Sunday, September 04, 2005

Labor Day Weekend Thoughts

My weekend is going very well as can be. Last Friday, I went to the CrabFest which was hosted by Gus' mother which has been going on for nearly 20 years, Gus said. I'm telling you, Gus' mother could have feed the victims of Katrina effectively than the FEMA can do. Oyster clams, chicken fingers, hot dogs, green beans with vinegar oil, chicken pasta, devilled eggs, mixed vegetables, countless of desserts as well as keg of beer, wine coolers and other assortments of drinks. The CrabFest is for friends and relatives of the family.

You could see lots of people using the wooden hammer to bang on the crabs then munch and gurgle the beers repeatedly throughout the night. You could feel the bangs on the tables around the swimming pool. When you needed a break, you just take a dip in the pool. It was a great way to relax ourselves. Had a chat with a hearing woman who is conservative, I asked her about the mess in New Orleans. Her face showed it all, she said that she is so angry at how slow the response was from the FEMA after 4 days. She signed vehemently to say that she blamed the GW Bush Administration for choosing the incompetent Michael Brown to run the FEMA. She is a conservative but she does have a point. You see, Michael Brown claimed that people were fed with food and water everyday on the national television. That was a simple lie, especially after 3 days.

Hosting a press conference after press conference after press conference is getting nowhere. It was reported that the National Guardsmen played cards while people in the Superdome was assaulted, raped and dying. Why? Because the National Guardsmen said that they were not responsible for that, they will do the job when the FEMA tells them to do it. Where is common sense in all of this?

However, back to the CrabFest, I walked over to Gus' mother and told her that by herself, she can virtually feed the victims of Katrina in an effective manner than the FEMA can. She shrugged me off and said with a smile, "Shut up, Ricky!"

It is not about Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals or Democrats. It is about the bipartisan inaction that led to this disaster in Louisiana. IN fact, the first day when Katrina came, it was natural disaster. But the days after that, it was man-made disaster. We allowed it to happen. In fact, the Army Corps of Engineer mentioned that the levees are the likeliest disasters to happen for this country many times in the past. The scientists warned that the levees needed to be upgraded and strengthened countless of times in the last 40 years. What did we do? We simply bickered amongst each other for years. Since the Army Corps of Engineers are funded by the federal government, the budget was slashed by GW Bush when the ACE asked for the budget to upgrade the levees.

The result is that you get $100 billion damage in New Orleans.

Some people said that the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana (both Democrats) are responsible to an extent. Yes, that is true. The mayor said that there were no money to allocate the buses for evacuees to leave the city -- which is why they had to ask the officials at Superdome to let them use it as a short-term shelter. They did the best they can do -- after all, New Orleans is the town that has high unemployment rate, which means lots of poor people that could not afford to sleep in Ramada Inn in Nacogdoches, Texas if given an opportunity!

It is travesty that the FEMA used the press conferences to refute the bullshit tales of how it is hard to get in the city while there are many press, Harry Connick, Jr and few trucks of Wal-Mart with food, water and medicine that rolled in the town ... with no problem.

In fact, GW Bush sent the memorandum to Governor of Louisiana asking her to turn the city to the federal's control where the administration said that the governor will control the national guards and police officers. Of course, the Governor of Louisiana rejected it because there is fishy about it. Know why? To assign the blame on the state and local government when something fucked up along the route.

Whatever had happened prior to Katrina's arrival, the city of New Orleans could have done better than that. Whatever happened to the budget for the ACE, the federal government, thanks to GW Bush Administration, could have done it better! Right now, New Orleans is just a cesspool. I am not certain if many evacuees, after being traumatized with the shitty treatments on FEMA's part for five days, wanted to go back.

Doing some fundraising is noble thing. But to rebuild the city is meaningless -- are we that too proud to accept that some cities shall dissipate in our age? Actually, I had a gut feeling that New Orleans would fall to Katrina by the levees' breach but I never anticipated the incompetence on FEMA's part that continued not for a day but for four days. It is time to stop b.s. and get things done. If the third world country like Thailand can speed up with the devastating effects of Indian Ocean Tsunami, why can't we?

A certain fellow said that in Baton Rouge, he saw the sign that says, "...When we return to the States." This guy was referring that the United States abandoned New Orleans on its own. It will take decades for the city to return to the States.

I cannot blame Mayor Ray Nagin for bombarding the people like GW Bush, Michael Brown and all that shit -- what do you expect from a guy who lost control of the city after the breach of levees that were supposed to be taken care of by the Army Corps of Engineers in the first place? It is not about political tactics, it is to get their asses off the seats and do something that they were paid to do.

Don't try to use political bullshit to defend GW Bush'a Administration for its complaceny to the America's greatest challenge in its history. The fact remains the same: They failed the people of New Orleans and Gulf Coast communities.

Also, to stupid religious extremists including Muslims & Xians, telling us that God destroyed New Orleans is hilarious -- especially with the fact that French Quarters were largely pardoned from the total destruction of floods and Katrina! It is getting old when people realized that they cannot understand the mother nature, it is so convenient to say that it was God who did it. Or Satan. Or Santa Claus. Or even me. Get a life.


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