Sunday, September 25, 2005

Among the Hillbillies Part 5

It's finally happened. No Saints on TV in Nashville today.

Hurricane Survival Rule No. 1

Stay away from domes.

Among the Hillbillies Part 4

In Nashville, unspeakable specimens of wildlife are allowed much liberty by whatever ineffectual government agency is responsible for their oversight to run free in areas that civilized metropoli would clearly wish to reserve for people (and maybe cats, dogs, pigeons and the like). Last week I was horrified to peer out through the kitchen window and discover a deer.. an actual friggin deer.. merrily loping through the neighborhood as casually as though he were out for a morning stroll. What the hell! I had naively presumed that it was safe to leave my Tercel out there in the driveway. I had no idea that the area was overrun with large four-legged animals who appear to be quite capable of kicking through an innocent windshield should the mood strike them. If I find one hoofprint before I leave someone is getting an angry letter.

And then there are the vultures. Back home I was known to complain from time to time of the harassment I received quite often from certain elements of New Orleans's healthy population of big fat nasty black crows. The birds tended to become a bit defensive if I happened to allow my jogging route to pass too closely to their nesting trees. Many were the days when I would find myself forced to pick up the pace in order to avoid a nasty round of swooping and squawking on the part of the indignant birds. So I was always a bit annoyed with (if not quite terrified of)the crows. They were well sized and probably disease ridden enough to make me wary. Little did I know that one day I would be faced with a winged adversary easily twice the size of the crows and from the looks of them quite capable of clawing through skull material. I hope they aren't nesting yet.

Did I mention the skunks? Okay well, there are skunks.

All of this is quite enough to cause one a bit of discomfort with one's living arrangement. On the other hand, my current quarters, under siege by all manner of malevolent fauna though they may be, have several distinct advantages over home at the moment, chief among these being electricity and clean running water. So I suppose it would behoove me for the moment to... wait a minute what the fuck is that?
Man I gotta get out of here!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Recovery Bush style

Following up on its opportunistic move to suspend the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage act in the wake of Katrina, the Bush administration is now requesting authority to wave EPA industrial emissions standards during emergencies. With recovery efforts like this, who needs disasters?


Some computer models have Rita back in the Gulf next week.

Trailer Parks

As service industry owners struggle to resurrect their plantation economy, help is on the way from HUD in the form of mobile slave quarters.

Rich and Poor

Needs to be said. Too bad the only one saying it is St. Bernard Parish President Junior Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said the repair job on the Industrial Canal levee was shoddy and accused the corps of exerting more of an effort to repair a breach on the 17th Street Canal at the Orleans-Jefferson parish line because it protects more wealthy neighborhoods than those in the 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish.

"It's rich and poor,'' Rodriguez told a WWL-TV reporter, adding that St. Bernard Parish and 9th Ward residents are treated like "second-class citizens.''
As we have seen, no one listens to anyone from St. Bernard. TV reporters who continue to parrot the Corps' lie about "overtopped" levess as opposed to breached levees are doing us all a disservice.

Ghost Town

Chris Rose is lonely.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Stuff you can buy

Get it here.

Via Murph

Alright I'll say it

They fixed the rich people's levee. They didn't much care about the this one.

Yesterday I watched two of the most disturbing press conferences yet. The first one featured Bush bristling at reporters whining about how hard it would be to figure out how much hurricane relief would cost the feds. Meanwhile two Senators already had a pretty good idea as to that. Bush, in fact, seemed to be saying that the feds were working (it's hard work) to figure out exactly what was the bare minimum they were legally required to spend. And then there was this. Gets weirder every day.

Later in the day, we were treated to a similarly bizzare performance by Mayor Nagin. (So much later in the day, in fact, that reporters on the scene were wondering out loud if they were being kept waiting out of malice.) When the Q & A finally began, the mayor bristled angrily at reporters at one point wondering out loud, "Will you believe me?" before answering the first question. Then came this exhange:
Q: Mr. Mayor, what can you tell us about the leak in the levees at the industrial canal?
A: I haven't heard anything about that.
Q: Mr. Mayor, we've got some picures we can show you. We talked to FEMA crews earlier who said they're pulling people out of the Ninth Ward...
A: Well I haven't heard about that yet. The Corps hasn't told me anything.

This morning, the levee patch has completely failed and flood waters are rushing back into the Ninth Ward. The Corps is calling it an "overtopping" I don't believe that.
Looks more like indifference.

New Toy No. 2

Never Pay Retail.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Some soldiers and a California news crew play "haunted history" tourist while on duty in New Orleans. I hope they got a real big laugh out of this. They should all be punished/fired.

New Toy

Library Thing Create and (if you like) share an online catalog of your personal library. Now... where did I leave my books? Oh yeah.

via biblioblog


I had one of these in the evacuation vehicle with me. I threw it out the next daw.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I'm not crazy. The bastards really are doing this. If this happens to you, you can tell Foti here.

Books of the moment

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America John M Barry

I and many others have mentioned this one before. Most of us remember it as this year's One Book One New Orleans selection. The Katrina aftermath has brought one eerie reminder of the the book's themes after another. The problems of race and poverty, the political damage control operation, the power of the New Orleans Carnival aristocracy, the misuse of St. Bernard Parish residents, the ineptitude of the Army Corps of Engineers. It's all there in Barry's book.

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History Erik Larson

1900 Galveston, TX is wiped out by a killer storm. The city never really recovers. What will happen this time?

Just as soon as we finish with the worst storm ever

Along comes the worst storm ever. Scary times. She makes a pretty picture though.

