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  1. #61
    Juan C Ayllon

    Is Jazz Guitarist Steve Masakowski Okay?

    Steve Masakowski Link


    I featured New Orleans jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski in a jazz set I DJ'ed at a singles event last week and was wondering, is he okay?

    I was blown away by him about 10 years ago, listening to a song of his on NPR, which prompted me to pick up a disk of his. Every now and again, I pull it out and play it.

    If anyone knows, please let me know.


    Juan C. Ayllon

  2. #62
    Roberto Aqui

    Interesting twist

    In an interesting twist to the Katrina refugee saga, there have been no takers at the Astrodome for up to 4000 to be relocated to two Carnival luxury liners anchored off Galveston.

    Makes me want to straggle down to the Astrodome and volunteer for ship duty. Maybe it's like offering folks cake when all they've ever known is crackers. There has to be hundreds of sociological and pyschological PhD dissertations in there somewhere.

  3. #63
    Juan C Ayllon

    Kudos to Relief Workers!

    Hey Roberto,

    A belated congrats on your part in the relief effort! You are da man!

    By the way, I just received the following from our assistant pastor, Randy Tate, regarding some efforts being made in a partnership of my church--Harvest Bible Chapel-Vernon Hills--and Harvest Bible Chapel-Rolling Meadows.

    The message is authored by James Mikolajczyk, the high school youth pastor at HBCLZ, whose ministry is called PIER 419. If nothing else, it's an interesting read.

    Hello Team,

    This update is primarily focused on updating the PIER 419 crew, but I have attached others onto it as well, so that you can hear an account of what took place over the past week.

    First off, praise God for the efforts and results of many that can only be described as successful. You were all so integral in making this relief effort happen. Thank you all for being people of action. Observing a need, seeing how you can step up to help, and then doing it... QUICKLY!!! Thank you - and the people of Mendenhall, Mississippi thank you too.

    Here is a quick summary of the past week. I want to stress that the recap as I experienced things. If you talk to others that were involved, you will hear different experiences. From HBCLZ we had Dirk Recker, Alex Recker, Phil Gomez, Ryan Koehl, Kris Hammond, and myself. You will be able to hear others stories on Wednesday night at youth group.

    Wednesday -

    People realized that we needed to do something.

    Thursday -

    Emails went out starting many groups of people into action. Some of these groups were HBC Lake Zurich, HBC Rolling Meadows, The FreeCycle group, Mundelein High School, and many corporations including: Fisher, Dominick's, Weekenders, and most likely others that I personally am not aware of. Thank you all for acting! Besides the email and phone calls going to the masses, there was a conference call Thursday night that built the skeleton of a very successful plan - all thanks to God.

    Friday -

    Collection day. Things were happening big time. The garage of the HBCLZ parsonage filled up quickly. First a one-car garage space, then growing to include donations in the second and third car spaces. At Mundelein High School, there was an announcement on Friday morning telling students to bring clothing and food items to the game that evening. It seemed that almost every other person coming into the stadium had a bag or case of water to donate. I also want to thank Ben Price and Ryan Koehl for coming over to help shuttle the donations to the truck pick-up site. We filled the back of a truck bed and the inside cab area and the entire inside of a Malibu Maxx - TWICE. Way to go Mundelein!!! Thank you for stepping up when there was a need. At HBCRM they were collecting items in there gym, and the bags collected covered the entire gym floor. Praise God alone!

    Saturday -

    Thank you to everyone that showed up at 7AM to load the trucks. I would like to personally thank the Men's prayer group that was vital in the timely loading of the HBCLZ truck. There were a number of moments on the trip where things could have gone right or wrong. And glory be to God, that in ALL of those moments, the Lord allowed things to go right.

    One that stood out to me was when I was at the Dominick's in Vernon Hills on Saturday morning to collect bread and baked goods that the GM had said would be laid out. Apparently the communication of this had not been transferred, and the assistant GM on duty had no idea I was coming. When I thought we would be without this donation, she stepped up and said they would just have to come up with something. She grabbed a cart, and gave one to me, and first went down the packed bread aisle tossing hamburger buns and loaves of bread into our carts. She then went over and cleaned out there bakery section as well. I left Dominick's with three-and-a-half carts of bread goods.

    We left to Mendenhall with two Penske 22-foot trucks, a Dodge Intrepid, a Honda Odyssey, a Fort Taurus, and a Nissan SUV pulling a trailer. The trip down was safe and uneventful until we stopped in Grenada, Mississippi to fill up our vehicles with gas, and also the empty gas canisters we were bringing down so the ministry would have gasoline. When we pulled off, we quickly found out that they were out of gasoline at the station we stopped at. After talking to people we heard of some places that might have gas, so the team split up heading to different locations. This was the first real experience we had with the devastation. Everyone pulling into the stations had a story. They pulled in with their belongings with them - tables, clothes, TV's, lamps, etc... We all talked to different people. I talked to a girl who had left Biloxi and a couple that had left New Orleans. Neither thought there homes were still in tact, flooding had forced both of them out. Pray for them and people like them.

    One thing that was both awesome and humbling was as we were driving down, our little caravan was driving amongst military convoys also headed down to help in the relief. The symbolism was not lost on us, as we were both going down to support our fellow Americans.

    Praise God we found the gas we needed - so Team Penske hit the road again.

