The catastrophe that hit New Orleans was predictable, and in fact, it was predicted. A sufficiently strong hurricane, even one that struck a glancing blow, was enough to break the levee and flood the city. When I was a student in New Orleans, there was a story going around that during hurricanes the National Guard would patrol the tops of the levees, because the police from neighboring parishes would blow their neighbor's levee, so the flooding would happen over there instead of over here. No one is saying that's what happened this time, but they should figure out why the levee broke where and when it did, if the water topped the levee and then eroded it out, or if it was helped along by someone with a shovel or a bit of explosive. Don't think it can't happen. New Orleans for all its charm and beauty is one seriously fucked-up place. The looting is as much the spirit of the Crescent City as the jazz funerals and good food and les bon temps. Racism is a tradition. You can't walk around the city, no matter what your race or economic status, without feeling it. It's one of the first experiences for a visitor to the city who ventures out of the tourist sections.
Houston Chronicle: "As many as 23,000 refugees at the Superdome prepared to board buses and head to Houston's Astrodome today even as hundreds of others arrived from New Orleans on their own, exhausted and desperate, only to find they won't be allowed in."
A Nikon camera with built-in wifi should be a cause for partying, however, according to David Pogue, "it only thumps the earth instead of shaking it."
Brad Neuburg: "You are invited to try out the San Francisco Coworking space this comming Tuesday, September 6th!"
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Lines at Atlanta area gas pumps grew along with prices this afternoon as word spread of possible fuel shortages."
Staci Kramer is looking for a way to convert a wiki into OPML.
Tulane's website has turned into a blog.
Fair question: "How is it that today, nearly four years after 9/11, we have no cohesive plan to deal with the region's refugees, the potentially one million American citizens without work or a home or basic care?"
Comment: The writer above is absolutely correct that, if we were prepared, the response to the aftermath of Katrina would be further along by now. Responsibility however is not with the administration, it lies with the electorate. We had a chance to make last year's election a referendum on the politics of terrorism, to seriously evaluate our preparedness, if we really cared. If anything is learned from this, we have to think, we can't delegate. We need leadership that cares, not in a superficial way. That leadership must come from us. We have some very huge decisions to make right now, and many thousands of lives depend on how well we do. That said, I have few ideas of things we can do other than give money to relief agencies, which of course, we are doing.
Weather for New Orleans. High of 91, forty percent chance of thunderstorms. The airport is now open. Good news.
Gil Sharon via email: "Dave, the Causeway is damaged, but open to emergency vehicles. It's the Interstate 10 bridge to Slidell that was completely destroyed."
Ernie the Attorney, who was in New Orleans through the hurricane, is safe in Jennings, Louisiana; 172 miles west of the city on Interstate 10.
Times-Picayune on lawlessness in New Orleans. "What I want to know is why we donít have paratroopers with machine guns on every street."
They also report that the uptown Children's Hospital is under seige.
People's Daily: "As Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Monday, experts said it could turn one of the United States' most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city's legendary cemeteries."
On CNN, Aaron Brown asks what the city will look like when the water recedes. The correct answer, which he did not get, is that the water isn't going to recede. The only way to get the water out of the city is to pump it out, after the levees are fixed. In the meantime, the water isn't receding, it's going the other way, it's rising.
New header graphic from Point Pinole Regional Seashore.
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