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Katrina VS Rita: Louisiana Vs Texas
September 30th, 2005 under Hypocrisy, Katrina, New Orleans, Politics, Rant, poor. [ Comments: 3 ]

I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately that contrast the Katrina event with the events related to Rita and in effect trash Louisiana. I even got the following email to which I will respond. I’m tired of those who really have no idea about New Orleans and Louisiana making uninformed and hurtful comments about my city and state. Did the Mayor screw up? Very much so. Did the Governor let us down? Yep. But what really bothers me are those Bush supporters who are so rabid that they can’t take any criticism of the FEMA or national response. The absolute most moronic ststement that I keep hearing is: “George Bush did not cause the hurricane.” That statement alone displays the ignorance of those making it! I’ve never heard anyone claim that. AAAAHHHHH!

Anyway…here’s the email with my response in the dark areas:

Subject: What the media have missed: The Difference Between Texas and
Louisiana

1. Texas: Productive industrious state run by Republicans.
Louisiana: Government dependent welfare state run by Democrats.

Translation-”Rich White People are good-Poor People are lazy
Americans are so ignorant of the impact of history on cultures. What about this?
Texas: a state steeped in violence against Native-Americans and Mexicans-Our wealth comes from exploitation
New Orleans: a city with a history of brutal slave trade-Our poverty comes from outsiders who have told people of color that they should depend on others to rule over them and tell them what to do

What about this?
Texas: FEMA, Bush and the federal government make sure that they do all they can to protect this rich republican state
Louisiana: Poor black folks wait for days for food and water–George Bush hates black people
Now–how does that make you feel?

2. Texas: Residents take responsibility to protect and evacuate themselves.
Louisiana: Residents wait for government to protect and evacuate them.

Translation: Rich folks can leave town in their SUVs, Screw the poor who work for minimum wage and can’t afford cars

3. Texas: Local and state officials take responsibility for protecting their citizens and property.
Louisiana: Local and state officials blame federal government for not protecting their citizens and property.

The reality is that we do not know what would have happened if Houston was under water for several weeks. Comparing Beaumont Texas to a large metropolis is asinine!

4. Texas: Command and control remains in place to preserve order.
Louisiana: Command and control collapses allowing lawlessness.

See above genius!

5. Texas: Law enforcement officers remain on duty to protect city.
Louisiana: Law enforcement officers desert their posts to protect themselves.

Once again, the comparison is like apples and oranges. The fact is that most NOPD officers did a hell of a job. Many of those who were thought to be deserters were in fact trapped in their homes. I had one officer tell me that if she had been on duty in the Superdome, she probably would have quit too. The NOPD performed as well as can be expected. It was understaffed to begin with. The stress level was unbelievable. If you noticed, in almost every TV interview NOPD officers broke down and cried. They had lost their homes, family members, friends and when they tried to help people they were shot at. Give them a FREAKIN’ BREAK! Thank God that very few Texas law enforcement officers (who are much better paid than NOPD officers) had to deal with that kind of tragedy. Who knows how they would have fared?

6. Texas: Local police watch for looting.
Louisiana: Local police participate in looting.

This is probably true. But one CNN story doesn’t mean that the whole force is corrupt. I thank God every day for those officers who patrolled neighborhoods and did what they could. What about Abu Ghraib? That was a hell of a lot worse than looting. Does that mean that Texas Police officers are superior to US military?

7. Texas: Law and order remains in control, 8 looters tried it, 8 looters arrested.
Louisiana: Anarchy and lawlessness breaks out, looters take over city, no arrests, criminals with guns have to be shot by federal troops.

This is simply not true. I’m getting pissed. I’m going to stop now.

8. Texas: Considerable damage caused by hurricane.
Louisiana: Considerable damage caused by looters.

Have you seen the pictures of homes flooded for weeks dumb*ss?


