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Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

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More Katrina Commentary

James Lileks expounds on the continuing national tragedy that is Bush Derangement Syndrome:

One theory Ė and itís an interesting one, as Howard Dean would say Ė suspects the Administration of deliberately flooding New Orleans to test the nationís ability to deal with a nuclear strike. That makes sense. Sure. Why bother to drill to learn lessons that can be applied in other cities when you can drown a city and learn nothing about the hazards of radioactivity? The latter method has the added virtue of a conspiracy, which means thereís a good chance someone in the chain will breach the levee of secrecy, leading to what the Founding Fathers called Super Extra Immediate Impeachment Plus.

Crazy, yes. But this is what itís come to. According to the choir of professional carpers, President Clinton spent half his two terms personally drawing up plans for new levees - when he wasnít sneaking around Afghanistan in camo paint trying to apprehend Bin Laden, that is. By contrast the Bush Junta sent 100 percent of the National Guard to Iraq, which meant the 12th Airborne Plunger Brigade couldnít descend to the Superdome with jetpacks and unstop the overflowing toilets. Doesnít matter that New Orleans had hundreds of school buses unused for evacuation Ė blame the Feds who cut matching funds for bus-driver instruction back in 1927.

This level of incandescent lunacy isnít new. In the 90s there were people who believed that President Clinton would use Y2K to herd us into FEMA-run gulags to have barcodes tattooed on our necks, but these people confined themselves to rants at 3 AM on Art Bellís radio show. By 2006 their ideological heirs on the left will be the evening line-up of MSNBC guests.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 08, 2005 07:13 AM
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If anyone is interested in knowing the whereabouts of Mayor Nagin I can tell you exactly where he was yesterday.

My girlfriend is a senior nursing student at El Centro Community College. In the last semester they were supposed to do a Psych ward clinical to help mental disorder patients. But seeing that a great many people are experiencing post tramatic stress sydromes of various sorts they figured these students would be better served by talking with survivors of the Katrina disaster. She has been working mostly with very young children that have lost contact with their families. Whats worse is that there is a norovirus outbreak that requires people testing positive for the virus to be quarantined. She was going to get her supplies to don her smock, mask, and gloves when she rounded a corner and literally ran smack into a well dressed black man followed by a entourage of people. When she asked around to who that was she was told that was Mayor Nagin. Apparently, they sorta brushed her aside and didn't interact with her at all.

She, however, interacted with about 130 people, mostly children, each one of which she performed a physical assessment on. Since there were no blood pressure machines of any kind she had to use a manually operated sphygmomanometer. She said her forearm was sore at the end of the day from squeezing the bulb so many times. One of the more heart breaking cases was a small boy who was 3 years old that was seperated from his family. Since he is so young he can't really talk and tell anybody who his family is. Best they can do is get his name and his picture and put it out there and see if anyone can claim him as their own. She also said ,though, that there were several happy endings as a lot of children were reunited with their families. Her eyes were tired at the end of the day from so many happy tears.

She is supposed to be out there for 2 weeks I'll post any other interesting tid bits as they come in.

Posted by Josh Reiter at September 9, 2005 08:27 AM

I'm going to continue me update from the Dallas Convention Center. As of the week of 09/12/2005 the population at the convention center has begun to thin out. Even though most descriptions of the bedding situation use the word 'Cots' it is actually for the most part inflatible air mattresses that a great majority of people get to sleep on. The food they are serving is actually of pretty high quality about what you would get from a Casual dining restaurant. The medical care that is being provided is top notch. They have it setup like a hospital with different specialized areas staffed by doctors from all over the country donating their time. Each of the areas or sectioned off from one another with temporary partitions or curtains. A completely stocked pharmacy is on site and hands out free medicine to those that request it.

Here are some anecdotal accounts from my girlfriend who is a senior nursing student performing physical assesments and triage on patients as they come into the medical treatment areas.

A older lady in her 60's quietly explained that while staying at the superdome in NO that she was raped. My GF said that you could tell by looking in her eyes that she wasn't making it up and she was asking to speak with a OB-GYN doctor for a exam.

Another older gentlemen said that he spent 3 days in waist deep water. When examining the lower extrementies the skin had a mottled and badly wrinkled appearance and could be described as reptile skin. He said that he saw many things that people shouldn't see. He would see one dead body in the water that was badly decomposed and would move to a different spot to only see another dead body eventually float by. This same gentlemen said that he had AIDS and hadn't taken his AIDS medicine since before the hurricane. She asked what kind of MEDS he was using to which he began to list off about 12 different powerful pain medicines. She let him go see the doctor about getting his AIDS medicines. About an hour later my girlfriend looked up in another persons line and saw the same man was in a line again but was dressed in different clothing.

Things have gotten a lot slower since the week before but apparently all the nice and appreciative people have managed to find somewhere else to live leaving behind all the, not so nice people. Throughout the week the people still staying at the convention center have become increasingly belligerant.

One gentlement pushed a partition aside into the admittance area and cut in line in front of a whole group of people carrying a baby. He demanded to know where the baby changing stations were at. Then, proceeded to put the baby down on a chair that someone just got up out of and started taking the babies diaper off. They made him return to his bed and explained that the diapers were in the supply distribution area.

Another girl in her teens maybe early 20's pushed through partitions and demanded that she receive a package of condoms and some alcoholic beverages. She was cussing with proclivity and spitting at people and displayed extreme anger. This was not the only person that chose to spit on the aid workers, cuss every other word, and display extreme anger towards the people that were trying to help them.

While entering the convention center a group of males were gathered outside and were talking very loudly to one another in an angry manner. One of them while flailing around got in the way of my girlfriend. She said, "pardon me" to which the male responded, "shut the f- up you stupid white B--!!" She looked over at several national guardsmen standing nearby and they shook their heads in disgust.

Many of the people while screaming in anger, spitting, and fist pounding where demanding that they receive better food. Note above that my girlfriend has eaten the food their at the convention center and describes it as the same quality that you'd get at a Chili's, Fridays, or at worst a Boston Market. They were angrily demanding Mcdonalds value meals to satiate their pallates.

One young girl who was pregnant was asked where she was from. She very quietly mumbled something while several people were talking loudly and the buzz of lighting ballasts blared overhead. When asked to repeat herself the girl grabbed the clipboard and pen out of her hand and scribbled a series of indecipherable letters on the form. Then, threw them back down in disgust.

As of thursday there was not a single nice person that anyone in her class had interacted with. The instructor recognizing the stress of the situation asked the class to vote on whether they wanted to continue to come back. Not a single person in the class voted to come back to help any more; hence, Thursday was their last day.

I understand that anger is one of the natural reponses to a tragic situation. But their is a difference between venting types of anger and those which someone really shows their true colors. They did nothing but display direct anger at those things and people around them that they truly despise. I think we see here the reason these people are in the situation that they are in for a reason. These people have been giving shelter, comfortable beds, good food, free medical care, free medicine, and money. To which they have little or no consideration for those that are trying to help them or appreciation for what they are being given.

Posted by Josh Reiter at September 16, 2005 10:13 AM

Jeez, sorry about junking up a good peice of writing with grammar and spelling errors.

Posted by Josh Reiter at September 16, 2005 11:19 AM

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