Censoring the news

It’s shocking — it’s downright obscene — that journalists acting as self-appointed nannies censored New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s angry speech demanding help for his city. The New York Times did it. TV did it. Journalists charged with reporting accurately bleeped “ass” and “goddamn” and they wouldn’t let him say “BS.” That is bullshit.

What makes them think they should tone down his anger? He said these words for a reason. These words need to be said. Anger is justified. Shock is needed. These words are part of the story. But in our nannified culture today, in the era of the FCC and the PTC thinking they should control our speech, in this age of offense, these people think they need to protect us from words — and thus from anger, from bluntness, from honesty. That is dishonest.

The word “bullshit” is not indecent. We are watching people die because our government has not gotten them water. That is indecent. That is obscene.

Go listen to Nagin’s interview without the bleeps and dashes. [via Winer] I can’t find transcript but here are excerpts:

It’s politics. They’re out there spinning. They’re spinning for the cameras…
I don’t know what they’re doing I mean the air conditioning must be good…
I keep hearing that it’s coning this is coming and that is coming. And my answer to that is BS. Where is the beef….
These Goddmaned ships that are coming, I don’t see them….
I told him [Bush] that we have an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Airforce One does not do it justice….
They don’t have a clue what’s going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kinda goddamn — pardon my French, everybody in America, but I am pissed….
I need reinforcement, I need troops, man, I need 500 busses… This is a national disaster. Get every doggon Grayhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans. They’re thinking small, man. This is a major, major, major deal….
It’s awful down here, man….
God is looking down on all this. And if they are not doing everything in their power to save people, they are going to pay the price. Because every day that we delay people are dying. And they’re dying by the hundreds…
They’re feeding people a line of bull and they’re spinning and people are dying down here…
I’m probably going to get in a whole bunch of trouble… they probably won’t even want to deal with me after this interview is over. But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lickity-quick…. You mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique… you mean to tell me… that we can’t figure out a way to authorize the resources we need? Come on, man….
I don’t know whether it’s the governor’s problem. I don’t know whether it’s the president’s problem. But somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and figure this out….
I don’t want ot see anybody do anymore goodammned press conferences… Don’t do another press conference until the resources are in this city and then come to this city and stand with us…
It’s ridiculous. It’s too doggone late. Get off your asses and let’s do something and let’s fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country….
People are dying. They don’t have homes. They don’t have jobs. The city of New Orleans will never be the same. And it’s time.

The interview ends with the mayor and his interviewers in silent tears.

: The Times-Picayune’s editorial on Nagin v. Bush:

But the sad truth remains that the federal government’s slow start has already proved fatal to some of the most vulnerable people in the New Orleans area. Water has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people. A lack of water to drink is exacting its toll on others….

We applaud the mayor for giving voice to an entire city’s frustration. How could the most powerful and technologically advanced nation in the history of the world have responded so feebly to this crisis?

The president’s admission of his administration’s mistakes will mean nothing unless the promised help is deployed immediately. Each life is precious, and there isn’t a second chance to save a single one of them. No more talk of what’s going to happen. We only want to hear what is being done. The lives of our people depend on it.

  • Ray Nagin is an embarassment to anyone who has ever lived in Louisiana. What a whiney, pathetic politician.

    “I don’t want to see anybody doing any more goddamn press conferences,” Mayor Moron said during a radio press conference.

    Instead of helping people, or organizing his city, or at a minimum telling his own police officers to stop looting Wal Mart … this whiney punk is on the radio bitching because nobody will come do his job for him.

    May God have mercy on New Orleans.

    New Orleans needs it with leaders like this.

  • Thanks for the post, Jeff. This one of the sites I keep checking as I continue to try to understand this whole horribly messed up situation.

    As for the censorship, it’s pathetic and strange. I did hear an accurate version of his outburst, but I guess that was on the web.

  • This man’s anger is understandable, but it should be self-directed. The reality is the HE had the busses and sufficient warning to get people out of Dodge. Just like the people he now curses, he was in denial those few days before Katrina hit. To order a mandatory evacuation and not commandeer every available bus to transport people he KNEW had no way out, and then stand there and curse at Federal efforts takes a special kind of hypocrisy.

    I realize that what’s done is done and that we must band together to help now, but let’s not glorify this fellow without all the facts.

  • zmefly

    I can feel Mayor Nagin’s pain and through him the frustrations of thousands of people. The feds should have anticipated having to respond to somewhere after what was predicted to be “the worst storm to hit the US Mainland”. Seeing people die on TV in the USA for lack of water and food while they were drowning in water was and is very shocking and Mayor Nagin’s reaction was mild. What the heck is he supposed to do in his city? There are no communications, no power, no bathrooms. NOTHING that resembles a normal life. I cannot believe the President pandering to the American public on TV when the people he was supposed to be speaking to don’t have the capability to hear his words. Talk about a whining pathetic politician! Please don’t call on a mythic being to have mercy on New Orleans or anything else. There is no God…… Just look at the destruction…..

  • Mary Ann

    We can dissect this six ways to Sunday. The mayor definitely fell asleep at the switch BEFORE the hurricane. He did not have that city prepared in any way shape or form. To see all those school busses under water….the same school busses that could have been taking the poor out of NO to safer areas. Not all the way to Houston, just up to dry land. Those busses could have been sitting on I10 waiting to take the people back home if the storm veered off (which it didn’t) or they could have been available to take them to other parts of the state and then to Texas if the need was there. He had the resources, and didn’t use them.
    Afterwards – he was powerless. He was the victim. The State government and Federal government let him down. The Governor had full power to get the National Guard in place early and did not do so until pandemonium had already set in. FEMA had those trucks bringing in water way too late.
    I’ll cut them all some slack, because no one has ever seen the worst disaster in our nation’s history before it happens. Nobody can foresee this. That’s not to say I give them a pass. But I hope I’m not the only one clouded by partisan blindness to see that tThe failures transcend government level, political party,

  • Robert Brown

    What NO needed was an agressive leader before and after the storm, not a sniveling whiner.

  • MisterPundit

    I hope the mayor can explain why vast parking lots full of buses were just sitting there – unsued – before the storm struck. These busses whould have been used to evacuate people, now they’re under water. Hundreds of them. And to think Bush had to practically beg Nagin to order a mandatory evacuation to begin with. The mayor of New Orleans is an incomptetent idiot.

  • kat

    Cursing and swearing at others to try deflect blame from where it belongs–straight on the shoulders of the goddamned bullshitting mayor. He failed his people and his temper tantrums won’t change that.

  • Mike

    Nagin is in a pinch. He didn’t ask for State help until too late. He didn’t ask for Federal Help until too late.

    Now….. he’s out there blaming Bush and the Admin for everything that’s happened to NO.

    He’s the one who should have been “in the know” in NO. He’s the one who should have prepared for this disaster. Now that he’s shown to have done “nothing”, he’s lashing out.


