Saturday, September 03, 2005


More Katrina-related links

The list below is posted straight from

Connecting With Victims
· Red Cross: Family Network
· The Safe List
· Find Loved Ones
· Post Available Housing & Help
How to Help
· Network for Good
Emergency Agencies
· Alabama
· Florida
· Louisiana
· Mississippi
· All States
Travel Advisories
· Air, Hotel, More
Getting Through It
· Before, During and After
· Health and Safety Tips
About Hurricanes
· Science and Facts

Friday, September 02, 2005


Hurricane Relief Telethon

NBC will broadcast a live telethon tonight beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time. MSNBC.COM will carry the concert live online, so please, however you can tune in, do so, and donate.


Of jazz legends and (mostly) useless governors

Fats Domino is missing. He has been extremely reclusive in recent years, and his neighborhood is underwater. No one knows where he is. God bless him, and we need to pray for his safety along with the safety of the 100,000 + still trapped in New Orleans.

And, for that matter, where the heck is Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco? Governor Blanco (D., LA.) has been noticeable, in my humble opinion, by her absence.

Why did it take Governor Blanco (D., LA.) until 9-1 to order out Louisiana's National Guard when Katrina hit on 8-29 and the President ordered the national National Guard troops into action on 8-30 (and then ordered 10,000 more into action on 8-31)?

Why did Governor Blanco (D., LA.) not order troops to "shoot to kill" until 9-1, a full day after people began firing on military rescue aircraft in her state (yes, that's right, firing on their own rescuers, the same rescuers they're now complaining aren't there)? People are dying because looters are stealing medications and roaming in armed packs through hospitals, and yet Blanco didn't give any serious orders to attempt to stop the looting until yesterday, far too late to save dozens of lives. And yet, somehow, according to the liberal press, all of this is Bush's fault. Nobody else's, and certainly not the Democratic governor of Louisiana's fault!

Why is this entire disaster, and the supposed slowness of response, being laid at the feet of President Bush (R.)? Why has no blame attached itself to Governor Kathleen Blanco (D., LA.)?

I guess the answer is in the question...

To show Kathleen Blanco (D., LA.) how a governor is supposed to act in times of crisis, let's turn to the governor of my home state of Colorado, Bill Owens (R., CO.) who is sending 700 members of Colorado's National Guard to Louisiana today. Hmmm.... Now doesn't that just raise the question, once more, of why Governor Blanco (D.) didn't can't call up her own National Guard troops until September 1st., three full days after Katrina hit?

Thursday, September 01, 2005


You can directly help Katrina victims

The two links below are to websites where you can offer a bedroom in your own home to shelter one of the Katrina refugees. This is a very direct way to help. I have not personally checked these sites for validity, etc, so you're on your own if you decide to go with them. They do look legitimate to me, but I'm not in a position to judge. I'm merely passing along some possibly decent information. I would love to hear from anyone who does try this, so I can post your story.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005



Diana Queen of Hearts
Originally uploaded by SanityRanch.
Today is the 8th. anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long...


National Guard called up for duty

More than 10,000 additional National Guard troops have been called up for duty to the Gulf Coast states. The Navy and Marines are sending ships loaded with food (millions of ready-to-eat meals) and supplies; some of those ships will also be used in rescue efforts.

And the clock is ticking for those areas worst hit. Critically ill hospital patients are in a race against time as rescuers struggle to evacuate them. People are starving, and the majority of the looting being done is the theft of food and medicine and bottled water. When the stores have been denuded, who knows what will happen next?

The clean-up and recovery could take years, and Katrina is now being called the worst natural disaster to hit this country since 1906's San Francisco earthquake.

So please--this country gave generously when the tsunami hit overseas in December. Give generously now! I have posted links, and those same links can be found on any news site, like CNN or ABC. I don't care how you get to the American Red Cross or Catholic Relief Services, just get there, open your wallets and your hearts, and give 'til it hurts. We're in for a long and uncomfortably bumpy ride.


The Gulf Coast needs our help--do what you can

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LINKS! This is a re-post of this information, because it's extremely timely and desperately important. Our Gulf Coast States are hurting, and New Orleans may be dying, and we must help. The links below can be used to donate money, to volunteer, or to seek information.

National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center
American Red Cross
FEMA: Tropical Storm Watch
CDC Hurricanes

This is an "I'm okay" phone line posted on Eyes on Katrina :, a "South Mississippi Hurricane Journal." Please make a note of the phone number if this situation applies to you in any way: The Sun Herald is setting up an "I'm OK Line" for folks who left the area to phone in and let their relatives know where they evacuated to. It's a toll free number and the information will be printed in the paper and posted online. You can call (866) 453-1925.


