Katrina: Two Years Later

This week marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, an anniversary we’d be wise to commemorate.  If history is all about lessons learned, then the complete breakdown of local, state, and federal government – the complete inability of the world’s wealthiest nation to rescue its own citizens in a disaster that had been well anticipated – should provide us with the best possible classroom for future change.

Two years later, has anything substantial changed?  Or are we back to where we started, with nothing but a wrecked coast and a few thousand displaced lives to show for it?

First, let’s remember where we’re coming from:

There are so many people online whose lives were touched by Katrina, and it’s worth checking them out.  Last year at dailykos, wmtriallawyer started a Katrina blog project that allowed a lot of people to discuss the ways they were affected.  There’s also no shortage of survivor stories here, as well as general commentary and a useful timeline of events.

Some of these diaries are among the best you’ll ever read on that site, especially two by a user who was there throughout the storm, luckydog: They Are Not Coming and Beenie Drowned in Her House.

I was away at grad school when Katrina hit land, and all in all I was extremely fortunate.  There was plenty of loss of property, and so many memories that can never be regained, but no close relatives or friends died.

Two years later:

– My parents and all three of my surviving grandparents have relocated out of state.  Other family members have relocated within the state, and only three or four have rebuilt in the same place;
– Not one of my friends has moved back into the same house; only a small handful are even staying in the city;
– My brother was bounced from college to college, his departments closed, and his records lost or misplaced.

As I said, we were extremely extremely lucky.  Two of my grandparents didn’t want to evacuate: had we let them decide, they’d have joined the list of dead when the floodwaters topped their roof in Chalmette.

Multiply this kind of disorientation by thousands, throw in plenty of lost friends and family members, and it should be no surprise that, while there has been improvement all along the Gulf Coast, the situation is still much slower and in more need of attention than you’d expect given the rare news coverage. 

A handful of dailykos diarists have refused to let this story sink.  Ana Maria writes constantly about the state of the Coast and the twisted politics of FEMA. Transplanted Texan has published a bunch of diaries here, and also blogs about Katrina recovery at his own siteNightprowlkitty bangs the NOLA drum regularly.  Crashing Vor has followed the broken bureaucracy as it’s found time to screw over local homeowners who want to rebuild.  And there is no shortage of bloggers from the Gulf Coast who write regularly about their experiences there.

Yearlykos had an interesting but poorly-attended panel on assessing the situation post-K, particularly in New Orleans.  The themes were what you’d expect: twisted politics, fraud, race and class.  lasix 12.5mg Plus ├ža change

So this week, please take some time to remember that there are places down South that would still appreciate the extra attention.  We have a Federal Government that screwed up royally and still hasn’t found time to fix its broken arms.  We have state and local governments that proved (and continue to prove) themselves incompetent, and they could use the extra push to do the right thing – fixing levees, cleaning out corruption, and taking control of the goddamned situation.

Pay extra attention to Katrina diaries you may see this week, and check out some of the local blogs, or even nola.com. Or find a way to support a blogger who’s running for office there

Things ARE getting better.  But that’s a relative statement, and you can still drive through abandoned, untouched chunks of St. Bernard Parish and wonder that this sort of thing happens in this country. 

( clomid drug dosage abbreviations Crossposted with minor edits at dailykos.)

Carry on my wayward sonnets + Launch Date

Howdy Y’all!

Between spotty access and Real (ha!) World commitments I will may not be around NEARLY as much as I would like until I get to Todos Santos and get my satellite rehooked.

My departure has been moved back a bit, as well. It looks like the soonest we will be able to launch is around the sixth of Sept.

But it looks like you are all having fun and lord knows you don’t need me to amuse you, so as the title says, carry on!

I am working on the FAQ and moderation thing and since the consensus seemed to be ….who cares/do what you want, you are on the right track I will just go for it and folks an mount their concerns after and we will address them as we progress.

I hereby authorize all concerned to start dropping hints and rumors and rumors of the existence and imminent launch of a new and exciting site.

WITHOUT giving out the URL on penalty of highly inappropriate and prolonged tickling.

Other than that….this thread will be a good place for folks to post suggestions of what the site still needs before we open. I still haven’t heard from OPOL re graphics so we can fine tune our look. I will mail him now and put the screws to him!

So…what is still wrong with the site and what else do we need to address before launch?

Reworked poem (thanks cronie!)

i would leave …today
and walk straight through tomorrow
if only i knew
that i’d find

i remember thinking…
as we watched the
fire flies fading
like falling embers into the night
i should kiss you
in this smoldering light

in the morning…
memory brings the garden into bloom
i still smell days, just before rain
and hear the thud and splat
of water, gathering in the bird bath
and making mud of our path

the afternoon and the sun
fall through the bedroom window
all warm and yellow,
with a warmed breeze blowing over us
… those few perfect moments of rest
when there is no need for it…

these things, and a hundred more
make me pull open the door
and walk away from today
through tomorrow
and further

to find you…………………


now what a place… Cronie gave me a few ideas and i’d been mauling this piece because there was something not right… it sounded okay out loud, but didn’t read the same

for me… it’s exciting to have the balls to just hit the post on this thing and then to work it to a point that even i like it

I need help.