O, I have pass'd a miserable night, So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams

Dreamt last night that I was at a Mardi Gras parade. (Krewe of Carrollton for no particular reason) It was muddy outside and threatening rain. The riders didn't seem very into it. The parade was cutting its route short. At some point it devolved into a procession of walkers half-heartedly handing out throws. I began to feel a sense of guilt for even waving to them. As they walked on solemnly, the crowd began to shift from shouting "Hey mister" and "Throw me something" to quietly nodding and saying only "God bless you." Mostly we looked away from it and began to wonder when it would be appropriate to leave.

I wonder how soon any of us will be in the mood to celebrate.


Remember, the mayor decided this was good enough for folks to come back to.
The east bank of New Orleans may not have safe tap water for up to two more months, Sewerage & Water Board officials revealed Tuesday, further jeopardizing plans to begin a staggered repopulation of unflooded Uptown neighborhoods and the French Quarter.
But the water board is facing other handicaps. Only 430 of the agency's 1,200 employees have reported back to work, requiring that the many of the same employees who stayed on site for Katrina remain in place for Rita. The agency also lost its entire $35 million fleet of vehicles when Katrina flooded the maintenance facility on Peoples Street. FEMA has authorized the S&WB to rent vehicles, but not all have arrived, St. Martin said.

Fortunately, much of the slack has been taken up by private contractors who have been hired on an emergency basis. Most, among them Boh Bros. and Drennan Construction, have held contracts with the S&WB in the past and are familiar with the city's systems, she said.
..... Rent equipment? How neighborly! Who is making that buck? BTW this also means that your water services have been effectively privatized.....
While the east bank water purification plant is operational, Katrina caused untold damage to the 1,600-mile maze of underground pipes that carry water to homes and businesses. Lines were snapped, cracked and busted all over town when trees were uprooted, houses wiped off their slabs and fire hydrants toppled.

Floodwaters 20 feet deep also destroyed the only wastewater treatment plant that services the east bank, located on Florida Avenue near the St. Bernard Parish line. Repairs to that facility could cost $156 million and take nine months, during which time the city has no other alternative than to send untreated sewage generated west of the Industrial Canal into the Mississippi River, St. Martin said. East of the canal, sewage may have to be sent to Lake Pontchartrain through a newly engineered bypass system or possibly through open drainage canals, officials said.
As for water, it is flowing through the taps on the east bank, but is not suitable for washing hands, bathing, cooking or drinking unless boiled for three to five minutes. Officials warn that harmful bacteria could be present from floodwaters or muck that has infiltrated broken pipes, and that residents run the risk of catching a range of intestinal illnesses if they consume the water in any way.
Again, I cannot stress this enough. As of last week, the mayor had determined that these conditions were good enough for you to come home and generate postitve PR for him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


My landlord lived in lakeview and I am now unable to contact him and apprise him of my location/intent to return as soon as legally allowed, etc. Consuela has been in contact with her boss who also rents apartments and has been hearing rumors of landlords in the city evicting evacuated tenants in absentia, dumping their belongings onto the street, and putting the apartments back on the market at significantly higher rents. Is there anyone out there who reads this and can verify this info? I'm really worried about my stuff.

Oral Histories

Found this site on kos today. Good stuff. Just passing it on.

Quote of the Day

NOPD chief Eddie Compass at today's press conference.
"We are doing everything we can to disseminate our personnel."

Monday, September 19, 2005

America's Team

Back in action tonight. Corny as it may be, this really does make me feel better.

Update: Almost forgot. If you're out of WWL broadcast range and absolutely need to hear Jim and Hokie while the Saints are playing, WJBO should be streaming the Saints radio network. Last week, I noticed a significant time lapse between the game on TV and the streaming commentary but it's worth it for the little taste of home.


Nagin just now: "Our reentry program has gone very smoothly. Now we are cancelling it."

He just stated his criteria for allowing residents back in was based on:
1) The EPA report on air quality (which was inconclusive to bad)
2) The quality of the water (which is undrinkable... he described it as "challenging")
3) The status of the hospitals (which are ruined)

The Mayor looked at all of this and then decided to give residents the green light to return!

Other things he said just now:
1) He implied that his return plan was meant as a "take a look and go" deal instead of a permanent return. This is a lie.
2) After stating that the presence of military personnel gave the administration confidence that they could "handle any problems that might arise" he began to set his plan for Rita evacuation in motion by asking people who know folks who returned to please call them and ask them to leave.

God help us!

Evidence that God Hates Me

1) Rita

2) Bruning's is destroyed but somehow Blue Dog lives on.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The world turned upside down

Tulane's next home football game will take place IN TIGER STADIUM.

Flood Insurance

Forty percent of New Orleans homeowners had flood insurance. In a flood prone region where the home buyer's ability to obtain a mortgage is tied to the purchase of federal flood insurance, how can this number be so low? Answer: a large number of the houses in the city are not mortgaged to young homeowners but owned outright by absentee landlords and occupied by renters. Property owners in New Orleans are at liberty to decline flood insurance if their property is no longer under mortgage. Of course, the landlord always runs the risk of losing a building to a disaster like Katrina but the risk of losing one's cash cow slum is not the same as the risk of losing one's home. Besides, that risk always came with the possibility of a federal bailout or, at the very least, a chance to lay blame at the feet of "heartless insurance companies." Failing that, the enterprising landlord can always burn his way out and blame it on the looters.

Note: Far be it for me to rush to the aid of the beleaguered insurance industry. This Mississippi lawsuit, I think, does hold water (pun perhaps intended) since the property owners were told not to buy flood insurance due to the fact that they were not in a "flood zone." That seems a bit of an untenable premise at this point.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ethnic Cleansing

These are the people who have the Mayor's ear. Upstanding citizens like Ashton O'Dwyer.
In rich white enclaves like Uptown, residents are wary of sounding racist. But with their deep business and family connections, they say they are determined to ensure the new city will be very different than the old one, which for so long has been associated with crime, poor schools and corruption.

