News Headlines & Trends
Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle
08.28.05 through 08.31.05, Maravot News 8.31.05
08.31.05 Martial law declared in New Orleans with review & earth observatory photos
08.30.05 New Orleans escapes direct hit, but most of city is inundated
08.29.05 Katrina flooding now the worry
09.14.05 through 09.18.05, Maravot News 9.18.05
09.16.05 Senator Feinstein provides agenda for disaster preparedness
09.16.05 Global warming 'past the point of no return'
09.16.05 Bush: Let us 'clear away the legacy of inequality'
09.15.05 Grandmom fired for missing work during Katrina to care for child
09.14.05 EPA: New Orleans floodwaters still unsafe, but few air pollutants
09.10.05 through 09.13.05, Maravot News 9.13.05
09.13.05 New FEMA head says focus shifting to finding homes
09.11.05 Breakdowns marked path from hurricane to anarchy
09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster editorial on Bush's incompetence, on Iraq and Katrina
09.10.05 Firms with Bush-Cheney ties clinching Katrina deals
09.10.05 Coast Guard admiral to lead relief effort Beleaguered FEMA chief Michael Brown sent home
09.10.05 National Guard stretched thin
09.07.05 through 09.09.05, Maravot News 9.09.05
09.09.05 White House faces new questions on Katrina relief
09.09.05 Colin Powell on Iraq, race and hurricane relief
09.09.05 Shame on America editorial, Samuel G. Freedman article on leaving dead poor behind in New Orleans
09.08.05 Team removing 30 bodies found in nursing home Thousands of people remain in New Orleans
09.07.05 US faces huge task to identify Katrina victims
09.08.05 How to tame the fury of hurricanes
09.07.05 Arab commentators highlight US impotence in face of Katrina
09.07.05 Five Katrina evacuees die from contaminated water
09.07.05 Katrina kills most fish in New Orleans aquarium
09.07.05 Mayor: Get out or risk being taken out
09.07.05 Hillary Clinton rejects Bush-led probe of Katrina
09.05.05 Residents stream into Jefferson Parish
METAIRIE, LA, September 5 One week after Hurricane Katrina turned the region into a disaster of biblical proportions, miles-long lines of vehicles crawled into Jefferson Parish on Monday as residents were allowed to return for brief 12-hour inspections of what's left of their homes... Most of the single-story bungalow homes in the neighborhood had water nearly to the rooflines. The suburban New Orleans parish, which has about 500,000 residents, has been closed since a mandatory evacuation just before Katrina hit. Wide portions of M etairie and Kenner suffered heavy flooding, and authorities said thousands of homes were damaged...The state's largest newspaper lashed out at the federal government's response... The Times-Picayune, in an open letter to President Bush, called for the firing of every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying they failed to rescue thousands of citizens stranded by Katrina.
"We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry," the editorial said. "Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the government's shame." [Full story wwltv.com]
09.03.05 Congress likely to probe Guard delay
Washington (AP) September 3 Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard on Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday. California troops just began arriving in Louisiana on Friday, three days after flood waters devastated New Orleans and chaos broke out.
In fact, when New Orleans' levees gave way to deadly flooding on Tuesday, Louisiana's National Guard had received help from troops in only three other states: Ohio, which had nine people in Louisiana then; Oklahoma, 89; and Texas, 625, figures provided by the National Guard show.
Maj. Gen. Thomas Cutler, who leads the Michigan National Guard, said he anticipated a call for police units and started preparing them, but couldn't go until states in the hurricane zone asked them to come. "We could have had people on the road Tuesday," Cutler said. "We have to wait and respond to their need." The Michigan National Guard was asked for military police by Mississippi late Tuesday and by Louisiana officials late Wednesday. The state sent 182 MPs to Mississippi on Friday and had 242 headed to Louisiana on Saturday.
With many states' Guard units depleted by deployments to Iraq, Katrina's aftermath was almost certain from the beginning to require help from faraway states. Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress are just beginning to ask why one of the National Guard's most trusted roles disaster relief was so uneven, delayed and chaotic this time around. [More>>wwltv.com]
09.03.05 Fires burn along river; rescue effort grinds on
NEW ORLEANS, 10:21 EDT, September 3 As the struggle continued to rescue victims from floodwaters and evacuate people from New Orleans, two major fires raged along the waterfront Saturday morning. One of them was engulfing an industrial district on the river and was threatening to proceed warehouse by warehouse along the stretch. The black smoke covered the skyline of the city, where firefighting resources are stretched thin and the hydrants are dry. There was no sign that the 50-to-60 blazes were being fought.
