"The way they are treating people in the South, the government can go to hell!" - Louis Armstrong 1957
Being on the west coast, and not prone to patriotic telethon watching, I didn't catch last nights uncensored outburst from Kanye West....but having read the transcript, it pretty much mirrors a conversation I was having at the time. I might've used different words, as did my companions, but I don't think there's any African Americans I've spoken to who would disagree that much.
Guardsmen 'played cards' amid New Orleans chaos
New Orleans deputy police commander W.S. Riley launched a bitter attack on the federal response to the Hurricane in New Orleans... "We have people who died while the National Guard sat and played cards. I understand why we are not winning the war in Iraq if this is what we have."
Before the Civil War New Orleans was the second largest city in the United States by population, over 100,000. Only New York was bigger.
Now, we have a so-called congressional leader debating whether it's worthy of helping to rebuild, despite the fact it hasn't even been properly evacuated or stabilized. The city's a mess, and the governmental attitude of benign neglect that created the situation is a pathetic disgrace...
Finally, 5 to 6 days after it would've been a smart move to have them around, since about 12:00 noon N.O time on Friday we had a true military presence moving in with supplies and an actual chain of command.
On Friday I could literally see burning buildings, and convoys of troop carriers and other vehicles heading into the Central Business District via a web cam at
This cam was linked by a blogger who has stayed behind, holed up in a 27 story office building downtown. The situation that has unfolded below him on the streets, has him angry, and his posts reflect his military background...
He's a serious survivor, and had some choice words for Jesse Jackson's publicity seeking ass... but he's telling it like he sees it from the eye of the storm...
read comments from the interdictor as it unfolds at http://mgno.com/
Here's some of his comments i thought worth repeating here as they give immense perspective:
Dead bodies everywhere: convention center, down camp street, all over.
According to him dozens of police officers have quit over the last three days. Only a 1/3 or less are working through the crisis. They are disgusted that the military never arrived to help them, only a handful of scared FEMA types.
Crime is absolutely rampant: rapes, murders, rape-murder combinations.
The National Guard arrived yesterday to distribute water and did so by just racing by without stopping & shoving it off trucks without any coordinated distribution.
They're just pushing it off without stopping, people don't even know it's there at first -- they drop it on the side in debris, there's no sign or distribution point -- people are scared to go near it at first, because the drop points are guarded by troops or federal agents with assault rifles who don't let people come near them, which scares people off. It is a mess. When people actually get to the water, they are in such a rush to get it that one family left their small child behind and forget about him until Sig carried him back to the family.
At the convention center Thursday, the scene was a terrible miscoordination, with 10,000 survivors being treated like prisoners, or at best animals at the zoo. A local Bourbon Street DJ reported his experiences :
Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.
It's been three days, and the buses have yet to appear.
Bigfoot estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them and tossed out supplies over the side. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.
There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.
Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. Eight or nine dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and two of these dead people are kids.
The people are so desperate they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single-file lines with the elderly in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows; and anything else that would show they are not barbarians.
The buses never stop.
Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole SWAT teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.
Bigfoot reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."A group of Australians banded together to survive the wicked conditions in the Superdome
Allen Toussaint was amongst those who fell into the clutches of the Superdome's infernal grip. This piano playing elder statesman is a Rock n Roll Hall of Famer, who has written songs performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass ("Whipped Cream"), Glen Campbell ("Southern Nights"), Al Hirt ("Java"), Robert Palmer( Sneakin Sally Through The Alley), Jesse Hill ("Ooh-Poo-Pah-Doo"), Ernie K Doe ("Mother In Law") , Dave Clark Five ("I Like It Like That"), Pointer Sisters ("Yes We Can Can"), as well as Little Feat, Lee Dorsey, Bonnie Raitt, The Meters, Rolling Stones, Boz Scaggs, and countless others.
Also unheard from since Monday is New Orleans denizen Boxtops/Big Star singer Alex Chilton.
Here is a post from the Boxtops website on the situation:
Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew were reported to have made it to
safety, but many other outstanding artists known to have been in the
city during the disaster have not been heard from. The chaos and the
degradation of the situation should concern us all, and a swift
response restoring order is needed at once.
Claims of communication and logistical difficulties by governmental
representatives are not acceptable excuses. Our National Guard is
trained to handle such situations, equipped with its AWACS planes,
technology and troops. If these troops are not being allowed to do
their work to maintain order, this shortcoming speaks of
bureaucratic red tape and a lack of planning.
