September 6, 2005

Some Disappointing Katrina Actions, Reactions, and Stories

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:20 pm

Wow, are the true colors ever coming out in this catastrophe. Here are some appalling and/or ridiculous things you might not have caught in the whirlwind of Katrina coverage:

  • When In a Huff(ington), No Good Deed Or Utterance Goes Unpunished–Arianna Huffington can’t handle the idea that Bill Clinton is was being constructive:

    What the hell was Bill Clinton thinking, standing there next to President Bush and providing verbal cover for the administration’s ludicrous claims that the problems plaguing New Orleans were unforeseeable?

    He even defended the administration’s catastrophic response to Katrina. When asked on CNN whether the federal response was fast enough, Clinton bobbed, weaved, and fell back on this utterly absurd claim: “You and I are not in a position to make any judgment because we weren’t there.” C’mon, Bill, “…we weren’t there”? I know this sucking up business is hard, but you’ve got to do better than that.

    BizzyBlog has no shortage of Bill Clinton criticisms, but in this case the ex-President is was dead on. Despite what Arianna claims, he is was not only NOT unconditionally defending the administration (which is OK), he is was smart enough to know that the time for second-guessing is NOT now; there will be plenty of time for the Monday morning stuff later.

    The only people who SHOULD be second-guessed are the people who couldn’t keep their mouths shut for even a few days. Having unleashed their second-guesses, they deserve the full anal exam for their roles. You’ll notice that most of the involved second-guessers, as the truth has leaked out, have been found to have performed poorly themselves.

    UPDATE: A commonly cited phenomenon reappears–The Clinton Cave-In:

    HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) — Former President Bill Clinton on Monday said the government “failed” the thousands of people who lived in coastal communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and said a federal investigation was warranted in due time.

    “Our government failed those people in the beginning, and I take it now there is no dispute about it,” Clinton told CNN. “One hundred percent of the people recognize that — that it was a failure.”

    Just as when he was in office, the “he who shouts the loudest gets his attention” ex-president couldn’t stand the leftist criticism and wilted. I am so not surprised.

  • “What fools these mortals be”–Sean Penn may have earned lifetime ridicule for this failed escapade:

    Movie star and political activist Penn, 45, was in the collapsing city to aid stranded victims of flooding sparked by Hurricane Katrina, but the small boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt sprang a leak.

    The outspoken actor had planned to rescue children waylaid by the deadly waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

    When the boat’s motor failed to start, those aboard were forced to use paddles to propel themselves down the flooded New Orleans street.

    Asked what he had hoped to achieve in the waterlogged city, the actor replied: “Whatever I can do to help.”

    But with the boat loaded with members of the Oscar-winner’s entourage, including his personal photographer, one bystander taunted: “How are you going to get any people in that thing?”

    If there’s video, it will be played, and played, and played……

  • Bad-Weather Mayor a Fair-Weather Friend–After ripping Bush and defending Louisiana Governor Blanco a few days ago, New Orleans Mayor Nagin has totally reversed direction:

    Mayor Nagin: Gov. Blanco Delayed Rescue

    After days of blaming the federal officials for not responding quickly enough to the Hurricane Katrina crisis, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin praised President Bush on Monday – and charged that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco had delayed federal rescue efforts by 24-hours.

    “I’m so happy that the president came down here,” Nagin said of Bush’s Friday visit to Louisiana in an interview with CNN. “He came down and saw it, and he put a general on the field. His name is General Honore. And when he hit the field, we started to see action.”

    But Nagin had harsh words for his state’s leaders, telling CNN: “What the state was doing, I don’t frigging know. But I tell you, I am pissed. It wasn’t adequate.”

    With this guy, you need to have your back on 24-hour watch.

  • Finally, Neuro-Conservative notes that The New York Times, which considers itself the national newspaper of record, and which has strongly criticized the preparations for Katrina and the overall vulnerability of New Orleans recently (despite having criticized past proposals intended to alleviate it, as noted by the ever-diligent EU Rota), failed to cover the evacuation orders or other hurricane prep in New Orleans in its Sunday, August 28 edition. The Times’ march towards becoming Manhattan’s quaint little alternative newspaper continues.