"Whatever you do, don't put people back in the city who are criminals and who are incapable of, or unwilling to, help themselves," said Mr. O'Dwyer, a volatile, white 57-year-old lawyer.

"What was once unacceptable in polite, respectable society has not only become commonplace over the past 30 years of Negro rule in this city, but it has become acceptable and I am not going to stand for it any more," said the fifth-generation New Orleans resident. "If we return to the same old, same old . . . I'm outta here."

Not safe

Opening the city at this point is an obvious safety hazzard. If the Mayor honestly cared about the city's poor and scores of renters afraid of losing their abandoned homes and posessions as much as he cares about the buisiness owners and landlords, he would not be jeopardizing the public's health for the purposes of this PR stunt.

Don't eat the soil

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new health risk emerged Friday from the sediment of New Orleans -- test results showing that diesel and fuel oils, which can take years to break down, make up as much as a 10th of the weight of some sediment samples.
The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it also found E. coli bacteria in the sediment -- the residue left from water, soil from backyards and road and construction debris -- as well as slightly elevated levels of arsenic and lead. It didn't report the levels of E. coli bacteria, and there's no health standard for how much E. coli can be in soil or sediment.
Fuel oils such as kerosene, jet fuel, range oil and home heating oil irritate the skin and, if breathed, cause nausea, headaches, increased blood pressure, light-headedness, appetite loss, poor coordination and difficulty concentrating. Breathing diesel-fuel vapors for long periods can cause kidney damage and lower the blood's ability to clot.
Scientists worry that as the sediment dries, the pollutants in it can evaporate and, as gases in the air, they could be inhaled by people. Some chemicals found in fuel oils can easily evaporate, while others more easily dissolve in water. The agencies plan to collect air samples.

Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at EPA who has been a longtime whistleblower within the agency, called it "reckless and irresponsible" for EPA to imply that people moving back into New Orleans will be safe.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Help us rebuild the liberry

It's important. I work there.


Every major disaster comes with its obligatory pop-culture pronouncement. Katrina is no exception.

Snark is dead.

Bush Last Night

What Bob Harris says.


Swooping in to ruin my city.
In some ways, Hurricane Katrina seems to have taken a vibrant real estate market and made it hotter. Large sections of the city are underwater, but that's only increasing the demand for dry houses. And in flooded areas, speculators are trying to buy properties on the cheap, hoping that the redevelopment of New Orleans will start a boom.

This land rush has long-term implications in a city where many of the poorest residents were flooded out. It raises the question of what sort of housing — if any — will be available to those without a six-figure salary. If New Orleans ends up a high-priced enclave, without a mix of cultures, races and incomes, something vital may be lost.
I'm afraid there's nothing that can be done to stop this. Welcome to the new New Orleans. Toxic Disneyland for and by the yuppies.

What are we going back to?

I'm beginning to think the mayor's plan to start allowing residents back into Orleans Parish next week is a poorly thought out PR move. I'm just as anxious as anyone to go home, but I'd prefer not to feel obligated to return until at least some of this gets sorted out.
Hurricane Katrina is rapidly becoming the worst environmental calamity in U.S. history, with oil spills rivaling the Exxon Valdez, hundreds of toxic sites still uncontrolled, and waterborne poisons soaking 160,000 homes.

New Orleans' flooded neighborhoods are awash with dangerous levels of bacteria and lead, and with lower but still potentially harmful amounts of mercury, pesticides and other chemicals. Much will wind up in the soil as the water drains, or in Lake Pontchartrain, hammering its already battered ecosystem.
At the EPA's request, the Army Corps of Engineers put out floating barriers to try to stop some oil and gasoline before it enters the lake. But they won't stop the two most immediate threats in the water, high levels of bacteria and lead.

One site sampled Sept. 3, an Interstate 10 interchange north of the French Quarter, had lead 56 times higher than the amount that would be allowed in drinking water. Other samples taken days later across a much wider area were also high, but not near that mark.
Tests also show that toxic substances in the floodwater will enter the coastal food chain.

Several water samples had mercury, a powerful nerve poison, above the amount allowed in saltwater environments in order to protect the long-term health of people eating fish or shellfish.
The air, too, is a source of danger in New Orleans. An EPA airplane equipped with electronic sensors to spot air pollution detected a plume of chloroacetic acid, an industrial agent and defoliant that poses extreme toxic risks when inhaled.
Another concern, he said, is that long-lasting pollutants will remain in higher concentrations and higher toxicity when the water dries up. "The question will be how much will get into people by the three routes, respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermal or skin."
By opening the city, the Mayor is basically obligating renters to return to an unsafe environment or risk having their slumlords clear out and dispose of their belongings left behind during evacuation. Don't think they won't do it? You don't know New Orleans slumlords.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Garrison Keillor

What a douche.
Via Kos

Natural Disaster

Uh oh.
Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.


The Mayor is on TV saying that folks can come back to Algiers on Monday, zip code 70118 on Wednessday, and the French Quarter next Monday. Algiers, I understand. It is dry and the water is safe there. The East Bank neighborhoods are suspicious. 70118 includes Audobon Place and the French Quarter is... well... the French Quarter. Areas between these two points are just as dry. Plus the water is still not safe to drink or bathe in. Why are we letting people in? Something's fishy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Grave Robber Barrons

In other words, FEMA and then Blanco outsourced the body count from Hurricane Katrina -- which many believe the worst natural disaster in U.S. history -- to a firm whose parent company is known for its "experience" at hiding and dumping bodies.

Republicans holding up Katrina relief

Because it does too much for poor people.
Included in this second phase are proposals to provide Medicaid health benefits to those made homeless by Katrina, lift work rules for welfare recipients, and implement tax changes to help hurricane victims and charitable donors. More comprehensive bills are to follow.

