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Near 1000 dead in Baghdad stampede
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Pope tells Catholics to get bonking multiply
Pope Benedict XVI told Catholics to have more babies "for the good of society," saying that some countries were being sapped of energy because of low birth rates.
True, and a sense of national identity because of all the people you have to import to make up the loss.
"Having children is a gift that brings life and well-being to society," he told about 15,000 people at his weekly audience in the Vatican, to which he arrived by helicopter from his summer residence southeast of Rome.

He said the decline in the number of births "deprives some nations of freshness and energy and of hopes for the future incarnate in children."
"And bigger welfare checks," Chirac.
The pope also spoke of "the security, the stability and the force of a numerous family."
"And bigger welfare checks," Chirac.
Although the Vatican bans all forms of articial contraception, this is widely ignored even in predominantly Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain, which have some of the lowest birth rates in the world.

The pontiff regretted that God is "unhappily often excluded or ignored" in many societies.

"A sound society certainly is born out of the commitment of all of its members, but it also has a need of the blessing and support of God," he said.

When I read this, I get the Monty Python song "Every Sperm is Sacred" playing in my head.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 08/31/2005 18:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [509 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ima regret that Bee16 is regretting. That is all. End of message.

Oh and stop naming yourself after the KeySquare.
Posted by: HalfEmpty is Gawd || 08/31/2005 18:54 Comments || Top||

#2  If you want people to make more babies, you have to design your society and culture to those ends. "Sexual freedom" in its ultimate expression, is nothing more than the "freedom to not reproduce".

You want parent-age men and women to focus on having as many children as they *can*, not on the opportunity cost, or what they would get out of the deal, for having as many children as they *want*.

Parents are really nothing more than life-support systems for their children. A problem arises when they think they are more than this, or want more out of life than this. When they want to hold on to the freedom and lack of responsibility of childhood, themselves, rather than give it up to their own children.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 19:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Parents are really nothing more than life-support systems for their children. A problem arises when they think they are more than this, or want more out of life than this. When they want to hold on to the freedom and lack of responsibility of childhood, themselves, rather than give it up to their own children

wow - I can sincerely say that's one of teh most cynical things I've read today. I have three children, got divorced (my immaturity was admittedly the biggest cause)at 30 and epiphany struck when I almost lost my kids to their Mom - which would've been a bad thing for the kids. Since I was 32 (14 yrs ago) I've raised my 3 kids by myself and wouldn't give back a second of the happiness, problems, and tears. Nothing in my selfish younger days gave the sense of fulfillment, happiness, and pride in my children as when my first graduated from high school with honors. Have kids, be prepared to sacrifice, it's worth it.
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 19:19 Comments || Top||

When I read this, I get the Monty Python song "Every Sperm is Sacred" playing in my head.

Ima serial killer then. :(
Posted by: Spamp Clock7285 || 08/31/2005 19:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Pope Benedict XVI told Catholics to have more babies

And, in other news, the Pope said more things that every Pope since Peter has said. I know its the end of history, but doesn't Europe have any real news to report?
Posted by: Secret Master || 08/31/2005 19:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Frank G: You said what I wrote was cynical, then you basically reiterated what I said. You stated what a problem it was for your children when you were immature, and how good it was to take the responsibility for raising your children.

The flip side to this are adults who *refuse* to give up their immaturity for the responsibility of raising children. You will be the first to admit that kids are a LOT of responsibility, just naturally. But government, society and culture keeps intervening, and adding *additional* responsibilities to parenthood, turning a difficult task into a daunting task. So for many people, it is just easier to not have children in the first place.

To put this into perspective, think about what your children *really* needed, versus what you gave them in addition to their needs. Oftentimes, what you were *pressured* to give them, in addition to their needs. This put a strain on you personally, financially, and emotionally, trying to keep up with expectations of how you were "supposed" to raise your children. All parents go through this, adding stress to an already stressful endeavor.

QED, the way you get people to have more children is to make it less stressful, to have fewer extra responsibilities laid at the feet of prospective parents, to help them have *more* resources for raising more children, and to encourage them to use those extra resources for more children, rather than for their own gratification.

In a society that wants more children, society cannot provide less to parents, or demand more from them. It cannot demand that both parents work to support their family and expect them to also raise their children full time. As I said before, "they are life support systems for their children". That is a job as demanding as anything else they could do in society.

What else should such a society do? Restrict birth control and abortion, place emphasis on social services for children, instead of the old, build housing designed for young parents and young singles that encourages social interaction, financially reward parents with tax relief and cash bonuses for their children, and also instill a code of sexual inhibition while providing many opportunities to violate that code. And absolutely no social sanction against pregnancy in any form.

In an ideal social setting to encourage children, any woman otherwise incapable of self-supporting employment, should be able to prosper solely by having children. Teenagers should be able to get married and have children without disruption to their schooling or employment. Even interest rates for debt to parents should be significantly lower.

Basically, giving every incentive to reproduce and raise children. Included in this is a social emphasis in caring for children. That parents should be parents first and foremost, that maturity is respected, and people do not try to cling to youth and irresponsibility.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 20:23 Comments || Top||

#7  societal codes and imperatives.... you missed the point.
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 20:44 Comments || Top||

#8  Frank G: You want to drop the other shoe? Which point? The Pope wants Catholics to have more babies "for the good of society". My point is that society must be good to parents *first*, if they want them to procreate. Societies that discourage having children through numerous policies have no right to complain when there are fewer children.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 22:59 Comments || Top||

#9  Societies that discourage having children through numerous policies have no right to complain when there are fewer children.

true, but If that were all it took to stop having children, there would be a lot less history and generations. Reproductive urge is not subservient to tax codes or leave rules at work, or that person should not reproduce at all.
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 23:25 Comments || Top||

Neb. Residents Plagued by Gibberish Calls
Residents just don't understand the gibberish. Paul Perkins eyed the strange number on his phone when he received a call early Saturday morning. He let voicemail take it. The caller filled the message with three minutes of gibberish. "I get this long, jumbled up message, and I couldn't understand a word of it," Perkins said.

Kearney residents and businesses have been receiving these random phone calls by a caller that is having a hard time speaking English, and a hard time understanding that he has the wrong number. The caller called Perkins twice over the weekend and his employer, Crossroads Ford, received four calls. The gibberish is nothing new to the Kearney Police Department as the caller seems to like the 308 area code, said police chief Dan Lynch. The calls do not seem to have criminal intent and cannot be part of a scam, because no one can understand the caller, Lynch said. Lynch hopes the caller will find a new area code and prefix to dial soon. Otherwise, residents are advised to simply block the number from their phones, ignore the calls and report excessive calls to police. And when reporting the problem, please speak clearly.
Hello? Mucky? Is that you?
Posted by: Chris W. || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The caller filled the message with three minutes of gibberish.

Does it sound like 'Louie Louie' by the Kingsmen?
Posted by: Raj || 08/31/2005 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Cindy Sheehan?
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/31/2005 12:20 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm thinking Ozzie or Keith Richards.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/31/2005 12:28 Comments || Top||

#4  "I get this long, jumbled up message, and I couldn't understand a word of it"

Sounds like Howard Dean
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 12:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't be mocking the Gibbers, now. They're a fine people with a long and rich history...all written on cocktail napkins at 2:30 am.
Posted by: Sholuth Elmetch3820 || 08/31/2005 12:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Hey, Sholuth Elmetch3820, how do you pronounce that?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/31/2005 13:22 Comments || Top||

#7  I personally answered some calls at the Mojave Phone Booth a couple of times, and there were certain callers that didn't speak English whose language sounded somewhat gibberish. Probably Eastern Europeans, if anything....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 08/31/2005 13:41 Comments || Top||

#8  probably an aircheck tape from Air America
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 14:52 Comments || Top||

#9  Jesse Jackson shaking down the Mid-West?
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/31/2005 15:29 Comments || Top||

#10  PR: couldn't be Jesse - it didn't rhyme.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/31/2005 18:23 Comments || Top||

#11  This message brought to you by Howard Dean and the DNC - Yeeeeaaarrrggghhh!!!
Posted by: DMFD || 08/31/2005 21:10 Comments || Top||

'Red Ken' Called To Task
London Mayor Ken Livingstone will face a disciplinary hearing for comparing a Jewish journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard, England's local government watchdog said Tuesday.

The Standards Board for England said an investigation into charges that Livingstone "failed to treat others with respect and brought his authority into disrepute" had concluded that a disciplinary hearing should take up the matter.

The Adjudication Panel for England, which will conduct the hearing, could bar Livingstone from office for up to five years, censure him, order him to apologize or force him to undergo training, said a spokesman for the Standards Board.

The outspoken mayor has refused to say he was sorry for the comment, which drew calls for contrition from Holocaust survivors, the government's race-relations watchdog and even Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The mayor said he had not meant to offend the Jewish community when he asked Evening Standard reporter Oliver Finegold whether he had been a "German war criminal."

Finegold, who had approached the mayor for comment after a reception for the gay and lesbian community in February, replied that he was Jewish. Livingstone told the reporter he was "just like a concentration camp guard. You're just doing it because you're paid to, aren't you?" He referred to Finegold's employer as "a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 19:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nothing will come of this. He will get a free ride. He will be spared even a mild rebuke. After it was "only a Jew" who was insulted.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 08/31/2005 20:10 Comments || Top||

#2  I think the reaction is almost as wrong as Red Ken's insult. People including politician's should have the right to say stupid things. And in the case of politicians, voters should have the right to kick their sorry ass out of office.
Posted by: DMFD || 08/31/2005 21:09 Comments || Top||

Typhoon Talim pounds Taiwan
We're not the only ones. This one is almost as dangerous and just as big as Katrina.
TAIPEI - Powerful winds and torrential rains brought by Typhoon Talim pounded eastern Taiwan Wednesday as the central weather bureau warned residents across the island against floods.

Talim’s center was 350 kilometers (217 miles) east southeast of Hualien county at 10:15 am (0215 GMT), the bureau said. With a radius of 250 kilometers, the typhoon was moving west northwest at a speed of 21 kilometers an hour, packing center winds of up to 184 kilometers per hour.

The bureau warned that Talim was gathering strength and threatened to bring heavy rains across the island overnight. Offices and schools were to close later Wednesday in cities in eastern and central Taiwan.
Posted by: Steve White || 08/31/2005 00:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is Taiwan's third typhoon so far this season. I was keeping an eye on this one, but it looks like veered south and will hit Fujian province instead of Zhejiang province.
Posted by: gromky || 08/31/2005 1:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep, and that was Bush's fault too.
Posted by: Ms Sheenan || 08/31/2005 19:23 Comments || Top||

NRO: Paul Kirchhof - Germany’s Art Laffer
Meet Paul Kirchhof, a pro-growth tax reformer who’s as good as they come.

With a month to go before the general election and polls showing some erosion of support, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel decided to add the Arthur Laffer of Germany to her campaign. Paul Kirchhof, 62, a University of Heidelberg professor and a former constitutional court judge, became the instant star of the team.

