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:: Friday, September 02, 2005 ::

One last thought

Just a friendly reminder: Sure, we couldn't afford the hundreds of millions for levees and flood control structures in New Orleans, but we COULD afford 250 million to build a bridge in Alaska!

Remember, 50 Alaskans needed that quarter-of-a-billion dollar bridge far more than New Orleans needed those pesky levees!
:: Morat 1:34 PM :: ::

New Orleans update

Take a look at this:
And Lt. Gen. Steven Blum of the National Guard said 7,000 National Guardsmen arriving in Louisiana on Friday would be dedicated to restoring order in New Orleans. He said half of them had just returned from assignments overseas and are "highly proficient in the use of lethal force." He pledged to "put down" the violence "in a quick and efficient manner."

"But they are coming here to save Louisiana citizens. The only thing we are attacking is the effects of this hurricane," he said. Blum said that a huge airlift of supplies was landing Friday and that it signaled "the cavalry is and will continue to arrive."
Rapes, beatings and armed robberies were reported in parts of the city, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guard troops hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

"They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

He sounds like he's talking about Iraqis, not American citizens. I don't have any sympathy for rapists and robbers -- nor those looting out of greed, not necessity (looting food and water I understand), but with that attitude, things will get out of control very quickly.

I realize the current "compassionate conservative" response is to claim everyone left behind is a rapist and a looter, but from what I've seen, the bulk of those left behind are poor, black, and too many of them are dying waiting to be evacuated. Those shooting at helicopters seem to be doing so in order to get someone to save them. I'm starting to get really pissed at those lily-white rich conservatives whose idea of "deprivation" is to skip lunch to meet their editor's deadline talking about shooting American citizens.

This is a clusterfuck of nightmarish proportions. We have Guardsman expecting to shoot Americans, we have a US city that -- after four days -- we can't control well enough to deliver food and water, and I don't even want to contemplate the disease and illness taking root among those stuck living in filth due to backed-up sewage.

It's like a miniature Iraq -- a nightmare of poor planning, overblown optimism, incompetent execution, and an administration unwilling to admit to the facts on the ground. The only real difference is there's no hiding the magnitude of this disaster -- the reporters are there, live, not stuck hiding out in the Green Zone.
:: Morat 9:28 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, September 01, 2005 ::

More on New Orleans

Having watched this clusterfuck unfold in real time, I don't see those thousands getting out of New Orleans in the next day or so. Which means, in addition to dealing with lack of food and water, we're going to start seeing disease. The sewers don't work, and sooner or later they're going to be reduced to trying to drink the flood waters -- probably without any means of purifying them (can't even boil it without power, and it's not like they've got a good supply of dry wood). If something isn't done soon, we're going to see the flood deaths compounded by deaths from dysentery and other disease.

Where the hell is the government?
:: Morat 1:59 PM :: ::

A thought about New Orleans

There's a particularly nasty sort of human who finds delight in catastrophe and death. With Katrina, you'll find them among those who smugly state that those stuck in New Orleans "chose to stay" and thus their suffering and death really isn't anyone's problems but their own.

Whatever reasoning they choose to mask their contempt for the rest of humankind (those not family, friends, or potential patrons), their view is the same: Those are not "Real people" drowning and dieing, not "real people" homeless, jobless, and wondering how many of their friends have died. They are things. They are animals to feel superior to, chips to be cashed in for political points, or object lessons -- all their so that "real people" can feel better about their own lives.

The fact that those who stayed were poor or sick (or in jail), that Greyhound closed on Saturday and airlines wouldn't fly planes in empty -- and thus couldn't fly anyone out, that even tourists (quite well to do, and certainly not tied to New Orleans by family or monetary necessity) were stuck there -- these don't matter.

Katrina has wiped away some of the clever masks society wears, and exposed some of the deeper and darker cracks in our nature.
:: Morat 12:06 PM :: ::

:: Monday, August 29, 2005 ::

Space Shuttle Tribute Bike

I just got a really nice, close-up look at it. Damn, those OCC guys are artists. I don't know bikes well enough to explain it, but I'm certainly going to catch that episode of American Chopper (I believe it airs in October). It's gorgeous -- from the wheels, to the exhaust (modeled after the main engines) to the placement of the NASA symbol and the Columbia flight patch....
:: Morat 10:23 AM :: ::

Meth and Me!

My wife has a cold. So I went to the store for the express purpose of buying one box of Advil cold and sinus. After showing six forms of ID, signing multiple pages in triplicate, and solemnly swearing I was not going to make me some sweet, sweet meth, I was allowed my single box of Advil. I can buy a gun with less hassle.

It wasn't quiet that bad, but it took two or three minutes to show my ID and for the clerk to process the paperwork -- two or three minutes that were highly annoying to the people in line behind me. Judging by their reactions, I don't think the American public cares quite that much about meth. Not enough to spend five minutes every time you want some cold medicine.

I dread my end of the year drug stockup -- you know, where you burn the remnants of your health care savings account on over the counter medicines? I suspect I'll stick to Tylenol and band-aids this year.
:: Morat 9:24 AM :: ::

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