Republicans are starting to voice complaints that Democrats are seeking to seize upon the tragedy to pass more ambitious legislation than they otherwise could expect to achieve in the GOP-dominated Congress.
God forbid we let anyone displaced by the hurricane get away wtih a month's worth of unemployment benefits before we make sure Manpower Inc. knows who they are. Meanwhile, nothing is done to stop the widespread looting being perpetrated by Bush cronies and rent-a-stormtrooper outfits at the other end.
Contractors are already lining up for Katrina money. Yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers said that, on FEMA's behalf, it would award $1.5 billion in contracts for debris removal this week. Also yesterday, Blackwater USA, known for its work supporting military operations in Iraq, said it would provide 164 armed guards to help provide security at FEMA sites in Louisiana.

Last week FEMA gave out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts to engineering and construction firms to build an estimated 300,000 temporary housing units. Those contracts were awarded without competition under rules that allow agencies to bypass normal procedures during an emergency. Several went to companies that have been major financial supporters of the Bush administration. One firm, Shaw Group Inc., of Baton Rouge, is on the client list of lobbyist and former FEMA director Joe M. Allbaugh, though he has said he does not get involved with contracts.
Always the same song.

Duct Tape Man


If you're going home..

..be sure you have enough gas. It may take you some time to figure out how to get back in especially if you're coming from the east. Oh and I wouldn't drink the water just yet either.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Ultra confusing meta meta post with quotes of other posts included and such for the purposes of posting a comment

Good to see that Yat Pundit is safe and posting again. But it looks like his comments are not functioning. I found this out while trying to respond to this post this morning. Here is the text of his post.
Please, press, both local and national, do your job following the saga of the reconstruction of New Orleans. There are going to be land grabs and corruption and bribery and efforts by the NO elite to keep the poor from returning.

Please, follow the story. You'll be the only watchdog for this.

[via Eschaton]

Atrios needs to focus on national and/or Philly politics, because that way he's not talking out of his ass. The Mayor and a majority of the City Council are black, and we're a tourism/service economy. The minimum wage jobs will always be with us, so long as we have as many hotels, restaurants, etc. That means not only will we always have poor folks in New Orleans, but the "NO elite" will encourage their return.
So, YP, if you're reading, here is what I wanted to say.
That's not what this story would appear to suggest. Or... it suggests that if the "city fathers" have their way, a minimum wage labor pool will return but not necessarily made up of the same folks who left and they will likely return to suburban ghettos instead of their traditional neighborhoods.
I had a bit more on this on Friday.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Opiate for the Jeffreys

This is going to be a sight for sore eyes.
Geaux Tigers!

And big thanks to the evil Disney corporation as well as WWL. Now that it is demonstrably possible, why can't the NFL pick up on this idea?

Update: Got a little excited.. game is not being webcast. But it is on TV so, you know, yay.

Ain't Dere No More

Yo Mamma's house in da parrish
Right down the road from the daiquiri store.

Dat's the one...

Don't get it? Just ask Benny Grunch.

Welcome to Africa

This is insulting. And please don't tell me the NYT doesn't choose its front page image without considerable deliberation.

More Ways to Help

Socially Responsible Hurricane Katrina Relief from Radical Reference.

How Many Dead or Alive?

Good news this morning. Not as many bodies as feared.

* (sorry, oyster.. sorry everybody)

Friday, September 09, 2005

New Orleans: The Greatest City in Sports

Nice of ESPN to do this. Now.. if we could only get someone to assure us we're keeping our football team.


Got'em.. and of course, the beer to go with.

Nice catch, Murph.

Class Warfare

Gator Boots, with the pimped out Gucci suit
Ain't got no job, but I stay sharp
Can't pay my rent, cause all my money's spent
but thats ok, cause im still fly
got a quarter tank gas in my new E-class
But that's alright cause i'm gon' ride
got everything in my moma's name
but im hood rich da dada dada da

Big Tymers

I wonder if the national guard plans to knock down James Reiss's door and force him to evacuate any time soon.
A few blocks from Mr. O'Dwyer, in an exclusive gated community known as Audubon Place, is the home of James Reiss, descendent of an old-line Uptown family. He fled Hurricane Katrina just before the storm and returned soon afterward by private helicopter. Mr. Reiss became wealthy as a supplier of electronic systems to shipbuilders, and he serves in Mayor Nagin's administration as chairman of the city's Regional Transit Authority. When New Orleans descended into a spiral of looting and anarchy, Mr. Reiss helicoptered in an Israeli security company to guard his Audubon Place house and those of his neighbors.

He says he has been in contact with about 40 other New Orleans business leaders since the storm. Tomorrow, he says, he and some of those leaders plan to be in Dallas, meeting with Mr. Nagin to begin mapping out a future for the city.

The power elite of New Orleans -- whether they are still in the city or have moved temporarily to enclaves such as Destin, Fla., and Vail, Colo. -- insist the remade city won't simply restore the old order. New Orleans before the flood was burdened by a teeming underclass, substandard schools and a high crime rate. The city has few corporate headquarters.

The new city must be something very different, Mr. Reiss says, with better services and fewer poor people. "Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically," he says. "I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we've been living is not going to happen again, or we're out."
"Burdened by a teeming underclass." Anyone else get the feeling that Mr. Reiss's ideas about building a city with "fewer poor people" has less to do with lifting people out of poverty than simply not allowing the "teeming underclass" to return to their homes?

