Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

June 20, 2006


Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:48 pm

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” –Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787.

I’ll tell you right now, I’m not happy with having the National Guard patrolling our city. This amounts to an ‘occupation’, and that cannot stand in our city. We are free people. We always have been.

What is happening to New Orleans is a failure of leadership, plain and simple. It is also a marginalizing of the common folks and our history. This cannot stand.

We are faced with carpetbaggers again, and just like in the 19th Century, many of them are from here. No mas.

New Orleans belongs to New Orleans. Without this city and it’s people, this nation would never have achieved it’s greatness. Our sacrifices created the most powerful country on earth. Where else in this country can you find a populace that can state that?

You can’t.

I have uncles on the Atlantic seafloor from WWI, and in all oceans from WWII. There are many shrimping vessels on the bottom of the Gulf, carrying my people, all in the name of feeding a country. For almost 300 years the folks of New orleans have been standing on the edge of a continent less than 1,000 years old, defying the odds. We, or our children, will be here for centuries more.
The odds were in our favor before the the Feds and the oil companies started thier crap. Now we must fight a rearguard action. The oil fucks destroyed our wetlands, and the Corps turned our city into a freakin’ bowl with MRGO aimed at our heart. We have been losing for over 50 years. This also cannot stand.

This place must take control of it’s destiny. Must learn to be independant and forceful. Become a power, because we ARE a power in this nation. We need to stand.

We are part of the Isle d’Orleans. We were bought, not conquered. Our ancestors were taken, and their descendants were raped. No more.

Our culture is OUR culture. Screw “American” values. We ARE NOT Modern America… we are the free people of the Gulf Coast. Ours is ours. This is our world, not theirs. This is our oil, our sea life, and it’s time for the rest of the country to give us some respect.

We are not slaves to the rest of the country. We will not be ‘used’ and abused any longer. To paraphrase Ayn Rand:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant that supports the Earth upon his shoulders, and the harder he tries to stand erect, the harder the world bears down upon him… he sweats and tries to keep things aright. What would you tell him?

I’d tell him to shrug.”

You know where I’m going…

June 17, 2006

HUD to New Orleans Poor: “Go F(ind) Yourself (Housing)!”

Filed under: Community Planning,FEMA,New Orleans,Progressive News — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:13 pm

Well, as I was looking for more info concerning HUD’s plans for the poor of our city, I ran across this piece on Common Dreams by Bill Quigley from today. Here’s some info we ain’t seen on NOLA.

Excerpt (Emphasis mine):

“As James Perry, Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Center says about the planned demolition of public housing, “If the model is River Gardens, it has failed miserably.” Despite HUD’s promise to demolish homes, the right of people to return to New Orleans is slowly being recognized as a human rights issue. According to international law, the victims of Katrina are “internally displaced persons” because they were displaced within their own country as a result of natural disaster. Principle 28 of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement requires that the U.S. government recognize the human right of displaced people to return home. The US must “allow internally displaced persons to return voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, to their homes or places of habitual residence. Such authorities shall facilitate the reintegration of returned or resettled internally displaced persons. Special efforts should be made to ensure the full participation of internally displaced persons in the planning and management of their return or resettlement and reintegration.” The US Human Rights Network and other human rights advocates are educating people of the Gulf Coast and the nation about how to advocate for human rights. HUD has effectively told the people of New Orleans to go find housing for themselves. New Orleans already has many, many people, including families, living in abandoned houses – houses without electricity or running water. New Orleans has recently been plagued with an increase in the number of fires. HUD’s actions will put more families into these abandoned houses. Families in houses with no electricity or water should be a national disgrace in the richest nation in the history of the world. But for HUD and others with political and economic power this is apparently not the case.”


June 16, 2006

I Fuckin’ Stand… A Rant

Filed under: Civic Blogging,New Orleans,Progressive News,Think New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:19 am

Today i posted a piece from “People Get Ready” about a Planning thing that’s going to screw us. Talked with the Prez of the GCIA, and none of us knew about this shit. I’m now in a very evil mood, and I’m gonna spill my vitrol.
I helped found the GCIA, all out of care for my neighbors. I sat in SoCal going crazy out of worry for N.O. for months. Now I see the freakin’ carpetbaggers slimeing their way to Bethlehem at our expense. This cannot stand.

This is Bushite crap…. fucking money. The death of a country I have always treasured, that I fought for. What about the folks that used to live here? Betty and I have options, what about the rest? Where is the Social Contract? Where is the agreement that we all supported as Americans?

I have no hatred towards people in other parts of the country, even if they want to write us off. That’s their choice, and I’ll return the favor when they get screwed. Fair is fair, right?

My fight is with the freakin’ gov’ment, on all damn levels. I’m sick of Halliburton, Dollar Bill, the Shrub, and all this crap from Washington. We have a Govenor that will screw all of us to the wall for political gains, Congress people we can’t trust, and corperations willing to steal our lives and homes to benefit their non-working shareholders.

