How is watching CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina for hours at a time any different from rubbernecking?

Anybody else hooked?

(Cartoon courtesy HumorInk of Montclair)

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  1. no atm’s-no food-no protection from the elements-lost loved ones-having to put someone’s elses life at risk to save my own–no clothes-no water-risk of illness–no communication–danger of unbelievable proportions-shock–yes with pathos –i am watching and praying–i wish i could rally actually today but i am filled with a deep sense of despair–

  2. What country is this again? Watching the news briefly, I see poor Americans walking the highways fleeing the floods. There are stories of people sleeping under highway over passes. Where is the national guard and their equipment? Iraq. Where is President Bush? On the golf course!
    Without the national guard we are completely vulnerable to attack and natural disasters. The hurricane in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama demonstrates how this administration has completely mismanaged the basic domestic security of the US. Let us also not forget that the Bush administration has jeopardized US foriegn relations while putting American solders in harms way. Bottom line, Bush does not care what happens to anyone as long as it is not happening him.

  3. While not measuring on the same level of tragedy as the lives that have been thrown into chaos and destroyed along the Gulf Coast, there are students in New Jersey and throughout the nation who were about to start college at Tulane this week and will not be able to get tuition refunds if the city is evacuated. Hopefully Rutgers or Montclair State etc. will make special accommodations to accept them so their semester (or longer)is not lost.

  4. A face-saving way out of Iraq! Gotta bring Haliburton home to repair oil production and refining facilities. That’s compasionate conservation. You read it here first ….

  5. This isn’t a time to be red or blue. This is a time to be thankful for everything we do have right now – power, food, water, comfortable beds, and our loved ones. Suddenly shoveling my car out of the snow doesn’t seem so bad.

  6. Well said, HRH. Whatever one thinks about George Bush, he didn’t cause Hurricane Katrina. Let’s concentrate on helping our fellow man and moving forward.

  7. I think that CNN is providing a service to all the people who have been displaced. This is the only way that our friends and relatives who evacuated have of knowing what is going on. Also anyone who is thinking of making a donation I strongly urge you to give to the Red Cross. My parents were affected by Hurricane Charlie last year in Florida. The Red Cross was fabulous. They provided 2 senior citizens with with everything they needed: food (both hot and cold), water, flashlights and batteries, occasional cell phone calls to let us know how they were and most importantly, compassion.

  8. LaserMike,
    Looks like you got your ‘talking points’ memo from MoveOn. Ugh. How ’bout a little compassion.

  9. Where can we donate? After the tsunami it was fairly easy to find listings on the web of organizations accepting donations for the victims. Anyone know of any similar websites for this disaster?
    The coverage in the Times brought me to tears on the subway this morning.

  10. I wouldn’t donate to the Red Cross. In the past, they’ve had a terrible record of charging the afflicted for the privilege of some comfort. Might I recommend the Salvation Army? They came up big in NYC during 9/11 and I’d donate to them in a heartbeat. Plus, the citadel’s right here in town and likely would accept donations.

  11. Watching the news about the hurricane early this morning, liberal me was shocked to hear my thoughts echoed by a Fox news reporter — “where is the rest of the world? where are our allies?”
    Am I missing something, or is there a deafening silence?

  12. Sorry, but I’m angry and I’m going to get political now. Please read no further if it will make you angry.
    My father-in-law, who lives part of the year in New Orleans told me many months ago that funds for maintaining and strengthening the levee that holds back Lake Ponchartrain were being cut back to help fund the war. I didn’t think much of it at the time but now it seems he was right…
    Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?

  13. Anyone remember the Bound Brook (NJ) flood in ’99 from Huricane Floyd? Not quite the same in scope, but its important to recognize whenever people’s lives are disrupted, displaced, or even fatally lost.
    As much as I’d rather live in the land of palm trees and sunshine, I think I’d rather deal with a NJ blizzard than hurricanes, tidal surges, earthquakes, tornadoes, and sweeping fires.

