Saturday, September 17, 2005

Katrina Encours et Toujours XVIII

1) Blue Dog is back:

http://www.georgerodrigue.com/wewillriseagain.htm


2) Google "failure" and see what pops up. Those folks at google never cease to amaze.


3) Article from the shelters:

After and Before the Flood
by Suheir Hammad
September 16, 2005

If I ever forget what I have seen, I do not know if I will be a blessed or a cursed woman.
I begin with what I brought with me. Loot. Clothes, money, napkins, poetry books, nail polish, vitamins, hope. These I left in Algiers, in the West Bank.

I brought a pretty pair of pajamas. That I left in Baton Rouge.

I brought with me an innocence I did not know I possessed, until I left it in the toxic ravined streets of New Orleans.

My homegirl Jacquie and I got into New Orleans yesterday. She had her camera and I drove the car. She’s never been to the Crescent City. She will never see what it was. The Mayor’s press conferenceannounced that this was the first time in the history of the city that it has been drug and crime free. We listened to his speech during one of the long hours spent in the car yesterday. Beware, hesaid, those of you planning on returning to do no good. The city has police even more invested in protecting property. Army, National Guard, M16s, M4s, night vision, and even bazookas, he chuckled, for special people.

The smell is not human, though humanity did manufacture the chemicals and structures that have dissolved into nature, to create it.

Hurricane Katrina did not destroy this city or her poor. Human planning and human response did.
The streets of New Orleans are peppered with so many military vehicles, it appears a film. The 9th ward, which has just been drained of its flood, is empty of its people and heavy with menacing air. The cars that had been underwater are parked, salted. I drovethe streets I’d walked down, and knew what hell would look like. What it would smell like. Hell is not just fire, it is water as well.

People lived here and made love here and fought here and ate here and slept here and birthed here and built here and whispered here and cried here and danced here and danced here and danced here and diedhere and finally they fled here.

It will take me moons and cycles to begin to craft the language I need to transform these words, and myself, into something more than a simple reflection.

Jacquie, Jordan and I then entered the River Center in Baton Rouge to talk with evacuees/refugees/survivors/victims/people.

I am a poet. I entered through an exit. I brought with me my ancestry and the knowledge that displacement happens internally and externally. Within countries. Within bodies.

The River Center has several shelters set up within it. The one I entered did not allow cameras. We weren’t allowed in at all, actually. We said we were press. We were pressed. An evacuee outside, watching a TV set up by TV people, said, just tell them you live here. You don’t really need no wrist band. I followed her lead.
The lights are bright. The noise a constant din. A loudspeaker announces things no one understands. People are set up by exits, by communal televisions. Girls are placed in the center of groups of tired adults. There are sick people. There are women who are trading what they have for extra food and blankets.

I am a poet, I said to the Haitian woman folding and refolding her clothes. A classmate had molested her eight-year-old daughter on the school bus earlier in the day. I asked the pretty brown girl withsix braids blooming out of her head if she screamed. I don’t know how to scream, she said. A woman has to know how to scream, I told her. Her mother nodded. The father is still in Algiers. I asked if they’d heard the Mayor’s announcement early yesterday that Algiers would be open on Monday. Oh, thank you, thank god.

A Red Cross worker came over to our huddle. The boy who wouldn’t stop touching the girl would be put on a different bus. He and his family are still in the shelter. What is your name again, she asked the mother. I told you my name so many times, she gritted creole.

A three year old girl with cavitied teeth and a runny nose took my hand. Kamani. Her mother was folding and refolding her clothes. Her thirteen-year-old sister taught me a game of cards with me calledPitty Pat. The family is from Jefferson Parish. Twenty of their neighbors had paid a Red Cross person to drive a bus over to the parish. They left her and her three kids behind. I asked what happened, were they late, was there no room? I don’t know, I justwant to go home. She cried so easy. Like curtains gathered back to view a storm. Kamani is by her mother’s leg, rubbing it with no words. This girl looks into me and I give her some of my soul willingly, all the while she is rubbing her mother’s leg. They have been here for two weeks.

I leave with Kamani a pretty yellow luggage tag shaped like a chick. Andrew had gifted it to me before I left. I tell her to write her name in the lines, and her address, and attach it to her things now, so when she goes home it can look official.

