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Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Monday - September 19, 2005

Deja Vu All Over Again

Call me a pessimist but yesterday’s five-day track had Rita coming ashore in Galveston. Today’s track shows it will probably hit farther North at Houston. Upper atmosphere wind shears seem to be driving it North and East. I predict tomorrow’s track will show it hitting Morgan City, LA and by Thursday it will be headed for .... you guessed it .... The good news is it’s only expected to be a category 3 .... which means N’Awlins will only be hit by an eighteen-wheeler this time instead of a freight train ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/19/2005 at 10:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Once More Into The Breach

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/19/2005 at 01:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Monday - September 12, 2005

NEWS FLASH!

! ATTENTION !

! FLASH !


! 9,803 PEOPLE IN NEW ORLEANS ARE NOT DEAD !


Dire predictions by the media of 10,000 dead in New Orleans found to be total hogwash. Official death toll at 197. Chicken Little could not be reached for comment, however spokesmen for the fowl freak said, “It’s Bush’s fault. We were given wrong figures!”. Film at 11:00.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/12/2005 at 10:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Mississippi Forgotten

imageimageCoastal Cities of Mississippi in the Shadows
Gulfport, MS - (NY TIMES)

Past the razor wire that has been rolled out along the unusable railroad tracks separating the heavily damaged neighborhoods from the destroyed neighborhoods lies the port that gave this city its name. Put generously, it is a mess. The cargo containers are scattered for miles, the poultry freezers are destroyed and 7,300 jobs are in limbo. In the middle of one of the major terminals sits a casino, the Copa, one of a fleet of floating gambling houses that had revitalized the Gulf Coast, pumping taxes into city, county and state governments and providing jobs to some 15,000 people.

Now officials say 8 of the 12 floating casinos appear to be damaged beyond repair, including the Copa, which is slumped onshore, a big pink box with its guts exposed. If the levees had held in New Orleans, the destruction wrought on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina would have been the most astonishing storm story of a generation. Whole towns have been laid flat, thousands of houses washed away and, statewide, the storm has been blamed for the deaths of 211 people, a toll far higher than those from Hurricanes Andrew, Hugo and Ivan.

But as it is, Mississippi - like the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 - is coping with an almost unimaginable catastrophe, largely overshadowed in the news media’s attention and the national consciousness, in this case by the disaster in New Orleans. On Sunday night, President Bush began his third visit to the region since the storm hit. Two weeks since the hurricane, Gulfport and the neighboring city of Biloxi are no longer fighting for mere survival. Power has been restored to everyone who can receive it, gasoline is flowing at the stations and water is gradually beginning to trickle from faucets, though it is still undrinkable. There is even a man in a pizza costume enticing customers to a local Papa John’s.

But, as the community breathes a collective sigh of relief, the tougher question is beginning to arise: now what? “It looks like we’re going to have to build an economy from the ground up” said Connie Rockco, one of the five supervisors of Harrison County, where Gulfport and Biloxi are located. The casinos employed thousands of people but city and county officials said that just as many were employed in businesses directly related to the casinos, like spas, high-end restaurants, martini bars and pawn shops. About 30,000 people, they estimated, were dependent on the crowds that came to gamble.

“What are they going to do?” Ms. Rockco said. “I mean, they’re done.” In Biloxi, where most of the gambling business was located, individual casinos were 7 of the top 10 local taxpayers in 2004, pumping $11.6 million into the city’s general fund, and an additional $11.6 million into local school and public safety departments.

City revenues for Gulfport and Biloxi are also heavily dependent on the sales tax and property tax, neither of which is going to be pouring in while tourists are absent, residents are struggling to find money for basic needs and thousands of homes are gone. Harrison County officials estimated that anywhere from a quarter to a third of the county’s people are now homeless. Most of the homeowners did not have flood insurance, federal data has shown.

Before the first floating casino opened in 1992, both Biloxi and Gulfport were cities in decline. The seafood industry had been hurting for years because of cheaper foreign imports, and the completion of Interstate 10 across southern Mississippi made it easier for tourists to bypass the Mississippi Coast for the Florida beaches. By the end of the 1980’s, Biloxi was actually losing people.

But in 1990 the State Legislature voted to allow riverboat gambling and the coastal economy became addicted, quickly. Tourists began flocking to the area, hotels began sprouting and the retail economy boomed. The towns of Long Beach and Pass Christian - both of which were leveled by Hurricane Katrina - were flourishing as bedroom communities for Gulfport and New Orleans. Recently, as coastal real estate has grown scarcer in Florida, a condominium boom had been barreling toward Mississippi’s coast. There were more than 50 condominium projects awaiting permits before the hurricane hit, potentially representing thousands of new residents, Harrison County officials said.