On Friday, a bus carrying 50 evacuees overturned north of Lafayette, Louisiana, killing a man and injuring 12 people, a Louisiana State Police spokesman said. About 2,000 people remained Saturday at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans after a day that saw one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. CNN's Jeff Koinange toured the garbage-strewn building, describing an overpowering stench. [More>>cnn.com; See also foxnews.com story, "Superdome evacuation halted" : Buses taking Hurricane Katrina victims far from the squalor of the Superdome stopped rolling early Saturday. As many as 5,000 people remained in the stadium and could be there until Sunday, according to the Texas Air National Guard.
Officials had hoped to evacuate the last of the crowd before dawn Saturday. Guard members said they were told only that the buses had stopped coming and to shut down the area where the vehicles were being loaded. "We were rolling," Capt. Jean Clark said. "If the buses had kept coming, we would have this whole place cleaned out already or pretty close to it."
...Capt. John Pollard of the Texas Air Force National Guard (search) said 20,000 people were in the dome when evacuation efforts began. That number swelled as people poured into the Superdome because they believed it was the best place to get a ride out of town. He estimated Saturday morning that between 2,000 and 5,000 people were left at the Superdome. But it remained a mystery why the buses stopped coming to pick up refugees and shuttle them away.]
Editorial note: There were approximately 50 large trucks that brought in supplies September 2 to the Superdome.
Why couldn't those trucks haul out people? They could have been used as a backup plan, they could have trucked people to evacuation points where tents could be raised. The lack of military support in this disaster is shocking, and the fact that the convoy help arrived only when President Bush arrived appears too coincidental. In wwltv report, Bush sending more troops to Gulf Coast," we learn that only 4,000 to date have been deployed and another 7,000 will arrive within 72 hours. Compare this effort to the "four-day" invasion of Iraq: The invasion began March 20, 2003. After approximately three weeks of fighting, Iraq was occupied by coalition forces wikipedia.org; By March 23, Coalition forces had seized H-2 and H-3, airfields in western Iraq, and controlled parts of Umm Qasr, Basra and Nasiriyah. Armored and mechanized forces had advanced to within 100 miles of Baghdad and forced a crossing of the Euphrates River at Nasiriyah, where Iraqi forces put up a stiff fight. In northern Iraq, the US launched an attack with 40 to 50 cruise missiles on forces of two Islamist parties opposed to the Pro-US Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). These two groups are Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), believed associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida and Komala Islami Kurdistan (Islamic Society of Kurdistan). Also on March 23, US forces began airlifting troops into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq in what appears to be the opening move toward a second front against Iraqi forces historyguy.com; by March 24, troops were within 50 miles of Baghdad and on April 5 US troops rolled into Baghdad "Iraq War Timeline," infoplease.com]. Bush gave Saddam Hussein a 48 hour ultimatum on March 17, 2003 before launching his invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003.
Bush's "calvary" finally arriving after four days to provide military support in the oil-filled, toxic waters around the Superdome (AP photo, David J. Phillips via wwltv]. Compare their time to deploy to rescue 100,000 people in New Orleans to their "four-day" invasion of Iraq. Map on top shows Iraq with the area of Katrina's impact transposed. Click on image for larger view.
While it took only four days to cross the length of Iraq, through intense fighting, to within 50 miles of Baghdad, Baton Rouge, about 70 miles from New Orleans, had in the same amount of time seen an embarrasingly small advance of troops.
