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Leb: More Hariri Arrests
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Rats are on the scent of Africa's landmines
Posted by: SwissTex || 09/01/2005 08:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  PETA protest in 5 .. 4 .. 3..

After all, it's much better to have humans maimed or killed.
Posted by: Jackal || 09/01/2005 10:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Wait for the counter to this. Palestinians will send rats equipped with bomb belts from Gaza into Israel.
Posted by: RWV || 09/01/2005 10:47 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Israeli-made paper cups used in Saudi Hospital
EFL. Hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy
Paper cups with Hebrew writing disturbed both employees and medical staff at King Khaled National Guard Hospital on Saturday. The catering subcontractor for the hospital coffee shops began using them on Saturday after their usual supply ran out. “We were shocked and angry,” said an employee. “How can Israeli products be allowed and how did they enter this hospital?” he asked.
That's for us to know and you to find out.
The Filipino employee who works in the Al-Musbah coffee shop asked: “Why is everybody mad about the cups?” He was told: “Because we're a bunch of bigots they are made in Israel!”
Ewwwwwww! Cooties!
According to hospital officials, the matter is being investigated and action will be taken. Saleh Al-Mazroi, executive director for operations at KKNGH, said the matter had been referred to authorities in Riyadh and was being dealt with.
Someone's gonna get stoned to death.
On the bottom of the paper cup was a website address and a telephone number. When Arab News looked at the website it was found to be in Hebrew though there were a few words of English: “Israeli disposable paper, plastic and foam dinnerware supplier for restaurants.”
I went to the website. It opens with a bunch of annoying animations and sounds worthy of having a Fatwa against it. After that, well it's Greek Hebrew to Me.
Arab News contacted Ibrahim Al-Musbah, manager and owner, who said, “I thank you for informing me. I will look into it personally and the offending employee articles will be disposed of.”

The paper cups were quickly withdrawn from use but might there not be other, less obvious, Israeli products in our shops and marketplaces?
Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Posted by: Jackal || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These asswipes still have a lot of GROWING UP to do...
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 0:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes all your food is grown by ZOG!
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 1:21 Comments || Top||

#3  I had no idea Karl Rove was this good.
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 1:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Poisoned chalice? Get over it
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 2:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Lol. Perfekt.
Posted by: .com || 09/01/2005 7:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't look at your plasma supply to closely.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 8:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Do these learned elders of Saud have any idea the amount of drug manufacturing done by Isreali firms, esp in the generic sector? Best to dump all their stores of pharmaceuticals and return to camel dung. Only way to be Judenfrei.
Posted by: ed || 09/01/2005 8:41 Comments || Top||

#8  According to hospital officials, the matter is being investigated and action will be taken. Saleh Al-Mazroi, executive director for operations at KKNGH, said the matter had been referred to authorities in Riyadh and was being dealt with.

action will be taken... Everybody involved in the acquisitoipn of the cups will lose a hand, and those hands will be mounted on a plank outside the hospital by a(n honored) member of the "religious police" domestic gestapo... It is written!
Posted by: BigEd || 09/01/2005 11:24 Comments || Top||

#9  There is literally no hope for them. When the money oil can bring ends they will be crushed and suffocated under the weight of their own idiocy.
Posted by: MunkarKat || 09/01/2005 15:19 Comments || Top||


Britain
UK said to be indifferent to US plight
f British Prime Minister Tony Blair had not been vacationing in the Caribbean yesterday, it seems a safe bet he would have announced to the world that Britain feels deep sympathy for its freshly wounded ally, the United States.

He might have been wrong.

In fact, to judge by the reaction of some Londoners yesterday to Katrina's rising death toll, Britons seem to feel the United States is overdrawn on sympathy.

In an online discussion group set up by The Guardian newspaper, for example, one man sneered that George W. Bush will "blame global warming, or 'ecological terrorism' for this extreme weather event." Another said the disaster will be all the worse because the National Guard, which so often helps in relief operations, "is in Iraq to provide for the comfort of U.S. occupation forces."

And there was much snickering over which wing nut televangelist will attribute the devastation of New Orleans to Genesis 6:13, in which God, about to flood the sinful Earth, tells Noah: "The end of all flesh is come before me ... behold, I will destroy them with the Earth."

When bombers struck London's transport system on July 7, Mr. Bush stood respectfully behind Mr. Blair for a news conference at the G8 summit in Scotland. It was a pose that spoke to the special relationship the countries share as fiercely principled allies in an unpopular war.

In the days that followed, the floral tributes that piled up in Tavistock Square and King's Cross came in large part from tourists, especially Americans. The scene was much the same that day at the British embassy in Washington, D.C., where one man carried a sign saying, "Today We Are All British."

And yet yesterday, as London's afternoon tabloids told of 55 dead and counting -- almost exactly the July 7 death toll -- there was not a tribute to be found.

At St. Paul's Cathedral, a meagre stream of tourists passed without stopping through the American Memorial Chapel, leaving votive candles unlit.

Grosvenor Square in tony Mayfair was full of people enjoying a hot August sun, but there were no flowers at the foot of Roosevelt's statue. And at the U.S. embassy, the metal fencing was completely empty of condolence cards.

Not that consular staff invited sympathy. Their flag flew at full staff, and anyone who tried to plant a bouquet would have been challenged by a heavily armed police officer. But it seemed incongruous that such a calamity could pass unnoticed in an allied capital.

One woman who joined the Guardian discussion group struck a conciliatory note for those whose disdain for the war on terror seems to have hardened their hearts. "I lived in America once," she wrote, "and whatever my feelings about the current administration, I have great memories of Americans' kindness and hospitality. We need to pray for, or at least to wish well tonight, the people of Louisiana."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 01:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [451 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't expect anything sensible from Guardian readers.
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 09/01/2005 2:39 Comments || Top||

#2  In reality, do we really need/expect regrets?

The lack of emphathy is more a reflection of them than us. My donation is in, may double it.
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 2:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Same old whinge, different day.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 3:22 Comments || Top||

#4  I think the headline should read, UK Media Indifferent to US Plight.
Posted by: phil_b || 09/01/2005 5:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh, I suspect much of the British populace is equally indifferent, if not quietly satisfied.

Anti-american kneejerk reactions have been spreading throughout Europe for several decades. I encountered it in the 80s and 90s ... resentment of the Americans in joint businesses, or quiet condescension if not rudeness in stores etc.

I am so deeply angry about the state it's reached that it's beyond words for me now. They can all go phuck themselves royally -- and I'll be damned if I'll let them hedge me/us in with EU rules either.

It's not just Phrance and the Heil Leisure guys in Germany. It's Britain too and as far as I am concerned they're all a lost cause.
Posted by: Omerens Omaigum2983 || 09/01/2005 5:24 Comments || Top||

#6  Look, really, what's to be surprised about? We always end up digging ourselves out alone whenever there is a tragedy in the US.

For example, do you really think that pissy little UN guy from Norway is going to go off about "stingy" nations not donating enough to our relief efforts? Me neither.

9/11 had some sympathy from the world, but precious little material assistance. The carping about how we deserved it began within days. I didn't expect anything different this time.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 09/01/2005 7:54 Comments || Top||

#7  What is there downside? We sold food to the Soviets and offered aid to the Iranians after their earthquack. If we help our enemies you can be damn sure we'll be there when our friends need us even if they disrespect us.

And we don't need their sympathy or their aid. What we do need is for them to fight the war on terror in their own little corner of Europe. They seem to be doing that these days. I hope they stay focused.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 09/01/2005 10:09 Comments || Top||

#8  When you consider the mass of US commerce that transits NO and the Gulf Coast, we are about to get an economic impact that will be uncomfortable at best. However, the world is going to really suffer as a consequence, something that hasn't hit them yet. They generally haven't grasped yet how closely their fate is tied to ours. They are about to.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 09/01/2005 10:11 Comments || Top||

#9  The grain harvest is due in the next few weeks. It usually comes down the Mississippi, where the port had the necessary grain elevators etc. for exporting it, both to sell and as aid.

Right you are about impacts ....
Posted by: lotp || 09/01/2005 10:15 Comments || Top||

#10  History 101 - Why did Jefferson buy Louisiana? Because he understood that the trans-Appalachian regions of the US needed a port at the end of the Ohio-Mississippi [and soon to be added Missouri] river complex by which bulk commerce could move. That is true today as it was in Jefferson's day over two hundred years ago.

As lotp points out the fall grain harvest is due soon. Any country or region that is a grain importer [like Europe] is now faced with throughput shortage. Sort of like when when a refinery planet goes down. Mechanical problems create a shortage. The price of grain is going to driven up, just like gas. Grain is going to have to be locally stored to await its turn in the limited transit system or be further transported increasing costs. Food prices are going to rise for a lot of people in the world. This is just one of the commodities that transited NO and the Gulf Coast.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 09/01/2005 10:37 Comments || Top||

#11  The grain harvest is due in the next few weeks. It usually comes down the Mississippi, where the port had the necessary grain elevators etc. for exporting it, both to sell and as aid.

And as I read in some article someplace (can't remember where), southbound shipping traffic on the Mississippi has been stopped at Cape Girardeau.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 11:04 Comments || Top||

#12  southbound shipping traffic on the Mississippi has been stopped at Cape Girardeau.

They just slow down there to pay respects to Rushbo's birthplace.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 09/01/2005 11:09 Comments || Top||

#13  Cape Girardeau is above where the Ohio enters the Mississippi, isn't it? Where's Ohio traffic being stopped?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 11:11 Comments || Top||

#14  The last time there was a grain emergency - 1978? These suckers were brought out of retirement. Fireup the Centennials....

DDA40X-6900
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 11:19 Comments || Top||

#15  I must say, I found the outpouring of sympathy from the people of Thailand especially heartwarming.
Posted by: BH || 09/01/2005 11:22 Comments || Top||

#16  Cape Girardeau is a little bit north of the Ohio junction. They're probably stopping Ohio River traffic at Cairo, Il or Paducah KY

How much can be rerouted via the Great Lakes?

And just where does the term "whinge" come from? It sounds like a cross between "whine" and 'cringe."
Posted by: mom || 09/01/2005 11:25 Comments || Top||

#17  I must say, I found the outpouring of sympathy from the people of Thailand especially heartwarming.

I'm expecting to hear -- probably on Saturday -- of all sorts of heartwarming sentiments from the mosques of Indonesia.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 11:36 Comments || Top||

#18  Why is anyone surprised here? Florida got hit with -- what was it? four? -- hurricanes last year. We get earthquakes and wildfires and blizzards and crap all the time. If the British laid wreaths every time something like that happened, the US embassy be knee-deep in flowers, all the time. Man up, you pansies.

9/11 and the London bombies were catastrophies of an entirely different order. What we got here is a bunch of sniggering Canadians trying to prove something by reading the Guardian, fer Gawd's sake.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 09/01/2005 12:02 Comments || Top||

#19  Man up, you pansies.

Well said Angie. That one is going on my hardhat. The show must go on. Play hurt.
Posted by: Zpaz || 09/01/2005 12:31 Comments || Top||

#20  It isn't about "manning up", it's about playing by the same rules. If the world wants to say "F*ck you" when the US has a problem, that's fine. We can handle it. But don't be in such a frickin hurry to spend MY money the next time East Bumfuckadoria gets nailed by a typhoon. Maybe we could put Angie on tv to tell them "Man up, you pansies."
Posted by: BH || 09/01/2005 12:37 Comments || Top||

#21  If the world wants to say "F*ck you" when the US has a problem, that's fine.

Personally, I don't think we need their help. We have plenty of money, equipment, and expertise right here. The problems right now are logistics and bureaucratic bumbling, and foreign assistance is not going to eliminate those.

Furthermore, I don't really want to hear later how France sent us a couple of cases of Perrier when we needed it, so we should play along when they want our cooperation on some boneheaded French idea.

I'm glad we're rich enough to toss East Bumfuckadoria a few bucks when necessary, which makes them beholden to us (though as you point out they don't always see it that way). That's the situation to be in.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 09/01/2005 13:37 Comments || Top||

#22  I agree with everything you said. I just think that somebody has to point out the discrepancy. If it makes people feel better to send their own money to E. B., go for it. I just think we could throw all the tsunami aid into a pit and set it on fire, for all the good it did. A policy of mutual disinterest might be best for everyone.
Posted by: BH || 09/01/2005 14:04 Comments || Top||

#23  The world is reminded that they don't have enough dough to help us thru 1 week. Meanwhile the tidal wave is handled thru Uncles pocket change and excess amphibious forces.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#24  It's better to tend bar in the French Quarter with a shutter gun and knee deep in swamp water than to live the PC EU Socialist Slave life.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 14:54 Comments || Top||

#25  I may have spoken too soon.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,168203,00.html

Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States, the spokesman said.
Posted by: BH || 09/01/2005 15:16 Comments || Top||

#26  These suckers were brought out of retirement. Fireup the Centennials....

Can't. Only 6936 is in operable condition; all the rest have been donated to various locales (6946 at Portola is in sad shape BTW - rust is beginning to form in places). Of course, UP does have 62 6000HP SD90ACs at its disposal....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 15:17 Comments || Top||

#27  mom

whinge v. To whinge can best be described as to whine. Likewise, someone particularly partial to whinging is known as a whinger.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 16:47 Comments || Top||

#28  So if he's in the Grauniad he's a Left Whinger then?
Posted by: Parabellum || 09/01/2005 17:44 Comments || Top||

#29  Fooey BAR. I was hoping to hear one run. I understand they are loud.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 18:07 Comments || Top||

#30  Several German relief organizations have put up accounts where Germans can donate and they say money is flowing in now that people start to realize how huge the disaster is.

Germany has also offered to help with water treatment plants and mobile accommodation.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/01/2005 21:05 Comments || Top||

#31  mom,

whinge is just British for the American whine. Much like wanker is British for ... actually, I don't know what the American equivalent would be, but it isn't a nice thing to be called. Somewhere on the web there is a British/American dictionary that translates many of these terms.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 22:06 Comments || Top||

#32  wanker = chronic masturbater

see Atom Film's Angry Kid
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 22:24 Comments || Top||

#33  The kindest words of sympathy and offers of help fuck off come from ... drum roll please ... Kuwait

Senior Kuwaiti Official: "Katrina is a Wind of Torment and Evil from Allah Sent to This American Empire"
Posted by: The Angry Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 09/01/2005 23:08 Comments || Top||

#34  BTW: Next time Iran gets hit by an earthquake or Indonesia is plowed again by a Tsunami, I'm sending a stool-bag sample of my heaviest excrement, replete with corn, to the nearest Relief Agency collecting on behalf of these nations.
Posted by: The Angry Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 09/01/2005 23:10 Comments || Top||

#35  that's just nasty
Posted by: Jan || 09/01/2005 23:49 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Greater Venezuela
In recent months Venezuelan leaders, including the country's demagogic president, Hugo Chavez, have made numerous public statements about the "reunification" of the islands of the Dutch West Indies (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) with Venezuela. Venezuelan violations of Dutch air space and territorial waters, including illegal over flights by military aircraft, have occurred with some frequency. In addition, Venezuelan authorities have urged residents of the islands to form "Bolivarian" cells, in support of eventual "reunification."

The Netherlands is taking these Venezuelan actions seriously. In addition to scheduling a meeting between a high level Dutch official and Chavez in a couple of weeks, the Dutch have reinforced their West Indian garrison (with consists of a small naval contingent, a battalion of infantry, and some helicopters) with a flight of F-16s. The Dutch government also intends to take the matter up with the European Union, where they are likely to be supported by Britain (given that some other territories on which Venezuela is laying claims, such as Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, are members of the Commonwealth) and France (which also has overseas territories in the Caribbean).
Added last paragraph of story
The islands are legally integral parts of the national territory of The Netherlands. The inhabitants, most of whom are of African or mixed Afro-European descent, are fully represented in the Dutch parliament. None of the local political parties or leaders support either independence or annexation to Venezuela. This call for the creation of "Greater Venezuela" has no basis in historical fact, and is mainly another ploy by the Chavez to entertain in Venezuelan supporters. Chavez is joining with his new friend, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, in opposing colonialism in the Caribbean. This ignores the fact that the "colonies" are democratic and prosperous. Castro has been going on about this for decades, with little to show for it. It's unlikely that Chavez will do any better.
Posted by: ed || 09/01/2005 10:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  While I would love to see Chavez and his band of frothing idiots get popped, I fully plan on harassing any "illegal European war for colonial empire" with any and all snarky comments that come to mind. Who knows, I may even unleash a photoshop attack on imperialist dutch warmongers. ;)

No Blood For Beaches!

Or something like that. :)
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 09/01/2005 10:21 Comments || Top||

#2  While that would be loads of entertainment, I'd honestly support the Dutch in keeping people from under the clutches of Chavez's Greater South American Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 10:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Just a thought, but would our obligations to the Netherlands under NATO force us to declare war on Venezuela if the Dutch are attacked?
Posted by: RWV || 09/01/2005 10:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Time for the Netherlands to play the NATO card. An attack on one member is an attack on all members [not that means anything to most of the membership]. That's the entry for the US to issue a clear public statement that any infringement upon the Dutch territory will be considered an infringment upon soveign US territory and that all actions necessary will be taken.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 09/01/2005 10:45 Comments || Top||

#5  RC - I would really support the Dutch too, Chavez is a buffoon looking to imitate Castro. But I'd definately take the opportunity take some jabs the Europeans for some of the outrageous things they've accused the US of whenever we move to defend ourselves or our interest.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 09/01/2005 10:45 Comments || Top||

#6  I would have to support the Dutch and the EU. The people living on those islands have it far better under Europian rule than they would under Chavez. I hope the Dutch DO play the NATO card. It would be a good casi belli for the US.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 09/01/2005 11:01 Comments || Top||

#7  Of course, we did stay neutral during the Faulkland conflict. Not really sure why other than the British said they could take care of it themselves.
Posted by: RWV || 09/01/2005 11:02 Comments || Top||

#8  It was more a matter of the British saying they could do it tehmselves so they wouldn't put us in a difficult position by making us choose. I understand they did get every bit of intel we could give them, but none the less, it was not our finest hour.

