2:34 PM Sep 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

"New Orleans cannibals wade through poisonous toxic waste to feast upon the 10,000 corpses left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- Bush to Blame!"

Captain Ed discusses media hysteria and exaggeration about Katrina, now that it appears that flood waters aren't as toxic as early commenters had guessed.

Update: Glenn Reynolds comments: "IT SMELLS BAD, BUT HERE ARE FEWER DEAD PEOPLE THAN WE EXPECTED"

And more: Victor Davis Hanson says Katrina reporters were as incompetent as they are disingenuous:

For all the media's efforts to turn the natural disaster of New Orleans into a racist nightmare, a death knell for one or the other political parties or an indictment of American culture at large, it was none of that at all. What we did endure instead were slick but poorly educated journalists, worried not about truth but about pre-empting their rivals with an ever-more-hysterical story, all in a fuzzy context of political correctness about race, the environment and the war.

11:24 AM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

When I read a story like this one...

[W]hile the last regularly scheduled train out of town had left a few hours earlier, Amtrak had decided to run a "dead-head" train that evening to move equipment out of the city. It was headed for high ground in Macomb, Miss., and it had room for several hundred passengers. "We offered the city the opportunity to take evacuees out of harm's way," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. "The city declined."

So the ghost train left New Orleans at 8:30 p.m., with no passengers on board.

...it makes me wonder if the New Orleans city government bypassed every opportunity to save their citizens.

Pious gratitude to: Instapundit

11:33 PM Sep 10, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Via lfg, here is a great photo slide show that you have to see: Five Days with Katrina.

Alvaro, who took these pictures and wrote up his experiences, deserves a Pulitzer prize. You will learn more from these pictures about what it was like to actually be in New Orleans than you will from all the around-the-clock news coverage out there.

This is a triumph for the citizen-reporter.

5:11 PM Sep 9, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Charles Krauthammer has a wonderful post over at Townhall entitled Assigning blame, which begins:

In less enlightened times, there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

He then goes on name who should share the blame. George Bush does not go unmentioned.

Read the whole thing.

2:08 PM Sep 9, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

A rhetorical gem...

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush's presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

Read the rest, it's great!

Pious gratitude to: Instapundit

5:33 PM Sep 7, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Instapundit has a list of SOME KATRINA LESSONS that's worth reading.

10:55 AM Sep 6, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Rick Moran over at Rightwing Nuthouse provides a handy time-line of the Katrina disaster, and the government response thereto. He writes:

IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO PLAY THE “BLAME GAME” BY PUBLISHING THIS TIMELINE....My sole purpose is to place this timeline on the record to dispel the rumors, the spin, and the outright falsehoods being flung about by both right and left bloggers and pundits.

8:28 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

It's been a long, long time since I linked to one of Bill Whittle's essays; not because I don't like them, but because I just figure that everyone else reads them without my prompting.

But this one has been linked to and commented on a lot, so I think I'll do the same, as it's a marvelous example of the essayist's art.

Go read Tribes.

8:13 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Katrina and Subsidiarity

12:32 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Ben Stein in the American Spectator:

Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush's fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind?

Where did the idea come from that salvation comes from hatred and criticism and mockery instead of love and co-operation?

1:09 PM Sep 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Kathy has a lovely post about the panicky feeling she gets when she first discovers that a ring won't come easily off her finger, and moves from there to the rebuilding of New Orleans: Where There Is a Will There Is a Way

Give it a good look.

12:00 PM Sep 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

A lot of places (uh, like this one) have concentrated on the awful stories of looting, murder, rape and mayhem coming out of New Orleans, and the rather poor performance of the government agencies responsible for maintaining order and seeing to their evacuation and rescue.

Well, Michelle Malkin (who holds feet to the fire as well as any of 'em) has a nice post on New Orleans from a different angle.

STORIES OF SURVIVAL.

She has about a dozen "inspiration[al] and uplift[ing]" stories about people reunited and helping one another out. Give it a read.

George Bush Obeys Law

11:08 AM Sep 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Via lgf, I find a link to this Washington Post article:

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

"The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

So, before Katrina struck, the Bush Administration attempted to take control of the evacuation of New Orleans, but the Governer of Louisianna refused; and the President followed the law and didn't ursurp the power of the State. Imagine if he'd run rough-shod over them, and there hadn't been a disaster. Then, he would have performed an impeachable act.

Remember those unused buses?

10:50 AM Sep 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

JunkYardBlog has more. Give 'em a look.

Pious gratitude to: Glenn Reynolds

4:37 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

If you're interested about how the Left and the Right sides of the blogosphere have responded to Hurricane Katrina, Politburo has a roundup.

No doubt everyone has put politics aside and are pulling together to help the victims along the Gulf Coast. Right?

Right?

