Saturday, September 10, 2005

Take Action Now!

Whatever you're doing right now is not as vital as telling the Ugandan government to stop the attack on condoms. Take action to stand in solidarity with Ugandan activists and demand the release of millions of condoms by the government of Uganda.

Don't ask me, I just came across this while surfing political action sites.

Katrina's affects on N.O. sports

Not that the loss of Saints home games is a big deal, there are still repercussions to all athletics in the area.

Why I wish I subscribed to Sports Illustrated ....

The elderly

"Attorney General Charles Foti said Friday his office has launched an investigation on why up to 32 residents of a St. Bernard Parish nursing home died when Hurricane Katrina rocked the area ... The facility under scrutiny is St. Rita's Nursing Home, which is located about 20 miles southeast of Chalmette."

Sue Gunter indicted inducted

"The late Sue Gunter, the former women's basketball coach at LSU, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Friday in a poignant presentation Friday night ... "

Republicans to blame for this too?

"The U.S. premature-birth rate has hit a record high, the latest CDC figures show."

Bi-partisan

New Orleans refugee Arpollo Vicks (aka Sharli'e Dominique) was jailed for five days "after showering in the women's bathroom at a local shelter." The county attorney declined to press charges against Vicks, a transgender -- born male but lives as a woman -- who was "arrested Sunday by Texas A&M University Police for criminal trespassing after she exited a women's shower facility at Reed Arena ... Vicks' 16-year-old cousin, who also is transgendered, was arrested as well after showering in the women's bathroom. She was released to the custody of her older sister earlier this week ... Vicks, who said she is a university student and former substitute teacher and dreams of one day becoming a journalist, is looking forward to being reunited with her mother, Djuana, and other relatives ... 'Maybe this will make people more aware of transgendered and transsexual people. They are all over, and they have feelings, too. Maybe now this will help other gay people or transgendered people have a more positive experience in Bryan-College Station than I had.'"

Army ... be all you can be

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. Army recruiters helping refugees at the Houston Astrodome are also using the situation to solicit recruits. "'Our intent is to approach the evacuees at the right time for them,' says Army spokesman Douglas Smith."

Limbaugh ... what an ass

"In his defense of the admministration (sic), Limbaugh intentionally flubs N.O. Mayor Nagin's name. Give a listen and you tell me."

MP3 Audio Clip

George hates midgets

In reference to Kanye West, Chris Rock joked during the recent 'Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast' that "George Bush hates midgets!"

Yummy in my tummy ...

Bush sings and fishes

Republicans to blame ...

Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan were caught fleeing the scene as "gargantuan chunks of ice" broke free from the "Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and (thundered) into an Arctic fjord ..." Rubber masks of Pres. Cheney Bush and VP Cheney, cans of gasoline and several matchbooks were confiscated from Moore and Sheehan.

Landrieu speaks out ... no one listens

While talk is focused on helping the evacuees of New Orleans and other coastal towns, what will be done to help the cities these people are taking refuge in? Sentator Mary Landrieu and others are concerned about who to blame instead of how to subsidize the burden that such cities as "Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Alexandria" are facing as they expand "due to the evacuees."

The list of problems affecting the evacuees and the residents of those towns include food (both restaurants and grocery stores), schooling (refugee children are enrolled now in those cities), housing, infrastructure (roads, phones, sewer, etc.), and the list goes on.

Also, local companies want to help refugees by employing them. If I'm an able bodied yet unemployed resident, what does that tell me about area employers? Why do they suddenly have an opening?

I'm still waiting ...

Still no response to an e-mail I sent Blockbuster regarding their "hidden fees" is yet to be replied to.

It's been two weeks since I was instructed to expect a reply in 3 to 5 business days.

Yet another lie from Blockbuster.

Illegal population gaining rights in California

In blatant disregard for federal immigration laws and ignoring opportunities to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, California is voting to go ahead and give illegal immigrants special driver's licenses.

Of course, this is also the state holding a vote to "permit gay marriage ".

A high-tech operation

It takes a lot to live in a ditch. Here's a list of items Cindy Sheehan needs to "be truly effective":
  • Apple iMac G5 Computers, 20' Monitor
  • 500 Gigabyte Firewire Hard Drives
  • Canon XL2Digital Video Camera
  • Digital Projector (3000 lumens)
  • Apple iPods with recording
  • Monthly Satellite Access and Website Hosting Fee

Melodramatic oafs

The ever-righteous group, MoveOn.org, protested with three New Orleans refugees in front of the White House recently. "About 100 supporters of the liberal political group descended on Pennsylvania Avenue and spent most of their time blaming the president for the allegedly slow local, state and federal response in New Orleans; and, indirectly, for the failure of the city's levees." They even took time out to rant and rave at one lone woman who simply held a sign that read, "Support the president and love the people."

In other news, Germany's environmental minister has jumped on the bandwagon of blaming politics for global warming and Hurricane Katrina.

More from Ocala

The board of the Majestic Oaks Homeowners Association say that their vote to not allow neighborhood residents house Hurricane Katrina evacuees has been "blown out of proportion."

I agree ...

"A Pennsylvania preacher has vowed to fight the new design for the proposed memorial honoring passengers of Flight 93 who were killed when their hijacked flight crashed in Pennsylvania on 9-11. The 'Crescent of Embrace' design centers on a mile-long semicircle of red maples surrounding the point of impact, but Baptist minister Ron McRae argues that it resembles Islam's symbolic crescent moon and star. He calls the design 'a memorial to the terrorists who killed those people, not a memorial to the folks who died there,' adding, 'They wouldn't dare put up the Ten Commandments or the cross of Christ, but they're going to put up a red crescent.'"

Meet Jesse Jackson ... the town idot

On a recent edition of Hannity & Colmes Jesse Jackson states that New Orleons Mayor Ray Nagin isn't to blame because he only "had a five-day warning about the storm coming Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday by the meteorologists. And emergency preparedness was not even prepared for the emergency. So that was no massive plan for rescue and for relocation and for relief and family reunification and reconstruction. That's bigger than a given mayor."