  • Bill Henry

    Jeff, Do you know if any list of so called “dirty words” has ever been published by the “authorities”, so that those of us who find it necessary to rely on their apparent impact can measure our speech so as not to infuriate the Guardians of Decency? (GOD people for short) Now, I realize that George Carlin came up with a “7 dirty words” list years ago, but since George, like me, is an Atheist, he’s probably unqualified to compile such a list here in the “one nation under God” USA. I always thought the word “piss” was dirty, but there it is in the King James Version of the Bible: Isaiah 36:12: “But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?” No, I’ve yet to find the word “bullshit” in the Bible, but I sure think the GOD people should cut Mayor Nagin a little slack…..BH

  • Robert

    Ray Nagin is primarily RESPONSIBLE for what happened to his city. HUNDREDS of buses are sitting under water right now because THE MAYOR didn’t order them used to move people out after he issued a mandatory evacuation order.

    The federal government, like everyone else, thought that NO had dodged a bullet. This constant criticism of the federal government instead is not justified. The people that were responsible for the state and were there, the governor and the mayor, are the ones that screwed up.

  • GSR

    I pretty much echo all of the comments above. Mayor Nagin was the city’s first line of defense and he failed miserably.

  • I think Nagin made himself look really stupid and weak with that speech, no matter what words he used.

    Buses parked in NO that could have taken people. The designated shelter is Superdome.

    The city police chief where I live said that each municipality is responsible for creating and maintaining a emergency plan. What was New Orleans’s plan? Why didn’t the mayor direct the chief to carry out?

    The plan is supposed to include trigger points when the local officials ask for state and federal help. According to our constitution, the feds are not allowed to swoop in without some coordination/invitation from the local officials.

    I think the mayor and LA governor look really bad. Watch what happens next. The feds begin to provide aid, and the local officials try to claim credit for it….

  • Fred

    And just who was it who had to ask the goddamned mayor to order a mandatory evacuation?

  • goy

    Jeff – please do us all a favor and get over yourself, ‘k?

    ALL of the problems in New Orleans after the storm — including the fact that most of those hurt worst in the aftermath of Katrina were poor African Americans — were the direct result of Nagin’s criminally negligent incompetence. Period. And his unfathomable hubris in blaming the feds for the problems HE created with his stuttering, confused non-leadership, both BEFORE and AFTER the storm, are matched only by the lefty press’ latest attempts to turn his failings into a vitriolic, race-baiting indictment against the President.

    Tell me — who was it declaring a state of emergency and urging Nagin to evacuate New Orleans on SATURDAY, while there was still time to get the poor, elderly and infirm to safety!? You? No, you were busy whining about Dell. The LA Governor finally had to interrupt Nagin’s dinner to politely tell him to get off his incompetent ass, contact the NHC and get his people the hell out of there:


    Even with the governor’s pleading, Nagin didn’t bother getting around to a mandatory evacuation until about 24 hours before the storm hit. Too. Effing. Late.

    The blame game started with Nagin’s personal damage control — whining that was immediately portrayed by the media (and now you) as “righteous indignation”. The timing was critical: the most egregious lies are easiest to pass off as truth when people are still angry, confused and in shock. Joe Goebbels knew that. You know that. The media has used it as leverage, along with video of the worst of the worst and interviews of traumatized folks, understandably pissed due to their lack of information and unawareness of the sheer magnitude of the destruction. All of this has gone into the Big Lie about a “delayed” federal response, supposedly caused by a (non-existent) lack of National Guard troops and, well, because… you know… the victims were poor… and black. I don’t see you railing against media misbehavior on that score!

    Funny, I also don’t remember hearing about you volunteering to drive a load of water into New Orleans in the face of armed, organized gangs of looters who were holding up aid workers at gunpoint.

    The process had to wait for the armed support of the National Guard, thanks to the lawlessness that was already part of New Orleans before Katrina was a blip on the radar screen. And mobilization of the Guard takes time. In this case, given the shambles in that part of the country, it took a *miraculously short* time. And you know that as well as anyone else. Or at least you should. Yet you persist in joining the whiners, who want to blame the feds’ inability to transcend the laws of physics, for the misery caused by Nagin’s incompetence.

    The only value in allowing Nagin’s statements to air as uttered would have been to show how totally unhinged, desperate and guilt-ridden the man was. Now it’s easy to see the cause.

  • chuck

    He said these words for a reason.

    Yeah, ’cause he f*cked up. Anyone over the age of 10 — that means *you*, Jeff — has seen this kneejerk response by the inept when they screw up big time.

  • Robert Swaim

    I’ve already stated my opinion on Mayor Nagin under “Federalize it Now”. But it really seems odd that while 13 year olds were being raped, 70 year olds stabbed to death and thousands starved in the very facilities that the Mayor sent his citizens to for saftey, not a single bar, souvenier shop or titty club in the French Quarter was looted. Why? Because that’s where the Mayor sent his police assets. Every element of Mayor Nagin’s leadership failed, his plan, his execution, his communication and his concern for the citizens of his city. He can curse, invoke god, blame the State, blame the Federal Government but the blame for this debacle rests squarely at Mayor Nagin’s feet.

  • C Bassett

    Wow, I’ve never seen so much agreement in a single thread on this site. Someone dissent! (ain’t gonna be me)

  • This coward ran and left his citizens to die and has the GALL to pass the blame? This son of a bitch wouldn’t have even issued an evac order if it wasn’t for Bush calling and holding his hand! Look at the photos of the sunken school buses! This guy was more concerned about his city budget than saving the lives of people HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR! Oh but I forgot, BushHitlerStalinSatan caused the hurricane and hates black folks.

  • kat

    {“If the government asks people to evacuate, the government has some responsibility to provide an option for those people who can’t evacuate and are at the whim of Mother Nature,” said Joe Cook of the New Orleans ACLU.

    With Ivan, city officials first said they would provide no shelter, then, just hours before the storm was set to hit land, they agreed that the state-owned Louisiana Superdome would open to those with special medical needs.

    Mayor Ray Nagin’s spokeswoman, Tanzie Jones, insisted that there was no reluctance at City Hall to open the Superdome, but said the evacuation was the top priority.

    “Our main focus is to get the people out of the city,” she said.

    But again, in 2004, no city or school buses were used to take people to safety.

    Callers to talk radio complained about the late decision to open up the dome, but the mayor said he would do nothing different.

    And, indeed, he didn’t do much different last weekend before Katrina struck.

    Even the problems that occurred at the Superdome this week had a precedent – during a threat by Hurricane Georges in 1998. An estimated 14,000 poured into the stadium, but theft and vandalism were rampant.
    During the threat by Ivan, only 1,100 fled to the Superdome and they were supervised by 300 National Guardsmen, who were able to avoid major crime problems.
    Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Nagin both acknowledged after the Ivan near miss they needed a better evacuation plan.} But Mr. Mayor did not have a plan–except to try blame someone else for his being an incompetent boob. What a frickin loser.

