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September 08, 2005

Katrina: Why America Must Act

Much has been written about the storm and the ensuing disaster. Mishandling an emergency is bad by any standard ... cause for a deep reorganization of who did not follow what are by now standard procedures, internationally refined and perfectly clear to the 'responders'. But obviously, these procedures have not been followed and are not even now being followed in New Orleans.

What to do? Jon Rappoport of www.nomorefakenews.com catches the essence of the situation and, in a chilling conclusion, wakes us up to the price of ... inaction.

Talking about action, Michael Moore the filmmaker did the right thing. He closed office and went to organize a citizens' relief effort. They are finding that there is little or no help coming from those that should be organizing relief.

Here is Michael Moore's message and then the comment of Jon Rappoport:


- - -

Update 14 September 2005:

Michael Moore has organized a relief effort together with others, and here's what he says

From: Michael Moore
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005.
Subject: We've Raised a Half-Million Dollars and Sent Over 50 Tons of Food and Water

Friends,

Last week I closed my New York production office and sent my staff down to New Orleans to set up our own relief effort. I asked all of you to help me by sending food, materials and cash to the emergency relief center we helped set up on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain with the Veterans for Peace. We did this when the government was doing nothing and the Red Cross was still trying to get it together. Every day, every minute was critical. People were dying, poor people, black people, left like so much trash in the street. I wanted to find a way to get aid in there immediately.

I hooked up with the Vietnam veterans and Iraqi war vets (Veterans for Peace) who were organizing a guerilla, grass-roots relief effort. They were the same group that had set up Cindy Sheehan's camp in Crawford and now they had moved Camp Casey to Louisiana.

I have good news and horrible news to report. First, your response to my appeal letter was overwhelming. Within a few days, a half-million dollars was sent in through my website to fund our relief effort. This money was immediately used to buy generators, food, water, a mobile medical van, tents, satellite phones, etc.

Others of you began shipping supplies to our encampment. People in communities all over the country started organizing truck caravans to us in Louisiana. Twenty-two trucks from southern California alone have already arrived. A semi-truck from Chicago delivered ten tons of food.

A group of friends in New Jersey got two 24 foot trucks, got their community to load them up with goods, and arrived in Covington tonight. Fifteen iMacs are inbound from California. One man gave us his pick-up truck and another donated truck is en route from Houston.

Your response to my appeal has been nothing short of miraculous. And it has saved many, many lives.

A number of you decided to just get in your cars and drive to our camp to volunteer to help. We now have had 150 volunteers here doing the work that needs to be done. Last night they unloaded twenty tons of food from a tractor trailer in under two hours. Each day more volunteers arrive. Everyone is sleeping on the ground or in tents. It is a remarkable sight. Thank you, all of you, for responding. I will never forget this outpouring of generosity to those forgotten by our own government.

My staff and the vets spend their 18-hour days delivering food and water throughout the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. What they have seen is appalling. I have asked them to post their daily diaries on my website ( http://www.michaelmoore.com ) along with accompanying photos and video so you can learn what is really going on. What the media is showing you is NOT the whole story. It is much, much worse and there is still little being done to bring help to those who need it.

Our group has visited many outlying towns and villages in Mississippi and Louisiana, places the Red Cross and FEMA haven't visited in over a week. Often our volunteers are the first relief any of these people have seen. They have no food, water or electricity. People die every day. There are no TV cameras recording this. They have started to report the spin and PR put out by the White House, the happy news that often isn't true ("Everyone gets 2,000 dollars!").

The truth is that there are dead bodies everywhere and no one is picking them up. My crew reports that in most areas there is no FEMA presence, and very little Red Cross. It's been over two weeks since the hurricane and there is simply not much being done. At this point, would you call this situation incompetence or a purposeful refusal to get real help down there?

That's why we decided not to wait. And we are so grateful to all of you who have joined us. The Veterans for Peace and my staff aren't leaving (and that's why we are hoping those of you who can't get to Covington will make it to the Veterans for Peace co-sponsored anti-war demonstration in DC on September 24: www.unitedforpeace.org.)