I guess he's not aware of the city's emergency preparedness plan. He is right though, the catastrophe does involve more people than Mayor Nagin.

Jackson excuses the lack of the city's effort to utilize unused buses to evacuate people ahead of the storm. He says that the mayor didn't do this because he there was no place to put them. Well, I counter, where are all of the refugees now? It seems that many, many places have opened up to serve as temporary homes for these people. What would be the argument had it been a white mayor, either Democrat or Republican?

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Meet Kanye West ... the racist

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bush blamed for environmental impact

Word is that Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore are developing a slander campaign accussing Pres. Bush of causing powerful solar flare eruptions.

Just kidding ... maybe.

U.S.S. Iowa back in the news

It was bad enough when San Francisco officials declined the offer to serve as homeport for the USS Iowa. Now "supporters of the idea have come up with a new plan that they hope will convince leaders to welcome the historic battleship here."

They want the ship to house a museum "honoring the contributions of gays, lesbians, ethnic minorities and women to the military ..."

Just think, they COULD have left ...

Debbie Estes and her two daughters were on the brink of commiting suicide after spending days trapped in the attic of their New Orleans home. You might think that the fact that Debbie's 68-year-old mother lay dead on the attic floor is the most intriguing point of the article.

However, to me at least, my interested piqued when I read that they could have left but chose to stay. Here's what the CNN.com article states:

"Before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Sunday, August 28, Debbie said she hadn't paid much attention to the warnings and didn't want to evacuate without the family's pets. 'I never once dreamed ... I just thought it would be a little wind and rain and then it would just blow over.'"

A new form of computer virus

More than likely you haven't heard of ransomware. I consider myself very knowledgeable of software, computers and related technology; however, it was only a passing mention in a home audio/video magazine that made me aware of this new virus technology.

You'll be hard-pressed to find mainstream media coverage of ransomware. However, there are a few instances from earlier this year of computers falling prey to the malicious code. A May 2005 incident is the main source of information.

Websense of San Diego assisted a client whose computers had been locked until a $200 ransom was paid for the digital keys. The program - a type of Trojan called Pgpcoder - manipulates a browser weakness to access and and search "the victim’s hard drive for 15 common file types to encode, including Word, Excel documents and stored web pages ... A note then appears on the victim’s screen demanding money for the decoder, with details of an electronic account and a contact email address."

Another type of ransomware was discussed in 2004 as a more evil alternative to malware.

As discussed on Halfbakery.com, "Assuming that 1 GB of hard disk space cost $ 30, a piece of software costing $ 15 will blow up in size to take up additional half a GB. Once payment is received, the half a GB of space is released. The dollar amount is for illustrative purpose. 'Ransom' is just an analogy. The concept can be applied to mean 'less-than-optimal-performance-ware' or 'if-you-pay-i-give-secret-key-to-unleash-bonus-and-hidden-and-kidnapped-functionality-ware'"

A game ...

Lies ... they'd make great politicians

In her blog entry, Cindy Sheehan writes, "Well, after what turned out to be a few days rest, instead of a week, I am heading back out on the truth trail. Camp Casey III in Covington, La, is really hopping. Members of our Camp Casey group took 10,000 pounds of supplies to Covington which is a poor African-American town in La." Once again, Cindy, Covington is NOT a "poor African-American town."
"We are putting our money, time, and energy into helping the people of Louisiana. Because of the misplaced priorities of the administration, they have become the collateral damage of this occupation of Iraq ... I was stunned at the level of corruption, incompetence and callousness that was exhibited by this administration towards the disaster of Katrina. How many more innocent people are we going to let their greed and indifference take down with them?"
I have a sneaky feeling that she's not talking about the crooked New Orleans politicians.

As usual, this is in my humble opinion.

Brown to provide answers, be scapegoat

FEMA's Michael Brown has been "removed from his role managing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts."

"Brown is being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, where he was the primary official overseeing the federal government's response to the disaster, FOX News has confirmed. Brown will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts."

Earlier reports challenged the legitimacy of his resume.

Win Ben Stein's Money

"A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth."

Bush disaster

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Worst Disaster): "The screen shot displayed above, presumably captured from a Sky News (Ireland) broadcast, uses a text caption in conjunction with a video clip of President Bush to convey that the President had declared Hurricane Katrina to be 'one of the worst disasters to hit the U.S.' Without the video context however, the caption could be read as labeling President Bush himself 'one of the worst disasters ever to hit the U.S.'"

Evacuees receiving much love in Ocala, Florida

The same neighborhood association that sued a homeowner to make him remove a flagpole and the American flag from his yard is at it again. The board of the Majestic Oaks Homeowners Association distributed fliers to the 500 homes in the subdivision with instructions that "their deed restrictions prohibit housing people who fled the Gulf Coast." Some homeowners are angry and ashamed by the actions of the association.

Bob Watson and Audrey Andrews, president and vice president (respectively) of the homeowners association, defend their actions in ludicrous fashion. They feel, being single family dwellings, homes in the neighborhood are not capable of handling the legal liability. Watson said he feels bad but there's no real solution.

A description of Majestic Oaks from a cached Google search: "Majestic Oaks neighborhood, located in Southwest Ocala Florida, is picturesque with a mix of retirees and working families. Majestic Oaks is a friendly and safe environment for all. Easy highway access and rural beauty makes Majestic Oaks a premiere neighborhood." Click here for Google's cache of the subdivision's HOA site (complete with address, phone numbers, etc.).

Click here to access Google's cached Majestic Oaks pages (includes neighborhood newsletters, board minutes, contact information, etc.).

