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2010 January — Why Now?
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Posts from — January 2010

Nice Fact Checking

Al Pope wrote a column for the Yukon News, Disaster relief American style: send in the marines, in which he opines:

Next up was the US government who, after dithering for days, sent in the marines. Twenty thousand American troops are in Haiti or on their way there, under the pretext of ‘providing security’ in the face of ‘widespread looting.’ The marines have taken over the Port-au-Prince airport, diverting or delaying planes carrying food, aid workers, medical supplies and doctors to make way for military craft.

The earthquake occurred on the 12th.  The initial verified reports after the disaster came from the US Coast Guard, which rushed everything they had in the area to the scene almost as soon as the earthquake was reported. That was followed by a US Navy P-3 reconnaissance flight to get current pictures of the conditions.

The next day, the 13th, a Special Tactics team of the US Air Force had the Port au Prince airport up an running with lights for 24-hour operations.

The USS Carl Vincent was diverted to the coast near Jacksonville, Florida on the 13th to take on board 19 heavy lift helicopters, and relief supplies. It did not dock as that would have add two days and the helicopters were identified as a primary need for distribution of aid and repair of facilities.

As was noted in a Miami Herald report, while there are 15,000 members of the military currently assigned to the Haiti operation, over two-thirds of that number are the crews of Navy and Coast Guard vessels, while there are 4,700 troops actually in Haiti.

The 2,000 Marines currently in Haiti are primarily concerned with repairing the port.

The US wasn’t occupied in any security at all, until after a UN Security Council resolution was passed requesting more security. The only people even talking about security problems were from the media, not the military.

January 31, 2010   1 Comment

Medevacs Resume

The BBC reports that the US has resumed the flights from Haiti to the US. It will take a while for people to discover that Charlie and some other governors received their thirty pieces of silver. The way the Feds have handled it makes me wonder who the White House wants as the next Florida Senator.

I found this exchange in the ABC article, Money spat didn’t stall Haiti evacuations, rather interesting:

John Cherry from Florida’s Division of Emergency Management says in fact the problem was coordination between all the agencies involved.

“Our hospitals here in the States have stated today they’re more than willing to treat these patients and deal with looking at the reimbursement later on,” he said.

“So we’re basically in a holding pattern waiting for the federal government to come and say we’re going to start the flights.

“Here in the state of Florida we’re still willing to accept medical patients, the only thing we’re asking for is that there be better coordination on the timing of those flights, as well as the types of medical needs that will be coming on those flights, so that we can coordinate and plan with federal officials as to the best places to send those flights.”

WTF, over? Do they announce on the traffic reporting that there are openings in the hospital in Palm Beach for burn victims and brain injuries, so go ahead with the SUV rollover and slide into the tanker truck? Ambulances, and that’s what this is all about, long distance ambulance service, go to the nearest hospital.

The military stopped flying when there was no guaranteed destination, so there was obviously coordination taking place, or the planes wouldn’t have been met by ambulances for the last leg of the trip. The hospital had to know what was coming, to send the ambulance and prepare to receive the patients. It’s a two hour flight to Miami.

One of the prime users of the system was a temporary hospital set up by the University of Miami that was sending patients back to the hospital at the UofM. Lack of coordination my Aunt Fanny…

January 31, 2010   Comments Off on Medevacs Resume

Kudos To Canada

On Wednesday the Canadian Defense Forces opened the Jacmel airport for 24-hour operations after clearing debris, installing a lighting system, and setting up a control tower. The local air traffic control is provided by the HMCS Halifax, a frigate, holding station just off the coast.

The 3,300-foot runway can accommodate C-130s and helicopters to reduce the traffic at the Port au Prince airport, which is 30 miles away.

January 30, 2010   2 Comments

Charlie The Grinch

My GuvWhat a piece of work the current Florida governor, Charlie Crist, is! The military has been transporting trauma patients from Haiti to hospitals in South Florida almost continuously from their initial arrival down there. Now the military has had to halt the Haiti medevacs because Charlie wants more money.

Charlie’s Homeland Security department has already pushed to stop flights into South Florida to ensure hospital space for Super Bowl casualties, and now he wants to Feds to guarantee to pick up the cost of all of the medical care Haitians will receive. [Please note, that I can’t remember a single case of this type when the Feds haven’t picked up the bill, often by passing a supplemental.]

A few things you need to know: Charlie is in a tough Republican primary race with Marco Rubio; Haitians tend to vote Democratic; and the for-profit hospitals, like HCA, would probably like a cut of the money to provide this care, without risking anything, like accidentally making a charitable donation.

While Charlie is attempting to blame the hospitals, he’s the one that started this. He doesn’t want Rubio to be able to attack him for spending state money on Haitians when Florida’s finances are in a mess. There’s no downside for attacking Haitians in a Republican primary.

The military isn’t going to move people based on a hope that someone will take them in – they need a firm destination.

