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01 September 2005
From TPM Cafe regarding Katrina victims and response...

A reader with access to raw news feeds wrote:

If you use this info I want to remain anonymous, but I was watching the raw video feeds yesterday and saw an interview that brought out a really important point that went right by me.

Lots of people in that area - the poor and the old and the sick - get checks from the goverment on the 1st of the month. They spend for the month with that money, so by the end of the month they are broke.

The storm hit on the 29th.

Many people could not afford the $50 to fill their gas tanks to leave. The interviewee said they people were begging him to please loan them the money for gas. They were forced to stay, and forced to stay when they were broke.

This all could have been anticipated.

And this...

I've noticed a similar trend in some of the newspaper stories. People were forced to leave hotels after only a night or two, because the $89/night charge was more than they could afford.

Another provides a bit of context:

Meanwhile, the developers who built on the wetlands and the politicians who made environmental damage and subsequent disasters possible can hop in their cars and create a new life elsewhere, if it comes to that. Nothing like having some money in the bank, cut of clothing, and looks that our society gives more credibility to!

And yet another smart reader:

But I read several stories of families filling up hotels allover the south, a lot of the "middle class" with credit cards. Give it a day or so, and their credit cards will be maxed out, they will be needing access to identity papers they don't have for insurance claims, prescriptions, doctors records no longer there, doctors no longer there? No job, it's gone. Where to live? Where to send the kids to school? Just move in with the relatives in Minneapolis or what? Where's the FEMA centers going to come from for them when FEMA obviously can't even handle the population left behind?

Perhaps the individuals who are looting, stealing, thieving and shooting at helicopters are the smart ones; they're being arrested and removed to safety while others wait days for rescue and still others have died waiting. Besides, what the hell is wrong with looting a grocery store or a food warehouse under these circumstances? Or a hardware store? No one is going to return to the city for a month or two at best; is that food going to be sold then? Most food will be no good, lots of other things will be unsaleable. No one will miss it, but someone can save themselves and their family with it now. You have my blessing. The rules of survival in downtown Cincinnati and those for citizens of downtown New Orleans or Biloxi or East Floodville are not the same right now.

It appears that the initial devastation these first few days is just the tip of the iceberg. And President Tush is steering our cruise ship. I think I feel a rant coming on.

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