In Germany, the name Kirchhof, like Laffer, is synonymous with pro-growth tax reform. It began when Kirchhof was still sitting on the Federal Constitutional Court, the nation’s highest court. From 1987 to 1999, he made a series of decisions mandating changes in tax policy. After leaving the bench, he developed what’s been dubbed the “Kirchhof model” — a flat-tax plan that he’s popularized in numerous newspaper op-eds.

This helps balance the survey that showed the majority of Germans preferred socialism.
Much more at link.
Posted by: Chuck
Posted by: Phoper Phaviting3670 || 08/31/2005 17:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

Houses Burning In France = Chirac Sez More Public Housing!
Once a statist, always a statist...
PARIS --President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday called for run-down apartment buildings to be renovated and for more public housing to be built, a response to three blazes that killed 48 people in recent months, most of them African immigrants.
Note from the article a day or so ago, one group tried to do their own electrical work.
The latest fire, on Monday, killed seven Africans, including four children. One of the victims was a 6-year-old boy whose desperate mother threw him from a fifth-floor window. "Faced with this situation, we must act," Chirac said in comments relayed by government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope. "What's urgent is to ensure the safety of people living in precarious housing."
'So to resolve this situation, I propose more precarious housing!'
The Soviet wedding cake design lives on.
Police planned to evacuate the capital's most run-down apartment buildings and squatters' homes. On Tuesday police evacuated one building, evicting one person.

Housing Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said that funding for new housing for those evicted was not a problem. "Money is not an issue in this affair," he told France-Info radio. "We just have organization problems, problems with speed. This takes time and it's complex."
Organization problems & problems with speed = non-market solutions.
"It's out of the question to leave these people in a situation of vital risk," he said.

Firefighters will install fire alarms in run-down buildings if needed, police said.
You mean implementing 'Anglo-Saxon' solutions? Sacre Bleu!!
The fire late Monday was around the corner from the Picasso Museum in the historic Marais district -- driving home the fact rundown housing exists even in Paris' higher-rent districts.
Um, have you dorks ever considered building codes and inspections?
The blaze started on the second floor of the building that was home to between 40 and 60 people from the Ivory Coast, about half of them in France illegally, police and city officials said.
Fred, where's that replacement Surprise Meter?
Police said they believed the blaze was accidental, noting numerous fire hazards. Residents had pirated electricity from a nearby building. Gas cylinders and mattresses cluttered the floors and had fueled the flames, police said.
My question - where was the freakin' landlord, summering on the Riviera?
He was next to the city housing inspector on the beach.
Authorities had labeled the building "very damaged" in 2003, and Paris officials ordered a city-controlled company to buy it last November to carry out renovations, according to police.
Why not fine the landlord & make him do the work? Oh, that's right, too 'Anglo-Saxon' of me. My bad...
The building's previous owner, Joseph O'Dru, accused Paris authorities of failing to honor several court orders instructing them to help him remove squatters.
I don't think that should relieve O'Dru's responsibility to a) fix things or b) turn off all utilities if they're squatters (probably of the unpaying variety).
The deaths have cast light on the plight of France's growing immigrant populations and the precarious conditions in which an estimated 2 million people live in France.
Then maybe you should consider reducing said population?
Only days earlier, on Friday, another Paris fire killed 17 African immigrants, including 14 children. In that blaze, officials ruled out an electrical short circuit, and raised the possibility that the blaze was caused by human action, suggesting arson or an accident. In April, 24 people died in a fire at a budget hotel that housed African immigrants near Paris' old Opera house.
Can't help but notice two common threads here...
Posted by: someone using the name of John Kerry || 08/31/2005 10:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  C'mon! Stroke-stroke-stroke! We have to get these smoke detectors to the French!
Posted by: The Anglo Saxon || 08/31/2005 12:25 Comments || Top||

#2  France and Russia share the same problem. Over-centralization in their populations. They need to build entire boomtown cities away from Paris or Moscow, creating a permanent reason for people to live there and designed for a combination of greater luxury and procreation.

The way you get people to reproduce is to first of all, take away the sense of endless responsibility that society places on potential parents. You want them to recklessly have more children than they think they *want*--you want them to have as many children as they *can*. Housing should be clustered together with a common social area, and the older middle aged and retired people moved away. Abortion and birth control should be very hard to obtain. Boredom, sexual inhibition and a lack of luxury items is also a good thing. Entertainments should be oriented to young children only.

Of course, for the unwanted immigrant crowd, you do just the opposite. Continually emphasize all the responsibilities and difficulties of raising children, make birth control and abortion ubiquitous. Make available plenty of pornography and pack together young adults with lots of old people. It also helps to imprison as many of the young men as possible for long stretches.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 12:28 Comments || Top||

#3  How about not accepting Immigrants?
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 08/31/2005 16:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Police said they believed the blaze was accidental, noting numerous fire hazards. Residents had pirated electricity from a nearby building. Gas cylinders and mattresses cluttered the floors and had fueled the flames, police said.

Hey, that sounds like Fallujah, or any other shining city in the Middle East.

Rather than spend the public's purse on this, I would suggest a fatwa by a local religious leader would take care of this little life safety issue.

I can put one out, but it will take a little time to wordsmith it, and with all the backlog, it might take a week. Let me know if it is still an issue....
Posted by: Al-Aska Paul || 08/31/2005 17:41 Comments || Top||

#5  3rd world customs and habits enabled by 1st world lifestyles = chaos. Shut down immigration from unassimilated poverty-stricken areas AND NO ARABS
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 19:03 Comments || Top||

Berlin Mayor Welcomes Fetish Gathering
Berlin's mayor defended his decision to welcome a leather and fetish enthusiasts to the German capital and accused his conservative critics Tuesday of being "small-minded." Mayor Klaus Wowereit sent a written greeting to participants in the Folsom Europe festival in Berlin this weekend, saying: "We are proud that people of varied origins and predilections feel at home in our city and celebrate together."
... in their own peculiar ways.
What, San Francisco was booked up?
A top regional official with the Christian Democrats described the message from Wowereit — an openly gay member of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats — as "unspeakable."
That's prob'ly why he wrote it...
"Glorifying violence and sadomasochistic excesses is to begin opting out of society," said Nikolas Zimmer, the conservative party's leader in the Berlin state legislature. The mayor brushed aside the criticism. "A greeting message is always an advertisement as well, above all for international guests — we want to see them in Berlin," he was quoted as saying in an interview with the tabloid Bild. "Mr. Zimmer is small-minded," he said. "Berlin is open — Mr. Zimmer has to learn that. ... And so long as nothing forbidden is happening, I expect tolerance."
Posted by: Fred || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For once, I am at a loss for words. (and the world rejoices)
Posted by: Captain America || 08/31/2005 19:14 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd like to see high heat and humidity and a shortage of baby powder
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 19:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Must.Not.Comment
Posted by: True German Ally || 08/31/2005 19:40 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd like to see high heat and humidity and a shortage of baby powder

Frank I think they're praying for the same thing.
Posted by: Red Dog || 08/31/2005 20:38 Comments || Top||

France boosts bird flu protection
France is taking extra measures to protect itself against bird flu, stockpiling drugs and vaccines and reinforcing health checks at airports. The government is ordering about 200m protective masks and enough anti-viral drugs for everyone in France, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said. Bird flu has killed at least 57 people across Asia since 2004, and fears are growing of a global pandemic.

Poultry stocks in Russia and Kazakhstan have recently been hit by the disease. A virulent strain of the disease deadly to humans, H5N1, has been detected in Russian birds. Concerns have been raised in the EU that migratory birds could spread the disease westwards. Finland is investigating a suspected case of bird flu. The World Health Organization has said that if the virus mutates and becomes capable of human-to-human transmission, a devastating pandemic is "inevitable".

"Reserves of anti-viral medicines, vaccines and protection measures for the population will be increased to the levels required to ensure the health of all French citizens in the event of any pandemic," a French government statement said. The French move comes after President Jacques Chirac called for a concerted global response to the threat, which he said may become "a crisis of great magnitude".
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

19 Bodies Exhumed From Bosnian Mass Grave
The bodies of 19 Muslim victims of a Serb attack — including nine members of a single family — have been exhumed from a mass grave in southern Bosnia, forensics experts said Tuesday. The grave contained the bodies of victims of an attack on the village of Ciser at the beginning of Bosnia's 1992-95 war. The forensic team began the exhumations Friday and finished on Sunday. Among the 19 bodies, the team found 12 women, said Sanja Mulac, head of the forensic team. Mulac said documents were found on most of the bodies but the remains will still undergo DNA analysis for further identification. Documents found at the site indicated nine members of a single family were among the victims, she said. Mulac said evidence also showed the victims were killed just yards from the mass grave.

Over the years, U.N. and local forensics experts in Bosnia have exhumed 16,500 bodies from more than 300 mass graves. Thousands of people remain missing and are presumed dead following the war.
Posted by: Fred || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Economy
NORTHCOM Activated
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – As directed by the Secretary of Defense and in accordance with the National Response Plan, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The impact of providing such assistance will not adversely affect military preparedness. Defense Department (DoD) support is provided on a reimbursable basis in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Act.

A variety of requests for assistance have been made to USNORTHCOM, and because of the unique capabilities we bring to emergency and rescue operations, the effort to fill these requests is underway in each of the affected states.
As stated in the Posse Coimitatus Act, USNORTHCOM and the military may not act in a law enforcement capacity within the United States. Typical defense support of civil authorities in disasters includes logistics, communications and medical care. The Coast Guard, in peacetime, and the National Guard under state control are not bound by Posse Comitatus.

USNORTHCOM is providing and/or coordinating the following support:

• Defense Coordinating Officers (DCOs) and Defense Coordinating Elements (DCEs) in Clanton, Ala., Baton Rouge, La., Jackson, Miss., Tallahassee, Fla., to liaison between U.S. Northern Command, FEMA and the Department of Defense. (Tallahassee DCO redeployed)

• Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Alexandria, La., and Ft. Polk, La., as federal operational staging areas to expedite the movement of relief supplies and emergency personnel to affected areas.

• US Transportation Command is flying 8 swift water rescue teams from Calf. to Lafayette, La. These California-based teams provide approximately 14 personnel with vehicles and small rigid hulled boats who are highly trained and capable of rescuing stranded citizens from flooded areas.

• USS Bataan (LHD 5) and HSV Swift out of Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, sailed to the waters off Louisiana to provide support. Currently, the four MH-53s and two HH-60s off the Bataan are flying medevac and search and rescue missions in Louisiana. Bataan’s hospital may also be used for medical support.

• The Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group is preparing to sail from Norfolk, Va. loaded with disaster response equipment. The ARG consists of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Tortuga (LSD 46), and USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8). The ARG will be off the Louisiana coast in 5 days.

