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Monday, 12 September 2005
Two Issues,
One Word

Topic: 9/11
At the close of last week a firestorm lit up the internet concerning the design for the Future Flight 93 Memorial.

A firestorm is not an exaggeration. It might even be an understatement.

Many different blogs weighed in. Some were enraged, some did not see the significance of the construct that was objected to.

The responses ranged from

Michelle Malkin in

And do you wonder how this memorial design--benignly passive at best, offensive and inexplicably clueless at worst--possibly passed muster as the best representation of the spirit, courage, and resilience of the 40 passengers who saved countless American lives?
Is this the best we can do?
Sissy Willis and Dean Esmay, both conservative bloggers I like and link to regularly, dissent from those who are troubled by the "Crescent of Embrace." Do read their critiques. Sissy Willis thinks the issue can be resolved with a name change. Dean Esmay dismisses the controversy as a "kerfuffle." Both describe critics, myself included, as "shrill."

Captain's Quarters in

Flight 93 Memorial Intended To Offend

But the architects who created the winning design say their design has nothing to do with Islam.
"A crescent is part of architectural vocabulary. It's a generic form used in design," said Paul Murdoch, one of the winning architects. "We don't see any one group having ownership of it."
Murdoch believes it's unfortunate that the design is being interpreted that way.
"You can call it all kinds of things. We can call it an arc. We can call it a circle. We can call it the edge of the bowl. The label doesn't matter to us in terms of intent. We have no objection to calling it something else."
But as Ward reports, the advisory jury which selected the design asked the architects to do just that. They specifically wrote in their recommendation for this design that the name "Crescent of Embrace" be changed to "circle" or "arc" in order to avoid references to "specific religious iconography". That sounds as if the jury, which included victim family members, recognized the potential Islamic references at once.
Why didn't Murdoch heed that request? After all, it came from the victims' families, as the rebuttals have argued in specifying their support for the overall design. Instead, Murdoch kept that nomenclature.

The Politburo Diktat in

Flight 93 Crescent Memorial - The Designer?s Own Words

I don?t get it. Why this shape? The designers had a blank slate. They could have designed anything. And they chose the symbol of the perpetrators. They essentially claim that the shape is a coincidence. That?s an absurd claim. Architects design things for a reason, with intent; every part of an architectural design serves a purpose. A wall holds up a building; a pipe carries water; a gravestone marks a person?s final resting place. To pretend there is no symbolism here is beyond ?disingenuous.? It?s ridiculous. All you have to do is look at it. I skimmed through several Leftie blogs. They are convinced it?s a coincidence, that only wingnuts would see a connection.

Over in Euorope !No Pasaran! chimed in with
Forms have MEANING

One of their commenters was even more blunt

The proposed ?artwork for Flight 93 memorial site?called the ?crescent of embrace?. Does this just make you sick to your stomach when the remains of the victims are buried here and the perpetrators were muslim extremists? How many of these victims were muslims, do you suppose and since when is this appropriate in any stretch of the imagination

Then of course there were other reactions.

If the designer had used a different word?

by Jack Grant
such as semilunar instead of crescent, would the overly-sensitive right-wing be equally outraged?
From where I stand, Dean Esmay is entirely correct when he writes, ?Guys: it?s a curved grove of maple trees for God?s sake. Get over it

Perpetual Indignance As Political Expression
by Dean Esmay
Guys: it's a curved grove of maple trees for God's sake. Get over it

For the sake of debate, and only for the sake of debate I will stipulate, "a curved grove of trees is a curved grove of trees."

Let whether or not merely changing the name will solve the problem.

For me the defining question is, "If the crescent shape has no meaning other than subjective, was never meant to imply anything, the WHY was the simple request of the families ignored?"

They did not ask to scrap this design.
They did not ask to restart the long process of selection over.

They only asked that the title

"Crescent of Embrace" be changed to "circle" or "arc" in order to avoid references to "specific religious iconography".

Those who have maintained that outrage over the design of the Flight 93 Memorial have yet to explain why this simple request was not honored.

