Katrina.

  • 100 Hours after Stormfall – a useful summary of events from The Anchoress.
  • As far as regular “around the clock” reporting of Katrina and rescue-related efforts with more links than you can shake a stick at, I personall recommend Amy Welborn and Michelle Malkin and Bill Cork. Check their blogs and keep scrolling.
  • Coverage – Austin Bay recommends the New Orleans Times-Picayune for its outstanding coverage, including this article on the devastating loss of legal documents — real estate records dating back to the early 1800s, and the loss of offices, files and other documents critical to civil and criminal legal cases, making for a beaurocratic nightmare as New Orleans’ citizens struggle to rebuild.
  • Disaster Relief – Katrina Help WIKI [mirror-site] has a lot of resources; The bloggers at Little Green Footballs provide an extensive list of charities; Mark Shea recommends the Mercy Corps; Amy Welborn has another good list explaining what you can do to help (see her blog for ongoing updates as usual).
  • If you live in the SouthEast and approximately 300 miles of the disaster area, HurricanHousing.org is coordinating offers of free housing to hurricane evacuees. (One of the few organizing projects by MoveOn.org that I’ll support). Operation: Share Your Home is a similar project, run by “concerned Louisiana citizens who have joined together to provide an immediate response to the tragedy that has struck our beloved state.”
  • The Knights of Columbus has pledged a minimum of $2.5 million in financial assistance and will match any funds beyond that donated to the Knights of Columbus Katrina Relief Fund over the next 60 days.
  • Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart, America’s largest retailer, pledged $15 million to relief efforts, along with the promise to establish “mini-Wal-Mart stores in areas impacted by the hurricane. Items such as clothing, diapers, baby wipes, food, formula, toothbrushes, bedding and water will be given out free of charge to those with a demonstrated need.” This display of generosity even while its stores in New Orleans were being looted and ransacked, (Via Cries in the Night).
  • Karen W. Woods, Director for the Center for Effective Compassion at the Acton Institute, reminds us that when it comes to relief “It’s in the details”:

    The first thing to remember is the principle of subsidiarity. The idea is common sense: Nothing should be done by larger and more complex organizations which can be done as well by smaller, simpler organizations closer to the need. In other words, leave the complex problems to the complex organizations; let the simpler groups take care of the more basic needs. . . . Local charities have been meeting local needs for decades. The ABC Pregnancy Resource Center in Lake Charles, La., delivered baby formula and baby clothes from their own program to a community center that is housing 2,500 Katrina refugees, with as many as 4,000 more expected this week. This community charity had the resources on hand and simply transferred them to the place of need. “I don’t even have to ask my board,” said director Nete Mire.

    But the ABC Pregnancy Center in Lake Charles (email: abcpregnancycenter@copper.net, 866-434-2797) needs more formula, diapers, baby wipes, and baby bath products. They are trying to help serve 116 children under age 2 at the com munity center. The nonprofit Tutwiler Clinic in Tutwiler, Miss. would immediately use financial donations for prescription drugs for refugees. Dr. Anne Brooks says such donations would also help them replace household items for those in their community who lost homes. Both these programs are listed in the Samaritan Guide, www.samaritanguide.com, a reporting site for privately funded charities that serve individuals.

    The Lake Charles Catholic Diocese is accepting donations for Katrina refugee assistance specifically in that community.

    The principle of subsidiarity not only offers a more efficient means for relief of basic needs, it offers a component that no bureaucracy could provide, one that only individuals can provide: a human connection. Only an individual can provide the hope and encouragement that is as necessary to the well being of these refugees.

    Assisting with the provision of goods at the ground level, somebody has set up a blog Where To Send Donations for Katrina, compiling listings from local charities and other information.

  • A familiar face on EWTN television was among the homeless:

    Last week, Raymond Arroyo’s daughter was born.

    This week, Arroyo’s New Orleans home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

    Next week, Arroyo’s biography of Mother Angelica, the cloistered nun who founded a media empire with cable television network EWTN, will be published.

    “The past few weeks have been crazy, happy and sad, but that’s the way life is,” said Arroyo, news director and lead anchor for EWTN news. . . . [Source]

    (Via Curt Jester).

    Raymond Arroyo was also interviewed by Larry King on CNN (Amy Welborn posts the transcript). For those wanting to assist, he has also left a letter to friends and family, announcing that “Dear Mother Angelica and her sisters in their kindness allowed us to stay in the guesthouse at her monastery in Hanceville, Alabama.” Wife and family are safe.

  • A strange place to build a city. Kevin Miller (Heart, Mind & Strength) posts a good geographical representation of NOLA’s location with respect to Lake Ponchartrain and the Gulf.

  • Will New Orleans Recover?, by Nicole Gelinas. City Journal Vol. 15, No. 3, Summer 2005:

    The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city. Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater; what is it going to do now, as waters continue to cripple it, and thousands of looters systematically destroy what Katrina left unscathed? . . .

    Nicole describes NO as a city having “long suffered from incompetence and corruption”, illustrating the necessity of moral renewal of local government, concurrent with economic and social rehabilitation.

