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April 11, 2006

Heckuva Job Disasters  Politics

They're still finding bodies in New Orleans. The USA just ain't what it used to be. NYT:

The bodies of storm victims are still being discovered in New Orleans — in March alone there were nine, along with one skull. Skeletonized or half-eaten by animals, with leathery, hardened skin or missing limbs, the bodies are lodged in piles of rubble, dangling from rafters or lying face down, arms outstretched on parlor floors. [...]

A landlord in the Lakeview section put a "for sale" sign outside a house, unaware that his tenant's body was in the attic. Two weeks ago, searchers in the Lower Ninth Ward found a girl, believed to be about 6, wearing a blue backpack. Nearby, they found part of a man who the authorities believe might have been trying to save her.

On Friday, contractors found a body in the attic of a home in the Gentilly neighborhood that had been searched twice before, officials said.

This, in a major city in what is supposedly the most prosperous and powerful nation on Earth. If the victims were rich, white Republicans, does anyone doubt that somebody would have bothered to locate their bodies before now?

Posted by Jonathan at April 11, 2006 06:23 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


Your point is only valid if other people reported these late finds as missing. There are people who live a hermit’s life with no ties or bonds to anyone. This type of American lifestyle is more common in poverty struck areas where it is easier for fear,depression and uncertainty to hit the poor.

Should we have uncovered every single brick and board? Probably not feasible. Should we have used dogs to sniff them out? This could have been feasible, and maybe we should have done this.

Also keep in mind that many people were separated during the evacuation and had no of knowing if others made it out or were trapped. The bottom line is I haven’t heard of any reports of people insisting they know of someone who's trapped and no action was taken. And I believe if people did insist on someone being trapped every effort would have been made in a search and rescue, regardless of they're income level, race or political stance.

It's very sad anyone had to die, and that we're finding bodies long after the event, but I think this is kind-of-a cheap shot at Republicans (even as grotesque as some of them are).

Posted by: Jeff at April 12, 2006 01:09 PM

I think we can assume that six-year-old girl wasn't living a hermit's life.

In any case, if you think the same kind of resources and attention are being brought to bear in New Orleans' Ninth Ward that would be brought to bear in a rich, white neighborhood, then you and I are living on two different planets. Go to an inner city school and hospital, and then visit their counterparts in a wealthy, white suburb. They're in two entirely different worlds. That's just reality.

Is it a cheap shot at Republicans? They're the ones running the show. If it had been their constituency that had been hit, their response would have been entirely different. We don't have to guess about this. We have proof. See http://www.pastpeak.com/archives/2005/09/when_gangsters.htm.

Posted by: Jonathan at April 12, 2006 08:34 PM


Maybe "cheap shot" was the wrong phrase. I think soaking it for more than what it really is would be a more appropriate description. And this isn't saying that the FEMA handling of the Katrina disaster was anything close to competent.

Stark differences can be made between FEMAs handling of the Florida and Louisiana hurricanes that are void of race and income.

1. The Florida hurricanes hit in 2004, an election year. FEMA seems to have done not much more than pass out a lot of money in Florida. I can pass out money, which means Mike Brown can too.

2. Florida had the tightest margin of all swing states in 2004. Passing out (relief?) money, or buying votes - ended up being the same deplorable thing in Florida. I don't think Bush cared at all about race, sex, religion or income of Floridians. His only motivation was constituency and bringing enough votes over to his side.

3. Katrina, 2005, not an election year.

4. Louisiana, a swing state, but with a fairly high margin:


5. The weeks-long flooding in New Orleans alone made the Katrina disaster far worse than any of the hurricanes to hit Florida in 2004. This made search and rescue efforts much more difficult. Coordinating these kinds of tasks takes many different skills, few if any Mike Brown possessed - we all saw his resume after the fact. Bush, like he does so often, put a close friend in charge of FEMA. A close but very incompetent friend.

Nothing's black-and-white. Was there some elitism taking place after Katrina? Surely. But was it at the core of FEMAs bumbled response to Katrina? I don't think so.

As far as that poor little girl goes, we know nothing about her other than no one has been trying to find her. If she was being raised by a single parent who lived an isolated life, then the child becomes isolated as well. If the parent died in Katrina, who else would speak on the child's behalf? If the parent didn't die, well, that's a person who’s in need of an awful lot of help and support.

My post wasn't a personal attack Jonathan; I was merely trying to strike a balance. We're from the same planet and I agree with 95% of your blog. Especially gumpagraphs that show bold headlines claming the de-evolution of man. Very Cool. Hanging up at work with PastPeak.com underneath (luring them in with humor).

Posted by: Jeff at April 13, 2006 10:14 PM