A quick trip to the opticians today confirmed what I'd thought - the prescription for my left glasses lens was too strong. They re-did my eye test and backed off the left eye by half and things are much better now. I'm not getting the swimming at the edge of my vision and the eye strain in my left eye - the one which is better without glasses.
I've come to the conclusion that not only is B*sh a liar, but he's a pathological liar. He's incapable of telling the truth. Everything he says is a lie, yet I believe he thinks he's telling the truth.
For example - he's just been on TV telling us that the New Orleans convention centre is secure, but CNN then cut to their reporter on the spot who said there was no sign of any change or security inside or outside the centre.
It's "mission accomplished" all over again.
B*sh went to war on a lie, and sent huge numbers of his country's troops overseas, so many that there's not enough left to deal with any crisis at home. B*sh has cut $30M a year from the Army Corp of Engineers budget. B*sh has got so many local governments tied up with finding his fucking war that New Orleans hat to cut or cancel their funding for levy maintenance last year. B*sh has sorted it out so that people in Iraq get regular airdrops of food and water, yet its taken him 5 days to do the same in his own country. B*sh would not allow the use of military facilities and air bases to house the refugees. He wouldn't even go to the disaster site until 5 days after the event. It makes my stomach turn to see him hugging families and crying during his visit today. It was acting not even worthy of daytime television. The man is pure evil. He is a liar and a hyppocrite.
B*sh has to go, and he has to go now. This would not have been anything like the catastrophe that it is if the federal government had got involved on the first day. It was a wholly predictable event, and one which FEMA even had a goddamn practice session for last year. There was a weeks warning of the hurricane, New Orleans is below sea level - it seems obvious to everyone except the government that this was a disaster that was text-book perfect, and thus ought to have been text-book preventable. The responsibility for this whole situation lies squarely at the feet of the commander in charge, the so-called President. He fumbled the ball, badly, and he must be personally held accountable for the the deaths of all those who have died in the sewage-filled streets of New Orleans. There can be no better reason to impeach him. His inaction has left him with blood on his hands, the blood of his own citizens.
Jack Straw is frantically denying a report that the UK has sent 12 oil tankers full of crude off to the US to help out with the current post-Katrina issues. The result is the price of petrol back in England has shot up and people are panic buying because they think supplies are going to run out.
Ahhhhh. That takes me back to September 2000 when I brought England to its knees with the fuel blockades :-) Dump the pump!
It looks like a chemical plant has gone up this morning, and there are a couple of big fires burning in downtown New Orleans on Poydras street. There's an enormous oil slick forming in the Gulf, south of N.O, coming from two 2-million barrel oil tanks which are leaking at one of the refineries.
B*sh helpfully admitted that the initial federal response was "unacceptable" (that's Big of him), and the Ray Nagin - the mayor of N.O - has given up with political correctness and told the feds to "get off their asses and get the fuck down here".
Three cheers for Ray Nagin. Now there's your politician who's in touch with what's going on. He stayed on the ground throughout the whole thing so far, and this pic from CNN shows he's not exactly thrilled to be speaking to B*sh. Frankly I'm surprised B*sh even had the stones to land - the pussy normally flies around stuff like this observing from the air.
Meantime, the official reported version of events is seeming more and more sanitised compared to what has actually been going on. The Outpost Crystal blogger has interviewed some people at the convention centre today who've told him that the troops are throwing supplies off the overpass so that they are destroyed when they hit the ground. When people walk around to try to get up to where the troops are, they're pushed back at gunpoint. The busses we've been told about on the news channels have never shown up at the convention centre. The people there have been cleaning windows, cleaning the streets, and organising themselves into single-file queues, elderly at the front, then women and children - anything to try to get the buses which keep passing them by (empty) to stop.
Meanwhile the scum of the earth are still looting, and now there's random murder and rape as well as arson. Ok the national guard and troops need to be cautious, but let the needy get the supplies and help, and shoot the looters and criminals.