  • Ed Poinsett

    Well, the mayor will have at least one job offer coming up. CAIR would love to have another guy who can whine and point fingers at everyone around him and never take responsibility for anything.

    Bush is the guy who started the ball rolling. He declared the disaster area on Saturday and had to beg both the mayor and governor to please take action. A mandatory evacuation should have been ordered then, plenty of busses, plenty of drivers, open highway.

    Bush can’t order the National Guard called up, the governor has to do that. When the decision was made, it takes 72 hours to get everyone in place. Don’t forget these are citizen soldiers who have to get things in order before they report for duty. They are not sitting around some barracks somewhere waiting to be pressed into service.

    The responsibility lies first with the mayor, then the governor then with FEMA and DHS and finally with the President. I think Bush has performed magnificently.

    Why aren’t the whiners protesting the fact that he left his desk in Washington to visit the scene personally. They complained he couldn’t run the country while he was on vacation and should have never left the White House.

  • George Carl

    The Mayor blowing his stack is newsworthy, and as a new story, could be uncensored. But doesn’t decency require us to keep the language less salty? As a public figure, and a representative of the government, he should also keep his cool. Overall, it is understandable in a stressful situation to lose control.
    However, the two people most responsible for the slow response from the federal government are the Mayor himself and the state Governor. MANDATORY evacuation, using FEDERAL help, ordered BEFORE the storm, could have made this a lesser tragedy. Mayor Nadin, it was YOUR lack of early response, as well as the governor’s, that caused so much grief.
    Just concentrate on helping everyone….stop whining.

  • Well, folks, thanks for demonstrating that it’s started. Where are all the “no blamers”, now? Ah, it’s a Dem, so let’s blame him.

  • America looks like a third world country! Shame on you!

  • Pingback: havecoffeewillwrite.com » RAGE PILED ON RAGE…()

  • Ric Locke

    Nobody caused this tragedy, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands, who contributed to the problems and deficiencies that made it worse. Before you can build a bridge in Louisiana you have to build a couple of nice houses and buy a dozen or so cars and boats for the politicians involved, so the bridge has to be built cheaper than it should be — and fails under stress, so the relief trucks can’t get through. Levees are built for a Cat 3 rather than the Cat 4 they should withstand, because by the time all the graft comes off the top that’s all there’s money left for.

    And every swingin’ pendulosity in the bunch, from Mayor Dither to the Parish councilor with 5,000 square feet of house and a new Lexus, is a card-carrying, rubber-chicken-buying, Gore-and-Kerry-voting Democrat. That’s why all the faux outrage about George Bush. There has to be somebody to blame it on, and blaming on the people who deserve blame means blaming themselves, and they won’t do that. They’ll tell you all about how George Bush isn’t responding quickly enough. They won’t tell you that the reason the response is slow is that Democrats stole and hocked the roads and bridges the responders need, and gave the money they had left after stuffing their own pockets to the Kerry Kampaign.


  • Oh, I criticized Nagin, too, and said that he is among those whose political careers should end.
    But you’re missing the damned point.
    The city is damned mad.
    He expressed that damned anger.
    But it media, it was merely anger, no longer damned, to protect us.
    And that’s not only unnecessary but offensive.

  • goy

    Greg – perhaps you missed it, but the blame game started with Nagin’s hysterical, foul-mouthed, whining attempt at personal damage control and is now being moved forward by media sycophants, which I guess now includes Mr. Buzz.

    Yeah, I think you missed it.

  • kat

    Carole Mosley Braun is already accusing the Feds of being draconian and overstepping the locals. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. There’s no pleasing some folks.

  • Excellent post, Jeff. I’ll go add it to a few media thoughts about Katrina. I link to a particularly good W. Postp piece

  • kat

    Kanye West also expressed his anger the other nite–at a Red Cross fundraiser and NBC bleeped him. The nerve!!!!!!!!!! Rudy Guilani was angry too–but you never saw him lose his cool and act like a 2 year old. It only made Mr. NO Mayor look worse than he already is–he should thank the NYT for censoring him. Preserve what little dignity he has left.

  • chuck

    But you’re missing the damned point.
    The city is damned mad. He espressed that damned anger.

    Oh, that’s real helpful, it is. So new agey and all. It’s just a wonder that it doesn’t make it all better. God, Jeff, lay off the psychobabble and grow up.

  • ghostcat

    The answer to Jeff’s implicit question is that the NYT and other media are protecting the mayor.

  • Chuck: “New agey.” What the hell does that mean? “Psychobabble.” Since when did “damn” become liberal.
    Damned cursing liberals….

  • syn

    Nagin disgraced the people of New Orleans, the very people he was elected to serve.

    -No plan for evacuation in a decades-predicted flood zone.
    -Buses and emergency vehicles were not moved to higher ground before the storm hit, left flooded in parking lost spweing unused gas into already polluted water.
    -No preparations made at the Superdome to handle the thousands of people who were encouraged by Nagins to find their own way to the Superdome

    THe Governor of Louisana as failed the people who elected her:

    – by ignoring President Bush’s early call for mandatory evacuation for a city sinking beneath the sea level.
    – by not having a proper evaucation plan for thousand of displaced people in place until the day AFTER the storm hit.
    -by not calling upon her own LA National Guard immediately…waiting until the situation was desperate.
    -not calling for martial law when the situation as described in her own words were “untenable”
    -by sobbing tears of utter misery before the public’s eye her incapacity to lead during a time of crisis.

    Both the mayor and the governor have the gall to blame the federal government.

    Jeff: do you understand how the American system operates? Nagins certainly does not understand!!!! Neither does LA’s governor!!!

    In a nutshell: BY LAW the President of the United States is not granted the power to supercede State power. The President of the United States cannot overrule the Governor’s power. He can advise but he cannot ramrod Federal power over States power. The President cannot call upon LA State Guards and he cannot issue mandatory evacuations.

    This is the way it is supposed to work….the city asks for help from the state then the state asks for help from the federal government. In the case of the Louisiana and New Orleans situation, both failed to provide the neccessary means to aid and secure their populace until such time that Federal aid and assistance can arrive!

    Crying for help AFTER THE DISASTER OCCURS is, as we are seeing at the moment, too late.

    That said, FEMA and Federal help had arrive in the devestated areas providing aid, assistance and security to the populace
    BUT, due to the flood which occurred in New Orleans Monday night, Federal assistance was prevented from entering the city.

    This really pisses me off about the Liberal ideology…you believe in enslaving people to the government yet when the time comes the very enslaving government is unable to provide help. The state of Louisiana has been enslaved by the Democrat Party since the Reformation.

    Typical Democrat response….let everything fall to wreak and ruin, riots and crime THEN DEMAND all Americans save people because why?

    Republicans are evil and

    as the rap artist West said on NBC’s Hurricane Relief Program
    “George Bush hates black people!”

