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I hope New Orleans will prove to be a tipping point, Rudy.

The disastrous lack of planning, the idiotic diversion of resources

to Iraq, the complete inability of this president to understand

hardship and death in his gut, is writ large for everyone to see.



New Orleans Flood Relief

Bulletin Board 

2 September 2005

Housing for Katrina refugees

Hello to all!

I recently relocated to Memphis from the Syracuse area (I'm in the final stretch of PhD work in child and family studies @ SU) and let me tell you that what you have seen on TV is the "politically correct" version. There are thousands entering this city as refugees and their realities are unimaginable. There is a sense of anxiety and despair, yet I must say the city is attempting to do something that our government is dillying around with: helping these folks.

As I am typing this, I am preparing to go downtown to one of the shelters to assist. Schools that are not in use are being opened and used as shelters; churches are feeding, clothing, counseling and comforting; citizens are packing trucks, children are being allowed to enroll in Memphis schools because families may not be able to go back for months. All of this happened the day after the storm hit-which left many of us without power or flooded.

Yet we persevered and are doing our best to care for these people-many of whom are our brothers and sisters and large families.

People, we are blessed indeed! Never take for granted anything.  Let's use our knowledge to empower our people and pull them up.

Let me tell you what I see the folks down here need: personal hygiene products (including hair grease/pomade, combs, brushes, hair scarves, the "ethnic" products we use that are often not supplied in the shelters set up), blankets, pillows, BABY ITEMS (diapers, formula, t-shirts), sweet treats, prayers, hugs and someone to shed tears with, yet encourage and empower. The list can go on and on, these folks are now homeless. For those of you that I know, thank you for impacting my life. If I've not gotten the pleasure of meeting you yet, much peace and many blessings to you. Please feel free to email me. If anyone wants to come down here, my place is open. My husband and I would be happy to share with you as you serve those in need. Chandice Haste Jackson

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Hi Rudolph,

there are two efforts that will be of utmost importance in the weeks to come, and i'm sure others will be setting up similar organizations. MoveOn has a refugee housing database where people can find and offer housing. This can be found out Additionally, locals from the affected areas have set up which is a similar service. Please inform me of any other housing exchanges happening and I will pass the word along.

Thank you, Charles

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How long have we been gone? Race like warm Coca Cola is now coming out of the mouths of everyone talking about New Orleans. Why are people so surprised? The South is Black Folks. This is where our numbers are. We are also poor people. We live one check away from a hurricane. This is not Brooklyn, Chicago or Detroitthis in New Orleans and also Mississippi. Many of the folks were three steps behind the Civil Rights Movement. Just go back to what King was trying to do in 1968. Here are pictures of the poor folks that wanted to come to Resurrection City . . . in factfolks should direct those buses to DC. Hmmm. Folks camping around the Government until answers and supplies are given before promises. So much anger going around it's not good. 

What can we learn? We just can't live in the present. We have to make sure we protect our environment and that we listen to folks talking about how the river bends and the trees grow.

Can you imagine if the situation in New Orleans had been an act of terrorism? Folks would be blaming other folks and running around trying to lynch someone. Or folks who looked like the "sinners." If we have problems getting food and essentials to key parts of the country then we have problems. Let's throw into the mix a nuclear plant damaged and radioactive material walking around like it's carnival time. What would we do? The sad thing about all this is that in a few days the story is going to be pushed off the front page and folks will want to know about how Madonna is doing? Or where Michael Jackson might buy a new home.

Meanwhile, poor black folks will become invisible. Black folks who were middle class will be looking for work and maybe not finding it. Look for the migrations to take place (again)...folks moving into Texas and California...or heading up North. Look for the military to recruit folks into the National Guard. How can someone turn that down? Don't you want to help "your" state get back on its feet? I could write a poem and pitch that one. I keep looking at the pictures . . . the one on the front page of today's NY Times says it all. A body floating by under an overpass in downtown New Orleans. Another woman in the picture not even paying attention. The dead body looks like it was taken down from a cross. If you want to know where the blues come from it's right there . . . survival music . . . and it ain't a pretty picture.Ethelbert Miller (2 September 2005,

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Local reputable relief organizations




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Black & poor neglected in N.O.

I hope New Orleans will prove to be a tipping point, Rudy. The disastrous lack of planning, the idiotic diversion of resources to Iraq, the complete inability of this president to understand hardship and death in his gut, is writ large for everyone to see. If I have any hope it's that the images of devastation, the glaring fact that the sufferers are overwhelmingly poor and black, the precariousness of our oil supply, all will shake this country to its roots. This is Iraq come home. 

Yes, it's Jim Crow (I agree completely with Derek Seiman) down and dirty. And it's also the larger squandering of this country's finest aspirations for social justice and world peace. None of these words are helping those in need, though. Where do I send my twenty bucks? David

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E-mail addresses for Katrina Victims

Dear Rudy,

Thanks so much for these e-mail addresses, which I'll work with and enter into the data bank.  Two officers of CLA are pulling together names & e-mail addresses, and I've received responses from members working on their universities to extend invitations.  I have also heard that many of these colleges have opened their doors to the students from N. O.

Can you recommend a Black relief organization that's reliable?  I have listed some university-connected sites, but people are asking me to suggest grassroots relief agencies.  I'm also going to check some of the sites like to see what's available.