And if it was not honored, what purpose did the jury of families serve?

Were they meant to be listened to but ignored?

Were they just one more symbolic and meaningless gesture?

I am just a simple Flyover Land Jacksonian American, where I come from the wishes of grieving families where it is possible are honored.

So those who maintain that we who are outraged are barking at nothing.

Explain this puzzle to me.

If the Crescent has no definitive symbolic meaning in the title "Crescent of Embrace", where lies the great difficulty in changing one simple word?


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:43 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:11 AM CDT
I'm not here to point the finger of blame
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
Howard Dean graced the American People with that statement recently.

Of course it came at the END of
Dean: U.S. must face 'ugly truth' about Katrina
"(CNN) -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that in Hurricane Katrina's wake Americans need to face the "ugly truth" that race and class played a significant role in who lived and died"

I submit that has, is and will be the definitive model of the Democratic Party's tactics.

When the situation is in flux, information is incomplete or lacking, hysteria, extreme rhetoric, appeals to emotion and most definitely all the "finger pointing of blame" that they can muster.

Then when the situation stabilizes,when information is more complete and accurate, and when the fingers start pointing in directions that the DNC feel uncomfortable with, there will be an attempt to deflect the attention of the public and assume a position on the moral high ground by phrases such as

"I'm not here to point the finger of blame"

followed by a sometimes unspoken, but resounding


At the last they will utter platitudes that we need to find solutions, begin healing and find closure.

Sound familiar? It's been used time after time.
The events leading up to the Gulf War Phase II, had how many hysterical rants about the tens of thousands of US GIs who would die, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. It didn't happen that way did it?

Katrina did not happen the way it has been portrayed either, and there are some VERY unpleasant "ugly truths" emerging,

Not about the President, nor the Federal FEMA effectiveness, but about the Local Authorities
in Louisiana, who happen to belong to a Party, I do not feel I have to name.

How many times have witnessed the same?

During the days leading up to the start of the Gulf War Phase II, do you recall the hysterical mantra of the tens of thousands of GIs we would lose, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that would die.

Didn't happen that way did it?

Then when our troops out ran their supplies because they had had overwhelming success, they paused and immediately the cry went out "quagmire"? And it wasn't was it?

Sometimes it seemed like the Democratic and the Mainstream Media Talking Heads were reading from the same page as Baghdad Bob. Didn't it?

9/11 happened on President Bush's watch so it was all his fault. That is until the information started coming out about the Wall that had been erected between our intelligence offices and our criminal departments.

Then just like clockwork, now is not the time to point fingers of blame, now is the time to find solutions and closure.

There is nothing new under the sun and we have seen all this so many times.

The Democratic Party plays the same games over and over again and like a broken clock that tells the correct time twice a day, there is always an element of truth in their litany.

But it is always a carefully selective truth.

Witness CNN's latest expose from Michelle Malkin in


The Baton Rouge-based Shaw Group, CNN tells us, is a major corporate client of Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Among its Katrina-related contracts are this one valued up to $100 million from FEMA; and this one also valued up to $100 million from the Army Corps of Engineers.

But in their zeal to embarrass the Bush administration, CNN overlooks one very fat and inconvenient fact--and embarrasses only itself.

The Shaw Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, is headed by Jim Bernhard, the current chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard worked tirelessly for Democrat Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's runoff campaign and served as co-chair of her transition team. Another Shaw executive was Blanco's campaign manager. Bernhard is back-scratching chums with Blanco, whom he has lent/offered the Shaw Group's corporate jets to on numerous occasions.

Nice try wasn't it? Want to bet that as more and more comes out they will try to divert attention from any hint of corruption in the rebuilding effort with,

Now is not the time to point fingers of blame now is the time to rebuild?

First denunciation then deflection.

They are not engaged in Battle of Ideas with us. They are engaged in an attempt to create an image.

When one strawman is knocked down they will shift to another one.

The name for this is the Big Lie. Say anything loud enough, long enough, people will accept it as the truth.

I am willing to bet on the American People;s thirst for the truth and sense of fairplay. They seem to be betting on us being so Stupid that we won't notice what is really happening.