    Sunday -

    We arrived in Mendenhall at 1:30ish on Sunday AM. In the pitch black of the country we began unloading our trucks.

    A huge props to God is due. The visitors center (where we sorted the food, prepared the food, and stayed) had the power turned on at 5 PM on Saturday afternoon. They are apparently on the same system as the hospital, so they were first to get back the lights. PRAISE GOD!!! We were able to function dramatically more effectively and efficiently than if we had no lights and power.

    We sorted all of the donations into classified piles in the visitor center - clothes, charcoal and grills, fruit drinks, water, food, baked goods, generators, flashlights, paper goods, personal hygiene items, diapers, and other baby needs. We unloaded until shortly after 4AM, and then everyone crashed.

    One story that must be told, is about when we woke up at 9AM. One of the first things that needed to be done was heading to Walmart to get a few items to help in the preparation for our "picnic". They had just reopened their doors, and we needed a few items. Two guys from our team went to Walmart as the rest worked on things in the visitor center. When our guys got to Walmart they were greeted with a line of people waiting to get in. They were not waiting because they weren't open, they were waiting because only 20 people were allowed in the store at a time, so there was no crazy rush or anything. Once we got in, we soon realized that they had no produce, no nothing. We in fact had more food and supplies with us, then the entire Walmart had. God was taking care of His people - and you helped with that. It was humbling for us to be a part of.

    Those that had stayed behind began sorting the food into organized groups. There were rooms with bunk beds in them intended for volunteers to sleep on. We took two of those rooms and transferred them into supply rooms. We took the mattresses off, and made each bed the sight to put a food group. We had beds set up for vegetables, tuna, soup, Spaghetti-O's, fruit, apple sauce, pasta, chips, cereal, snacks, crackers, chips, etc...

    In the kitchen, the preparation of the beef, rice, bread, etc... was taking place.

    We had barely finished sorting and preparing when people began showing up. We put plates of food together for everyone to enjoy. We then took big bags and started cranking up the assembly line. Every bag deferred slightly as we had different people putting them together. Each bag had approximately 1 can of tuna, 1 can of either Spam or Chicken, 1 can of Spaghetti-O's, 2 cans of soup, 2 cans of vegetables, 2 cans of fruit, a container of apple sauce, a box of Mac and Cheese, a box of cereal or crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers, soap and hygiene items, paper towels, 4 rolls of toilet paper, juice boxes, and a loaf of bread. In addition, every family received a case of bottled water. In addition, we had forms they could fill out for special needs that included: diapers, wipes, grills, charcoal, flashlights, etc...

    I want to thank the Lord that this happened in such an organized way. We were not "trained" how to do this, when people started showing up, everyone took a task and ran with it. To the observer I would guess it seemed like we had planned this for weeks, but it just came together. Thanks be to God.

    We had approximately 440 sheets of paper handed in with family registrations and special needs. This means at least 440 bags full of food and cases of bottled water were handed out. I know for a fact, that we also helped people that did not turn in papers, so my estimate is around 500 FAMILIES were helped out, impacting many more individual lives than that. All of this was passed out by approximately 5PM. Those hours flew by so fast, and I want to thanks everyone that was involved. They did not stop moving at all the entire time. You are an inspiration of what can be done when you have the love of the Lord within you.

    After the rush was over, we were all exhausted, but satisfied. We all had the opportunity to talk to different people during the time of handing out supplies, and we shared these stories with each other. One that stood out was of a woman who received diapers in addition to the other things. She was crying, as her gratefulness could not be contained. She had taken in a mother and 8 children from New Orleans, and didn't know how she was going to feed them. Because of all of your donations, she knew how she would be able to help them today.

    We walked around looking at some of what the Hurricane had done to the community. While we didn't see images like the ones you are seeing on TV, it was sad seeing a community torn up. We saw trees uprooted and lying in and on homes. Power lines were down everywhere. While the destruction wasn't the worst experienced of the entire area, the people that we were helping are some of the poorest in Mississippi. They would need our support even without the Hurricane, but now people are coming from Hattiesburg, Biloxi and New Orleans for help.

    Monday -

    We departed at about 10AM and returned home at midnight on Monday evening.

    We will be gathering together this Wednesday night from 7:00 - 8:30 for everyone to share pictures and stories of their experience. Please invite everyone you think would be interested in hearing what happened and what still needs to happen.

    You may have noticed that I didn't really mention the clothes that was donated. There are people sorting them this week, and they will be given out in the near future. The food and water was of greatest priority right now, but everything will be handed out in the near future. There are people coming from Hattiesburg, Biloxi and New Orleans for help and even today they are passing out clothing. The region needs more help than just a one-time visit. There are plans being made to put together a plan of relief efforts. We will communicate this plan to you as soon as it is concrete.

    Please come out this week to HBCLZ's high school ministry PIER 419 from 7:00-8:30 PM as we will be sharing an update, and also talking about what we need to do in the future. Please be praying for everyone involved in meetings the needs of our fellow Americans. Everyone that was a part of just this one relief effort is exhausted. It will take a team to best serve our brothers and sisters. Especially pray for Darel Thigpen, the man heading up the charge right there in Mendenhall, Mississippi. On top of his normal responsibly as President of Mendenhall Ministries, he has become the point person for relief efforts in the community.

    There will be other trips of relief in the future, please come out to find out what WE need to do now.

