Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hurricane Rita: The Big Shift

Why you should always keep track of hurricanes:


(Click on photo to enlarge)

470 miles SE of Galveston

Moving West-Northwest at 9 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 170mph

Hurricane Force winds extend out to 70 miles

Tropical Storm Force winds extend out to 185 miles


Here she comes


Close up (Click on photo to enlarge)

Is modern-day imagery amazing or what?!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

LTG Honoré: Don't Get Stuck On Stupid

LTG Russell Honoré was on fire yesterday and he lit up the news media in classic Honoré fashion.

Radio Blogger has the transcript and The Political Teen has the video.

It's a beautiful thang. So much so that it inspired me:


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gators With A Sense Of Humor


(Click on photo to enlarge)

========================================

UPDATE:












Truly a dark day on Black Bayou . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Not A Desperate Housewife: Blogging For Cody

Stacy, aka Not A Desperate Housewife, is devoting this week to her late-nephew, Cody.

4 years ago, Cody and seven of his friends were killed by a drunk driver.

Stacy shares her soul:

I was there the day he was born, June 30, 1980. I was so proud, I was an aunt. I remember our drive up to Wheatland, Wyoming vividly that day. It was beautiful and upon our arrival, he was there. So perfect, so exciting for my 11 year-old self. I gushed with emotion knowing that this was a spectacular chapter in life. Cody was the first grandchild born on both sides so he was special to many. I remember watching my eldest sister hold her baby and it was the first real example of mother and baby I had ever acknowledged.

In the coming years we often drove up to Wyoming to see them or they would come down to Denver to visit us. I watched this baby grow and felt more of a sibling attachment to him rather than aunt/nephew.

This was a boy that I loved dearly, he grew to be a spectacular young man. In the coming days I will tell you of his great accomplishments in his short 21 years.

More

The Gray Tie: Bush Hates White Woman

Don't miss The Gray Tie's latest. She rocks!

It's Bush's fault that I am all alone these days. You see, Bush hates me. He hasn't come down here to give his obligatory photo-op with me, he hasn't come down here to hold my children, or to pinch their rosy and innocent cheeks while giving the thumbs up to the camera crew. Bush hasn't sent anyone down here on his behalf to see how we are getting along and to hand over a $2,000 debit card with which I can purchase $800.00 Louis Vuitton handbags. He really must hate me.

President Bush most certainly did not come down here before I was widowed to make sure that I had everything arranged and in place, like wills and insurance and papers in order, and to help prepare me for the awful, chilling and unsettling, but inevitable fate that was awaiting me. Bush hates me and it's all his fault.

Read it all, of course

Monday, September 12, 2005

Korea: Anti-American Riots

Protestors clashing with riot police is nothing new in South Korea. It's been going on for 20 years. What is changing is the tone of the protests. They're becoming more and more anti-American.


Police block rioters brandishing bamboo sticks from approaching a statue of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur in Incheon's Freedom Park on Sunday.

When I see things like this, my first reaction is: Fuck 'em. Let's pull out and see how they like life under Kim Jong Il, the "dear" leader of North Korea.


Nice, huh?

But then I cool off. The anti-U.S. protestors don't represent the views of most South Koreans -- just as the anti-U.S. protestors here in the USA don't represent the views of most Americans.

Still, it's yet another example of some mighty damn ungrateful people.

And to add even more insult, the protest took place on September 11th.

From The Chosun:

Dozens were injured when groups calling for the removal of a statue of U.S. general Douglas MacArthur clashed with police in Incheon's Freedom Park on Sunday. The clashes came four days ahead of the 55th anniversary of the Incheon Landing of UN forces led by MacArthur that marked a turning point in the Korean War.

Some 4,000 members of progressive groups who had gathered in Sungeui Stadium in Incheon's Nam-gu started marching on the park at 1 p.m. to demand the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Korea and the removal of the monument to the U.S. general from Freedom Park. They arrived at the park around 4 p.m.

[...]

Participants tried to approach the statue wielding metal pipes and long bamboo poles and throwing eggs at riot police who had sealed off the area. When the protesters started slinging mud, police fought back brandishing shields, clubs and fire extinguishers. The clash soon descended into chaos, with both sides hurling stones that left many injured.

Some 20 of the protestors, including outspoken academic Park Beom-su of Kyung Hee University, were injured by stones thrown by police, and dozens of police sustained injuries in attacks with blunt instruments by the demonstrators.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11th: Four Years Ago Today

We will never forget what happened to us on that September day.

There were many heroes that day. Here is just one of them:




You can read more about Rick Rescorla here.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meantime Down At The Barbershop

On a Saturday when Auburn is playing Mississippi State (Auburn 28 Miss St 0) and Alabama is playing Southern Mississippi, the talk was about 90% Katrina and about 10% football. 2 weeks after Katrina hit.

To anybody who knows anything about football season in Alabama, that is a good measure of Katrina's transcendency.

There were a couple of moments of note that had nothing to do with Katrina or football.

One involved Laura, but she made me promise not to blog about how all of us saw more than we were meant to see when she and her little boy jumped up to cheer an Auburn touchdown and her dear son lifted her skirt in celebration. Man, I mean he hiked it up high!

