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SE LA: Ike Storm Surge and Call for Help

While a lot of attention is being focused on Texas, SE Louisiana–particularly bayou communities–which are still recovering from Gustav are being affected by Ike already.  This is almost a repeat of Katrina-Rita, and again, they are being ignored.  Please see the bottom of this diary for ways to help.

Update, SE LA Native Americans: Why Don’t We Matter?

Cross posting from Kos again…

Why hasn’t something been done sooner to protect our community? Is it because the Island is a poor Indian community so it doesn’t matter what happens to us? Brenda Dardar Robichaux, tribal leader of the United Houma Nation

Things are pretty grim in the region–literally a place and a people that America has forgotten–flood and wind damage has devastated many areas that had survived previous storms.  The anger in the tribal leaders’ words can be seen below.

See my previous diaries here, here and here.

First off, according to the Houma newspapers, power is slowly being restored to the hospitals and main services.  Many areas remain without and are running on generators if they have them.  These come with dangers as the Terrebonne Courthouse experienced a fire from a malfunctioning unit.  The region is still under a boil water order.  Most of the major roads are cleared, but many side roads are untouched.  No streetlights work.  Some grocery stores are open, but relief supplies are still being distributed at points around the region.   A lot of the schools will remain closed due to electricity and roof damage.  Looks like they are hoping to reopen sometime late next week.


Mental Health Parity and the 2008 Campaign

Since no one over at the main Kos site seems to care about anything other than Palin, here’s a cross post…

For those interested in the Native Americans of Southern LA, I’ll post on that tomorrow…however, this is another issue that burns me up, so here’s the rant on this…

It’s a complex issue, but I’ll try to make it short and bittersweet.  Mental health issues are not treated like physical health issues by insurance companies.  Despite the fact that neuroscience has now clearly linked many mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD, etc. to genetic issues or chemical imbalances, these are still considered conditions that do not merit the same level of coverage as physical health issues like cancer.  Why?  Because it would cost more money…the helath insurers generally treat these as they did in the 1970’s, offering limited..if any…coverage.

You can go to the National Institute of Mental Health website for the stats..I won’t bore anyone with them here.    However, they indicate that 13 million Americans have some form of debilitating mental health issue and nearly 60 million have a mental health issue of any form.  As with other forms of health care, minorities and the poor suffer more fro m these issues–often due to a lack of care–than other population groups.

Further, this should not be a Red or Blue issue, as anyone, from any background can develop a disorder.  For example, I have a good friend who developed schizophrenia while in college.  He was from a well-off family, had attended a very good private college prep school and was enrolled in one of the top universities.  He started developing symptoms in his sophomore year.  He dropped out, and fell into a spiral that eventually found him homeless or in jail.  He was eventually able to get help, and now lives a precarious, though stable, life on disability.  He is one of the lucky ones, as he had family and friends who gave a shit.  Others aren’t so lucky in their support.  

Native Americans in Gustav’s Path

I’ve been doing a series on the Chtitmacha and Houma tribes in southern Louisiana and how they have been affected by Gustav.  These folks were ignored during Katrina and Rita, and bore the brunt of Gustav.  A fellow Kos subscriber suggested I cross-post this here.

Below is the latest, for whatever it’s worth.


Maybe it’s me, but it seems that not only has the MSM floated along in its coverage of what’s going on in LA for New Orleans but the peoples that were ignored last time around are even  more out of sight this time.

Of course, now everyone is Sarah Palin 24/7 and doesn’t have time for other issues…

See my previous diaries here and here. As an admission, I was more concerned about the Chitimacha originally, as I had worked with them back in 2006 after Katrina/Rita.  Obviously, the Houma are in the same boat, so I apologize for giving them and the other tribes short shrift in my initial diaries.

First off, some news, before I rant.

Lafourche parish opened at 4 PM on 9/2…no news on damages or flooding as of yet.

Terrbonne parish is closed until Friday, so we may not get reports until then.