    God bless you all,

    James Mikolajczyk

    for the PIER 419 Team

  4. #64

    regardless of political affiliation . . .

    I'm from New Orleans. My family and I got out the Tuesday after Katrina hit. My home is completly ruined.

    I will tell you this, Bush could be a Republican, a Democrat, or a fucking Federalist . . .it really doesn't matter. The way in which this man handled this situation is criminal. The head of FEMA should head to jail. I will be the first to say that our local leaders and population in general never thought the big one would come, but the levees are the responsibily of the ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. The New Orleans branch has seen their budget slashed for years, and Bush cut it a lot. Nevermind the 3 days of response it took for some feds to drop some food on dry land. What the hell has this country come to? This isn't political, this is a human issue of life and death and what we got was complete apathy for days. All the while our best National Guardsmen are in a foreign country.

    I am sickened and will be for a long time.

    -Andrew F.

  5. #65
    Juan C Ayllon

    I'm Sorry, Andrew...

    Hey Andrew,

    That really stinks. I'm sorry that you had to suffer so much. Regardless of political affiliation, as you said, something's wrong with the picture.

    I hope that you can find comfort and solace in your own time and your own way.

    God bless,


  6. #66

    Re: I'm Sorry, Andrew...

    Andrew- I am happy that you and your family were
    able to get out, but I am saddened by the fact that
    your home is ruined. It does seem that there was
    massive incompetence among some leaders on the
    local, state, and federal levels that led to this
    massive debacle.

    On both the left and right of the political spectrum,
    it looks like there are some people trying to make
    political hay of this tragedy. Although I have some
    strong political views, I don't care where the chips
    fall. We MUST get rid of the incompetent people
    or many more people are going to die needlessly!

    We also have to enact a constitutional amendment
    saying that the President of the United States
    can intervene immediately in case of potential
    disasters like this. After all, the President of the
    United States has a tremendous amount of resources
    under his command that were needed quickly.
    The heck with states rights and the federal system
    of government when there are situations that the
    one caused by Hurricane Katrina. After all, people's
    lives are at stake in such situations!

    In regards to building better levy system in the
    New Orleans area, this should have been done a
    long time ago! But I don't think that there are
    ANY guarantees that an improved system could
    hold up in a level four or five hurricane. In other
    words, it is imperative to get the people get out of
    such a vulnerable area such as New Orleans
    before such a storm strikes the area.

    What angered me the most was the fact that
    there wasn't every effort made to get all of the
    people out of the New Orleans BEFORE the
    hurricane came through. Another factor leading
    to this debacle is that there wasn't an effort to
    ship in law enforcement officers (highway patrol,
    officers from other cities), troops (National Guard,
    Federal, etc.), and enough supplies (food, water,
    portable toilets, diapers, medicine, cots, blankets,
    toilet paper, baby formula, tents, etc.) to the
    Superdome and the Convention Center before the
    storm. There are so many other things that went
    wrong that I am unable to list them all.

    Have no fear! There is going to be a new and
    better New Orleans. It is such an important
    city and port.

    - Chuck Johnston

  7. #67

    Re: I'm Sorry, Andrew...

    I too am very sorry about the loss that you have suffered...I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through, but my family have you in there prayers.

    If someone doesn't want to read a rant about the complete ineptitude of this current republican ran government...then it would be a good idea to stop reading right now! As to the national government...well I continue to hear republicans say that now is not the time to point fingers, which of course they are going to say that, they have fucked up yet again, only this time it has been a **** up of gigantic purportions and the entire country has witnessed it and there is nothing that they can do to hide this.

    As to the not pointing fingers, well I disagree immensly. What do we do, wait for another disaster to hit and have the same bunch of inept idiots do nothing. It's a fucking shame and I would be saying the same thing if it was the democrats that were in charge, but somehow, I just don't think democrats would have just around because unlike the white, rich contincuency that makes up the Bush base, democrats have always been for the poor and sorry, but the republicans have always been for the rich...that's not accusations, or theory...it's fact.

    Being that there is not really much that I can do to help those in New Orleans, except donate clothes, food and money, then it is people like me and a hell of a lot more that should be raising hell about how pathetic this current government really is.

    There is something that continues to go on and honestly there should be laws against it and that is the president having the power to just name whoever in the hell he wants into positions that those named into sure as hell are not qualified for and the axe should start dropping on all of these inept fucking morons like Michael Brown, who should never have been in the position that he has to start with, I mean hell, the guy was a fucking horse chaplin, and he couldn't even do that job, but I forgot, Brown is a pal of Bush, which unfortunately most of the very important government positions are filled by Bush cronies.

    After 9/11 I thought Bush did a good job in lifting the spirits of the people of this country and I went so far as to say that I would gladly vote for him, that is if he proves that he can do good for the country in more ways than just lifting spirits...well all I can say about that is that I voted for John Kerry.

    What I have watched the last week has made me sick! The way that the people in New Orleans and other damaged areas have been treated, or no I take that back, the lack of treatment that they have recieved is absolutely appauling and like I said earlier...if it had been democrats that dropped the ball then I would be saying the same damn thing, but it wasn't the democrats and now those in control of the government want to put all of the blame on the city and state of Louisiana saying bullshit like, well they didn't ask for the help...no shit, they couldn't ask for help because they had no communications and the people of New Orleans that were able to function are super-human in my eyes because these people went about doing all that they could amist insurmountable numbers and odds with no help from the government and now the government wants to lay the blame on those people...hell most of those people lost everything they had too, but they still did what they could because they certainly did not get the help from the government, which is completely run by republicans! Does the country need any more proof to see that republicans, or at least the republicans that are running the country now, or are not running the country are too selfish to run a country based on freedom?

