Friday, September 30, 2005

Freddy's Deli, Cicero, Illinois

This is the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich with red sauce I had for lunch today at Freddy's,
This is Freddy's on 16th Street in Cicero. West Side Agent's cousins order Lasagnas from Freddy's for family events. Freddy's Italian Ice Cream is very good too. I would have taken pictures inside but they were crowded and busy.

Miller's mistaken beliefs

This is one weird story. The Press alleging stonewalling by the Administration while the Administration is saying talk, please talk; and then the drival from Miller about freedom of the press.

How about a straight answer instead on what's made Miller change her mind. I don't think it was tired of sitting in the joint. You get acclimated to it after a while. She owes the public the truth.

From today's NYT:
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in a statement: "Judy refused to testify in this case because she gave her professional word that she would keep her interview with her source confidential. In recent days, several important things have changed that convinced Judy that she was released from her obligation."

But Joseph Tate, an attorney for Libby, said yesterday that he told Miller attorney Floyd Abrams a year ago that Libby's waiver was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify. He said last night that he was contacted by Bennett several weeks ago, and was surprised to learn that Miller had not accepted that representation as authorization to speak with prosecutors.

"We told her lawyers it was not coerced," Tate said. "We are surprised to learn we had anything to do with her incarceration." Tate said that he and Bennett then asked Fitzgerald whether their clients could talk without fear of being accused of obstructing the investigation, and were assured that Fitzgerald would not oppose them doing so. After the phone call from Libby on Sept. 19 or 20, Tate said, the lawyers wrote a letter to Fitzgerald indicating Miller accepted Libby's representation that the waiver was voluntary.

In July, when Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ordered Miller to jail, [Baars emphasis] he told her she was mistaken in her belief that she was defending a free press, stressing that the government source she "alleges she is protecting" had released her from her promise of confidentiality.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kids, bucks, and American Universities

Soon I'll be paying for two kids in college and have a third one getting close. Articles like this bother me... a lot.

Victor David Hansen concludes his article in WSJ with this disturbing comment,
The signs of erosion on our campuses are undeniable, whether we examine declining test scores, spiraling costs, or college graduates' ignorance of basic facts and ideas. In response, our academic leadership is not talking about a more competitive curriculum, higher standards of academic accomplishment, or the critical need freely to debate important issues. Instead, it remains obsessed with a racial, ideological, and sexual spoils system called "diversity." Even as the airline industry was deregulated in the 1970s, and Wall Street now has come under long-overdue scrutiny, it is time for Americans, if we are to ensure our privileged future, to re-examine our era's politicized university.
And then this story in the weekly standard by James Piereson in the Weekly Standard,
When this year's freshmen enter the academic world, they will encounter a bizarre universe in which big-time athletics, business education, and rigorous science programs operate under the umbrella of institutions that define themselves in terms of left-wing ideology. This is especially true of the 100 or so elite public and private institutions that are able to select their students from among a multitude of applicants seeking entry, and true also of the humanities and social science departments that define the political and social meaning of the academic enterprise. These students will enter the world of what we may call the left university.
Finally here's a response from my nephew reflecting the pressure kids feel on campus,
I also agree that it probably was the right thing, but the assignment was discussing pre-emptive wars in the context of Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer. Also, our professor is an older gentleman but the TA's grade our essays, and mine was an outspoken opponent of the war. For my first college essay, I really didn't want to go against the grader. So it was a little heartless, but it's still early.
Stick with the older guys and have heart!

I should have stayed home on Cindy Sheehan

I should have stayed home posts on a Iraqi's response to his condolences on the deaths of his brother and two nephews.
I Should Have Stayed Home...: "His reply blew my mind:

'Allahu Akbar' - God is Great - 'We all die. I am so happy that my brother and my nephews died in the name of freedom. There is no greater honor.'

What do you say to a man like that? What does Cindy say to a man like that? Yes, there are myriads of problems with our efforts in Iraq. But we now have partners - friends - out there who are losing their families to terrorism, and whose reaction is only to thank God that they died for freedom and not for tyranny. To abandon these people would be unthinkable.

I know that for every Hayder there are thousands of Iraqis who curse both houses, or who curse America. But I cannot abandon the Hayders of Iraq. It's a patronizing comparison, but I think of Iraq like a child rescued by social services from an abusive home, but then dumped in the South Bronx and left to fend for himself. Job done? Work complete?

