Thursday, September 01, 2005

THE OUTER DARKNESS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

When I was hit by lightning as a child, I fell forever in the Outer Darkness. I couldn't escape it and I looked around in vain for something, anything to grab. Suddenly, out of the dark came Pegasus who caught me and dragged me out of it and I began to breath and looked into my father's shouting face, he was crying. I couldn't hear him at first. But I was alive again.

OK. Night has fallen and the gaping yawl of the Darkness is utter in New Orleans, there is no light and the oily black waters reflect the night, starless.

MORE NEWS: From the NYT:

Chaos and gunfire hampered efforts to evacuate the Superdome, and, the New Orleans police superintendent said, armed thugs have taken control of the secondary makeshift shelter at the convention center. The thugs repelled eight squads of 11 officers each that he sent to secure the place, the superintendent, P. Edwin Compass III, said, adding that rapes and assaults were occurring unimpeded in the neighboring streets as criminals "preyed upon" passers-by, including stranded tourists.

Mr. Compass said that the federal government had taken too long to send in the thousands of troops - as well as the supplies, fuel, vehicles, water and food - needed to stabilize his now "very, very tenuous" city.

Col. Terry Ebbert, director of homeland security for New Orleans, concurred, and he was particularly pungent in his criticism. Asserting that the whole recovery operation had been "carried on the backs of the little guys for four goddamn days," he said that "the rest of the goddamn nation can't get us any resources for security."

"We are like little birds with our mouths open, and you don't have to be very smart to know where to drop the worm," Colonel Ebbert said. "It's criminal within the confines of the United States that within one hour of the hurricane they weren't force-feeding us. It's like FEMA has never been to a hurricane." FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Oh god. I can see why the Col. is furious. Unlike our mealy-mouthed politicians (Hello, Clinton! You screwed up!)--he, on the front lines, is filled with rage and despair tonight. How many women and children are being raped tonight? How many tourists? Some were flying through and thrown off their flights and told to get a hotel. Then they were told to go to the Super Dome to take a bus out and now THIS. Amazing. I hope they all sue the Feds.

MORE NEW STUFF: From the NYT:
A Can't-Do Government
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: September 2, 2005
Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.
A must read. Unfortunately, he won't go all the way. Bush worships the Devil that is Death. Expect number 3 of the Trifecta of Terror to happen next: the Great Quake.

From CNN:
GROWING DESPAIR

The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, said his agency was attempting to work "under conditions of urban warfare."

From the roof of a police station downtown late Thursday, groups of officers armed with rifles could be seen venturing out into the streets, while helicopters buzzed overhead and a shopping mall burned in the distance.

Police warned a CNN crew to stay off the streets because of escalating danger, and cautioned others about attempted shootings and rapes by groups of young men.

"This is a desperate SOS," New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said in a statement Thursday afternoon, with thousands of people stranded at the city's convention center with no food, water or electricity -- and fading hope.

Residents expressed growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts.

Video from the convention center showed a group chanting "we want help, we want help," as mothers tried to console their tired and hungry children. (See video on the desperate conditions -- 4:36 )

Government officials insisted they were putting forth their best efforts and pleaded for patience, saying further help was on the way.

One displaced resident at the Louisiana Superdome, however, issued a warning to authorities who may be headed to the stadium, where up to 30,000 people had sought refuge after Monday's hurricane and now await evacuation to Texas by bus.

"Please don't send the National Guard," he said. "Send someone with a bullhorn outside the place that can talk to these people first."

He described scenes of lawlessness and desperation, with people simply dragging corpses into corners.
The displaced person knows a riot will overwhelm authority if they begin to shoot all and sundry. There is a lot of fury building up.

Understandable fury. We wonder why minorities get so cynical and don't trust authority. Yet every time we can prove the State cares, we discover, it doesn't. This is yet one more obvious example.
The city is "out of resources at the convention center and doesn't anticipate enough buses," the mayor said in his statement.

CNN's Chris Lawrence described "many, many" bodies, inside and outside the facility on New Orleans' Riverwalk.

"There are multiple people dying at the convention center," Lawrence said. "There was an old woman, dead in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her, pushed up against a wall. Horrible, horrible conditions.

