Friday, September 23, 2005

CLOCKWORK ORANGE

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Today we see how insane the Bubble Boobies who rule us really are. Their favorite mouthpiece, the Washington Post, put up an amazing editorial, a study in madness, one that is in 100% conflict with not only reality but their own headlines in the same paper.

1:45 EDT---Good news: wind is decreasing. Bad news: rain of 25" expected in Texas due to storm slowing greatly. Remember: catastorphic floods come in many different forms. 25 inches of rain I have never seen but this year, thousands died in India due to storms dropping less than that. This, on flat ground. Texas in the eastern half is very flat.

12 noon EDT--f
According to NOAA, the hurricane is going to hit right up the east side of the water bay next to Houston. The NYT landfall is to the east of that, it shows the hurricane turning earlier than I expect for after running through the downloads showing speed and direction, the hurricane has so much forward force, so far, the last two days has been a bee-line, not even the slightest wobbling I could detect. Once on land, it will wobble due to obstructions and loss of forwards force.

Indeed, unlike Katrina that sailed rapidly along the Jet Stream up to my mountain in NY a mere two days after wrecking New Orleans, this storm is bulging the Jet stream much further back and it might stagnate deep up the Mississippi river which will cause monumental flooding. Of course, this is all guess work because hurricanes of great size deform all other forces pretty severely. I remember one that doubled back, reentered the Gulf and became a hurricane again, crossed over northern Florida, weakened and then became a hurricane a third time in the Atlantic.

The levees in New Orleans are collapsing again.

Yesterday, I saw pictures of water seeping through the bottom of many sections of the levees. This is a very bad sign, it means the ground is not only saturated, it is mush. I have built dikes and drainage and whenever I see that at the base of one, I have to either build a second retaining wall or run for my life. Nothing like getting a backhoe stuck in deep mud with the water rising, especially if it is a diesel like mine.

11:15 EDT--Landfall for Rita.
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The eye will pass through a mostly deserted part of the coast. This is most fortunate. The zone of greatest destruction will also mainly hit sparsely inhabited areas. A jiggle to the west would have reduced much of everything into splinters along the sand spits we seem addicted to building on. This is actually good news. The bad news is, everyone has seen how our SUV heaven turns into hell almost instantly. My gas miser little car is far more useful than thosse hulks. The "safety" they represent is an illusion.

The north bound lanes should have been reserved for cars only. And the southbound, heading north too, should have been for only authorized trucks and buses and multiple rider large transporters. Then it would have flowed faster and easier and the buses could have gone back for more people quickly.

But then, I don't run Texas.
Breaking news 9:12am EDT:From Yahoo:f
Texas - A bus carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita caught fire early Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 20 people, authorities said.

"Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus," spokesman Don Peritz said. "We believe it's going to be closer to 20 fatalities.

The bus, carrying about 45 people, was engulfed with flames, causing a 17-mile backup on Interstate 45, already heavily congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast. The bus was reduced to a blackened, burned-out shell, surrounded by numerous police cars and ambulances.

There were indications that oxygen used by elderly evacuees could have had a role in the fire, Peritz said. There were a series of explosions, apparently from the oxygen equipment, he said.
Oy. This article is going to be lovely today. My stomach is churning.

From the Washington Post:
FOR THE PAST 48 hours, the evacuation of the Texas coastline in anticipation of Hurricane Rita has run like clockwork. In Galveston -- a city nearly wiped out by a hurricane a century ago -- nursing homes and hospitals have been carefully, systematically evacuated. Buses have been provided for the indigent and immobile. For the first time in history, freeways leading north and west out of Houston were running in only one direction, although traffic was snarled with breakdowns and gasoline shortages. The National Guard, the military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are all prepared. Navy ships are off the coast; the Red Cross is moving in supplies; stores have sold out of batteries and bottled water.
Snarled? How about hopelessly stopped? Thousands Fleeing Rita Jam Roads From Coast scream the front page headlines in the same paper. Pictures of people sleeping out in the open on the meridian grace the story, too. Great. What a way to ride out a hurricane: out in the open like sitting ducks. Hurricanes spawn tornadoes as well as produce lightning and winds capable of overturning cars don't have to top 90 mph. If the eye misses Houston like it missed New Orleans, look at the damage! Not good at all.
Part of the explanation for what seems, so far, a textbook example of how to do these things right, is, of course, the example of Hurricane Katrina. Had the residents of Houston and Galveston not so recently seen what hurricanes can do to low-lying cities, they might not be so willing to leave as efficiently. Had FEMA not been attacked for incompetence, it's possible the federal response wouldn't have been rapid, either.
So, where are the evacuation plans? To my eyes, it was to let the highways become hopelessly clogged. This planned chaos was utterly unplanned, I assure you all. It was "shit happens" and now they scramble to unscrambled this eggs and you can't put Humptey Traffic Jam together again so easily.

Just this last week, I wrote about the Chinese defense exercise which was to quickly evacuate a city as a typhoon approached. I noted that the evacuation of a million Chinese went without much hitches and the military occupied the city and held it successfully and this made zero news in America but this is their internal demonstration that they can survive a nuclear war while America, floundering as it tries to clear two cities, clearly cannot threaten anyone with nuclear war.

It is suicide.
It's human nature to react to the last disaster. And, to be fair to New Orleanians, they were in some sense reacting -- perfectly logically -- to years of over-hyped hurricane scares. Particularly if Rita turns out to be less damaging than feared, it's not impossible that similar complacency will set in again. If nothing else, this hurricane season has been a valuable lesson in how important it is for coastal cities to gauge, clearly and honestly, the true strength of hurricanes, and to calibrate their responses accordingly.

But there may be another reason the evacuation is going well: Texas is simply better prepared than was Louisiana. Its state government is richer and better-run. Its police are not so famously corrupt. The 1900 Galveston hurricane weighs heavily on historical memories; children learn about it in school. It may well turn out that this matters enormously: The ability of the federal government and private charity to help is, after all, constrained by the actions of local politicians. The best national emergency plans will almost always turn out to be those that have concentrated hardest on local politicians: cooperating with them, coordinating with them, even training them if necessary. No matter what the Texas coast looks like in a few days' time, Rita's other lesson may be that all emergency preparedness, like all politics, is ultimately local.
Many desperate people wanted to flee New Orleans and could not. This wasn't due to complacency but to the fact that if one has no money or is a tourist and denied transportation, one was stuck.

And as my blog has detailed, just look at that crying grandmother I posted last night. Is she complacent? Is she there because she is a dare devil? Is she being evacuated? Is anyone helping her? Note her skin color. Will the Washington Post's owner fly out to Houston and chat with this granny and offer to trade places today?

Hahaha. Yeah. Right.

The despots running our country and who have taken media that built up trust and affection for a hundred years or more and using them to tell such utter lies and infamies...like pretending the whites running Texas are better than the Democrats running Louisiana! Is sick. Disgusting.

People are going to die. If Mother Nature is merciful, she won't stomp all over the stranded citizens languishing on Texan highways. If they dodge the bullet, as Bush and his minions like to say, this isn't a great triumph for us, it is part of the continuing break down in social and governmental responsibilities. Remember, you can be the greatest individual on earth but when there is a stampede and collapse of all systems, you too, can die.

Not to mention revolutions and wars. History is all about these. The periods of peace are to be treasured and extended as much as possible. Not squandered. It is always lovely before a hurricane, bright skies, beautiful sunsets. Then all hell breaks lose.

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