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Zoethe

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Puzzle pieces that won't fit together [Sep. 1st, 2005|12:43 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |distresseddistressed]

FEMA has suspended boat rescue operations because it is too dangerous for the workers.

Acadia Ambulance has suspended its helicopter evacuation of the sick from the Superdome because shots were fired at a chopper.

St. Louis police are being pulled off search and rescue to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile looters, including some who attacked a hospital.

Buses are having trouble getting to the Superdome because of arson fires set around it.

New Orleans is being evacuated. My question is, taking all the previous facts into account, how? The answer appears to be, it's not. After two days of concerted effort, less that 1/10th of the people sheltered in the Superdome have been moved to the Astrodome.

"Bad" doesn't even begin to encompass the situation down there. I can't even fathom.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: servermonkey
2005-09-01 05:00 pm (UTC)
My wife's the same way.

She can't watch any more.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 05:03 pm (UTC)
It's sort of like 9/11 - we stopped watching the news because it became so depressing. Especially when they started showing the people holding the photos of lost loved ones, and played the voice mail messages left by those on the planes to their wives/husbands/family.

That last bit really killed me.
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[User Picture]From: elf_inside
2005-09-01 06:11 pm (UTC)
9/11 the nation pulled together. This is tearing us apart, at least tearing what used to be a city apart. How people are acting there is appalling. I was almost willing to forgive the looting, as these people needed food, water, medicine, etc. But the violence - that is completely unforgivable. And now the many stranded are being made to suffer and die for the actions of a few.
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[User Picture]From: cynicalcleric
2005-09-01 06:53 pm (UTC)

I was almost willing to forgive the looting

Its one thing to be looting for food and neccesities - especially in a disaster of this magnitude. But its quite another to be looting everything you can get your hands on.
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[User Picture]From: duality
2005-09-01 10:51 pm (UTC)

Re: I was almost willing to forgive the looting

...like childrens hospitals...last i heard the staff there were desparately trying to keep them out.
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[User Picture]From: arturus
2005-09-02 05:11 am (UTC)

Re: I was almost willing to forgive the looting

stealing TVs and and things is rather stupid and ultimately irrelevant. They have no electricity to run it, no house to put it in, there's no money economy for them to sell it in, they'll never get it out of the city with them. The stores they're taking it from have likely already written it off to the storm and flood and gotten insurance money, at least if it's a chain like the stuff from walmart. So stuff like that makes no difference to anyone.

supplies are completely understandable, like you say.

So really the only points where it matters is the hospitals, as someone else pointed out, and the guns. The hospitals are completely awful. for the guns, there's a lot of unregistered ones in that city right now, and I'm willing to bet most of them find their way to the black market when things settle down.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 06:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I couldn't listen to those either, forget it. No way.


I don't know what was worse - listening to the person sobbing uncontrollably about how much he/she loves him/her, and everything is going to be okay, or seeing the receipient of the phone message listening to it while a reporter sat by.

This is reminding me a lot of 9/11 at this point -- just aghast at the horror, and the situation just keeps getting worse and worse, and....I don't even know what to say.

I know. And by all accounts, it is only going to get worse.
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2005-09-01 05:00 pm (UTC)
This is turning into something worse than I ever could have imagined when I heard a hurricane was heading towards New Orleans.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 05:04 pm (UTC)
Imagine if New Orleans had taken a direct hit, and the hurricane had remained a category five.
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2005-09-01 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah I thought of that too. If this is what a Category 4 can do I don't ever want to see a Category 5.

Actually I think Hurricane Andrew may have been Category 5, but I was pretty young at the time. And it wasn't nearly this devastating.
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[User Picture]From: arturus
2005-09-02 05:14 am (UTC)
if it was stronger, it may not have made terribly much difference. Weathering the storm would have been tougher, yes, but most of the current issues are due to the flooding. The flooding would have been the same either way.
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From: stevietee
2005-09-01 05:01 pm (UTC)
I hate feeling so helpless!
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 05:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is getting really, really bad down there. Did you see my post from this morning? Some guy shot his sister in the head, killing her, over a bag of ice.

Shot and killed his sister over a bag of fucking ice!! Although it is difficult to relate to the dire straits these people are in, I cannot imagine myself killing my sisters for any reason. Share the goddamn ice, you selfish ass.

The looters have raided nursing homes, too. I wonder how many of the medical "necessities" stolen from the hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacies include valium and similar drugs. Not only do the hospitals have to fear gun-toting thugs rushing their building, they have to worry that their supplies won't be delivered because helicopters won't land and trucks are being hijacked.

They need to aggressively bring control to the area. Easier said then done, of course. How do you reign in that kind of activity from such desparate people? Where would you put them if you decide to "imprison" them? Imagine the uproar if the police and national guard starting shooting back?

But seriously, if we want the answer to all these peoples' problems, we need look no further than Michael Wilbon's article in the Post today. Sure, you've lost everything. You have no home. No possessions at all. No food. No water. No toilets or showers. I know just the thing to perk you up.

Food? Nah.

Shelter? Fuck that!

Football.