• The hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), is departing Baltimore to bring its invaluable medical assistance to the Gulf region. The Comfort should reach the area in seven days.

• There are plans to bring USS Grapple (ARS 53) to assist with maritime and underwater survey and salvage operations.

• Three Army Helicopters from III Corps in Fort Hood, Texas, are in Baton Rouge and two more to Mississippi to assist with search and rescue and damage assessment.

• Five Air Force helicopters from the 920th Rescue Wing (RQW) at Patrick AFB, Fla., and the 347th RQW at Moody AFB, Ga., are in Mississippi for search and rescue missions. These aircraft are capable of nighttime search and rescue and will also transport FEMA’s Rapid Needs Assessment teams to gather critical information for state and federal emergency managers.

• USNORTHCOM established Joint Task Force Katrina to be the military’s on-scene commander in support of FEMA. Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commander of the First Army in Fort Gillem, Ga., is the JTF-Commander. JTF-Katrina will be based out of Camp Shelby, Miss.

• Standing Joint Forces Headquarters-North is providing an augmentation cell and its command and control vehicle to JTF-Katrina.

• JTF-Civil Support is providing a joint planning augmentation cell.

• USNORTHCOM’s Joint Operations Center is on 24-hour duty in Colorado Springs, Colo., to facilitate any additional requests for assistance that may come from FEMA representatives.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 21:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A lot of my neighbors are being activated for this (since I live near Peterson). The military is looking like an anthill after being kicked.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 08/31/2005 21:43 Comments || Top||

Canada offers assistance
The Federal Government is offering help to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, including medical supplies.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan says Canadian health authorities have offered to send emergency medical supplies from the country's emergency stockpile.
Realistically, this is about the only thing that might be helpful. Thanks, eh?
The Foreign Affairs Department is warning Canadians to avoid travel to the storm-ravaged regions.

There are no reports of any Canadian deaths along the Gulf Coast.

Also note that that "shitty little country" has offered assistance.

Jan Egland's country is apparently being rather stingy so far.

Posted by: Jackal || 08/31/2005 18:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Tech
Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over
In a legal case being watched closely by bloggers, an Internet company has sued the owner of a Web log for comments posted to his site by readers.

Traffic-Power.com sued Aaron Wall, who maintains a blog on search engine optimization – tactics companies use to get themselves to appear higher in searches at Google, Yahoo and elsewhere – alleging defamation and publication of trade secrets. The suit, filed in a Nevada state court earlier this month, also listed as defendants several unnamed users of the blog.
At issue are statements posted in the comments section of Mr. Wall's blog, SEOBook.com. Many blogs allow readers to post comments, often anonymously, and Mr. Wall's blog included several reader submissions that blasted tools sold by Traffic-Power.com.

Traffic-Power.com said in the suit that confidential information about the company has been published on the blog, and it accused Mr. Wall of publishing "false and defamatory information," but it didn't identify any of the material in question.

Legal analysts said the case falls into somewhat murky legal territory, but that Mr. Wall may have some protection from liability under federal law. Courts generally have held that the operators of computer message boards and mailing lists cannot be held liable for statements posted by other people. Blogs might be viewed in a similar light, they said...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/31/2005 17:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OHMYGAWD, the feds are comin', the feds are comin'

--- Paul Revere
Posted by: Captain America || 08/31/2005 19:18 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Economy
Town-by-town glance of Miss. coastal damage
Overall: U.S. 90 buried under inches - or feet - of sand ... communications down, transportation systems demolished ... medical services crippled ... high-water marks set by Camille shattered.

Bay St. Louis: Whole neighborhoods washed away ... highway and railroad bridges to Biloxi demolished.

Biloxi: Legacy Towers condos survive ... Ryans, Red Lobster, Olive Garden washed away along U.S. 90 ... Lighthouse still standing.... Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge gone ... bottom floor of the library and the home of Jefferson Davis home, Beauvoir, destroyed ... . Sharkshead Souvenir City gone ... Edgewater Village strip shopping center gutted ... Also gone: the steeple of historic Hansboro Presbyterian Church; Waters Edge II apartments; Diamondhead Yacht Club, the old neon McDonald's sign on Pass Road ... Massive damage in east end of city ... almost total devastation primarily south of the railroad tracks near Lee Street, Point Cadet and Casino Row ... Beau Rivage still stands ... Hard Rock Casino, originally scheduled to open this week, suffered 50 percent damages ... At least five casinos out of commission ... St. Thomas the Apostlic Catholic Church, which sits on U.S. 90, is gone.

D'Iberville: New addition to Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church of D'Iberville destroyed; damage to sanctuary ... structural damage to D'Iberville High School ... hundreds of homes destroyed.

Gulfport: Gulf Coast Medical Center lost power and evacuated patients to Alabama hospitals ... Mississippi State Port lost its lifting facilities and cranes ... Historical Grass Lawn building destroyed ... Fun Time USA left with only bumper boats, pool and go-cart track ... numerous businesses and homes on Pass Road damaged or destroyed ... dozens of homes missing on Beach Boulevard ... fire chief estimates 75 percent of buildings have major roof damage, "if they have a roof left at all" ... the storm surge crossed the CSX railroad tracks ... heavy damage to Memorial Hospital ... first floor of the Armed Forces Retirement Home flooded ... 3 of 4 walls have collapsed at Harrison Central 9th Grade School in North Gulfport ... at least three firehouses with significant damage.

Hancock County: Emergency Operations Center swamped ... back of the county courthouse gave way.

Harrison County: Old courthouse building destroyed ... damage to virtually all shelters ... Lyman Elementary lost two buildings ... Woolmarket Elementary lost its roof ... West Wortham Elementary has significant roof damage.

Hattiesburg: A number of businesses and homes damaged in the area ... U.S. 49 and Highway 11 shut down ... Wind speeds of 95 mph.

Jackson County: Open Springs Hospital remained open for emergency treatment ... Roof peeled off Emergency Operations Center.

Long Beach: Most buildings within 200 yards of U.S. 90 disappeared ... Stately homes and apartment complexes that lined the shore are gone ... First Baptist Church is leveled.

Moss Point: Floodwater surrounded two hotels full of guests ... Much of downtown destroyed ... 20 feet of water flooded most of the city.

Pascagoula: Six blocks of Market Street destroyed ... Jackson County Emergency Management Agency had to relocate to the courthouse after the roof came off their building downtown ... roof came off the gym at St. Martin High School ... reports of flooding in the Chipley area.

Pass Christian: Bridge to Bay St. Louis destroyed, along with several other bridges ... Harbor and beachfront community gone ... in eastern part of city, water rose to more than 20 feet above ground level ... flooding on Beatline Road at the 90-degree turn ... . House in the middle of the road on Second Street.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 15:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Secondhand from my brother, who I thought was elsewhere than Pass Christian when the storm hit, but wasn't...

Apparently the relatives he took shelter with on Second Street had the only house on the street left standing on their block by the end of the storm.

I don't know if that's counting the house that got moved in the middle of Second Street or not.

Helpful design hints: the house doesn't need to just be strong enough to stand up to a hurricane. It will need to be strong enough to stand up to the house that wasn't strong enough AND IS COMING RIGHT AT US!

The house might be on pilings way above the high-water mark, but that won't do anything to stop the barge...
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 08/31/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

Aerial photos of Biloxi, Gulfport
Link goes to Sun Herald front page, photo link halfway down. Hurricane tossed all the casino barges well up on shore. Hwy 90 bridge to Ocean Springs is gone, it'll be years before that's repaired.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 15:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [424 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow. Remind me, if I am ever in the path of a hurricane, to get the fuck out.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 08/31/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Wasn't that was I was saying on Sunday?
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 08/31/2005 20:16 Comments || Top||

#3  I am not ever going to even visit one of those states.
Posted by: Jackal || 08/31/2005 22:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Anybody know how dependent the state of Mississippi is on revenue from those barges?
Posted by: mom || 08/31/2005 23:12 Comments || Top||

#5  VERY dependent. Something like $500,000/day in State tax revenues! I've been down there several times in the last few years for work (that dreaded, evil EPA), and it's completely eerie to me to see those casinos/hotels I've stayed in being tossed around like that. Watch the Hancock County side, I have a bad feeling it's gonna be worse. A lot more rural, but it's where the eye came over and they haven't even gotten in there yet. Coming from N.O., US 90 crosses water 3 times in Miss. (at Bay St. Louis, at Pass Christian, and then the Biloxi/Ocean Springs bridge). I've seen pics today and all 3 are gone. I don't know how you get in there, except the Interstate that connects I-10 w/ US 90 in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage, basically (I believe it's called I-110????). Even that road crosses the "back bay" of Biloxi, but the bridge there is a lot higher, so it's proabably passable.
Posted by: BA || 08/31/2005 23:25 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
"Hey, where'd everyone go?"
GOMA, 31 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The day after a dissident army leader in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) called for an insurrection, the 53rd Army Battalion and four companies of the 2nd Mixed Battalion in the east of the country went missing.
I've lost my keys a few times, but a battalion?
"We have launched an investigation into the whereabouts of the battalion and will arrest those who instigated the desertion," Adolphe Onusumba, the minister of defence, told IRIN on Tuesday. He said the 500 men of the 53rd, commanded by Maj Innocent Kabundi, disappeared on Friday from their base in the village of Burungu, 45 km north of Goma, capital of North Kivu Province.
Gen Gabriël Amisi, who commands the 8th Military Region in North Kivu, said on Tuesday that the four companies of the 2nd Mixed Battalion, under assistant battalion commander Capt Faustin Muhima, deserted their base in the town of Kanyabayonga, 109 km north of Goma. He would not specify how many soldiers were in the four companies.
That's right, this is a African army, famous for "ghost" soldiers. They may never have been there in the first place. Except on the payrole.

Most of the deserters are Congolese Tutsis. They are either from the former army that was overthrown in 1997 or combatants in a former eastern rebel group, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD). Armed groups from the country's civil war are supposed to have some of their fighters integrated into the new national army, in accordance with a 2002 peace agreement. Amisi said soldiers of the 2nd Battalion who deserted their base in Kanyabayonga had been resisting integration. "They fled because they did not want to go to the centre for integration," Amisi said.

On Thursday, a 17-page communiqué attributed to a dissident army general, Laurent Nkunda, was secretly distributed in Goma. The communiqué called for the renewal of hostilities against the government in Kinshasa. However, evidence that the troops deserted to join Nkunda’s insurgency remains circumstantial.
Unless you count the fact they're missing
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 15:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maj Innocent Kabundi
Yep. Looks like Ghost Soldiers from the Sky.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 15:58 Comments || Top||

#2  "They fled because they did not want to go to the centre for integration,"

Hmmm, going to "the centre for integration" sounds rather unpleasant to me.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/31/2005 16:13 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Economy
Gulfport Armed Forces Retirement Home Residents Evacuate
WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2005 – Officials at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss., announced plans today to evacuate 416 now-homeless veterans from the hurricane-decimated home and move them to its sister facility here. Most of the veterans were preparing to leave Gulfport this afternoon by charter bus for the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, which is preparing to house them in dormitory areas, according Sheila Abarr, director of public affairs and marketing for both homes. The veterans are expected to arrive here Sept. 1. Plans are being considered to airlift assisted-living and long-term-care residents to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., for movement to the Washington facility, Abarr said.