If Hugo gets Aruba will he take over the Natalee Holloway investigation?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 09/01/2005 11:06 Comments || Top||

#9  Of course, we did stay neutral during the Faulkland conflict

We did everything short of handing over the keys to the Enterprise. Many of the Harriers kills came via an advanced (for the time) Sidewinder. Overhead recon was also shared as well as ELINT.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 11:24 Comments || Top||

#10  The weird thing is I wrote a science fiction story where in the background this is exactly what happened.

If Chavez takes the islands and the Europeans don't respond expect Castro and other knuckleheads to start looking around.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 09/01/2005 12:42 Comments || Top||

#11  Aruba, at least, is the playground for a great many monied people, as much from the Americas as from Europe. (Bonaire is only good for scuba diving -- and divers even more than skiers spend all their money on being underwater -- and Curacao has the Dutch oil terminals as well as the divers). Chavez would ruin the atmosphere of Aruba as he has that of Caracas, no matter how much he might promise to keep things unchanged under new management. I would expect any conquest or attempted conquest to generate a great deal of noisy complaint, which would either result in Chavez sent back home with his tail between his legs, or all the Happy People abruptly taking their custom and their money elsewhere, rendering the conquest pointless.

Unless... does Curacao have oil refineries, or is it just a transfer station for the raw petrolium? If the former, Chavez needs to replace the refining capacity he managed to downgrade in Venezuela. If the latter, he would benefit by disrupting the transfer of a competitor's oil to market, increasing the value of the reduced Venezuelen supply.

Rantburg expert: your thoughts on my ramblings, please. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 14:10 Comments || Top||

#12  we'll take over boliva, then brazil, then chile, then the world eeeeeeaaaaarrrrwwwww!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: macofromoc || 09/01/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#13  trailing wife:

Chavez doesn't care about reality as we understand it very much. Don’t get me wrong; he’s plenty cunning in an aggressive, feral kind of way. He’s also been rather busy lately suppressing descent, destroying his nation’s capitalist economy, destabilizing Columbia, and getting ready to seize all or part of Equador.

Hugo Chavez sees himself as the reincarnation of the legendary South American Simon Bolivar. As such he is destined to reunite at least Venezuela, Equador, Columbia, and Panama into the nation of Gran Columbia, a true South American superpower capable of asserting its place on the world stage as a major player. The Dutch islands are a sideshow, but an interesting one. Are the old colonial powers capable of holding onto their few remaining oversees territories? My guess is no, they aren’t, because they don’t have the willpower to hold onto them even if they still have the military ability to do so.

Hugo and his generals have already reached the same conclusion. They will begin a campaign of propaganda and subversion, not only in the Caribbean but in Europe and America as well. Effective 5th columns will be set up on each island. Then they will invade with, say, 20-30 thousand troops. The Dutch will of course blast Chavez’s air force from the sky and destroy maybe a third of his landing craft but it won’t matter because between 5-10 thousand troops will come ashore on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, destroy any opposition with the help of locals who have already turned to their side, and announce that the inhabitants have thrown off their colonial oppressors to join Gran Columbia.

Chavez doesn’t care about the economy of the Dutch Indies any more than Hitler cared about the economy of Czechoslovakia. It’s not really part of his thought process.
Posted by: Secret Master || 09/01/2005 15:05 Comments || Top||

#14  Argentina & The Falklands. A ploy to direct attention outwards. Unfortunately, Mynheer is no John Bull.
Posted by: Threnter Snolurt6782 || 09/01/2005 15:55 Comments || Top||

#15  divers even more than skiers spend all their money on being underwater

You don't say.
Posted by: Jean Claude Killy vs. Jacques Cousteau || 09/01/2005 18:14 Comments || Top||

#16  Curacao

Good Lord! That could wreck havoc on the entire Margarita-Industrial Complex!

And Aruba... well, let's just wait until after October, m'kay? I'd like to not have my honeymoon in an Occupied Territory.
Posted by: eLarson || 09/01/2005 18:21 Comments || Top||


Chavez blasts Bush on Katrina
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the U.S. government, on Wednesday called President Bush a "cowboy" who had failed to manage the Hurricane Katrina disaster and evacuate victims.

"That government had no evacuation plan, it is incredible, the first power in the world that is so involved in Iraq ... and left its own population adrift," Chavez said in a cabinet meeting broadcast live on television.

His remarks came as U.S. authorities evacuated thousands of people from New Orleans and after Bush said it would take years to recover from flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. "That man, the king of vacations ... the king of vacations in his ranch said nothing but, you have to flee, and didn't say how ... that cowboy, the cowboy mentality," said Chavez, chuckling in a reference to Bush without naming him directly.

Chavez, an outspoken populist who calls Cuba's Fidel Castro an ally, often lambastes what he calls Washington's failed imperialist policies. He says the Bush administration is trying to assassinate him and calls the U.S. president "Mr. Danger."

The Venezuelan president, applauded by supporters for his self-proclaimed socialist revolution to fight poverty, has offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area. Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA has offered $1 million from its U.S.-based refinery unit Citgo for relief efforts.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 01:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:


China-Japan-Koreas
Chinese activist warns of nuclear war
From Bill Gertz

China is preparing for nuclear war with the United States over Taiwan, and a conflict is likely in the near future because of divisions among Beijing's leaders, a Chinese democracy activist says.

Wei Jingsheng, a leading international advocate for political reform in China, said in an interview with The Washington Times that President Bush and other U.S. leaders do not fully understand the chance of a conflict breaking out and must do more to avert it.

"Sino-U.S. relations are reaching a crucial point and most of the American public does not know about," said Mr. Wei, who spent almost 18 years in Chinese prisons before his release in 1997. "The United States needs to pay more attention to the possibility of nuclear war with China."

Mr. Wei said he has heard from government officials in China, including some within the military, who are worried by the growing chance of a nuclear war.

Recent Chinese military exercises and a Chinese general's threat to use nuclear missiles against U.S. cities are two signs of the danger, said Mr. Wei, who has an office in Washington.

"In the past, China may have felt that it was not time for them to confront the U.S.," Mr. Wei said. "Now, things are different. Now the Chinese feel that they need to use these kind of nuclear threats. China is very serious about that. The nuclear threat from China is a substantial threat, not theoretical."

The comments come as Chinese President Hu Jintao is set to visit Washington next week. They also echo Pentagon concerns that China is preparing to attack Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, in the next few years.

Mr. Wei also said that social unrest is growing rapidly in China and that hundreds of demonstrations in recent months have weakened Communist Party rule.

In Chinese history, he said, unrest has been a sign that a ruler is about to fall, prompting concern among Beijing's communist leaders.

China's leadership is divided by factions headed by Mr. Hu and former President Jiang Zemin, Mr. Wei said. Additionally, there are elements within the military who think that a war to retake Taiwan should begin as soon as possible, Mr. Wei said.

"There are many conflicts within the military," he noted.
Politically, differences between Mr. Hu and Vice President Zeng Qinghong, who in the past was considered a Jiang loyalist, appear to have been resolved temporarily, Mr. Wei said.

The accommodation appears related to a decision to use force in the future against Taiwan, Mr. Wei said, adding that Mr. Hu favors a conflict as a way to consolidate power over the military. Growing nationalist sentiment in China also has led to public calls for war over Taiwan.

"Many wars in the past have started from such conditions," he said. To avert war, Mr. Wei urged the Bush administration to put more pressure on China's government in the area of human rights and trade, try to influence the Chinese military by finding and supporting anti-war military leaders and drive a wedge between China and the communist government in North Korea.

"The goal should be to reduce the voice of the people who want to go to war," he said.

Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 01:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Commie "WAR/BATTLE ZONE" strategems can, within the context of strategic wafare and geopols, be gener summed up as THREATENING NUKE WAR AT FIRST INSTANCE; or, in the alternate, that the USDOD -Allied CENTCOM NOT be surprised at "quick escalation" !? Rummy said it all - that China will never achieve the level of national econ dev or modernity it desires unless it allows more private individ and market freedoms, which are anathema to trad State/Party centric Commies - eerrrrr, I meant "Fascists" or Communist Fascists = Fascist Communists!? Don't a'fergit that the Lefties have given America to 2015-2020 to come under SNO and SWO/OWG, after which they reserve their unilateral and unconditional right to suborn and even destroy America by militarized violence/warfare! Enviro desertification is fast spreading, the econ despite "liberalizations" can't supp both the Party, the PLA, and the Masses, plus thanx to its failed "one-child" policies there will be new generations of restive young men with no women to marry, and no jobs to supp 'em or a family even iff they did find a babe(s). NO FOOD + NO JOBS + NO WOMEN + NO WOMEN TO COOK DA FOOD/SPEND ON > PISSED OFF ANGRY ARMED MALES WHOM HAVE NUTHING TO LOSE BY NUKE WAR OR FORCED TAKING FROM THE OTHER SIDE!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 09/01/2005 2:41 Comments || Top||

#2  JM, I will run your comments through the Whiz-n-ator and see if it will make sense.
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 2:50 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm starting to distrust activists. Chalabi told people what they wanted to hear figuring that all lies were justified if he could get the US to overthrow Saddam.

How do we know this Chinese activist isn't playing the same game?
Posted by: rjschwarz || 09/01/2005 10:05 Comments || Top||

#4  How do we know this Chinese activist isn't playing the same game?

Well, the public statements from Chinese officials threatening to nuke LA tend to make me think they're really serious about the idea.

I'm sure the Pentagon has, somewhere, contingency plans for the need to nuke Paris. However, our generals don't go around making public statements to that effect.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 10:10 Comments || Top||

#5  RC - Imagine the hilarious fun that would ensue if they did, lol.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 09/01/2005 10:17 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm sure the Pentagon has, somewhere, contingency plans for the need to nuke Paris.

It's in the SALT II Treaty. The US and the USSR both pledged on all that is Holy to withhold 50 ICBMs each in case of a nuclear war to ensure the French didn't inheirit the earth by default. You can look it up.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 11:28 Comments || Top||

#7  RC: Well, the public statements from Chinese officials threatening to nuke LA tend to make me think they're really serious about the idea.

Kim Jong-Il has been talking about nuking the US for a while. He's not insane - just militarily weak, and trying to deter an American attack by signaling his determination to try to inflict some pain on Uncle Sam. The Chinese are also militarily weak, and trying to make up for it by making threatening noises. Note that the Soviets have had a long history of making veiled nuclear threats - Khrushchev's "we will bury you" is a classic. But they never delivered - not because they are great humanitarians, but because they can count - losing hundreds of millions of dead while simultaneously losing a war over Taiwan isn't a good trade for tens of millions of dead Americans.

RC: I'm sure the Pentagon has, somewhere, contingency plans for the need to nuke Paris. However, our generals don't go around making public statements to that effect.

Our generals don't need to recover anything from France at the lowest minimum cost. The Chinese are trying to annex Taiwan at the lowest minimum cost by deterring American intervention. It is eminently rational for them to issue blood-curdling threats, given that victory is contingent on non-intervention.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 09/01/2005 11:55 Comments || Top||

#8  ZF -- please don't try to defend China's threats against the US.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 12:06 Comments || Top||

#9  RC, I don't think he was rationalizing, he was explaining. Understanding why the enemy does something is a far cry from condoning it.

I don't think China would go nukes over Taiwan. I don't think they'd risk the destruction of their economy, isolation from the world, cutoff of sealanes and possible nuclear destruction. There are easier targets they could beat on that wouldn't so utterly destroy them in the process and that would serve to distract their populace. Xinjiang tops the list, possibly even Siberia. If they were smart they'd go after North Korea and become heros in the region. A pretext shouldnt' be hard to manufacture.

However, if they feel they can intimidate the US from defending Tiawan through nuclear threats the equation changes. They are playing all options before they commit to one.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 09/01/2005 12:21 Comments || Top||

#10  ZF -- please don't try to defend China's threats against the US.

Here we go again...
Posted by: Raj || 09/01/2005 12:30 Comments || Top||

#11  I'll just say that I'm surprised that China, who always brags about its 5,000 plus years of History as the Middle Kingdom, doesn't have the patience to wait until Taiwan needs to tie their economic wagon to the Mainland in the next 10-30 years.
Posted by: danking_70 || 09/01/2005 16:26 Comments || Top||

#12  danking_70 is spot on the money. If they simply play it smart Taiwan might opt for some sort of limited (but very real) integration in the next 20 years. The question is: are they actually that smart?
Posted by: Secret Master || 09/01/2005 17:58 Comments || Top||

#13  China may show patience, but, when reading the activists words closely, one realizes that the suggested impatience is due to internal conflicts. Conflicts, the sort of which have resulted in near-term major battles.
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 19:44 Comments || Top||


Europe
Turkish Moslems Debate With Turkish Christians About Religion
From Compass Direct
Bektas Erdogan never expected his Christian faith of 11 years to jeopardize his career as a fashion designer in Turkey. Hired five months ago by a designer jeans company in the Beyazit district of Istanbul, Erdogan was assured by his Muslim boss that he would be evaluated on the basis of his work, not his religion.

After his first collection sold successfully in Russia, Erdogan thought the phone call he received earlier this month from his employer -- asking him to come to work on a Sunday afternoon .... that evening at the shop, his supervisor angrily accused him of “missionary work” and “brainwashing.” With the help of two employees and a relative, he beat Erdogan for two hours. The men repeatedly struck the designer’s head and face with their fists and the butt of a pistol. Three times Erdogan’s boss attempted to shoot him, but the gun failed to fire. ....

Erdogan did not report the August 7 incident to the police, fearing that his boss’ ties with local officials might make him the target of further aggression. He also felt that once the authorities learned he was a Christian, they would be unwilling to help. He believes that his employer’s anger stemmed from shop employees’ interest in Christianity. During his last three months at the job, Erdogan said, “Almost every meal [at work] became a question-and-answer session about my religion.”

On the same day ... Istanbul police beat two Protestant converts in their early twenties and told them they could not be both Turks and Christians.

Umit and Murat-Can, who asked to have their last names withheld, were on their way to one of Istanbul’s 25 Turkish-speaking Protestant churches on August 7 when they saw American David Byle and his 3-year-old daughter surrounded by a small crowd of police and civilians. Byle had been exercising the legal right to distribute Christian tracts on Istiklal Caddesi, one of Istanbul’s main pedestrian thoroughfares, when two plainclothes policemen accosted him. One of them grabbed his chin and shouted at him for distributing literature, quickly drawing a crowd of police and passersby.

When the two Christians tried to intervene on behalf of Byle ... about 15 policemen forced Umit to the ground, where they kicked and hit him before handcuffing him and carrying him inside a nearby building. .... The policemen continued to beat Umit .... After finding 100 Christian tracts in Murat-Can’s backpack, police accused the youths of being “missionaries” who were bent on “dividing Turkey.” ....

In another incident last month in Eskisehir three strangers ... assaulted Protestant Salih Kurtbas. They attacked him from behind at 6 p.m. as he waited for an anonymous caller who had asked to meet and discuss Christianity. Shortly after arriving home with a bloody nose, split lip, black eyes and a swollen ear, he received an irate phone call from his attackers. They accused him of missionary activity and threatened to kill anyone associated with a local U.S. businessman whom they claimed was spreading Christian propaganda. .... Kurtbas didn’t even think of going to the police, explaining, “If they found out that I was a Christian, nothing good would have come of it.” ....

The emerging community of an estimated 3,500 Turkish Protestants challenges the centuries-old perception that to be a Turk is to be a Muslim. Over the last 10 months, violence against Protestant Christians in Turkey has become publicly visible ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Turkish Moslems Debate With Turkish Christians About Religion

That's cold Mike.
Posted by: Secret Master || 09/01/2005 14:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Is subduing the Christian population a fast-track to EU membership?
Posted by: eLarson || 09/01/2005 18:12 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Economy
CIVIL DISTURBANCE - L.A. RIOTS Lessons Learned
Posted by: Glart Snavinter7283 || 09/01/2005 17:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:


Live Blogging From New Orleans: The Interdictor
Recommended; it's a weblog by a former military guy now working for the hosting company Zipa who I will probably look into using in the future, given the way they've worked at keeping going despite a Category 3 storm and a category 5 foulup that might actually become the film Mad Max: Beyond Superdome. He also has a webcam up, with various mirror locations.

This journal has become the Survival of New Orleans blog. In less perilous times it was simply a blog for me to talk smack and chat with friends. Now this journal exists to share firsthand experience of the disaster and its aftermath with anyone interested.

You can reach me on ICQ at 21710340 if you're so inclined.

I run a live feed at mms://204.251.3.10:2864 (port is subject to change every time I restart the cam.)

The live feed is being rebroadcast by the heroic freedom fighters at mises.org, so if you can't access it above, try this one: http://old.mises.org:88/NO2

American Red Cross - DirectNIC - vonmises.org - FAQ (Coming Soon)

If you want to link to my blog, please use this URL: http://mgno.com/

IRC channel has been opened: IRC is on irc.freenode.net in #interdictor - #interdictor-scanner for transcript of NG radio and #interdictor-digest for discussion.

Photos can be found here: http://sigmund.biz/kat/index.html Media has permission to use the photos with credit to DirectNIC.com

New Orleans LA post-Katrina Intel dissemination wiki.