    I for one certainly hope that political gain does happen in the wake of this tragedy because this country will not survive if the republicans take congress this next time, but I really think that this tragedy has opened the eyes of those that spoke of in my last thread, those that don't know any better, it's just a damn shame that it has taken a tragedy like the Gulf Coast for people to see how inept those in control of the government really are!

  8. #68

    Re: I'm Sorry, Andrew...

    Thank you all for your support. It is a very frustrating situation. I agree that both people on the left and right have been taking advantage of a horrible disaster. This is about responding to people in need. I am very fortunate to have gotten out. Prayers and thoughts need to go to the ones who are stuck in shelters and/or need medical attention.

    All the best,


  9. #69


    Music Legend 'Fats' Domino Coping With Katrina
    By Eli Saslow
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, September 2, 2005; 4:39 PM

    BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 2 -- New Orleans music legend Antoine "Fats" Domino
    survived Hurricane Katrina, but he's still unsure, he said Friday, about how
    he will survive its aftermath.

    Domino spent the last three nights sleeping on a couch in the two-bedroom,
    Baton Rouge apartment of Louisiana State starting quarterback JaMarcus
    Russell, a distant family friend. Domino left that apartment Friday
    afternoon with his wife, two of his daughters and a son-in-law. He had no
    idea, he said, where he would go next.

    "We've lost everything," Domino said. "I don't know what we're going to do."

    Domino and his family waited out the storm on the third floor of his
    apartment in New Orleans, he said. The water level rose to about 15 feet,
    threatening the stability of the third floor. Rescue workers saved Domino,
    77, late Monday night, taking him out of the city by boat.

    They transported him to a shelter in Baton Rouge, where Domino and his
    family received anti-bacterial shots. After two hours at the shelter, Domino
    called Russell, who came to pick him up.

    "Without JaMarcus, it would have been even worse," Domino said. "We can't
    thank him enough for letting us stay.

    "I'm worried about all the people in New Orleans. Tell them I love them, and
    I wish I was home with them. I hope we'll see them soon," Domino said.

    Russell has had more than 15 people stay in his off-campus apartment since
    the hurricane hit, he said. When Domino arrived, Russell ran out to Wal-Mart
    to buy food and water. He went to a drug store, he said, to fill
    prescriptions at 3 a.m.

    The sophomore quarterback -- who had met Domino only once before, through
    his girlfriend -- said he had not slept for two days. He needed to get a
    hydrating IV during Thursday's practice of the LSU football team. The team's
    game against North Texas scheduled for Saturday has been canceled.

    "Fats just stayed at my apartment, rested, watched the news," Russell said.
    "I've had people sleeping on the floor, the couch, everywhere. It's been
    pretty crazy."

    Those closest to Domino had feared the R&B legend might not be okay.

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, whose hit singles include "Blueberry Hill"
    and "Ain't That a Shame," did not contact anybody in the three days after
    the hurricane. His agent, Al Embry, reported him missing earlier this week,
    and concern about his fate grew until his daughter, Karen Domino White, said
    Thursday that she had recognized her father in a picture taken Monday by the
    New Orleans Times-Picayune. Domino wore jeans and a blue striped shirt, she

    He was wearing the same outfit when he left Baton Rouge Friday afternoon.

  10. #70

    Re: Andrew


    You & your family truly have my condolences. I can't even begin to imagine what you've had to go through. You & you're family are in my thoughts.



  11. #71

    Re: unbelievable!!!

    president bush's mother said monday on american public media radio that hurricane katrina evacuees who " were under privaleged anyway" were faring better at a houston relocation site than they were before the storm hit.

    "and so many of the people in the arena here, you know were under privaleged anyway," she said, "so this is working very well for them."

    white house officials did not respond to calls for comment.

  12. #72
    Juan C Ayllon

    Working Out Very Well for Them?


    I'm sure she meant well, but if that's truly what she said, what a horrible mistake!


    Juan C. Ayllon

  13. #73

    Re: unbelievable!!!

    I'm not surprise by anything that woman say anymore

    Frank B.

  14. #74

    Re: unbelievable!!!

    it just shows how terribly skewed and out of touch the american "ruling class" is with the public....

  15. #75


    FEMA Chief Waited Until After Storm Hit to Ask for Help

    Michael Brown's memo proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within seven days.

    WASHINGTON (Sept. 7) - The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security workers to support rescuers in the region - and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.

    Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among duties of these employees was to "convey a positive image" about the government's response for victims.

    Before then, FEMA had positioned smaller rescue and communications teams across the Gulf Coast. But officials acknowledged Tuesday the first department-wide appeal for help came only as the storm raged.

    Brown's memo to Chertoff described Katrina as "this near catastrophic event" but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, "Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities."

    The initial responses of the government and Brown came under escalating criticism as the breadth of destruction and death grew. President Bush and Congress on Tuesday pledged separate investigations into the federal response to Katrina. "Governments at all levels failed," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

    Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said Brown had positioned front-line rescue teams and Coast Guard helicopters before the storm. Brown's memo on Aug. 29 aimed to assemble the necessary federal work force to support the rescues, establish communications and coordinate with victims and community groups, Knocke said.

