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My friends David and Sandra have decided to remain in the Garden District tonight on the Eve of Hurricane Katrina...

They just recently relocated there from NYC - Both are in their 70s and 80s (though dont dare tell them I told you so!) and stubborn as hell!

Join me tonight in sending a glowing green protective bubble to protect New Orleans from harm as Katrina makes landfall tomorrow AM...

blessed be...
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Seems either our beams, St. Jude or Lasher, or all of the above, helped spare NOLA the worst. I was on tenterhooks last night as familiar places were mentioned in the reports...

"On Jackson Square, two massive oak trees outside the 278-year-old St. Louis Cathedral came out by the roots, ripping out a 30-foot section of ornamental iron fence and straddling a marble statue of Jesus Christ, snapping off only the thumb and forefinger of his outstretched hand.

Hotel guests also were treated to some unplanned ventilation, as scores of windows were blown out.

At the hotel Le Richelieu, the winds blew open sets of balcony French doors shortly after dawn. Seventy-three-year-old Josephine Elow of New Orleans pressed her weight against the broken doors as a hotel employee tried to secure them.

"It's not life-threatening," Elow said as rain water dripped from her face. "God's got our back."

Elow's daughter, Darcel Elow, was awakened before dawn by a high-pitched howling that sounded like a trumpeting elephant.

"I thought it was the horn to tell everybody to leave out the hotel," she said as she walked the hall in her nightgown."


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Hurricane Katrina personal update, news

Thanks to everyone for their wishes, calls and email concerning Johnny and I, our family, friends and house in New Orleans. Thankfully, we were not in our beloved adopted city for this nightmare.

My brother, who we originally thought was in the Superdome, made it to Shreveport with a last-minute ride and called Monday night after a 14 hour drive in the storm. Thanks for your beams and good wishes for him!

We have no news on his house in the Marigny, other dear friends in the neighborhood and city, places we love, nor the apartment we were in the process of buying when the storm came in and changed everything.

We are still in a state of shock, feeling very helpless, the way some of you did when 9/11 was occuring and you were watching it from a distance.

Any NOLA Mboarders who are able to post, please do so when you can or email and let us know if we can do anything from here.
Chi, I am so glad to know your brother is safe.
I hope Diego got out too. And Otter swimming away with the chihauhaus on her head!!

Today's beautiful article in the Times about the New Orleans spirit:

August 31, 2005
Where Living at Nature's Mercy Had Always Seemed Worth the Risk

After Hurricane Andrew huffed and puffed and then somehow veered away in 1992, the way the storms always seemed to do, the manager of a praline shop in the French Quarter mused on the mixture of fatalism and bravado that has always been at the heart of New Orleans.

"You do live with the belief that some day the big one's going to get you," said Patricia McDonald Gomez, general manager of Aunt Sally's Original Creole Pralines said as the party resumed, as it always did on Bourbon Street. "You're almost fatalistic, which is part of the reason New Orleans has that mixture of frivolity and fatalism. Living in a soup bowl will do it to you, like Romans dancing while Nero fiddled and the city burned."

Now it seems, after countless close calls, the big one has hit, leaving New Orleanians terrified, stunned, gasping, speechless.

With whitecaps on Canal Street, water coursing through breeched levees and 80 percent of the city under water, surviving, not rebuilding, is now the order of the day. But in the back of their minds people who love New Orleans are wondering what will remain physically and psychologically of perhaps America's most distinctive city when the water recedes and - days, weeks or months from now - some semblance of everyday life struggles to resume.

So former Mayor Marc Morial, now the head of the Urban League and living in New York, kept interrupting a telephone conversation to gasp in disbelief at the watery images on his television and then did his best to conjure up the task ahead.

"We'll rebuild, of course," Mr. Morial said. "But what made New Orleans is the polyglot, the tapestry, the mosaic, the gumbo. So the French Quarter gets most of the attention, but the Quarter feeds from the arteries of the neighborhoods."

He paused and gasped again as the screen showed the flooded images from the low-income Ninth Ward: "Oh my God, oh my God. We're looking at the worst natural disaster in American history."

