Firms with White House ties get Katrina contracts Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root and Bechtel have been awarded no-bid contracts in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. There's also this.
There lay Vera. Jacob Appelbaum posted about body recovery in New Orleans today, posting photos of what is apparently the destroyed remnants of the interim tomb of one Elvira "Vera" Smith at the "corner of Magazine Avenue and Jackson Street." Smith's daughter hopes her body will be brought to her former home of Victoria, Texas, for final burial. Smith's tomb was the single most indelible image of the New Orleans disaster, reprinted - and shot - countless times over the past two weeks.
Discuss. God help us all.
Discuss. God help us all.
Beyond Incompetence Reading the news after the Katrina Hurricane and the lack-of-response disaster, a pattern began to emerge. Mainstream media compilation - Collective Bellaciao via xymphora, which has several other uniquely critical posts on Katrina
Michael Homan rode out Katrina in New Orleans and later "escaped" one of the freeway-based collection points. His is the first of what will surely be many firsthand accounts appearing on blogs. Why not collect your link finds here?
A cached google page says Loyola thought the city of New Orleans contracted with private companies for hurricane evacuation. Did I miss something? Where we these mysterious buses? From here and here.
The real disaster in New Orleans. David Aaronovitch of the London Times observes, "It isn’t the failure to act in New Orleans that is the story here, it’s the sheer, uninsured, uncared for, self-disenfranchised scale of the poverty that lies revealed. It looks like a scene from the Third World because that’s the truth. It’s a quiet disaster that ’s been going on for years." The truth is the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has a poverty level of 36.4 percent. A quarter of households have an annual income of less than $10,000, while half live on less than $20,000. Over half of the population in the ward is categorized as “not in the labor force,” mainly because they have ceased looking for work. The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city. "Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater." The National Review is already blaming it - predictably - on the breakdown of the family. Conservatives in America are already dismissing the problem, as they have for years. But to those outside the United States, the scale of poverty in the world's richest country comes as a shock.
"It doesn't make sense to me." Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert weighs in on rebuilding New Orleans during an interview (bugmenot) by the Chigago Daily Herald. "It doesn’t make sense to me, and it’s a question that certainly we should ask. . . First of all your heart goes out to the people, the loss of their homes . . . but there are some real tough questions to ask about how you go about rebuilding this city. We help replace, we help relieve disaster . . . (Rebuilding) is certainly the decision the people of New Orleans are going to make. . . But I think federal insurance and everything goes along with it and we ought to take a second look at it. . . How do you go about rebuilding this city? What precautions do you take? . . . It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed. . . But you know we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness." Dennis Hastert was a sponsor of the legislation that cut the funding needed to upgrade New Orleans levee system to withstand category 5 hurricanes. He also failed to vote on legislation this year which would've provided additional funds for the Army Corps of Engineers.
``I don't treat my dog like that,' 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the [dead] 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.' People dying and left in streets waiting for aid at a New Orleans Convention Center.
Katrina targets New Orleans. Mandatory evacuations have been declared, and contraflow evacuation routes are in effect near New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina, a very wet, drenching hurricane, approaches the city from the Gulf of Mexico, where it is gaining in size and strength, with an estimated 45% chance of making landfall as a category 4 or 5 hurricane. The computer models suggest that New Orleans will sustain a direct hit from Katrina, which could be "The Big One" warned about by experts, capable of flooding the city, polluting it with industrial waste, and even flooding the pump stations, leaving it incapable of pumping out the water. The hurricane is predicted to make landfall early Monday near Port Fourchon, which handles approximately 13% of U.S. oil imports, and 27% of U.S. domestic production.