Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

March 19, 2007

More on Nagin’s Conspiracy Theory …

Well, Mayor “Chocolate City” Ray started spouting crap this last Thursday at a conference, and it seems to be running in the Blogs and MSM.

Facing South has a great Progressive take on the real story here in NOLA .

Good paragraph from the piece:

“Treating property ownership as the sine qua non for policy consideration didn’t raise any eyebrows locally or nationally, except among the ranks of those who were left out. Neither the black Mayor nor the majority-black City Council has shown initiative in taking into account, much less defending, the interests of poor New Orleanians. The city’s evacuation plans notoriously failed to anticipate adequately poor people’s circumstances and needs. Landlords began evicting tenants without a hint of due process as soon as water receded and rumors spread of possibilities for extracting exorbitant rents from construction workers. The state officially prohibited evictions before October 25, but that prohibition was academic for the tens of thousands of people dispersed in shelters around the region and nation. And even that minimal right was flagrantly ignored with impunity. New Orleans City Council president Oliver Thomas complained in February that government programs and agencies had “pampered” poor people and proclaimed that they should not be encouraged to return. As he put it, “We don’t need soap opera watchers right now.” At least one other black councilmember expressed support of his view, as did the New Orleans Housing Authority receiver.”

If “No See’um Ray” wants to face the “enemies” of New Orleans, he should first take a look in his freakin’ mirror.

The same goes for Oreo Oliver Thomas. Yes you assholes, I have your freakin’ Racist numbers. Come down on me for my statements little boys. I’ll even make it smaller for you little boys since I am a “Momma”. Shitheads… Momma rules you morons.

Unstable Foundations

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Katrina,Levees,Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 12:58 am

I found this wonderful piece posted at Common Dreams.It is a well done presentation by Rebecca Solnit on the state of recovery in New Orleans.

Here’s some snippets:

“Despite its decline, New Orleans remains a port city and a major tourist destination. But it also matters because it’s beautiful, with its houses — from shacks to mansions — adorned with feminine, lacy-black ironwork or white, gingerbread wood trim, with its colossal, spreading oaks and the most poetic street names imaginable; because the city and the surrounding delta are the great font from which so much of our popular music flows; because people there still have a deep sense of connection and memory largely wiped away in so many other places; because it is a capital city for black culture, including traditions that flowed straight from Africa; because, in some strange way, it holds the memory of what life was like before capitalism and may yet be able to teach the rest of us something about what life could be like after capitalism.” 

“We all owe New Orleans and those who suffered most in Katrina a huge debt. Their visible suffering and the visibly stupid, soulless, and selfish response of the federal government brought an end to the unquestionable dominance of the Bush administration in the nearly four years between New York’s great disaster and this catastrophe. In China, great earthquakes were once thought to be signs that the mandate of heaven has been withdrawn from the ruling dynasty. Similarly, the deluges of Katrina washed away the mandate of the administration and made it possible, even necessary, for those who had been blind or fearful before to criticize and oppose afterwards.” 

We need more thinking people such as Rebecca.

March 9, 2007

I Want Don Powell’s Head on a Pike in My Yard…

WWL had this piece yesterday, and I was just way too fucking angry to respond then, but I’m a little calmer now (NOT!)

“President Bush’s top man in charge of the Gulf Coast recovery said that 18 months after Katrina, conditions in New Orleans are ‘better than he thought’ they would be.” 

WTF exactly does Powell mean by this? Better? Dammit! Folks have no homes, no jobs, no healthcare, no Psych care… Freakin’ nothing after 18 months of living in Post-Federal Flood New Orleans. That cesspool called NYC got immediate relief after some Saudis decided to crash planes into the WTC. We here in New Orleans are still trying to rebuild our lives a year and a half later whilst wading through red tape and misery.

And then this walking penis states that, “Things are better than he thought they would be.”? Shit white boy… we have recovered much faster than this from natural disasters, but I just guess that it being a Federally mandated catastrophe makes stuff different. Wake up and smell the mold asshole: WE ARE NOT FREAKIN” OK! (Only a policy wonk could see things this way.)