Left unspoken was the question not of how to rebuild the French Quarter, but how to rebuild the city of Stella, Blanche and Stanley, the city that to William Faulkner was "the labyrinthine mass of oleander and jasmine, lantana and mimosa," a place one admirer said "could wreck your liver and poison your blood," the city of the Italianate mansions of the Garden District and forlorn housing projects like the one named Desire - a place that gave America most of its music, much of its literature, a cracked mirror glimpse of American exotica and a fair piece of its soul.

"Great Babylon is come up before me," shuddered Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel, upon encountering New Orleans more than a century and a half ago. "Oh, the wickedness, the idolatry of this place."

In truth, the wickedness has long since become fairly tame, pre-fab voodoo, L.S.U. and Ole Miss sorority girls flashing their breasts from French Quarter balconies and sad-eyed strippers being ogled by drunk conventioneers at seedy Bourbon Street bars. And people have been predicting the slow de-Babylonization of New Orleans for decades, pondering its inexorable transformation into a place like anyplace else.

But it never really happened. Mr. Morial said that was partly a function of its identity as a city of natives, who make up 70 percent to 80 percent of the population. It is partly a function of its in-bred business climate, suspicious of newcomers, in which the go-go gene that defined cities like Dallas or Atlanta, petty trifles when New Orleans was at its peak, never took hold. And partly it is a function of geography, the proudly insular culture that results from what one scholar, Pierce Lewis, described as being an "inevitable city on an impossible site."

So, as much as the oysters at Felix's or the street performers in Jackson Square, what has defined New Orleans has been nature - the smothering blanket of humid air, the rains so thunderous, the humorist Roy Blount Jr. once wrote, "that you expect to see alligators bouncing off the pavement." And most of all, the oceanic expanse of water surrounding the city from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, which covers 600 square miles. That location made it a natural settlement point, a place that drew settlers from every culture that passed by and left it in a place so precarious that this week's disaster has always seemed almost inevitable.

Mr. Morial said city planners had been as attentive to hurricane planning as possible and cited the city's shift in focus from shelters to evacuation planning as something that could play an incalculable role in minimizing the casualties from the storm.

As for any psychological denial, he noted that other places face earthquakes or floods, and people in New Orleans have always looked at the odds and figured living at nature's mercy in such an alluring hothouse was worth the risk.

"People have always thought, there's a chance for the big one, but is it one in 100? One in 1,000? One in 10,000? One in 100,000?" he said. "People have sort of learned to deal with this and live with it, and now we're all having to deal with it."

Even those who survived the storm with minimal damage were wondering what would happen next in a city whose other dominant thread is entrenched urban poverty.

Henry Armand Austan, a 61-year-old photographer, said he picked out his home in the city's Carrollton section uptown because it stood on some of the highest ground around.

Yesterday afternoon Mr. Austan had no electricity, but he did have gas and water. He had a clutter of downed banana trees in his backyard, a posse of hungry cats looking for food, a view of looters foraging through shops nearby, and a fiancée whose cellphone had died stranded at the Louisiana Superdome. The foot of water that was in front of his house a day earlier had drained down to the flooded sections below.

"We had a good tourist thing going, but if this place is closed down for six months you can forget that," he said by telephone. "If they don't come back, you wonder what will happen. This is a poor city with a bad education system. Corporate America isn't going to want to put its business in a place that might flood every so often. We might not have a lot to recommend us."

Some fear that the city that emerges from the floodwaters will finally be turned into a theme park - the glitter of Bourbon Street without the grit that now surrounds it.

But there is also a sense that, like the river, there remains something immutable in New Orleans. As the jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis once said: "You know, I don't think New Orleans is ever going to change, because I don't think in the scheme of things, it's supposed to change."

That sentiment will be tested now as never before, but Mr. Morial said he was confident the city could rebuild and recover.

"I've heard from so many people and everyone says the same thing," he said. "First they say, 'How's your mom? Is she O.K.?' Then they say, 'We've got to do something to help.' A lot of people have lost everything they own, but there's a great spirit, a zeal, to clean up and to rebuild."
Glad, too, to hear about your brother's scramble to safety, Chi.
And, S'tan, Otter was in NYC for Wigstock. It's possible she is still here...