Next to this family is another one. Next to that one is another one. Next to this one is that one.

There are pregnant women in here. One, from Honduras, is due in a week. Her belly is pressing against her shirt as if to breathe. She has been here since August 31. My sister is pregnant, I tell her. How many months? One. She says the baby is the size of a rice in the sonogram. We laugh. People are so relieved to laugh, it is painful.

Mrs. and Mr. Brown never thought they would ever be in a shelter. He is 82 years old. She gently warns him to not say her age, then says she is a few years behind him. Black don’t crack and brown don’tfrown, I say to them. This laugh is a surprise. I was born and reared in New Orleans, she says. I left my car parked in the street, I thought I’d be back. Her home of thirty-seven years is in Mid-City. I never thought I’d ever be in a shelter.

Trina is scrubbing her white Nike sneakers, her hair half braided, her lip-gloss thick, when I ask her if I can sit down. She finally tracked down her two children last week. Girl, I am fine, now. Around her are diapers and bottles, which she brought with herthinking her kids would be close by. They are in North Carolina with her mother, and she is fine now.

There is every age here. Every hunger. There is no privacy. The showers are outside in tents and they are no more than 5 minutes long, from walking in with your clothes on, to walking out into the street. There are monitors who shout down the seconds so no one takes longer than the allotted time. There are three or four people in there at a time.

There is a cough in the shelter I have never heard before. It escapes the mouths of children as if the earth is shifting inside of them.

Willis is dressed fly. Of course he is from Brooklyn. Of course he got game and wants to pick me up. Then he begins to talk about the flood. Then he begins to say, very carefully, know what I mean,there is something more than storm that killed folk. Know what I mean. We could see water so high right here in one section, know what I mean, and right there, where the other income folk live, knowwhat I mean, it was dry as nothing.
Know what I mean?

Everyone I spoke to believes the levies were not destroyed by the storm.

No one I spoke to had heard any of the Mayor’s comments about the reconstruction of the city. No one within the shelter was watching the President’s news conference. Outside, where folks smoke andbreathe, a few gathered around the TVs the TV people had set up. They laughed when he talked about Jazz Funerals and New Orleans culture.

Cher is 32 years old and her husband wants to move them to Dallas, where he can get a job. She has two children and they need stability, she said. It makes sense. I don’t know how anyone could leave New Orleans, I told her. Then her face and heart opened. I don’t want to go, she whispered. Girl, I know. My people are Palestinians, I told her. Once you leave, you won’t be allowed back. She knows. She knows.

The rest of the stories will have to be told in poems. The rest of the voices will have to speak to me over and again in my sleep. I will fold and refold these visions in my mind until I can place them in a corner where they will not be forgotten. Right now, I see nothing else.

After the streets of New Orleans and the aisles of the shelter, I feel as if I have never danced. As if I have never been touched. As if I will never be touched again. If I am ever touched again, who will be able to secure this levy? Who will catch this flood? What will grow from this water?



4) Article from NO and the shelters:

Disasters
by Jordan Flaherty

New Orleans was not devastated by a hurricane. From my travels around New Orleans and surrounding areas, its clear that very little damage was done to my city by hurricane Katrina.

Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Gulfport and other Gulf cities have suffered extensive hurricane-related damage. However, the damage to New Orleans came from brutal negligence - a lack of planning and a stunningly slow response, created by a federal government that didn’t care about the people of New Orleans, and still doesn’t. Academic Cornel West has called it Hurricane Povertina. Poet Suheir Hammad has referred to the “survivors of the rescue,” others have referred to the displaced as “victims of hurricane FEMA,” or simply “Michael Brown’s victims.” The houses of New orleans were not hit by 35 foot tall waves or 200 mile winds. On the day after the hurricane, most of the city was in good shape, and many of us still in the city felt that New Orleans had once again come through battered and bruised but all right. Then, over the next few days, the levee broke and water rushed into the city, and relief rescue and repair efforts were far too little, far too late.
But the worst damage is what is being done now, this confluence of forces barraging New Orleans and its Diaspora, what some local organizers have referredto as the Disaster Industrial Complex. This is the perfect storm created by an orgy of greed and opportunism engaged in by the jackals of disasterprofiteering. The list of those who are gaining from our loss is large, and it includes everyone from the heavily armed thugs of Wackenhut Security and Blackwater USA to the often well-meaning but ineffective bureaucrats of Red Cross and FEMA, to the Scientology missionaries crowding the shelters, tojournalists and disaster-gazers taking up a chunk of available housing, to the major multinationals such as Halliburton, working in concert with rich elites from uptown New Orleans seeking partners with which to exploit this tragedy.

