Posts about News

Fifth wheel in charge

Or he could fly around for a few hours:

President Bush canceled plans to visit with emergency workers and officials in Texas, citing the storm’s shifting path and a desire not to impede preparations, but he still intended to monitor the storm’s progress from a military facility in Colorado instead of Washington.

Education v. oil

Multiplementality reports that Georgia’s governor closed schools Monday and Tuesday to conserve gas, which this blogger and traffic reporter predicts will only cause panic and lines and wasted gas.

Deals with devils

Ruth emails me appropriate outrage over this news:

President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington’s closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

What do we stand for?

It’s not just us

Deutsche Welle says (in English):

Americans take heart: the United States is apparently not the only major western democracy unable to pull off an election. Germany’s vote on Sunday has been a disaster from the get-go…


I linked to at least two stories out of New Orleans that now seem to have been exaggerated. One was the emotional Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s emotional story about a friend’s mother who died in a nursing home. MSNBC now reports that Broussard did not get the details and timing of this right and that the death was, tragically, among those that allegedly came when residents of a nursing home were not evacuated and the owners of that home have since been indicted. The other story was of the murder of at least one child in the Convention Center as reported in the Times-Picayune; David Carr in The Times said there is no verification of that story.

Carr also points out that such exaggerations often occur in such tragedies. He recounts hearing similarly amplified horrors after September 11th. In both cases, it is not as if there is the slightest reason to add to the horrifying truth.

Yahoo’s man at the front

So Yahoo hired Kevin Sites to report on war for them. On the one hand, sure, that’s cool: multimedia man hired by the thoroughly modern media company. But does anyone else think it’s strange to have a site and a reporter who covers just war? Yahoo emphasizes that this doesn’t mean they are “building any kind of news organization.” So that means, instead, that they’re just going for the bloody bits?


Glenn Reynolds has a good roundup of charities working in Katrina’s wake.

In response to a call from Hugh Hewitt, Truth Laid Bear put up a great resource to direct bloggers’ and blog readers’ charity here. This is aimed at a big push tomorrow. Keep an eye on those sites.

And also, here’s the Red Cross.

Should New Orleans be rebuilt?

It’s an indelicate question but one that needs to be asked: Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Or how much of it should be?

At a press conference with the governor and legislators just now, vows were made: “We’re going to be reinventing New Orleans…. Can and will New Orleans be rebuilt? Absolutely!”

But… Having visited the city often in my last job, I was always struck by its poverty and its lack of a workable economy. Tourism is pretty much the only industry. The food is great. The attitude is fun. But big companies had left.

And… Does it make sense to rebuild homes and offices in a place that can be destroyed all too easily, putting thousands of lives at risk? Is that the right thing to do?

And… Is that the best use of our tax and insurance dollars? Everytime the Mississippi floods up river, there are those who say that we should stop paying to rebuild that which has been destroyed before. And, in fact, we have invested government money in moving people away from certain danger so we can stop paying to rebuild. It’s an investment in their safety.

I’m not suggesting that what’s left of New Orleans should be bulldozed and abandoned. But I will suggest that, indeed, the city may need to be reinvented. How?

Perhaps it should go with its strengths and be rebuilt as a tourist destination before all its restaurants have branches in Vegas. Perhaps it should be smaller and rather than investing in rebuilding, the money should in some cases be spent on relocation.

What should become of New Orleans?