Counting

Four years ago we were attacked. Have you Forgoten? A lot of people have.

Here are a couple of things to remind you

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Here is a very nice story by Ann Rice it ran in the NYT

September 4, 2005
Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?
La Jolla, Calif.
WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?
Do they take away with them an awareness that it has always been not only a great white metropolis but also a great black city, a city where African-Americans have come together again and again to form the strongest African-American culture in the land?
The first literary magazine ever published in Louisiana was the work of black men, French-speaking poets and writers who brought together their work in three issues of a little book called L'Album Littéraire. That was in the 1840's, and by that time the city had a prosperous class of free black artisans, sculptors, businessmen, property owners, skilled laborers in all fields. Thousands of slaves lived on their own in the city, too, making a living at various jobs, and sending home a few dollars to their owners in the country at the end of the month.
This is not to diminish the horror of the slave market in the middle of the famous St. Louis Hotel, or the injustice of the slave labor on plantations from one end of the state to the other. It is merely to say that it was never all "have or have not" in this strange and beautiful city.
Later in the 19th century, as the Irish immigrants poured in by the thousands, filling the holds of ships that had emptied their cargoes of cotton in Liverpool, and as the German and Italian immigrants soon followed, a vital and complex culture emerged. Huge churches went up to serve the great faith of the city's European-born Catholics; convents and schools and orphanages were built for the newly arrived and the struggling; the city expanded in all directions with new neighborhoods of large, graceful houses, or areas of more humble cottages, even the smallest of which, with their floor-length shutters and deep-pitched roofs, possessed an undeniable Caribbean charm.
Through this all, black culture never declined in Louisiana. In fact, New Orleans became home to blacks in a way, perhaps, that few other American cities have ever been. Dillard University and Xavier University became two of the most outstanding black colleges in America; and once the battles of desegregation had been won, black New Orleanians entered all levels of life, building a visible middle class that is absent in far too many Western and Northern American cities to this day.
The influence of blacks on the music of the city and the nation is too immense and too well known to be described. It was black musicians coming down to New Orleans for work who nicknamed the city "the Big Easy" because it was a place where they could always find a job. But it's not fair to the nature of New Orleans to think of jazz and the blues as the poor man's music, or the music of the oppressed.
Something else was going on in New Orleans. The living was good there. The clock ticked more slowly; people laughed more easily; people kissed; people loved; there was joy.
Which is why so many New Orleanians, black and white, never went north. They didn't want to leave a place where they felt at home in neighborhoods that dated back centuries; they didn't want to leave families whose rounds of weddings, births and funerals had become the fabric of their lives. They didn't want to leave a city where tolerance had always been able to outweigh prejudice, where patience had always been able to outweigh rage. They didn't want to leave a place that was theirs.
And so New Orleans prospered, slowly, unevenly, but surely - home to Protestants and Catholics, including the Irish parading through the old neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day as they hand out cabbages and potatoes and onions to the eager crowds; including the Italians, with their lavish St. Joseph's altars spread out with cakes and cookies in homes and restaurants and churches every March; including the uptown traditionalists who seek to preserve the peace and beauty of the Garden District; including the Germans with their clubs and traditions; including the black population playing an ever increasing role in the city's civic affairs.
Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what "modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii. •
I share this history for a reason - and to answer questions that have arisen these last few days. Almost as soon as the cameras began panning over the rooftops, and the helicopters began chopping free those trapped in their attics, a chorus of voices rose. "Why didn't they leave?" people asked both on and off camera. "Why did they stay there when they knew a storm was coming?" One reporter even asked me, "Why do people live in such a place?"
Then as conditions became unbearable, the looters took to the streets. Windows were smashed, jewelry snatched, stores broken open, water and food and televisions carried out by fierce and uninhibited crowds.
Now the voices grew even louder. How could these thieves loot and pillage in a time of such crisis? How could people shoot one another? Because the faces of those drowning and the faces of those looting were largely black faces, race came into the picture. What kind of people are these, the people of New Orleans, who stay in a city about to be flooded, and then turn on one another?
Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.
What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.
And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.
And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.
They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.
But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.
Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.
Anne Rice is the author of the forthcoming novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt." Miss Rice is also the auther of "Interview with a Vampire" and many other fine books.

