Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: New Orleans - More true tales of trash ...

06 September 2005

New Orleans - More true tales of trash ...

My neighbouring Merseysiders the Scott family, who I quoted in my last blog entry, have arrived safe and well back home in England.

Unfortunately, they're the bearers of even sadder and more sickening stories of the on-the-ground realities of the New Orleans' nightmare.

Police officers had taken "souvenir" photographs of stranded people begging for help, he added.
Distasteful? Definitely. But that's nothing. Note the following.

The handling of the relief operation had been "horrendous", Mr Scott added.
So true Mr Scott. However, the whole wide world's already aware of that.

But I doubt all have heard of - or ever even imagined - incidents of such utterly indefensible acts of inhumanity as described next.

He said at one point a group of girls was standing on the roof of the hotel lobby and called to passing rescuers for help.

"They [the authorities] said to them 'well show us what you've got' - doing signs for them to lift their t-shirts up. The girls said no, and they said 'well fine', and motored off down the road in their motorboat.
Talk about trash. Talk about filth. Talk about the unfathomable and downright depths of degrading depravity to which some souless shits seem to sink.

If this is how indescribably inhumanely a certain section of America can treat fellow Americans - at any time, let alone at a time of such dreadfully dire need - then perhaps it is finally time to substitute the words 'God Bless America' with 'God Help America'. Perhaps even 'God Forgive America'.

How in hell could such miserable excuses for men be expected to help any visitors [including terror stricken and traumatised small children] be they from Australia, Canada, Britain or indeed anywhere else -- if that's how they treat their own?

(Richard's reminder to self:- Try to avoid the use of such useless rhetorical questions as that last one.)

But to continue with the Scotts' story which is now being spread across the UK via mainstream media. And rightly so.

Mr Scott added: "The only information we got from anybody in authority was if a policeman came past and we shouted to them out of the windows.

"The only information we ever got off them was negative, 'Do not go here. Do not go there'.

"There was no, 'Are you OK? Are you safe? Have you got water?'.

"Most of the time they would ignore us."
Thankfully, not all Americans are as animal-like. For it was some of America's genuine finest, who eventually saved my fellow scousers, the Scotts.

When they were finally rescued it had been by Louisiana game wardens, who had entered the hotel with rifles and fixed bayonets, Mr Scott said.
So God bless those game wardens and God bless all the civilised Americans they represent.

Witness some similarly sincere sentiments which Mr Scott aired through the columns of our local Liverpool newspaper, The Echo.

Mr Scott said: "The American people were fantastic, they couldn't do enough for us.

I wish I could say the same for the American authorities.
Amen to that, Mr Scott.

Links below are to the BBC -- and to the Liverpool Echo.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4217022.stm

http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_objectid=15934112%26method=full%26siteid=50061%26headline=we%2dlooted%2dto%2dlive-name_page.html

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:13 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Well, there you have it.

Citizens of the world, unite, is about all I can say on this now. Thank God they got home. I'll bet they were never so glad to see it.

I'll have to read more later. Any reaction from Tony or the Queen?

5:03 pm  
Blogger noel adamson said...

Corruption in American government especially law enforcement is not news nor is it's acceptance by a majority of the public. The whole world saw police officers from several different agencies who could not possibly have all known each other feel totally free to take turns kicking Rodney King as he law prone and broken on the ground in the middle of a well lit intersection. Even seeing the video of this a Simi Valley jury saw no problem and people at large seemed to accept the nonsense that it was an isolated incident.

My brother was on the Montgomery County, Maryland police department after serving as an M.P. (Military Police, not Member of Parliment: )after Vietnam when his fellow police dumped him into a black neighborhood and abandoned him in the middle of the night. We were not raised to be racist, a disqualifier their at least in those days.

I doubt the rest of the world can help us either. We are not small countries like Chile and Yugoslavia that the rest of the world can pursu our war criminal leaders and imprison them like they have Milosovic and Pinochet. This is a job we must find a way to do ourselves before BushCo self destructs and takes us all with them.

The U.S. is not generally a charitable country. Our charity to other countries is amongst the lowest in terms of percentage of our wealth and we have one of the largest percentages of our population living in poverty of any "modern" industrialized country with huge numbers of homeless people, people with no health care and through the roof crime rates. We will self destruct. Whith so much extreme decadence there are always those whose revulsion does allow their saintly nature to shine through and this is where heroism comes from not fearlessness. That follows.

