Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

July 31, 2006

Filed under: Community Planning,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 8:01 pm

UNOP can kiss my panty-clad ass. I will not deal with money pigs and carpet baggers.

Fuck these ass-holes… they are trying to suck the Federal teat whilst we locals do what must be done. We know what must be done. It’s in our blood.


Screw these damn think tanks. We have been here for almost 300 years. (Don’t ya’s think we learned a few things?) We know what we have to do.

The way to rebuild New Orleans? Ask the folks who live here. Don’t give us your planning shit: this is our home. Fuck you corporate shits for trying to apply D.C. Beltway sensibilities to our realities, you can’t do it, and most of America cannot stomach it.

Okay, I’m a grassroots gal, but I’ve pegged the shits. Trust me, I don’t fuck around.

I AM one of the ones one that NW Carrolloton need.

Walgreens vs. NW Carrollton

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Community Planning,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:19 pm

This message is relayed in support of the NW Carrollton Association:

As you all know we have been fighting a bad design for a Walgreens on the corner of Claiborne and Carrollton.
We believe the request Walgreens has before City Council to allow a big box developer to avoid the zoning ordinances currently in place
for Carrollton and Claiborne will affect the entire city.  It is a question of whether we let big box developers determine the future look and feel of OUR city
whether we let OUR existing (and future) zoning laws determine the look and feel of OUR city. 
Today this issue has reared its head at the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne.
Tomorrow it could be in YOUR neighborhood.
At the last city council meeting our District A Council woman Shelley Midura advised Walgreens that she had studied all sides of the issue and
determined that compromise and alternative solutions were available for this corner.   Walgreens was given until August 3rd to find a win-win solution that adhered to the Carrollton Overlay and to work with the neighborhoods.  So far we have heard nothing from Walgreens. But we heard via the neighborhood grapevine that Walgreens is contacting the other members of the Council in an attempt to do an end run around Shelley Midura’s compromise.
We are requesting that everyone email their District council member and both At Large council members asking them
to support Shelley Midura’s demands that Walgreens adhere to the Carrollton Zoning overlay and work a win-win plan.
At Large - Oliver Thomas 
At Large- Arnie Fielkow
District B  
We also ask that everyone call Walgreens corporate (847) 914-2500 ask for Public Relations and tell them that 
You are calling from New Orleans
and that we don’t want a suburban drug store to be built at a critical urban corner in a historic neighborhood that is on the National Register.   
Our neighborhoods are listed by the National Trust as one of the most endangered places.
We want Walgreens development that respects the urban characteristics of OUR city.
Walgreens has done this cities notably Poland, Ohio, population 2,009!  and Seattle, Washington.
There is no reason why Walgreens can not respect New Orleans and New Orleanians and give something back to our recovering city.
With Sincere Thanks,
Jenel Hazlett
NorthWest Carrollton

July 28, 2006

So Are We an Endangered Monument or Species?

Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 8:09 pm

Lisa of Garden fame  posted this little tidbit on the World Monument Fund’s 100 Most Endangered Monuments. While I do agree with WMF’s concern about historical monuments, I also have to wonder about the extinction of Homo New Orleansis.
One could easily save the old buildings and put them under a glass dome. That’ll save the monuments, but what about the people who lived with these buildings, many of who’s ancestors built or were a part of the events in history? Our numbers will decline for a few years, and then our species will expand again, infused by that mutifying effect called New Orleans. They just can’t keep a good thing down.

Sinn Fein! 

WMF on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast 

July 26, 2006

Katrina Dinner 2006

Filed under: Event,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 2:08 pm

Here’s an interesting commemerence project for all of us that call New Orleans OUR home.


The Summer of Our Discontent

This song has been driving me crazy all night… won’t go away:



I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today
They say the danger’s gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
There burning into the night.

There’s too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

Ooh Superman where are you now
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
When we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

I remember long ago -
Ooh when the sun was shining
Yes and the stars were bright
We walked through the night
And the sound of your laughter
As I held you tight
So long ago –

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.

Too many men
There’s too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Just tell my why
This is a land of confusion.

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to.

