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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
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"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
Hundreds of sick and stranded patients who endured four nights in abandoned and flooded downtown New Orleans hospitals were rescued by military helicopters yesterday and moved to Louis Armstrong International Airport, where they had food and water but faced a new kind of misery: waiting in an overcrowded and understaffed terminal for transfers to medical centers around the country.
Two military C-130 planes flew about 200 patients to hospitals in Atlanta but did not immediately return for more, emergency medical staff said. With patients and storm victims numbering in the thousands at the airport, and the heat exceeding 90 degrees, doctors rushed between the sick and the weak, helping many but losing some whose illnesses overcame them.
Ross Judice of Acadian Ambulance Services sent out an urgent plea for help at dawn yesterday, when he said a meager staff was trying to care for more than 2,000 sick and injured patients, and eight to 10 patients an hour were dying. By late afternoon, airport officials said 3,000 people at the airport were receiving medical attention in the terminal and on the tarmac, including some suffering from dehydration and exposure.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who had set up the makeshift hospital to handle hundreds -- not thousands -- of patients, said they needed to move people out before more could be accommodated at the airport.
Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.) said he spent hours on the phone yesterday at Acadian's headquarters in nearby Lafayette pleading with the Pentagon to send more C-130s. By evening, after a short break to tour a center for storm victims with first lady Laura Bush, he still had not received an answer.
FEMA directed all of the flights to Lackland Air Force Base outside of San Antonio, Evans said. He said that 11 U.S. airlines and Air Canada had offered to help but that constraints at the airfields severely limited the number of flights.
Don Smithburg, chief executive of the Louisiana State University hospital system, which runs two public hospitals in New Orleans, said that help simply came too late for dozens of patients who died in the hospitals awaiting rescue.
Smithburg said that the evacuation from Charity Hospital, which was quickly surrounded by deep water, was especially difficult because patients had to be carried to another building where a helicopter could land. He said that staff members carried patients on stretchers and on their backs through the water, and then up eight flights of stairs to the waiting helicopter.
To complicate the evacuation, he said, some people who were homeless but not patients also made their way up to the eighth-floor roof and had to be restrained from rushing into the helicopter. "Some of the staff didn't eat or drink for days so the patients could survive," he said. "Then they carried people to safety again and again. There was real heroism here."
With the major hospitals nearly emptied, emergency services turned their attention to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other critically stranded facilities. But the news was not good. Dispatchers at Acadian received word from Coast Guard divers that there were no survivors at a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish. Rescue workers found only bodies.
"We got another nursing home call, in New Orleans, where we were told there were 30 patients, and when we got there, there were 30 in body bags lined up outside," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for Acadian in Lafayette.
And in the Times:
KENNER, La., Sept. 2 - Some were being given water by soldiers. Some had small spasms as they lay on their stretchers. Some psychiatric patients chewed their lower lips or babbled quietly. Some tried to wander out the doors where buses dropped off more patients. Some were dying; one corpse in a wheelchair, not far from the Delta counter, lay covered by a blue blanket.
On the day that a fleet of military helicopters and buses with military escorts finally succeeded in emptying the exhausted and darkened hospitals in the city's flooded zones, the departures concourse of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport had become the newest and most chaotic hospital in the New Orleans area.
By evening, all the patients in the flooded zone had been moved out, though hundreds of medical personnel and frightened city residents who had sought shelter in hospitals from rising water were still hoping someone would come get them, too. Left behind were an unknown number lying dead in flooded morgues and sometimes in spare corridors.
As the nation watched long lines of obviously fragile patients being wheeled down the tarmac, it was clear that some patients had died in transit - the airport hospital has its own morgue - and there were worrying hints that the forgotten nursing homes of New Orleans might ultimately be found to be worse charnel houses than the stranded hospitals.
The head of a Louisiana ambulance service said he had been told of one home in lower St. Bernard's Parish where 80 patients had been found dead and of an apartment home for the blind where the staff had abandoned the residents. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.
Early on Friday morning, the scene at the airport looked "extremely desperate" in the eyes of Dr. Ross Judice, medical director for Acadian Ambulance Service, which even before Hurricane Katrina landed had contracts to evacuate many private hospitals.
