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Friday, September 23, 2005


GM Roper

I could be snarky and say it's all Bush's fault since he sent Evil Rove down to make sure the doors were locked just before starting up the Hurricane machine... But, in reality, the locals had a plan, didn't follow it, hell resulted.

The survivors from the first floor should maybe have their sentences changed to "time served."


Great minds..., as they say. When I read this, the first thought was that someone has to find a way to blame it on Bush. The next step is for a good response to Hurricane Rita, for which people can then say that Bush helped the white people in Texas when he didn't help the blacks in New Orleans.

Andrew Gumbel

Guys, before anybody goes further down this path, can we agree that not everything needs to be reduced to "It's Bush's fault/No it's not"? Have been noticing the trend through a number of recent message threads, and it's not only getting old, it's also completely counter-productive to the cause of reasoned debate. Some things are interesting, or scandalous, or shocking on their own terms, with unique and complex causes that have little or nothing to do with national politics.

This story is a shocker, pure and simple, and to twist it into a Bush talking-point does you, and the grim subject, no honor whatsoever.


Karl Rove has compromising pictures of Andrew and made him divert attention from Bush. Okay, I'm just kidding.

What happened to those prisoners is as bad as what happened to the nursing home patients. The people in charge of the prison should face the same charges as the nursing home owners. If you take it higher, the mayor has responsiblity, too.

I absolutely cannot imagine being the last source of help and just walking out of the building without taking the prisoners/patients to safety. What do you do? Just wave goodbye and say good luck? What does someone think at that point? In that same situation, I have to believe that I would stay there and help the defenseless people. How can anyone do less and live with themselves?

Marc Davidson

I appreciate Andrew's caveat; however, I do think that we have a tendency in this country to dehumanize criminals and exconvicts (need we list all the ways). This, sad to say, is the price we pay for our attitude, which extends from top to bottom in our criminal justice system, all the way down to the last lowly guard to leave Templeman III.
If all that comes out of this horrible story is a couple of convictions of jailers for leaving their post, it will have been a white wash. But can we honestly expect more than that?
The true test of the virtue of a society is how we treat one another, even (and especially) the marginalized. And we're not doing that well, my friends.

Mavis Beacon

Just finished reading John Cheever's Falconer. Quality stuff. Certainly feels relevent to a discussion about how the imprisoned are forgotten. I recommend it.


Anyone care to speculate as to the percentage of African-Americans among the abandoned prisoners at Templeton III?


What Marc Davidson said.

BTW, some of the people moved up to the top floor of the Templeman facility, and also abandoned, were evidently juvenile detainees, ages 10 to 17 years old. One of the women guards stayed with them and---realizing that, despite multiple pleas early on, no one was coming for her and the kids---by chance, discovered a live cell phone and got word through to her daughter in White Plains, NY, who raised enough hell that finally somebody called somebody else who called the right people and got a crew to come to get most of the juveniles out. Still, according to the guard, Deborah Williams---despite her frantic efforts in her charges' behalf---at least two of the kids drowned, one a pregnant teenage girl.


Here's an earlier adjunct account of the Templeman situation:



Houston wrote: "Anyone care to speculate as to the percentage of African-Americans among the abandoned prisoners at Templeton III?"

Well, I guess the percentage is about the same proportion that they represent within the criminal justice system. But, what does race have to do with this and why introduce it? People are people. Leave all the outrages about race to the demagogues.


From Reuters on the story about Templeman III:

"..Many of the men held at jail had been arrested for offenses like criminal trespass, public drunkenness or disorderly conduct. Many had not even been brought before a judge and charged, much less been convicted..."

randy Paul

Oh Woody,

There is so much you need to learn about jurisprudence and race and how having adequate means to provide a proper and competent defense as opposed to having to rely on a public defender means so much as to whether or not one goes to jail.

That's not demagoguery, that's reality.


And there are plenty of careful studies conducted to prove it to boot!


Randy, I can accept that. I see your point. My reaction came because some people make race an issue in everything, even when I think it shouldn't apply. Then, I suspect ulterior motives.


This is certainly one of the worst stories I've heard to date...actually makes me more sad than angry - because I can't get beyond mental images of those trapped people.


This is cleary the fault of the local authorities. I personally feel outraged by this and I hope those responsible are brought to justice.

This probably doesn't make a
difference but I did find something misleading in the original post (this was not mentioned in the HR watch report)
"Thousands of dogs and cats and other domestic creatures made homeless by Katrina were lovingly rescued and taken to special shelters ". It took four days to rescue the prisioners so those prisoners were rescued before any pets. Pets weren't being rescued until New O was completely evacuated , which was much longer than four days. It's measleading in that the post implies the animals were rescued before the prisoners or that they were a priorityl. Simply not true.
While I was not proud of the government (local, state , federal) I was extremely proud of how we as Americans reacted. We pulled together to do what we could with food, cash, opening our homes etc.


I urge everyone to write the U.S. Department of Justice demanding that this be investigated and those responsible (whomever they may be) be brought to justice.

Randy Paul

Woody, I salute you. You've taken your first step on the road to Damascus :-)

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