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NEW ORLEANS JOURNAL

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last---past---next---now
�2006 Candor Communications


2005-09-04 - 9:48 p.m.

Cheers for Michael (and...)


Question: Are there any lights on in New Orleans anymore?

Answer: Yesterday there were only 3... Bell South, Intercosmos (directNIC), and the Halle Boggs Federal Building.

the link to the left NEW ORLEANS JOURNAL takes you to to the journal being kept by Michael of Intercosmos, also known as interdictor at LiveJournal, from the Intercosmos offices in downtown New Orleans...

the quote above comes from there as well...

in the midst of a daily stuggle against the elements and the outlaws, Michael and a small band of brave souls are not just keeping their business going as well as they can, and not just reporting as eyewitnesses on the scene in downtown New Orleans, and not just giving help and supplies to the Police and National Guard, but also taking the time to answer questions posed in comments and in private messages on ICQ...

this feat, my friends, is simply amazing to me...

I think the man and his crew deserve a medal of some sort, a meaningful honor from not only the government, but from the public... when this tragedy is in the past and everyone in New Orleans is back to work, I hope he accepts the best office to sell his story that he can get and lives comfortable for the rest of his life...

he deserves it...

the following is quoted from one of his entries... each of his entries are getting hundreds, sometimes thousands of comments... many of the comments are typical of the internet, people posing for the cyber camera, people setting up a soapbox, people preaching to a crowd... many arrive at the scene of a suddenly popular website with their own agendas... pro this or anti that... of course the government officials are being criticized and of course the individuals criticized have their supporters who will defend them and their actions no matter what... at times the discussions deteriorate into name-calling crap, but that is the nature of the internet... a lot of people seem to have nothing better to do a few hours a day than look for debate or argument in printed text...

I, of course, seek no argument, I just wanna babble on in my own little world and I just hope that if you come into my own little world, you remember it's not nice to soil, spit, piss, or get nasty in someone else's house... I do a fine job of soiling my own house, thank you (and self-mockery starts here, remember)...

most seriously, this is my house, welcome...

I wanted to share the following words that Michael wrote in and about his internet home... I feel it exemplifies the man behind the words, the person who is, like others caught in disasters, an accidental hero...

Quoting this:

"Let me address the political situation for a moment. I noticed that the responses I've been getting on the blog and the stuff I've been reading in the mainstream media has become very politicized. I'm not going to get into politics here -- I'm just going to do my work and then report what I see and hear throughout the day. If you guys want to play Democrat vs Republican vs Independent, go right ahead, but I'm really weary of the permanent election season this country's turned into. Honestly, these are politicians you guys are getting so excited about. Politicians. As far as I'm concerned, I don't trust people who want to tell other people how to spend their money and what they can read or see on television and what they can do in the privacy of their own homes. There's no way I'm going to feel comfortable supporting someone who thinks he knows what's best for the rest of "society" and is willing to use force and the threat of force to make others fall into line.

So yeah, I'm not going to support or condemn anyone specific for what's going on here.

And another thing to think about when we start pointing fingers is this. The government is never equipped to handle a crisis like this. There's too much bureaucracy -- initiative-stifling bureaucracy which prevents swift, effective action. I would like to hear from government employees on this. The nature of that bureaucracy is such that you have very specific guidelines to follow for even the most minute tasks. You need approval for just about everything, and the person you need approval from usually needs approval to give you the approval.

It's not as easy as say rounding up 4 of your co-workers and saying, "We've got someone at such and such an address, let's go grab her and get her out of there." Now add a destroyed or disabled command and control center to that bureaucracy and you've got a total and complete mess.

You (as a civilian) don't need "Approved" stamped on 3 different forms before you can run into your neighbor's house and pull them out. I hope this makes sense.