If you want to help, here's what we need in Covington right now:

Cleaning Supplies (glass cleaner, bleach, disinfectant, etc.) Aspirin and other basic over the counter drugs. Bottled Water Canned Goods Hygiene Supplies Baby Supplies - Baby Food Formula, diapers #4, #5, Wipes, Pedialyte Sterile Gloves Batteries - All kinds, from AA to watch and hearing aid batteries. Volunteers with trucks and cars Self contained kitchens with generators, utensils, workers

Consider sending supplies in reusable containers. List the contents on the outside of the package so the folks in the warehouse can easily sort the items.

Clothes are not needed. If you go, keep in mind that you MUST be self-sufficient. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag. People are driving to Covington from across the country and often have extra room in their cars for you or for an extra box of supplies.

Send supplies via UPS to:
Veterans for Peace
Omni Storage
74145 Hwy. 25
Covington LA

Thanks again for funding and supporting our relief efforts. It has been a bright spot in this otherwise shameful month.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mike@michaelmoore.com
www.michaelmoore.com

forwarded by Louise of
Zeus Information Service
Alternative Views on Health


- - -


Jon Rappoport: SOME NOTES ON NEW ORLEANS

SEPTEMBER 7, 2005. As a number of people have pointed out for years, when you "solve" a tragedy by giving the government more power and money to do better the next time, you are usually whistling in the dark.

The entire collaboration between government and big medicine speaks of such madness. Every human behavior and "symptom" is chopped up into a new disease name, and toxic drugs inevitably follow. Whereas, on a level playing field, without government welfare for NIH and other major med institutions, America would be in far better health.

Mike Ruppert (From the Wildnerness) has an article about the dangers of feeding more $$ and power into the FEMA machine to handle "the next Katrina." That way lies: further corruption, less freedom, and no solution.

If FEMA is geared to do anything that verges on sanity, it's about forming contingency plans to deal with disasters. We can see how well that's been working in New Orleans.

I have a number of eye-witness reports that state looting and crime exist at a far lower level than has been suggested in the press. If so, then of course these press articles serve to explain/justify why rescue efforts have been too little and too late. "We couldn't get in there. People would shoot at us."

I just got back from a trip. I observed that most people are in a semi-dazed shock at the destruction of a major American city. They can't really believe that something like this could happen in this day and age. We're supposed to be, with all our vaunted technology/communication/organization, beyond it.

People of every political stripe assume "the government will take care of us."

But the government isn't saving New Orleans.

In fact, as everyone now knows, federal funds for the improvement of those now-famous levees were cut.

For the last several decades, it's been an open secret that a number of factors have been conspiring to set New Orleans up for exactly what has just happened: the destruction of all-important tree cover to protect the city against a direct hurricane hit; the mangling and shredding of the surrounding wetlands by thousands of miles of dug channels laid in by oil companies; New Orleans' position below sea level; the inability of the levees to deal with massive rains and wind; the strategic bottling up of the Mississippi River.

A Katrina has been predicted by scores of people.

It appears that there is at least one decent model for averting this horrendous tragedy: Holland. In the 1950s, that nation was flooded in many sectors. Its position vis-a-vis the level of the surrounding seas was a key. So Holland successfully instituted a plan to keep a disaster from reoccurring.

The bland and impotent and leaderless position of the White House has driven home the fact that this administration lives its sealed-off life at a different level from what the rest of us would call human.

Statements from federal officials have taken a vile tone: "We knew there could be some flooding, but the failure of the levees was a total shock." Serenely delivered bullshit.

I often make pharmaceutical analogies, and here is yet another occasion for doing it. When you stop and add up the overall toxic effects of thousands of medical drugs, you are faced with a choice. You can say the millions of deaths and maimings caused by these drugs is the result of serial blundering by well-intentioned people, or you can go to another place and view, at the very least, a crime of depraved indifference---negligent homicide. You can go beyond that, because who benefits when a population is rendered unable to think or function or react in a normal fashion, as more and more people are poisoned?

New Orleans, in all respects, has been sitting there without protection, a perfect target for a storm like Katrina. It's too easy to call this serial blundering.

And images of armed troops now moving through the city add up to the idea that help is really all about restoring order, not saving lives.

Conditioning the American population to martial law is a goal of the government and those men who, in the shadows, stand behind the known government. All the lunatic hoopla, for example, about the coming "pandemic flu" has the same purpose. Ditto for the so-called war on terrorism.

To save democracy, we must destroy it.

What better way to drive this point home than to allow a whole city to disappear?

