CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
I must be an incurable optimist to hope that politics would not rear its ugly head during this disaster, or at least hold off until we're over the initial hell. Instead, fingers of blame were pointed from the get-go as people were dying before our eyes. At a time when the people of New Orleans need a strong leader, their mayor, Ray Nagin (shaking hands with Bush), is cussing out others on the radio.
'GET OFF YOUR ASSES!'
"I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man," Mayor Ray Nagin said.
Sparing no one's feelings, the first-term Democrat said, "Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late.
"Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddam crisis in the history of this country."
He added, "This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."
Hells bells, if he wanted buses, why didn't he use those buses in that picture above? An aerial view of flooded school buses in a lot, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, in New Orleans, LA.
I'm not implying he's at fault, but he had the buses to help evacuate the needy residents when there was still time. It's not as though there was no warning. I'll grant that for a short while people believed that New Orleans had dodged the Katrina bullet when she blew past, but then the real disaster hit as the water began to rise very quickly. However, the city was expecting a cat. 4 or 5 to hit, and an accurate description of the ensuing disaster was predicted last year.
The National Geographic channel has been running a series called Megastructures, and one of the shows deals with how the Netherlands have dealt with this very problem. North Sea Wall is a 3-minute video clip that's an excellent recap.
Rudy Giuliani stood steadfast after 9/11 in his city's worst nightmare, which helped New Yorkers to remain relatively calm, at a time when no one knew if there was more terrorism to come. Mayor Nagin is understandably frustrated, but cursing out others on the radio is not the way to help your city.
UPDATE!: Orleans Parish Prison Riot: On Scene Report
I saw, from day one, miles of charter buses come in and take out thousands of refugees, right through my checkpoint. When I finally heard the news on TV after getting home and heard Mayor Nagin complaining that he wasn't getting any help and nobody wasn't doing anything I almost got sick. I would have knocked him out if he was standing in front of me. (You have to know this man's history of running / ruining this city). There was more help and aid coming into that city from day one than you could have ever imagined.
By the third day they were setting fires to homes and businesses. It is my belief, based on experience, that a lot of fires were intentionally being set to cover up other crimes, many being capital crimes.
UPDATE!: In New Orleans, Criminals Get Out First
* Rumors of rioting and hostage-taking among the prisoners are false.
* At this time, no prisoner is confirmed among the known fatalities
* At this time, no guard is confirmed among the known fatailties.
I suppose all help is welcome, but I think money would have been a far better choice at this point.
NO RELIEF IN SIGHT
THE world's most misguided p.r. effort: "e.l.f. Cosmetics has created 10,000 special Hurricane Katrina Relief Beauty Kits that include pressed powder, shimmering facial whip, lip moisturizer, lip gloss and mascara," states a press release. "e.l.f. Cosmetics would like to do as much as they can to provide relief to this devastating situation. Thousands of people are without any of their belongings. Although makeup is a secondary need, e.l.f. hopes to get people back on track. This is a small token, but it's a start." Said one magazine editor who received the press release: "This would be terribly funny if it weren't so sad."