09.02.05 President arrives in Mobile for tour of Gulf Coast region
September 2 "President arrives in Mobile for tour of Gulf Coast region." President Bush appeared in Mobile, Alabama and interviewed US government and state officials in the region as to what had been done so far and expressed that "where things are not being done right they will be corrected, and where there are successes the procedures will be duplicated." He noted that in his first fly over two days ago what he saw was a region that had been completely devastated as if it had been hit by the worst kind of bomb. After the conference before US Coast Guard helicopters, he boarded a helicopter for a tour of the devastated region. In New Orleans several railroad cars had been set on fire this morning, but the fire chief indicated that the cloud covering New Orleans was not toxic. [Videos>>abcnews.go.com; See updates
wwltv.com (AP) 7:58pm EDT, "Guardsmen greeted with applause, anger"
NEW ORLEANS To cries of "Thank you Jesus!" and catcalls of "What took you so long?," A National Guard convoy packed with food, water and medicine rolled through axle-deep floodwaters Friday into what remained of New Orleans and descended into a maelstrom of fires and floating corpses... In what looked like a scene from a Third World country, some people threw their arms heavenward and others nearly fainted with joy as the trucks and hundreds of soldiers arrived in the punishing midday heat.
But there were also profane jeers from many in the crowd of nearly 20,000 outside the convention center, which a day earlier seemed on the verge of a riot, with desperate people seething with anger over the lack of anything to eat or drink. "They should have been here days ago," said 46-year-old Michael Levy, whose words were echoed by those around him yelling, "Hell, yeah!" "We've been sleeping on the ... ground like rats," Levy added. "I say burn this whole ... city down."
The soldiers' arrival-in-force came amid angry complaints from the mayor and others that the federal government had bungled the relief effort and let people die in the streets for lack of food, water or medicine. "The people of our city are holding on by a thread," Mayor Ray Nagin warned in a statement to CNN. "Time has run out. Can we survive another night? And who can we depend on? Only God knows." Earlier, in a rambling radio interview, Nagin erupted in tears and anger, saying, "Get off your asses and let's do something."
The president took a land and air tour of hard-hit areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and admitted of the relief effort: "The results are not enough." Congress quickly passed a $10.5 billion disaster aid package, and Bush said he would sign it by day's end.
What were perhaps the first signs of real hope for recovery came on a day that was ushered in with a thunderous explosion before daybreak and scattered downtown building fires that only confirmed the sense that New Orleans was a city in utter collapse.
The explosion at a warehouse along the Mississippi River about 15 blocks from the French Quarter jostled storm refugees awake and sent a pillar of acrid gray smoke over a city that the mayor has said could be awash with thousands of corpses. Other large fires fire erupted downtown.
With a cigar-chomping general in the convoy's lead vehicle, the trucks rolled through muddy water to reach the convention center. Flatbed trucks carried huge crates, pallets and bags of relief supplies, including Meals Ready to Eat. Soldiers in fatigues sat in the backs of open-top trucks, their rifles pointing skyward.
... At the broken levee along Lake Pontchartrain that swamped nearly 80 percent of New Orleans, helicopters dropped 3,000-pound sandbags into the breach and pilings were being pounded into place to seal off the waters. Engineers also were developing a plan to create new breaches in the levees so that a combination of gravity and pumping and would drain the water out of the city, a process that could take weeks.
Law and order all but broke down in New Orleans over the past few days. Storm refugees reported being raped, shot and robbed, gangs of teenagers hijacked boats meant to rescue them, and frustrated storm refugees menaced outmanned law officers Police Chief Eddie Compass admitted even his own officers had taken food and water from stores. Officers were walking off the job by the dozens. [Full story>>wwltv.com]
cnn.com, 1:58pm EDT, "Convoy brings relief supplies to New Orleans" : A convoy of military vehicles plowed through the flooded streets of New Orleans on Friday bringing food, water and medicine to the thousands of people trapped at a downtown convention center. The relief effort came as President Bush toured the Gulf Coast to survey damage from Hurricane Katrina and shortly after the mayor of New Orleans said the city was "holding on by a thread." The commanding general in charge of the relief effort in New Orleans was directing the operation from a street corner. He told the troops, part of a deployment of 1,000 members of the National Guard, to make sure they kept their guns down.
...Thousands of people have been stranded at the Ernest Morial Convention Center with little help and surrounded by corpses, trash and human waste. "We got here, there's no food. There's no water. There's shooting. They're killing people," evacuee Tishia Walters told CNN from inside the center. "They're robbing men in the restrooms, they're raping women trying to go to the restroom. So people have resorted to defecating on the floors. You can't walk. There's babies without Pampers, mammas without milk. It's chaos total chaos."
