[TAG] *sigh* another disaster, another nose count...
Thu Sep 1 23:38:30 MSD 2005
Benjamin A. Okopnik wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 31, 2005 at 12:20:47PM -0700, Mike Orr wrote:
>> Heather Stern wrote:
>> > 16:58 < klasikahl> they're under martial law to
>> > 16:58 < klasikahl> too
>> Grr, irresponsible comment like "parking nazis" (=parking enforcement
>> police). I haven't heard any reports of constitutions being suspended,
>> generals declaring themselves dictator, legislators overstaying their
>> limit, or freedoms being curtailed.
> Just a counterpoint: FEMA has suspended rescue operations in NOLA today,
> because it's "dangerous".
Yes, and the mayor of N'Orleans ordered everyone out of the city this
morning, if I heard the radio report right. Funny he should do that the
day after I said the evacuation wasn't "mandatory".
> To give them full credit, the media has been
> building up to this, with pictures of "looters" breaking into stores
> (can someone explain "looting" to me? In a city with NO food, NO water,
> NO useable plumbing, and when your child is screaming hysterically in
> grief for the parent who got washed away, fear of what's happening,
> hunger, thirst, and perhaps from being filthy due to lack of diapers and
> being surrounded by a lake of toxic waste? Use short words, please;
> anything like "political expediency" is going to sail right by me.)
Er, I don't watch TV so I haven't seen the pictures. I've been realizing
that gives me an incomplete picture of major events and makes them seem
"less real", so occasionally I turn on the TV to see what it looks like.
I'd do it more but I absolutely cannot stand TV news with its hype and
commercials, and its emphasis on trivial stories. If I knew what time the
good content was on I'd watch it, but I'm not going to sit through entire
newscasts just in case there's one good item during the half hour.
(I did turn on the TV for the London bombings. Since it was happening
right then I knew there would probably be a TV story on it that moment. I
was also able to identify with it in a way I couldn't with Spain, since
I'd been in that location.)
I assumed "looting" meant stealing electronics and jewelery and other
high-value items, not food and diapers. God forbid they prosecute anybody
for taking food from an abandoned house or grocery store. But no, I
haven't heard any elaboration on what is being "looted". And yes, one
wonders how valuable a waterlogged computer is, especially if it's been
covered by toxic wate.
> Rich people in NOLA mostly got out. The people with no cars, no money,
> and living close to the financial brink in the first place - i.e., the
> poor folks - mostly didn't. Now, they're "looters", and - well, they're
> all damn criminals. Why not let them starve and die? That's all they
> deserve, anydamn way.
Um, that may be stretching the facts with a marxist spin. Most poor
people in the US do have cars, especially in the South where there's not
much other transportation. (I've even heard of Mexican farmworkers
pooling their resources to buy a $500 clunker to get to a job in another
city, knowing the car won't last more than one trip.) People have refused
to leave for various reasons, and it's not clear the poor are doing this
moreso than the rich. Some of them have multistory houses, indicating
they're at least semi rich. Surely there must be a lot of homeless people
and single parents without transportation, but whether they're the ones
doing the looting is another question. Often they won't loot coz they
know it's wrong or they're afraid to; it's the drug addicts and criminals
who loot. In other words, the ones who least deserve the stuff.
> You know that bit in the Declaration of Independence, the "all men are
> created equal" and "unalienable Rights ... among these are Life,
> Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness"? These "unequal" folks aren't
> even getting a chance at life - much less anything else. Their money was
> stolen, and the services they were promised when they paid for them -
> remember the side of the social contract that the government is supposed
> to fulfill,
You mean the side the US doesn't have, because it's incompatible with
> Martial law was declared on Tuesday, which means that George W. Bush
> *has* declared himself to be the sole dictator over these poor half-dead
> souls, and their constitutional rights *have* been suspended. Their
> freedom to _live_ has been curtailed.
Maybe this is correct and I haven't heard it yet, but I heard "state of
emergency", not "martial law". "State of emergency" seems to be an
incantation to release money from various disaster budgets. Nor have I
heard of Dubya taking personal control of the region, overstepping the
This morning my friend sent me this, from an unknown news source. He
commented, "Hospitals in Iraq are more secure than a hospital in New
Looting spiraled so out of control that Nagin ordered virtually the entire
police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and focus on the brazen
packs of thieves who have turned increasingly hostile.
Late Wednesday, Tenet Healthcare Corp. asked Louisiana State Police and
the U.S. Coast Guard to help evacuate one of its hospitals in Gretna after
a supply truck carrying food, water, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals
was held up by gunmen.
(Related story: Looting rampant)
"We have to close it down because we can no longer ensure the safety of
our patients or our staff in that hospital," Tenet spokesman Steven
Campanini said of the 203-bed Meadowcrest Hospital.
He said there were about 350 employees and between 125 to 150 patients
inside the hospital, which is not flooded and is functioning.
-- Mike Orr <mso at oz.net>
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