Phil Collins wrote this during the last days of Detante to reflect his dissatisfaction with the rulers of both sides of the Cold War. I see this as a perfect illustration of what we all here on the Gulf, and New Orleans in particular, face every day. We are in a war, a cultural war, a war of values.

We live in a little part of the world that is very different from the rest of Amerika. Our slice of Life is not exactly like that of the outsiders. It’s not Civic pride (Heaven forbid!), but a sense of what we are a part of: that which is as if the Spanish moss grows upon our limbs, the Delta mud cakes on our feet, breathing the heavy air and stirring a bubbling cauldron of gumbo. The folks in our lives gather around… the buzz of voices is unstoppable. People dance in enticing ways… children run around in circles away from the adults. The smoke from the cook fires drift lazily to heaven.

Is our culture an anachronism? I don’t think so. It’s like so many cultures I’ve witnessed whilst travelling the world. Here in New Orleans, all of us are Creole, a living culture. The world can go to shit and we will still be here.

The oil flow stops and there goes the great cities. The highway system will become unused, people will not be able to reconnect with roots, can’t escape the living hell around them. They will be confronted with having to make real connections with the folks around them. Re-invent the social wheel, so to speak.

That will never happen here. I’ve only been home for four years, no family in the area, and there is so much Spanish moss growing on me… blows my mind. Like most others, I’m stuck in the hot Delta mud. We all are. New Orleans grows on you. It fills you, and then you cannot stop living here. Yes, we are fairly poor, have crooked politicians, but we have each other.

Walk down the streets in most of our towns and watch the little kindnesses, the recognitions that we are a part of our whole: New Orleans or the Gulf. Imagine walking into a bar and seeing a Creole shrimper, a gator-trapping Cajun, a Mexican worker, a Drag Queen, two lesbians, a professor and a transsexual having an indepth conversation about the various forms of Jambalaya or the Blues. Where your bartender answers to Miss Love. And then you can get on a bicycle and speed through the Quarter and the Marigny saying hi to folks you know even at 4 A.M.

Stroll down any street in the city, and you will see a Granny sitting on her porch: “How are you today Ma’am?”, “I’m fine  honey-child. How about you?”, “I’m doing good  Ma’am… take care.” She may invite you to her porch for some ice tea or lemonade, pretty much no matter who you are. I know this to be fact here.

Now this is why this is the Summer of Our Discontent. We are in very grave danger of of being destroyed by benign neglect. We are 35 days from the anniversary of the levees breaking. Our streets are a mess, two thirds of us are still in other parts of the country… many of us cannot start working on our homes yet, and the few others here need reparations for their losses. Most of our Medical/Psych facilities are gone. Same goes for our retailers.

Streets are littered with garbage and construction waste. Little white trailers abound, sans power. Broken trees and street lamps are everywhere. It rains and streets flood. If something catches fire, it takes airdrops of water to fight the conflagration. Schools are fenced off, broken windows and all.

The projects are slated to be torn down, even when the displaced are willing to live there because it means being HOME.

Our levees are still not up to par, and the Corps is falling behind their protection timetable every day. The Administration guts the Corps’ report on the failure of the levees in order to continue their funding of an unjust war. FEMA keeps scaring folks with announcements of ending rental aid in foreign cities. Many of us are going broke trying to restore our lives and homes as the State drags it’s feet. Our local guv’mit plans a freakin’ glittery Gala celebration for the anniversary of the storm and flood while people are in gutted, un-powered homes, in the heat and swarms of mosquitos, hoping to be able to finish the repairs.

All the while, we are entering the danger time for this hurricane season.

This didn’t happen in NYC after 9/11. Same goes for San Francisco post Loma Prieta. (Iknow, I was there.) Why is this?

We are an island of sanity in a B/S sea of Southern conservatism. This is Bush’s back-handed way of fucking us for not supporting him. (The Bay Area suffered a similar fate under Raygun and Daddy Bush for their voting habits.) The PTB want goose-steppers in this town. They can come and “sin” all they want, but we will vote for reprobates and criminals of the GOP persuasion.

My thought on this? ” FUCK YOU!, TWICE!” 