Since it's very difficult to get any first hand info from NOLA, because there is no power or telephone service, the information is very piecemeal.

CNN, of course, is there, but seems to have gone out of its way to use reporters with absolutely no knowlege of the City's geography. And I will scream if they run that harrowing and heartless footage of the man who lost his wife when their house split in two one more time!

The Times-Picayune and WWL TV have relocated to Baton Rouge (as has the mayor!) but seem to be doing an admirable job with reporters on the spot. Their links, for those who haven't discovered them yet, are below.

It seems that, aside from the original places that were settled in the swamp-- the French Quarter and The Garden District-- that the whole city is seriously flooded. The Lower Ninth and St. Bernard's Parish are gone. And I would suspect The Bywater us not faring well either.

Toni C. BTW is here in NYC and her GF evacuated to Georgia with their menagerie. And when last I heard, they thought their house was definitely submerged. But who can say?

Meanwhile, I continue to pray to St. Jude...

Times-Picayune link

WWL Television
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I talked to Diego and he is here in NYC. Has no one to go check on his house... last he heard there was three feet of water around it. Collection of art books valued at $1M ... and all that other art! We hope ALL the art, all the history, all the ghosts can be saved.

Meanwhile, in the bank, on CNN: looters broke into the local Walmart gun store and got all the goodies... Total mayhem is breaking out there. They are calling them "professional criminals" I imagine to justify shooting the po'folk down.

As per the CNN crew, they have evacuated.

All the Superdome folk are being put on buses and being trucked to the Super-somethingorother Stadium in Houston.
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Hey all:

My boyfriend Tadd and I are in Arkansas at his family's home after fleeing NO late Saturday night. We are lucky we had someplace to go to! Not quite sure what will be there when we go back but we are almost positive our place is under water... But we managed to escape with our Cat and my Apple Cube and external HD!

We are actually trying to enjoy ourselves and not worry ourselves to death over the awful news. I'll try to send some pix after they let us back into the city. Glad to hear Chi Chi's brother is fine, too!

Brian Damage
Dear Byron,
So glad you got out! What an epic ride it must have been. I hope the pink paint isn't totally washed away when you get back.

btw I am moving from NY in late Sept. If you are
worn out at the parents', and you still need somewhere else to go, let me know.
I have room in my house in New Mex. There are seven acres too for putting in a trailer or whatever.
email me for the phone number,
I will get back to you soon.

You can come for October after Garrett goes to the Faerie Farm to pick. I certainly hope you all can get back home,
but they are saying it does not look hopeful.
I am glad to do something for the peoples of New Orleans, esp. those tinted New-yorkais.
Best wishes.
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Forgot to mention this before, but if you want to do something for the stranded animals of NOLA, this organization (who landed in NOLA this afternoon) has been fantastic with two people I know who called them about pets they had to leave behind in houses they now knew were flooded. We just gave a donation online and I urge you to do the same.

Before the storm they were refusing pets at the superdome and shelters, so many people without means or cars faced a terrible choice and left pets behind.
Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? 'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

By Will Bunch

Published: August 30, 2005 9:00 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters may still keep rising in New Orleans late on Tuesday. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until it's level with the massive lake.

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Also that June, with the 2004 hurricane season starting, the Corps' project manager Al Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."

The panel authorized that money, and on July 1, 2004, it had to pony up another $250,000 when it learned that stretches of the levee in Metairie had sunk by four feet. The agency had to pay for the work with higher property taxes. The levee board noted in October 2004 that the feds were also now not paying for a hoped-for $15 million project to better shore up the banks of Lake Pontchartrain.

The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs.

There was, at the same time, a growing recognition that more research was needed to see what New Orleans must do to protect itself from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But once again, the money was not there. As the Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22:

"That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount. But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money, he said."

The Senate was seeking to restore some of the SELA funding cuts for 2006. But now it's too late.

One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer: a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday.

The Newhouse News Service article published Tuesday night observed, "The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. ... In its budget, the Bush administration proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need."

Local officials are now saying, the article reported, that had Washington heeded their warnings about the dire need for hurricane protection, including building up levees and repairing barrier islands, "the damage might not have been nearly as bad as it turned out to be."

