September 2nd, 2005


Katrina and the National Guard

I got into an argument with barondave on dreamshark's LJ about the Louisiana National Guard. He seems to have bought into the notion going around that with the 256th Mechanized Brigade in Iraq, the Louisiana Guard was left helpless to deal with Katrina. I pointed out that with a troop strength of over 11,000 men, the LA NG still had most of a division equivalent to deal with the problem. Streiff at gets into a little more detail, although I think he's wrong about the 256th having no utility under the present circumstances. Everybody in the Army National Guard gets civil disturbance training in Basic, regardless of whether you're a groundpounder or a payroll clerk, and that training gets refreshed every year. As for the M9 ACE, it's basically a bulldozer built on an M1 Abrams chassis, just like its predecessor the M728 was a bulldozer built on an M60 chassis. Bulldozers would be of more use than Streiff seems to think, especially with the armor protection to keep idiots from taking potshots at the crew. Of course, there's that little problem about fuel much JP-4 do you suppose is left in New Orleans to fuel the M1 and M9s even if they weren't in Iraq?

Still, 6500 Guardsmen (what's left after the 256th was deployed) is over four times the size of the New Orleans Police Department, and hopefully not nearly as corrupt. Even if you take a few hundred off the top for admin and communications. Add in the 4500 troops arriving over the next three days (third paragraph) and things ought to calm down quite a bit. I hope.
die now

The reason why?

Ann Althouse asks some pointed questions about why most of the poor, homeless, sick and starving still trapped in New Orleans at the Superdome and the Convention Center seem to be black. Her questions are answered (to an extent) by some of the things Cobb says here. Some news articles out of there have alluded to blacks' rage over being used by the local and national politicians and then left in the lurch when Katrina hit...according to one article, almost 1 in 6 of the city's population did not have cars/did not drive. Makes it kind of tough to get out of the city when public transportation is knocked out.

More adventures in transit

Going home from work yesterday was another leap into the unknown (an entirely avoidable one, as it turned out) which involved finding out where the #4 bus goes. According to the route map, the 4D, 4F and 4K all cross 35W on 82nd Street, which means I could in theory catch them or get dropped off at 82nd and Fremont. In practice, the 4K turns out to stop at the 82nd Street Transit Station, which is a rather long uphill block from 82nd. The 4F does in fact go over the 82nd Street bridge, but the 4K I was on was late and so I missed the F by a few minutes. So I slogged the three blocks back to the apartment, tested my blood sugar, put fruit and vegetables in the fridge, and headed back out.

I'd been invited to have dinner with my old buddy Mark Taylor, who was stopping over for a day or so with his dad to visit cousins here in Minnesota, and it so happens that the cousins live just a few miles down the road in Mendota Heights. It's a nice place, although I was assured that the map had it wrong - the lake next to the house is Augusta, not Lemay. Dinner was good, the conversation with Mark was better, and we hung out until about 1030 after which I headed home. His cousins are interesting people, mostly involved with the family business of concrete pumping, which has done right well by them. Mark's father is looking well for his age (I estimate he's in his 70s) and apparently has learned his lesson about not climbing trees while encumbered with a chainsaw. They're on their way to an Alaskan cruise by way of Fairbanks and Skagway, which should show them plenty of Alaska at its best. Unfortunately, Mark's mother wasn't with them; she had suffered a transient ischemic attack and was unable to travel, though okay to be on her own. I'll be meeting the two of them (or maybe just Mark, I'm not really clear on this) around noon at Peter's Grill for lunch (Well, I was going to meet them for lunch, but time & lack of vehicle got in the way for Mark. Maybe next time.)
I'm taking the afternoon off to supervise the maids cleaning the old apartment, and the Taylors will be heading off to the airport for their 5 o'clock flight. Good people, avid fans of the boxer dogs, and a big part of the reason I miss being back home in the Washington area.

Tonight's plans include buying new sneakers that actually fit, emptying out Scott's van, and an early bedtime, unless offered the opportunity to kill things with HALO.
  • Current Mood
    okay okay

Goodbye to all that

I took the afternoon off so that I could finish cleaning up the old apartment, but when I got out there a little before 2 PM and met the Merry Maids crew it turned out that management had changed the locks. There was nothing to do at that point but give the guys some gas money and drop off the garage door opener, card key and other keys at the office. where the RM also asked me to draft a short note permitting them to dispose of the items left in the apartment. This I did, adding my new address and a line about not having any responsibility for the stuff left behind. I also promised to have Scott and Melody mail in their key cards, and told the RM that since the laundry cards were zeroed out we'd left them in the apartment.

I think it's pretty dumb of the management to keep me from having a crew I'm paying for clean the apartment, and if they think I'm going to pay them to have them do it they can just whistle. I figure if they're smart they'll refund all the deposit save a couple hundred to replace minor damages (broken blinds, cat-scratched molding) to avoid getting sued for the truck and the storage area, but we'll see.
  • Current Music
    Garage Logic on KSTP-AM