A John Grisham plot line

After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast sending survivors scattered across the country, I wondered about the possiblity of someone escaping to create a new life somewhere else. Perhaps someone who has stolen money and other valuables or has committed a violent crime and uses the storm to mask their new found freedom. Maybe my conspiracy theory comes from reading too many John Grisham books.

Then, the Monroe News Star reports that "the evacuation and relocation of people from Louisiana parishes that Hurricane Katrina hit the hardest have potentially put as many as 3,000 registered sex offenders and sexual predators in new places."

Becareful of who you've opened your home to ... you might wake up dead or worse.

Time is on my side, yes it is

TIME.com is reporting that Federal Emergency Management Agency head Michael Brown may have "discrepancies in his online legal profile and official bio, including a description of Brown released by the White House at the time of his nomination in 2001 to the job as deputy chief of FEMA."

A leader admits his mistakes

Colin Powell is showing the world, and Harry "Achtung" Belafonte, how wrong they are in negatively challenging the credibility of his military and political tenure. If you recall, Belafonte basically accussed Powell, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and other African-Americans in high-profile positions of serving the man by not towing the line. That line being the African-American cause. A few months ago Belafonte said, in describing Pres. Bush's racisim, "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value."

In a recent ABC News interview with Barbara Walters, Powell voices "his disappointments and frustration on everything from the invasion of Iraq to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina."

Powell's key talking points:
  • Critical of Katrina response: "I think there have been a lot of failures at a lot of levels — local, state and federal. There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. Not enough was done. I don't think advantage was taken of the time that was available to us, and I just don't know why." Powell doesn't think race was a factor in the slow delivery of relief to the hurricane victims as some have suggested. "When you look at those who weren't able to get out, it should have been a blinding flash of the obvious to everybody that when you order a mandatory evacuation, you can't expect everybody to evacuate on their own. These are people who don't have credit cards; only one in 10 families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn't a racial thing — but poverty disproportionately affects African-Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor."
  • Critical of the Iraq invasion: While Secretary of State, Powell "told the United Nations and the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat. He told Walters that he feels 'terrible' about the claims he made in that now-infamous address — assertions that later proved to be false."
  • Critical of post-invasion Iraq: "I think there is little choice but to keep investing in the Iraqi armed forces, and to do everything we can to increase their size and their capability and their strength ... And it may not have turned out to be such a mess if we had done some things differently. But it is now a difficult situation, but difficult situations are there to be worked on and solved, not walked away from, not cutting and running from." Powell said he is sensitive to Cindy Sheehan and other mothers and family members whose loved ones have been wounded or killed in Iraq, but stressed that soldiers are risking their lives for a worthy purpose. When asked what he would say to Sheehan ... "We regret the loss, but your loved one died in service to the nation and in service to the cause." He acknowledged that the pain of losing a loved one would be heightened if a family feels the war is unjust.
I don't know Powell's agenda — if any — but his responses are surprisingly candid. His admission of culpability has the sincerity Mary Landrieu aspires to. Since seeing him during the first Iraq invasion, I've believed him to have political ambitions yet not at the cost of his morals or self-respect. It will be interesting to see the response from the "fair and balanced" and "Air America" crowds.

This is in my humble opinion.

Remember when ...

I can't wait for the rebuilding of New Orleans to be completed. The city is going to be bigger and better than ever. They shouldn't change a thing.

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Perfect timing

A little free publicity by denouncing Pres. Bush can always help CD sales.

Cindy Sheehan Boulevard

Cindy Sheehan now sees herself as a modern day Martin Luther King.

The odds

BetCris.com has set the odds on what Kanye West will do in follow-up to his earlier rantings regarding Pres. Bush and his "racism" towards the African-Americans stranded in New Orleans. Kanye will be centerstage for tonight's Oakland Raiders/New England Patriots game with a pre-game performance. "That’s right we can all join in the marginalization party this evening and throw some money at whether or not Kanye gets all 40-acres-and-a-mule while ABC holds their breath throughout his entire performance."

Many have wondered about those outside of New Orleans

A majority of the leadership in Orleans and Jefferson parishes are African-American Democrats. It's been the case for many, many years. I don't recall it ever being any other way. Despite not doing anything to help the citizens before and after Hurricane Katrina, these same local politicians have pointed fingers of blame at Pres. Bush and FEMA. In addition to the slow response, accusations of governmental racism are being tossed around by Jesse Jackson and other partisan demagogues.

It's obvious that the federal government shares a portion of the blame; however, the question is why didn't the African-American leadership which runs the area do anything to help their constituents. It's doubtful that they will ever be held accountable for their grave mistakes.

While eyes were focused on New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama, I've wondered what was happening in the low-profile communities of Chalmette, Algiers, Covington, Mandeville and the like. Then today news sources are reporting that victims in Chalmette are just now being rescued. "In the working-class parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines, the heavy rain and levee break brought a wall of water up to 20 feet high. Local officials expect the number of deaths to be in the hundreds. In one wrenching case, 30 residents in a nursing home died and 30 others were evacuated, said Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu ..."

By the way, the people in Chalmette who are waiting to be rescued some eight days after the destruction began? You might be surprised to learn that these forgotten people are 92.7% white and 2.4% African-American. Are African-Americans racist for ignoring the white population? Afterall, this community is primarily white and wealthy and a majority of the politicians are African-American. This isn't the picture painted to the public by such people as author Anne Rice. Of the stranded residents, she wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece, "They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do — they huddled together in the (New Orleans Superdome). There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn."

Another piece of the partisan puzzle.

Again, this is my humble opinion.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

When asked about Hurricane Katrina, the members of rock group Styx replied,
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I never liked her and here's one more reason

Celine Dion thinks it's okay for the New Orleans looters to steal.

A hard life

Hevenor waltzs over Larinda.

Jackson shows his true color

refugee: an individual seeking refuge or asylum

evacuee: a person who has been evacuated from a dangerous place

"It is racist to call American citizens refugees," Rev. Jesse Jackson said. He and others feel that the use of 'refugee' to describe Hurricane Katrina victims denegrates them as "second-class citizens — or not even Americans."