These are the institutions and individuals poised to profit from this disaster, while the people of New Orleans face nothing but further dislocation anddisempowerment.

New Orleans-based organizer Andrea Garland told me about the callous treatment she’s seen in the shelters of the Covington, Louisiana area. “The Red Cross has made at least 800 million dollars from fundraising, but people in this shelter can’t get soap and are showering under a hose? Is that right?”

I spoke last night to journalist and organizer Rosa Clemente about the harrowing sights she’s seen in shelters from Baton Rouge to Houston. Aside from the aforementioned team of Scientology missionaries, she also saw a national guard soldier point a gun at a five year old, as well as being briefly placed under arrest herself. She spoke of stores around the area of the shelters that have signs saying that shelter residents are not welcome, and she said that people in the shelters are completely cut off from news about the outside world. “There are three tvs for three thousand people. We asked everyone we spoke with in the shelter what they thought about Kanye West’s remarks, and none of them had heardof it!”

Whether its in the shelters or in the streets of New Orleans, this may go down as the most militarized “relief” effort in history. The Chicago police are camped out on a bar on Bourbon Street. Wackenhut security convoys are riding in and out of town. Israeli security patrol Audubon Place Uptown. White vigilante gangs patrol the West Bank, with tacit permission of local authorities. National Guard and Blackwater are on patrol throughout the city, along with DEA, INS, State police, New Orleans police, NYPD, and countless other agencies.

As I write this, I’m sitting at the River Shelter in Baton Rouge, surrounded by National Guard, with a Virginia “Police Command Center” parked in front of me and a Scientologist Mission Center behind me, with news vans parked around, looking for comments on Bush's latest speech.

A couple days ago I was in a car accident in uptown New Orleans, at the corner of Magazine and Nashville. The driver of the other car was a police officer. Within minutes, there were perhaps fifty police/military/security officers on the scene, and the driver of our car, an independent journalist still wounded and in shock from the accident, was arrested and led off in handcuffs. They told him, “you hit a cop in New Orleans. You’re going to leave town in the trunk of a car.” He was taken to the local Greyhound Station, which is functioning as a temporary city prison, and he was held for 22 hours. (He was released thanks to the efforts of various defense lawyers and media activists).

This militarization of New Orleans stands in stark contradiction to the people’s efforts at reconstruction. The Common Ground Collective, in the Algiers area of New Orleans, has built a community health center and food distribution network serving, according to organizer Malik Rahim’s estimate, about 16,000 people in New Orleans Parish and surrounding areas such as Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes. “Have the police helped us?” asked one local organizer, “no, they’ve stood in our way at every turn.”

The community traditions of New Orleans have generally existed outside the police and white power structure of the city. For example, Mardi Gras Indians, one of the central cultural traditions of what's known as Black Mardi Gras, have always faced police repression. Earlier this year, as the Indians were parading on St. Joseph’s Night, scores of officers descended on the scene and disruptedthe event, scaring the children present and arresting several of the performers.

Several weeks later, at a city council hearing on the incident, Tootie Montana, the chief of chiefs of the Mardi Gras Indians, spoke. At 82 years old, Tootiehas been a Mardi Gras Indian Chief for five decades. He captivated the assembled crowd with details of a long history of police repression, tied into racial discrimination, beginning with a police crackdown at his very first Mardi Gras. Tootie ended his speech with the words, “this has to stop.” Those wouldbe his last words. Tootie Monatana stepped back from the microphone and collapsed to the floor. He was pronounced dead of a heart attack shortly afterwards.
His funeral was a moving combination of cultural celebration and political demonstration. Thousands and thousands of people came out, dressed in allmanner of costume, to commemorate the life of this brave fighter for freedom. Longtime community activist Jerome Smith fired up the crowd, saying "This is about a life that has passed, but it is also about the struggle against institutionalized racism in our city." The link between New Orleans culture,especially the culture of Black Mardi Gras, and liberation was clear.