Will Bunch ( is senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News. Much of this article also appears on his blog at that newspaper, Attytood.

----- see you all'ins later I gotta get out of town with the Binky... to start the joys of paying a fortune for gasoline. --- S'tan
Your post, S'tan answers some of the questions raised in a Washington Post editorial today:

"* If the reason Bush returned to Washington is that he is more effective here, then why didn't he come back two days ago?

* If the White House considers the return from vacation largely symbolic, then what is the symbolism of his long vacation during a war?

* Could Bush and the federal government have done more to prepare for hurricane recovery? Unlike the Asian tsunami, this hurricane was forecast days ahead of time.

* Did any of his previous budget decisions allow the hurricane to cause more damage than it might have otherwise?

* Are National Guard troops and equipment required to restore order in this country many thousands of miles away.

* Will he and his administration meet this disaster quickly and effective with the appropriate civilian and military resources and manpower?

* Will the White House provide the bold leadership and vision that the nation requires?"

Certainly, attaching FEMA to Homeland Security, and having it now focus on aftermath, rather than prevention, is a huge mistake.
And this does make one wonder what will happen here during the next terrorist attack. Will we too be treated to a short-sighted, leave-it-till-tomorrow set of policies by our "elected" officials?
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I am so shocked by the devastation of that area... its terrible! I don't think anyone expected it to be THAT bad... and of course the folks who are most badly affected are the poor who can't leave so easily etc...terrible... Its amazing to me that Bush is so vacant and that people aren't rioting in the streets due to his apathy about everything... He is SO SHITE as "a President" just shite! Its times like this when I wish that americans weren't so fervent about answers from their President... if we were in another country folks would storm the walls and chop off his head! Ahh one can only dream...
I believe that the increased power of the Hurricane was the result of global warming and that this is only the beginning. I watch the BBC World news every night and they as well as the rest of the world are in complete aggreement about global warming. The USA is the only power (and the biggest contributor to GW) that questions or doubts it. They had shown on the BBC several weeks ago how the coral communities in the Florida Keys are all dying fast as a result of the average sea temperature having increased recently. It is also the increased sea temperature that affects and even develops hurricanes. Hence we have been seeing more of them lately and now they are getting stronger than ever.

Yesterday I read how Bolton, bushes latest stooge implanted into the UN is demanding that the UN delete all mention of "climate change" from its charter. I think that we may need radical change soon just for our survival.
I'm waiting to see exactly how much money Bush doles out to the state of Louisiana and NOLA. When he was running for re-election, he poured federal relief funds into Florida (a swing state where his brother is governor) after hurricanes lashed the state. Mind you, I'm happy that the people of Florida received emergency assistance where needed, however the tragedy of NOLA is 100 times worse, and now Bush has no election to worry about. I wouldn't be surprised to see the federal purse strings tighten quite suddenly, especially given that the Iraq war has decimated the budget, used up a large portion of the National Guard and driven oil/gas prices sky high. Not to mention the environmental protections he's worked tirelessly to undue behind the scenes which undoubtedly will hasten global climate change. Of course if he gets stingy with relief money now it will make him look really bad but since when have Republicans cared about how they look. I hope everyone who voted for him is satisfied.
This came today, so I'm pasting it in here:
news from the front- pass on if anyone finds this kind of first person
report interesting. thanks Clayton

When the threat of Katrina was realized, he sent
his wife and two young girls to Jackson, MS where his parents live.. but
he stayed behind.
He is a pathologist and had checked into the Ritz for a medical
convention -- which presumably would be safe. That's where he remains.

Thanks to all of you who have sent your notes of concern.
I am writing this note on Tuesday at 2PM . I wanted to update
all of you as to the situation here. I don't know how much information
you are getting but I am certain it is more than we are getting. Be
advised that almost everything I am telling you is from direct
observation or rumor from reasonable sources. They are allowing limited
internet access, so I hope to send this dispatch today.

Personally, my family and I are fine. My family is safe in Jackson, MS,
and I am now a temporary resident of the Ritz Carleton Hotel in New
Orleans. I figured if it was my time to go, I wanted to go in a place
with a good wine list. In addition, this hotel is in a very old
building on Canal Street that could and did sustain little damage. Many
of the other hotels sustained significant loss of windows, and we expect
that many of the guests may be evacuated here.