More than 400 of the home's 600 residents rode out the hurricane at the facility, but they cannot remain there without running water or electricity, Abarr said. Some have chosen to move in with family members, but an estimated 300 to 400 will arrive in Washington, where they will stay indefinitely, she said. The Gulfport facility has suffered $1 million in hurricane damage over the past three years, and additional damage caused by Hurricane Katrina will cost millions of dollars and take months to repair, according to the home's Web site.
Some buildings on the campus were knocked to the ground by Katrina's devastating winds, and the steel-and-concrete perimeter around the facility was destroyed, the Web site reported.
I'd say it's time to close this facility and move to a safer location.
Congress established a home for destitute Navy officers, sailors and Marines in Philadelphia during the War of 1812. The U.S. Naval Home eventually moved to Gulfport.
In the mid-1800s, Congress established an asylum for old and disabled soldiers in Washington, D.C., which later became the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home. Although the facilities operated separately for many years, Congress passed a law in the early 1990s combining the two facilities into the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Now an independent federal agency funded by a permanent trust fund that's made in part from 50-cent-a-month payroll deductions from active-duty troops, the home is self-sustaining and provides affordable, comfortable home with medical care and other amenities.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 14:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

Petroleum reserves tapped, EPA rules eased
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration will release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday. The move, which was expected later in the day, is designed to give refineries a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service said Tuesday that 95 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's oil output was out of service. Oil prices surged back above $70 in European markets on Wednesday but slipped quickly to $69.56 after disclosure of the decision involving the release of supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Eight refineries were shut down due to Katrina -- half of them producing gasoline. The government's emergency petroleum stockpile -- nearly 700 million barrels of oil stored in underground salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast -- was established to cushion oil markets during energy disruptions. The production and distribution of oil and gas remained severely disrupted by the shutdown of a key oil import terminal off the coast of Louisiana and by the Gulf region's widespread loss of electricity, which is needed to power pipelines and refineries.

The Environmental Protection Agency, seeking to avert a severe supply crunch, announced it would temporarily allow the sale of higher-polluting gasoline in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi because those states can't provide enough fuel to consumers that meets Clean Air Act requirements.
Oh no, now Bush is going to poison the survivors with this unclean fuel! The horror!
The agency also said those states will be allowed to use motor vehicle diesel fuel with a sulfur content higher than the 500 parts per million standard for the next two weeks through ozone season.
Enviro moonbat cries of doom in 5, 4, 3..
President Bush, meanwhile, was returning to Washington on Wednesday to oversee the federal response to Katrina. He planned to chair a meeting of a White House task force set up to coordinate federal efforts, across more than a dozen agencies, to assist hurricane victims. Bush also was expected to visit the ravaged region by week's end, but details on that trip were in flux as the White House worked to make sure a presidential tour would not disrupt the relief and response efforts.

Bodman, speaking on CNBC, said the decision to release reserves was made late Tuesday. "In a word. It is going to be done," Bodman said. "Last evening it was approved and I think you'll be seeing an announcement about it later in the day. So we are doing everything we can to be responsive." He said the reserve was contained in five sites, four of which are operative. The site in New Orleans is not. Bodman said it was too early to say how much oil would be released.

He said his department was dealing with inquiries from three companies about getting oil from the reserve. On Monday, Citgo Petroleum Corp. asked for 250,000 to 500,000 barrels to ensure that its Lake Charles, La., refinery doesn't run out. "There is an issue with respect to getting electrical power so that we can operate the various pipe lines that supply fuel to the rest of the country," he said, noting that these facilities "deliver finished products, diesel and gasoline, to the Northeast and to the Southeast." "Our job is to get the infrastructure going again," Bodman said. "To the extent that we have delays in getting these pipelines functioning, then were are going to have the potential for gasoline shortages." Bodman said the administration will "do everything we can do to get fuel available to the rest of the country."

Of tapping the SPR, Bodman said: "Technically it's called an exchange of oil that we deliver today and that we will get oil back plus some interest, if you will, in the future. We will be tapping that today."
Interviewed on the Fox News' "Fox and Friends First," Bodman was asked if price gouging is taking place. "I would like to believe that in this time of crisis that all of us are going to pull together to try to deal with this very difficult circumstance and situation that's confronting not just this region, but this country," he replied. "We're hopeful of that, but if we have some bad actors, we have a mechanism to deal with it."
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 14:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [427 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The relaxing of the EPA rules is already getting maximum covewrage on the Lefty blogs a s another indication that the President is hellbent on destroying the environment. No matter what he does he will be serverely criticised. Because of his war, money was diverted from New Orleans, even though the problem has been known about since the early '60s and nothing was done. Because of his war the National Guard is unable to provide enough people even thoug out of several million National Guardsmen only 118,000 are on active duty. Two people even called for his impeachment pecause "The National Guard is never supposed to leave the US. It is here to help in times of emergency." Buch of absolute idiots.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 08/31/2005 15:25 Comments || Top||

#2  The Bush administration will release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday.

What the hell for? I seem to recall reading somewhere that what we're actually lacking is refinery capacity, and if that's true, providing more raw crude isn't going to make one damn bit of difference. As for refiners "affected" by the hurricane, aren't those largely OUT OF COMMISSION? How does a non-operating refinery make product???
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 08/31/2005 16:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Boamb, the release of petroleum reserves will only replace that lost from Gulf of Mexico drilling rigs that are out of action. as soon as they are back on line the petroleum reserve release will end.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 08/31/2005 16:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Appearently what goes out of the reserve is a loan, which implies that the companies have to put it back in later. Its being released upon request from the refineries to the refineries.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 08/31/2005 16:17 Comments || Top||

#5  He said his department was dealing with inquiries from three companies about getting oil from the reserve. On Monday, Citgo Petroleum Corp. asked for 250,000 to 500,000 barrels to ensure that its Lake Charles, La., refinery doesn't run out.

But... I thought Hugo Chavez said he was going to donate fuel to the relief effort. Now we find out they're borrowing oil from the SPR here?
Posted by: Abdominal_Snowman || 08/31/2005 18:14 Comments || Top||

#6  This strikes me as exactly the sort of thing the SPR was designed for. Not to lower prices. What is happening is the limited number of refineries in the US cannot get crude to refine because of loss of Gulf of Mexico production and loss of ports through which to import crude, so the SPR will 'loan' these refineries crude to allow them to continue to supply gasoline & diesel, etc. If production & import capacity is restored, they will (in theory) replace the crude they 'borrowed'.
However, if the production/import shortfall continues too long (& it very well may), the SPR loans should be stopped so the supply can be made available for emergency military use.

I'm evacuated from New Orleans area indefinitely but just got power back here in Baton Rouge (had 'poached' on a drive-by wi-fi earlier today). Still waiting for the apartment to drop below 93 deg.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 18:37 Comments || Top||

#7  What Glenmore said. And glad you are safe and vandalizing your neighbors wifi. :>
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 18:56 Comments || Top||

#8  Double what Ship said, Glenmore. I actually work at the EPA office in Atlanta which covers the SE up to Mississippi (Louisiana is covered by our Dallas office). I don't even work in the Air division, but this makes sense to me, if the loan is stopped when the offshore rigs are back on line. And, on the EPA air front (granted, I'm not an expert on the rules, never have even worked air stuff), I'm ready to tell the greenies to stuff it. I would note to you all that these "higher-polluting" gasoline is already sold in the rural areas of those states, and my guess is the only cities that get the cleaner fuel blend are Jackson, MS and Birmingham, AL (maybe Montgomery, AL too). Most of the coastal areas meet standards b/c of wind conditions. I wouldn't even venture to guess any cities in Florida don't meet standards, except maybe inland cities (Orlando?). Also, note that the sulfur content relaxation is on diesel. Not many diesel powered cars in the metro areas (areas where cleaner fuel is required). I guess the trucking industry is thankful, but overall, this isn't really gonna make a huge impact on air quality in those States. Louisiana could be a different matter, but they've got BIGGER issues to worry about. I just discussed this today, and everyone at work (EPA) went into moonbat status...."Oh, Bush is using this as an excuse to relax air standards nationwide...oh no, dirty fuel....oh, gas won't go over $3/gallon here, blah, blah, blah." I tried to explain that it was only those 4 states and only for a set period of time, but even the sensible people lashed out at me. THEN, this afternoon, they tried to drive home & fill up and found gas at $3.29/gallon+ (was $2.69 just yesterday) and long lines at all the stations around Atlanta (one station even had gas at $5.89/gal in metro Atlanta today)! I'm laughing all the way to the bank, because a buddy of mine owns a building where a new gas station just went in and gave me a "heads up" last night that they expected 30 cents/gal jump today and another 40-50 cents/gal tomorrow. I should be able to ride this storm (gas prices) out in a week or two. Should make for interesting discussions tomorrow.
Posted by: BA || 08/31/2005 23:18 Comments || Top||

Keesler Begins Recovery Operations
EFL: KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Base officials started assessment and recovery operations after declaring HURCON NORMAL yesterday and by evening provided the first hot meals to the 6000 military, civilian and family members who sheltered during Hurricane Katrina. “Initial reports showed drastic damage to the industrial and housing areas,” said Maj Ray Mottley, 81st Civil Engineering Squadron Commander. “Approximately 50% of the base was underwater. The commissary, Base Exchange and some of base housing had more than six feet of water. “We don’t have power on base due to the power outage in the local area. So we are using generators to power our critical facilities,” explained Mottley, “However, the base hospital is completely without power at this time due to the water surge from the Back Bay which flooded the basement.”

In spite of the power outage, the air field is operational during daylight hours, and other utilities are available. “We have a fully operational sewage system and drinking water,” said 81st CES commander.

Base officials said 35 critical patients were medivaced to Wilford Hall, Lackland AFB, TX.
One of the base dining facilities provided the first hot meal to the 6000 base shelter residents Tuesday night. “The plan is to have two hot meals a day,” said Mr Don Cook, 81st Services Director, “Once we get more cooks, we can provide a morning and evening hot meal.”

“The safety, health, and well being of our Keesler family is our priority, said Brig Gen William Lord, 81st Training Wing Commander. “Thankfully our people who sheltered in one of our certified hurricane shelters are safe and we can now focus on reconstituting the base and reestablishing our mission. I’m proud how our team is working together to help each other make it through these difficult times. I want everyone to know we are not alone and will do everything we can to keep people safe and get them home as soon as possible.” Base officials are in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and with commanders from surrounding military bases who have offered assistance.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 11:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [401 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good job by the AF, only the Navy could do a better job after a hurricane. Course the Navy has certain advantages.
Posted by: Spavilet Snaing7506 || 08/31/2005 13:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Marines rescued more than 100 people stranded by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina Monday after tides and high winds pummeled cities along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Leathernecks with the Reserve’s reinforced 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, based in Gulfport, Miss., navigated the debris-filled streets of Biloxi late Aug. 29, plucking dazed citizens from their battered homes. About 130 people were rescued by the Marines, who drove two AAV7 Amphibious Assault Vehicles through the destruction.

