Monday, August 27, 2012

Jumping Jupiter Elicius ! Isaac v. Rommulus

Millions Await Isaac with Bated Breath

A storm is literally brewing in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 24 hours, predicted to become at least a Category 2 storm before landfall, with the potential of the very warm Gulf waters to easily turn it into a Cat 3 or even more powerful storm. It's another large area storm already looking to possibly form an "eye" as I write this overnight, something that we've seen before wreak havoc on the Gulf coast. And even more chilling is specifically where it is presently on course to hit, New Orleans, seven years to the day of the anniversary of the Katrina disaster. Katrina was a Cat 5 storm that WEAKENED to a Cat 3 just as it came ashore. The floodwaters did not abate for two months after the event, and reportedly the newly rebuilt levees in their present condition can only sustain a Cat 3 attack max. NOAA reports that if Isaac does shift to the left as currently predicted and head for New Orleans (NO), then it will make landfall early Wednesday morning.

Katrina killed 1,836, some people are still missing, and caused $110 billion damages, with 275,000 homes lost, which is reportedly 10x the amount of any natural disaster in the U.S. ( 2005-2012) This might give you an idea of the magnitude of seriousness now surrounding the present situation, and although I poke fun at Teapublican conduct in and out of government, once this is about to hit, I'm afraid all attention will need to be put on aiding the stricken.

I really wish nothing at all would happen to anyone or anything living or inanimate. And I wish that the storm would now just slowly disappear, lingering long enough to take the RNC off the headlines long enough to take away its "bump" in the afterglow of the convention. But this seems to be a long wishlist and I'm being a bit of an idealist, aren't I ? Anyway, I do believe that all this is already happening at the moment. Can we just savor the moment a little longer ?

Right now, though, we've been lucky to lose the boring intonations of Red state voter suppressors and/or oppressors of women from governing Florida, Louisiana (LA), Mississippi, and Alabama. Yaay ! Thumbs up !

We'll see what kind of zig zag path this one takes, part of which is what confused officials the last time, in addition to civil engineering on the cheap (the replacement walls failed in NO, not the actual levees themselves and some of the floodgates were left open), and conflicting orders with piss poor planning on the part of officials at all levels of government in LA. Although locally they did slowly evacuate reportedly 80% of the metro NO area, nearly all of the deaths were also from LA.

Lax evacuations of private facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, and other care giving institutions, bumbling by the then Governor Blanco, and failure by the then Bumbler-in-Chief to declare Federal disaster areas to include the coastal parishes (counties) of LA all contributed to worsening the crisis, instead of alleviating it. Then after the disaster, the rapid influx of organized gangs conducting looting operations (including local police on numerous videos, without any shame !), didn't help matters. They allegedly had even brought their own private watercraft, but for booty, not for rescue operations.

"More than 90 percent of the population is back in the New Orleans area, and there is still much ahead of us. (...) When Obama took office, 40,000 families remained in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers or were using emergency housing vouchers, 'and literally tens of thousands of them were at risk of losing their homes within weeks of us coming in,' Donovan said. 'Today {2 years later}, 98 percent of the families are in permanent housing." (CNN Wire Staff 2010)

(CNN Wire Staff 2010) "Despite the attention focused on New Orleans, it was Waveland, Mississippi that was the hardest hit. Ninety-five percent of the town's homes were destroyed, along with 100 percent of its businesses. Nearly every road was broken up or left under piles of debris."

(CNN Wire Staff 2010) 'Asked how FEMA can combat its still-suffering reputation in the region, agency chief Craig Fugate told CNN Saturday he believes responding quickly is the key.
'Speed is going to be critical,' said Fugate, who distinguished himself as the head of the Florida Emergency Management Agency before being appointed to the federal post. 'We cannot wait for a full assessment. We have to respond as if it's bad, bring the things together, and focus on the most immediate [goal] of keeping it safe, getting to the injured, trapped, and recovering the lost lives, getting supplies in here."

We'll see. “We are just on high alert. I know the anxiety level is high,' said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as Tropical Storm Isaac barreled toward the region last night, set to gain strength in the Gulf of Mexico before hitting land as a possible hurricane as early as tomorrow night. The storm is somewhat uncertain. Out of an abundance of caution, we will begin to take these precautions as quickly as we can,' Landrieu said." (Sheehy 2012)

(Sheehy 2012) "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency — as did the governors of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama — and asked for voluntary evacuations in 15 of 64 counties. The storm was expected to make landfall, possibly as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane, with winds up to 129 mph, tomorrow night or Wednesday morning."

Already there appears that there is no place for a mass sheltering of urbanites in NO set aside. 
Which makes me wonder if there's also no mass casualty collection point or a logistics system set up and/or available for potential evacuees. "The mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, said on Sunday that if an evacuation were ordered in the city, the Superdome, the convention center and the airport would not be available for emergency shelter. 'We've walked through this many, many, many times,' he said. 'You have to be prepared to evacuate in the event that an evacuation is called." (Press Services of Memphis Commercial Appeal 2012). Let's hope so. 

