Thursday, September 22, 2005

What was the most Powerful Hurrican, Cyclon or Typoon ever recorded?

Hurrican Rita
Photo Credit: Wikipedia: Hurricane Rita
in the Gulf of Mexico on September 21,

As Rita comes ashore we keep hearing that it is the third most powerful Atlantic Hurricane recorded. I got to thinking. What was the most Powerful Hurricane, Cyclone or Typhoon ever recorded?

I mean looking at Wikipedia they list the Labor Day storm of 1935 as having the lowest barometric pressure at landfall on N. America at 892 mbar (hPa). Katrina had 918 mbar (hPa) at landfall and God only knows what Rita will be as it comes ashore.

But my question is, what is the most powerful storm? And after some research I found Super Typhoon Tip in 1979. This was a truly Huge storm with tropical force winds extending out 675 miles. It had sustained winds of 190 mph and central pressure at 870 mbar (hPa), the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded in a tropical cyclone.

To give an illustration of its size Wikipedia gave this:
...if a similar-sized hurricane hit south Florida directly, tropical storm force winds would be felt as far north as Charlotte, North Carolina and as far south as Merida, Mexico and Kingston, Jamaica
Luckily it weakened by the time it made landfall in Japan, but nonetheless caused significant damage. Tip cost the agricultural and fishing industries of Japan millions of dollars in damage. There were 68 deaths from Tip. Hopefully Rita will weaken some more before it makes landfall also.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mercs in America?

It looks as if others are picking up on the use of companys such as Blackwater, DynCorp, Intercon, American Security Group, Wackenhut and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) in the Gulf after Katrina (See the Nation: Blackwater Down ). I wouldn't be surprised to hear that after Rita makes landfall these same companies will also show up in Texas.

But aren't there laws agains the use of such private forces in this country for law enforcement?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blackwater Mercenaries in New Orleans

I just happened across this story off of Blodex this morning. Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans. And quite frankly this is very worrisome.
Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force...

"This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. "We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."...

What is most disturbing is the claim of several Blackwater mercenaries we spoke with that they are here under contract from the federal and Louisiana state governments...
This reminds me of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and their use by corporations as Union busters in the late 1800's and early part of the 20th century.
As the threat of forced evictions now looms in New Orleans and the city confiscates even legally registered weapons from civilians, the private mercenaries of Blackwater patrol the streets openly wielding M-16s and other assault weapons. This despite Police Commissioner Eddie Compass' claim that "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

Officially, Blackwater says its forces are in New Orleans to "join the Hurricane Relief Effort." A statement on the company's website, dated September 1, advertises airlift services, security services and crowd control. The company, according to news reports, has since begun taking private contracts to guard hotels, businesses and other properties. But what has not been publicly acknowledged is the claim, made to us by 2 Blackwater mercenaries, that they are actually engaged in general law enforcement activities including "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals."

That raises a key question: under what authority are Blackwater's men operating? A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department, Russ Knocke, told the Washington Post he knows of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security. "We believe we've got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety." he said. Read more...

Related Article
Truthout: Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Must Read on Bush and the Disaster in the Gulf

Newsweek has a very troubling piece on President Bush entitled How Bush Blew It: Bureaucratic timidity. Bad phone lines. And a failure of imagination. Why the government was so slow to respond to catastrophe.

September 11th

Photo Credit: amydunn
It is hard to believe that it has only been Four years since the world changed so radically. Before we lived a life that in which we were secure in our homes. Now that has all changed. And again storms in September change how we perceive ourselves. Hurricane Katrina has shown us the shortcomings of our government. And the violation of the "Social Contract" that we all thought we lived by. Again we see our leaders scrambling to gain political advantage, with little time spent to understand that the American people have made a sea change in attitude.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Best Picture Ever!

Best Pic Ever
Courtesy of Daily Kos

Timeline for a Hurricane

The Annenberg Online Journalism Review has compiled a timeline of events for Hurricane Katrina. Well worth the time to look through.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

This is Unacceptable!

The more that I think about this situation in the Gulf Coast the angrier that I become. I want the Heads of DHS and FEMA fired for gross negligence that borders on criminal. What the hell have they been doing for the last few years? This is not that much different from a major terror attack. If they cannot do this, when they had warning that it was coming then what? The president BEFORE the storm came ashore had declared it a Federal disaster area! All this bull that they need direction from the Governor is absurd. The had a moral duty to take the initiative with this many lives at stake.

Furthermore, you keep hearing about their problems with communications. What is up with that, for most of the 20th century Ham Radio Operators have been there for us. Hell it is part of their licenses that they are there for emergencies. Why is it that FEMA has not placed a Ham at these major choke points to relay information back to their control centers? I heard on the radio last night that they are actively preventing these people from out-of-state from coming in to help!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rebellion of the Talking Heads

I am glad that the major news media reporters are finally doing their jobs as reporters and not letting blatantly false statements from Government Representatives go by unchallenged.

Slated: The Rebellion of the Talking Heads

Thursday, September 01, 2005

More Pictures of Before and After

Digital Globe has some good imagery of New Orleans, Chalmette and the Biloxi Coast Before and after Hurricane Katrina.

Were was FEMA?

We have been having dire warnings on New Orleans for decades, the Army Corps of Engineers knew that the levees had serious problems. My questions is were was the pre-planning? We hear that FEMA and the Dept. of Homeland Security have been planning for years for the big one in the Gulf.
National Geographic magazine wrote in an article published in October 2004 about a possible hurricane scenario for New Orleans:

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.
So everyone know that the situation was untenable there. When they knew that they had to evacuate the city consider the opening paragraphs of a July 24 story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune that for saw this situation.
"City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own."
And they sure have lived up to these words. Now even in these areas, days later people are complaining that they see no federal response. I thought we learned are lessons from the problems of homestead.

Now days later, FEMA has found found 475 buses to help with the belated evacuation effort, where were they in the days before when it looked as if they would have been the most good. They knew that over 135,000 people had no good way out. They should of provided it before hand, giving the poor at least the option to get out of the way. And this goes for all of these areas in the Gulf. I keep hearing on the TV, " I would of left if I had a way or the money."

If your going to have evacuations give the poor , elderly and disabled more of a chance.

Related article: Updated 2:35 pm PST
No plan ever made to help New Orleans' most vulnerable
Destroying FEMA
A Diminished FEMA Scrambles to the Rescue

New Orleans Levee Break(s) Before and After

Great collection of info on exactly where the Levee breaks are.