The projects had been coming in so fast that several coastal towns had adopted building moratoriums, buying time to figure out how to handle the influx. Now, of course, a surplus of housing is not a problem. “All the things people came to see us for are in disarray,” said Pam Ulrich, the Harrison County administrator.

Question: Why isn’t the media in Mississippi covering the damage and recovery?
Answer: They’d rather spend their time in New Orleans where they can blame Bush for everything.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/12/2005 at 06:38 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherMedia-Bias •  
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calendar   Saturday - September 10, 2005

Chicken Little Retraction

Death Toll in New Orleans May Be Lower Than First Feared
NEW ORLEANS (NY Times)

The first organized effort to scour the city for its dead has turned up far fewer bodies than expected, officials said Friday. That raised hopes that the death toll from Hurricane Katrina might be much lower than the 10,000 that the mayor and others had predicted. As the floodwater continued to recede, police officers, National Guard members and members of the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army began to canvass street to street and house to house in the first phase of a hunt to find, remove and identify the dead.

“There’s some encouragement in what we found in the initial sweeps,” Col. Terry J. Ebbert, the city’s director of homeland security, said. “The numbers so far are relatively minor as compared with the dire predictions of 10,000.”

The specter of a five-figure toll was raised this week, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered 25,000 body bags flown to a temporary morgue in St. Gabriel. The official state death count stood at 118. Mississippi reported 211. Colonel Ebbert, who would not provide figures for New Orleans, said it would take two weeks before the search for the dead here could yield a reliable assessment.

What? You mean it’s not really the end of the world? Hold the presses! We need to find gloom and doom elsewhere!

Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans went to Dallas, touring shelters and visiting family members who had evacuated there. He joined Dallas leaders in announcing a citywide relief fund and denouncing the federal emergency agency for what they called its continuing slow response to the crisis.

“It’s a doggone shame that these survivors had to wait in the hot sun for FEMA yesterday, and FEMA didn’t arrive,” Mr. Nagin said.

Still playing that same old tune, Mayor Negligent? Keep blaming FEMA. That way no one will place the blame where it really belongs, namely on your corrupt head!

Perhaps the most promising development to emerge was the first detailed timetable for draining New Orleans. The Army Corps of Engineers said a new computer model showed that all areas of the city would be pumped dry by Oct. 18, about 40 days from the estimate.

The corps had previously said only that the work would take 24 to 80 days. And for the first time since the hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast, government and utility officials offered a time frame for restoring electricity to the New Orleans downtown business district. They said they hoped to have power turned on and much of the debris cleaned up by the end of next week.

Amazing, isn’t it? All those dire predictions by the mainstream media seem to be drying up .. along with the city of New Orleans. The Katrina Katastrophe is subsiding too quickly. Look for the MSM to go hunting for another way to attack the Bush administration real soon now. The MSM reminds me of a two-year-old child with an extremely short attention span and a tendency to throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want.

Folks along the Gulf Coast will still be trying to put their lives back together years from now but the MSM will have completely forgotten about them. The recovery efforts will continue in a sharply reduced media vacuum. The MSM had their fun, rushing to the area long before FEMA could get mobilized just so they could point the finger of blame at FEMA while the local leaders got a pass on their negligence and failure to respond.

I don’t know about you but I’m quite fed up with this farce.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/10/2005 at 06:41 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherMedia-Bias •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 08, 2005

Photos Du Jour

Skipper is on his way back to St. Louis from Florida today and will be back on the blog tomorrow (hopefully). In the meantime, I thought I’d put together the following from stuff I found on the web. It is not pictures from Katrina. These shots are from Gulfport and Pass Christian, Mississippi at the end of August, 1969. The Skipper and his family were in the middle of that one and I’m sure he’s glad to have been out of Katrina’s path this time.

Remember that FEMA wasn’t created until 1979, but in 1969 the Gulf Coast was sparsely populated (casinos and condominiums would come much later) and the Army Corps Of Engineers hadn’t started tearing up the Mississippi delta wetlands and building canals that increased the possibility of storm surge damage. All that would come a long time after 1969 when Camille tore through the same area with much higher winds than Katrina. Yet, much fewer people died than it seems did in Katrina. Why?

