October 5, 2005

Is it time to abandon the coast?

Permalink | October 5th, 2005

Is it time to abandon the coast?

This actually might not be as bad of a dialogue to have as some people might think. Simply pay the people the money that would have otherwise been spent on rebuilding, and allow them to move to another location. Of course, nothing is ever simple.

As the Gulf Coast reels from two catastrophic storms in a month, and the Carolinas and Florida deal with damage and debris from hurricanes this year and last, even some supporters of coastal development are starting to ask a previously unthinkable question: is it time to consider retreat from the coast?

Yes, said Howard Marlowe, president of Marlowe & Company, a lobbying firm that represents counties and local governments, often in seeking support for coastal infrastructure, like roads, sewers and beach replenishment. “I think we need to be asking that and discussing that, and the federal government needs to provide leadership,” Mr. Marlowe said.

He added, “I have never been an advocate for the federal government telling people that they have to move out, but it’s important to have a discussion at all levels of government about what can be done to make sure more people do not put themselves in harm’s way. It will not be an easy dialogue.”

[Full Article]

September 19, 2005

Google Maps of New Orleans after Katrina

Permalink | September 19th, 2005

Google Maps of New Orleans after Katrina

The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina as viewed through Google Maps.

Girls Gone Wild for Katrina

Permalink | September 19th, 2005

Girls Gone Wild for Katrina

The people who turned video taping boob-flashing coeds at Mardi Gras into a money making pop culture phenomenon, have quietly announced that all of the proceeds from the sales of those videos will go to the Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“Mardi Gras is synonymous with New Orleans and ‘Girls Gone Wild’ is synonymous with Mardi Gras,” Bill Horn of Mantra Films, the southern California company behind “Girls Gone Wild,” told AFP.

“We have a personal and profound connection to the city,” Horn continued. “We had to do something.”

“Girls Gone Wild” will donate to the Red Cross the online purchase prices of each title or package set “that has anything to do with Mardi Gras,” including “the very popular ‘Girls Gone Wild Doggy Style’,” with rapper Snoop Dogg, Horn said.

This is almost as strange as Boobs4Bourbon St.

[via AP]

September 18, 2005

Moore on Katrina

Permalink | September 18th, 2005

Moore on Katrina

It is being rumored that Michael Moore, who brought us the highly controversial film, Fahrenheit 9/11, is seriously considering making a documentary on the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“It has all the elements that made ‘Fahrenheit 911’ such a powerful film,” says a source. “The political outrage, the human suffering, and the incredible footage.”

Moore’s rep didn’t have a comment by press time, but Moore certainly isn’t being silent about Katrina on his Web site. “There is much to be said and done about the manmade annihilation of New Orleans, caused NOT by a hurricane but by the very specific decisions made by the Bush administration in the past four and a half years,” he wrote. “Do not listen to anyone who says we can discuss all this later. No, we can’t. Our country is in an immediate state of vulnerability. More hurricanes, wars, and other disasters are on the way, and a lazy bunch of self-satisfied lunatics are still running the show.”

[via MSNBC]

September 14, 2005

Bush accepts responsibility

Permalink | September 14th, 2005

Bush accepts responsibility

In an unexpected move, President Bush accepted responsibility for the complete failure of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,” [President] Bush said. “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.”

“I want to know what went right and what went wrong,” [President] Bush added. “I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm?”

Interesting … I honestly thought the administration would play the blame and and pass the buck onto Mike Brown, the now former head of FEMA. This acceptance of failure was probably one of the smartest decisions made by the Bush administration in this disaster thus far.

[via NY Times]

September 13, 2005

The CEO president

Permalink | September 13th, 2005

The CEO president

Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration’s first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush’s former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group and the other is Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

[Full Article]

September 12, 2005

Hurricane Katrina is Ellen’s fault

Permalink | September 12th, 2005

Hurricane Katrina is Ellen's fault

According to Dateline: Hollywood, Pat Robertson, certifiably crazy crusading Christian-right televangelist, has declared Hurricane Katrina as God’s way of punishing the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for selecting Ellen Degeneres as the host for this year’s Emmy Awards.

