September 2nd, 2005


Nostradamus vs. New Orleans -- the old frog wins.

Sure, it's completely meaningless, but the other day on a hunch, a thought occured to me...

"This disaster is so huge... I wonder when the inevitable Nostradamus spam will begin?"

So, I did a really quick google on what I thought were the appropriate keywords, and I found these two quatrains, worth sharing more for levity than anything else. I don't believe in them at all, but I still find it kind of amusingly spooky at times.

Century 1, Quatrain 87
Ennosigee feu du centre de terre,
Fera trembler autour de cité neuue
Deux gras rochers long têps feront la guerre,
Puis Arethuse rougira nouueau fleuue.

Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth.
Will cause the towers around the New City to shake,
Two great rocks for a long time will make war,
And then Arethusa will color a new river red.

So, if you were to think of this in terms of fitting New Orleans, then it would tend to indicate a "New City" (such as New York) having its towers shake, followed by a war with two rocks (Iraq?)... followed by Arethusa (a nymph associated strongly with springs and fountains) coloring a new river (the Mississippi) red.

I find the following quatrain even more interesting, though:

Century 10, Quatrain 49
Jardin du monde aupres du cité neufue,
Dans le chemin des montaignes cauees,
Sera saisi et plongé dans la Cuue,
Beuuant par force eaux soulfre enuenimees.

Garden of the world near the new city,
In the path of the hollow mountains,
It will be seized and plunged into the Vat,
Drinking by force the waters poisoned by sulfur.

No doubt, New Orleans has been plunged into the vat, and has been forced to drink poisoned waters. It is also a "new city"... Nostradamus makes reference to a new city in several of his quatrains, but who says it has to be the same one every time? Assuming he did have the ability to see into the future, then from his point of view, every city in the new world would be a new city.

You know what this means, of course. The Bush administration has had 450 years of warning that this disaster was going to happen, and they still were't ready for it... ;-)

The hero of New Orleans.

General Russel L. Honore, one of the highest ranking African-Americans in the Armed Forces.

He was praised strongly by New Orleans Mayor Nagin for his hardcharging, can-do attitude, and today he stood out on a street corner, personally directing the National Guard relief convoy through high floodwaters into the heart of New Orleans.

He's also the guy who told his troops "Point your weapons down, this is not Iraq."

By all indications, he sounds like a cigar-chomping, Pattonesque sonofabitch, but when trouble strikes, I want this guy on my side. Does anyone in the military out there who knows more about this guy? I would be glad to share...

He's also about a thousand times more qualified to lead FEMA and be the undersecretary of Homeland Security than its current director.

That said, the current FEMA director gives large cash donations to his boss, early and often, and I hear he's an old friend of Cheney...

LiveJournal lags behind.

It grates at me when I visit the main page for LJ and see all the brand new, chipper site news posted in the midst of a major national emergency and humanitarian crisis.

Is it too much to ask that Six Apart / LiveJournal add a link for donating to disaster relief?

If I was still running the business end of things, I would go one step further than that. I would insist that LiveJournal donate, say, 25%-50% of all the money from paid memberships over the next week to disaster relief. Chances are, the response would be so overwhelming that it would actually *make* LiveJournal quite a bit of money on the deal. It would also set a great example for other online businesses.

Amazon is on the ball. So is Google... and Microsoft... and Apple... and Paypal... and thousands of other websites. Infact, Paypal is allowing you to use their service to send money for the victims of Katrina, at no commission.

So, where's LiveJournal?! How is it that when they all have public weblogs, they can still be so insular at times about the things that matter to people? Don't they care?! They're probably getting a significant increase in site interest because of the hurricane, with tens of thousands of visitors coming to the site to read about those who are directly impacted by the hurricane, while they themselves are doing nothing to help.

If you agree with me, please post something on your journal asking that LiveJournal do this. If just a few of the more well read LJ journals ask for this, chances are it will be live and on site by the end of the day, and thousands of extra dollars will start flowing in to help those who are suffering from this crisis.