Thank you NextGenStats for helping out.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 09/01/2005 19:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:


New Orleans descends into full 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. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and the and other evacuees complained that 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.

A military heliocpter tried to land at the convention center several times to drop off food and water. But the rushing crowd forced the choppers to back off. Troopers then tossed the supplies to the crowd from 10 feet off the ground and flew away.

National Guardsmen poured in to help restore order and put a stop to the looting, carjackings and gunfire that have gripped New Orleans in the days since Hurricane Katrina plunged much of the city under water.

In a statement to CNN, Nagin said: "This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention center and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running our of supplies."

In Washington,
Homeland Security Secretary
Michael Chertoff said the government is sending in 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to help stop looting and other lawlessness in New Orleans. Already, 2,800 National Guardsmen are in the city, he said.

But across the flooded-out city, the rescuers themselves came under attack from storm victims.

"Hospitals are trying to evacuate," said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, spokesman at the city emergency operations center. "At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in people are shooting at them. There are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, `You better come get my family.'"

Some Federal Emergency Management rescue operations were suspended in areas where gunfire has broken out, Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said in Washington. "In areas where our employees have been determined to potentially be in danger, we have pulled back," he said.

A National Guard military policeman was shot in the leg as he and a man scuffled for the MP's rifle, police Capt. Ernie Demmo said. The man was arrested.

"These are good people. These are just scared people," Demmo said.

Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry people broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.

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."

The street outside the center, above the floodwaters, smelled of urine and feces, and was choked with dirty diapers, old bottles and garbage.

"They've been teasing us with buses for four days," Edwards said.

People chanted, "Help, help!" as reporters and photographers walked through. The crowd got angry when journalists tried to photograph one of the bodies, and covered it over with a blanket. A woman, screaming, went on the front steps of the convention center and led the crowd in reciting the 23rd Psalm.

John Murray, 52, said: "It's like they're punishing us."

The Superdome, where some 25,000 people were being evacuated by bus to the Houston Astrodome, descended into chaos as well.

Huge crowds, hoping to finally escape the stifling confines of the stadium, jammed the main concourse outside the dome, spilling out over the ramp to the Hyatt hotel next door — a seething sea of tense, unhappy, people packed shoulder-to-shoulder up to the barricades where heavily armed National Guardsmen stood.

At the front of the line, heavily armed policemen and guardsmen stood watch and handed out water as tense and exhausted crowds struggled onto buses. At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Luggage, bags of clothes, pillows, blankets were strewn in the puddles.

Many people had dogs and they cannot take them on the bus. A police officer took one from a little boy, who cried until he vomited. "Snowball, snowball," he cried. The policeman told a reporter he didn't know what would happen to the dog.

Fights broke out. A fire erupted in a trash chute inside the dome, but a National Guard commander said it did not affect the evacuation. After a traffic jam kept buses from arriving at the Superdome for nearly four hours, a near-riot broke out in the scramble to get on the buses that finally did show up.

Col. Henry Whitehorn, head of state police, said authorities are working on establishing a temporary jail to hold people accused of looting and other crimes. "These individuals will not take control of the city of New Orleans," he said.

The first of hundreds of busloads of people evacuated from the Superdome arrived early Thursday at their new temporary home — another sports arena, the Houston Astrodome, 350 miles away.

But the ambulance service in charge of taking the sick and injured from the Superdome suspended flights after a shot was reported fired at a military helicopter. Richard Zuschlag, chief of Acadian Ambulance, said it was too dangerous for his pilots.

The military, which was overseeing the removal of the able-bodied by buses, continued the ground evacuation without interruption, said National Guard Lt. Col. Pete Schneider. The government had no immediate confirmation of whether a military helicopter was fired on.

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."

In Texas, the governor's office said Texas has agreed to take in an additional 25,000 refugees from Katrina and plans to house them in San Antonio, though exactly where has not been determined.

In Washington, the White House said
President Bush will tour the devastated Gulf Coast region on Friday and has asked his father and former
President Clinton to lead a private fund-raising campaign for victims.

The president urged a crackdown on the lawlessness.

"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud," Bush said. "And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together."

On Wednesday, Mayor Ray Nagin offered the most startling estimate yet of the magnitude of the disaster: Asked how many people died in New Orleans, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands." The death toll has already reached at least 126 in Mississippi.

If the estimate proves correct, it would make Katrina the worst natural disaster in the United States since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, which was blamed for anywhere from about 500 to 6,000 deaths. Katrina would also be the nation's deadliest hurricane since 1900, when a storm in Galveston, Texas, killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.

Nagin called for a total evacuation of New Orleans, saying the city had become uninhabitable for the 50,000 to 100,000 who remained behind after the city of nearly a half-million people was ordered cleared out over the weekend.

The mayor said that it will be two or three months before the city is functioning again and that people would not be allowed back into their homes for at least a month or two.

"We need an effort of 9-11 proportions," former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, now president of the Urban League, said on NBC's "Today" show.

"A great American city is fighting for its life," he added. "We must rebuild New Orleans, the city that gave us jazz, and music, and multiculturalism."

Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu toured the stricken areas said rescued people begged him to pass information to their families. His pocket was full of scraps of paper on which he had scribbled down their phone numbers.

When he got a working phone in the early morning hours Thursday, he contacted a woman whose father had been rescued and told her: "Your daddy's alive, and he said to tell you he loves you."

"She just started crying. She said, `I thought he was dead,'" he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 18:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like Detroit after a Pistons game.
Posted by: BH || 09/01/2005 18:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I've never heard of cops being beaten back by the mob after a Pistons game.

More recounting of this idiocy here:
http://neworleans.metblogs.com/archives/2005/09/i_may_pop_a_blo.phtml

Has anyone seen the Bugtis in Pakistan during this disaster?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 18:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Jesus.

One lesson I am taking away from this is

Don't have anything to do with 'official' 'emergency' 'shelters' and 'procedures' during a disaster.


(Can't leave the superdome until the "authorities" tell you)

(Can't take your pet with you as you evacuate on the official bus)

christ.

Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 09/01/2005 18:47 Comments || Top||

#4  The lesson I'm taking from this is:

1. You're on your own, kid.

2. I need to learn how to shoot.
Posted by: Seafarious || 09/01/2005 18:52 Comments || Top||

#5  You need to learn to shoot because you are on your own. Standard issue here is 1 pistol per occupant of resident and one shotgun per resident of house. overabundance of ammo for same in portable and water tight storage.

The other thing I take away is shoot male welfare rats and punks on sight if they come around during a disaster.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 19:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Has anyone suggested that the good people who are stuck there should somehow 1) organize themselves and 2) help out?

Corpses in the open? Put on a pair of rubber gloves and recover them. At least get them out of the water.

People need evacuation from rooftops? Get out and help?

People need help at the Superdome? Help out. Volunteer to drive a bus or a truck. Help organize local security. Help some of the old folks who can't help themselves.

For crying out loud, we're Americans.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/01/2005 19:37 Comments || Top||

#7  Jeez Steve! You oppressin', man
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 19:52 Comments || Top||

#8  Before we follow the media into the abyss, let's keep in mind that this is the same media that has turned the whole of Iraq into a supposed hell. In fact, the majority of Iraqi provinces are not in conflict.

Additionally, the MSM will play up the thugs hoodlums while feats of compassion get little or no ink.

If you have never experienced being flooded out of your home and neighborhood in 96 F degree temperatures, with no known source of food, water, etc. then try it sometime before feasting on the red meat the MSM puts out.

The axiom that 5 perc of any sizable population is fruit-loops applies in N.O. and surrounds. But for the MSM, that 5 perc get 99 perc of the coverage.

Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 19:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Nagin is useless and has been from day one.
Emergency planning and the actual execution of those plans begin at local level. It is up to the mayor to request the proper assistance from higher authorities and to know where it is needed. From police and fire protection to the supply and sanitation situation at the Super Dome, the New Orleans city government has been AWOL from the start.
State authorities should suspend the city charter, dismiss Nagin and his crew of hand-wringing nitwits, and place all resources under the Governor. If she can't handle it, the Feds should take over.
I have been a mayor. I know that direct control is a very drastic step, akin to martial law, but the possibility of total failure at the local level is the reason we have "higher authority" in the first place.

Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 09/01/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

#10  "A great American city is fighting for its life," he added. "We must rebuild New Orleans, the city that gave us jazz, and music, and multiculturalism."

Mayor, I thank you for the jazz and music.
Posted by: Secret Master || 09/01/2005 20:26 Comments || Top||

#11  The most serious crisis I had to handle as mayor was a freak ice storm that shut down our power for 3 days. This was a big deal in our neck of the woods, where it uusally snows a little about every fourth year. We kept the water supply going with an emergency generator (our little water plant had built-in provision for this). The chief of police, city secretary, myself, and a few other spare hands went around knocking on doors to make sure people had water, heat, and food. We brought them to the local high school and city hall if they did not. We also took note of anyone who had special needs, like medical oxygen, and made sure that this was provided. We moved them to the local clinic if this could not be done at home without electricity. There were no cell phones in those days, but we had CB radio and the police could communicate with the state authorities over their radios. We asked radio operators to alert their neighbors that they could summon help in a hurry if needed. It was a pretty miserable three days and I think I earned my 50$ a month salary at least that time, but nobody died and nobody went hungry.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 09/01/2005 20:56 Comments || Top||

#12  A plan:
Declare martial law under federal authority, shut the useless mayor and the befuddled governor out of the loop entirely. Chopper in troops to secure a number of strategically located evacuation pickup points. Bring in military engineers to restore sanitation and provide water at those points.
After that, ferry the evacuees out to the airports to whatever transport planes can be scrounged up to take them to fully secure shelters and housing areas further inland.
At the same time, another force of helicopters will sweep the flooded areas in a grid pattern, to pick up anyone who is still stranded. Marines and sailors in small boats will also sweep the flooded areas for evacuees and to begin the systematic recovery of the dead. National Guard troops and regulars, if necessary, will do the same on foot. Major assault ships like the ones heading to New Orleans have sizable mortuary facilities, though this is not heavily advertised for obvious reasons.
More troops will secure clean water distribution points once these have been set up by engineers.
Delta and Marine snipers will be deployed to put a stop to armed hooligans taking potshots at relief efforts.
Looters, profiteers, and roving gangs will be arrested or shot.
The arrestees should be taken to an internment facility at the edge of the flooded areas, the same kind of temporary pen we know how to set up for prisoners of war.



Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 09/01/2005 21:06 Comments || Top||

#13  Re #6 (Steve White): Having once spent three days after a hurricane with little to eat and mainly a little water from a less-than-pristine bathtub to drink, I can assure you that most people still in the area have much bigger issues than volunteering. It's easy to sit here and say what should be done, but imagine trying to figure that out if you're depressed, exhausted, hungry, thirsty, AND have little or no access to the outside world. No TV, no phone -- not even knowledge of what the situation is a mile away. I think we need to be a bit more forgiving. Most survivors are doing the best they can under the circumstances. The media is covering the flash points and ignoring most of the rest.
Posted by: Darrell || 09/01/2005 21:07 Comments || Top||

#14  no looter prisoners. Justice on the spot
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 21:09 Comments || Top||

#15  It took us two days to really shut down the looting in LA in '92 and that was in a city with all of its infrastructure intact.

The reality is that most of the looting is taking place in flooded areas. What are you going to do? Put soldiers and cops in hip waders? Everyone with a car and with a shred of sense left the city already or at least is at the Superdome. The people remaining are crooks, ghouls, and sickos (aside from shut ins). Most of them are probably from the housing projects. This will not get fixed until the levy is fixed and the pumps get started up. The fact that NO's administration is among the most corrupt in the nation isn't helping, but it will remain impossible to close decisively with the looters until the city is dried out.
Posted by: 11A5S || 09/01/2005 22:06 Comments || Top||

#16  Darrel we're talking about people in the convention center safe area preying on other people coming to the convention center safe area. We are not talking about people holed up in their hotel room with a tub of water.

That convention center safe area cannot be jam packed with jerks. There has to be normal people in there. Odds are there was a rape and it was stopped, and its being overreported right now because the Mayor mentioned it.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 09/01/2005 22:11 Comments || Top||


Gunmen target New Orleans medical convoy
New Orleans' Charity Hospital halted efforts to evacuate its patients after it came under sniper fire, according to Dr. Tyler Curiel, who witnessed the incidents.

The attack came as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued "a desperate SOS" for the thousands of people stranded in and around the city's convention center with no food or water and fading hope.

Curiel and his National Guard escorts, were returning to the hospital after dropping off patients at nearby Tulane Medical Center, when someone started shooting at their convoy of Humvees.

"We were coming in from a parking deck at Tulane Medical Center, and a guy in a white shirt started firing at us," Curiel said. "The National Guard (troops), wearing flak jackets, tried to get a bead on this guy. "

The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET). About an hour later, another gunman opened fire at the back of Charity Hospital.

"We got back to Charity Hospital with with food from Tulane and we said, 'OK the snipers are behind us, let's move on,'" Curiel said. "We started loading patients (for transport) and 20 minutes later, shots rang out."

The National Guard soldiers told staff to get away from the windows, and evacuations were halted.

Charity Hospital has no electricity, no water and the only food available is couple of cans of vegetables and graham crackers.

Evacuations by boat were halted after armed looters threatened medics, and overturned one of their boats.

The sniper attacks were the latest incidents of violence that have disrupted efforts to help people in the flooded city.

CNN's Chris Lawrence described "many, many" bodies, inside and outside the facility on New Orleans' Riverwalk. (Watch report on the desperate conditions at the convention center -- 4:36 )

"There are multiple people dying at the convention center," Lawrence said. "There was an old woman, dead in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her, pushed up against a wall. Horrible, horrible conditions.

"We saw a man who went into a seizure, literally dying right in front of us."

In a statement Thursday, Nagin said that "the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for (15,000 to 20,000) people."

He said the city would allow people to march up the Crescent City Connection to the Westbank Expressway in an effort to find help.

People were "being forced to live like animals," Lawrence said, surrounded by piles of trash and feces.

He said thousands of people were just laying in the ground outside the building -- many old, or sick, or caring for infants and small children.

Video from the scene showed a group chanting 'we want help, we want help,' as mothers tried to console their tired and hungry children.

More people were arriving at the center, walking south along Canal Street. The route north to the Superdome is blocked by chest-deep water.

The convention center was used as a secondary shelter when the Louisiana Superdome was overwhelmed.

As reports indicated a mounting death toll in New Orleans, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said that "we understand there are thousands of dead people" in Louisiana, according to media reports.

A Louisiana National Guard official told CNN Thursday morning that between 50,000 and 60,000 people had converged at evacuation points near the Superdome hoping to get on one of the buses out of town.

"It's no longer just evacuees from the Superdome, as citizens who were holed up in high-rise office buildings and hotels saw buses moving into the dome, they realized this is an evacuation point," Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said.

Desperation was evident as the buses rolled out. State Sen. Robert Marionneaux recounted a story about a woman near the Superdome who handed her 2-month-old baby to someone who had managed to get on a bus to Houston, begging her to take care of the baby. CNN could not independently verify his account.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff denied reports that rescue efforts in New Orleans had been halted for security reasons Thursday, saying those operations "are continuing in full force."

"We are going to continue to increase the tempo of that program until we've cleared people out of the Superdome and we've cleared people out of New Orleans," he said.

Chertoff said that the Coast Guard has rescued about 3,000 people from flooded areas in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes.

Houston has offered to house about 25,000 people in the Astrodome. San Antonio, Texas, has agreed to take another 25,000 people, officials said Thursday. Schneider said that officials were looking for additional locations.

Widespread looting and random gunfire have been reported across New Orleans. Police told CNN that groups of armed men roamed the streets overnight.

Officers told CNN they lacked manpower and steady communications to properly do their jobs -- and that they needed help to prevent the widespread looting and violence now prevalent in the city.

A police officer working in downtown New Orleans said police were siphoning gas from abandoned vehicles in an effort to keep their squad cars running, CNN's Lawrence reported.

The officer said police are "on their own" for food and water, scrounging up what they can from anybody who is generous enough to give them some -- and that they have no communication whatsoever. Police also told CNN they were removing ammunition from looted gunshops in an effort to get it off the streets.

The Pentagon said that by next week 24,000 troops would be on the ground to assist in recovery efforts, including 8,600 National Guard members by Friday who could be put to work in law enforcement. (See video on Pentagon response -- 2:14)

President Bush, in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," said that their should be "zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this."

He promised a rapid federal response to the disaster.

The breadth of the brutality of Hurricane Katrina became clearer as more death toll figures began to filter in from Mississippi's coastal region.

Authorities said at least 185 people died in Monday's Category 4 storm.

In Hancock County alone, Sheriff Eddie Jennings put the death toll at 85, with 60 people dead in Pearlington, 22 in Waveland, two in Bay St. Louis and one body that had washed up on the beach.

In neighboring Harrison County, which is home to Gulfport and Biloxi, authorities reported 100 bodies had been found, an emergency official in the state capital, Jackson, told CNN.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 16:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Send in a helicopter gunship as an aerial escort. If the convoy comes under fire and the origin can be determined, unload a rain of lead on the bastards. Sorry for the bloodthirsty tone, but this lawlessness in the disaster area is getting beyond excessive. I mean, firing on a medical convoy? Maybe it's time to start cutting out the tumors that were growing unnoticed before Katrina swept in.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 17:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Via Drudge, there is this:

*******************
4:15 P.M. - (AP): Police say storm victims are being raped and beaten inside the New Orleans Convention Center.
About 15,200 people who had taken shelter at the convention center to await buses grew increasingly hostile.

