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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the United States declared disasters in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Taken together, the 90,000-square-mile disaster area would be the twelfth largest state. Emergencies were declared in Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.U.S. Department of DefenseEighty percent of New Orleans was flooded after levees were breached by rising water. LA Times“I don’t think,” said President George W. Bush, “anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the disaster “exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody’s foresight.” The flooding had been anticipated by National Geographic magazine, Scientific American magazine, the Times-Picayune newspaper, FEMA, and Mr. Bill.The New York TimesCNN.comThe Times-PicayuneThe IndependentNational GeographicScientific AmericanMr. BillCondoleezza Rice attended a musical in New York City, where she was booed. She also went shoe shopping. A fellow shopper was thrown out of the store after yelling “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying or homeless?”New York Daily NewsDick Cheney cancelled a trip to the oil sands of Alberta, Canada,Fort McMurray Todayand Senator Bill Frist called for a permanent repeal to the estate tax.Think ProgressPresident Bush decided to end his month-long vacation two days early and return to Washington, D.C. During his trip, Air Force One flew low over New Orleans. “This was a natural disaster,” said Bush.The Washington PostThe Village Voice
The situation in New Orleans quickly worsened, but little help appeared. Shelters set up at the Superdome and at the New Orleans Convention Center became squalid, hot, and dangerous.LA TimesThe Louisiana National Guard patrolled the Superdome with machine guns as flood victims, locked behind metal barricades, shouted “we need more water.” Cigarettes in the Superdome sold for $10 a pack, and a brisk market in anti-diuretics, which allowed people to avoid the overflowing bathrooms, developed. “We are like animals,” said a woman.The Los Angeles TimesShootings, carjackings, and looting were reported across New Orleans. Thousands of people, most of them poor, were stranded for several days; many died waiting for rescue.BBC News“Nobody’s coming to get us,” said Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson parish, weeping. “For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.”The AustralianThe effectiveness of FEMA head Mike Brown, who was fired from his previous job supervising the International Arabian Horse Association, was called into question after he repeatedly claimed not to have known the severity of the storm or the location of several thousand refugees.Boston Herald“There is way too many fricking . . . cooks in the kitchen,” said New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin.CNN.com“George Bush,” said rapper Kanye West, “doesn’t care about black people.”The Mercury NewsAbout 57,000 troops, many assigned to combat operations, entered the New Orleans area. “This place is going to look like LittleSomalia,” said a brigadier general.Army TimesThe Superdome and Convention Center were finally evacuated, but evacuees were not allowed to take their pets with them. “Snowball!” cried a little boy after police took away his dog. “Snowball!”MSNBCThe Charlotte ObserverIt was announced that it could take up to six months for New Orleans to be pumped out, and another three months for it to dry. Officials estimated that 10,000 people had been killed in the flood; about the same number of people remained in the city.The IndependentTimes OnlineFifty-five countries offered aid to the United States. Cuba offered 1,100 doctors, Iran offered humanitarian aid, China offered $5 million, and Venezuela offered fuel at a reduced cost. The United States was performing a “needs assessment” to decide whose help to accept.News.com.auSome Christian extremists declared that the hurricane was punishment by God.World Net Daily“New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence,” said the pastor of the New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, “and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religionâ??it’s free of all of those things now.”Agape PressMany other Christians simply prayed.The Mercury News
In Iraq nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims were killed during a march across the Al-Aaimmah bridge when rumors of a suicide bomber in the crowd caused a stampede. Most of the victims were women and children who died from trampling or, after they fell or jumped into the Tigris River, from drowning.The New York TimesPresident Bush declared that U.S. troops needed to stay in Iraq to keep the countryâ??s oil out of the hands of terrorists.The White HouseFederal prosecutors accused eight officials from KPMG and a lawyer of conspiracy for helping wealthy people evade at least $2.5 billion in taxes, and a man named Glenn Allen Powell pleaded guilty to taking as much as $1.25 million in kickbacks in Iraq while working for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. The Washington PostThe Washington PostChief Justice of the United States William H. Rehnquist died, and President Bush nominated John G. Roberts, Jr. as a replacement.WikipediaThe Mercury NewsScientists announced that they had created mice that could regrow amputated extremities,The Australianand a plane crash in Indonesia killed at least 147 people.The New York TimesThe Bush Administration was working on a new set of pollution controls intended to make it harder to sue power plants.The Washington PostThere was a condom shortage in Uganda; a U.N. representative attributed the shortage to restrictions placed on U.S.-provided HIV/AIDS-prevention funds.The GuardianSusan Wood, chief of womenâ??s health at the FDA, resigned over the FDAâ??s refusal to allow emergency contraception to be sold over the counter in spite of “scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended by the professional staff here.”APUp to twelve more tropical storms were expected through November.Common DreamsNational Preparedness Month began.Homeland Security
More from Paul Ford:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. âThere was a âwoofâ sound,â said a witness, âlike falling on your face into your pillow.â
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âAmerican politics has often been an arena for angry minds.â