6:16 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Reactions?

Just the usual lip-service and spin, cosmic

The Queen & the B-liar both sent messages of sympathy to Bush.

As for the all the Brits involved, the B-liar's said he's sorry for what they went through - but that everyone was dong their best to help.

BTW, a couple of young Welsh girls [students] got home today too. They gave similair accounts of the mayhem and total lack of assistance. They said the armed police outside the convention centre actually barred then from seeking refuge there. So they slept on the streets for several days, having wondered around for while before finding an area not under water.
Incidentally, they also were picked up and taken to an airport by an Australian TV film crew.

7:42 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

True about the world witnessing some police brutality before, Noel.

But to so many people, in so much need at such a terrible time - well, that's a first to us.

Surley new depths have been plumbed this time.

7:48 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Richard, please relay my sincerest apologies to your countrymen for the horrible, appalling treatment they received at the hands of the authorities here. I cannot begin to express how very humiliated I feel to know that those in authority acted in such appallingly inhumane and and absurdly adolescent & irresponsible a way to ANYONE in the disaster area! The only possible excuse I can imagine them making is that they were reacting to the incredible stress of the situation... as lame an excuse as that is.

I've known many law enforcement officers and can tell you honestly that all but a very, VERY few have been honest, dedicated people who preform their job with pride and professionalism and with a sincere desire to help. The few bad ones I've met though are horrendously bad, many are rapists, psycho-sexual sadists, and psychotic power-trippers like we had in Vietnam who are in love with having personal power over others. These are the kind of guys I'm sure you heard about who are rumored to have collected ears and finger bones and the like. And all of these "bad apples" will never pass up an the chance to play their sadistic power games! It's too bad that this disaster left the field open for them to practice their evil on the tourists and the poor.

"Corruption in American government especially law enforcement is not news nor is it's acceptance by a majority of the public. The whole world saw police officers from several different agencies who could not possibly have all known each other feel totally free to take turns kicking Rodney King as he law prone and broken on the ground in the middle of a well lit intersection."

Very true Noel. Though I don't believe the majority "accept" this kind of abuse of power as much as they accept it as a necessity, which is equally wrong in every way! And I remember the riots that ensued after the cops were initially acquitted. They say there was "looting" after the flood. I say it was more a case of rioting! And can you blame them? They were abandon there to face almost certain death because they were too poor to own a car for God's sake! If that isn't genocide along class lines I'd like to see a case!

I'm NOT condoning rioting in either case, but I fully understand the frustration that leads to it!

Though Americans deny it, we are one of the MOST classist countries on the face of the Earth! Where this has REALLY hit home for me is in my relationship with my wife Andrea. I come from the lower middle class (or the upper lower class depending on how you look on it) and Andrea was raised in the lower end of the upper class (and that is nowhere near ANY end of the middle class!). It's odd how the differences in our class shows up... and how it has come very close to causing some real knock down drag out fights! Often it would be over something stupid, like she would say something insensitive about how a minority character on a TV show was being portrayed and I would take exception to it and the next thing you know... well... Her being raised with privilege and so often not recognizing it, and I coming from lower class racial minority has caused a certain amount of tension, at least early on.

A big part that tension comes from the fact that I speak and act (socially) "anglo". That didn't sound right... not that there is any thing wrong with being an anglo, heck! My wife is one! But I'm not! I'm Native American and Latina! What is often called a "lesbian of color", you know, not white... I'm just digging this hole deeper aren't I? I think I'll shut up while I'm ahead...

I don't know if I would say that we are "not generally a charitable country" Noel. While our Government may be tight fisted and gives only with thousands of strings attached, I've found the American people to be very giving in times of need. I was raising funds for Planned Parenthood and N.O.W. some years back when it seemed the nut cases were killing a abortion provider a week and we had NO problem raising the funds we needed to not only provide the additional security the clinics and doctors needed but enough left over to begin an investigation that ultimately ended in the FBI filing charges against Randall Terry and Operation Rescue under the RICO act (I was with Frontline Campaigns then and we raised $2.2 million in a 110 day campaign w/an 8 person team)! So no, if it is something we are passionate about OR if it is a true humanitarian emergency (like the relief effort going on now) then you'll find that our wallets open up wide!