The other involved Max. Max did something really dumb.

There was this feller that pulled up in a pickup truck and in the back of that pickup truck was a dog the size of a shetland pony. Everyone was commenting on the size of that dog and how nobody would mess with that feller's truck or his dog.

Max, always one to stand out in a crowd (if not blessed with an abundance of common sense), says "I'm a-gonna go pet that puppy". To which Vern drawled, "Nice knowin' ya."

Well, Max ambles over to the back of that truck and proceeds to pet "that puppy" (a great big Great Dane).

Nothing happens. "That puppy" lets Max pet him.

Then Max takes a step back and turns to us with a big shit-eatin' grin on his face, as if to say, "See thar, tolt ya!"

When Max turns back toward the truck and takes a step forward to pet "that puppy" some more, "that puppy" put his mouth firmly over Max's head.

It was a Kodak moment.

"That puppy" let go of Max after a time (probably about 5 seconds) and Max staggered back toward the barbershop, blood trickling down the side of his face.

Yet another Kodak moment.

Vern did a "I told ya so". Max sheepishly replied, "Weren't the dawg's fault. I strayed into his space."

"Strayed?!", Vern shot back.

Something about the way Vern said that and the look on Max's face brought down the house.

Max was last seen making a wide berth around that truck with "that puppy", as he held his head with one hand and fished for his car keys with the other.

The talk then turned to the inadvisability of "straying" into a big dog's space . . .

Crystal People

I live near the Gulf. I've stayed for Ivan and Katrina. Will I stay for others? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't take them lightly. I prepare. I can take care of myself. I don't depend on anyone.

I can live for weeks without "power" and without "hot meals" and without "clean water" (that's what iodine tablets are for).

When a hurricane comes, I can leave if I choose to. If the truck breaks down and it means walking, no problem. I've got a rucksack and I've got legs. I can probably out-walk most 20-somethings. I have a tent. It's strapped to the rucksack. It's my version of a "mobile home". I can live outside in all climates from the tropics to the tundra to the desert to the mountains to the oceans (white with foam). I'm OK with rain, sleet, snow, mud, dirt, sand, etc. And I have a .44 Magnum with lots of ammunition for anyone who fancies unburdening me of rucksack/"mobile home".

So if you see me on a rooftop or telephone pole surrounded by raging flood waters (not likely), don't cry for me; laugh at me. If you see my body floating on said flood waters, don't cry for me -- just shake your head.

I'm an American. I have the freedom to choose. I love freedom. I have great respect for freedom.

What I have no respect for are Crystal People. You know the ones. They're fine and dandy. You can see right through them. They shatter easily under pressure.

Crystal People want to be in charge. They want to run things, but they don't know how. They know very little about the things they want to run.

Crystal People will fuck up a wet dream.

We've got a lot of Crystal People in this country. The MSM is full of them, so is the Left -- and to be fair, the Right has its share.

99% of them wouldn't know hardship if it jumped up and bit them in the ass. You want hardship? Try Mexico or El Salvador or Honduras or any country in Central or South America. And that's just in this hemisphere.

To too many Americans, hardship is what the Crystal People tell them it is -- which usually means doing without ANYthing for ANY length of time.

Our grandparents and great-grandparents would laugh at the Crystal People -- or just shake their heads in disgust.

Crystal People think they know best. They're pretty quick to tell you so. Crystal People actually don't know anything worth knowing.

When Crystal People are in charge of the store, dependency is what they sell. Someone else will do it for you. You don't have to worry. You don't have to think for yourself. If you need to go from point 'A' to point 'B', Crystal People will tell you when, where, and how.

A lot of folks are more than willing to buy what Crystal People sell.

The problem with that is that Crystal People sell bullshit. And it is exposed as the bullshit that it is when disaster strikes. That's also about the time that Crystal People get that pig-staring-at-a-wristwatch look ... then they shatter and cry on national television and/or look for others to blame, while trying to cover their asses like a three-legged cat trying to cover shit on a frozen pond.

Most of the people who stayed behind in New Orleans were mentally and physically fit. They didn't have to be where they were when Katrina hit. They purchased tickets to be there from the Crystal People.

How long does it take to walk to higher ground? Not very long. What? A couple of hours of walking is hardship? Bullshit.

Didn't bring food and water with you because you depended on Crystal People to do it for you? Bullshit.

Decided to stay behind, but did not prepare because Crystal People would take care of you? Bullshit.

Think you are too poor to prepare? Bullshit.

Think you are right to lash out at the nation because your pathetic ass didn't prepare? Bullshit.

Then we have those who are truly not able to help themselves, but that distinction is lost on Crystal People.

The temporary shelters should have been used for the sick/elderly/disabled. The buses should have been used for the sick/elderly/disabled. Well, we now know the buses weren't used at all. And that's no surprise when you have Crystal People in charge.

I've got an emergency evacuation plan for New Orleans: If you can walk to the buses, KEEP WALKING, fucker -- the buses are for the sick, elderly and disabled. If you can walk to the Convention Center, KEEP WALKING, fucker -- this is not your shelter.