  14. (Watching the news about the hurricane early this morning, liberal me was shocked to hear my thoughts echoed by a Fox news reporter — “where is the rest of the world? where are our allies?”)
    NO Kidding… nothing from anyone across the pond… no mention of any foreign aid from our State Dept as of late last night.

  15. Nottenham – thanks for the info. i’ve been wondering where my $$ should go – just not well versed on the topic of who will deliver best.
    i am so heartbroken. newscasters are even having a hard time keeping it together.
    i remember my freshman year at Tulane, when our RA’s has us drag our mattresses into the dorm hallways and tape up the windows for Hurricane Georges. when it missed us, we joked about it. it’s not a joke anymore.

  16. [Watching the news about the hurricane early this morning, liberal me was shocked to hear my thoughts echoed by a Fox news reporter — “where is the rest of the world? where are our allies?”]
    Last night the Governors from those states were on Larry King and they all said they’ve gotten numerous calls from various countries and states offering help and assistance. (And – we are one of the richest nations in the world, so it’s not as if we can expect impoverished countries to help us.)
    Just b/c the media doesn’t cover it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. If you went only by what the media tells us, we’d never know there was an Iraq War or a Darfur crisis!

  17. I have watched several different news channels and have heard nothing about international concern/aid. I did not see Larry King. I have seen some of the states’ govs on tv at press conferences, and they’ve spoken of other states, but not of other countries.
    Even the poorest country can issue a statement of concern and prayer.

  18. On the Salvation Army website, they say a $100 donation will feed a family of 4 for 2 days, plus provide for water and clean up tools. The need is so huge, where do you begin? Well, I guess with a family of 4. Anyway, a word of warning: the S.A. website is experiencing some pretty heavy traffic right now — it took 3 tries to get them to accept a donation (unless, of course, they accepted 3 donations …) I advise either patience or perhaps logging on around midnight tonight.

  19. Read the news on the internet and you’ll see stories saying that all kinds of leaders have spoken out or offered to help, from the French to the Germans to the Chinese to the British to the Dutch to the Swiss – and so on – even Venezuela (who Pat Robertson wants to destroy) offered aid and fuel. And if you read foreign media, you’ll see that many newspapers have called out for people to help – even in places like Thailand, which is still recovering from their own tsunami disaster.

  20. NJ and Governor Codey now have a model to follow: Illinois Gov. Blagojevich today took action to assure that students displaced by the hurricane can continue their education at any Illinois community college.

  21. Oh I so love Nawlins. My heart aches right now. Since de Bienville’s day this has always been the fear because it was almost a certainty to happen. This was part of the attitude and spirit of the city. Live today because tomorrow? Who knows?
    Yes the finger pointing has begun (by the usual suspects) but it is pointless. All the precautions against flooding that could have been built would probably have been breeched by this size storm. It was not the best place to locate a city to begin with and all we have done since just made things worse. The first levee built started making the risk higher. The levees just led to the demise of the coastal lands that helped to protect the city. Trying to forestall one type of flooding but increasing the possibility of another. Billions have been spent and billions more will be. Nawlins shall be back. It’s that kind of place. Unfortunately it will also be flooded again. Read some Mark Twain. The river always wins.
    Till then I will contribute and pray. I have family there who thankfully evacuated and survived. Apparently all they had is gone though. This is a huge hit. It’s time we should be united again for awhile to deal with it. Plenty of time for the useless politics later.

  22. This just in…cause of earthquake: the gays!
    “From √¢‚ǨÀúGirls Gone Wild√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ to √¢‚ǨÀúSouthern Decadence√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same. Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long,” Repent America director said.