10:45 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

These appalling reports in the British press are frankly not surprising. However, the US media is not carrying these shameful stories and I am quite convinced that they will go unreported. The response by emergency services in New Orleans is a scandal - Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men would have done a better job. On the BBC world news last night the BBC crew picked up a family of five children whose dead mother was quite literally dead in her bed and took them to a shelter. As their raft putted along a couple of dead bodies drifted by. It was like a scene from some third world country. From what I understand policemen en masse abandoned their posts. New Orleans policemen are really poorly paid (starting pay at $16,000.00) with the understanding that bribes made up the difference. I am not sure if this is still the case and I do not mean to piss off policemen world wide! Individual Americans are generous and kind but the current trend is to cut one's self off from society i.e., gated communities, Ipods, massive tank like vehicles for 'protection'. I agree with the writer who mentioned a class problem in addition to the obvious race problem. Hurricane Katrina has brought attention to the massive underclass in US urban society. Just to add to the general level of disgust read lovely Granny Bush's comments on the refugees in Texas on wonkette.com. I encourage all your readers to keep writing about the stories your various newspapers are printing about the situation in New Orleans. Our US newspapers have their blinkers on! Goodnight to all.

10:53 pm  
Blogger -simpchimp said...

The entire situation, including the case of the family you cite, is sickening beyond words. I'm sure there are plenty more horror stories to come - although our media is not likely to report any of them.

You wonder if the blinkers have finally come off of Bush's "Christian" followers. Not very Christian to let people die and suffer, especially when you're constantly spouting off about a 'culture of life'.

Our country is lost. Time to tear down and build over.

11:11 pm  
Anonymous bluey said...

Student tells of hurricane ordeal

Joy as Michelle Andrews arrives back home after her hurricane ordeal.

A south Wales student who was caught up in Hurricane Katrina has spoken about her ordeal in the devastated city of New Orleans.

Michelle Andrews, 20, from Pontyclun said police in the city told her to fend for herself in the hours after the disaster.

"It was absolutely terrifying and I feared for my life" she said as she arrived in Gatwick Airport on Tuesday.

She described the aftermath of the hurricane as like a "horror movie".


This girl is from Wales - same old story - you're on your own!

BBC Link - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/4219130.stm

12:04 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

You can't say that ALL the US media is ignoring these stories. Many of the Midwest papers (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and such) ARE covering these stories albeit not on the front page. And there are a group of us here in California writing letters to the editors of our local papers (who are always looking for a scandal to print that the San Francisco and Oakland papers won't touch) trying to get these stories out here. We are not going to allow them to get away with this kind of crap!

Simpchimp, I've recently been talking to one of Bush's former Christian followers. She was a follower until Katrina which was the last straw and from what she tells me, she is not alone... very VERY much not alone! Here's the rub though, she's distrustful of all of you "wild eyed liberals" and 'your' leaders. I have to admit as a "libertarian leaning independent conservative" I'm rather frighten of some of them myself! While I'd LOVE to see a woman in the Whithouse and while I truly TRULY believe that basic health care and minimal housing are human rights, Hilary Clinton scares the HELL out of me! Aside from her gender and her apparent sexual morals (for all we know she just hasn't gotten caught yet) she isn't a Bill! Bill left us very well off after his 8 years, somehow I don't think she'd get our heads above the water much less leave us with anything in the kitty!

1:25 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

CHEEZE AND RICE Richard! It just took me 4 tries to get the word verification to work!

1:26 am  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

RICHARD: A cartoon for ya! At my site.

Rescuers demanded Brit girls strip!

I read about it in the Brit press but went to your blog to see if you did it too so I could cite your blog.

So enjoy. I had fun making the cartoon...

Also: we all have to do the id thing here because there is no alternative. Blogsphere has been invaded by spam bots in a huge, huge way. When the controls failed yesterday for just one hour, I was hit with those stupid bots!

1:50 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Something that just arrived in my email and was just too timely to NOT share!

Sent by a wonderful friend:

Subject: Good piece by Bill Shein: "Government IS the solution"

If you're not familiar with Bill Shein's satirical political writing,
check it out at http://www.reasongonemad.com/
Also check into his blog at the site.

This week's rumination, however, was uncharacteristically serious. I
think it's an excellent commentary on the role of government and another
summary of how we came to be in current circumstances. A copy of the
latest column is below. I believe a new one will be posted tomorrow
(maybe he'll have his sense of humor back by then), and I wanted to make
sure you saw this one.

