August 15th, 2004

fashionable

Hurricane stories.

toughlib - "Our entire back porch collasped, a huge wooden board smashed through my step-dad's windshield, trees were uprooted and landed everywhere, power went out everywhere, mail boxes smashed into cars, traffic lights are lying in the streets, some people were killed. Scary stuff.

Here is the amazing part however. As the worst part of hurricane Charlie was upon us, and houses were coming apart, and people were dying, the Republican party called my girlfriend Missy's house. Why might you ask did they call during such a tragic, scary, life taking event? Why, to ask for her vote of course! Yes, even though the entire Country was watching the devastation unfold on television, the very smart Republicans were calling people up here in SW Florida.

Hey, I saw George W. Bush state that his prayers are with us right now. Well maybe he should of had his telemarketers tell us that when calling, you know, instead of just trying to ensure our vote."


ehh_soso - "My roof caved in and somehow I ended up in a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale almost 24 hours later . . . I've been told that our house is not fixable and I guess we might have to rebuild. A lot of problems have occured in the past 3 months inolving important things in my life. But they aint nuthin but thangs. Aint no thang baby, aint no thang. I just need somewhere to live for a while, any takers? Ha."

jimridebike - "We witnessed a tornado rip the roof off a 2 story building. that was cool. those things are loud . . . a huge tree uprooted and fell over on my mini ramp, but the ramp is fine, so im pysched. part of my fence was like 20 feet up in a tree, and the screencage is messed up. but thats it. last night sucked without power because of no airconditioning, it was so hot in my house i slept in my driveway."

vixi - "No electricity til 2-5 days from now. We checked into a hotel in Brandon. We will probably stay here til the power is back on. Probably won't do much outside the hotel. Who needs outside when you have AC, tv, and free high speed internet. School is out til at least thursday."

icyfire5 - "The majority of Fort Myers has no electricity... and it was 95 degrees today. I came up to Kim's in Tampa until our power is back on because it's so bad. They said it could be a week until all power is restored. Our town looks so trashed, trees everywhere and the redlights are on the ground and phone poles are bent over. It's pretty nasty. ah, well... I'm in AC now."

trapt_stories - "there is this 35 year old tree that was at my neighboors house and it feel down and took roots grass and earth . . . My grandmas house got killed like 15 trees came out My house wasnt that bad just roof pieces in our yard from other houses! and Our privacy fence went kaboom!! "

kuntakellams - "I guess we had this idea in our heads that we were invincible, i guess not. . . . we watched as 4 of our huge trees went down. and tons of little ones. when it was all said and done, it had practically ripped apart sanibel, Pine Island, captiva, and Port Charlotte. i feel so bad for the people out there who weren't so lucky. after the storm i took a look at our house and street. You could not even see anything in our yard because of all the fallen trees and branches. on our street there must have been 50+ fallen trees blocking the road. so the whole community went out and had the whole street cleared by night fall, it was kinda cool . . . i think that everyone single person on our street hs about 46585639 chainsaws. no power in our house, there will probably be no power for weeks to come."

motivateme235 - "Our house is undamaged . . . We think it is because of the angle our house is set at because all the neighbors around us got damage. One has no fence . . . and one's screen cage is gone. Right next to us their roof is caving in and their huge palm trees are gone. "

lo0kwaticando - "it freakin tore up our lanai . . . and our garage roof like caved in..yeah and it put a damn tree on allie's roof..lol so yeah that sucks..but the power n phones n stuff turned on today.."

cardboardcutout - "the Hurricane damaged our roof and knocked over two of our trees in our yard and they won't have power earlier than thursday. My old high school's gym is completely destroyed"

prettysuicide - "im in boca raton. me pete swin and ben survived the storm. pete and swins house is gone."

lord_tris_xiv - "i have a marine deepcycle battery attached to a power inverter. booya. i can have my computer, my tv, my fax, my toilet(its digital), all hooked up and ready to roll."

fitz99x - "Out on the three barrier islands Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, and Captiva, there is catastrophic damage with blocks and blocks of houses being razed . . . power is out for almost all of Lee County. With the exception of my house for some reason. The top of the post office in my neighborhood peeled back like the lid of a can . . . I drove from the station to my home (about 20 miles) and not a single traffic light was working. Most businesses are closed but many of the grocery stores seem to be open and running on generators. They are selling only items that need no refrigeration. Sadly, most gas stations are closed and the ones that are open are just about out of gas. About 30 miles north of me is Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte and that is where the eye of the storm went inland . . . The damage is complete in many places with the areas where there were homes looking more like the debris fields of plane crashes than neighborhoods. During the height of the storm, I sat out on my balcony and ate a cheeseburger while the wind, tree branches, and rain whipped by. During a hard gust a flock small birds shot by at about 80 miles an hour like little feathered bullets. I thought, "Oh, those guys are dead." Poor little things. There have been no big injuries to anyone I know or work with but there has been at least one close call. The son of the (Program Director) of the Top 40 (format) had a tree crash through the roof into his bed. He wasn't in it at the time. The station I work for sustained wind damage to the STL (studio-to-transmitter links) and is off air TFN."

