I’m happy to see what looks like a significant support effort taking place in New Orleans. This is the kind of thing that was needed yesterday (and from the looks of it, could have happened yesterday if people were simply given the orders to deploy).
While things are still out of control, this is the first time in a few days since there was any sort of order being applied to the chaos.
I’ve been watching The Interdictor for most of the day, and the information is coming in faster (and likely with less spin) then any other news outlet. The site is run by a New Orleans ISP that’s holed up in their office building, running off of a diesel generator.
The same people running that site are also reporting things as they happen in the #interdictor IRC channel on irc.freenode.net.
If you want to be able to form a good idea about what’s going in New Orleans, compare what you’re seeing on CNN and Fox with what people like the folks at directNIC are doing (the ISP behind The Interdictor). CNN has been a bit soft on the raw details – gangs of murderers roaming the streets, women and girls getting raped, arson, NOPD officers ditching their badges and joining in, uncontrolled oil spilling into the Mississippi river, buildings collapsing, random people getting sniped.
The Interdictor seems to be able to fill in some of the details where CNN is empty, and vice versa. Whatever you do, don’t just watch a single news source.
I’m glad that Bush has decided to actually get on the ground, but any shred of respect or “benefit of the doubt” sort of feelings I had for him are completely gone. His own Homeland Security advisor refused to believe, despite an NPR reporter stating it as fact in the middle of an interview, that there were thousands of refugees holed up in the Convention Center with no food or water, avoiding the restrooms so as not to get raped, robbed, or killed. He simply refused to believe it – he didn’t even concede to the possibility. I feel like Bush had the same sort of reaction regarding the entire thing. He thought it well enough to say “Help is on the way” and seemed to brush it off. I can’t think of any other President who wouldn’t stop everything, give a televised presidential address, and get themselves on the scene immediately, accompanied by armies of support. Either he didn’t care, or didn’t really know what was going on, and both of those things are damning for me.