Saturday, October 01, 2005


from Mickey Kaus

Hurricane Parties: It's getting a bit confusing, what with the press revisionism and all. Let me make sure I've got the competing party lines down correctly--

Liberal position: Racist neglect caused poor New Orleans residents to suffer from the unspeakable things that only a racist would assume actually happened!

Conservative position: A fatherless underclass culture caused poor New Orleans residents to do the unspeakable things the anti-Bush MSM falsely reported they did!

Friday, September 30, 2005


in the new ROK numerical/monetary unit, the kyông/gyeong/?. Sadly, it still won't make one's wallet any less fat in Seoul.

Monday, September 26, 2005


(via Instapundit). One Mary Wlodarski wrote letters to her Illinois Senators "asking them to review the budget in light of the need of our southern states, foregoing our projects to help out the gulf states." In other words, asking to get rid of pork projects. The reply she says she received from Senator Obama clearly had other kinds of critters in mind:
Dear Mary:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Hurricane Katrina and rescue operations for the pets of evacuees. I appreciate hearing from you.

Among the many difficult and heartwrenching aspects of this tragedy has been the lack of resources to rescue and care for those pets left behind by evacuees who were unable to take them on evacuation transports. Fortunately, as news spread about the plight of these animals, several groups volunteered to travel into that dangerous environment to help rescue them.

As soon as the resources were available, the United States Navy and National Guard began searching for and rescuing these pets in New Orleans and elsewhere in the Gulf Coast. The U.S.S. Tortuga moored near New Orleans, and the Tortuga's repair division began a search and rescue mission for abandoned pets. The crew members set up "Camp Milo and Otis," a makeshift kennel where medical care and shelter was provided for dogs, cats and other displaced animals from the city. The Department of Homeland Security also assisted by deploying Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for dogs involved in the rescue effort. And only days after the storm, SPCAs, Humane Societies and other pet welfare organizations from across the country joined the United States Navy and National Guard in attempting to rescue stray animals. Several thousand pets were rescued and sheltered around the state by late last week.

Individual citizens have helped with this effort as well. I was particularly heartened by stories like one in Grand Rapids Michigan, where an anonymous donor helped relocate 175 displaced dogs and cats. While it is tragic that so many pets remain left behind, that is yet another example of how humanity can shine through any disaster.

As you know, the lack of government planning for this disaster has drawn the ire of many Americans, and a substantial review process must take place to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. Planning for the rescue and care of pets should certainly be part of that discussion.

Thank you again for writing.


Barack Obama
United States Senator
As Glenn Reynolds aptly notes, it is hard to tell whether it is worse that Obama replied to a letter about pork in this fashion or that he has a form letter about pets and Katrina.

UPDATE: At least Obama's staff are quick learners.


Remember all of the stories about anarchy, violence, rape, murder and even cannibalism in New Orleans, particularly in the Superdome and the Convention Center? Remember Oprah fuming outside of the Superdome (“I am just so mad!”) before bravely venturing in to witness the carnage firsthand?

Well, I am happy to report that many, if not most, of these stories are greatly exaggerated at a minimum and in many cases outright falsehoods. A snippet from some actual reporting (rather than the breathless trafficking in rumor and urban legend that all to many engaged in during the days and weeks after Katrina):

After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.

At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies were recovered, despites reports of corpses piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been slain, said health and law enforcement officials.

That the nation's front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent. As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

As something of a student of urban legends, I have to say that this does not surprise me in the least. Human beings have consistently demonstrated a willingness to suspend disbelief in the pursuit of telling and retelling a juicy story. Murder, rape, mayhem, and cannibalism are what we would/should expect of a group of people who rapidly descended into Lord of the Flies Savagery. To simply recount that actually the vast majority of people behaved rather reasonably in the face of considerable suffering is hardly a story worth retelling. And besides, how can Bush, FEMA, and the federal government have “failed” if things ended up turning out much better than the salacious stories and exaggerations (remember Nagin’s “thousands of dead bodies” declarations?) led us to believe?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?