My friend is feeding people in New Orleans RIGHT NOW

(Cross-posted many places.)

I have that "katrina look" today. Let me tell you why.

A guy came up to the truck looking pretty worn out. I asked him if he was okay and he proceeded to tell me how he'd stepped on something hard this morning. It had a leash attached to it. 6 months ago, it was his dog.

I hadn't heard from my friend Bethany in a while, not since she graduated from my college and went off to be a VISTA volunteer for the Red Cross.  Then, the other day, I discovered her LiveJournal, and it seems she's volunteered to be in New Orleans, in the Ninth Ward, feeding people twelve hours a day.

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National Socialism With A Human Face

It is abundantly clear that today's Republican Party is no longer an advocate of conservative principals.  Sadly, Republicans are an unholy trinity of corporatism, religious fanaticism, and National Socialism.  This unholy trinity solidified into an iron triangle under President Bush. Apparently, the iron triangle is disintegrating. The Dubai port controversy illustrates that a conservative crack up is in full swing while America is in the nascent throes of nationalism.  

Republican corporatists favored DP World, a company owned by the Dubai government taking over some American terminal operations.  In fairness, numerous national security experts did not object to this transaction either.  However, the Christian Right is filled with hatred for Islam and Bush has stoked the flames of nationalism for five years.  Consequently, congressional Republicans rebelled against the Bush Administration and joined the Democrats in thwarting it.  

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Disastrous Katrina Recovery: Bush blames Congress

 With news of his approval rating reaching new lows in yet another poll, the President while visiting the devastated New Orleans, puts the blame for slow reconstruction at the feet of Congress. It is a bit like a drunk driver attending the funeral of his victim to blame the Victim's mother! The President said:"Congress heard our message about improving the levees, but they shortchanged the process by about $1.5 billion," Bush said, calling for the money to be restored. (from the Washington Post)

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Katrina Survivors Have a Right to Return Home

Katrina Survivors Have a Right to Return Home

Green Party: Hurricane Katrina information

New Orleans development should ensure Katrina survivors stable homes, not displacement, say Greens.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders joined the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign and other supporters of Katrina survivors in urging FEMA to provide viable and affordable transitional and long-term housing for people displaced by last year's hurricanes.

"FEMA has been stringing along Gulf Coast evacuees, holding the threat of homelessness over their heads," said Steve Kramer, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "We're glad that, under public pressure, FEMA has extended deadlines for the temporary provision of shelter in hotels and trailers, but what evacuees want now is to regain stability and secure housing, and to reunite with their families and communities in New Orleans and other towns in the Gulf Coast from which they were forced to flee."

Many Greens support H.R. 4197, "The Hurricane Reclamation, Recovery, Reconstruction and Relief" Act for comprehensive assistance to enable all Katrina survivors to return and rebuild their communities. The bill was introduced by all 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"Katrina survivors need protection from price-gouging when they return to rented houses and apartments, and they need a guarantee that post-hurricane development will not drive them out of their homes," said Sundiata Tellem, Co-Chair of the Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States. "We're especially alarmed at growing indications that New Orleans' African American population -- the major source of the New Orleans' unique traditions and culture -- is being excluded from plans to restore the city. And last I'd checked, many of the African- American populations of Georgia, Missisippi, and Alabama were sent to 20 states from which they surely won't have to pay to get back home."

Mayor C. Ray Nagin's 'Bring New Orleans Back' commission proposes that residents of districts most heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina will have four months to demonstrate strong support for rebuilding their neighborhoods, or be forced to sell to the government.

"Mayor Nagin's scheme would banish low-income and black residents, and turn New Orleans into a feeding trough for wealthy and chiefly white development interests," said Leenie Halbert, Green Party activist and former resident of New Orleans.

On March 14, 2006, a protest organized by the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign against Katrina evictions will take place in Washington, D.C., beginning with a press conference at 1:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building (Room #2237) and continuing with a Mardi Gras Style March for Justice at 2:00 p.m. beginning at the Capitol South Metro Station and continuing to the White House, where a rally will take place at 3:00 p.m.

Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

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Cancel Mardi Gras

Another Mardi Gras has come around, and people are out there, having a good time, drinking, partying, raising hell, and basically doing things that are associated with Mardi Gras, but in my opinion, they should have canceled the whole entire celebration until New Orleans really gets back on its feet.
   Somehow, having an event like Mardi Gras, when so many things need to be done, just doesn't make any sense to me. The greatest natural disaster in US history hit down there 6 months ago. Cleanup will take years, if not a decade, but somehow, having Mardi Gras this year, and tour buses of the devastation to boot, really is taking advantage of the utter misery that still exists.
    I know people need to let off steam, and this might be a good way for them to do so, but when Mardi Gras is over, the people from out of town will leave, and the people of New Orleans, and surrounding cities and towns, will still have the same problems as they did before.

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