One of us has to be wrong.

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 3:05 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:11 AM CDT
Sunday, 11 September 2005
Never Forget, Never Falter,
Do NOT Fail

Topic: 9/11

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
Now they say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Now I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fightin' for

Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Some went down like heros in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
And all the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten?



Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:10 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:10 AM CDT
Saturday, 10 September 2005
The Bow of Blood
Topic: 9/11
There have been some interesting revelations about
further symbolic meanings hidden in Crescent of Embrace Flight 93 Memorial.

A case can be made that hidden meanings depend more on the searcher than what is examined. In this case I do believe the defining truth lies in the fact that,

the advisory jury which selected the design---specifically wrote in their recommendation for this design that the name "Crescent of Embrace" be changed to "circle" or "arc" in order to avoid references to "specific religious iconography". That sounds as if the jury, which included victim family members, recognized the potential Islamic references at once.

That from Captain's Quarters
Flight 93 Memorial Intended To Offend

Which SHOULD close the case that this interpretation is due only to the paranoia of small minded Neo-Con bloggers.

It won't though, any more than the above request by the families of the Flight 93 victims was honored.

But there are OTHER interpretations of the geometry that I find highly entreating.

Bluemerle points out that

"What would you say if you found out, among other issues of Islamic imagery being incorporated into the memorial, that the red crescent was canted on the prayer qibla to Mecca?

I know, I know.

But it is.

Shoot an arrow on the bow of the crescent and it flies along the path of the qibla. (the imaginary line to Mecca believers align themselves with when they pray.)


Etaoin Shrdlu presents us with a very impressive case.

Thus the Title of this post.

There is alot more comment on this over at Ace of Spades in
Another "Inadvertant" Feature of Flight 93 Memorial: Crescent Points Towards Mecca (CONFIRMED)

This last bit of information has changed my mind.
At first I want this version NOT to be used, now
I am thinking, yes make it EXACTLY like the illustrations and when I am there I can use
the ends of the Bow for a range finder. ;-)

Let the Left call it the Crescent of Embrace
I will think of it as the Bow of Blood.

Straight up the middle and forward!

If I ever go there I will stand on the Sacred Ground sight along the direction of an arrow laid
on the bowline and think,

Of the members of Flight 93

and my Cousin Casey who fell in Beirut in 83.

Now I say keep the Memorial just the way it is.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 11:38 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:09 AM CDT
Friday, 9 September 2005
Once more
into the breach,
dear friends,
once more

Topic: 9/11
"Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.
(III,i) "
Henry V by Shakespeare.

Though in this case it is not a case of closing a
wall with our dead, but preventing our dead from being defiled.

Twice now the Memorials to the Horrors of Sept 11, 2001 the Fall of the World Trade Tower, the Destruction at the Pentagon and the Valor of Flight 93, have been placed upon the Altar of Political Correctness, Bonding and Healing in preparation for Sacrifice.

Twice the American Public has risen in condemnation and STILL they try the same things, and then blink all innocent eyed when called to task.

First it was the Statue of the Firemen Raising the Flag. I posted on that here.

Some Things Are Sacred

THEN they wanted to use the WTC Memorial, NOT to honor the dead, but to teach us lessons about our past, Uhh why we deserved it I guess?

I posted on that Here.

Take Back The Memorial Petition

and Here.

WTC Memorial

Now it seems they have their hands on the Flight 93 Memorial, whose name it turns out is intended to be
the "Crescent of Embrace" made out of red and sugar maples. How SWEET, and how symbolic The Red Crescent has the same meaning in the MidEast as The Red Cross does here.

When I read, "The idea of the Crescent of Embrace, Murdoch said, is to be a gesture of healing and bonding.", my reaction was NOT one of healing,

I do NOT want to be "bonded" to the symbol that inspired the 19 Jihadists for the first serious attack on the US since Pearl Harbor.

This topic is being furiously debated over at Captain's Quarters in Clueless Memorial Design, Take 2
via Michelle Malkin

When you consider all the controversy about the World War One Memorial in the Mojave Desert, because it is in the shape of a cross?

