compiled by Dee Finney



DREAM - I was working on 70th St. at A-C. I lived on 16th St. and since I didn't have a car, I had to walk home.  It was a long way and it was winter and there was a cold wind blowing.

It was 5 p.m. and time to go home. I started to get ready to go home and put on a heavy sweater and then my coat. I looked for my shoes which I had kicked off under the desk, but I couldn't find a pair that matched or were even the same size.

My boss was still there and he said he had the same problem and would have to buy a pair of shoes on the way home. I thought that was a great idea since there was a shoe store not far from where we worked.

I started gathering things together to carry with me, grabbed my purse and made sure my keys were in my pocket.

I started walking down the hall to stay in the building as long as possible. There were other women still working though it looked like the men had already gone home.

All of a sudden I was back in my office again. I had fallen asleep standing by my bosses desk and he had left without me. I was tireder than I thought.

The cleaning women had come in and were starting to work. I was still looking for a pair of shoes to wear.

Finally, I looked under another secretary's desk and found 4 pair of shoes and they were all mine.

I put on one of the pair of shoes and put the other 3 pair into an empty old purse I found to carry with me.

I also found some extra sweaters and a couple more old empty purses. I packed all that into a large wicker basket with handles to carry it with me.

It searched my coat again and made sure I had my keys in my pocket and headed out the nearest door.

When I got out the door, I was ready to be blasted by the cold air and wind, but it wasn't as bad as I expected and thanked God for the better weather.

The stop light on the corner was red so I had to stop and wait for it to turn green and while I was standing there, some black people were jostling my basket and I discovered that the purse I had put the extra shoes I had and a couple sweater got stolen by the people who jostled me.

But I still had my purse with the credit cards and money, my basket, the extra empty purses and the rest of the sweaters and when the light turned green and I started off walking towards home. 

I made the mistake of taking a side street instead of the main street and here the city hadn't plowed the snow in the street and the people hadn't shoveled the sidewalk either.

There were a lot of black people trudging in the street, but I thought it best to walk on the sidewalk.

At first there was a narrow path to walk though I wasn't actually on sidewalk. The snow was about a foot deep and someone had made an attempt to chop ice off the sidewalk, but that only made dangerous holes in the path to trip in.

The snow on the sides of the sidewalk were turning a dirty brown from the pollution. I saw a Sheltie dog come out and pee in the snow, then saw him run into a tunnel he had dug himself to keep himself warm.

I had gone about a half a block and came to a group of people who had stopped by a street vendor who was selling something next to the sidewalk.

I stopped to see what she was selling. She had a box of toy cars, all shiny and new, still in their boxes.

While I stood there, she saw my basket and started accusing me of trying to steal her toy cars.

I protested and said that all I had were old sweaters, but by then the people were angry because I had more than they had.

I got away from them and then I started to cry as I walked along.

A man came up to me and I recognized him as Depak Chopra. He saw me crying and he walked over and said, "God loves you."

His kind words made me stop crying, but as soon as I stopped crying, he walked away towards another woman who was crying farther on down the street.

I realized he only had enough time to tell me that God loved me, not to actually help me and then he had to move on to the next crying person, because there were so many crying people.

I continued walking, but I had to climb a dirty snowbank and walk in the street like the others because nobody had shoveled the sidewalk.

I walked  few blocks in the street and there were fewer and fewer people as people went into their houses to get out of the cold.

I came to a group of children playing in the street. These kids weren't even dressed for the weather. The older ones had just T shirts and underpants. The babies just had on diapers.

Here the snow had turned to mud in the street and the place where the children played was filthy.

I saw that these children were all Hindu and though they were playing, they were cold, unclothed and dirty.

I also sat that this was a Hindu orphanage school and these children had no parents either.

I took the hands of the two oldest children who were about 4 years old to take them inside to ask for them to be dressed warmer.  Just as I got to the steps, I saw a toddler about age 1 stumble and fall face down in the mud, next to a couple babies laying in the street.

The toddler didn't event cry or whimper. He had already learned that crying didn't get him anywhere and he had to pick himself up and help himself.

Obviously that wasn't a lesson I had yet learned.

NOTE:  This whole dream reminds me of what happened to the black people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina


10-3-05 - 4:44 a.m.  DREAM - I was in my New Berlin house with my family.

We were all in bed sleeping. I woke up and needed to go to the bathroom. When  I was done, I opened the door and found my husband standing there, waiting for me. I knew he wanted to fool around, but I wasn't in the mood and made an excuse that I felt a cold draft coming from the boys bedroom across the hall.

So we went into the boys bedroom, where they all slep in bunkbeds and cribs.

My husband moved the beds around into a different arrangement "to conserve heat", he said.

We left the room and then I felt a blast of heat coming up the stairs from the kitchen.

There shouldn't have been anyone down there at all, so I sneaked down the stairs, which wasn't easy because I had books of many kinds and sizes along the way on the stairs that I had to move along the way.

In the kitchen I discovered my sister/daughter entertaining a homeless woman named Nancy.

I remembered Nancy from years earlier. She was an insurance saleswoman for a time. She was wearing a yellow dress and had brown hair.

My sister/daughter was making a pizza for her and feeding her without telling us.

My husband came downstairs and met Nancy, and put his arm around her shoulders gently.

I was afraid he was going to have an affair with her, but he put her to work.

I watched them as he showed her how to clean along the edges of the floor with a little spinning brush on a long wand, while he ran the big floor scrubbing machine.

I watched her do the job my husband gave her. She did a very lousy job. I watched as the brush would  bounce off the ledge o nthe floor edge and she would just ignore the spot she missed and keep going just to get around the room behind my husband instead of taking care to do the job right.

I was getting upset, watching her do such a bad job and not caring about the quality of her work.

I then had a vision of a chart in the air showing me the different categories of poor people.

NOTE: After I woke up, I remembered ex-president Clinton describing how New Orleans would be rebuilt with neighborhoods to be rebuilt so the poor people would not be segregated into slums and everyone would work and go to school and have hope for a brighter future.


Debatable -- Should race be considered while rebuilding New Orleans?


WASHINGTON - President Bush's housing secretary has touched off a tempest by saying that a revived New Orleans may no longer be a majority-black city and that some of the low-lying and predominantly black neighborhoods probably should not be rebuilt.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said he expected New Orleans, a city of about 475,000 that was two-thirds black before Hurricane Katrina struck in late August, to emerge only 35 percent to 40 percent black and with possibly 350,000 residents.

"Whether we like it or not, New Orleans is not going to be 500,000 people for a long time," Jackson told the Houston Chronicle, which published his comments Thursday. "New Orleans is not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

Jackson's remarks drew howls from some black leaders, who said they would serve only to alienate Katrina's black victims. Some housing experts said they reflected the absence of an administration policy to deal with providing affordable housing for tens of thousands of displaced families.

Should race be considered while working to rebuild New Orleans? Jackson, who is black, took to task the black activists who have been criticizing the administration. "I wish that the so-called black leadership would stop running around this country like Jesse and the rest of them making this a racial issue," he said, referring to Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH


Jesse Jackson, speaking by telephone from Detroit, where he was meeting with families who had lost their homes in New Orleans, said the housing secretary's comments would make the evacuees feel they would get a hostile reception when they returned to New Orleans, which they want to do.

"The displaced persons have a right to return home," Jackson said. He accused the housing secretary of promoting the gentrification of one of America's historic cities.

He also found a political overtone to the housing secretary's prediction of a permanent decline in New Orleans' black community. Blacks have elected one of their own, Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., to Congress, and Jesse Jackson said black votes accounted for the margins of victory for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

Alphonso Jackson said in his interview with the Chronicle that he told New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin that "I think it would be a mistake to rebuild the Ninth Ward," the largely black area that lies mostly below sea level and was inundated after the storm. Any new buildings, Jackson said, should perhaps be on stilts, with parking places at ground level.

He conceded that Nagin did not respond warmly. "He wants to rebuild it like it was," Jackson said, "and I don't think I can give the president that kind of advice."

Bush has said that one way to bring low-income residents back to New Orleans is through "urban homesteading." Evacuees could get federal land for free in return for a pledge to build homes on it.

"We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons - because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love," Bush said in a speech from New Orleans on Sept. 15.

Brookings Institution housing expert Bruce Katz, who served as HUD chief of staff during the administration of President Clinton, said the federal government owned too few properties in New Orleans - perhaps 1,000 - to make much of a dent in the need.

At the same time, Katz said, "The worst thing we can do is recreate New Orleans exactly as it was. It was a failure across the board," he said - particularly in its concentration of federally subsidized housing near downtown.

He offered his own suggestion: That the displaced people of New Orleans be involved in the planning and be guaranteed the right to return if they chose.

Michael Franc, vice president for government relations of the conservative Heritage Foundation, agreed with Katz on the need to avoid replicating the old New Orleans. But he called the administration's homesteading idea "an enormous step in the right direction."

He said it was wrong for Alphonso Jackson or anyone else to make the reconstruction of New Orleans a racial issue.

"It ought to be about people, not race," he said.


Victims of Katrina: Dissed, Dispersed, and Exiled

Revolution #017, October 9, 2005, posted at
(This was posted October 5, 2005 on the internet)

Before Hurricane Katrina, Black people made up about 70% of the population of New Orleans. On September 29, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Bush’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson predicted the rebuilt city will be only 35-40% Black and said: "New Orleans is not going to be as Black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

This is right in line with Bush’s plan for "rebuilding New Orleans"--a strategy for turning devastation into profit (see Revolution #15). This is a plan with billion dollar construction contracts, new zoning laws, no environmental protections and even lower wages--a plan where it isn’t profitable to rebuild neighborhoods and new housing for the hundreds of thousands of Black people displaced by the hurricane.

This is a system and a ruling class that looks at hundreds of thousands of poor Black people losing their homes as an opportunity to try and "solve" the intense social contradictions of poverty and racism by literally getting rid of a huge population of poor Black people. This is what’s behind Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker’s statement, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did it."

There is intense bitterness and anger among the people in New Orleans about how they were depicted and treated like criminals. One man still in New Orleans told Revolution reporter Michael Slate,

"They say they trying to help us, they say they came with buses for us. They didn’t. Don’t believe them. Instead of having people to help us, they gonna ship army guys down here to take what we got, to punish us cuz we wanted to survive.."

There is also a deep sense that the government’s neglect and abuse is part of a bigger, conscious and even more oppressive plan. One woman still in New Orleans told Slate,

"Since it’s a lot of minorities here, it is a lot of Black people here--do you want us all just to die? Is this a bigger part of the plan that we don’t know about or something? ‘The more of them that dies, the less we have to worry about.’"

Author Mike Davis, speaking about the destruction of public housing in the years before Hurricane Katrina, pointed out,

"There has been a kind of policy of triage, where you tear down two of the largest public housing projects in the city--the famous Desire project and St. Thomas in the Warehouse District--to make room for a Wal-Mart and gentrification. You re-house only a portion of the population--a minority--and the other residents are basically thrown out onto the streets, with the expectation that they would leave the city." ("The struggle over the future of New Orleans," September 23, 2005)

And what is happening to the hundreds of thousands of Black people evacuated after Katrina? These are the people HUD Secretary Jackson says won’t (or won’t be allowed to) come back to New Orleans.

The whole world saw the absolutely inhuman way people were treated at the Terrordome and how thousands of people were left to sit on their rooftops for days with no food or water.

Now evacuees from New Orleans are being treated as criminals or potential criminals--shuttled off to destinations unknown, often far away from familiar surroundings, almost always separated from their families.

People in Baton Rouge, Houston, and cities scattered throughout the country tell of how they pleaded with officials to let them get to areas where they knew they had family they could reunite with. But they were told they had to go wherever the bus they got on was taking them. People who had relatives in cities like Baton Rouge and LaFayette were often driven right through those towns--but no stops were allowed--and people were taken against their will to locations in Texas, Arkansas, and elsewhere. The authorities are running background checks on people coming into their state and at least one man, shipped to Rhode Island, was arrested because he had an outstanding warrant.

Centers set up to house people in Houston, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere are like heavily guarded detention centers. In Baton Rouge, the River Center, which is the main downtown civic center, was surrounded by scores of police cars blocking all the streets, with military vehicles forming a perimeter around the police cars. Heavily armed soldiers, police, along with FEMA agents and federal, state, and local officials of every type swarmed around the area. Police from states as far away as Michigan were sent in to help institute a clampdown and "maintain control."

Every time people left the center for a walk or some fresh air, they had to wait in long lines to pass through a metal detector and have their IDs and whatever they were carrying checked. Strict curfews were put in place. People had to wear ID wrist bands that identified them as being in the centers and people felt watched and feared everywhere they went.