Anyway, I'm sure there's been human error in this catastrophe. How could there not be? But what I'm saying is that I've come to expect poor decision making and a total lack of initiative from government. They can't even balance a budget, at the federal, state, or local levels. I could balance my checkbook and spend within my means when I was a teenager. But I'm not gonna point fingers and get into the blame game. If you want me to blame something besides the storm herself, I blame the nature of government in the first place. It's too big, it's too slow, it's too inefficient, it's too bloated, and it's too intiative-stifling to be effective in normal circumstances, much less in a disaster. It's a systemic issue, more than an issue of individual people in government."

and further along, because some people just do not care and take the "if you're not for me, you're against me" mentality or simply, for their own reasons, choose not to get it:

"I can deal with the silly conspiracy theories and even some of the ridiculous trolling going on in the comments section; however, I want you to knock off the racism and political crap. This isn't the Yahoo! Message Boards. Show some respect for the dead and dying and those trying to rescue the survivors.

CLARIFICATION: It's ok to discuss individuals who have dropped the ball. If you think Bush did something wrong, say so. If Blanco did, say so. That's fine. But I don't want this turning in Republican vs Democrat and Liberal vs Conservative. That's all I'm saying."

I say bravo Michael for staying on the high road (a wise choice during a flood... oh, shame on my sense of humor, but meant in the best intentions of foxhole comradery, I trust you to get it as it was meant) and remaining focused on the task at hand... but then, he does not have the luxury of sitting comfortably safe at home and spouting political rhetoric...

I suppose I do though...

but before I get back to my own perculiar brand of ranting and raving about this and that, I want to publically thank Michael and his crew at Intercosmos for the job they are doing... for keeping hope alive... for proving the worst predictions wrong... for proving that the human spirit and body can endure and overcome amazing challenges and seemingly impossible obstacles...

this is what one man can do...

(and more, for the words on the screen are but a record of thoughts in the crisis, ways to help, images, a historic document, yes, but still only part of the story... there is a small team of people just like you or me who took action in the midst of the storm, held down their building and since the flood, have been moving fuel barrels, helping people even before the troops got into the city and helping any way they can on the ground in the middle of the first days of the clean up... they kept power on in their building, they kept hope alive for New Orleans, they all deserve our praise, opportunities, and rewards that their heroic actions can attract.... Michael was the point man on the internet, the voice we heard most as we read the Journal of New Orleans, but as the song says, he got by with a little help from his friends... a lot of help, actually, and I applaud them all)

Sigmund Solares, CEO: Sigmund is one of the owners of Directnic. He is on site because Team SOTI needs a guy on the spot who can make command level decisions during an emergency. )he is also one fantastic photographer and if you have not seen his pictures, you should check them out).

Donny Simonton, Senior Vice President: Donny is Directnic's crisis tech guy. He's responsible for all of our servers and data transfers.

Brian Acosta, I-55.com: Brian is I-55's man on the spot and their chief tech guy. He's also the guy who makes sure we keep connectivity to the internet.

Crystal Coleman, Chef: Crystal is here with me and makes herself useful in a myriad of ways, mostly by keeping us well fed.

Michael Barnett, Crisis Manager: My responsibilities are physical security, creating standard operating procedures, implementing field sanitation and hygiene, and ensuring coordination of the team.


they have been talking with people on ICQ and in IRC chat rooms all week, reassuring people that there is hope in NEW Orleans, coordinating help efforts, and being a shining example of the grit and power of the human spirit. Personally, reading the journal has kept me grounded (isn't that ironic) as the news media and images on TV drove depressing spikes into my psyche all week... when the books are written, when the documentaries are made, when Hollywood does it's blockbuster eipc films about the Hurricane and the 2005 Flood of New Orleans, the Journal should be a part of the story... in fact, the story of the journal and all those in the building did should be told on it's own... I hope that happens...

cheers.






this weekend was my attempt to support THe Red Cross by partricipating in Blogging for Relief... previous entries inspired by this effort and the events in the aftermath of Hirricane Katrina can be found here:

1 * 2 * 4 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17


and you noticed missing numbers, of course you did, you're no fools... the missing numbers are the following three entries now dedicated to deliverance (from evil, madness, dirty drawers, and many other things) and respectfully dubbed:

The Mississippi Chronicles
Mess (A Message From Mississippi)
Hope (Hope Grows in Mississippi)
Anger (Anger and Angst in Mississippi)

because they were mostly guest entries to pass along email from a friend who witnessed Mississippi first hand cuz he lives there... bless him and his family, in fact, do it yourself... find someone touched by the events of the past week and share some love... and then go tell Michael and Tim something good J






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