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My Friend Joe
July 16th, 2008 under Baptists, Katrina. [ Comments: 1 ]

minime.jpgJoe’s a friend I met through the New Orleans blogosphere. He attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We actually got to meet once. Unfortunately, Joe’s moved to Texas to continue his studies. Pray for him. For a lot of reasons! Here’s what he recently wrote:

See, since I moved to Texas, I’ve had two guys tell me the city is a cess pool. I’ve had one SWBTS church planter tell me how easy it must be to plant in New Orleans. And overall I’m convinced the entire concept of Katrina is completely lost on the people I meet. I get it. They weren’t here, and I can only imagine what it was like in Indonesia after the tsunami. But the thing is, I have to get it into people’s heads that what happened is going to last with those of us involved here forever. It shapes who we are. I’m not going to get offended by every moron who never set foot in New Orleans but has a false opinion of what it’s like here. Maybe I can show them some photos and tell them some stories, and if I’m good enough at it, maybe I’ll give them a glimpse into my New Orleans.

I can’t imagine having to deal with knuckleheads who think they know, but as Jim Mora once said, “You think you know, but you have no idea.”

Check out Joe’s blog and pictures of New Orleans, they’re pretty great.

Jindal Spreads Lie about Katrina and Oil Spills
June 27th, 2008 under Jindal, Katrina, New Orleans, Politics. [ Comments: none ]

My letter to Jindal:

Governor Jindal,
Please stop telling the lie that there were no major oil spills as a result of Katrina. Either you are totally misinformed or you are intentionally spreading a myth to help oil companies make more money. Either way. Please stop spreading the lie.

I deserve a governor that is informed and honest.

I know. I should have been more harsh. Here’s a clip where he argues for chemical castration of persons convicted of raping a child. As I alluded to earlier–Bobby knows a bit about what it means to be missing kahones. But at the end of the clip he perpetuates the lie that Katrina cause no “major” oils spills.

HT: Adrastos

Stress in the Big Easy
June 19th, 2008 under Cancer, Christianity, family, God, Katrina, Recovery, Shirley, Shirley Jr. [ Comments: 3 ]

Pandora'sIt’s been a tough day. I took my lovely wife to the doctor’s office this morning for her quarterly check-up. Four years since her final treatment for cancer. It seems like only yesterday. I hate that office. We got the bad news there. It’s always pretty packed with folks. Folks waiting for the bad news. Folks waiting for good news. Folks with wigs, using walkers, terribly tired, terribly scared, and terribly sick.

Visit to Pandora'sI watched people trying to stay awake. Two people were trying to work the 500 piece puzzle. Several had their spouses with them and some had their kids and grandkids with them. All alone was Sister St. Dorian. Just her and God. It was kind of sad. Her big black horn-rimmed glasses matched her skirt and head covering. Even though she looks to be in her late seventies, Sr. St. Dorian rose rather quickly when her name was called. She released the break on her walker and pretty quickly left for the door. I prayed for her.

As soon as the wife went in for her results, I left the waiting room and went to the lobby of the hospital. I couldn’t stand being in the room any longer.

Great news! She’s fine. I dropped her off at work and headed to the NOBTS library to work on a chapter for the next book. On the way I saw such devastation. I forget how terrible it still is in Gentilly. I get angry and depressed when I drive through my old neighborhood. “Guess they’ll never convict Jose Vazquez, Jr.’s murderer,” I thought as I drove past Vasquez’s restaurant on Gentilly. It hasn’t been touched since Katrina.

Trip to Pandora'sGot to the library, made a quick run through the New Orleans Blogs and saw another jerk is using the floods in Iowa to trash New Orleans. I love it when someone who’s never been here explains why Katrina was our fault. It really sucks around here. I know it could be worse. A lot worse.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Other days I feel like Sister St. Dorian. Alone in a scary place. Just me and God. Gotta hop up now. Got work to do. Can’t wait to pick up Shirley Jr from camp and Shirley Sr from work. I owe the little one a snowball. We’ll go by Pandora’s. Life is good.

Scott McClellan’s New Book Blasts Bush
May 28th, 2008 under Books, Bush, Hypocrisy, Katrina, Politics. [ Comments: none ]

One of my favorite quotes from “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” :

“History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”

“The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. … In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation[of being biased against Bush]. If it had, the country would have been better served.”

“One of the worst disasters in our nation’s history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush’s presidency. Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush’s second term,” he writes. “And the perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath.”

The whole story can be found here.