I have been working since I was 13. Gave 9 years to the Navy and my beloved America. Suffered the indignity of the Eisenhower Culture that “built” me when I was a baby so I’d be “normal”. Spent decades fighting for “just folks”. Now we are facing this Battle for New Orleans and our souls. When can we have some peace?

Our city is destroyed. People wander with a thousand mile stare. Suicides abound. The money vampires hover over our shattered culture. We are all lost in so many ways. We don’t deserve this.
Do you want this for your home? How about your parents? Your children? Your friends and lovers?

I know I keep mentioning the Social Contract. This is what allows us to have a Culture, to take care of each other. To have our lives and dreams. To realize our potentials. To feel safe within our lives.

Where is the Social Contract now?

I know that I’m pissing many folks off, but I’m not going to quit. I will be what should be your conscience. You can hate my guts, but I’m going to be the good Jeffersonian, a Patriot, and it’s going to be in everyone’s faces. We need a fuckin’ Revolution in this country. The status quo must go… we need a new mindset. We need to become a humane culture again. We need change.
This is where I stand.

The War For New Orleans

Filed under: Gentilly,New Orleans — Morwen Madrigal @ 2:21 am

This is a news flash from “People Get Ready”. We here are getting ready to be back-doored:

Schroeder Jun 15, 2006 - Show original item

A colleague sent the following announcement:

I am urging you to attend an important meeting this Saturday, beginning at 8:30am, related to the final structure of the group that will oversee the official city-wide and neighborhood planning process.

It is to be held at the offices of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):

1055 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 100 (this is the K&B Building located on Lee Circle across the street from the “Circle Bar”)

The phone number is: (504) 598-4663

As most of you know, the “planning process” is the means by which the City is to develop comprehensive rebuilding plans for infrastructure, public space and buildings, hazard mitigation, and large-scale housing (“buy-out” homes, abandoned and adjudicated property, etc.). These plans are then used to secure federal recovery funds allocated through LRA, other non-recovery federal grants, private investment, etc. In addition, the process should also be the means by which the city develops land use ordinances and other policies to implement recovery projects. For the above reasons, a unified process, with all branches of city government supporting and involved, is essential.

As you may also know, the beginnings of an official city-wide and neighborhood planning process has been taking shape for several weeks. The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is funding and developing the framework for the planning process, through the efforts of Steven Bingler, LRA’s Orleans Parish Planning Coordinator, as well as with input from other groups and, presumably, city officials.

The lead entity in this process is to be the “Community Support Organization” (CS)). It will oversee the work of planning to be done for city-wide infrastructure projects and neighborhood redevelopment plans for the 13 planning districts of the city.

ON SATURDAY, THE FINAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT ORGANIZATION IS TO BE APPROVED by the “New Orleans Support Board,” which was created through GNOF to develop the make-up of the Community Support Organization (CSO). The CSO is proposed to include:

(1) appointee from the Mayor’s Office

(1) appointee from the City Council

(1) appointee from the City Planning Commission

(1) appointee from GNOF

(2-4) appointees on behalf of “city-wide non-governmental organizations currently working to support the neighborhood planning process”

(5) appointees “selected from nominations submitted by individual neighborhood organizations.”


1) That you didn’t know about this meeting or the development of the CSO suggests that, while it is a good faith effort in moving forward, there remains a serious breakdown in public communication.

2) It has yet to be decided what rules will apply to the CSO for the structure of public meetings, dissemination of information, public notice and comment, and formal decision making (timelines, mandates, etc.)

3) The Council and Mayor have not official approved of this unified process. It cannot take place without their official approval.

4) It has still not been decided how the planning currently being done under the City Council’s contract with the “Lambert Group” will be incorporated into this unified process.

5) It has still not been decided how the numerous other non-profits, universities, and other groups, that are NOT APPOINTED TO THE CSO, will be able to formally advise this process and incorporate the volume of work that has already been done.

I am reaching out to you as respected, professional, and talented advocates who have been involved in this process. Your awareness of the process that is unfolding, and, more importantly, your informed involvement is critical to its success. Without you, and without a process that engenders the public’s trust and full involvement, our recovery as a city will be seriously diminished from what it could be otherwise.

June 14, 2006

Geek Dinner

Filed under: New Orleans,Think New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 6:10 pm

Okay, I’m in contact with Stormhoek winery, and it’s time to have a Geek Dinner. Where would you folks like to meet up?

I’m thinking possibly EAT NOLA at Dumaine and Dauphine (used to hold Socials there.). Maybe Chartre’s Cafe next to One-Eyed Jacks. Angeli’s could work too. (I don’t get out much. LOL)
How many are there of us?  Email me at and let’s put this baby together.

