Body & Spirit
Another point of view; a letter from a Louisiana
resident, someone on the "West Bank" of New Orleans, who wishes to remain
It Makes You Think...
Those of us in Louisiana know who screwed up this disaster. Our Governor,
the levee board, the Corps of Engineers and the New Orleans Mayor are primarily
to blame, with the incompetence of FEMA being secondary.
By the way, things have improved significantly. We give credit to our armed
forces who have taken the pressure off of local law enforcement allowing them to
regain control of our cities. I've often wondered why New Orleans police
have a reputation for being tough, no nonsense guys -- I now understand.
The looting here has been bad. You won't see it on TV, since we're not
even close to being newsworthy considering all the deprivation, death and
suffering being reported.
Our parish took in the first 600 evacuees, and put them up in one of our brand
new high schools located next to I-10. In l0 hours they had trashed the
school, torn out urinals, ripped the bleachers out of the gym and trashed the
classrooms and computers.
We moved them, plus 600 more to a place across the Interstate at an expo center.
By Tuesday night, there were 3 car-jackings and 3 armed robberies. So we
had to call in our deputies, police and Nat'l Guard troops to guard the
Most of our law enforcement had been down in New Orleans working the rescue
mission. The same stories apply to Baton Rouge, only multiply the numbers
A relative is the chief of the K-9 Department in Shreveport, 250 miles north of
Baton Rouge. He had been in New Orleans working on the rescue till
now, except he has been called back to Shreveport tonight to protect against the
Mandy works for a doctor in a clinic next to our small hospital in Gonzales.
It's situated across the Interstate from the evacuee center. At 11 AM
Thursday, the police locked down the hospital and the clinic to protect them
from looters. The clinic closed down at 2 PM and the medical staff got
escorts out of the vicinity.
The national news seems to carry a constant theme of Louisiana politicians
crying "shame, shame America". "Where's the government?" It's
the mantra de jour.
Our governor had the power to declare martial law and commandeer school buses to
evacuate the New Orleans folks. She did not. Her news conferences
are unscheduled, unformatted ramblings, punctuated with tears and calls for help
and prayers.... but not much information or direction. She has been
noticeably absent from sight today since the President toured.
I spoke to the writer, and he says the most comprehensive
reporting, and the most accurate, was done by the Wall Street Journal,
especially in their
September 7th issue.
Index to more
Body, Mind & Spirit