The mountain of lies and rumors spread by government officials and the media, vilifying Black people coming out of New Orleans, has run wild in the cities and towns people have been sent to. One young woman said the way they were treated made her think that it is as if the people of New Orleans "have a disease inside us, and everyone else is supposed to be afraid of us."

News stories have made it seem like the government is taking care of everyone, that the evacuees are all being given new homes, jobs, and emergency money. But this too is a lie.

FEMA is putting harsh new regulations on people as they are being "relocated" into apartments in different cities. People were promised, , and some people got, $2,000 debit cards. But anyone with a sense of reality knows this amount comes nowhere close to what is needed by a family that has lost everything and is trying to survive in a strange city. To add insult to injury, FEMA has put people through endless delays, hours of standing in line after line, and humiliation after humiliation to get even this puny amount.

People are being promised apartments, and six months rent in cities like Houston. But in case after case, after being bussed around the sprawling metro area for hours, people are taken to areas far from the city center. They don’t have cars and would almost certainly be unable to find jobs they could get to. And once they get to the places where they are supposed to be able to live, they are often told they aren’t eligible if they have any kind of arrest record or unpaid rent on their apartments in New Orleans. This abuse is happening to the people being sent to a potential place to live. But most of the evacuees aren’t even being offered this.

Among the masses there is a real feeling that the efforts to gentrify New Orleans that have been going on for the last 20 to 25 years played a big role in the lack of planning for a disastrous hurricane. And now the policy of dispersing evacuees, whether deliberately or not, serves this plan by encouraging people to not return to the city.

The people must never forgive and never forget the murderous atrocities that have been, and continue to be, committed against the people of New Orleans. What is called for is solidarity with the people made victims of both Hurricane Katrina and the Bush regime’s abuse--and resistance and protest against the neglect, abuse, lies, racism and repression that is continuing against the people evacuated out of New Orleans.

25 questions about murder of the Big Easy

Mike Davis, Anthony Fontenot

Sunday, October 2, 2005

The most toxic debris in New Orleans isn't the sinister gray sludge that coats the streets of the historic Creole neighborhood of Treme or the Lower Ninth Ward, but all the unanswered questions that have accumulated in the wake of so much official betrayal and hypocrisy.

Where outsiders see simple "incompetence" or "failure of leadership," locals are more inclined to discern deliberate design and planned neglect -- the murder, not the accidental death, of a great city.

Here are 25 of the urgent questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with on a trip to New Orleans and South Louisiana. Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply physical) reconstruction of the New Orleans region will remain impossible.

1. Why did the floodwalls along the 17th Street Canal only break on the New Orleans side and not on the Metairie side? Was this the result of neglect and poor maintenance by New Orleans authorities?

2. Who owned the huge barge that apparently was catapulted into the wall of the Industrial Canal, causing flooding that killed scores in the Lower Ninth Ward -- the most deadly hit-and-run accident in U.S. history?

3. All of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish east of the Industrial Canal were drowned, except for the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District along Chef Menteur Highway. Why was industrial land apparently protected by stronger levees than nearby residential neighborhoods?

4. Why did Mayor Ray Nagin, in defiance of his own official disaster plan, delay 12 to 24 hours in ordering a mandatory evacuation of the city?

5. Why did Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff not declare Katrina an "Incident of National Significance" until Aug. 30 -- thus preventing the full deployment of urgently needed federal resources?

6. Why wasn't the nearby Bataan immediately sent to the aid of New Orleans? The huge amphibious-landing ship had a state-of-the-art, 600-bed hospital, water and power plants, helicopters, food supplies and 1,200 sailors eager to join the rescue effort.

7. Why wasn't the Baltimore hospital ship Comfort ordered to sea until Aug. 31, or the 82nd Airborne Division deployed in New Orleans until Sept. 5?

8. Why does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld balk at making public his "severe weather execution order" that established the ground rules for the military response to Katrina? Did the Pentagon, as a recent report by the Congressional Research Service suggests, fail to take initiatives within already authorized powers, then attempt to transfer the blame to state and local governments?

9. Why were the more than 350 buses of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority -- eventually flooded where they were parked -- not mobilized to evacuate infirm, poor, and car-less residents?

10. What significance attaches to the fact that the chair of the Transportation Authority, appointed by Mayor Nagin, is Jimmy Reiss, the wealthy leader of the New Orleans Business Council which has long advocated a thorough redevelopment of (and cleanup of crime in) the city?

11. Under what authority did Mayor Nagin meet confidentially in Dallas with the "40 thieves" -- white business leaders led by Reiss -- reportedly to discuss the triaging of poorer Black areas and a corporate-led master plan for rebuilding the city?

12. Everyone knows about a famous train called "the City of New Orleans." Why was there no evacuation by rail? Was Amtrak part of the disaster planning? If not, why not?

13. Why were patients at private hospitals like Tulane evacuated by helicopter while their counterparts at the Charity Hospital were left to suffer and die?

14. Was the failure to adequately stock food, water, potable toilets, cots and medicine at the Louisiana Superdome a deliberate decision -- as many believe -- to force poorer residents to leave the city?

15. The French Quarter has one of the highest densities of restaurants in the nation. Once the acute shortages of food and water at the Superdome and the Convention Center were known, why didn't officials requisition supplies from hotels and restaurants located just a few blocks away? (As it happened, vast quantities of food were simply left to spoil.)

16. City Hall's emergency command center had to be abandoned early in the crisis because its generator supposedly ran out of diesel fuel. Likewise many critical-care patients died from heat or equipment failure after hospital backup generators failed. Why were supplies of diesel fuel so inadequate? Why were so many hospital generators located in basements that would obviously flood?

17. Why didn't the Navy or Coast Guard immediately airdrop life preservers and rubber rafts in flooded districts? Why wasn't such life-saving equipment stocked in schools and hospitals?

18. Why weren't evacuee centers established in Audubon Park and other unflooded parts of Uptown, where locals could be employed as cleanup crews?

19. Is the Justice Department investigating the Jim-Crow-like response of the suburban Gretna police who turned back hundreds of desperate New Orleans citizens trying to walk across the Mississippi River bridge -- an image reminiscent of Selma in 1965? New Orleans, meanwhile, abounds in eyewitness accounts of police looting and illegal shootings: Will any of this ever be investigated?

20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires that have swept the city? Why have so many fires occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been targets of proposed gentrification, such as the Section 8 homes on Constance Street in the Lower Garden District or the wharfs along the river in Bywater?

21. Where were the Federal Emergency Management Agency's several dozen vaunted urban search-and-rescue teams? Aside from some courageous work by Coast Guard helicopter crews, the early rescue effort was largely mounted by volunteers who towed their own boats into the city after hearing an appeal on television.

22. We found a huge Red Cross presence in Baton Rouge but none in some of the smaller Louisiana towns that have mounted the most impressive relief efforts. The poor Cajun community of Ville Platte, for instance, has at one time or another fed and housed more than 5,000 evacuees; but the Red Cross and FEMA have refused almost daily appeals by local volunteers to send professional personnel and aid. Why then give money to the Red Cross?

23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central registry of everyone evacuated from the greater New Orleans region? Will evacuees receive absentee ballots and be allowed to vote in the crucial February municipal elections that will partly decide the fate of the city?

24. As politicians talk about "disaster czars" and elite-appointed reconstruction commissions, and as architects and developers advance utopian designs for an ethnically cleansed "new urbanism" in New Orleans, where is any plan for the substantive participation of the city's ordinary citizens in their own future?

25. Indeed, on the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, what has happened to democracy?

Mike Davis is the author of many books including "City of Quartz, Dead Cities and Other Tales,'' and the just published "Monster at our Door, the Global Threat of Avian Flu'' (The New Press) as well as the forthcoming "Planet of Slums'' (Verso). Anthony Fontenot is a New Orleans architect and community-design activist, currently working at Princeton University. This piece appeared on Contact us at


Debate Over Fate Of Ninth Ward Involves Race, Culture And Politics
Mayor Nagin Has Laid Out Plans To Reopen Every Section Of New Orleans, Except The Lower Ninth

Published on 10/3/2005

New Orleans— No one here wants to say it aloud, but one day soon the bulldozers will come, shoving away big hunks of a neighborhood known for its poverty and its artists, its bad luck and its bounce-back resilience.

It is likely to be the largest demolition of a community in modern U.S. history — destruction begun by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and finished by heavy machinery. On Saturday, firefighters put red tags on hundreds of homes deemed “unsafe,” the first step in a wrenching debate over whether the Lower Ninth Ward should be rebuilt or whether, as some suggest, it should revert to its natural state: swamp.

A neighborhood tucked into a deep depression between two canals, railroad tracks and the Mississippi River, New Orleans's Lower Ninth has spent more of the past five weeks underwater than dry. Entire houses knocked off foundations. Barbershops and corner groceries flattened. Cars tossed inside living rooms. What remains is coated in muck — a crusty layer of canal water, sewage and dirt. Mold is rapidly devouring interiors.

The question now is whether the Lower Ninth Ward, which was devastated 40 years ago by Hurricane Betsy, should be resuscitated again. The debate, as fervent as any facing post-hurricane New Orleans, will test this city's mettle and is sure to expose tensions over race, poverty and political power. The people willing to let the Lower Ninth fade away hew to a pragmatist's bottom line; the ones who want it to stay talk of culture and tradition.

The flooded sections “should not be put back in the real estate market,” said Craig Colten, a geography professor at Louisiana State University. “I realize it will be an insult (to former residents), but it would be a far bigger insult to put them back in harm's way.”

The notion is not without precedent. In the 1800s, cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago rebuilt on filled-in marsh. More recently, the federal government has paid to relocate homes destroyed by the Mississippi River floods of 1993; the Northridge, Calif., earthquake; and the Love Canal environmental disaster in Upstate New York.

But never on the scale being contemplated here. And never in a predominantly black, low-income community already smarting from previous wrongs, perceived or real.

“This is a natural disaster; it's nobody's fault,” said Lolita Reed Glass, who grew up in the Lower Ninth with her parents and 10 siblings. “My daddy worked. He did not sit on his bottom. You're not giving us anything. What we rightfully deserve as citizens of this country is the same protection we give to other countries.”

Of the 160,000 buildings in Louisiana declared “uninhabitable” after Katrina, a majority are in the New Orleans neighborhoods that suffered extensive flooding. Mayor Ray Nagin, an African American who worked in the private sector before entering politics, has spelled out plans to reopen every section of the city — except the Lower Ninth. His director of homeland security, Col. Terry Ebbert, said in an interview that most homes in the Lower Ninth “will not be able to be restored.” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson told the Houston Chronicle he has advised Nagin that “it would be a mistake to rebuild the Ninth Ward.”

The mayor himself has spoken ominously about the need for residents to come in, “take a peek,” retrieve a few valuables and move on. Historic preservation advocates fear that the city will capitalize on a program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that pays to tear down damaged buildings but not to repair historic private properties.

“There is a built-in incentive to demolish,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The first instinct after natural disasters is almost always to demolish buildings. It is almost always wrong.”

New Orleans, with 20 districts on the National Register of Historic Places covering half the city, has the highest concentration of historic structures in the nation, Moe said. That includes the Lower Ninth's Holy Cross section, with its shotgun houses and gems such as the Jackson Barracks, the Doullut Steamboat Houses and St. Maurice Church.

In a news conference Friday, Nagin was noncommittal about the future of the Lower Ninth, noting that portions are still flooded, there is a “significant amount of debris and mud,” and environmental tests must be conducted.

“I am sensitive to the Ninth Ward and people talking about it like it's not people's homes,” he said. “If we do have to do any mass demolition in the Lower Ninth Ward, I hope we figure out proper compensation” for property owners, he added.

Although it is less than two miles northeast of the French Quarter, the Lower Ninth Ward is far removed from the money and clout pulsating through downtown. From the high ground along the banks of the Mississippi River, the ward gradually slopes down. Closest to the river, the flood was five or six or seven feet deep; farther down into the neighborhood — away from the river — the water lapped at rooftops.

Firefighters peered up at those ruined roofs over the weekend, called in by the New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits, to help decide what should stay and what should go. They left behind the fluorescent red warning tags on the worst hulks.

“If you go in the house, you are entering at your own risk,” said Jamie Grant, area leader for the Buxton, Maine, fire department, one of several out-of-state teams brought in for the unpleasant task. City Attorney Sherry Landry said “full structural assessments” have not been conducted on the tagged houses, but the damage appears so severe it “could make occupancy dangerous.”

Originally a Cypress swamp, the community of 20,000 is overwhelmingly black; more than one-third of residents live below the poverty line, according to the 2000 census. The people of the Lower Ninth are the maids, bellhops and busboys who care for New Orleans tourists. They are also the clerks and cops now helping to get the city back on its feet. It is home to carpenters, sculptors, musicians and retirees. Fats Domino still has a house in the Lower Ninth. Kermit Ruffins — a quintessential New Orleanian trumpeter whose band likes to grill up some barbecue between sets — attended local schools. About half the houses are rentals.