Things were obviously bad yesterday, but they are much worse today.
Overnight the water arrived. Now Canal Street (true to its origins) is
indeed a canal. The first floor of all downtown buildings is
underwater. I have heard that Charity Hospital and Tulane are limited
in their ability to care for patients because of water. Ochsner is the
only hospital that remains fully functional. However, I spoke with them
today and they too are on generator and losing food and water fast. The
city now has no clean water, no sewerage system, no electricity, and no
real communications. Bodies are still being recovered floating in the
floods. We are worried about a cholera epidemic. Even the police are
without effective communications. We have a group of armed police here
with us at the hotel that are admirably trying to exert some local law
enforcement. This is tough because looting is now rampant. Most of it
is not malicious looting. These are poor and desperate people with no
housing and no medical care and no food or water trying to take care of
themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the people are armed and
dangerous. We hear gunshots frequently. Most of Canal street is
occupied by armed looters who have a low threshold for discharging their
weapons. We hear gunshots frequently. The looters are using makeshift
boats made of pieces of styrofoam to access. We are still waiting for
a significant national guard presence.

The health care situation here has dramatically worsened overnight.
Many people in the hotel are elderly and small children. Many other
guests have
Have unusual diseases. They are unfortunately . 'We have better
medical letter. There are ID physicians in at this hotel attending an
HiV confection. We have commandered the world famous French Quarter
Bar to turn into an makeshift clinic. There is a team of about 7
doctors and PA and pharmacists. We anticipate that this will be the
major medical facility in the central business district and French

Our biggest adventure today was raiding the Walgreens on Canal under
police escort. The pharmacy was dark and fool of water. We basically
scooped the entire drug sets into gargace bags and removed them. All
uner police excort. The looters had to be held back at gun point.
After a dose of prophylactic Cipro I hope to be fine.

In all we are faring well. We have set up a hospital in the the French
Qarter bar in the hotel, and will start admitting patients today. Many
with be from the hotel, but many with not. We are anticipating to
dealing with multiple medical problems, medications and and acute
injuries. Infection and perhaps even cholera are anticipated major
problems. Food and water shortages are iminent.

The biggest question to all of us is where is the national guard. We
hear jet fignters and helicopters, but no real armed presence, and hence
the rampant looting. There is no Red Cross and no salvation army.

In a sort of cliche way, this is an edifying experience. Once is
rapidly focused away from the transient and material to the bare
necessities of life. It has been challenging to me to learn how to be a
primary care phyisican. We are under martial law so return to our homes
is impossible. I don't know how long it will be and this is my
greatest fear. Despite it all, this is a soul edify experience. The
greatest pain is to think about the loss. And how long the rebuid will.
And the horror of so many dead people .

DISPATCH From the front. I will send more according to your interest.
Hopefully their collective prayers will be answered. By the way suture
packs, sterile gloves and stethoscopes will be needed as the Ritz turns
into a MASH

Greg Henderson
This has been a nightmare on so many different levels. First the incompetence of the local government, no evacuation plan and NO plan for the levee's breaking which has been predicted for years Second the callous disregard from Bush and company, too involved in Iraq to save their own USA citizens, (mostly black, if I need to remind). Third, our beautiful city...gone. FUCK IRAQ, REBUILD NEW ORLEANS!
Ankou says exactly what I wanted to say this morning... am totally outraged at the devestation and the fact that Bush hasn't even been there yet!! Can u imagine if this happened in Palm Beach? Or even Texas. Bottom line is clearly obvious these are mainly poor black folks so really in his minds (an sadly most of the apathetic mass heartland of america) these folks are 'disposable'. Its shocking. People should me marching against the handling of this, people really should! Its insane the way the folks left there are being treated. Most of these elderly folks have worked all their lives and paid US taxes to be left like cattle. Around the world (read some online newspapers or tv reports) the world is astounded by the way Bush is handling this, and so they should be.
This to me just reads like a movie its so unreal!


