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Nero Fiddling. Rome Burning.

September 02, 2005


The Interdictor is scaring and scarring me willy nilly. Serious. Michael Barnett has braved Katrina in an office tower. Their data center is running, they have a live webcam feed and pictures of behind-the-scenes in the Big Easy. Awful awful awful:
"If you're watching the feed, it's incredible. Hard to believe the fire department is still viable. God bless them. I'm no expert on conflagrations, but I don't think they're gonna win this one. Hopefully they can contain it. It takes a spectacular kind of asshole to set a fire in this environment."
This man is trained, armed, and ready for shit:
"When Bravo Team becomes functional this morning, we're going to do a Medium Range Recon Patrol around our section of the CBD. We need to access the area for potential human threats, situational threats (burning buildings, etc.), flooding, potential evac routes, military and civilian authority presence, etc."
Being paranoid you think? I don't think so, I think the situation there is hellish and it has nothing to do with paranoia and everything to do with lack of food, water, medicine, and of course...the ever-so-easy availabity of guns prior to Katrina. In an open letter to Jesse Jackson, Barnett states:
"Respectfully, I submit that you should shut the hell up. Looting and lawlessness IS the problem. The National Guard choppers are BEING SHOT AT. The NOPD are BEING SHOT AT. You want to focus on the levee? So do they, but check this out: THEY CAN'T UNTIL THE MOB STOPS ATTACKING THE RESCUE OPERATION."
The appeals continue:
"In case anyone in national security is reading this, get the word to President Bush that we need the military in here NOW. The Active Duty Armed Forces. Mr. President, we are losing this city. I don't care what you're hearing on the news. The city is being lost. It is the law of the jungle down here. The command and control structure here is barely functioning. I'm not sure it's anyone's fault -- I'm not sure it could be any other way at this point."
And finally, from an interview with a Bourbon Street DJ who braved it in the projects:
"...he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center... the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below... any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them... tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids... they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses... standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians..."
I saw a woman on telly saying the most inane thing, "I've lost all faith in Mother Nature", she cried. That made me lose it. Left me shouting at the screen like a crazy person. How much mistrust does one have to feel towards a governing body before one starts treating the physical laws of nature as a democratic parliament? My thoughts and heart go out to folks on the Gulf Coast. Just as they do to folks in similar straits elsewhere.

posted by Neha
12:39 PM

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