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It takes a ridiculously self-centered person to talk nonsense about New Orleanians on 8/29. I mean, seriously.


"research into more than ten years of reporting on hurricane and flood damage mitigation efforts in and around New Orleans indicates that local and state officials did not use federal money that was available for levee improvements or coastal reinforcement and often did not secure local matching funds that would have generated even more federal funding.

"By 1998, Louisiana's state government had a $2 billion construction budget, but less than one tenth of one percent of that -- $1.98 million -- was dedicated to levee improvements in the New Orleans area. State appropriators were able to find $22 million that year to renovate a new home for the Louisiana Supreme Court and $35 million for one phase of an expansion to the New Orleans convention center.

"the levee board did complete a $2.5 million restoration project. After months of delays, officials rolled away fencing to reveal the restored 1962 Mardi Gras fountain in a four-acre park featuring a new 600-foot plaza between famous Lakeshore Drive and the sea wall. Financing for the renovation came from a property tax passed by New Orleans voters in 1983. The tax, which generates more than $6 million each year for the levee board, is dedicated to capital projects.

Note: Ignore the above if you don't want any blame to go to the local/state government.


If you want to read more of this tripe, feel free to go here:

They'd love to have you.

Matt Bramanti

"and that's why thousands died"

There were not "thousands" of deaths from Hurricane Katrina.


4081 deaths, due to Katrina and the Federal Flood, as of May, 2007:

But who needs facts?


Philosophically, the "consistent welfare-state mentality" exists in CORPORATE America. By which I mean, the stockholders who panic sell and hoard purchase at every code word the government heads punch through the media, which is really what media is being used for these days. You just don't have separate collective mentalities; you view the whole through its subsets. Every time interest rates have to be adjusted so certain parties or companies don't incur loss - it's not really about inflation or the masses - the trickle down effect will create one more homeless, one more middle class destitute. Of course, "disasters" create many "victims" at once, but that's a market correction in the same way an earthquake or other foundational shift rebalances the paradigm.

Look, boats were sent to all those Midwestern towns that recently flooded, but in many cases when the "rescuers" got out of their vessels to help the people on their roofs, cameras were showing the waters were ankle deep. Other areas may recover faster or with less "handouts", but their damage was not comparable, there was not the government-facilitated obstruction to reentering the entire urban area even for rescuers, there was not the mass communication fallout (9/11 withstanding for the NYC area) and perhaps worst for the beginning of recovery hopes, there was not the massive msm rumourmongering. As I said above, the government uses the media to indicate where it prefers investment, so to destablize New Orleans with false reports or exaggerated ones, to impart the toxicity of air and water (and I was here to witness the truth a week after the levee breaks, if just for a bit) when pollution in some cities is worse on an ongoing basis, and to fearmonger gunshots as alarms turning them into people killing each other on the streets, that is downright SINFUL.

Elsewhere in the NOLA blogging community, some wonder if blogging itself is just hamstering a wheel. But climb the corporate or political ladder, and what do our leaders really do for their work? They commune, they make plans, they dictate, they discuss, they decide... and largely the delegation of work goes to those appointed or elected for the labor. This is democracy in action, what "average citizens" here have taken on, reconnecting public service officials to the ideals of public service. There is a need to constantly remind the "leaders" that if Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, their own feet ought not be dancing under restroom stalls looking for another to service THEM. Higher morals, indeed.

Oh, and we're blaming the local governments too. We're just not using that as a free pass to not blame the federal one.

Matt Bramanti

Ashley, the methodology is flawed. That study took a year-over-year increase in obituaries and attributed all of them to the hurricane.

Do you honestly think that Katrina killed more than two thousand people this year?


I appreciate you're perspective, and am glad to have found another blog to visit.

To the point "Take a look out of the window of your own glass house and imagine everything and everybody gone, and then you tell me how you would fix it?"

It brings to mind Andrew. Which celebrated it's unsung anniversary just last week.

Those affected by Katrina are not alone in their loss. Even if Katrina caused more damage, the people affected by other hurricanes or natural disasters are no less important or grief stricken.

And yet to hear the leadership of New Orleans, Katrina was the only hurricane to ever rob people of their homes and livelihoods.

I just wanted to say that. Thank you for your time ... and I appreciate your point of view.


Hey! I've got an idea! 9/11 is coming up in a couple of weeks. We could all go over to the NYC blogs and talk trash about their city! I'm sure we'd all get a warmhearted welcome... um, NOT.

Back to Shelley: She had me going right up until the very end.

"Fully restoring New Orleans to its formerly unique and permanent place in American culture is this nation's greatest domestic challenge."

"Formerly"? "Formerly"??!! Aaaauuugggghhh! Delete and close up, please. I would, however, still be happy to serve in the Midura Administration in whatever capacity is called for, and without the six-figure salaries; about $60K ought to do it.

Oh, and of course I want to shoot Glenn Beckkk in the head. Thing is, it'd just explode like a pinata, except nothing would come out.