Victims' desperation
The New Orleans riverfront has been hit by a series of massive blasts, and fires are raging in the area.
Details are sketchy, but the blast is believed to have involved a chemical factory. A large cloud of acrid, black smoke is drifting over New Orleans.

The news came as extra troops were sent to quell lawlessness in the city, where thousands are stranded without food or water in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

President Bush is to visit areas hit amid anger at the federal response.

The Senate approved $10.5bn (£5.7bn) emergency aid, which the House of Representatives is expected to back within the next 24 hours.

Map of central New Orleans
But the head of the New Orleans emergency operations described the relief effort as a national disgrace.

The federal authorities were too slow to respond, Mayor Ray Nagin said.

'Urban warfare'

Louisiana's governor said 300 "battle-tested" National Guardsmen were being sent to the crippled city.

People were raped in the Superdome. People were killed in there. We had multiple riots

New Orleans police officer

Accounts of flood chaos

"They have M-16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will," Kathleen Blanco said.

Washington pledged a further 4,200 guardsmen in coming days, and said that 3,000 army soldiers may also be sent to the city where violence has disrupted relief efforts.

The deployment came as thousands were finally taken from the Louisiana Superdome, where up to 20,000 have been corralled amid heat and squalor since Katrina struck.

Hundreds or even thousands are feared to have drowned in the city - and up to 60,000 could still be stranded, the US coastguard says.

People made homeless by the flooding have grown increasingly desperate, as looting swept the city.

There have been outbreaks of shootings and carjackings and reports of rapes.

The federal emergency agency was trying to work "under conditions of urban warfare", director Michael Brown said.

Lawlessness in New Orleans

In pictures

The situation at the city's convention centre, where up to 20,000 other residents sought refuge, was also said to be desperate.

Families slept amid the filth and the dead.

The muddy floodwaters are now toxic with fuel, battery acid, rubbish and raw sewage.

"Call it biblical. Call it apocalyptic. Whatever you want to call it, take your pick," one survivor said.

"There were bodies floating past my front door. I've never seen anything like that," Robert Lewis said, near tears.

'Blame game'

Residents have expressed growing anger and frustration with the disorder on the streets and timeliness of relief efforts.

There are rescue workers risking their lives to save people trapped in their homes, and now these heroes and the survivors are in danger from armed looters

Jessica Marrero
New Orleans

Your Katrina experiences

Governor Blanco told ABC she had "no idea" how many people had died because of the inadequacy of the response.

"We're not into the blame game... I've been trying to save lives," she said.

The Houston Astrodome in Texas had to temporarily close its doors because of lack of space, after receiving 11,000 evacuees.

But the federal emergency management association has asked for patience.

The agency says it has aid to deliver, but it takes time to reach them, given the magnitude of the disaster.

According to the White House, about 90,000 sq miles (234,000 sq km) has been affected by the hurricane.

The mayor of New Orleans has ordered a total evacuation and warned it will be months before people can return to their homes.
And from the Daily News, Condosleeza goes to Ferragamo and Spamalot while south drowns:

As South drowns, Rice soaks in N.Y.

Did New Yorkers chase Condoleezza Rice back to Washington yesterday?

Like President Bush, the Secretary of State has been on vacation during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, with Rice enjoying her downtime in New York Wednesday and yesterday. The cabinet member's responsibilities are usually international, but her timing contributed to the "fiddling while Rome burns" impression given by her boss during the disaster, which may have claimed thousands of lives.

On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at "Spamalot!," the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.

Yesterday, Rice went shopping at Ferragamo on Fifth Ave. According to the Web site, the 50-year-old bought "several thousand dollars' worth of shoes" at the pricey leather-goods boutique.

A fellow shopper shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" - presumably referring to Louisiana and Mississippi.

The woman expressing her First Amendment rights was promptly removed from the store. A Ferragamo store manager confirmed to us that Rice did shop there yesterday, but refused to answer questions about whether the protester was removed, and whether by his own security or the Secret Service.

At the State Department's daily briefing yesterday morning, before the New York incident, spokesman Sean McCormack responded to a journalist who asked whether Rice was involved with hurricane relief efforts by saying, "She's in contact with the department as appropriate." He made no mention that his boss had any plans to leave New York.