“It's a scrappy place where people don't take a lot of guff, but a place where people really respect each other” said Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association. “It has heart and soul and beauty.”

Dashiell is annoyed by comments by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and some developers suggesting there is no point in restoring the most flood-prone parts of the city — the Lower Ninth, everyone knows, even if it is not mentioned by name. She wants “an independent expert who can be trusted” to assess the condition of buildings there and a hefty investment in levees that can withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

Yet even some liberal activists, people who have worked to buoy the fortunes of the Lower Ninth, are beginning to talk favorably about clearing it away — if residents are well compensated and given suitable housing elsewhere.

“It would be negligent homicide to put people in the Lower Ninth,” said Russell Henderson, a veteran community organizer who has formed the Rebuilding Louisiana Coalition. “If you put people back in there, they're going to die.”

But scraping away the Lower Ninth would most certainly change the already delicate equations of racial and economic politics in one of America's poorest cities, a city that was 67 percent black but is likely to have a smaller black majority once it is resettled. LSU's Colten fears middle-class Gentilly and wealthy Lakeview — just as prone to severe flooding — will nevertheless be rebuilt, while the Lower Ninth is abandoned.

The temptation will be to “open up spaces where there has been a lot of poverty,” similar to the urban renewal projects of the 1960s, he said: “Those were seen as a way of cleansing a problem. It didn't eliminate poverty; it just moved it.”

Lolita Reed Glass is suspicious that property owners such as her mother will be offered $5,000 for land that is resold for $500,000. Dubbed a “Betsy baby” because she was born nine months after that hurricane brought water to the eaves in the Lower Ninth in 1965, Glass grew up hearing how her mother and seven older siblings punched a hole in the roof to escape the deluge. When they returned, her father added three bedrooms, a bath and laundry onto the pale-blue shotgun house to accommodate his growing family.

“We weren't rich; we weren't poor,” she said, but those things did not seem to matter to the family. All they knew was what they had. The day before Katrina swept through, Glass evacuated with her husband and three children, her mother, six siblings and an aunt. More than a month later, they are waiting to go back.

“My mother's thoughts and prayers are that she can go home,” Glass said. But if that is impossible, she at least wants to give her goodbyes to a structure built in part with her father's own hands. “I've not seen my history, not seen where I come from,” she said. “We need to have an opportunity to do that.”

Katrina ripped off the front porch and laundry room. The floodwaters tossed the contents like a salad, still moist. The house next door floated away. But 1939 Lamanche St. is there. And for now at least, without a red tag


After Katrina, Many Wonder About New Orleans' Identity

POSTED: 1:34 pm CDT October 2, 2005
NEW ORLEANS -- As black New Orleans residents regroup and put down roots elsewhere in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many people are wondering: What will become of one of the nation's most complex African-American cultures?

Pre-Katrina New Orleans was a majority black city. It also was a poor one.

But the city was a place where French, Spanish, Indians and West Africans mixed as far back as the 18th century -- giving it a rich, multiracial cultural heritage.

Now the city's native sons and daughters, spread nationwide, are speculating on how that culture will change in the wake of the flooding wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Some even question whether it will survive at all.

Arnold Hirsch, a historian at the University of New Orleans, said once the people are scattered, he doesn't know if the past can be recaptured.

He said there may be something new, "but it wouldn't be the historical New Orleans."

Saints Play First 'Home' Game

The home team crowd was loud and the team responded, as the New Orleans Saints beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday.

But the game was in San Antonio.

The Saints' true home in New Orleans, the Superdome, is on the disabled list. But as New Orleans slowly comes back to life, Saints fans head for their local pub, if it's open.

Bartender Sheila Ponsaa said she misses the enthusiasm of game-day crowds when the Saints are really at home.

Bar owner Ray Newman said he was impressed by the number of Saints fans in San Antonio, adding they managed to give the displaced team a real home-field advantage.

Fan Keith Brockman, watching on television, said he hopes displaced Saints fans in Texas got a break from their worries by being at the game.

First Masses Held Since Hurricane

The historic St. Louis Cathedral held its first Sunday service in the French Quarter since Hurricane Katrina.

The Mass had a dual purpose: to mourn the lives of the more than 900 who died in the storm, and to bring hope to those who remain behind and face the task of rebuilding.

The cathedral was originally built in 1727. The first Church of St. Louis lasted 61 years, until it caught fire and was rebuilt in the same location.

Since then, it has withstood hurricanes and hailstorms. It was left virtually untouched by Katrina's fierce winds and high waters.


Rebuilding Hurricane-Devastated Areas- Why Not Follow LBJ’s Lead?

By Kevin R. Kosar

Mr. Kosar, Ph.D., is the author of Failing Grades: The Federal Politics of Education Standards (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005).

Last week, U.S. representatives and senators from Louisiana introduced the “Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act” into Congress. The total cost of the bill popped quite a few eyes- $250 billion. The bill (S. 1765) runs over 400 pages and seeks funds for just about everything one could imagine. Some of the objects of funding seems perfectly reasonable--who, for example, would object to federal funds being used to repair damaged veterans’ medical facilities?

Others, though, have drawn hoots. S. 1765 would have the American public pony up $150 million in fisheries disaster assistance, $25 million for a sugar cane research laboratory, $35 million for seafood marketing, and so forth. There also is the matter of the brobdingnagian magnitude of the demands for funds. As the Washington Post noted, $250 billion amounts to $50,000 to every person in the entire state (and this doesn’t include the $62.3 billion already appropriated for disaster relief).

But the size of S. 1765 should not divert our attention from an even bigger issue- the challenge of creating coherent policy to aid hurricane-stricken areas with reconstruction. At last count, there were over 100 disaster response and recovery bills introduced into Congress offering billions of dollars in the form of tax cuts, regulation waivers, grants, loans, and more. How is Congress supposed to reconcile all these ideas into a coherent policy?

Nobody knows. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens remain refugees, their futures hinging on the federal government’s ability to craft a long-term economic recovery plan to get New Orleans, Beaumont, and other areas up and functioning.

This legislative free-for-all might have been avoided had President George W. Bush chosen to take the lead in formulating disaster recovery policies for the affected areas. Instead, he seems to be devoting his energies to following FEMA’s and other agencies’ efforts to clean up the damage.

Forty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson showed how the federal government could both respond rapidly and rationally to a major natural disaster and, critically, draw up sensible legislation based on expert analyses to get the affected area back on its feet.

On March 27, 1964, Good Friday, at 5:36 PM, a huge earthquake rocked Alaska. The 8.6 magnitude quake rocked perhaps 50,000 square miles, including Anchorage, Kodiak, Valdez, and more. Roads were rent to pieces, buildings collapsed, fishing boats heaved hundreds of feet onto land; whole shorelines slipped under water. 115 persons were killed and $750 million ($4.7 billion in today’s dollars) in damage was done.

Within a few hours, Governor William A. Egan of Alaska and the U.S. military authorities stationed in Alaska had gotten in contact with one another and launched what would become called “Operation Helping Hand.” (For a case in contrast, see the lengthy article on Louisiana officials troubles in responding.) Military and civilians worked together to deliver water to affected areas, patching together telephone service, and preparing areas where civilians could get a meal and take refuge.

By the next day, President Johnson had declared a national disaster and dispatched members of the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) to Alaska to get relief efforts rolling. OEP got in immediate contact with both local officials and federal agencies and began coordinating disaster response.

Johnson might have stopped here at the point of providing disaster relief. With civil rights issues brewing and a war in Vietnam going less than well, and a campaign to run against Barry Goldwater, the president was plenty busy. Instead, Johnson put his mind to formulating a plan to produce legislation that would provide rational plans for reconstructing the damaged areas. On April 2, he established through executive order the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission for Alaska (FRDPCA).

It was an ingenious entity. FRDPCA was composed of members of agencies help would be needed (e.g., Defense, Interior, Small Business Administration, etc.), the director of OEP, and, critically, New Mexico Senator Clinton P. Anderson. While the Atomic Energy Commission’s Dwight A. Ink was the executive director of FRDPCA, Anderson was its de facto head. LBJ appointed Anderson because he knew that Anderson was competent at executive work and he could help LBJ get reconstruction legislation through Congress.

FRDPCA set to work immediately. It recruited competent staff from Senator Anderson’s office and experts from agencies represented on FRDPCA. It created task forces to handle assorted issues areas involved in reconstruction (e.g., economic stabilization, housing, etc.) also composed of top personnel from FRDPCA agencies who possessed deep knowledge of the machinery of government. Members were dispatched to Alaska where they worked with other officials to draw up damage assessments and plans for repairing the damage and getting Alaska back on its feet. Johnson, in the meantime, got Congress to pass emergency appropriations to help fund the clean-up in Alaska.

FRDCPA took what it learned on the ground in Alaska (it held numerous forums with both local officials and the public) and drew up sensible legislation to enact policy that would promote the long-term recovery of Alaska. On May 27, just two months after the earthquake, LBJ submitted reconstruction legislation to Congress. By mid-August, Congress had enacted the bill into law and Alaska was on the road to full recovery. In October of 1964, its mission fulfilled, the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission for Alaska was abolished by LBJ.

Mr. Bush may have been handed a political gift by Hurricane Rita. Since this second cyclone struck some of the same areas as Katrina, Mr. Bush might now leap into the legislative fray and present a unified plan for hurricane recovery. Should he do so, he might find it helpful to follow the lead of that other president from Texas.

Senators in disharmony on aid

WASHINGTON -- So much for unity.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., recently stood together on behalf of the Louisiana federal delegation and unveiled a $250 billion request for federal help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Vitter noted that the measure was both bipartisan and bicameral.

But when it came time to actually file the legislation later in the day, Landrieu and Vitter filed their own versions of the same bill,  S. 1765 and S. 1766.

Disharmony between the two, who have had differences in the past, was visible at the news conference. Each senator's staff handed out its own analysis of the measure. The Landrieu synopsis contained the words "prepared by Office of Senator Mary L. Landrieu."

When asked about the filing of the two bills, Adam Sharp, communications director for Landrieu, said the Landrieu piece was filed first and should be considered "the correct text." He said the Vitter bill was filed in "confusion on the part of the junior member."

"The only difference is the order of the names on the bill," Sharp said.

Mac Abrams, a spokesman for Vitter, said the senator's office intended to file its own bill in a strategy of two heads are better than one.

"We wanted Landrieu's office to have a bill with her name on it that she could take back to the Democratic caucus and we wanted one that we could take back to the Republican conference that demonstrates the bipartisanship of the bill," Abrams said.

Editorial blasts request

The Louisiana federal delegation was labeled "legislative looters" in an editorial by The Washington Post last week criticizing the $250 billion relief request.

The editorial came after one of Washington's chief budget watchdog groups, Taxpayers for Common Sense, called the Louisiana request "brazen." The nonprofit organization questioned some of the items in the request as not related to Katrina.

The legislation requests $160 million for the state's "federal city" plan. Another $8 million would go to an alligator farm. The bill also requests $25 million for a sugar-cane research laboratory that had not been completed before Katrina. And another $600 million would go toward early childhood programs.

Landrieu rejected the editorial, standing by the bill's proposed spending.

"We know it's a big ask, but it's a big problem," Landrieu said. "This is the first time this nation will build a major city since the Civil War."

Louisiana connections

Two lobbying firms that have done hurricane relief fund raising will be working for corporate clients seeking federal reconstruction contracts.

Patton Boggs, which includes New Orleans native Tommy Boggs and former U.S. Sen. John Breaux, D-La., has been hired to handle contract compliance work for The Shaw Group. The Baton Rouge-based construction and engineering company has won $200 million in federal contracts to help with the rebuilding.

"We want to make sure that everything we do is appropriate and that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed," Breaux said.

The other firm, The Livingston Group, has three new Louisiana clients. Run by former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, R-Metairie, the firm hopes to help Southern Recycling handle scrap metal and River Birch conduct debris removal. A third client, Daybrook Fisheries, would help refloat boats grounded by the storm.

'I'm officially an evacuee'

National Wildlife Federation Chairman Jerome C. Ringo of Lake Charles found himself a victim of Hurricane Rita. "I'm officially an evacuee," he said.

Ringo and his wife were headed to Washington when the storm struck. Their two children were staying with relatives in Texas. But Ringo hasn't been home and has been told that it may be several weeks before he can get into his house, which suffered structural damage from the storm.

The week prior, Ringo was volunteering to help victims of Katrina and said he never imagined he would be an evacuee.

Ringo, however, said he intends to use the experience to call for better prioritization of flood-control projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He said he also will continue his call for coastal restoration and reducing global warming, two issues that he believes worsened the storms' impact.