Bush Administration Criticizes Myanmar Government Response to Disaster
May 21st, 2008 under Bush, Hypocrisy, Katrina. [ Comments: none ]

A senior U.S. diplomat said Tuesday that Myanmar’s military-led government will be responsible for a second catastrophe if thousands of desperate cyclone survivors die because the junta continues to bar foreign aid and disaster workers.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel told lawmakers that the generals running Myanmar, also known as Burma, cannot manage the distribution of aid needed to help people facing disease, malnutrition and exposure to the elements.

“The situation is increasingly desperate,” Marciel said. He called the government’s response to Cyclone Nargis appalling and blamed its failure to give foreign aid workers greater access to victims for putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

“Let me be clear: if assistance is not allowed in, and thousands of Burmese perish, the responsibility for this catastrophe will fall squarely on the shoulders of Senior Gen. Than Shwe,” the head of the country’s ruling junta, and other leaders, Marciel said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia. “Every day that goes by and more people suffer, increasingly the blame falls on the government.”

Bush’s response? “I think Thannie is doin’ a heckuva job.”

Latest Katrina Victim
May 19th, 2008 under Katrina, New Orleans, Politics, Rant. [ Comments: 1 ]


Photo by Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune

7-year-old Christopher Jacobs fell into an unguarded, algae-covered pool behind a neighboring empty house and drowned Saturday when he tried to retrieve a soccer ball. Christopher apparently had chased the ball into the yard, not realizing the bright green surface hid water.

New Orleanians read about this kind of thing fairly often. That’s why we hate our mayor for being such an incompetent clown. We also hate the insurance companies that have been allowed to screw us over. We’re also angry at a Corpse of Engineers that still doesn’t care enough to protect us. I wish a good lawyer would pick this case up and sue the insurance company that screwed the homeowner, or the Road Home Program, or our idiot Governor or somebody.

But they won’t. It’s just another New Orleans kid that only matters to his mom, other family members, and friends. A friend of mine said that he didn’t like that Obama’s pastor said “God Damn America.” How can a just God let this kind of crap go on unpunished? Wouldn’t a good and loving God step in when no one else seems to care? Can we honestly call ourselves a “Christian Nation” and care so little about God’s children? If it weren’t for the multitude of church groups that came here to help out, it would be very difficult to maintain one’s faith.

This is NOT an overreaction by a tired, depressed blogger. These are honest questions raised in the face of negligence, corruption, and greed.

New Orleans Recovery Data
April 30th, 2008 under Katrina, New Orleans, Recovery. [ Comments: none ]

From the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center:

Dear friends and colleagues,

You’re not going to believe it! We’ve got the data you’ve been wanting most of all — block-by-block counts of households actively receiving mail, alongside counts of homeowners who have closed on their Road Home applications to stay and rebuild their homes. And we’re displaying this data in a new online mapping system that allows you to zoom in and see the specific neighborhoods you are most interested in.

The New Orleans Index: Two Disturbing Trends
April 16th, 2008 under Katrina, New Orleans. [ Comments: none ]

The following is from the latest New Orleans Index report from The Brookings Institution:

1. The number of open childcare centers inched
upward in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, while
public transportation remains severely limited in
New Orleans.
Lack of public transportation and childcare
continue to serve as obstacles to workers who want
to return to the area. As of February 2008, 48 percent of
public transit routes are open and only 19 percent of the
number of pre-Katrina buses are running. Meanwhile
from January to April, seven additional child care centers
opened in Orleans, and one in St. Bernard, bring
the total to 41 percent and 27 percent of the number of
pre-Katrina childcare centers respectively.

2. By March 2008, FEMA had paid Louisiana 93 percent
of the $6.6 billion allocated for infrastructure
repairs, yet only 47 percent has reached localities.

The state of Louisiana continues to hold more than $3
billion in infrastructure repair monies that are destined
for hurricane-affected parishes. As of March, Orleans
had received only 35 percent of the funds allocated
to it for infrastructure repairs and Plaquemines had
received only 18 percent of its allocated funding.

Flickr Users Crack Me Up!
April 1st, 2008 under Humor, Katrina, Mardi Gras. [ Comments: none ]

Instead of recognizing the compelling nature of this photo of a second-line at the first anniversary of Katrina:
One Year Anniversary of Katrina Second Line

One of my most popular images on flicker is this:

SOTU: A Complete Waste of Time
January 29th, 2008 under Bush, Katrina, Louisiana, New Orleans, Politics, Recovery, violence, War. [ Comments: 4 ]


I’m with Editor B, with so many lies from Bush about how he would take care of the Gulf Coast after Katrina, I can’t trust Bush. Not to mention the WMDs, the cakewalk in Iraq, punishment for the one who “outed” Valerie Plame, etc.

It would be insane to think that a man with no grasp of reality could accurately describe the state of our union and figure out how to fix what’s wrong with it unless the problem is that corporations need a handout and the rich are overtaxed.

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