I really appreciate your help because all this is WAY out of my field. Peace, Miriam

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Lies and the lying liars who tell them

What follows below is just the first fifth (tenth?) of Nick Burbules' today's daily blog (let me know if you want the whole thing - or get signed up yourself, at

Love, through all of thisHarry


Yep, that's what they're calling it

And that, my friends, is the last amusing thing you will read in today's edition.  If you are prone to high blood pressure, fits of screaming fury, suicidal depression, or homicidal rage, please do yourself a favor and stop reading right now. I really can't be responsible for what will happen if you read further. . .

Governor of Mississippi (Haley Barbour) says, "don't blame me"

[Michael] On CNN, Miles O'Brien questioned Gov. Haley Barbour about preparations for this devastating hurricane. And Haley Barbour flat out LIED on national tv. He said that we only had "a few hours" of warning before realizing Hurricane Katrina was going to be a category 4 or 5 storm. When it hit Florida, Barbour said, it was only a category 1. O'Brien tried to interrupt him and call Barbour on this outrageous lie (does Barbour think we haven't been watching TV for the past five days?) but Barbour shouted him down and acted as if inconvenient facts weren't going to stop him from wriggling his way out of responsibility. . . The FACTS are that Hurrican Katrina made landfall in Florida on Thursday night. Here's a CNN report from Friday evening at 10 p.m. making perfectly clear that more than two days before striking the Gulf Coast, everyone knew this was threatening to
be a tremendous disaster.

Head of FEMA (Michael Brown) says, "don't blame me"

[CNN] Paula Zahn: How can it be that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of victims have not received any food and water more than 100 hours after Katrina hit.

FEMA's Mike Brown: Paula, I think it's so important for the American public to understand exactly how catastrophic this disaster is. . . I will tell you this though, every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today. . .
A clearly pissed Paula Zahn: Sir, you're not telling me, you're not telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today did you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?

FEMA's Brown: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today. . .atrios

[Atrios] A reporter asked FEMA flunky Michael Brown a critical question, and he deflected it by talking about all the people who work for the various agencies doing the best they can. Such a Bush administration tactic - when the leadership is questioned they pretend you've criticized the troops. . . Bastards.

[Laura Rozen] My lord, the guy heading FEMA has no qualifications. What was he doing before getting pulled into FEMA by the Bush administration in 2003? He was an estate planning lawyer in Colorado and of counsel for the International Arabian Horse Association Legal Department.

Head of DHS (Michael Chertoff) says, "don't blame me"thinkprogress

Robert Siegel: We are hearing from our reporter, he's on another line right now, thousands of people at the convention center in New Orleans with no food, zero.

Chertoff: As I said, I'm telling you we are getting food and water to areas where people are staging. The one about an episode like this is if you talk to someone or you get a rumor or an anecdotal version of something I think it's dangerous to extrapolate it all over the place. .. .

Robert Siegel: But Mr. Secretary when you say we shouldn't listen to rumors. These are things coming from reporters who have not only covered many many other hurricanes, they've covered wars and refugee camps. These aren't rumors, they are saying there are thousands of people there.

Chertoff: I would be. . . I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water.

Head of all of them (George Bush) says, "don't blame me." "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."talkleft

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[Kevin Drum] I swear, this is the Bush administration in a microcosm.  Everyone was anticipating a breach of the levees before Katrina hit. In fact, Katrina changed course the night before it made landfall and then weakened a bit right at the moment it hit New Orleans. If it had continued along its previous path and hit about 30 miles west as a full Category 5, the levees would have been instantly overrun and possibly breached within hours instead of days. . . Does Bush genuinely not know this? Or is he just so comfortable lying about stuff like this that he doesn't give it a second thought? And which is worse?washingtonmonthly

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Let's focus a moment on that George Bush fellow, shall we? That pathetic excuse about the levees sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?
(thanks to Joyce Atkinson for some of these reminders)

* 9/11: who could have guessed that terrorists would crash a plane into a building?
* Bin Laden: who could have guessed that he would run away and hide?
* Deficit: who could have guessed that we would hit the "trifecta"?
* Hussein: who could have guessed that he didn't actually have WMD?
* Iraq: who could have guessed that there would be an insurgency rising up against us?
* 1879 dead US soldiers: who could have guess the war would drag on this long?
* $200 billion: who could have guessed it would cost so much?

As we all know now, in every one of these cases LOTS of people were saying so, but Bush and his band of true believers dismissed what they were saying - indeed, punished or exiled anyone who dared to raise such doubts (Shinseki, White, Lindsey, O'Neill, Clarke, even Powell, really). And so in this case too:

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Black & poor neglected in N.O.  


You may not have seen or heard this, but On September 1, 2005, Nagin was interviewed on WWL-TV radio and made furious and open remarks about authorities not doing their duty in providing aid to the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and the surrounding area. Herbert

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I'm at a loss for words about how the black and poor in New Orleans are being treated, and criminalized, except if it's some expletive. 50,000 troops can be brought into town in trucks by the governor and with guns immediately, but not food, water, medicineand no communication whatsoever to people for reassurance. And the mayor stands on the sidelines, secluded and silent. You tell me leaflets can't be printed and passed out. And they are worried about people taking clothes who haven't bathed in three days.

It's all so unbelievable. Rudy

posted 2 September 2005

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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Debt: The First 5,000 Years

By David Graeber

Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.   Economist Glenn Loury  /Criminalizing a Race

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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