I am spending far too much time at the train wreck that is this site.

It’s like rubbernecking an accident.

It brings the ill-mannered adolescent in me to the surface.

Go below the surface.

Might this be a good thing?

Have I finally found a place where I can vent my antisocial tendencies?

Yes, I am behaving disgracefully there.

Except to the extent that I am trying to get one user in particular to come to terms with the fact that she is in love with me.

I realize it’s her problem and not mine, but I feel compelled, somehow, to assist.

Anyway, I may have to block that site from my computer, because I fear it is unhealthy.

And I already smoke a pack a day,

and drink 72 to 80 ounces of beer in that same time period.
I think that’s unhealthy enough.
Don’t you?

[poll id=”



Here’s what I don’t get

That is a line I constantly have to squelch. Most recently it threatens to erupt in a diary I may or may not finish about a little beef I have with the US Fish & Wildlife Service as exemplified in a recent report of theirs.

But it happens all the time. Pretty much nonstop. Think Andy Rooney on 60 minutes. Some things just incredibly irritating, and some I really don’t understand at all.

Maybe a regular feature? I feel this way at least once a week about something or other. Surely others do as well.

And here’s another thing: maybe a “new resources column” about the new or newly discovered. Like empivot.com, the new green youtube-type clearinghouse.

Maybe best left to be irregular columns. I kind of like the idea of a branded feature that has no schedule.

Do you get it?

Interrobang ?!?…….

Shake Your Blues Away

Woke up late this morning,
A storm was really rolling,
Frogs and dogs were raining from the sky…

Everything seems awkward to me,
Nothing is as it should be,
If this keeps on I’m sure I won’t get by…

But then I close my eyes and try to smile…
I know things are bad and getting worse….
But after all this I can rest a while..

And then I’ll party, party!
Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,

Shake your tail and you can..

Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,

Shake your blues away!!!
(ha ha ha…)

(shin’s voice) Yo! Reggae vacation mon!

This party’s shakin’ and it ain’t just shakin’ here,
I see that smile grinin’ ear to ear,
Sing this song and you should really sing it dear,
Just sing along with US!

Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,
Party, party, join us, join us,

Shake your tail and you can..


Want to see something scary?

Check out this very major piece of banking news that is currently flying under the radar, for the most part:

Fed Bends Rules to Help Two Big Banks


NEW YORK (Fortune) — In a clear sign that the credit crunch is still affecting the nation’s largest financial institutions, the Federal Reserve agreed this week to bend key banking regulations to help out Citigroup (Charts, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (Charts, Fortune 500), according to documents posted Friday on the Fed’s web site.

The Aug. 20 letters from the Fed to Citigroup and Bank of America state that the Fed, which regulates large parts of the U.S. financial system, has agreed to exempt both banks from rules that effectively limit the amount of lending that their federally-insured banks can do with their brokerage affiliates. The exemption, which is temporary, means, for example, that Citigroup’s Citibank entity can substantially increase funding to Citigroup Global Markets, its brokerage subsidiary. Citigroup and Bank of America requested the exemptions, according to the letters, to provide liquidity to those holding mortgage loans, mortgage-backed securities, and other securities.

Summary: In contravention of the current rules, the Fed is letting two ginormous banks lend a total of up to prednisone 500 20mg $50 billion to their brokerage subsidiaries.

For some analysis on what this might mean, see this thread:

Ticker Forum – Oh oh – Banks in MAJOR trouble

Or from the left, if you prefer:

Democratic Underground – Fed Bends Rules

Serious talk of major panic and financial disruptions… Bank runs and government seizures even… Or at the least, dozens of billions of dollars in handouts to some of the ultra-rich  investors who might otherwise become just a little less rich over the next few months.

Personally, I don’t know enough about banking and finance to say whether this is basically a nonevent economically, or the beginning of the next depression.

But one thing this tells us for sure: The Fed is absolutely, 100% in the pockets of the richest folks in the world — all at the expense of the taxpayers.  Maybe that’s not huge news, exactly, but at this particular juncture in our economy, it is quite disturbing.

Probably worth contacting your congressperson about, at the very least.

Some thoughts

thinking about blogging the future… and just decided to throw some stuff out

blogging the future tense
blogging the fourth wall
breaking the fourth wall
blogging the salon
thread bare
blogging the navel
blogging the gate
extreme blogging

i don’t know why i’m doing this because, while i LOVE titles, i am not good at them (or headlines)

but i love when two or three words can knock me on my ass

some observations:

why move out of dKos or other blogs? philosophy, sure… but now so many people, so many diaries there… how do we get heard

so much NOISE

can this blog be a good listener?

