Friday, October 07, 2005

Mississippi Gov. to Big Easy Katrina Evacuees: 'Get Outta Town!'

Can You Believe How Low Some Can Go?

"Some Miss. hotels tell Katrina evacuees to move
BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — Hilton Hotels, the parent company of Hampton Inn and other brands, is trying to find other rooms for the evacuees. However, the company says it warned evacuees when they checked in that their stays would be limited by room availability.

A Hampton Inn in Brookhaven, about two hours north of where Katrina struck, asked Barbara Perry of Folsom, La., to move out last week. She was living in the hotel with her parents and her three young children, and she was driving almost 90 miles a day to work.

"They told me if I didn't pick my clothes up, they were going to call the police," Perry said.

Her mother, who uses a wheelchair, and her father, who is blind, were also told to check out, but they were granted an extension after a Red Cross volunteer intervened, said Perry's mother, Betty Myers.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has asked hotel managers to let evacuees stay longer, but they aren't required to do so. Gov. Haley Barbour "has decided to let the private sector handle those issues without government intervention," said his spokesman, Pete Smith."

I suppose you could say that the former head of the Republican Party fund raising is just being true to his beliefs and ethics, eh? Which include naming his nephew to his state's commission of rebuilding Mississippi and making sure that FEMA gives a firm that he used to go to for big contributions, a huge contract for debris removal.

Gov. Barbour has installed his nephew, Henry Barbour, as executive director for the 40-member Katrina recovery commission he had appointed two weeks ago.

AshBrit, according to the Times, paid $40,000 in the first half of 2004 to Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, the Mississippi governor’s old lobbying firm, which he had founded after leaving the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. They have been given a $568 million no-bid contract by FEMA for debris removal.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Katrina and Rita Greatest Double Disaster of Decade -- Line Up Everyone; Time to Cash In!

Everyone except the dead, casualties and survivors it seems, loves a big disaster; it gives everyone something common to talk about and best of all it provides a focus for everyone's favorite solution, crisis, bias, or wannabe behavior.

The people, talk show hosts, politicians, and journalists who don't generally live in the devastated area think its the perfect time to have a discussion about what should or should not be done in the area devastated.

And there is a whole bevy of experts who want to be and sometimes actually are "go-to experts" seek out a way to sell/share their "insider knowledge" or are sought out by reporters and politicians.

Among the "experts" in an Oct. 4, 2005 NYT article by Cornelia Dean, one is quoted in a story titled "some experts say it's time to evacuate the coast (for good)" as saying: "Even the fate of New Orleans should be open to discussion, Dr. Schrag said. "Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild a city that puts it in harm's way once again and relying on technology such as higher dikes and levees seems to me a very dangerous strategy," the more so in an era of global warming. " The article was not just about New Orleans, they were talking about the Gulf Coast:

"As the Gulf Coast reels from two catastrophic storms in a month, and the Carolinas and Florida deal with damage and debris from hurricanes this year and last, even some supporters of coastal development are starting to ask a previously unthinkable question: is it time to consider retreat from the coast?"

I have this photo passed down to me from my mother of one of the main streets in Providence, RI from September, 1938 , the sign on the theater says, Boys Town with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney! You can see a row boat in the middle of the street left by the 12-15 foot storm surge that came up Narragansett Bay when the "Long Island Express" Hurricane hit Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts after ravaging Long Island.

The experts conveniently focus on the most recent storms that hit the Gulf and make little on no mention about all the coastal cities stretching from the Carolinas to Cape Cod that are subject to the same damage.

I don't hear them suggesting that all American cities on a coast subject to devastating natural disasters be abandoned. The reason you don't hear them saying that Miami, New York City, Boston or Long Island should be phased out? Too many people would say, "That's nuts!" It's also the reason they are not talking about all those cities on the West Coast which are not only all at risk from devastating earthquakes but from tsunami's as well. Not everyone can click their heels and transport themselves to Kansas.

And the talk show hosts, politicians and others talking trash about whether to rebuild the Ninth Ward of New Orleans at the same time they "feel" for the victims of Katrina?

Well it's a little bit the same as the "go-to expert wannabes" and more racism and elitism than can be swept aside under the guise of "thinking outside of the box," being cutting edge, or "Gee, we're just thinking about what we could do with a clean slate."

Why don't we try this: Let the good people of New Orleans, Biloxie, Bay St. Louis, Western Louisiana and Northeast Texas where Rita did her thing decide what they want to do with "their" cities that they and their families built over the past 150-300 years. Then let's help them do just that. Why?

They deserve our support, not meddling. Look at the facts and figure out how much fuel comes from them to power the rest of us and how much moves through their ports to bring profits all the way back to Kansas City.

If I were down there with them, I think about now I'd start thinking about suing two thirds of the nation for polluting the Gulf (it drains 2/3s of the nation's waterways) if they don't want to treat us as family.

Get real folks or go back to numbing your mind watching fake reality shows and living their lives instead of those in New Orleans or Biloxi.

Go here to see that most of the big storms hit the East Coast and not the Gulf.