Mayor Ray Nagin said in a statement that more than 10,000 people were evacuated from the city Thursday but that more than 50,000 survivors were still on rooftops and in shelters, in urgent need of help.
...Overnight, police snipers were stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying to protect it from gunmen roaming through the city, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.
One New Orleans police sergeant compared the situation to Somalia and said officers were outnumbered and outgunned by gangs in trucks. "It's a war zone, and they're not treating it like one," he said, referring to the federal government....He broke down in tears when he described the deaths of his fellow officers, saying many had drowned doing their jobs. Other officers have turned in their badges as the situation continues to deteriorate. In one incident, the sergeant said gunmen fired rifles and AK-47s at the helicopters flying overhead. He said he saw bodies riddled with bullet holes, and the top of one man's head completely shot off. [Full story>>cnn.com}
foxnews.com, "Crisis worsens in New Orleans" : NEW ORLEANS The situation in New Orleans was nearing rock bottom Friday as thousands of National Guardsmen armed with food, water and weapons streamed into the hurricane-ravaged city to bring relief to the suffering multitudes and take back the streets from the looters and armed vigilantes.
"The cavalry is [here] and will continue to arrive," one Guardsman said.
President Bush arrived in Mobile, Ala., around 11:15 a.m. EDT Friday to tour the devastation. He will visit New Orleans later in the day. "We have a responsibility to help clean up this mess," Bush said after meeting with the leaders of some Gulf Coast states. "It's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine." He also said the $10.5 million in emergency funds being appropriated by Congress is a small downpayment on recovery costs to help the people of New Orleans and other areas hit by Katrina back on their feet. And "we are going to restore order in the city of New Orleans," the president added.
Before boarding Air Force One earlier Friday, Bush said tons of food and millions of gallons of water is on its way to the needy and 600 military police are going to be deployed to New Orleans to make sure it arrives safely, but more needs to be done. [More>>foxnews.com]
Hurricane Katrina satelite images from ngs.woc.noaa.gov/Katrina
09.02.05 New Orleans mayor fumes over slow response
New Orleans, September 2 A day before President Bush headed to the hurricane-ravaged South, Mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at federal officials, telling a local radio station "they don't have a clue what's going on down here." Federal officials expressed sympathy but quickly defended themselves, saying they, too, were overwhelmed by the catastrophe that hit the Gulf Coast region on Monday. Nagin's interview Thursday night on WWL radio came as President Bush planned to visit Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, a visit aimed at alleviating criticism that he engineered a too-little, too-late response.
Bush viewed the damage while flying over the region Wednesday en route to Washington after cutting short his Texas vacation by two days. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn - excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed," Nagin said.
Nagin said he told Bush in a recent conversation that "we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice ... I have been all around this city and that I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we are outmanned in just about every respect." [More>>wwltv.com]
09.02.05 Some aid for tense New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (CBS/AP) September 2 Thousands of National Guardsmen with food, water and weapons streamed into this hurricane-ravaged city Friday to bring relief to the suffering multitudes and put down the looting and violence. "The cavalry is and will continue to arrive," said one general.
On Highway 90 leading into New Orleans, CBS News Correspondent Cami McCormick saw convoys of vehicles pulling boats, National Guard and FEMA trucks, yellow school buses and "ambulances. We have seen very few of those since this hurricane hit." Assurances of the arrival of more aid came amid blistering criticism from the mayor and others who said the federal government was bungling the relief effort while people lay dying in the streets for lack of food, water or medicine.
In Washington, President Bush admitted "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster the relief efforts. [More>>cbsnews.com]
09.01.05 New Orleans slips into anarchy
September 1 A 10:14pm EDT post by wwltv.com, "New Orleans slips into anarchy" : Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. "This is a desperate SOS," the mayor said.
Anger mounted across the ruined city, with thousands of storm victims increasingly hungry, desperate and tired of waiting for buses to take them out. "We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Isaac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and he and other evacuees complained they were dropped off and given nothing no food, no water, no medicine.
