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2011 May 13 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Atchafalaya Flood

Update: For the latest posts and all posts related to the flooding, go to the Categories box on the Right sidebar and select Flood from the drop down list.

Update: Dr. Jeff Masters has a very detailed technical post with good graphics, America’s Achilles’ heel: the Mississippi River’s Old River Control Structure, about what is occurring along the Mississippi system.

The BBC reports on the “fun on the bayou” this weekend” US to open Louisiana gates

The Mississippi River has risen to levels not seen in decades this year.

Fed by rainwater and the spring thaw, the river and its tributaries have caused massive flooding upstream, and officials have said the flooding in Louisiana is the worst since 1927.

If, as expected, the Army Corps of Engineers this weekend opens the Morganza floodway for the first time in 38 years, it will unleash Mississippi River water through the Atchafalaya River basin, flooding parts of seven parishes in southern Louisiana near the Gulf of Mexico.

CNN reports on the reaction in the basin: For Louisiana town, a collective gasp as it braces for floodwaters

(CNN) — On a two-lane road that cuts through a dense forest of Louisiana cypress trees, intermingled with narrow, dark creeks, sits a small community trapped in the path of a looming disaster.

Hundreds of people packed into the Butte La Rose firehouse to learn about the flood projections from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Col. Ed Fleming delivered the dire news.

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May 13, 2011   5 Comments

Canadian Flooding

The CBC reports on the continued flooding: Lake Manitoba swells with diverted water

The flood crisis has expanded into areas around Lake Manitoba as increasing amounts of water from the raging Assiniboine River is sent there by the Portage Diversion.

Built during a five-year span from 1965-1970, the Portage Diversion provides flood protection for the City of Winnipeg and areas along the Assiniboine River.

It is designed to handle floodwater flows of up to 25,000 cubic feet per second but this year, the province is trying to squeeze 34,000 cfs through it, sending it all to Lake Manitoba.

The authorities are having to make the choice as to who gets flooded, because there is no good way of getting the water to someone who would like it in a drought stricken area, or to pipe it into an aquifer that is depleted.

May 13, 2011   Comments Off on Canadian Flooding

The TEPCO Fund

The Japanese government has had to step in to ensure that victims of the Fukushima disaster are compensated the day after TEPCO finally admits the obvious, that at least one of the reactors has melted through its containment vessel.

From the BBC: Japan’s government approves Tepco compensation scheme

Japan’s government has approved a plan to help Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) compensate victims of the crisis at its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.

Payouts are expected to run into the tens of billions of dollars over the Fukushima nuclear plant breakdown.

The assistance could help Tepco avoid bankruptcy, but the government insisted it was not meant as a bail-out.

Under the plan a state-backed institution will be created from which Tepco can draw money to pay out claims.

In return the company will fall under close government supervision. It will remain listed on the stock exchange but will use profits to pay back the money over a period of years.

Tepco – which serves an area that accounts for 33% of Japan’s economy – had earlier agreed to drastic restructuring in return for government help.

The conditions agreed by the company include massive cost-cutting, no upper limit for compensation payouts and accepting an investigation of its management.

Other electricity companies with nuclear power stations will also be expected to contribute, says the BBC’s Roland Buerk in Tokyo.

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May 13, 2011   Comments Off on The TEPCO Fund

Senator McCain Says No To Torture

From CBS News – McCain: If U.S. uses torture, nation will suffer

(CBS News) Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years, has rejected the argument that torture was necessary to successfully combat terrorism – and denied claims that waterboarding detainees provided intelligence that helped end the manhunt for Osama bin Laden.

On Thursday McCain spoke passionately on the U.S. Senate floor about waterboarding and other forms of torture (referred to by some as “enhanced interrogation techniques”) that some former Bush administration officials (including former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) claim gave the U.S. the information that led years later to the hideout of Osama bin Laden.

“The fact is that this courier was identified first by a person who was not been held in U.S. custody,” McCain said. “In fact, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed not only did not tell the truth about this courier, he even tried to mislead the interrogators by saying that the courier had retired, gotten married, and lived in Peshawar!”

McCain told anchor Erica Hill this highlights the fact that, “If you inflict enough physical pain on someone, they will tell you whatever they think is necessary to get that pain to stop.

“Through normal, conventional interrogation techniques – and by the way I’ve seen it in Bagram – and with without these enhanced interrogation techniques, we can get more accurate, more valuable information,” McCain continued. “And most importantly, preserve our commitments by our Constitution, by the Geneva Conventions, and by other agreements, that we will not practice cruel and inhumane treatment on people who are in our custody.”

John McCain was a POW who was subjected to torture in a North Vietnamese camp, and I was an interrogator. He is a conservative and I am a liberal. We are both telling you the same thing – TORTURE DOES NOT WORK.

May 13, 2011   4 Comments

Still Bloggered

Humorous Pictures

In an effort to avoid Friday the 13th, Blogger is staying with Wednesday the 11th.


From Blogger Status:

Friday, May 13, 2011

We’ve started restoring the posts that were temporarily removed and expect Blogger to be back to normal soon.

Posted by at 06:07 PDT

Update: Some people are back now.

Update 2: Well, they can add new material, but the posts from Wednesday night through Thursday are still missing.

May 13, 2011   Comments Off on Still Bloggered


Yes, it’s Friday the 13th again. The 13th falls on a Friday more than any other day of the week, so get over it. It’s only valid in in English and Portuguese speaking countries, so go visit a Spanish-speaking neighborhood for the day.

If you want to blame someone, it’s the calendar of Pope Gregory XIII that created this imbalance. [He obviously didn’t have a problem with the number on any day.]

May 13, 2011   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Tonto’s Kitten

Friday Cat Blogging

Oh, hi!

[Editor: Tonto’s kitten made an unanticipated visit to my Mother’s kitchen, but didn’t go beyond the rug, as Tonto stood outside being annoyed. The kitten is still in the roly-poly stage at about 5 weeks when the picture was taken.]

Friday Ark

May 13, 2011   10 Comments