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Updated: 09/06/05

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Tuesday, 06 September, 2005

You just gotta love IKEA. I mean the stuff is - for the most part - good quality and inexpensive. And it really does look great in the new condo. We drove down Friday afternoon and spent several hours each day completing the assembly job. Gary had done much of it the day before, and we got everything else done. Except for the guest bed, which seemed to come with the wrong parts, so we'll take the parts back to them ans see if they can solve it easily.

We also made a couple of runs to Circuit City and Lowe's for a few items. We got the quotes back from the tile and carpet place - yaghhhh. So we've asked Lowe's to come in and give an estimate as well. We'll do it, because it will look awesome, and if we ever sell the place it will add a lot, but yowzaa, it's expensive.

Oh, and we also did all the things that we bought the condo for in the first place:

- Rode bikes
- Went to the beach
- Met our neighbors
- Hung out at the pool
- Watched the sunrise
- Relaxed

[Nice weekend.]

I am a hurricane junkie. I was even before Katrina, but this stuff just fascinates me. Speaking of which, Tropical Depression 16 - likely to be Tropical Storm Ophelia soon - has formed off the eastern seaboard of Florida. In the space since Katrina formed, we've already had Lee, Maria and Nate, all of whom politely headed off into the open ocean rather than pay a visit to us.

Here are some of the things that I found particularly riveting over the past week:

- The absolute focus on New Orleans, even though the footage that I found even more compelling was from the Mississippi coast just to the east of NOLA. Cities like Waveland and Bay St. Louis have been literally wiped off the map. Nothing left but the foundations in some spots.
- The looting and violent crimes that were committed in New Orleans following the storm. Unlike some tragedies, this did NOT seem to bring out the best in people.
- The folks who have refused to leave the flooded city, even though it is estimated that they could be there for weeks or months without food, water or power.
- The blame game.

The mayor of New Orleans has been busy yelling and screaming about how no one is doing anything to help his people. Well, Mr. Nagin, why is it that when a Catagory 4 hurricane was making a beeline for your city, you waited until the day before to issue a mandatory evacuation order? Oh, it's someone else's fault, right?

Brendan Loy wrote extensively prior to Katrina's landfall, reminding people repeatedly of the "Doomsday Scenario" of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans. On Saturday night, August 27th, he writes:

Okay, so let me get this straight: the governor calls the mayor during dinner, and basically says "HEY, IDIOT, CALL THE ******* HURRICANE CENTER!" It took a phone call from the governor to convince him to make this call?!? Well anyway, the mayor calls the NHC, and they basically tell him, "GET EVERYONE OUT OF YOUR CITY NOW!!!" So now, finally, the mayor is apparently planning to order first mandatory evacuation in city history tomorrow morning. About damn time. Story:

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he may call for the first-ever mandatory evacuation in city history after talking with the head of the Hurricane Center who said a storm surge of 20-25 feet could be expected with major hurricane Katrina.

Nagin said he would consider ordering evacuations by Sunday morning and may employ buses and trains to help get people out of the city.

In an interview on Eyewitness News, Nagin said his Saturday night dinner was interrupted by an urgent call from Governor Kathleen Blanco who asked Nagin to call the Hurricane Center.

Nagin said the Hurricane Center Chief told the mayor that if it was possible at all, he should order an evacuation due to winds that could reach 145 miles per hour sustained and 170 mile per hour gusts.

Nagin said he would put his wife and family on a plane and he urged everyone to do anything they could to get out.

"All models say this storm will land right on top of New Orleans," he said.

Nagin said he would call churches and urge them to have their congregations adopt seniors or someone who doesn't have transportation and get them out.

"I don't want to wake up one day and not have done all I could do with a catastrophe on top of us."

Um, well, "all you could" might have included already having ordered a mandatory evacuation by now, instead of waiting until 24 hours before the hurricane hits. It also might have included calling the Hurricane Center on your own initiative!! Argh. I am not remotely impressed with Mayor Nagin at the moment.

And this, too, is interesting:

Mandatory evacuation ordered for New Orleans
8/28/2005, 10:48 a.m. CT
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.


Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

Hang on there. You mean the President . . . our President . . . the one who so many people are blaming for this catastrophe . . . is the one who called for the evacuation of the city? Huh, how about that.

As usual, Bill Whittle has summed up the situation perfectly. He has written an essay called "Tribes." As usual, it's lengthy, but worth the read. Here are a couple of excerpts:

So, on one hand, we have a very blue city New York confronted, out of the clear morning of a perfect fall day, with no warning with a terror attack, and they march toward the sounds of screams and falling bodies and die by the hundreds. One the other hand, we have New Orleans law enforcement also blue whining about wet shoes and helping themselves to the happy period of lawlessness that followed an event that had been expected for no less than seventy-two hours.

In New York, we had a governor who got every available resource on the ground as fast as it could get there, and in Louisiana we have a governor who...cried. Governor, your job is to not cry. Your job is to be strong. We have plenty of civilians crying. You want to cry, cry in the car on the way home like everybody else did four years ago. Crying Governors, race-baiting mayors and looting police do not a Finest Hour make.

In New Orleans we have a mayor who left some 400-500 buses sitting fueled and underwater in the Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool saying that evil white conservative America was selling out his people within 24 hours of the catastrophe, from a safe and dry and adequately toileted location, while four years ago we had a Mayor who ran to the site of the disaster so quickly it is a full-blown miracle he was not killed when a building collapsed literally on top of his magnificent, combed-over head.

Now, much has been made of the fact that Ray Nagin is an incompetent, race-baiting black man, and Rudy Giuliani, who was neither, is white. Also, feminists are upset that people dare attack Governor Blanco because she is incompetent, weak, indecisive, and also a woman. And no doubt there are salivating long-haired, short-cortexed idiots just waiting for this to be over so they can sail into the comments section and tell me what a racist and misogynist I am.

Well, heres the news flash: Nagin isnt incompetent because hes black. Hes incompetent because hes incompetent. Condoleeza Rice is black. Colin Powell is black. Ted Kennedy, a man well-acquainted with rising water crises is as white as they come. Kennedy is incompetent; Rice and Powell are two of the most competent people on the planet.

Quote du jour:

"Ninety percent of politics is deciding whom to blame."

Meg Greenfield (1806 - 1870) US novelist

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