About 15,000 to 20,000 people who had taken shelter at the convention center to await buses grew increasingly hostile. Police Chief Eddie Compass said he sent in 88 officers to quell the situation at the building, but they were quickly beaten back by an angry mob. "We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten," Compass said. "Tourists are walking in that direction and they are getting preyed upon." In hopes of defusing the unrest at the convention center, Mayor Ray Nagin gave the refugees permission to march across a bridge to the city's unflooded west bank for whatever relief they can find. But the bedlam at the convention center appeared to make leaving difficult. [More>>wwltv.com]
Thursday morning Diane Sawyer interviewed President Bush for ABC television "Good Morning America." The president was confident that things would be brought under control in the search and rescue operations and rebuilding of the Gulf states hit by Hurricane Katrina. He also emphasized that people violating the law, such as looters, price gougers and insurance scams, would be prosecuted. He explained that "no one anticipated that the levees would break." This perception of President Bush contradicts what was being shown on the major television channels, including Fox News, CBS, ABC and PBS. The vulnerability of the levees had been a main issue in most broadcast reports, as Hurricane Katrina morphed into a Category 5 storm off the coast; and news commentators pointed out that the levees were only designed for a Category 3 storm. Most broadcasts showed diagrams of the "bowl" in which New Orleans rested and how it would fill up.
New Orleans is being abandoned and current information is that about 15,000 refugees per day can be moved out of the area. Estimates of ~100,000 + people remain to be located and evacuated. According to cnn report, "Despair, death pervade New Orleans," 50,000-60,000 refugees are waiting for rescue at the Superdome. Another report listed 25,000 refugees still at the Superdome.
|New Orleans before and after (August 31, 2005) Hurricane Katrina caused levees to break. Photos courtesy DigitalGlobe.com For larger image click on each photo. To compare the same area using MapQuest.com click here. The Superdome is in the lower center of the photos.
New Orleans levee system from mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/response/NGVD.asp.
This chart was a source for many news reports on the "New Orleans Bowl" that was being threatened by Katrina. Click on image for larger view. To view the many reports on this chart, before the storm hit, search: "New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, bowl."
Those without food and water these past three days may not be able to last at the 15,000 per day rate of rescue identified so far. The evacuation from the Superdome was suspended because of shots fired at rescue helicopters from people in or near the crowd, and other rescue operations were suspended due to violence.
The awful truth seems to be that a city vulnerable to flooding, depending upon below-sea-level pumping stations and apparently below-sea-level power utilities to supply power to the pumps, got flooded by a hurricane that was much stronger than the levees could allow. Why weren't the pumps and power sources placed above sea level?
One recent news report explained that the reason why the levees were not made stronger was due to the fact that the Federal government had cut back on allocations for the work, diverting the money into Homeland Security funds. See *Note below for a distressing testimony on this.
No one seems to know how many refugees are waiting for buses and reporters discover that people at the Convention Center have been there for days without food, and some without water. Today, buses were delayed getting to the Superdome for four hours due to traffic problems.
Knowing there is apparently no effort being made in identifying those waiting for rescue neither by number nor name and recognizing the priority in recovering the living before accounting for the dead, whilst the living wait midst their dead and dying, I wonder whether the leaders are really aware of the urgency. After all, there are at least 50,000 that we can identify who are waiting to get out of their bowl of death and they are dying at the bus stop. Those dying in the ruins apart from the rescue depots surely don't have much time left for their rescuers to find them.
*Note: (From NOLA Weblog):
Subject: My Hurricane Story Katrina Accountability
Story: Please forward this to all you know:
Anyone who cares about the people of New Orleans, especially our fellow citizens who were too impoverished or too old or too sick to afford an evacuation before the storm, should read this article and forward it/contact your local representatives and demand an explanation and accountability.
(To read the whole story after the excerpts below from the emergency management chief in NO, follow the link at the end. It is written by a senior staff writer at the Philadelphia Daily News.)
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 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 Bush administration 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:
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 New Orleans 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."
To read story in its entirety, go to http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313
Will Bunch (email@example.com) is senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News. Much of this article also appears on his blog at that newspaper, Attytood.
3:07pm EDT,wwltv.com report,"Anger spreads over the city." repeats other complaints of chaos:
...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."
