Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Six Feet of Water in the Streets of Evangeline

I wrote about the fate of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina on this blog 5 years ago. At the time I was thinking that the people of New Orleans (and the rest of the Gulf Coast) were all but abandoned by the U.S. Government in their greatest time of need. Is it any different today? 7 years down the road?? At least 1,836 people died in the storm.

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between sadness and anger this morning; the upcoming 7 year anniversary of Katrina devouring the Gulf Coast. New Orleans was my favorite city in the world. I’m sad and angry because that great city and her people (mostly low income black folks) continue to go largely unattended to by the US Government in the 7 years since. Was Kanye West inaccurate when he proclaimed; “President Bush doesn’t care about black people”? I’d have to say he hit the nail on the head when looking at what the Bush administration has done to put that city back together again. The Obama administration continues the unspoken policy.

Did you ever have a chance to visit New Orleans prior to its’ destruction? I went there twice when I was in my roaring twenties. Mardi gras remains as the greatest memory I have of partying in my entire life. But it isn’t just the revelry that has stayed with me since my visits way back when, it’s all that the Big Easy was!

Po Boy sandwiches, Dixie Land Jazz, Mark Twain, the Muddy Mississip, the street cars, the Doobie Brothers, Buster Holmes’ (red beans and rice), Louis Armstrong, voodoo, coffee with chicory, the Times Picayune, the old Southern homes with their tall ceilings, the Neville Brothers, grits, the list goes on and on. Who’d have thought it could all be wiped out by a storm?

When Randy Newman penned the lyrics to “Louisiana 1927” in 1974, I don’t think he was envisioning what would happen some 30 years down the road. What really gets me is that as far back as 1926 (the Mississippi overflowed its’ banks the year before the Big Flood) it was known that the city would eventually flood beyond repair... it was just a question of when. I’ve pasted those lyrics below, in honor of this sad date in US history. I'm also including a link to Randy Newman's touching song here.

“What has happened down here is the wind has changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
To this poor crackers land."

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I AM a Rich Man!

I'm well aware of how often I criticize the wealthy in this world and my country. I believe they are (for the most part) selfish, cruel, and uncaring. But very recently it's been brought into my consciousness just how wealthy I AM. Not just in relationship to poor people here and abroad, but in my own world as it is...

When I think of my life
I see the riches that have come to me,
No reward for what I've done,
Just fortune.

I see the love of my family
And the love of my extended community.
I don't deserve it I think, for I've not done enough
to warrent it.

The friendships I've been able to afford,
The goodness I've been allowed to absorb,
The sweetness of nature, the pleasure of comanionship,
I'm overwhelmed with it!

I may, in fact, be the richest man
On the Earth.

Friday, August 17, 2012

They Just Keep Dying!

According to the Washington Post there were more military suicides in the month of July than any month since they began scrutinizing the numbers in 2009. What is making these Veterans choose to kill themselves rather than face what they experienced in war?? And more importantly, why do we (as a nation) continue to send people off to war??

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How NBC Flubbed the Olympics

The way the televised version of this year's Olympics played out on TV, left me with a few strong feelings I want to share. In my country there is very little interest in what NBC showed us for the past 2 weeks. In order to see the sports WE'RE interested in, you would need to share personal info. on line (which I didn't) or pay per viewing (which I also didn't).

I, along with many other Americans were subjected to hours of watching wealthy snobs ride horses, the worst boxing in existence,  and extensive coverage of people doing "rhythmic" things in heavily applied makeup. To the best of my knowledge there were 3 basketball games, and 0 soccer matches shown on regular TV. Instead we watched somewhere around 60 water polo and volleyball games, if we watched at all.

I realize that NBC has the right to show what they want, as they paid to televise these Olympics, but if I never see a person made of leaves (Dow Chemical), or another commercial telling me how smoothe things are going in the Gulf Coast (BP) it won't be too soon. So let me just say; "Goodbye Olympics, we hardly knew ya!"

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Why I Hate Texas

What is wrong with the Texas Supreme Court? What is wrong with Govenor Rick Perry? What is wrong with the citizens of Texas? What is wrong with the  Supreme Court OF The United States ? There are several individuals and bodies responsible for the killing of Marvin Wilson, so I'm asking WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?

Marvin Wilson was executed last night in spite of having an IQ of just 61. The story surrounding his execution is beyond belief! In case you're unaware, an IQ of 70 or lower is the SCIENTIFIC benchmark regarding developmental disability. Science, obviously, had nothing to do with the decision to kill Marvin.

In Texas they use the imagination of John Steinbeck in deciding wether or not to execute someone who may or not be guilty. Remember Steinbecks book "Of Mice and Men"? Remember Lenny Smalls? He was the character with a developmental disability, who loved petting rabbits, and eventually mudered his boss's wife. THAT is what they use as a measuring stick in deciding if someone has a developmental disability. A fictional character!

In the year 2002 The SCOTUS decided that executing people with developmental disabilities was a violation of the law. They knew about this case (unless the don't pay attention to the national news), yet did NOTHING to stop the state of Texas from carrying out this "violation of the law". You see, they decided to leave it up to the individual states to decide how to interpret their ruling.

The prosecution had no forensic evidence that Marvin committed ANY CRIME. NONE! What they had instead was the word of the wife of another guy who was accused of committing the crime along with Marvin. In Texas the word of a suspect's wife is enough to find someone guilty. Her husband got a life sentance.

I spite of all this foolishness, Texas remained steadfast in their belief that Marvin should die. At 6:27 PM (Texas time) Marvin was injected with one shot of an experimental drug that killed him. Did I mention that Marvin was also black? Rest in peace Marvin Wilson.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The End of Poverty

It's taken me a while, but I've finally come up with the way to end world poverty. That's right... bring an end to all the poverty that exists on the Earth today! And all that's needed is a few billion gardening trowels and whisk brushes.

First, you gather all the poor people in the world, and get them to the Sphinx in Egypt. Next, you give each one a mini shovel and a whisk broom (the kind umpires use to brush off home plate). Then they can carefully dig around the Sphinx, moving toward the center under the ground. Following each shovel, they delicately brush out the contents, and check to see if they dug up anything of consequence. Right now there's a handful of people doing this job, and having all the extra help would speed up the process.

When they finally get to the secret chambers that lie within, they will come across more treasure than you can shake a stick at. The treasure is divided equally among all the impoverished people who did their part in unearthing it. Bingo!! No more poverty in the world!