Second one From Horrowitz Blog

Katrina fest: Time for the Bush-haters and racists

Huffington Post has them all -- the blame anything and everything on Bush crowd, the bash the corporations crew and the race hustlers who blame everything on whitey. Without doubt the most sickening among them is the expatriate Randall Robinson who scorned and then left the country that made him wealthy to settle in Carribean luxury and now returns via the Internet to attack the white people he first tried to extort through phony reparations and then left behind in disgust. "Four days after the storm thousands of blacks are dying in New Orleans. No one has come to help them...I am hopeless, I am sad. I am angry against my country..." This is already three lies: First, whites and blacks are both suffering. Second, whites and blacks are coming to help them. Third, Randall Robinson left his native country more than a year ago, announcing that he despised it and went into self-imposed exile. Now he returns to befoul the nest that is no longer his.
This is a natural disaster. Human stupidity -- always the greatest unremarked factor in human affairs -- has played a big if not surprising role in the tragedy. Take one look at the hundreds of New Orleans school buses that were not used to transport people out of harm's way, but left to drown in the flood. Who is responsible? Democrat mayors and governors, Republican Fema and Homeland Security officials, law enforcement agencies, the President -- who knows? There is enough blame to go around, but who was shouting from the rooftops that this was going to happen in the first place? Let them be the ones to speak. Instead the political maggots and vultures, the Huffington know-nothings whose gums never stop flapping and whose fangs are always bared have come out to feed off the corpses in order to promote their pet causes. Blame Bush, blame the oil companies, blame the war on terror which they hate because of their sympathies for an enemy that also blames Bush, blames the oil companies and blames the war on terror.

Another Good Post From Horrowitz

Is Katrina Racist?
Al Sharpton showed up on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on MSNBC last night, and the pair sounded a theme that's becoming depressingly familiar in the effort to demagogue hurricane Katrina:
Olbermann: I actually heard a commentator this afternoon--it was that Limbaugh--suggest that the issue of class and race in those who were left behind in New Orleans was irrelevant, because, as he put it, those people were not forced to live there and they weren't bused into New Orleans.
And I was thinking, A, this guy is even more clueless than I thought he was, which is saying something. But, B, there are people who actually believe that. How do you respond to them? How do you explain to them what the truth is? . . .
Sharpton: . . . The real question is not only those that didn't get out. The question is why has it taken the government so long to get in. I feel that, if it was in another area, with another economic strata and racial makeup, that President Bush would have run out of Crawford a lot quicker and FEMA would have found its way in a lot sooner.
In truth, Katrina's devastation was spread out over a huge area, not just the city of New Orleans with its majority-black population. The Associated Press quotes Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who lists four suburban parishes that, along with Orleans Parish (which is coterminous with New Orleans) were hit hard enough to need "long-term rebuilding."
Here are the 2000 census's racial breakdowns of the populations of those five Louisiana parishes, along with Mississippi's coastal counties, which suffered a direct hit:
Parish or county
Jefferson, La.
Orleans, La.
Plaquemines, La.
St. Bernard, La.
St. Tammany, La.
Hancock, Miss.
Harrison, Miss.
Jackson, Miss.
The New York Times notes that among those who lost homes in Mississippi were Rep. Gene Taylor, a Democrat, and Sen. Trent Lott, a Republican--both persons of pallor and neither one of whom can be called downtrodden. Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Republican from Kenner, La. (in Jefferson Parish), doesn't even know if his house is still standing. "Jefferson Parish as we knew it is gone forever," Reuters quotes parish president Aaron Broussard as saying.
Though Katrina is an equal-opportunity destroyer, the news media's coverage of the disaster has centered on the city of New Orleans--which is understandable, given that that is the center of the metropolis, that it is densely populated, and that it is 80% underwater. That means the faces of the suffering that we have seen have mostly been black ones. And so what? These are fellow human beings and fellow Americans; the color of their skin makes their misery no more or less heartbreaking, and their rescue no more or less urgent.
Yet two days ago, Jack Shafer of Slate complained that journalists were ignoring race: "In the their frenzy to beat freshness into the endless loops of disaster footage that have been running all day, broadcasters might have mentioned that nearly all the visible people left behind in New Orleans are of the black persuasion." Soon enough, CNN picked up the theme, followed today by the New York Times and USA Today.
This emphasis on race makes us very uneasy, and the opening paragraph of that USA Today editorial illustrates why:
Although TV correspondents covering Hurricane Katrina avoid commenting on the obvious, their cameras hold back nothing. The people who couldn't or wouldn't leave New Orleans are overwhelmingly poor and black. As are the looters.
Now, there are looters and there are looters. Many commentators have observed that stealing the necessities of life when there is no alternative is forgivable, even justifiable. But the same can't be said for using a disaster as an opportunity to filch luxury goods.
There also are reports of criminality that goes far beyond theft. "We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten," New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass tells the Associated Press. The Voice of America tells of "roving gangs of armed delinquents who are sometimes interfering with the relief operations." In one case, across the Mississippi in Gretna, "Tenet Healthcare Corp. asked Louisiana state police to help evacuate Meadowcrest Hospital after armed bandits attempted to hijack a truck carrying food, water and drugs in the predawn hours on Thursday," the Chicago Tribune reports.
Avarice and depravity are human failings, but our race-obsessed liberal friends may be contributing to the notion that they are racial ones.


