Finding the Answers

On Lenin’s Tomb, China Miéville has posted two more articles about the sickeningly inadequate response to Katrina. He notes, among other things, that the company that was paid to come up with the “Catastrophic Hurricane Management Plan” for New Orleans has “misplaced” the press release for it–and he has the screenshots to prove it.

What’s happening in New Orleans has me heartsick to the point where I can barely eat or sleep or concentrate. I cannot believe there wasn’t a better plan to deal with this catastrophe, which everyone knew was inevitable. I cannot believe that people are dying as they wait for help that is too long in coming.

I cannot believe that we have this happening here.

6 thoughts on “Finding the Answers”

  1. The link you posted doesn’t work, but I found China’s blog easily enough.

    Gad…it’s like a deadlier version of Enron.

    The thing I’m seriously frightened of is that the authorities are going to more or less intentionally let things get even further out of hand, then go in with guns blazing, and trumpet how they “restored order” as the media pat them on the back. You can already see them setting it up as W grumbles about “zero tolerance for looters” (= desperate people scavenging for water and food). In case anyone still had any doubt about his moral bankruptcy, this exposes his utter lack of empathy with those poor people.

    I’ve spent about a month and a half in New Orleans, all told, and it was and will be again a beautiful place. My sister lived there 5 years and is really heartsick.

  2. Thanks, Robert. I fixed it.

    I’m in tears now. The babies are starting to die from dehydration. There’s no formula for them, and they’re subject to water toxicity.

    And the fucking FEMA director was on MSNBC just a few minutes ago saying that FEMA just learned today that there are people at the convention center and were surprised by that information and are now sending food and water there. What the FUCK? They don’t watch the freaking news like everyone else? Goddamn it.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I, by and large, have stopped watching the coverage, as I need to function better than I do when inundated by all of that. This morning, though, as I turned on the early news, the shots they had on made me immediately they were showing a third world country. Only on a second look did I realize it was the NO area. It is genuinely frightening.

  4. It’s horrible. I have a copyedit to finish and so am going to have to find a way to cut myself off from it, but I don’t know how. I can’t stop thinking about all the poor people there who haven’t died yet but who will before help comes.

  5. Yeah, everyone is suddenly spinning it as, “This is an outrage. Why wasn’t I told?” Um, because you didn’t bother to find out?

    I’m hearing more tough talk and still a lack of any sympathetic response by those in charge. It really is sad, but my response is more angry than sad, I would have to say.

  6. I know what you mean. I had lunch today with a friend, and we were talking about our personal lives, work, etc. and the talk unavoidably turned to the situation in NO. A couple of guys at the next table turned around, overhearing us, and said the same thing had happened to their conversation. It’s so mindboggling, and we’re not even there. BTW, I’m on the BoD of a local overnight summer camp and we’re able to donate the use of our trailers (which would house over 50 people) to the effort. It’s a small thing, but it’s something to help. I’m hopeful that lots of local action will do the trick; that’s what usually works.
    BTW (part deux), as a word person, does the use of the word “reference” as a verb irritate you? It drives me nuts!

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