In a 4:30 a.m. phone call to his wife, Robin, in Lafayette, he described a chaotic situation in which the area meant for 250 already had 2,000 sick and injured patients, more were arriving every hour and the Federal Emergency Management Agency had no plans to evacuate any of them.
It was hard just to move patients across the tarmac from helicopters, and Dr. Judice asked his wife to send out a plea for gurneys and medical golf carts with beds. He also asked her to recruit volunteers willing to fly in and act as stretcher bearers.
"Somebody's got to get this thing rolling," his wife reported him saying.
By 9:30 a.m., Mrs. Judice said, he had called back and "there was tremendous relief in his voice." The military had arrived with transports and chartered commercial jets were landing. "Patients were being moved out and he felt that there was definitely a plan," she said.
By Friday afternoon, there were only a few hundred patients at the airport.
With hundreds of National Guard troops spreading out in the city streets, it was finally easier for small boats to approach embattled hospitals, some of which were surrounded by six feet of floodwater and had little or no electricity and no running water. At the same time, the fleet of helicopters evacuating patients from rooftops had grown from a handful of single-patient civilian ambulances just after the storm to about 100 military medevac choppers.
The evacuations came in the nick of time for several hospitals, where doctors had been working by flashlight and helping patients breathe with manual ventilators, waiting helplessly for news from the outside. Some staff members were so hungry and dehydrated that they were reported to be feeding themselves intravenous sugar solutions.
Although helicopters had delivered food and water to some hospitals, it was limited and rationed.
Richard Zuschlag, the president of Acadian Ambulance, described a hellish week for his helicopter and ambulance crews from his command center in Lafayette. Mr. Zuschlag said he had begged the governor, senators, Pentagon and FEMA officials for more help as the crisis deepened.
The evacuation was so chaotic, he said, that "At Touro Infirmary, these mothers were just giving my medics their little day-old babies. They were just looking at us with fear and horror on their faces. We would put four of them in an incubator and just fly them out. They're scattered all over the country now. We couldn't keep track of where everyone was going."
All the babies, he said, had identification bracelets on, so that their mothers would presumably be reunited with them. A spokesman for the hospital later said he had little idea where the evacuated patients were.
At Charity Hospital, which was not evacuated until Friday evening, Mr. Zuschlag said, "When we first tried to get medics there, in Fish and Wildlife boats, people shot shots at us, tried to turn our boats over. It would be O.K., and then there'd be pockets of thugs where it was terrible."
Early on Friday morning, at University Hospital, a public institution with many patients on welfare, Dr. Joan James, an obstetrician, said in a telephone interview that it was getting harder and harder to take care of the patients. Dr. James was among the last to be evacuated from the hospital by airboat.
Only four of the eight floors were usable, and the water outside was so deep that fish were cruising past, she said. Intensive care and dialysis patients had been evacuated earlier in the week, but each had to be taken out by boat to another nearby hospital with a helicopter landing pad.
The hospital was out of running water, had no ventilation and food that had been had been airlifted in was limited. Backup generators powered only the operating rooms and a few other areas, so the staff was using flashlights and stethoscopes to diagnose patient problems.
Don Smithburg, the chief executive officer of the Louisiana State University Hospital, which oversees the public hospitals, told The Associated Press, "Our morgue at Big Charity is full and it is under water." The basement morgue had 12 bodies and another five were stacked in a stairwell, also under water, and other bodies were left elsewhere in the hospital, he said.
At Touro Infirmary Hospital, two private buses were able to get the last of its 2,000 employees and patients out of the hospital by the end of Thursday, Stephen Kupperman, the hospital's chairman, said. The hospital also hired private air ambulances to transfer patients.
"We could not get any assistance from the government at first," said Mr. Kupperman, who said about 80 patients transferred from the hospital were moved by government helicopters the last day.
"My view is that the government was totally unprepared for something of this size," he said.
By this morning, Tulane University Hospital had been able to evacuate some 1,400 patients, employees and others, largely by leasing 20 private helicopters.
Tenet Healthcare hired five private helicopters to try to get 3,000 patients and employees out of four of its hospitals , said a spokesman, Steven Campanini.
And on and on. Well, this was a triumph of conservative thought: practically all the rescues were privatised. Huzzah.