Nawlins three-four years ago: sipping Hurricanes in the courtyard of Pat O'Brien's. Seriously doubt those times ("laissez les bons temps rouler!") are going to come round again, even though NYTimes has a story today that French Quarter seems to be relatively unscathed. Similar report on CNN. (Over in the flooded 9th Ward, rumors abound that the levee was breached on purpose, so that the French Quarter would stay dry. Strange, cynical theories, even by NOLA standards.)
But here's a reasonable question for the disaster planners: it's no secret that many poor people in New Orleans don't own cars, or can't afford to buy gas at the end of the month. How can you order the evacuation of a city without providing transportation? Like convoys of trucks & buses through low-lying neighborhoods to take people to safety? And bring in enough National Guard troops beforehand to maintain order. Unless they're deployed elsewhere, like Iraq.
As blogs of all stripes are pointing out, the warnings have been around for years, decades. The "Corpse" of Engineers has been messing with the Mississippi River for almost a century; Herbert Hoover started it, and FEMA's incompetence this week is its direct descendant.
Slate, Freakonomics and Daily Kos seem to have the most comprehensive threads going. And even if you hate Fox News and find Geraldo contemptible, you've got to give the guy credit for ripping into Hannity & Colmes last night. Click on the thumbnail below for a link to the video. Meanwhile, observers everywhere are frustrated beyond words.
In Sunday's grey morning light, an Op-Ed piece by Anne Rice, the city's conscience, explains all.