Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

August 23, 2007

Greg Palast on the Drowning of New Orleans

Once again Palast digs the freakin’ dirt on the assholes who fucked New Orleans when the levees failed under conditions that were way below spec. Read it and weep America… one day soon this kind of dog and pony show may just visit your locale.
Here’s a snippet:

“That leaves the big, big question: WHY? Why on earth would the White House not tell the city to get the remaining folks out of there?

The answer: cost. Political and financial cost. A hurricane is an act of God – but a catastrophic failure of the levees is a act of Bush. That is, under law dating back to 1935, a breech of the federal levee system makes the damage – and the deaths – a federal responsibility. That means, as van Heeden points out, that “these people must be compensated.”

The federal government, by law, must build and maintain the Mississippi levees to withstand known dangers – or pay the price when they fail.”

Link to his article.

Curtsey to Ana Maria for this.

May 1, 2007

18 Missing Inches in New Orleans

Here’s a piece from Greg Palast concerning the release of the Trade Paperback version of “Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans.

As always I have snippets, and this one is a reminder of the truths of the Federal Flood and our demand for REPARATIONS:

“The White House had good reason, or at least political and financial reasons, to keep mum. A hurricane is an act of God, but catastrophic levee failure is an act of the Administration. Once the federal levees go, evacuation, rescue and those frightening words – responsibility and compensation – become Washington’s. Van Heerden knew that “not an act of God, but catastrophic failure of the levee system” would mean that, at least, “these people must be compensated.”

Not every flood victim in America gets the Katrina treatment. In 1992, storms wiped out 190 houses on the beach at West Hampton Dunes, home to film stars and celebrity speculators. The federal government paid to completely rebuild the houses, which, hauled in four million cubic feet of sand to restore the tony beaches, and guaranteed the home’s safety into the coming decades – after which the “victim’s” homes rose in value to an average $2 million each.”

Reparations to the victims of the Federal Flood!

February 14, 2007

NYT Op-Ed- Unmatched Destruction

Just a nice little breakdown on some of the clean-up costs for some disasters and a plea to the Bushite to give the Gulf Coast waivers for the matching funds crap.

“Yet somehow the Bush administration has not found it necessary to forgive the local match for Gulf Coast states after the double-whammy of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, except for costs associated with debris removal and some emergency services — despite the fact that the two storms wreaked roughly $6,700 worth of damage per capita in Louisiana. This inaction is particularly surprising, given that such a large proportion of the damage can be attributed to the failure of the federal levees that were supposed to protect the New Orleans area.”

(Curtsey to Tim’s Nameless Blog.)

December 18, 2006

My FEMA trailer was burgled…

Filed under: Aside,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:13 am

I’m really like super pissed off right now.

Went to my trailer tonight to store New Year’s meats and stuff in my fridge and found that my trailer had been broken into and the fuckers trashed the entire unit either Friday or Saturday night. The only things missing were the contents of my fridge and the chainsaw. (the jerks left the bolt-cutters, sledges, pry bar and flashlights that could have furthered their filthy thieving desires.)

Nothing from the few things I rescued from the house and kitchen were stolen. They did try to bundle up all of my program discs, but either they didn’t have a ‘puter, or they recognized the music discs in the pile (“All The Pretty Horses”- premiere Trans glam heavy metal). The antique glasses and my Corning wear was just sitting there as if they weren’t needed. Coffee makers, a juicer, and other useful items were untouched.

I’m just angry and saddened right now. I feed folks and give money to large groups that tries to help folks out during tough times. I give money for kids to have toys on Xmas. My life isn’t about money (good thing: I only have Disability), but I try to do my part as an asset to the community and then some animals decide to rip off a little person just because they can.

It isn’t about what was lost: it’s ABOUT the fact that people like the perps can and will do this to anyone. It’s disgusting, and it also points out that many of the areas around the city are not being patrolled. (and my trailer is two blocks away from a FEMA park that houses first-responders)

We don’t need the dregs back: only the good folk of our cities.

September 23, 2006

“The Entergy shareholders sing this song, doo dah, doo dah…

Filed under: Civic Blogging,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:11 am

The bankruptcy path is many lies long, Oh the doo dah day.”

It’s 6 A.M. and this owl must return to it’s lair before the dawning of the day. (Morning sun hits my skin and it talks a gallon of moisterizer to recover myself.)

I saw this pop up on NOLA, and I saw that Entergy, or the Entemy has over billed it’s customers for $88M that they can’t charge for. There’s also the $77M that the company received post-Flood that was claimed improperly or not at all. More from this segment:

The storm, however, gave the company some benefits that aren’t accounted for in the rate filing, according to Legend.

In its rate filings, Entergy New Orleans does not account for a $71 million federal tax refund that the company received as a result of the Gulf Opportunity Zone Legislation. The company also doesn’t properly give credit for deferred income taxes that it didn’t have to pay because of storm damage to its system.

Other disputed charges include more than $3.5 million for the company’s incentive plan and $2.6 million in stock options. The report also says that the rate filing includes an expense related to personal financial consulting services provided to Entergy New Orleans president Dan Packer.