Government is the Solution
by Bill Shein
The survivors of New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport and other coastal cities
are now refugees in their own country. Many others are dead or dying.
Americans are rallying to help (http://www.redcross.org), and brave
emergency workers are performing miracles.
President Bush must now aggressively use the tools of government to save
lives.
This obvious need for government action counters the belief, proclaimed
by Ronald Reagan, that "government is not the solution to our problems;
government is the problem." Today's loudest spokesman for that
anti-government view is Grover Norquist, an ally of the president who
has said his goal is "to shrink government to the size where we can
drown it in a bathtub."
Norquist's careless words are now a tragic metaphor. Because events
unfolding on the Gulf Coast are a reminder that government often
can - and must - provide the solution.
As citizens and taxpayers, we grant government the power and financial
resources to protect us from natural and manmade disasters. Nothing
could have prevented Hurricane Katrina. However, could government have
minimized the impact? What have billions in homeland-security
"preparedness" dollars given us? Why didn't the president take massive,
early action as a devastating storm approached? Why was federal funding
cut for improvements to the levees protecting New Orleans? What was the
plan if terrorists had blown up those levees?
On Thursday, back at work after "cutting short" his month-long vacation
by two days, the president said his "first priority is to save lives."
Then he ate lunch with Alan Greenspan.
Meanwhile, hungry people in New Orleans watched their city descend into
chaos. The elderly died in their wheelchairs. Others drowned in attics.
Looters and criminals overwhelmed relief workers and police, turning the
city into a war zone. The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, blasted
federal inaction and issued a desperate S.O.S.
The victims, mostly poor and black and without the financial resources
to evacuate before the storm, are people who have never been on
President Bush's radar screen. (In related news, the Census Bureau
announced this week that the nation's poverty rate rose for the fourth
year in a row.) Indeed, he chose unconsciously revealing words when he
told ABC's Diane Sawyer, "I just can't imagine what it is like to be
waving a sign saying 'come and get me now.' "
The word for such imagination, sir, is "compassion." You may remember it
from your campaign speeches.
Hours later, a clueless Michael Chertoff denied that anyone was
suffering at the New Orleans Convention Center, and said his Department
of Homeland Security was doing "a magnificent job." In fact, thousands
at the convention center had gone without food and water for days.
Why such ineptitude? Because for years, President Bush has staffed his
administration with cronies and political hacks. He regularly appoints
people who have no relevant experience but who will be loyal foot
soldiers in the fight to roll back government. The result of this
ideological, anti-government approach is now tragically plain.
Joe Allbaugh, a longtime Bush political advisor, ran the Federal
Emergency Management Agency before leaving in 2003 to parlay his
high-level access into lucrative Iraq reconstruction contracts. As its
director, Allbaugh helped bury FEMA inside the new Department of
Homeland Security. (Under President Clinton, it was an independent
Cabinet-level agency run by James Lee Witt, an experienced crisis
manager.)
The current head of FEMA, Michael Brown, was tapped by the president to
manage the federal response to Katrina. His relevant experience? From
the FEMA Web site: "Prior to joining FEMA (in 2001), Mr. Brown practiced
law in Colorado and Oklahoma, where he served as a bar examiner on
ethics and professional responsibility for the Oklahoma Supreme Court
and as a hearing examiner for the Colorado Supreme Court."
Defending FEMA's response in New Orleans, Brown callously blamed the
victims - the poor and infirm, and yes, a few who foolishly stayed
behind when they could have left. Then, as desperation enveloped New
Orleans, and the National Guard was told to "shoot to kill," Brown took
a page from the Iraq playbook and told CNN, "Things are going relatively
well."
Calling Brown incompetent would be too kind. He should be fired now.
Finally, it's hard not to notice that when President Bush orders
military action abroad that takes human life, his supporters cheer him
as a bold leader. But when called upon to take rapid action to save
thousands of lives here at home, it's clear that this president is not a
leader at all. Instead, he is a man embarrassingly out of his depth.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bill Shein's column appears Wednesdays and Sundays.
(This column originally appeared in the
Berkshire Eagle newspaper on September 4, 2005. Click
here
to read Bill's previous column, "Honoring Labor Day").

2:29 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Elaine, thanks. That's appreciated. Untill the whore media start doing their job properly it's down to ourselves to enlighten people about the realities of Bushco's "Fuck you! I'm alright, Jack," maladminstration.

11:09 am  
Blogger Richard said...

juliedee,

Thanks for that great Bill Shein piece.

