Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What's that smell?

The Internets are rife with conspiracy theories about the Katrina aftermath in New Orleans. Conspiracy theorists talk about levees being blown up by explosives, the evacuees from New Orleans being transported to concentration camps, the dead bodies being "disappeared" by the Bush administration and its cronies in order to hide the final death toll, and other seemingly-bizarre stuff of that nature.

My first inclination is to dismiss all of that out of hand under the "never attribute to malice what can be reliably attributed to incompetence" maxim. I mean, we're talking about the *BUSH ADMINISTRATION*. A bunch of dimwit numbskulls whose only core competency is the ability to scare the American people into voting for them. Yet... yet... that said, something funny has been going on here, and even though I can't put my finger on it, it stinks to high heaven.

There's the mystery of the slow response. Bloggers note that FEMA was far more responsive in earlier hurricanes, delivering food and water to the affected areas within 48 hours -- rather than 5 days. FEMA did not even deploy its search-and-rescue teams to the hurricane area until the Saturday after the hurricane, i.e., 5 days too late. Why could FEMA respond effectively last year in Florida, and then this year apparently was caught with its pants down?

Then there's the befuddling lack of leadership. The National Response Plan assigns responsibility for responding to a national disaster to the Director of Homeland Security, and an order by the President gives him full authority to deploy any and all Federal resources necessary in order to respond to a disaster of national significance (which the drowning of the highest-volume port in America most certainly is). In other words, Secretary Chertoff, not FEMA head "Drownie Brownie" (who we should now re-nickname "Sacrificial Duck"), was officially in charge until Chertoff formally appointed Drownie as "principle federal official" 36 hours after the hurricane hit, and had full authority to deploy any and all federal resources to the hurricane area irregardless of what the governors of said area requested or desired. Yet Chertoff appeared to not understand a plan that he himself had participated in writing, and continues to insist that he could do nothing until a formal request from the local leadership arrived in his office asking him to provide specific resources. Is it plausible that Chertoff could utterly forget a plan that he himself participated in writing?

Then there's the puzzling case of the emergency assistance turned away by FEMA. Food, water, generators, firemen, policemen, boaters, and rescue teams from around the globe were ready to swarm into the New Orleans area to help save lives and rescue those in need. Yet FEMA turned them away, time after time, sometimes at gunpoint.

Okay, so the above can be possibly explained by the fact that the Bushies are friggin' morons, more devoted to ass covering than saving lives, but... what about the case of FEMA cutting Jefferson Parish's emergency communications lines? We are now in active malice territory here -- lack of bureaucratic paperwork can't explain this one. The stench is starting to get unreal...

Computer simulations show that the canal levees should not have been overtopped. While it's possible that the simulations are wrong, they correctly predict what happened to the 9th Ward and St. Bernard levees. What happened to the canal levees?

Then, there is literally the question of the bodies. Where are the bodies? News reporters aren't allowed to photograph them. Volunteer funeral directors are told they're not FEMA certified and thus can't help with preparing the bodies. Meanwhile, bodies are hauled off to D-MORT in refrigerated trucks, where they're stacked like cordwood and hidden from view until handled by a company with connections to the Bush Administration that has a history of "losing" bodies.

Finally: What happens to the government and people of New Orleans? Without people, you can't hold elections, and it appears that, when the City of New Orleans runs out of money at the end of this month (stores and restaurants that are underwater don't pay taxes), it will become a de-facto Federal protectorate run under military law... not to mention the now-seemingly-permenant displacement of most of its population, to be replaced, presumably, by fine upstanding Republicans... could we be, in fact, seeing the future of America? Is New Orleans our Jeruseleum circa the Jewish Diaspora (Roman times), to be cleansed of the pesky rebellious native population so that we can replace them with fine upstanding RomansRepublicans loyal to the Emperor?

I don't hold much truck with all the stuff about bombs and such -- anybody who knew New Orleans knew that a Category 4 storm surge hitting levees intended to stop a Category 3 storm surge meant the city was going underwater -- but there's a stench here, one that I can't ferret out, but man it stinks to high heaven...