Donnie boy? I want you to walk through Gentilly with me, through the Lower Ninth, Mid-City, Lakeview and NW Carrolton and then look me in the eye and explain how things are doing better than your guv’mit expected. I want you to face me and tell me what you jerks “expected” to happen. Then I’ll behead your sorry ass and place your pained expression on a pike in my front yard.

The excesses and material nature of your National Culture are slowly killing us down here in the swamps. You pay lip-service to helping us rebuild after a Federally created disaster to our lives. I want your damn lips to kiss my panty-clad ass, and then make things right.

March 5, 2007

New Orleans- 18 Months Post-Flood

Professor Bill Quigly has written up a piece for the Louisiana Weekly that is a spot-on take on what our city is doing and not doing a year and a half after the Federal Flood.

Here’s a snip from the middle of the report:

“It is impossible to begin to understand the continued impact of Katrina without viewing it through the lenses of race, gender and poverty. Katrina exposed the region’s deep-rooted inequalities of gender, race and class. Katrina did not create the inequalities; it provided a window to see them more clearly. But the aftermath of Katrina has aggravated these inequalities.

In fact if you plot race, class and gender you can likely tell who has returned to New Orleans. The Institute of Women’s Policy Research pointed out “The hurricanes uncovered America’s longstanding structural inequalities based on race, gender, and class and laid bare the consequences of ignoring these underlying inequalities.”

The pre-Katrina population of 454,000 people in the city of New Orleans dropped to 187,000. The African-American population of New Orleans shrank by 61 percent or 213,000 people, from a pre-Katrina number of 302,000 down to 89,000. New Orleans now has a much smaller, older, whiter and more affluent population.”

We, “The 200,000″, aren’t the ones dragging out the rebuilding process of the Metro area, it’s that business and politicians are the big impediments to creating a healthy city. It is their expectations of big money and their bigotries that are at play here. The rest of us just want our lives and city back.

Sinn Fein

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.)

January 27, 2007

All Along the Watchtower Vigil

Filed under: Katrina,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 2:11 am

December 22, 2006

“From Big Easy to Big Empty”

Filed under: Katrina,Levees,New Orleans,Progressive News — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 9:23 pm

I can’t explain how I missed the release or the commentary on the latest from Greg Palast, “From Big Easy to Big Empty: The Drowning of New Orleans”, but I’m correcting that prob now.

Here’s an interview with Palast via BuzzFlash.

Here’s two little excerpts:

“Greg Palast: Understand — I used to work for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. The most beautiful housing in New Orleans are the townhouses near the French Quarter. And as Malik Brahim, an African-American leader there, says, “They just don’t want them poor black people back.” That’s a crucial part of the film. It’s about keeping the working class black people out of the city.

They’re talking about knocking down 4,000 public townhouses. These are dry, safe, good houses. That’s why they’re still there. They literally want to bulldoze these homes because they don’t want those “black people back.”

You’ll see in the film a woman, Patricia Thomas. We help break into her home because they’ve boarded it up. Everything is dry. You could eat the dry cereal. They’ve shuttered up their houses with steel bars. Katrina didn’t do this, she says, “Man did this.” And “the man” is in the White House and in the Mayor’s Mansion.”

“In fact, I show an example of a group called “Common Ground” which is rebuilding homes with the residents with their own sweat equity and a few bucks for materials. And this week, they’re being evicted.

You have a group which has already put 115 families into homes that they’ve built themselves, and now they’re being evicted this week. And by the way, all the money — the million dollars of material and the hundred thousands of hours of sweat equity — are all being stolen away from them by developers who are saying “Oh, you didn’t have the right to rebuild those houses, we own them.” And they’re literally stealing their houses. That’s what’s happening.

And that’s all with the grand approval of the Bush Administration. It’s all with the grand approval of the Mayor of New Orleans, who is doing nothing about the mass evictions of people who have rebuilt their homes, and now their properties are being seized by banks and land speculators.”