Police Chief Eddie Compass says he sent in 88 officers to quell the situation at the building, but they were quickly beaten back by an angry mob.
Compass says, "We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten."

He says 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 appeared to make leaving difficult.
*******************
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 09/01/2005 17:31 Comments || Top||

#3  This situation was allowed to totally get out of hand. Now the authorities are in a world of deep sh*t. From the git-go the authorities needed a massive show of force, and that could only be done with the National Guard presence. Now it sounds like (in my uninformed opinion) there are still not enough law enforcement and and the rules of engagement are hamstringing them. This is anarchy.

My colleague has word that his surgeon son and daughter in law are waiting for helos on the top of the parking garage at Tulane, but helos are interrupted for other high priority movements. Where are the airborne assets and where is the firepower and authority to stop this mess in its tracks????
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/01/2005 19:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Bush needs to declare Marshal Law under federal authority. It doesn't exist under LA law. Shoot the anarchists
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 20:08 Comments || Top||

#5  start ending the lawlessness by ending the lawless. Punks and thugs...Darwinian lessons
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 20:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Declare martial law. suspend civil authority.

Get rid of the Major - he is as useless as a turd in a rainstorm -- put in someone who won't take any bullshit.

Shoot (to kill) these thugs, rapist, looters, and general assholes. No warning shots.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/01/2005 20:57 Comments || Top||

#7  I fail to understand why these people have to stand around and wait to be taken out. It's a twenty mile walk along the river on dry road from the convention center to passable open road in St. Charles Parish. Why sit and wait for 96 hours when you can walk out on your own in 10?
Posted by: Glenmore || 09/01/2005 22:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Got word from my colleague's surgeon son and his wife at Tulane Hospital that their patients are all medivaced out by helo. Charity, a state hospital, needed medivacs, so the helo is going there. They were hauling 4 people at a time, or 2 litter cases. Tulane has food and water for the staff, so it is a waiting game for the staff there
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/01/2005 22:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Information is scarce, but why cannot necessities be slung in by helicopter by cargo net? They could get a sh*tload of bottled water in quickly. But who really knows what is happening there?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 09/01/2005 22:23 Comments || Top||


People venture outside Keesler shelters
For the first time since Hurricane Katrina forced them into shelters, 6,000 people at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., ventured outside for a breath of fresh air. That was late in the day on Aug. 30, just after eating their first hot meal since the devastating hurricane nearly blew the base and that section of the Gulf Coast off the map. People stood in line for up to two hours to get their first hot food in days, said Lt. Col. Claudia Foss, the 81st Training Wing spokesperson. "We were able to feed 6,000 people at one dining facility," she said. Then, after being cooped up for days, families just wanted to go outside and get some fresh air. "The kids were all anxious to get out of the shelters and play," she said.

But that somewhat festive mood ended for most Aug. 31 when families who live on the training base got to visit their homes for the first time since they evacuated them late last week. Most of the base housing area along the Bay of Biloxi shoreline is uninhabitable because of water damage caused by the tidal surge, said Colonel Foss, whose house was among those heavily damaged. However, there has been little time to ponder the damage. Most people have been concerned with just making it past the storm, Colonel Foss said. And after the hurricane swept past, people working to get the base back on track have been too focused on that to worry much about their homes, she said. However, that is not the case with their families, she said. Most are anxious about what they will find when they return home.

"(Aug. 31) is the first day folks are actually going to look at their homes -- to assess (the damage)," the colonel said. "So today is going to be very emotional." She said special life skills teams are standing by to help people cope with their losses. Afterward, base officials will determine where to lodge people once they can leave the base’s seven shelters. Some will have to move to another shelter on the base, or "whatever is available," she said.

The tidal surge that followed the hurricane’s high winds devastated the base. Nearly every building received damage. Many roads still remain chocked with debris. And there is no electrical power available, except that provided by emergency generators to critical buildings. Communications are minimal and only Defense Systems Network telephones work. "We can’t call commercially from here," Colonel Foss said. Outside the base’s main gate the destruction is catastrophic. The city of Biloxi, Miss., is flooded, and the hurricane erased many parts of the nearby Gulf Coast. It is the same in Louisiana and Alabama.

Television images are of the destruction of New Orleans, which is now under a state of martial law. Military helicopters are picking up people stranded on rooftops. Clean water and power are gone. Food supplies and gas and ice are dwindling fast and sewage is backing up in many coastal cities and towns. A railway runs past the Keesler front gate. And past the tracks is Highway 90. That was the way it was before Katrina struck. That is all "basically a coastline now," Colonel Foss said.

About an hour east of the base, Lake Pontchartrain continues to flood New Orleans, which is more than 80-percent underwater. There is no potable water available and Louisiana state officials have declared a state of martial law. "We do have drinking water. We do have the sewage system up and running," the colonel said. And more help is arriving at the base. The Air Force has mobilized to help the people at Keesler and the entire area, if needed. Commanders of other Air Force bases have pledged their support. And Air Mobility Command C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft are flying relief equipment to the airport at Lafayette, La.

On Aug. 30, a C-130 Hercules and C-17 landed to medevac 25 hospital patients and 31 pregnant women in their third trimester to Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB, Texas. "We’re getting a lot of great help," the colonel said.
Posted by: Steve || 09/01/2005 15:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:


Stop Your Whining -- and Start Pumping
BY JAMES LILEKS
Oh, stop complaining about high gasoline prices. Adjusted for inflation, gas is still not as costly as it would have been in A.D. 27, when the cost of pumping by hand and straining light sweet crude through slave livers would have been ruinous. And it's still cheaper than it was in 1981, before Ronald Reagan brought the price down by firing the air traffic controllers, who stopped driving to work and thus reduced demand. Or something like that. In any case, it could be worse.

What's that, you say? You live in the present, and hence are disinclined to accept windy bromides about historical trends? Well, you have a point.

So what to do about our gas crisis? The options are few, but clear. Start with this: The government cuts taxes on gas to put money back in people's pockets, and reduces the regulatory obstacles to new refinery construction.

(Pause)

(Snicker)

(Gales of laughter; wiping tears from eyes)

Oh, that's a good one, isn't it. OK, let's consider some serious ideas:

-- Drive less. Especially you people in North Dakota who insist on getting in the car to go five miles in sleet just to pick up some medicine. Buy your pills online, and let UPS deliver it. Their trucks run on pixie dust.

-- Alternative fuels. Go ahead, come up with a substitute; no one's stopping you. Except of course the oil company Black Ops teams. Last week they took out a dude who invented an engine that ran on hemp and turkey guts. True, man. Read it on the Internet. That's why there's no substitute for gas right now; it has nothing to do with technological and distribution barriers. It's all those Texaco assassins.

-- Confiscate Iraq's oilfields. As long as we're going to be accused of fighting a war for oil, might as well get some gas out of it. The Iraqi government is subsidizing gas for its own people; odd we don't get some benefit. It's as if we think forging a constitution and birthing a civil society are more important than diverting Iraqi crude to American cars. As "The Simpsons"' Comic Book Guy would say: Worst. Imperialists. Ever.

-- Drill! Drill everywhere! Not just Alaska, but California. Florida, too. To heck with what Jeb Bush wants; put those platforms so close to the coast you could incorporate them into golf courses. Drill in Central Park if you have to. Would the aesthetic damage be more important than the economic damage caused by high oil costs?

Depends on whom you ask. New Yorkers, who think Manhattan runs on ego juice distilled from brokers and real-estate moguls, say YES. Because oil is bad and ugly and gives the Arctic Ice Shelf cancer. But drilling no longer requires big, gushing structures that look like an Eiffel Tower for hillbillies. You could probably hide a drill in a nice office building. It would look peculiar in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, granted; the caribou would have trouble breeding because they'd never get past lobby security. But in New York, who'd know?

Doesn't matter: For some, it's not just the sight of a drilling rig that offends. It's the moral stain inherent in oil production, an ethical taint that touches everything. OK, then: Give the nation's artists free hand to decorate the derricks as they please. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It would cause some people to seize up and fall over. Must ... hate ... derrick ... yet ... derrick ... is ... culturally ... transgressive. Does ... not ... compute.

-- Nuclear power. You know, like the French. Heck, it's so great even the Iranians want it, and surely anyone who's got the international trademark on "Death to America" must be on to something.

To sum up: We could drill more, build more domestic refineries, build new nuke plants and slash government taxes on gas. Or we could have federal mandates on fuel economy and carpooling, so you're forced to sit in a tiny box arguing about the radio with a stranger who applies Brut with a hose. Sure, you lose some freedom, but ANWR remains pristine, and Malibu beach houses don't have their sunsets spoiled.

The owners will wave thanks as they pass overhead in their private jets.
Posted by: Steve || 09/01/2005 14:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lileks rocks.

I'm hearing that not a single drop spilled in the Gulf. So if they can withstand a hurricane... do 'they' have any real concerns outside of the esthetic/not-in-my-backyard type?
Posted by: eLarson || 09/01/2005 17:55 Comments || Top||


'Fats' Domino Missing in New Orleans
Before NBC, MTV, or anyone else puts on a telethon to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, they might want to explore some ancillary issues. To wit: New Orleans is a city famous for its famous musicians, but many of them are missing. Missing with a capital M.

To begin with, one of the city’s most important legends, Antoine “Fats” Domino, has not been heard from since Monday afternoon. Domino’s rollicking boogie-woogie piano and deep soul voice are not only part of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame but responsible for dozens of hits like “Blue Monday,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill” and “I’m Walking (Yes, Indeed, I’m Talking).” Domino, 76, lives with his wife Rosemary and daughter in a three story pink-roofed house in New Orleans’ 9th ward, which is now underwater. On Monday afternoon, Domino told his manager, Al Embry of Nashville, that he would “ride out the storm” at home. Embry is now frantic. Calls have been made to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco’s office and to various police officials and though there’s lots of sympathetic response, the whereabouts of Domino and his family remain a mystery.

In the meantime, another important Louisiana musician who probably hasn’t been asked to be in any telethons is the also legendary Allen Toussaint. Another Rock Hall member, Toussaint wrote Patti Labelle’s hit “Lady Marmalade” and Dr. John’s “Right Place, Wrong Time.” His arrangements and orchestrations for hundreds of hit records, including his own instrumentals “Whipped Cream” and “Java” are American staples. (He also arranged Paul Simon’s hit, “Kodachrome.”) Last night, Toussaint was one of the 25,000 people holed up at the New Orleans Superdome hoping to get on a bus for Houston’s Astrodome. I know this because he got a message out to his daughter, who relayed to it through friends.

Also not heard from by friends through last night: New Orleans’s “Queen of Soul,” Irma Thomas, who was the original singer of what became the Rolling Stones’ hit, “Time is On My Side.” Let’s hope and pray it is, because while the Stones roll through the U.S. on their $450-a-ticket tour, Thomas is missing in action. Her club, The Lion’s Den is underwater, as are all the famous music hot spots of the city.

Similarly, friends are looking for Antoinette K-Doe, widow of New Orleans wild performer Ernie K-Doe. The Does have a famous nightspot of their own on N. Claiborne Avenue, called the Mother-in-Law Lounge, in honor of Ernie’s immortal hit, “The Mother-in-Law Song.” Ernie K-Doe, who received a 1998 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, died in 2001 at age 65.

Dry and safe, but in not much better shape, is the famous Neville family of New Orleans. Aaron Neville and many members of the family evacuated on Monday to Memphis, where they are now staying in a hotel. But most of the Nevilles’ homes are destroyed, reports their niece and my colleague at “A Current Affair,” Arthel Neville. She went down to her hometown yesterday and called me from a boat that was trying to get near town. “This isn’t like having two feet of water in your basement,” she said, holding back tears. “Everything is destroyed. I am just so lucky to have been born here and to have had the experience of New Orleans." She confirmed that there had been rumors of dead bodies floating around her Uncle Aaron’s house yesterday. So far the Nevilles are unannounced to participate in Friday’s TV show.

And still there are plenty of other famous musicians associated with New Orleans who would probably like to be on TV if they’re high and dry. The Marsalis family comes from the city, and they’ve played at most of the well known clubs like Tipitina’s, The Maple Leaf, Preservation Hall and Muddy Waters. New Orleans is also one of the few cities with a House of Blues. And Jimmy Buffet’s Margharitaville Café chain has a local franchise that is still an attraction. New Orleans’s trademark sounds are Cajun and Zydeco. So far none of the listed benefits have named an act that plays that kind of music.
Posted by: Steve || 09/01/2005 09:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [391 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hopen yore safe fats
Posted by: muck4doo || 09/01/2005 11:59 Comments || Top||

#2  It's sad hearing that so many stayed to "ride out the storm". Hope that most are okay, but it's sounding very grim.
Posted by: Jan || 09/01/2005 12:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Fats is a genius.
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 12:53 Comments || Top||

#4  I suppose I shouldn't admit I watch public TV, but they broadcast a Fats Domino concert from time to time (that is, during fundraising drives). The guy could play and sing and swing with the best -- a legend for all time.
Posted by: Curt Simon || 09/01/2005 13:03 Comments || Top||

#5  All these people all have (had?) money. Time will tell if they have/had any brains.

I would hope they changed their minds and got out ahead of the storm. Here's hoping they're safe.

As for calling the governor, GFL. In a situation like they've got in NO, famous shouldn't get you any special attention. There are plenty of non-famous who are missing, or who need help, too.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 09/01/2005 14:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Public television does the culture thing and British tv quite well, and even small history programs. It's the only place documentary film students have for distribution of their little, but heart-felt, efforts. It's when PBS try to address news, politics and current events that their biases become overwhelming.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 14:19 Comments || Top||

#7  their little, but heart-felt, efforts

Ima not sure if I need to laugh, cry or take away RantBurgs luxurious scratching post.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 15:03 Comments || Top||

#8  What's this? Rich guys missing? The MSM has been telling us for the past couple of days that all Katrina victims were the poor and down trodden. Another LLL theory shot to sh*t.
Posted by: GK || 09/01/2005 15:45 Comments || Top||

#9  meow But did I speak an untruth, Shipman dear?
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 22:21 Comments || Top||

#10  What about Elvis ? Did someone see Elvis ?
Posted by: boeboe || 09/01/2005 22:33 Comments || Top||

#11  He was rescued earlier. Link to CNN article

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino was among the thousands of New Orleans residents plucked from rising floodwaters, his daughter said Thursday.

Karen Domino White, who lives in New Jersey, identified her father in a picture taken Monday night by a New Orleans Times-Picayune photographer.

The photograph shows Domino -- the singer behind the 1950s hits "Ain't That a Shame" and "Blueberry Hill" -- being helped off a boat near his home in the city's Lower 9th Ward.

Alan Warner, an EMI Music executive, also saw the photograph of Domino's rescue. But he said he did not know where the 77-year-old singer, born Antoine Domino, was taken afterward.

"But the fact that he actually was rescued is just so gratifying," Warner said.

Posted by: Jackal || 09/01/2005 22:54 Comments || Top||

#12  It's good to hear some good news thanks,
Posted by: Jan || 09/01/2005 23:34 Comments || Top||


Al-Reuters on the situation in Biloxi, Mississippi
For about a decade this gaming town on Mississippi's Gulf Coast has been the place to be in the state if you were poor, down on your luck or simply looking for work. That changed on Monday when Hurricane Katrina came ashore, leveling hundreds if not thousands of houses, stores and commercial buildings and killing scores of residents.

In the devastated streets and atop the rubble piles where their homes once stood, a bitter refrain is increasingly heard from poor and low-income residents who complain that they have borne the brunt of the hurricane's wrath. "Many people didn't have the financial means to get out," said Alan LeBreton, 41, an apartment superintendent who lived on Biloxi's seaside road, now in ruins. "That's a crime and people are angry about it."

Many of the town's well-off heeded authorities' warnings to flee north, joining thousands of others who traveled from the Gulf Coast into northern Mississippi and Alabama, Georgia and other nearby states. Hotels along the interstates and other main roads were packed with these temporary refugees. Gas stations and convenience stores -- at least those that were open -- sold out of water, ice and other supplies within hours.

But others could not afford to join them, either because they didn't own a car or couldn't raise funds for even the cheapest motel. "No way we could do that," said Willie Rhetta, a bus driver, who remained in his home to await Katrina.

Resentment at being left behind in the path of one of the fiercest hurricanes on record may have contributed to some of the looting that occurred in Biloxi and other coastal communities. A number of private residences, including some in upscale neighborhoods, were targeted, residents said.

Biloxi experienced an economic boom when casinos were legalized in the early 1990s but class divisions, which often fall along racial lines in this once-segregated southern state, are not new to Mississippi. It traditionally is one of the poorest states in the United States. In 2004, Mississippi had the second lowest median household income and the highest percentage of people -- 21.6 percent -- living in poverty, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 03:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Many people didn't have the financial means to get out," said .... "That's a crime and people are angry about it."

Yes, it is a crime. And you, of course, bear no responsiblity at all, right? So the looting is justified by the 'anger', eh?

The War On Poverty has been in a quagmire for 30 years. Isn't about time to withdraw?
Posted by: Bobby || 09/01/2005 7:18 Comments || Top||

#2  The War On Poverty has been in a quagmire for 30 years

Quagmire? Its been a gold mine [out of the public purse] for one political party to establish a solid base of support for their 'Socialism with a Human Face' program. Doesn't it strike you that all the complainers are people whose view of the world is one that Someone Else is Responsible to Take Care of Me. The I just have to sit here and someone will give it to me attitude is written all over the tv screens. When the infrastructure disappears, they're lost and without a clue.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 09/01/2005 10:20 Comments || Top||

#3  When are the Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson gonna show up in New Orleans?
Posted by: Fleck Hupomoter1523 || 09/01/2005 17:28 Comments || Top||

#4  When the shooting stops.
Posted by: eLarson || 09/01/2005 21:14 Comments || Top||


Townsfolk take up arms against looters
In a city shut down for business, the Rite Aid at Oak and South Carrollton was wide open on Wednesday. Someone had stolen a forklift, driven it four blocks, peeled up the security gate and smashed through the front door.