Memorial in peril on Mojave preserve
The cross is the focus of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which contends that the display of the cross on federal land violates the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

I have HAD it!

Once more
into the breach,
dear friends,
once more


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:22 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:10 AM CDT
I am Waiting
Topic: Islamic Jihad
For someone to start pontificating on the difference in the situation in Mississippi and Louisiana and New Orleans.

We don't hear that much about Mississippi, not because the devastation there is not terrible, In truth the main force of Katrina struck there and not Louisiana.

But the resulting chaos in New Orleans in particular is so much greater, it gets the lion share of the media coverage.

We as usual, had Howard Deans take on the tragedy and his reasoning for the situation in New Orleans.

(CNN) -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that in Hurricane Katrina's wake Americans need to face the "ugly truth" that race and class played a significant role in who lived and died.

"We have to come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a significant role in who survived and who did not," he said. "And this question, 40 and 50 years after Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] and the civil rights movement, is, 'How could this still be happening in America?' "

" he said. "I'm not here to point the finger of blame

Not much surprising there. About what we can expect from Screaming Howie. One does wonder what he sounds like when he is pointing the finger of blame?

Unless it's like some of these samples?

Howard Dean Scream Remixes

But what I am waiting for is Howie, the DNC and the rest of the assembled talking heads to realize despite their consistent fixation on Race and Skin Color that the folks in New Orleans were also DEMOCRATS.

The Governor of Mississippi, were things are running smoothly, compared to New Orleans that is, by no means can Disaster Recovery on a scale such as this be even called smooth and easy, is a REPUBLICAN.

Yes folks having already played the Bush let people die because they were of a certain RACE, I am waiting for the Mantra, Bush let people die because they belonged to a certain Party.

That if the leaders in Mississippi were REPUBLICAN things would have been handled much better there.

The really sad part is-- they will be RIGHT.

But not for the reasons they will think of.

Maybe the voters in Louisiana and New Orleans will wake up to truth, come the next elections.

Those that are still left that is.

I am surprised it too almost three weeks. Michele Malkin has the details at


Q: What do you get when you wrap the anti-Bush race card in tinfoil?

A: Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee blaming the botched Hurricane Katrina response on "minority votes being suppressed."

Marc Morano has details.

Black Voter Suppression Blamed for Weak Katrina Response

By Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
September 29, 2005

Washington ( - The Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina may be the result of minority votes being suppressed and Democratic candidates losing the last two presidential elections, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus has alleged.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 8:57 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:09 AM CDT
Thursday, 8 September 2005
Katrina thoughts
A blogger who belongs to the

Life, Liberty, Property Libertarian Community from Slidell, LA has surfaced much to the relief of the Community, alive and unscathed, but with a few thoughts on Katrina.

I will clip a few points but suggest you go to his site for a first hand accounting.

So now a few words from

The Louisiana Libertarian

"Well, my readers, I survived Katrina (now all I need to do is print the lousy T-shirts). My mother and I evacuated our hometown of Slidell, Louisiana the Sunday morning before the storm. We reserved our hotel room in Madisonville, Texas at the Carefree Inn the night before. The trip was supposed to take six and a half hours from Slidell to Madisonville, Texas. Instead, the trip took sixteen hours."

"Since I returned back to Louisiana, I've been volunteering at the FEMA distribution center in Slidell at the old Wal-Mart (I-10 and Gauze Boulevard). The lines of cars are very long to receive the basics such as food, water, and ice. However, there is way too much bureaucracy involved with this distribution center. For example, FEMA has found time and money to hire a safety officer to make sure we (volunteers and state and Federal employees) are following proper safety standards."

"Now everyone has been talking about the politics about the Katrina aftermath. Many on the left have used this opportunity to blame President Bush for the pathetic Federal response. That's nonsense."