George Bush is the perfect puppet for this current "quickening." In all respects, he is a man who has been foreshortened in perspective by a desperate effort to assert his position as a legitimate member of a royal American family. The approaching end-times, the mission of saving the world from evil forces ranged against the messiah, the sword-wielding crusader against the heathens, the closed-out consciousness that builds walls against admitting mistakes, the sloganeering posing as intelligence...it all feeds into the maw of reducing the kind of freedom in which he, Bush, would sink like a stone. Unrecognized, unappreciated, unsung.

And a very large part of the American population, bent on claiming "true values" as its territory, has bought into the premise that those values are quick phrases engraved on blood-soaked pieces of cloth framed behind glass, hanging on walls in living rooms and kitchens.

The so-called liberals are no better. They have their own slogans and shallow banners. They, in fact, are the standard bearers for setting up the nation as a virtual hospital, in which every citizen will be treated with kindness by doctors who know that every move we make, every breath we take, is a symptom of a disease that must be alleviated.

Both sides of the aisle are fronting for a vicious cartoon, Mickey Mouse bleeding out of both ears.

This is what happens when the thread of a real life and its dimensions are lost, when the wellsprings of the soul are replaced by a desert of pure nothing.

As one tragedy after another is engineered, we can postpone, under the rubric of emergency, this need for regeneration at the core of what we truly are. We can do that, but the returns will diminish, the price will escalate.

JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com


- - -

People of the Dome

by Mitchel Cohen Brooklyn Greens / Green Party of NY -

"I'm sick to death of hearing things from uptight narrow-minded pig-headed politicians. All I want is the truth. Just give me some truth."
- John Lennon

AS HURRICANE KATRINA RAVAGED THE GULF STATES, many organizations kicked into high gear to send relief to local groups in Mississippi and Louisiana, with no help from the government or formal relief agencies. Among them was the Malcolm X Grassroots movement, with whom the Brooklyn Greens shares an office on Atlantic Avenue. Tons of donated supplies poured into the office and were trucked to Jackson Mississippi, where they were distributed through community-based efforts.

I spoke daily with Les Evenchick, a Green who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I was also in touch with New Orleans residents Malik Rahim and Mike Howell; the areas in which they live were dry and they were holding out as long as they could. The story they tell is shocking: U.S. and local government officials refused to allow water or food relief into New Orleans. They also turned off the drinking water. Hundreds of people died unnecessarily as a result.

And yet, there was no shortage of water or food being sent -- it was just not allowed into the City! When Green Party activists tried to donate water for the people in the Superdome a few days after the levees broke, armed soldiers pointed rifles at them and prevented them from delivering supplies. Even three Wal-Mart trucks loaded with drinking water were denied entry and turned away. No water was allowed into New Orleans. Evenchick says that "this was a brazen attempt to starve people out."

Attempts to starve civilians into leaving an area is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Who gave the order to block water and food from entering New Orleans? Who ordered the drinking water inside the city to be turned off? No one has yet answered those questions.

On Thursday of that first week, volunteers whose makeshift boats had rescued over 1,000 people were ordered to stop, under the pretext that it was too dangerous. The volunteers wanted to continue rescue operations. They said there was little risk, that desperate people had been welcoming them with open arms. The military "convinced" the volunteer rescuers at gunpoint to "cease and desist." They did the same to a state senator who had led a flotilla of hundreds of boats and rafts all the way from Mississippi to rescue people.
Who gave the order to block the volunteer rescue teams in New Orleans? No one has yet answered that question.

Officials claimed that people were trying to shoot down the rescue helicopters. In actuality, a couple of people shot into the air to signal helicopters to pick them up. Yet officials repeated this lie over and over, as justification for shutting down voluntary rescue operations and sending in thousands of fully armed military troops, along with private Blackwater mercenaries fresh from Iraq under orders to "shoot to kill."

Two U.S. military helicopter pilots plucked 110 people from the roofs of their flooded houses. We saw them on T.V. and cheered. When they returned to base they were called into the commander's office. They thought they were going to be given medals. Instead, as reported in the NY Times, their commanding officers reprimanded them and removed them from helicopter duty for "violating orders." Who gave the order not to rescue people?
For more than two weeks, hundreds of volunteer doctors and fire personnel -- including a squad from New York City -- were denied entry to New Orleans. They were dispatched, instead, to provide backdrop for Bush's photo-ops in other areas. The medical personnel were kept twiddling their thumbs, as people were dying.