Pious gratitude to: lgf

Update: Read this charming missive

2:35 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

The Anchoress has a wonderful post that you should go read right now: 100 hrs after stormfall…

2:20 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

One of my all time favorite books is Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany. For me, it was a very influential book while I was growing up. It's one of those books that when you read it as an adult, you realize that it includes ideas and themes that you have incorporated into your worldview without realizing the source.

It tells the tale of a city that's been plunged into a nightmare of civil disorder by some sort of disaster, and the people who try to cope.

The stories coming out of New Orleans sound like they could have come from this book.

Hurricane Devastates Biloxi...

4:31 PM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

...women and minorities hardest hit.

From al-Reuters:

Anger rises among Mississippi's poor after Katrina

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....

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.

"Resentment" doesn't lead to lawlessness.

2:42 PM Sep 1, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed gives us a pep talk:

How we take care of New Orleans will say something about our national character and whether it remains as tough and optimistic as our history, for all its flaws, amply demonstrates. Will we walk away from a tough fight? Will America shrug its shoulders and tell the city that we don't want to take on difficult tasks? Make no mistake; our response to New Orleans will say just as much about our staying power as a cut-and-run from Iraq would, and to much the same audience. Believe me, some of those who plan our destruction have cheered the scenes shown on television around the world of Katrina's devastation in New Orleans, and they're watching to see what we do.

And so New Orleans must be rebuilt, in some manner, right where it is now. No leader will get up and say, We give up. Katrina beat us. Let's move on. That message will not resonate with the vast majority of Americans on either side of the political divide, which will bring a political consensus to ensure that we produce some kind of recovery for New Orleans. We can and will debate the how and the what, but not the whether. We're Americans, and we don't run from a fight.

Read it all.

The latest from New Orleans

12:14 PM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

The savages have emerged from their caves:

Superdome Evacuation Halted After Shots Fired

The evacuation of the New Orleans Superdome was suspended Thursday after gunshots were fired at a military helicopter as thousands of National Guard troops poured into the Big Easy to boost security in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (search).

The first of nearly 25,000 refugees being sheltered at the New Orleans Superdome began to arrive in Houston, Texas, Thursday. But that process ground to a halt after shots were fired at the helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak, according to an ambulance official overseeing the operation.

"We have suspended operations until they gain control of the Superdome," said Richard Zeuschlag, head of Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome.

Also, there's this: Mayhem hampering hospital evacuations

A private ambulance service says it is being hindered in its efforts to evacuate patients from New Orleans hospitals by the lawlessness in the city and appealed to President Bush to activate the military.

"If we don't have the federal presence in New Orleans tonight at dark, it will no longer be safe to be there, hospital or no hospital," Acadian Ambulance Services chief executive officer Richard Zuschlag told CNN.

Acadian, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, is trying to evacuate some 2,000 patients from hospitals before nightfall Wednesday, including dozens of critically ill babies at medical facilities with no electricity or water.

The firm's priority is getting out 25 critically ill infants from Children's Hospital and 100 babies from Touro Infirmary, said spokeswoman Julie Mahfouz.

Zuschlag said part of the reason Touro requested the evacuation of its 175 patients -- including 100 babies -- "is the unrest in New Orleans."

He said his workers have been victims of the looting and mayhem across the city.

"My people are in harm's way," he said. "They are scared. Our command station about an hour ago had the generator stolen off the back of it. We've had an ambulance turned over.

"Things are not good in New Orleans. It's very serious now."

How to respond? The New York Times reports:

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."

Hurricane Katrina Relief Day

10:26 AM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

As you may know, today has been designated "Help 'Em Out!" day on the blogsphere, so I'm going to use this post to provide links to charitable organizations with programs dedicated to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

I donated through Feed the Children because the Great One told me to. Of course, you can do whatever you wish, but I urge you to help out as you can.

FEMA has a list of Katrina Related Charities, so go there and see if you see one you like. The important thing right now is to get the food, water and clothing to the people who need it.

I can't imagine what a horror it must be to spend days in a dark, sweltering attic, waiting for the water in my home to drain away....

The Captain chose to help Catholic Charities, and I can certainly understand why; they're a great organization.

And, not to be outdone by anyone, Der Perfesser has a post with about fifty links to charities and other blog posts with further links. I missed my chance to be linked there, because I'm too slow. Take what lesson you wish from that....

We aren't getting any help from France on this one, folks. Update:  Sorry, we are. We're sort of on our own. Update:  Luckily, we ain't. I'm pleased to learn that many countries are helping us out. Some of the great cities of America are dying; let's try to save them.

8:28 PM Aug 30, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

My brother writes to say that I'm lucky Katrina didn't come my way, and I can certainly agree.

My heart goes out to all those suffering in Katrina's destructive and terrible wake.

Pray, folks. Pray.

I'm not worried.....

11:04 AM Aug 24, 2005by Rob Ritchie

I've got bottled water!