25th. Anniversary of Solidarity

Today, Poland marks the 25th. anniversary of the birth of the Solidarity movement that toppled Communism in that country (and set in motion the forces that toppled Communism in Russia). From Yahoo News:

The day of speeches and concerts is to be capped with a Mass honoring Polish-born Pope John Paul II at the Gdansk shipyards. The late pontiff is credited with inspiring Poles to resist the communist regime. At the Vatican Pope Benedict XVI praised Solidarity as a "breath of a new spirit" that changed Europe. "May God bless all those who are committed to promoting social justice and the good of workers," he said in comments in Polish to tens of thousands of tourists and faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for his weekly general audience. President Bush sent a statement recognizing Solidarity's "vital and important contributions to the spread of liberty. As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, we are reminded that all people are entitled to choose their form of government and their leaders," Bush said. "Those striving for democratic rights need our support, and they can look to Solidarity as a shining example of liberty and justice."


Of sports and the rising cost of oil

Since the liberals don't want us building any new refineries (or, for that matter, using the ones we actually have), the next few months post-Katrina should be intriguing as we watch the price of oil, the price of gas, the cost of heating our homes when winter comes, rise like hot air balloons. President Bush is releasing the stockpile of oil, but it must then be refined. Expect to be paying at least $4.00 a gallon for gas by next week. (I wonder how much $$$ it'll take to fill the tanks on those minivans I always see zipping desperately into the Starbucks parking lots, loaded to capacity--don't they seat, like, 10 soccer players?--with precisely one slim, elegantly dressed woman on a coffee hunt...)

And that $4.00 a gallon is just the beginning...

Sports--the families of Peyton Manning and Bret Favre are all okay, though Bret Favre's mom rode out the hurricane in her attic, which is probably one of the most dangerous places she could have gone. And the Houston Astrodome will house as many refugees as it can hold.


St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
Originally uploaded by vohiyaar.
This is one of hundreds of pictures of Katrina's destructive power that have been posted on Flickr, and is one of the more sobering. To see more, click here



The name "Katrina" will most likely be removed from the list of hurricane names. She's that bad.

Today, New Orleans is a city underwater, a city drowning, slowly dying as the waters continue to rise relentlessly. Power is still out to hundreds of thousands of people, and will likely remain out for weeks.

Hospitals near New Orleans are operating at full capacity as the wounded survivors are brought in.

Looting is rampant, and someone yesterday shot a police officer as he attempted to stop looters.

Sandbags are being dropped from helicopters into the huge levee gaps that once held Lake Pontchartrain at bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are even thinking of finding large enough barges to simply plug the holes, or at least try to.

The waters swirling throughout the city (80% of which is underwater) are toxic, filled with oil, sewage, and God knows what else. Coffins from New Orleans' above-ground cemeteries have been seen floating past, as have bodies both new and old. Alligators from the swamps will no doubt soon make their presence felt, as well as deadly snakes. And that's leaving out the coming plague of mosquitos...

The pumping system has obviously failed completely, and it could be a month or more before the waters are finally cleared from New Orleans' streets. In the meantime, FEMA is considering housing refugees on their own ships.

Biloxi and Mobile have also been devastated, as has Gulfport, but those cities are not dealing with the water. There is grim devastation there, yes, but they do not have Lake Pontchartrain tearing at their throats. There is already speculation that New Orleans will not survive this. That it will be almost impossible to rebuild after the kind of destruction that has been seen there. And this is before the disease and the swamp animals really get going...

May God bless the Big Easy...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


"Gazing from my window to the streets below"

"Gazing from my window to the streets below"
Originally uploaded by Agnieszka.
My lovely, wonderful friend Agnieszka, a self-portrait. This is one of my favorite photos of hers, and I (and others) have been trying to convince her to go into modelling. I just wanted to share this one--it's so pensive and mysterious.


Waters rising in New Orleans

Water from Lake Pontchartrain is flooding the streets of New Orleans at this hour after the destruction of at least two protective levees. The Mayor has ordered a second complete evacuation of the city. It's estimated that at least 80% of the city is now underwater, including both airports, and the waters continue to seep into the city.



Good morning!
Originally uploaded by Agnieszka.
This is another of my dear friend Agnieszka's pictures, and looks too good to resist. It's hot chocolate, and just looking at this picture makes me feel more energized somehow. Please visit Agnieszka's photos on Flickr at this link.


How you can help

Network for Good :: Hurricane Relief Efforts and Preparedness is the link to the Network for Good. There are links on this site for donations, volunteering, or simply to learn more. Please visit the Network for Good and do your part in helping the Gulf Coast states recover from Katrina.

Dozens are now feared dead, including more than one person who drowned in their own attic. Health officials are warning New Orleans residents to stay where they are, not to come back just yet.

As with the tsunami last Christmas that claimed 300,000 lives, there will now be disease and hunger. This storm is likely to cost well over $25 billion dollars, and that's just the first estimate. So please, visit the link above and do your part...

Monday, August 29, 2005



The aftermath of Katrina could be, for New Orleans, merely the beginning of the problems. With floodwaters expected to rise as high as 28 feet in some places, FEMA is now concerned with the possibility of disease from the waters themselves, from human waste, and from New Orleans' cemeteries. All bodies in New Orleans are interred above-ground, and these graves could be washed out by the rising waters.