And an emergency security plan: Police WILL shoot (to kill) murderers, rapists, shooters, and looters. Police officers who desert WILL be prosecuted (don't have a law for this? write one). See how they like being buttboy at Angola.

In the early hours of a disaster, government can't do much more than what it should do -- take care of the ones who cannot take care of themselves.

If you are not sick/elderly/disabled, you take care of yourself. Be prepared to "rough it" for a few days.

Help will come. It always does. This is America. Live like you belong. Live like an American, not as a pathetic ward of the Crystal People.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Taking A Break ... but not yet

I'll be off to Louisiana this weekend ... going thru southern Mississippi -- Lucedale, Hattiesburg, Columbia, McComb -- on my way. Had planned to leave today. Looks like Saturday or Sunday and back Tuesday or Wednesday.

I'm too pissed off about the post-Katrina politics to blog, anyway..

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Relief: Coonhunters For Christ

Fellow Jerry Clower fans can just imagine Uncle Versie and Aunt Pet Ledbetter loading up Marcel, Ardell, Raynell, Burnell, Lanell, W.L., Udell, Odell, Claude, Newgene, and Clovis in the truck and a-headin' down the road to Janice.

Coonhunters For Christ Answer Call For Help:

JANICE - Food was running low in this Perry County community, so the Rev. Dean Cook turned to a reliable source for help - his fellow board members with Coonhunters for Christ.

It didn't take much, Cook said, for the nonprofit group to come through. A phone call to Tennessee, a few postings on the Internet and before long a 40-foot trailer was on the way with clothes, canned goods and diapers.

"A lot of people were worrying about red tape," Cook said of the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. "Our spontaneous action helped us reach people quicker."

The members of Janice Baptist Church, where Cook is pastor, turned their sanctuary into a food pantry in the days after the hurricane. Glass jars of baby food were neatly stacked on the wooden pews alongside razors, shampoo, socks, ibuprofen and toothpaste. And, of course, plenty of Bibles.

As rural Perry County residents watched their water and food dwindle in the days after the hurricane, members of the church stepped up to fill the void.

"We couldn't get anything out of our politicians," said Bob Goolsby, director of missions for the Perry County Baptist Association. "So we started making phone calls."

The result was so successful that, according to Cook, the church has started shipping some of its own donated food to a kitchen run by the American Red Cross in Wiggins. About 300 gallons of vegetables were taken there over the weekend, he said, and more food was headed to Wiggins on Tuesday. In return, the Red Cross has sent meals ready to eat up to Janice.

Officials at the church said the rural area also has received help from the Janice Volunteer Fire Department, and from the Perry County Sheriff's Department.


BTW, you can get your



bumper sticker ... here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina Relief: Ouachita Parish Officials Say No To Thugs

The word from folks in Baton Rouge is that BR Town will never be the same because of the thugs showing up from New Orleans. Baton Rouge already had a significant crime problem. It will probably get much worse. Same for Shreveport.

Ouachita Parish is smart to get out in front of this problem.

From The News-Star:

As the chief law enforcement officer in Ouachita Parish, Sheriff Richard Fewell on Friday declared that the parish "could not and would not" accept buses filled with hurricane evacuees who supposedly raped, robbed and looted in the New Orleans Superdome.

"I don't want people who live here all the time to be the victims of the thugs coming out of New Orleans," Fewell said.

Fewell said his decision was a proactive measure to prevent the criminal activity that's occurring with evacuees in other parishes but emphasized that those in desperate need would still receive help.

The announcement came after rumors circulated throughout the day about whom and how many people would arrive at the Red Cross shelter at the Monroe Civic Center that has been set up to accommodate evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast on Monday.

Law enforcement officials received conflicting reports. The first report was that 50 busloads of 40 people each were en route to Monroe from New Orleans. The second report was that 16 busloads of the elderly and infirm would arrive in Monroe for medical care.

Capt. Don McDonald, Louisiana State Police Troop F commander, confirmed that while they were initially told to prepare to escort 50 buses into the parish, that group had been diverted.

Local law enforcement officials, already stretched thin because of sending officers to southern Louisiana and increased security at the Civic Center, said they simply could not handle thousands more people.

At an afternoon new conference attended by officials from throughout northeastern Louisiana, including state legislators, members of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris and elected officials from outlying parishes, Ouachita Parish Police Jury President Kim Golden affirmed what Fewell had said.

"The decision has been made that the renegade buses can be denied access," Golden said. "The only evacuees that will be considered will be sick, elderly and medical.

"We want to help everyone, but our first commitment is to our own citizens."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Relief: Calling in the Cavalry and the Airborne and the Marines

Notes from Defense Department Briefing on Ongoing DoD Response to Hurricane Katrina, Lieutenant General Joseph Inge, deputy commander, U.S. Northern Command, Saturday, September 3, 2005


Lieutenant General Joseph R. Inge

[LTG Inge is one of the finest officers I've ever known. He is a soldier's soldier and a soldier's general. He has commanded at almost every level of the Army. He's Airborne/Ranger/Special Forces-qualified and ... he is still very proud of the Blue Ribbons his calves earned at the Virginia State Fair when he was a teenager]

Enormous effort underway to save lives, restore order, and begin what will be the greatest disaster recovery effort in our nation's history.