This is a new twist on the racial hatred Rev. Jackson has for all things not black African-American.

His habitual idiocy is exemplified again in a 9/1/05 press release. "Several questions remain unanswered. First, we note that the storms seem to be increasing in frequency and voracity. Are these storms sent by God alone? Or are they partly man-made? In other words, is global warming contributing to the frequency and harshness of these disasters? We must free our public scientific research from the grip of right-wing ideology and theology, in order to answer this question scientifically and protect our people."

Just like I'm sure Jackson did, I've conducted a very scientific and complicated experiment to determine the effects of global warming (if any) and how this has possibly increased the impact of hurricanes on North America. In a surprising turn of events unforeseen by many, the answers to Jackson's questions are an unresounding NO.

According to the 9/12/05 edition of Time, the following details are given:
  • 1911-1940: It's a split. Republicans were in the Oval Office for 14 years with Democrats having the chair for 15 years. There were 20 category 3 storms or higher.
  • 1941-1970: Democrats ruled the White House for 18 years with Republicans having the remaining 11. There were 24 category 3 or higher hurricanes during that 29 year span.
  • 1971-2000: The Republicans held court for 18 years while Democrats maintained a 13 year presence.
  • 2001-2005: In the new millenium, the GOP has had the presidency for four years with Democrats having it for one year. There have been five category 3 or higher storms (including Hurricane Katrina).
The count is virtually 50/50 that Republicans or Democrats controlled the presidency from 1911 to 2005. The years of 1941 to 1970 saw the Democrats win the presidency more than twice as often than Republicans. It was also the worst time for hurricanes striking the United States. The 1971 to 2000 era saw a reversal of political dominance in favor of the GOP in addition to a 1/3 drop in hurricanes striking North America. In other words, we can't control global warming and this event will continue until the next ice age whether a Democrat or Republican is president.

It's the same spin I've come to expect from politicians and political connoisseurs such as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Jackson and others of their ilk. This quote could apply to either political faction, but Ronald Reagan once said, "I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist'."

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Lies and deceipts

Michael Moore is at it again. He writes, "There is much to be said and done about the manmade annihilation of New Orleans, caused NOT by a hurricane but by the very specific decisions made by the Bush administration in the past four and a half years. Do not listen to anyone who says we can discuss all this later. No, we can't. Our country is in an immediate state of vulnerability. More hurricanes and other disasters are on the way, and a lazy bunch of self-satisfied lunatics are still running the show."
  • "... manmade annihilation of New Orleans"?
  • "... caused NOT by a hurricane but by the very specific decisions made by the Bush administration in the past four and a half years"?
I don't understand how Bush and his cronies (only Republicans, Michael?) made decisions that ultimately annihilated New Orleans. Let's all realize that Moore and his motley crue don't always tell the truth.

It seems to me that Bill Clinton and internet inventor and environmentalist Al Gore had eight years to get things straight. Am I to believe that since 2001 Bush has done everything he could to counteract the safety of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast? Has global warming only come about during Bush's presidency?

As usual, this is my humble opinion.

I'm taking my ball and going home!

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco don't play well together.

Idiots

Britney Spears and Kevin "Cletus" Federline are arguing over whether to name their soon-to-be-born baby London or Vegas. Slow news day.

Southern Decadence ... maybe not

"Police are prepared to arrest anyone who attempts to parade in Lafayette" as part of the Southern Decadence celebration.

The annual celebration was canceled this year due to Hurricane Katrina.

No looks of leadership, determination

Though he shoulders some of the blame for federal response to Hurricane Katrina, Pres. Bush has made sure that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayour Ray Nagin, FEMA and the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness "have a clearer understanding of what's needed ... Fix problems now, affix blame later."

Cigars for everyone

Getting an early jump on his campaign to be Louisiana's next governor, Rep. Bobby Jindal says the government is full of red-tape.

"At a press conference yesterday, the Army general in charge of military relief efforts denounced such complaints in angry and, at times, profane language 'There is no red tape ... There are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush,' Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, said ... after a reporter questioned him about Mr. Jindal's criticism ... Another reporter yesterday asked Gen. Honore about security concerns in New Orleans. 'Have you been to New Orleans? Did anybody accost you? ... You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else,' said the commander of the Georgia-based First Army. 'It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why ... are you trying to make that the issue?'"

In my opinion, I'm glad to see Honore being a bi-partisan offender. Blanco to Bush need to get their acts in order.

A little late, Nagin

Despite the urgings of Pres. Bush and hurricane experts to announce manadatory evacuation of the city before landfall of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin "worried about the legality of ordering people out when New Orleans has few safe hurricane shelters for them to evacuate to."

However, Nagin now sees fit to authorize law enforcement officers and the U.S. military to force the evacuation of all residents who refuse to heed orders to leave the dark, dangerous city. "The move comes after some citizens bluntly told authorities who had come to deliver them from the waterlogged city that they would not leave their homes and property."

The stranded and their owners

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, my Dad said he'd never allow rescuers to abandon his dog. I can understand the reason, but don't see the logic as it's a strictly emotional decision. However, his sentiment has come to fruition as pets in New Orleans are "the No. 1 reason many of the estimated 10,000 residents still holed up in their flooded homes are refusing to leave."

Volunteer Steve Miller doesn't see why FEMA is not allowing the simultaneous rescue of people and their pets. Not being a health or animal expert, I would venture to guess that these animals (which aren't always just cats and dogs) may have diseases and/or fleas which can easily transfer to humans. Additionally, these animals require food, water, veterinarian treatment, boarding facilities and other amenities not readily available. We've already seen how difficult it is to provide the human element with the basic necessities. Not to mention what would happen on a rescue boat if a dog decided to attack a child or other evacuees causing injuries, death, drowning or any number of other problems. In other words, animal rescue creates a whole new set of challenges that are overridden by the need for human safety.