The amtrackers took the flood victims “to a designated drop-off point where they were returned to safety by civilian authorities,” according to a news release from Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport. One amtrac in the operation rescued 100 people, making four trips with 25 victims crammed into the crew compartment, a Navy spokeswoman said.

Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 1, 7 and 133 — based in Gulfport — are clearing a 10-mile-long stretch of road to the nearby town of Pass Christian so civilian authorities could rescue stranded citizens there, the spokeswoman said. The Marine amtrackers headed to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport today for rescue operations there, but no further details were available.

I wondered if the SeaBees still had a base there. Talk about being on the spot.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Isn't/wasn't GulfPort the historic home of the SeaBees?
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 16:13 Comments || Top||

#4  4th Assault Amphibian Battalion

Gotta show Dad that, they used to take him to work.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 16:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Gulfport has the tech school training base for the SeeBees. It is situated pretty well far back from the seafront, as I remember... so they would be well situated to be able to lend a hand right away.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 08/31/2005 20:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Yes, it is a pretty good ways inland. Leave it to the dern engineers to figure out to not be at ocean/gulf front property. I've actually had some dealings with the City of Gulfport recently (met the Mayor just 2-3 weeks ago). Their Public Works building is right near an airstrip on what I was told was the base. We had a Q&A session with the former P.W. Director, and would have to stop eveny 30 mins or so F-16 or 18's would land. Closest I've ever been to aircraft like that.
Posted by: BA || 08/31/2005 23:02 Comments || Top||

#7  see? Flyboys get the beach. We dumb engineers have to stay inland...otherwise there'd be jetty's and berms and earthenworks all over the place
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 23:28 Comments || Top||

#8  lol, Frank. Birds Engineers of a feather
Posted by: BA || 08/31/2005 23:31 Comments || Top||

Louisiana Martial Law Clarified
The state Attorney General's office on Tuesday sought to clarify reports in some media that "martial law' has been declared in parts of storm-ravaged southeast Louisiana, saying no such term exists in Louisiana law. But even though no martial law exists, Gov. Kathleen Blanco's declaration of a state of emergency gives authorities widespread latitude to suspend civil liberties as they try to restore order and bring victims to safety. Under the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act of 1993, the governor and, in some cases, chief parish officials, have the right to commandeer or utilize any private property if necessary to cope with the emergency.
Authorities may also suspend any statute related to the conduct of official business, or any rule issued by a state agency, if complying would "prevent, hinder or delay necessary action'' to mitigate the emergency. It also gives authority the right to compel evacuations, suspend alcohol and weapons sales and make provisions for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing. The law gives mayors similar authority, except they do not have the right to commandeer private property or make provisions for emergency housing, according to a background brief prepared by the state Attorney General's office.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But under the Homeland Security Act, FEMA can declare "Martial Law." I believe what happened is that FEMA declared "Martial Law," without confering with Louisana officials. This clarification is a clear indication that federal agencies, state, and local agencies were not communicating with each other before the declaration.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/31/2005 10:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Doesn't sound like alcohol and weapons sales have been a big issue so far. They ought to change the name of NO to Hobbesville
Posted by: VAMark || 08/31/2005 12:55 Comments || Top||

#3  The state and citys affected in Louisiana are not prepared or capable of dealing with this. FEMA will have to take over sole control and militarize the effort. Watching this on FOX and it's obvious. The Local authorites are not doing anything.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 08/31/2005 15:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Nor will any one else until they can bring overwhelming force to bear at which time the looting will stop any way. Do we really need a riot on top of everything else? That's the question the peron who issues the shoot who loot order will have to answer after it's all over.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/31/2005 15:10 Comments || Top||

#5  It is wroang to say the local officials and police are not doing anything. They are dedicating 100% of their effort to save the lives of those who were unwilling or unable to leave ahead of the storm. Not that all these are worth saving, mind you, but ...
I think they are wrong. Loss of order will end up costing lives. In my opinion National Guard or USMC MPs should have been deployed the minute the winds died down, with orders to shoot to kill. Very public orders. It might have taken one dead looter to get the message across. Too late now.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 18:48 Comments || Top||

"You Loot, I Shoot"
From NOLA.com: Those trapped in the city faced an increasingly lawless environment, as law enforcement agencies found themselves overwhelmed with widespread looting. Looters swarmed the Wal-mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, often bypassing the food and drink section to steal wide-screen TVs, jewelry, bicycles and computers. Watching the sordid display and shaking his head in disgust, one firefighter said of the scene: "It’s a f---- hurricane, what are you do with a basketball goal?" Police regained control at about 3 p.m., after clearing the store with armed patrol. One shotgun-toting Third District detective described the looting as "ferocious." "And it’s going to get worse as the days progress," he said.

In Uptown, one the few areas that remained dry, a bearded man patrolled Oak Street near the boarded-up Maple Leaf Bar, a sawed-off shotgun slung over his shoulder. The owners of a hardware store sat in folding chairs, pistols at the ready. Uptown resident Keith Williams started his own security patrol, driving around in his Ford pickup with his newly purchased handgun. Earlier in the day, Williams said he had seen the body of a gunshot victim near the corner of Leonidas and Hickory streets. "What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street," Williams said.

Like-minded Art Depodesta sat on the edge of a picnic table outside Cooter Brown’s Bar, a chrome shotgun at his side loaded with red shells. "They broke into the Shell station across the street," he said. "I walked over with my 12-gauge and shot a couple into the air." The looters scattered, but soon after, another man appeared outside the bar in a pickup truck armed with a pistol and threatened Depodesta. "I told him, ‘Listen, I was in the Army and I will blow your ass off,’" Depodesta said. "We’ve got enough trouble with the flood." The man sped away. "You know what sucks," Depodesta said. "The whole U.S. is looking at this city right now, and this is what they see."

In the Bywater, a supply store sported spray-painted signs reading "You Loot, I Shoot" and "You Bein Watched." A man seated nearby with a rifle in his lap suggested it was no idle threat. At the Bywater studio of Dr. Bob, the artist known for handpainted "Be Nice or Leave" signs, a less fanciful sentiment was painted on the wall: "Looters Will Be Shot. Dr. Bob."
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 10:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [406 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Watching the sordid display and shaking his head in disgust, one firefighter said of the scene: "It’s a f---- hurricane, what are you do with a basketball goal?"

Wet dreams are for kids, I want my hoop dreams.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/31/2005 10:41 Comments || Top||

#2  ...what are you do with a basketball goal?

Maybe he should ask this cop what he's going to do with those DVDs. Caption reads:
GARDEN DISTRICT: A New Orleans police officer is seen carrying DVDs at the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Tuesday. Many police officers said they felt helpless in enforcing the looters, which were found all over the city.

"So we joined 'em."
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 08/31/2005 11:20 Comments || Top||

#3  It's the NO midnight basketball league. To keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.
Posted by: Seafarious || 08/31/2005 11:26 Comments || Top||

#4  "What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street,"

That'll be happening soon enough.
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/31/2005 12:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Seafarious ...cruel, yet funny.
Posted by: DragonFly || 08/31/2005 12:21 Comments || Top||

#6  "What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street,"

WE'RE ON OUR WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: ARMYGUY || 08/31/2005 12:35 Comments || Top||

#7  ACLU reminder: No racial profiling when taking pot shots at looters. Make sure your activities reflect prevailing demographics in your neighborhood.
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 08/31/2005 12:45 Comments || Top||

#8  C'mon - you guys are too cynical. They're not looters - they're civic-minded citizens moving the goods to higher ground.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 08/31/2005 14:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Good, ZF. Let's tun in to CNN and see how long it takes top get on the air.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/31/2005 14:38 Comments || Top||

#10  Actually they're Free Market Capitalists in the purest sense of the term.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 16:16 Comments || Top||

#11  Maximizing the return on derelict Capital.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 16:17 Comments || Top||

#12  "it ain't lootin' it's survival"
just heard on msnbc, by a kid being interviewed. It saddens me to not be hearing how folks are getting out and helping each other, instead being very self centered stealing jewelry and tv's. It will be dark soon, and not only do folks need to deal with the horrific fact of the hurricane, but now high crime as well. Very tragic. Kudos to all the agency's that are helping these folks.
Posted by: Jan || 08/31/2005 17:32 Comments || Top||

#13  "You Loot, I Shoot"

Just do it.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 08/31/2005 17:53 Comments || Top||

#14  Actually the "Granny Clampett" method, "Rock Salt & Lard" fired from a shotgun towards a troublmaking posterior might make a point without causing permanent injury...
Posted by: BigEd || 08/31/2005 18:01 Comments || Top||

#15  "What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street," Williams said.

Amen. The National Guard needs to by fully in place by tomorrow morning with orders to shoot to kill all looters. And thats a full day or two too late. wtf.
Posted by: Abu al-MacSuirtain || 08/31/2005 18:28 Comments || Top||

#16  Big Ed, .30-'06 through heart or skull won't cause permanent injury either and seems a better approach than Granny Clampett's.
I recently sold our condo on Magazine & Henry Clay and lived in Jefferson Parish until 2 am Sunday. Even from that perspective, based only on what I see on the news I would have the attitude 'New Orleans deserves what they get, screw 'em.' It's wrong, but even I have to fight that attitude. I'll feel a whole lot better when good folks like Art Depodesta take out a few of these f**kers.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 18:56 Comments || Top||

#17  Magazine & Henry Clay
Superior timing
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 18:59 Comments || Top||

#18  Just wait, we'll be hearing reports of bodies found in the coming weeks that had bullet wounds in them.
"Who shot my boy!?"
"Don't know lady, but the jeans he's wearing with the tags still on might be a clue."
Posted by: Charles || 08/31/2005 23:48 Comments || Top||

Oil companies begin inspecting damage in Gulf
Oil companies are getting their first glimpse today of facilities battered by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico. On a reconnaissance flight, Shell found damage to at least one of its facilities, its Mars platform, which it said "sustained topside damage" — the structure above the ocean housing controls, production equipment and quarters. The company said it plans to send crews via helicopter today to several of its facilities to perform detailed inspections.

BP started helicopter flyovers of several of its facilities today, and so far, the news has been good. "No damage was observed from these aerial overflights, but we'll know more when we get the folks on board to complete their more detailed onboard inspections," said Hugh Depland, a spokesman for BP. BP has already started to move small crews to some of its platforms. The crews will restart generators and inspect the facilities for damage prior to bringing them back on line. The company did discover a mobile drilling rig that had become adrift and ended up next to its Holstein platform.