Positively Speaking, and Blogging

Filed under: General,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

I have had it.

Not with any particular person, media outlet, or blog.

But collectively, Katrina, with the obvious exception of the wonderful efforts at and the results of the charity blogging, has made it dreadfully obvious that we are drowning in a sea of negativity, in most people, most media outlets, and most blogs.

I’m not saying there isn’t a time and a place for negativity. Being against or criticizing somebody or some thing can help bring about positive results.

For example, you can argue that the negativity inherent in exposing the warts in our defenses against natural disasters brought about by Katrina’s fury can work to produce better responses in the future. Fine, I certainly hope so.

But with this storm, I saw the negative swamp (so to speak) any positive news that is out there, and it got me to thinking.

It’s that way with the Iraq War, with the economy, with blog-Mainstream Media tensions, with… you name it. In fact, the negative is not just overwhelming the positive, it’s nearly shouting it down. And I’ll admit something: Maybe you’re stronger than I, but I can’t be exposed to negativity day after day without it beginning to produce negative effects–on me. I sense it, and I’m putting a stop to it.

How? At this blog, there will be at least one uncompromisingly and unashamedly positive post a day, on any day there is any other post. It may be an event, a thing, a person, or something else, but it WILL be positive. And you can be assured that I’m not going to allow negative comments onto a positive post. There’s plenty of opportunity in other posts here and plenty of outlets elsewhere for that.

There is now a category for Positivity. Occasionally, you might be in a situation where you’d prefer to look ONLY at positive things for a while. Choosing or bookmarking the category gives you that ability.

The critical, the negative, and expository pieces won’t go away, and shouldn’t. They are necessary, useful, and, I hope you agree, even occasionally important.

But once-a-day positivity is here to stay. I hope you enjoy it as it unfolds. It starts below.

New Orleans Couple Wed in Jackson

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

“…. concrete evidence that there is hope left amid the despair” (and love in the hearts of so many people, especially one Bob Ford):

The story begins on Valentine’s Day, 2004, when Joseph Kirsh asked his longtime girlfriend Tenisha Williams to marry him. The New Orleans couple planned an Aug. 28 wedding in their hometown.

Then Katrina came roaring toward them.

“We had to leave town,” Kirsh said.

They ended up in Jackson, sleeping on the concrete floor of the coliseum, profoundly depressed and wondering when they’d ever be able to get married.

“We lost everything,” Kirsh, 34, said.

Williams, 28, shared their story with Red Cross volunteers at the shelter. Word got around to Ford, a local golf course owner and caterer who had been in charge of feeding the more than 1,000 people housed at the coliseum.

“I said, ‘Let’s make it happen,’ ” Ford said.

And so they did. Businesses donated flowers, wedding cakes, dresses and just about everything else you’d need to put on a fancy wedding in a shelter. They also got a huge honeymoon suite at the Luckett Lodge in Brandon.

“It started this big,” said the Rev. Yamily Bass-Choate, holding her fingers an inch apart. Then she spread her arms wide. “It ended up this big.”

Hundreds of people showed up for the ceremony, which went off perfectly after a two-hour delay blamed on minor logistical problems.

The wedding party strolled down an aisle fitted with a “red carpet” made of paper and sat in folding metal chairs along with family, friends and fellow hurricane evacuees.

“This service,” said the Rev. Horace Coates, “is not about them. It’s about this community here at the coliseum, this shelter that has been provided by the grace of God.”

“We still don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow,” said Tenisha. “Except at the shelter.”

The couple did not know it yet, but Ford, who had rescued them from the side of the road last week when their truck broke down, had a surprise for them.

He said he planned on letting them stay in a cabin of his on the Sanctuary Golf Club and offering them permanent jobs.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Ford said.