Is it possible we have made matters worse down there by removing natural barriers, building multi-million dollar resorts and hotels and increasing the population? Maybe we’re all to blame for sitting back and ignoring the past for the last 45 years, eh? (And don’t give me any of that “if only we’d signed Kyoto” or “global warming” crap!) Stoopid humans moved to the beaches, drained the swamps and wetlands, bought homes in a city below sea level, built flimsy wooden houses right on the beach and forgot what a beeyatch Momma Nature can be when she decides to PMS all over our efforts.

Go ahead. Click below to see what it looked like 45 years ago along the Gulf Coast ....

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 09/08/2005 at 01:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Self Sufficiency Shines

This is not the typical story you’re hearing from the city of New Orleans this week.
(posted here in it’s entirety since they require registration)

A do-it-ourselves shelter shines
A community bands together in civilized self-sufficiency, in stark contrast to the misery in official New Orleans shelters.

NEW ORLEANS - When their homes began to sink in Katrina’s floodwaters, elders in the quarter here known as Uptown gathered their neighbors to seek refuge at the Samuel J. Green Charter School, the local toughs included.

But when the thugs started vandalizing the place - wielding guns and breaking into vending machines - Vance Anthion put them out, literally tossing them into the fetid waters. Anthion stayed awake at night after that, protecting the inhabitants of the school from looters or worse.

They know me,” he said. “If a man come up in here, we take care of him.”

In the week after Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast, Anthion and others created a society that defied the local gangs, the National Guard and even the flood.

Inside the school, it was quiet, cool and clean. They converted a classroom into a dining room and, when a reporter arrived Monday, were serving a lunch of spicy red beans and rice. A table nearby overflowed with supplies: canned spaghetti, paper towels, water and Gatorade, salt, hot sauce, pepper.

At its peak last Wednesday, 40 people called the second and third floors home. The bottom floor was under water. Most of those taking up residence at the school were family, friends and neighbors of the poor, forgotten niches of this community.

As the days passed, most chose to be evacuated by the Coast Guard who, they said, came every day to help ferry out the elderly and sick, and to leave water, food and clean clothes for whose who preferred to stay.

By Monday, just 10 diehards remained at the school.

*See extended entry for the rest*

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/08/2005 at 11:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 01, 2005

Photo Du Jour

You have all seen the pictures in the earlier post of the apartment complex I lived in in Long Beach, Mississippi. If not, take a look at the “before” pictures. Then take a look at this “after” image that was sent to me by one of our alert readers, Steve. Yes it is all that remains of Arbor Station. I thank God for convincing me to take that job offer two years ago that caused me to move and eventually wind up in St. Louis. Far from the holocaust that destroyed my old home this week.

Another of our readers (emdfl) has a friend in the military who used to live there until just recently. Emdfl’s friend told him/her that a lot of military families lived there and it was very popular. I can testify to that. Around me I had “SeeBees” from their nearby base in Gulfport, Navy SEALs who trained in the swamps around Stennis Space Center and Air Force personnel from nearby Keesler AFB. Ironically, Keesler AFB is where the “Hurricane Hunters” are based. At least, they used to be ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/01/2005 at 05:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyClimate-Weather •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 31, 2005

Post-Apocalypse

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(Photos courtesy of AP)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/31/2005 at 03:54 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 30, 2005

Unimaginable

Sorry for the light posting today crew, but it seems like Allan and I are both snowed under, bogged down and up to our collective necks in work.  Plus, it’s hard to do much else but watch with unending horror as the water continues to rise in the Big Easy.

Michelle Malkin has been doing yeoman’s work keeping up with the links.  Even Steven DenBeste (one of the deepest thinkers to grace the blogosphere) is commenting with his usual clarity (scroll down).

I don’t have a TV (well, I have a TV, but no signal, only videos), so I have been watching coverage from WDSU out of New Orleans.  It’s the hometown station and it’s personal.  The crew moved out of their station (which is now under water) and took up residence in the studios of a sister station in Jackson, MS.  Most of them have no home to return to, and you can see and hear the anguish in their reports as they try and convey the enormity of the damage to their city.