The young and the old walked in empty-handed and walked out with armfuls of candy, sunglasses, notebooks, soda and whatever else they could need or find. No one tried to stop them.

Across New Orleans, the rule of law, like the city's levees, could not hold out after Hurricane Katrina. The desperate and the opportunistic took advantage of an overwhelmed police force and helped themselves to anything that could be carried, wheeled or floated away, including food, water, shoes, television sets, sporting goods and firearms.

Many people with property brought out their own shotguns and sidearms. Many without brought out shopping carts. The two groups have moved warily in and out of each other's paths for the last three days, and the rising danger has kept even some rescue efforts from proceeding.

Because the New Orleans police were preoccupied with search and rescue missions, sheriff's deputies and state police from around Louisiana began to patrol the city, some holding rifles as they rolled through the streets in an armored vehicle.

But on Wednesday night, the mayor ordered about 1,500 city police officers, nearly the entire force, back to their traditional roles.

The looters "are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas," Mayor C. Ray Nagin told The Associated Press, "hotels, hospitals, and we're going to stop it right now."

Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said she was "furious" about the looting.

"What angers me the most is disasters tend to bring out the best in everybody, and that's what we expected to see," Ms. Blanco said at a news conference. "Instead, it brought out the worst."

All sizes and types of stores, from Wal-Mart to the Rite Aid to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, turned into bazaars of free merchandise.

Some frightened homeowners took security into their own hands.

John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.

One said, "We want that generator," he recalled.

"I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum," Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. "They scattered."

He smiled and added, "You've heard of law west of the Pecos. This is law west of Canal Street."

Though no one excused the stealing, many officials were careful not to depict every looter as a petty thief.

"Had New York been closed off on 9/11, who can say what they would have done?" said Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, vice president of the New Orleans City Council. "When there's no food, no water, no sanitation, who can say what you'd do? People were trying to protect their children. I don't condone lawlessness, but this doesn't represent the generous people of New Orleans."

One woman outside a Sav-a-Center on Tchoupitoulas Street was loading food, soda, water, bread, peanut butter and canned food into the trunk of a gray Oldsmobile.

"Yes, in a sense it's wrong, but survival is the name of the game," said the woman, who would not identify herself. "I've got six grandchildren. We didn't know this was going to happen. The water is off. We're trying to get supplies we need."

Jimmy Field, one of the state's five public service commissioners, said supply and repair trucks were being slowed down by people looking for food and water. Some would not go on without police escorts.

"Right now we're hoping for more federal assistance to get the level of civil disturbance down," Mr. Field said.

One police officer was shot Tuesday trying to stop looting, but he was expected to survive.

An emergency medical vehicle that was taking a Baton Rouge police officer who had been shot last month from a hospital back to his hometown was shot at on the way out of New Orleans on Tuesday.

East Baton Rouge Parish officials agreed to send 20 buses with special weapons and tactics officers to help evacuate New Orleanians, but only if a state trooper was also placed on each bus. The plan was scuttled.

"I told them I don't mind committing drivers and vehicles, but I wasn't going to put our people in harm's way," said Walter Monsour, the chief administrative officer of the parish.

Besides the strain of having to rescue survivors, the police are bereft of much of their equipment, buildings and essential communications. The Police Department was scheduled to receive new radios on Wednesday night to coordinate its activities, said Lt. Col. Mark S. Oxley, a spokesman for the state police.

Charles C. Foti Jr., the Louisiana attorney general, said a temporary detention center and courthouse would be established somewhere outside New Orleans. "We will be ready to accept you in our system, and teach you about rules and order," Mr. Foti warned looters.

On Tuesday, the state police sent in 200 troopers trained in riot control, said Lt. Lawrence J. McLeary, a spokesman for the state police.

He said that the "nervous energy" in New Orleans reminded him of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. "I've never seen anything like that in Louisiana," Lieutenant McLeary said.

With no officers in sight, people carried empty bags, shopping carts and backpacks through the door of the Rite Aid on Wednesday and left with them full. The forklift was still in the doorway. As they came and went, the looters nodded companionably to one another.

Paul Cosma, 47, who owns a nearby auto shop, stood outside it along with a reporter and photographer he was taking around the neighborhood. He had pistols on both hips.

Suddenly, he stepped forward toward a trio of young men and grabbed a pair of rusty bolt cutters out of the hands of one of them. The young man pulled back, glaring.

Mr. Cosma, never claiming any official status, eventually jerked the bolt cutters away, saying, "You don't need these."

The young man and his friends left, continuing the glare. A few minutes later, they returned and mouthed quiet oaths at Mr. Cosma, and his friend Art DePodesta, an Army veteran, who was carrying a shotgun and a pistol.

Mr. Cosma stared back, saying nothing. Between the two sides, a steady trickle of looters came and went, barely giving any of them a look.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 03:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ""I've got six grandchildren. We didn't know this was going to happen. The water is off. We're trying to get supplies we need.""

File this one under hte DUH file.

Didnt know it was going to happen? WTF!?!?

This was only on the news for the previous 3 days, everyone talking about it, and the mayor and gov ordered an evac a couple days ahead. This moron has a working car and a non-working brain. You live in Nawlins you dummy - it FLOODs - and has done so for the past few centuries.

I feel sorry your 6 grandchildren are hungry becasue you are too dumb to get out before the biggest hurricane in decades, so get them the hell out now, so you can stop stealing food. You might get shot - and that would be the reward stupidity invariably brings in nature: death.

Morons.
Posted by: Oldspook || 09/01/2005 5:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Looters deserve to be shot on sight. That said, this ought to be a wakeup call to all those damned idiots who think that protecting themselves is someone else's responsibility.

The veneer of civilization is extremely thin in our society and it doesn't take much stress to have it break down. The situation in NO is way past that point. If you live in NOLA now and you have anything you want to keep, you better have guns and be willing to use them because that's the only way you're going to have a hope of succeeding. NOLA's housing projects have been a ripe source of fodder for Angola prison (one of the toughest, if not the toughest in the US)for a long time. Bet on it that there are lots of Angola graduates among the ghouls terrorizing NOLA today. Those reasty folks aren't even going to think of backing away from anything less than a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot.

This is nothing new, either. Ask someone who lived through Andrew down in Homestead. For quite some time afterward the only effective law was what the residents could enforce with their own weapons. After dark it got REAL ugly.
Posted by: mac || 09/01/2005 5:47 Comments || Top||

#3  "The veneer of civilization is extremely thin in our society..."

True of all human societies, IMHO, where there is a semblance / pretense of civilization. I think of it as the thin candy shell... Civilization is merely the suspension of normal self-serving activities - under duress. The presumption that it should be anything other than this is rooted in the moonbattery that there are no really bad people and that those who behave badly (looting, killing, procrastinating, etc.) were temporarily forced by circumstances of some sort. Uh, huh, right.

I've always thought this fit rather well:

If a man once indulges himself in murder,
very soon he comes to think little of robbing;
and from robbing he next comes to drinking
and sabbath-breaking, and from that to
incivility and procrastination.

-- Thomas DeQuincy
Posted by: .com || 09/01/2005 7:56 Comments || Top||

#4  I understand if someone 'liberates' food and bottled water. I'd turn a blind eye to that.

Flat-screen TVs, computers, and jewelry? Shoot them.

Some people were not able to get out. The poverty issue is a real one, and one can rightly ask how, in the future, we're going to help the poor folks when there is a mandatory evacuation. Looting isn't the answer.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/01/2005 11:10 Comments || Top||

#5  You live in Nawlins you dummy - it FLOODs - and has done so for the past few centuries.

There was a prog on PBS some years back that looked at the effect on the Mississippi River by flood control measures. It was mentioned that New Orleans was below sea level, and that it was only a matter of time before a catastrophic flood would inundate the city.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 11:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Yep, PBS was right, turns out New Orleans has the topography of a bowl. Yep, a bowl.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 11:34 Comments || Top||

#7  Article: Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said she was "furious" about the looting.

"What angers me the most is disasters tend to bring out the best in everybody, and that's what we expected to see," Ms. Blanco said at a news conference. "Instead, it brought out the worst."


I find it amusing that Democrats consistently pretend to be law-and-order advocates without actually saying what punitive steps they will take to deter or punish criminals. It would have been a little more effective for her to have said, for example, that she has instructed law enforcement officials to shoot looters on sight. Cops and the like are not going to risk being brought up on murder charges - the governor needs to provide explicit authorization.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 09/01/2005 11:41 Comments || Top||

#8  ZF,

Spot on. Kind of like the second verse of "We'll issue a subpoena and arrest Osama Bin Laden." Okay, and how exactly are you going to do that?
Posted by: Dreadnought || 09/01/2005 13:05 Comments || Top||

#9  #4 I understand if someone 'liberates' food and bottled water. I'd turn a blind eye to that.

Flat-screen TVs, computers, and jewelry? Shoot them.


Just WTF good is a flat screen TV going to do someone in the next few days. I can understand the looting for food and water. But when your life is hanging by a thread and all you can think about is Nike's and DVD's you deserve to got shot.
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 09/01/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#10  The lawless in New Orleans aren't much different than the lawless in Great Britain or Baghdad or Mogadisha, or Afghanistan, or etc, etc, etc.
Posted by: Fleck Hupomoter1523 || 09/01/2005 17:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Now here's a cause worth donating to.
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 21:12 Comments || Top||

#12  Just a few,

Volcano eruptions , Lahars , Earthquakes

Peru,
Boliva,
Chile,
Japan,
Italy,
Philippines
Alaska
SF

etc.

Been in one myself where all of us helped shared each others food, water, aid and comfort etc.


Collectivly many thousands of folks have been killed or isolated and left homeless but the people all helped each other and there was no looting! *** most of them were all poor folks but rich in character.***

Posted by: Red Dog || 09/01/2005 21:29 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm sitting here next to another New Orleans evacuee who just got off the phone with her brother, a National Guard MP currently re-deployed from rescue operations in Plaquemines Parish to law enforcement in Orleans. His orders are if he sees a weapon, shoot the carrier. He's already smashed a face into the pavement today. But he says that for right now the city is run by the gangs. Groups of armed young men wandering the streets, they've run out of stores to loot so are starting on the homes.
Posted by: Glenmore || 09/01/2005 22:20 Comments || Top||


US gas prices surge as supply drops
For the first time since the 1970's, gasoline lines reappeared yesterday in some corners of the country.

Three days after Hurricane Katrina dealt a devastating blow to the nation's largest energy hub, the worst-case possibility was quickly becoming a reality: gasoline prices surging well above $3 a gallon, with some consumers complaining of price gouging; service stations in a handful of locations running out of gas; drivers rushing to fill their tanks, only to find themselves waiting in line with others.

After the sudden drop in oil supplies, gasoline sellers were quick to raise their prices. While gasoline averaged $2.60 a gallon earlier in the week, unleaded regular gas was selling yesterday at $3.09 at stations in West Palm Beach, Fla.; $3.49 in Indianapolis; and $3.25 in San Francisco. Premium fuel was going for up to $3.89 a gallon in Chicago.

Shortages and gasoline lines were reported in parts of South Carolina, the Dakotas, Arkansas and Kentucky.

The White House responded yesterday by saying it would release oil from the nation's emergency stockpiles to meet shortages and would relax environmental standards nationwide so that refiners could produce more - but dirtier - gasoline.

"A lot of crude production has been shut down because of the storm," President Bush said outside the White House yesterday after returning from his vacation in Texas. "Our citizens must understand this storm has disrupted the capacity to make gasoline and to distribute gasoline."

In response to the White House announcement, the price of crude oil fell in trading yesterday to $68.94, from $69.81, and the stock market rose as traders looked for signs of relief.

Still, most analysts said that neither move by the federal government was likely to produce much gasoline in the short term or bring prices down anytime soon. The problem is not any immediate shortage of crude oil but rather that crucial oil product pipelines and refineries in the gulf region are unable to operate.

The impact from the hurricane is likely to be felt nationwide for months. Some economists suggest that the disruptions could shave at least one percentage point from a fourth-quarter growth rate that most analysts, until the disaster, expected to reach roughly 3 percent.

Moreover, if oil prices remain around $70 a barrel or higher, they could put the Federal Reserve in an increasingly unpleasant position, caught between the desire to keep inflation low and the pressure to prevent an economic downturn.

The storm, which submerged New Orleans after it slammed into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, crippled substantial portions of the country's energy infrastructure. In Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, electrical power was out, refineries were drowned, and most of the offshore production of oil and gas had not resumed.

While crude oil prices fell, gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange soared for a third day as traders and analysts tried to determine the severity and duration of the supply disruptions.

Gasoline futures - equivalent to wholesale prices before taxes, distribution and marketing costs - closed at $2.6145 a gallon yesterday, a gain of 5.7 percent. On Tuesday, they jumped 20 percent.

Energy industry officials said the sharp jump in prices was an inevitable market reaction to fears that the only way to balance continued strong demand with tighter supplies was through higher prices, which would serve to keep some drivers from taking extra trips. They said price controls would only make the situation worse by discouraging production.

The government started receiving reports of price gouging at the retail level and said the complaints would be turned over to the Federal Trade Commission for investigation. "We have gotten a number of people concerned about the prices," said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the Energy Department.

And Reuters reported that Georgia's governor, Sonny Perdue, signed an order to punish gasoline sellers who gouge customers, amid complaints that prices in some cases had risen to $5 a gallon.

Mark N. Cooper, the research director with the Consumer Federation of America, said the issue was not gouging.

"This is the result of the complete and total neglect of the petroleum industry," Mr. Cooper said. "Refiners are vulnerable, overstretched and not very competitive. Gouging is not the problem. It's a symptom of an underlying disease."

Throughout the South and Midwest, service stations were beginning to experience some shortages in areas where gasoline is usually transported by pipeline from the gulf. Nearly two million barrels a day of refining capacity has been knocked out by the storm and could take weeks to return.

"There are risks of pockets of shortages in various parts of the country," said Edward L. Morse, an executive adviser at Hetco, a New York-based oil trading company. "There should be no gasoline lines in New York and New England, or California, but inland markets, like parts of Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky or Missouri, Memphis and Atlanta, are vulnerable."

"Lines are hard to predict," Mr. Morse said, because they typically occur "when consumers want to top off their tanks because they're afraid of gas lines."

Some drivers in Illinois, for example, rushed to service stations and formed gas lines because they heard on the radio that shortages were developing, only adding to a sense of panic that feeds on itself. In other cases, drivers topped their tanks in anticipation of the Labor Day weekend.

In parts of South Carolina and a few other places, lines formed because of credible reports that gasoline was in short supply.

"It's obviously very serious," said Guy F. Caruso, the administrator of the Energy Information Administration. "But given time and the industry's proven ability to respond to natural disasters, it will be resolved. Clearly, in the meantime, there will be economic pain."

In North Carolina, Gov. Mike Easley said the state had only one week of gasoline supplies and some stations were already running out of fuel. "We are not out of gas, but we are running low," Mr. Easley said.

In South Carolina, prices topped $3 a gallon for the first time as lines formed at some gas stations. "This reminds me of the 70's," said Ernie Adams, 70, a vacuum cleaner salesman from Union, S.C., who was filling up at a station where several cars lined up at each of the station's 16 pumps. "I burn a lot of gas, and I was hoping I'd never see anything like that again."

According to weekly estimates released yesterday, gasoline stocks in the United States totaled 194 million barrels, enough to satisfy demand for more than 20 days.

Sims Floyd Jr., the executive director of the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association, said the worst was yet to come. "We're facing a severe supply shortage very soon."

The Mississippi Delta sits in the middle of a network of pipelines that feed markets as far away as New Jersey and Illinois. Last year, the entire gulf region shipped 4.5 million barrels a day of products to other parts of the country, according to the American Petroleum Institute - most of it by pipelines and the rest by tanker or barges. Pipelines transport 1.9 million barrels a day of crude to refineries in the Midwest.

As many as 10 refiners have formally requested or informally contacted the government about using oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which currently holds about 700 million barrels of crude, according to Mr. Stevens, the Energy Department spokesman. He declined to identify them until their requests had been approved.

But one company whose loan was accepted on Tuesday evening rescinded its request yesterday afternoon. The problem is that no active refiners are in a position to increase their production to make up for the lost output from storm-damaged refineries.

"It doesn't matter that the government opens the strategic reserves because there is very little slack in the refining business," said Craig Pennington, the director of the global energy group at Schroders in London.

Rising prices, meanwhile, are inevitably turning into a hot political issue. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, criticized the Bush administration for not moving sooner to tap the oil reserve: "On energy, Americans were expecting a lot more from the president," Mr. Schumer said. "He took a tiny baby step when a giant step is required."

But others said the problem came from decades of underinvestment and a shortage of refining capacity.

"This hurricane is a wake-up call that we need to do things across the board on infrastructure and to also expand the base," said Representative Joe L. Barton, Republican of Texas, and the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "It's time to not only rebuild what we have, but it's, in my opinion, time to build additional resources so we're not as stressed as we've been."

More than 90 percent of the gulf's daily oil output - or 1.37 million barrels - remained closed yesterday, while natural gas production was down by 83 percent, or 8.3 billion cubic feet, according to the Minerals Management Service, a unit of the Department of Interior.