Meanwhile some preacher has been quoted on CNN as saying "God cannot be pleased." Umm. Well if you believe in God, then surely you must understand that this hurricane is an Act Of God, and the suffering, pain and death is all created by Him as a result.......I'd say if this was his goal, then He's dancing around naked laughing His arse off at the moment!
Alternatively of course, this could be a (say it with me) "natural disaster".
The real military are starting to flood in to New Orleans. Just heard that Congress is going to reconvene for an emergency session and pass Katrina legislation. The Posse Comitatus Act restricts the military from domestic use, unless Congress approves it. Sounds like that's exactly what is about to happen.
Let's hope there's some shoot-to-kill policy in there because now snipers are trying to pick off national guard troops who are trying to evacuate New Orleans' Charity Hospital.
I'm using peercast to listen in to the national guard scanner. Sounds like bloody Kosovo.
From the N.O blogger still online :
It's raining now and I guess that's a relief from the heat. It's hot as hell down there in the sun. Crime is absolutely rampant: rapes, murders, rape-murder combinations. In case anyone in national security is reading this, get the word to President Bush that we need the military in here NOW. The Active Duty Armed Forces. Mr. President, we are losing this city. I don't care what you're hearing on the news. The city is being lost. It is the law of the jungle down here. The command and control structure here is barely functioning. I'm not sure it's anyone's fault -- I'm not sure it could be any other way at this point. We need the kind of logistical support and infrastructure only the Active Duty military can provide. The hospitals are in dire straights. The police barely have any capabilities at this point. The National Guard is doing their best, but the situation is not being contained. I'm here to help in anyway I can, but my capabilities are limited and dropping. Please get the military here to maintain order before this city is lost.
I always thought that Stephen King's description of the chaos that ensues in The Stand was more dramatized than it would be in real life - but New Orleans has proved me wrong.
I always thought that the US government, especially in the post-9/11 world, would be ready to deal with epic disasters in an expedient and appropriate manner - after all that's what Homeland Security and the Patriot Act was all about - but New Orleans has proved me wrong.
I always thought that, at the least, the B*sh administration would be capable of handling another crisis like 9/11 - but New Orleans has proved me wrong.
The federal government is responsible for stepping up to bat immediately in situations like this. B*sh declared disaster areas before the storm hit, which was a good start, but then went back on vacationing for two whole days. He sat and watched from his Texas ranch as the Mississippi and Alabama gulf coasts were levelled, as Slidell was blown off the map, as New Orleans filled with 20ft of flood water. This is exactly the same reaction he had during 9/11 - the man is simply incapable of operating in an emergency.
This begs the bigger question : what exactly happened to all the money that was redirected into B*sh's much-touted Homeland Security? Wasn't a large percentage of that money supposed to go to shoring up America's ability to respond and provide relief in the wake of a disaster like this? The reality of the situation is that most of the aid currently pouring in is coming from private companies, state governments, and municipal governments. Homeland Security are conspicuous by their absence. Doesn't it look like all that money, all the Big Brother features of the Patriot Act, and all the scaremongering to justify Homeland Security was a giant lie?
And what about the National Guard? Their numbers have been so dwindled by B*sh's war in Iraq that there aren't enough left to deal with a crisis at home. Again - abject failure and a total lack of planning. B*sh has to be held accountable for why America can react more easily to Iraq's needs than those of New Orleans.
And where is the "President's" leadership? Just as in 9/11, he has no plan, has no clue, has no concept. Just as with Rudy Guiliani in New York, this time Mayor Nagin, Senator Landrieu and Governor Blanco are the only people with power and influence that have an actual grasp on the ground situation in New Orleans. B*sh and the Federal government have again failed.
Ask yourself this : if the money that's been poured into Homeland Security has resulted in such an abject failure and lack of response after a hurricane, what, precisely, is going to happen to America if a terrorist cell manages to detonate a nuke or a dirty bomb somewhere? If more planes were hijacked? If a ship loaded with 10,000 tons of explosive was floated up the Hudson and detonated?