On Monday, there were reports of several rigs that had gone adrift. The rigs are often equipped with electronic locator devices so the companies can locate and retrieve them when they come free of their moorings. Crews from drilling companies Noble and Transocean, which own two of the wayward rigs, are scheduled to fly out by mid-day to reestablish the rigs' operating systems. Anchor vessels and tugboats have been deployed to the two drifting rigs to remove loose anchor lines and hook up the rigs to towing bridles. The drilling companies plan to bring the rigs to shallow water or shipyards for repairs. Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Apache Corp. are also inspecting their facilities.

Kerr-McGee said it has returned 50 workers to its facilities in the western Gulf, which was spared the brunt of the storm. The company expects to be able to today to restart half of the 130,000 barrel of oil a day production it shut down over the weekend. "We're ramping it up throughout the day," said John Christiansen, a Kerr-McGee spokesman.

In all, more than 92 percent of the Gulf's oil output and 83 percent of its natural gas production was offline due to evacuations and shut downs completed in advance of the storm. More than a quarter of the nation's oil and gas comes from state and federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 08:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Drilling rigs are a relatively small part of the problem. Quite good news to hear Mars is at least still in existence - it is a big producer and right about on Katrina's path. Long-term problems will be from the pipelins tied into tangles of steel spaghetti and the thousands of marginal shallow wells lost or damaged beyond repair and not 'big' enough to be worth redrilling.
Investment tip - get a long-term lease on a shallow water jack-up someplace (maybe West Africa?) and bring it to the Gulf of Mexico. Or work boats, etc.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 19:01 Comments || Top||

Massive federal relief effort underway
Edited to remove duplicate info.
Victims of Hurricane Katrina -- some of whom escaped with only their lives -- soon will get help from a massive federal relief effort led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Pentagon.

The FEMA effort includes search teams to find victims trapped in the attics of their homes and rescuers specialized in searching collapsed buildings. Other teams will set up field hospitals, provide mortuary services and treat injured animals.

The Air Force said it was sending two large cargo planes to the region -- a C-5 Galaxy to Louisiana and a C-17 to Mississippi. Besides humanitarian aid, the C-5 is bringing in swift boats, which can maneuver in shallow floodwaters to ferry rescue workers and victims. The C-17 is outfitted to evacuate 36 sick and injured people at a time.

Aid agency officials have warned conditions might not improve in Louisiana and Mississippi for weeks, maybe months. FEMA is preparing to house "at least tens of thousands of victims ... for literally months on end," said Michael Brown, the agency's chief.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco told reporters Tuesday after touring the affected areas in her state that "people are going to have to draw on their inner strength like we've never, ever had to do before. It's going to be, in some neighborhoods, total rebuilding." Life-saving work remains to be done, Blanco said. "We think there are still some regions that have not been reached" by rescue workers, she said.

On Monday, Blanco and officials in Mississippi urged evacuees and others to stay put, saying it was too dangerous for many people to return home. Blanco ordered re-entry routes guarded by state police.

The American Red Cross has launched the largest natural disaster mobilization in its history, larger than services for last year's four Florida hurricanes combined, said the organization's president, Marty Evans. "We had staged extensive supplies, meals, cleanup kits, hygiene kits -- all staged to come into the area as soon as the roads are passable," Evans said.

More than 75,000 people were being housed in nearly 240 shelters, and Evans said she expects the numbers to grow. "It's going to be a long-term operation," she said. "We're talking many, many weeks, months."

Seven of the 18 Urban Search and Rescue task forces FEMA has deployed were already in the region before the storm struck Sunday. Each consists of 70 people trained to conduct operations after earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other disasters. They have enough food, water, batteries, fuel and camping supplies to be self-sufficient for several days, so they will not drain the resources of the communities they are there to help.

They also have search dogs, chainsaws, tools, bullhorns, spray paint for marking houses, and other gear. Such teams assisted at the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing rescue effort, at earthquakes in Turkey and Greece in 1999, and after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition, search and rescue teams from local governments around the country are on their way.

The 39 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams that FEMA has deployed include specialists to handle burns, pediatrics, crush injuries, surgery and mental health. Six teams are in the region, including five that arrived at the Superdome in New Orleans after the storm passed. The most deployed for any of the hurricanes last year was five, one official told CNN.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 01:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Shouldn't we be waiting for the UN to organize and oversee the relief efforts?
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 08/31/2005 8:14 Comments || Top||

#2  The UN isn't interested. No five star hotels in the area and Americans have far less tolerance of kiddie entertainment, outside of the West Coast.
Posted by: Sleanter Whaique3382 || 08/31/2005 8:27 Comments || Top||

#3  As baddly I feel for those who have lost almost everything I do wish the Federal Govrnment will finally say enough is enough. If you are so stupid to live in an area below sea level then don't come to us for help when crap like this happens. The same applies to flood plains on the Mississippi and fire prone canyons in SoCal. I for one am damn sick and tired of having to bail theirs sorry asses out every time this happens either through my tax dollars or by the rising costs of insurance premiums. End of rant
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/31/2005 13:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Hmmm...don't live in areas prone to tornados, flooding, earthquakes, drought, wild fires, beach or soil erosion, hurricanes, blizzards, avalanches or landslides. That's not going to leave a whole lot of available land left. As to floating communities, those casinos on the beach in Mississippi, don't offer much confidence in that alternative either.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 08/31/2005 16:28 Comments || Top||

New Orleans Children's hospital under seige
Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children's Hospital.

Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.

The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond. Bottcher said Blanco has been told of the situation and has informed the National Guard. However, Bottcher said, the National Guard has also been unable to respond.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 01:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [367 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Where are the Predators and Hellfires when you need them?
Posted by: DanNY || 08/31/2005 5:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Shoot on sight.

Rinse, repeat.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/31/2005 6:54 Comments || Top||

#3  New Orleans police are part of the problem. The most corrupt and one of the most inept forces in the country.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 8:46 Comments || Top||

#4  yore ona roll barbara. :)
Posted by: muck4doo || 08/31/2005 10:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't pick on the police in the Big Easy! Where else can you say "Officer? Can you hold my Hurricane?" before you tie your shoe?
Posted by: eLarson || 08/31/2005 10:11 Comments || Top||

#6  Caveat to the above post: Granted, it was Bourbon Street.
Posted by: eLarson || 08/31/2005 10:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Where in the hell is the USS Comfort, the carrier helos and USN medics we sent Indonesia? The lack of any Pentagon presence is really pissing me off. Lets help everyone but our own.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 08/31/2005 10:31 Comments || Top||

#8  Belay my last.

Just read an article farther below about the Pentagon stepping up to the plate.

Now I feel better.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 08/31/2005 10:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Most of the residents on New Orleans are black. Where in the hell is Sharpton, Jackson, and Clinton(s) to provide emotional support? I guess Bush bashing is more important than peepin' on their peeps.

I can understand Clinton not showing up. He wants to become the new UN Sec. Gen. and since Louisana is not a separate country, it's not worth it. Everyone knows that he made friends with father Bush to hitch a free ride to Indonesia, except for father Bush. It's all about meeee.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/31/2005 11:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Wow, shades of Lucifer's Hammer?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/31/2005 12:23 Comments || Top||

#11  A troop of Apache's from Fort Rucker would have a very sobering effect. Remember when they had a sniper incident in N'orleans in the '70s and to sol itve they hosed the building with a Cobra. The USS Shreeveport left Norfolk today bound for the Gulf
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/31/2005 13:14 Comments || Top||

#12  "Remember when they had a sniper incident in N'orleans in the '70s and to sol itve they hosed the building with a Cobra."

Not quite. It was a Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight. Some New Orleans PD officers armed with M-16s were aboard the chopper. They did the shooting.

Source: http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/mass/mark_essex/

I do agree with your sentiment however. The resources the authorities are forced to divert to deal with looting and lawless behavior are ones that could be used for saving lives. They may be doing it indirectly, but the looters are actually killing innocent people.
Posted by: Pat Phillips || 08/31/2005 14:04 Comments || Top||

#13  Lucifer's Hammer

Excellent book
Posted by: Chris W. || 08/31/2005 17:19 Comments || Top||

#14  Yosemite Sam - I believe the USS Comfort is currently docked at the Naval Support Base in Algiers (New Orleans) supporting the relief effort.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 19:06 Comments || Top||

#15  I'm with Cheaderhead on this one. I remember watching the film of the concrete disolve from the minigun. It was an overhead aerial view of the Cobra hosing the concrete stairwell roof structure. [m-16 rounds don't chew up concrete like that unless you fire thousands and thousands of rounds]

..no one is exactally sure which round killed him first. He may have been wounded of even dead before the mini gun rounds.
Posted by: Red Dog || 08/31/2005 20:25 Comments || Top||

#16  I drove up from Jackson to Little Rock today (I've always wanted to see the Clinton Library, and not being able to get home has provided me with that chance.) I drove past convoy after convoy of National Guard troops headed south toward the coast. It was the happiest sight I've seen in four days. Thank God for the US military.
Posted by: Matt || 08/31/2005 23:01 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Indian diplomats meet death row prisoner
LAHORE — Indian diplomats yesterday met a prisoner held on death row in Pakistan on bombing and spying charges, saying afterwards that they were hopeful of resolving the case. “I am sure both India and Pakistan would reach some sort of understanding on the issue,” Deepak Kaul, visa counsellor at the Indian High Commission (embassy) in Islamabad, said after the two-hour meeting at a jail in Lahore.
Night. Bridge. Fog. Moonlight. Trenchcoats. Muttering voices. Menacing looks.
Sarabjit Singh’s family says he is a farmer who crossed the border 15 years ago while drunk. His sister says her brother has been confused with a Manjit Singh, whom Pakistan wants for a series of bombings in Lahore in 1990. The case has caused uproar and protests in India, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assuring the prisoner’s relatives that he would speak to Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf about the possibility of clemency.

After 15 years of litigation, the Pakistani Supreme Court upheld the lower court verdicts this month and ordered his hanging but set no date for the execution. The condemned man’s lawyers are to apply for a judicial review and if that is turned down, their only hope would be a presidential pardon from President Musharraf.
Posted by: Steve White || 08/31/2005 00:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another Azam Azam?
Posted by: gromgoru || 08/31/2005 16:29 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Economy
Cops, firefighters join New Orleans looting
Law enforcement efforts to contain the emergency left by Katrina slipped into chaos in parts of New Orleans Tuesday with some police officers and firefighters joining looters in picking stores clean.

At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand out provisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass looting. Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the giveaway was announced over the radio. While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and appliances on handtrucks.
Essential relief supplies, after all.
Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television.

