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Interest and Perspective

Our views depend on our priorities and the information we receive

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Martial Law

This article inexplicably claims that martial law has been declared in New Orleans because of the hurricane. No mention of who declared this state, but the story does note that "the declaration is imposed to restore order in times of war and emergency." No other stories I've found use the term.

Not so fast, WDSU: martial law, where constitutional, is only properly declared by the President and/or (no one's really sure) by Congress, in situations where the "courts have closed." The courts are not totally in shambles in LA. State constitutions sometimes have martial law provisions, but I couldn't find any on a quick search that had been ok under the federal constitution. Doesn't look like they've been tested, though.

The administration can't hate the timing of this thing.

Also interesting: recent reminders that many National Guardsmen (trained to deal with this type of emergency, not in infantry work, of course) aren't here anymore when they're called for.

Anyone else care to use the disaster to further their agenda?

On a related note: last night we thought the worst was past, this morning we find that the levies have broken, the power's out, and there fatalities (I'll spare the reader some of the more gruesome and heart-rending tales). It's good to know all is well with my people, but the city's taken a big hit and it'll be a long way to recovery, as they say. I just hope the (real) old architecture gets to stay--it's one of the best parts!

*update* -- NOLA's been evacuated. No drinking water. Yep, the whole city. That road's looking longer and longer....

*martial law note* Andrew Somers allays my fears--looks like the media needs to fact-check and use the right words. I'll keep the mainstream hat on and chalk this one up to accident....

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