It's not like the hurricane just appeared out of nowhere. They had at least a weeks warning. It's not like flooding wasn't inevitable - New Orleans is built below sea level. There could, and should have been pre-emptive planning. Levys should have been reinforced with sandbags before the event. Triages and rescue centres should have been set up before the event. Yet we see New Orleans descending into Gotham-like savagery today. FEMA are pulling out rescue equipment because it's no longer safe. Looting is rife, rescuers are being attacked and shot at. Mob mentality is taking rule.
Katrina has exposed B*sh in the worst way possible. It has proved again that he is a liar. It has proved that Homeland Security is simply a new moniker for the same old complete lack of coordination in the FBI and CIA. It has proved that all the time and money poured into Homeland Security, and all the rights that are being stripped away in the Patriot Act are all for nothing, based on the whim of an evil, uncoordinate, ineffective, lying Texan.
The out-of-control war in Iraq, the out-of-control gas prices at home, the out-of-control looting and rioting in New Orleans, the abject failure of the government to act sooner or put measures in place beforehand for hurricane refugees. Do the American people need any more proof that B*sh needs to be removed from office right now? The man is simply incapable of running a country. He has only his own interests and those of big business at heart. I hate B*sh. The man is a liability. But you don't need to hate him to see today how ineffective and small he really is. He's a low-IQ idiot cattle rancher from Texas who has stumbled into the highest office in the country through vote rigging and scaremongering. Enough, America. Get rid of him and replace him with someone - anyone - republican or democrat - who can actually run the country and present a better image to the rest of the world.
Your federal government is currently out of the office. Please leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Meanwhile, enjoy this :
You know yesterday I said I had all the sympathy in the world for the victims of the hurricane? I'm changing my mind on a select group of them now, notably the ungrateful idiots who started shooting at the rescue helicopters at the Superdome this morning. To add insult to injury, they then started rioting and setting fire to other buildings. So now the fire brigade have had to stop their rescue efforts to put out more fires.
I know you people that are doing this can't read my blog - no power or infrastructure etc (actually I doubt they can read), but as you really have so little regard for the people trying to help you, you deserve to die in a typhoid-induced coma. Frankly, you're not worth wasting the time and effort to get out of there. If I was on those military helicopters being shot at, I think I'd return fire and get rid of the scum of the earth like you so we could get on rescuing people who do need help.
Disasters like this bring out the best in most people, but a part of the population down there seem to have had such a thin grasp on civilisation that within days of the disaster, they've turned into uncivilised criminals, rioting, looting and gunning people down. It's truly sad that people like this will get helped. They deserve no help, no sympathy, and no attention.
Pictures of looters being posted in realtime
The only blogger with an internet connection in New Orleans
What's even worse is the breed of leech-like criminals that have now set up fake Katrina donation websites, phishing for people's credit card information. I really do dispair that these sort of people are allowed to live and breathe in our society. They ought to be rounded up and shot because they are just vindictive, evil people.
Oh and whilst I'm on a politically incorrect role, I have to ask (or point out): why are all the looters black? What the fuck is a black man from the projects going to do with a plasma TV and a rack of clothes from WalMart in a city with no power, no water, no homes and mob rule? What possible benefit can there be in this situation from threatening rescuers with AK-47s and shooting police officers?
You know what? Fuck 'em. Send in the Army with a zero-tolerance shoot-to-kill policy. On-sight, in the head, ANYONE seen looting, rioting or attacking aid and rescue workers, no questions asked. Taking food and water to survive, from a store, is one thing. Stealing generators from hospitals, taking food from nursing homes at gunpoint, tipping over ambulances, shooting at rescue boats and helicopters etc. is just absolutely insane. Their bodies should be strung up from light poles with "I was a moron" spraypainted on their chests and left to rot.
It's like Mad Max combined with Escape From New York. Police are reporting that gun shops were the first places looted. Yeah that sounds about right for America. Don't bother trying to get food or water, or trying to solve the problem yourself. No - much better to loot guns and ammo and shoot the hell out of anyone coming near you. Yeah - that'll solve the problem.