Officers claimed there was nothing they could do to contain the anarchy, saying their radio communications have broken down and they had no direction from commanders. “We don’t have enough cops to stop it,” an officer said. “A mass riot would break out if you tried.”
I imagine one officer firing his pistol in the air, once, could bring considerable attention to the next 20 or so words he'd utter.
Inside the store, the scene alternated between celebration and frightening bedlam. A shirtless man straddled a broken jewelry case, yelling, “Free samples, free samples over here.” Another man rolled a mechanized pallet, stacked six feet high with cases of vodka and whiskey. Perched atop the stack was a bewildered toddler.

Throughout the store and parking lot, looters pushed carts and loaded trucks and vans alongside officers. One man said police directed him to Wal-Mart from Robert’s Grocery, where a similar scene was taking place. A crowd in the electronics section said one officer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn’t cut themselves. “The police got all the best stuff. They’re crookeder than us,” one man said.

Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of law breakers. One veteran officer said, “It’s like this everywhere in the city. This tiny number of cops can’t do anything about this. It’s wide open.”

At least one officer tried futilely to control a looter through shame. “When they say take what you need, that doesn’t mean an f-ing TV,” the officer shouted to a looter. “This is a hurricane, not a free-for-all.”

Sandra Smith of Baton Rouge walked through the parking lot with a 12-pack of Bud Light under each arm. “I came down here to get my daughters,” she said, “but I can’t find them.”
"So I decided to get drunk instead," added the nominee for mother-of-the-year.
The scene turned so chaotic at times that entrances were blocked by the press of people and shopping carts and traffic jams sprouted on surrounding streets. Some groups organized themselves into assembly lines to more efficiently cart off goods.

Toni Williams, 25, packed her trunk with essential supplies, such as food and water, but said mass looting disgusted and frightened her. “I didn’t feel safe. Some people are going overboard,” she said.

Inside the store, one woman was stocking up on make-up. She said she took comfort in watching police load up their own carts. “It must be legal,” she said. “The police are here taking stuff, too.”
Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [495 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The N.O. police commissioner was interviewed by Sean Hannity tonight, and Sean asked the commissioner if they were going to get tough on looters. The commissioner seemed disturbingly passive about the matter.

It was not until Sean pointed out the difference between looting food and clothing versus televisions and jewelry that the commissioner said they might have to get tough...so much for law enforcement.

It was disturbing watching parents bringing their kids into broken-in stores to loot.
Posted by: Captain America || 08/31/2005 0:30 Comments || Top||

#2  New Orleans has the most corrupt police in the country. It seems the people and police of N.O. deserve each other.
Posted by: ed || 08/31/2005 0:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Just wait until they need food/water and don't have it because that jewelry was so shiny to them. I won't be crying for N.O. citizens who went for material possesions over survival.
Posted by: Charles || 08/31/2005 0:54 Comments || Top||

#4  How soon do the looters that destroyed their local shops think the stores will be restocked? Better start putting out fishing line into the flood waters, dumbasses.
Posted by: ed || 08/31/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#5  This getting ugly:
"Children's Hospital under seige"

Tuesday, 11:45 p.m.

Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children's Hospital.

Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.

The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond.

Bottcher said Blanco has been told of the situation and has informed the National Guard. However, Bottcher said, the National Guard has also been unable to respond.
Posted by: crazyhorse || 08/31/2005 1:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Any cops participating in the looting should be shot twice.
Posted by: Chris W. || 08/31/2005 1:26 Comments || Top||

#7  I imagine one officer firing his pistol in the air, once, could bring considerable attention to the next 20 or so words he'd utter

I doubt it. He might even get a few rounds tossed his way.
Posted by: Rafael || 08/31/2005 4:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Rafael hits the nail on the head. This crowd will not be returned to order. The populace of New Orleans susceptible to authority listened to those authorities days ago and left town. So who's left? Those too poor to get out or too unruly to take orders. Not a good combination for maintaining order.

As CA notes, the authorities in NO are quite unconcerned about anything other than the immediate preservation of life. Thus, they have probably told police not to put their lives in jeopardy unless they are trying to save the life of another. I can't really argue with this, except that at some point, once the forces of order have retreated from the defence of property, they will have difficulty sustaining the defence of life from the unleashed forces of disorder. Bottom line is that these are trying times in NO with no easy answers.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/31/2005 8:08 Comments || Top||

#9  New Orleans has always walked a thin line between order and chaos.

Chaos will rule for a while, I guess; the challenge for law enforcement will be to make sure it's just the locals getting chaotic and not mafiosos or islamists...
Posted by: Seafarious || 08/31/2005 9:27 Comments || Top||

#10  “It must be legal,” she said. “The police are here taking stuff, too.”

Pretty much the New Orleans city motto, to be honest. Ah, the Big Easy: only place I've ever seen a hoodie dealing crack on the steps of a police department in broad daylight!

Posted by: Secret Master || 08/31/2005 11:27 Comments || Top||

#11  The looting problem will abate... shift the problem to Houston and they can fill in for all the crap they couldn't loot in New Orleans. While they are at it, the NOPD can provide police escort for the "refugees" getting acquainted with Houston. Too bad the real victims have to get caught up in the middle of the human trash. The looters? They ain't Americans... they are trash that didn't get flushed.
Posted by: Fun Dung Poo || 08/31/2005 11:55 Comments || Top||

#12  Like a septic tank, the big chuncks float to the top.
Posted by: Slereger Slitle6846 || 08/31/2005 12:43 Comments || Top||

#13  This whole problem with looting in New Orleans is an embarrassment. Some other outhouse country I'd understand, but the U.S.?

I'd be hard-pressed to muster up any sympathy for looters if the cops decide to start shooting them.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 08/31/2005 13:48 Comments || Top||

#14  shift the problem to Houston and they can fill in for all the crap they couldn't loot in New Orleans

I'm thinking the Houston cops would handle the situation a little differently. Plus, Texas is a concealed carry state.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 14:24 Comments || Top||

#15  And Harris county is the execution capital of the US.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 08/31/2005 14:30 Comments || Top||

#16  Can you say Fort Hood, home of the Apache Training Brigade?
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/31/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#17  I live about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Let me tell you, when the tribes (and I mean all of 'em) went looting a few years back - it was a huge embarrasement - and not nearly enough got their rightfull desserts.

Posted by: Robjack || 08/31/2005 23:56 Comments || Top||

Pentagon sends ships, helicopters to Gulf Coast
Been wondering if this would happen. Air American thinks Bush has been playing golf (which he didn't do). Instead, seems he has been giving some commands, activating our troops to our shores. He did it again, stayed quiet, but accessed the situation and issued the necessary orders
The Pentagon effort includes the Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, whose helicopters have been flying relief missions from off the Louisiana coast. The ship, which resembles a small aircraft carrier, can produce large quantities of fresh water and is equipped with 600 hospital beds.

Several other ships, including a rescue and salvage vessel and the USS Iwo Jima, another amphibious assault ship, are on their way from Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy said. The USNS Comfort, a floating hospital based in Baltimore, Maryland, will depart in coming days. A medical crew from Bethesda Naval Hospital will staff the ship. It has full hospital capabilities, including operating rooms and hundreds of beds.

More than 125,000 National Guard troops have been activated in 19 states and Washington, D.C., to help local agencies with traffic control, security, distributing food, and search and rescue, a Guard spokesman said.

The Coast Guard, whose crews have been assisting in the rescue of people stranded by high water in the New Orleans area, is recalling 550 reservists to assist in the relief effort.
These guys are working shifts around the clock
The Air Force said it was sending two large cargo planes to the region -- a C-5 Galaxy to Louisiana and a C-17 to Mississippi.
Lots of search & rescue teams on board
Besides humanitarian aid, the C-5 is bringing in swift boats, which can maneuver in shallow floodwaters to ferry rescue workers and victims. The C-17 is outfitted to evacuate 36 sick and injured people at a time. The Air Force also deployed MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Mississippi for search and rescue efforts.

The Pentagon's Northern Command was setting up a joint relief task force at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, to coordinate military efforts with FEMA, officials said.
Let the Kos Kids weep, Bush is responding the best way he can, with our military resources. Thank you guys and gals, again.
Posted by: Sherry || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [497 views] Top|| File under:

#1  can produce large quantities of fresh water and is equipped with 600 hospital beds.

Hospital beds for wounded AND a mobile fresh water facility. I had no idea we even HAD a mobile fresh water facility until now.
Posted by: Charles || 08/31/2005 0:56 Comments || Top||

#2  But, but, the MSM said we have this shortage of NG because of Iraq? I am not so confused.
Posted by: Captain America || 08/31/2005 0:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Heard or read somewhere today, federal or some state stipulation... states must retain 50% of NGuard at all times.
Posted by: Sherry || 08/31/2005 1:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Googled for information on other areas of Mississippi since most news reports seem to be on NO and Gulfport. National Geographic News has some coverage and photos; Jackson MS newspaper has best Mississippi info so far.

Reading reports on Miss, husband suspects the plywood his relatives put on Granddaddy's house was more durable than the house itself; and figures the house is probably matchwood. Relatives left Saturday.

Was grumpily wondering why so many people ignored evacuation order. Nat Geo says a lot of the people still in the area didn't have transportation out or had difficulties due to disabilities.

I'm from the midwest. We have tornadoes and the occasional flood but nothing on this scale. So, 2 questions for anybody who knows more about this than I do:
1. Photos show traffic only in outbound lanes of interstate, with inbound lanes empty. Did anybody think of opening up inbound lanes to outbound traffic?
2. Was there anything in the disaster management plan that would have helped people without transportation?

Posted by: mom || 08/31/2005 2:32 Comments || Top||

#5  Mom,

Check this. There are a map and instructions for how to get out of NO on the contraflow roads where traffic was one way on both sides out of town.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/31/2005 8:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Was grumpily wondering why so many people ignored evacuation order.

Maybe because people stayed behind to protect their property because they knew the government wasn't going to swiftly and harshly punish those who looted. And becasuse some choose to stay to loot knowing the government was not going to act swiftly and harshly to prevent them. How many lives would have been saved if in the past there had been zero tolerance of looting?
Posted by: Sleanter Whaique3382 || 08/31/2005 8:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Early kudo awards to the Coast Guard.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/31/2005 8:50 Comments || Top||

#8  Besides humanitarian aid, the C-5 is bringing in swift boats, which can maneuver in shallow floodwaters to ferry rescue workers and victims.

I'm reporting for duty!
Posted by: John Kerry || 08/31/2005 9:39 Comments || Top||

#9  So when's Jan Egeland gonna criticize the world for being cheap for not coughing up on the relief effort? When's Geldorf having the concert?
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/31/2005 9:58 Comments || Top||

#10  Thanks for links and other info.