A commanding officer of a police squad complained that his 120 cops were provided with only 70 small bottles of water. Hospitals were supplied with nothing. Could FEMA and local officials have forgotten to store bottles of drinking water in the Superdome, Convention Center and hospitals?

The only FEMA official on the scene in the early stages, Marty Bahamonde, has testified to Congress that he begged FEMA director Michael Brown for water, food, toilet paper and oxygen, saying that "many will die within hours." Brown's press secretary, Sharon Worthy, responded that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that [sic] 20 or 30 minutes," Worthy wrote. "Restaurants are getting busy," she said. "We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise [sic], followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc." Let them eat gumbo.

In an interview by WWL-TV, Mayor Ray Nagin complained vociferously that Louisiana National Guard Blackhawk helicopters were being stopped from dropping sandbags to plug the levees soon after the breech. No repairs were allowed until long after the poor areas of New Orleans were totally flooded.

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and Cuba's President Fidel Castro offered millions of dollars and hundreds of doctors to help save lives in New Orleans. They were turned down. Millions of concerned citizens wanted to send assistance as well. FEMA recommended that they send contributions to "Operation Blessing," a front group for rightwing evangelist Pat Robertson. Robertson had recently televised a speech calling for the assassination of Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez.

Can all of these be explained by simple incompetence and negligence, or is there something more sinister going down?

The Saudization of New Orleans

Les Evenchick is an independent Green activist who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans in a 3-story walkup. He points out that people were told to go to the bus depot to evacuate, but the bus station had closed down the night before. Unless you owned a car, Les continued, FEMA and state police would not let you leave.

Hundreds attempting to walk out of New Orleans were forced off the road and ordered back to the Coliseum or Superdome, where no water or food was available. As a consequence the vast majority of the so-called looters were simply grabbing water, food, diapers and medicine. "It's only because of them that old people, sick people, small children were able to survive," Les says. "But the 'anti-looting' hype was used to militarize the area, place it under martial law and disperse the population, mostly Black people, mostly the poor."

These were the people who had twice voted in huge numbers against the candidacy of George Bush, the only area in the state to have done so. The previous year, they also fought off attempts to privatize the drinking water supply, battled Shell Oil's attempt to build a Liquified Natural Gas facility, and tried to prevent the teardown of public housing -- battles in which Mayor Ray Nagin, who had contributed funds to George W. Bush's presidential campaign in 2000 and who was a registered Republican until a few months prior to the 2002 Mayoral election, sided with the oil companies and wealthy developers.
Some tourists in the Monteleone Hotel pooled their funds and paid $25,000 for 10 buses to get them out. The buses were sent (there was no short-age of available buses -- why didn't the government use this bus company?) but the military confiscated them for its own use. The tourists were not allowed to leave and were ordered to the Convention Center.

How simple it would have been for the government to have provided buses before the hurricane and throughout the week. AMTRAK says it offered free rides out of town but that City officials never got back to them to finalize arrangements. Evacuating 100,000 people trapped in the city should not that be that difficult, it's only 3,000 buses, fewer than come into Washington D.C. for some of the giant antiwar demonstrations. Even at $2,500 a pop -- highway robbery -- that would only come to a total of $7.5 million for transporting out of harm's way all of those who did not have the means to leave.

Thousands of New Orleans residents refused to evacuate. Some didn't want to leave their pets or their homes. Most have no money nor place to go. Green activist and former Black Panther Malik Rahim, who lives in the Algiers section -- which, like the French Quarter and several other areas above sea-level, remained fairly dry -- points out that the government could have and should have provided water and food to residents of New Orleans but did not do so intentionally to force people to evacuate by starving them out. This is a crime of the gravest sort.

French Quarter resident Mike Howell adds that the capability had been there to drive water and food right up to the convention center, as those roads were clear - it's the same road the National Guard used to drive into the city.

The evidence is overwhelming that the government intentionally did not allow food or water into New Orleans.