“Ratepayers should not be responsible for compensating corporate executives at such a precarious time and should be borne by ENO’s (and Entergy’s) shareholders,” the Legend report states.

Legend also says that Entergy New Orleans is charging customers for its bankruptcy costs, costs that shouldn’t be passed on until the bankruptcy is resolved.

The advisers also question whether Entergy New Orleans has property credited the sale of New Orleans’ share of Grand Gulf nuclear power to customers. “

Someone pick this up please, or I’ll be ranting all tomorrow night. You’ve been warned. *giggles* (Oh Goodness! She’s manic now.)

August 27, 2006

Poppy Z. Brite ways in…

Here’s Poppy’s Op-Ed piece for the Boston Globe.

August 17, 2006

Corporate Greed and Bush’s FEMA Continue to Dance…

Filed under: FEMA,Gulf Coast,Katrina,Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 9:04 pm

I went wandering over to CorpWatch to see what they have been working on lately, and was surprised (NOT!) to see their latest report on corporate greed and FEMA. After reading it, all I could see in my mind was an Axis of Evildoers dancing a jig. Giant corporations, the corrupt Administration and the duplicity of bungling FEMA were hand-in-hand moving in a circle around a large cauldron of water into which Louisiana slowly sank. This is VooDoo Economics.
Many of us know what’s going on with the monies for Katrina emergency contracts, bypassing local companies whenever possible by shoveling the funds to big corporate types knowing that most or those funds would vanish in the corporate maw. Very little would “trickle down” to the State or local level. Everything about New Orleans’ rescue would suddenly bog down as these companies aren’t that good at delivering on the contracts that are awarded by the Feds. Local companies are the way to go: they are part of the areas affected by a major disaster, they have family and friends there. They have a reason in doing the work they are hired for.

Here’s the link for the report: “Big, Easy Money”.

The author put it this way, “The devastation that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast is tragic enough, but the scope of the corporate greed that followed, facilitated by government incompetence and complicity, is downright criminal,” .

We definitely aren’t a part of the U.S. anymore, at least to the PTB.

Sinn Fein!

August 9, 2006

The Long Strange, Resurrection of New Orleans

Fortune Magazine had a piece today concerning the rebuilding of the city. Most of these details we know, and maybe there’s some eye openers for us. The time that struck me was that the author lays almost all of the blame on the various levels of Guv’mit and not on the people of the affected area.


Yet it was here, late last year, that Frierson and several women of her acquaintance first planned to attack the powers that be. In this case the powers were the political establishments in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Washington, D.C. – establishments the women believed bore much of the responsibility both for the city’s collapse before Katrina last August 29 and for the paralytic pace of rebuilding.

Thin, blond, and blue-eyed, Frierson bears some resemblance, in her blazer and scarf, to a younger Nancy Reagan. For people who don’t live in New Orleans, her place in society might be summed up by her reputation as the city’s most successful residential real estate broker – the person to see about buying and selling its finest homes. Or one might note that at its annual Mint Julep Party the Junior League anointed Frierson the 2006 “Sustainer of the Year.”

In New Orleans terms, though, her elevated social status is best indicated by a single fact: Louis L. Frierson, her husband of 42 years, is a former Rex, the King of Carnival, the Monarch of Merriment, who headlines the grandiose private ball that officially closes Mardi Gras.

For years the city’s debs-and-dinner-parties set was proudly insular, its attention focused on its own affairs even as the city decayed. Corruption, inefficiency, and crime were the subject of ironic jokes over cocktails, not protests; the city’s disamenities were treated, all too often, as part of its storied charm. When New Orleans almost entirely missed the ’90s boom, it elicited little public dismay.

“We make a joke that’s not a joke,” says Elliott Stonecipher, a well-known political analyst in Shreveport. “Nobody in Louisiana knows what noblesse oblige is. New Orleans is a hotbed of civic apathy – the only city in the country where rich, powerful people don’t have their fingers in everything.”

And another-

It is wholly fitting that safeguarding New Orleans has fallen to its indigenous business class. But the lack of effective response by the political elite – and the lack of public concern about its inanition – is amazing.

Failing to rebuild a viable city would have consequences far beyond Louisiana. New Orleans’ two ports are, by tonnage, the nation’s biggest. They need to be – the region handles a third of the nation’s seafood and more than a quarter of its oil and natural gas. Some 4,000 oil and natural-gas platforms, linked by 33,000 miles of pipeline, spread out along the Louisiana coast. Among the facilities are the four largest refineries in the Western Hemisphere. Southern Louisiana is easily as important to the nation’s energy supply as the Persian Gulf.

And another-

Even as Louisiana politicians fulminated, LRA board member Sean Reilly met with Powell in January at his base in Amarillo. “We went to a luncheon place with a paper tablecloth,” says Reilly, a Baton Rouge executive who with his brother runs Lamar Advertising, the nation’s third-largest billboard firm.

Reilly was a former state legislator who had given up politics to concentrate on his business and his family. When Katrina hit, he jumped back in the fray. Reilly and Powell “pulled out pens and started drawing all over the table in terms of the numbers and categories of homeowners that needed to be covered and the philosophical choices that needed to be made.”

