People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for November, 2005

The last ride

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

“The Last Ride,” Chris Rose, Times-Picayune, 11/27/05:

And so he folded his hand. Over the past few weeks, David tore down the barn and sold the horses, kissing each one goodbye before they were led away.

“I’ve cried more than a few times,” he said.

And another by Chris Rose, “Thinking Out Loud”, 11/25/05. Hey you New Orleanians back in New Orleans — do you find yourself doing this too?

I think the guys from the National Guard are tired of waving back at me. But I’m going to keep waving at them.

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Earth Viewer

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

I was trying to find a satellite view of New Orleans at night to see the distribution of lights. I’m sure it must exist, so if anyone knows, please share.

In any event, I found the Earth Viewer Web site which let’s you see what the Earth (and moon) look like from just about any remote sensing satellite in space. Very cool. I don’t quite understand what the time frame is for when the images were generated.

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Secede!

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

A Saturday letter in the Times-Picayune, and another on Wednesday call for Louisiana to secede and form “Saudi Acadiana.” I think association with the Saudi family is not a great idea, but I’ve called for a mock secession here. Let’s do it out in Jackson Square. Who’s with me!

“Saudi Acadiana” should secede:

“60 Minutes” has proven once again what a joke of a program it really is. To feature St. Louis professor Tim Kusky and his unsubstantiated claims about the future of New Orleans is irresponsible at best.

The rest of the country heats their homes upon our backs and yet, when we are almost destroyed by a natural disaster because the feds have not done their job of providing levee protection, they blame us for being stupid enough to live below sea level. And they tell us to simply move.

We are victims of geographic discrimination. And yet they all absorb our culture, food and music — and suck our land dry for natural resources.

Wake up, Louisiana! We are the Saudi Arabia of America . . . Saudi Acadiana! Let’s secede, sell our resources back to the United States and build our own damn protection system.

Maureen Brennan McConnell
New Orleans

Let’s go; no one will notice (Letters, 11/30/05):

Re: “‘Saudi Acadiana should secede,” Your Opinions, Nov. 28.

For weeks I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that someone ought to get France on the phone and ask if they’ll have us back. But I like Maureen Brennan McConnell’s idea much better. Why not go it alone?

If the federal government’s plan is to ignore us to death, chances are they won’t even notice when we leave. And as a destitute foreign country we’d qualify for foreign aid! Then we could join OPEC and cozy up to Venezuela, the only other OPEC member in this hemisphere. That should get us noticed in Washington. But we wouldn’t need the foreign aid by then because we could be selling all our oil and natural gas to Japan.

Oh yeah, I forgot. We’re still part of it, aren’t we? Pity. I’d feel much safer traveling on a Louisiana passport.

Gary Fleming
New Orleans

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Guest workers, or indentured labor?

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

Letter to NPR in response to Tamar Jacoby’s opinion on immigration:

In promoting a guest worker program for immigrants, commentator Tamar Jacoby based her argument on a critical assumption which she should have supported with measurable facts.

She said she doesn’t “know any families raising their kids to be busboys or farm hands,” arguing that native-born workers are increasingly educated. As a result, she said that “people are entering the country illegally to do jobs American workers don’t want.”

Implicit in her argument is an assumption that Americans think they’re too good, or too educated to settle for some kinds of jobs, and that those jobs wouldn’t be filled if it weren’t for immigrants.

Really?

I used to work as a busboy. It was the perfect job for me in high school, and when I left that job, another kid in high school took my place and learned valuable lessons about team work and how to deal with the public. Yes, I left that job to go on to college, but in reality, only about 3 out of every 10 Americans has a college degree. Most of those people could perform the manual labor jobs that immigrants perform — if they could support a family in those jobs.

People don’t want to work as farm hands? I suggest that the shift to larger and larger farms is not only environmentally unsustainable, but socially unsustainable. There’s nothing wrong with working on a farm. A lot of people would prefer life on a farm to life in a city. For a variety of reasons, however, a lot of family farms fail and become absorbed into larger and larger factory-type enterprises. One of the reasons for family farm failures is that smaller farms can’t compete with corporate agriculture. But much of corporate agriculture wouldn’t ever have been possible if it had to pay workers family wages, so it turned to immigrants. Where did those immigrants come from? Many of them came from family farms in their home countries because they couldn’t compete with corporate agriculture either.

The problem is not that Americans think they’re above doing some kinds of work. It’s that those jobs don’t pay enough money, and they don’t pay enough money, because increasingly, we live in a world where market-based capitalism has been allowed to run rampant — so much so, that it is dependent upon a constant flow of cheap laborers.