I'm always amazed at how quickly a self-described laissez-faire capitalist will shamelessly turn to the most horrific kind of ideology-driven social engineering when given the opportunity. Here's the intolerable David Brooks (who we already know has no hope of understanding us) making a total ass of himself yesterday.
It (Katrina)has created as close to a blank slate as we get in human affairs, and given us a chance to rebuild a city that wasn't working. We need to be realistic about how much we can actually change human behavior, but it would be a double tragedy if we didn't take advantage of these unique circumstances to do something that could serve as a spur to antipoverty programs nationwide.

The first rule of the rebuilding effort should be: Nothing Like Before. Most of the ambitious and organized people abandoned the inner-city areas of New Orleans long ago, leaving neighborhoods where roughly three-quarters of the people were poor.

In those cultural zones, many people dropped out of high school, so it seemed normal to drop out of high school. Many teenage girls had babies, so it seemed normal to become a teenage mother. It was hard for men to get stable jobs, so it was not abnormal for them to commit crimes and hop from one relationship to another. Many people lacked marketable social skills, so it was hard for young people to learn these skills from parents, neighbors and peers.

If we just put up new buildings and allow the same people to move back into their old neighborhoods, then urban New Orleans will become just as rundown and dysfunctional as before.

That's why the second rule of rebuilding should be: Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. The only chance we have to break the cycle of poverty is to integrate people who lack middle-class skills into neighborhoods with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior.
Now I could spend a little time correcting Brooks's assumptions about New Orleans's lack of "cultural integration". I'm not saying that we've ever been a utopia of socio-economic or racial harmony, but anyone who lives in New Orleans knows that we share our neighborhoods and city services (such as they are) a great deal better than most (ahem Northern) US cities. It's part of what makes life there... well, better.

But that aside, what's really under attack here is the most important aspect of life in New Orleans. The one that the plutocrats like Reiss and the yuppies like Brooks despise the most. We know how to be happy despite being poor. Reiss and Brooks don't think poor people should be happy. They want them ashamed.. joyless..subservient. New Orleans is a problem to them not because it knows so much poverty but because it knows so little shame so little deference to authority so much joy. We can't let them take this away from us.

It is for this reason that those of us who know how to be New Orleans be allowed a right of return. That is, we need to be allowed back into our home before the Reisses and the Brookses ruin it forever.

Update: Billmon handles it better than I do.

Forced Evacuation

MSNBC is reporting that Brown is out.

Great job, Brownie.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Team Assmunch

Here's your roster.

New Flood Map

This was posted over on the Metblog. Tools like this will continue to draw interest until they start letting people back into the city.

Where, of course, we will rebuild.


From ESPN's David Fleming.
I just hope before owner Tom Benson or the suits at the NFL office in New York make a decision about the future of the Saints, they come to an evacuee shelter like KellyUSA and see for themselves just how much this team now means to the people of the Gulf Coast. Because it's truly one of those things you have to witness to believe. And maybe with this one team, and for this one season, the NFL could pause for a moment on its way to world sports/marketing domination and gazillion-dollar profits to serve the kinds of fans who were, long, long ago, priced out of the league's economic picture.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Among the Hillbillies Part 3

Nashville Public Library's internet filter restricts access to the New Orleans Metblog.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Onion: Katrina Issue

So funny, so sad.

FEMA owes Benson a Stadium

Dome may have to be torn down. It does have a retractable roof now.

Among the Hillbillies part 2

Things that do not exist in Mom's neighborhood:
1) Sidewalks!!

Things that exist in abundance in Mom's neighborhood:
2)Fireflies (didn't recognize these at first.. thought they were some kind of freaky air pollution.)

Afternoon was spent on a long unsuccessful quest for pickled pork. You can't buy it here! Not at the Food Lion, not at the corner grocery, not at any of the millions of Krogers that dot the landscape. I even tried the International Supermarket where, amazingly, you can get boiled crawfish but, again, no pickled meat. How am I supposed to make my red beans?

Monday, September 05, 2005


And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Mr. Bush has now twice insisted that, "we are not satisfied," with the response to the manifold tragedies along the Gulf Coast. I wonder which "we" he thinks he's speaking for on this point. Perhaps it's the administration, although we still don't know where some of them are. Anybody seen the Vice President lately? The man whose message this time last year was, 'I'll Protect You, The Other Guy Will Let You Die'?

I don't know which 'we' Mr. Bush meant.


Web Cast Saints Games

The New Orleans Saints will practice and likely play most of their home games in San Antonio, TX this year. Their fans are scattered far and wide. Many of them will remain so for months. During the Katrina crisis, New Orleans residents desperate for news from back home have been able to follow local news streaming on wwltv.com and wdsu.com. Those of us who were lucky enough to evacuate to places with internet access have been glued to our monitors all week. It seems to me that it would be a swell gesture on the part of the NFL to make Saints games accessible to displaced fans via streaming video this season. The NFL doesn't make it easy for folks to present their brilliant ideas via email but this form dedicated to questions/suggestions regarding their web site seems like a good place to start should anyone feel inclined to drop them a line.


I don't know what's going to happen when the shit-water settles. But I, like many other New Orleanians, simply don't know how to live anywhere else. This Salon piece paints a decent picture of why that is so. Here's a taste.
When that is over, though, everyone needs to get back home. You don't take someone whose family's been in New Orleans practically since Cro-Magnon times and plop him in Houston with a hundred bucks and directions to the job center. Even if they did tell him where north, south, east, and west is, maybe he wouldn't know what you were talking about. In New Orleans, it's uptown, downtown, toward the lake, and toward the river. A shrimp taco may be tasty, but where's the red beans and rice? Where's the kids in go-karts busting through stop signs? Where's the casino? Where's the zydeco washboard pumping out of the T-shirt shop on Decatur even though it's jazz down here, not zydeco? Where's the big chief? And if you don't know what the big chief is, then you don't know the ugly pain we're going through.