  23. thought ya’ll might be interested in this, after the last federal budget was released:
    “One of the hardest-hit areas of the New Orleans district’s budget is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project”
    New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces cuts.
    Deon Roberts
    In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.
    It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.
    I’ve been here over 30 years and I’ve never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it’s not so much the reduction, it’s the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It’s the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.
    There is an economic ripple effect, too. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.
    Money is so tight the New Orleans district, which employs 1,300 people, instituted a hiring freeze last month on all positions. The freeze is the first of its kind in about 10 years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the Corps’ Programs Management Branch.
    Stephen Jeselink, interim commander of the New Orleans Corps district, told employees in an internal e-mail dated May 25 that the district is experiencing financial challenges. Execution of our available funds must be dealt with through prudent districtwide management decisions. In addition to a hiring freeze, Jeselink canceled the annual Corps picnic held every June.
    Congress is setting the Corps budget.
    The House of Representatives wants to cut the New Orleans district budget 21 percent to $272.4 million in 2006, down from $343.5 million in 2005. The House figure is about $20 million lower than the president’s suggested $290.7 million budget.
    It’s now up to the Senate. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, is making no promises.
    It’s going to be very tough, Landrieu said. The House was not able to add back this money … but hopefully we can rally in the Senate and get some of this money back.
    Landrieu said the Bush administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority.
    I think it’s extremely shortsighted, Landrieu said. When the Corps of Engineers’ budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.
    The Corps’ budget could still be beefed up, as it is every year, through congressional additions. Last year, Congress added $20 million to the overall budget of the New Orleans district but a similar increase this year would still leave a $50 million shortfall.
    One of the hardest-hit areas of the New Orleans district’s budget is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes. SELA’s budget is being drained from $36.5 million awarded in 2005 to $10.4 million suggested for 2006 by the House of Representatives and the president.
    The project manager said there would be no contracts awarded with this $10.4 million, Demma said.
    The construction portion of the Corps’ budget would suffer if Congress doesn’t add money. In 2005, the district received $94.3 million in federal dollars dedicated to construction. In 2006, the proposal is for $56 million.
    It would be critical to this city if we had a $50 million construction budget compared with the past years, Demma said. It would be horrible for the city, it would be horrible for contractors and for flood protection if this were the final number compared to recent years and what the city needs.
    Construction generally has been on the decline for several years and focus has been on other projects in the Corps.
    The district has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects are included in a Corps line item called Lake Pontchartrain, where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. Naomi said it’s enough to pay salaries but little else.
    We’ll do some design work. We’ll design the contracts and get them ready to go if we get the money. But we don’t have the money to put the work in the field, and that’s the problem, Naomi said.
    The Appropriations Committee in Congress will ultimately decide how much the New Orleans district will receive, he said.
    Obviously, the decisions are being made up there that are not beneficial to the state, in my opinion, Naomi said. Let’s put it this way: When (former Rep.) Bob Livingston (R-Metairie) was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, we didn’t have a monetary problem. Our problem was how do we spend all the money we were getting.
    Copyright 2005 Dolan Media Newswires
    Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

  24. Boulder Weekly September 23, 2004
    In 2003, Congress approved a White House proposal to cut FEMA√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in half…Such post-disaster mitigation efforts, specialists say, are a crucial way of minimizing future losses. It√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s after a disaster strikes, they argue, that the government can best take the steps necessary to avoid repeat problems, because that√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s when officials and storm victims are most receptive to mitigation plans…”In a sense, Louisiana is the floodplain of the nation,” noted a 2002 FEMA report. “Louisiana waterways drain two thirds of the continental United States. Precipitation in New York, the Dakotas, even Idaho and the Province of Alberta, finds its way to Louisiana√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s coastline.” As a result, flooding is a constant threat, and the state has an estimated 18,000 buildings that have been repeatedly been damaged by flood waters√¢‚Ǩ‚Äúthe highest number of any state. And yet, this summer FEMA denied Louisiana communities√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ pre-disaster mitigation funding requests.

  25. aren’t we smarter now-hind sight is 20-20 the request even then would not have saved them in this particular instance –and ironically they will rebuild and then the potential for a bigger storm is just a wind away–just like another terror attack-just a wind away–

  26. The attempts at politicizing a natural tragedy by several posters above (“traditional” suspects in such instances, to be sure) are appallingly stupid and witless. They’re also so self-centered, I wonder if the people who made them even share membership in the human race.

