Katrina Linkage

22.07.00 - Mark

Assorted Articles:
Wired piece on the (failing) attempts ot set up a low power FM radio station at the Astrodome Its a shame they're having to put up with so much bullshit like having to collect 10,000 radios and bureaucrats that "did not see the utility [of a low power FM station]."

The potential for biological agents to leak from Level 3 Biological Research Labs Fun stuff like Anthrax, HIV, Plague...

Let's shoot at unarmed refugees The chaos as described by EMS workers (not local)

Paypal freezing accounts accepting Katrina Relief donations Not entirely unexpected. Paypal seems to be a necessary evil of online money exchange. (they're not a bank, they're not a creditor, they seem to refuse to play by the relevant laws for money handling)

Katrina Refugees and Volunteers Locked out of evacuation centers Some care to explain this one? I'm guessing they've seen been let back in

Bush declares national day of prayer My personal beliefs (or lack thereof) aside, how the hell is this going to make up for the general incompetence being demonstrated by FEMA? Encourage us to do more than pray and thing good thoughts. The only reason we should be discussing religion during this fiasco is because churches are big, heavy, strong buildings that are designed to stand for decades. A secondary consideration for religion would be for the many well intention individuals who tend to follow such things (not that they're being allowed to do anything which brings be back to my first point)

Notable FEMA Screwups (possible hearsay) Working water purification systems, naw, we don't need up, clean up, no thanks we'll just burn everything up once everyone leaves, wastes of money sure pass them on. Heads will be rolling when this starts blowing over.

We're spending over $1billion dollars a day on Katrina Relief, I don't mean to be stingy but this nation does not have that money available.

Remember, even while we're screwing up, lets look good doing it This shouldn't need to be said again, but this is not one big ass PR event, its a disaster. treat it as such.

That means firefighters need to be wearing FEMA shirts other wise its not supportive of the federal aid. I must have missed the memo that outlined how running into burning buildings doesn't look good enough.

I didn't miss the one forbidding photos of the dead. I sort of agree with this one, I don't think anyone derived enjoyment from seeing the pictures of people jumping from the twin towers 4 years ago, or watching the same video of the impact and the collapses. However the 1st amendment says the press can take and publish those photos. The American people deserve to see the true impact, if we don't want to see it there is radio and the written word.

FEMA Camp or detention center. This is pretty scary, we're dealing with American citizens who have already been screwed by their government's incompetence, we don't need to and should not treat them like criminals or terrorists. That site has been taken to stand by but there's at least one other that is drawing similar parallels. There's some talk that Raven Knob and Mount Airy will be/have submitted the paperwork to take in 100-250 people (its leaning more towards 100 but I know that it could support 150 with the existing permanent structures) I know a lot of people that wouldn't stand for the CRK facilities to be humbled to a concentration camp. (That's not to say I don't want CRK to host Katrina Survivors, I do, but as fellow humans, not victims that need to be sequestered away)

In a disaster, disregard authority (Not necessarily Katrina centric, but relevent) Its not a call for anarchy, but in many cases, the masses know more than designated authorities about a situation. Again We're not dumb, we're just lazy.

Tales from the astrodome A piece written by a documentarian who made her way into the astrodome

An amazing video of the New Orleans from last week Ariel photography, and really moving. In the last half of the 11 minute video there's video of a blackhawk helicopter rescuing people from rooftops. Its well worth the 100mb download (smaller and larger versions available)

Go fuck yourself Mr. Cheney (story). Its pretty damned clear that people don't approve of this administration's handling of the Katrain fallout. To skip to the video

The polls back that statement up. Bush's approval rating is below 40% on everything except the so called "War on terror" (and thats barely a majority). Have I mentioned that heads will roll?

There are already people calling for the firing of FEMA director Michael Brown, which would go a long way towards making a terrible situation better. The situation is a catagory 5 clusterfuck and the only leadership to speak of is coming from independent volunteers who are taking matters into their own hands (and thats not saying much). Brown was fired from his last job (for incompetence no less), there's no reason he shouldn't be fired now

Its not going to happen or rather it stands as good a chance of happening as Selling the Ranch, for the clueless that would be none what-so-ever.

Must read Blogs:
The Interdictor the last ISP running in New Orleans. Those guys are tough, also exempt from the mandatory evacuation (personal mandate from the mayor to stay online.) This post in particular is a great piece, but its one of a few Read back a few days.

Jacob Appelbaum Tech Volunteer/Blogger. I started read his posts when he was in Iraq, now he's in Texas/Louisania. Very political, but very honest. His Flickr Photoblog

Joel Johnson A freelance writer and technologist. He's traveling with Jacob. Little less political but still honest. He isn't posting as much to his site, instead it seems to be going to gizmodo and Wired.

Will Hawkins A Houston techie working to set up and maintain a computer lab for refugees, as well as a wireless network

Boing Boing has some amazing Katrina coverage. Not just things the above bloggers are posting, but also news bits about how the out of state refugee centers look and feel like concentration camps and detention centers

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ME - 15:29:00 / 2005.09.09 #

Hey Mark, What have YOU done, that gives you the right to gripe about everyone else???

Mark - 16:05:00 / 2005.09.09 #

Donated money, planning to donate blood once the current surge dies down and the need reappears, if Raven Knob is used for refugees you can bet I'll be up there doing what I can.

Right now I'm writing a letter to my Congresswoman who though it would be wise to vote against the 50 billion dollar relief spending bill. I know that the country doesn't have the money, but her reasons for voting nay aren't acceptable.

I would love to be in a position to better help those impacted but I can't exactly pick up and leave for the Texas or Louisiana refugee centers.

I have every right to "gripe", its covered by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

I don't like the way the disaster has been handled so far. I can't be there so I'm doing something by spreading information that might not be mainstream knowledge. I may be doing it with a bite, but I'm linking to the sources pushing they higher up in google and other internet ranking services. The only reason things are getting done is because its coming form the bottom. They might be moving boxes, sorting cloths, fishing bodies out of a river or publishing links so attention is directed to things that need attention.

Again nothing is coming from the top Bush is busy praising Michael Brown while the public is asking for his removal (he's since been removed from direct Katrina relief, thankfully) The government it busier trying to save face than take care of the effected in an effective and humane way.

If you want to pray, support media censorship, and widespread confiscation of weapons and stick to over extended government resources managed by corrupt officials acting in their own self-interests fine, thats your thing.

This is mine, and I'd like to think that the Katrina victims are American Citizens, with all the rights and privileges that is supposed to mean, not mangy, rabid dogs that need to be kenneled out of sight or left to die. Those of us not down there helping with direct relief need to be standing up for their rights.

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