But yesterday afternoon, Rice had done just that. Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore told us: "The secretary is back in Washington, and she is being briefed on the situation." Moore did not know whether Condi had planned a longer stay here.
It takes a spectacular kind of asshole to set a fire in this environment.

The Interdictor, 9/2/05

The Interdictor blog (Jade also links to it above) refers to above is genius, far better than cable news for REAL information live from Pydras St. It is the very best use that the Internet can have married with the stubborn spirit of true New Orleanians. These people haven't abandoned their city yet, and I won't either.

The Mayor's radio interview last night was GORGEOUS -

CNN, "Mayor to Feds - Get Off Your Asses"
Yesterday on NPR they mentioned two photos run simultaneously by the AP, one showing a black man walking in water with "looted" goods, and the other showing a white couple walking with "food and water they had found at a local store." It's sickening. I actually feel sick to my stomach, it's so awful, what it shows about this administration...and, worse, of course, how there will be the media spin and a lot of people still won't SEE it, even right there in their faces.

Here are suggestions for donations that could go directly to shelters, etc:

And Move On is trying to organize a housing drive, if anyone knows people, especially within a few hundred miles of the site, who would willing to help put up displaced folk:
There actually were plans for strengthening the levees by the Army Corps of Engineers and they were ready to do it, but bush cut funds to the project and diverted them to Iraq, where significant numbers of Louisanna National Guradsman were also diverted.

Everybody is criticizing the administration, the MSNBC crowd, the conservatives on CNN, even the FOX Cable News. Today I read that even Newt Gingrich was yelling about how if this is an example of how the Homeland Security reacts to homeland disasters then we are in big trouble.

Still there were some angry defenders of the administration calling into the Brian Leher show this morning on WNYC (Local NPR). In their minds defending those asshole rich white men in Washington comes first before feeling any anger for the poor people dying in New Orleans while waiting to be rescued for five days and counting. But the vast majority of people, Dem or Repubs or angry about this.
One has to watch the BBC or any non-US news agency to get news like this, but I just saw on the BBC World that Fidel Castro has offered to send 120 Cuban doctors to the disaster site. The US is not responding to his offer (no big surprise).

Loved the headline on todays New York Daily News: "SHAME ON U.S."

Bush went to Biloxi today and Alabama, but never set foot in New Orleans. He is a VERY lame duck. What was that all about? THat was the main hellish scene. He went to friendlier, safer sites with the destriction in Biloxi as a backdrop so that the nation saw him down there, but he never actually went to New ORleans at all. If he was a genuine leader of this nation he would have went right to that convention center. THEN I might even believe a little. But there was no way that was going to happen. Lincoln would have gone there, CLinton would have, Jimmy Carter would have. This administration is a big hoax.

Here it is in all its monumental agony. For the entire human world to observe. The demoralized, craven indifference of the current presidency.

The jim crow relief policies of the old south.

Tell 200,000 poor people they are required to evacuate their city and provide zero means to assist them. Not only that, but provide absolutely no where to evacuate to. A monstrous exercise in political nihilism. An entire city's population subjugated to an atrocity produced by official policies of abandonment.

Now no one can deny the America of the Little Bush regime is a sick nation.

It is time for national outrage and the practice of the nation's real compassion.

It is time for a calamitous change.

People are now going to want to leave this dispicable era as fast as possible, marshalling thier own human dignity and respect, determined to seek real leadership.

The entire population of America has been abandoned.

Don't you feel it?

Refuse to die inside yourself as the false leaders would want.

"We invite you to come out and spend one night with us, the president." Anonymous woman survivor.

"This is the hull of a slave ship." Jesse Jackson.
It Took Bush Five Days To Make It To New Orleans. Finally.

On CNN's Larry King Show tonight, someone (whose name I unfortunately did not catch) said via telephone, "It's obvious, President Bush does not care about Black people."

The Rev Jesse Jackson, when queried by Larry King as to whether he thought if he felt that Bush really doesn't care about Blacks, said, "Well he sure isn't showing it."

How true.

These leaders must be held accountable for what is happening there.
And all Gov. Kathleen Bianco can come up with is "a day of prayer!"
Last edited by hatches
Additional Aid For NOLA Residents With Stranded Pets... Spread The Word:


Friday, 9:50 p.m.