The white Mardi Gras Krewes of Rex and Momus are seen as the unofficial, backroom leadership of the city A central moment of Mardi Gras is when the Kings of Rex and Momus greet each other. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is the leadership of these Krewe’s that is currently living uptown, with a heliport and Israeli security team, planning their vision of the corporate reconstruction of the city.

Today I received a call from Royce Osborne, a local filmmaker who made the New Orleans classic film All On A Mardi Gras Day. Royce is also a communityactivist and one of the Mardi Gras Skeletons, another Black Mardi Gras tradition. Royce told me he’s aching to come back, and looking forward to MardiGras 2006. “If we see the Indians out on the streets in the next Mardi Gras, then I’ll know there’s hope for New Orleans,” he said.



5) Here's a nice analysis of what it's going to take to rebuild and reconfigure NO's flood protection system:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5285286,00.html

Protecting New Orleans to Cost Billions
Saturday September 17, 2005 6:31 PM
By MATT CRENSON
AP National Writer
All it takes is cash and time.

Given enough money, engineers agree that they couldeventually build a system of levees and other floodcontrol structures sufficient to protect New Orleansfrom another Katrina or even a stronger hurricane. Butit would cost billions, and the work might not becompleted for up to 30 years.

The question is, and always has been, how much thefederal government is willing to pay for thatprotection.
``New Orleans is what it is because the federalgovernment made it that way,'' said Robert Hartwig,chief economist at the Insurance InformationInstitute. ``And what it is today - underwater.''

Much of New Orleans, especially the neighborhoods thatwere most severely flooded by Hurricane Katrina, wouldnot be inhabitable at all without the ramparts thathave been constructed around the city over the past 40years. After Hurricane Betsy destroyed much of NewOrleans in 1965, Congress authorized a massiveconstruction project to ensure that such a storm wouldnever threaten the city again.

The project began by raising the levees along LakePontchartrain on the city's north side, and linkingthem to the Mississippi River levees to form the``bowl'' that encloses New Orleans. Over the years,Congress also approved levees to protect suburbs southand east of the city.

At 13 to 18 feet high those levees are high enough tohandle another Betsy, but not a Katrina, a Category 4hurricane.

``We tend to build for the last storm,'' said CraigColten, a professor of geography and anthropology atLouisiana State University.

It isn't that nobody thought a storm more powerfulthan Betsy would ever strike New Orleans. The ArmyCorps of Engineers had looked into the prospect ofbuilding the city's levees up to Category 5protection. But levee construction projects proceedover decades, and the last one isn't even close tofinished. Some of the follow-up projects to theoriginal 1965 effort, added during the 1980s and '90s,aren't scheduled for completion until 2018.

``The whole thing takes a long, long time,'' Coltensaid.

Now that Katrina has supplanted Betsy as the CrescentCity's most recent catastrophic storm, the governmentis likely to embark on a new round of flood controlconstruction. This time, experts say, the goal islikely to be Category 5 protection, achieved through adiversified approach that includes not just higherlevees but storm gates and the abandonment of somelow-lying areas.

``City and parish officials in New Orleans and stateofficials in Louisiana will have a large part in theengineering decisions to come, and the Army Corps ofEngineers will work at their side to make the floodprotection system stronger than it has ever been,''President Bush said Thursday evening.

Bringing just the area of New Orleans along the LakePontchartrain shoreline up to Category 4 or 5protection would cost $2.5 billion to $3 billion,according to the Army Corps of Engineers' latestestimates.

For comparison, the National Flood Insurance Programreceived approval this week to borrow $3.5 billion forthe settlement of Hurricane Katrina claims. And thelosses to the program could go higher than that, saidEd Pasterick, a senior adviser in the FederalEmergency Management Agency's mitigation division.

Bringing the whole city up to Category 5 protectionwould take about 30 years, Army Corps of Engineersproject manager Al Naomi estimated before HurricaneKatrina. Parts of the project could be expedited, butit will be years before all of New Orleans isprotected against the strongest storms.

Katrina may also generate the support needed to goahead with Coast 2050, a plan to restore some of themarshes and swamps along the Louisiana coast that havedisappeared since the 1930s. Those coastal wetlandshelp decrease the destructiveness of an incominghurricane by slowing down, and thus spreading out, thestorm surge it pushes ashore.

