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Archive for September, 2005

He’s still alive?

September 1st, 2005 by danimal

Well, it’s an open question now … I guess I mean “he was still alive before Katrina?” Who knew?


The singer known for “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That A Shame” has been missing since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

His agent says Fats Domino planned to ride out the storm at his house in a low-lying area of the city with his wife and daughter.

Al Embry says he spoke with Domino Sunday night by phone, but hasn’t been able to contact him since. Embry says he would think Domino is safe because “somebody said he was on top of the balcony.”

Domino is 77 and has rarely appeared in public in recent years.

[Update by Ian] Comments opened. “Allow Comments” is now disabled by default and I’m too lazy to change it back. Sorry.

Bureaucracy Kills

September 1st, 2005 by Ian

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that city officials are running out of supplies for “rescued” people stuck in the convention center. In the midst of 90+ degree heat and 90+% humidity, the mayor has announced that these people will begin marching a number of miles to where relief will supposedly be.

This directly contradicts what Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff said just moments before, when he announced that FEMA had all the resources they needed and were working furiously to rescue and relieve people.

If so, why haven’t there at least been air drops of water and food to the ceonvention center? Why are there still people stuck in rescue centers in New Orleans? Why is it, when I see images of the convention center, there are never any authorities in sight? The federal response has been pathetic.

From an AP article:

Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry people broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.

An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered with a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

“I don’t treat my dog like that,” 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. “I buried my dog.” He added: “You can do everything for other countries but you can’t do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can’t get them down here.”


Terry Ebbert, head of the city’s emergency operations, warned that the slow evacuation at the Superdome had become an “incredibly explosive situation,” and he bitterly complained that FEMA was not offering enough help.

“This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace,” he said. “FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can’t bail out the city of New Orleans.”

Beyond the incompetence and lack of leadership in FEMA’s efforts, the citizens of New Orleans are under attack from armed thugs roaming the city. Arsonists started a number of fires near the Superdome, and people were shooting at a National Guard helicopter. Meanwhile, the scum who’ve been looting include police officers and other authorities. Disgusting. But it’s been the violence that’s hurt relief efforts the most, as Reuters reports:

Two hospitals were under siege by robbers who used axes, guns and metal pipes to steal pain killers and medicine, according to a pilot flying relief operations into New Orleans.

Power and water were off and supplies were exhausted. Critically ill patients were dying one by one without oxygen, insulin and intravenous fluids, the pilot said.

I’m lucky. My immediate family is now safe and sound in Houston. It’s too early for them to even begin thinking about where they will live now that their homes are either destroyed or under 8+ inches of water. But they are safe and sound, which is more than what can be said for so many of the people in the greater New Orleans area. They need help, and they need it now. They need more boats, more food, more water, and more semi-permanent shelter space immediately.

Also, thanks to Tim and Dan for keeping up with the Katrina blogging while I’ve been traveling.

To get some idea of the sheer anarchy that is prevalent in New Orleans right now, read this Editor and Publisher piece.