These are the kind of things that I, and many others, have been harping on. These are criminal acts, and they should be corrected and the perps “moved” to a different place where they can become some gang-banger’s little treasure. Nagin’s head could be buffed to the point that they can use it as a shaving mirror whilst “No-see-um Ray” performs his devotions. (I am a sick twisted bitch.)

Justice and Reparations for New Orleans!

Sinn Fein!

November 19, 2006

Comic Relief 2006… WooHoo!!!

Tonight we watched Comic Relief 2006, a benefit for New Orleans. It was wonderful, and the local insights offered through the broadcast were definitely on target. They also pulled in $15M in donations. This is a good thing.
This, combined with the results of the last election, shows that folks do care about America’s Jewel. Americans do care about America, and honeys… we are more American than most. We have the history and the sacrifices for a nation’s growth through the many decades that the U.S. has been around. Culturally, only the Fundies and Disney-types DON’T like New Orleans.

So, give a hand to Comic Relief, HBO, and TBS (not that I watched their broadcast… you can’t say “fuck” on TBS) for their efforts on behalf of the people of New Orleans.

And… it’s time for all of the NOLA Blogosphere to start the poop-storm again about the situation down here along the Coast. It’s time to play the heart-a-chordian again.

November 17, 2006

Wet Bank Guide: “Ship of Fools”

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Katrina,Levees,New Orleans — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:13 pm

This is a must read from my friend Mark over at the Wet Bank Guide. Very well-done piece, and yes I wish I’d written it.
“I have come home, rejecting Robert Hunter’s caution, and boarded the ship of fools. I did so because I think this the sanest place in America, one of the few where there is some balance between the demands of Moloch and the need to be human, both as an individual and as a part of a true community. The real ship of fools is the rest of the country, drifting into cultural civil war and an economic death spiral of greed. As I’ve said before, if we can’t save New Orleans, then I have little hope for saving America, and I’d just assume spend the twilight years of America here, among friends.”

October 3, 2006

Know Your District: The Disparate 97th

Okay, a nod to Stephen Colbert is due here or the little “neo-con” poop will probably sue me.

Tonight we start our multi-part series on the 97th State House District. First we will examine the make-up of the area contained within the District. Next will be the current problems each neighborhood faces in the Post-Deluge world. Later we will examine the two candidates in the November 7th General Election and their visions for the District and whether or not this will create improvement for their constituants.

The 97th is a really odd District. It lays across the city from the river to the lake. It contains parts of the Bywater, St. Roch, St. Claude, Gentilly Terrace, Dillard, St. Anthony, Gentilly Woods, Milneburg, Pontchartrain Park, Lake Terrace and Lake Oaks. It’s a maddening example of Gerrymandering, except I can’t understand why any party would want it that way.

Though the majority of the District is residential peppered with small businesses, there is the commercial area along Chef Menteur in the Gentilly area and the light industrial areas of St. Roch Bend and Sugar Hill. The railroad corrider and the Florida canal effectively cut the 97th in half, and it also gives an explanation for the differences between one half and the other.

Starting at the river is the Bywater, haven for Bohemians and fairly prosperous. Most of what is a worry there is retaining the spirit and feel of the area, especially with the coming redevelopment of the river front. Their major battles at this time are to keep rents from spiraling out of control and the possibility of high-rise condos being built. Population Post-Deluge is fairly high there.
Next we come to St.Roch/St. Claude. These areas are predominantly Black (88.2%) and many buildings are in various states of disrepair, blighted being a good term for the worst of them. Except for a smattering of businesses on St. Claude Ave. and spots in the neighborhoods, there is no great Retail presence. Streets are in horrible disrepair. Much of the population has returned.

Lakeside of the railroad corrider things change. The population is mixed, blighted housing is not a major problem, and there were areas of retail establishments unlike the riverside of the corridor. This area was mostly devasted by the Deluge and their population recovery has been fairly slow. It is one of the most heavily organized areas in the city since the Flood and has been singled out as a good test area for the start of the rebuilding efforts.

The 97th has it’s quandries, and our next segment will look at the runoff candidates and their priorities.

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