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2008 May 13 — Why Now?
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This Is Criminal

When you look at the report I’m linking to you will see a gray USAF C-130 being unloaded by hand! In a hot LZ, even if you don’t use a parachute to pull it out, the entire load can be pulled off while the aircraft is taxiing, so the crew can turn around and return to the supply base without taking up aircraft parking space at the destination. With an Air Force crew at the destination the aircraft can be unloaded with a forklift and the cargo put directly on the back of trucks for distribution. In Rangoon, they are having to break the pallets while human chains form to unload the cargo by hand. This is stupid, as well as expensive and inefficient.

The BBC reports on the international frustration and the UN calls for Burma aid corridor

The United Nations has called for an air or sea corridor to be opened to channel large amounts of aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma.

The UN’s humanitarian agency said there was a risk of a “second catastrophe” unless a massive operation began.

The UN said it had only been able to reach 270,000 of the 1.5m survivors.

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May 13, 2008   4 Comments

Earthquake Update

BBC’s latest report.

While some troops have arrived at the area of the epicenter, progress is extremely slow because everything is being carried in by foot. In addition to the damage to the roads and rail lines, there is heavy rain in the area making aerial drops impossible. The survivors are staying away from the few buildings still standing because of the continuing after shocks, so they are cold, wet and hungry.

Rescue efforts are generally human-powered, and there are relatively few professional teams with the necessary tools available.

Until there is a break in the weather, nothing large scale can be attempted. Thousands are walking in to help, carrying what they can.

May 13, 2008   Comments Off on Earthquake Update

Nice Sarcasm

Over at Corrente myiq2xu sees the headline reporting the Clinton win [currently 66 to 27] as:

Obama Wins Second Place In WV, Hillary Finishes Next To Last!

May 13, 2008   Comments Off on Nice Sarcasm

Raising the Barr

Mustang Bobby notes that Bob Barr is running and uses Josh Marshall for some insight, but Lambert isn’t so sanguine about Barr running as libertarian. As Jerome Doolittle says: Why Settle for Pale Imitations?

May as well look at Barr’s Wikipedia entry and his official campaign site, where you can find Barr’s blog. People are running around thinking that this is bad for the GOP, not understanding who Bob Barr is.

Barr was a Congresscritter from Georgia, but he was born and raised in Iowa, then attended USC and Georgetown. Barr doesn’t sound or act like Zell Miller. He is a member in good standing of the NRA, and a card-carrying member of the ACLU. The time limits on the PATRIOT Act were added by Bob Barr, and he wants the US out of Iraq yesterday. He uses the classic definition of “liberal” and considers himself one. He shares more positions with Dennis Kucinich than the Shrubbery or McCain. Truth be told his views are closer to Kucinich than Clinton or Obama in many ways.

He is a privacy and civil liberties advocate in the first tier, and the closest thing to a true libertarian you are ever likely to meet.

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May 13, 2008   21 Comments

Earthquake Update

The USGS has upgrade the earthquake to a 7.9 from 7.8. If you are not aware of the nature of the scale, each larger whole number represents a ten-fold increase in power. A 6.0 quake is ten times more destructive than a 5.0 quake, so the 0.1 increase is significant.

This is the current CNN reporting on the China quake

CHENGDU, China (CNN) — Rainy weather and poor logistics thwarted efforts by relief troops who walked for hours over rock, debris and mud on Tuesday in hopes of reaching the worst-hit area of an earthquake that killed nearly 10,000 in central China, state-run media reported.

Setting out from Maerkang in Sichuan Province at 8 p.m. Monday, the 100 or so troops had to travel 200 kilometers (124 miles) to go before reaching Wenchuan, the epicenter of the quake, also in the province, Xinhua reported. After seven hours, they still had 70 kilometers (43 miles) to go.

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May 13, 2008   4 Comments