First and foremost concerns continues to be the immediate rescue effort.

- have reached thousands of Americans stranded on rooftops or trapped on islands or on solid footing

- will continue to scour the countryside and communities for those who might yet remain

- will continue until we are confident that every person in dire straits has been located

- large amounts of resources flowing into the area – food, water and medical supplies along with people --a heroic effort by any standard or measure. It will continue as long as is necessary.

U.S. Northern Command leads the DoD relief effort; great young Americans working around the clock to support the relief effort.

5,000 Active Duty troops on the ground and approximately 15,000 National Guardsmen. More are moving to the area.

- 20 million MRE meals are being delivered -- in the pipeline flowing there.
- tons of water.
- huge amounts of medical and logistics.

This effort will continue until it is no longer needed.

Will establish a safe and secure environment for those Americans affected by the disaster.

We place at the ready some of our nation's most capable military:

82nd Airborne Division: 2,500 paratroopers
- 1st Cavalry Division: 2,700 cavalry troopers
- 1st Marine Division: 1,000 marines
- 2nd Marine Division: 1,000 marines

The first wave of these troops will flow into the New Orleans area. Their purpose is to contribute to the effort to bring about a more stable environment, and to assist in disaster relief.

These are Title 10 [Active Duty] forces. They will not take on a law enforcement role, nor have they been directed in any way to do so. They will provide security. They will relieve National Guard guys to do law enforcement.

Their main effort will be providing relief to suffering people so that any type of thing that smacks of law enforcement can be done by the National Guard.

Active Duty forces will have standard rules of engagement for use of force:

- the right of self protection

- the right and authority to act should they witness an event that could cause loss of human life

In general, Active Duty troops will provide humanitarian assistance and the National Guard will handle any looting and rioting.

The main part of the Active Duty force will be on the ground within next 72 hours.

- 82nd Airborne troops should be on the ground by mid-afternoon [Saturday, Sept 3).

- 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, will be on the ground within the next 48 hours.

- Marines will be on the ground within 48-72 hours.

Katrina Relief: The Engineering Challenge

Notes from Defense Department Special Briefing on Efforts to Mitigate Infrastructure Damage from Hurricane Katrina:

Lieutenant General Carl Strock, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, gave a brief rundown of what the corps has been doing and what some of the plans are to mitigate the infrastructure damage from Hurricane Katrina.



The Corps of Engineers is involved in 3 ways:

1. Support of FEMA under the National Response Plan: provide one of the emergency support functions called public works -- do debris removal, provide ice, water, emergency power, temporary shelter, fix roofs; provide command and control facilities and basically whatever else is needed in the area of public works.

2. As an agency of the federal government responsibile for civil works: restore deep draft navigation and fight flooding outside of the FEMA authorities.

3. Support of Joint Task Force Katrina: ensure the right kind of Army engineers flow forward to help LTG Honoré (Commander, JTF-Katrina). Ensure the Army Corps of Engineers, which is principally civilians, about 34,000 civilians, is made available to LTG Honoré in his military support to the effort.

Situation in New Orleans: 2 breaches in the levees on the Lake Pontchartrain side. Water levels in the city have stabilized. Not expected to rise. Some fluctuation based on the tidal influence from Lake Pontchartrain, but essentially the flooding has stabilized and the task at hand now is to drain the city and create the conditions where recovery can begin to take place.

Threefold approach:

1. Land. Work with the city, FEMA and other agencies to move construction equipment to the site by building causeways from dry land out to the site of the breach.

2. Water. Access to the area by water is difficult. Bridges across canals where the breaches are located cannot be lifted. No power. No direct water access to the breach point.

- Trying to seal off the mouth of the canal where it empties into the lake -- ongoing, very good progress.

- Once canals are closed, actual work on the levees will begin.

- Not critical right now, but storms are forming up in the Atlantic. Want to make sure levees are not open with another storm front approaching.

3. Aerial. Very limited aviation assets. Rotary wing is what is needed to put material into the breaches -- the very asset needed to do search-and-rescue and save victims.

- Dropping 300-pound sandbags in. Have the ability to do 2000-pound bags and larger. Sufficient quantity on hand.

Next task is to de-water the city. Will breach levees on the Lake Pontchartrain side and let gravity take control to move the water out to sea -- most effective and efficient way.

How long will it take? Dependent on the size of the breaches the engineers make in the levee. A small breach takes longer to drain. The larger the breach the more vulnerable you are to other events. Must be very careful about how the dewatering operation is done.

As that begins, engineers will go back in and work on the pumping stations. When the pumping kicks in, that will complete the process. Then the levees will be closed and that should create the conditions for recovery to begin.

Navigation. Closed from Mobile to west of New Orleans.

- Gulf Intercoastal Waterway is open except for about a 10-mile stretch. Anticipate that it will be completely open soon.

- The channel from Baton Rouge to the sea buoy outside of New Orleans has been surveyed and found free of obstructions. Can move vessels in and out of New Orleans.

