People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for October, 2005

Zero tolerance for social parasites and criminal predators

Posted by schroeder915 on October 31, 2005

My neighbor said he talked to an FBI agent at a local bar on Friday who told his story of a recent traffic stop. The agent said he stopped a black man who was drinking a beer while driving somewhere in New Orleans. The agent asked the driver what the hell he was doing. The driver answered that he was looking for a job. The agent hollered, “You better drive your car the hell out of town right now! And don’t you ever come back, because we don’t want your kind around here anymore.”

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Posted by schroeder915 on October 30, 2005

Believe what you will. Add this to your understanding of the chaos that ensued in absence of a preparedness plan in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. From New Orleans Metroblog:

His first fear was that he would be killed, his wife raped until she was dead and their son left to the non-existant mercy of the crowd. He says personal, violent assault (sexual and otherwise) was common and the crowd was literally held inside the dome’s perimeter at gunpoint. He says the National Guard had only an outer perimeter, disregarding what was happening inside because they knew the dome occupants were thousands of people they wouldn’t have to try to keep up with on the streets.

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Katrina photos – Lakeview

Posted by schroeder915 on October 28, 2005


The 17th Street Canal, looking south toward the city, as repaired by the Corps of Engineers with 300-lb sandbags covered with gravel.


A torrent of water pushed houses off of their foundations, and washed away their contents.


The canal is just through the far wall.

Next time, Mid-City.

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The spoils of war, by the numbers

Posted by schroeder915 on October 28, 2005

A reader’s letter in yesterday’s Guardian UK:

Two thousand Americans are dead. Fifty times that many Iraqis are dead; 300 times that many human beings are injured. One million times that have been indirectly affected by a barbarous act of inhumanity (Casualties of a war a world away, October 26). War is about numbers. The small number of humans who have much to gain by war. The large number affected. The small number who sit home and rally the large number to send their kids to die physically or mentally. The largest number who say nothing. The financial numbers are so huge that millions aren’t accounted for, and millions more are paid in bonuses.

I’m a Vietnam infantry veteran who has taken the time to peel away the onion of war. Strip off the uniforms, the flags, the nationalities, the slogans. War is, at best, the failure of leaders to solve problems. At worst, war is a massive money-generating machine with no regard for life. It’s all in the numbers.

Arnold Stieber
Grass Lake, Michigan, USA

Hat tip to WTUL dj, Duncan.

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Thursday Katrina photos

Posted by schroeder915 on October 27, 2005


Other than raising houses on piers, the other flood-prevention possibility is building up lots with fill, as was done in this Gentilly neighborhood (roughly 1920’s construction). Note the line of brown caused by brackish water. For many families in New Orleans, how high their homes were raised was the difference between lives radically impacted, and lives inconvenienced.

This past weekend, a friend recounted how his grandmother always marveled at the appearance of houses in the 1950’s which were built at ground level on top of concrete slabs. In a city where, historically, the Mississippi River overflowed its banks every spring, building houses on slabs seemed like a willful act of defiance against nature that would one day cause owners grief. In floods like the one in 1915, Nashville Avenue, Uptown, was under 10 feet of water. After the 1927 flood, the banks of the Mississippi were raised by a levee system that contributed to the defiance of heady developers. A lesson was learned again when Hurricane Betsy struck in 1965, but in the intervening 40 years, nothing was done to improve the levee system, and Louisiana’s fragile coastline disappeared.


Happily, many pets were rescued …


… but, sadly, not all made it …


… nor did some residents.


Lakefront homeowner seated on porch below water line.


Lakefront, near the University of New Orleans: Ferrara Grocery, “Makin’ groceries since 1906.”

Next time, the Lakeview neighborhood.

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Hurricane protection map

Posted by schroeder915 on October 27, 2005

The Times-Picayune published a map yesterday describing the current Army Corps of Engineers plans to finally create a hurricane protection system to protect southeast Louisiana from more storm surges like the one that toppled canal barriers in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. (Note: You may want to save the PDF to your hard drive rather than try to view it online). The accompanying article can be found here.

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Mundane things about life after Katrina

Posted by schroeder915 on October 26, 2005


One aspect of life in New Orleans now is flat tires from all the crap in the streets – and almost nowhere to get tires fixed. I had a roofing nail removed from a tire this morning after trying to get into a busy repair shop three days in a row.

The caption from The Times-Picayune photo above stated that C.A.R.S., LLC. in Metairie is repairing tires for free.

Useless information I never thought I’d learn: One 12-ounce can of Red Cross/Anheiser-Busch filtered water perfectly fills a standard ice-cube tray.

Update:

The Times-Picayune published a story on flat tires:

With enough debris around town to fill up 12 Superdomes, much of it is ending up lodged in tires, leaving motorists fuming and keeping tire shops busy with repairs that more than double pre-Katrina volumes.

“For tires, this is like a war zone,” said Texas roofer Ron Lotten, as he hopped recently from one Metairie tire shop to another, looking for someone who would fix a flat the same day. “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

He’s hardly alone.

AAA, which has more than 170,000 members in the New Orleans metro area, said roadside assistance calls for flat tires jumped 62 percent last month compared with September 2004, spokesman Mike Right said.

And though no one in the industry seems to have metrowide figures, nails and screws in roadways are giving local tires such a whomping that auto shops are turning down customers or have waits of hours and even days.

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The elephant of New Orleans

Posted by schroeder915 on October 26, 2005

Once again, Chris Rose finds words for the feelings many of us are having since Hurricane Katrina:

I suspect many folks have sat with us and thought, upon going home: You guys need to get a grip. You need to talk about something else. You need to get a life.

That may be, but I, personally, have been unable to focus on anything but the elephant.

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Love and hope in the French Quarter

Posted by schroeder915 on October 26, 2005

Due to Hurricane Katrina, two months to the day passed since anything was posted by my alter ego at Serendipity Happens. Now, finally, comes a must-read post about chance, free spirits, love, and hope.

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Katrina victims map

Posted by schroeder915 on October 26, 2005


The Times-Picayune created a map of Hurricane Katrina victims in the New Orleans area.

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