Mayor Nagin is pissed, so am I Mayor to feds: 'Get off your asses'

"I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I'm like, "You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans." That's -- they're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy. I've got 15,000 to 20,000 people over at the convention center. It's bursting at the seams. The poor people in Plaquemines Parish. ... We don't have anything, and we're sharing with our brothers in Plaquemines Parish.It's awful down here, man."

This is from a transcript of an interview with NOLA Mayor Nagin and WWL reporter Garland Robinette. There is audio available too. Brendan Loy is very critical of Mayor Nagin for not issuing the evacuation sooner, but I've heard counter-arguments that if he had made the evacuation mandatory on Saturday, it would have caused so much panic that the evacuation might have been even slower than it ended up being, and some people think too many would have believed it was crying wolf. How terrible must it be to be a mayor of a city in crisis and be essentially powerless.

Mayor Nagin also mentions that drug addiction is to blame for a majority of the worst problems in the city. He says the drugstores and hospitals have had looters because those addicts are looking for a fix.

I noticed earlier Apple finally has a SMALL link on the bottom left of their home page for donating to the Red Cross. When the tsunami hit asia last December, Apple very quickly replaced their huge main home page image with a link to the Red Cross. It's taken an entire work week for them to make a little version of that image? I guess their Mighty Mouse is more important.

I looked a couple of days ago and Microsoft had nothing on their home page. Just looked, they have a big link, right at the top of their content area.

This summer I went to SF for WWDC. We were bussed to Cupertino for the Beer Bash. I couldn't believe how many buses were required to get the people there... and probably only 2-3 thousand people. There are still tens of thousands of people in New Orleans that need transportation. Mayor Nagin is right, they really do need every bus they can find. At least it appears the people at the Convention Center have finally been brought some food and water (after days of going without).

How would you feel if it was your city in this situation and you've been waiting for help, neck deep in toxic water in your attic, since Sunday or Monday? Don't try to downplay the seriousness of this. I said it a couple of days ago and I'll say it again, we need to find out if our city officials have adequate disaster recovery plans. It's pretty clear from this situation that there's no guarantee they do.

Written on September 2, 2005