  27. cathar because they are human and want to find “reason” in a world that even with politics-we have very little control over-it makes some of us feel better if we could some how attribute blame for the chaos that they feel should have been forseen by others that we attribute to have the master magic ball–
    it’s like people wondering why it’s “taking so long” for the powers that be to send in help-they have no clue as to what it takes–the dangers involved to rush in–even if they could
    yes, the fmr president bush and clinton have been asked to mobolize their powers at fund raising–to call in cruise ships to go in will take time–to mobilize troops and place in an organized manner–to set up a control centers take time–when in fact there is very little time-
    it is the factor of being human-it is the factor of living in a society where water doesn’t seem like a privledge when in fact it is at least to those who most need it today-when on any other day they too took it for granted….
    so pray pray hard-for the holders of the magic ball pray for wisdom and strength and courage for them since right now they are all we have–and they are people who truely do want the best for the country even though sometimes it is hard to see it.
    And when those of you who are quick to criticize roll back further on your computers further back then just this past administration and the administrations before-and perhaps you will educate yourselves
    because obviously prior to this some of you haven’t and are just finding out recent issues that you never concerned yourself with before this disaster-issues that are only a year or two old-and at that time you were unconcerned with the potential dangers of flooding in new orleans or louisanna-i bet you never even knew the existence of levies-
    -then you pull out these decsions out like here i told you so-when in fact you had no knowledge of this before or during–but now at your leisure in your air conditioned home you are consumed with taking others inventory when in fact perhaps you should take your own.

  28. New Orleans has withstood nearly 300 years of hurricanes, and for the most part, it would have survived this one if a better flood control system had been in place. The administration offers billions in incentives for Exxon (which made a $32 billion profit this year at $2 a gallon) to drill; but to protect members of the human race in New Orleans, a port that is one of the most crucial spots in America, it chose to save a fraction of that amount. The above mentioned SELA budget, before it was slashed, was about 1/3 of the compensation that Lee Raymond, Exxon’s CEO, received in 2004.

  29. c: Unable to respond, launch personal attack on the opposition. Excellent! Anxiously awaiting your guest appearance on 700 Club.
    Always easier for w to appear competent when reacting to crisis. That diverts attention from $3+ gasoline, drumbeat of death in Iraq, rising poverty rate (for last 4 years?). Blood for oil getting pretty expensive ….

  30. Jsut dummiesforbush again proves my point. The meanspiritedness and pettiness of some posters, who insist on politicizing Katrina, linking it to crticism of the currenr administration…can’t folks like that just shut up for a week and get out their checkbooks? There’s also a “drumbeat of death” down South right now, after all. Perhaps it goes with the callous gloating of the beating hearts that come up with posts like these.

  31. Just so you know, I’m from New Orleans, my grandparents are currently trapped in their assisted living facility w/ no electricity, running water or toilets that flush for going on four days. Their bottled water and canned food supplies are dwindling. There are 100 other elderly residents there with them. The National Guard is aware if their situation, but has not had time to come get them yet.
    There is real tragedy happening every minute. Please stop bickering like a bunch of useless children and do what you can to donate to relief efforts.

  32. Stealth is correct that the river always wins.
    I’ve known about those levees for 40 years. All we can do is speculate whether they’d have held up better if funding had not been cut. The best we can say is, it might not have been this bad.
    Having said that, I can’t agree with keeping silence about what this administration has done. Bush goes from one screwup to another & there’s always some reason why folks are willing to give him a free pass. Unlike most of us, he never has to apologize for anything or be accountable for his mistakes. That’s been the pattern of his whole life.
    My anger at what this guy gets away with does not lessen my compassion for the victims of Katrina. Just in case anyone was confused about that.

  33. Funny, I seem to be able to get my checkbook out, donate to relief efforts, offer my home to those who have lost theirs, cry at the things I see on tv AND still be able to direct the proper amount of criticism at my president whose priorities are so screwed up and who refuses to be accoutable for his actions, or inaction.
    This is a forum for discussion. There are many more out there if you don’t like what is being said here.

  34. daniella:
    don’t know if you’re still checking this thread, but please keep us updated on your family.
    i hope they are transported soon.

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