Friday's update from my friend from New Orleans:
I've decided to send updates on a daily basis since I hope we can collectively help more than we each can individually and in more creative and long-term ways.
It's Friday morning and I'm in Starkville in Northeast Mississippi. We've spent yesterday moving from Baton Rouge across the state of Mississippi.
Baton Rouge seemed so overcrowded and desperate before we left. It seems like the city has doubled or tripled in size with some desperate New Orleans rumored to be roaming in downtown Baton Rouge in armed gangs, the S.W.A.T. is out and many displaced New Orleans are fruitlessly attempting to find a home in Baton Rouge. I'm concerned that the violence wrought by desperation will turn the refuge camp and rescue and recovery staging ground that is now Baton Rouge into a chaotic and violent mess. I'm also fear that the natives of Baton Rouge might react with violence in order to protect their city (I know of many friends buying shotguns). CNN reports late last night seem to confirm my fears.
Originally uploaded by Aldon.
(Originally posted at the DeStefano for CT blog).
One of the quotes from Mayor DeStefano’s campaign that I have always appreciated is ‘We are at our best when we are working together’. Mayor DeStefano has done a great job in getting people to recognize their common interest and work together.
Yet it isn’t only common self interest that inspires us to work together. We should all also be driven by a desire to work for the common good and help people in their times of great need.
It is in this spirit that I encourage all of you to consider what you can do help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Bristol Press reports that 23 volunteers and workers from Connecticut, including seven from Farmington have already been deployed to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The Day provides this information about getting trained to help:
“The southeastern Connecticut chapter of the Red Cross will conduct training sessions for new volunteers all day Friday and Saturday at its offices at 150 Eugene O'Neill Drive, New London. Teams will leave for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday and Tuesday. To register, call 447-3248.”
Whether you can help as a volunteer or a donor, please contact The Red Cross to do what you can to help.
The other day, I downloaded Google Talk. I installed it on my laptop, and on a few computers for my kids. Today, I’ve talked a little bit with them via Google Talk and want to share my impressions.
First, I should note that my primary machine is about a 1996 vintage Compaq file server. It is running Windows NT version 4.0 and doesn’t have much space left on the C drive, so I like to load programs over on my E drive. This presents two problems for Google Talk. The first is that Google Talk won’t work on Windows NT 4.0. The second is that even if you try to install it, you don’t have the ability to have it install on the E drive. It puts things on the C drive without offering a choice.
In today's New York Times is an article about the F.B.I.'s use of the Patriot Act in Bridgeport, CT and the ACLU suit that has been filed.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 - Using its expanded power under the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, the F.B.I. is demanding library records from a Connecticut institution as part of an intelligence investigation, the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday.
The demand is the first confirmed instance in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation has used the law in this way, federal officials and the A.C.L.U. said. The government's power to demand access to library borrowing records and other material showing reading habits has been the single most divisive issue in the debate over whether Congress should extend key elements of the act after this year.
In a discussion over at Connecticut Local Politics, there is a discussion about this where one person commented, “What's the big deal about library records?”. I wrote the following in response: