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c-dog
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Postby c-dog » Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:28 am

My jaw nearly droppped when I read the paper this morning and saw the photos of all the damage in New Orleans - just when they thought they were safe - two of the levees broke started letting all the water in. Officials said that they were going to have to keep the city evacuated for 2 to 4 weeks and schools will be closed for 2 months. Not to mention the cities in Mississippi that were destroyed..it certainly does seem a little - armageddonish...

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Moni
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Postby Moni » Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:47 am

Betty Felon wrote:Tsunami, Wars, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Terror Attacks, etc, it seems like the past few years have had so many more disasters, natural and man-made, than I remember from the past. Has it always been this way?


I've been wondering if this has something to do with the climatic change, but scientists tend to deny that. but there's ve been awfully many natural desasters lately.


another question for ms felon: how yre you getting along with the language?

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c-dog
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Postby c-dog » Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:54 am

Liz wrote:I've been wondering if this has something to do with the climatic change, but scientists tend to deny that. but there's ve been awfully many natural desasters lately.


I know with hurricanes, the frequency and strength of the storms each season are cyclical - and right now we are at the point in the cycle that the hurricane seasons are producing stronger and more frequent storms. I guess the last time it was like this was in the 50s and 60s. I'm not sure about other types of natural disasters.

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Liesbeth
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Postby Liesbeth » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:44 am

Liz wrote:I've been wondering if this has something to do with the climatic change, but scientists tend to deny that. but there's ve been awfully many natural desasters lately.

even if the human influence on climactic change is not acknowledged, the impact of natural disaster might well be greater because overpopulation leads to settlement in places which are less favourable. Pllus ongoing cultivation of land makes the environment often less suitable to deal with heavy conditions. For example, I remember several reports of mudslides over the past decade in areas where deforestation was reported to be a cause.

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Moni
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Postby Moni » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:27 am

That's true, but nowadays there seems to be an accumulation of desasters that are reported to be "the worst since [this kind of disaster] were recorded". That's why I was wondering

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BladeRunner
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Postby BladeRunner » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:45 pm

What's going to be a blast is the Cascadia Subduction Zone goes.

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Squid
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Postby Squid » Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:09 pm

BladeRunner wrote:What's going to be a blast is the Cascadia Subduction Zone goes.


Yeah, people can talk smack about Cali and the San Andreas all they want, but when the Cascade fault goes, we're ALL gonna be reaching for the water wings. Seriously. California, Oregon, Washington... everyone is going into the pool.

(I only know this thanks to the Discovery Channel or whoever it is that recycles a doco about it every so often.)

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Squid
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Postby Squid » Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:21 pm

Actually, I forgot to post my serious request first. Back to the topic, and all kidding definitely aside...

I'm on another music list and we're having a devil of a time trying to find the least restrictive "cash card" options for some friends of ours that were, like so many others, driven out of their home in the middle of the night with basically zero possessions. Both PayPal and Amex gift cards are proving a pain. (We're spread out all across the planet, as interweb groups are.) There was something about Western Union as well, but the emails were flying so thick and fast I couldn't really keep up.

I think we're going to end up using the AmExGC, but if anyone has had success using a different method to get monetary aid to family and friends, please let me know.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:36 am

Squid wrote:Actually, I forgot to post my serious request first. Back to the topic, and all kidding definitely aside...

I'm on another music list and we're having a devil of a time trying to find the least restrictive "cash card" options for some friends of ours that were, like so many others, driven out of their home in the middle of the night with basically zero possessions. Both PayPal and Amex gift cards are proving a pain. (We're spread out all across the planet, as interweb groups are.) There was something about Western Union as well, but the emails were flying so thick and fast I couldn't really keep up.

I think we're going to end up using the AmExGC, but if anyone has had success using a different method to get monetary aid to family and friends, please let me know.


Oh no Squid, you've got family and friends there? I'm so sorry. I have no idea how to to get them money, either. Its a mindblowing catastrophe. I don't know what i would do without electricity, let alone basic necessities.

I am so confused about whats going on with New Orleans. I would think a city in a country with the resources the US has would be overwhelmed with supplies and vehicles and New Orleans would have been smothered in goodwill in mere days. I didn't even question it. But it seems like even high profile groups of survivors are left unaided. Why are people shooting at aid workers? What is going on?

Someone please fill me on the big picture....is New Orleans gone forever? What is life in America like?

I read stories about racism and shameful inefficiency and lawlessness. But also heroism and remarkable kindness. My mom writes to me about how this will cause another civil rights movement; my brother and his fiance are volunteering to go down there and help. Everyone seems very involved.

Here in Japan it's easy to ignore. I have to put effort in to get news about it, and without boards like this and calls to home I would continue to walk around in my bubble of peaceful non-comprehension, completely ignorant of the enormity of the situation.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:00 am

Liz wrote:
Betty Felon wrote:
another question for ms felon: how yre you getting along with the language?


how am I getting along? Well, the language and I like eachother, but we are still in the getting-to-know-you process. There is some chemistry, but it will take time to reach depth.

So well, I'm illiterate and alone.

But, surprise! I love it! For all the effort I put into getting things into my ears in the states, I've found it quite nice to go about living in the equivalent of whitenoise. It takes a lot of energy to participate in the usual distractions like TV and hanging out, and I've read all the books I brought, so there's nothing to do except watch and think. Its actaully quite peaceful and mentally productive.

But I'll let you know if things change once the honeymoon is over.