    I am so disgusted with anything considered Liberal/ Democrat who are innate government slave masters.

  • Ravo

    I heard, maybe someone else here knows who….a head meteorolgist maybe…had to BEG the Mayor to act even as LATE as he did, by promising to take the BLAME (thus absolving the mayor of it) if the evacuations proved in hindsight unnecessary.

    There are those despicable people suggesting that race is the reason so many are now suffering.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU POWERS THAT BE, that the Mayor is African American.

    Can you imagine what they’d be accusing a white mayor of who left all those people unevatuated knowing full well they would be unable to get out? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • goy

    Ravo – no need to imagine. They’re already aiming those accusations squarely at President Bush.

  • John

    Jeff, if there’s a substansive criticism of Bush in here, it’s not the “Bush hates black and that’s why he didn’t do anything” talking points that’s coming from so many Democrats right now. It’s that Bush and/or his aides should have comprhended the systemic coruption and incompetence in the Louisiana governmental sytems — which goes all the way back to the 1927 Mississippi flood that helped put Huey Long into power — and should have userpted Gov. Blanco’s authority and federalized the National Guard on Tuesday, the same way Eisenhower federalized the Guard in Arkansas in 1957 over the Little Rock desegregation showdown.

    The desire not to step on anyone’s toes and following the bureaucratic proceedures by letter was the mistake, especially after it became clear on Wednesday that snipers were shooting at rescure helicopters and boats, and laying hospitals and fire stations under siege. Federalizing the guard and issuing shoot-to-kill orders on the gunmen inside the it would have been the thing to do, so that oder could be restored and the military and civillian relief efforts could go in without threat to their lives.

    Of course, if Bush had done that, he would have probably ben accused of stealing power from locally-elected officials from the usual suspects, and of hating black because he had issued shoot-to-kill orders against the armed bands roaming the city (heck, Kanye West has alreasdy made that charge pre-emptively, even before any of the armed bands have been confronted by National Guard or U.S. militaty troops).

    The feds’ slow response in several areas of mobilization is worth critcizing, Jeff, but your post seems to want to let Nagin (and by inferrence, Blanco) off the hock as though they were innocent bystanders in this whole debacle.

  • John T

    The Democrats take the votes of NO’s poorest for granted, when it came time to reciprocate though, they have failed to deliver.

    Now it is President Bush’s fault because he doesn’t care about black people and the poor.

    Give me a break. Who is it who truly doesn’t care?

    Lesson learned:
    If you are going to maintain groups of dependants in poverty so that you can regularly harvest their votes, establish the means beforehand to evacuate them from the plantation.

  • Quirinius

    Important question…were all those drowned schoolbuses publicly owned or privately? If privately, did the Mayor have authority to commandeer them or funds to pay for their use to ferry people out of the city?

  • Ravo

    I realize that. Bush is getting the blame the Mayor should bear, but the race card can’t be played on the Mayor. It must be very frustrating for black racists that they can’t play the race card on the initial evacuations….where it all began.

    If that poor Mayor had been white,….they’d play that race card until there was rioting thru out the entire country – can’t you hear it…calling for justice against the white Mayor who deliberately, they’d be most sure, left all those poor African Americans to die.

  • Shalom Jeff,

    Looks like someone in the wrong wing decided to unleash the trolls.

    They can howl all they want but this is clearly a national disaster and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has fallen down and can’t get up.

    President George Bush has failed to exhibit leadership. The very idea that anyone in the White House would be anywhere but at their desks making sure that all the bases were covered once it was known that Katrina was headed for the gulf coast, and most likely for New Orleans, is criminal.

    President George Bush has had four years and billions and billions of dollars to prepare our nation to deal with the next catastrophe. Clearly, the dollars were ill spent.

    The trolls can gnash their teeth all they want in a vain attempt to pass the buck, but when our nation sees women and children starving five days after a national disaster, then the buck stops on only one desk.

    Keep it up Jeff.


    Jeff Hess

  • Quirinius

    Another question about the buses…
    Where would they have gone to? How was the Mayor of NO expected to arrange shelter for thousands of people in another city, likely another state in less than two days? When Bush begged him to declare an evacuation, did the Feds take any action to coordinate the evacuation at the interstate level?

  • joefrommass

    I agree with the majority of opinions expressed here and admit they were expressed much better that I could have. One thing I’d like to add is the amazing contrast between Nagins response this week and Rudys respose after 9-11. Who is the real leader? I think we all know the answer to that question.

  • joefrommass

    Hey Jeff Hess, with all do respect, you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Have you really looked at how government works in this country? I mean, read the Constitution and state Constitutions, and understood how the complexities of Home Rule ( particularly in places like NJ, LA, and MI) affect what states and feds can do?

    If you did, you’d realize that the big screwup here was on the local level. Yes, if the feds were clairvoyant, or much more pushy, they would have been there sooner. If they would have realized what a bunch of morons were running the city of NO and the state, they probably would have prepared sooner.

    The US Constitution does not allow the feds to march into a state and set up command and control operations when it involves civilians. Period. There are legislative and regulatory statutes in place that permit it. But the implementation of those rest with the governor and mayor.

    IN other words, in situations like this, local officials are almost always in charge.

    9/11 is a perfect example. Rudy did exactly what he was supposed to. The state and feds worked with him to get things done, and he and his office took control.

    Without a local leader like that, things fall apart fast.

    Clearly, the lack of coordination and communication lies with the local officials.

  • Robert Brown

    Quirinius: “Where would they have gone to? How was the Mayor of NO expected to arrange shelter for thousands of people in another city, likely another state in less than two days?”

    Oh for God’s sake. The mayor and previous mayors had decades to develop contingency plans.

  • Quirinius

    “Oh for God’s sake. The mayor and previous mayors had decades to develop contingency plans.”

    There’s no need to take the Lord’s name in vain. Maintain some dignity.
    You’re absolutely right and I’m sure those contingency plans included other actors at the State level and the Federal level. An incredibly difficult job to coordinating those plans while running a city on the a municipal budget and staff. FEMA was expressly created to decrease the many agencies with whom state and local governments were forced work with and centralize federal emergency functions. You see, you want to make things EASIER for people facing disasters, not harder. And its much easier to have people not facing a hurricane coordinating things.

  • AlanC



    Nagain did not follow the plan he had nor any of the advice NO has been getting for decades!!! Look at the archives of the Times-Picayune and see how the Corps of Engineers has had funding cuts for 15 years, why? Cause the levees are NOs problem and they should have dealt with it!!

    This is not just NO. The affected area is 90,000 square miles there is little or no power or communications in an area the size of Texas. If you aren’t an expert in logistics shut-up until those that are get done with the job.

    Just for grins and chuckles how much water, by weight, would you have to bring in for 10,000 people (the convention center)?

    That’s right 80,000 lbs / day. Now, over what roads and bridges are you going to transport that water? And, oh yeah, where did you go to get it?