Not while I still have a conscience."
Part of Bush's strategy to fight Islamic Terrorism was to gain allies among liberal and moderate Muslims. We can't in good conscience abandon those allies in the middle of the fight.

New Orleans, and Najaf Iraq

Hugh Hewitt gets to the bottom line on Main Stream Media and wonders how we can believe them on anything.
Here's the bottom line on MSM post-Katrina:

Everything that American media could throw at a story, it threw at New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. No expense was spared. All hands were on deck. And yet not one news organization produced anything like complete coverage of the events unfolding inside the city's convention center or the Superdome. Horrific stories of murders and rapes spread like wildfire, reports of little girls with their throats slashed stunned Americans, and hysteria gripped many in the MSM. Weeks later the Los Angeles Times and others began to examine the collapse of the media's own levees that traditionally hold back rumor and urban myth.

Given this failure to capture the true story in New Orleans even with all of the combined resources of all the MSM working around the clock, why would anyone believe that American media is accurately reporting on the events in Iraq from the Green Zone, in the course of a bloody insurgency fought in a language they don't understand? If the combined forces of old media couldn't get one accurate story out of the convention center, why for a moment believe it can get a story out of Mosul or Najaf?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

David Corn on Workers World Party

Here's David Corn article from 2002 on Workers World party in the peace movement.

And the Anarchist infoshop on Workers World ("The borgs of the left": leave it to the anarchists for creative labels).

And Wikpedia on WWP.

Which side are you on?

Howard Kurtz writing in today's Wash Post on some of the organizers behind the "Peace" demonstration in Wash DC.
The media have done a poor job of describing who was behind Saturday's big antiwar demo in D.C. This is in no way to cast aspersions on the tens of thousands of ordinary folks who showed up to demonstrate their opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq. But many journalists shortchanged their readers and viewers in not saying more about the radical group ANSWER.

The Washington Post offered this brief description of ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice: "Both groups have sponsored other major demonstrations against the war in Iraq but also protested U.S. foreign policy in places ranging from Haiti to the Gaza Strip."

I wonder if the media would have resorted to such shorthand in covering a group as far to the right as ANSWER is to the left. In Slate, Christopher Hitchens blames journalistic laziness:

"Saturday's demonstration in Washington, in favor of immediate withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, was the product of an opportunistic alliance between two other very disparate 'coalitions.' Here is how the New York Times (after a front-page and an inside headline, one of them reading 'Speaking Up Against War' and one of them reading 'Antiwar Rallies Staged in Washington and Other Cities') described the two constituenciess of the event:

" The protests were largely sponsored by two groups, the Answer Coalition, which embodies a wide range of progressive political objectives, and United for Peace and Justice, which has a more narrow, antiwar focus .

"The name of the reporter on this story was Michael Janofsky. I suppose that it is possible that he has never before come across 'International ANSWER,' the group run by the 'Worker's World' party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the 'resistance' in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda. Quite a 'wide range of progressive political objectives' indeed, if that's the sort of thing you like. However, a dip into any database could have furnished Janofsky with well-researched and well-written articles by David Corn and Marc Cooper--to mention only two radical left journalists--who have exposed 'International ANSWER' as a front for (depending on the day of the week) fascism, Stalinism, and jihadism."
Kurtz won't cast aspersions but I do. You can't claim ignorance of these crimes and their supporters.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Utterly alien to the future of humankind

Below is from Tony Blair's keynote speech to the Labour Party's 2005 conference in Brighton. How someone can participate in a "Peace Movement" and not realize they're siding and abetting Baathist and religious fanatics in the name of peace dumbfounds me. Pacifism is a brutal doctrine that will turn over people to a brutal fate in the name of peace. They're is nothing just, or decent, or progressive with the peace movement. Anyone who values human rights and freedom should bitterly condem it.
But 8 ½ million Iraqis showed which future they wanted when they came out and voted in January's elections.

And the way to stop the innocent dying is not to retreat, to withdraw, to hand these people over to the mercy of religious fanatics or relics of Saddam, but to stand up for their right to decide their Government in the same democratic way the British people do.