The Greenhouse effect

Four U.S. senators are calling for the immediate reinstatement of Bunnatine H. "Bunny" Greenhouse as procurement executive and chief of civilian contracting for the Corps of Engineers.

The Southern University magna cum laude math graduate and Rayville native was recently demoted after she reported what she called serious contracting fraud and abuse related to the awarding of billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to Halliburton and one of its subsidiaries in Iraq.

Michael Kohn, general counsel at the National Whistleblower Center, is representing Greenhouse.

"Bunny Greenhouse is a native Louisianian and there is no one in the contracting field more willing to devote themselves to the rebuilding of this nation while ensuring that the American taxpayers are not fleeced in the process," Kohn said in a statement.

The senators backing Greenhouse are U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Bush Plans To Outline Massive New Orleans Rebuilding Program
Some Businesses Will Reopen On Saturday, Mayor Says

President Bush addresses the nation at 8 p.m. CDT Thursday from New Orleans and is expected to outline a massive rebuilding program for the hurricane stricken city.

Meanwhile the city’s mayor says some businesses will be allowed to reopen as early as Saturday.

Mr. Bush will speak from historic Jackson Square in the French Quarter Thursday night, after a visit to Pascagoula, Miss., which was also hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.

Previewing the speech, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Mr. Bush envisions rebuilding a Gulf Coast "stronger and better than before" Katrina.

Mr. Bush has been practicing the address in the White House movie theater.

McClellan says it'll include initiatives on housing, education, job training, health care and small business.

Asked if paying for it will force a re-thinking of administration spending priorities or tax cuts, McClellan replied, "The worst thing we can do for the economy right now is raise taxes."

The address comes two days after Bush acknowledged to reporters that he takes responsibility for the flawed federal response to the hurricane.

Meanwhile Mayor Ray Nagin told reporters Thursday that businesses will be allowed to reopen starting on Saturday in some parts of the city.

Nagin said some neighborhoods will be reopened to residents in phases beginning on Monday.

A strict dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in effect in the city, but Nagin says New Orleans soon “will start to breathe again.”

He sais the city will have life, and it will have commerce.

"We're going to bring this city back,” he said.

Nagin says he expects about 180,000 people to return to the city within a week or two, when power and sewer systems are restored.

Officially, Katrina is blamed for 474 deaths in Louisiana but that's expected to rise.

The government reported Thursday that applications for jobless benefits jumped by the biggest amount in nearly a decade last week as the number of people who lost jobs to Hurricane Katrina climbed to 68,000.


Posted on Fri, Sep. 30, 2005

Who will emerge from the storm?

The Orlando Sentinel

Mother Nature has a deft hand when it comes to reorganizing human perspective, as we've witnessed with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Suddenly "things" don't matter, we're reminded; only life and loved ones do.

But Mother Nature also has other talents -- ripple effects and trickle-down consequences that help shape the political landscape. As she highlights our priorities, she also showcases those individuals who rise to the occasion. As well as those who don't.

Thus, Katrina and Rita may be pivotal players in determining who becomes the next president of the United States. Presidents, after all, are often elected according to the climate at a given moment, rather than by strict measures of specific skills.

George W. Bush, despite his early days of bacchanalia (hardly a solitary pursuit among the baby-boomer generation), was a stiff shirt and straight arrow following Bill Clinton's prolonged adolescence. He was, in other words, a reaction vote for someone who promised to restore dignity to the White House. No more "little office" parties; no more Hollywood stars jumping on the Lincoln bed.

In his time, Clinton -- just a warm-blooded good ol' boy from Arkansas who could feel everybody's pain -- was a reaction to the cold New England, out-of-touch George H.W. Bush, himself a kinder-gentler reaction to tough-guy Ronald Reagan, who was a reaction to a peanut farmer with a preacher streak, who was a reaction to the corrupt era of Watergate.

You get the picture. In the current climate of war and ravaging hurricanes, the lingering effects of which will be on front pages for months if not years, what sort of president might be next in line? In times of national disaster and cataclysmic events, who you gonna call?

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy -- as in former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- springs to mind. Or is it Arizona Sen. John McCain? Both men have been getting lots of buzz during the past couple of weeks as Americans have been reeling from hurricanes, massive federal spending promises and leadership that makes the Keystone Cops seem like Swiss clockmakers.

Both men have been leading the short list of possible Republican presidential candidates, of course, but then Katrina and Rita came along. They were more than weather. Although no one wishes to minimize or trivialize the horror of these storms, especially as people are still struggling with death and loss, there's no avoiding the inevitable political effects.

Giuliani has benefited greatly by his unavoidable comparison to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Obviously, hurricanes and terrorist attacks are vastly different, especially in scope. But Nagin missed his bullhorn moments: first, before the storm, when he might have evacuated thousands of poor people without access to transportation; second, immediately afterward, when his city quickly turned into a swamp of anarchy.

If Katrina is remembered as the storm that destroyed New Orleans, Nagin will be remembered as the mayor who lost control. By comparison, Giuliani is forever imprinted on the American psyche as the Eveready-man, able to manage whatever furies are unleashed by Earth's wrath or hell's wraiths.

McCain may have benefited politically even more than Giuliani from the storms' ripples. As Americans recoil in horror at the projected $200 billion federal price tag attached to rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (and who knows for Rita), McCain is one of the few voices -- along with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. -- calling for government restraint.

Not against the spending per se, as the federal government is mandated by law to cover a certain percentage of reconstruction costs following disaster. But against pork-barrel and other unnecessary spending during a time of war and natural disaster.

Thus, McCain, as a voice of fiscal conservatism in a party that has strayed far from that principle, may evolve as the hurricane candidate. Hurricane McCain? A war hero in a time of war, who is also a small-government conservative in an era of deficit spending, sounds like a perfect storm.

Kathleen Parker writes for The Orlando Sentinel.
A Mogul Who Would Rebuild New Orleans

New York Times
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 28, 2005 - Many of the business elite of New Orleans seem preoccupied these days by what some here simply call The List - the chosen few Mayor C. Ray Nagin is expected to name on Friday to a commission to advise him on the rebuilding of the stricken city. Almost certain to make the grade is the real estate mogul Joseph C. Canizaro, the man best known for bringing high-rises to the New Orleans skyline.

Mr. Canizaro has emerged as perhaps the single most influential business executive from New Orleans. One fellow business leader calls him the local Donald Trump. But Mr. Canizaro derives his influence far less from a flamboyant style than from his close ties to President Bush as well as to Mr. Nagin, and that combination could make him a pivotal figure in deciding how and where New Orleans will be resurrected.

Mr. Canizaro has not only secured a coveted spot on the commission, those who have seen the list said, but he has played a critical role in shaping it. At a state Senate hearing held in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, Mr. Nagin confirmed that he would be naming an advisory panel, but that he had not completed a list.

New Orleans is a town where generally it helps to have local roots that go back at least one or two generations, if not back to the days before the Louisiana Purchase. Mr. Canizaro first arrived in New Orleans in the mid-1960's, when he was in his 20's.

Yet despite his status as a relative newcomer, Mr. Canizaro's stature has grown because of his political influence, the force of his personality and his record of public service to the city where he has lived for 41 years.

Like Mr. Trump, he has celebrated the ribbon-cutting of buildings that have achieved iconic status in New Orleans, and has faced down bankruptcy, only to emerge so financially strong that he recently moved into a home that Lt. Gov. Mitchell J. Landrieu described as "perhaps the nicest house in all of Louisiana." That home, which took four years to build and resembles a European palace, was severely damaged by three feet of water that flooded his neighborhood just west of the city.

Mr. Canizaro is inclined to view the flooding of New Orleans as both a tragedy and an opportunity. He notes that the city's schools were substandard, its housing stock crumbling and its crime rate among the nation's highest. "I think we have a clean sheet to start again," Mr. Canizaro said. "And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities."

Like many in the city's establishment, Mr. Canizaro declined to give his vision for a new New Orleans. But many locals expect Mr. Canizaro will use as a starting blueprint a report from the Committee for a Better New Orleans that he and other civic leaders have sitting on their shelves. In 2000, he started that committee, which brought together more than 100 business and community activists to talk about everything from the poor state of the city's schools to the high crime rate and preponderance of dilapidated buildings.

"Joe was very involved, coming to every meeting, really pushing people to come up with concrete proposals," said Norman C. Francis, the president of Xavier University, the nation's only historically black Catholic university. "Joe is a can-do guy; he's a go-getter, a doer," said Mr. Francis, who co-led the committee with Mr. Canizaro.

Over the years, Mr. Canizaro has socialized with the president, a man he describes as a friend. And Mr. Bush no doubt appreciates the hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Canizaro has contributed to the Republican Party, according to campaign finance records. In 2004, he attained Ranger status in the Bush campaign - someone who raised at least $200,000 for the president's re-election.

Mr. Canizaro said he was not acting as a formal intermediary between the president and local leaders, and had not spoken directly to Mr. Bush since Katrina struck.

But he said he had kept in regular contact with Mr. Bush's top aides. "I've been having conversations with people around the president, for guidance and direction and commitment and support," he said. "I've been trying to help out in that way."

The city's other business leaders assume that his connections are sterling. One prominent local business leader, who declined to be named for fear of jeopardizing a slot on the commission, was downright giddy that his name was on a draft list of names Mr. Canizaro was circulating last week.

"From what I understand, Joe is the prime mover on this thing, at least as far as the business members' portion of the commission," this person said.

"The general perception is that Joe, as someone locally who has the president's ear, will be playing a particularly critical role as we start getting down to the work of rebuilding the city," said J. Stephen Perry, a former gubernatorial chief of staff who now heads the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. While Mr. Perry is expected to be an important player as the city rebuilds, his name was not on the list as of midweek.

Since Katrina, Mr. Canizaro has spent much of his time in Utah, where he owns a second home. In mid-September, when the mayor invited a group of business leaders to Dallas to discuss the city's future, the mayor took the time for a phone conversation with Mr. Canizaro.

"It was an incredible thing to witness," said one participant in the Dallas meeting, who did not want his name used because he was talking about a private gathering. "The mayor stood there on the phone, nodding and jotting down notes, as if Joe were passing on bullet points directly from the president."

Mr. Canizaro, who earlier this year hosted a fund-raiser in his home for the mayor, tiptoed around the topic of his behind-the-scenes role. Only when pressed did he acknowledge that he is fully engaged in the creation of the advisory council: "The mayor and I have spoken numerous times about getting the commission together," he said, but he stressed that ultimately the mayor, and no single private individual, would fill out its roster.

"This is the mayor's thing," he said, over a breakfast of ham and eggs in Baton Rouge last week. "I'm just doing what I can to help."

Mr. Canizaro is on the short side but has a strong jaw and steely gray hair and a clipped, authoritative way of speaking that suggests he is accustomed to giving orders. At breakfast, he was constantly in motion, his leg bobbing as he played with his eating utensils and fiddled with whatever was within reach.

Of course, other business leaders are expected to play a central role in the rebuilding of New Orleans. One is Donald T. Bollinger Jr., who runs Bollinger Shipyards, based in Lockport, Miss., and who confirmed that he had been asked to serve on the commission.

Mr. Bollinger, who splits his time between homes in New Orleans and others scattered around the Gulf Coast, is also prominent in Republican circles in Louisiana. His résumé includes a long list of community activities, including a stint as chairman of the local United Way and a turn as the head of Citizens for a Better New Orleans.

"I'm a friend of the president's, but I don't know if that was the governing factor in my name ending up on the list," Mr. Bollinger said.

The list also includes several prominent African-American business leaders, including Alden J. McDonald Jr., the chief executive of the Liberty Bank and Trust Company, and Daniel F. Packer, the chief executive of the New Orleans subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

Scott Cowen, the president of Tulane University, who first arrived in New Orleans in 1998, is also expected to be named to the mayor's commission. "A few decades ago, New Orleans was the kind of closed community where unless you were born and raised here, you couldn't have much influence," Mr. Cowen said. "In recent years, that's clearly changing. As a result, people like Joe Canizaro and others can have much more influence than they would have had a decade or two ago."

Mr. Francis, the Xavier University president, said he, too, had been asked to serve on the mayor's commission but declined because he had already committed to serving on a similar group being formed by Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

While in New Orleans last week to visit his home and check on his various business interests, Mr. Canizaro met with Mr. Nagin. Among other things, he stressed his belief that any commission must consist of an equal number of representatives from both the black and white communities.

"We in the business community must realize that we need to work with the balance of the community, particularly our African-American associates, to help develop a plan for the revival of the city," he said. Unless the discussions encompass a more wide-ranging group, he said, stabbing a meaty finger in the air to drive his point, even the best-intentioned efforts would probably fail.

When asked if he thought racial balance might prove controversial with conservatives, he responded, "I can assure you the president feels the same way."