    Instead of rescuing people or recovering bodies, these employees would

    "There will be plenty of time to assess what worked and what didn't work," Knocke said. "Clearly there will be time for blame to be assigned and to learn from some of the successful efforts."

    Brown's memo told employees that among their duties, they would be expected to "convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public."

    "FEMA response and recovery operations are a top priority of the department and as we know, one of yours," Brown wrote Chertoff. He proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security Department employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within seven days.

    Knocke said the 48-hour period suggested for the Homeland employees was to ensure they had adequate training. "They were training to help the life-savers," Knocke said.

    Employees required a supervisor's approval and at least 24 hours of disaster training in Maryland, Florida or Georgia. "You must be physically able to work in a disaster area without refrigeration for medications and have the ability to work in the outdoors all day," Brown wrote.

    The same day Brown wrote Chertoff, Brown also urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments. Brown said it was vital to coordinate fire and rescue efforts.

    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said Tuesday that Brown should step down.

    After a senators-only briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other Cabinet members, Sen. Charles E. Schumer said lawmakers weren't getting their questions answered.

    "What people up there want to know, Democrats and Republicans, is what is the challenge ahead, how are you handling that and what did you do wrong in the past," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

    Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said the administration is "getting a bad rap" for the emergency response. "People have to understand this is a big, big problem."

    Meanwhile, the airline industry said the government's request for help evacuating storm victims didn't come until late Thursday afternoon. The president of the Air Transport Association, James May, said the Homeland Security Department called then to ask if the group could participate in an airlift for refugees.

  16. #76
    Roberto Aqui

    Re: unbelievable!!!

    Well, the word is that our Prez is going to lead an investigation into the Katrina disaster. Presumably "Brownie" will be his lead investigator. Rove has already dispatched VP Cheney down there to roil up the turgid sewage in advance.

    Gee, looks like we get a freebie freedom farce with our freedom fries and superdome big gulps now.

  17. #77


    Barbara Bush's comment was a somewhat sanitized version of the original statement she released to the press..."Let them eat beignets..."

  18. #78

    Let's Quit Pretending

    No politics? No religion?
    If you guys want a political board, have at it. I've visited a few in my time (and bashed just as many Repubs as Dems), but I thought that would be separate from the stated intentions of this particular site. Let's face it, the title of this thumbtacked topic would be much more accurate if it were "Dump Every Possible Ounce of Shit On Bush and the Conservatives for Not Being Prescient Enough to Fix Every Last Potential Tragic Circumstance That Has Been Ignored By Every President In History Until Now While the Dumping Is Good." The hurricane hardly merits a mention in passing anymore. I just think it would be more honest to admit to the intent rather than to pretend to be "searching" for some sort of answer.
    I guess "Aspirin-Bombing Bill" would have taken care of SinkHole NO if he had been in power last week . . . whoops, I'd better watch out. Wouldn't want to get political or anything. PeteLeo.

  19. #79

    Re: Let's Quit Pretending

    Hey i been dumping on W since the high court put him in
    the white house because i don't think anybody who done
    long line of coke should be president ( hard drugs )

    Frank B.

  20. #80

    Re: Let's Quit Pretending

    Hmmm . . . you know, of course, that Clinton had to have his nose medically reconstructed due to the massive amounts of cocaine he inhaled in Arkansas (according to undercover tapes which were made of First Brother Roger running off at the mouth)?

    Someone (it may have been GorDoom) asked me once why conservatives (which I'm standing in for, I guess, though I think I'm closer to Libertarian) continue to kick Billy C. in the butt when comparing Presidents. I suppose the simple answer is that it's tough for some of us to remember another Dem President. Carter was about a quarter of a century ago. But enough of that. PeteLeo.

  21. #81

    Re: Let's Quit Pretending

    Actually Clinton before he left office in '99 allocated 20 mil for refurbishing the leeve's. Bush never delivered the money.

    & Pete, no this isn't a political board but this disaster has so many ramifications- many of them political, that it is impossible to avoid on this thread.

    & Btw: The conservatives are criticising just as much as the Lib's. This situation was a total cluster **** by our goverment & there is no getting around that.


  22. #82

    Re: Let's Quit Pretending

    See, that's the point. I don't differentiate between Liberal criticism and conservative criticism. I mean, this was a local problem (actually and legally) in the beginning, but the Dem governor waited from Monday until Wednesday to even apply for Federal assistance. There was both time and opportunity to get everyone out of harm's way before the levees collapsed, but the Dem mayor refused to undertake a forced evacuation (such as the one going on now). A lot of people died, but a lot of people turned into murderous thugs given the chance to loot the entire city and even tried to stop in-coming help, but we're not supposed to bring that up because it's "blaming the victims" or something?
    I'm not saying don't talk about these things. I've always tried to remain true to the spirit of Free Speech and Free Action (even when it involves clearly anti-healthful activities such as smoking -- which killed my Dad -- and boxing). I was just under the impression that this specific board was for topics other than politics or religion. When a fucking Liberal New York Times idealogue is already trying to make the entire natural disaster a Bury Bush political blitskrieg on fucking Wednesday (pardon my French), while the events are still transpiring. I just have to question his real motives. What did he do for the suffering? I gave what little cash I could and offered my truck to convey food and water (couldn't afford the fuel and none of the local political hacks would approve of allowing me a gas card), and we've already heard from our fellows here who did a hell of a lot more than that. Did the Times attackdog do anything more than pause over his haute cuisine dinner and blink away a crocodile tear?
    If you want to realign this site to include all political discourse (not just anti-Republican), fine and dandy with me. It's yours to do with what you wish. But let's be up-front about it, okay? Don't try to disguise the witch hunt with humanitarian platitudes. There's enough blame to go around several times over.
    That's all I'm saying. Peteleo.