A cnn.com report, Despair, death pervade New Orleans," posted 1:37pm ET highlights the state of confusion and distress in New Orleans. In summary, FEMA and other rescue operations are being hampered by threats to the rescuers' lives rescue operations apparently require armed guards. Refugees collecting at another site besides the Superdome, the Convention Center, are dying in total chaos, without food and water and with feces strewn about:
"...People were "being forced to lived like animals," Lawrence said surrounded by piles of trash and feces.
He said while he has seen police SWAT teams drive by in armored vehicles, no one has stopped to talk with the refugees..."
Another report: foxnews.com, "New Orleans engulfed in Public Health emergency." This report notes: "Engulfed by putrid floodwaters that are expected to linger for weeks, New Orleans is in the grip of a public health emergency that medical experts fear may grow even more dire.
The stagnant water covering 80 percent of the city is contaminated with human and animal corpses, human waste and raw sewage, posing the potential for outbreaks of typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis.
Sewers cannot operate until the floodwaters are pumped out of the city. Since that is weeks or even months away, the stagnant water will likely become more contaminated, increasing the threat of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, dengue fever and malaria.
'These are highly contagious diseases, and as people begin to experience the diarrhea and vomiting it'll spread because we have people in very close quarters now in the Astrodome or wherever they are,' said FOX News medical analyst Dr. Steven Garner.
'Coming into contact with someone with dysentery can easily spread the disease and have an epidemic,' he said..."
More on the evacuation being on hold is at wwltv.com, "Superdome evacuation halted amid gunfire." : NEW ORLEANS (AP) September 1 The evacuation of the Superdome was suspended Thursday after shots were reported fired at a military helicopter and arson fires broke out outside the arena. No immediate injuries were reported.
The scene at the Superdome became increasingly chaotic, with thousands of people rushing from nearby hotels and other buildings, hoping to climb onto the buses taking evacuees from the arena, officials said. Paramedics became increasingly alarmed by the sight of people with guns. Richard Zeuschlag, chief of the ambulance service that was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome, said it was suspending operations "until they gain control of the Superdome." He said shots were fired at a military helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak.
He said the National Guard told him that it was sending 100 military police officers to restore order. "That's not enough," Zeuschlag said. "We need a thousand."
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said the military which was handling the evacuation of the able-bodied from the Superdome had suspended operations, too, because fires set outside the arena were preventing buses from getting close enough to pick up people. He said tens of thousands of people started rushing out of other buildings when they saw buses pulling up and hoped to get on. But the immediate focus was on evacuating people from the Superdome, and the other refugees were left to mill around.
Zeuschlag said paramedics were calling him and crying for help because they were so scared of people with guns at the Superdome. He also said that during the night, when a medical evacuation helicopter tried to land at a hospital in the outlying town of Kenner, the pilot reported 100 people were on the landing pad, some with guns. "He was frightened and would not land," Zeuschlag.
August 31, Update 8:04pm CDT Disgusted and furious with the lawlessness of looters who have put fear into citizens, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared Martial Law in the city and directed the city's 1,500 person police force to do "whatever it takes" to regain control of the city. Nagin said that Martial Law means that officers don't have to worry about civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters.
And the governor indicated that there are unknown numbers who are still in New Orleans who are trapped, causing even greater challenges for the evacuation. The water level is expected to rise to the level of Lake Ponchartrain said Mayor Nagin. For resource information / for missing persons postings go to nola.com (Source for Times-Picayune news).
Amid the chaos Wednesday, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a pharmacy. The crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with packages of ramen noodles and other items.
Looters also chased down a state police truck full of food. The New Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and buildings for their use. Managers at a nursing home were prepared to cope with the power outages and had enough food for days, but then the looting began. The Covenant Home's bus driver surrendered the vehicle to carjackers after being threatened.
Bands of people drove by the nursing home, shouting to residents, "Get out!" On Wednesday, 80 residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were being evacuated to other nursing homes in the state. [More>>wwltv.com]
Editorial note: Maravot News contacted the Audobon Center Zoo and Park on Magazine Street in New Orleans, having seen a dead sea lion in the street on television news this pm. The zoo whose animals (tigers, sharks, alligators, elephants, etc. and insects) could be a problem to the safety of people appears to be located in the flood zone.