Mr. Canizaro, the oldest of eight children, said he left Biloxi, Miss., in 1963 because he felt his opportunities there were limited. In the ensuing decades, he has built a number of large projects that have come to define New Orleans, including the 500-room Ritz-Carlton hotel and an office-condominium project called Canal Place. He is best known for constructing a cluster of high rises on Poydras Street, including the Texaco Center and LL&E Tower, which helped create a new corridor of commerce in the central business district.

Mr. Canizaro thrived through the first half of the 1980's, when the city was awash in oil money. But when oil prices dropped sharply in the mid-1980's, some of his more ambitious projects sat largely empty, and more than a few tenants were forced to break their leases.

"I definitely went through some hard times," Mr. Canizaro said. "I came close to bankruptcy."

He survived through a combination of stubbornness - he refused to lower his rents - and the good will of some creditors, including Citicorp, that did not demand repayment of their loans. After surviving the downturn of the 1980's, he diversified by forming the Firstrust Corporation, a bank holding company that acquired banks in and around New Orleans, and in 1998 he founded Corporate Capital, a venture capital firm.

Donald Trump in the No Spin Zone
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Fox News

  This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 21, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the Personal Story" segment tonight, Donald Trump. His program, "The Apprentice" starts up again tomorrow night, Thursday. You saw him on the Emmys dressed up like a farmer. And he has definite opinions on gas prices and the rebuilding of New Orleans. Mr. Trump joins us now.

Where can I get the little outfit you wore on the Emmys? Is that — can you buy that in the store?

DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION PRESIDENT AND CEO: Well, I think you'd have to go out some place out to the country. I don't know where they got it, but it seemed to have worked.

O'REILLY: You'll do anything, won't you?

TRUMP: Well, I just had a lot of fun.

O'REILLY: Right.

TRUMP: You know, they came to me, they wanted me to do it. It was fun.

O'REILLY: I would have charged them an enormous amount of money to do that.

TRUMP: I think that's a good idea.

O'REILLY: All right, let's get serious for a minute. Now you're one of the nation's preeminent builders. And New Orleans has to be rebuilt. Already, there's corruption charges. Haliburton, Bechtel, they're going to suspend wage stuff to get people in there. How do you see this?

TRUMP: Well, it's a mess. I mean, the country is in such a mess right now. Now you're looking at a new hurricane coming. I just see it's 165 miles an hour.

O'REILLY: Yes, Rita's coming in.

TRUMP: It's a number five. And it's going to Galveston or some place. And it's just a disaster.

And I think our president is almost snake bit at this point. It just seems so many bad things are happening to this country.

O'REILLY: Yes, I'd be shell shocked, absolutely.

TRUMP: Yes, so many bad things are happening...

O'REILLY: Right.

TRUMP: ...for this country and to this country. And it's a shame.

New Orleans is a city that's built under sea level. And to allow retaining walls, essentially retaining walls to collapse when they all knew if you had a large hurricane or a large amounts of water they were going to collapse, how come some — why didn't somebody fix them?

You know, the hurricane didn't do the damage, Bill. As you know, it was really the water. All of this water...

O'REILLY: Yes, Lake Pontchartrain, the lake. But they all knew it, but they didn't — the feds didn't want to pump in the $20 billion that it would take to...

TRUMP: I don't know why it costs $20 billion to fix walls. I just don't get that. You know, I heard $20 billion...

O'REILLY: Yes, it was $20 billion Army Corps...

TRUMP: I heard $100 million, I heard all different numbers.

O'REILLY: Army Corps — well, look, you — say they — you're — Bush says to you, "Look, Trump, I want you to be the rebuild czar in here. Number one, do you rebuild on that site? Do you think that's a good idea?

TRUMP: Well, look, you have a great city. You had a great city. It's perhaps going to be great again. It's going to take many, many years. They lost 600,000 homes.

You know, if I build 1,000 houses, that's a lot. That's a big, big development. Six hundred thousand homes have been just wiped out. And the rest — I mean, so many other things have been ruined.

The answer is, yes, you rebuild. Lots of tax credits, lots of other things are going to happen. I already know a lot of good developers are going down there. They think they're going to be part of it. You know, where does it stop?

O'REILLY: How do you keep with all the massive money going down there, how do you keep people from stealing? How do you keep people from stealing on your jobs? Because it's easy to steal.

TRUMP: Well, you watch. And you watch the individual jobs.

O'REILLY: Who — you don't.

TRUMP: But what you have to do and what they have to do is give developers the incentives. Because certainly the government isn't going to rebuild. If the government rebuilds...

O'REILLY: All right, so the incentives is if you build it at this price this quickly, we give you a bonus.

TRUMP: That is correct or tax incentives.

O'REILLY: Because look what happened at the big dig in Boston. I mean look at that — how — stealing massive amounts...

TRUMP: Right, but that was a government boondoggle. And that's what you can't get. You have to have lots of developers do their beautiful little developments all over the place. And when you add it up, it's one, big, beautiful, massive thing.

O'REILLY: You have confidence in Halliburton and Bechtel and these people can do that?

TRUMP: Well, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about residential developers. I'm talking about commercial developers, where they go and then they rebuild the city based on tax credits and based on...

O'REILLY: So you would hire all private developers?

TRUMP: I would do it privately. Certainly you're not going to have the government do it. But the government is going to have to do something about the levee.

O'REILLY: Yes, yes, right.

TRUMP: It's going to have to do something about the walls. Otherwise you're just...

O'REILLY: What's the point?

TRUMP: You're just wasting a lot of time and effort.

O'REILLY: Because the corruption in the home building, as you know, industry is huge. You can steal because nobody knows — you know, they put in a — you say you're doing one thing and you put in inferior material and all of that. Do you have any advice for the Bush administration on how to cut down on the corruption?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, the credibility of the Bush administration now is at an all-time low. And when you look at what's happened in New Orleans, when you look at the head of FEMA who I guess was thrown out of a horse association, it was sort of interesting.

I look at Mr. Brown. And they go to the association. They say this is the man. They said it couldn't be the same man. We fired him for incompetence. And I'm looking at this and he's the head of FEMA. The credibility of the Bush administration is very suspect right now.

O'REILLY: Well, what advice? They're watching tonight. Give them advice.

TRUMP: You're going to have to get some really talented people to rebuild New Orleans. And by the way, where is the next hurricane going? You know, this one looks like it's bigger than Katrina.

O'REILLY: Well, let's deal with that when it hits this weekend. All right, so you basically say private people have to rebuild.

TRUMP: It's got to be private. It's certainly not going to be governmental, but it has to be the incentives given by government.

O'REILLY: Incentives to do the job, right. But I think you've got to have the FBI in there watching these people.

TRUMP: Well, I think maybe that's right.

O'REILLY: You have to.

TRUMP: Certainly that's right.

O'REILLY: Right, because if they're going to get federal money, we have to oversight.

All right, when we come back, we'll talk about gasoline prices. Do you think I'm crazy on those?

TRUMP: I think you're 100 percent correct.

O'REILLY: All right, and we like to hear that. And there's plenty more ahead.

O'REILLY: Continuing now with Donald Trump, whose new program "The Apprentice" kicks off its season tomorrow, Thursday night, 9:00 p.m., NBC.

OK, I've been railing, and top of the show, I did it again tonight that we're getting hosed by the oil companies, that they're jacking up — taking advantage of the very, very, as you put it, very troubled times for America to make even more money. How do you see it?

TRUMP: I think you're 100 percent right. But I think it's beyond the oil companies. It's OPEC. It's Saudi Arabia.

You know, they used Katrina to boost oil prices at a record level, at a level that — and nobody from our administration or this government does anything about it. Every time there's going to be a rain storm some place, oh "we have to raise oil." It is so out of control right now. And nobody's...

O'REILLY: So what would you do to OPEC? We'll send you over there to talk to the OPEC pinheads and you say what?

TRUMP: You have to get a hardened business person, whether it's me or somebody else. And there 25 great people you could send. But you have to get somebody to read the riot act.

Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for 24 hours if we ever left, if we weren't protecting them. They take advantage of us, and they go out and buy their 747's as private planes like other people buy a G-5 or they'd buy a Lear jet. They buy 747's.

We are letting them get away with murder. And they're using every time — watch Galveston, we're going to have to raise fuel prices by another dollar and a half...

O'REILLY: We're expecting that.

TRUMP: It has...

O'REILLY: You say the Saudi Arabia...

TRUMP: By the way, it has nothing to do with Galveston, has nothing to do with Katrina.

O'REILLY: No, I understand that.

TRUMP: It's an excuse to raise prices.

O'REILLY: It costs $4 for OPEC to get the thing out of the ground, put it in a barrel, and they're charging $65. So we all know what it is. And then on top of that the U.S. oil companies put on a premium when they refine it here.

So you say to the Gulf states and the other OPECs, "Listen, if you keep doing this to us, we're going to pull out our defense of you, and let you on your own."

And they say, "If you do that we'll sell our oil to China and India." And you'll be screwed. TRUMP: Let me tell you something. If it all fell apart we wouldn't be charged any more, believe me. If that whole mess fell apart, we wouldn't be charged more.

And what about Iraq? What's happening with the Iraqi oil? We're spending $400 billion...

O'REILLY: It's now up to about 98 percent of capacity. That's one success story in Iraq that hasn't been told; they are pumping the oil out.

TRUMP: How come they allowed Exxon and Mobil to merge? Who was the genius that said these two big oil companies could merge, OK?

O'REILLY: That's another thing. There's only five big oil companies and they collude, I believe. Do you believe they collude?

TRUMP: I totally believe it. I have no doubt about it. I would imagine they're members of the same golf course.

O'REILLY: Now this "Apprentice" thing. We've seen it. Do you know what I'm talking about? We have seen you firing people, yelling at people, scolding them.

TRUMP: And you have seen the ratings.

O'REILLY: Demeaning them.

TRUMP: And you have seen the ratings.

O'REILLY: Kicking them and all of that. All right. Why should we watch it again?

TRUMP: Because the ratings continue to be phenomenal. And actually, No. 4 — it is actually only No. 4, but No. 4 is the best we've ever done.

O'REILLY: Why is it the best?

TRUMP: Because No. 2 and No. 3 I wasn't involved in casting, and No. 4 I said, "You know what? I have to do it." I just was too busy.

O'REILLY: I love this. So you picked the people...

TRUMP: I picked 18 people.

O'REILLY: You picked 18 people. How many auditioned? How many did you see?

TRUMP: Over a million people.

O'REILLY: Over a million — you saw over a million people?

TRUMP: No, no, no. Over a million people applied...


TRUMP: ... to be on the show. They brought it down to 5,000. Then 2,000. Then about a thousand. And then I got involved. I went out to California. We picked — out of 1,000 people we picked 18 people.

O'REILLY: Eighteen.

TRUMP: And I think...

O'REILLY: And all the women are good looking, then, I assume.

TRUMP: Well, they're rather attractive, I've got to tell you. In fact in a couple of cases...

O'REILLY: If you're not a good looking woman, you're fired.

TRUMP: In a couple of case, serious looking, but of course this has nothing to do with why I picked them.

O'REILLY: Right. Of course not. So good looking women. And then men, what do you look for? Good looking men?

TRUMP: Well, it's never been my thing but actually, some of the men are good looking but it's, you know...

O'REILLY: What are you looking for?

TRUMP: Let me tell you what I'm looking for. I'm looking for really smart people, No. 1. If they happen to be attractive that's nice. But really, really smart people.

And I think the reason that "The Apprentice" has been so successful and has gotten such high ratings is because it's the only show where the people are really smart. You know, your audience is a big "Apprentice" audience. You do know that, right?

O'REILLY: We're a smart audience. I don't know how the crossover is. So you pick smart, good-looking people. Now are they afraid of you?

TRUMP: I'm the only one, actually, that beats you in the ratings.

O'REILLY: You beat me in the ratings?

TRUMP: Very substantially.

O'REILLY: I wouldn't be so sure about that. Anyway, are they afraid of you, these people?

TRUMP: I don't know if they're afraid of me or not. Some of them want to be stars. Some of them actually want to work for me, but we have a good time and the show has been just great. And No. 4 is the best one that we've ever done and that's tomorrow night.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, there's no truth to the rumor that you and Martha Stewart hate each other and are going to slug it out? Right?

TRUMP: It's just the opposite. You know, Mark Burnett and I own the show.


TRUMP: And...

O'REILLY: She's got an "Apprentice," too.

TRUMP: We looked at a lot of different people. We looked at Cuban. And then he did a show and he failed. We looked at Richard Branson.

O'REILLY: All right. You're dropping names. I don't know who these people are. But you and Martha, you don't hate each other?

TRUMP: We love each other.

O'REILLY: You love each other?

TRUMP: I did the show this morning. Excuse me.


TRUMP: She's been a friend of mine for a long time. I mean, I did her show this morning.