The latest site news and features can wait. The people of New Orleans can't.

**Update: I -- like many people -- didn't bother reading through the entirety of LiveJournal's latest news post to see the added mention of Katrina. They are apparently donating 25% from all gift shop sales to the relief efforts. It's a start... but they need to move this information above the fold, rather than forcing people to scroll down to find out about it. **

Is it time for accountability yet?!

This was said on the floor of the House today by Rep. Brad Miller:

"I know that today's session was a formality, that there would be no votes other than a voice vote, but I thought it was important to be here to show my support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in whatever way I could, however modest.

Martin Luther King said, 'we cannot walk alone.' We are responsible for one another. We help others in need on the faith that when we are in need we will be helped. . . Americans are again responding generously to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

But, Mr. Speaker, I share the anger of many Americans at how shamefully inadequate our government's response has been. Tens of thousands of Americans are living outside the walls of civilization. They are without food, they are without water to drink, they are without medicine or medical care, they are without effective shelter, they are without the protection against violence that law provides.

The failures that led to that are not the failures of the last four days; but of the last four years.

There have been repeated warnings that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were vulnerable to precisely what has occurred and yet our government was stunningly unprepared.

The President's press secretary was asked earlier this week about our government's response to the hurricane and he said, 'now is not the time for finger pointing.'

Earlier today on this floor Mr. Lewis [CA-41] said, 'now is not the time for finger pointing.'

Mr. Wamp [TN-03] said, 'now is not the time for finger pointing.'

Mr. Kirk [IL-10] said, 'now is not the time for recrimination.'

Mr. Lungren [CA-03] said, 'now is not the time for recrimination or for finger pointing.'

They say now is the time to grieve for the victims of the hurricane.

Mr. Speaker, I do grieve for the victims of the hurricane.

They say now is the time to help the victims of the hurricane.

Mr. Speaker, I want to help the victims of the hurricane in every way that I can. I am here today and like millions of Americans, my wife and I are contributing to private relief efforts.

But Mr. Speaker, there has to come a time for accountability. If there is not accountability for the stunning failures that we have seen in our government's response to this hurricane, we will fail again and again.

I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it's finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it's something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability.

Mr. Speaker, tell me when that moment will be. Tell me precisely when the moment will come for accountability for the failures of our response, for the failures of our planning that have led to the devastation and the hardships that we are see now.

And Mr. Speaker, tell me where the line forms to ask hard questions.
I yield back the balance of my time."

A voice from Waveland.

I saw a CNN post about Waveland, Mississippi -- a city that doesn't exist anymore.

So I did a directory search on the city, which is home to 59 LJers. One of them, Erin Hennessey airie43, typed this post shortly before Katrina hit.

"Just in case, God Forbid.

Riding out the worst storm in history, coming right for me. If anything happens remember that I love you.

You'd better go whether I'm there or not. If I can't make it YOU pick up the torch, because no one else can. Be nicer to Allie, and remember I love you!

I adore you, simply. You know why... thanks for everything you ever did or didn't do. 1000 times isn't enough.

For the love of god... Clean the litter.

::hugs like mad::

Naz Jeff and Matt...
Take care of my Dhead family and only believe 1/2 of what they tell you about me.

*hugs like mad*

I'm glad you aren't here for this. It's scary and the weather isn't bad yet. I love you more than I can breath, more than I can say. More than you will ever know even if you live to be 100. You have always been the most important thing in my life and I will continue to watch over you from what ever tree I have to hide in. I tried to make mom leave but you know how stubborn she is. Be kind to Daddy, he's softer than you think. Watch a lot of commercials and think of me.

Now that I'm finished being overdramatic, I'm going to watch the weather channel and wait for Katrina.


**UPDATE - A comment from a friend of hers indicates that she and her family survived! It's hard to believe that anyone could ride out such destruction, but it's great to hear.