September 1st, 2005

Old Friend

Space Penguins & Unsurprising Biased Reports in the News

One for you Penguin lovers out there..... Robotic Space Penguin to hop across the Moon (NewScientist.com; Wednesday 31st August 2005)

Also from a friends LJ, something he found on Yahoo news regarding the New Orleans flood....

When white people are hungry, they find food:

"Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store"

But when black people are hungry, they loot:

"A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans"

Old Friend

Blog from New Orleans

Quite an interesting blog from someone weathering out the problems in New Orleans and giving a survivors day by day (and almost hour by hour) account of what's currently going on in the city.

One of the things I didn't know is that the New Orleans Police Department is apparently one of the most corrupt in the States (something mentioned in several places I've been to now) and there are quite a few reports of police looting.

Some of this can probably be put down to damage control (clearence of guns stores for instance) but when it comes to them looting grocery stores and/or hi-fi stores one has to wonder if it's for other more personal reasons.

Personally I'd leave the supermarkets for other locals to scavenge as much food as possible from, or set up a controlled allotment of food. I'd also be more concerned about finding survivors and helping get them out rather than making sure the Hi-Fi stores stock was safe. They have insurence for that (of would do if the insurence companies pay-up - if not there will no doubt be disaster relief funds willing to help businesses and home-owners in the area).

I'd love to think that people would pull together in a time like this. Most are which is great, but we are also seeing many holing up together in tactics and mindsets akin to 'Survivalists' which is kind of scarey. I think it's only a matter of time until people start shooting each other over there. Which is especially stupid when you consider that help is out there.

Edit - I have a slight feeling that his political views may be on the righter side of the 'America is great' spectrum though....
Old Friend

Other New Orleans Blogs

If anyone else knows of other blogs handling 'on the ground' reports of the situation and life in the city/surrounds please could you drop me a note including their Journal names and/or links.

It's not only good to get an independents view on the situation, but also a range of views from different people covering a wide spectrum of beliefs/concerns.

Thank you.
Old Friend

Mission: Relief Efforts

Right my dear Readers I have a mission for you today.

Please can you let me know (with sources) if you find any information about international agencies/foreign aid being offered or working in the Mississippi/Louisiana areas?

Can you also let me know (with sources) if you find that such aid has either been refused or is being held up due to administration difficulties.

Currently hearing some rather discouraging reports about certain institutions refusing foreign assistance and already a few conspiracy theories are circulating that this is because certain people want to highlight the fact that America had to deal with this one by themselves without any international help.

Sure this is complete bullshit, but the only article I've seen so far seemed to show that a specialist Canadian team was refused entry to the States.

I've also read an article from one of the Editors of the Biliox (sp?) daily paper complaining that the relief efforts are actually quite scarce and that the National Guard, et al, were not prepared or properly in place to step in and help even though there was plenty of warning. This does seem to be a concurrent thread across a number of sources and the Bush Admin seem to be getting quite a few salvo's fired at them for being slow to react and badly disorganised in what they have actually done so far.

Thanks again for the help!
Old Friend

Almost glad I didn't go to Reading Festival now....

Anyone else got more info on the riot/incidents from Sunday night?

I've been to quite a few festivals and it'd be a shame to see these scenes repeated.

Sounds bloody appalling and I sincerely hope those involved pay for this......

http://www.livejournal.com/community/livejournal_uk/3382557.html?#cutid1
  • Current Mood
    annoyed disgusted
Old Friend

NO Update

Seems that some bright spark in New orleans has decided to open fire on helicopters helping people out of the city. One National Guardsman has been injured and the rescue effort has been halted.

This is on top of various gangs taking over hotels, and other establishments, and barricading themselves in whilst having gun battles between each other and other criminal organisations.

I also note that of the 100,000 believed to still be in the city awaiting evac there are 10,000 patients and hospital staff from nine hospitals and at least 7,600 prison inmates.