If it's ever going to be healed, if there isn't to be a permanent hole the size of Lake Pontchartrain in our hearts, we need our city back, from the toniest mansion on St. Charles to the sorriest, most sagging roof on Desire. And we need to be protected this time. We need billions, and we need more billions. We don't just need it because you felt guilty that the Superdome turned into the hold of a slave ship. We need it because we love where we live.

Big Bad Momma

The shot gun toting bad ass on the left is none other than our very own Officer Barbie. Thank God she's ok. NOPD have been through pure hell this week.


NOPD chief Eddie Compass, a man obviously in way way over his head no matter what the circumstances, just let loose with a spectacular meltdown at a press conference. He's not wrong to be angry and all geeked up and I certainly sympathize with him... but.. I really don't understand how this guy is the most qualified to person to be chief of police in New Orleans. (Well actually I do, you see, Compass and Nagin are childhood friends.. but that's another story.) Please let there be video of this. The report simply does not do it justice.

City's Web Site

Back up. But not much info available.

Among the Hillbillies

So I can't buy a bottle of wine in the grocery store in Nashville. What the hell? Wine is a food. When you're cruising the grocery aisles planning your meal for the evening, you want to pick out a wine to go with it don't you? Here you have make a whole other stop at the liquor store where you CAN buy a bottle of wine... but you CAN'T buy a corkscrew. That's another trip.. probably to Wal-Mart. But wait. You also can't buy BEER at the LIQUOR store! For that, it's back to the grocery! I can't wait to go home to civilization where I can pick up a drive-through Daiquiri.

Greetings from Vanderbilt U

I'm posting from the top floor of one of the less aesthetically pleasing library interiors I've come across. Looks like an abandoned warehouse in here. Will be exploring downtown Nashville on foot for most of the afternoon. Meanwhile here is a new link to lii.org's Katrina page. I'll check in again tonight.

Note: Our old friend Blogger spellcheck suggests "strain" as an alternative to "Katrina."

Well that's nice

Cox suspends bill payments Wonder if Slumlord still wants his September rent.

Who could have known?

Why does this self-styled "can do" president always lapse into such lame "who could have known?" excuses.

Who on earth could have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack us by flying planes into buildings? Any official who bothered to read the trellis of pre-9/11 intelligence briefs.

Who on earth could have known that an American invasion of Iraq would spawn a brutal insurgency, terrorist recruiting boom and possible civil war? Any official who bothered to read the C.I.A.'s prewar reports.

Who on earth could have known that New Orleans's sinking levees were at risk from a strong hurricane? Anybody who bothered to read the endless warnings over the years about the Big Easy's uneasy fishbowl.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

T-P Sunday Editorial

Bears repeating:
Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."

That’s unbelievable.

ALA statement

From ALA President Michael "Blog People" Gorman. Includes preliminary info on how to help Katrina affected libraries. Many of you may know that ALA had planned to meet in New Orleans next summer. Let's hope they can still make it.

Must Read

I'm sure the people of New Orleans would have liked to show their appreciation for the official Presidential photo-strafing, but their surface-to-air missiles were wet.
Then, as the waters rose, one politician finally said, roughly, "Screw this! They're lying! The President's lying! The rich fat cats that are drowning you will do it again and again and again. They lead you into imperialist wars for profit, they take away your schools and your hope and when you complain, they blame Blacks and Jews and immigrants. Then they push your kids under. I say, Kick'm in the ass and take your rightful share!"

Huey Long laid out a plan: a progressive income tax, real money for education, public works to rebuild Louisiana and America, an end to wars for empire, and an end to financial oligarchy. The waters receded, the anger did not, and Huey "Kingfish" Long was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1928.

Another new site

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Katrina Update
Announcements from affected colleges, and from associations and government agencies

Operation Photo-Op

Atrios's phrase... but an apt one.

See here

Social Contract

From Rude Pundit
But the Bush adminstration has broken the basic social contract in New Orleans, the one that goes all the way back to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, the one that says we adhere to laws because you agree to protect us, and thus the city and its citizens have returned to the state of nature, which is to survive, motherfuckers, just survive.
And still there are people talking about never returning to New Orleans.... an attitude born out of either 1) A bigoted desire to blame the poor for their own plight or 2) A childlike irrational fear imposed by the "trauma" of sitting in your air conditioned living room drinking lemonade and watching people suffer on TV. That's fine, though. I'm going back. And when my city is rebuilt I don't really feel like sharing it with assholes.

Nagin again

Some observers have said that because the majority of storm evacuees are black, the lethargic disaster response has a racist component. But Nagin cast the color issue in another light. "I think it's more a class issue than race," he said. "The Superdome had mostly poor people in distress. The rich have resources the poor don't. The Convention Center was different. There the poor were mixed with people from hotels and predators. You had blacks, Hispanics, Asians. The predators in there didn't care. When those stories come out, like children raped, with their throats cut, then somebody's got to answer."

Nagin's ire began to rise anew as he recalled a foiled strategy to send able-bodied refugees over the Crescent City Connection to the high ground of the West Bank.

"We were taking in people from St. Bernard Parish," he said. "If we had a bottle of water, we shared it. Then when we were going to let people cross the bridge, they were met with frigging dogs and guns at the Gretna parish line. They said, 'We're going to protect Jefferson Parish assets."
The piggishness and inhumanity on display here is unforgivable. First, the poorest and most helpless are left behind to die.. then when they are reluctantly allowed to escape they are treated as a threat to "assets." Someone should have to answer for this. I doubt anyone will.

Anne Rice

Mediocre author.. but excellent spokesperson for New Orleans. Read this in its entirety.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

What might have been

It was almost one year ago when Ivan just missed doing to us what Katrina actually did. I started the day getting ready to evacuate and ended it getting drunk at Igor's Here is how relieved I was at the time. If only those damn levees had held.. I may be feeling something similar today.

