Quondam Dreams

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Insert Rant Here

I keep trying to write about what's happening along the Gulf Coast, but every time I really start getting into it -- annotated with notes and the occasional reference to part one of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan -- something else comes up. Something bad.

As of a few minutes ago, the Astrodome started turning away people. Some reports indicate that they've closed the doors with far fewer people than they said they could accomodate. I expect that the President will prevail upon his Houston friends to open their estates to accomodate the riff-raff.

Sorry, I was obviously off in fantasy-land for a minute there. It's nice there. It's a place where years of warnings are heeded, and the money is found to make things safe. It's much nicer a reality than the one in which we're actually living.

Assorted tidbits:

Federal government wasn't ready for Katrina, disaster experts say
"The experts, including a former Bush administration disaster response manager, told Knight Ridder that the government wasn't prepared, scrimped on storm spending and shifted its attention from dealing with natural disasters to fighting the global war on terrorism..."

A Dearth of Answers
In which, among other things, Diane Sawyer asks many questions of the President, and gets few answers.

Anderson Cooper quite properly gets in Sen. Landrieu's face
(It's about one-third the way down the page -- or just search for the string
[COOPER: Joining me from Baton Rouge] sans brackets.)
I know that the woman's in an impossible situation, but I'm glad that someone pointed out the obvious in a way to which she had to respond.

And in fairness to the Senator:
Shringking La. Coastline Contributes to Flooding
"Two months ago, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told an audience of congressional staffers and scientific experts the federal government needs to spend billions of dollars over the next two decades to restore her state's wetlands. She warned that intentional rerouting of the Mississippi River over the past century, coupled with rising sea levels due to climate change, had eroded Louisiana's natural buffer against massive storms."

Some interesting numbers:
Over one-third of both Louisiana and Mississippi's National Guard troops are in Iraq. So are about a quarter of both Alabama's and Florida's. On Monday, the people who issue statements on this sort of thing assured us that they still had plenty of people they could activate. I'm not hearing that so much on Thursday night.

I was talking to one of the women at my current contract gig today. She has a friend whose National Guard unit just got back from Iraq. They've been requested for immediate duty in New Orleans because they have experience in urban warfare.

I highly recommend going to Google News and checking out a sampling of the international coverage.

Please spare a thought for the affected areas that aren't New Orleans. They're not getting much coverage, what with being smaller and poorer and not near major broadcast centers-er, but they're pretty much gone.

I never thought I'd see the day that the Los Angeles area had some of the nation's cheaper gas prices.


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