It may be that the United States can sustain 500,000 immigrants a year, and I honestly hope it can support more. I adhere to the belief that immigration does create a dynamic economy, and enriches American culture. I have lived with profoundly impoverished people in developing countries who struggle to support their families, and I would like their prospects for a better life to improve as much as our own.

If the United States is going to continue to be a great nation in which the middle class isn’t squeezed out of existence, we may have to re-examine the role that the economy plays in transforming our society — and societies in other countries. That is a far more challenging prospect than figuring out what to do about immigration, but we if we ask who benefits from cheap labor, we might find the answer we seek to improve life for people everywhere.

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Rumsfeld: Don’t call them “insurgents”

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

Perplexed, Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked Rumsfeld what else he would call the people responsible for creating IED’s that kill American soldiers, and who assassinate Iraqi officials.

Rumsfeld
:

Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government. How’s that?

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Rumsfeld: Don’t call them “insurgents”

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

Perplexed, Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked Rumsfeld what else he would call the people responsible for creating IED’s that kill American soldiers, and who assassinate Iraqi officials.

Rumsfeld
:

Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government. How’s that?

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Add your own caption

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

This NPR photo was simply too good to pass up.

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Warning: Bush is “studying” Cat 5 protection

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

I have to correct myself. I earlier asked if anyone had heard from Donald Powell, our all-mighty recovery czar. Now I just want to say to Powell, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then shut the eff up!”:

Powell, repeatedly describing his visit as one of “learning” and “discovery,” said he is not sure when an administration decision will be made regarding a Category 5 levee system.

“I think it’s important to study that,” Powell said. “Hopefully, a decision will come sooner than later.” …

Powell said he does not see himself as a chief executive of the recovery effort, but rather a listener and facilitator to carry a message back to Washington.

“My job . . . is to come and to listen and to help convey the message from the local people — I’ll work with people in the towns, parishes, cities and the state — it will be their vision, the local people’s vision, about how to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Hey man — the local vision is Category 5 storm protection. Every single friggin’ person on the street will tell you that. And they’ll tell you the commitment needs to happen yesterday. And, by the way, when did you think you might get around to “convey the message” to your village idiot boss. I mean, it took you — what? Over two months to get here?!

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Warning: Bush is “studying” Cat 5 protection

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

I have to correct myself. I earlier asked if anyone had heard from Donald Powell, our all-mighty recovery czar. Now I just want to say to Powell, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then shut the eff up!”:

Powell, repeatedly describing his visit as one of “learning” and “discovery,” said he is not sure when an administration decision will be made regarding a Category 5 levee system.

“I think it’s important to study that,” Powell said. “Hopefully, a decision will come sooner than later.” …

Powell said he does not see himself as a chief executive of the recovery effort, but rather a listener and facilitator to carry a message back to Washington.

“My job . . . is to come and to listen and to help convey the message from the local people — I’ll work with people in the towns, parishes, cities and the state — it will be their vision, the local people’s vision, about how to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Hey man — the local vision is Category 5 storm protection. Every single friggin’ person on the street will tell you that. And they’ll tell you the commitment needs to happen yesterday. And, by the way, when did you think you might get around to “convey the message” to your village idiot boss. I mean, it took you — what? Over two months to get here?!

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Hot showers!

Posted by schroeder915 on November 30, 2005

The temperature inside the house was under 50 degrees — the thermostat stops at 50. No heat. I was cooking on a little propane camping stove. Multiple layers at night. COLD SHOWERS. ICE COLD. I definitely wasn’t dilly-dallying. I did definitely learn something about life before water heaters.

Finally, Monday, Entergy came out to look at the gas meter. See, they’ve been by to look at it at least 5 times that I can recall. Each time I talked to someone, went to the Entergy office, grabbed an Entergy guy off the street, I got a different story. The last I heard, they were going to have to change the meter because it was under water. To keep me from turning the valve on, they fully disconnected the pipe.

So, Monday rolls around. The guy hooks up the pipe and turns the valve on. I say, “Aren’t you going to have to change the meter — it was under water.” He says, “Naw. That shouldn’t be a problem.”

WTF!!!

For weeks, cold showers, soup, MRE’s, freezing may ass off!

I try to stay calm, but … I know, there are people far, far, far worse off than me … but who needs the aggravation all because of stupidity!

After the guy left, I cranked the water heater, and took my first hot shower in weeks.

Thanks to Katrina Chronicles for reminding me to post the story.

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