June 10, 2006

Are We Going to Have to Support Our Own Fire Dept.?

Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:52 am

Well, almost two weeks into Nagin’s new term, and NOFD is getting screwed.

The firefighters at Engine House No. 12 on Franklin Avenue have been in living together in a trailer that had been supplied by the city while their living quarters were gutted. But on Thursday, the city contacted Engine House No. 12, along with four other companies living in similar situations, and informed them that their trailers were being repossessed.”

We have had eight fires in two days. Most of our city is made of wood. Our water pressure sux, and these guys and gals are our heroes.

My challenge to all: I’m going to make a huge meal for the Firehouse on Elysian Fields at I-10 once a week. My thanks for their work. Anyone else want to adopt a station, show their thanks? Such a little amount of time, and yet it will be appreciated so much.

Who’s in?

June 9, 2006

Medical Care in Post-Deluge New Orleans

Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:45 pm

Okay, it seems like I talk about health alot around here and over on Thoughts, but I’ve been involved for years in the HIV game and the Transitioning crowd. Health is something to be discussed, especially here in New Orleans where health care is sadly lacking.

The other day I wrote about my brush with Tulane’s ER in my quest to get well. Now it’s time for Part two, and that involves Touro Infirmary.

I got to sign in right away, but there was confusion over my VA stuffs… they were concerned about “ability to pay”, especially in light of the fact that I’m on SSDI. Being in the middle of Transition didn’t help: some of them are having probs with my gender and my records… people are staring at me. I’m not used to being questioned, folks just accept me. Been that way for years, even when I tell them the truth from the get go.

I crawl into a corner and start reading my books. One just came in: “The New Goddess”, by Gypsey Teague, and “Walkers Between the Worlds”, by the Matthews. Sorta outs me anyway: a changling witch. I wait for two hours for triage. My fever is rising, I’m hungry and lonely. Suddenly a woman shows up and talks to me. It’s Danielle from El Rio…. poor thing has an abcessed tooth. It’s a small world, so we claim our corner as the others look at us in a way that says, “Those Bohemians”.

Thirty minutes later the triage nurse sees me. Keeps calling me ‘sir’. Hands me a mask to wear and sends me back to the waiting room. I am suspected of being “Typhoid Morwen’.  I’m starting to feel really alone.

After a few hours I am taken to my own little room. It’s labeled ‘Isolation’.  For the next six hours I was poked and prodded… and constantly cracking jokes for the nurses working on me. (Even had a great talk with the doc about Trans and Intersexed folks. Turns out she has a niece that’s Intersex… she is now being more warm with me.) At the end of this period comes the medical verdict: I have a bladder infection that has become systemic. Probably been coming on for over a year. Two more weeks and I would’ve been in the ICU, but that night is was still a matter of taking pills. I dodged a bullet.

Overall the experience was good at Touro. I didn’t care for the suspicious looks or the financial 3rd Degree, but the care was excellant, especially the finding of the real prob, not just a focus on a secondary one. It only cost me $150 for the entire thing.

I still want the VA back though.

June 8, 2006

I Sing the Hospital Blues…

Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 2:34 am

For of those that actually read this blog, you may have noticed that in Chapter 100, your heroine was dispatched to a foreign Witch Doctor in order to receive a cure for the malaise that has been plagueing her for the last several months. First stop: Tulane Hospital…

Tulane, wonderful Medical programs, especially Bio-Med and Chem. They’ve done much work in conjunction with the V.A. in the Past. I walk toward the doors of the ER, and I notice something very odd: the first desk inside is staffed with over a dozen Police, no Med folks. I turn and enter another area, and there are many folks waiting for treatment. I ask a white man who sits at a desk behind bullet-proof glass, “Can you help me? The V.A. sent emails over so that I can get this prob looked at.”. The guy looks at me and says to sign in and sit down.

I look around, and there is no sign-in. Once again I approach the glass room, “there are no sign-in sheets there dear.”

“Just sit down, and the nurse will put some out”, he says.

After two hours of waiting and watching the newcomers ask the same questions, and getting the same results I did, I approached the little white god in his control room. “Tulane is under contract with the V.A. to serve as our ER. These other folks here are not even being given the first step to get moving forward into being helped. What’s the point of this place?”

He shrugs and walks away. I go back and sit down. He returns and messily scarfs a sandwich.
Suddenly four cops walk in with a middle-aged tourist from somewhere in Middle America. He is cuffed. I don’t see bullet holes or knife marks, so I must assume he was drunk and got friskiy with some college chicks. They usher him into triage immediantly. Groans come from the waiting crowd.