"We saw a man who went into a seizure, literally dying right in front of us."
We have no idea how many dead there are in that stadium. No one of any authority is working inside, I believe. It certainly doesn't sound like it. Babies are very fragile and there were a number of newborns there. First they die, then the under one year babies then toddlers. This is why being in a hurry is so important! The elderly: it goes without saying, they are vulnerable and fragile. This is why all casino buses should have been taken over by government fiat back last FRIDAY and used to transport these vulnerable populations out! Period. For the last 1,000 years, the Crown could requisition anything they needed during invasions and emergencies.

Why didn't our government do this?

Thousands are paying with their lives thanks to our government refusing to move. Here is an interview with the Senator of Louisiana. She is another MARIE ANTOINETTE. From Think Progress.com
Cooper introduced Landrieu and immediately asked, “Does the federal government bear responsibility for what is happening now? Should they apologize for what is happening now?” Landrieu told him “there will be be plenty of time to discuss those issues,” and proceeded to begin thanking various government officials for their disaster relief support.

Finally, Cooper interrupted her:

Senator, I’m sorry… for the last four days, I have been seeing dead bodies here in the streets of Mississippi and to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other — I have to tell you, there are people here who are very upset and angry, and when they hear politicians thanking one another, it just, you know, it cuts them the wrong way right now, because there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman has been laying in the street for 48 hours, and there is not enough facilities to get her up. Do you understand that anger?
None of our politicians know when to be angry, do they? Oh, when Durbin rightfully pointed out that raping and torturing prisoners of war is evil and reminds everyone about Nazis! Then, all the Democrats and Republicans lined up to show their fury! Oh, they were so FUCKING LOUD the rafters collapsed!

But now, when they are killing citizens, oh. Dead silence. A corpse like tranquility overwhelms them and they ooze love. Lovey dovey kissey pooie!

FUCK THEM.

I really despise people like this. I spent half the day, weeping. When I got the energy to photoshop and post that picture of the dying woman attended by strangers so lovingly, I cried and cried, I could hardly set the picture in code.

Evidently, the Senator of these poor citizens isn't nearly so disturbed.

FUCK HER. FUCK THEM ALL.

From the New Orleans news:
Lucrece Phillips’ sleepless nights are filled with the images of dead babies and women, and young and old men with tattered T-shirts or graying temples, all of whom she saw floating along the streets of the Lower 9th Ward.

The deaths of many of her neighbors who chose to brave the hurricane from behind the walls of their Painter Street homes shook tears from Phillips’ bloodshot eyes Tuesday, as a harrowing tale of death and survival tumbled from her lips.

"The rescuers in the boats that picked us up had to push the bodies back with sticks," Phillips said sobbing. "And there was this little baby. She looked so perfect and so beautiful. I just wanted to scoop her up and breathe life back into her little lungs. She wasn’t bloated or anything, just perfect."
A few hours after Phillips, 42, and five members of her family and a friend had been rescued from the attic of her second-story home in the 2700 block of Painter Street, she broke down with a range of emotions. Joy, for surviving the killer floods; pain, for the loss of so many lives; and uncertainty, about the well-being of her family missing in the city’s most ravaged quarters.

In a darkened lobby of the downtown Hyatt hotel turned refuge, she hugged an emergency worker closely; a handful of his sweaty blue T-shirt rippling from each of her fists.

She had barely gotten out a fifth thank you when the emergency worker whispered into her ear that "it was going to be OK," and that "it was our job to save lives."

Phillips’ downstairs neighbor, Terrilyn Foy, 41, and her 5-year-old son, Trevor, were unable to escape, Phillips said. By late Monday the surging waters of Lake Pontchartrain had swallowed the neighborhood. The water crept, then rushed, under the front door, Phillips said, then knocked it from its hinges. In less than 30 minutes, Phillips said, the water had topped her neighbors’ 12-foot ceiling and was gulping at hers.

"I can still hear them banging on the ceiling for help," Phillips said, shaking. "I heard them banging and banging, but the water kept rising." Then the pleas for help were silenced by the sway of the current, she said.
Earlier stories, one of which I posted below this one, had tiny scraps of this story which is the original. I find it interesting the editors of the other news services cut out the part of all the dead bodies and in particular, the dead baby. Are they that squeamish? I doubt it. I think, despite the pretense Americans love infants and fetuses, they really don't want to hear about it, or what? I can't tell.

I wanted to hear about it.

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