"A hurricane warning was in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to Destin, Florida. Tropical storm force winds extend 206 miles from the center, mainly to the northeast of the center. West Palm Beach, Florida reported a 61 mph gust. (...) Forecasters asked the public to remember that hurricanes don’t affect single points – hurricane winds can extend for hundreds of miles from the center. The northern Gulf Coast was expecting those winds later Monday." (   Reporter 2012)

A recent local report:
"Starting to look like a the beginnings of a Science-Fiction movie down here in New Orleans. I keep thinking of "Independence Day" for some reason...The populace here are very calm and collected, everyone is busy updating each others contact points. In the stores bottled water is now gone from the shelves (I went to two stores), canned food is running low. Lines around the block at gas stations." (Itto 2012)

Of course some political flack was just bound to utter something unscientific and uncaring for the people about to go through hell again: "Indeed, the rough weather itself became a metaphor as the Republicans warmed up for their convention. 'You know, tidal waves often follow hurricanes. And in November, a tidal wave is coming,' thundered tea party favorite and U.S. Senate candidate from Texas Ted Cruz, at a pre-convention gathering sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization that seeks to mobilize evangelical voters." (Tumulty, Henderson 2012) Booo, thumbs down !

Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Cruz, but it appears that you'll be swimming against that tide in November. And tidal waves don't follow hurricanes:

"Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide:
Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases." (NOAA 2012) 

"The term 'tidal wave' is used in several different ways inside and outside the oceanographic community. Technically, tidal waves are the crests of the tides which move across the surface of the Earth, and this is the usage of the term which is preferred by oceanographers and other people who study water and the movement of the ocean. However, many laypeople refer to other types of waves, such as storm surge and tsunamis, as tidal waves. In the case of the tidal crest, tidal waves are constantly moving across the surface of the Earth as the Earth's water rises and falls, creating the tides. The size of a tidal crest can vary, depending on the relationship between the Earth and the moon and the area." ( 2012)

And to further allay any fears for those who don't know the differences between certain storm terminology, also know that besides the term hurricane is only used for violent storms in the Atlantic, and Tyhpoon is only used to describe the very same event in the Pacific: 

"A tsunami (pronounced soo-nahm-ee) is a series of giant waves that happen after underwater movement due to a variety of natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and meteorites. (...) Tsunamis generally appear in the Pacific Ocean." ( 2012)

"Tsunami is a series of waves, which is caused by displacement of large volume of body of water. Hurricane on the other hand is a powerful storm. When talking of the origin of Tusanami and hurricane, they are formed because of different forces. Hurricanes are normally formed over warm ocean waters during warm months." ( 2012)

( 2012) "Hurricanes are considered to have a diameter of about 400 to 500 miles and the ‘eye’ or centre of it can be about 20 miles. It is very calm at the eye part with very low winds and clear skies. Tsunami waves normally have low wave height and very long wavelength (sometimes hundreds of kilometres) offshore. This is the reason why tsunami waves are unnoticed in the sea. As they approach the shallow waters, their height increases and when they reach the shore, it grows tremendously. Tsunami can occur at any tidal state. Tsunamis generally occur in the Pacific Ocean (about 80 per cent)."

"In Rome, Jupiter also sent signs to the leaders of the state in the form of auspices in addition to thunder. The art of augury was considered prestigious by ancient Romans; by sending his signs, Jupiter (the sovereign of heaven) communicates his advice to his terrestrial colleague: the king (rex) or his successor magistrates." (Wikipedia 2012) In this case, we hope that this is a sign for the only hopeful successor ! And that he takes heed to Isaac, the implications thereof, but not of the false sign of Jim Crow's recent travels north.

"As I write this today, there is a tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and it is headed in the our direction. The Governor of Florida has declared a State of Emergency and sounded the alarm for all residents to be on high alert. Warnings of heavy rain, strong winds and flooding might be ahead so citizens are to be prepared. There is a list of items to have on hand including: water, non-perishable food, flashlights (and batteries), first aid kit and radio. These are the top five items needed to get through the storm until help can arrive if one needs assistance." (Thomason 2012)  Very good advice, and to that I might add a GO-BAG of items for evacuation, and to keep your vehicle, if you have one fueled and ready to go. "Shelter-in-place" is NOT an option in a strong hurricane, and never has been. You're more of a liability to others doing that than an asset.

I honestly don't know why I'm awash with all these references to religiosity at the moment, which is rather odd for me, perhaps I've taken the recent turn of events as a sign as well ? No matter, for now I appeal to those who I charge with violating the traditions of chivalry and concern for the poor and less well off than themselves in the Teapublican party gathering and at the top of the ticket. Guess what I'm using to remind them of their secular humanistic duties in a way perhaps even fundamentalists can understand ? I found a passage on the Mormons own website that matches up exactly with most versions of the Bible, so they should understand and I can justify it's use:

Matthew 9:12-13 {The Gospel According to St Matthew, New Testament, Chapter Nine}
10 ¶And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans {tax collectors} and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 2012)

They will know what I mean. Well, a former Bishop would. Especially one who is so concerned with his own image, and that of how his own church views him. I ask him to cast off the chains of an ideologue and return to his core values. So that he may become a moral leader, not simply one driven solely by ambition. Stop denying to yourself and others who you really are, and no one will accuse you of going "Jimmy Carter". Not anyone rational, anyway. There is no other path to share our freedom now. 

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