Background: 10:25am ET This morning in an ABC television "Good Morning America " interview by Charles Gibson, Governor Kathleen Blanco said that all of New Orleans will be evacuated due to rising flood waters. She indicated that it could be several weeks before the rising flood waters could be brought under control. While there is some high ground left in New Orleans even that will be covered by the rising waters.
National Geographic reports: ...The Federal Emergency Management Administration's regional office in Houston is coordinating the rescue effort for New Orleans. But a FEMA employee in Houston refused to answer questions this morning about the agency's response and hung up without giving her name.
New Orleans is below sea level and is crisscrossed by canals connecting Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. Levees were built around the canals to protect the city from flooding when surrounding water levels rise.
Hurricane Katrina's 140-mile-an-hour (225-kilometer-an-hour) winds pushed a 20-foot (6-meter) storm surge onto the Louisiana coastline. The storm's powerful winds continued to force raging waters against the city's levees as Katrina roared northward into neighboring Mississippi.
The levees initially held, but gave way Tuesday.
The Times-Picayune reported that a 200-foot (61-meter) break opened in the levee on the 17th Street Canal in the western part of the city.
On the eastern side of town, two breaks opened in the levee on the Industrial Canal, the newspaper reported. The combined length of the breaks in the Industrial Canal is about 500 feet (152 meters), and more fractures are expected.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is working to close the breaches, the Times-Picayune said. In the meantime, life in New Orleans will be dangerous and uncomfortable.
"The significant problems they're facing are having (drinkable) water, clean food, a way to dispose of human waste, and shelter," said Bernard H. Eichold, the public health officer for nearby Mobile County, Alabama.
"Those are essential items, along with health care," he said. "They have none of those in New Orleans." [More>>National Geographic.]
See article, reuters.com, Oil firms take stock of Katrina damage" : ... In the aftermath of Katrina, some 95 percent of U.S. oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and nine refineries along the coast remained shut down. Several crude pipelines on the Gulf Coast also remained out of service due to power outages, damage and flooding, creating further headaches for an industry that has been badly strained by the storm. What's more, the Energy Department said Port Fourchon in Louisiana, which handles a large share of U.S. crude oil and natural gas imports, was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and is cut off by floodwaters:
Port Fourchon is considered the linchpin in oil production and delivery in the US. Port Fourchon, which supports 75 percent of all the deepwater oil and gas production in the Gulf...The Port also is the site of the booster pumps that carry crude oil from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) to underground salt dome storage areas in Galliano, along Highway 1. [More>>aapg.org]
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS FOR PEOPLE IN DISTRESS
The Coast Guard strongly urges people in distress in the New Orleans area contact the search and rescue emergency line for the State Office of Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge , La. The emergency numbers are as follows:
To inquire about family and friends that did not evacuate the Greater New Orleans area contact the American Red Cross at the following number:
[From US Coast Guard site.]
What to do if you are a victim or want to help a victim, go to Hurricane Katrina Recovery on FirstGov.gov.
Current news reports: wwltv.com
Photo gallery ap.wwltv.com.
US Army Corps of Engineers page.
05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil
LISBON, May 21 Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.
Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.
"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan." [More>>aljazeera.net; See also gregpalast.com, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."
Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:
08.25.05 The photos Washington doesn't want you to see
August 25 Gary Kamiya offers a report everyone concerned about the cost of Iraq should examine : The grim reality of Iraq rarely appears in the American press. A photo gallery reveals the war's horrible human toll. This is a war the Bush administration does not want Americans to see. From the beginning, the U.S. government has attempted to censor information about the Iraq war, prohibiting photographs of the coffins of U.S. troops returning home and refusing as a matter of policy to keep track of the number of Iraqis who have been killed. President Bush has yet to attend a single funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq. Click here on a disturbing photo gallery, salon.com via spiegel.de; you may wish to compare these photos to this or this: the photo of a girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam (from bbc.co.uk). The photo from the Vietnam era is of "Kim, her skin is burned so badly...
08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran what constitutes extremist activity
August 9 (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, "...it would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:
08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, renaissance.com.pk Arguments and Rational details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."
6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press
SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.
Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.
Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of inflation": WASHINGTON, March 22 The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.
But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices. [More>>nytimes.com]
(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition." [Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].
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Painting of Apple by Mel Copeland, early 70's
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