Wednesday, August 31, 2005

oh, Katrina

My heart goes out to you, Katrina victims. There's no point recording a death toll now, as I'm certain it will rise. This is bad... I don't think I'm really taking it in. I knew when I saw the Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco barely holding back the tears that it was bad. Some friends of mine have just had a baby, and she's from New Orleans. I emailed congratulations and expressed my hope that her relatives were high and dry. Turns out, her mom is over here visiting the new grandchild, and new Dad said "Who would have thought a month ago, that she'd be safer in London?" I don't suppose their property is faring very well.

Do your bit
I'm sorry, too for the loss of the casinos in Mississippi. No offense to the state, it's a fun place, I've had some good times there, but it doesn't have a lot going for it in many ways. After all, it's Mississippi that helps keep Tennesssee off the bottom of the league tables for infant mortality, child poverty, educational attainment, etc. The casino taxes were keeping Mississippi afloat. I guess there's still Tunica. I hope that every Tennesseean who reads this will go down and gamble in Tunica to help out the Mississippians. Well, maybe you should just give to the Red Cross instead.

Fox News
I'm a good liberal (though not terribly lefty), so I always watch Fox with a little trepidation. But it's times like this, that I'm really glad I have Fox. It's the only American news channel we get. (CNN is the European version) - so it's all America, all the time and has the most continuous coverage of Katrina. The Vol-in-Law has been watching rapt, with our US road atlas on his lap, switching between the pages showing Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

Looting
Clearly, I'm not in favor of looting. It's bad form, but I note that fellow Rocky Top Brigadier - the High Country Conservative says:

Any looters in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina caught in the act of looting should be shot on sight by the National Guard. Any questions?

Yeah - here's a question, what if they're looting for food and water? Though I know that's not all that's going on. I may be judging this guy unfairly, but why do people who fashion themselves as hard core conservatives always take such an unforgiving, uncharitable stance as quick as they can? Looting's bad, and the disorder in a time of chaos is awful and frightening, but c'mon- shooting people? Is the death toll not high enough for you. Most of the stuff in N.O. is gonna be ruined and underwater anyway, soon.

And finally, I know this is in bad taste, but I've always fancied a little looting myself, after meeting basic needs - (food and water, maybe a change of clothes). Here are some things I would take:

  • An MP3 player, I can't decide which one to buy, so in looting perhaps I could try some different varieties.
  • A new coffee maker - the old one's not doing so well.
  • A handful of sports bras.
  • Shoes - a gal can't have enough shoes.
  • One of those fancy itty-bitty, wi-fi computers.
  • The new Laura Cantrell CD and maybe the new Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash box sets.
I also need a new oven, but that doesn't really seem like a lootable item.

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

The right-wing & even liberal-right blogosphere has been getting in a ruffle over comparisons between Katrina and 9/11 - see eg andrewsullivan.com (Andrew's what I'd call liberal-right, the right-wing but reality-based category in which Vol Abroad & I usually belong).

I commented on Wednesday to Vol Abroad that it looked worse than 9/11. While there is clearly a difference between premeditated mass murder and a natural disaster, even a natural disaster largely made possible by human error (ask the Dutch how unforeseeable it is that land below sea level can flood), there's now no doubt that this is much worse than 9/11 in its scale and in the likely number of fatalities. People are still dying.
No casualty estimates are being released, 3-4 days after the hurricane hit, but reading between the lines - 50,000 bodybags en route to Louisiana Superdome, said Sky News last night, 1,000 estimated dead in *Biloxi* alone - we are looking at 5 figures, not four. If that figure for Biloxi is halfway accurate, I can't see the final death toll being much under 15,000 - and I have a pretty good record on guesstimating these things.