Great Post on the Poor in New Orleans!
September 27th, 2005 under Christianity, New Orleans, poor. [ Comments: none ]

TimYouman’s Blog: Anabaptist Monk is a great place to visit. I really can’t add anything to his post about the poor in New Orleans. It’s a great read. Thanks Tim!


How does Everybody Love Raymond? Perspectives on Cattle
September 27th, 2005 under Environment, Food. [ Comments: 2 ]

Raymond the Cow

Here’s a picture of my brother-in-law’s cow named Raymond. He’s the cute one. A swirl of controversy, as well as flies, surrounds the discussion about cattle and their impact on the environment. According to the EPA, a cow can produce over 44,000 pounds of crap and urine in one year. Holy crap! Huge farms that raise large numbers of cattle can be dangerous for the environment. Cow manure is a major source of nitrite pollution in ground water.

“Manure from dairy cows is thought to have contributed to the disastrous Cryptosporidium contamination of Milwaukee’s drinking water in 1993, which killed more than 100 people, made 400,000 sick and resulted in $37 million in lost wages and productivity.”

Additionally, “In this country, roughly 24 million pounds of antibiotics — about 70 percent of the nation’s antibiotics use in total — are added to animal feed every year to speed livestock growth. This widespread use of antibiotics on animals contributes to the rise of resistant bacteria, making it harder to treat human illnesses.”

All of this is why farms like Raymond’s are very important. Ray and his lovely friends are allowed to walk around and eat freely and have a pretty good life. I have friends that don’t believe that we should kill Raymond and his friends in order to eat them or use their skins. I understand this view. I love Raymond, but I’d also love to eat him. Since he is a free range cow, I feel that he’s had his fun. I do think I eat too much red meat. I can’t save the world by eating less red meat, by the way—hogs are REALLY bad for the environment!, but I think I need to do my part. Unfortunately, being from New Orleans, I don’t really think I’ll be eating a lot of fish, and crawfish either. Sorry local fishermen, I’ve got to think about my family’s health.


ACLU Defends Third-Grader!
September 26th, 2005 under Christianity, Church and State. [ Comments: 11 ]

The Religious Right is always complaining about the ACLU. Seems the ACLU is getting it right in the case of a third-grader that wants to sing “Awesome God” in a public school talent show.

Great job ACLU!

BTW: The Angola Prison in Louisiana is being sued by the ACLU. Although the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has a program that allows inmates to have the opportunity to earn an accredited bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry, it seems that not all persons have access to religious material.

“Norman Sanders, who has belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all of his life, has been denied access to Mormon publications available from bookstores and other vendors. Orders from reputable Mormon publishers are routinely returned.”

Seems Norman is the wrong brand of Christian. Are my brothers at NOBTS defending him?


Link Dump
September 26th, 2005 under Link Dump. [ Comments: none ]

Deep Web Research
Google Blog Search
Banana Slug Search
Information Today
Cool Tools
Lark News
New American Dream


Katrina and the Poor: Good Stuff from Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte
September 26th, 2005 under Katrina, Politics, poor. [ Comments: none ]

A selection of Danny Glover’s speach at the Vanguard Public Foundation’s benefit for Katrina victims:

When the hurricane struck the Gulf and the floodwaters rose and tore through New Orleans, plunging its remaining population into a carnival of misery, it did not turn the region into a Third World country - as it has been disparagingly implied in the media - it revealed one. It revealed the disaster within the disaster: grueling poverty rose to the surface like a bruise to our skin.

But the storm not only revealed the poverty of those most vulnerable, those left behind. It revealed the poverty of skewed priorities that put the shoulder of technology to the wheel of death rather than life, creating killing machines that are now called “smart” and surveillance systems that, in the words of the great Guyanese poet Martin Carter, “are watching you sleep and aiming at your dreams.”

Mother Nature revealed the poverty of a mindset that narrowly views security as a military issue. That is blind to the role of culture in sustaining the mental health and social wellness of people, which is also the basis for economic productivity. Blind to the role of culture in education, through which we are prepared for our responsibilities in a democracy. And hostile to the role of culture in the search for truth.