The latest seems to be a call to perhaps evacuate the entire city.  Should it be rebuilt?  Should it be relocated?  At what cost?  Certainly there is an economic impact to the country, and a value that the city brings to the equation, but is it worth the multiple truckloads of money that it will take to rebuild it where it is (was)?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2005 at 06:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherEconomics •  
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Katrina Update

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/30/2005 at 02:30 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Monday - August 29, 2005

Light Blogging Today

Sorry folks, but there will be light blogging today. I was up late last night checking on friends along the Gulf Coast. E-mails quit coming in around 2:00pm yesterday then started up again late last night as everyone found hotels in Memphis, Shreveport, Meridian and Birmingham. I overslept this morning and had to rush to make a 9:00am optometrist appointment. My eyes are still dilated and weirded out. I’m at work but I have several meetings this afternoon. Perhaps Frank can jump in if he has time.

In case you missed it, the “Storm Of The Century” jigged right and passed just to the East of New Orleans, sparing that city the worst. There are several holes in the SuperDome and 3-4 feet flooding. Gulfport and Biloxi got the brunt ot the winds and storm surge. All my firends and former co-workers at Tulane University, the US Navy’s Port Authority, the US Navy’s Space Warfare Information Systems (Lakefront) and the NASA Stennis Space Center were evacuated out Saturday and Sunday. The authoritys did an outstanding job of making sure everything was done in an orderly fashion.

My guess is that Waveland, Bay St. Louis and Long Beach got the worst and are probably flooded out and totally destroyed. Stephen Ambrose (author of “Band Of Brothers”, “Saving Private Ryan") used to live in Bay St. Louis about a mile from where I used to live down there. I’m proud to say I have his autograph on a few books in my library.

Here is a special message to all my friends down there who are hiding out in hotels far inland: today’s weather in St. Louis is bright sunny skies, temps in the upper 70’s, 10% humidity and a fair breeze. The weather is here, wish you were beautiful. 

cheese 


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/29/2005 at 12:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherPersonal •  
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I’m Glad I Left

I woke up this morning and decided I made the right decision to move two years ago. If not, I’d be at ground zero right now. You see, I was living in a little town called Long Beach, Mississippi and working at the NASA Stennis Space Center. Long Beach is just to the west of Gulfport, halfway to New Orleans and the huge NASA reservation is due north of there about 20 miles inland, just across I-10. I lived and worked in that area for over two years and madea lot of friends. I hope they all made it out safely because the eye of Hurricane Katrina is about to pass over them with 145 mph winds ....

imageimageNEW ORLEANS (AP) - Hurricane Katrina turned slightly to the east before slamming ashore early Monday with 145-mph winds, providing some hope that the worst of the storm’s wrath might not be directed at this vulnerable, below-sea-level city.

Katrina, which weakened slightly overnight to a Category 4 storm, turned slightly eastward before hitting land, which would put the western eyewall - the weaker side of the strongest winds - over New Orleans. But National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield warned that New Orleans would be pounded throughout the day Monday and that Katrina’s potential 20-foot storm surge was still more than capable of swamping the city.

Katrina, which a day before had grown to a 175-mph, Category 5 behemoth, made landfall about 6:10 a.m. CDT east of Grand Isle in the bayou town of Buras. The storm hammered the Gulf Coast with huge waves and tree-bending winds. Exploding transformers lit up the predawn sky in Mobile, Ala., while tree limbs littered roads and a blinding rain whipped up sand on the deserted beach of Gulfport, Miss.

Katrina’s fury also was felt at the Louisiana Superdome, normally home of professional football’s Saints, which became the shelter of last resort for about 9,000 of the area’s poor, homeless and frail. Electrical power at the Superdome failed at 5:02 a.m., triggering groans from the crowd. Emergency generators kicked in, but the backup power runs only reduced lighting and cannot run the air conditioning.

About 370,000 customers in southeast Louisiana were estimated to be without power, said Chenel Lagarde, spokesman for Entergy Corp., the main energy power company in the region. At the hotel Le Richelieu in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the winds blew open sets of balcony doors shortly after dawn. Seventy-three-year-old Josephine Elow pressed her weight against the broken doors as a hotel employee tried to secure them.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/29/2005 at 07:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Sunday - August 28, 2005

Perfect Storm?

imageThis little fellow’s name is #42040 and he is a floating moored weather buoy about 64 nautical miles south of Dauphin Island and Mobile, AL. He is currently reporting 33 foot waves pounding his little yellow behind every 14 seconds (this is what they mean when they refer to “storm surge"). He is going to have a very rough night tonight. Aren’t you glad you aren’t him?

Poor little #42040. The worst is yet to come for him. Let’s see how long he can keep sending uplinked satellite data to NOAA. Anyone want to make bets on how long he can hold together?

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/28/2005 at 10:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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