  • Oswald Sobrino (Catholic Analysis) takes issue with the “Hurricane Finger-Pointers”, the Bush-haters who lay the blame for the chaos in NO at the feet of the President. Sobrino, a native New Orleanian, describes his hometown as “the city that did not evacuate in the face of a Category 5 hurricane”, and concurs with Gelinas’ report:

    The scandalous ineptness and stupidity shown by local and state officials in failing to enforce and implement a true evacuation of the most vulnerable is, unfortunately, a continuation of the long history of misrule that has marked my native city for decades. Remember that fact when you see local and state officials lashing out at the federal response. Their lashing out is an attempt at distracting from their own obvious responsibility for a self-magnified disaster.

  • Peter Sean Bradley (Lex Communis also has questions about New Orleans and its tradition of local governance, noting “hundreds of school buses in dirty contaminated water. School buses which were not sent to the Superdome on Saturday to evacuate those without transportation.” What happened?
  • From Captain’s Quarters and related bloggers, several good posts on the failure of local government, pointing out that 1) New Orleans had the opportunity to address the issues concerning emergency evacuation of a city nearly one year ago, in the advance of Hurrican Ivan in the Gulf; 2) that New Orleans’ city government actually possessed a detailed hurricane disaster plan that it neglected to follow. Likewise, Americans for Freedom provides “a documented list of state and local failures” demonstrating why one cannot simply lay the blame for this on the federal level. (For further discussion, see: “Finding Fault” @ Amy Welborn’s Open Book.
  • Katrina Timeline – [a compilation of] itemized source material on the Katrina hurricane disaster, with attention paid to Mayor Nagan’s reactions to the warnings and the city’s response (or lack thereof) in putting its sources to use in an effective evactuation of its citizens.
  • Michael Novak finds that a look at the 2000 census data on New Orleans provides A Fuller Picture to the troubling images we’re seeing on television.
  • From Arthur Chrenkoff:

    Arguably not as stupid and inane as some of the quotes following the Asian tsunami (see here and here), one of the biggest natural disasters in American history has nevertheless provided many with a delicious opportunity to bash President Bush and the right side of the politics and the country generally. Here’s the selection of some of the choiciest commentary . . .

    (More quotes here).

  • Genevieve Kineke (Feminine Genius) relays a story of order amidst the chaos, which she describes as : “heart-rending because of the effort to create order as a sign of civility, which seems not to have mattered in the Big Picture. Of course, it does matter — to those in this small place, to those struggling with despair, and to God.” Pray that they get help.
  • 64-year old African American “social justice advocate” Randall Robinson claims that “black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive”. As opposed to, say, white hurricane victims, who possessing average human metabolisms can average 30 days without eating.
  • Fr. Jim Tucker admonishes those who foolishly ask What Did They Do to Deserve a Hurricane? — meanwhile, Senior Kuwaiti Official did exactly that, proclaiming: “Katrina is a Wind of Torment and Evil from Allah Sent to This American Empire.”
  • “St. Blog’s” being a worldwide parish, say hello (and pray for) this list of Catholic bloggers from Louisiana, compiled by Gen X Revert: Full Circle and The Road to Emmaus (Baton Rouge); Illuminated Obscurity (Shreveport); Notes to Myself (Lafayette); Stand Up and be Catholic (Houma); Humanae Vitae (seminarian, evacuated from New Orleans) and Victim of Love (N/A).
  • Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. wonders:

    In all the news coverage of the Katrina relief efforts, I’ve been wondering how exactly the Church is faring. I mean, how is the church ministering to others, how are Catholics coping, where are people praying, and so on?

    Here’s one example. A Carmelite convent in Covington, LA, is housing refugees from New Orleans, specifically religious orders and some seminarians driven from their homes. At this point, the nuns have given up their beds and are, get this, sleeping on the shelves in the pantry! I’ve received this information from my father-in-law who is a third order Carmelite in Austin, Texas, who has been in touch with them.

    But they are in desparate need. They’re running out of supplies, including fuel for the generator, and they caring for some elderly religious there. So if anyone reading the blog has any contacts with people at Catholic Charities or other relief agencies in the area, please get in touch with them. Here is their contact information.

    (UPDATE from Dom, 9/4/05).

  • This journal has become the Survival of New Orleans blog,” says the author. “In less perilous times it was simply a blog for me to talk smack and chat with friends. Now this journal exists to share firsthand experience of the disaster and its aftermath with anyone interested.”
  • Jimmy Akin brings his moral analysis to bear on a number of issues involving “disaster ethics” that have arisen in the past week. In part 1, he discusses “price gouging” and “the possibility, in situations of urgent necessity, of taking another’s property without it being the sin of stealing”; in part two, moral situations which might justify the taking of another’s property; in part three, what things you are allowed to take in such situations and what other rules there are concerning taking them”.
  • Pope/St. Gregory the Great on Tribulation, Grieving the Dead, and Caring for the Living, from Teresa Polk (Blog By The Sea).
  • Finally, if I may be permitted to close with a bit of humor and advice — Sean Penn, STAY OUT OF NEW ORLEANS. Go back to Hollywood, and let the real (i.e, trained) rescue crews do their job.
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