You are here


"Latino 'EcoSlaves' Clean Up After Katrina"

From Nov. 15 came this Newsmax summary of a Der Spiegel article on illegal aliens doing rebuilding in New Orleans:

Chirac, LeMonde's snarky comments remembered, compared

Le Monde said the following on Sep 8:

Katrina's devastation points the finger at Bush's system... Issues forgotten for years are back to the fore: poverty, the state's absence, latent racism...

Even worse:

Just below was a cartoon showing the American president watching TV footage of black corpses floating in the water. "But, what country is this?" the caption had him saying to his generals: "Is it far away? We absolutely have to do something!"

That and more in this opinion piece that contrasts France's snarkiness about Katrina with their failures to deal with the recent riots.


Prince Charles to visit New Orleans

He'll be hitting all the touristy spots:

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will visit hurricane-hit New Orleans on their first official overseas jaunt since marrying in April, the prince's office confirmed Monday.
Charles' Clarence House office would not reveal the exact timing or itinerary for the flying visit, although the couple are expected to meet emergency workers and residents in an area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The 56-year-old heir to the throne, his wife and a wardrobe full of dresses jet off Tuesday on a tour designed to celebrate trans-Atlantic ties, promote Charles' environmentalist causes -- and test reaction to his new bride in a nation still smitten with the late Princess Diana...
The 58-year-old duchess has discarded a sometimes frumpy country style for designer dresses and extravagant hats since stepping into the limelight. British newspaper reports said that she was taking 50 dresses on the tour and that 40 staff would accompany the couple. But Charles' office said the true size of the entourage was 16, and stressed the duchess' clothes were paid for from his private income. Officials would not say how many dresses Camilla was taking.
The tour begins Tuesday with a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, where the couple will dedicate a memorial garden to British victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. There is also a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a reception.
In Washington, the couple will have lunch and dinner with the Bushes at the White House...


State Dep't giving away donated foreign MREs

From U.S. rejects Katrina meals, offers them to others:

The United States on Friday offered needy countries more than 330,000 packaged meals donated by Britain to feed Hurricane Katrina victims but rejected due to a U.S. ban on British beef.
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the "Meals Ready to Eat," or MREs, had been held in a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, for more than a month after U.S. Agriculture Department officials said they could not be distributed in the United States because they contained British beef products.
An additional 33,000 MREs from Germany, Russia, Spain and France had also not been distributed to hurricane victims because of U.S. legal restrictions, Ereli said without elaborating...

Previously: "Foreign MREs, food to be destroyed by FDA"


Foreign MREs, food to be destroyed by FDA

It would be nice if the FDA or FEMA would provide a statement on the Mirror UK report "Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans".
Britain has donated 400,000 MREs, aka "Nato ration packs". Those are the same packs British troops eat in Iraq and, since the U.S. is part of Nato, they're approved for use by our troops. However, perhaps due to fears about BSE, the FDA has allegedly called them "unfit for human consumption" and shipped them to a Little Rock warehouse for possible incineration.
Other food gifts from other countries are in the same situation.

The [UK] Ministry of Defence said: "We understand there was a glitch and these packs have been impounded by the US Department of Agriculture under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.
"The situation is changing all the time and at our last meeting on Friday we were told progress was being made in relation to the release of these packs. The Americans certainly haven't indicated to us that there are any more problems and they haven't asked us to take them back."

This is in the developing category...


"Europeans getting tainted hurricane news"

John O'Sullivan:

Two narratives of Hurricane Katrina dominated the news media of Europe over the last weeks. One was the story of the hurricane tearing its way through the Gulf shores of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, especially New Orleans...
In Europe these human stories stimulated sympathy for Katrina's victims. Governments there have now sent considerable aid. But the sympathy was oddly skewed. It was directed less toward American victims than toward victims of America...
...the second European narrative was a simple morality play in which all the blame for Katrina fell on Bush, either for his actual policies or for what he allegedly symbolizes -- i.e., an uncaring social philosophy that neglects the poor and minorities. Almost every aspect of the hurricane and its aftermath were attributed to these two aspects of Bush at such an early stage that, even if the media allegations, hints and inferences had been accidentally true, the evidence for them would simply not have been available...


Could New Orleans' social breakdown happen in other U.S. cities?

On the prestigious pages of the Times of London, Martin Samuel and a Mr J. R. Dunn from America are duking it out, rhetorically speaking.
First, Samuel offers "This diseased city was sunk by benign neglect" (also here):

...The satirical magazine The Onion once published a mocking travelogue. "Woman who 'loves Brazil' has only seen four square miles of it", read the headline. Some of the syrupy tributes to Nawlins from writers who couldn't tell a housing project from a science project were reminiscent of that. The obituaries were all Tipitina's, voodoo, streetcars named Desire and give my regards to Bourbon Street. Package-deal country, in other words...
...Every visitor [to New Orleans] is given a map of a grid the size of Romford [apparently a city in England or something] and warned never to venture outside. Beyond that lies the true city, only visited in colourless government surveys and reports, coldly documenting a place beyond care, while doing nothing to address its disease...
...There is no minimum wage and the waiters and dishwashers propping up the tourist trade are not well rewarded... [perhaps he's referring to illegal aliens]
...The suggestion has been that the breakdown of society witnessed in New Orleans could not happen elsewhere. Wrong. The city has extreme problems of violence and deprivation, but the economic apartheid inflicted on America is a wrong turn away in most cities...

Mr. Dunn responds by post (also here):

Sir, I disagree with Martin Samuel's contention (Comment, September 6) that "the breakdown of society witnessed in New Orleans" could occur elsewhere in the US because of the "economic apartheid" inflicted on American cities.
New Orleans is the most corrupt city in the most corrupt state in the Union, a situation with roots in its early status as a French colony and still uncorrected after two centuries. The state is run as a plantation with taxpayers as its cash crop.
The social results, in normal times, are abject poverty, rampant graft, lack of native industry and the slow, easygoing "Mediterranean" feel so prized by tourists. In times of disaster it leads to the complete collapse that we have witnessed...


"Offers of Aid Immediate, but U.S. Approval Delayed for Days"


Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.
Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency...
..."There has been that common thought that because [offers of aid] are not tapped immediately, they're not prudently used," [FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule] said. "We are pulling everything into a centralized database. We are trying not to suck everything in all at once, whether we need it or not..."
...In an open letter released yesterday, though, Ambassador John Bruton, head of the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, wrote:
"Perhaps one of those lessons will be that rugged individualism is not always enough in such a crisis, particularly if an individual does not have the material and psychological means to escape the fury of a hurricane in time..."

Subscribe to RSS - europeans