O'REILLY: You say hello to her and tell her to come on “The Factor." Donald Trump, "The Apprentice," everybody, Thursday night. Thanks for coming.

TRUMP: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2005 Fox News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 eMediaMillWorks, Inc


Bush: Reconstruction must lift up the poor

September 16, 2005


WASHINGTON-- President Bush said Friday the Gulf Coast must be rebuilt with an eye toward wiping out the persistent poverty and racial injustice plain to all in the suffering of the black and the poor in Hurricane Katrina's wake.

"As we clear away the debris of a hurricane, let us also clear away the legacy of inequality," Bush said during a national prayer service with other political leaders and religious figures from the affected region at the National Cathedral.

Also Friday, White House officials said that taxpayers will pay the bill for the massive reconstruction program and it will worsen the nation's budget deficit.

In the cathedral, several dozen evacuees and first responders, all from New Orleans, filled one side wing. The president and his wife, Laura, sat solemnly in a front pew along with Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne.

Before Bush's remarks, Bishop T.D. Jakes, head of 30,000-member Potter's House church in Dallas, delivered a powerful sermon in which he called upon Americans to "dare to discuss the unmentionable issues that confront us" and to not rest until the poor are raised to an acceptable living standard.

"Katrina, perhaps, she has done something to this nation that needed to be done," Jakes said. "We can no longer be a nation that overlooks the poor and the suffering, that continues past the ghetto on our way to the Mardi Gras."

Bush, faced with continuing questions about whether help would have been sent more quickly to the storm zone if most victims had not been poor and black, echoed those themes in brief remarks that were rich with religious references.

"Some of the greatest hardships fell upon citizens already facing lives of struggle, the elderly, the vulnerable and the poor," he said. "As we rebuild homes and businesses, we will renew our promise as a land of equality and decency and one day Americans will look back at the response to Hurricane Katrina and say that our country grew not only in prosperity but in character and justice."

Claude Allen, the president's domestic policy adviser, said two of the main storm relief proposals Bush made in his Thursday speech were aimed at addressing the region's poverty: the $5,000 grants for worker training, education and child care and an Urban Homesteading Act in which surplus federal property would be turned over to low-income citizens to build homes.

Also at the White House, Al Hubbard, director of Bush's National Economic Council, said the disaster costs-- estimated at $200 billion and beyond-- are "coming from the American taxpayer." He acknowledged the costs would swell the deficit-- projected at $333 billion for the current year before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.

Some fiscal conservatives are expressing alarm at the prospect of such massive federal outlays without cutting other spending.

"It is inexcusable for the White House and Congress to not even make the effort to find at least some offsets to this new spending," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Allen said the administration had not identified any budget cuts to offset the disaster expense. Congress already has approved $62 billion for the disaster, but that is expected to run out next month.

In his address to the nation Thursday night from the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, Bush said the recovery effort would be one of the largest reconstruction projects the world has ever seen and promised that the federal government would pay for most of it.

"There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again," he said.

The government failed to respond adequately, with agencies that lacked coordination and were overwhelmed by Katrina and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans, Bush said. Dogged by criticism that Washington's response to the hurricane was slow and inadequate, Bush said the nation has "every right to expect" more effective federal action in a time of emergency.

The hurricane killed hundreds of people across five states, forced major evacuations and caused untold property damage.

Disaster planning must be a "national security priority," he said, while ordering the Homeland Security Department to undertake an immediate review of emergency plans in every major American city and asking all Cabinet secretaries to join in a comprehensive review of the faulty response. He said the disaster revealed the need for greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces.

Bush faced the nation at a vulnerable point in his presidency. Most Americans disapprove of his handling of Katrina, and his job-approval rating has been dragged down to the lowest point of his presidency also because of dissatisfaction with the Iraq war and rising gasoline prices. He has struggled to demonstrate the same take-charge leadership he displayed after the Sept. 11 terror attacks four years ago.

"When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I as president am responsible for the problem, and for the solution," Bush said. "This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina."

Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish near New Orleans, was happy with Bush's speech. "Mainly he gave hope, and right now in this area people need hope more than anything," he told CBS' "The Early Show."

Bush repeated a hot line number, 1-877-568-3317, for people to call to help reunite family members separated during the hurricane. Moments later, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., criticized Bush, saying "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number."

He also proposed creation of a Gulf Opportunity Zone in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama offering tax breaks to encourage businesses to stay in the devastated region and new businesses to open. The White House said Friday that initiative would cost about $2 billion, as would the working training grants.

Bush said the goal was to get evacuees out of shelters by mid-October and into apartments and other homes, with assistance from the government. He said he would work with Congress to ensure that states were reimbursed for the cost of caring for evacuees.


Text of President Bush's address

A text of President Bush's address Thursday, as released by The White House:

Good evening. I am speaking to you from the city of New Orleans, nearly empty, still partly underwater, and waiting for life and hope to return. Eastward from Lake Pontchartrain, across the Mississippi coast, to Alabama and into Florida, millions of lives were changed in a day by a cruel and wasteful storm.

In the aftermath, we have seen fellow citizens left stunned and uprooted, searching for loved ones, and grieving for the dead and looking for meaning in a tragedy that seems so blind and random. We have also witnessed the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous nation should ever have to know-- fellow Americans calling out for food and water, vulnerable people left at the mercy of criminals who had no mercy, and the bodies of the dead lying uncovered and untended in the street.

These days of sorrow and outrage have also been marked by acts of courage and kindness that make all Americans proud. Coast Guard and other personnel rescued tens of thousands of people from flooded neighborhoods. Religious congregations and families have welcomed strangers as brothers and sisters and neighbors.

In the community of Chalmette, when two men tried to break into a home, the owner invited them to stay and took in 15 other people who had no place to go. At Tulane Hospital for Children, doctors and nurses didn't eat for days so patients could have food, and eventually carried the patients on their backs up eight flights of stairs to helicopters.

Many first responders were victims themselves-- wounded healers, with a sense of duty greater than their own suffering. When I met Steve Scott of the Biloxi Fire Department, he and his colleagues were conducting a house-to-house search for survivors. Steve told me this: "I lost my house and I lost my cars, but I still got my family ... and I still got my spirit."

Across the Gulf Coast, among people who have lost much and suffered much and given to the limit of their power, we are seeing that same spirit: a core of strength that survives all hurt, a faith in God no storm can take away and a powerful American determination to clear the ruins and build better than before.

Tonight so many victims of the hurricane and the flood are far from home and friends and familiar things. You need to know that our whole nation cares about you, and in the journey ahead, you are not alone. To all who carry a burden of loss, I extend the deepest sympathy of our country. To every person who has served and sacrificed in this emergency, I offer the gratitude of our country.

And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know: There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again.

The work of rescue is largely finished; the work of recovery is moving forward. In nearly all of Mississippi, electric power has been restored. Trade is starting to return to the Port of New Orleans, and agricultural shipments are moving down the Mississippi River. All major gasoline pipelines are now in operation, preventing the supply disruptions that many feared.

The breaks in the levees have been closed, the pumps are running, and the water here in New Orleans is receding by the hour. Environmental officials are on the ground, taking water samples, identifying and dealing with hazardous debris, and working to get drinking water and wastewater treatment systems operating again. And some very sad duties are being carried out by professionals who gather the dead, treat them with respect and prepare them for their rest.

In the task of recovery and rebuilding, some of the hardest work is still ahead and it will require the creative skill and generosity of a united country.

Our first commitment is to meet the immediate needs of those who had to flee their homes and leave all their possessions behind. For these Americans, every night brings uncertainty, every day requires new courage and the months to come will bring more than their fair share of struggles.

The Department of Homeland Security is registering evacuees who are now in shelters, churches or private homes, whether in the Gulf region or far away. I have signed an order providing immediate assistance to people from the disaster area. As of today, more than 500 thousand evacuee families have gotten emergency help to pay for food, clothing and other essentials.

Evacuees who have not yet registered should contact FEMA or the Red Cross. We need to know who you are, because many of you will also be eligible for broader assistance in the future. Many families were separated during the evacuation, and we are working to help you reunite. Please call 1-877-568-3317-- that's 1-877-568-3317-- and we will work to bring your family back together, and pay for your travel to reach them.

In addition, we are taking steps to ensure that evacuees don't have to travel great distances or navigate bureaucracies to get the benefits that are there for them. The Department of Health and Human Services has sent more than 15 hundred health professionals, along with over 50 tons of medical supplies, including vaccines, antibiotics and medicines, for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes. The Social Security Administration is delivering checks. The Department of Labor is helping displaced persons apply for temporary jobs and unemployment benefits. And the Postal Service is registering new addresses so that people can get their mail.

To carry out the first stages of the relief effort and begin the rebuilding at once, I have asked for, and the Congress has provided, more than $60 billion. This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis, which demonstrates the compassion and resolve of our nation.

Our second commitment is to help the citizens of the Gulf Coast to overcome this disaster, put their lives back together and rebuild their communities. Along this coast, for mile after mile, the wind and water swept the land clean. In Mississippi, many thousands of houses were damaged or destroyed. In New Orleans and surrounding parishes, more than a quarter million houses are no longer safe to live in. Hundreds of thousands of people from across this region will need to find longer-term housing.

Our goal is to get people out of shelters by the middle of October. So we are providing direct assistance to evacuees that allows them to rent apartments, and many already are moving into places of their own. A number of states have taken in evacuees and shown them great compassion, admitting children to school and providing health care. So I will work with Congress to ensure that states are reimbursed for these extra expenses.

In the disaster area and in cities that have received huge numbers of displaced people we are beginning to bring in mobile homes and trailers for temporary use. To relieve the burden on local health care facilities in the region, we are sending extra doctors and nurses to these areas. We are also providing money that can be used to cover overtime pay for police and fire departments while cities and towns rebuild.

Near New Orleans, Biloxi and other cities, housing is urgently needed for police and firefighters, other service providers and the many workers who are going to rebuild those cities. Right now, many are sleeping on ships we have brought to the Port of New Orleans, and more ships are on their way to the region. And we will provide mobile homes and supply them with basic services, as close to the construction areas as possible, so the rebuilding process can go forward as quickly as possible.

And the federal government will undertake a close partnership with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, the city of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities so they can rebuild in a sensible, well planned way. Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems. Our goal is to get the work done quickly. And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely, so we will have a team of inspectors general reviewing all expenditures.

In the rebuilding process, there will be many important decisions and many details to resolve, yet we are moving forward according to some clear principles. The federal government will be fully engaged in the mission, but Governor Barbour, Governor Blanco, Mayor Nagin and other state and local leaders will have the primary role in planning for their own future. Clearly, communities will need to move decisively to change zoning laws and building codes, in order to avoid a repeat of what we have seen. And in the work of rebuilding, as many jobs as possible should go to men and women who live in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Our third commitment is this: When communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality.

When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created. Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive, not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home for the best of reasons, because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love.

When one resident of this city who lost his home was asked by a reporter if he would relocate, he said, "Naw, I will rebuild but I'll build higher." That is our vision of the future, in this city and beyond: We will not just rebuild, we will build higher and better.

To meet this goal, I will listen to good ideas from Congress, state and local officials, and the private sector. I believe we should start with three initiatives that the Congress should pass.

Tonight I propose the creation of a Gulf Opportunity Zone, encompassing the region of the disaster in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Within this zone, we should provide immediate incentives for job-creating, investment tax relief for small businesses, incentives to companies that create jobs, and loans and loan guarantees for small businesses, including minority-owned enterprises, to get them up and running again. It is entrepreneurship that creates jobs and opportunity, it is entrepreneurship that helps break the cycle of poverty and we will take the side of entrepreneurs as they lead the economic revival of the Gulf region.

I propose the creation of Worker Recovery Accounts to help those evacuees who need extra help finding work. Under this plan, the federal government would provide accounts of up to $5,000, which these evacuees could draw upon for job training and education to help them get a good job and for child care expenses during their job search.

To help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives, I also propose that Congress pass an Urban Homesteading Act. Under this approach, we will identify property in the region owned by the federal government, and provide building sites to low-income citizens free of charge, through a lottery. In return, they would pledge to build on the lot, with either a mortgage or help from a charitable organization like Habitat for Humanity. Homeownership is one of the great strengths of any community, and it must be a central part of our vision for the revival of this region.

In the long run, the New Orleans area has a particular challenge, because much of the city lies below sea level. The people who call it home need to have reassurance that their lives will be safer in the years to come. Protecting a city that sits lower than the water around it is not easy, but it can and has been done. City and parish officials in New Orleans and state officials in Louisiana will have a large part in the engineering decisions to come, and the Army Corps of Engineers will work at their side to make the flood protection system stronger than it has ever been.