  23. #83

    Re: Let's Quit Pretending

    I never heard of Clinton doing coke , i know he got a b-j
    but there was some conseratives puting out rumors because
    they hated the guy he was't good enough for them, so they
    thought ( i.e. he did't come from a rich family )

    Frank B.

  24. #84

    Re: evacuation

    Actually, Mayor Nagin had a mandatory evacuation that Sunday before and a voluntary evac. called on Saturday. The storm had turned the day before, on Friday.

    Bush went on TV before the storm hit speaking about how the federal government was prepared for this thing. Nagin did all he could in the time frame he had-buses went around neighborhoods and church groups collected people. But it just wasn't enough time and the city is full of people who couldn't imagine this happening to their homes . . . no-one wants to leave their home to the unknown. I know many people who had no vehicles to get out of the city and/or had no money to stay in a motel or hotel for weeks. Once the hurricane hit, you can't blame the local authorities for their response b/c they were in the same position as everyone else-limited water, limited food, stuck in one place due to the water . .we are a UNITED states of America . . but this thing was run like 1787 never happened. When local authority and society collapses, I believe the federal government has the responsibility to step in.
    And the looters who were shooting people were not ordinary poor citizens, they were the thousands of drug addicts that stayed in the city who hadn't had a fix in 3-5 days. A very scary situation.
    I know an animal doctor who stayed through Friday and what he saw was appaling-dead bodies everywhere, patients in the hospital across the street having seizures while waiting to be evacuated. The 800 animals he was looking after? All put to sleep b/c of the lack of food and water.

  25. #85

    Re: evacuation

    Nagin had over 500 school buses at his beck and call in which to force the populace out of NO and into safety. He refused to use this resource until the streets were under eight feet of water, which is a mite late, wouldn't you agee?
    Landreau received a call from the Bush administration advising a compelled evacuation before the storm hit, but she responded in carefully coached terms that LA was her jurisdiction and Washington could just go fornicate itself. Now she wants to punch Bush in the face (her words). I wonder what she and her fellow Libs would be squawking if the Feds had leaned on her to clear out the city and then no breaks in the levees had occurred? See how I mean that the "loyal opposition" always wants those in charge to be completely precognitive and then refuse to accept even a hint of blame for their own inaction or wrong decisions?
    I've heard eyewitness accounts (on the radio) from people who saw looting begin before the hurricane struck, stories of homes and buildings broken into and stripped well before the drug addicts were suffering their first pangs of withdrawal. Why were the addicts so attracted to ATMs (can't shoot twenty dollar bills) and rich folks' toys in the big chain stores? Wouldn't they have more use for whatever they could find in the pharmacies? You can walk through destroyed chain stores today and find food rotting on the shelves while the electronics departments are stripped bare.
    But as long as Landreu and Nagin and their brethren can deflect the glare of publicity toward Bush, you'd better damn well bet they will.
    Personally, I'm in favor of waiting at least until all of the bodies are found and humanely dealt with before the backstabbing swings into full acceleration. But I guess I'm just a cockeyed optimist. PeteLeo.

  26. #86

    Re: evacuation

    what would they be saying if clinton were in office when the storm hit and the responce just as slow?

    what pete calls backstabbing.....asking why? needs to commence and the LEADERS...whether right or left need to get it right before another storm hits....

  27. #87


    Some New Orleans Holdouts Leave Reluctantly

    NEW ORLEANS (Sept. 7) - Soldiers coaxed some of Hurricane Katrina's stubborn holdouts from their homes Wednesday after the mayor ordered all 10,000 or so residents still in this ruined city evacuated -- by force, if necessary -- because of the risk of fires and disease.

    "I haven't left my house in my life. I don't want to leave," said a frail-looking 86-year-old Anthony Charbonnet, shaking his head as he locked his front door and walked slowly backwards down the steps of the house where he had lived since 1955.

    Charbonnet left only after a neighbor assured him: "Things will be OK. It'll be like a vacation." Still protesting, Charbonnet stepped into the ambulance in which soldiers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division would take him to a helicopter.

    As floodwaters began to slowly recede with the first of the city's pumps returning to operation, Mayor C. Ray Nagin instructed law enforcement officers and the U.S. military late Tuesday to evacuate all holdouts for their own safety. He warned that the fetid water could spread disease and that natural gas was leaking all over town.

    As of midday Wednesday, there were no reports of anyone being removed by force.

    "We have thousands of people who want to voluntarily evacuate at this time," Police Chief Eddie Compass said. Once they all are out, he said, "then we'll concentrate our forces on mandatory evacuation."

    The stepped-up evacuation came as workers struggled find and count the corpses decaying in the 90-degree heat. Even when cadaver dogs pick up a scent, workers frequently cannot get at the bodies without heavy equipment. The mayor has estimated New Orleans' death toll could reach 10,000.

