Dear Lord:
CNN is currently reporting that the situation at the New Orleans Convention Center has gotten so bad that they're no longer going to be waiting for buses to bus people out of town. According to CNN, the thousands of people in the Center are going to try to march out of town on foot. Stay tuned.
Artful Dodger (mail):
People should also remember that you don't need to have money to help. The Red Cross and Salvation Army, and similar organizations also take donations of old clothing and provisions. Additionally, you can donate blood as in the days to come it may be in demand. A five minute phone call to any of myriad charities, I'm sure, could provide you with a lot of information about things you can do to help, even if you don't have a lot of cash to spend.
9.1.2005 6:06pm
erp (mail):
It's about time people took things into their own hands. If they can walk and there's a dry road, why shouldn't they walk to safety. No doubt they'll be picked up at some point on the way.

Using good sense, the infirm, aged and children first, the able bodied last. Everybody must do what they can and not wait around for the 'man' to tell them what to do.
9.1.2005 7:42pm
Framebot (mail) (www):
Jonah Goldberg on the shooting:

"But when people fire weapons on doctors and rescue vehicles, it is a sign of profound moral decay more grotesque than words can describe."

Again, the shooting is wrong under any circumstance, but why are people doing such a thing? From the WaPo:

"Hospitals are trying to evacuate," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, told the AP. "At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in people are shooting at them. There are people just taking potshots at police and helicopters, telling them, 'You better come get my family.' "

As bad as this is, I'm not sure trying to save one's family is "profound moral decay...grotesque" rather than the most natural human response to such an inconceivable disaster. Again, is Goldberg absolutely certain that he wouldn't react the same way if he was starving and his entire family was about to die? Probably he wouldn't, but who among bloggers really knows what that's like?

- from
9.1.2005 8:01pm
Meredith (mail):
Like you, I'm pretty damn sure Goldberg would not shoot at a helicopter to coax it to come help you.

That's just idiotic. I understand that security concerns have slowed down the evac, which is a bloody obvious result.

sure, it's tough in New Orleans. Looting things that aren't vital, like beer instead of bread, or shooting at people, or wildly screaming and carrying on towards cameras like I saw on CNN today, do not help. This is a time for folks there to collectively help eachother out. Most are. It's just this minority of jackasses wreaks such hardship.
9.1.2005 8:27pm
Edward Allen (mail):
If Britain can commandeer boats to evacuate Dunkirk. Why can't this excuse of a country send 2000 buses to New Orleans. Declare martial law and commandeer them. They can be re-imbursed for expenses. No city will have their people dying in the streets if their publick transportation is decreased by 50%.
Citizen of a 500 bus country.
9.1.2005 8:28pm
yasth (mail):
Martial law can not be declared as it violates the state constitution. They did try to declare it though.

In all honesty the entire situation is a farce. They need not have buses, they could merely try to arrange rides. (As in we are asking citizens to volunteer to go in and rescue people, vouchers for gas will be provided. Insurance would be a problem, but not that much of one. New Orleans just doesn't seem to care that much.
9.1.2005 8:53pm
People shooting at helicopters, etc. is absolutely wrong, no doubt.

I'm a little disturbed, however, by those who would rather talk about shooting looters. The logic seems to be that is looters respected law, this would somehow impact the violent people. And it even might - some of the shooters are certainly looters, too. Another view might be that enforcing the law is its own good, quite apart from the impact on emergency response efforts. While people are dying, I have trouble with that one.

My personal take is that while we are in a crisis, forget the looters*. Absolutely, attack the attackers, but the priority needs to be to get people out of that hellhole.

*I realize people are stealing guns, etc. If possible, defend gun-dense areas, then. Also, some of those stealing guns may be doing so to defend themselves. In any case, I'm of the view that in a time-limited disaster situation, with many, many people's lives at risk, you concentrate on saving human life, property be damned. The law can figure out property issues later: not to be crass, but once the large majority of people are either out of danger or dead, there will be many found sitting in a shack with a pile of ill-gotten gains. Deal with them then.
9.1.2005 8:58pm
What I wonder is why didn't have big ships ready to evacuate people by sea?
9.1.2005 11:13pm
Anon1ms (mail):
It appears that the government, once again, has underestimated the need for boots on the ground.

Before the hurricane hit, there were plenty of predictions of what was likely to happen, yet here we are days later and things are getting out of control.

On Saturday morning military medical units and helicopters should have been ready to go, and supplies loaded up for the journey south.
9.1.2005 11:37pm
Andy (mail) (www):
Artful Dodger: "The Red Cross and Salvation Army, and similar organizations also take donations of old clothing and provisions. Additionally, you can donate blood as in the days to come it may be in demand. "

If you cannot donate money and would like to donate items such as food or clothing, PLEASE ASK THE CHARITY FIRST before dropping your donations off. Not everything will be used or even useful, and the last thing the Red Cross (or any other group) wants is to have to spend time sorting through donations to see if there's something you've brought that is actually needed. Remember that it is often cheaper for a group to purchase supplies locally than to have to truck them across country.

Regarding blood donations: ASK FIRST. Many, many people lined up to donate blood after 9/11; almost none of the donated blood was actually needed (and a lot was thrown out.)

Columbienne: "What I wonder is why they didn't have big ships ready to evacuate people by sea?"

From what I gather, Delta geography is not hospitable to having big ships. The ports are too small, so the ships would have to be well off the coast, negating any benefits they would have for use in a mass evacuation.

I lived through Andrew in '92 (in southern Dade County), so I can appreciate the horrors that the people in the Delta area are going through. What I cannot appreciate is people making the same mistakes in terms of planning and relief coordination.
9.1.2005 11:44pm
Well, at the very least, I hope this puts an end to the discussion about whether FEMA is worth preserving. One can quibble that spinning off duties to private firms wasn't yet done, or whatever, but 4 years after a major crisis, and this was the response? Pathetic.
9.2.2005 12:06am