Ten days ago, after years of struggle, finally in Afghanistan, 6 million people voted freely to decide their own future.

How dare the terrorists justify their campaign of hate by claiming they are angry about Afghanistan? Was it better under their Taleban?

They use Iraq and Afghanistan, just as they use the cause of Palestine, whilst trying to destroy by terror the only solution that will ever work: a secure Israel living side-by-side with a viable independent and democratic Palestine.

Just as they chose the day of the G8 when the world was trying to address the heartbreaking poverty of Africa, to kill innocent people in London.

Strip away their fake claims of grievance and see them for what they are: terrorists who use 21st century technology to fight a pre-medieval religious war that is utterly alien to the future of humankind.

Monday, September 26, 2005


A good site if you're a person of the left who's come to believe President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are the only leaders with any sense of Social Justice and share this belief,
Democratiya believes that in a radically changed world parts of the left have backed themselves into an incoherent and negativist 'anti-imperialist' corner, losing touch with long-held democratic, egalitarian and humane values. In some quarters, the complexity of the post-cold-war world, and of US foreign policy as it has developed since 9/11, has been reduced to another 'Great Contest': 'The Resistance' (or 'Multitude') against 'Imperialism' (or 'Empire'). This world-view has ushered back in some of the worst habits of mind that dominated parts of the left in the Stalinist period: manicheanism, reductionism, apologia, denial, cynicism. Grossly simplifying tendencies of thought, not least the disastrous belief that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' are once again leading to the abandonment of democrats, workers, women and gays who get on the wrong side of 'anti-imperialists' (who are considered 'progressive' simply because they anti-American).

This attitude is especially unfortunate at a time when there is 'reform ferment in the Arab world, an emerging democracy in Iraq, and the colour-coded democratic revolutions in post-communist societies', as Michael Allen notes in the inaugural issue of Democratiya. In this historical moment, as an editorial in The New Republic noted, '[L]iberals must realize their own future is at stake. Should democratization succeed with Democrats deeply involved, they will be able to claim a share of the credit. But, should it succeed despite their puerile detachment - or, worse, their objections - [Baar's emphasis] Democrats could well be branded as the party that opposes bringing human rights and responsible governance to people who don't yet benefit from them'. To which Norman Geras has added, 'For "Democrats" in the US, read "the left" in Europe'.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What is the Insurrection Act?

It's an exception to the Posse Comitatus Act, Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code (USC), states:
“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
The insurrection act is an exception allowing the President to use the troops under certain circumstances,
The Insurrection Act (Title 10 USC, Sections 331-335). This act allows the president to use U.S. military personnel at the request of a state legislature or governor to suppress insurrections. It also allows the president to use federal troops to enforce federal laws when rebellion against the authority of the U.S. makes it impracticable to enforce the laws of the U.S.
Last used I believe in 1992 during the LA riots.

From NORCOM's website.

The Insurrection Act: did Bush use it?

Bush's fault was being to deferential to Gov Blanco. That was sad but Blanco was criminal and that the press not picking up on this a disgrace. This is why Polisi refuses to participate in a Congressional investigation.

Here's a blogger who gets the story right,
It has come to light that all during the night on Friday, September 2, the president of the United States was forced to “negotiate” with Governor Blanco for the lives of the suffering and dying people of New Orleans. She feared that allowing the federal government to take control would make her administration appear as though it had failed. How she would be judged was more important to her than the lives of those people who were dying in the squalor. How many died as Blanco maneuvered to protect her reputation?

The Posse Comitatus Act prevents, by federal law, the president of the United States from sending federal troops into any state without the direct request of the elected governor of that state. A frustrated President Bush could only stand by and watch as the horror unfolded until he received the request for help. Despite the finger-pointing at President Bush, there was little that he could do until he was formally asked for assistance. No matter how loudly the liberals scream, they know full well that the president was helpless to do much of anything.

As the death toll rose and the animalistic behavior of some of those who chose to remain within the city became public knowledge, it was obvious that authorities needed to regain control. As the scenes from New Orleans, now a national disgrace, were being beamed around the world, a shameless Governor Blanco only cared about her own political image.

