Friday, September 02, 2005

The Interdictor walked right out of an early Neal Stephenson novel, into a data center in a building in the Central Business District of New Orleans, which, for the past week, he's been running as a military camp, while setting up a webcam and reporting on the devolution of the city around him into chaos. Earlier in the week, I was one of the people wondering if there wasn't some kind of psychotic aspect to the "Mad Max beyond Superdome" tone of his reportage, but it seems he was just a day or so ahead of the major media in reporting the chaos --- and, in particular, the predatory armed bands which have since been widely reported to be hindering rescue operations and preying on the weak. For that reason, I'm less critical than a lot of lefty bloggers about the diversion of the city police from rescue work to anti-looting. If it were just looting we were talking about, that would be wholly inappropriate. But if rescue workers are being fired on, that must be dealt with.

And that will be the last kind thing I have to say about government management of this situation. I got some momentary amusement from watching Ted Koppel fillet the politically connected estate lawyer that Dubya installed as the head of FEMA, but it did nothing for the sick feeling in my gut.

They couldn't figure out how many beds fit in the Astrodome?!?! That's grade school math.

I trust no one needs me for a list of ways to contribute. But there is one which deserves a little more publicity. Given the lack of shelter capacity, MoveOn.org has set up a web site for people with spare space to volunteer for putting up refugees. As I write, they're advertising more than 20,000 beds volunteered, about the same as the advertised capacity of the Astrodome --- but more than double the number of people that actually fit.

More: They privatized disaster relief. And the company they hired has responded so far by taking the press release off their web site.

1 Comments:

Blogger jon said...

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11:37 PM  

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