    Give us a break here, this isn’t Star Trek with transporters, not even Hollywood wherre everything has a happy ending in an hour.

  • Ravo

    Yeah, Jeff…the buck didn’t stop until it reached Bush’s desk…apparently no one else along the way would even pick it up, while there was time to get everyone to safety.

    “The President cannot call upon LA State Guards and he cannot issue mandatory evacuations.”

    What the President did do is call the Mayor and urged and begged him to get on with it so he could come. 24 hours into the WARNING I heard the Mayor still hadn’t called Bush so the Pres called him!

  • from the DHS website:


    Emergencies & Disasters
    Preparing America

    In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness.

    DHS = primary responsibility. They claimed it. They have it.

  • Quirinius

    Hey Robert, they’re really ignoring you well over at TPM. I, sadly, lack such wisdom. Then again, I’m sick in bed with a high fever, what’s your excuse for typing away indoors on a Saturday afternoon? Obsessive compulsive trolling disorder?

  • Robert Brown

    An incredibly difficult job to coordinating those plans while running a city on the a municipal budget and staff.

    All the dumb fuck’s needed to do is figure out how to get people above sea level and take care or them for a few days. and they had decades to work on it. I suspect they really didn’t really give a shit and now they are trying to pass the buck.

  • Okay. Greg, I think that’s the key paragraph there.

    The feds reached big time when they created DHS, and people said so at the time. It was smart to do so because the agencies that need to be involved in these events were far-flung and not well-organized.

    But there’s a boatload of studies of merging and recreating govt agencies showing what a monumental task it is. Try Daniel Carpenter’s The Forging of Bureaucratic Authority, Marissa Golden’s What Motivates Bureaucrats, and a classic simply called Bureaucracy by some famous policy guy.

    It’s sad that this happened when it did, and how it did.

    Chertoff is actually a really smart guy. He was the US Attorney in NJ for awhile, and he was absolutely stellar. I think that he has an impossible job, and that this task, the way the responsibilities are laid out, is not workable. It’s a shame, but the feds took on this, and I get they have to wear it in the end.

    However. I still think Nagan is a jerk. Rudy would not have sat on his hands and waited for help to arrive.

  • Catherine

    Mayor Nagin certainly could have done more before the storm, but there’s something that all of you don’t seem to understand. My sister is a TV reporter in New Orleans and she told me that Nagin had to have city lawyers working around the clock to find some loophole in the city charter that would allow him to order a mandatory evacuation. He wanted to do it days before he did, but he couldn’t because it’s not explicitly up to him. I’m not sure who it is explicitly up to, if anyone. The governor? Otherwise, I’m pretty sure Nagin didn’t want to forcibly place people on school buses because what if the storm wasn’t as bad? Then what? He could have done more, yes. But his failing came before the storm, when he couldn’t have possibly known how bad it was going to get. FEMA’s failing came afterward when they were fully aware of the situation and dragged their feet anyway. I have still not heard an explanation as to why Harry Connick Jr. could get to the convention center but the National Guard couldn’t. And for that, Mayor Nagin deserves to be pissed. We all do.

  • Quirinius

    Above sea level you say? Like maybe Mississippi? Yes indeed, I’d sure like to weather a hurricane in a school bus. Seriously, that’s ridiculous. If you were the Mayor of New Orleans during this disaster, thousands more would have died.

  • Ravo

    Re Rudy: if Rudy HAD been there and done EXACTLY what Nagin did …nothing less, nothing more…….he’d be called a racist killer and there would be race rioting nationwide over it.

  • Quirinius

    Or alternatively, if Rudy had been the mayor, the Feds wouldn’t have taken so long to arrive to help out another white Republican. See, make believe cuts both ways.
    Reality on the other hand left babies and the elderly dying on freeways.

  • Ravo

    Again…despicable crap

    Rudy would not have WAITED. He would have been on the phone to the FEDS from the get go. Bush would not have needed to beg him to federalize.

  • Ravo

    And Rudy would have had those people to high ground. Rudy’s police would not have been looting nor would they have watched it.

  • Quirinius

    Again, more make believe. Rudy is not the mayor of New Orleans, and as great as he is, never will be.
    This sort of garbage “lets pretend” play takes the focus off of laying responsibility where it lies.
    YES, Nagin should have done more to clear people from the city in advance of the hurricane. He will answer for this. The question remains if the municipal government had the means or the power to physically remove over 60000 people to a safe and secure location where they could weather the storm. As noted above, a best case scenario using schoolbuses would have cleared only ~
    HOWEVER, that does not excuse the frankly pathetic federal response once the local response was overwhelmed (as you would expect, they just got hit by a hurricane).
    Where was Bush AFTER the hurricane. Why did Nagin have to BEG for help on the radio? If Bush was so darned concerned, he could have had the full resources of the Feds ready to jump in. As mentioned , it takes time for the National Guardmen to mobilize. The time to do so was before the hurricane hit. Bush didn’t need permission to do this. For crying out loud, the DAMN CANADIANS had planes full of disaster experts waiting on the tarmac to deploy the day after the levees broke. They were just waiting for the go ahead from the Feds. Nagin will answer for his mistakes, will you let Bush and the Feds answer for theirs?

    Alan C,
    So if you can’t get enough water in, you send none for three days? Gotcha.
    Oh, and we might not have transporters, but we do have these awesome things called cargo planes. You can drop stuff from them by helicopter. I hear they did it in Germany in the 40’s and Afghanistan a bit more recently.
    One last thing, if the levees and dealing with hurricanes are NO’s responsibilty alone, is the USA really a country anymore? No, seriously. Way to stand beside your fellow Americans guy. Bravo. Clap. Clap. clap.

  • JennyD – yes, there is a lot of doc on merging gov’t agencies, and corporations for that matter. It’s tough in any circumstance, public or private. My concern, and the reason I posted that, is that the first questions needing to be asked are “who was supposed to be responsible, and did they know it.” A lot of people are making claims about that, and it’s important to keep the record clear.

    Rudy might have done better, but that’s not the point. If emergency response depends on having an extraordinary leader in charge, it will fail more often than not. In theory, bureaucracies are supposed to create systems resiliant enough that even ordinary people, placed in extraordinary circumstances, can respond in the best way possible. That’s our attempt to deal with reality, and the hard fact that real leadership is a rare and precious thing.

  • Frank T

    jeeze -but this thread smells like a republican board…..I’m out of here to get some air.

  • Frank, snap out of it. This one of the more reasonable conversations on the web at the moment.

    On another note, about ten years ago when I was the editor of an unimportant magazine that Jeff Jarvis could tell you about, we ran a story about the shifting patterns in hurricanes and potential damage to the NJ shore.

    The main idea was that hurricanes come in cycles, and we were experiencing what was like the tail end of a gentle, slow cyle. Dr. Gray from the hurricane center (he is quote EVERYWHERE) suggested that starting as early as 1998, we’d start to see more and more intense hurricanes.