I recently emailed Governor Kathleen Blanco (a Democrat) asking, Who ordered the turn-off of the drinking water? There was no health reason to turn it off at the time, as the water is drawn into a separate system from the Mississippi River, not the polluted lake, and filtered through self-powered purification plants separate from the main electric grid. If necessary, people could have boiled their water -- strangely, the municipal natural gas used in stoves was still functioning properly as of Thursday night of that first week! I have not received a response from Gov. Blanco. (Note: Without this water - they could not even flush the toilets.)

MSNBC interviewed dozens of people who had managed to get out during the first few days. Every single one interviewed was white.

The people who are poor (primarily Blacks but many poor Whites as well) were locked in the Superdome and not allowed to leave -- five days of hell. Those who survived the first dome were then bussed out of the area to another stadium, the AstroDome in Houston. Call them "People of the Dome."

The Grassroots Organizes Itself

Gulf Coast resident Latosha Brown reports that the first group to send emergency supplies was TOPS, The Ordinary Peoples Society, a prison ministry in Dothan Alabama founded and staffed by ex-offenders. They organized food, pooled their money for additional goods and brought the supplies to a second organization of former prisoners in Mobile who distributed them, while they went back to Dothan for more. "That's why we tell everybody now that it was felons who were the first to feed, the first to respond to need, the first to get up and do something. They didn't wait for permission or for a contract. That's real leadership." ("Rescue Came from the Grassroots: The People, Not FEMA, Saved Themselves," by Bruce Dixon, in The Black Commentator.)

Volunteer medics have now established free clinics with the Common Ground Collective: www.commongroundrelief.org in defiance of governmental edicts and machine guns.

Others, working in solidarity with tribal leaders, have created a dedicated relief effort for Native American communities: www.intuitivepath.org. (link is no longer active)

Food Not Bombs volunteers have been feeding people all over the region, with no help from the government or Red Cross: www.foodnotbombs.net/dollar_for_peace.html.

From Day One, huge war profiteering corporations such as Halliburton, Bechtel and other private contractors began descending on the region, their pockets stuffed with billions of dollars in government handouts. Currently, thousands of poor homeowners and rental tenants - including those unable to return to New Orleans just yet, having been evacuated to the far away domes -- are being evicted, says Mike Howell, who is organizing tenants to resist eviction. The phony "reconstruction" of New Orleans begins with the landgrab and with Mayor Nagin proposing gambling casinos, which he says would "rescue" the city (while destroying the remaining wetlands).

Many people are resisting this blatant confiscation of their lands and homes. If the resistance grows, New Orleans may soon become known as the first battle of the new American revolution.

Mitchel Cohen

- - -


HURRICANE EXPERT THREATENED FOR PRE-KATRINA WARNINGS


A Greg Palast special investigation for Democracy Now!


Monday, August 28 2006. From New Orleans.

DON'T blame the Lady. Katrina killed no one in this town. In fact, Katrina missed the city completely, going wide to the east.

It wasn't the hurricane that drowned, suffocated, de-hydrated and starved 1,500 people that week. The killing was done by a deadly duo: a failed emergency evacuation plan combined with faulty levees. Behind these twin failures lies a tale of cronyism, profiteering and willful incompetence that takes us right to the steps of the White House.

Here's the story you haven't been told. And the man who revealed it to me, Dr. Ivor van Heerden, is putting his job on the line to tell it.

Van Heerden isn't the typical whistleblower I usually deal with. This is no minor player. He's the Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center. He's the top banana in the field -- no one knew more about how to save New Orleans from a hurricane's devastation. And no one was a bigger target of an official and corporate campaign to bury the information.

Here's what happened. Right after Katrina swamped the city, I called Washington to get a copy of the evacuation plan.

Funny thing about the murderously failed plan for the evacuation of New Orleans: no one can find it. That's right. It's missing. Maybe it got wet and sank in the flood. Whatever: no one can find it.

That's real bad. Here's the key thing about a successful emergency evacuation plan: you have to have copies of it. Lots of copies -- in fire houses and in hospitals and in the hands of every first responder. Secret evacuation plans don't work.

I know, I worked on the hurricane evacuation plan for Long Island New York, an elaborate multi-volume dossier.

Specifically, I'm talking about the plan that was written, or supposed to have been written two years ago by a company called, "Innovative Emergency Management."

Weird thing about IEM, their founder Madhu Beriwal, had no known experience in hurricane evacuations. She did, however, have a lot of experience in donating to Republicans.