- Badtux the "What's that smell?" Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 9/14/2005 01:23:00 PM  


I have to agree. It is very odd how the dubya admin paid little attention. There were several deliveries made to the wrong places, too. It is so bizarre. I think Wayne Madsen has it right when he said they are planning on making it a casino resort spot.
# posted by oldwhitelady : 14/9/05 6:15 PM  

I agree that there is a smell and I haven't identified it yet either.
# posted by CmdrSue : 14/9/05 6:51 PM  

you're a bit slow, Badtux.. I've been saying that for over a week.. Seriously, after all of the obvious malarky the Cheney/Rove adminstration has pulled over the last 6 or so years, I am stunned that the sheep go along so willingly.

6 years.. remember the 'campaigning?
# posted by bobby : 14/9/05 9:47 PM  

nothing funny here. No strange smells.

The easiest way to get on with the job of protecting all that property is to starve out the pesky people who would just get in the way.

# posted by Anonymous : 14/9/05 11:24 PM  

It not only stinks,from a long distance,it's Depraved Indifference.If Homeland Security was truly a priority,then it would be.Period.

Neoconservatives have no problem with government,as long as they can bleed it dry,which they are pretty good at,it's about the only thing they're good at.

And I just wonder if this is their way of backing the arguement that government needs to drown in the bathtub,to paraphrase Norquist(the skeevy little fucker).See,they need those tax cuts for the wealthy because the federal government doesn't spend the money wisely in the first place.

Problem is,they haven't considered what will happen as a result of that.You know,to the rest of us mere peasants.Nor do they give a damn.

I wonder also if these no bid contracts for cleanup and body removal began being made before help arrived in any form or fashion,I get the impression that those deals were in the works before any kind of help was.
# posted by An Angry Old Broad : 15/9/05 3:33 AM  

You're enterataining the idea that the Republicans wish to repopulate the new New Orleans with like-imaged Republicans?

That's crazy, BT. However, there is a way to test that hypothesis: simply note the demographics of the new New orleaners, and observe the attention they devote to levee maintenance. If the answers are "white" and "obsessive," then there may be a Pulitzer in your future...
# posted by Mimus Pauly : 15/9/05 3:51 AM  

Joe Cannon at
is asking the same questions.
# posted by Anonymous : 15/9/05 4:56 AM  

Well, the "city fathers" -- the white Republican business community that plucked Ray Nagin from obscurity and made him Mayor -- have been fairly frank in expressing their desire that New New Orleans have fewer poor people. Where "poor" is a code word for "black Democrats". There was an article in a few days ago regarding the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce meeting in Baton Rouge to plan the reconstruction of "their" city (since only white businessmen count, apparently, the rest of the folks in New Orleans just need to shut their mouths because they have no say in the reconstruction). If you read between the lines, ethnic cleansing is one of their most fervent hopes.

That's just one data point in all this mess. I don't know what to make of it. I don't have any theory to explain all these strange facts that are just bubbling around like some toxic brew. All I know is that there's somethin' happenin' here... even if what it is isn't really clear...

- Badtux the Puzzled Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 15/9/05 11:07 AM  

Yes something smells, it even smells worse the closer you are, I thought Louisiana politics was currupt, but what we are seeing here is down right criminal.
# posted by Ole Blue The Heretic : 15/9/05 1:22 PM  

That list from Rense Sense is a short one, there is more like having three blackhawk helicopters doing press duty the first three days, turning down help from 90 countries and non profit organizations, and getting rid of the volunteer morticians to give the body dumping Texascrats a no bid contract.

Confiscating all the guns then turning Blackwater loose on the streets with their M16's.

Stopping aid from comming in while preventing people from getting out, turning the reconstruction over to a man who is at the center of an ongoing criminal investigation right after he signs a law cutting the wages of the people who will be doing the work.
# posted by granny : 16/9/05 12:37 AM  

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