Pleasant Thoughts Quote of the Evening

Dad, a few moments ago talking back to the TV: "I hope he drowned in the bathtub."
Admittedly, Dad has had a rather rough week.

Bush: He Came He Saw He Continues to Ignore

"Yesterday, I was hoping President Bush would come away from his tour
of the regional devastation triggered by Hurricane Katrina with a new
understanding for the magnitude of the suffering and for the abject
failures of the current Federal Emergency Management Agency,"
Landrieu said. "Twenty-four hours later, the President has yet to answer my
call for a cabinet-level official to lead our efforts. Meanwhile, FEMA,
now a shell of what it once was, continues to be overwhelmed by the task at

Landrieu said that FEMA has inexplicably failed to take advantage of offers of help.

"I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims - far more efficiently than buses - FEMA again dragged its feet," Landrieu said. "Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.

Landrieu said that her "greatest disappointment" is the lack of progress fixing the breached 17th Street levee.

"Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast - black and white, rich and poor, young and old - deserve far better from their national government," Landrieu said.
Starting to get the feeling that we're already reaching the "Mission Accomplished" phase of the federal photo op reconstruction effort.

Hey I found my place!

It's in this photo. There is definitely water in the streets. My stuff might be largely okay!!


Actually going to try and get a little air this morning.. see what's in Nashville. Will be back this afternoon.

Another way to help

And this is something really cool that you can do. It's Murph's Musical Charity Drive.
What is Murph's Musical Charity Drive? People whose homes are flooded probably did not take their record collections with them. As we know, CDs are expensive, especially if you had to buy all the Beatles CDs all over again at one time (that's $200 right there). With all the things evacuees will have to re-purchase, music is probably not at the top of their list, and understandably so. But that does not mean that they have to go without it.

So what am I saying? I'm thinking about trying to compile a wish list from the evacuees I know and start burning CDs for them and sending them a musical care package wherever they are now. I'm saying you can do it too. I'm saying we all can do it. I'm saying it would cost us almost nothing but a little bit of time.

New Site

katrina.louisiana.gov State Of Louisiana's official website for dissemination of information concerning hurricane Katrina.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Pet left behind?

SPCA will go get it for you.
Louisiana SPCA director Laura Maloney said shelter workers follow other agencies and crews through neighborhoods and rescue pets, some that are locked in houses. At the owners' request, "we break in," she said.

Owners have to call or email the operation and give their name and address and information about where the pet is confined.

The hotline number is: 1-225-578-6111. E-mail should be sent to Katrinaanimalrescue@yahoo.com

Even Mr. Bill Knew

Bush: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

Louisianians will remember these commercials from the campaign to save America's Wetland featuring Mr. Bill. Eerily prescient. via Bob Harris


Nashville is doing nice things for evacuees including complementary library cards. I may have to check some of this stuff out.... if I can ever tear myself away from the news.

CNN is starting to get it

Lying bastards vs reality.

FEMA suck suck sucks

Director Mike Brown woefully unqualified. (via oyster)

More on Brown from Atrios.

More images

Before and after. Includes a graphic look at the power outage.

They found Fats

(CNN) -- Rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino was among the thousands of New Orleans residents plucked from rising floodwaters, his daughter said Thursday.

Letter to Bush

From Michael Moore:
No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
Read the whole thing.

How to help

What Oyster said. I am lucky. He is lucky. We have families and support. Many many others do not. Oyster linked to billmon's list. Donate. Volunteer. NO needs you.

Going home

Mark my words, I will go home. As soon as they open the city, be it next month or next year, I will go back to New Orleans and I will do whatever is needed of me to help rebuild. New Orleans is (was?) the most special place in America. I always said I couldn't live anywhere else. If I have any say in it, I won't have to and neither will anyone else.

He did it again!

Bush just now in Biloxi. "I don't think anyone could have been prepared to respond to this."
Stop with the CYA bullshit and get to work, you troll!


Erica links (and posts full text if you don't feel like watching the commercial) this Salon piece. Lots of familiar places here. Unreal, like everything this week.

Katrina Info Map

Might help you sort out what is damaged.

Cleaning Up

It will be a long time before we even think about this but...
Saving Water-Damaged Books

More Sites

City by Satellite. Looks like I've got water.

Tell CNN where you are.

What day is this, assholes?

MSNBC is reporting the "1st convoy of FEMA relief supplies entering the city." It's fucking Friday!!


I'm sorry about all the bad things I've said about him. Listen to this.

And worse

Every morning, I get up and flip on the computer hoping to see the day when things start to get better instead of worse. Today is not that day.
NEW ORLEANS — An explosion at a chemical depot jolted residents awake early Friday, illuminating the pre-dawn sky with red and orange flames over a city awash in corpses and under siege from looters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
New Orleanians have always harbored a tounge-in-cheek illusion that their city was too strange to actually be part of America proper. We never thought that America would take that seriously enough to abandon us in a time like this but that does indeed appear to be what's happened.
Give 'em hell, Ray
"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn - excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."
Did we really need to be reminded in this way that Bush is the worst president ever? An entire city.. horrific numbers of Americans. Poor, sick Americans have to die because Bush doesn't care enough to come back from vacation until two days later.. because we commit resources to conquering Iraq for Texaco. Because we are morally bankrupt enough to just let it happen.
Good motning. I think I'll go make some coffee.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

So I'm sure we all know by now the big story of the week

That would be the Onion site redesign.

Aerial photos from NOAA

They're incomplete but fairly detailed. Try and find your neighborhood.


Why New Orleans is in Deep Water

Also..once again.. cannot stress this enough. Watch the WWL streaming coverage. It is sooo much better than the disaster porn on cable news.