- Challenge is the navigation aides. Working with the NOAA Navigation Response Teams and the U.S. Coast Guard to reestablish aides to navigation -- buoys that can be seen by the navigators and pilots as they move back through.

- Will not be able to do night operations for some time to come.

- River pilots have to actually run the river themselves and assure themselves that they understand the situation before they'll bring vessels in and out of the port.

- Working in a similar fashion at all the ports from New Orleans to Mobile, to survey the ports and then get them open as quickly as possible.

Addresses a couple of points that have been in the press lately.

- Engineers have done everything they can to protect New Orleans and to respond to a disaster like this.

- A higher rate of funding for flood protection projects would not have stopped the disaster.

3 main projects are being worked in the New Orleans area. Since 2002, Army Corps of Engineers have contributed more than $300 million to these projects:

1. work on the shores of Lake Ponchatrain
2. Southeast Louisiana or SELA project, which is focused on work inside the levees and protecting the system from flooding and restoring drainage
3. the west bank projects on the other side of the river

(Click on photo to enlarge)




New Orleans is protected by a series of 13 levees, over 300 miles of levee.

Red = significant flooding, levee breaks
Green = minor flooding.

Multiple parishes involved here; not just Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

Could this have been avoided? Levees were designed to protect from a Category 3 hurricane. Intensity of Katrina exceeded the design capacity of the levee.

Why Category 3 and not 4 and 5?

Design was based on engineering assessment/risk assessment. Project was designed about 30 years ago. It was based on a 200 or 300-year level of protection -- i.e. Category 3 might be exceeded every 200 or 300 years. That is a .5 percent likelihood. So, a 99.5 percent assurance that design would be OK. Unfortunately, the .5 percent happened.

Bottom line: Army Corps of Engineers and local officials knew the capacity of the levee system, and that is exactly why the mayor and the governor ordered the evacuation of New Orleans, because they knew that if a Category 4 or 5 hurricane were to strike New Orleans, that this levee system could not be relied upon. Had they not done that, the losses could have been even more significant.

Q&A with the "Blame President Bush/Blame America" Mainstream Media. It's rather long. You can read it at the link. I really liked LTG Strock's answer to this question:

Q: Were you surprised when it happened. I mean --

LTG STROCK: Was I surprised when it happened?

Q: Yeah.

LTG STROCK: You know, I really don't express surprise in my business. We look ahead at what we think is coming. We try to prepare for it, and then we respond to it. We don't sit around and say, "Gee whiz"; we get to work, roll up our sleeves and go to work.

Katrina Relief: For Kids

If you live in the South, you most likely will have Katrina refugees near you.

Jett [All blogged up and nowhere to go] Superior shows us a way to help:

Katrina Kids Relief

Jett Superior is awesome!

Alright now, you corporate readers out there...I know you're there. Sitemeter tells me so. Jett's idea is something that everyone should want to sponsor. Shoot an email to your PR dudes. You can be proud that it was you that got your company involved.

[that's right, you House and Senate staffers, I know about you, too -- why don't you guys ever comment? hmmmm? Now that I think about it, your bosses would actually look good on C-SPAN (a rare thing) sponsoring a resolution supporting the Katrina Kids Relief effort]

Let's spread the word and the toys.

A few words from Jett (read more here):

What I want to address is a purely psychological need, a comfort need. I want to put some toys in the hands of kids that don't have anything to their names. I know, as a parent, if I have five bucks in my pocket, I will spend it on my children ninety-five point nine percent of the time before I spend it on myself. Just about every parent does that. It hurts when our children have to do without. It's distressing.

There are one-hundred fifty children down the road from me with NOTHING. There are likely, by all accounts, more coming up from down south. I plan on going to the local KBtoys and purchasing a veritable assload of twenty-dollar gift cards. I want to supply each child sitting in that convention hall a gift card. Then I want to load them and their parents up and take them shopping so that they can purchase whatever their heart desires for them to clench in their chubby little fists. I've already collected six-hundred dollars locally with just a few phone calls. I've lined up transportation so that I can take six to eight families at one time to shop.

The benefit of all this is threefold: Some of the Katrina Kids will have something to hang onto physically and anchor them, their parents will not be hard-pressed to spend funds that could go elsewhere, and maybe their children will be occupied/distracted enough with their toy(s) to give mom and/or dad a wee bit of a break.

Let's call this Katrina Kids Relief. If there is anyone who reads this and wants to pull a logo button out from their magical digital hats, I'd sure appreciate it, as I am a technotard of the highest order. If things get big enough (and they CAN, if you link and write and spread the word!), I'll maybe set up a seperate site and think of branching off into other areas of Katrina Kids' needs.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina Relief: Beth Is Back

Which Beth?

This Beth:

Now I'll warn you. I have more to say that's not so nice. Some of those fuckers in New Orleans have put a damper on my feelings of charity. If it weren't for the fact that the VAST majority of people did evacuate and the fact that I have blood in Mississippi, I might be a tightwad about this whole thing because of the absolute mayhem and BULLSHIT those looter animals are doing during a crisis. I've never been so disgusted in my life. And NO, obviously I'm not talking about those people who are taking food and water/drinks, I'm talking about the assholes with the Nikes and TVs and racks of clothes and toys from everywhere…not to mention the looted pawn shops, liquor stores, etc. etc. etc. Those vile scum are an embarrassment to AMERICA, not just New Orleans; the whole world sees this stuff happening. How many people do you think might see that insanity and say "I'm not helping them"?

