The NYC marathon, Staten Island and Katrina Disaster Tours

On the interwebs theres been a lot of outrage about the NYC marathon going on. It's starting line is in Staten Island which was one of the hardest hit areas of NYC. They are still finding dead, the people are still picking up the pieces and they certainly haven't had time to morn. Oh but it's OKAY since the marathon is now "The race to recover" and all funds will go to hurricane relief efforts. Whatever. Peeps on twitter have likened it to tourists who lounge in luxury hotels while war-zones rage outside. But, I have a better analogy...

Disaster Tours.

After hurricane katrina businesses thought it'd be a good idea to make a buck off of the victims by providing (at $40-100 a person) tours of the lower 9th ward and St Bernard Parish. Apparently they are still doing it.

I lived in Chalmette (which for the non-locals is in St Bernard) right off the corner of Patricia and Pakenham, near Chalmette hospital which was a sight since one whole wall had washed away. Well while my family and I were searching though our ruined home the disaster tour bus spotted us and decided to park in front our house and let people take pictures of us as if we were animals in a zoo. For the three days we were there from dawn to dusk and we became a regular stop on their tour. Every 3 hours or so a bus would park outside my home and let people take pictures. Out of everything that's happened to me it was the most demoralizing moment of my life. Here I was dirty from all the mud and muck, trying to find anything worth saving, using a trash can in a shipping container (which had floated into my neighbors front yard) as a toilet, and here were these rich tourist fucks in their shiny white bus in clean clothes who had the audacity to take pictures of me. After those three days, the bus pulled up to my home and I just lost it. I started flinging mud at the bus (I'm sure I'm on Youtube somewhere). The driver came out and said he was calling the police which was hilarious since at this point chalmette was a deserted wasteland with no police and no help. I started screaming what police?!? at the driver and he had the good sense to get out of there before I found a rock. Needless to say they didn't come back. The horrible part about it is me and mine are not the only ones who experienced this. Often I have shared my Disaster Tour story with locals only to be met with an "OMG you too?" .

Businesses aren't the only ones out to make a buck off of peoples suffering. Charities sometimes are just as bad. After Hurricane Isaac we had some carpet baggers come in to "help". Well the guy who was the man on the ground was instructing others to go take pictures of dead animals and people cleaning out their homes so he could use the pictures as fodder for more donations. It didn't matter to him if the subjects of these pictures wanted to have their pain exploited or not. Apparently this is common for charities - you have to show the gore of the disaster in order to get donations. Luckily most of the people who came in to help had better moral compasses and only took pictures of ruined infrastructure instead of people in the worst moments of their lives.

It might not be illegal but it's ethically and morally wrong. Call me crazy but I expect more out of my fellow human beings. These people have just lost everything, they are in the height of their pain, please don't let rich fucks run though their neighborhood and gawk at their loss. If you want to help instead of running a bullshit "race to recover" stand beside them, cook them meals, offer them a place to stay and help them put the pieces back together.

You're a community of humans... fucking act like it.


PS New Orleans is #2 in the top 8 disaster tours! woo! *eyeroll*


still no power so i am tapping this out on my phone. please forgive the typos.




i am simply beside myself and pissed about those who died in the flooding of braithwaite. i cried for them. they didn't need to die and it was for lack of a better term government fuckery that killed them. the people of plaquimines parish (county for the nonlouisianians in the audience) have been fighting with congress  and the army corps of engineers for YEARS to get their  "back levees" included in the federal  leeve system and at every turn they've been  denied. 




I've had pearl clutchers on my facebook once again say "those poor people why on earth would they build there with the gulf of mexico in their backyards"?!
to which i say 1) fuck you people died and/or lost everything so show some respect 2) the gulf wasn't always there.




