September 3, 2005


Bush consoles Katrina victims (Bill Sammon, September 3, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

President Bush yesterday acknowledged that the federal government's response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was "not enough," as he personally delivered a help-is-on-the-way message to Gulf Coast residents stranded for nearly a week without food or water.

"This is a storm that requires immediate action, now," said the president, who spent the day touring hard-hit communities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. "I understand the devastation requires more than one day's attention. It's going to require the attention of this country for a long period of time."

As he did after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Mr. Bush took on the role of comforter in chief. He walked along streets where houses had been reduced to piles of rubble, consoling residents who lost everything with hugs and words of support. [...]

Before departing on his tour, the president said on the White House front lawn that early results from his administration's emergency response to the hurricane were "not acceptable."

"I want to assure the people of the affected areas and this country that we'll deploy the assets necessary to get the situation under control, to get the help to the people who have been affected," Mr. Bush said.

Europe's response: An odd mixture (Richard Bernstein, 9/03/05, The New York Times)
It is hard to measure this, but judging from the commentary and the blogs, the collective European sorrow for the victims of the tsunami, and certainly for Sept. 11, seems to have been more immediate and deeply felt than for the victims of Katrina, and this is not only because the tsunami was far vaster in its destructiveness. It is also because the tsunami victims were, by and large, poor. But there are other factors at work here, notably that the spectacle of the hurricane causing a disaster of third world proportions in the United States seems to have provoked a sort of dismay among Europeans mingling with the sorrow.

As a reporter on BBC Television said on Friday, not able to keep the anger from his voice, the looting, the armed gangs, the gunplay, and, especially, the arrogance, in his view, that mostly white police displayed toward mostly black residents, represented "the dark underbelly of life in this country."

There is something shameful about the way a natural disaster has produced behavior that, for example, the tsunami did not produce in the third world countries it hit, and it is painful to be a witness to somebody else's shame.

"Why should hundreds die, mostly African-Americans, in a predicted disaster in the richest nation on earth," was one expression of a widespread feeling in Europe, this one appearing Friday in a letter in the Guardian, the British paper.

Troops and relief aid arrive in New Orleans (Joseph B. Treaster and Maria Newman, SEPTEMBER 3, 2005, The New York Times)
Four days after Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast and left most of this city under water, a convoy of dozens of National Guard trucks bearing food, water and weapons arrived here Friday to begin helping thousands of homeless people ever more desperate about dwindling supplies and growing violence in this chaotic city.

As the vehicles wended their way through the city's watery streets, and rows of soldiers entered the Superdome, where thousands of desperate refugees have congregated, President George W. Bush, who was facing sharp criticism over the government's response to the disaster, arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi, to spend a day touring storm-ravaged areas. The backdrop to the president's visit included widely televised images of fires and explosions that jolted an area near the French Quarter in New Orleans on Friday morning, and the angry voice of Mayor C. Ray Nagin.

Nagin railed in a radio interview about the slow pace of federal assistance to handle what is clearly one of the most overwhelming national disasters in a long time.

Vowing that the government would restore order in New Orleans, Bush said that $10.5 billion approved by Congress was just a small down payment for disaster relief.

"It's worse than imaginable," the president said after walking through a battered Biloxi neighborhood. He also warned of gasoline supply problems this weekend because of damaged refineries and pipelines.

New Orleans orders evacuation: Hurricane Katrina's winds nearly 175 mph (CNN, August 28, 2005)
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency on Sunday and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city as Hurricane Katrina churned toward the city with maximum sustained winds of nearly 175 mph.

All of Orleans Parish falls under the order except for necessary personnel in government, emergency and some other public service categories.

People who are unable to evacuate were told to immediately report to a designated shelter.

"I wish I had better news for you, but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin said. "I do not want to create panic, but I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious and it's of the highest nature."

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said that President Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation.

Does Mayor Nagin own a mirror?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2005 12:00 AM

Why should hundreds die, mostly African-Americans, in a predicted disaster in the richest nation on earth,"

Riches and predictions had nothing to do with who died and neither does race. It's not their race that caused people to revert to the law of the jungle when they were left to their own devices.

I think this disaster may have finally opened the eyes of the public and made it clear that keeping people in custodial care from one generation to the next has robbed them of all self reliance.

Instead taking immediate action to save themselves and their families, they stood around like cattle in the field and waited for someone else to take charge and like any wild animal, they attacked those who came to help them because they lacked the discernment to separate friend from foe.

What does that say about Darwin, evolution, ID and the other isms debated to hotly on this blog?

The actions of the mayor and governor are inexplicable and inexcusable. They should both resign immediately, so interim competent people may be appointed to clean up the mess and new elections scheduled.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 3, 2005 9:16 AM

Nature is weak. Culture strong. Make folks dependent and they depend.

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2005 9:23 AM

"Make folks dependent and they depend."

Make folks dependent and they need Depends.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 3, 2005 2:33 PM

Come clean my computer screen, Robert. NOW!! LOL!!!

Posted by: obc at September 3, 2005 2:46 PM

Here's a guy with some good old American getup and go.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 3, 2005 3:28 PM


Does that mean "Big Diaper" controls the Dem party the way "Big Oil" supposedly does the Repubs?

It's all a plot I tell ya.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at September 3, 2005 7:38 PM