IEM and FEMA did begin a draft of a plan. The plan was that, when a hurricane hit, everyone in the Crescent City would simply get the hell out in their cars. Apparently, the IEM/FEMA crew didn't know that 127,000 people in the city didn't have cars. But Dr. van Heerden knew that. It was his calculation. LSU knew where these no-car people were -- they mapped it -- and how to get them out.

Dr. van Heerden offered this life-saving info to FEMA. They wouldn't touch it. Then, a state official told him to shut up, back off or there would be consequences for van Heerden's position. This official now works for IEM.

So I asked him what happened as a result of making no plans for those without wheels, a lot of them elderly and most of them poor.

"Fifteen-hundred of them drowned. That's the bottom line." The professor, who'd been talking to me in technicalities, changed to a somber tone. "They're still finding corpses."

Van Heerden is supposed to keep his mouth shut. He won't. The deaths weigh on him. "I wasn't going to listen to those sort of threats, to let them shut me down."

Van Heerden had other disturbing news. The Hurricane Center's computer models showed the federal government had built the levees around the city a foot-and-a-half too short.

After Katrina, the Hurricane Center analyzed the flooding and found that, had the levees had just that extra 18 inches, they would have been "overtopped" for only an hour and a half, not four hours. In that case, the levees would have held, and the city would have been saved.

He had taken the warning about the levees all the way to George Bush's doorstep. "I myself briefed senior officials including somebody from the White House." The response: the university's trustees threatened his job.

While in Baton Rouge, I dropped in on the headquarters of IEM, the evacuation contractors. The assistant to the CEO insisted they had "a lot of experience with evacuation" -- but couldn't name a single city they'd planned for when they got the Big Easy contract. And still, they couldn't produce the plan.

An IEM press release in June 2004 boasted legendary expert James Lee Witt as a member of their team. That was impressive. It was also a lie. In fact, Witt had nothing to do with it. When I asked IEM point blank if Witt's name was used as a fraudulent hook to get the contract, their spokeswoman said, weirdly, "We'll get back to you on that."

Back at LSU, van Heerden astonished me with the most serious charge of all. While showing me huge maps of the flooding, he told me the White House had withheld the information that, in fact, the levees were about to burst and by Tuesday at dawn the city, and more than a thousand people, would drown.

Van Heerden said, "FEMA knew on Monday at 11 o'clock that the levees had breachedÖ They took video. By midnight on Monday the White House knew. But none of us knew ...I was at the State Emergency Operations Center." Because the hurricane had missed the city that Monday night, evacuation effectively stopped, assuming the city had survived.

It's been a full year now, and 73,000 New Orleanians remain in FEMA trailers and another 200,000, more than half the city's former residents, remain in temporary refuges. "The City That Care Forgot" -- that's their official slogan -- lost a higher percentage of homes than Berlin lost in World War II. It would be more accurate to call it, "The City That Bush Forgot."

Should they come home? Rebuild? Is it safe? Team Bush assures them there's nothing to worry about: FEMA won't respond to van Heerden's revelations. However, the Bush Administration has hired a consulting firm to fix the failed evacuation plan. The contractor? A Baton Rouge company named "Innovative Emergency Management." IEM.

******
Watch this special investigative report about Katrina on Democracy Now! this morning or hear it on your local Pacifica or NPR station. You can also download it at DemocracyNow.org.

And catch the one-hour special report, "Who Drowned New Orleans?" on LinkTV, with Greg Palast in New Orleans plus an exclusive interview with Amy Goodman. (Get it on Direct TV channel 375 and Dish TV channel 9410. Or check your cable listing at LinkTV.com.)

And for more on IEM and Katrina, read Greg Palast's new NYT bestseller, "Armed Madhouse" (Penguin 2006).


See also:


HARD CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE BIG EASY"By Paul Rogat Loeb
As the New Orleans disaster recedes from the headlines, citizen activists face a choice. We can focus exclusively on other newer issues. Or we can work to make the disaster one of those key turning points with the potential to transform American politics. For this to happen, we need to consciously create new dialogue, reaching well beyond the core converted.

War on terror 'causing US deaths'
Response to Hurricane Katrina has been affected, Professor Frank said
The US government's focus on the war on terror has diverted funds from healthcare, leading to many deaths, a leading health expert claims.