Yes, football. Collegiate or professional, it doesn't matter. The almighty pigskin will make you forget your problems and bring a glimmer of hope to your life.
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[User Picture]From: pleepleus
2005-09-01 07:54 pm (UTC)
Imagine the uproar if the police and national guard starting shooting back?

I sadly believe that this will happen within the weekend. :( Take the food, fine, it will go bad anyway, need a pair of shoes, take them, baby food? Fine.

But this mob mentality, "We run this city now" thing *must* be stopped. There is a complete understanding that many will be shell-shocked and not necessarily in control of themselves (such as the man who killed his sister over ice. No sne person would do that) But, there is no excuse for the utter disposal of human decency, concern and a sense of community involvement that is happening.

IMO, if those gun toters are close enough to rob the aid workers, they are close enough to lay down their weapons and HELP with the releif work that must be done to save those who are still trapped, sick, dying in an attic somewhere as I type this entry. :(
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 08:44 pm (UTC)
But, there is no excuse for the utter disposal of human decency, concern and a sense of community involvement that is happening.

I agree wholeheartedly. However, if the police were to use force, I can see it being spun in a very bad light.

Especially if the police or national guard person doing the shooting was white, and the armed looter was African American.

IMO, if those gun toters are close enough to rob the aid workers, they are close enough to lay down their weapons and HELP with the releif work that must be done to save those who are still trapped, sick, dying in an attic somewhere as I type this entry.

What, do the responsible thing? Pah! ;-)

It's a lot easier for them to turn a blind eye and take advantage of others.
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[User Picture]From: pleepleus
2005-09-01 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am not advocating shooting them, but as conditions worsen, and people get more and more desperate, scared, angry, hungry, etc, I am afraid that someone will cross aline and the shooting will start. I think it will be something to spark racial wars of something we haven't seen in a 40 years, but I fear it will happen.

I am actually more concerned for vigilanty justice right now though. People are going to fight to the death to hold what little they have left.

I get a sense that there are pockets of people with little or no outside contact. A church here and there, a hospital, even a home where neighbors have all taken refuge. Until someone can somehow let these people know that help is on the way, but they need to do what they can now to help themselves, without coming to harm or harming others, well, it is going to get much worse before it gets better. :(

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:20 pm (UTC)
I saw the item about the guy killing his sister. The tension and frustration involved in what these people are going through has to be beyond imagination.
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[User Picture]From: jonbaker
2005-09-01 09:33 pm (UTC)
I know just the thing to perk you up.
...
Yes, football. Collegiate or professional, it doesn't matter. The almighty pigskin will make you forget your problems and bring a glimmer of hope to your life.


Naah, hoops. At least, that's what seems to happen in NYC. Crown Heights riots 1991. Some Hasidic guy gets kids together from Lubavitch and West Indian communities to shoot hoops, which oughta foster intergroup understanding.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-09-01 05:03 pm (UTC)
Do you know of any sites that will let you donate from a debit card?? It wasn't an option on that userfriendly red cross site, and I'm having trouble finding someplace credible to donate to.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 05:07 pm (UTC)
It is possible that the Relief Concert will have call-in numbers for making donations. Those would have to take debit/credit cards.
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[User Picture]From: altaego
2005-09-01 05:08 pm (UTC)
Mercy Corps is a good organization.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:22 pm (UTC)
It looks like other people gave you some leads. Thank goodness, since I really wasn't sure.
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[User Picture]From: tygher
2005-09-01 05:36 pm (UTC)
What astounds me is that these people that are doing the shooting, the looting, setting the fires ... these are people they're -trying- to help. It boggles the mind that people can be so ignorant.

That said .. I don't know what they're going through. It must be incredibly difficult to cope with what has happened. But .. still.
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[User Picture]From: avatar
2005-09-01 05:42 pm (UTC)
Take a look at this - the New Oreleans blog.

interdictor
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2005-09-01 05:43 pm (UTC)
I was about to link to him, too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:28 pm (UTC)
Have you sen the katrinacane friend's list? It was set up to friend people who are from or stayed in the area, including interdictor.
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[User Picture]From: ohhjuliet
2005-09-01 05:49 pm (UTC)
I cannot begin to fathom how the people who are shooting, looting and lighting fires are even conceiving to think of doing so.
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[User Picture]From: fujerica
2005-09-01 06:19 pm (UTC)
I don't even get it. There's nothing that makes sense about any of it.
It just... I just... I want to scream and freak out and here I am in miserable little hellhole KY but at least I have power and food and water. I know where my family is.

And you know what? If I were in that area, I'd be walking as far as my tired, starved body could take me. I'd rather die while making every attempt to save my own life than perish while waiting for something non-existant.

I want to go hug my kids now. NOW.
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[User Picture]From: cynicalcleric
2005-09-01 07:04 pm (UTC)

If I were in that area, I'd be walking as far as my tired, starved body could take me.

There was a picture on the cover of a local newspaper that showed a woman and someone else pleading at passing Army trucks.

The thing was, they had a small boat (it looked like a large canoe or kayak) and it looked like they had paddles too. Take some initiative: paddle over the Superdome, ask someone there running things where you should go, and paddle accordingly across Lake Katrina to some loading point if thats where they want you to go.
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[User Picture]From: pleepleus
2005-09-01 07:57 pm (UTC)

Re: If I were in that area, I'd be walking as far as my tired, starved body could take me.

