Thursday, 1 September 2005

Serious stuff

I'm writing today (and will be for much of this month) so I'm surviving on a diet of radio news and cups of tea. Today I've been listening to the terrible events in New Orleans unfolding and I've been getting more and more annoyed. The town is wasted, the poor people still there are being told to get out as quickly as they can. Many are still there because leaving wasn't an option anyway; no transport, carers for people who couldn't be moved, etc but now the mayor or some other worthy has instructed the Police to stop search and rescue and stop looting. No argument that lawlessness must be guarded against but if you and your family are living on the roof of a building and you need food and water and the supermarket is awash but nobody is on the till do you leave the food and wait a few months for the shop to reopen? Do you wait a few days for the relief operations to find and feed you? Or do you grab some basics and feed yourself? I'm not supporting the wholesale rampage that is being described but it still seems difficult to reconcile protecting things and stopping looking for people. One radio interviewer described people grabbing food being stopped by the police and told to drop the goods - they did and the water washed them away. Who benefitted?

Horrible circumstances and I recognise the difference in sitting here postulating and being there terrified.

21 careful considerations:

ScaryCheri said...

I'm sickened by the way the disaster relief is being handled.

My country can't seem to prepare for anything other than terrorist attacks, and the suffering that's hapening now could have been lessened had certain people learned from last years storms and looked at all the warning signs.

I can't imagine being an officer of the law and looking at these people in the eye only to tell them to drop food into the sewage water.... instead of telling them to get back to saftey and eat it.

The folks who are looting stuff like TV's and stuff should be shot on site just for being stupid.

TRT said...

I 'vas only follovink ze orders ov mein general!
Achtung!
Ze people of New Orleans are only ze jazz lovink hippies after all!
Heil Dubya!

ScaryCheri said...

lol gw...ooohh lol

Morning-Loves-It said...

I heard the looters are armed.

We had an intense series of thunder storms here yesterday evening and although I was scared I pulled myself together thinking about the people in New Orleans and how frightened they are.

Roger said...

Great Blog… I will be back again..

Cheers!
Gas Prices Us

Morning-Loves-It said...

Just heard that people are shooting at the rescue helicopters.

Morning-Loves-It said...

Just heard that people are shooting at the rescue helicopters.

Morning-Loves-It said...

Just heard that people are shooting at the rescue helicopters.

Morning-Loves-It said...

Just heard that people are shooting at the rescue helicopters.

Nogbad said...

i think the thing to consider here is that "some" of the looters are armed, some (it seems) are lawless armed gangs and there are now reports that rescue helicopters have been fired upon. But - and this is the critical issue I think - not all "looters" are armed, not all are trying to boost their wealth by stealing TVs (how much use is a TV in a city without power???), not all are a threat to anyone. It seems that a response aimed at the lowest common denominator will serve to exacerbate an already incendiary situation and at the same time endanger some of the poor unfortunates caught up in this terrible situation. Right now if I was going to try and grab some food and water for my family as we huddled on a roof I'd have to make sure I had a gun too wouldn't I?

Nogbad said...

Roger! Great to hear from you and I'm glad you like the blog but I'd be grateful if you didn't come back. A tad tasteless to spam a posting about the tragedy in NO with something about saving money on gasoline though isn't it? Particularly as the troubles there are likely to put pressure on the cost of fuel in the US over the coming weeks. Never mind though - I've added your web site to the list of spammers and I'll do everything I can to make sure you get lots of attention.

ScaryCheri said...

very tastefull reply to spammer-roger.

I would have said something along the lines of "kick him in the head"

Angie said...

I've been a bit obsesses with what is happening in New Orleans myself lately. Unfortunately the whole shooting at officers has is going to cause trouble for those who need to find food and water for their families. It only takes a few bad apples to ruin it for the rest.

pal said...

The looting situation is awful but the interview that really got to me was before Katrina hit. Flooding was being discussed - the interview was called Toxic Gumbo. You can find it on a CNN Reporters Blog look for the link in the main blog that refers to"video of van Heerden warning about toxic gumbo"

Because New Orleans is below sea level they bury everyone above ground and these bodies are going to be floating around now along with all the petrol and chemicals and the people who have sadly died in the flood. Really scarey, no wonder they are saying people wont be able to go back for 4 months.

TRT said...

The sky around Watford was full of flashes of light last night....
It was pretty and scary at the same time - there was no noise.

The world smells a funny colour....

Nogbad said...

We didn't get the much threatened storm and it's simply got hotter and hotter again today - not as hot as earlier in the week but still hot!

jenE said...

yeah, the looting sucks, but when the cops are doing it too, what civvie is going to stop? these people weren't even getting necessities- they were stealing things like flat- panel televisions and stereos and the like.

frankly i'm glad people like this are all flooded. maybe they'll get typhoid and die, thus ridding the earth of such rubbish.

Angie said...

People like this?!?!? JC!!! There were a few doing this yes, but the majority were just taking food/water/necessities. Please now! You have many innocent that are died and you are talking about you are glad they are ALL flooded?? Just lovely! It's not like you can command a flood to just rid the earth of the bad and keep the good you know.

Nogbad said...

Well if you can't then that's just bad planning Angie! :-)

In general I agree - I think there are far worse crimes than being a looter and it's hard to think that a biblical plague should be visited on any group of people because some of them are scum - if the natural order followed that principle we'd all have perished years ago!

There is a group of people in extremis here - many are simply guilty of being too poor to get out of the way when this shitstorm hit. That some are too stupid to realise that nicking a TV right now ain't the brightest move is probably a sad indictment of the education system.

Echo Mouse said...

Nogbad, I completely agree. I've been saying the same thing over here. It's horrifying for those people and the authorities really are useless.

Some good blogs from survivors, who are reporting on what's REALLY going on:-

http://neworleans.metblogs.com/

http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/

http://www.locustfork.net/blog/

http://dancingwithkatrina.blogspot.com/

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/

Glad you're safe and sound over there :)

Wendy said...

I guess we all have the same disaster on the mind as my blog today and the past couple are about the subject.

They pulled the rescuers off rescuing because they were on the move and going towards areas with evacuees fleeing. If the criminals get to the innocent civilians, they could be killed by the gangs. They have been robbing news crews, nurses, and all walks of life at gunpoint. Someone will be killed if they are not stopped. Luckily, more National Guard and police forces are on the way and rescue efforts have resumed.