The Louisiana SPCA, New Orleans' animal control agency, has begun rescuing pets from owners houses.

Louisiana SPCA director Laura Maloney said shelter workers follow other agencies and crews through neighborhoods and rescue pets, some that are locked in houses. At the owners' request, "we break in," she said.

Owners have to call or email the operation and give their name and address and information about where the pet is confined.

The hotline number is: 1-225-578-6111. E-mail should be sent to
Last edited by hatches
and the accompanying article:



September 3, 2005 -- President Bush yesterday hugged refugees from Hurricane Katrina as he got a firsthand look at the human tragedy left by the storm and vowed that New Orleans and other stricken Gulf Coast cities "will rise again."

Bush, who rarely admits mistakes and has come under sharp attack for the government's handling of the crisis, said the first federal response in lawless, chaotic New Orleans was "not acceptable." He vowed: "Where it's not working right, we're going to make it right."

He sought to mix hope with candid recognition of how bad things are right now and predicted that the whole Gulf Coast will come back better than ever "” "and I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans."

Bush also joked that he has a special feeling for New Orleans because as a young man in Texas he would often go there "to enjoy myself "” occasionally too much."

The president's tour from Mobile, Ala., to Biloxi, Miss., and on to New Orleans came at a time when critics "” mostly Democrats but some Republicans as well "” charge that his team didn't do enough, fast enough to stop the suffering.

"If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.

The challenge for the president was to restore confidence and hope, the way he did by going to Ground Zero three days after 9/11.

There was devastation everywhere that Bush went.

Two sisters wept as they came up to the president as he walked along a Biloxi street, which looked as if it had been flattened by bombs with a house in rubble and huge trees stripped of their branches.

"These are the only clothes that I have . . . My son needs clothes. I don't have anything," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching plastic trash bags in hopes that she and her sister Kim, 21, could salvage something, anything, from the remnants of her home.

The president put his arms around both women, hugged them close and gently kissed their foreheads.

"I understand. We're going to get you some help. Hang in there. Help is on the way," he said.

Bush sat with Patrick Wright on the doorstep of what used to be his parents' home with all the timbers collapsed around them like a pile of sticks. The president listened intently as Wright told him how his parents survived "” even though they were in the house as it was destroyed.

"It's worse than imaginable," Bush said. "I don't think anybody can be prepared for the vastness of this destruction. You can look at a picture, but until you sit on that doorstep of a house that used to be, or stand by the rubble, you just can't imagine it."

He vowed to end lawlessness in New Orleans, saying: "The people of this country expect there to be law and order, and we're going to work hard to get it. In order to make sure there's less violence, we've got to get food to people . . . We'll get on top of this situation."

Bush rejected suggestions that America can't cope with Katrina because too many resources were sent to Iraq, saying: "I just completely disagree."

"We've got a job to defend this country and the war on terror, and we've got a job to bring aid and comfort to the people of the Gulf Coast, and we'll do both," he said. "We've got plenty of resources to do both."

Bush gave a strong endorsement to Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown "” who's been taking a lot of flak over the federal response "” saying: "Browner, you're doing a heck of a job."

Bush said the results of the relief effort are "acceptable" in Mississippi, as opposed to New Orleans. He went out of his way to praise Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for strong leadership and toughness on law and order.

Bush didn't offer the same kind of praise for the New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin "” who erupted in a tirade blaming federal officials Thursday "” or for Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco when he toured their area.

But he pledged to work with them and stressed that the first $10.5 billion appropriated by Congress for the relief effort is just "a small down payment for the cost of this effort."

Bush also hailed the spirit of the people, recalling how he'd talked to a Mississippi man sitting in the rubble of the house, asked how he was doing. The man replied: "I'm doing fine. I'm alive and my mother is alive."

Also yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would fly to her native Alabama tomorrow to view the destruction there.

"I just hope I can be a little bit of an extension for a president who cares deeply about what's going on in the Gulf region but can't be everywhere," she said.

CONSOLER-IN-CHIEF: President Bush yesterday embraces victims Bronwynne (center) and Kim Bassier in Biloxi.


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