There is reason to believe that President Bush, running out of patience with Blanco by Saturday morning, used the only option that remained to him. It is being reported that Bush went around Blanco and utilized the Insurrection Act to federalize the National Guard and send in active military troops to take over the rescue and put down the lawlessness that had taken over New Orleans. The forces that Bush had poised to move into the city, swung into action. It was no accident that the major, organized rescues began when the sun came up on Saturday morning. At 6:30 AM, when the sky over New Orleans was suddenly filled with military helicopters and military convoys poured into the streets, they were there because of President Bush, not Governor Blanco.

Looters in New Orleans

These look like a couple of the real looters and maybe explains why the levees didn't work quit the way planned for. From DOJ's site.

Shreveport, Louisiana . . . A federal grand jury has returned two separate indictments charging three members of the State Military Department with offenses related to the obstruction of an audit of the use of federal funds for flood mitigation activities throughout Louisiana, United States Attorney Donald W. Washington announced today.

Two of the individuals charged, MICHAEL C. APPE, 51, of Mandeville, Louisiana, and MICHAEL L. BROWN, 61, of St. Francisville, Louisiana, are senior employees of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Both APPE and BROWN are charged with conspiracy to obstruct a federal audit; BROWN is additionally charged with making a false statement.

The Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is designed to fund mitigation projects to prevent future flood losses or flood claims made upon the National Flood Insurance Program. BROWN was responsible for overall management the program in Louisiana; APPE was responsible for managing employees who perform fiscal transactions regarding these funds.

The indictment alleges that during an audit of the program being conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, a State Military Department employee realized that $175,000 in expenditures of federal monies was improper in that the money was not used for purposes authorized by the federal program and would therefore have to be re-paid to the federal government. This employee notified APPE, who in turn directed the employee to provide false documents to the federal auditors.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that APPE directed an employee to contact an assistant to BROWN and have them prepare a false, backdated memo to make it appear that the expenditures were proper. The false document was created and was subsequently signed by BROWN. APPE and BROWN then sent the false, backdated memo to federal auditors. The indictment alleges that BROWN told federal auditors that he signed the document in May 2000, when in fact he knew he had signed the document in January 2004.

Also indicted was DANIEL J. FALANGA, 53, of Folsom, Louisiana, for committing perjury before a federal grand jury. FALANGA was an employee of the State Military Department in charge of the State Mitigation Office. The indictment charges him with testifying falsely before the grand jury concerning his access to a “repetitive loss list.” The repetitive loss list is a listing of properties that have suffered two or more flood losses in a ten year period.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence under the law, and the government has the burden of proving every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sentencing in federal court is governed by the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, actual sentences are based upon a formula that
takes into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, and a defendant’s criminal history, if any. Parole has been abolished in the federal system.

If convicted, APPE and BROWN face a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on each count. If convicted, FALANGA will face a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

This case was investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Office
of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Alexander C. Van Hook.

For further information, please contact United States Attorney Donald W. Washington at 337-262-6618 or First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan at 318-676-3600.

This and other press releases issued by the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana can be found at our website at

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Theodicy and environmentalism as religion

Jonah Goldberg has a column on Disastrous Faith There is something deeper going on with the attacks on Bush. They're startling and reflective of something deep going on inside people. Something deeper and bigger than politics.
On one level I think all of this is partisan opportunism. Even a casual glimpse at the data provided by the national weather service shows that big hurricanes (categories 3,4, and 5) haven't increased over the 20th century. But for years now, activists have exploited media coverage in order to make it seem like something scary is driving the rise in hurricanes. "Global warming = Worse hurricanes. George Bush just doesn't get it," blared a billboard in Florida during the run-up to the 2004 presidential election.

A great many people tried to pin the 2004 tsunami on global warming too, even though that wasn't even theoretically possible (it was caused by a deep-sea earthquake). Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth in Britain, spoke for many when he proclaimed, "Here again are yet more events in the real world that are consistent with climate change predictions."

But I also think there's something much deeper going on. It cannot be disputed that not just the activists but millions of normal people honestly believe these self-fulfilling prophecies which explain virtually every kind of weather — except nice weather of course — as the comeuppance of man. And, the key word there is "prophecy."

The Buck Stops Here: Response to Katrina

Buck talks about emergency preparedness and what it takes, what it would cost. The Buck Stops Here: Response to Katrina

It just confirms for me the need for preementive war in Iraq and elsewhere if need be. We can't afford to wait for the smoking gun with today's technology to take out a series of American cities. Bin Laden is watching New Orleans and it's teaching him lessons.

