Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A HOLE IN THE BUCKET

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Photos in this essay from Yahoo.

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The picture above is just one of several dikes that were breeched. The city won't stop filling up with water until the water levels equalize. The breech is wide, the entire bank has collapsed so no simple sandbagging is possible. The breech has been too long, too, and the water cuts deeper and deeper.

So the city will be underwater and will remain so until the water pressure of water draining into the lake ceases as well as the water out ceases for then, it slows down. After it slows down, one can fill the breeches only to do so requires getting to them all!

The damage is very significant. Here are some important views, nationally speaking: fYet another oil rig, washed ashore as if it were a boat. We have no idea how many sank entirely. Very big object. We will be paying for this baby starting about....now.
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Oil storage under water. This means it can't be tapped until the waters recede. Already, right now, buildings are burning in New Orleans, ships have burned. This could burn too. Let's hope it doesn't short out, for example. The water around it is very flamable, you know.
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Victim swimming in very toxic waters. Note the gasoline on the surface. Drop a match or cigarette on this and voosh.
New photo: f
Severe pollution that is going to kill even more things in the Gulf! Already, this has been one deadly summer there. Another fire hazard in a residential neighborhood. The houses being coated with this stuff cannot be simply cleaned out. Trust me on this, this is what I do for a living: saving damaged houses.

Another reason why the city has to be utterly evacuated.

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Reason #233 why we need the National Guard in America, not Iraq. We have over 100,000 people stuck in New Orleans and many of the roads are a wreck.
fIrony hour is here. This casino's name is "Presidential Casino"--I kid you not. Apt name, sort of our Titanic moment, no? Fortunately, the people fled who lived in these beachfront homes. Casinos are a cancer on our nation and they crush many lives silently but in this case, literally crushing people's homes. They are a menace on every level.

I am off to dinner now. What a mess.

LATEST NEWS: From the NYT:
Gas fires were erupting throughout the city, looters were raiding abandoned businesses downtown, hospitals were making plans to airlift critically ill patients to other cities, numerous roadways were buckled, and residents who had tried to ride out the storm were frantically waving for rescue from their rooftops. A spokesman for the Coast Guard said that more than 1,200 people had been taken to safety by boat and helicopter on Monday and "thousands today."

Well, reason #350 for not sending the entire National Guard to Iraq! How many blocks does New Orleans have? 20,000? With a pitiful 1.500 NG this means...one per square mile? Huh?

No wonder looting is now rampant. When you see danger, thousands of NG should come in and clear the place out and then heavily patrol it.

They aren't able to do this because they are overwhelmed. Rescue on the cheap just like war on the cheap=defeat. As the poor people trying to rescue those poor people, did you know, all the schools in New Orleans are now losing their buses to the floods?

Insane. Those buses should have been filled with people and driven to high ground pronto before the storm hit! Simple: drive into the neighborhoods with a bull horn and two NG people per bus and start rousting people out! And then drive off. There are at least 5,000 such buses that are not lost causes. This would require 10,000 NG people which we don't have, do we?

Gack.

People are going to die in riots and insurrections as the government shoots to kill. Elderly are already dying in droves, drowning or of lack of care. This is all so escapable. But we let things slide, played games as if these disasters won't happen. From the San Francisco Museum:
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This reminds me of 9/11 when everyone protecting America was snoring away. Lives will be lost due to lack of foresight and care.

We need people who want to be functional running our government but then look at yesterday's "Golden Scapegoat" winner.

Last and not least, Atrioscomes this from Pandragon:

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. (Much of the research here is from Nexis, which is why some articles aren't linked.)

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to this Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness:

The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.

The Lake Pontchartrain project is slated to receive $3.9 million in the president's 2005 budget. Naomi said about $20 million is needed.

"The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink," he said. "I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."

That June, with the 2004 hurricane seasion starting, the Corps' Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don’t get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can’t stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn’t that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can’t raise them."
As per usual for the monkey at the wheel, to "save" money so it looks like the irresponsible twats ruining our country are trying to fix things, they cut out funds needed to keep us all alive. Naturally. Just wait when we really have to cut the budget and raise taxes.

Riots and insurrections, here we come.

MORE NEWS:From Yahoo news:
The United States can expect major economic disruption which will ripple worldwide after Hurricane Katrina's furious winds and rain shut down ports and hammered oil production, analysts said.

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With towns flattened, Mississippi ports blocked, coastal refineries starved of crude and oil production in the Gulf of Mexico virtually at a standstill, Katrina has had a devastating effect.

Total economic losses from one of the most powerful hurricanes in US history could go as high as 35 billion dollars, said Peter Zeihan, senior analyst at Stratfor, a global economic and political consultancy in Austin, Texas.

"The big question is how much the rivers and ports have been silted up. It could be fixed in two days, it could be two months," he told AFP.

"If it's the longer end, we're going right into the grain harvest. The US is the biggest grain exporter in the world, and most of those exports go down the Mississippi. So food and feed prices could soar worldwide," he said.

"And imports of oil and all sorts of other goods will be blocked going upstream. Domestic prices will jump as a result."
The Great Mississippi Flood was the push that sent countless workers, farmers and banks spiralling down the rabbit hole. When economies are as unbalanced as ours is...and remember, the Mississippi Flood would have been tolerable if Germany didn't suddenly announce they were suspending paying for WWI and basically declared bankrupcy, thus forcing the dying British Empire that was running deep in the red to lurch off the cliff...along with poor France who bore the brunt of the WWI mess...when the scales are unbalanced, any mishap to the "core" destroys the world's economic balance. And we are witnessing just such an event. Just like the rape of California by Enron pushed us into a recession that we used $2 trillion in deficit spending to "grow out of" which failed, by the way. We shall see exactly how badly this failed in the next year.

Damn.

MORE NEWS: 9 oil rigs shoved ashore and 3 missing entirely. They are not done assessing the damage. This is considerable damage. On a lot of levels. If we had a President that wasn't buddy buddy with the oil companies, he would pull a Chavez and take over the oil companies until the crisis is over to prevent hysteria and PRICE GOUGING. The price gouging will be ferocious and Bush will ask for aid and tax cuts for the price gougers themselves! I know he will. It is what that lunatic does: his worst.

Riots and insurrections...definitely, if Bush lets the oil companies ream us all out, he will at best get to flee like Nixon did, to happy retirement where he can complain about how he didn't deserve impeachment. (Nixon was booted out thanks to wage/price controls and oil problems!)

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