Blogs to Read

Skip the middle woman today (me) and just go read these great blogs:

PUndit Guy: Especially How We Die; The post on Census Data; and the post on Internet Archives- maybe you can help.

Mudville Gazette: You want to read it all, but especially First Responders, Baghdad on the Bayou (here is possibly the only place you will read of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco’s statements like “These are some of the 40,000 extra troops that I have demanded,” Blanco said. “They have M-16s, and they’re locked and loaded … I have one message for these hoodlums: These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so if necessary, and I expect they will,” and Nagin’s idiotic statement that he had “declared Martial Law in the city and directed the city’s 1,500 person police force to do “whatever it takes” to regain control of the city.

Nagin said that Martial Law means that officers don’t have to worry about civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters.
martial law means officers have permission to shoot to kill.” To count the ways that Nagin is wrong, you’ll have to read Mudville. HInt: He has no authority to declare ‘martial law,’ and martial law has nothing to do with the police officers.

And you especially want to read Riding on the City of New Orleans. HEre you will find all kinds of information and quotes from New Orleans’ disaster plan- the one they had on paper and were supposed to follow. I think you will be surprised by who is and who is not mentioned in this plan. Or maybe you won’t be surprised if you you don’t rely on CNN for your news.

And, of course, you want to read Junkyard Blog. Just keep reading. Note especially the story of another stolen bus, and keep it in mind when Nagin’s defenders complain that he might have had buses, but who would drive them. Note also the police officer who ” was given three month’s pay, at New Orleans Police Department, given three month’s pay and said, “You need to leave, you need to relocate, find another unit, another district, division, or another job because to clean up this city is going to take three to five years.”

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More Personal Stories

From Bobby Ross’ blog comes this post:

Click on the link to see a smiling “Corey Bradley, who celebrated his 30th birthday Saturday…. He’s holding his 4-year-old daughter, Trinity. The New Orleans residents escaped the hurricane — but lost all their material possessions. Nonetheless, Bradley said he’s blessed because the Mountain View church found him at a shelter at Reunion Arena in Dallas and offered him long-term housing.”

The Mountain View church in Dallas… is reaching out to evacuees by offering food, clothing and free apartment rent for at least six months. (With help from many area churches, they’ve already placed 250-plus evacuees in long-term housing!)”

(We previously mentioned this church in this post. People we know personally- that is, we have known them via email for several years, have actually met face to face in real life, and had the joy of singing with, and with whom we have very dear mutual friends, have gone to Mt. View to take supplies and help out. A cynical sort seems to be questioning the legitimacy of this and other church groups I’ve mentioned. I’d point out that you can check google-earth to see if a church building is standing on the location given, and you can google yellow pages to find the addresses and phone numbers of church groups to make sure they didn’t just mushroom up in the wake of Katrina for the purpose of defrauding generous donors and desparate survivors. I’ad also suggest that the same caution might be applied toward investigating larger agencies to see what their overhead costs are. Churches are boots on the ground, all volunteer, person to person assistance- I know that when I send towels and toletries to one of the church shelters we’ve mentioned here before that they will get to the people who need them within a day of the box being opened, sometimes within hours. I have no such certainty with the larger, nationally recognized, spend-a-lot-of-bucks on P.R. Charities. In fact, my certainties go quite the other direction.)

Soapbox aside, if you click on the link to Bobby Ross’ blog and just scroll down you can also see pictures of rescue workers in Sliddel, Mandeville, and other places.

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Personal Stories

From a friend in Texas: “I know that most of the evacuees we are getting here are the poor who could not get out of New Orleans. I am so hoping that what we give them here is a *better* life with maybe less poverty. So maybe eventually they will see the good that came their way through tragedy. And just because, I want them to have a better life. It is almost unbearable to think of what these people are going through *right now*!! Let alone what they went through last week.
On a side note: We get a magazine “Cottage Living” which we love. In the most recent issue, there was an article of a couple in New Orleans who were restoring an old Creole house. The CL website tells me now that they have not heard from this couple. But looking at the area the house was in, it must be gone. Where are they??? I loved their house and the story about them. I didn’t *know* them but I knew of them.
Our assistant preacher preached today and told this story. He was in Friday getting his tires rotated. There were two men there who happened to both be from LA. They weren’t together. But these were men who got out with their families under their own steam. They talked about the levees and different areas of NO. Then one guy asks the other if this particular levee had gone down. And yes, it had. The man looked down, then looked up and said he had lost his house and all his property then. Can you imagine finding out right there, right then?? But then he looks at his child in his arms and his wife and says, “I may have lost my house and possessions, but I still have my God and my family. Everything that is most important to me is still here.” WOW!
My heart is just so full. and it feels like it might break.”