    He noted that the development taking place on the coast in the past two decades was not going to withstand the force, and that most people had forgotten what hurricanes can do. He said that the beach houses in Jersey would snap like toothpicks in a stormsurge, and the loss of life would be great. He talked about draining wetlands, erosion, all of it.

    I’ll bring out that story in a year or two when a big one hits the northern coast.

  • chaneu

    Everyone keeps pitting Dem against Republican, Nagin against Bush, and trying to make one or the other come up smelling like a rose. Well guess what? They both stink. The point here is that the people of New Orleans have been failed all across the board, by everyone. It was originally predicted that the storm would hit NO much harder than it actually did. And the mayor didn’t think evacuation, and all plans that would have to follow hand-in-hand with evacuation, was necessary? No one is making excuses for this utter incompetence and lack of leadership. And then the storm did hit, the levees did break. And it took FIVE DAYS before federal help started to trickle in? Five days? Five days of living in open sewage with dead bodies floating by, no water, no food, no help, no hope? Just as the mayor deserves no excuse for his inability and/or unwillingness to act, neither do his federal counterparts. Goodness, this has been a play of incompetence on all levels, all the way across the board. And while it may well be true that Nagin’s whining is an attempt to save his own ass, that is not relevant right now. The people of NO will not forget his incometence so quickly in the future. The relevant point is that what he’s saying is true. Where the hell is the backup? What’s taking so long?

    And what is really, truly scary here? This is how we handled — are handling — a catastrophe that was predicted. We knew it was coming, Katrina was not a secret to anyone. God help us all if (or when?) an unpredicted, unexpected catastrophe befalls this nation (again.) If this is how we handle the expected, how the hell are we going to handle the unexpected?

  • kat

    Here are Nagin’s buses. Bush shoulda told him to secure them, to put food and water in the Superdome and the Convention Centre,etc.

  • Robert Swaim

    Mr. Jarvis,
    I don’t think that most who have posted “ignored your point” , I think they merely moved past the Mayor’s need for vulgarity and came down squarely on his total lack of leadership. The point that you make about the media ignoring his rant relates more to his lack of ownership for his own failings than any by design attempt to censor him. If he had stood up and said I F—– Up, I don’t have a S——- clue how to save the citizens of my city, I need ever S. O. B. in this country to help me save the people of New Orleans, then the media, those posting here and the country in general would have responed far differently. He did not, instead he demanded that others “Get off their Asses. Censor Mayor Nagin, absolutely not, make him accountable, Absolutely.

  • AlanC

    Geez if I see this crap:

    “And it took FIVE DAYS before federal help started to trickle in? Five days? ”

    one more time I’ll puke. Listen, I’ve had higher mathematics and I’ve got all my fingers.

    The situation turned bad on TUESDAY when the levee broke. On Monday evening everyone was laughing about how NO was fine.

    Tuesday noon to Wed noon = 1 day Wed to Thur = 1 day Thur to Fri = 1 day Fri to Sat = 1 day 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4

    And they’ve been working since MONDAY or did you miss all the pictures of the CG helos?

    Transportation, communication, power, all infrastructure was toast for 100 miles in all directions. These people are not omnipotent and this isn’t a hollywood movie.

  • pst314

    Mayor Nagins said: “These Goddmaned ships that are coming, I don’t see them”

    Nagin spoke those words on Thursday, September 1.

    Reports differ, but according to this news release four Navy ships left Hampton Roads [Norfolk VA] on August 31.

    Consulting my atlas, it is roughly a 1750 mile voyage from Norfolk to New Orleans.

    The USNS Comfort’s home page states that its speed is “more than 17.5 knots” or 20 miles per hour, which gives a steaming time of 87.5 hours or 3.6 days.

    The Iwo Jima’s speed is 23 knots or 26.4 mph, which gives a steaming time of 66 hours or 2.75 days.

    Also, according to this article, the USS Bataan, now conducting relief operations off the coast of Gulfport, Mississippi, “rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders.”

    Perhaps in his anger Nagins forgot that ships have speed limits, or perhaps he was indulging in a Kate Hale moment. Throw a tantrum and hope that it makes you look good to the voters.

  • Grray

    There was another guy who gave a hellofa speech, too:

    ‘I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it’s finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it’s something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability.’

    Rep. Brad Miller, D-NC

    longer text here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/insomnia/603715.html

  • Dan Butler

    Another typical day for our president. How is it that we are so comfortable allowing him to watch innocent Americans die? How he can be defended is beyond me. His approach to this situation is exactly as it’s been with everything he does; let’s do as much as we can with as little as we can to give the impression we care. The opportunist managed to show up and take pictures on the wreckage of 9/11 the day after. I suppose that was much “safer” than a short ride to Louisiana. There are no excuses. If you can send a man to the moon, you can send resources to our fellow citizens who have no hope left but to die. That is the true spirit of America. I’m sure that most people who read this will cast me off as a typical democrat who is looking for a reason to knock the president. The democrats are just as much to blame. Where is John Kerry? Haven’t seen him in the news lately rallying support? Haven’t seen Ted Kennedy either. When are we going to realize that our nation’s “leaders” could care less about those who are not making them money. When are we going to realize that those of us who don’t make millions don’t matter. This is yet another situation that displays the fact that wealth dictates your well being. Have you checked your ballots? It’s not often that you have a chance not to vote for one rich white guy or the other? I truly hope we will make the best of this situation and decide as a country to take care of our people. When people die because they are too poor to afford a tank of gas or because they aren’t educated enough to make a sound decision, we should wonder how this could happen in the “richest” country in the world. As far as Mayor Nagins goes, it was great to see a politician who spoke his mind with complete disregard to whether or not he would be elected next term. I respect his honesty and his willingness to fight for his people. Maybe our president and senators can learn something from him.

  • Linda Edwards

    “Re Rudy: if Rudy HAD been there and done EXACTLY what Nagin did …nothing less, nothing more…….he’d be called a racist killer and there would be race rioting nationwide over it. ”

    Aaaah Ravo, playing the race card again.

  • Dan Butler

    Rudy didn’t have to make remarks. The federal government was quick to react to its economic mecca. I am a born and bread New Yorker. You are right, it’s not a race card. It’s all about the have and have nots. New York has an influence far greater in federal elections than the poor Southern states do. You would have to be an idiot to compare down home Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to New York in the political world. I thought Guilianni could do no wrong at one point, but where has he been lately? This may be a tragedy far worse than 9/11 and yet his voice is far from being heard. Way to be a spokesman for those of our people in need. I hate to see someone cower in the face of destruction due to their own political motivations.

  • Linda Edwards

    “The arrival of aid heartened those who had worried that authorities were responding too slowly to the disaster. “I’m hopeful we’re turning the corner,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La., told MSNBC TV Saturday morning. Earlier, Vitter had complained that the federal government’s efforts were “completely dysfunctional” and speculated that the death toll in Louisiana alone could top 10,000.”