'Get Off The Fucking Freeway': The Sinking State Loots its Own Survivors

FEMA Turned Away Aid, Rescue Crews, Cut Emergency Communication Lines: Witnesses

After Katrina Fiasco, Time for Bush to Go
by Gordon Adams
The disastrous federal response to Katrina exposes a record of incompetence, misjudgment and ideological blinders that should lead to serious doubts that the Bush administration should be allowed to continue in office.

FEMA - US Government intervention actually hindered Katrina rescue operations
Analysis by G. Edward Griffin of Freedom Force International

Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans

SHOOT-OUT 17TH STREET CANAL? Between Police & Military Bombing Levee

Food Not Bombs Needs Help Feeding the Survivors of Rita and Katrina

Katrina, 10 Months Later - Gutting New Orleans
By BILL QUIGLEY

Trying to Make It Home: New Orleans One Year After Katrina Bill Quigley

New Orleans: Big Easy to Big Empty
The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans
In this half-hour film, Greg Palast and his team travel to New Orleans to investigate what has happened since Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast last year. On his visit, he discovers that the population of New Orleans is miniscule, the reconstruction sparse, suicide rates are climbing, and many have not, nor know how to, return to the city that care forgot. He examines why residents had to leave, what really caused the flood and why they aren't returning.

18 Missing Inches in New Orleans
On August 22, 2006, we were videotaping Katrina evacuees still held behind barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It had been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW's (Prisoners of Dubya) were still in mobile home Gulags. I arranged a surreptitious visit with Pamela Lewis, one of the unwilling guests of George Bush's Guantanamo on wheels. She told me, "It's a prison set-up" - except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes. You can't film there. FEMA is part of Homeland Security and its camps are off limits to cameras...

Hurricane George - How the White House Drowned New Orleans
"By midnight on Monday, the White House knew. Monday night I was at the state Emergency Operations Center and nobody was aware that the levees had breeched. Nobody."

The charge is devastating: That, on August 29, 2005, the White House withheld from the state police the information that New Orleans was about to flood. From almost any other source, I would not have believed it. But this was not just any source. The whistle-blower is Dr. Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, the chief technician advising the state on saving lives during Katrina.

 


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday September 8 2005
updated on Wednesday August 15 2012

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/09/08/katrina_why_america_must_act.htm

 


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Readers' Comments


On the subject of Katrina and the people displaced or otherwise affected, here is a suggestion from Jonathan Campbell for a simple "fix" for health related problems - an abundant dose of vitamin C will certainly help.

What Katrina victims need but no one is asking for or providing - vitamin C for trauma

Vitamin C deficiency is universal in virtually all human populations, as a result of its misclassification as a micronutrient when it was discovered in the 1930s. The human body (and the bodies of all other animals) needs it in large quantities, for dozens of metabolic processes. Most animals produce it in their livers (mammals) or kidneys (reptiles), and the more stress, the more is needed and produced, but we humans cannot. A fully-grown mountain goat, an animal under frequent stress, produces about 10-14 grams of it per day when not under stress and as much as 100 grams per day when under stress. We also need huge amounts when under stress.

What does this have to do with Katrina victims? Poor people are often so vitamin C deficient that they are on the verge of having scurvy (weak, nearly hemorrhaging arteries and smaller vessels) as a result of malnutrition. There is precious little vitamin C in food eaten by most people in poverty, and they do not have the luxury of taking supplements. The addition of the trauma of Katrina is then deadly indeed, as their bodies are stressed to the limit, vitamin C reserves are exhausted, and the availability of food containing vitamin C drops to zero. The cause of death is classified as stroke (which it well might be, the bursting of an artery in the brain), or heart attack, or exhaustion, or malnutrition, etc., etc., etc. but is in fact trauma-induced scurvy. Many people's lives could be saved by the mere addition of 1000 mg of vitamin C per day. This was demonstrated as early as 60 years ago by Dr. Ed Klenner, who administered a few grams of vitamin C intravenously to every child entering the hospital where he served. During his tenure, he reported that he never lost a child while they were waiting for treatment, a common occurrence in many hospitals.

If anyone knows anyone who is serving Katrina victims, could they please get this message to them: get the victims vitamin C immediately to save lives. 1000 mg per day would be ideal, at a cost of about 6 cents.

Posted by: Sepp on September 14, 2005 09:55 AM

 















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