A central disagreement was the scope of federal responsibility. After providing aid for emergency services, the administration wanted to focus on the levee system, which Washington had long ago accepted as its purview, and on homeowners lacking flood insurance outside the officially designated floodplain – who had, at least in part, based their decision not to buy flood insurance on the grounds that the feds had stated their area was not at risk.

Most New Orleanians had a different view of Uncle Sam’s role. In a phrase heard again and again in the city, Katrina was a disaster made in Washington, not New Orleans. In most places water did not “overtop” the levees – the levees were broken by a storm surge they were supposed to withstand. In May a research team sponsored by the National Science Foundation and co-led by Robert Bea, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor, concluded that these breaches, where the levees failed to meet design specifications, were responsible for four-fifths of the water that inundated greater New Orleans.

“The levees were designed incorrectly and built incorrectly,” Bea says. A former chief engineer for Shell, Bea designed scores of offshore oil platforms – “I’ve spent my whole professional life with hurricanes, so I’m kind of blunt about them.” Absent design and construction failures, he says, Katrina would have caused nothing more than “a few wet carpets and missing shingles.” (A forthcoming report by Louisiana State reaches a similar verdict.)

At the lunch with Powell, the LRA’s Reilly argued that “if you live behind a federally warranted levee and that levee fails, you shouldn’t be penalized if you don’t have flood insurance,” because the government has effectively promised householders that they won’t need insurance for those circumstances. Therefore, Washington had a moral obligation to all New Orleanians damaged by the flood, even the un- or underinsured.

We little folks here in New Orleans have some tough choices coming in the near future. This article lays it out pretty straight. The thing is: do we, the New Orleanians have it in us to fight back against those of our leaders that are in many ways ignoring our needs? I think we do.


August 7, 2006

From Facing South- Katrina: The Latest on the Failed Response

Filed under: Corps of Engineers,FEMA,Levees,New Orleans — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:10 pm

Facing South is doing a series of reports on the response to Katrina’s effects on the Gulf Coast. Here’s and excerpt from today’s report:

Katrina: The latest on the failed response

The following continues our special coverage of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which will be marked on August 29, 2006.

“Volumes have been written on “what went wrong” in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in August/September 2005. As we approach the one-year anniversary, there will be a host of retrospectives that try to capture the full story, of which much more is now known than came out after the storms.

For example, Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Cooper and Robert Block, in their new book “Disaster,” give a thorough accounting of the information available and decisions made that led to federal inaction. One is that federal leaders ignored information being sent their way, as this excerpt from the book, which appeared on the WSJ website last week, reveals:

In the days after Katrina’s landfall, Secretary Chertoff, President Bush and others would justify the slow federal response by claiming that the breaching of the levees was “a second catastrophe” that occurred long after Katrina passed. But this simply wasn’t true. A subsequent investigation by the Army Corps of Engineers found that in some cases, breached levees began flooding New Orleans even before Katrina made landfall.

Indeed, news of the levee breaches came as early as 7:30 a.m. on the Monday Katrina hit, when the city’s disaster chief, Terry Ebbert, told Washington officials in a phone conversation that the storm “came up and breached the levee system in the canal,” according to Senate documents gathered afterward. A half hour later, the Transportation Security Administration made a written report directly to HSOC, confirming that the Industrial Canal levee adjacent to the Lower Ninth Ward had been breached and that floodwaters “have already intruded on the first stories of some houses.” Fifteen minutes after that, the National Weather Service issued its own levee-breach warning, advising retreating residents to take an ax with them to their attics so they could chop their way out if the waters rose.

One also learns of a new character who has escaped much public scrutiny, but who likely bears more responsibility than anyone else in the slow response: Matthew Broderick, the director of the Homeland Security Operations Center.”

This moron ignored emails and phone calls most of Deluge Monday concerning conditions in New Orleans. He seemed to be relying on CNN reports showing people celebrating their surviving of the storm. This cannot stand: he is guilty of negligent homocide, period.
Where does the Administration find these idiots? (Oh yeah, start from the top down… Fuck!)


August 1, 2006

We are New Orleans

Filed under: Corps of Engineers,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:09 pm

I’m sick and tired of BNOB and the UNOP shit.

Our people know what to fuckin’ do about hurricanes. It ain’t freakin’ rocket science. This is all about companies sucking from the Federal teat.

All levels of gov’mit are complicit in this. We DON’T NEED this crap! We, New Orleanians know what to fucking do… it’s in our blood.

We are not a sesspool like Iraq, we are America, and god damn anyone that thinks different. We are owed for services provided for the Nation. And we don’t want your fucking Halliburton-type arrangements. Screw your business fuckin’ contracts, we are just folks. We will rebuild, and it ain’t going to be under your oversight. We are New Orleans.

I can’t create enough adjectives to describe you shits, but I will keep trying. FUCK YOU money-grubbers, we will rebuild, and I will stand on my porch and tell you all to “Fuck Off”. I’m sick and tired of you mother fuckers.

The monies that are coming are the first payment on OUR reparations. There will be others to come.

I stand for all of New Orleans.

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