Friday, September 16, 2005

0264 Cousins marooned in the ghost town of Biloxi. The hurricane took away almost all that the poor residents of this American town had. Afterwards,the government left them the choice of leaving under their own power or to rot in the horrorshow that remained.
0263 A mud spattered flag still hangs in a street in Biloxi, where the floodwaters would have coverd it at the height of the hurricane.
0262 The residents of this project in Biloxi have all been evicted after the hurricane. They say that the landlord is using the excuse of the storm to have all of the building condemned so he can resell to the casinos. They also say that the landlord arrainged for power and water NOT to be restored to the neighborhood. Two residents left with just a bag on their shoulders after I offered them a ride out of town in our car. They had no goal other then to leave Biloxi. I asked why others had stayed. "It's all they know. The projects is all they know."
0261 Whats left of a supermarket in Biloxi. Right before the hurricane hit, when the poor realized that despite the rumours the civil defense was not going to come and bus them out, many people went to the stores bought loads of food. When the storm surge came, the food was drowned in their kitchens, and when the water receded the homes strained the refuse so that the floors and walls were covered in a thin black gruel of mud and rotting material. 11 days after the storm and people were still living in these homes, with nowhere to go and no way to get there.
0260 Traffic signals hang uselessly throughout Biloxi.
0259 Most homes in Biloxi have piles of their owners belongings piled in front of them. When the water came into the one story structures, almost every possesion was lost.
0258 A blue tarp covers a distribution site for food and water in the street in front of a ruined church in Biloxi. The storm surge was 8-15 feet high in Biloxi, and almost every structure was flooded. The buildings that were not destroyed outright are most likely lost anyway, due to water damage and mold.
0257 Debris from the storm surge lines the streets of Biloxi.

0256 A prayer circle at a warehouse in Mobile, where African American church groups, frustrated with the governments failures at every level, have started a mission themselves to help Katrina victims.

0255 A Iraq vet National Guard soldier straps on his rifle after a break guarding a medical aid station in Jefferson Parish.
0254 Doctor at his an aid station, which he ran for 5 days in a school with no power or plumbing in Jefferson Parish.
0253 The president's helicopter flies high over devestated Jefferson Parish.

0252 Medical aid station in a school cafeteria in Jefferson Parish.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

0251 An army chaplain reading from the Book of Job in a prayer service on the roof of an abandoned hospital with the darkened New Orleans skyline at sunset.

Friday, September 02, 2005

0250 It's hard to know what to say.
How could we have failed this could we have been failed this badly.
Is it laziness? Racism? Is it just that it was late August, and everybody important was on vacation?
Sunday night I was at a friends house, and we couldnt tear our eyes away from the predictions. "New Orleans is going to be destroyed", over and over. And not the usual hysteria, the brash terror calls, but a slow, almost hesitant repetition.
If we knew, we KNEW Sunday night, then how could the system not?
It's our system, isnt it?
The government is not made of robots and zombies, its made of people who stand behind you in line at the grocery store, people who buy music and argue about movies. People who watch storm predictions.
So what the hell is happening?
The only answer I can come up with is that the people who have decided to take responsibility for keeping this society in motion are not fulfilling their commitment.
To be in the government, you have to really want to be there, you know? Elected or hired, they have voluntarily decided to accept the responsibility. They have been entrusted by the people.
This week, they just didnt show up.
It is the worst kind of betrayal, the betrayal of those that you have accepted responsibility for. It is like a doctor leaving halfway through the operation, leaving you torn open and pinned back, just throwing up his hands and walking out.
Remember one year ago? They were touring the country, fighting every second to get elected, spending millions. Staging crap debates, shaking hands, all that endless shit talk about "protecting America". It was 24 hour a day campaigning a year ago, wasnt it?
And somebody won, and now... now this.
Look, this cannot stand.
This just cannot stand.