Return of the Gumbo Krewe

From the T-P blog:
Gumbo Krewe cooking up comfort food
Littice Bacon-Blood
River Parishes bureau

When Shawn and Danielle Bradley returned from Shreveport to their Norco home late Monday, they had cooking on their minds. They were thinking about gumbo, and lots of it.

On Thursday, the founders of the Gumbo Krewe, transformed their covered patio on Good Hope Street in Norco into an al fresco kitchen. The group, which gained national acclaim in 2001 for packing up its pots and heading to ground zero to feed hundreds of emergency workers in New York following the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, now wants to spread a little comfort closer to home.

And by 12:30 p.m., according to Shawn Bradley's estimate, they had cooked up, dished out and delivered more than 100 gallons of chicken gumbo, jambalaya and red beans to emergency workers in St. Charles Parish and Kenner, with plans to feed many more.

"We're trying to feed whoever we can,'' Bradley said. "We're feeding cops and rescue workers first."

However, unlike 911, when the krewe was able to mobilize its kitchen and feed people on site, safety concerns this time around have members delivering the food to certain locations.

"We have drop-off points, drop-off points that are safe, '' Bradley said. "We have to have security wherever we go."

Bradley said Whole Foods in Metairie donated food, seasoning and paper products, he said. "They have given us everything we need,'' he said. "They've promised to send a truckload every day."

Bradley and his band of volunteers say feeding the workers - and whoever else happens by - is their way of giving back during a time of a national crisis.

"I've got to do my part,'' said Greg Lassiter of LaPlace as he readied ham hocks for stewing with red beans.

Gage Alleman, 10, of LaPlace came to Norco with his mother Debbie to help with the food preparations.

Earlier, he had onion duty. Did he cry?

"Once,'' he said with a smile.

Despite having roof damage from the hurricane, Debbie Alleman said she came simply because she heard the Bradleys needed help.

"Everyone said that they were working for blessings,'' Alleman said. "I thought that was nice."

With large fans sending the smell of simmering chicken, roux and onions through the air, your sense of smell could have guided you to Bradley's house. If not, the four flags - two American, one Louisiana, one Mardi Gras - posted high in the air and whipping in the wind could be easily spotted more than a block away. A banner stripped across the front porch proclaimed: Gumbo Krewe "Food for the Soul."

The Bradleys say they have not put a time limit on their service. They'll dish out comfort and comfort food, they said, "until the need is not there."

I hope someone drops a house on Dennis Hastert

And thank god Oyster got out because he can still give clear voice to my rage.


From Tom Tomorrow
It's not like we didn't know that this might happen.

So why weren't more emergency personnel and equipment in place and ready to go?

Why did it take the president two days to get back to DC? Why wasn't he in the White House on Sunday night, overseeing emergency preparations?

And what the fuck is Condi Rice doing attending Broadway shows and shopping for expensive shoes at a time like this?

Sorry--does it "politicize" the issue to wonder whether we are quite literally being led by sociopaths and insane people?

I'd like to know why are the soaps and "price is right" and "around the horn" on tv today? This is worse than 911. It's just not as big a deal when it happens to poor people.

FEMA continues to suck

Web site is directing donations to Pat Robertson.

FEMA sucks

Feds have totally dropped the ball. Networks still don't have a handle on this. Watch wwl stream.

Is now the time to ask

What color will our ribbon be?

Some good news

Oyster is okay.


Bush: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Chertoff: "The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster," he said on NBC's Today program. "Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."

This is the kind of aid and sympathy that poor people can expect from their government.

More from the Police Officer. I'm typing as fast as i can while he talks to us:

He's only hearing bits and pieces. The people in the city are shooting at the police. They're upset that they're not getting help quickly enough. The fireman keep calling because they're under fire. He doesn't understand why the people are shooting at the rescuers. Here it is 5 days ago the Mayor said get out of town and nobody went and now they're pissed.

The National Guard was at the Hilton, but now the Hilton is evacuated. When they said the CBD was gonna get 6 feet of water, it seems like everyone evacuated.

He turned the corner onto Canal Street and it looked like a flea market. People breaking into every store, going to the neutral gound (median) and trading and selling everything.

They broke into Winn Dixie Monday Night. Do they steal food? No. Cigarettes and liquor. Store was a mess. All the meats were going to waste so the districts went over there to salvage food for officers. Many cops have been eating MREs.

The Iberville Housing Projects got pissed off because the police started to "shop" after they kicked out looters. Then they started shooting at cops. When the cops left, the looters looted everything. There's probably not a grocery left in this city.

Over 30 officers have quit over the last 3 days. Out of 160 officers in his district maybe 55 or 60 are working. He hasn't seen several since Sunday. HQ is closed, evacuated. No phones to contact them.

"HQ, be advised, we're going 10 7."

"Ok, y'all coming back on???"

"We don't know."

Where is the Nat Guard? Why were the fuckers not ready for this?

Jesus gives NO the finger


Hunt is on for Jesus’ finger

By James Varney
Staff Writer

In the garden behind St. Louis Cathedral on Royal Street lies an incredible tangle of zig-zagging broken tree trunks and branches, mixed with smashed wrought iron fences.

But right in the middle, a statue of Jesus is still standing, unscathed by the storm, save for the left thumb and index finger, which are missing.

The missing digits immediately set off speculation of divine intervention.

Flood street

Then (Betsy)

Now (Katrina)

Tryin to wash us away

Unbelievable satellite photo

Still doesn't quite show my neighborhood but you can see where it's still relatively dry here.

At digital globe there is a before and after.

More blog forums

Carol found this one.

Here's one for the Loyola University community. The fact that their campus was largely undamaged should be somewhat reassuring for uptown residents.