On a more hopeful note, Katrina has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane. As a reference point, Hurricane Andrew was a 5, Hurricane Hugo was a 4. Category 3 is still nasty, and for those in the middle of the storm I doubt that it matters much what number is attached to what they're experiencing.

To track Katrina, NOAA Home Page is the best website. The Katrina trackers are located on the left-hand sidebar. This link is NOAA's official website, and has tons and tons of information.


Katrina rips off chunks of Superdome roof

The roof of the Superdome in Louisiana, where tens of thousands of people have taken shelter from Katrina, has been, in places, torn open. The holes in the roof appear to be approximately 6 feet long, and the metal is flapping in the intense winds. The refugees are now clustered in the end zones on the field as the roof above them pours down rainwater from dozens of leaks as well as those actual holes. The roof may not be strong enough to weather Katrina, and that could spell trouble for the people inside the dome.

Power has gone out not only in the Superdome, but in emergency relief centers in Biloxi, Miss., and in Mobile, AL, both cities expected to bear much of the brunt of this intense storm.


Katrina downgraded

Katrina has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm, and has made landfall. New Orleans is obviously still bracing for what could be a devastating event for that city.

AP - NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore early Monday and charged toward this low-lying city with 145-mph winds and the threat of a catastrophic storm surge. Katrina edged slightly to the east shortly before making landfall near Grand Isle, providing some hope that the worst of the storm's wrath might not be directed at the vulnerable city.

For an explanation of what the various Categories mean, click on this link:
Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale

(The above link will also take you to some pretty in-depth hurricane information if you click on the Useful Links or Downloads buttons on their sidebar. A really comprehensive site, including material for kids.)

And for a comparison to the Fujita tornado scale, click this link: Fujita Tornado Damage Scale

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Pray for New Orleans

Katrina, Category 5 (the worst a hurricane can be), is set to hit New Orleans dead on. She is already expected to be one of the worst--if not the worst--storms in recorded U.S. history. Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated, and tens of thousands more are at this moment hunkered down inside New Orleans' Dome, awaiting the worst. One million people could very well end up homeless. The flood waters are expected to rise to 20 feet or higher. Pray for this city and her people...

Some important links:

National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center

American Red Cross

FEMA: Tropical Storm Watch

CDC Hurricanes


More than slightly disturbing

To be honest, I'm not entirely certain what to think of this story. Yes, it's grisly and disturbing, but then again, where exactly do we draw the line? The "art" in question here is more than likely the result of an abortion--let's be honest about that, shall we, as any other child who died via miscarriage would have been buried by its parents, not pickled in a jar. And to attach this poor baby's head to the body of a bird is intensely and outrageously hideous. "Freedom of expression" doesn't enter into it.

But--and this is a severely qualified but--we do exhibit human remains in museums, and people do come to gawk at Egyptian mummies, for instance.

The huge difference here is that the fetus in question is a modern child, not a 500-year-old Incan mummy. Of course, "Juanita" was also sacrificed on the altar of some bizarre belief that the slaughter of children is not only acceptable but necessary.

In my humble opinion, a murdered child is never "art," by any stretch of the imagination, and this has snot-all to do with "freedom of expression." If it does, then it also, logically, means that a person would be "free" to "express" themselves by mounting this Chinese idiot's head on a board and sticking it on a museum wall like some gruesome trophy. The murder would be illegal, of course, unless they could find a way to call it "euthanasia" (and given that this whole mess is in Switzerland they should be able to do that), but the "art" would merely be their freedom of expression. Right?

Where do we draw the line? If we want to survive as a race on this planet, we need to start drawing the line somewhere. A mummy exhibit qualifies as art--well, not art, per se, but definitely as something displayable that doesn't usually upset people. Fine. But should we then be allowed to display as "art" the shadows of humans fried onto walls by the Hiroshima bomb? Or should we be allowed to display as "art" the bodies of slaves who died brutal deaths? There has to be a distinction, or we will destroy our own race.


Monitor cannon--no sign of cat

Apparently the old tale of a black cat having been stuffed inside one of the Monitor's cannons as she was sinking is untrue. Archaeologists who are restoring the cannons have found absolutely no trace whatsoever of feline remains. Which is kind of a bummer, actually, as that's something that has fascinated schoolkids for years.

By SUE LINDSEY, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 27, 7:42 AM ET

"Schoolchildren are always asking 'What happened to the cat?'" said Justin Lyons, a spokesman for the museum.

Crewman Francis Butts wrote in an 1885 magazine article that — as he passed buckets through the turret to bail water from the Monitor — the cat sat on the breech of one of the guns "howling one of those hoarse and solemn tunes which no one can appreciate who is not filled with the superstitions which I had been taught by the sailors, who are always afraid to kill a cat."

"I would almost as soon have touched a ghost, but I caught her, and placing her in (a) gun, replaced the wad and tampion," he said. No Sign of Legendary Cat in Monitor Cannon - Yahoo! News

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