The cost of the Coast 2050 Project would be more thanimproving the levees - about $14 billion over 30years, depending on how much of it was implemented.

``There are lots of ways of protecting the city,''said Joannes Westerink, a civil engineer at theUniversity of Notre Dame who builds computersimulations of hurricane storm surges for New Orleansand other parts of the U.S. coast.

Some experts recommend putting flood gates in thechannels that funnel water toward the city,specifically in the Mississippi River itself and inthe Rigolets, a narrow passage that connects LakePontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico.

The gates would be left open under normal conditions,allowing water and ship traffic to pass unhindered. Inthe event of an approaching hurricane they would beclosed to keep the storm surge from getting into LakePontchartrain or moving up the river.

London has a system of such gates in the Thames River.In the Netherlands, an extensive system of dams andgates protects the population from storm surges.

Within New Orleans itself, experts recommend improvingthe pumps that are used to remove rainwater from thecity. Because the levees around New Orleans create abelow-sea level bowl, every drop of rain that fallsinside the barrier has to either evaporate or bepumped out.

There's no way that pumps could keep New Orleans dryin a Katrina-scale flood. But if they were elevatedand had their own power generation, Colten said, thepumps might be able to pump the city dry in daysrather than weeks.

It might also be possible to elevate someneighborhoods above flood level. Civil engineer HenryPetroski of Duke University has even suggested raisingthe entire city. The city of Galveston, Texas, usedthat approach after a hurricane washed over it in1900, killing as many as 8,000 people.

Individual houses could be elevated as well. Manyhomes in New Orleans are already jacked up off theground for flood protection, but since the 1950s themajority of them have been built directly on concreteslabs.
And it would be just as helpful to go down as up. NewOrleans could create drainage basins inside the leveewalls to collect floodwater that would otherwise flowinto the lowest-lying neighborhoods.

Finally, some have suggested restoring some of thecity's most vulnerable areas to the marshlands theyonce were. Neighborhoods that are up to 13 feet belowsea level today got that way in part because they werebuilt on marsh soils that compacted after beingdrained. The longer those areas are kept dry, thelower they will sink and the more flood-prone theywill become.

Generally, the lowest parts of New Orleans lie in abelt just behind the high ground of the LakePontchartrain shoreline that stretches from the NinthWard in the east to Jefferson Parish north of LouisArmstrong International Airport.

``The lowest of the low areas probably shouldn't beredeveloped,'' Colten said.

There is plenty of time for the vocal debate that isbound to accompany such proposals. The Army Corps ofEngineers estimates it will be next year before theBig Easy's flood protection is back up even to whereit was before the storm hit.

``Certainly we're not going to be able to restore thelevees back to their original protection before theend of hurricane season,'' said Col. Duane Gapinski,the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers taskforce responsible for pumping New Orleans dry.

That leaves vast swaths of the city vulnerable to evena relatively weak tropical storm. But as long as 80percent of New Orleans remains damaged or destroyed byKatrina, another hurricane would add more insult thaninjury.


6) Bush lit up NO. This isn't really surprising, it's the way it's done...:

www.dailykos.com
Lights in New Orleans.
For Bush.
by kos
Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 09:24:17 PDT

Brian Williams:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleanswarehouse district last night: there was rejoicing(well, there would have been without the curfew, butthe few people I saw on the streets were excited) whenthe power came back on for blocks on end. KevinTibbles was positively jubilant on the live updateedition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast.The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, wasnonetheless bathed in light, including the empty,roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through thedistrict was partially lit no more than 30 minutesbefore POTUS drove through. And yet last night, nomore than an hour after the President departed, thelights went out. The entire area was plunged intototal darkness again, to audible groans. It's enoughto make some of the folks here who witnessed it...jump to certain conclusions.



7) And now, from the Alabama Policy Institute:

The Storm After The Storm
By Gary Palmer

With estimates now in the range of well over $100 billion for damage from Hurricane Katrina, Americans should get ready for the storm after the storm.

In the wake of Katrina, the country is sure to face a surge of bad ideas ranging from tax increase proposals to a wave of health and environmental lawsuits aimed at petrochemical companies to an overall further expansion of the federal government. But one storm that is already forming is taking aim at property insurance companies.

