Sunday, July 27, 2008
i am so sick of having to defend new orleans to outsiders. my favorite new attack is a comparison of how much better the mid west is standing up to their flooding crisis than we did in new orleans. the mid west is peopled by stalwart pioneer types that don't take government handouts, engage in looting, or sit whining for help. apparently new orleans did. well, let's look at the numbers shall we? why are huge swaths of the city still empty shells? and why are people still living in fema trailors? bush claims to have sent 116 billion to the gulf coast. about two-thirds of that money was used for short term needs like debris removal and coast guard rescue. stanley czerwinski of the government accountability office likes to point out that, "there is a difference between responding to an emergency and rebuilding post-disaster." once you subtract the short term needs from the over all budget, that leaves very little for long-term gulf coast rebuilding. the estimate is that only 35 billion has been appropriated for long term building projects. out of that number, about only 42% of that has been spent. washington set aside 16.7 billion for community development block grants( this is housing folks) but as late as march of 2007, only 1 billion had been spent and most of that was in mississippi. out of fema's public assistance program of 8.2 billion, only 3.4 was meant for non-emergency projects like repairing hospitals or schools. after the levees failed, the corps recieved 8.4 billion for storm defenses but as of july 2007, only 20% had been spent and they probably won't finish the work until 2011. the road home has been poorly managed by the state and if you are lucky to actually see any of that money, it is often far below the value of your house and often seized by the mortgage company.so you have no money left over, a gutted house, and to add insult to injury you often get taxed on the road home money. hmm, i wonder why people are still living in fema trailors. it can't be because of the air quality in them. and this is all coming after the corps built a faulty levee system that they themselves said would crumble under water pressure and THAT was said way back in the 1980's. then the bush administration cut funding to the corps in 2005 by about 80%. interesting number, 80% because it was 80% of new orleans that flooded. my parents raised me to believe that if you break it then you fix it. that's not whining. and let's talk about the mid west and them not asking for hand outs. most of the mid west receives agricultural subsidies that averages out to be about 2000$ per household. in addition, places like hard hit linn county, iowa had about 2,400 households getting public cash assistance before the floods and that is comparable to the cash assistance taking place in new orleans pre-katrina. food stamp usage was roughly the same in the hard hit iowan counties before the flooding as it was in new orleans pre-katrina. in 2004, about 11% of new orleans' households received food stamps compared 8% of linn county and 10% of black hawk county households in 2006. yeh, new orleans is the only place that gets welfare. rush limbaugh also mentioned that the mid westerners are not whining on roof tops waiting for government aid. well, there are more evacuation routes out of the mid west than the island of new orleans and more people own cars in the mid west than owned cars in nola before the storm. as far as waiting for aid, well they haven't had to there. in new orleans relief agencies like the red cross were prohibited from entering the city by order of homeland security. hell, in the mid west, they were on the ground in some instances before the flooding. and they are asking for assistance. 45,000 in iowa, indiana, and wisconsin alone have registered for assistance. fema has already handed out 81 million in housing assistance. and there is looting going on but it is minimized by the news media because looting white people is just not as sensational as looting black people. and all of that bullshit about us shooting at rescue helicopters and mass murders and rapes was just another media sensation with little to no truth behind it. but i will say this, if i had sat on my roof for 5 fucking days in the heat with no food or water, watching my family slowly die from dehydration while people flew over head without dropping water, i might shoot. but these things were never substantiated. new orleans did not turn into iraq. ask the people who were here. there were many who crossed color lines to take care of children and the elderly, giving them the food and water first. many people took boats into neighborhoods and rescued hundreds of people. people hotwired buses and other vehicles to drive the stranded out of the city when they realized that no help was coming. and many of us gutted houses and helped repair the damage as best we could. we shared our food and water. we were there for each other emotionally so don't say that people come together in the mid west but not new orleans. i never met a stranger after the storm. people were helping each other survive and we have survived and new orleans is getting better every day. and you know what? it is not a fucking competition. people are hurting in the mid west just like they are still hurting here. so fuck you rush limbaugh. why don't you go wash that oxycontin down with some bourbon and just shut the fuck up!!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
hmm. let me get this straight, there is the possibility that the entire crew of one of the ships involved in the collision that dumped toxic sludge into the river might have been unlicensed. way to go! now all that shit is floating down towards the gulf of mexico where it ought to have an absolutely positive impact on the ever expanding dead zone. oh, i know they are assuring us that the environmental impact is low but i am not sure i believe them, just like i don't believe them when they tell me the now wretched air of new orleans is fine. has anyone else experienced dizziness, burning eyes, lungs, or throat?? as though we didn't all suffer enough with the katrina cough. yeh, maybe we could all remember this and write in to our representatives to let them know that we have had enough of oil! to hell with bush's new drilling plan! it is time to rid the planet of man made toxins. my god!but our children are being born toxic! i keep hearing that we want to be independent of foreign oil and yet the one way to do that is alternative energies and we refuse! flat out refuse! we will choke on oil just like we are choking on it here in new orleans post spill if we don't have a grass roots movement to stop this bullshit. demand clean fuel! demand it while you still can. you have the fucking power of the vote so use it!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
would it be too much trouble for the city of new orleans to pave a few streets especially in the bywater , marigny, and french quarter so that i could stop having my internal organs rearranged. i mean damn! i know the water table is only about 4 feet down and that we kind of float, thus tearing up the roads but a little maintenance would be nice. im grateful that they have started putting in bike lanes but how about a smoother ride? maybe im just bitching and it really is too much to ask not to be bounced off my bike while i am trying to avoid all the crazies in vehicles and the hapless bastards that forget to look before opening their car doors. it's enough to make you start walking.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
ex-general clark has created a firestorm of controversy by stating that getting shot out of a plane and getting captured does not qualify mccain to be president...and you know what, it doesn't. clark has come under attack, saying that he disparaged maccain's military record and quite frankly, i fail to see how he did that. the point clark was making is that being a prisoner of war may give him insight into the hearts and minds of soldiers but that it does not prepare him to be the one that orders the bombs to fall. mccain has not held that kind of role. during an interview with clark, sheiffer pointed out that obama does not have that kind of experience nor has obama been shot out of a plane and taken captive, to which clark replied by saying that that does not qualify you to be president. this has nothing to do with mccain's military record and everything to do with whether or not he is qualified to lead the country. the mccain camp is making it an issue by saying that clark is disparaging his heroism. this is a smoke screen. in this country, we can no longer say anything negative about a soldier because we have created this cult of war. if we say someone's military record does not qualify them to be president then we are demonized as haters of their heroism and service to country. if we question the war then we are called unpatriotic. it is unsettling that freedom of speech is being sacrificed, along with thousands of men and women upon the altar we have built to the great military war machine. yes, mccain is a hero for the way he handled himself in that horrible situation but i do not believe him to be the best qualified to lead this country and i don't give a damn if that is an unpopular opinion to have.
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