The work that has begun in the Gulf Coast region will be one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen. When that job is done, all Americans will have something to be very proud of, and all Americans are needed in this common effort. It is the armies of compassion-- charities and houses of worship and idealistic men and women-- that give our reconstruction effort its humanity. They offer to those who hurt a friendly face, an arm around the shoulder and the reassurance that in hard times, they can count on someone who cares. By land, by sea and by air, good people wanting to make a difference deployed to the Gulf Coast, and they have been working around the clock ever since.

The cash needed to support the armies of compassion is great, and Americans have given generously. For example, the private fundraising effort led by former Presidents Bush and Clinton has already received pledges of more than $100 million. Some of that money is going to governors, to be used for immediate needs within their states. A portion will also be sent to local houses of worship, to help reimburse them for the expense of helping others. This evening the need is still urgent, and I ask the American people to continue donating to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, other good charities and religious congregations in the region.

It is also essential for the many organizations of our country to reach out to your fellow citizens in the Gulf area. So I have asked USA Freedom Corps to create an information clearinghouse, available at, so that families anywhere in the country can find opportunities to help families in the region or a school can support a school. And I challenge existing organizations-- churches, Scout troops or labor union locals-- to get in touch with their counterparts in Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama, and learn what they can do to help. In this great national enterprise, important work can be done by everyone, and everyone should find their role and do their part.

The government of this nation will do its part as well. Our cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, disease outbreaks or terrorist attack, for evacuating large numbers of people in an emergency and for providing the food, water and security they would need. In a time of terror threats and weapons of mass destruction, the danger to our citizens reaches much wider than a fault line or a flood plain. I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority. Therefore, I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to undertake an immediate review, in cooperation with local counterparts, of emergency plans in every major city in America.

I also want to know all the facts about the government response to Hurricane Katrina. The storm involved a massive flood, a major supply and security operation, and an evacuation order affecting more than a million people. It was not a normal hurricane and the normal disaster relief system was not equal to it. Many of the men and women of the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States military, the National Guard, Homeland Security and state and local governments performed skillfully under the worst conditions. Yet the system, at every level of government, was not well coordinated and was overwhelmed in the first few days. It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces, the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment's notice.

Four years after the frightening experience of September 11th, Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency. When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I, as President, am responsible for the problem, and for the solution. So I have ordered every Cabinet secretary to participate in a comprehensive review of the government response to the hurricane. This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. We are going to review every action and make necessary changes, so that we are better prepared for any challenge of nature, or act of evil men, that could threaten our people.

The United States Congress also has an important oversight function to perform. Congress is preparing an investigation, and I will work with members of both parties to make sure this effort is thorough.

In the life of this nation, we have often been reminded that nature is an awesome force, and that all life is fragile. We are the heirs of men and women who lived through those first terrible winters at Jamestown and Plymouth, who rebuilt Chicago after a great fire, and San Francisco after a great earthquake, who reclaimed the prairie from the dust bowl of the 1930s. Every time, the people of this land have come back from fire, flood and storm to build anew and to build better than what we had before. Americans have never left our destiny to the whims of nature and we will not start now.

These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know, with the help of grace and one another. They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death, a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands. And they remind us that we are tied together in this life, in this nation, and that the despair of any touches us all.

I know that when you sit on the steps of a porch where a home once stood or sleep on a cot in a crowded shelter it is hard to imagine a bright future. But that future will come. The streets of Biloxi and Gulfport will again be filled with lovely homes and the sound of children playing. The churches of Alabama will have their broken steeples mended and their congregations whole. And here in New Orleans, the streetcars will once again rumble down St. Charles, and the passionate soul of a great city will return.

In this place, there is a custom for the funerals of jazz musicians. The funeral procession parades slowly through the streets, followed by a band playing a mournful dirge as it moves to the cemetery. Once the casket has been laid in place, the band breaks into a joyful "second line" symbolizing the triumph of the spirit over death. Tonight the Gulf Coast is still coming through the dirge, yet we will live to see the second line.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved


Bush's New Orleans Rebuilding Scam
By Wayne Madsen
Bush announces plan to help big business to "recover" from Hurricane Katrina. Speaking in a Karl Rove-staged photo op from New Orleans last night, President Bush announced a series of measures that will ensure tax breaks for big business, a permanent Diaspora for the city's poor, and the future gentrification of poor and middle class sections of the flooded city. The Bush speech was full of corporate contrivances that dodge the type of assistance that is actually needed for the displaced population of the New Orleans metropolitan region.
Bush recently named CIA Leakgate suspect Karl Rove as his point man for the rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast. The Bush speech reflected both Rove's emphasis on spin and a lack of interest in the plight of the poor. Although Bush accepted responsibility for the "problem" of his administration's poor response effort, he quickly diverted his priorities to workers' recovery accounts (something that sounds suspiciously like medical savings accounts); a "Gulf Opportunity Zone" offering big tax breaks to corporations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; and a homestead lottery scheme to build homes on federal lands.
Bush did not address the immediate and long-term focused concerns for the people of the Gulf Coast. For example, FEMA continues to block needed assistance to the homeless residents of the region.
Bush failed to provide incentives for people to return to their homes. He also failed to insist on incentives for minority-owned businesses to participate in rebuilding efforts. Yesterday, Rev. Jesse Jackson told a Washington, DC press conference that there are 300 trucks in Memphis loaded with ice, water, and food with an additional 1000 trucks standing by at warehouses across the country. These trucks have not been granted permission by FEMA to move out to the Gulf Coast, where some poor towns, particularly in Mississippi, have not yet seen either FEMA or the Red Cross. 1800 children are still separated from their parents and Bush said nothing to assure parents and their children that they will soon be reunited.
What many members of the Congressional Black Caucus and African American national leadership have called for in relief and reconstruction efforts were not addressed by Bush.
There were no proposals by Bush for
* an "adopt-a-family" tax credit
* a one-time FEMA help grant for orphaned and homeless children
* a bankruptcy relief provision, provide temporary housing at all available federal government assets (including many closed military bases in the Gulf Coast region)
* the setting of a 50 percent residency target for all contracts
* setting a 40 percent minority vendor target for all reconstruction
* a moratorium on all contracts until civil rights provisions are restored (Davis Bacon minimum wage requirements, minority contract set asides)
* permit the admittance of minority community-based counselors in evacuation facilities nationwide
* Justice Department assistance in individual cases of arrested and detained individuals, ensure evacuees can vote in state and local elections (including February 2006 election)
* ensure home owners have the right of first refusal to reclaim property
* freeze all foreclosures against property in affected area for a minimum of 12 months
* legal protections against predatory lenders
* prohibition of collections and deficiency judgments on real and personal property
* prohibition on negative credit reporting or omission of negative events from credit scores
* voluntary waiver of late fees or interest on loans for a period of at least three months
* establish a diverse commission to monitor the equitable distribution of relief resources by FEMA,
the Red Cross, and Salvation Army
* develop an action plan to secure wetlands in coastal areas of the U.S.
* stop the rollback and waivers of environmental laws
* and develop a comprehensive strategy to address the poverty crisis in America.
Many Gulf Coast residents see a lot of promises from Bush's plan with no guarantees he will follow through. Already, House and Senate conservative Republicans are carping about the Federal price tag for the reconstruction. These include Sen. John McCain, who is already politicking for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination on the backs of the people of the Gulf Coast who lost everything. McCain has no problem spending billions of dollars on a failed war in Iraq -- a ploy by McCain to further ingratiate himself to the neo-cons in the Republican Party.
Bush asks America to trust him to plan the recovery of the Gulf Coast when he couldn't even plan to use the potty before addressing the United Nations on its 60th anniversary. The fool embarrassed America before 160 assembled world leaders. A Reuters photographer snapped this unforgettable presidential bloated bladder moment.
Dallas Meeting Plans
N.O. Rebuilding -
Without Poor Blacks
By Wayne Madsen

Dallas meeting plans reconstruction of New Orleans without poor African Americans. According to well-informed New Orleans sources, New Orleans' wealthiest families, including those who are direct descendants of the French who settled New Orleans (not the Acadians [Cajuns] who were poor refugees from British tyranny in Nova Scotia) are meeting in Dallas today with Bush administration officials, New Orleans city officials, wealthy Texas oilmen, and bankers to plan for the reconstruction of New Orleans. These wealthy New Orleans residents live in the gated community of Audobon Place, a section of the city near the Garden District replete with personal helipads that still has running water and sewage and was only slightly affected by hurricane Katrina. It is now reportedly being patrolled by private Israeli security forces. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal ran a piece with more details on this story.

The Dallas meeting focused on rebuilding and re-zoning New Orleans without the "criminal element," a code word for the city's poor African American community.

These New Orleans residents have been scattered across the United States and are now under the control of FEMA. There is an understanding by the wealthy New Orleans elite that the poor will never be able to return. The Journal reported that the person who chaired the Dallas meeting was Jimmy Riess, one of the wealthy New Orleans elite who also served as Mayor Ray Nagin's Chairman of the Regional Transit Authority, which is in charge of the city's buses, trolleys, and trains. New Orleans sources report that public transportation was purposely not used to evacuate the poor New Orleans residents as a means to depopulate the poorer and more flood-prone sections of the city.

In fact, after the properties in New Orleans poorer communities are razed many of the deed records of the poor and middle class contained in government offices and title companies of Orleans Parish and neighboring Jefferson Parish may end up being casualties of the flood. As one New Orleans source put it, "people will not have proof they ever owned anything." As for renters and residents of public housing, they will be prevented from returning to their native city, according to New Orleans sources. Louisiana's Republican House member Richard Baker, a strong Bush ally, may have tipped his hand about the future plans for New Orleans when he told a group of lobbyists, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Guess Who Is Planning the Rebuilding of New Orleans?

The French-American elite of New Orleans are among the city's "rich and famous." They run the Mardi Gras "crews" (Krews) or clubs, secret hereditary societies that sponsor the annual pre-Lenten festival. Many also run large oil companies and are long time supporters of the Bush family and their associated oil and gas cartels.

Let the People Rebuild New Orleans

Naomi Klein

On September 4, 2005, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funneled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants.... We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."

The statement came from Community Labor United, a coalition of low-income groups in New Orleans. It went on to demand that a committee made up of evacuees "oversee FEMA, the Red Cross and other organizations collecting resources on behalf of our people.... We are calling for evacuees from our community to actively participate in the rebuilding of New Orleans."

It's a radical concept: The $10.5 billion released by Congress and the $500 million raised by private charities doesn't actually belong to the relief agencies or the government; it belongs to the victims. The agencies entrusted with the money should be accountable to them. Put another way, the people Barbara Bush tactfully described as "underprivileged anyway" just got very rich.

Except relief and reconstruction never seem to work like that. When I was in Sri Lanka six months after the tsunami, many survivors told me that the reconstruction was victimizing them all over again. A council of the country's most prominent businesspeople had been put in charge of the process, and they were handing the coast over to tourist developers at a frantic pace. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of poor fishing people were still stuck in sweltering inland camps, patrolled by soldiers with machine guns and entirely dependent on relief agencies for food and water. They called reconstruction "the second tsunami."

There are already signs that New Orleans evacuees could face a similarly brutal second storm. Jimmy Reiss, chairman of the New Orleans Business Council, told Newsweek that he has been brainstorming about how "to use this catastrophe as a once-in-an-eon opportunity to change the dynamic." The Business Council's wish list is well-known: low wages, low taxes, more luxury condos and hotels. Before the flood, this highly profitable vision was already displacing thousands of poor African-Americans: While their music and culture was for sale in an increasingly corporatized French Quarter (where only 4.3 percent of residents are black), their housing developments were being torn down. "For white tourists and businesspeople, New Orleans' reputation is 'a great place to have a vacation but don't leave the French Quarter or you'll get shot,'" Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans-based labor organizer told me the day after he left the city by boat. "Now the developers have their big chance to disperse the obstacle to gentrification--poor people."

Here's a better idea: New Orleans could be reconstructed by and for the very people most victimized by the flood. Schools and hospitals that were falling apart before could finally have adequate resources; the rebuilding could create thousands of local jobs and provide massive skills training in decent paying industries. Rather than handing over the reconstruction to the same corrupt elite that failed the city so spectacularly, the effort could be led by groups like Douglass Community Coalition. Before the hurricane this remarkable assembly of parents, teachers, students and artists was trying to reconstruct the city from the ravages of poverty by transforming Frederick Douglass Senior High School into a model of community learning. They have already done the painstaking work of building consensus around education reform. Now that the funds are flowing, shouldn't they have the tools to rebuild every ailing public school in the city?