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Squid
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Postby Squid » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:32 pm

Betty Felon wrote:Oh no Squid, you've got family and friends there? I'm so sorry. I have no idea how to to get them money, either. Its a mindblowing catastrophe. I don't know what i would do without electricity, let alone basic necessities. <snip>


I've got two sets of friends there, one very good, the other on a music list that I have been on for about 10 years. I'm sure I'm not the only person who knows folks affected like this - they're probably too involved in the whole thing to post like I am. And in case anyone else is wondering, the two options that are currently looking the most viable are the Visa TravelMoney® Card and, surprisingly, the AAA Gift Card.

Betty Felon wrote:I read stories about racism and shameful inefficiency and lawlessness. But also heroism and remarkable kindness. My mom writes to me about how this will cause another civil rights movement; my brother and his fiance are volunteering to go down there and help. Everyone seems very involved.


Yes, it's a tough call for me. I'm disgusted at some of the coverage and the seemingly slow governmental response. (I saw footage of Bush embracing a young girl and I just wanted to throw something at the TV.) On the other hand, the response is coming, slowly but surely. There are many places in the world where aid wouldn't come at all. And a quick browse thru Craigslist shows some unbelievable generosity: people offering up their homes, rides, clothing. It's extremely encouraging.

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Squid
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Postby Squid » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:52 pm

Betty Felon wrote: But I'll let you know if things change once the honeymoon is over.


I think total immersion is awesome, you are my hero! Fwiw, during my study abroad time (back when you booked passage on the backs of giant sea tortoises and carved your lessons into stone tablets), I remember a statistic about the honeymoon lasting 6 mos, at which point you suddenly hated everything and everyone. And that if you could just weather that period of time, you eventually hit the an upswing and POW! total immersion! I found this to be pretty accurate measure of my own experience...and I was only in freaking London. With the same language! (Sort of.)

ps: You have about 7 months before I start bugging you for Hina Matsuri candy.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:07 am

Squid wrote:Yes, it's a tough call for me. I'm disgusted at some of the coverage and the seemingly slow governmental response. (I saw footage of Bush embracing a young girl and I just wanted to throw something at the TV.) On the other hand, the response is coming, slowly but surely. There are many places in the world where aid wouldn't come at all. And a quick browse thru Craigslist shows some unbelievable generosity: people offering up their homes, rides, clothing. It's extremely encouraging.


I'm sorry about your friends. I don't know anyone affected directly, just people who have relatives or friends there. Everyone they know seems to be ok. But thier homes aren't.

The Red Cross donation collections, etc. have started in Japan. At first I thought that no one here was that interested, but harsh typhoons are a regular thing here, and I think it just took time for people to realize how huge and terrible the situation is. Now people are talking about it. I can't understand what they are saying, but a word here and there, hand gestures, etc. they could be talking of nothing else.

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Liesbeth
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Postby Liesbeth » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

that's good to hear, I was kinda surprised by your earlier post that people in Japan didn't really respond. It's talked about a lot here. For a lot of people I talk to, a major issue is that seemingly the rescue operations took so long to come into full force. Makes you wonder how well the emergency plans are here, if the USA cannot handle it - with all due respect to everyone out there working hard to make a difference, I know it's easy to judge from the sideline. But especially since there were plenty indications beforehand that this might well be a disastrous storm, not a no-warning situation like the tsunami in Asia and Africa.

It's definitely a reminder that we may think we can control nature, but we never will really, which we easily forget in our modern day and age.

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grant
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Postby grant » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:14 am

Also, the planners appear to have assumed that more people would be able to evacuate once given the order to do so. This is not standard emergency planning practice (they usually assume a certain number will stay behind), but... the whole operation hasn't really gone by the book.

N.O. has a 27+% poverty rate. That's a lot of people who don't have serviceable cars, gas money or a place to go that's out of the storm zone.

If you'd like to read about the worst of it, I can provide links. I won't do it unless anyone really wants to know, though, because things got very dire.

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grant
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Postby grant » Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:32 am

On the other hand, some stories need to be told.

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Ryan
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FEMA Detainment Camps

Postby Ryan » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:39 pm

I read that story today, and wasn't nearly as shocked as I should have been. I was kind of waiting to hear about such things...

FEMA is dangerous, in my opinion, and not just because of incompetence at the highest levels...

http://www.sonic.net/sentinel/gvcon6.html

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Squid
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Postby Squid » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:57 pm

I love how they're making a spectacle of removing Michael Brown, FEMA's Director, as commander of relief operations for Katrina. (He's still Director, though.) A little late to be congratulating themselves, to say the least.

Laura Suzanne
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Postby Laura Suzanne » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:39 am

A friend sent me this quote:

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. . And so many of the
people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

-- Former first lady Barbara Bush about Katrina evacuees housed in the Houston Astrodome

He didn't send a source, so I have no proof that Barb actually said this, however.

stephanie
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ba-ding!

Postby stephanie » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:00 am

Laura Suzanne wrote:He didn't send a source, so I have no proof that Barb actually said this, however.


It's from an interview she did with NPR's "Marketplace." Audio here.

Her remarks subsequently made their way out to Editor and Publisher, then Daily Kos, then the whole friggin' world.

Doesn't really surprise me that unabashed heartlessness runs in the family.

If anyone wants to head down NOLA way come the end of December, maybe do some cleanup, hand out some Christmas pressies to the wee ones, let me know; I'll be there, and I'd like some familiar company. And if you have a hand in the travel biz -- airline, hotel, rental car, whatevs -- drop me a line, because I want to get some discounted shit straight for people who want to head down there. Serious.


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