We ARE New Orleans, and this is the Summer of Our Discontent. You have been warned Fuckmooks.

Sinn Fein! 

July 24, 2006

“Crescent City Dis-Connection”

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Event,Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:33 pm

Today the Mayor’s Office released details of the Commemoration Farce of the first anniversary of the arrival of Katrina and the subsequent failure of the Corps’ engineering work that flooded 80% of the city. It’s going to be a high-toned affair over three days and nights. There are basically four venues: Harrahs, the Morial Convention Center, the Arena and the Superdome.

From what I can see on the Events Schedule, there are only a few that the public is invited to attend. Much of it all requires tickets, especially for the Masquerade Gala (Diamond & Platinum tickets only). I guess the Mayor’s Office only wants us locals to be around as extras for the One New Orleans Procession and the fireworks display. Maybe we will be asked to show for the laying of wreaths at the levee breaks.

Outside of the wreaths thing, none of the rest seems to fit with what all of us locals need to be doing that day: hugging friends, sharing food, helping clean the place up, saying prayers for all who were killed by the Corps’ arrogance and follies or just sitting in quiet reflection of what the last year has brought to our lives.

And this B/S fireworks show? Fireworks are for a celebration. Most of us have little to celebrate at Year One Post-Deluge. If there was to be fireworks, I think the proper target should be us shelling City Hall with missiles, and glint of torches reflecting off the pitchforks and axes that the locals are bearing. “Come down from thy tower Chocolate Ray…”

This entire delusional soiree is not what we need the folks around the world to see. The PTB are “dissing” New Orleanians. They show a total disconnect with the realities of what the populace here actually face. The Upper Crust should be ashamed of themselves. Screw you all!

I’m also confused: we still don’t have a Master Plan for the rebuilding, but they managed to put this shit together? Fuck you very much Mr. Groundhog Mayor! Glad to see you have finally come out of your burrow for a party you prick!

Sinn Fein!

What others are saying.

And here… 


July 23, 2006

What the Hell Are They Hiding?

Filed under: Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 9:12 pm

That fat shit from Illinois, Dennis Hastert, is trying to steer the House to challenge Judge Hogan’s ruling allowing a review on Dollar Bill’s confistigated documents. (Also remember that Hastert thought New Orleans wasn’t worth saving.) I think Jefferson has to go. He is probably guilty, but his famlial connections and their scandels/misteps, are showing up everywhere.
I personally believe that the FBI had every right to seize Jefferson’s information. They had evidence against him already. The House should stay out of this, unless…

On Sunday, Hastert said FBI agents should be able to search for documents on any criminal aspect, but that they do not have a right to “take all your records,” such as confidential tax forms.

Hastert is a freakin’ idiot! Whilst calling for protections from search and seizure, he actually names the very reason that many Members in Congress fear being “looked” at. As the commercial goes, “What’s in your wallet”.

That’s what we citizens of this country need to know about “our” representatives in D.C.

‘Nuff said.


July 22, 2006

The Goal Is Prosperity. (For Whom?) Redux

Filed under: Aside,Progressive News — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:58 am

Just a follow-up on my previous post courtesy of Mother Jones.

The Goal Is Prosperity. (For Whom?)

Filed under: Aside,Progressive News — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:46 am

I picked up this piece from Facing South entitled: Poverty: The Katrina Dialogue That Never Happened

As I have known about poverty most of my life, and sans Betts’ being with me, I’d be in deep poop as far as economic rungs go. The Disabled and the Elderly get shit from the so-called “Social Contract” in this country. I can understand, but not like it: we are not that productive for the economy and we are on our way “out”.

But… when it comes to the topic of the working poor, I cannot understand the Guvmit’s actions at all. Who the Hell is gonna pull your latte, mow your grass, stock the stores in the middle of the night if they are all dead from starvation and disease? Neo-con fucks don’t get it: they need these people in order to have their easy lives.

The Bushite regime discusses the Goal of Prosperity. I ask, “For Whom?”. Many folks like me aren’t into the game of getting rich. The goal of living is a Spiritual thing: people you meet, acts of kindness, the discovery/learning of things… The problem is that all people in this country deserve a living wage, and then let them decide what prosperity means to them.