For a people's reconstruction process to become a reality (and to keep more contracts from going to Halliburton), the evacuees must be at the center of all decision-making. According to Curtis Muhammad of Community Labor United, the disaster's starkest lesson is that African-Americans cannot count on any level of government to protect them. "We had no caretakers," he says. That means the community groups that do represent African-Americans in Louisiana and Mississippi -- many of which lost staff, office space and equipment in the flood -- need our support now. Only a massive injection of cash and volunteers will enable them to do the crucial work of organizing evacuees -- currently scattered through forty-one states--into a powerful political constituency. The most pressing question is where evacuees will live over the next few months. A dangerous consensus is building that they should collect a little charity, apply for a job at the Houston Wal-Mart and move on. Muhammad and CLU, however, are calling for the right to return: they know that if evacuees are going to have houses and schools to come back to, many will need to return to their home states and fight for them.

These ideas are not without precedent. When Mexico City was struck by a devastating earthquake in 1985, the state also failed the people: poorly constructed public housing crumbled and the army was ready to bulldoze buildings with survivors still trapped inside. A month after the quake 40,000 angry refugees marched on the government, refusing to be relocated out of their neighborhoods and demanding a "Democratic Reconstruction." Not only were 50,000 new dwellings for the homeless built in a year; the neighborhood groups that grew out of the rubble launched a movement that is challenging Mexico's traditional power holders to this day.

And the people I met in Sri Lanka have grown tired of waiting for the promised relief. Some survivors are now calling for a People's Planning Commission for Post-Tsunami Recovery. They say the relief agencies should answer to them; it's their money, after all.

The idea could take hold in the United States, and it must. Because there is only one thing that can compensate the victims of this most human of natural disasters, and that is what has been denied them throughout: power. It will be a long and difficult battle, but New Orleans' evacuees should draw strength from the knowledge that they are no longer poor people; they are rich people who have been temporarily locked out of their bank accounts.

Those wanting to donate to a people's reconstruction can make checks out to the Vanguard Public Foundation, 383 Rhode Island St., Suite 301, San Francisco, CA 94103. Checks should be earmarked "People's Hurricane Fund."

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Published on Saturday, October 15, 2005 by

New Orleans Can Give New Life to the Cooperative Movement

by Ralph Nader

New Orleans, the largest city devastated by two Hurricanes, lies in ruins. The reconstruction plans are forming and the usual commercial interests are in the forefront to receive large subsidies, federal overpayments and special immunities from having to meet labor, environmental and other normal legal safeguards for the people.

The corporate looting of New Orleans is underway. The charges of corruption, political favoritism and poor delivery of services by corporate contractors for government projects are already being leveled by the media and some alert officials. After all, over $100 billion of taxpayer monies will be flowing to New Orleans and the Gulf area communities in the next
several months.

Plans for the new New Orleans by the large corporate developers are not including many poor or low income families in their plans. These developers see a smaller ritzier New Orleans with gentrified neighborhoods and acres of entertainment, gambling and tourist industries. In a phrase, the corporatization of New Orleans' renewal. 

A different more cooperative scenario needs attention. Here is a flattened major city in America where a
cooperative economy can take hold that puts people first, that allows the return of low-income families back home with dignity, self-determination and opportunity.

Cooperatives are businesses owned by their consumers. They operate as non-profits. They are all over the
United States and are often taken for granted by their customer-owners. There are housing cooperatives. There are health cooperatives like the successful Puget Sound Health Coop in Seattle. There are banking
cooperatives called credit unions with 50 million members. There are food store cooperatives and even
energy cooperatives in farm country from refineries to pipelines to gas stations. These are electric
cooperatives providing electricity to millions of rural Americans. There are student coops in Universities all over the country.

All these different cooperatives have their national and sometimes their state associations. They know how
to spread their numbers, though I often wish they would do so more aggressively and more distinctly from
the dominant corporate commercial model.

New Orleans provides possibly the finest opportunity in many years for the cooperative movement to make
itself known and to save New Orleans from being looted by corporate predators of various stripes who are
presently designing the new New Orleans. Cooperatives demand grass roots organization and customer
responsibility or they cannot exist. Cooperators, as customers are called, started these cooperatives in
the early days-both consumer and producer cooperatives-throughout farm country USA.

Cooperative principles and member participation have been undermined by the hectic pace of a commuting
workforce in a corporate economy that requires two breadwinners or more per family to have a chance at a
middle class standard of living. Cooperatives provide many tangible and intangible community values but they
need the time of their members to truly flower.

New Orleans and other Hurricane-stricken communities can give new life to the cooperative movement, and it
can give new life to the shattered lives of these residents as they try to rebuild their livelihoods.

I called up James R. Jones, the executive director of the National Association of Student Organizations
(NASCO) in Ann Arbor, Michigan and tendered these suggestions. He was quite receptive. What is needed is
for all the various category cooperatives mentioned above, and others too, to convene a planning session
about how to introduce cooperatives to the neighborhoods and commercial districts of New Orleans.

There is a little known Bank in Washington, D.C., originally established by Congress in 1978, but now
private, whose sole purpose is to provide loans and technical assistance to existing and startup
cooperatives. It has provided substantial credit for housing cooperatives and has a development division
whose mission is to help cooperatives in low income areas. The National Cooperative Bank is an asset to be

Along with other national associations of different kinds of cooperatives, many in Washington, D.C., there
is the National Cooperative Business Association-an umbrella organization of the cooperative subeconomy.
The National Rural Electric Association represents many rural electric systems. Co-op America promotes
the sales of small producer cooperatives selling a variety of useful products from clothing to food to
sporting goods to arts and crafts.

It will not be easy for cooperatives, large and small, to pull together for the renaissance of New Orleans
and other neighboring towns in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. But, oh, how important a contribution i
could become for our entire economy, so gouged, so controlled by absentee multinationals, so inimical to community economics and control, to succeed in the wake of these Hurricanes.

People interested in this cooperative mission or cooperatives generally can contact the following websites:

To send your reactions, write me at PO Box 19312,
Washington, D.C., 20036.

New Orleans Ordered to Evacuate as Hurricane Katrina Approaches ... NEW ORLEANS, AUGUST 29: Hurricane Katrina pounded parts of Louisiana and Mississippi ... -

NEW ORLEANS -- It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect ... Defillo said he doesn't envision any problems in New Orleans, ... -


In Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, Carol Barcia, 47, ... And throughout the New Orleans area people were baffled and frightened by ... -

New Orleans received its first rain since Hurricane Katrina all but destroyed ... Rita brought steady rain to New Orleans for the first time since Katrina. ... -

... from New Orleans and this was where Lincoln got his second nick-name. ... St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), ...

Florida's Hurricane History: September 1935
7. Northeast Coast, 1944, 3, 390. 8. Grande Isle, La. 1909, 4, 350. 9. New Orleans, La. 1915, 4, 275. 10. Galveston, Texas, 1915, 4, 275 ...

Comments and phrases like "New Orleans is a scene from the Third World", "Like the Third World", "US handles the ... Reply: New Orleans is next to Somalia." ... 

In the days following the storm and the mass evacuation of New Orleans, some 7205 adults were ... KATRINA HITS NEW ORLEANS SEE HOW TO HELP ON THIS PAGE ...

NEW ORLEANS - When people saw water sloshing about in ponds, ... In the New Orleans area — more than 3000 miles away — residents saw water slosh about as a ...

The first game was against New Orleans. The day before the game, someone said the game was being played in New Orleans. The coach had told us it was played ... 

In New Orleans is very private, with many government regulations... but in Haiti they have a "tour" to bring you to a real Woodoo session... and you are ... -

One killed, 3 wounded at New Orleans school. Associated Press. NEW ORLEANS -- One student was shot and killed and three others were wounded Monday at a New ...

Was New Orleans' Hurricane Katrina disaster another deliberately created "spike" ... Could Katrina have been redirected to intentionally strike New Orleans? ... 

The war in New Orleans is not between black and white. It is a war between workingmen, and the prize they battle for is a "job"; and that job means the same ... 

... is rushed into an ambulance at Cairine Wilson Secondary School in Orleans yesterday. A 15-year-old Orleans high school boy ran amok with a steak knife ... 

New Orleans Urges People to Take Shelter. By ALLEN G. BREED Associated Press Writer. NEW ORLEANS (AP)--With 135-mph Hurricane Ivan closing in with ... 

LA, New York, New Orleans and almost all of Florida were under water. A huge section of the central US coming up the Mississippi River was under water. ... -

... the increases were 26 percent in Trenton; 25 percent in Kansas City, Mo.; 22 percent in Chicago; 20 percent in Denver; and 20 percent in New Orleans. ...

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches were posted from Florida to Louisiana, including New Orleans, as top sustained winds reached 60 mph, ... -

New York Airport Disaster
Experts now believe that after Miami and New Orleans, New York City is considered the third most dangerous major city for the next hurricane disaster. ... -

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Four dogs with encephalitis-symptoms had the West Nile virus, state officials said in one of the first signs the disease may be becoming ... 

Prior Service/Active Duty, No Prior Service/Civilian. USNR | 4400 Dauphine St. | New Orleans, LA 70461. Gallery, |, Glossary, |, ... ... -

Luckily, I grew up in a 'receiver' town (New Orleans), that was full of people that could hear. Anyway, here's what I have come to believe and what I would ...

... the French Revolution fresh in our memories, these reflections readily recall the revolutionary noble par excellence, Philippe Egalité, Duke of Orleans. ... -

NEW ORLEANS –– An analysis of weather patterns over the past century indicates that increased storm activity over the last five years should continue for ... 

... Gulf coast area (including New Orleans), to Corpus Christi & Laredo, Texas; and across Mexico north of Monterrey and La Paz, Baja California. ... 

Mar 4 1999 Reuters Pollution Fight Begun at US "Cancer Alley", a 85-mile long petrochemical corridor from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. ... 

As word of the crash spread, some passengers were making arrangements to extend their stay in New Orleans. "It won't make any difference to me," Greyhound ... -

NEW ORLEANS –– An analysis of weather patterns over the past century indicates that increased storm activity over the last five years should continue ... -

GLOBAL WARMING - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 compiled by Dee Finney DO NOT ...
... to New Orleans and to Shanghai, China - near-coastal cities already below sea level, sinking on their own, and further endangered by expanding oceans. ...

In Orleans and Jefferson parishes, a tornado watch remains in effect until 1 pm. Meanwhile, 11 homes in the Bienville Parish community of Fryeburg were ... 

"New Orleans Serial Killer" (24 +/-) There is a possible serial killer, ... A New Orleans police officer, Victor Gant is the suspect in the murders of two ...


... Virtual San Diego (Planet 9 Studios) · Virtual New York (Planet 9 Studios) · Virtual New Orleans (Planet 9 Studios) · Virtual Denver (Planet 9 Studios) ... -

MASSIVE FLOODS IN HISTORY. A WARNING FOR THE FUTURE? compiled by Dee Finney. updated 8-31-05. SEE: HURRICANE KATRINA IN NEW ORLEANS August 2005 ... massive_floods_in_history.htm 

In New Orleans, protesters are planning to hold a traditional jazz funeral to mourn ... Protesters in New Orleans planned what they call a jazz funeral for ... bush-protests-inauguration.htm 

... reduced robberies in stores in Highland Park, Michigan, and in New Orleans; a grocers organization's gun clinics produced the same result in Detroit. ...

Investigators were expected to arrive Sunday at a Lockheed Martin plant in New Orleans where the 154-foot external fuel tanks are built. -

The war in the Middle East hit the streets of New Orleans Friday as local Palestinians and those sympathetic to their views rallied downtown. ... -

NEW ORLEANS –– An analysis of weather patterns over the past century ... Getting Ready for Impact with 1998 OX4? ... -

AIR CRASH IN TORONTO Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. need to check if a 737 can land in all those airports ...

Several zoos and conservation societies--including the Audubon Institute Center for Research of Endangered Species (AICRES) in New Orleans, which is led by ...

long bridge in the car and I look out to where New Orleans would be, but it is now covered with water. In my weirdest dream, I am in South America and it is ... 

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which handles supertankers in the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans, suspended operations. In California, Gov. ...

New Orleans: Conservative Society of America. Curtis B. Dall, 1970. FDR My Exploited Father-In-Law. Washington DC: Action Associates. ... -


Music from a CD recorded by a New Orleans funk band George Villiers London, England Music guitar and midi compositions by ... -

and Mary's visit to New Orleans was errant .... I then saw the same blonde woman, she walked up to a white haired man and grabbed him by the side of his ... -

Near the town of Covington Louisiana, just above New Orleans. The outside world learned about Louisiana's Honey Island Swamp Monster in 1974 when two ... -

HURRICANE KATRINA IN NEW ORLEANS 8-25-05 through 8-31-05. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said the White House will tap the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ... -

NOTE: This whole dream reminds me of what happened to the black people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. *

Militia Groups
American Family Association, New York State Chapter. American Family Association of New Orleans (Louisiana) · American Family Association Action Index ...

I was told her name was Mary, and Mary's visit to New Orleans was errant .... I then saw the same blonde woman, she walked up to a white haired man and ...