Thursday, September 15, 2005

Moms and babies

While I figure the ins and outs of delivering babies, keep up with the latest on the alternative energy front over at The Energy Blog.

There is quite a bit there about solar technologies and more on the subject of the zinc oxide - solar process that I had blogged about some months ago.

(image source:

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Al Gore is my President

The DailyKos has recently surpassed the daily site traffic of the top fifty conservative blogs combined. During the height of the New Orleans disaster the site received upwards of 900,000 hits a day. There are many great writers who post here, in fact when Markos (the site founder) was off writing a book recently, he was hardly missed (no offense to Markos).

One such writer is "Joan Reports" and today she pointed something out that I had read days ago and have been pondering since. Al Gore really is my President. His humble and personal reponse to the disaster reminded me that not all people of presidential character are corrupt. In fact, some are endowed with the ability to inspire, as this man has done for me.

Read joan reports diary in full and the great comments. I have just given you an intro.

AP reports it: Gore airlifted 270 patients and residents Saturday/Sunday

by joan reports

Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 22:54:59 PDT

The first VP to land in New Orleans was Al Gore, who chartered a rescue plane to medEvac Charity Hospital patients to Tennessee. Gore declined interviews last weekend while he was shuttling the evacuees, but the doctors who flew with him talked about the experience.

Gore had to work around sequential blockade by FEMA and NDMS – which naturally denied his team permissions, repeatedly (after the flip).

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(AP) - Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of the former vice president's son.

... [Gore] refused to be interviewed about the mercy missions he financed and flew last Saturday and Sunday. . . .

On [Thurs] Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Simon learned that Dr. David Kline ... was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute - food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.

Gore responded immediately . . .

Thursday, September 08, 2005

'nuf said

Friday, September 02, 2005

No child what?

All I can do is post this essay by Hunter over at the Daily Kos in its entirety.
Left behind

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 00:10:40 PDT

The last twelve hours of news coverage has been nearly overwhelming. Anderson Cooper, Paula Zahn, others, even unapologetic partisans like Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson -- everyone is asking where the government is. (No, I haven't turned to Fox News. I don't have the heart, today.) Anderson Cooper lost it interviewing Sen. Mary Landrieu, countering her litany of thank-yous to a series of politicians with his own encounter with rats eating a body that had been left abandoned in the street for 48 hours. Paula Zahn boggled at FEMA director Michael Brown's declaration that the reason about 15,000 shelter seekers at the New Orleans Convention Center have gone without food or water since the day of the hurricane is because FEMA didn't even know the refugees were there until today.

The common televised theme is of reporters traveling to hard hit areas in New Orleans or the smaller communities, and reporting no FEMA presence, no National Guard presence, no food, no water, no help -- and this is day 5. "Where is the government?" has been the predominant theme of the day. Apologists are being met with barely concealed disgust, in more and more quarters. Bush administration cuts to the levee system are being widely reported. FEMA inaction is being roundly criticized by ever-more-urgent live feeds from disheveled media figures with stunned expressions.

The Convention Center situation appears to be horrific, with deaths of elderly and infants due to dehydration already now occurring. It's not clear if anything can be or is being done tonight, or how many will die between now and the morning, or what will happen then.

The lawlessness is rampant. It's important to note, however, that the lawlessness wasn't rampant on Monday. It wasn't rampant on Tuesday. We heard only twinges of it on Wednesday. Today, from the sounds of the reports, a city devoid of all hope devolved into absolute chaos.

It is nighttime again in New Orleans, and after four days of no food, no water, no communications, no security forces, and no apparent discernible plan that they can see, trust and hope that rescuers will arrive seems all but gone. If the forces had arrived on Tuesday, things would be different.

It is simply too stunning, too shocking, too soul-draining. Nobody knows where the emergency relief has been. Nobody can quite understand why the response to the catastrophe only now seems shuddering to life.

The politics are omnipresent, but present only a hollow shell behind which a sea, an absolute frothing sea, of much worse realizations are crowding every mind. This was a disaster the country had been preparing for. This was one of the disasters most predicted, most feared, most planned for. There was two days of advance warning, as the massive, category 5 hurricane shifted purposefully towards New Orleans. This was no terrorist attack -- this time, there was warning. This time, there was knowledge.

And yet, the much-reshuffled domestic security resculpted as a result of 9-11 simply didn't show up. It wasn't there. FEMA, which has been hacked, shuffled, and gutted in the last few years, proved unable to respond to a catastrophic emergency situation. The catastrophic emergency situation, along the Gulf Coast, the one that sounded the alarms two days before landfall, the one that triggered the warnings of nightmare scenarios known for years in advance, and yet if there was any advance plan at all, any knowledge at all, any fathoming at all of how to respond in the fourty-eight hours most critical for the survival of the victims, it didn't show up. The roads were clogged, the islands were flooded, the levees were breached, and homeland security wasn't there, leaving each state, each town, each police force, each wrecked band of shell-shocked survivors to fend, and make do, while convoys were organized and strategies prepared with seeming obliviousness to the urgency of the numbers and clocks. There is... almost nothing meaningful to say.

The apparent and most likely explanations for the failure, known long before the fact, are almost shattering when reread today, while the ongoing catastrophe unfolds around us.

We have witnessed two disasters this week. The first was an act of nature. The second was not. The second disaster, still ongoing, is unforgivable.

That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.

This is not politics. This is not partisanship.

This is unforgivable.
That's right, dumbass, get in that truck, drive away and never return.