“By choosing an avowed lesbian for this national event, these Hollywood elites have clearly invited God’s wrath,” Robertson said on “The 700 Club” on Sunday. “Is it any surprise that the Almighty chose to strike at Miss Degeneres’ hometown?”

Robertson also noted that the last time Degeneres hosted the Emmys, in 2001, the September 11 terrorism attacks took place shortly before the ceremony.

“This is the second time in a row that God has invoked a disaster shortly before lesbian Ellen Degeneres hosted the Emmy Awards,” Robertson explained to his approximately one million viewers. “America is waiting for her to apologize for the death and destruction that her sexual deviance has brought onto this great nation.”

What?! I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised, this is, after all, coming from the same guy who asked everyone to pray for Supreme Court justices to die seats on the Supreme Court to become available (dubbed Operation Supreme Court). But did they say “one million viewers”? One million people actually listen to him?! Now that’s scary.

[anonymous tip]

Boobs for Bourbon Street

Permalink | September 12th, 2005

Boobs for Bourbon Street

They did say to help in anyway possible, I just don’t think they had this in mind. However, the site has claimed to have raised over $3,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in just three days, which is rather impressive.

For years, one of Louisiana’s largest claims to fame has been Mardi Gras, and, more specifically, the bare chests of nubile young women that are associated with it. The institution of drunken girls baring their breasts has been one that we’ve almost begun to take for granted. Unfortunately, it’s starting to look very unlikely that Mardi Gras will take place this February, so, in order to take up the slack, we’ve decided to create this site, as a repository for women (and men, can’t leave the ladies unsatisfied!) who wish to contribute to the cause, and send in pictures of themselves topless!

Now, in order to help those directly affected by the hurricane, we’ll also be encouraging people to donate financially to suitable charities. “How do you plan on doing that?” you might ask (I’m so glad that you did). Well, here’s how it’s going to work; we’re going to keep all of the submitted photos in a gallery right here on this site. This gallery, however, WILL be password-protected. In order to get a working username and password, you’ll need to donate at least $5 to one of the charities linked in the right-hand column, then forward us your confirmation email, so that we can make you an account! It’s just that simple!

[via boobs4bourbonst.com]

FEMA experiences a Brown out

Permalink | September 12th, 2005

FEMA experiences a Brown out

In perhaps an attempt to quell a political fallout, Michael Brown, the director of FEMA, has been relieved of his duties in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Amid harsh criticism of federal relief efforts, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff announced Friday that Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is handing over Hurricane Katrina relief duties to a Coast Guard official and returning to Washington to oversee the national office.

In addition to the strong criticism Brown received surrounding the horrendous federal response to the disaster, it was also reported last week that he had padded his résumé by claiming he ran “the emergency services division” in Edmond, Oklahoma, when he was really assistant to the city manager.

It appears as though Brownie wasn’t doing such a heck of a good job after all.

[via MSNBC]

September 9, 2005

FEMA supports Windows … only

Permalink | September 9th, 2005

FEMA supports Windows ... only

Those who are not running Internet Explorer 6 (which effectively eliminates all Macintosh and Linux boxes, and alternate browsers), and are trying to file a claim through FEMA, are out of luck.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), already the subject of sharp criticism in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, may find itself chastised further for restricting access to its online assistance site to Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer users.

To file a claim online at FEMA’s Individual Assistance Center, where citizens can apply for government help, the browser must be IE 6.0 or later with JavaScript enabled.

That cuts out everyone running Linux or the Mac operating systems, as well as Windows users running alternate browsers such as Firefox or Opera.

Perhaps one day someone will get it right, but I’m not holding my breath.

[via Information Week]