However, if these animals are so important it seems to me that PETA and other organizations should be doing more.

It would be extremely difficult for me to abandon my dog, but I would if my life and that of my family were at risk. Maybe I'll write a letter to Pres. Bush about my concerns.

This may be my last blog entry as I'm sure Dad will have his dog run me off. I think I may have just been removed from his will too.

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Just what we needed ...

Normally held in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina has forced Southern Decadence — a days-long celebration held in the French Quarter each fall when dressing in drag and costume are the order of the day and the music and heritage of the Crescent City are showcased — to move this year's "festivities" to Lafayette, La.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Excuse me while I shed a tear

Get over it, Dena Scott. Gov. Blanco, from what I've seen and heard, hasn't said she was bringing the soldiers home early in response to Hurricane Katrina. It's been reported for months that they'd be returning soon.

Why should we expect the soldiers to "fight a war where they've seen enough death and destruction to last a lifetime and then come home to more of the same is unthinkable"? You provided the answer when you said it's "their jobs!" Since Dena thinks the soldiers are so "tired and stressed" after being "away from their families and homes for 18 long months," perhaps the 52 court-martialed Louisiana members of the 256th Combat Brigade could volunteer for the search and rescue efforts.

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Blanco and Nagin: A Timeline of Ineptness

Following is a lengthy timeline of Hurricane Katrina from the point meteorologists premised that coastal Louisiana could be impacted by the storm. This text is taken from various news articles quoting hurricane experts, Louisiana political figures as well as text from the City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. It's interesting to note that local and state political leaders hesitated in their response despite warnings from President George Bush and National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield. A very insightful article written by the Charlotte Observor a day before Hurricane Katrina came ashore should garner your sincere attention. It details events during the days leading to zero hour in addition to a prediction of how New Orleans would suffer if a direct hit would occur. After reading this timeline, it's clearly evident (to me at least) that blame squarely rests on the shoulders of two people and one organization — Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness. For instance, Nagin said he was alarmed about the storm's potential path and the lack of time to fully prepare for such a large storm. This despite a clearly stated plan by the Office of Emergency Preparedness which details the responsibilities of the mayor, governor and all political figures/organizations involved in times of emergency. In closing, let me make something very clear. All facets of government from local and state to federal all shoulder various degrees of blame. I hold a non-partisan view and it's up to the reader to do their own research to validate or refute my personal views. Unlike many partisan followers, I challenge you to reach your own conclusion(s).

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Thursday, August 25: Karl Loeper, a forecaster for AM-640 WVLG in The Villages reports, "Charts show it will hit the coast of Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning at 8 o'clock, and then by Saturday morning at 8 o'clock, it should be across South Florida and sitting just southwest of Port Charlotte." He speculated that "once the storm reaches the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it is projected to head toward New Orleans."

Saturday, August 27: HURRICANE KATRINA LOCAL STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA 500 PM CDT SAT AUG 27 2005 ... HURRICANE WATCH EXPANDED TO INCLUDE THE MISSISSIPPI COAST ... HURRICANE WATCH IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA INCLUDING THE METRO NEW ORLEANS AREA ... RESIDENTS OF SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND COASTAL MISSISSIPPI SHOULD MAKE PREPARATIONS FOR THE POTENTIAL LANDFALL OF A MAJOR HURRICANE LATE SUNDAY NIGHT

Saturday, August 27: Forecasters today issued a hurricane warning for coastal areas from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama- Florida border, meaning hurricane conditions are expected in those regions within 24 hours. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour declared states of emergency this afternoon as mandatory and voluntary evacuations of low-lying coastal areas began. Both states said earlier they will direct traffic on Interstates 55 and 59 from the afternoon to head inland. A direct hit by Katrina would be devastating to New Orleans, a port of almost 500,000 in the Mississippi River delta that depends on a series of pumps and levees to keep the city dry. "We, collectively, are among the world's foremost authorities on protecting ourselves from a major hurricane threat," Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard told residents at a briefing today with Blanco. "Remember what you've learned throughout the years in the greater New Orleans area in fighting hurricanes." New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he probably would call for an evacuation this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Saturday, August 27: With forecasters saying Hurricane Katrina is likely to slam into southeast Louisiana or nearby on the Mississippi Gulf Coast early Monday, low-lying parishes called evacuations Saturday. "Right now, it looks like Louisiana is in line for a possible direct hit," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. "We know that we’re going to take the brunt of it. It does not bode well for southeastern Louisiana." Mandatory or voluntary evacuations were called on Grand Isle, Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island, and in the parishes of St. Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and St. Bernard. "This is not a test," Mayor C. Ray Nagin said at a news conference. "This is a Category Four." He said he would probably ask people to leave at daybreak Sunday. Because the storm is so big, he said, the Superdome may be used as a shelter of last resort for people who do not have cars, and the bus system would set up pick-up points across the city. People should "start to look at their hurricane plans, get their supplies, get their medications in order, clean up storm drains and get ready. Because it looks as if we’re going to get hit," he said. At the Day Dream Inn on Grand Isle, owner Jeanette Gruboyianes wasn’t leaving. Most permanent residents don’t, she said. "You have to have money to evavcuate. If you don’t have it, you ride out the storm," she said. "You know, at this juncture, all we can do is pray it doesn’t come this way and tear us up."

