Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Invisible Coast

The Invisible Coast: Mississippi's continuing struggle in the wake of Katrina:
"...once things like Katrina are out of the news, you think that they're fixed... and this place is just nowhere near fixed."
The site links to a Quicktime movie (low-bandwidth connection site here) as well as to additional information: WHAT YOU CAN DO, and the film site.

The students thank WLOX-TV in Biloxi for access to TV footage. We thank them for their work; we also thank Ted Mathias for his part in that, and for letting us know about this site. Mr. Mathias welcomes comments sent to TEDDYM@DARTMOUTH.EDU.

Monday, May 22, 2006

1,577 and counting

New Orleans Times-Picayune's Michelle Hunter, May 19: Deaths of evacuees push toll to 1,577:
The first stories of death came quickly and immediately: New Orleans area residents drowning in fetid floodwaters, succumbing in sweltering attics or being swept out to sea.

But state officials say that for weeks after it made landfall Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina kept claiming Louisiana victims, often in more subtle fashion and often in other states: elderly and ill evacuees too fragile for grueling trips on gridlocked highways, infants stillborn to mothers who were shuttled to other cities when they should have been on bed rest and residents overcome with anxiety by 24-hour television broadcasts of the devastation back home.

Because of a continuing rise in reports of out-of-state deaths, Louisiana's official Katrina toll jumped 22 percent on Thursday, to 1,577 deaths, when the Department of Health and Hospitals added 281 more victims to the count. Texas alone accounted for 223 deaths of the increase.
Via After the Levees' Lois Dunn, who points out there are still 274 people missing from Louisiana, and bodies continue to be found.

Blogospherics of Nagin's re-election

Roy Edroso quotes Glenn Reynolds ("Instapundit"):
I predict substantially less support for New Orleans reconstruction. Betweeen the Louisiana delegation's absurd overreaching in demanding a huge amount of pork-laden funding, and this, they've managed to squander a lot of the sympathy that was present in in September. Louisiana's political class isn't just greedy -- it's greedy and stupid. Louisiana will pay the price. And probably complain of unfairness when it does.
...and comments:
It is interesting that the Perfesser portrays the voters of New Orleans as part of the "political class." Given the general American non-involvement in political decision-making, maybe they do qualify. From that point of view, voters who pull the wrong lever are as blameworthy as their politicians, and as deserving of retribution. In fact, from the Perfesser's formulation, we may further infer that the minority that did not vote to reelect Nagin -- and the rest of the state's residents, I guess -- deserve what they get, too.

Vote right or lose your Federal aid -- an intriguing new vision of political reform. It puts the Perfesser's Porkbusters enthusiasm in a whole new light.
Glenn Greenwald reviews some of the other unfavorable reactions to Nagin's re-election, and comments:
The people commenting on this municipal election have no idea why Nagin was re-elected. There are all sorts of reasons why that might have happened. Perhaps the voters thought he was not to blame for what happened with Katrina. Perhaps they thought he was heroic in how he stood up to the Federal Government and pinned the blame where it belonged. Perhaps they thought he did the best he could and was satisfied with his governance in other areas. Perhaps they had no faith in his opponent that he could do better. Those who are claiming that he was re-elected by a bunch of stupid black voters strictly on racial grounds have no idea whether that's true and they don't care either.

All they know is that they excitedly see an opportunity where they think this sort of spiteful racial commentary -- which is normally beyond the bounds of what is acceptable -- is permissible here, and they can't pass up the chance to spew playground epithets about Ray Nagin's race and about the intellectual level of the voters who re-elected him. These ugly sentiments are never far from the surface in many people and it doesn't take much for it to come spewing forth.

Fixing the Pianos of New Orleans

NPR: Fixing the Pianos of New Orleans:
Peter Spring went to New Orleans to offer his skills as a piano tuner. He's helping repair instruments damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
There are also other post-Katrina New Orleans culture and music stories you can visit via links on the same page.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Katrina and the Common Good

Katrina and the Common Good, Boyd Blundell, TPMCafe:
For example, it's worth asking why Katrina was such a tipping point for the President's approval ratings.

The answer is that it offered irrefutable images that he was not looking after the common good. It undermined the average American's self-image of being part of a country that actually worked. Without consciously changing their mind on a single policy, a good quarter of the country just stopped believing in the President.

Remember, this change of heart happened mostly in people who were not personally affected by the disaster at all. excerpt from what appears to be an excellent blog within TPMCafe, After the Levees.