As I just said to Elaine, it's all down to 'us' now.

The crooks have pulled the wool over the people's eyes for far too long. We've got to pull it - in more than one way.

11:13 am  
Blogger Richard said...

ganiab, I saw that rescue and as the reporter said it wasn't too dificult to do - if anyone was really interested in going abot things properly. And, most of us know that the majority of Americans are not remotely like the bums now ruling the roost.

3:11 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

simp, I bet yuou're righ about many other horror stories still to come out. Lets hope that when they do, they will make some kind of difference.

bluey, thanks again for the link to the other Brit girl's story. Much appreciated.

3:15 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Richard - I don't mean to blogwhore, but go to my blog or Crooks and Liars and watch video - charmaine neville, a survivor's story.

I don't know if they have a transcript up.

one "highlight" - they were shooting at helicopters - I couldn't quite figure that one out - why shoot at the cavalry? - well, they were shooting, because they were being IGNORED. According to this woman, the helicopters had gone over for possibly days. She had old people w/ her = people in wheelchairs on the top of a school.

THAT'S what the shooting was about.

I am sick.

Maybe Elaine will put something up about this, too.

3:34 pm  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

yes.

4:00 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Cosmic,
I went to your blog and I watched and listened to that video - then like yourself I went sick.

That poor [good & brave] woman. Those poor betrayed people.

And last but by no means least - those BASTARDS she spoke of. So sorry to swear here, but further words fail me. I can't think of anything else I'd like to say about them - except maybe that they're the type that makes scumbags seem nice.

(btw, I tried to comment at your blog but got one of those screens saying the page couldn't be found - even though the blog itself is up & running OK.)

8:15 pm  
Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

Great post. Just passing through, I'm liking your blog by the way.

3:13 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks a lot, THC. I'm very flattered.

Phew. You've won four, Black Weblog Awards this year - deservedly too, it seems. Many congratulations. I hope you go from strength to strength.

2:06 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Richard, A comment from you did materialize. Thank you for visiting.

Night of the long knives.

All the BS about this being a "screw up" ... intentional. Even I did not foresee that possibility. 'Thought it was a demo of FEMA's "impotence". I telll you what. These evil planners are good - but they overplayed their hand - this time.

3:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=al5qkmJ.zqL0&refer=home#

Even they are reporting how underqualified those in power are for the task given.

The more I learn and hear the sicker I get. Now Bush is even trying to do photo propaganda shots with firemen. How low can you go?

Sandra in the lost US, where the powers that be have no respect for life, but profit, pure profit.

More and more people are learning about the help refused by FEMA in the MSM and are getting madder and madder.

5:05 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

cosmic, you're welcome. I read you regularly.

As for overplaying their hand - I hope against hope this is the case, this time. If it isn't - God knows what they have to do before justice is done.

5:56 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for that, anonymous. All news like this is good news. Oh that it keeps on coming - thicker & faster with each passing hour.

5:58 pm  
Anonymous Graniab said...

Just to see how the other half are surviving in New Orleans - click on rawstory.com

12:13 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

graniab, it's like I've been saying, America is FAR more classist than Briton! The Big Loma Prieta quake hit on Bush 1's watch, and I learned first hand just how deep that divide is! I was living in a LOW class neighborhood while recovering from back surgery and an UGLY divorce (it was SO nice of my ex hubby to use my bi-sexuality against me! Just TRY to get a lawyer under those circumstances!) so CHEAP rent was critical! In any case I ended up with the rest of th' po' folk.

The middle class and the upper middle class could make appointments to see a FEMA rep, OR even have one come to their home, office or temporary housing. We po' folk had to ride a bus for 2+ hours that ran ONCE a day (6:10 am some times it left early) then take a number and wait... and wait... and wait... with no place to get food within a 1/2 hour bus ride (meaning you might miss being called, putting you back to the end of the line) IF you dared take the chance! IF you were not called that day you had to do the whole thing over again the next day.

OH! And here's the REAL kicker... you never knew if there would be 5 or 50 FEMA people there on any given day processing people so you couldn't guess by how crowded the buss was whether it was actually worth the trip!

As I've said elsewhere, the Red Cross and the other 'private' Non-Profits treated everyone equal, which REALLY pissed off a couple their high donors who thought they could get preferential treatment by threatening to pull their donations the next year! I about laughed my ass off!

3:34 pm  

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