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Where are the Refugees?

The Associated Press, as of 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005

Nobody knows how many are staying in private homes, with relatives, and with contacts made through personal church connections

TEXAS: Gov. Rick Perry says more than 120,000 refugees were in 97 shelters across the state, with another 100,000 in Texas hotels and motels. Hundreds more _ no one knows just how many _ were housed in churches or private homes.

LOUISIANA: The Red Cross says more than 50,000 refugees were in its shelters. The Superdome has been evacuated and tens of thousands of others have been bused to Texas.

ARKANSAS: Gov. Mike Huckabee says Arkansas likely had 50,000 evacuees in the state as of Friday and that another 20,000 could be expected.

TENNESSEE: Gov. Phil Bredesen says nearly 13,000 refugees were being sheltered and that number could double within several days. More than 10,000 people have gone to Memphis, about 350 miles north of New Orleans.

MISSISSIPPI: The state Emergency Management Agency says 12,500 people were in public shelters. Figures were not available for people in hotels or private homes, but officials say the total number could climb into the tens of thousands. A shelter in Biloxi was closed because more than 20 people there fell ill, and doctors believe the patients may have contracted dysentery from tainted water.

ALABAMA: Gov. Bob Riley is seeking to create temporary, semi-permanent and permanent housing for 10,000 refugees, but emergency officials say the number of hurricane victims in Alabama was likely to climb far higher.

MICHIGAN: The state has offered to house up to 10,000 refugees, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jennifer Granholm says.

SOUTH CAROLINA: U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn proposed housing up to 5,000 refugees in unused military barracks, an empty mall and other large buildings in Columbia. So far, Red Cross chapters across the state reported helping a handful of refugees, although most have been staying with family or friends.

MINNESOTA: Gov. Tim Pawlenty says Minnesota is preparing to host as many as 5,000 evacuees for a year or longer.

OKLAHOMA: A caravan of about buses carrying nearly 2,000 evacuees from the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region crossed into Oklahoma on Saturday en route to an Oklahoma National Guard barracks. Preparations are being made to house as many as 3,000 additional evacuees at a second site.

FLORIDA: More than 1,100 people were in seven shelters, along with 13,500 refugees in hotels, according to officials in Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee.

ARIZONA: One thousand or more refugees were expected to arrive in Arizona sometime Sunday.

COLORADO: Officials say up to 1,000 refugees will be housed at dorms at the former Lowry Air Force base.

GEORGIA: Working with aid groups, state officials have opened 12 shelters housing more than 900 evacuees, Gov. Sonny Perdue says.

MISSOURI: The American Red Cross has housed more than 500 people, says Susie Stonner, a spokeswoman for the State Emergency Management agency.

WEST VIRGINIA: About 500 refugees were expected to arrive beginning early Sunday.

ILLINOIS: Authorities were aware of 400 to 500 refugees in the state. The state Board of Education says 35 Katrina refugees were enrolling in Illinois schools.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ten buses were expected to roll out of Washington for New Orleans to pick up 400 hurricane refugees. Officials expected they would return on Labor Day. Refugees were to be housed at the D.C. Armory.

MARYLAND: A spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education says at least seven counties have been contacted by refugees who want to enroll students. Some school systems also have inquired about hiring displaced teachers.
———————————————————————————-

A number of people have suggested housing refugees at closed military bases, and I think that’s a great idea, too. But who owns the closed bases? Once they’ve closed, don’t they revert back to the state? Is it up to the Federal Government, or is this yet another decision legally up to the local officials? Based on reading the above, I’m guessing that it’s up to state and local officials.

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Frugal Ideas for Disaster Preparedness

First Post in this series is here.

Before I share today’s idea, let me remind you that sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare. More than a few of Katrina’s survivors (and probably a good many of the dead) might have been very prepared- but when a flood suddenly sweeps your home out from under you, you might very well find youself washed out of one window while your carefully laid up supplies float out of another. None of these ideas are intended to cast any sort of blame on people who find themselves in need of urgent assistance, nor are they intended to be a substitute for faith and prayer.

Today’s idea is incredibly simple- deydrated beans (and other foods). You don’t need a dehydrator- use your oven or two window screens in the sun. You sandwich the food between the two screens to keep the bugs away.

We’ve actually used this for camping, and it worked quite well. Like the bean flours, you are going to need liquid for cooking the dehydrated food, so make sure liquid is part of your plan (keep a bottle of bleach on hand for purifying your water).

