Jan 19 2010
New Orleans is not Haiti
Ever since the Haiti earthquake happened, it has invited quite a few comparisons to the disaster brought about in New Orleans by the federal flood. There are even those in the mainstream media who have asked if this quake is going to turn out to be Obama’s “Katrina.”
This is not surprising because there are some similarities in the situations–for example, the slowness in rescuing and getting aid to the survivors–which reminds casual observers of the way New Orleanians had to wait a week for food, water and rescue after her levees failed. Also, these catastrophes are manmade–Haiti’s because of shoddily-constructed buildings, New Orleans’ because of poorly-built and maintained levees–both of which had been disasters waiting to happen.
Jan 13 2010
“Big Easy to Big Empty”
by Greg Palast is a documentary that must be seen if one is to understand what’s going on in New Orleans after Katrina and the Federal Flood. Palast’s tough, gutsy journalism reminds me of what “60 Minutes” was, back in the day when that program had cojones. Palast, investigating what really happened in New Orleans on 8/29/2005, interviews then-LSU professor Ivor Van Heerden. Van Heerden says speaking to Palast could endanger his job due to the political connections of higher-ups–and we all know what happened to Van Heerden.
Palast also interviews flood victims discouraged in one way or another from returning home and the nefarious machinations behind attempts to discourage their return.
Here, then is “Big Easy to Big Empty.”
Jan 09 2010
Never forget, never forgive
Nearly four and a half years ago this nation experienced the two worst disasters of this past decade: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans’ federal flood. Today many consider them old news, if not history, but they still are present in the lives of those who survived them.
Dec 04 2009
Sen. Tom Coburn is an Evil Scumbucket
And this is why: He must hate Louisiana and her people. Coburn, whose state obviously never has had a major disaster (judging from his behavior) introduced an amendment to the Senate healthcare bill stripping it of the $300 million Mary Landrieu had had added to help Louisiana make up for what would be a catastrophic Medicaid shortfall.
Talk about kicking somebody when they’re down–Louisiana seriously needs this money.
Oct 15 2009
Obama’s “Tinkle-Stop Tour” of NOLA
Today Obama will be making an extremely short stop in New Orleans. Or what my favorite NOLA blogger calls a “tinkle-stop tour.” In New Orleans, he’ll be visiting a charter school and participating in a town hall meeting in the Lower 9th Ward.
(In contrast, his next stop will be San Francisco, where he’ll be spending four times as much time–16 hours. This has caused Harry Shearer to say,
Total elapsed time in SF: sixteen hours. They must have experienced a hell of a federal disaster there. Four times worse, you figure?
Sep 28 2009
Katrina Shorthand vs. the Federal Flood: Why This Matters
Often when people including those in government and the mainstream media who should know better refer to the events of 8/29, it is merely as “Katrina” or “Hurricane Katrina”.
There were actually two catastrophes that happened that day: the storm, which passed to the east of New Orleans, devastating the Mississippi and eastern Louisiana Gulf Coasts, which was a NATURAL disaster, and the falling apart of New Orleans’ federally-built and maintained levees, which was a MANMADE disaster due to poor engineering.
While the use of Katrina as shorthand to cover the two events is easy (I’ve even done that at times) it’s misleading because of the implication that the flooding of New Orleans was a natural disaster. And this matters–more below the fold.
Aug 29 2009
I’m Depressed on This Anniversary…
I should be feeling better–after all, Obama did commemorate Katrina and the flood in his radio address this morning. To his credit he also brought up levees and coastal restoration. But only time will tell if these words will be backed up by action or be mere empty words.
I have been upset and feel as if I’m almost physically ill. I cannot help but flash back, see the scenes of rescues and of the afflicted at the Superdome and the Convention Center and think of how so many suffered during Katrina and the federal flood and are still suffering. And I can’t help but wonder if Obama really cares about New Orleans. Because when I remember what happened during the flood and Katrina which turned the lives of so many upside down and think about the fact that Obama won’t be going there (which he wasn’t going to do anyway even if Ted Kennedy hadn’t passed) I’m depressed.
And others are also turned off by the fact that Obama has paid so little attention to Louisiana and her problems and those of her neighbors in the Gulf Region–a wound which Obama’s absence from Katrina observances has rubbed salt into. More below the fold…
Aug 27 2009
Ted Kennedy and NOLA
Among all of his other accomplishments, Ted Kennedy can be remembered since Katrina and the federal flood happened as a legislator who proactively did what he could to help New Orleans’ and the rest of the Gulf Region’s people after the catastrophe.
Aug 18 2009
NOLA Looks As If McCain Were President
Where are the hope and change in New Orleans? When Barack Obama was a presidential candidate, he promised that
he would “keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast” and take steps to prevent failures in emergency planning and response seen during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Specifically, Obama would ensure New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011, free up rebuilding funds that had been allocated but not released and to rebuild hospitals and schools.
Nov 29 2008
Let’s ask Obama to have New Orleans musicians play at the Inaugural
(NOTE: This diary was originally posted on Daily Kos by azureblue, a musician who got his start in New Orleans. Per a request he made to readers in a comment under that diary, I am crossposting it here–because he and I feel this is an idea that needs as much attention and exposure as possible so hopefully Obama will pick up on it.)
The title says it all, but this grew out of a discussion last night about Obama’s love for jazz, and the possibility of him having jazz players at the inauguration:
Sep 09 2008
The MSM’s Silence on Post-Gustav Louisiana
I wish I could say that Hurricane Gustav refocused more national attention on Louisiana’s issues including vanishing barrier reefs and wetlands as well as the following, which I learned about this morning from a fellow Kossack living in the NOLA area who had evacuated when Gustav was on the way. Maybe it did–for only a few minutes.
For to put it bluntly, even in the New Orleans area even though the MSM gave out of state observers the impression that the area had escaped unscathed or was only lightly damaged, residents still have a major mess to contend with–and FEMA still doesn’t seem to have learned from Katrina and the flood. More below the fold…..
Sep 04 2008
Sarah Palin Should Have Mentioned Gustav…..
and its survivors across the wide swath of Louisiana which has been tortured by the devastation he left behind. Saying in last night’s speech that she stands behind our fellow citizens in the area would only have been right–especially were she to have called upon other Americans to donate to the Red Cross as has Obama. (Link below the fold).
Now for the “meat”–following is a poem I’ve written to commemorate the third anniversary of Katrina and the federal flood. It is in the voice of the mother of 8-year-old and 9-year-old boys who have a disabled grandmother. While it is fiction, it’s based on things people actually went through during Katrina and flood and in the aftermath.