I'm also mad as hell about the people who DID NOT evacuate, and instead of being thankful that they're alive, they're bitching about not being taken care of fast enough. Guess what: most of them didn't have to be in that situation. Furthermore, there's still a rescue effort ongoing for those people–some of those who have already been rescued or escaped death are just going to have to accept responsibility and deal with the consequences–which means wait until everyone is safe that can be saved. I know people are busting their asses to save every life they can; no one is slacking off. And then you have people attacking and shooting at helicopters and vehicles that are supposed to help them evacuate now? What. The. Fuck. I know they're desperate to leave, but I'll say again, what the fuck?! I know I'll be vilified for saying so, but I have little sympathy for the people that refused to evacuate, knowing that a Category 4/5 hurricane was headed straight for them. "Oh, we made it through Betsy/Camille so we thought we'd be OK." Stock up the cooler with beers and "ride it out." Stupid fuckers. That's just stupid, stupid, stupid. I know there are some who couldn't for one reason or another, but even so, I distinctly remember hearing on TV that people were being taken out of New Orleans and elsewhere via bus or train if they had no transportation. And they DID have the Superdome, which was probably the worst possible way of evacuating, but it's better than sitting on a roof with no food or water, waiting for a Coast Guard chopper–or dying. Worst of all, those people with CHILDREN that didn't evacuate. They ought to be locked up in jail for child endangerment. Period. I know it can be expensive to evacuate, but it doesn't HAVE to be that way. There were places who offered shelter in Baton Rouge, Jackson, and elsewhere. And I have the most scorn for those who had no excuse (i.e. illness, disability, no money)–rescuers had to risk their lives to take care of those fools when the sick and infirm should honestly have been the first ones helped. I thought I was going to puke when on Monday night, I saw on Fox News that there were people partying on Bourbon Street, dancing around Shepard Smith. Meanwhile, there are STILL people in hospitals in New Orleans, with generators draining diesel for their last gasps of life.

You'll want to read it all

Katrina Relief: The Interdictor

The Interdictor is a former soldier holding down the fort in New Orleans and . . .

"Fighting for the preservation of civilization against the barbarian hordes."

Sample of dispatches:

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

4:23 pm

Ok, we went down to the ground floors to lock down the building tight since a couple of people holed up with us took off. While we were down there we surveyed a huge area of the CBD.

Flooding in the CBD: Poydras is flooded from near the west side of the Superdome down to Baronne street. All of the side streets are flooded too down that way. Baronne is the last flooded street as you head to the river. Poydras is clear from Baronne to the river.

There is no water that we could see from Poydras to the interstate starting at Baronne and going all the way to the river. Headed toward Canal St. from Poydras, I saw no flooding at all from just past Baronne to the river. That's a huge area of the CBD without water on the streets. That's way better than the warnings we got.

Looting: The police are looting. This has been confirmed by several independent sources. Some of the looting might be "legitimate" in as much as that word has any meaning in this context. They have broken into ATMs and safes: confirmed. We have eyewitnesses to this. They have taken dozens of SUVs from dealerships ostensibly for official use. They have also looted gun stores and pawn shops for all the small arms, supposedly to prevent "criminals" from doing so. But who knows their true intentions. We have an inside source in the NOPD who says that command and control is in chaos. He reports that command lapses more than 24 hours between check-ins, and that most of the force are "like deer in the headlights." NOPD already had a reputation for corruption, but I am telling you now that the people we've been talking to say they are not recognizing the NOPD as a legitimate authority anymore, since cops have been seen looting in Walmarts and forcing people out of stores so they could back up SUVs and loot them. Don't shoot the messenger....

Personal: Securing a 27 floor high rise with no elevator support is not fun. I am totally worn out. I am gonna chill for an hour, eat dinner, then perform maintenance. But never fear, Outpost Crystal and Team SOTI have knuckled down and will never quit. Never. We are prepared to go all the way to see this thing through.

Thanks again for all the support and love. One day this will all be over and ancient history, but I'll never forget the kindness of strangers. Keep the less fortunate people in your thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, September 1st, 2005


12:11am

New Orleans Police Department Status: The situation for the NOPD is critical. This is firsthand information I have from an NOPD officer we're giving shelter to. Their command and control infrastructure is shot. They have limited to no communication whatsoever. He didn't even know the city was under martial law until we told him! His precinct (5th Precinct) is under water! UNDER WATER -- every vehicle under water. They had to commander moving trucks like Ryder and UHaul to get around. The coroner's office is shut down so bodies are being covered in leaves at best or left where they lie at worst.

They don't even know their own rules of engagement. He says the force is impotent right now. They have no idea what's going on, no coordination, virtually no comms, etc. the National Guard is gonna air drop a radio system for them with 200 radios? They are getting very little direction.