"Now for the state's truly abysmal response to the storm. I have attacked Governor Blanco often on this blog and I've called her a moron and I've questioned her ability to lead often. Unfortunately, she has only confirmed those criticisms in this crisis. Governor Blanco has been more interested in protecting her power than helping the people of Louisiana. She refused to mobilize the Louisiana National Guard before the storm when President Bush advised her to. She refused to ask for outside help until the middle of last week to deal with the situation in New Orleans. Her Office of Emergency Preparedness obstructed efforts by the Red Cross and FEMA to aid the people of New Orleans after the storm."

"As for New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the only criticism I can make of him is that he failed to come up, with the state of Louisiana, a plan to evacuate the city of New Orleans. He would have had to coordinate with surrounding parishes and the state government because the one million people who lived in the outlying areas of New Orleans would be evacuating as well. If I could blame Mayor Nagin for this, I would have to blame his predecessors and the state government as well. Other than that, I see a man who in the end was powerless to save his city and rally his people"

That was just the tip of the iceberg. I will make one note. There WAS a plan to evacuate the City for those with and without access to vehicles. The problem is that the part of the plan for those without vehicles was NOT USED.

I an other bloggers have commented on this. As a matter of fact here is an email I received from one of my readers.

"Hi Dan - After reading the City of New Orleans 'Evacuation Plan' I gotta admit that everything you posted in the past few days seems to be right on target. ---Lou---

which I got from NewsMax"

PLEASE Go the Louisiana Libertarian website and read his full account.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:58 PM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005 8:57 PM CDT
The Curious Case of the Thousand Firefighters.
One thing that is certain about Katrina is that information, is incomplete at the best and purposely slanted at the worst.

I will admit when I first glanced at the following my reaction, was, typically stupid.

More on the Idiots at FEMA

I’m sorry. I was going to stop posting about politics and Hurricane Katrina at the same time, but I can’t resist at least one more. Is this
or is this not self-evidently idiotic? (Somehow I missed it the last time around.)

Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. . . .

The firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of them came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.
"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

But then I did an uncommon thing, it seems there is a lack of these last few days, I looked for more information, because it seemed SO dumb. I followed
the link. I found some interesting details.

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.
Federal officials are unapologetic.
"I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak.
The firefighters - or at least the fire chiefs who assigned them to come to Atlanta - knew what the assignment would be, Hudak said.
"The initial call to action very specifically says we're looking for two-person fire teams to do community relations," she said. "So if there is a breakdown [in communication], it was likely in their own departments."
One fire chief from Texas agreed that the call was clear to work as community-relations officers. But he wonders why the 1,400 firefighters FEMA attracted to Atlanta aren't being put to better use. He also questioned why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - of which FEMA is a part - has not responded better to the disaster.

Let me repeat a portion of the above for those who may have missed it.

"The initial call to action very specifically says we're looking for two-person fire teams to do community relations,"

Now I am going to step back and pretend I am a FEMA officer in Atlanta.

We have a Disaster Area. We are trying to ship in food, supplies, shelter and materials to render aid to the victims. We ALSO have to ship in all of the above to support the Recovery Workers. There are some tedious, on the surface not too important jobs that still need to be done, going around giving information to the victims. It sounds like a bit more is involved than just telling folks how great FEMA is.

I will admit there seems to have been an attempt to trivialise the task more than it is.

Anyway you have a task, you have send out a specific request to fill the need for this task, You have supplies in place to support the tasking 3000 meals a day, so many gallons of water, cots, shelter etc etc. This is called LOGISTICS.

Your volunteers show up and promptly inform you that they do not WANT to perform the function that you sent out a volunteer request for.

That their training will be wasted if you use them for that purpose.

As it turns out they are quite correct their valuable training will be wasted in this function.

Where exactly does that leave you? You STILL need the task performed.

And of COURSE it is all YOUR fault for being SO stupid as to ask for volunteers to perform a specific role and expect them to do so.

Its a real mixup and these firefighters talents WILL be wasted, but for those who have gotten so hysterical and decided that this is a perfect example of how stupid FEMA is?

Go to a job interview sometime, and if you are hired, on your first day of work, tell your new boss you don't feel like doing what you were hired to do, but are willing to inform him of what he SHOULD have you work on.