Matt Bramanti

From Wet Bank Guide:

Our obligation is this: to rebuild the city they despaired of seeing saved, a city recognizably New Orleans; a city protected by levees that work, with good schools for everyone and safe streets and a transparent government that works for us.

Which is it? Does Mark want a city recognizably New Orleans, or one with good schools, public safety and the like?


Matt: this year, no. In total, yes, I believe that Katrina and the federal flood killed over 2000 people, easily.

One small anecdotal example: Gatemouth Brown. He did not die in the flood, but died within a week or so of being evacuated.

Also, the drastic uptick in suicides, I blame on Katrina and the flood.

I understand that you may believe that the methodology is flawed, but there must be some cause for the drastic uptick in deaths during that particular period. When data is available for another 12 months following the end of that study, then we'll have a more accurate means of assessment.

Just Visiting: I understand your perspective. Once again, New Orleans was decimated by the failed federal levees. We survived the hurricane.

Mike Chinni

Ashley, I don't doubt that a large number of people died, and despite what has been noted earlier, it is a tragedy. But how can accurate counts be gotten when Katrina survivors are scattered to the four winds? working with reief efforts (Operation Compassion) in Houston, I personally arranged transportation for evacuees three states away.


I agree Mike, it is difficult if not impossible to get accurate counts...but we have to try.

Matt disputes the methodology in the study I mentioned, and he has a point -- I don't think the numbers from that study will be conclusive until a year after that study, when we can use the following years numbers as more of a 'control' to compare and contrast the numbers with 2005 and 2006.

There is no good way, but the study I mentioned seems like the most reasonable thing we currently have.


A lot of trolls today. Someone must have rolled over a rock in Houston.


...and some of the trolls even learned how to use the Google.

Mike Chinni

Aaron, Ashley, if you consider a Troll to be someone who does not share your opinion, then I guess I am one.
However, if you are open to a free exchange of ideas, then I haven't seen any yet.
I have seen some rather virulent blasts coming from the NOLA side which I really do not think your neighbors deserve.


Mike, today is a day to commemorate the losses this city suffered. We did not invite you here. We did not invite a discussion. This is a holy day and you and yours are wearing your fucking cowboy hats in church. How much clearer can we be that we aren't looking for people who are out to piss off the locals with spite-filled accusations? Go away. If we want to talk about this with you, we'll come to your website, it's clearly put up in the comments section and you can consider that your forum to discuss whatever idiotic musings come to you.



I actually agree with Ashley regarding the number of Katrina related deaths being much the several thousands!! I also agree that it will be difficult to accurately asses the TRUE number of deaths.

You must also look at the cities that took in Katrina evacuees. You cannot exclude the significant increase in Post-Katrina homicide rates in those cities.

That has to cause a significant increase in Ashley's quoted numbers!

Howie Luvzus

As a New Orleanian, I am appalled at those who believe they can make rational, objective observations about what should be done here. My religious convictions preclude me from spewing profanity at insensitive jerks. However, this IS a particularly difficult time for us.

So...unless you've cried with us or for us--leave us alone. If you want civil discourse give us a while.

We aren't all lazy and corrupt any more than you are all hypocritical and arrogant.

God help us. God help them.


MMNI, is there ANY WAY IN THE WORLD that your comment could be construed as anything but trolling to find an angry New Orleans resident? You are a sick person.

Mike Chinni

1. I do not, not have I ever, owned a cowboy hat.
2. This "forum" is commemorating a disaster by slamming virtually everyone, except your local governments and blaming them for the disaster.
I have cried with my neighbors, your brothers and sisters, both poor and destitute and middle class and destitute. In the days following the exodus to Houston, all were destitute. Do not presume to know either my heart or my motivations. I spent my vacation assisting my neighbors. A small donation, at best, but along with hundreds of my brothers and sisters here in Houston, we did our best to show our neighbors that we cared.
For you to consider reasoned discussion in answer to diatribe and misinformation disrespectful of the situation is insulting at the very least.
I will now leave and not darken your door again.


I've not seen a single word from anyone in NOLA commemorating the losses of the Post-Katrina-related homicide victims in other cities. Nor any assistance from anyone in LA to offset the increased costs and burden of absorbing the evacuees.

Not trolling...just stating the facts.

But, as Ashley stated, "don't let facts get in the way of your argument."


And fishing for an argument isn't trolling how? You didn't come here to add to a discussion, you came to inflame New Orleans residents. But we aren't mad today, so you won't get what you came for. Today we're in mourning, so all you will get is a deep sense of shame from your fellow Americans that you would stoop so low. Why don't you go bash 9/11 widows while you're at it?


Matt, don't misconstrue my words. A city recognizably New Orleans could have transparent government, good schools, etc.

And by all reliable estimates far more thatn 1,400 people died as a direct result of Katrina and the Federal Flood, many more if you look at incidental deaths after the fact in Orleans Parish alone.


Me_n_myslef, then you haven't look very hard. Why not start by Googling up the new story on the Episcopal Church on Esplanade, or some of the blogger efforts to do just that (commemorate murder victims).

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