    The enormity of the disaster became ever-clearer: State Rep. Nita Hutter said 30 people died at a flooded-out nursing home in Chalmette, just outside New Orleans. She said the staff left the elderly residents behind in their beds. And more than 100 people died at a dockside warehouse, waiting for rescuers to ferry them to safety, said Rep. Charlie Melancon, whose congressional district includes the area.

    Meanwhile, firefighters battled blazes around New Orleans -- an emerging threat in a city where the water pressure is too low to fight fires and where many people are using candles because of the lack of electricity. At the same time, workers returning to restart essential services came under sniper fire.

    "We have got some information where, some possible shooters have been shooting at some employees trying to get in to the city to actually get it back up and running," police Sgt. Charlie Smith said.

    "Well, we found a bunch of abandoned buildings and we are actually going to go ahead and try to retrieve some of these Ak-47s assault rifles that they have been using to shoot at helicopters and some of the people trying to get back into the city to get it back up and running."

    Nagin's everyone-out directive -- which superseded an earlier, milder order to evacuate made before Hurricane Katrina crashed ashore Aug. 29 -- came after rescuers scouring New Orleans found hundreds of people ignoring warnings to get out.

    Several residents said they heard Nagin's latest order on portable radios and were reluctantly complying.

    Dolores Devron and her husband, Forcell, finally agreed to go. Dolores Devron said she was relieved the couple were allowed to take their dog with them but angry they were ordered out.

    "There are dead babies tied to poles and they're dragging us out and leaving the dead babies. That ain't right!" she screamed, waving her arms as she was directed onto a troop carrier truck.

    Picola Brown, 47, hobbled slowly down the street on her crutches. She said she had not been able to leave because a truck ran over her left foot shortly before the storm struck, breaking a toe.

    "The mayor said everybody's got to go. I got ready. I just don't want them knocking on my door," she said.

    "Where do you want to go?" asked a soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division.

    She answered, "Wherever it's comfortable."

    Patricia Kelly, 41, sat under a tattered, dirty green-and-white-striped patio umbrella in front of an abandoned barber and beauty shop in the devastated Ninth Ward. Her home was flooded; she was not able to get back in, but did not want to leave the neighborhood.

    "I'm going to stay as long as the Lord says so," Kelly said. "If they come with a court order, then we'll leave. I hope it doesn't get to the point where we're forced out."

    Sgt. Joseph Boarman of the 82nd Airborne, standing on a corner, said he understood the reluctance to leave: "It's their home. You know how hard it is to leave home, no matter what condition it's in."

    In Washington, President Bush and Congress pledged on Tuesday to open separate investigations into the federal response to Katrina and New Orleans' broken levees. "Governments at all levels failed," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., repeated her call for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be made autonomous from the Department of Homeland Security and for an independent commission to investigate the federal response to the disaster.

    "The people that I met in Houston -- they want answers and they want to know what went wrong and they want to know what they are going to be able to count on in the future," she said on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday, two days after visiting refugees at the Astrodome. "I don't think the government can investigate itself."

    The pumping-out of the city began after the Army Corps of Engineers used hundreds of sandbags and rocks over the Labor Day weekend to close a 200-foot gap in the 17th Street Canal levee that burst in the aftermath of the storm and swamped 80 percent of this below sea-level city.

    Although toxic floodwaters receded inch by inch, only five of New Orleans' normal contingent of 148 drainage pumps were operating Tuesday, the Corps said.

    How long it takes to drain the city could depend on the condition of the pumps _ especially whether they were submerged and damaged, the Corps said. Also, the water is full of debris, and while there are screens on the pumps, it may be necessary to stop and clean them from time to time.

    Associated Press writers Doug Simpson, Dan Sewell, Jim Litke, Melinda Deslatte, Matt Apuzzo and Randolph E. Schmid contributed to this report.

  28. #88


    Old folks abandoned by caretakers in their beds, snipers shooting at relief convoys . . . man, this just gets darker and uglier by the moment, doesn't it? I'm a disaster movie fan (strictly fictional stuff), and in those fantasy lands victims of nature or accident actually tend to draw together and help one another, rather than leaving helpless seniors to drown. Everything about this event makes you sicker.
    But they have to get everyone out. Water-borne diseases are among the most pernicious in existence. Water can go virtually anywhere that gravity allows, and it takes only a passing brush with some microbes to create monstrous infections.
    At first, I was all for rebuilding NO, but I'm beginning to wonder. No matter what precautions are taken, a sunken area like this will forever be vulnerable to a similar tragedy, and no precaution known to man can slow down the winds of a hurricane so much as a mile. Maybe it's time to start thinking about rebuilding elsewhere. It'll never be the real New Orleans again, anyway. Perhaps I'll feel differently tomorrow. PeteLeo.

  29. #89


    yeah pete, it ain't like the movies.

    when things start to get into focus they will be going over video tape and interviewing the victims of the brutality that some of these monsters have brought down on the citizens already caught in the disaster mother nature brought them.....like speeding tickets in a work zone the penalties for these crimes in a disaster situation should be doubled. to prey upon an already terrorized populace should bring the harshest of consequences.