There was one other factor.

But Louis H. Botta, a coordinating officer for FEMA, said sending out firefighters on community relations makes sense. They already have had background checks and meet the qualifications to be sworn as a federal employee. They have medical training that will prove invaluable as they come across hurricane victims in the field.

Wow they wanted to send out teams that could actually also respond with emergency treatment if needed.

How shortsighted of them.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 5:47 AM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005 5:59 AM CDT
Wednesday, 7 September 2005
Military Support to Katrina Relief Continues to Grow
What you will NOT read in the New York Times!
Not while they think Journalism is spelled

Military Support to Katrina Relief Continues to Grow
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2005 – The thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines supporting relief efforts along the Gulf Coast "are doing a great job" as they focus on what the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina today called their top priority: rescuing and evacuating victims and providing them food and water.
The 38,000 National Guard troops and almost 13,000 active-component forces in the region are working feverishly to wrap up search-and-rescue operations and get the hurricane victims to safety, Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore said today during an interview with CNN.

As of Sept. 4, more than 63,000 people had been evacuated from New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, U.S. Northern Command officials said today.

"Right now, we're still in the crisis phase of this because we have not gotten people out of the destroyed area," Honore said. "We are still looking for them...and getting them."

Honore, based at the joint task force headquarters at Camp Shelby, Miss., but spending much of his 20-hour workdays in the afflicted area, said the current force, which is increasing in size daily as more Guard and active forces continue arriving in the region, appears to be large enough for the immediate mission.

"We still have local officials to get the job done, and if we need more troops, they will flow," he said.

What's not as clear at this point, Honore acknowledged, is how many troops will be required for the next phases of the operation, after the evacuation is complete.

Removing floodwaters from New Orleans, La., providing shelter for thousands of displaced residents and the long-term recovery efforts "might be harder" than the current search-and-rescue mission, Honore said.

Army Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said today during an interview with C-SPAN that Corps workers on the ground are working with local authorities to pump water from New Orleans, repair pumps knocked out of operation, bring in additional pumps and repair levees.

"Every hand is down there working," he said. "It's a challenge. It's a very complex thing and there are lots of variables."

Honore dismissed questions today about what's being criticized by some as a slow government response to the disaster.

"We might be at the half time of this game. We might be losing 50 to nothing," The general said. "But I am going to focus on this next half. We are going to win this half. We are going to get it done and we are going to get it done as quickly as we can...The second half is yet to come."

Just returned from a visit to the stricken area Sept. 3 with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Northern Command's top officer described the magnitude of the military support mission.

In addition to 38,000 Guard troops and 13,000 active-duty forces on the ground and more from Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Hood Texas, Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., on the way, the military is performing a Herculean support effort, Navy Admiral Timothy J. Keating told Pentagon reporters today via satellite from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

"We have over 300 DoD helicopters performing search-and-rescue missions and providing humanitarian assistance," Keating said, and naval forces in the area now number 21 ships.

"The USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier, is in the waters just south of Mississippi. We've got an amphibious ship pierside in New Orleans. Another one, a big-deck amphib(ious vessel), the USS Iwo Jima, ... should be pierside downtown New Orleans by about noon today," Keating reported.

In addition, the Air Force, operating through U.S. Transportation Command, is providing critical airlift for equipment and humanitarian supplies.

"We have delivered by air and land 6.5 million meals to Louisiana so far (and) over 2 million to Mississippi," Keating said. "Another 3.5 million meals (are) in the pipeline flowing forward (and) 15 million gallons of water are coming. And we've got 116 million pounds of ice."

Keating said he's not sharing these numbers simply to tout the military's logistics capabilities. "I don't give them to you necessarily to impress how much we can move stuff," he told reporters. "I want you to understand how hard the Department of Defense is working to assist the National Guard, (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary (Michael) Chertoff in providing the assistance to those folks who have been hit so hard in Louisiana and in Mississippi."

NORTHCOM officials also reported today that USS Bataan, which has been serving as a platform for search-and-recovery missions, is now ready to accept patients into its hospital.