Coast Guard crews reported that up to 20 rigs and platforms had either sunk or were adrift, Larry Chambers, a public information officer, said. At least one gas rig has caught fire.

The Mars platform of Royal Dutch Shell - which alone accounts for 15 percent of the gulf's oil production - is "severely damaged," the Coast Guard said in a release.

Some relief might come from more imports of gasoline from Europe. The Environmental Protection Agency relaxed pollution standards nationwide to allow the use of lower grades of gasoline. Earlier the agency had relaxed standards in the four states most affected by Hurricane Katrina: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Industry experts expect suppliers from Europe to help fill the gap. But it will not happen overnight. "The United States is the highest-price market in the world right now, and that will attract European products in large flows," said Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation. "That's undeniable. Price is the magnet."

"But we have a liquidity crisis," he added. "We need to create supply instantaneously."

Much of the problem with gasoline supplies is psychological, for consumers as well as investors.

Markets were initially calmed by reports that one large pipeline concern, Kinder Morgan, had indicated that its Plantation pipeline, running from New Orleans to the East Coast, was undamaged and expected to resume operating by Tuesday.

Then, Kinder Morgan unexpectedly pushed back the start-up date for the pipeline, which is capable of 620,000 barrels a day, to yesterday. Then it said there was no clear resumption date.

Some energy industry strategists were adamant that market forces would prevent gasoline lines from forming. Others were not so sure.

"I hate to be an alarmist, but we're in a situation without much precedent," said David Pursell, a principal with Pickering Energy Partners in Houston. "With the gasoline market as tight as it is, people complain about $3 gas but they'll put $5 gas in their car if they suddenly think it's not available."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 01:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [547 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...We're being told by the local MSM that 'a' pipeline - no mention of which - is back up and running. There were long lines at gas stations up to about 2130 EST last night when I went home from work, and most - but not all - stations along the main drag here in Sumter had run out of regular. Extra and Premium were available, but rationed to $30 each (NOT a hell of a lot) and cash only. So far, everyone is taking it with good humor and patience.
The gouging is clear and blatant - we are being charged for fuel that is not even being shipped, much less in the tanks at the stations yet. Prices stopped here at roughly $2.99/gal for regular last night, but of course everyone expects higher.

Mike

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/01/2005 7:04 Comments || Top||

#2  $3.10/gal for Regular in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday afternoon. But Kroger gives $0.10 off per gallon for loyal customers at its own pumps. Long lines there already last week.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 7:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Here in East Tennessee there was panic buying yesterday. Gas at $2.95 for regular with long lines. Today nearly all stations are out of everything. Gasolene futures are slightly down from yesterday so maybe this panic will end. People were filling everything they could fill.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 09/01/2005 8:03 Comments || Top||

#4  But Kroger gives $0.10 off per gallon for loyal customers at its own pumps. Long lines there already last week.

There have been lines at Cincinnati Kroger gas pumps all summer.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 8:06 Comments || Top||

#5  2.59 gallon in TLH except for BP which (for awhile :>) was 3.19
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 8:28 Comments || Top||

#6  You can relax, there are no lines in my neck of South Carolina. Not at $3.50 per gallon ($3.30 if you want the cheap stuff). Economics at work!
Posted by: Curt Simon || 09/01/2005 9:15 Comments || Top||

#7  $2.40 regular (87 octane) and no lines in my neck of the woods.
Posted by: ed || 09/01/2005 9:24 Comments || Top||

#8  $2.99/gal for regular here in the Charlotte NC area. Nuts. Most stations I've gone by are out of regular now. It really didn't help matters that this is Labor Day weekend. One of the biggest travel weekends what with people doing their end of summer vacations. My brother is coming up from eastern NC this weekend. Hope he can find some gas on Monday to get back home!
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 09/01/2005 9:26 Comments || Top||

#9  2.55 Sunday, 2.65 today up here. No lines. Yet.
Posted by: tu3031 || 09/01/2005 9:30 Comments || Top||

#10  All we need is some governor Canute to put price caps or "anti-gouging" legislation and watch the whole state come to a halt.
Posted by: Jackal || 09/01/2005 10:04 Comments || Top||

#11  Here in the fly over zone (west. Ks.) the price is $2.99 when and where you can get it. Plenty of Diesel so your food producing economy is still working.
Posted by: bman || 09/01/2005 10:29 Comments || Top||

#12  Yesterday I saw a range of 2.89 to 3.09 for 87, 3.30 to 3.59 for 93 (Mass); haven't ventured out yet to see if it got any worse today...
Posted by: Raj || 09/01/2005 11:03 Comments || Top||

#13  For the first time since the 1970's, gasoline lines reappeared yesterday in some corners of the country.

That comment struck me as odd, as I remember panic-induced gas lines after the start of Gulf War I, the 9/11 attacks, and the start of the Iraq invasion.

Or ... did I just imagine that?
Posted by: ExtremeModerate || 09/01/2005 11:07 Comments || Top||

#14  ..and would relax environmental standards nationwide so that refiners could produce more - but dirtier - gasoline.

This is indicative of a situation where there are multiple formulations of gasoline. This needs to be stopped, and one formulation made (and air quality rules adjusted if need be) so that a supply disruption in one area can be met by other suppliers in other parts of the country without worrying if the fuel is up to snuff.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 12:07 Comments || Top||

#15  As of now - 1340 EST - the price seems to have stabilized at about $2.99/gal for regular, and there are no lines. The drumbeat here is, 'don't panic, fuel is on the way', but it will be 6-8 weeks until supply is back to normal.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/01/2005 13:30 Comments || Top||

#16  I'm in Franklin co GA , northeast right on SC border yesterday gas went up around .70 cvents in an hour $3.40 here now at stations that aren't out
Posted by: Thraing Hupoluper1864 || 09/01/2005 13:46 Comments || Top||

#17  Thanks for the clarification, Robert. Finance, both macro and micro, is one of my blind spots, much to Mr. Wife's decades-long befuddlement ("But you're reasonably intelligent! How could you not notice that it's cheaper at Kmart than WalMart?!?").
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 14:34 Comments || Top||

#18  We need to do 3 things:

1) drill more off the coast of CA and Florida.

2) build more refineries, 1 on the west coast, 2 on the east coast, 1 in the midwest (via pipelines) [enough to increase national capacity to run normally at 95% with 3-4 plants down for maint or any reason, 80% during normal times].

3) Kick any liberal/envrio who fights 1 & 2 above square in the teeth until they shut up.

This is a matter of national security and economic survival.

Explore and drill the coasts and ANWR. Build the refineries to process that new crude.

And get the nuclear-power/hydrogen-fuel-cell economy moving NOW.
Posted by: Oldspook || 09/01/2005 14:46 Comments || Top||

#19  drill more off the coast of CA and Florida.

You fascist bastard! That would destroy Florida's Hotel based economy. There are thousands and thousands of $9.00/hr. jobs which are dependent on an absolutely clear view of the horizon. OldSpook indeed, you know nothing of Florida or it's fast food based marketing scheme.

What we should do is freeze or better yet roll back retail gas prices to 1998 levels give everyone who owns a hybrid 10,000 free flyer miles and approve a green lottery.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 15:11 Comments || Top||

#20  Central PA has gone from $2.50 sunday to $3.10 today.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 09/01/2005 15:27 Comments || Top||

#21  $2.99 - $3.10 in MoCo MD, no lines. I filled up Tuesday, when it was 'only' $2.86.
Posted by: Seafarious || 09/01/2005 15:35 Comments || Top||

#22  Change in TLH situation, gas now 2.99 and many empty stations.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 21:21 Comments || Top||

#23  7$ a gallon in Germany
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/01/2005 22:48 Comments || Top||

#24  At 4 dollars a gallon it is adjusted for inflation the same price as it was in 1972.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 22:57 Comments || Top||

#25  $3.67US/gal in Toronto Canada, just yesterday it was $2.99
Posted by: Rafael || 09/01/2005 22:59 Comments || Top||

#26  Ship, just put a casino on every oil platform.
Problem solved.
And a dollhouse.
Problem so solved
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/01/2005 23:02 Comments || Top||

#27  adjusted for inflation the same price as it was in 1972

And that's where we're headed, and probably beyond.

TGA, how bad is the fluctuation in Germany?
Posted by: Rafael || 09/01/2005 23:02 Comments || Top||

#28  Went from 6 to 7$ a gallon (but the Euro rose, too) in the last days.

Of course gas taxes are much higher here. People still drive pretty much as before but cars consume less.
Posted by: True German Ally || 09/01/2005 23:08 Comments || Top||

#29  What struck me as odd around here (Atlanta) yesterday was the sheer panic of it all. I'm even getting used to the high prices, but to see a 40 cents/gallon difference in price at 2 stations across the street is ridiculous. Someone severely screwed up here, because they were saying yesterday morning that we had a 10 day supply in Atlanta. By that afternoon, it was Katie bar the door. Of course, I'd filled up Tuesday night in my Civic and was laughing all the way home. The situation in Atlanta was of rationing 1 day, then complete lack of supply the next. Someone's gonna be in trouble over this one. I can't believe the NYT of all people finally nailed it...most of this is due to lack of refinery capacity in my mind. We have less than 50% (# wise) of the refineries we had in 1981. Combine that with the fact that those refineries combined have a capacity of almost 2 million bpd LESS than what we had in 1981, and you get to see the picture of the law of supply/demand in action (these were 2002 vs. 1981 numbers). We did it in 1981 (right after Jimmuh's crisis), we can do it after this one in my book. Personally, I believe it's not the supply of crude so much as the refinery capacity and the distribution system. For example, the main line from LA/TX runs through here in Atlanta, and we have a HUGE storage facility in Doraville. That line (actually, those lines, as 1 carries gas/the other carries jet fuel) runs from here up the entire eastern seaboard. Rumors yesterday of pumps being down in LA. If they are still down, someone needs to be called on the carpet. I heard Neal Cavuto on Hannity today, and he said he'd talked with "officials" and was told the military's moving in to the area and they "would break this bottleneck if needed." Those pumps should've been up and running the very next day in my mind (via generator if needed). Again, the refinery capacity is the issue though. Fewer/larger refineries in that area of the country is just asking for trouble (b/c the refineries are so big, each one individually could have an impact on price). Sorry, ranting over. Just my $.02.
Posted by: BA || 09/01/2005 23:40 Comments || Top||


In Pascagoula, Katrina claims a neighborhood
The homes on Beach Boulevard didn't have a chance.

All that stood between them and the surging Gulf of Mexico at the height of Hurricane Katrina on Monday was the boulevard and a low concrete seawall. Wednesday, the boulevard, the seawall - and the gulf - were still in place. Almost all the houses were gone.

People who lived on the boulevard, including Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and their neighbors in the blocks behind them, said their community was a showplace in this city of about 25,000 people 110 miles east of New Orleans. Now its distinction is that it is probably the hardest hit neighborhood in the city, which was still without power and running water Wednesday, said the deputy police chief, Scott Ferguson.

Officials say they do not know if anyone perished in the community as the gulf tried to wash it away. Some folks in the Beach Boulevard community said they believed some neighbors were unaccounted for.

Many people stayed in their homes during the storm, including Nanette Clark, who lives several blocks behind the boulevard. She and her friend, Jayne Davis, spent the night and day of the storm moving furniture to a higher floor as water lapped, then pounded, at the front door. Some water did seep in, but the door held.

Davis was glad she stayed there; her own home was one of the St. Charles Condominiums in nearby Biloxi, where 30 people were killed by the storm surge on Monday.

On Tuesday night, Davis said, she and Clark shot at looters from the second-floor balcony of her pink house with gingerbread trim. Nobody was injured and the looters scattered, she said. Many hand-painted signs in that neighborhood warned looters that they were likely to be shot by armed homeowners.

Police said they had detained dozens of people for looting, but had to let many of them go because the city's jail, and others in surrounding communities, could not be occupied because they lacked power and plumbing. "We treat each one on a case-by-case basis," Ferguson said Wednesday. Most of the looters, he said, "are the unusual clientele we have even when there isn't a storm."

Stopping looters and restoring water and sewer service were high priorities for officials in Pascagoula on Wednesday. Just getting the sewers operable by restarting city pumping stations "would do much to improve morale," said the city attorney, Melvin Mitchell.

He said the pumping stations would be restarted as soon as generators arrive to power them. And just as he said that Wednesday afternoon, two trucks carrying generators rumbled by the police station. "God bless generators," he said.

Two of the region's economic engines are in Pascagoula, and both have been idled by the storm. Officials at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems - the old Ingalls shipyard - and at the Chevron Oil Refinery were unavailable for comment Wednesday. But city officials said they expected that the plants would not return to full operation for weeks or even months. Northrop Grumman employs about 10,000 people, the refinery has about 1,200 employees.

On Beach Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon, Lott could be found doing the same thing as his neighbors: picking through the debris that used to be his home. On a sandy patch of ground, he had carefully arranged family mementoes - a framed photo, a china serving plate, small brass sculptures. Across the debris field that was their backyard, his wife, Tricia, searched tearfully for anything else she could save.

"It wasn't a fancy house," Lott said. "Just a Creole cottage, but it was built in 1854." Under the 200-year-old "big old momma tree," he said, he'd entertained former Vice President Dan Quayle and other political luminaries.

"You can take the house," he said, "but you can't take decades of memories."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 01:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:


Post-Katrina looters: the angry, the mean, and the dangerous
For schoolteacher Jared Wood the scariest moment of Hurricane Katrina was not the killer winds or waters, it was the looter threatening to thrash him for trying to take his picture.

With most of New Orleans submerged and thousands of people trapped by waters strewn with bodies, authorities also fought an outbreak of plundering by locals taking away food, appliances, jewels, clothes and even guns.

But when their food ran out in Katrina's wake, the 29-year-old Wood and his companion Erin O'Shea, 28, both normally law-abiding teachers from upper New York State, judged it necessary to join the larcenous throngs. "We looted a store because we had no food and we had to do something," Wood told AFP outside their French Quarter hotel while waiting for a ride to nearby Baton Rouge. "It was really scary while we were in there."

The pair said they leapt through a smashed window of a local Winn-Dixie supermarket and started to stock up on soup, power bars and soy milk while other looters gathered armfuls of soda and beer. "We were trying to get stuff that would sustain us. Some people were going by and they had a plant," O'Shea said, shrugging in disbelief at the range of items hauled away.

She said that in the aftermath of Katrina, an intelligence network sprouted on the largely deserted streets of New Orleans letting looters know where the best pickings were. "It's all hush hush, word of mouth thing. We've been finding out just by traveling around," O'Shea said.

But any camraderie among thieves stopped when Wood whipped out a camera and tried to take pictures of the looting in the Winn-Dixie shop. "This guy was saying, 'Give me your camera or I'm going to beat the crap out of you,'" O'Shea said. Wood also shuddered at the memory. "That guy wanted to kill me. It wasn't my smartest moment."

The pair saw one man scrounging among shelves of pharmaceuticals, apparently for drugs. But the teachers were more interested in getting their hands on O'Shea's favorite tabloid fare. "So we took her Star magazine and we got out," Wood said.

Jeanette Brase, a 76-year-old retiree from the midwestern state of Iowa who was visiting New Orleans with her husband, said the looting was the only frightening part of her ordeal. She never thought she would witness such behavior first-hand, Brase said after seeing looters stream in and out of a local pharmacy: "It's something you hear about and see on TV." "It's actually kind of sickening. I don't know if they (the police) can stop them or if they just have too much to do."

Rosemary Rimmer-Clay, 51, a social worker from Brighton, England, who was here with her two grown sons, said Katrina made her trip "90 percent boredom and 10 percent sheer terror." "The police said there was rioting and we saw people running with bags full of inappropriate items. It looked quite dodgy," she said. "It felt like a film set and we were in the middle of it."

Authorities sought to tighten security, with gangs of armed men reported roaming the city and one store emptied of its entire collection of weapons, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper. One police officer was shot in the head but was expected to survive, the newspaper said.

In the Mississippi town of Biloxi, thieves were reported to have taken slot machines from devastated casinos.

Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco said looting was a growing problem but not the top priority. "We don't like looters one bit, but first and foremost is search and rescue," she said.

At least one looter, however, was feeling pangs of remorse. O'Shea said she and Wood had to return home by Tuesday in time for the start of classes and "I plan on sending a check to the Winn-Dixie for 50 dollars when I get back."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 01:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [387 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I dunno. I saw film of people lining up hours for sparse supplies of food. If someone is stealing bread while starving, then that is foraging, a defense of necessity. If someone is stealing a MP3 player, that is looting.
Posted by: Vlad the Muslim Impaler || 09/01/2005 2:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Vlad,

There aren't any Jean Valjeans in NOLA looting crowd. Bet on it.
Posted by: mac || 09/01/2005 5:52 Comments || Top||

#3  I see one out-of-town looter being threatened by a local looter. My sympathy meter seems to be broken.

Go the hell home, tourist. Stop shitting around the French Quarter. See that bridge off in the distance? It's the Crescent City Connection. You're in the Quarter, there's nothing but dry land between you and the only standing bridge out of the city. Take your frail and hoof it westwards. You're in the fucking way. The authorities can feed your thieving ass once you get it out of the city.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 09/01/2005 11:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Article: Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco said looting was a growing problem but not the top priority. "We don't like looters one bit, but first and foremost is search and rescue," she said.