In the fine tradition of class action plaintiff attorneys, Mississippi plaintiff lawyer Dickie Scruggs has suggested that insurance companies should be forced to pay for damages not covered by their policies. Scruggs says he will urge Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to force insurance companies to pay for rebuilding homes and businesses along the Mississippi Gulf Coast even if the owners did not have flood coverage in their insurance policies.

This may be a cynical view, but it appears that Scruggs and the plaintiff attorney cartel are trying to use the State of Mississippi for launching class action lawsuits similar to the class actions filed against tobacco companies. But in this case the lawsuits would be against insurance companies on behalf of people that did not have flood coverage in their homeowners policy.

There are some losses that property and casualty insurance companies have discovered they simply cannot insure against, such as acts of war, earthquakes, or flooding. In regard to flooding, the typical homeowners policy states clearly that the policy does not cover losses related to water damage defined as flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether driven by wind or not.

Obviously, this language makes it clear that flooding is not covered regardless of how or under what circumstances it occurs. Yet plaintiff lawyers are already coaching potential clients on what to say. In fact, one Mississippi plaintiff lawyer had a group of senior citizens shout back to him the phrase, “Wind driven storm surge.”

It should be noted that insurance companies do not actually provide flood insurance. The coverage is provided by a federal program, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Insurance companies make relatively little on flood insurance because they essentially function in an administrative and sales role collecting the premiums for the NFIP from consumers that want flood coverage.

The NFIP provides a maximum of $250,000 coverage for structures and $100,000 for contents. To help alleviate the impact of an unprecedented number of claims filed with the NFIP, the U.S. House of Representatives has authorized increasing NFIP’s borrowing authority by $3.5 billion to help cover the payments. Given that NFIP only collects about $1.85 billion per year in premiums, that won’t be nearly enough to cover insured flood claims. The American taxpayers will have to make up the difference.
According to Ed Pasterick, a FEMA senior advisor, the insured value of flooded homes and businesses in New Orleans is over $30 billion. And that is just for covered claims. In New Orleans it is estimated that 150,000 residences were flooded, but only about 40 percent had flood insurance coverage. Consequently, the uncovered claims could reach $50 billion in New Orleans alone.

As mentioned above, it appears that the plaintiff attorneys circling above the carnage of Katrina are posed to launch a massive wave of lawsuits against the insurance companies. Since it is a federal agency, they cannot sue the NFIP. And even if they could, there is no big money for them in doing so. The big payoff will come from looting the insurance industry, all under the mantra of “forcing the rich insurance companies to do what is right.”

What people need to know is that when the insurance companies are forced to pay, everybody that has or wants insurance will be forced to pay. Whether you are rich or poor, live in a mansion or a mobile home, if you want homeowner’s insurance it will cost you more and you will likely have fewer companies to select from. And depending on where you live, you may not be able to get insurance at all.

A number of insurance companies will likely go bankrupt if they are forced to pay for uninsured flood damage out of company assets. Besides causing a significant increase in insurance costs for the rest of the country, bankrupting insurance companies will result in thousands of people losing their jobs. In addition, property insurance would be almost impossible to get in coastal regions of the United States. And as the insurance companies attempt to recover from lawsuit imposed losses, premiums will go up regardless of where you live.
Every insurance company should honor its obligation to pay damages covered under their policies. And it appears that most of the insurance companies are going beyond what most reasonable people would expect them to do. But that will not be enough for plaintiff attorneys. For them, Katrina could be their wind of fortune, for the rest of us that need insurance for our homes and businesses, the lawsuits could be the storm after the storm.

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

September 15, 2005

Note: This column is a copyrighted feature distributed free of charge by the Alabama Policy Institute. For information or comments contact: Gary Palmer, Alabama Policy Institute, 402 Office Park Drive, Suite 300, Birmingham, Alabama 35223, (205) 870-9900, e-mail
garyp@alabamapolicy.org<mailto:garyp@alabamapolicy.org> . To subscribe to this column, please go towww.alabamapolicyinstitute.org/subscribe<http://www.alabamapolicyinstitute.org/subscribe> . To unsubscribe, go to www.alabamapolicyinstitute.org/unsubscribe<http://www.alabamapolicyinstitute.org/unsubscribe> .