Re: looting
Mississippi Gov. didn't mince words about looting, said looters will be dealt with severely. An improvement over the Mickey Mouse answer one of the NO authorities gave in a TV interview. Now let's see if they can get it together.
Posted by: mom || 08/31/2005 10:40 Comments || Top||

#11  Per Fox: Air Force One to do a fly over today to see disaster area first hand before returning to Washington for disaster coordination meetings this pm.
Posted by: Capsu 78 || 08/31/2005 12:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Charles, any fair sized navy ship is a mobile fresh water facility, especially if they must produce pure water for steam plant operations. Steam plant make-up water is purer than potable water by the way. The bigger the ship and crew, the more potable water they are capable of producing, especially if they ration the water on board by cutting out showers and/or flight ops on a carrier.
Posted by: Zpaz || 08/31/2005 16:49 Comments || Top||

#13  Hospital beds for wounded AND a mobile fresh water facility. I had no idea we even HAD a mobile fresh water facility until now.

I was Navy, all ships distill fresh water out of the sea, mainly for the engines (Steam Turbines mostly) and for crew washing and drinking.

You're talking about tons an hour even for the smaller ones, naturaly the Hospital Ships would have larger condensers, and/or more of them.

Park a ship, so the main turbines are not running, and only the smaller turbo generators run, and almost all the condensed water can be used, the only real problem is getting it ahore.

A ship of any medium large size (200 feet or so and up)is an ideal Electric power generator and mobile water source. Just provide bunker oil every 20 days or so to keep the fuel tanks topped off.

Got a nuke, such as a carrier, and even better refuel every 20 years or so.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 08/31/2005 22:48 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
Campaigning Begins in Liberia
Two years after the end of more than a decade of conflict in Liberia, the country's first openly contested election campaign has begun. The race for president includes 22 candidates, the best known of whom are George Weah, 36, a soccer superstar who was the World Football Federation's player of the year in 1995, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 66, a former United Nations official who was the leading opposition candidate in the last election -- which was won by former rebel leader Charles Taylor, who threatened to continue his brutal war unless elected.

Weah's star power has attracted a media spotlight, along with a front-runner designation in some reports. But Sirleaf has leveraged her extensive international contacts and her support from women to garner considerable backing at home and abroad. In addition, vigorous campaign efforts are being mounted by a number of other contenders, including Charles Brumskine, a former Senate leader; Winston Tubman, a former minister of justice who served until earlier this year as the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia; Nathaniel Barnes, a former finance minister; and Sekou Conneh, leader of one of the armed factions that helped drive Taylor from office in 2003.
Posted by: Fred || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Economy
Prisoners Riot, Take Child Hostages in New Orleans
Inmates at a prison in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans have rioted, attempted to escape and are now holding hostages, a prison commissioner told ABC News affiliate WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La.
Escalating crackdown on the agenda
A deputy at Orleans Parish Prison, his wife and their four children have been taken hostage by rioting prisoners after riding out Hurricane Katrina inside the jail building, according to WBRZ. Officials are expected to hold a press conference regarding the riots at 9 p.m. ET.

A woman interviewed by WBRZ said her son, a deputy at the prison whose family is among the hostages, told her that many of the prisoners have fashioned homemade weapons. Her son had brought his family there hoping they would be safe during the storm.
holding child hostages? clear the prison with live fire - shoot to kill these f*&kers
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Okay, this has gone far enough, the US isn't a freakin' Third World country. NYC went through the 2003 blackout without a hitch and New Orleans turns into "Lord of the Flies" overnight after a hurricane?

Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 0:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Gotta agree. Do whatever is necessary to protect and rescue the children. Then the cons responsible get hammered. I think they need a 'Malkovich' done to them.
Posted by: Steve White || 08/31/2005 0:16 Comments || Top||

#3  You said it, Steve. This isn't Waziristan, whatever the local thug brigade says.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 0:17 Comments || Top||

#4  Lights out in New York is a bit different than what is taking place on the Gulf. And it takes more than flashlights and a day or two to remedy this tragedy.

Still, I share Frank's sentiments in shooting the mofos.
Posted by: Captain America || 08/31/2005 0:21 Comments || Top||

#5  Dan, I lived through the 1977 NYC blackout. Now, that was scary. Canarsie wasn't hit by rioters, but East New York, a mile away, was.

Now, considering the things New Orleans cops have done in the past, I can easily imagine them looting stores. A few years ago, one cop got the death penalty for murdering her partner during a robbery.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 08/31/2005 0:39 Comments || Top||

#6  Call in the snipers.
Posted by: Chris W. || 08/31/2005 0:54 Comments || Top||

#7  Moment they took hostages in such a bad situation, especailly children, they forfieted not being shot.
Posted by: Charles || 08/31/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#8  From The Simpsons version of A Streetcar Named Desire

Long before the SuperDome,
Where the Saints of football play,
Lived a city that the damned called home.
Hear their hellish roundelay...

New Orleans!
Home of pirates, drunks, and whores!
New Orleans!
Tacky, overpriced, souvenir stores!
If you want to go to hell, you should make that trip,
To the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississipp'!

New Orleans!
Stinking, rotten, vomiting, vile!
New Orleans!
Putrid, brackish, maggoty, foul!
New Orleans!
Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank!

New Orleans...
Posted by: Rory B. Bellows || 08/31/2005 1:05 Comments || Top||

#9  If a state of emergency/martial law has been declared, we can just summarily shoot the bastards, right? I mean, that's all kosher now, correct?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 08/31/2005 1:13 Comments || Top||

#10  Eh, I figure only if they're white, Dan. Being in prison and all, their regular civil liberties have already been suspended, etc. Therefore their inalienable civil rights trump all.
Posted by: asedwich || 08/31/2005 1:37 Comments || Top||

#11  Dan, apparently (from what I've read around the web tonight) martial law doesn't necessarily suspend the civil courts. What it does is relieve law enforcement of a lot of procedural stuff they ordinarily have to do, and gives state officials the power to say, "you can't do that" without having a law passed to say that.
Posted by: Steve White || 08/31/2005 1:58 Comments || Top||

#12  Someone on another blog is saying it is now being reported that this hostage situation is a hoax. We'll see.
Posted by: RG || 08/31/2005 2:47 Comments || Top||

#13  The whole sad state of affairs in NO is all about Dems who were in power that didn't take care of business. Same story at the State level. Toss in corruption and shake well and you'll get LA politics. The rip offs and scams that will flow out of this total disaster will be with us like the rebuilding, for years.

Under Marshal law shoot on sight orders can be given. But seeing these are Democrats in control we are talking about this isn't going to be something that happens even if it should.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 08/31/2005 5:00 Comments || Top||

#14  At the risk of repeating myself:

Shoot on sight.

Rinse, repeat. :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/31/2005 6:56 Comments || Top||

#15  Okay, this has gone far enough, the US isn't a freakin' Third World country.

Parts of it are inhabited by people who think like they're Third Worlders, though.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 08/31/2005 8:11 Comments || Top||

#16  New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas confirmed there was a hostage situation at the Orleans Parish Prison, but attempts at learning whether it was a continuing situation were unsuccessful because all communications systems were down.

There was a earlier rumor that prisoners from a flooded jail had been taken to the Superdome and had taken hostages there. That is the one that was false.
Posted by: Steve || 08/31/2005 8:42 Comments || Top||

#17  This isn't Waziristan, whatever the local thug brigade says.

We'll see about that. If they start blowing up the power stations and causeways as they're being rebuilt, we'll know.
Posted by: Seafarious || 08/31/2005 9:33 Comments || Top||

#18  This isn't Waziristan, whatever the local thug brigade says.

It isn't Waziristan, but you don't have to be a Waziri or even a Moslem to be a barbarian thug, and the balance of power shifted to the thugs there a long while ago.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 08/31/2005 9:59 Comments || Top||

#19  great - Jefferson Parish Bugtis?
Posted by: Frank G || 08/31/2005 10:10 Comments || Top||

#20  Kind of puts the looting in Baghdad in perspective, doesn't it?
Posted by: Curt Simon || 08/31/2005 11:36 Comments || Top||

#21  Oh, just great, Curt! Now we're going to hear endlessly how nobody planned for the aftermath...
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 08/31/2005 12:44 Comments || Top||

#22  I'm from Jefferson Parish (currently evacuated to Baton Rouge). A number of people did not leave. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, was quoted early on 'There is a curfew ...., if you are seen on the street you will be arrested. If you are seen on private property (looting) you will be shot.' He meant it.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 14:39 Comments || Top||

#23  Of which is Sheriff Lee shorter, ammo or looters?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/31/2005 14:42 Comments || Top||

#24  Mrs. D,


Posted by: Red Dog || 08/31/2005 15:55 Comments || Top||

#25  Poor planning again. Bush is in favor of looting.
Posted by: Hank || 08/31/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#26  What's our exit strategy?
Posted by: Chris W. || 08/31/2005 17:22 Comments || Top||

#27  Best wishes, Glenmore, and good luck. Let us know if we can help...
Posted by: Seafarious || 08/31/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

#28  #15 rc
This is so very true, and the truth hurts.
Posted by: Jan || 08/31/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#29  Now we're going to hear endlessly how nobody planned for the aftermath...

The Huffington Post is already on it. With a side of "bring the troops home!" thrown in for free. In addition, Harry Shearer has been playing the "nobody planned for the aftermath!" card all day.

Kicking himself for not beating RFK Jr to the punch, Russell "Who?" Shaw asks the musical question, If Carter beat Reagan in 1980, would New Orleans have flooded?

Youse mugs should know better than to try to parody lefty thinking.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 08/31/2005 18:10 Comments || Top||

#30  Mrs. Davis - I have not heard of any looting in Jefferson Parish. And if Lee ran out of ammo (highly unlikely) most Jeffersonians are - shall we say - 'Jeffersonian' (i.e. armed and dangerous).

Seafarious, thanks. But I should be ok. Family is all safe, with residence in Dallas and
Baton Rouge. Employer (evil oil company) is supportive. What I left behind is just 'stuff'.
Some of which we'll miss (wife's new Miata & gun safe and contents.) Will be in limbo a month or two, then we'll go from there.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/31/2005 19:18 Comments || Top||

#31  I had always heard that Louisiana was the northernmost banana republic.
Posted by: mac || 08/31/2005 23:08 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2005-08-31
  Near 1000 dead in Baghdad stampede
Tue 2005-08-30
  Leb security bigs held in Hariri boom
Mon 2005-08-29
  Will Musharraf ban Jamaat-e-Islami and JUI?
Sun 2005-08-28
  UK draws up list of top 50 bloodthirsty holy men
Sat 2005-08-27
  Death for Musharraf plotters
Fri 2005-08-26
  1,000 German cops hunting terror suspects
Thu 2005-08-25
  UK to boot Captain Hook, al-Faqih
Wed 2005-08-24
  Binny reported injured
Tue 2005-08-23
  Bangla cops quizzing 8/17 bomb suspects
Mon 2005-08-22
  Iraq holding 281 foreign insurgent suspects
Sun 2005-08-21
  Brits foil gas attack on Commons
Sat 2005-08-20
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Fri 2005-08-19
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Thu 2005-08-18
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Wed 2005-08-17
  100 Bombs explode across Bangladesh

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