Hurricane Katrina revealed, more than anything else, a poverty of imagination.

From Harry Belafonte:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “True compassion is more than throwing a coin to a beggar. It demands of our humanity that if we live in a society that produces beggars, we are morally commanded to restructure that society.”

Let us challenge what we have been told was inevitable: Katrina was not “unforeseeable”, the loss of life and suffering was not “unavoidable”. It was the result of a political authority that sub-contracts its responsibility to the private sector and abdicates responsibility altogether when it comes to housing, health care, education and even evacuation.

As New Orleans rebuilds, let us also ensure that reconstruction does not result in further victimization. Let us support the efforts of those people in the Delta who have stated that they “will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless shadows in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funneled into rebuilding casinos, hotels and chemical plants…” Let us insure that those victimized by this tragedy will be empowered to actively participate in the reclaiming, rebuilding and improvement of their communities.


New orleans, Katrina, and Redefining Progress
September 25th, 2005 under Environment, Friends, Katrina, New Orleans, Politics. [ Comments: 13 ]

Redefining Progress has an excellent article about rules for rebuilding New Orleans.

Editor B and Homan are staying at my house while they survey their homes for damage and provide aid to Common Ground.

Naomi’s site, Real Reports of Katrina Relief, will probably tick you off, offend you, enspire you, or all of the above!

Grassroots/Low-income/People of Color-led Hurricane Katrina Relief interesting…

Saving Our Selves an organization of Black Americans providing hurricane relief.

Rebuild Green seeks to: “The disaster that has struck New Orleans should be turned into an opportunity to REBUILD GREEN. By focusing on green building technology, renewable energy, mass transit systems, and green community development that empowers local people to take control of their local resources, the rebuilding of New Orleans can take our city from being a symbol of disaster to being a prototype sustainable city of the future.”


Image Problem?
September 23rd, 2005 under Katrina, Politics. [ Comments: 1 ]

Karen Hughes says New Orleans looting will tarnish American image abroad. She lamented, “The images of crime being committed in the face of an awful natural disaster is hard for anyone to understand, people around the world and Americans. It sickens me as an American,” she said. “How could criminals prey on vulnerable elderly citizens and children during a time of such horror?”

According to the article from the Western Star: “A Korea Herald editorial this week said it was “unbelievable that in America, a country the envy of most of the world’s people, residents died by the thousands in a flood, corpses floated in the streets, were left on curbs and even astride the entrances to emergency relief centers.”

Seems the Bush administration misses the point again!
I know I’ve said it before, but can you say “Misdirection?”
Let’s acknowledge when we make mistakes and shut the heck up!


My Trip Back to New Orleans
September 22nd, 2005 under Food, New Orleans Music. [ Comments: 1 ]

When I went back to New Orleans last week and was able to get on the east bank I went first to my place of employment. Second place—Jacques-Imo’s Cafe on Oak Street. It looked OK from Carrolton Ave. Can’t wait to get back and eat some Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake!

I’m so homesick!
I can’t wait for JazzFest. Better than Ezra, Buckwheat Zydeco, Big Al Carson’s Rare Connexion Band, Minister Helen Carter & the New Orleans Harmonettes, Cowboy Mouth, Jo “Cool” Davis, Dixie Cups, Dr. John, Galactic, The Radiators, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band, and the Zion Harmonizers here I come!


Help Rebuild New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Station
September 22nd, 2005 under Katrina, New Orleans Music. [ Comments: 3 ]

WWOZ, New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Station is in need of a new building. Please help this worthy project continue. One of my greatest fears about the rebuilding of New Orleans is that it will never be the same culturally.

Please don’t let Katrina become the greatest cultural disaster to hit the US.

Read B.B. King’s inspiring interview about New Orleans’ music tradition!


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