The Belmont Club: Kingdom by the Sea

There are a 124 comments to Wretched's post here: The Belmont Club: Kingdom by the Sea

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Galley Slaves: The Future of New Orleans

Galley Slaves: The Future of New Orleans: "If you've only been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or on an expense account, you have not seen the real city. The real city, as Gelinas points out, suffers from such decay, mismanagement, and inequity that it will be a wonder if it can right itself."

our responsibility

A good quote from President Truman cited by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Steven Buyer:
President Harry S. Truman, in a radio address broadcast that was part of the surrender ceremonies on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who bore the pain of loss. He invoked our nation’s consequent obligation and spoke with promise of the future open to us through their sacrifices:

“God grant that in our pride of the hour, we may not forget the hard tasks that are still before us; that we may approach these with the same courage, zeal, and patience with which we faced the trials and problems of the past 4 years.

Our first thoughts, of course--thoughts of gratefulness and deep obligation--go out to those of our loved ones who have been killed or maimed in this terrible war. On land and sea and in the air, American men and women have given their lives so that this day of ultimate victory might come and assure the survival of a civilized world. No victory can make good their loss.

We think of those whom death in this war has hurt, taking from them fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and sisters whom they loved. No victory can bring back the faces they longed to see.

Only the knowledge that the victory, which these sacrifices have made possible, will be wisely used, can give them any comfort. It is our responsibility--ours, the living--to see to it that this victory shall be a monument worthy of the dead who died to win it.”

Rumsfeld response to Hareth Al-Dhari in previous post maybe

from Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability Enroute to Fort Irwin:

Media: What are you going to do to make sure the Sunnis remain to feel involved in the political process. Is there a plan [inaudible]?

Rumsfeld: Well we and [inaudible] Department of State [inaudible] are obviously interested in seeing it be a success. I think it will end up being a success. As I said the other day in the press briefing, what you'll end up with eventually will be a piece of paper that will not be perfect. No one will like it completely. Everyone will be modestly dissatisfied. And yet people will end up accepting it as a compromise. And the Sunnis made a mistake when they didn't participate in the last election. I doubt if they'll keep making the same mistake over and over and over again. There are some Sunnis who stayed there and participated in the final aspects of it. Constitutions can always get amended. Ours has been amended. We were trying to reconstruct earlier, but our Constitution was drafted in 1787 and not ratified until 1788, and in some cases '89 even after Washington had already been inaugurated [inaudible], if I'm not mistaken. People disagree. Those are tough issues. And one ought not to be surprised that there's some disagreement [inaudible].

Media: Do you know [inaudible]? I understand everybody's not happy, but [inaudible] worried about [inaudible]? I assume it's Sunnis that you're worried about. What do you do to help them to convince them it's a bad idea to cause more trouble in the country?

Rumsfeld: The Iraqis are going to have an Iraqi solution. They're going to have an Iraqi constitution. They're going to find ways to live together. And the way they're going to find to live together is going to be other than having a repressive dictator kill them if they don't [inaudible]. And how will this sort out? Time will tell.

September 7 Presidential Elections in Egypt

Middle East Media Research Institutes dispatch on upcoming elections in Egypt.

Egypt is changing and this wouldn't have happened without Bush.

And then this curious comment from an interview with Sunni Clerics Council in Iraq Secretary-General Sheik Hareth Al-Dhari telling us United State's interests lie with the Sunnis in the middle east.
Host: "Why isn't America concerned about Shi'ite ethnic continuity in southernIraq and in Iran, which will jeopardize American interests in the future?"

Sheikh Al-Dhari: "America today, after the failure of its enterprise in Iraq,wants to make immediate and swift profits in support of Bush and the current government. Bush doesn't care what will happen afterwards, once he has left theWhite House."

Host: "Even if it runs counter to American interests?"

Sheik Al-Dhari: "Even if it runs counter to American interests, because in my view, his behavior and the behavior of the people around him show no consideration for American interests. Otherwise, they would have spoken more candidly to their people about the failure of their enterprise, and they would have withdrawn their forces from this country.
American policy is no longer about picking strong men, and factions to support American interests but the recognition that international democracy and our self-interests are now one. Sheik Al-Dhari's dismayed a bit about that but he has sense enough to know his self-interest, even in opposing the new Iraqi constitution, it to participate in the democratic political process by asking Sunni's to vote against it. That's got to be good.

Karen Hughes at ISNA conference yesterday

Karen Hughes spoke at the Islamic Society of North America's conference at the Rosmont center yesterday.

Frank Gaffney writes why she shouldn't have gone before ISNA, but read this statement their leaders have signed and you've got to want to support them. Sign something like this as a Muslim and you have to be taking some risk.

The Progressive Muslim Union led a women's prayer service led a service at the Park Ridge library as part of their Women-led Prayer Initiative.

Friday, September 02, 2005's Special Report on Katrina

It can be found here.

Mudville Gazette: Introducing NORTHCOM

From Muville Gazette on DoD's NORTHCOM,
In addition to defending the nation, U.S. Northern Command provides defense support of civil authorities in accordance with U.S. laws and as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense. Military assistance is always in support of a lead federal agency, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Military civil support includes domestic disaster relief operations that occur during fires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Support also includes counter-drug operations and consequence management assistance, such as would occur after a terrorist event employing a weapon of mass destruction.

Generally, an emergency must exceed the management capabilities of local, state and federal agencies before U.S. Northern Command becomes involved. In providing civil support, the command operates through subordinate Joint Task Forces.

Galley Slaves: Sacrifice

Sacrifice means you give up something. Not you give up something intended as a gift for someone else; which is what Galley Slaves finds the Daily Kos recommending.

David's Mediankirtik: Germany's Greens Pour It On

David says "Bush caused Kritina" is America-baiting to fire-up the radical base right before the election. An election polls show them losing badly.

NO Recon Photo from One Hand Clapping

A high-resolution aerial photo of New Orleans from One Hand Clapping. You need to expand it see all the details.

Australia's Sate Emergency Service

A comment to this post on Metroblogging New Orleans listing people who have opened their homes to refugees. Comments bring out some of the worst in bloggers. Read some of the others here, but this one was excellant comment on Australia's response after flooding in the city of Brisbane.
After a devastating flood 30 years ago in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia it was noted that the community formed local teams to aid others less fortunate on their own initiative and while effective they often lacked the necessary skills, equipment and coordination during and after the event.

Many people desperate to help out were left wondering in the streets.

In response to that crises the SES (Sate Emergency Service) was formed to provide community volunteers across the nation with the skills, equipment and planning to coordinate a (community) response to any major disaster and has worked exceptionally well ever since.

Many of the problems Brisbane faced then seem to be happening in New Orleans right now and I was surprised to learn that a simular organisation doesn’t exist in the U.S.

State Emergency Service

Posted by: Andrew at September 1, 2005 09:28 PM

Hugh Hewitt's column on blogs and Katrina

From Hugh Hewitt's Rebuilding the Gulf Coast, One Group at a Time
The only way such a multitude of specialized needs can be met is for the vast, vast numbers of their counterparts across the United States to act--independently of government--to come to their aid in a reconstruction effort.

N.Z. Bear, one of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the blogosphere, has agreed to help organize the launch of

such an effort. If a particular organization in the devastated region--a PTA, a youth soccer league, a Presbyterian Church, a garden club, a cooking school, a literary magazine--decides it wants to ask for help, that appeal will be listed on a special page, which will get quite a lot of traffic as the country's bloggers publicize opportunities for people to help. Sometimes the requests will be for cash. Other times they will be for the sort of specialized help that only similarly situated people can provide. The fact is, the needs will be so different and so voluminous that it is impossible to predict what will come up. The second fact is that there are millions of Americans who would like nothing more than to help. Connecting the need with the volunteer at the level of specificity required is a solution that the web allows.

Giuliani, Daley, and Nagin

James G. Lakely writes today Nagin no Giuliani. Somehow I think Daley would be more of a Giuliani than a Nagin. West Side agent told me she heard Daley offer to take NO's convention business which I did not think the wisest comment to make at the moment if true.

Katrina Blogs

A list of Katrina blogs from Arts Journal. I found it from Peggy Noonan's column in yesterdays YSJ