Saturday, August 27: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared a state of emergency late Friday, making it easier to implement emergency procedures, including evacuations, if necessary. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he will make a decision about evacuations and other emergency procedures today about noon. "If it continues to shift to the west, then we know we'll have to take action," Nagin said Friday night. The Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness already had mobilized its crisis action team and has plans to activate its Baton Rouge emergency operations center today at 7:30 a.m., spokesman Mark Smith said. State officials convened a conference call with emergency preparedness directors from southeastern Louisiana parishes Friday at 5 p.m. to update officials on the forecast and state plans, Smith said. On Friday night, Nagin said he was alarmed about the storm's potential path and the lack of time to fully prepare for such a large storm. "This storm really scares me," he said. He said city officials would not be able to make a decision about evacuations and other emergency measures until today, giving residents scant time to prepare. The state plan calls for evacuation plans to be put in place 50 hours before a storm hits. "That's why I'm trying to stress to everyone now to get prepared," Nagin said. Meanwhile, on Grand Isle, a Police Department dispatcher said late Friday afternoon that no special preparations had begun on the island.

Saturday, August 27: Hurricane Katrina will test a new evacuation strategy for Mobile County if the storm threatens the Alabama coast. Instead of a countywide evacuation, an order instead can affect just one or more of four zones: south of Interstate 10 to Dauphin Island; downtown and suburbs along Mobile River to Mount Vernon; west Mobile from I-10 to U.S. 98; and then north to the county border. Officials will evacuate each zone depending on the size of the storm and its threat to that particular area, notifying residents through the news media. An official evacuation order gives police arrest powers, which are seldom used.

Sunday, August 28: New Orleans officials launched a voluntary evacuation plan for residents and issued mandatory evacuation orders for those living in the lowest-lying neighborhoods. "We're strongly advising citizens to leave at this time," New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said Saturday afternoon, stopping short of ordering a mandatory evacuation of his below-sea-level city. "We want everyone to not panic, but to take this very seriously. Every projection still has it hitting New Orleans in some form or fashion."

Sunday, August 28: "This has the potential to be as disastrous as the Asian tsunami. Tens of thousands of people could lose their lives. We could witness the total destruction of New Orleans as we know it," Ivor van Heerden, director of the Lousiana State University Hurricane Center. More than 1 million people could be left stranded away from home as emergency authorities attempt to pump out the water, a task that may take as long as three weeks. The newly homeless would be left with little food, no electricity and no transportation as cars are replaced by boats. Emergency officials fear that nearly 287 years of history could be destroyed in just hours and that half of the old Victorian homes could be lost along with the old brick buildings of the Vieux Carre, the French Quarter. The nightmare scenario gets worse: sewers could back up, spreading disease like malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, West Nile Virus and dengue fever, all of which pay calls at one of the nation's biggest and oldest ports. Coffins could pop out of the shallow ground. Above-ground fuel tanks might break moorings to become boat bombs. And toxic chemicals could spill into the mix if petrochemical plants to the west break up. Hurricane Katrina was in position Sunday to be the second-strongest storm to hit the United States, behind the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 that destroyed Matecumbe Key and killed nearly 500 people. "This is potentially one of the worst storms ever," said University of Miami meteorology professor David Nolan. Katrina's threat was so acute that President Bush joined the chorus of officials who urged New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to order a mandatory evacuation, issued Sunday morning after lower-lying areas outside the city were cleared Saturday. The criticisms of Nagin came from above as well. Numerous officials urged him to evacuate the city, but he worried about the legality of ordering people out when New Orleans has few safe hurricane shelters for them to evacuate to. Also, National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield in Miami called Nagin at home Saturday night and told him: Get people out of New Orleans. "I could never sleep if I felt like I didn't do everything that I could to impress upon people the gravity of the situation," Mayfield said. "New Orleans is never going to be the same." When a grim Nagin issued the mandatory evacuation order Sunday, he said: "We are facing a storm that most of us have feared. ... God bless us." In Jefferson Parish, south of Orleans Parish, officials also issued an evacuation order - which also enables them to seize boats and buildings - and prepared for widespread suffering. Let's watch. Let's pray. Let's leave," Jefferson Parish President Aaron F. Broussard said at a news conference. If the levees hold but the water spills over, the water will be almost impossible to remove, considering the pumps will be swamped and shutdown. Some of the city's pumps sit in houses made in the 1890s, said Stevan Spencer, the Orleans Levee District's chief engineer. "It all really makes you wonder what the French were doing when they built this place," Spencer said.

Monday, August 29: Authorities in New Orleans ordered hundreds of thousands of residents to flee on Sunday as Hurricane Katrina strengthened into one of the strongest storms ever seen and barreled toward the vulnerable US Gulf Coast city. Mayor Ray Nagin warned that the dangerous hurricane's storm surge of up to 8.5 metres could topple the low-lying city's levees and flood its historic French Quarter when it makes a second, and more powerful, assault on US shores. It killed seven people in Florida on Thursday. "Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin told a news conference after reading out a mandatory evacuation order. "This is a threat that we've never faced before." President George Bush declared an emergency in Louisiana and Mississippi, a measure that allows federal aid to be deployed. "We will do everything in our power to help the people and communities affected by this storm," Bush said from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. "We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities."