The Superdomeis in utter chaos. People are coming from everywhere trying to get on a bus, get food, water, get OUT.

How many will have survived the storm to die in the struggle afterwards? So tragic.
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[User Picture]From: fujerica
2005-09-01 09:56 pm (UTC)

Re: If I were in that area, I'd be walking as far as my tired, starved body could take me.

I'd hate to get killed for my boat.... but by now I'd either be dead or gone.

What saddens me is the people that have elderly, sick, or extremely young family members that can't... CAN'T... survive. That just makes me so sad.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:34 pm (UTC)
My heart goes out to the people who are into their fourth day of sitting in the sun on rooftops, no drinkable water, no food, and now not much hope that anyone will come for them. They will just die in another day or two. That's appalling.
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[User Picture]From: fujerica
2005-09-01 09:54 pm (UTC)

My heart goes out to the people who are into their fourth day

I know. I agree. I'm close to crying every half hour or so...

9/11, I could handle 9/11. Sure, I was scared and I was sad, but it was basically quick. Horrifying but quick. This "extended death" is deplorable.
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[User Picture]From: cynicalcleric
2005-09-01 06:52 pm (UTC)

to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile looters

Martial laws has been declared, right? Send in armed troops with orders to arrest looters and shoot looters who resist arrest or who shoot back. Sweep the city. Treat it like a fucking warzone. The place is wrecked and there are armed hostiles so its not far from the truth.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:35 pm (UTC)

Re: to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile looters

I don't think they have gone so far as orders to shoot hostiles, and where do you put the people you arrest?
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-09-01 08:45 pm (UTC)

Re: to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile looters

where do you put the people you arrest?

Although it may be considered cruel and unusual punishment: how about locking them up in the bathrooms in the Superdome?
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[User Picture]From: arturus
2005-09-02 05:18 am (UTC)

Re: to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile looters

I got this second hand, so it may be mistaken or changed since then, but I heard that tt hasn't. Apparently the Lousiana constitution specifically bans all martial law.

But yeah, that's what needs to happen.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-09-01 07:14 pm (UTC)
And now patient evacuations have been suspended because they came under sniper fire.

SNIPER FIRE.

As in, not somebody standing right there, not a frustrated would-be looter, but someone who had to say, "Hey, you know what would be fun? Shooting at doctors and sick people from a distance."

That is some seriously fucked-up shit, there. I'm with cynicalcleric: send in the troops, in force, and have them shoot back if needed. Shoot Americans? No. Shoot the animals who are running amok. The ones who are helping each other, who are trying to make things better instead of worse-- those are the Americans.

-1em
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-01 08:53 pm (UTC)
I agree. We should have a huge force of National Guardsmen fully equipped in the area.

Oh, wait. They're all in Iraq, fighting a war.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-09-01 09:04 pm (UTC)
And aren't fully equipped where they are now.

-1em
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[User Picture]From: intelligentrix
2005-09-02 08:18 pm (UTC)

It's not fear or desperation

The thing people don't seem to understand about the people shooting at rescuers and setting fires and going house to house terrorizing those few people who managed to survive is that they DON'T CARE. They don't care that other people are dying, they don't care that their actions are hurting the rescue, they don't even care that they might be killed in return. In fact, this is one of the reasons they don't care: they don't care about their own lives. I've seen them, I've had them in my cab, I've had their mothers and neighbors and teachers telling me how these people aren't human anymore, how they cannot be taught or reasoned with, how they are devoid of compassion. And I'm not talking about white people talking about black people. New Orleans is 68% black. The mayor, the police, the ambulance drivers, the nurses and doctors, the relief workers, and the fire-fighters are majority black. The people who are most vocal about the depravity of the monsters in their midst are the people who live in the projects and the poor neighborhoods with them, the decent, good, kind people who are just trying to get out, who also happen to be black. This is not about race, this is about the culture of death that these people embrace. They don't care if they die, as long as they get to have a Hummer with gold rims before they go.

I wish I was exagerating. I really really wish I was. But three weeks ago, at five-o-clock in the afternoon, a young mother and her 7 year-old daughter were shot in the head about five blocks from my house, and later that same evening 2 more people were gunned down not far away.

I love my city, I mourn and I rage and I can't stop crying. But I am honest enough to know there are these animals, these amoral predators who thrived in it and who now see the city as theirs. I have always been a pacifist, I believe the war we wage in Iraq is amoral and illegal, but I don't think the National Guard has any choice but to shoot to kill in dealing with this situation. And I won't shed any tears over them at all. I save my tears for every patient who couldn't be airlifted from the hospitals because of the sniping, for every baby who dies because the truck carrying food and water was hijacked, for all the people whose incomprehensible misery is increased even the slightest by these soul-less criminals.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-09-02 09:44 pm (UTC)

Re: It's not fear or desperation

You know, I keep being reminded of zombie movies when I hear about the nature of these attacks. Maybe that's not far off.
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