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September 01, 2005




You know i'm not a whacko liberal here, but all this minutae aside about mike parker and the funding and andrew -- you have to get out of the blogosphere and see the actual situation....you have to have been here watching 24/7 on live television how civilization completely broke down in that city over 4 days and the federal, state and local responses were all so abysmally uninformed and unprepared and, frankly, stupid.

The mayor fighting with the governor fighting with the Pentagon and FEMA, and the President arriving two days late from his 5-week vacation, and the image of him walking down the steps of AF One with Barney cradled in his arms, waving at the crowd at Andrews, while on the other side of the screen there were bodies floating in the streets with rats eating their corpses, and people dying on the sidewalks outside the convention center, was absolutely appalling.

This is one that no one can blame on the liberal media, M.

It was a natural disaster that the government (local/state/federal) of the greatest and mightiest country on Earth was completely flat-footed on.

And if one more politician - Dem or GOP - says how he/she "knows how people are frustrated down there" I'm going to scream. People are dropping dead on the sidewalks - we know where they are. We know how many there are. They've been there for days. We've seen the video on TV for days. Where the hell is our government??

And just a minute ago, it was reported that the Astrodome - where Gov Rick Perry only hours ago was boasting about how it was ready to receive all the 20,000 refugees at the Superdome - has closed its door after 8,000 arrived, saying they are full. And gave no alternative.

Enough blather and politics. No more taking sides and pounding the chest about Red and Blue loyalties. This is atrocious, plain and simple. This is not the America I live in.

Let's save lives and restore order -- and then it's time for some very serious accountability.

The Malcontent

You honestly think this website would be so amateurish if I spent all of my time in the blogosphere? :-)

In all seriousness, I know from a professional standpoint that much of the work that is being done in New Orleans is going vastly under-reported in the mainstream media. But that is not the point I was trying to make.

I hope you didn't miss my other posts where I have discussed (and will continue to discuss) the continued need for donations and resources (including my own personal cash), far removed from a "red state/blue state" context.

By sheer coincidence, I was on a plane from Beijing when the worst of the disaster hit, but I knew (from the blogosphere, incidentally) that there was the potential for great devastation, so it captured much of my blogging attention once I returned. I was also quite happy to be returning to my home country where I could get in better touch with events closer to me.

There is a hint of the "chickenhawk calumny" in your criticism -- i.e., those who believe that one cannot have a view of the Iraq war without being on the battlefield personally. It seems to imply that because I am not in New Orleans itself, or because I am not watching the (not entirely informed) mainstream media "24/7," that I am not permitted an opinion.

I'm sorry, but I won't cede the moral highground to someone who watches more television than I do.


Don't be so defensive. You're not always right you know, honey. And I wasn't attacking your integrity (you know me, M). I think part of being a blogger vs. having a conversation in person is that bloggers get so uppity and defensive and don't just simply engage as if you were having a conversation. (Especially the anonymous ones, curiously...)

And I gotta say - it does make a difference when you're watching it unfold, even if its from the relative safety of one's home like mine. It isn't "I'm smarter than you" to say that -- it's just reality. To watch these events unfold from Sunday onward was astonishing. Getting it second hand is not the same. The fact that reporter after reporter with boats, trucks, vans and cars could arrive en masse to the Convention center --- that even Jesse Jackson and his entourage got there and were on the air!!! --- and not a single shipment of food or water or medicine from FEMA could make it in - is prima facia absolutely appalling, M. Appalling. No amount of human-interest stories or acts of heroism can ameloriate that for the people who died there like dogs in the street, with rapes and murders going on around them - and they should not have died. It's why we have a FEMA -- and they were shamefully unprepared. And I'm always the one who says don't jump to conclusions on anything related to criticizing the government. I sat in front of the TV and watched on and off for about 27 hours from the time the images of the dead and dying at the convention center were shown by camera crews to the time that the government (writ broadly) arrived in any meaningful way (literally minutes ago). It isn't because I watch more TV than you, M -- I'm telling you *what I saw* period. It wasn't spun, it wasn't half the story. And it's not informed by what a blogger somewhere (not you) might have opined about what I didn't see.

So don't get your hackles up -- just understand that devoting your digital ink to Gray's Reuters piece or Mike Parker in the face of what is happening before all our eyes is like writing a spirited piece on the living conditions of barn cows like that of Mrs. O'Leary's while Chicago burns to the ground.

p.s. you know I love you anyway....


pps - your comments section is not a war for moral highground. not everything is a debate. certainly not this tragedy. i'm just trying to say -- don't miss the story, M.

The Malcontent

If anyone feels I am defensive, that is their preprogative But I try to keep this blog a healthy mix of strong opinion and good humor, often of the self-deprecating variety. I promise never to conceal my true feelings, even if they evoke a negative response.


re: Update

The fact that Louisiana had more money allocated to it than any other state is immaterial.

They did not have enough to deal with a disaster that has been seen as inevitable for 50 years!

How can you be so tone deaf as to not only miss this simple fact, but to try to demonstrate that the feds have done exactly as they should have?

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