Tuesday, September 6: City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (NOTE: Since my original post, the City has removed public access to the emergency management plan for obvious reasons. However, it can be found here in PDF format.) "The City of New Orleans requires that every City/Parish agency prepare an Agency Disaster Report assessing their ability to respond to any disaster or emergency that may either affect their agency or which may call upon that agency to perform response or relief efforts. Each agency, as part of the assessment process , is required to address numerous issues, including the disaster role of the agency, the validity of existing plans and procedures, the training of employees in their disaster response roles, family preparedness, and emergency use and acquisition of resources. Once the self-assessment is completed, each agency is then required to develop and implement, with the assistance of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, a Long Term Action Plan which will enhance their emergency preparedness and disaster response." Items of note in the emergency management plan include, but aren't limited to:
  1. Certain hazards, such as a hurricane, provide some lead time for coordinating an evacuation. However, this can not be considered a certainty. Plus, the sheer size of an evacuation in response to an approaching hurricane creates the need for the use of community-wide warning resources, which cannot be limited to our City's geographical boundaries. Evacuation of major portions of our population, either in response to localized or citywide disasters, can only be accomplished if the citizens and visitors are kept informed of approaching threats on a timely schedule, and if they are notified of the need to evacuate in a timely and organized manner. If an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials.
  2. For our most serious threat, hurricanes, information from the National Hurricane Center in Miami and our local office of the National Weather Service, can reach the general population through local governments and mass media outlets. It is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness to guarantee that not only is the public alerted, but that other emergency response organizations and personnel are alert and in position to meet the real or potential threat.
  3. Warning for an emergency requires notification at two levels: notification of public officials and response organizations and the warning of the general public. The mechanisms chosen to accomplish these critical events must be rapid in execution and comprehensive in application.
  4. General evacuations that may result from an approaching hurricane will be ordered by the Mayor of the City, upon the recommendation of the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The area affected by the warning may range from blocks and portions of neighborhoods, to the entire city.
  5. The Office of Emergency Preparedness has the overall responsibility for reception and dissemination of warning information through the city.
  6. The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning.
  7. Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
  8. The Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure is designed to deal with all case scenarios of an evacuation in response to the approach of a major hurricane towards New Orleans. It is designed to deal with the anticipation of a direct hit from a major hurricane. This includes identifying the city's present population, its projected population, identification of at-risk populations (those living outside levee protection or in storm-surge areas, floodplains, mobile homes, etc.), in order to understand the evacuation requirements. It includes identifying the transportation network, especially the carrying-capacity of proposed evacuation routes and existing or potential traffic bottlenecks or blockages, caused either by traffic congestion or natural occurrences such as rising waters. Identification of sheltering resources and the establishment of shelters and the training of shelter staff is important, as is the provision for food and other necessities to the sheltered. This preparation function is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
  9. Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.
  10. The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning (formulates a comprehensive system for public information, early recognition of impending storms, and dissemination of emergency warning), evacuation (formulates an effective procedure for orderly evacuation of residents and visitors within available warning time) and sheltering (formulates a comprehensive system of accessible shelters of adequate size).
  11. The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.
  12. As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
  13. The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery.
  14. Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall (Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less; Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued; General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less).
  15. TASKS: Mayor - initiate the evacuation, retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations, authorize return to evacuated areas; Office of Emergency Preparedness - activate EOC and notify all support agencies to this plan, coordinate with State OEP on elements of evacuation, assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas, assist in the evacuation of persons with special needs, nursing home, and hospital patients in accordance with established procedures, coordinate the release of all public information, request additional law enforcement/traffic control (State Police, La. National Guard) from State OEP; New Orleans Police Department - ensure orderly traffic flow, assist in removing disabled vehicles from roadways as needed, direct the management of transportation of seriously injured persons to hospitals as needed, direct evacuees to proper shelters and/or staging areas once they have departed the threatened area, release all public information; Regional Transit Authority - supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures, place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed, position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses; Louisiana National Guard - provide assistance as needed in accordance with current State guidelines.
  16. Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing project of the Office of Emergency Preparedness through the Shelter Coordinator.
  17. Feeding and food and supply distribution sites shall be established following a disaster in geographically distributed sites across the Parish. Feeding sites shall be established by Mass Care, in conjunction with Food and Water. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army shall provide the lead in establishing and operating these sites. The Second Harvest Food Bank shall provide leadership in the acquiring and distribution of food and water.
Sunday, September 4: Bush Tries to Blame Blanco, Documents Say Otherwise

Sunday, September 4: FEMA Planned to Leave New Orleans Poor Behind

This, of course, is my opinion based on the facts.

So long, little buddy.

It's dopey, but sad.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Armstrong wins again?

I might rewrite this article on Lance Armstrong's engagement to Sheryl Crow to read likes this:
AUSTIN, Texas -- Tour de France champion and recent divorcee of the women who helped nurse him through cancer and gave birth to his three children Lance Armstrong and singer Sheryl Crow are engaged.

Nobody really cares, but it's only news because Armstrong retired in July after winning his seventh straight Tour de France.
This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Rice is cooked

One of the greatest NFL receivers I've ever seen play the game has called it quits at age 42.

Federal government to blame for Hurricane Palmeiro

Baltimore Orioles beleagured first baseman and noted steroid user Raphael Palmeiro called an end to his 2005 season after suffering knee and ankle injuries. Despite knowing that the use of steroids is against MLB rules, he wonders where he went wrong. "Everything just kind of crumbled, unexpectedly really. I never expected that anything would happen to me, not at this stage of my career anyway."

Guess the thought never crossed his mind that using steroids would get him in trouble. Perhaps at his age and status in the game, MLB would overlook his drug habit?

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Florida State and Miami

It was like choosing between Kerry or Bush, which of the two evils did I want to lose.

Friction Between White House and Blanco

"As President Bush visits Louisiana, it's hard to hide the rift with Louisiana's governor over hurricane relief efforts."

Mike Straka

Two interesting takes on the Hurricane Katrina aftermath from Mike Straka of FOX News. Check out Beyond Thunderdome and Kanye West.

Chronicle this, Anne Rice!

The ever-intrepid Anne Rice wants to know why the federal government ignored New Orleans' call for help. As far as I'm concerned, the call for help wasn't ignored because none was ever made until days after the horror began. It wasn't until the government saw that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco weren't up to the task in 1) asking for help, 2) initiating the call for National Guard troops (which is the governor's responsibility) and 3) getting rescue and relief efforts coordinated. Not once was there a command post setup. It was each politician doing what they do best ... shifting blame and responsibility to someone else. Nagin, Blanco and the rest of the politicians serving Orleans Parish and surrounding areas didn't act quick enough on their part to save their constituents.