how do we acknowledge…

how do we let people know they’ve been heard…

buhdy is a master at creating a place within his writing, his diaries where people feel heard… acknowledged… and while they like what he has to say, the way he does it leaves room for others to react… comment

i don’t know if i’m expressing it right… or even if i’m the right track…

dKos… love that place, but it feels not just crowded (it was that way when i got there) but there’s just so much noise and it’s too easy to get lost there these days…

anyway… just thinking about intimacy and creating a space

i’m very good at it in real life… understanding relationships of color, pieces of furniture, lighting the room…seeing it in 360o degrees and how each thing flows to the next… i infuse all of my rooms with energy of plants and books and whimisical things… everything is a vignette, a story, but the room flows and fits together and the wood doesn’t match… not much does, and yet it all fits

and that can be created in the space of the mind as well

can we be comfortable, cozy AND edgy, exciting, and unexpected?

okay… that’s it…

I think this bear’s repeating.

cheap brand viagra from canada pharmacy The Dawn of the Information Age and DailyKos
by pinche tejano

Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 12:01:28 PM PST

I remember when I first came by here, it was off a link from Buzzflash!, which is still in my daily news rotation. Back then; I made the daily rounds of everything from Little Green Footballs to Crooks and Liars and the always the amusing Drudgereport. See, I plan to be a historical writer when I get long in the tooth, and I was looking for something, I just did not know what it was yet. I could see a subset of the Internet evolving into something, put since it did not exist yet, I could not put my finger on it. Then I came across DailyKos.

Arriving just before the post-Katrina user explosion, I gladly signed up and was assigned user 60118, and I recently heard DKos was about to break 100,000, which probably has happened during the epic CT-Senate week. It is said week that I was waiting for, because I have a good eye for picking horses, and I knew this is where Dkos was headed. Remember this day, this week my friends, because you, as community, have finally got your foot in the gate. Always knew you would. You, as a community, have combined all the right parts to make something special.

And it is a you, a we, not a he, which is why I am fascinated by this site. The mere fact that Kos has not cashed in on what he has created speaks volumes of the man. It is his sense that this is a community that sets it apart from other sites, blogs and online media outlets, which tend to breakdown into tryouts to become the next great pundit. It is his hands off approach that has let it achieved something I believe will be of historical significance. This is the first fully functional wiki/pagerank network-based community, which just happens to be geared toward politics.

The concept of a wiki here is not that we edit, delete or modify each other’s works, but actually each other’s concepts and ideas. And by the use of recommends and troll ratings, a PageRank for the importance of the information has been allowed to evolve and filter up or down data and issues according to central meme of the community. Combine these two things together, and you have one of the first truly functional public works of Information Age.

Since the Information Age has brought about instantaneous and disconnected communication to the fingertips of the American people, we now find ourselves at a real tipping point. Twenty years ago, we would not be here. Arguments can be made that even 5 years ago this would not have been possible. Roadblocks to the rational truth that use to stand for years under the antique model of network television and newspapers are now broken-down in the matter of hours, as HackerGate stunningly showed yesterday.

The average person now has countless sources at their disposals, and countless others in constant communication working with them to bring once hidden hands with hidden plans into the glaring light of justice and accountability. The search engine, though still just a baby, will be held in the same regard we hold the development of the printing press today. It basically unclogged a huge bottleneck in the flow of information and ideas, allowing them to spread all over the world at the instant they are requested.

Vast distances of both time and geography have also been solved, allowing DKos to become a town hall of the masses for the masses, where everyone has a voice, even if it is drowned out in dissent. And considering we are just in the dawn of the Information Age, there is no telling where the wiki/pagerank network-based communities will take us as technology advances. I, for one, am extremely excited.

As the Information Age seeps through the strata of societies and civilizations, other wiki/pagerank network-based communities will arise, and empower that group by the fashioning their memes through repeated discussions and counter-discussions. Hammering away, through troll ratings, recommended diaries, pie fights and keen eyes for stories slipping down the memory hole, DKos will continue to act a filter for the massive amount of information available to the average person, each voice.dairy helping to mold the overall shape of the Dkos community. 

I knew this was coming, I am glad it is here. But remember, I believe DKos is like a data shark, it most keep moving forward or it will die. Your foot is in the gate, now throw the locks and flood the halls and knock down the ivory towers, as a community. Always as community, which uses the gifts of the information age to pull the best and brightest of America together for the common goal of bringing democracy back to the people, for the people, by the people.

This is what makes the mainstream media and gatekeepers so anxious, even though they do not know why yet. Because with a wiki/pagerank network-based community, we gather and assimilate information together, deciding what the real issues and constructs are, how we should move forward with our collective idea, and they will never again be allowed to spoon feed us the party line. Because now the people can act as a we.

Guard against schadenfreude, and especially again laurel resting. And never, ever, forever-ever become a one-issue pony. That would break the model, which broke the mold.

I, and other historical writers, are watching and waiting.

Cross-published in my book, Life in the Americas at the Turn of the Millennium, set to be published in 2040.

peeders new site is up!

Based on a total Wild West NO moderator, flame wars encouraged policy.

FLH, hrh…and all your favs!

Should be fun …and instructional.

I have a diary up!
Can’t we all get along?

Political Flesh Feast

peeders new site is up!

Based on a total Wild West NO moderator, flame wars encouraged policy.

FLH, hrh…and all your favs!

Should be fun …and instructional.

I have a diary up!

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