I have been BLACKLISTED by the free speach loving lefty at The All Spin Zone. Due to a challeng of facts that I brought up on the ASZ I have been blacklisted. Nowhere did I get hostile or abusive. They like I said earlier about a lot of ther people that post here ONLY WANT TO HEAR FROM LIBERALS. Here is a copy of the exchange that got me BLACKLISTED..... now this person is one of the Icons here at Philly Future..... Is this the so called willingness to here all points of view? I guess I will be Banned here next. I am a conservative and a republican I have lived here for almost 50yrs in Philly I know that the majority will disagree with my points of view. That is to be expected. What I always find amusing is the lefts tendancy to not try to debate with someone they disagree with but to silence thier point of view instead. So much for Tolorance and Free Speach huh guys. In the Piece intitled Michael Marcavage — Philadelphia's Own Version of Fred Phelps
The City Troll wrote:
No Bobby Kennedy Jr said it first. He said it was gods wrath against Haley Barbor for writing a letter to convince him not to support Kyoto. So is the little Kennedy a wacked out rightwing Christian also?
09/02/05 22:16:08 The City Troll wrote:
If your going to hold that light of critisism up hold it brightly so that it shines on the kooks of both sides. Or is it because Kennedy says its gods punishment to conservatives it's OK
09/02/05 22:19:32 SpinDentist wrote:
City Troll, when we post things around here we show citations. Please show the same courtesy. Idiot.
09/02/05 22:30:52 Johnny Zucchini wrote:
The City Troll has a problem with reading comprehension.
09/02/05 22:42:41 The City Troll wrote:
Katrina and Kyoto: Robert Kennedy Using Tragedy for Political PosturingRobert Kennedy Jr.Breathtaking. Robert Kennedy, Jr. writes a post in today's HuffPo entitled “For They That Sow the Wind, Shall Reap the Whirlwind.”Incredible. There are bodies floating in the water in New Orleans and Kennedy rushes to the microphones to blame Katrina on the Bush Administration — because we didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol:Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which [Haley] Barbour [then-head of the RNC] and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.I guess he must have missed yesterday's New York Times which reported no link between global warming and hurricanes.What? If you're a Kennedy you don't have to get your facts right?* * *Hat tip to and See Jim Glassman's outstanding Tech Central Station column today for more on the decrease in the number and force of hurricanes. . .It was in the Huffington Post IDIOT or do want a ticket (citation) for speeding to look for things on one side but not the other
09/02/05 22:52:15 The City Troll wrote:
Here is the link to bobby's story http://www.huffingtonpost.c...
09/02/05 22:55:09 The City Troll wrote:
If you can't get the link to work just type in Bobby Kennedy and For They That Sow the Wind, Shall Reap the Whirlwind.”And it will take you to the first one who said the storm was Gods Retribution
09/02/05 22:59:21 The City Troll wrote:
and just in case you don't know how to do a google search Here is Bobbys article“For They That Sow the Wind, Shall Reap the Whirlwind.”As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.In March of 2001, just two days after EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman’s strong statement affirming Bush’s CO2 promise former RNC Chief Barbour responded with an urgent memo to the White House.Barbour, who had served as RNC Chair and Bush campaign strategist, was now representing the president’s major donors from the fossil fuel industry who had enlisted him to map a Bush energy policy that wouldbe friendly to their interests. His credentials ensured the new administration’s attention.The document, titled “Bush-Cheney Energy Policy & CO2,” was addressed to Vice President Cheney, whose energy task force was then gearing up, and to several high-ranking officials with strong connections to energy and automotive concerns keenly interested in the carbon dioxide issue, including Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, White House chief of staff Andy Card and legislative liaison Nick Calio. Barbour pointedly omitted the names of Whitman and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, both of whom were on record supporting CO2 caps. Barbour’s memo chided these administration insiders for trying to address global warming which Barbour dismissed as a radical fringe issue.