kekori - "I no long have a room at my mom's house. A tree fell on it. No porch, either. Dad's house is fine . . . Shannon's house has 3 rooms missing, back is ripped up, and car pool is gone. Veronica's: Unknown. Haven't heard from her yet. Unsettling. . . . Justin's: Porch missing, and I didn't get to see the rest. Two of my friends houses were destroyed completely. My dad's house did flood, except in my room."

gypsymoonfaery - "my back porch was ripped off.
but i was scared.so scared. but i didn't cry.i couldn't. i had to keep thinking about all of the people that were screaming and crying
only 5 miles away from us. my town looks nothing like my town.
i hated it. i detested it. but now i want it back . . . I'm confused and lost when i try to drive around and nothing will ever be the same. cars ae dented. powerlines are down. metal lightposts are snapped in two."


travmikado - "The destruction, it's like nothing I've seen before, we fared pretty well, everyone is alright, but we lost our garage. we'll be without power for two weeks, at least. . . . we had winds on our street of at least 152 mph gusts... it was surprising all we lost was our garage."

omgzomgz - "i can't call anyone, phones are all dead there so im scared for my friends . . . i can't believe i was excited aobut school getting out yesterday, fuck everyone who told me this thing was going to be ilke a big thunderstorm . . . i think a lot of people might have died, no one knew that it was going to be this bad so i think a lot of the elderly people in their trailers might have stayed.. if they did, they got wrecked, we drove past a few on the way to the college . . . they were just smashed."

imsosnazzy - "Calli went by my house this morning. I no longer have a fence in my backyard, or palm trees in the front. It sounded like one might have hit a van??? i have a hole in the side wall of my garage. You can see the plywood on my roof, and a good portion of the shingles are gone, so there's probably water damage, and it's supposed to rain..."

jennymay - "Well Charley is gone...my apartment is fine...my house on the other hand isn't. Turns out the roof is messed up, the screen cage around my pool is destroyed, trees are broken, there's a portapotty in my yard . . . and the power will be out for about a week "

brett0182 - "this afternoon i went over to the hotel at belltower (temporary sanibel city hall) and talked to the city council then just with marty (the mayor) . . . the offical police report from the flyover states East End significant roof damage (my house) . . . Of course, this is all speculation because no one is allowed on the island. . . Marty doesn't expect to open the island to residents until the end of the week . . . its terrible about punta gorda, but if the storm hadn't taken that last minute swing north, that 400 yard pass that split upper captiva would have happened in my neighboorhood. we were truly spared from absolute destruction when the eye changed course just 15 minutes before it hit. hopefully i'll find out what happened to my house tomorrow.
god bless."


There are some pictures taken of the damage on omgzomgz' journal, for those who are interested.

*Update*: Just saw the saddest post yet on the hurricane from kekori, a resident of Punta Gorda, near the center of the storm. :

"Right now I feel like breaking down into tears. I found out that three of my friends have been hospitalized, and one of my friends did die. I still haven't heard from Veronica, Jason, and Lewie... I can't wait to leave for NC.. fuck, I feel lucky.. but then.. I feel at a loss, like, if I was there with them.. I could have pushed them out of the way or something.. They deserve better than what happened to them...

I would give my life instantly for any friend, at anytime.

So why they fuck did it happen to them! I want to trade places with everyone in Pt.Charlotte right now, that has either lost their life, homes, or are just seriously hurt! They deserve a 2nd chance, and I have had way too many.. I've got $78.. it's not much, but I hope it helps somebody...

Sorry.. I just feel.. it should have happened to me, than to someone else. Just....fuck..."


contributions can be sent to:

Lee County Red Cross
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
2516 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Charlotte County Red Cross
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
1300-D Enterprise Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33953

Sanibel-Captiva Community Foundation
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
8260 College Pkwy, suite 101
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Volunteer Florida
1-800-FL-HELP1
fashionable

Shades of April in Iraq.

The month of April was arguably the most unpopular and divisive month in the occupation of Iraq, as U.S. forces engaged both Sunni and Shi'ite resistance in both Falluja and Najaf at the same time. The end result was a level of unrest that greatly set back the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and swayed Iraqi public opinion dangerously towards the radicals. Likewise, Bush' popularity took a nosedive over those few weeks, as casualties came in at twice the rate of what we've seen in recent months.

As a result of the uprising that followed, Fallujah essentially fell under the control of the resistance, which has used the city as a base of operations. Likewise, Samarra and Ramadi also became cities under questionable Coalition control. Moqtada al-Sadr's forces licked their wounds, learned their lessons, and trained and recruited further.

