Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NYT: "45 Bodies Found in a New Orleans Hospital" (Kirk Johnson)

The bodies of 45 people have been found in a flooded uptown hospital here, officials said Monday, sharply increasing the death toll from Hurricane Katrina and raising new questions about the breakdown of the evacuation system as the disaster unfolded.
Officials at the hospital, the Memorial Medical Center, said at least some of the victims died while waiting to be removed in the four days after the hurricane struck, with the electricity out and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.
Steven L. Campanini, a spokesman for the hospital's owner, Tenet Healthcare, said the dead included patients who died awaiting evacuation as well as people who died before the hurricane struck and whose bodies were in the hospital morgue.

The above, noted by Wally in an e-mail this morning, is from Kirk Johnson's "45 Bodies Found in a New Orleans Hospital" in this morning's New York Times.

Question for the day: Did Robert F. Worth visit Tal Afar? "Iraqi Premier Visits a City as His Forces Widen Patrols" contains statements that indicate he was present (it's peaceful now, blah blah blah). But the dateline is "Baghdad." And once again we have an end credit:

Omar al-Neami and Qais Mizher contributed reporting for this article.

If al-Neami and Mizher went and Worth didn't, he either needs to quote them in the piece or the Times needs to share the byline with all three (at the very least).

Lisa e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Brownie-ism Is the Problem" (This Just In, The Progressive):

So George Bush is back in New Orleans again, hoping this third time will be the charm.
But he's at a loss to undo the mistakes of the past two weeks.
And no amount of photo ops with New York firefighters now in New Orleans, and no amount of crisp salutes as he steps off helicopters or battleships, can put the luster on his lackluster performance when the chips were down and the water was high.
Nancy Pelosi is right: Bush is dangerously out of touch.
But it's not just Bush’s personality. It's his M.O., and it’s his philosophy of governance.
The unnatural disaster in New Orleans is the direct consequence of a government that lets our cities go to hell by underfunding basic repairs to the infrastructure.
A government that doesn't care about the rising number of poor people and that blames them for their own poverty, just as some elected officials and rightwing pundits blamed the drowning victims for not fleeing when they had no means of doing so.
A government that believes its main purpose is to kill people abroad, not to save people at home.

Susan e-mails to note Utah Phillips and Dee Axelrod's "The Folk Rock On: Utah Phillips" (Yes! magazine and "Ani" is Ani DiFranco though I'm guessing we'll all know that already):

We met each other a number of years ago when Ani was doing a single in Philadelphia. She was playing at one venue, and I was playing at another, but we were boarded in the same house with Professor Kenny Goldstein. That was 15 years ago. She was young, but she was doing better and better, owning what she does. One of the admirable things about Ani is that she didn’t wait for somebody to record her; she started a record company. She owns what she does, which is near to the heart of any Wobbly.
We both wound up with the same agent, Fleming and Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ani was in the office, and she found a tape of one of my performances. Out of curiosity, she took it to listen to while she was driving in her car. She decided that she wanted her audience to hear those songs and stories that I tell. Our collaboration came together through her genius; she has the most powerful intellect I’ve ever encountered. She wrote me a letter and she said, just send me recordings of concerts.
I had several boxes of recordings. I'd finish a concert and someone would hand me a tape. A lot of the stuff had been in the basement under water, but I sent her 100 hours of tapes. She wrote in a letter that she wanted to take the stories and mix in her music and her sounds. I was skeptical, but one paragraph convinced me. She said, "Not that there's anything wrong with your performance as it stands, but I'm aware of the vertigo a young audience experiences when the music stops and they're left at the precipice of words and ideas."
Now, anybody's going to say that to me, I'll work with them. So I sent her off the tapes, and I didn't know what was going to show up until it arrived in the mail. And I was stunned. I thought it was really very beautiful, what she did. She had taken all those tapes to a studio in Texas and cleaned them all up digitally, and did a masterful job of actually restoring what, in any other context, would be regarded as field recordings. So we recorded that one song called "The Past Didn't Go Anywhere," and then several years later she wanted to record another one, only this time in front of a small, live audience in a studio down in New Orleans in the French Quarter. And, once again, she did the mixing right at the board with her band--me performing, and she and the band doing backup vocals on Joe Hill's song. The audience was made up of--well, this is a mark of Ani's people in her office in Buffalo--they called and asked who I wanted invited to this little studio that holds maybe about 30 people. They asked if I knew anybody in New Orleans. I said, get hold of the Catholic Worker Hospitality House, the soup kitchens, the homeless community--and those are the people who showed up. They were invited, and they were ready to sing.

Doyle e-mailed to note Corey Robin's "The Fear of the Liberals" (The Nation):

Many liberals, and some leftists, no longer hold these views. Their faith is guided not by the light of justice but by the darkness of evil: by the tyranny of dictators, the genocide of ethnic cleansers and the terrorism of Islamist radicals. Despite their differences--some of these liberals and leftists support the war in Iraq, others do not; some are partial to popular movements, particularly those opposing anti-American governments, while others favor constitutional regimes, particularly those supporting the United States--theirs is a liberalism, as the late Harvard scholar Judith Shklar put it in a pioneering essay in 1989, that seeks to ward off the "summum malum" (worst evil) rather than to install a "summum bonum" (highest good). Reversing Augustine's dictum that there is no such thing as evil--evil being only the absence of good--today's liberal believes there is only evil and progress is measured by the distance we put between ourselves and that evil.
Hostility to popular protest and indulgence of American power follow naturally from this position. Mass movements, liberals claim, are blind to evil or apologize for it. Sometimes they actively court it. In their reckless pursuit of utopia, they march men and women to the gulag or into shooting galleries of terrorism and civil war. Only a politics of restraint can shield us from the temptations of violence. While such a philosophy would seem to militate against George W. Bush's empire, many liberals have concluded that evil in the world is so titanic that only US power can deliver us from it.

As I read through Doyle's copy and paste, I was going to e-mail and ask if I could send this to Elaine and let her comment on it. (She still can if she wants. I'll call her later today.) But then I saw Shklar mentioned and couldn't resist.

Brenda e-mails to note Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson's "GUEST EDITORIAL: International day of peace" (The Chicago Defender):

September 21 is a day designated by the United Nations since 1981 as a day of witness and commitment by the citizens of the world to work for a world of justice and peace. The World Council of Churches (WCC) has joined in this special commemoration by calling on churches around the world to pray for peace on September 21.
This year’s WCC theme is “Building communities of peace for all,” which was chosen by the churches of Asia, that are the focus of the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence in 2005. This theme conveys a spirit of celebrating diversity and an understanding that “the other” can no longer be seen as the mortal enemy.

There are many ways that churches, synagogues, mosques, schools, community groups, cities and towns can be involved in the International Day of Peace. Some might write letters to the President or their elected officials in support of Congressman Kucinich’s bill to establish a Department of Peace or of my own vision of a monument dedicated to peace in Washington, D.C., where there are so many monuments to war. Some might have prayer vigils or candlelight marches. Some might have essay or art contests with children’s visions of peace. Some might have poetry slams or music festivals for peace. Some may choose to plant a peace pole in their gardens or school yard or on their church or school grounds.

Rod e-mails to give us a heads up to today's Democracy Now!:

The Senate opens confirmation hearings for Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States. Continuing coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on the Gulf Coast.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.