Are we hearing complaints from Mississippi and Alabama about the lack of response from the federal government? No, because those state governments reacted promptly, efficiently and effectively. You only read and hear about the lack of response to New Orleans because it's such a cluster in the city and the state politicians, knowing that it's their fault, realize they need to shift blame elsewhere. This isn't a Democrat vs. Republican issue. I'd be just as hard on those involved no matter their political affiliation.

"They didn't have any place to go," (Rice) wrote. "They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do — they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn."

Anne, they are rich, middle class, poor, black, white, sick and healthy. However, let's take a look at her "poor, black and white" comment. Where were the rich, black and white politicians who serve New Orleans, Kenner, Metairie and other devastated areas? That's right, they got their collective butts out of town and let their "poor, black and white" constituents to fend for themselves. Blame the federal government if you like, Anne, but take a long hard look at Nagin, Blanco and the city's other political factions. Other than controlling the flow of return by Jefferson Parish residents, what did Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee do before the storm to evacuate and protect his constituents?

Again, this is all in my humble opinion.

Government 'failed' the people

Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush have launched the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund "to help raise money for those left homeless by the storm."

At the same time, the two are still critics of the federal government's poor response time.

"We've got the departments on the ground, we've got the military on the ground, we've got a chance to do it right now, and we should do it right," (Clinton) said. "And then in an appropriate time we should analyze what went wrong and why and what changes should be made."

"The elder Bush echoed Clinton's sentiment, telling CNN's Larry King that he is 'not satisfied' with the handling of the hurricane's aftermath."

S.S. Penn hits iceberg, sinks

Sean Penn and his personal photographer almost drowned while on a rescue mission in New Orleans.

Can't win for losing

One New Orleans-area person died from carbon monoxide when they ran a generator in their home.

Animals of New Orleans are doing well

You'll be pleased to learn that the animals in New Orleans are doing well.

This happened while you watched Hurricane Katrina coverage ...

The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon "raised more than $3 million by late Sunday night in a unique edition of the annual event that benefits both the Muscular Dystrophy Association and victims of Hurricane Katrina."

What have you done?

Soon to be a hot item in south Louisiana

Your car wants a locking gas cap.

Trapped between New Orleans and ...

One opinion from an evacuee.

It's the bureaucracy, stupid!

While I don't blame him for being upset and crying on the radio that his city (and constituents) were not being helped by the federal government, I still think the problem either starts or ends (depending on how one looks at the situation) with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Blame game

If you've paid attention to coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the rescue (or lack of) efforts that followed, then you most likely noted how the blame game started almost immediately. Afterall, some members of Congress have started "to question why it took so long to get National Guard troops on the ground in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. Several states said they were willing to send troops to help in the Gulf-Coast relief, but didn't get a go ahead until days after the storm struck."

Not only do I blame Pres. Bush for the tragedy that ensued post-Katrina, but I blame many others.

Some, like Michael Moore, assign blame to the President and FEMA. They choose to ignore the fact that there are many people down the line who failed in their responsibilities.

In assigning blame, I believe it starts from the bottom with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who "charged that administration officials 'don't have a clue' about what's going on in the devastated city that long has been among the nation's premier tourist attractions."

However, I believe it's Nagin who doesn't have a clue. To the best of my knowledge, there was no coordination from Nagin or the state politicians (House of Represenatives and Senate) who represent Orleans Parish as well as federal representatives (U.S. Senate and House of Representatives) and are all responsible for (not) acquiring help for their people. You won't see Michael Moore blasting the lack of response from these people because most of them are Democrats. However, it's these people who are charged with protecting their constituency. Leading up to Katrina, where were they in helping get everyone out in response to the manadatory evacuation? Where were they after the storm hit and their constituency were dying by the handful? I doubt Nagin will be re-elected after an yet-to-be-determined number of his constituency have died due to his poor leadership and execution of rescue efforts.

Then the blame moves up from there to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco who was slow in her response and, when she did, showed very poor leadership. If efforts had been coordinated properly and efficiently, it's probably that more lives could have been saved and the rampant looting would have been minimized.

It wasn't until Bush, and I'm not saying he was the cavalry to the rescue, showed up and kicked everyone in the butt that things started happening. Now we have Lt. Gen. Russel Honore coordinating rescue and recovery efforts in New Orleans. "Honore is winning over even some of the government's harshest critics, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who blasted the Bush administration's initial response to his city's disaster."

There never was a command center established to coordinate rescue and relief efforts. While Blanco and Nagin were crying on camera and telling looters that troops were coming in to shoot them, Bush met with members of his Cabinet who are assessing the damage and directed "federal aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina." Instead, the state's leadership should have coordinated their efforts then followed the correct protocal to request assistance from FEMA and the President. The request from local government is necessary before any action by the federal government can begin.

Finally, I blame those who stayed BUT only those who had transportation and decided not to use it. Those who could have left and didn't are responsible for their fate. As well, I have a friend living in Metarie who doesn't own a car. The day Katrina hit and matters turned for the worse, he "acquired" an abandoned vehicle to escape the area. He took control of his own fate. The sick, the elderly, the infirmed; who was there to help them?

During all of this not all stranded in New Orleans turned to acts of crime or wait for the government to determine their fate. It's being reported that groups of people in the French Quarter created 'tribes' as they waited outside assistance. These "groups of rich and poor banded together in the French Quarter, forming 'tribes' and dividing up the labor. As some went down to the river to do the wash, others remained behind to protect property."
"Some people became animals," Vasilioas Tryphonas said Sunday morning as he sipped a hot beer in Johnny White's Sports Bar on Bourbon Street. "We became more civilized."
This, of course, is in my humble opinion.

Another side of Hurricane Katrina

We see the looting and the lack of response to save those trapped due to Hurricane Katrina. We hear of rescurers being shot at by New Orleans' criminal element.

The stories that are just now coming out of the catastrophe include those officers who've remained with the New Orleans Police Department and still on the job "trying to save people, limit lawlessness and push worries of their own families to the back of their minds. The stress has caused at least two police officers to commit suicide."