Checking my VM, there’s a note from my V.A. person…. she has informed and cleared me though Touro, Kenner, Oschners. Somethings wrong with Tulane. I call Betts and head for Touro. (TBC)

The things I need to understand are: Why, when you are getting renumerated for V.A. folks they cannot sign in, Why does a lawbreaker who is not bleeding take precedence over an innocent child who looks as if they have a broken arm?, Why is it that the basic materials for getting into the process are being withheld, even if providing them still results in the same wait time, but without the feeling of being ignored?

I’m not upset for myself per se… I have options. Most of the folks in that room had none. We need Charity back, and Tulane needs some really extreme Racism Training. (They always did.)
Sweet zombie freakin’ Jezus!, this is Post-Deluge New Orleans, it’s supposed to be a different world, but everywhere I look I see the evils of the Past seeping in. We must be eternally vigilant in order to stop this crap NOW.

If anyone has info or ideas relating to this health care prob, please let me know.

June 6, 2006

Heading to the Hospital…

Filed under: Aside,New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 6:18 pm

Hmmm…. Ya’s know… I’ve pretty much dealt with all kinds of medical probs, “called” them even, but it turns out that I may have had walking pnuemonia for the last month or so. My doc’s assisstant is a little rueful about not actually listeng to what I said about my breathing, but I am an independant cuss. I also don’t wish to be a prob. Many people need nore medical help than me.
I’ve been ordered to Tulane for an evening of chest x-rays, vampires sampling my blood, many shots in my tush, and then sent home with many prettily colored pills!

To say that she is upset at me barely covers it. “Morwen! You don’t have experience dealing with molds.” ‘Tis true, I usually avoid them, but I couldn’t control the trogladytes at that office building last week. I guess I get to see what the procedures are for dealing with a toxic dose of Black Mold. It’s gonna be interesting.

I’m not not being flippant: I DO understand what could happen, but having my attitude calms everyone down. They think I am a lunatic, but a funny one. Keeps me calmed down too.

Soooo, if y’all don’t from me, it means that the Beast has taken me away on His day, 6/6/06, or I’ve been sent to Baton Rouge for recuperation. I don’t know which is the greatest evil.

June 1, 2006

Taking Bets on “What Is Going to Kill me First…”

Filed under: Aside,Civic Blogging,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:03 pm

Hey kids! It’s the first day of Hurricane Season 2006! (Proudly sponsored by Mother Nature, FEMA, and the Corps.) Break out the inflatable matresses (dual purpose… bed and boat), a floating ice chest for the beer and wine, and many cans of tuna.

It’s hard to be funny right now: I’m starting to feel my mortality, and it sux. I have survived volcanoes, storms, blizzards in the Wilderness, a major earthquake, blindness, 22 years of HIV, a brain infection, electrocution, drowning, and the Reagan/Bush Era. I have been homeless, down and out… been on top of the World. Won many an issue concerning environmental and Civil Rights, and spent many days in the Brig for those I lost. It’s called a balanced Life, but why am I so down at this time?

For the last two months i’ve been battling allergies and depression. Finally I had started to feel better, more lively. Well, that’s true until yesterday. I went to the VA to see my doc, nothin’ special, just saying Hi! and talking out some treatment issues. Turns out she cancelled all of her appointments for the day due to meetings. (She runs the hospital.) It was okay, happens often when you have the best doc around.

So I did my normal post-visit routine: I walk to the Starlight, checking out shops, getting little things, visiting Krystal for my guilty pleasure, and then wait for Betts to pick me up and carry me home. Except… yesterday was different.

As I wandered the CDB, looking at all of the destruction and reconstruction, I passed the Orpheum, and some workers were sweeping the dust and debris from a high-rise across the street. I didn’t think anything of it, and continued on my merry way. Was feeling really good. Had a few drinks at the bar toasting the First of June, and laughing with friends over what will come this season.

Went home and Betts started doing some ribs in Woody’s, and I took a nap. A few hours later I awoke in a panic: couldn’t breathe… sinuses completely blocked, my eyes were bulging and full of pain. I spent the next 12 hours in total agony… Betts wanted to take me to BR so I could go to the ER.

It’s all better know, and I’m doing a post-mortum on what happened. I think I have figured it out: The guys sweeping all of that dust from that tall building. There should have been containment on that project, just as with radioactive or asbestos removal projects. These big building clean-ups contain many more times the mold spores, lead, and other junk than a house does, and they were just sweeping it all out into the street. I happened to be there at the wrong time.

I believe that all of these large projects MUST be under containment. I don’t care if the workers don’t take care of themselves in the doing of the work, but they should not endanger others.

The solution for now is that I can’t have my little ritual of just walking around the city anymore. (Betts is adamant about this.) Can’t spend time watching the interaction of different folks… witnessing the weirdness that is New Orleans. I can’t enjoy my city.

So….. for the next six months I get to wonder whether the agent of my demise will be by water or dust and other little thingies, just like everyone else. Wanna place a wager?

Thanx COE. You managed to take even more away then our home. Screw you!

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