This situation could arise in any metropolitan area due to natural
disaster or terrorist attack, and our inability to effectively
manage the crisis does not speak well of our current homeland
security capabilities. These management failures are a deadly
mistake and a national disgrace.
Disaster plans are made years in advance, and are executed speedily.
Since the United States is not executing a disaster plan effectively
in the current emergency, one has to question our readiness in the
future. Inefficient handling of this emergency has brought about a
sense of false hope regarding homeland security, given the apparent
inability to evacuate our citizens to safety from a major disaster.
The government's slowness to act creates an unfortunate
impression to some members of the public that racism may be a factor
in the inadequate response. There is no reason why this country,
with its vast resources, should not be able to effectively evacuate
everyone from New Orleans. Imposing order and structure to stabilize
the situation promptly will build public confidence in our nation's
ability to manage future disasters.
We need troops, supplies and evacuations now; we need immediate
action from the federal government to save lives. Besides letting
down the people of New Orleans who are dying and in misery, the
United States also stands to lose a major part of its cultural
heritage by the loss of many artists and cultural icons currently
trapped in that great city.
If you don't have a lot of money, you can donate items to Ebay with all profits going to Katrina victims.
Check out these auctions - guilt free browsing for you could mean help for them.
77 Year Old Fats Domino was found awash on the third floor balcony of his 9th Ward home, and has spent the last few nights on the couch of an LSU footbal player in Baton Rouge. Fats is grateful, but just misses New Orleans...
Fats Domino - Goin To The River
LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, left, shakes hands with New Orleans music legend Fats Domino. Domino was reunited with family members at Russell's apartment.
One of New Orlean's most famous residents , reported sheltering the storm at a Memphis hotel with his family, Mr. Aaron Neville.
This track here was his first breakthrough hit in the sixties, produced by Allen Toussaint... I dedicate it to Kanye West and the Mayor of New Orlean's Roy Nagin for telling it like it is...
Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
here his irreplaceable falsetto offers a song from his Grand Tour album
Aaron Neville - I Owe You One
Here's a festive cut by The Meters , a band that featured Aaron's brothers Ivan & Cyrille who earned their keep playing long sets in funky bars , and long hours in Sea-Saint studios under tutelage of the aforementioned Allen Toussaint. He produced this track for one of their Josie 7" singles back in the swinging sixties...
Meters - Chicken Strut
Atlantic Records signed a young Professor Longhair back in the late 1940's when he cut the famous track Tipitina, and he continued to record until his death in the late 1970's... I'll never forget him bejeweled and blinged, wearing a slick suit, big hat & riding out to midfield on a float at The Superdome for The Superbowl to play the halftime show... here's a Mardi Gras fave on Alligator records from a better day...
Prof. Longhair - Big Chief
Ray Charles gives a suitably soulful & graceful version of this classic tune about life along the Mississippi from Porgy & Bess
Ray Charles - Old Man River
Always richly romantic, sentimental and classic here's the Inkspots captured during their prime Decca era a song done by others as well including N.O's own legendary Louis Armstrong.
Inkspots - I Cover The Waterfront
Why stop at a mere mention of Louis Armstrong, a man who became one of New Orlean's greatest symbolic heroes as he took jazz around the world.
In 1929 he recorded this track that still says so much about the instituitional racism present in the rescue efforts way down yonder in New Orleans...
How would it end...I ain't got a friend Louis Armstrong - Black and Blue
My only sin...is in my skin
What did I do...to be so black and blue
We finish our visit with Louis, whose statue in Congo Square is partly submerged, with a song that in just over 2 minutes, says so much, and one hopes & prays was always the only truth...
Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World.
WE end this weekend with a track from one of the most famous charity concerts ever, The Concert For Bangladesh, the ex-Beatle lays it down for storm relief
George Harrison - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I'll be passing the hat for Hurricane Relief at Sadie's Flying Elephant & will offer ya a sweet NOLA mix CD for a suitable donation if ya stop by Sun Sept 4th...
491 Potrero Ave @ Mariposa
SF CA 94110
Kvetch Open Mic w/ Lynn Breedlove & Tara Jepson from 7:30 - 10:30ish
bar open w/ Nawlin's Flava Music from DJ Lil Mike til 2am