Thanks for posting the interview. I was JUST looking for it online.
No problem. Thank you for your succinct summary-post earlier today.
My pleasure. We all do the part we can.
There's a lot to be angry about. Now rapes to add to the lawlessness... sometimes I hate humans.
Yeah. I think I'm equally horrified by the squabble to divert blame from the people who ought to be shouldering the responsibility for the inadequacy of the disaster relief response.
In addition to the lack of structure that needs to be provided by a governing body to manage crises like these, I don't think there's much awareness among modern humans of the depths of their interdependence, period. We tend to live day to day assuming that everything will continue to function the way it ought to as long as we keep to our routines and ourselves, and that just isn't true. I wish there were more of an awareness of social responsibility. I speak for myself here, too. Although I gave blood regularly, or tried to (sometimes my iron is too low) while I was in the States, it's frustrating to watch people overwhelm the blood blanks with offers to donate immediately after a crisis, and watch the blood supply run critically low at almost all other times. I think a lot of us just don't know that there is actually a lot we can do that doesn't take much effort that would make situations like these much easier to bear.
Yeah, But the minute something out of the ordinary happens - splat! A brief now flurry and the road and rail network grids to a halt!
snow flurry, of course...
Time to stop Bush talking and do something. The American government is sleepwalking through this. It's not some video game, these are people, they're their own people who are dying and will continue to die until they wake up and act...now!
For some Americans, this is probably going to be the death knell for their expectations from the government. As it is, I am amazed at how much more UK citizens expect their social services and places of employment to provide than Americans do, particularly among those of us who are young, able-bodied and well-educated. I'm afraid that a lot of the poor people whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed will, in the future, perpetuate their own disenfranchisement by not voting.
I'm listening to the mayor now, and I'm incensed bureaucracy that's holding aid now. It's obvious that they need help. What, they need authorization?
"My attitude is, if it's not going exactly right, we're going to make it go exactly right. If there's problems, then we'll address the problems," Mr Bush said. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. Perhaps now everyone will see how empty the man is.
Louisiana has been asking for money to ramp up its hurricane preparedness coverage from the federal government for YEARS.
Call me heartless, but it seems as though the first step in hurricane preparedness would be not living in New Orleans.
Yeah, that's pretty fuckin' heartless. That's the same as saying, why make earthquake safe housing? Just keep people from living in earthquake prone areas. Brilliant logic, ass monkey.
That's the same as saying, why make earthquake safe housing? Just keep people from living in earthquake prone areas.
Hey, I live in a fairly earthquake-prone part of California, but you know what? I understand that earthquakes happen. I am prepared for them. If I didn't think I'd be capable of handling a natural disaster, I'd go live in Utah or Montana or something, but I love California, so I deal with the potential that it will possibly crack in half and eat me.
What really gets me is that although there have been hurricanes in Louisiana since before there was human life there, everyone seems so surprised that it could occasionally lower the quality of life. This is a city that rests below sea level. Who thought that was a good idea?
The first time I ever experienced a hurricane (well, it was a Typhoon, technically) was in Okinawa. The people there, who had been living with it for there whole lives, were so prepared that I was almost disappointed by how accepting of it they were. Many houses there are of block-concrete construction, which, while it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing design, holds up pretty well under intense wind. The people would secure everything that needed securing, close everything that needed closing, and wait it out with supplies they had on hand because to them, Typhoons are just a way of life. Why isn't that the case everywhere natural disasters occur?
Why New Orleans exists
Brief summary. BECAUSE IT STRADDLES THE FOOT OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER!
If you think that airplanes and trains have rendered river-barging (much less ocean shipping) obsolete, never speak aloud again.
If you are being more specific and believe that everybody who works in New Orleans should be getting danger-pay, like people who work Alaskan Salmon barges... maybe there's a point to be made there. I'd be surprised if New Orleans was NOT a more expensive place to do business in 10 years when it's open again than it was a year ago. But guess what... people will still live and work there, because... hey look... it's the MISSISSIPPI DAMN RIVER.
*ETA: A short while ago, that was the title, verbatim, of the BBC news article in the link. It has since been changed to "Bush vows to step up Katrina aid." We are amused.
Hehehe. I saw only the revised edition and was confused as to what was going on. The problem with internet news is that a damning story can be taken down in seconds. Sigh.
I think it was probably changed because he didn't actually say he "condemned" the aid effort. He said it was "not acceptable."
2005-09-06 21:57 (UTC)
Well "no one could have anticipated" that he would change his story again, eh?
The other day I was listening to NPR, which aired a very lengthy interview with a man at LSU who was on the fourth year of a five-year study modelling the effects of a major hurricane hitting the gulf coast, and New Orleans specifically. He said that his models had very accurately predicted the effects of Katrina. In fact, when he heard about Katrina he got out of bed and started running simulations, and then sent the results of those simulations to, as near as I could tell, anyone who would hold still long enough.
Shortly afterward (and completely without irony), they ran a soundbite of Bush saying, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
I, driving along in my car, started, glanced at my car radio, and shouted, "EVERYONE anticipated the breach of the levees! EVERYONE!"
That's our president. Yup.
Well, it was without totally blatant irony, at least. Other than that which is necessarily present in running these two things within three hours of each other.
...which is actually a rather lot of irony when one thinks about it. Well, let the record show that everyone made a concerted effort at keeping a straight face.
And well-deserved. That's not leadership, that's rubbernecking.
For some reason, I keep thinking about what my boss told me about cell phones in England -- in times of major disaster, commercial cell phone traffic can be shut down so that the only calls that can be made are from police/rescue/etc.
He was impressed, btw, with what he saw. (He was in London during the first bombings.) He was impressed as hell with the way everything was handled -- and he doesn't impress easily.
Yes. After the bombings, at least on the Vodafone network, you couldn't dial out or send messages from your mobile phone. You had full signal but it switched over to "Emerg. use only," which is also what it does when you are in a very low signal area.
I didn't see a lot of panic in London after the bombings either. The people seemed to pass through the state of shock fairly quickly (cup of tea, cigarette, follow the news on the net or TV for a bit) and then moved on to finding ways to cope with the lack of transport.
One thing that is worrisome about London, though, is that with the rising oceans predicted by climate change models, the city could be subjected to intense flooding. I'm not exactly sure how prepared the city, particularly the underground and drainage/sewer systems, and the people are for that.
Julio Ortiz here - I hope you remember me! I was hoping to get in email contact with you, and if you'd like to add me as a friend that'd be great too! I'm hafnir on LJ and at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please drop me a line as I'd like to talk to you about something. Thanks!