USS Altrair arrived in New Orleans carrying 130 tons of water and USNS Pollux, with 1.5 million gallons of fuel to support relief operations by National Guard troops and emergency service workers, NORTHCOM officials said.

In addition, two military water purification units have been ordered to Pascagoula and Bay St. Louis, Miss., and DoD is working to fill more requests for high-water vehicles for police and soldiers on the ground, NORTHCOM officials said.

Additional active-duty troops continue to arrive in the region. More than 1,500 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in New Orleans from Fort Bragg, N.C., with another 1,000 to arrive today, officials said. About 1,600 1st Cavalry Division arrived in Hammond, La., from Fort Hood, Texas, late Sept. 4.

The National Guard presence in the region continues to grow. National Guard Bureau officials said today they expect 41,000 Army and Air Guard forces to be supporting relief efforts during the coming days. Collectively, they represent 42 states and make up 74 percent of the uniformed military response, officials said. Four thousand Coast Guard members are also providing support. Defense officials reported these additional operational highlights today:

? 374 DoD, Coast Guard, and National Guard helicopters and 76 DoD and National Guard fixed-wing aircraft are supporting the operation;

? 963 total search-and-rescue, evacuation and supply delivery missions have been flown by DoD, more than 500 of them during the past 24 hours. Collectively, they have moved more than 15,000 people and almost 5,000 tons of supplies in Mississippi and Louisiana; ? 75,000 people have been evacuated from the disaster area as of Sept. 4;

? Air medical evacuation and search-and-rescue operations in New Orleans are now focused on the Algiers section of the city, where approximately 3,000 individuals need to be evacuated;

? Total DoD rescues, evacuations and patient treatments in New Orleans now total more than 8,000 patients transported, more than 2,000 people rescued and more than 5,000 patients treated;

? Maritime units supplied 78,000 gallons of fuel to hospitals, law enforcement, National Guard and other critical government services;

? Nearly one-fourth of the 21 million Meals Ready to Eat ordered by FEMA have been received;

? The Army Corps of Engineers is performing de-watering operations in New Orleans with pumps and controlled levee breeches;

? Two National Guard C-130 firefighting aircraft were diverted from wildland fire fighting in the Northwestern United States to Pensacola, Fla., to support New Orleans fire fighting operations;

? Seven helicopters also preparing to conduct fire fighting operations in New Orleans;

? The secretary of transportation is seeking DoD concurrence to use four Maritime Ready Reserve Fleet ships as temporary housing for relief workers;

? DoD is working to fill a FEMA request for communications support for the New Orleans Police Department;

? The military has provided 745 hospital beds at New Orleans International Airport, with additional beds available aboard USS Bataan and USS Iwo Jima and 500 more beds en route to New Orleans;

? The Air Force will provide an 85-bed mobile hospital unit and air logistics support at Alexandria Airport, La., currently a staging area for rescue operations;

? Ten 250-bed Federal Medical Shelters have been established at DoD installations: two at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla; four at Fort Polk, La.; and four at Meridian Naval Air Station, Miss.; and

? DoD medical personnel have treated more than 5,000 patients to date.

Related Site: Military Support in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:06 PM CDT
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Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005 10:49 PM CDT
Gideon's Band
4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

From the Book of Judges

Some things NEED to be said. Somethings about the New Orleans Police Dept and I do NOT mean about the two thirds who disappeared.

I mean about the one third who STAYED.

There has been so much finger pointing and blaming that I am afraid the true heroism of these brave men and women has been lost in the wash.

It is one thing to man your post when all Hell is breaking loose around you but when you can still count on the people on each side of you.

It is another thing entirely to STAY at your post when those on each side of you are not there when you look to each side.

Too bad we do not have a Order of the Wounded Lion in this country.

In years to come there can be no greater tribute, which could be made, than to point at one of these valiant police officers and say.

"They were on the Levee in New Orleans in '05 and they Stayed at their Post!"


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:07 AM CDT
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Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005 6:14 AM CDT

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