Friday, September 02, 2005

Closer to Home

Speaking of...I'm finally AT home after a bit of work--nothing though, compared to the work that will need to be done in New Orleans. I also had a few chores to do, including dropping off the rent check--the landlord's office is just north of here, and I forgot to cart my checkbook with me to work (otherwise, that's usually a chore handled on the way home. I try to plan my car trips, which is a better and better idea with gasoline prices going up by the minute).

Anyway--it was a REAL eye-opener to see the church hall on the route--HUNDREDS of people were queued up outside. Obviously these folks have been relocated from the storm region. And there are LOTS of people who need basic necessities--food, clothes, you name it. Just saw on the local television that the latest plan is possibly using abandoned "big box" stores as longer term shelters--an idea that James Howard Kunstler might have a few thoughts about.

More video from the west burbs--West Esplanade in Metairie is actually pretty dry, although the Driftwood Subdivision has a lot of downed trees. Drainage ditches have water, but not to the tops. The Wilson pumping station is working. Vintage Blvd. in Kenner is also dry.

Before I left work for a few hours (I'll be back there later), I saw this in Counterpunch: a first hand account of the chaos of the I-10 at Causeway staging point:

...thousands of people (at least 90% black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trash behind metal barricades, under an unforgiving sun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard over them. When a bus would come through, it would stop at a random spot, state police would open a gap in one of the barricades, and people would rush for the bus, with no information given about where the bus was going. Once inside (we were told) evacuees would be told where the bus was taking them - Baton Rouge, Houston, Arkansas, Dallas, or other locations. I was told that if you boarded a bus bound for Arkansas (for example), even people with family and a place to stay in Baton Rouge would not be allowed to get out of the bus as it passed through Baton Rouge. You had no choice but to go to the shelter in Arkansas. If you had people willing to come to New Orleans to pick you up, they could not come within 17 miles of the camp.

Where's the "compassion" in the "compassionate conservatism" once espoused by a certain village idiot candidate for high office?

Flaherty, by the way, pulls no punches in regards to the other side of the political aisle, noting sarcastically that Governor Blanco, both before and after the storm, was advising prayer as opposed to concrete plans for the pending storm.

I'm watching a live shot of the I-10 camp right now--my god.

They just cut to footage earlier today from around the Convention Center--and the reporter likened the arrival of Marines bringing supplies from North Carolina to Baghdad--except that, in this case, the folks being liberated are likely quite grateful. And, if ANY good can come from this disaster, perhaps it will be that a REAL nation-building project--right here in the United States--could be undertaken. And if such a massive undertaking succeeds, then this country should consider MORE nation building RIGHT HERE in the USA--I'd guess that almost every town and city in this country has places that could stand a little of in Baton Rouge, there are MANY areas that could benefit.

Well, Shrubusto took a visit to the 17th Street Canal--he posed for a picture. Well, let's hope he noticed the breach.

OK--I need to grab a quick bite to eat, then I'll run back to work to finish up the project I mentioned below. I'll be keeping my eyes open though.

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