  30. #90


    Do You Know What It Means To Be Shot In New Orleans
    Away from the partying it was obvious to a dedicated follower of the city that disaster was around the corner

    By Ray Davies/TimesOnline.com

    I spent the early part of last year in New Orleans recovering from gunshot wounds received as I was being robbed. It happened in the early evening as I walked down a quiet street with my girlfriend. There was a football game in town and the streets near the French Quarter were empty. The police presence was elsewhere. The incident itself was over in a flash but it plays over and over in my head and perhaps one day it will make sense to me.

    I found out later that there were fewer than 2,000 police in New Orleans at that time and it reached such a point that there was talk of the city was importing officers from Cleveland. Anyway, thanks to someone’s mobile phone, the police eventually got to the scene.

    Later, as I was carried into the emergency room at Charity hospital, a doctor reassured me that “New Orleans really is the best place to get shot”. They had, he explained, had plenty of practice.

    The same week I was shot, I read that three other tourists were killed near to where I was attacked. Tourists were urged not to fight back after being mugged (I was continually reminded of this by the district attorney’s officials, who were critical of the way I chased the man who robbed my girlfriend).

    There were additional complications to my injuries and my gunshot wounds were not as clean as first thought. Before I was taken in for my first operation, a priest came and gave me a little spiritual assistance. Later I was even serenaded by a nurse who whispered slow, mournful gospel songs in the style of Mahalia Jackson.

    During my initial week-long stay in hospital and lengthy recuperation, I observed first-hand the bankruptcy of the New Orleans health system. Several doctors who treated me actually apologised for the low standard of healthcare in Louisiana. Even so, they gave me the best of what they did have, for which I am grateful.

    I have just looked through some notes in the diary I made after I was operated on and one seems chillingly relevant. “How can the USA be expected to look after the whole world when it cannot even look after its own?” So it doesn’t surprise me to see the world reacting with shock to the “Third World” conditions in New Orleans “in this, the richest and most powerful country in the world”. I could have told them that.

    But I have been astonished by the reactions and apparent shame of some of the US television reporters who seemed overwhelmed to discover that there actually is poverty in America. They made me want to grab my television and shout “Hello, dear reporter, yes, America actually does have poor and underprivileged people as well. Hello, yes, the President might well be slow to react but at times like this, that’s all that an over-burdened, out-of-touch president can be.”

    After watching the scenes on television in the past few days, it occurred to me that if any place in the world could survive this catastrophe, it would be New Orleans. Significantly, in the most deprived parts of the city, there are churches and Gospel halls. Faith has to be strong because often it is all most of the people have.

    When I was last in New Orleans, I was driven around the city by a friend who pointed out the pump houses that seemed antiquated to me even then. The levees seemed insufficient for the amount of water surrounding the city. The roads were uneven and the tap water pressure in most houses was weak. The whole system appeared improvised, but according to my friend it all “seemed to have worked well enough so far given that there is not enough funding to improve it ”. Locals would joke: “Yep, it is like the Third World but, hey, this is N’Awlins. Nothin’s perfect. That’s what’s so great about it.”

    I agreed but deep down I felt the whole infrastructure was very fragile. New Orleans is a party town, after all, and when tourists walk down Bourbon Street drinking frozen Daiquiri during Jazz Fest, crime, unemployment and environmental issues are far from their minds.

    It was clear to me, however, that away from all the festivities something disastrous was on the cards. Too many things pointed in that direction. Why didn’t the people who are supposed to be experts on this stuff react sooner? The problem we all know by now is money. Budgets. America’s preoccupation with wars overseas. Nobody cares about the poor. Etc, etc.

    At the time of my shooting I was trying to develop a musical event for a local school in New Orleans to raise funds for instruments and new uniforms for them to wear at Mardi Gras. Music, particularly in the school marching bands, gives many of the kids down there an opportunity to participate in the local community. This in turn raises their expectations and it is to be hoped, stops them descending into the local drug and gang culture waiting around the corner. I was due back later in the year to put on a show for Thanksgiving to raise a few extra bucks for the community. This all seems so trivial now.

    But the reality is that without its music New Orleans would have been a forgotten city long ago. The music of the American South inspired me and helped to shape me as a musician. They say that jazz started on Perdido Street in New Orleans and even Louis Armstrong honed his trade in the honky-tonks on Bourbon Street.

    I owe as much to music of the Southern states as I do to the British music that inspired me. If New Orleans is allowed to die, a crucial part of the world’s musical heritage will disappear.

    Right now, the flooded streets of New Orleans might seem just an American responsibility but sometimes even the most powerful people need help. Whatever we think of George W. Bush we cannot take it out on the poor and needy in Louisiana and Mississippi. (He won’t be there in four years — they will.) Numerous people befriended me while I was there. Gradually, word is getting back to me that they are safe. One friend made it to Dallas with her family. Others are now scattered across the South: Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis. One musician friend is still missing.

    I think about what has happened to some of the faceless, scary “neighbours” who kept me awake at night while they partied and chanted songs on the corner of St Claude and Governor Nichols when I last stayed there. I hope they made it.

    And lastly, I think about the bicycle I left behind. New Orleans is almost entirely flat — as the world knows all too well now — and I found that a bike ride was a great way to get around while strengthening my injured leg.

    When I left last year I forgot to put the padlock on my bike. Whoever took it, I pray that they get to ride it around the French Quarter again soon.

    Ray Davies was lead singer of the Kinks. www.raydavies.info

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