The 3rd District bugged out to Baton Rouge because they flooded out.

His quote: "It's a zoo."

More first hand information direct from him shortly. He's trying to recover.

I am not trying to be an alarmist, but until we get a military presence of signicance in the city, the roving gangs of thugs own the streets.


Thursday, September 1st, 2005

12:35am

More from the Police Officer. I'm typing as fast as i can while he talks to us:

He's only hearing bits and pieces. The people in the city are shooting at the police. They're upset that they're not getting help quickly enough. The fireman keep calling because they're under fire. He doesn't understand why the people are shooting at the rescuers. Here it is 5 days ago the Mayor said get out of town and nobody went and now they're pissed.

The National Guard was at the Hilton, but now the Hilton is evacuated. When they said the CBD was gonna get 6 feet of water, it seems like everyone evacuated.

He turned the corner onto Canal Street and it looked like a flea market. People breaking into every store, going to the neutral gound (median) and trading and selling everything.

They broke into Winn Dixie Monday Night. Do they steal food? No. Cigarettes and liquor. Store was a mess. All the meats were going to waste so the districts went over there to salvage food for officers. Many cops have been eating MREs.

The Iberville Housing Projects got pissed off because the police started to "shop" after they kicked out looters. Then they started shooting at cops. When the cops left, the looters looted everything. There's probably not a grocery left in this city.

Over 30 officers have quit over the last 3 days. Out of 160 officers in his district maybe 55 or 60 are working. He hasn't seen several since Sunday. HQ is closed, evacuated. No phones to contact them.

"HQ, be advised, we're going 10 7."

"Ok, y'all coming back on???"

"We don't know."



Thursday, September 1st, 2005
11:50am

In case anyone in national security is reading this, get the word to President Bush that we need the military in here NOW. The Active Duty Armed Forces. Mr. President, we are losing this city. I don't care what you're hearing on the news. The city is being lost. It is the law of the jungle down here. The command and control structure here is barely functioning. I'm not sure it's anyone's fault -- I'm not sure it could be any other way at this point. We need the kind of logistical support and infrastructure only the Active Duty military can provide. The hospitals are in dire straights. The police barely have any capabilities at this point. The National Guard is doing their best, but the situation is not being contained. I'm here to help in anyway I can, but my capabilities are limited and dropping. Please get the military here to maintain order before this city is lost.


Thursday, September 1st, 2005
5:24pm

Jesse Jackson

Dear Sir:

Respectfully, I submit that you should shut the hell up. Looting and lawlessness IS the problem. The National Guard choppers are BEING SHOT AT. The NOPD are BEING SHOT AT. You want to focus on the levee? So do they, but check this out: THEY CAN'T UNTIL THE MOB STOPS ATTACKING THE RESCUE OPERATION.

I know you're looking at this situation with concern for the racial implications of the deterioration of civilization out here, but this is bigger than whether people are going to be racists after this is over. This is about rescuing the masses i.e. life and death.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and blame your stupid comments on your lack of knowledge of the situation. Don't prove me a fool for doing so.

Regards,

Michael Barnett

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina Relief: JTF Katrina Briefing

Notes from Special Defense Department Briefing with Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, Lieutenant General Russell Honoré, 1 September 2005:




Mission: establish Joint Task Force Katrina and provide command and control of Department of Defense assets in the Joint Operational Area (Louisiana & Mississippi).

Priorities:

- search and rescue, life-saving operations
- provide food and water
- evacuate individuals from New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston.

Current Situation:

- Mississippi: from the Gulf of Mexico to about three miles North, most of the infrastructure is destroyed. North of that line to I-20 in Mississippi, most of the infrastructure is severely damaged. Much larger area than Louisiana with a lot more isolated/dispersed communities.

- New Orleans: primary threat is flooding -- prohibits surface transportation. Isolated communities are surrounded with water up to five to six feet. Many people have been evacuated to the Superdome area, many are on high streets, and a part of the population took refuge in tall buildings.

- Roughly 60,000 people in New Orleans. A large number of them are at the Superdome, but people are still scattered in communities in isolated areas.

- Security is being provided by the New Orleans police and Louisiana National Guard.

- 4,700 National Guard currently in Louisiana; 7,400 by end of day (Thursday); 8,600 by Friday; 12,000 by Saturday.

- 2,700 National Guard currently in Mississippi; 6,000 by end of day (Thursday); 9,500 by Friday; 12,000 by Saturday.

- National Guard units are on the road flowing in to New Orleans and Mississippi.

- Between 3pm Wednesday afternoon and midnight, 600 patients from the Superdome area had been flown to area hospitals for onward movement and care.

- Helicopter capability has been increased -- two battalions from Fort Hood arrived Wednesday. The Coast Guard and Louisiana National Guard are coordinating the effort to synchronize the helicopters and their distribution of patients.

- Significant naval presence. The Bataan is moving to Biloxi to support the operations in Mississippi.

- United States Air Force is providing strategic lift to bring in units, supplies, and equipment. Primary re-supply areas into Mississippi are the Gulfport Airport and Meridian; in Louisiana, it's the Belle Chasse Airport and the New Orleans International Airport.