January 30, 2010   2 Comments

Sorry About That

I had turned off my spam plugin a while ago because it has “a thing” about a couple of commenters, and things moved along without too many problems.

This morning the spammers were back and I had to turn it back on, because I couldn’t delete them as fast as they appeared.

I apologize for any inconvenience.

January 29, 2010   16 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Tacky Driveway

Friday Cat Blogging

You looking at me?

[Editor: Adolf is becoming a very big cat. Some of it is his winter coat, but there’s muscle underneath. The falling camphor berries are tacky and this is next to the driveway…]

Friday Ark

January 29, 2010   6 Comments

Enough Is Enough Part 2

French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet has urged the United Nations to investigate the dominant U.S. role in the relief operation, arguing that international aid efforts were supposed to be helping Haiti, not “occupying” it.

Lambert at Corrente posted most of an article by Ben Ehrenreich at Slate that is a classic of ignorance and stupidity.

People don’t understand what the military means by “command and control”, and assume it is some sort of fascist military plot. “Command and control” is part of everyday life, but civilians tend to use terms like: communications, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration.

You see “command and control” when you drive in the form of traffic signs and signals. You depend on “command and control” in an emergency when you dial 911. Flying would get very exciting if the “command and control” of the air traffic control system wasn’t in place. The Internet wouldn’t exist without the underlying “command and control” provided by the hardware and software systems.

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January 28, 2010   6 Comments



January 28, 1986

Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Michael J. Smith, Commander, USN

Mission Specialist:
Judith A. Resnik
Ronald E. McNair
Ellison S. Onizuka, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Payload Specialist:
Gregory B. Jarvis
Sharon Christa McAuliffe

January 28, 2010   34 Comments

Enough Is Enough – Part 1

I have dealt with some of this before, but I have about had it with all of the distortions, ignorance, and lies about the US mission to Haiti.

The US has a long history with Haiti, and most of it has been the US and its interests screwing over the Haitian people. US pork producers and US rice producers have combined to nearly eliminate the small farms in the county, and the US has an undeniable responsibility for the Duvalier reigns of terror in the country.

This time we are actually doing things right, acting like a friend, instead of “father”, and we are getting wholesale grief from everyone, except the Haitians.

Today the Secretary of State had reached her limits. In an AP article at the Washington Post [because they don’t seem to have any reporters left], Clinton: Critics of US Haiti relief misguided, she confined her direct remarks to the media coverage, but it hasn’t been just the media.

I ran across a good example of the sort of thing that has been going on when I did a search for article on the US attitude towards “violence” in Haiti. Lieutenant General P. K. (Ken) Keen is the Deputy Commander of Southern Command, and the head of the Haiti response by the command. He had a conference call with reporters and bloggers about the US response and conditions in Haiti.

I found the Danger Room article that I remembered reading, and also came across other reports from the same teleconference. What he said was presented in totally opposite ways by some people, including the Huffington Post.

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January 27, 2010   2 Comments

Reality Check

Jim DeRosa explains the current state of the real world to the White House in the title to his article: A Spending Freeze – You Know, You Need To Worry More About Getting Me To Vote For You A Second Time Than Getting Republicans To Vote For You Once.

January 27, 2010   2 Comments


Apple has apparently introduced a larger iPhone it calls the iPad, which has all of the features of a touchscreen kiosk from a couple of decades ago… but it has a cooler design, better graphics, and, apparently, Steve Jobs likes it so you need it to be a real neo-geek.

My older brother will probably buy one. He also has a Beta Max VCR and a laser disc player. What can I say, he lives in Southern California.

January 27, 2010   22 Comments

A Programming Note:

Posting has been scarce because I’m working on a major rant, and dealing with a refrigerator in its last throes.

I have been avoiding writing the rant because the whole thing just ticks me off, and while the new refrigerator is supposed to show up on Thursday, I have to transfer the contents of the dying refrigerator to mine. New refrigerators take 24 hours to reach temperature, if it is going to happen. So I’m having to clear out all of the various “lab experiments” in my refrigerator and freezer to make room for all of the actual food that needs to be kept cold or frozen. If the new one fails out of the box, the guys who installed it are going to have 24 hours to escape, which is why you should always buy local, so you have someone local to pound when there are problems.

January 27, 2010   4 Comments

Apollo 1

 Apollo One Patch

January 27, 1967

Virgil “Gus” Ivan Grissom, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Edward Higgins White, II, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Roger Bruce Chaffee, Lieutenant Commander, USN

January 27, 2010   6 Comments

Happy Republic Day

flag of India

Celebrates the establishment of the Republic of India on January 26th, 1950 when its new Constitution took effect.

The parade at New Delhi is, bar none, the most colorful military parade in the world, although last year the elephants weren’t behaving, so they didn’t appear.

Here’s the official site, and, as the Wikipedia entry is really pathetic, here is a tourist site with more information.

January 26, 2010   4 Comments