Terrorism is a growing problem but not the top priority. Crime is a growing problem but not the top priority. Illegal immigration is a growing problem but not the top priority. Statements like this are the liberal way of expressing concern on important issues while doing nothing to deal with them.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 09/01/2005 15:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Terrorism is a growing problem but not the top priority. Crime is a growing problem but not the top priority. Illegal immigration is a growing problem but not the top priority. Statements like this are the liberal way of expressing concern on important issues while doing nothing to deal with them.
Posted by: Zhang Fei

ZF: That's because liberals dare not imply that in the case of New Orleans, a criminal element exists, ahem, among a certain, errrr, shall we say, "ethnic" demographic? It's not PC and cool as in hate whitey okay, critique people of color Not cool!
Posted by: The Angry Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 09/01/2005 23:14 Comments || Top||


Thousands feared drowned in New Orleans
With thousands feared drowned in what could be America's deadliest natural disaster in a century, New Orleans' leaders all but surrendered the streets to floodwaters Wednesday and began turning out the lights on the ruined city — perhaps for months.

Looting spiraled so out of control that Mayor Ray 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.

Nagin called for an all-out evacuation of the city's remaining residents. Asked how many people died, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

With most of the city under water, Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, and authorities drew up plans to clear out the tens of thousands of remaining people and practically abandon the below-sea-level city.

Nagin said there will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months." And he said people would not be allowed back into their homes for at least a month or two.

If the mayor's death-toll estimate holds true, it would make Katrina the worst natural disaster in the United States since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, which have blamed for anywhere from about 500 to 6,000 deaths. Katrina would also be the nation's deadliest hurricane since 1900, when a storm in Galveston, Texas, killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.

A slow exodus from the Superdome began Wednesday as the first of nearly 25,000 refugees left the miserable surroundings of the football stadium and were transported in buses to the Astrodome in Houston, 350 miles away. Conditions in the Superdome had become horrendous: There was no air conditioning, the toilets were backed up, and the stench was so bad that medical workers wore masks as they walked around.

In Mississippi, bodies are starting to pile up at the morgue in hard-hit Harrison County. Forty corpses have been brought to the morgue already, and officials expect the death toll in the county to climb well above 100.

Tempers were beginning to flare in the aftermath of the storm. Police said a man fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice in Hattiesburg, Miss.

President Bush flew over New Orleans and parts of Mississippi's hurricane-blasted coastline in Air Force One. Turning to his aides, he said: "It's totally wiped out. ... It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground."

"We're dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history," Bush said later in a televised address from the White House, which most victims could not see because power remains out to 1 million Gulf Coast residents.

The federal government dispatched helicopters, warships and elite SEAL water-rescue teams in one of the biggest relief operations in U.S. history, aimed at plucking residents from rooftops in the last of the "golden 72 hours" rescuers say is crucial to saving lives.

As fires burned from broken natural-gas mains, the skies above the city buzzed with National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters frantically dropping baskets to roofs where victims had been stranded since the storm roared in with a 145-mph fury Monday. Atop one apartment building, two children held up a giant sign scrawled with the words: "Help us!"

Looters used garbage cans and inflatable mattresses to float away with food, blue jeans, tennis shoes, TV sets — even guns. Outside one pharmacy, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break through the glass. The driver of a nursing-home bus surrendered the vehicle to thugs after being threatened.

Police were asking residents to give up any firearms before they evacuated neighborhoods because officers desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a hotel said they were shot at.

Police said their first priority remained saving lives, and mostly just stood by and watched the looting. But Nagin later said the looting had gotten so bad that stopping the thieves became the top priority for the police department.

"They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas — hotels, hospitals, and we're going to stop it right now," Nagin said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Hundreds of people wandered up and down shattered Interstate 10 — the only major freeway leading into New Orleans from the east — pushing shopping carts, laundry racks, anything they could find to carry their belongings.

On some of the few roads that were still open, people waved at passing cars with empty water jugs, begging for relief. Hundreds of people appeared to have spent the night on a crippled highway.

Nagin, whose pre-hurricane evacuation order got most of his city of a half a million out of harm's way, estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people remained, and said that 14,000 to 15,000 a day could be evacuated in ensuing convoys.

"We have to," Nagin said. "It's not living conditions."

He also expressed concern about people staying in the water: "People walking in that water with those dead bodies, it can get in your pores, you don't have to drink it."

In addition to the Astrodome solution, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency was considering putting people on cruise ships, in tent cities, mobile home parks, and so-called floating dormitories.

The floodwaters streamed into the city's streets from two levee breaks near Lake Pontchartrain a day after New Orleans thought it had escaped catastrophic damage from Katrina. The floodwaters covered 80 percent of the city, in some areas 20 feet deep, in a reddish-brown soup of sewage, gasoline and garbage.

Around midday, officials with the state and the Army Corps of Engineers said the water levels between the city and the lake had equalized, and water had stopped spilling into New Orleans, and even appeared to be falling. But the danger was far from over.

The Corps of Engineers said it planned to use heavy-duty Chinook helicopters to drop 15,000-pound bags of sand and stone as early as Wednesday night into the 500-foot gap in the failed floodwall.

But the agency said it was having trouble getting the sandbags and dozens of 15-foot highway barriers to the site because the city's waterways were blocked by loose barges, boats and large debris.

In Washington, the Bush administration decided to release crude oil from the federal petroleum reserves after Katrina knocked out 95 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's output. But because of the disruptions and damage to the refineries, gasoline prices surged above $3 a gallon in many parts of the country.

The death toll has reached at least 110 in Mississippi alone. But the full magnitude of the disaster had been unclear for days — in part, because some areas in both coastal Mississippi and New Orleans are still unreachable, but also because authorities' first priority has been the living.

In Mississippi, for example, ambulances roamed through the passable streets of devastated places such as Biloxi, Gulfport, Waveland and Bay St. Louis, in some cases speeding past corpses in hopes of saving people trapped in flooded and crumbled buildings.

State officials said Nagin's guess of thousands dead seemed plausible.

Lt. Kevin Cowan of the state Office of Emergency Preparedness said it is too soon to say with any accuracy how many died. But he noted that since thousands of people had been rescued from roofs and attics, it could be assumed that there were lots of others who were not saved.

"You have a limited number of resources, for an unknown number of evacuees. It's already been several days. You've had reports there are casualties. You all can do the math," he said.

On the flooded streets of New Orleans, dozens of fishermen from up to 200 miles away floated in on caravans of boats to pull residents out.

One of those rescued was 40-year-old Kevin Montgomery, who spent three days shuttling between the attic of a one-story home and a canopy he built on the roof.

Every once in a while, Mongtomery would see a body float by. But he cannot swim and had to fight the urge to wade in and tie them down.

"It was terrible," he said. "All I could do was pass them by and hope that God takes care of the rest of that."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 00:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Probably one of the biggest problems is that until this is over or at least close to getting over we wont get a clear body toll on how many were killed because of the hurricane and its flooding. CNN is still reporting roughly 70+ people so if this is true it'd be pretty much on the front pages come tomorrow morning.
Posted by: Valentine || 09/01/2005 4:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Hopefully, the thousands of bodies will be grossly exaggerated because many of them will have been have been dead and embalmed for years.

What do I mean? New Orleans buries its dead in mausoleums. Their cemetaries are all above ground because the city is below sea level. (Recall the movie "Easy Rider". Hopper and Fonda's characters and two prostitutes dropped LSD in one of those NO cemetaries.)

In the south, they embalmed the dead in the extreme. For instance, consider the case of a confederate colonel killed in the Battle of Nashville whose grave was robbed in 1977. Because he was well embalmed and smartly dressed for his funeral, the authorities thought Colonel Shy was a recent murder victim, not someone who died a violent death in 1864.
http://www.tennessee-scv.org/Camp854/shy.html

So, with all the debris damage from the flooding waters, some of the floating dead are just disgorged bodies from cemeteries. Creepy as that seems.
Posted by: Penguin || 09/01/2005 15:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeez, you'd figure the Colonels rock like consistency might give them a clue.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 21:23 Comments || Top||

#4  it'll be the smell from attics that'll givem the bodies away, and no dead body easily migrates from tomb to attic
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 21:42 Comments || Top||


Africa: Subsaharan
Zimbabwe ruling party votes to change constitution
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party has pushed through amendments to Zimbabwe's constitution, paving the way for the Government to nationalise seized white-owned farms and impose travel bans on "traitors". Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, using the two-thirds parliamentary majority it won in disputed March elections, approved constitutional changes that also set up a second legislative chamber to be known as the Senate, which critics say will be packed with Mugabe allies.

ZANU-PF mustered 103 votes for the amendments, with 29 parliamentarians voting "No", 28 of them from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has criticised the changes as another blow to democracy in Zimbabwe. Parliament's lone independent legislator also voted against the bill - the 17th set of changes to the country's constitution Mr Mugabe has pushed through since independence from Britain in 1980. "This is a disastrous amendment bill," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, which advocates a "people driven" overhaul of the constitution. "It simply shows how this regime continues in its intention of pulling down the country. It has no other intention except to keep this government in power."

The amendments call for seized farms to be nationalised, effectively barring white farmers from using the courts to challenge seizures which economic analysts say have ruined Zimbabwe's once-thriving agricultural sector. The amendments will also give the Government new tools against its political opponents, allowing it to impose travel bans on Zimbabweans suspected of engaging in terrorist training abroad or who have called for sanctions or military actions against Mr Mugabe's government.

The MDC, which is backed by several Western countries in its charges that ZANU-PF rigged the March polls, has advocated its own set of changes to Zimbabwe's constitution which would limit the tenure of a president to two terms in office and create an "independent" electoral body. The Government's plan, by contrast, would set up a new Senate of 65 members, of which 50 would be elected, the rest going to traditional chiefs and presidential appointees. Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF argues that the changes will enable the Government to conclude its controversial land reforms while a Senate will improve the quality of legislation.
Posted by: Fred || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF argues that the changes will enable the Government to conclude its controversial land reforms while a Senate will improve the quality of legislation".
And that would be? an even more abscence of law?
Even yesterday, here in the UK, I read New Labour as ZANU-Labour in a paper.
Posted by: rhodesiafever || 09/01/2005 22:08 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Economy
New Orleans coverage per CNN (start here)
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- New Orleans resembled a war zone more than a modern American metropolis Tuesday, as Gulf Coast communities struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Deteriorating conditions in New Orleans will force authorities to evacuate the thousands of people at city shelters, including the Louisiana Superdome, where a policeman told CNN unrest was escalating. The officer expressed concern that the situation could worsen overnight after three shootings, looting and a number of attempted carjackings during the afternoon.

The death toll from the storm so far is estimated at 70 -- mostly in Mississippi. Officials stressed that the number is uncertain and likely to be much higher. "A lot of people lost their lives, and we still don't have any idea [how many], because the focus continues to be on rescuing those who have survived," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco told reporters Tuesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard said its crews assisted in the rescue Monday of about 1,200 people stranded by high water in the New Orleans area, and thousands more were rescued Tuesday morning.

New Orleans was left with no power, no drinking water, dwindling food supplies, widespread looting, smoke rising on the horizon and the sounds of gunfire. At least one large building was ablaze Tuesday. Mayor Ray Nagin told CNN that at least 30 buildings had collapsed, but that no attempt had been made to determine a death toll. "There are dead bodies floating in some of the water," Nagin said. "The rescuers would basically push them aside as they were trying to save individuals."

Nagin said that as of late Tuesday "a significant amount of water" is flowing into the bowl-shaped city and sections of the city now dry could be under 9 or 10 feet of water within hours. "The bowl is filling up," he said.

Thousands of people were being housed in the Louisiana Superdome, where toilets were overflowing and there was no air conditioning to provide relief from 90-degree heat. Nagin estimated the number of people in the Superdome at between 12,000 and 15,000 people as of late Tuesday. He said they could be there for a week unless evacuated sooner. Blanco said officials are making plans to evacuate people from the Superdome and other shelters, but she did not say when that might happen or where they might be taken.

The city's main public hospital, Charity Hospital, was no longer functioning and was being evacuated, Blanco said.
I've been there. It's huge, and it's a disaster that it's being shut down. They need Charity to get NO back up and running.
Also under way was the evacuation of more than 1,000 people from Tulane University Hospital with the help of the U.S. military, hospital spokeswoman Karen Troyer Caraway said. "It's an unbelievable situation," she said. "We're completely surrounded by water. There's looting going on in the streets around the hospital."

National Guard troops moved into the downtown business district, and state police squads backed by SWAT teams were sent in to scatter looters and restore order, authorities said late Tuesday.

Nearly all of the parishes in the New Orleans area -- Orleans, St. John the Baptist, Plaquemines, St. Tammany and Jefferson -- have curfews in place. Inmates from a flooded parish jail were relocated to a freeway on-ramp, where they sat out in the sun, under the watch of armed officers.

Nagin said 80 percent of the city was under water, which was 20 feet deep in some places. Water from Lake Pontchartrain was pouring into the downtown area from a levee breach, rising steadily throughout the day.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported two major breaches in the levee system that protects New Orleans, much of which lies below sea level. Authorities warned that efforts to limit the flooding have been unsuccessful, and that residents may not be able to return home for a month. "The Corps Of Engineers has attempted to fix the situation under emergency conditions," Blanco told CNN. "They're not the best conditions, and probably too little, too late."

Getting anything into New Orleans will be difficult because of the damage to two bridge spans seven miles long that carry Interstate 10 over Lake Pontchartrain, linking the city to points east. The governor also said it was "impossible to even begin to estimate" how long it will take to restore power and drinking water in New Orleans.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Donate anything you can. Even ten bucks will get water for a day to half a dozen people.
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 1:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Did some channel flipping last evening after getting recycled stories on Fox. Turn to Wolf only to hear him and his reporter throwing around "Apocolypse", "Arrmegeddon" and "looks like Bangladesh" soundbites to discribe NO.
You know, I have no idea what adjectives they are holding in reserve for the first 2 "end of time" events, and I assure you it doesn't look like Bangladesh. It looks like a Mississippi River flood in an large urban area.
I think the Rapture will have better special effects.
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 09/01/2005 9:56 Comments || Top||


New Orleans tries to plug breaches
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- The priority in New Orleans is repairing the gaping holes in the levees that separate downtown New Orleans from canals to Lake Pontchartrain, according to a chief engineer working on that project. Water pouring in from the lake has stopped, because the lake's water level is equal to that of the water level in the city, said Walter Baumy, chief of the engineering division for the New Orleans District.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it expected to begin dumping 15,000-pound sandbags as early as Wednesday evening into the largest breaches.

One stretches 300 feet at the 17th Street Canal, the other is 300 to 400 feet wide at the London Avenue Canal. In addition, two smaller breaches have occurred on the Industrial Canal, one appearing to be about 200 feet wide, Baumy said. In each case, the steel-and-concrete levees eroded and failed when water began pouring over the top. "Once the water overtopped the system, you're taking the structure to a condition that it was not designed for," he added.

Attempts to plug such holes has never been tried, acknowledged Greg Breerwood, deputy district engineer for project management for the New Orleans District. To enable water trapped inside the city to drain back into the lake, the Army Corps would have to open new breaches in the levees, he said. Once the water had lowered enough for pumps inside the city to finish the job, "those holes would then be repaired," Breerwood explained.

Once the Sewer and Water Board gets the pumps running, it will be possible to remove the water, a corps spokesman said. However, that could take weeks, he added.

More than 1,000 sandbags are likely to be needed. And officials were awaiting the arrival of four heavy-lifting Chinook helicopters to join the two already on site, Baumy said. The massive craft are being used because access to the affected areas is not available via any other means, Baumy said. About 80 percent of New Orleans is flooded with water up to 20 feet deep, and none of the city's pumps are working.

Engineers had set up their command-and-control operations in Vicksburg, Mississippi, more than 150 miles away. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco described the project Wednesday as "an engineering nightmare."
Posted by: Steve White || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Attempts to plug such holes has never been tried, acknowledged Greg Breerwood, deputy district engineer for project management for the New Orleans District. To enable water trapped inside the city to drain back into the lake, the Army Corps would have to open new breaches in the levees, he said. Once the water had lowered enough for pumps inside the city to finish the job, "those holes would then be repaired," Breerwood explained

Maybe I'm just too tired, but if the purpose of the levee was to keep the lake from flooding the city, how could you punch holes in the levee to drain the water back into the lake? If this is the caliber of the ciry engineer, no wonder they are in trouble.
Posted by: RWV || 09/01/2005 1:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe the new holes would be downstream?
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 1:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Surely we can come up with a workable solution. Thus far it sounds like the Three Stooges.
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 3:07 Comments || Top||

#4  I got a solution:

Dont pump it out.

Thats the new wetlands. If its underwater now it stays that way. Take all this effort and wall off the areas that are above sealevel. Demolish all the other stuff, and instead of runnign new power. water, sewage, and road and houses in the dead zone, build it 30 miles upstream on dry elevation. Put mass transit in to serve the workers coming formthere to the city. Forbid any building on the old flood plain in the unprotected area. No fed flood insurance.

This preseves the business district, the port and the major parts of the french quarter. And puts peopel to work right away building the "New" New Orleans in a place where it wont get washed away again in 5 years, yet still cose enough to run whats left and salvagable of the old New Orleans.

Posted by: Oldspook || 09/01/2005 5:26 Comments || Top||

#5  OS, your suggestion makes too much sense to have any hope of being taken seriously by the powers that be.
Posted by: mac || 09/01/2005 6:00 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't know... the insurance companies will be hit hard by this, won't they? Unless this comes under the "Act of God" clause. But even so, given that the climatologists are predicting 20-40 years of rough weather, surely the insurers would be wise not to insure reconstructed properties in the worst of the flood zone. In the long term, even if the Feds were to fund replacing destroyed buildings, what value would there be if such couldn't be insured... especially as this year's hurricane season is not yet over.