First buy dried beans- not canned, unless you get an incredible price deal. A one pound bag of dried beans will make 7 or 8 cups of cooked beans. Next cook up a mess of beans. Drain them well, very well. Season them to taste with salt and herbs. Spread them out on your broiling pan (you might want to oil it)- the pan that probably came with your oven. It’s a big thing, and it has two parts. The top has slits in it to allow grease from broiled meat to drip down into the drainpan beneath. Your beans are not going to drip, but they do need heat on all sides. Spread them on the pan so none of them are touching, an dry them out in a slow heated oven (about 150 degrees). This will take at least two hours, probably more (again, it depends on the bean). I watch mine and turn them around with a spatula or wooden spoon every hour or so. They are done when they are dry and hard, like pebbles. But they will cook up again much faster than dried beans will, conserving your fuel. They also require less liquid than uncooked dry beans, and they are lighter in weight (this is important).

Store these in very dry jars and/or ziplock bags, and maybe even keep some in your freezer. About every six months or so, make up another large batch and then start using up your old store. You need to rotate your storage food too keep it from spoiling. You need to check on it periodically, too, to make sure it’s still in good shape.

To rehydrate your beans- put them in boiling liquid, cover, and wait until they are soft enough to eat. The time will vary, depending on the bean. You can also simmer them with liquid and other things you add to make a heartier meal- if you have other things.

Print out and save these websites in a binder that will be your emergency preparedness guide- only make sure you actually use it more than local Louisiana officials did!

Drying foods
Backpacker’s recipes (these are good sources for survival foods because serious backpackers care about keeping the weight of their packs down, and so do people who are serious about preparing for emergencies)
Another Extension office guide to food drying
Just Add Water
Drying food scientifically

More Beany recipes

People think that if they are truly in the midst of a disaster, they won’t care what their food tastes like, but this is not true, especially for children. So it’s a good idea to get used to the taste of your emergency dishes before you are in the midst of an actual emergency.

Posted in cookery, frugalities | 1 Comment

Frugal Ideas for Disaster Preparedness

First Post in this series is here.

Before I share today’s idea, let me remind you that sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare. More than a few of Katrina’s survivors (and probably a good many of the dead) might have been very prepared- but when a flood suddenly sweeps your home out from under you, you might very well find youself washed out of one window while your carefully laid up supplies float out of another. None of these ideas are intended to cast any sort of blame on people who find themselves in need of urgent assistance, nor are they intended to be a substitute for faith and prayer.

Today’s idea is incredibly simple- deydrated beans (and other foods). You don’t need a dehydrator- use your oven or two window screens in the sun. You sandwich the food between the two screens to keep the bugs away.

We’ve actually used this for camping, and it worked quite well. Like the bean flours, you are going to need liquid for cooking the dehydrated food, so make sure liquid is part of your plan (keep a bottle of bleach on hand for purifying your water).

First buy dried beans- not canned, unless you get an incredible price deal. A one pound bag of dried beans will make 7 or 8 cups of cooked beans. Next cook up a mess of beans. Drain them well, very well. Season them to taste with salt and herbs. Spread them out on your broiling pan (you might want to oil it)- the pan that probably came with your oven. It’s a big thing, and it has two parts. The top has slits in it to allow grease from broiled meat to drip down into the drainpan beneath. Your beans are not going to drip, but they do need heat on all sides. Spread them on the pan so none of them are touching, an dry them out in a slow heated oven (about 150 degrees). This will take at least two hours, probably more (again, it depends on the bean). I watch mine and turn them around with a spatula or wooden spoon every hour or so. They are done when they are dry and hard, like pebbles. But they will cook up again much faster than dried beans will, conserving your fuel. They also require less liquid than uncooked dry beans, and they are lighter in weight (this is important).

Store these in very dry jars and/or ziplock bags, and maybe even keep some in your freezer. About every six months or so, make up another large batch and then start using up your old store. You need to rotate your storage food too keep it from spoiling. You need to check on it periodically, too, to make sure it’s still in good shape.

To rehydrate your beans- put them in boiling liquid, cover, and wait until they are soft enough to eat. The time will vary, depending on the bean. You can also simmer them with liquid and other things you add to make a heartier meal- if you have other things.

Print out and save these websites in a binder that will be your emergency preparedness guide- only make sure you actually use it more than local Louisiana officials did!

Drying foods
Backpacker’s recipes (these are good sources for survival foods because serious backpackers care about keeping the weight of their packs down, and so do people who are serious about preparing for emergencies)
Another Extension office guide to food drying
Just Add Water
Drying food scientifically

More Beany recipes

People think that if they are truly in the midst of a disaster, they won’t care what their food tastes like, but this is not true, especially for children. So it’s a good idea to get used to the taste of your emergency dishes before you are in the midst of an actual emergency.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunday Hymn Post

We have more than one to share today because when our hearts are breaking we find solace in song.