Sounds like a fun recipe all round.
Angus May 2005

(NO) Blame and tears...

Now I consider myself pretty de-sensitized to most things. I seldom get emotionally involved in things and look at them with a cold eye. I have been insensitive in the past when I've made logical comments which people haven't liked because of the potential consequences of the actions I was suggesting if they'd taken place.

I've seen a lot of very nasty things over the last thirty years - luckily the vast majority of them through a TV screen/PC monitor or in print in papers/books/reports. Torture victims, suicide/murders, burns, etc. I've even seen footage of hostage executions taking place in Iraq (something I'd rather forget).

But this evening I actually found myself crying as I watched footage of so many completely helpless people without food, water, clean clothes or decent shelter. Now whilst scenes like these are unfortunately common in many third world countries they are completely inexcusable in a first world country.

I think everyone has to admit that the authorities just weren't prepared, even with the warnings they were given, for the problems in New Orleans and surrounding areas. They also haven't acted anywhere near quick enough. The relief effort on the ground has tried to do as much as it can but it is so understaffed and is in dire need of supplies.

What is more amazing is that the Mayor of New Orleans has to publicly issue a 'desperate SOS' for assistance because they aren't getting it quick enough from the government (Desperate SOS for New Orleans ; BBC News Online; Thusrday 1st September 2005). I've seen so many angry people, angry Americans, on various forums and Journal posts/replies who are shocked to see the images coming out of New Orleans and are seeing so little response from Bush and the government. A growing portion of the media, both left and right, also seem to be becoming more critical over the handling of the affair too. By all accounts it took the public questioning by a very well respected CNN news reader asking where Bush was and why he was still on holiday to get prompt him back to the White House, via a fly over of New Orleans.

And now he has the audacity to ask for money to help. How much money has been spent on Iraq and the War on Terror? How many billions? The millions that were KNOWN to be needed to keep the levees and canals maintained that were diverted away from New Orleans into these fruitless ventures, that many people in New Orleans have begged to be given over the last few years, are nothing in comparison to the lives lost and the billions of dollars now needed to rebuild the city and compensate people and businesses.

Now I am all for raising money to help. Christ, I'd like to get over there and help myself! But I do get very annoyed when Bush asks for monetary help after pumping billion upon billion into foriegn wars that very few support or want, leaving his own country lacking the support to cope and handle disasters that could have been avoided by paying more attention and funds to them in the first place.

I'm just immensely glad more people seem to be getting pissed off with Bush. But let's get the people of New Orleans some food, water and to safety and then take Bush to the cleaners!
  • Current Mood
    angry angry
Old Friend

WebCam and Radio Feeds

Shouldn't be surprised but I can't access the Louisana National Guard channels because they are full! Damn the rest of the world for their morbid curiosity.... http://216.22.26.45:8002/listen.pls

Have got webcam action from inside New Orleans though. At present I'm looking at dead, waterless streets, all quiet. Have heard reports though (from people who've managed to access the National Guard channel) that armed civilians have surrounded police in parts of the city and it's not sounding good. Also civil unrest has been reported in Baton Rouge and the university there has advised all it's students to lock up and stay inside their accomodation units.

If anyone else knows of any online emergency service/national guard feeds or of operating webcams in the New Orleans/Gulf area I'd be interested in hearing/seeing them.

Thanks.
  • Current Music
    Arabic Chillout Compilation; Goldfrapp
Old Friend

Live - From NO - Interdictor Talks...

Heh, when I joined interdictor 's LJ on tuesday there were about 500 of us, now there's over 1840 and counting people have linked to him. For those that don't know interdictor is inside New Orleans and is supplying a pretty regular commentary on events and rumours taking place as well as his day to day survivial in the midst of a deterioating situation.

Fascinating reading and he's now getting quoted on so many news sources that the man is becoming a legend! I already see quite a few of you guys and gals are already checking him out too!