8) Wonkette on Bush's speech:

http://www.wonkette.com/politics/liveblogging/index.php#liveblogging-the-new-orleans-presidential-address-125901



9) Saab Guy and Katrina donations. This is a great story (read from bottom-up to get the chronology right):

http://saabbumper.blogspot.com/



10) Ouch:

From the WWL website:

Bum Phillips, best known for his days coaching the Houston Oilers but also the coach of the Saints from 1981-85, spoke to the Saints on Thursday. "I had to come up here and tell them how much that game against Carolina impressed me, though there ain't no one out there that remembers the guy who's telling them," Phillips said....



11) Quips for the day:

www.dailykos.com
Cheers and Jeers:
Rum and Coke FRIDAY!
by Bill in Portland Maine
Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 06:00:46 PDT
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...

Will Durst posts daily quips over at The Progressivemagazine that are just plain snarky...

"Bush is to leadership what prairie brambles are tomobile surgery rooms."

"Intelligent Design is just creationism with aluminumsiding on it."

"You could say the new Iraqi Constitution is going tobe a bit short on rights for women. You could also saythe Arctic in January is brisk."

"Bush says he doesn't want to play the "Blame Game."Makes sense. Never heard of a chicken who wanted toplay the "Extra Crispy" game."

"The good news is, closed circuit videos in and aroundNew Orleans have allowed us to identify the looters:Chevron, Shell, and ExxonMobil."

"Senator Rick Santorum thinks there should be tougherpenalties on people who decide to ride Hurricanes out.I guess he means worse than drowning."

"As soon as New Orleans gets back to normal, I plan onvolunteering to go down there and help drink theireconomy back on its feet."

I'll meet you there. In the meantime, gang, have alovely last-weekend-of-summer weekend. Cheers andJeers turns autumn colors in There's Moreville...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]



12) Walk for the animals:

On October 1st, 2005, I will participate in a nationwide “Walk for Farm Animals” which supports the care for and treatment of farm animals--cows, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, hogs, and pigs--at Farm Sanctuary, an organization founded in 1986 to address the conditions affecting factory farmed animals.

I, myself, became personally involved in farm animal issues when I rescued Hollander, a part commercial bred rooster, on Eastern Parkway, a major thoroughfare in Brooklyn. I was headed to the metro when I saw him struggling in a cardboard box that had fallen off of a truck destined for one of the many slaughterhouses in Brooklyn. A lot of telephone calls, effort, and care for Hollander from myself, Farm Sanctuary fosters in Brooklyn and Animal Care and Control in Brooklyn resulted in him finding a home at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. If you would like to see Hollander, I have attached a couple of pictures of my little feathered beau.

We all know of the dire conditions that humans and domesticated animals have been subjected to by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. However, very little attention has been directed to the farm animals in Mississippi, in particular, that were affected by waterspouts that destroyed closed holding areas for the broiler chickens, i.e. chickens bred for human consumption. Farm Sanctuary along with HSUS and Animal Place responded to the need to rescue the chickens and have already transported 725 of them to the refuge in Glen Watkins, New York. Just to give you a sense of the farming industries and affected farm animals in the Gulf Coast: according to the latest agricultural census, “Louisiana and Mississippi together annually slaughter over a million pigs, a half million cattle and nearly one billion chickens raised for both meat and eggs.” [www.hsus.org]

This year’s “Walk for Farm Animals” not only tackles the issues of factory farming but does so in a most compelling way by focusing on the farm animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. Money donated will be used to cover the expenses for these animals.

Here are some informative website addresses about the “Walk” and the rescued chickens:

1. A report on Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue and rehabilitate the chickens from Mississippi:

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/adopt/rescue_hurricane.htm
http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/animal_protection_organizations_rescue_more_than_1000_chickens_in_wake_of_hurricane_katrina.html

2. Information on the “Walk for Farm Animals” including a sponsor form.

https://secure.vegsource.com/%7Efarmsanc/join/donate_walker.htm

I am walking for Hollander, for those chickens from Mississippi and to raise awareness about factory farming in this country. If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so by giving me cash or a check made out to “Farm Sanctuary”, or on line at the above listed website.

Thank you for your support.
Best regards,Carole

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