I’m not going to rant all over the place on this topic, not right now. Please look at the links, read them, then study the map below. Notice that persistant poverty seems to be through many of the Red states? A living wage could conceivably turn those states Blue. Think about it. It could also change New Orleans.

Excerpts from the Washpo:

Poverty forced its way to the top of President Bush’s agenda in the confusing days after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast and flooded New Orleans. Confronted with one of the most pressing political crises of his presidency, Bush, who in the past had faced withering criticism for speaking little about the poor, said the nation has a solemn duty to help them.

“All of us saw on television, there’s . . . some deep, persistent poverty in this region,” he said in a prime-time speech from New Orleans’s Jackson Square, 17 days after the Aug. 29 hurricane. “That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.”

As it happened, poverty’s turn in the presidential limelight was brief. Bush has talked little about the issue since the immediate crisis passed, while pursuing policies that his liberal critics say will hurt the poor. He has publicly mentioned domestic poverty six times since giving back-to-back speeches on the issue in September. Domestic poverty did not come up in his State of the Union address in January, and his most recent budget included no new initiatives directed at the poor.

Tony Snow, the president’s press secretary, said Bush is unlikely to invoke poverty when he addresses the national convention of the NAACP today, and instead will focus on opportunities available to everyone. “After all, the goal is prosperity,” Snow said.

Administration officials and outside advisers say education accountability and school choice; home ownership; and efforts to encourage marriage and further revamp welfare by requiring more recipients to work — all efforts Bush supports — ultimately help the poor.

“The Bush administration has had a consistent, forward-looking strategy on poverty,” said Robert E. Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “They have had a consistent effort to raise work levels, reduce out-of-wedlock childbearing and promote marriage.”


July 20, 2006

Slush Funds vs. New Ideas

Filed under: Louisiana — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:46 pm

In today’s Advocate I read a commentary of Meemaw’s lameness in weeding the Pork out of this year’s State Budget. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Many of the items that once were part of urban and rural “development” slush funds are in the state’s general operating budget.

The checks flow to programs or local governments, even nonprofit organizations closely linked to individual legislators. The latter are today’s state-of-the-art patronage machines, employing friends, spouses or relatives of legislators in guise of helping the downtrodden.

It’s a terrible system, so the governor’s defense of it deserves to be quoted at length:

“While I welcome comments regarding suggested items for veto in the state budget, I will not abandon our local communities who are in need of fire protection, sewer and water systems and additional resources for our children and the elderly. These communities have been either impacted by the storm or have served as caretaker parishes for our citizens.

“The buck stops with me! My firm position is that accountability will continue to be our focus, not a wholesale abandonment of our local communities.”

Now, I do believe that rural communities need amenities, they need fairs and such to heighten sense of community and provide a boost to their revenue streams, but in Louisiana post-Katrina/Rita, we need to be prioritizing spending to get this state back up and running. The state’s revenue has been severely impacted by the effects of last Fall. We cannot count all this FEMA, CDBG and levee monies as revenue. They are not income, but grants.

At this point in time,the state doesn’t have the luxury of finding a fish rodeo or local festivals with state funds. It will take years to get southern LA back up and running so as to fill the state’s coffers. Then and only then, can I see funding for these kinds of projects.

The southern part of the state is the main economic engine for the state. This engine produces revenue for the state. If the revenue stream stays small, it doesn’t matter how many fishing rodeos and festivals get financed: You need tourism to actually make them profitable, and we are hurtin’ units when it comes to that. These types of projects, though often laudable, will not add to, or enrich the rural communities for which they are offered as a boon for their community.

My thought is that instead of doling out $30M this year (and next year, and the next) for slush projects, these small communities would be better served now by building wireless access systems for the Present. Once the southern part of the state is coming back into their own, other forms of enrichments for small communities can then be funded.
I love local fairs and festivals. They are an illustration, a cultural expression, of the communities that create them, but wrongly financed at a time when the state is in crisis will just be pouring taxpayer dollars down the drain. These little communities will see no benefit from this. We need a more workable plan.

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