Jeebus - WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Are you so goddamn stupid that you can't figure out to help yourself? There is no food and water left, and you're shooting the people who are trying to help. To tell it like it is : you deserve to die.
New Orleans was today ordered to be completely evacuated. The death toll is now thought to be in the thousands, and the floodwaters are filled with dead bodies, raising fears of typhoid and cholera.
Meanwhile the "experts" are preparing the public for the $4 gallon of gas. Apparently there simply isn't enough oil to meet demand. Seems that even the 700M barrels B*sh has in the strategic oil reserve won't help.
Wait - 700 million barrels?
What the fuck, B*sh? You bitch and whine about oil being in short supply, and then turn around and tell us you have 700 MILLION barrels of oil just sitting there in reserve? You hyppocritical son of a bitch. There is plenty of goddamn oil - its the lack of refining capacity and the goddamn Iraq adventure which are driving prices up.
The strategic oil reserve has the equivalent of 59 days of US imports and can be run at 4.4M barrels a day for 90 days if necessary. It takes about 13 days for the oil to hit the markets as petrol after the order to do so, so if the prices of petrol are still high 13 days from now, we'll know the oil companies are profiteering again.
Hurricane Katrina my arse. I have all the sympathy in the world for the victims of the hurricane, but for B*sh and the oil companies to cry foul and put the price of petrol up using this disaster as an excuse is simply deplorable. So what if Exxon and the others lost a couple of oil rigs? They all reported record profits in the first two quarters of this year. Exxon alone is up 32% on last year at $7.64Bn (yes, Billion) pure profit. Dig into that cash Exxon - screw the shareholders - use some of the money to sort out platforms and refineries. It's hardly a surprise that in a year when you doubled the cost of gas at the pump that you're reaping obscene (and what should be illegal) profits from it. Spend a little more of that money helping the American public out and a little less lining the pockets of board members and greedy shareholders.
In the wake of Katrina, the obvious but unthinkable has happened - the levees surrounding New Orleans have given way. 80% of the city is now under 20 feet of water, steadily filling up from Lake Ponchartrain. Worse - the concrete levees surrounding the city centre, designed to keep the sea out, are now keeping the lake water in so drainage is all but impossible. Both airports are now underwater too. The interstate is in pieces, the flooding is now 6 miles inland. All the previous shelters are now being evacuated along with all the hospitals via airlift. A 50-inch water main break has left the city without drinkable water, and the massive power outages have cut off 1.7M people. Gas main have exploded and parts of the city not underwater are now on fire. In Alabama, most of the state is without power, and the tail end of Katrina spawned three F-4 tornados which have done even more damage.
In the wake of Katrina, the oil companies have reaped massive rewards, with the price of petrol shooting up today for no good reason. Oil production has been re-started in the Gulf of Mexico, and even then it only accounts for 15% of the US market. Yet people have been fed the line that supply lines have been hampered because of the hurricane, and as a result, the oil companies have free reign to apply whatever price they like at the pump.
With the price of petrol going up by the day, something IS going to happen pretty quickly. I'm not sure what, but it's crippling the American economy yet B*sh is doing nothing about it. The cost of petrol is a factor in the cost of everything from food and clothes up to luxury items. It affects everyone in the country, yet B*sh is standing by whilst the oil companies rape the American public.
I had an amusing 5 minutes on the way to work this morning. At three consecutive sets of traffic lights, some guy in a black H2 with spinning rims, a billion-watt hifi and gold (yes gold) external trim, seemed to be convinced his H2 was faster than my BMW motorbike. Three times he revved the engine, and crept forwards at the lights, and three times I left him for dust.
That's a pretty clear indication of the type of person he was - he has no taste (gold trim), he has no common sense (an H2) and he has no concept of speed (trying to race a motorbike).
Made I larff.