Just a thought for your comments: most of those who took shelter in the stadium were too poor to flee further. They are now being shipped to Houston to be sheltered in that stadium. How many will be able to afford to go back to New Orleans to rebuild what was destroyed, vs. how many would simply make a new life in Texas?
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 7:26 Comments || Top||

#7  build it 30 miles upstream on dry elevation

As far as I can remember, you don't really reach high-and-dry land until Baton Rouge.

There's already a city there.

As for why they opened the levee to drain water -- Lake Pontchartrain connects to the ocean, and does so through a much shorter and more direct route than the Mississippi. So it's likely the lake will get to -- or is expected to get to -- a lower level faster than the river.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 09/01/2005 7:52 Comments || Top||

#8  Drop Michael Moore into the breach.
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 9:41 Comments || Top||

#9  If you have ever watched a waterfront construction project, you know that the foundations need to be set in dry ground. Just like when your bike had a flat as a kid, the size of the patch had to be much larger than the size of the hole. Any patching solution will involve isolating the breeches with some type of barrier wall that can be pumped out.
All those sandbags they dropped? They will need to be moved away too.
After having a front row seat for the Bay area Quake in 89, I always felt the repair of the Bay Bridge collapse in 30 days was a shining example of American can do.
This NO levee project is perhaps a greater task and even more essential as nothing can be done until it is solved.
An additional concern I have not heard discussed (yet) by any news source is what is going to happen to all the debris? After Andrew, the regional folks in Florida permitted open burning of debris...completely unmonitored "throw it on the pile" burning that carried any toxic residues straight over the Everglades. Look at those houses sitting under water on TV and try to figure out when that stuff will be even ready to burn. Where else can it be put? Fill in the swamps? barge it out to the Gulf?
Unfortunately the MSM will be covering "What Mother Sheehan thinks..." as opposed to discussing the brutal detailed realities. Whatever the debris solution, I am sure Halliburton will profit from it (sarcasm)
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 09/01/2005 9:45 Comments || Top||

#10  Sorry. Forgot Lake Pontchartrain is subject to tidal flow. Punch the holes in to let the tide flow out but bbe sure to plug them before the tide turns.
Posted by: RWV || 09/01/2005 10:42 Comments || Top||

#11  Just like when your bike had a flat as a kid, the size of the patch had to be much larger than the size of the hole.

Dammit! Now you tell me, that explains a lot.
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 11:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Water weighs 8.43 pounds per gallon. add to the weight the fact the water was moving and you might get some idea of the problems of plugging a whole while water is pouring through it. Now that the level has equalized it should be easier as long as the Corps of Engineers can get barges to the site. Right now that's the problem.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 09/01/2005 12:14 Comments || Top||

#13  A million pounds of lime Jello mix should do the job.
Posted by: ed || 09/01/2005 12:19 Comments || Top||

#14  A million pounds of lime Jello mix should do the job.

I agree.
Posted by: Bill Cosby || 09/01/2005 12:55 Comments || Top||

#15  TW - I think Fed flood insurance has not been available to anyone in a known flood plain (see: New Orleans)
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 13:26 Comments || Top||

#16  Well I know one thing for damend sure: a lot of taxmoney is goign to pour in, and I'd rthar it not be pissed down a rathole thats 10-15 feet below sea level. Find the above-sealevel areas north of old New Orleans, build the new leveees there, and work from that point. Dont pour a nickle into anything other than demolition required for safety and environment in the flooded parts of New Orleans right now.
Posted by: Oldspook || 09/01/2005 14:31 Comments || Top||

#17  If you have ever watched a waterfront construction project, you know that the foundations need to be set in dry ground.If you have ever watched a waterfront construction project, you know that the foundations need to be set in dry ground.

trust me, no they don't.
Posted by: Red Dog || 09/01/2005 16:07 Comments || Top||

#18  OK, Red Dog, you caught me exceeding my technical expertise! I am no engineer, but I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. I was thinking of the foundations for footings on the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge etc.
They need some stable type of "non - waterworld" environment though to set the new structure and tie it into the existing berm structure, don't they?
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 09/01/2005 16:17 Comments || Top||

#19  Forgot Lake Pontchartrain is subject to tidal flow.

I always wondered about that "Lake" thing. Pontchartrain is connected to the gulf by a very wide passageway, and it's called a lake? Even more confounding is Lake Borgne. (I saw these names on a map when I was much younger)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 17:22 Comments || Top||

#20  It's connected to the Gulf at the Rigoles, which isn't nearly as wide as the lake. It's also brackish water (parts of the Mississippi flow into the Lake upstream from New Orleans).
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 09/01/2005 18:44 Comments || Top||

#21  Capsu 78:

Depends what you mean by "foundations". For example, concrete has no problem hardening/curing in water (in fact, keeping it wet during the process helps its strength).

I stayed at that same Holiday Inn Express, so also take what I say with a grain of salt...(oh, and I watch Modern Marvels, too !)
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 09/01/2005 18:57 Comments || Top||

#22  It's called "tremie" placement and can take place underwater or usuall in a casing, under bentonite/drillers mud. Trick is to keep the pump hose outlet buried in the concrete, not allowing it to come above it, so the positive pumping pressure pushes the water or mud up and out. As teh concrete level raises, you gradually raise the hose/pump. Concrete cures without atmosphere -it's a chemical process, not drying, to harden. Concrete 101 for today :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 20:29 Comments || Top||

#23  US 90 over the Rigolets... A fine elderly bridge, please drive no more than 25 mph and don't scream.
Hope it's still there.

the rigolets
Posted by: Shipman || 09/01/2005 21:30 Comments || Top||

#24  excellent elderly bridge - prolly circa 1923 or so? We have one in San Diego with the arch trestles underneath, spanning a canyon in our Bankers' Hill area - First Ave over Maple Cyn - 1925...same erector-set framing....
Posted by: Frank G || 09/01/2005 21:46 Comments || Top||


Mississippi: power slowly being restored
JACKSON, Miss. - Much of Mississippi remained dark Wednesday, with more than 841,000 residents still without power.

Entergy Mississippi, which serves 410,000 customers in the western part of the state, dropped its outage rate on Wednesday to 221,782 customers, from about 300,800 right after Hurricane Katrina passed through the state, said Checky Herrington, manager of communications. "The destruction has been much worse than we imagined," Herrington said. "Hundreds of poles down, literally miles of wire on the ground, and we're in the process of determining where those areas are and what's needed to get those lines back up in the way of equipment and personnel."

The company's work force has expanded from 1,200 to more than 2,000 workers as more come in from other states. "We have a well rehearsed plan that we are implementing," Herrington said. "We are encouraged that while they may be small steps, we are making progress."

The Electric Power Associations of Mississippi have restored power to almost 20,000 customers since Katrina ravaged the state. The Environmental Power Associations of Mississippi distribute electricity to more than 1.6 million customers across the state, and 430,000 of those remained without power Wednesday. The organization has reported 30,000 downed power lines in just one coastal system it serves and it will be as many as six weeks before all service is restored, Stewart said.

Mississippi Power, which serves 195,000 people in the southeastern part of the state, restored power to about 5,000 of its customers in the Meridian area by early Wednesday. Hospitals, and a wastewater treatment facility were top priorities for the power company. Katrina knocked out power for all of the company's customers, and officials expect it could take as much as four weeks to completely restore normal power operations. "This is the worst disaster we've had in the (75-year) history of our company," said Anthony Topazi, president and CEO of Mississippi Power Co.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Highs of 96 F degrees Thursday and Friday.
Posted by: Captain America || 09/01/2005 3:10 Comments || Top||

#2  This is exactly the scenario I feared after having experienced Isabel: bad hurricane, no power, and scorching temperatures afterward. That's why I got a big emergency generator and a transfer switch. The looters are why I have several shotguns and several cases of 00 buck.
Posted by: mac || 09/01/2005 5:57 Comments || Top||

#3  A friend in Moss Point called to say their power won't be restored for maybe another 8-10 days...
Posted by: crazyhorse || 09/01/2005 8:57 Comments || Top||


Health threat grows in New Orleans
As a public health catastrophe unfolded Wednesday in New Orleans, hospitals in the Crescent City sank further into disaster, airlifting babies without their parents to other states and struggling with more sick people appearing at their doors.

Dangerous, unsanitary conditions spread across the city, much of which now sits in a murky stew of germs.

The federal government declared a public health emergency for the Gulf Coast region, promising 40 medical centers with up to 10,000 beds and thousands of doctors and nurses for the hurricane-ravaged area.

In a stunning example of how desperate the situation has become, 25 babies who had been in a makeshift neonatal intensive care unit at New Orleans' Ochsner Clinic were airlifted Wednesday to hospitals in Houston, Baton Rouge, La., and Birmingham, Ala. Many were hooked up to battery-operated breathing machines keeping them alive.

Their parents had been forced to evacuate and leave the infants behind; by late in the day, most if not all had been contacted and told where their babies were being taken, said hospital spokeswoman Katherine Voss.

"We actually encouraged them to leave. It would just be more people to evacuate if there was a problem," said Dr. Vince Adolph, a pediatric surgeon.

Helicopters had to land on the roof of the parking garage to get the babies because water covered the helipad at the hospital, one of the few in the area that had been operating almost normally.

"We're getting kind of at the end of our rope," with a skeleton staff of doctors and nurses who have been on duty nonstop since Sunday, Voss said.

Officials were trying to evacuate 10,000 people — patients, staff and refugees — out of nine hospitals battling floodwaters or using generators running low on fuel. About 300 people were stranded on the roof of one two-story hospital in the New Orleans suburb of Chalmette.

Yet even as they tried to evacuate, many hospitals faced an onslaught of new patients — people with injuries and infections caused by the storm, people plucked from rooftops who are dehydrated, dialysis and cancer patients in need of their regular chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

"We have thousands of people who are getting ill ... our hospitals need to be prepared to take care of the incoming sick," said Coletta Barrett of the Louisiana Hospital Association.

Only about 150 patients were able to be evacuated Wednesday from all nine New Orleans hospitals, said Knox Andress, an emergency room nurse in Shreveport, La. He is regional coordinator for a federal emergency preparedness grant covering the state and is involved in helping place evacuees in other hospitals.

"We're ready for patients and we can't get them. We just can't get them out," he said.

The government said dozens of medical disaster teams from nearby states were moving into hard-hit areas.

"We've identified 2,600 beds in hospitals in the 12-state area. In addition to that, we've identified 40,000 beds nationwide, should they be needed," said Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.

Storm survivors, particularly in New Orleans where floodwaters remain, face a cauldron of infectious agents, public health experts said.

"You can think of floodwaters as diluted sewage," said Mark Sobsey, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of North Carolina.

Whatever infections people carry go into sewage and can be expected to show up in floodwaters. That includes common diarrheal germs including hepatitis A and Norwalk virus.

"We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions," said Leavitt.

However, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts said cholera and typhoid are not considered to be high risks in the area.
CDC officials suggested Leavitt was simply mentioning examples of diseases that could arise from contaminated food and water.

Some experts said worries about catching illnesses from being near dead animals or human bodies are somewhat overblown.

"People who are alive can give you a whole lot more diseases than people who are dead," said Richard Garfield, a Columbia University professor of international clinical nursing who helped coordinate medical care in Indonesia after the tsunami.

Mosquito-borne diseases may start to emerge within days.
West Nile virus and dengue fever are both potential risks following a situation like the one in coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Officials also cited carbon monoxide poisoning risks to people using generators and stoves.

"One of the things they have got to do — we've got to plead for — is to make sure that when these hospitals get evacuated, the National Guard or somebody is there putting major security around these hospitals, or they're going to get ransacked. And it's going to make a bad situation even worse," said John Matessino, president of the Louisiana Hospital Association.

He said the four hospitals in New Orleans' central business district — Tulane, Charity, University and the VA hospital — had the worst problem with would-be looters.

Days after the storm hit, many people in key positions to help were still struggling to figure out how.

The Pharmamaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association asked the government to make a public health assessment to guide drug companies.

"Once we know what is required, we can begin to donate and ship in desperately needed medicines," said a statement from Billy Tauzin, the group's president and former congressman from Louisiana.

The American Diabetes Association wants to help get insulin and syringes to diabetics and is working with the Red Cross, but the relief agency "is still very much in 'rescue mode,'" an association spokeswoman said.

Eli Lilly and Co. said it would give $1 million in cash and would match any donations by its U.S. employees to the Red Cross. The company also is donating $1 million in insulin.

The American Medical Association's Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response was trying to figure out a system to help coordinate doctors who want to volunteer.

"It's going to take years — years — to rebuild the medical infrastructure. There will be continuing health needs," said Dr. James J. James, the center's director.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 00:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:


New Orleans cops ordered to stop looting
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile as the city plunges deeper into chaos.

"They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas — hotels, hospitals, and we're going to stop it right now," Nagin said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The number of officers called off the search-and-rescue mission amounts to virtually the entire police force in New Orleans.

Amid the turmoil 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 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 home's bus driver was forced to surrender the vehicle to carjackers.

Bands of people drove by the nursing home, shouting to residents, "Get out!" Eighty residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were being evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

"We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's executive director. "Now we'll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot."

At one store, hordes of people from all ages, races and walks of life grabbed food and water. Some drove away with trunkloads of beer. At one point, two officers drew their guns on the looters, but the thieves left without incident.

One young man was seen wading through chest-deep floodwater, carrying a case of soda, after looting a grocery store.

Police officers were asking residents to give up any firearms before they evacuated neighborhoods because police desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a hotel said they were being shot at overnight.

"It's really difficult because my opinion of the looting is it started with people running out of food, and you can't really argue with that too much," Nagin said. "Then it escalated to this kind of mass chaos."

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she has asked the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop looters.

Bob Mann, an aide to the governor, said dozens of law officers are being brought in from around the country and Canada to help stop the looting. Officials said they hope the 4,000 National Guard troops already in New Orleans, who have been engaged in search and rescue, will be available for police actions.

"We will restore law and order," an emotional Blanco said at a news conference. "What angers me the most is that disasters like this often bring out the worst in people. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior."

John Matessino, president of the Louisiana Hospital Association, said he had not heard of anyone breaking into the hospitals, but he added that thieves got into the parking garage at one hospital and were stealing car batteries and stereos.

New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. At one point, officers stranded on the roof of a hotel were fired at by criminals on the street.

Authorities said an officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. The officer and looter were expected to survive.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 00:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [396 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cops having to be told to stop looting, that just boggle the mind. That can also be taken 2 ways. The NOPD is and has been so dirty for so long no one will pay attention to them. The City government it's self has these same issues.

That is why shoot on sight orders have always been made in past disasters of this nature. Things get out of hand and snowball into total anarchy. This is a huge disaster right up their with the 1902 SF earthquake. People better wake up.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 09/01/2005 1:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Is that martial law on the horizon?...
Posted by: mojo || 09/01/2005 2:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I think they already declared it ... again. Something about LA law that someone was explaining to me the other day.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 09/01/2005 2:53 Comments || Top||

#4  If you want to get a handle on how to deal with this, read about the aftermath of the 1900 hurricane in Galveston, TX. An army general very publicly hung about 90 looters and said he'd hang a lot more if he had to. The looting stopped. Quickly.
Posted by: mac || 09/01/2005 6:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Are the cops being told to stop looting, or stop looters? Given what I read yesterday about that cop joining the looters in taking DVDs I have to wonder...
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 09/01/2005 9:08 Comments || Top||

#6  How many more people are going to ride out the next one because they don't want their property looted and know that local government doesn't give a crap about it? How many will ride out the next one becasue they're going to loot and know that government isn't going to do anything about it? How many will die because we're saturated with bleeding hearts who enable animal behavior?

All the scum sucking ACLU types are doing is by playing the 'o'poor people just trying to survive' rant, are setting up higher death counts in future disasters. Shoot the damn looters. Since you have no jails, to reason to arrest. Since you have no medical facilities, no reason to treat them. When the word is final that you will 'Die for Nikes', looting will stop. Then people will believe they can leave their property and others will know its best not to stay to loot. Lives will be saved.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 09/01/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Something about LA law that..

Thanks. Now I'll hear that theme song in my head for the rest of the day....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 11:06 Comments || Top||

#8  How many more people are going to ride out the next one because they don't want their property looted and know that local government doesn't give a crap about it?

Now's the time to formulate a plan of action for the next event, because it's going to happen again. Decide what to take and what should stay, invest in a trailer of appropriate size, and be ready.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 09/01/2005 11:10 Comments || Top||

#9  Whatcha gonna do?
Posted by: Chris W. || 09/01/2005 12:56 Comments || Top||

#10  Header: New Orleans cops ordered to stop looting

If the governor was doing her job, this would have read "New Orleans cops ordered to shoot looters."
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 09/01/2005 13:43 Comments || Top||

#11  No thing is worth the saving of a life.

In a situation like this, pack up a few irreplaceable photos and critical papers (insurance contracts, passports, birth/wedding certificates, Social Security cards, property tax form, a list of bank and investment account numbers). Pack the wife, kids, two changes of clothes and at least three days of emergency supplies in the car*, AND GET THE HELL OUT. While I understand the motivation to stay and defend your property, there are things that aren't worth doing. Great-aunt Suzie's anti-macassars may be terribly sentimental, and may even be worth a great deal under normal circumstances, but which would your wife rather have: the anti-macassars or you? For that matter, given the odds that if you stay to protect them, she'll likely end up with the one stolen and the other dead -- will she thank your Heaven-bound soul for the effort?

*Yes, and guns and ammunition, too, if you are so inclined. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/01/2005 22:37 Comments || Top||



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