Re: the disappearing homeles
friend wrote: "Shelley...did you see the bizarre article
about how the
homelessness in Utah is not to be found. They just don't know where all
those people went.... i can't find the link to forward. It made me
depressed so i think i didn't send it on. There is simply so much news
as if out of a fantasmical movie that one can hardly begin to report on
it much less absorb it. I was speaking with 2 30ish kids inside XX radio
this evening. THEY ARE CLUELESS, and were defending , dodging my
comments to them with such shallow remarks and Zero Logic that I am now
all the more alarmed. What IS the world truly going to come to because
the vast majority of X, Y Zers are simply clueless without a brain nor
will to do anything but defend the status quo and tell us the opposite.
We are sleeping ducks."
Yes, I saw the article. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, so I paid close
attention to New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. Kathleen Blanco
was governor then. She had the opportunity to stand up for her state but
chose to toady to the Bush administration instead. (They kicked her to
the side of the road. She couldn't get elected dog catcher anywhere in
Louisiana after that.)
Bush sent in FEMA, bureaucrats from DC and who knows what else. They
staged a federal occupation of New Orleans complete with armed troops.
All deliveries of aid to the city were stopped and sent back. Doctors
were forbidden to care for patients including the critically injured
because some bureaucrat in DC forgot to buy liability insurance for the
feds. People died, yes. Meanwhile NOPD roamed the streets, shot the dogs
that had been left to guard homes and businesses and robbed those
establishments. The feds distributed no aid whatsoever to the
inhabitants of the stricken city. A video of grinning NOPD police
looting a Walgreen's Drug store was put on the internet.
The poor who didn't have the means to flee the city were told to
evacuate themselves to the Superdome. No arrangements whatsoever were
made for their care. When they arrived they were stripped of all
firearms and liquor and any pets they brought with them were killed in a
horrible way. They were held under armed guard. Those who had valuables
were relieved of them: "We'll take care of this for you." The valuables
were never seen again.
The Superdome was not built for such a huge crowd. The bathrooms were
quickly empty of toilet paper. The toilets overflowed and quit working.
Establishment journalists who visited the Dome afterward wrote about the
unbelievably horrible conditions there after the people were gone.
"These people were filthy animals," they reported.
Well, where did the people go, exactly? They were taken to FEMA camps
and properties, mostly in the outback of rural Southern states.
Inhabitants of those camps were held under armed guard and they were not
allowed to leave. They had no phones and no way of contacting the
outside world. In the beginning the residents of these isolated rural
regions came to the camps bringing food and amenities. After a little
while the gates to the camps were closed and local residents bearing aid
were turned away.
The feds never released a head count, a list of names or even a list of
the places they were taken to. For a couple of months some states
complained about the increased welfare load, and then they suddenly fell
silent. After 3-4 months the camps were suddenly empty.
The apartment block they had been settled in, in Lubbock, Texas was
surrounded by high chain link fencing topped with barbed wire, facing
inward. A few months later the apartment block was empty.
Lubbock is not a fun place. I have been there (before Katrina). It's in
a more or less flat desert. The main industry is slaughterhouses.
Depending on the wind direction you can smell the stench of blood and
feces. Even on a good day you can hear the bawling of the terrified
cattle. The hotel had nothing worth reading. In desperation I perused
the phone book, hoping for a bookstore. There were a handful of
Christian bookstores and several porn bookstores. Nothing else. The city
was white and racist to the core. I don't know what the few hispanics in
the city thought. (I had gone there for a job interview, about which I
don't remember anything. No matter what they had offered to pay I would
not have lived there.)
Getting back to the suddenly empty FEMA camps after Katrina, the states
suddenly fell silent. The feds somehow made about 300,000 poor, mostly
black/mulatto citizens of New Orleans disappear without a trace. I know
these details because I paid very close attention to New Orleans and had
some correspondents on the scene. These were first hand reports from
educated people who were there.
A detail: in New Orleans when it became clear that a flood was imminent,
city employees begged the feds to put sandbags around one of the
municipal buildings. Its basement contained all the land records of the
city. The feds refused. The flood destroyed those records. In
consequence every property owner in New Orleans who did not have his
records stashed in a separate, safe place lost the ability to prove
he/she owned that property. When the DC bureaucrats and favored
interests moved in, they took over those properties. It was a windfall
Another detail: when a county sheriff--I'm sorry to say, I can't
remember his name--discovered that his emergency phone lines had been
cut by the feds, he had them fixed and posted armed guards so it
wouldn't happen again. Then he learned that the local Wal-Mart had been
ordered to close. It's not as if people who had endured a hurricane and
a massive flood need tarps, plywood and soforth. The sheriff had it
re-opened and posted armed guards there here. Godbless.
And another: when the feds arrived they brought in a piece of Coast
Guard equipment which prevented local ham radio operators from calling
out. I found out where it was and begged a journalist, one of my
correspondents, to go over there and take a picture of it. He refused.
He was afraid.
A detail: when Katrina was bearing down on the city the Vietnamese
fishermen took their fleet into a sheltered inlet and tied the ships
down tight. Families live on those ships. The city asked if they would
be safe. "Don't worry about us," they replied. "Those are steel hulled
ocean-going ships. We'll be fine." And they were.
The Bush administration considered Katrina a huge success. It had been a
trial run of a new strategy. DC had taken control of a major city and
favored insiders were in the process of stripping the city of its
assets. It was made the pattern for all future federal "relief" efforts.
The really rich in New Orleans had no difficulty at all. They lived on
high ground surrounded by walls and were guarded by armed Israeli security.
So what exactly happened to the missing 300,000 people? Even afterward I
was unable to get any journalist to pursue the story. They wouldn't
touch it. "Wherever they went, good riddance." In truth, they were afraid.
Who was really responsible for the flood that devastated the city? The
answer was the Army Corps of Engineers. They destroyed the salt marshes
that had protected the region against storm swells and dredged the
channel to the Gulf wider and deeper to facilitate commerce. The
hurricane shot right down that channel. Several years after Katrina an
author published a carefully researched book on the hurricane including
its causes. (He also covered a volcano in Iceland and mud slides in
southern California, and, if memory serves a disastrous freeze in
Florida. (Search engines are commercialized now and won't search for old
books. If someone knows how to search the Library of Congress, you can
probably find this book or tell me how to do the search.)
The soul of a city is vested in its people, not in its boulevards and
civic buildings. New Orleans was a mighty seaport once, with a unique
culture and a long history. Now it is gone.
After Katrina there was Hurricane Harvey, which struck in northern
Florida. The residents had been told not to worry; the hurricane would
not amount to anything. They were totally unprepared for the violent
winds and tornadoes. You do know that hurricanes bring tornadoes with
them? This one did and devastated the area.
The federal government quickly arrived and cordoned off the devastated
area, with armed troops. Nothing, including food, water and desperately
needed medical help, was allowed to pass through that cordon. A
survivor, with serious injuries, was helped by a friend to get up. The
feds sent a car full of men down a road inside the cordon. She
approached the car; it stopped and she begged for medical help. They
said nothing. Finally a man in the car showed her his gun. She backed
away and the car left.
The following came from events following Hurricane Andrew in Florida where over 5,300 people died, in the late 1990's much like those described in the article above.
She later told this story at a Congressional hearing. It produced what
such hearings always produced: nothing.