This month, however, has the very real potential of turning into another April-like event. The delicate nature of the confrontation in Najaf around its holy sites means that any final battle will have to be waged primarily by Iraqi troops. These troops are highly undependable, as they include many who may not be willing to fight fellow Iraqis defending their country's most holy landmark.
Recently, in Hilla, Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters overran approximately 200 Iraqi national guard troops who would not fight them, taking their weapons. Something like this occurring during the "final battle" with Sadr could be the undoing of the Allawi government in all ways that matter, so Allawi may be forced to use more loyal / anti-Shi'ite Kurdish troops against the Shi'ites, just as they were used against the Sunni in Fallujah. This could be an incredibly divisive thing to do, as it could lead to a wider civil war.

Articles are reporting that thousands of protesters from southern Iraq have converged on Najaf and have joined Sadr in the defence of the Imam Ali Mosque. It also seems likely that foriegn aid and fighters are likely to arrive from numerous locations around the Arab world. It is, therefore, entirely possible that the entire Iraqi army couldn't defeat Moqtada al-Sadr at this point -- despite the pummelling they've had over the last week, Sadr's forces in Najaf are almost certainly stronger than they were when the confrontation began last week.

If the Iraqi army tried attacking Sadr's forces and failed, it could lead to a situation where U.S. forces would get drawn into the fight anyway, no matter how bad the consequences could become. Unrest if Najaf is attacked would almost certainly spread across southern Iraq and in Baghdad as a result -- most likely to a greater degree than they did during the past week.

The big wildcard, however, is what might happen in Sunni territory. A story came over the wire today that is quite disconcerting. Apparently, there are plans to disband the Fallujah Brigade", the all-Iraqi guardians of Fallujah, led by former Saddam loyalists. The Fallujah Brigade is ultimately loyal to Iraqis, however, not the coalition forces, and will not disband so easily. After all, they control Fallujah, and pride themselves on their autonomy. It appears likely that a wider confrontation is planned in Fallujah. The ground is literally being laid for another April-like scenario if the Coalition doesn't play their cards right.

Sunni and Shi'a resistance is far more united now than it has ever been. A good example was seen today, when a large aid convoy arrived in Najaf from Fallujah, escorted by Sunni clerics and clan elders. They met with local clergymen in Najaf, and expressed solidarity with the city and its resistance.

If Sunnis and Shi'ites unite during a time of shared opposition, watch out. It's questionable whether even Sistani could calm such a widescale uprising. The result could be the illegitamizing of Allawi, widescale opposition against both the U.S. and British forces, defections from the Iraqi military and police, and anti-Kurdish sentiment.

Imagine an April in Iraq that never ends...
fashionable

Sigh.

Saddest post yet on the hurricane from kekori, a resident of Punta Gorda, near the center of the storm. :

"Right now I feel like breaking down into tears. I found out that three of my friends have been hospitalized, and one of my friends did die. I still haven't heard from Veronica, Jason, and Lewie... I can't wait to leave for NC.. fuck, I feel lucky.. but then.. I feel at a loss, like, if I was there with them.. I could have pushed them out of the way or something.. They deserve better than what happened to them...

I would give my life instantly for any friend, at anytime.

So why they fuck did it happen to them! I want to trade places with everyone in Pt.Charlotte right now, that has either lost their life, homes, or are just seriously hurt! They deserve a 2nd chance, and I have had way too many.. I've got $78.. it's not much, but I hope it helps somebody...

Sorry.. I just feel.. it should have happened to me, than to someone else. Just....fuck..."


I'd also suggest reading virgin_politics journal, as she has a particularly good post on the difficulties she faces having a house on Sanibel Island, one of the hardest hit regions.

She mentioned that contributions can be sent to:

Lee County Red Cross
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
2516 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Charlotte County Red Cross
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
1300-D Enterprise Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33953

Sanibel-Captiva Community Foundation
Attn: Hurricane Charley relief fund
8260 College Pkwy, suite 101
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Volunteer Florida
1-800-FL-HELP1
fashionable

CIA getting involved in Venezuelan elections?!

A Venezuelan news organization reports that an email was sent to the world press this afternoon, claiming to be early election results indicating a defeat for outspoken Bush critic Hugo Chavez. The email in question appears to be a fraud, sent from a location in Virginia. There are also reports coming in of phony election results being broadcast on Venezuelan television, and rigged exit polls organized by the very people who supported an unsuccessful coup against Chavez in 2002 -- an organization funded by our government through the National Endowment for Democracy. Your tax dollars at work.

Former President Carter reports that the elections are going well, with a huge turnout, but if Chavez wins, will there be an organized effort -- funded by U.S. tax dollars -- to discredit the election anyway?