Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 5, 2005

Red Cross, Salvation Army Banned from New Orleans!!!!

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:10 am

I’ve stayed out of the hurricane blame-game, since the reality is, no one could have forseen the extent of the damage since no hurricane had ever done such damage in the history of the United States, if not the world.

But this decision is so collossally stupid I find it nearly difficult to believe. Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek — who grew up near New Orleans — reports that the National Guard is preventing American Red Cross and the Salvation Army from entering New Orleans to provide relief services.

The purported reason is that if relief services — you know, food, clean water, stuff like that — are available, it will be more difficult to convince those remaining in the city to evacuate, and might — heavens! — encourage people outside the city to go there.

So instead they will make everyone die.

Besides, that can’t be the reason anyway, given this story from the Salvation Army:

“We’ve tried desperately to rescue 250 people trapped in a Salvation Army facility. They’ve been trapped in there since the flood came in. Many are on dialysis machines,” said Maj. George Hood, national communications secretary for the relief organization.

“Yesterday we rented big fan boats to pull them out and the National Guard would not let us enter the city,” he said. The reason: a new plan to evacuate the embattled city grid by grid – and the Salvation Army’s facility didn’t fall in the right grid that day, Hood said in a telephone interview from Jackson, Miss.

“No, it doesn’t make sense,” he said

No indeed. I don’t know who’s responsible for this decision, but it’s really, really stupid.

Meanwhile, I just heard on the radio that refugees have been told they have to leave a NASA facilty that’s been putting them up — and FEMA is telling them that to be eligible for financial assistance, they have to stay there to meet with FEMA officials. But they can’t stay there at all.

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