- Louisiana Governor has marshaled school buses from throughout the state to transport people to the Astrodome. FEMA is providing 500 buses to transport people to Astrodome. Started moving people by bus to Astrodome Wednesday evening. Operation will continue until New Orleans is completely evacuated.

Lieutenant General Russell L. Honoré is also Commander, First U.S. Army.

He previously was Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, U.S. Northern Command until June 1, 2004.

Other assignments: General Honoré was the Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller ("Scorpion 07"), National Training Center (25 Rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.

General Honoré's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.

Katrina Relief: Central Louisiana

Keep in mind that we're in the early stages of rescue/evacuation. Here's a small sample of what's going on in one place as the rescued stay-behinds are bused in.

Alexandria police Chief Daren Coutee asked Gov. Kathleen Blanco today to try to arrange weapons and drug searches of people fleeing New Orleans before loading them on to buses and shipping them to Central Louisiana.

That request is in the wake of arrests made in Pineville early today on two occupants of three filled buses that showed up unannounced at the closed Wal-Mart building, which was converted into a shelter Wednesday afternoon.

Today, Pineville police Chief Jay Barber said two men were arrested, one on a weapons charge, another on possession of about one pound of cocaine.

Coutee also asked Blanco to "decontaminate" before they're bused by washing the New Orleans refugees, who are "covered in debris."

This morning, Barber said firefighters were ready to help "decontaminate" the new Wal-Mart shelter after the early morning arrival of the three buses.

By noon, Pineville's fire department set up showers in the rear of the Wal-Mart building, Barber said.

more...

Katrina Relief: Mississippi Highway Info

UPDATE (Wednesday, September 7, 2005):

Unexpected Stops and Delays Likely Jackson County - I-10 over Pascagoula River - Two-Way Traffic on Westbound Lane

Last Updated on 9/6/2005 8:34:24 PM
Route: I-10
County: Jackson [30]
Begin: 9/6/2005 8:00:00 AM
End: 10/17/2005 5:00:00 PM
Description: I-10 Eastbound traffic will be crossed over to one lane of I-10 Westbound for several miles in Jackson County. This traffic change will be in effect for at least 5 weeks as crews work to repair bridge over Pascagoula River. Motorists should take alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion.

Road closure, expect major delays and detour routing Harrison County - STATEWIDE Road Conditions (9/6 - 9/12)

Last Updated on 9/6/2005 4:26:08 PM
Route: US-90
County: Harrison [24]
Begin: 9/1/2005 4:30:00 PM
End: 9/13/2005 10:00:00 PM
Description: MDOT has cleared all state highways for travel except Hwy 90; however, the Highway Patrol discourages non-emergency travel in the Gulf Coast region.


To get the latest highway info for Mississippi call:

Mississippi Traffic Information Line: 1-800-222-6362

===================================================

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation the following highways are among roads closed due to Hurricane Katrina search and rescue efforts:UPDATED (See Above)

-- U.S. 98 from Hattiesburg to Mobile
-- U.S. 49 from Seminary to Gulfport
-- Miss. 63 from Lucedale to Moss Point
-- Interstate 59 from Laurel to Louisiana
-- U.S. 84 from Collins to Waynesboro
-- I-10 from Louisiana to Alabama
-- U.S. 90 from Louisiana to Alabama
-- I-110 from I-10 to U.S. 90
-- Miss. 605 from I-10 to U.S. 90
-- Miss. 607 from I-10 to Stennis Space Center
-- Miss. 43 from U.S. 90 to I-10 for hospital use
-- Miss. 57 from U.S. 90 to I-10 for hospital use

You will be asked to show identification to emergency personnel in order to access these roads.

Katrina Relief: In My Little Town

My hometown is a poor little place (pop @450) in the swamps of North Louisiana, located in one of the poorest parishes in the state. The main employer is the school system and it seems to be employing less people each year. What once, not too long ago, was a 1A football powerhouse no longer has a football team. People tend to move to where the jobs are.

My little town is usually not a destination, but a place to pass through on the way to Baton Rouge or Monroe. The closest place with both a Wal-Mart and a McDonald's is 30 miles away -- a blessing depending on how you look at it.

But to my little town they come from all over South Louisiana and South Mississippi. Katrina refugees. The First Methodist Church, alone, is sheltering 50 people.

This is happening in towns large and small throughout the more fortunate parts of Louisiana and Mississippi and throughout the South. Hundreds of thousands of people need food, water and shelter and these churches and communities are doing what they can -- which does not include employment. These people not only lost their homes, many now have no source of income. Katrina took care of that, too.

As Federal relief and recovery efforts mature, many will probably be re-located to military bases and temporary mobile home villages. But for now, they are depending on us to help them and we will do what we can.

Today is Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Day. Thanks to Hugh Hewitt and NZ Bear and Glenn Reynolds for coordinating this.

Find out more at TTLB Katrina Relief and Instapundit's roundup page

You can make contributions at Katrina Relief: Log Your Contribution

I encourage contributions to The Salvation Army and Operation Katrina Soldiers Relief Fund

More updates here and here.