See hurricanes used to not be a big deal. Hell my fam had never evac'd until the big storm before katrina, georges i think. And the only reason we evac'd then is cause we happened to be in on the secret of what sad shape the levees were in because the ACoE hires out of state contractors who couldn't give two fucks about doing the job right. They only care about making as much money as possible. See newspaper stuffed mrgo levees if you dont believe me.




We should have been fine thanks to the swamps. See cypress swamps are perfect for sucking the life out of hurricanes.  And LA used to have almost a force field like abundence of them. Not anymore.  Most maps of louisiana are a lie. google earth it most of the coast where there is supposed to be land there isnt. A good number of our swamps have died and turned into open water and hurricanes love open water.




So why'd this happen?
We'll for starters the containment levees that the ACoE uses are bad for the swamps. They need the silt, nutrients and flow from the mississippi to survive. people in the lower lying parishes have been pushing for ring levees around their communities connected by a raised hwy like they have across the bonne carrie spillway and manchac swamp. They want to let the  river flow and feed the swamp. The ACoE doesn't like to admit their mistakes and it wasnt til just recently  that they finally said whoopsfuck the river containment levees are killing the swamps. So they're still stuck on containment and control of the river when they should be moving on to a symbiotic relationship with the river.




The goddamned oil and gas industry.  So we have malnourised swamps already right? So what do they do? In their neverending quest to take as much mineral wealth from louisiana in the quickest, easiest, dirtiest, dangerous and cheapest way, they cut "navigation canals" through the swamp.  This then lets salt water come up from the gulf straight into the heart of the swamp. If the river still was feeding the swamps the flow might help stem the tide but it's not. Then to add insult to injury the companies regularly have the canals dredged since swamp earth is soft and fills the canals back in so that further destroys the swamp by the removal of earth that it took the river hundreds of years to build. THEN as if all thats not enough the BP oil spill came along and put more nails in the coffin. The oil spill wasn't just a sad accident... it was gross negligence. BP  knew thesea floor was unstable there which is why they stopped drilling well 'a'. They purposefully turned off and ignored warnings and failed to perform standard tests. But thats just the modus operandi of the oil and gas industry. They don't care who and what they hurt as long as they get the goods.




Well atleast their deaths wont be meaningless. It took people dying in the 1927 flood to get better river levees; people dying around the orleans and 17st canals in katrina to get the surge gates they'd been begging for, and all my peeps in new orleans east , chalmette and the rest of st bernard parish dying to get mrgo finally closed  so maybe just maybe their deaths will fuel the fire under congress and the ACoE to get plaquemines their ring levees.


Eat no meat day.

So far I've eaten an oatmeal made with apple juice, cinnamon and pecans. For lunch I'm considering a sandwich consisting of a vegan onion roll slathered with guacamole and on it spinach, sliced plantain and hot peach salsa. For dinner I'm thinking of black bean soft tacos minus the cheese and spanish rice

Indira has had her morning yobaby yogurt snack then for breakfast some scrambled eggs (I'm not making her eat vegan) and a baby fruit cup. For lunch she'll probably have some hummus a few slices of avocado, creamed spinach and crackers. 2nd Snack will be diced apples and carrots with some string cheese. Then she'll probably eat the same dinner as I do.

Eat no meat day or try out a vegetarian diet day!

Wow a good majority of the vegetarians and vegans on my f-list are having dietary issues and rants going on today (it's funny how that happens in groups) A lot of the angst stems from the perception of their diets as bland and boring or the inability to find true vegan or vegetarian food in restaurants (or being flat out lied to about what is in their dishes)

So why not as a show of support (because I know each one of you has at least one veggie friend) we all get together next friday (Aug 21st) and see if we can eat no meat. For the ambitious cooks in the audience we could even make stuff and post recipes... because hey vegetarian diets don't have to be bland and don't have to consist of salads and raw veggies. (and hey eating no meat might help save some CO2 emissions)

Indy and I can't have soy so this is going to be interesting. I'm going to try to eat vegan for a day.

So yeah Friday Aug no meat day! try and spread the word!