    Even Frist admits the federal response has been an utter disaster.

    Dan is right, just as Florida was more important polically last summer before the election. They received immediate and overwhelming assistance from FEMA, which was great. I was happy Floridians got the help, in spite of the fact that so many didn’t evacuate when they were told to.

  • Ravo

    No Linda..RESPONDING to it.

  • Ken

    “If you can send a man to the moon, you can send resources to our fellow citizens who have no hope left but to die. That is the true spirit of America. ”

    Um, we actually can’t send a man to the moon these days – the Apollo rockets aren’t there anymore. And we’ve never been able to send supplies for 100,000 people to the moon, either. We can send that mountain of supplies to New Orleans with all the roads underwater, but it takes time.

  • Dan Butler

    Please re-read the comment you posted. Sending supplies to the moon is idiotic. New Orleans is a short distance from DC. I am a New Yorker who saw the response to 9/11. The roads may be underwater but the blackhawks can travel over the water. Stop making excuses for this crap. Do me a favor and email me your next excuse when Haliburton gets the clean up contract.

  • Dan Butler

    PS-It’s never too late to get a high school diploma.

  • kat

    {s far as Mayor Nagins goes, it was great to see a politician who spoke his mind with complete disregard to whether or not he would be elected next term. I respect his honesty and his willingness to fight for his people. } Now that’s rich. Who’d vote for an incompetent numbskull like him?? And too bad he was willing to fight for his people by having a plan before the storm. Too bad he let the buses drown. Too bad he never stocked the superdome or convention centre with food and water. Too bad he did nothing.

  • Robert Swaim

    Dan Butler
    I wondered how long it would take for someone to Haliburtonize the greatest natural disaster in our country’s history. What’s next , ChimpyMcHalibuton Hitler. You are pathetic.

  • Dan Butler

    I’d like to know what state you are from. I’d like to know if you are educated enough to realize that there are no true evacuation plans whether it be in NY City or elsewhere. I have friends who are special agents in the Department of Homeland Security who have volunteered to respond to this tragedy and are disheartened by the fact they will not be called. I’d be willing to bet that you are a person who is making far more than living wage, and has never spent any time working in a community. I am a teacher in Downtown LA who works with the kids that the rest of LA has given up on. Spend some time caring about others and then have something to say.

  • Dan Butler

    What do you do for a living? Let me know. I spend every waking hour helping the needy kids of LA to achieve their high school diplomas. I work with the individuals that even a gang ridden city like LA has given up on. Tell me what you do that makes you so damn smart. You have every right to call me pathetic but I need to see reasons to back it up.

  • Korutenshi

    Im confused, did you not hear that Halliburton did get the clean up contract?


    There are no such things as coincidences.

  • Dan Butler

    I did not. I searched Haliburton on MSNBC.com today and found no recent news. Thank you for the information. We have elected the most morally depraved individuals into office.

  • Korutenshi

    I know, the pattern of unethical and sometimes illicit behavior is there for all to see, most just consider it too incredulous or conspiratorial to give it any creedence. I used to feel the same way about a disaster such as this. I no longer feel that way.

  • Grray

    Dan, it’s even in the NYT now. You should have searched ‘Halliburton’ with 2 ‘l’ and used google news search.

  • Grray

    Robert, I guess you’re the next to be kicked by JJ.

  • YetAnotherRick

    About Halliburton…I wrote the President and told him he should hire Joe’s Trash Hauling to do the cleanup work. Joe’s my friend, and he just got a new pickup truck.

    I suppose I’d start a flame war if I mentioned what president first arranged for Halliburton contracts.

  • MissD

    Ummm, let’s see. According to what I just read, Halliburton has been doing this sort of work for the federal gov’t for 15 years. I guess that would mean Bill Clinton (gasp!) awarded those first contracts??? Perhaps that comment about moral depravity was indeed correct after all.

  • pst314

    Update to yesterday’s comment: According to this report the USNS Comfort is stopping to pick up supplies and personnel, and will not arrive at New Orleans until Thursday Sept 8th.

    Winds of Change has a roundup of Navy ships involved in the relief effort.

  • PRRunAmok


    I don’t know what media you were reading, watching and/or listening to. I heard the entire Nagel interview, completed with every Goddamn, pissed and bullshit aired on MSNBC over satellite radio, which is the EXACT feed as viewers see on TV.

    I don’t mind the cussing, it was honest and real. But perhaps instead of directing his anger at the Federal Government (which I agree, was also appallingly unprepared), he should be stepping back and taking a look at what actions he as mayor should have done to get those people out of there BEFORE THE STORM. The resources were at his disposal, he and the governor of Louisiana simply chose not to use them.

    When a Government issues a mandatory evacuation, is it not then the Government’s duty to do everything in it’s power to see that the evacuation is enforced? They knew the potential of this storm. They knew thousands were without the means to get out, yet they DID NOTHING TO HELP.

    While Nagin and the Governor of New Orleans weathered the storm in safety from Baton Rouge or other areas further inland, they abandoned those who needed them most.

    It’s a disgrace for all involved.

  • Robert Swaim

    Dan Butler
    Re: Halliburton – Simple reading of the posted links provides some key information:
    Contracts awarded in 2004. (Not as you suggest because of Katrina)
    Contracts awarded on a “Competiive Bidding ” basis.
    Ongoing work KBR has done for 15 years.
    Contracts are to do continuing work at Navy Bases not in New Orleans or the associated levees.
    To assign as you attempted some sinister back door, it’s all about the money, motive is an extreme leap from the realities of the contracts. Personally I want the GAO, DOD Procurement, FEMA and others to look directly down the neck of any company providing goods and services that my tax dollars pay for, whether that be Boeing, Halliburton of YetAnother Rick’s Joe’s Trash Hauling Services.
    Re: Who am I?
    You are correct on several points, I live in the Midwest, I have a better than average job, I have children, attend church and volunteer through my veteran’s organization to assist in Youth Sports Programs. I gave a 4 figure gift to the Red Cross for Hurricane relief. gave as I do twice a year blood, and have 2 young men (friends of my son’s) who were attending law school (we don’t hold that against them) in New Orleans currently staying with us while they continue their education through a program provided by our State colleges. I obviously am not the compassionate teacher/mentor/social worker that you are. So that’s why it’s so hard for me to understand why someone with your background would ignore the true tragedy in New Orleans, the plight of it’s citizens, and instead attempt to make it political. Unless of course your compassion is reserved only for those who agree with your political beliefs.

  • TScho

    Why does everything have to become race related? And my huge question is why the crap anybody stayed in NO? It was all over the news days prior to Katrina hitting that it was a category FIVE….

  • TScho

    Am I to believe that tens of thousands of people had NO money for gas or NO car? NO family or friends to help? If I knew a category five was headed my way I would find some way to get my family out, no matter what. But to comment on the censorship of the incompetant mayor….I think it was definitely a good choice not to allow him to take the Lord’s name in vain and to use such vulgar language. I can’t believe a person like that would EVER get elected to any sort of public office, what a disgrace!!! He certainly sounded like a moron….