Hurricane Katrina is currently dismantling Gulfport in Mississippi. This morning, the east side of New Orleans was under five to six feet of rising water after three pumps failed. There is extensive and life-threatening storm surge flooding, an oil rig has broken loose and slammed into the Mobile River bridge and there are total structural failures in parts of New Orleans. The Superdome, where 10,000 people were hiding from the storm, has had its protective coating ripped off the roof and there is now a gaping hole with wind tearing at the inside and rain pouring into the structure.
This is making hurricane Andrew look timid.
Paula was reading a magazine this afternoon when she came across an advert for Topamax - a new drug to hit the market which supposedly combats migraine. The small print for Topamax is 2 pages of 8-point print in a full-size American magazine. Most horrifying of all is the list of common side effects. This came from a clinical trial of 487 people. Think of that number, then look at the side effects. They are:
Cystitis, renal calculus, urinary tract infection, dysuria, micturition, fever, paresthesia, diarrhea, weight decrease, anorexia, mood disorders, attention deficit, cognitive problems, nervousness, viral infection, rhinitis, upper respitory tract infection, bronchitis, sinusitis, alopecia, asthenia, leg pain, chest pain, paresthesia, dizziness, hypoaesthesia, ataxia, hypertonia, constipation, dry mouth, gastritis, acid reflux, somnolence, memory loss, insomnia, depression, anxiety, psychomotor slowing, confusion, decrease libido, vaginal hemorrhage, anemia, dyspnea, rash, pruritis, acne, taste perversion, fatigue, asthenia, back pain, chest pain, flu-like symptoms, leg pain, hot flushes, allergy reactions, edema, body odor, rigors, speech disorder, nystagmus, tremors, language problems, coordination problems, abnormal gait, involuntary muscle contractions, stupor, vertigo, gingivitis, loss of hearing, myalgia, skeletal pain, epistaxis, agitation, increased aggression, emotional lability, apathy, depersonalisation, breast pain, amenorrhea, menorrhagia, reproductive disorder, prostatic disorder, moniliasis, sweating, hernaturia, incontinence, diplopia, loss of vision, leukopenia, fatigue, hypertension, leg cramps, tinnitus, hyporeflexia, fecal incontinence, glossitis, flatulence, gum hyperplasia, bradycardia, thrombosis, eczema, sebhorrhea, thirst, and vomiting.
Worse, there's a list of not-so-common side effects. They are: vasodilation, syncope, enlarged abdomen, hypertension, alcohol intolerance, angina pectoris, dyskenisia, dysphonia, scotoma, ptosis, dystonia, irregular EEG, upper motor neuron lesion, tongue paralysis, hemorrhoids, stomatitis, melena, tongue edema, dehydration, hypocalcemia, hyperglycemia, xerophthalmia, diabetes mellitus, hyperchloremia, hypernatremia, hyponatremia, hypocholesterolemia, arthralgia, arthrosis, gingival bleeding, pulmonary embolism, impotence, hallucination, psychosis, suicidal tendencies, euphoria, paranoid reaction, delusion, paranoia, delirium, abnormal dreaming, manic reaction, marrow depression, pancytopenia, ejaculation disorder, breast discharge, urticaria, photosensitivity reaction, abnormal hair texture, taste loss, parosmia, urinary retention, face edema, renal pain, albuminuria, polyuria, oliguria, conjunctivitis, abnormal accommodation, photophobia, strabismus.
And believe it or not, there's a list of secondary side effects too : bullous skin reactions, erythemia multi forme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, hepatic failure including fatalities, hepatitis, pancreatitis, pemphigus and renal tubular acidosis.
There it is again - death listed as a side effect. Now I don't know if its just me, but I consider death to be a primary effect, not a side effect. Frankly I think I'd live with the headache.
If you don't have a temporal lobe dysfunction or problems with other parts of your brain that Topamax hits, or you're at the wrong dosage, it will make you dumber than a box of rocks. The kidney stones aren't likely to be much fun either, and nor will the deafness or blindness.