Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Help, New Orleans

Here we are fast approaching the 2nd anniversary of Katrina and the tool that finally destroyed thousands of people’s lives. The main reasons of course were the erosion of the wetlands, and the substandard levees built, all endorsed by our government.

And what can we celebrate on this 2nd anniversary? Nothing. Because nothing has been done in 2 years. It is an utter disgrace. Why are we not demonstrating in our millions that our government and politicians are so contemptuous of the New Orleans community? Why are the politicians blatantly using this disaster to line their pockets by creating a business plan that offers ‘others’ opportunities to make millions of dollars? Has our nation’s political system become so blinded by greed that it doesn’t even care how transparent their motives, intentions and crimes are.

Are ‘we the people’ at fault by becoming so apathetic about the fate of our country in the hands of the government and its cronies? It is fair to say that in the last 6 years we have had to witness such deplorable actions and behavior that we cannot get our heads around the enormity of these issues. How can we in our debt ridden insecure lives even contemplate adding more stress to free our nation of men and women who only seek to gain power and money at any cost?

Don’t we have enough on our plates paying our bills, our mortgages, our health costs, rising gas prices. Where can we find the energy for the really large problems like making our government accountable for its bribe taking from lobbyists, the lies of going to war which resulted in the executive branch funneling millions of dollars to its friends, while ‘others’ sons and daughters are killed and crippled.

What can we do when large corporations such as the insurance industry, like a cancer, eats away at the very fabric of our society. Out pricing health care for all. Declining to pay legitimate claims from people who on many occasions have paid premiums for so many years they have actually bought their homes again. Are the insurance companies not in default? Why doesn’t the government take legal action? Is it possible that the government is sleeping with the insurance companies? Do you think?

What ‘we the people’ fail to realize today is that we are all at risk. Do you think that after all that we have become witness to, we can feel safe and secure? Have we not realized that we are all at risk of devastation that will lead to isolation? Are you not scared? I am. Once I had this feeling that whatever happens to me, I’ll have back up. My country is there for me. Wrong. We are all alone and that’s the reality. We are all one small step from utter despair.

The people of New Orleans represent every one of us. They have been sacrificed to show us the way. They have brought to our attention that we have reached a critical point in our history. The people of New Orleans deserve better from us. We need to shout in every village, town & city, that ‘we the people’ need responsive action, and we need it now.

We don’t care about Iraq, we never wanted it then and we don’t want it now.
US Government, you lied to us and so it’s your problem. If you want to waste billions of dollars then pay for it from your own pockets. If you want to send men and women to serve there, then send your sons and daughters.

We want action in our country and our lives. We want our city; New Orleans to be rebuilt and we want it now. Gimmick free. Don’t abuse your people any longer, and we know you are. Outrageous tricks like stated by Melissa Harris-Lacewell on the Bill Moyer Journal last week,

"Be clear, you are not safe anywhere from corruption. You are not safe anywhere from this kind of profiteering. You are not safe anywhere if we don't look at the very simple sort of policy choices that we could have made.
For example, a huge communal land grab of the lower ninth ward. In other words, set up a CDC. Excuse me. A community development corporation, so that instead of each individual homeowner somehow trying to rebuild their houses, you set up a community based development that allows of the block to be built all together at once, instead of one house at a time, right? And then, you allow this community development corporation, a non-profit, to hold the interest of the homeowners and sell back to the homeowners.

Instead, what we did was we wrote checks to poor and working people most of whom had mortgages on their destroyed homes. So you're standing there and you've got a mortgage and your home is destroyed. You can't rebuild with that check. You pay off your mortgage with it. Now, you're standing there with nothing. These were simple things. We could have made a community development corporation. We could have forgiven, in a mass way. We could have done what we did with the S&L bail outs. And we could have bailed out mortgage holders, simply wiping away their mortgages because of this. So, we had very clear tools. And instead, we decided to make this an opportunity for profit. An opportunity for profit driven real estate speculators to come in and make money from this".

Stop using immigrant workers and outside contractors. We want the people of New Orleans to be the base of all work and decisions. US. Government, show us that YOU are patriotic.

If ‘we the people’ do not stand up and be heard shouting from the roof tops that “enough is enough”, that “you the US Government will now do as WE say”, which is what Democracy is all about, then you will pay. We have what our forefathers gave us, the right to vote. Let’s us use this to celebrate and make changes not only for the good people of New Orleans, but for all of our children, our children’s children, and us.