  • pst314

    TScho wrote: “Am I to believe that tens of thousands of people had NO money for gas or NO car?”

    If one person has a emergency she can probably find somebody who can help her get a ride out of town, but I expect that breaks down in this sort of situation: It’s hard to borrow a car from somebody who needs theirs to bug out. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s hard to borrow money from others in the same situation. (And even if you have a little money in a savings account, it may not be accessible on the weekend as not everybody has an ATM card.) It’s hard to rent a car if everybody else is doing the same. And so on.

  • Linda Edwards

    TScho, a third of NO lives under the poverty level. I don’t know why, but it seems to be really hard for alot of people to understand that not everyone is born with an SUV in their garage and no money in their pocket.

  • DB

    Take the lord’s name in vain? Cursing? There are far greater crimes occurring in this country than words being uttered.

  • DB

    I am not trying to make it a political issue insofar as democrat vs. republican, but when you look at who is gaining and who is ignored in this country, it is obvious that the middle class and low income people suffer. I feel for those people in New Orleans. Those people are living hell beyond what any of us could imagine, and this is coming from someone who spent days battling blocked phone lines trying to get through to friends and relatives in the days following 9/11. I just hope that we learn from all of this and begin to care about others. I hope that we can learn to be less selfish and lookout for the welfare of our fellow human beings.

  • sick in los angeles

    Hey Linda Edwards, ever been to a poverty striken area??? I work in LA and often times find myself in the projects of South CENTRAL Los Angeles and the things you will notice are
    1. there are not enough parking spaces for all the cars these people own
    2. they have nice cars
    3. every home has more than 2 t.v. sets

    what is wrong with this picture…..so it is hard to believe people did not have a way to get out, or did not have info about the necessity to leave

    also, if you have watched the news coverage, i am sure you must have noticed how many vehicles are submerged in the waters of New Orleans.

    Oh, and DB…we do care about others, to the tune of the billions we will spend on the rebuilding. But what needs to happen is that people need to learn how to take care of themselves, like heed the warnings and make a decision to stay or go. If you stay, be prepared to survive without outside assistance for at least 3 days, and DONT COMPLAIN IF THEY DONT COME FAST ENOUGH!

  • It just goes to show that when you have poverty stricken people voting for state or local officials they will vote for someone who sounds uneducated, unarticulate, corrupt, do nothing SOB like Mayor Nagin. Now they are seeing the results for putting this incompetent, foul mouthed, blame others except himself maggot. The result? DEATH. LOW LIFES coming out of their rat infested holes, looting and shooting at people trying to do good for the people and the city. It is embarassing to see a major city in America like NO look like a third world country in the eyes of the world. SAD.

  • Linda Edwards

    Sick in L.A. (the name says it all),

    The Red Cross and Salvation Army was designated in the city’s emergency plan to come in and handle the food distribution, which they were prepared to do. FEMA stopped them from coming in and doing their job. I would assume the S.A. had the same problem.

    Darling, I’ve been in more poverty stricken areas than you can shake a stick at. Abandoned cars are all over the place. Oh, wait……

  • Edie in Pensacola

    The ooh’s and aah’s are sickening. This type of damage is GUARANTEED to be delivered by a Cat 4 storm, especially if you are below sea level.

    I should know. I live in Pensacola.

    There is only one way to react to this . . . EVACUATE!! And don’t try to evacuate 1-1/2 million people in 12 hours.

    Blanco and Nagin should be removed from office and tried for manslaughter.

  • It is disgusting and repugnant to see the media back up this Mayor Nagin in blaming the Federal Government for not responding to the situation rapidly when in truth he and blanco initially are the first responders. Think about it. It shows you the true colors of liberals to berate the Bush Administration but dismiss their Liberal Constituents in Nagin and Blanco. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when entertainers such as Kanye West, Celine Dion etc. voice their political opinions. They need to stick to what they do best entertaining, period. If they are going to get involved politically then they should run for office.

  • Al Terego

    In a way, I kind of feel his pain. he naively thought that he could just have people wait out the storm in the dome. Not a problem, except these weren’t white people who pull together in the face of adversity. these were savage criminalistic african beasts, whose first instincts are always to steal, rape and rob. He, being one of the aforementioned savages, did what any liberal dem would do..refused to see the black scourge for what it really is. and actually thought that they would act “human”. WRONG!
    He didn’t fail…His people did.
    as they have been failing for hundreds of years, all over the world.

  • I am not a racist but when you see black communities all over the nation look like the beirut of old where you are not safe anytime of the day, where murders, rapes happen on a daily basis, drug dealers, gangs running rampant, prostitution, and Lord knows what else. It makes anyone wonder if they have the mental capacity if left alone by themselves to live like civilized human beings. I am not white but It seems to me that they cannot function without the white race or any other race to oversee what they do. I am an immigrant from latin america and I know I am not the only one who has observed this. Sometimes I wonder if they have fully evolved or still have that warrior, small minded thinkers like their ancestors in Africa. I don’t know. This is America and when I drive thru black communities I do not feel safe I feel like if I walk thru their streets I would get killed. It should not be like this in America. We are supposed to be an advanced civilization not act like third world like I see in these black communities. Some of my best friends are african americans and they are well educated, higly intelligent, upper crust members of society. I asked them without offending them why this is happening in America. They’re answer: Mentorship, education, welfare reform, church leaders to be more involved, family cohesiveness.

  • Well, I am a racist. I use my eyes, and see negroes behaving like savages not only in New Orleans, but in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, and all over Africa, e.g., Zimbabwe. It’s about time that civilized people wake up and see the world as it is, not as they’d like it to be.

  • Ben Tillman

    “Journalists charged with reporting accurately bleeped ‘ass’ and “goddamn” and they wouldn’t let him say ‘BS.’ That is bullshit. ”

    What is it with you New Orleans people? When I was at the argument of the Falwell v. Flynt case before the US Supreme Court, Larry Flynt’s lawyer from N.O. said “BS” to the Court.

  • Ben Tillman

    “We are watching people die because our government has not gotten them water.”

    Why should the government get them water? If they cannot get water for themselves, they must look to their fellow Americans for help. If their fellow Americans do not deem them worthy of help — or if some of them attack those trying to help — they have made their beds, and they must lie in them.

  • Troy

    It’s simply amazing this idiot for a mayor! He showed the world the ignorance that he has & this shows the ignorance of the people in New Orleans…. They re-elect the moron! As far as I am concerned…. New Orleans can fall off into the ocean! The looting & crime these people displayed during their time of need showed the world the ignorance they have! They were told to get out….even if you had to walk! They got what they deserve! Sorry about your luck…. You were warned & our government shouldn’t help your stupid asses! Your witch craft dumbasses deserve what happened to you! You don’t deserve this government nor our help!