“A moment of truth is arriving,” Barbour wrote, “in the form of a decision whether this Administration’s policy will be to regulate and/or tax CO2 as a pollutant. The question is whether environmental policy still prevails over energy policy with Bush-Cheney, as it did with Clinton-Gore.” He derided the idea of regulating CO2 as “eco-extremism,” and chided them for allowing environmental concerns to “trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years.”The memo had impact. “It was terse and highly effective, written for people without much time by a person who controls the purse strings for the Republican Party,” said John Walke, a high-ranking air quality official in the Clinton administration.On March 13, Bush reversed his previous position, announcing he would not back a CO2 restriction using the language and rationale provided by Barbour. Echoing Barbour’s memo, Bush said he opposed mandatory CO2 caps, due to “the incomplete state of scientific knowledge” about global climate change.Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour’s memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast. [UPDATE: Alas, the reprieve for New Orleans was only temporary. But Haley Barbour still has much to answer for.]
09/02/05 23:10:58 SpinDentist wrote:
Oh, I know how to do a google search. I saw that article word for word in several questionable sources. Odd that you haven't linked one single source other than Robert Kennedy Junior's article in Huffington Post's blog, which reflects an opinion shared by many, many people around the world. Your claim of him politicizing the story shows up in places like Chronwatch, a source that has published many stories, such as the supposed mistress of John Kerry, that proved to be utterly false. But Chronwatch is not a credible source not because they made a mistakle, but because when they found they had published a complete and utter lie, they never, not one single time, retracted their statement. No. find a real source, kid.
09/02/05 23:19:25 The City Troll wrote:
Those are his own words you can't deny what he is saying. Even if you agree, he is still saying its gods reveng on the right.You make fun of a loon on the right who says its Gods reveng for SIN but you trumpet agreement for a loony on the left who says its Gods revenge for Globall Warming. I am simply Ilustrating that #1 your post is a lie the nut case you quote wasn't the first to say it was gods revenge and #2 you provide the laughable same loony thinking as what you ridicule above by saying many agree with Kennedy.
09/03/05 00:09:19 The City Troll wrote:
And I did post it from a questionable source your right. ANYTHING on the Huffington Post is questionable. LOL
09/03/05 00:11:44 The City Troll wrote:
Please explain why it is odd. I post the original article and your disapointed that I posted it from a website that touted it as a great article. Whats the matter did I upset you because my source is a liberal icon to you? You say qustionable source and then throw in chronwatch. I posted Kennedy's article from its source the Huffington Post word for word. So whats questionable except bobby's sanity?
09/03/05 00:30:50 The City Troll wrote:
Ah spindentist so much for standing your ground in intelligent debate pointing out that there are loonies on both sides of the issue, but since you state that many many people agree with kennedy I guess in your mind he is right. Its gods just punishment for globall warming.
09/03/05 09:59:07
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