This is a repeat, but please go listen to the midi file (I prefer Midi 1). It is perhaps 1500 years old.

… Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars
not shine,
Let the winds (?) and all the noisy rivers die down;
And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Let all the powers add “Amen Amen”
Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
The sole giver of
good things,
Amen Amen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This one is even older:
Have Mercy

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
*

(It’s from Psalm 51, and by the middle ages it was part of the daily morning liturgy in some locations)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This one has been on my mind this weekend:
Rescue the Perishing

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
weep over the erring one, lift up the fallen,
tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Refrain:
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Though they are slighting him, still he is waiting,
waiting the penitent child to receive;
plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
he will forgive if they only believe. Refrain

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
chords that were broken will vibrate once more. Refrain

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
back to the narrow way patiently win them;
tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died. Refrain

Words: Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby, 1870
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

by Ray Palmer

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray,
take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be,
a living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.
When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream
over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love,
fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
a ransomed soul!
Posted in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs | 2 Comments

Where’s the Red Cross?

First of all, I have to tell you that we will never give to the Red Cross, ever, in our family. That’s an old story, and I maybe will share it later. Still, a number of people on the left are demanding to know why Bush hasn’t let the Red Cross in to NO. In fact, one of them is posting over at the Junkyard Blog and shared this link to an official Red Cross page.

One Eric Anandson reples over at the Junkyard Blog (which I presume you are reading if you are an adult or have permission from your mother, which Pipsqueak and Jenny do not):

“Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.The state Homeland Security Department had requested—and continues to request—that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

What’d Federal about “local authorities” and “state HSD”?

Lest you need some learning about the National Guard, the National Guard is both under the command of the President and the Governor. When deployed with their own state, the National Guard is under the command of the Governor.
The Federal government does coordinate the deployment of other States’ National Guard units into other states, but the Natioal Guard making the calls in New Orleans are under the command of the Governor… until the President decides the Governor has totally failed at her duties and gets the entire national government to step in. Are you saying that Blanco failed that badly?

So watch your blurring of “military” and National Guard into “Federal”. The “military” National Guard is not the same “military” Navy, or “military” Army, or “military” Coast Guard. Just because the “military” is waiting, doesn’t mean it is the Federal military.

Oh, and about the “Federal stockpiles of supplied not used” link.

Let’s go read that one too…

“A federal official said the department’s Office for Domestic Preparedness reminded the Louisiana and Mississippi governors’ offices about the [firefighting] stockpiles on Wednesday and Thursday, but neither governor had requested it.“

Here is another picture of more buses that were not deployed to evacuate the poor during the mandatory (for those who are able, nertz to those who are not) evacuation, even though the disaster plan in place called for the Mayor to use those very buses to save those who had no cars. There are more people without vehicles in New Orleans than there are people who have them, lots more. And Mayor Nagin knew that (or should have. It’s mentioned in his cities disaster plan).

And here’s my opinion- do I think Bush has done everything perfectly? No. But Bush is not standing around making the problem worse while blaming everybody else for not fixing his mistakes. He’s being a President. He’s doing what he can, and he’s been working with some very bad information thanks to the local officials in Louisiana.

Nagin and Ebbert need to spend less of their time carping, criticizing, and blaming everybody else, and more time actually saving people and doing their jobs.

Mayor Nagin is doing things like this:

At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line – much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday.

“How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?” exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

The 700 had been trapped in the hotel, near the Superdome, but conditions were considerably cleaner, even without running water, than the unsanitary crush inside the dome. The Hyatt was severely damaged by the storm. Every pane of glass on the riverside wall was blown out.

Mayor Ray Nagin has used the hotel as a base since it sits across the street from city hall, and there were reports the hotel was cleared with priority to make room for police, firefighters and other officials.

Great Big Bonnet Tip and a Loaf of Home Baked Bread to the Pundit Guy

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Prayer, and Katrina in Mississippi

Amanda Witt has a post of comfort and solace to those among us who can do ‘no more than’ pray.

Katie Barr at CM, Children, and Lots of Grace, has some very specific and heartbreaking information from MIssissippi. I’ve been bothered by how much emphasis we here at the Common Room have placed on the situation in Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, but I haven’t been successful at finding any news from Mississippi. (Hey, our tall friend who originally hails from Mississippi, please let us know how your family fares?!)

Today Katthryn at Suitable for Mixed Company has news from Mississippi (click on the title to her post- the other link doesn’t work)

Posted in Charlotte Mason | 2 Comments

Chief Justice William Renquist Died Today

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