The Friends of California Libre...

09 September 2005

Burn the Earth to a Cinder, Flood It and Rebuild It

Greetings, friends,
Sorry, but I've got to admit I was a little underwhelmed by the response I've had to the last screed concerning New Orleans. Some of you did offer your time and toil rather than money, and I'll try to connect you with each other appropriately. As for the rest, break out the checks and remember, if this is the response a city as beloved as New Orleans gets, don't expect much from your new "FEMA" when we get our 8.0 earthquake here in California.

I've got "issues" with the Red Cross, so I'd recommend a hefty donation to a well-organized group which will be doing some of the hard work rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Habitat for Humanity:
http://www.habitat.org/
I'm also hearing peeps about a big fundraiser for New Orleans which takes place every year, and next year doubly so; it's called MARDI GRAS and will happen on 28 February 2006 whether New Orleans is above or below water. There will be more on this soon, and the more adventurous among you might contact me regarding what could be a fun if hellish way to show your affection for the Crescent City. Real all about it here:
http://www.nola.com/mardigras/
If you want other options, my librarian friends at Radical Reference put together a contact list of ways to help:
http://radicalreference.info/katrina
And then Ms. Parra suggests you pack up the following for your local "evacuees" (although unlike my Congresswoman, Ms. Watson, I don't believe that calling someone a "refugee" is a hate crime):
THE RELIEF CENTERS NEED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS;
1-NEW underwaer and socks, all sizes
2-DIAPERS
3-baby wipes, powders and ointments
4-BABY FORMULA and plastic baby bottles
5-hand sanitizer and insect repellant
6-personal toiletries- toothbrushes and toothpaste,soap, deoderant, shampoo,brushes and combs (NO AEROSAL CANS PLEASE)
7-TOILET PAPER
8-Flashlights with batteries!
9-femine hygiene products
10-NEW clothing, blankets, sheets, pillows, pillowcases,
towels and baby bedding
11-USED clothing (mens, womens, kids,baby)
12-USED bedding and bath
USED ITEMS MUST BE LAUNDERED AND FREE OF RIPS AND STAINS. THANKS
In Los Angeles, the largest shelter for Louisianans is the DREAM CENTER, located in the old Queen of Angels hospital, easily visible from the 101 just north of downtown (Benton Way/Rampart exit). If you drop off supplies to these people you will blast straight past all the Christians into heaven.

I am glad to see that the people still in the city have not lost their sense of humor:
Stranded in New Orleans -- please send beer
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050906/
od_afp/usweatheroffbeat_050906171957
They have a dark but deep humor:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/katrina/heywood.asp
But of course, no one has a darker sense of humor than our friends at the ONION (thanks, David):

God Outdoes Terrorists Yet Again

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/40305
To tear at your emotions with a sudden mood swing, the most chilling accounts I've heard from within the broken levees:
Notes from Inside New Orleans
By Jordan Flaherty
t r u t h o u t Perspective
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090205R.shtmlDisplacement Of Historic Proportions
By David Von Drehle and Jacqueline Salmon
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090205Y.shtml
But there are good, solid reasons why New Orleans must be rebuilt:
New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
By George Friedman
STRATFOR
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090605R.shtml
While I'm collecting information, I'm sending you all this, because you should ALWAYS be able to gather water, especially if you live in California's hazard zone. Hint: your hot water heater is a valuable supply of emergency fluids. And you should ALWAYS have a bottle of bleach sitting around.

Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Information about methods for emergency disinfection of drinking water, including boiling and chemical treatment (using chlorine bleach or household iodine). Site also notes that murky or colored water should be filtered "through clean cloths or allow[ed] it to settle" before disinfecting. "Water prepared for disinfection should be stored only in clean, tightly covered, containers, not subject to corrosion." Available in English and Spanish. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Again thanks to the Radical Reference group, I can also teach you how to cook food with a pot, a piece of glass and a tire:
Solar Tire Cooker
http://www.infoshop.org/breakingglasspress/TheTireCooker.pdf
Many other countries around the globe have appreciated the scope of the disaster far better than our own government; this list of what has been offered, especially from some very poor nations, should make you think; it made me pleased to be a citizen of the world:

Diplomacy Monitor: Hurricane Katrina

"Global output of communiqu├ęs, official statements, press briefings, position papers, interview transcripts and news releases from hundreds of diplomacy-related websites in near real-time" about Hurricane Katrina. Some of the documents are not in English. From the St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida.
Of course, our bungling G can't run its own recovery effort, to say nothing of what other countries might offer us:
Offers Pour In, But the US Is Unprepared
By Joel Brinkley and Craig S. Smith
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090805B.shtml
Gee, I wonder if all the disinterest has something to do with the fact that New Orleans is a sinful, poor, mostly black city?
From Margins of Society to Center of the Tragedy
By David Gonzalez
The New York Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090205J.shtml
It certainly appears that some people, like our president's mother, feel that way:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/barbara2.asp
But Barbara Bush probably really loves blacks; she's just reacting the way any good self-righteous Texan would to see their state flooded with "poor Negroes from Louisiana":
CNN.com - Barbara Bush: Relocation 'working very well' for poor - Sep 6, 2005*
Barbara Bush: It's Good Enough for the PoorBy John Nichols
The Nation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090805J.shtml
No, for most of us, this is no joke, Tuco, it's a rope:
** Viewpoint: New Orleans crisis shames US **
The chaos that engulfed New Orleans this week has shamed and angered many Americans, says the BBC's Matt Wells.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4210674.stm >
It's another black eye that makes one wonder why we pay taxes at all to these clowns:
UN Hits Back at US in Report Saying Parts of America Are as Poor as Third WorldBy Paul Vallely
The Independent UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090805L.shtml
Not surprisingly, Michael Moore jumped right in there (thanks, Geri and Mrs. Chance):
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=183
But even the squarest media outlets have jumped on the dogpile:
CNN.com - Editorial blasts federal response - Sep 4, 2005*
One of the most famous residents of New Orleans finally bares her teeth:
Anne Rice: What does it mean to lose New Orleans?
The New York Times
Why a city we were happy to visit was slow to get help.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/09/04/opinion/edrice.php
Why all the bitterness? Is it because the boobs flew the volunteers to Atlanta to hand out propaganda on their behalf?
Frustrated: Fire Crews to Hand Out Fliers for FEMA
By Lisa Rosetta
The Salt Lake Tribune
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090705E.shtml
The one agency supposed to be there in any tragedy is STILL not on scene in the Gulf (thanks, Geri):
This might shed some light on the situation...
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/rnr/95043486.htmlWhy FEMA FailedBy Farhad Manjoo
Salon.com
Ideologically opposed to a strong federal role in disaster relief and obsessed with terrorism, the Bush administration let a once-admired agency fall apart.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090705L.shtmlDisasters Keep Coming but FEMA Phased OutBy Eric Holdeman
The Washington Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090105J.shtml
I can't switch you off without giving you SOME good news; here's one we've been hearing about since the 1970s:
Ozone Layer Decline Leveling Off, According to New Study
SpaceDaily
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/083005EB.shtml
I also thought you might be encouraged by the lovely little article I received about the city of Berlin, which I am reminded was itself nearly destroyed just 60 years ago:
http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichelin/gbr/tpl/mag4/
art20050901/htm/voyage-berlin-tourisme.htm
But it just makes me more angry; New Orleans was not destroyed in a war, nor can Katrina be blamed (as the joke went on "Conan O'Brien", with George W. Bush hissing, "Watch out, Katrina...we're coming after you!"); no, only the incompetence of every level of government can truly be blamed:
Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?
By Will Bunch
Editor & Publisher
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090105I.shtml"No One Can Say They Didn't See It Coming"By Sidney Blumenthal
Salon.com
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090105L.shtmlDespite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects
By Richard A. Serrano and Nicole Gaouette
The Los Angeles Times
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090405B.shtml
Here's an article in the National Geographic that pretty much described the entire flooding of New Orleans...a year ago (thanks, Geri):
http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/
And even more embarrassing, how similar hurricanes just blow over one of our poorest neighbors:
The Two Americas
By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090305Y.shtml
The repairs will have to be done now, because there are no more wetland barriers to stop any hurricane coming at New Orleans...what little was left is now gone:
Hurricane Destroys Last of Nature's Speed Bumps
By Julie Cart and Kenneth R. Weiss
The Los Angeles Times
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/090605EA.shtml
But Ben Stein says it's "slander" to blame global warming...the temperature of the Gulf had nothing to do with it...
Storm Turns Focus to Global Warming
By Miguel Bustillo
The Los Angeles Times
Though some scientists connect the growing severity of hurricanes to climate change, most insist that there's not enough proof.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/083005A.shtmlBrace for More Katrinas, Say Experts
Agence France Presse
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/083105EA.shtmlHurricanes growing fiercer with global warming
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/hurricanes.html
Hurricanes have grown significantly more powerful and destructive over the last three decades due in part to global warming, says an MIT professor who warns that this trend could continue.
We'll live to see it get worse:
Vicious Circle of CO2 Emissions Is Speeding Up Climate Change
By Steve Connor
The Independent UK
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/090805EA.shtml
Just don't open your trap about it:
Republicans Accused of Witch-Hunt against Climate Change Scientists
By Paul Brown
The Guardian UK
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/083005EA.shtml
Finally, another site that should help you in case of emergency...in this case, if you find yourself living in the DARK AGES!

Medieval Cookery

Recipes and resources for cooking dishes from the Middle Ages. Includes menus and photos, a period ingredients database, recommended books, a full-text search of medieval cookbooks, and related resources. Features recipes for meat and vegetable dishes, sauces, spice mixes, and desserts. From an enthusiast who has prepared medieval feasts for events.
Vive le screed!

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