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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

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07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

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07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

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07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

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07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Print view: Katrina's Destructive Aftermath
WILLFUL SOCIAL ENGINEERING:

Katrina's Destructive Aftermath

New Orleans is now two cities, one for the white and rich that has largely recovered, the other for far fewer poor and Blacks.

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Post-Katrina, New Orleans bears testimony to a callous, uncaring nation. "America the beautiful" is for the privileged alone - no one else, especially people of color, the poor and disadvantaged, "The Big Easy" their ground zero.

August 29, 2005, a day of infamy remembered less for the storm, catastrophic floods and destruction, and more as a metaphor for disaster capitalism, exploiting security threats, "terror" attacks, economic meltdowns, and "natural" disasters like Katrina.

It turned this aging senior into a writer and radio host, furious over federal, state and local authorities using it to reward business at the expense of New Orleans' poor Blacks. Five years later, their lives remain in disarray through no fault of their own.

Levies protecting their neighborhoods were left weak, vulnerable to fail as they did, then Congressman Richard Baker (R. LA) saying, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it but God did," with considerable willful negligence help.

Malik Rahim, (New Orleans) Common Ground Relief (CGR) co-founder said:

"They wanted them poor niggers out of there and they ain't had no intention to allow it to be reopened to no poor niggers, you know? And that's just the bottom line."

Blank is beautiful. Ethnic cleansing was long-planned, the scheme, of course, to erase poor neighborhoods, replacing them with upscale condos and other high-profit projects on choice city land, New Orleans developer Joseph Canizaro saying, "we (now) have a clean (slate) to start (over and take advantage of) big opportunities."

A year later, an affected resident spoke for many saying:

"They('re) just messing all over us. Putting me out of our own house. We (try going) back and when we get there they got the police there putting us out....they ain't letting nobody in....but where (am I) going to go - me and my kids?"

Rahim calls New Orleans two cities, one "for the white and rich, (the other) for the poor and Blacks. (The former) recovered. They had a Jazz Fest....a Mardi Gras....But for those who haven't recovered, there's nothing." Most haven't been allowed back. Their neighborhoods were stolen for development, Katrina a chance to wage class warfare against them, no match for predators turning tragedy into profit.

It's a familiar pattern nationwide and in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, commerce following the flag abroad and exploiting natural disasters at home, complicit politicians easing "free market" solutions for the privileged.

Though no match against dark, entrenched forces, Rahim's Common Ground Relief fought back. Founded right after Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward, it's a volunteer not-for-profit organization running numerous projects, including new home construction, free medical and legal help, education for school children, community gardening, a women's shelter, job training, wetlands restoration, food security and environmental science.

By mobilizing people to work together against long odds, it provides hope through "short term relief for victims (and) long term support in rebuilding" destroyed communities. In the Lower 9th alone, 14,000 people and 4,800 homes were affected, most residents with longstanding neighborhood roots, enjoying "the highest percentage of African American home ownership of any city" in America. Losing them meant "the disappearance of (their) major asset, economic livelihood and, as a result, their future."

Bill Quigley is a longtime activist/Law Professor, Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director, and former Loyola University, New Orleans Director of the Law Clinic and Gillis Long Poverty Law Center.

Three years post-Katrina, his aftermath assessment was disturbing but unsurprising, including:

  • renters getting no financial aid;
  • rental homes not repaired;
  • unaffordable housing for poor and low income people because rents, on average, rose 46%;
  • no rebuilding plans for destroyed public housing;
  • thousands of poor neighborhood homes demolished to prevent residents from returning;
  • half the city's public schools destroyed, replaced by privatized ones; today, 75% are for-profit, favoring Whites, shutting out Blacks;
  • all unionized city school employees fired, then selectively rehired for less pay and few or no benefits;
  • displaced Blacks entirely disenfranchised;
  • four of the 13 city Planning Districts as much at flood risk as before Katrina;
  • only 11% of Lower 9th families returned, the community formerly one of the richest culturally, now destroyed by design; today about 20% are back;
  • 25% of hospitals gone and 38% fewer beds available;
  • thousands still living in temporary trailers; many others displaced across other states, still unable to return;
  • 72,000 vacant, ruined or unoccupied houses;
  • the city's Black population reduced by half;
  • thousands of their children never returned to public schools;
  • new hurricane protection construction barely started, and much more, the city wrecked for corporate predators, the poor exploited for profit.

In his early August article titled, "Katrina Pain Index 2010 New Orleans," Quigley, Davida Finger and Lance Hill updated the disturbing picture, saying:

"....tens of thousands of (New Orleans) homes....remain vacant or blighted. Tens of thousands of African American children who were in the public schools (aren't) back, nor have their parents been able to return." The metro area lost over 140,000 people, the city itself over 100,000. "Thousands of elderly and displaced people (were affected). Affordable housing" is in short supply, poor and low income people forced either to pay up or do without.

Displaced residents were scattered across the country, in as many as 5,500 cities, "the largest concentrations in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and San Antonio." Most are women. "A third earn less than $20,000 a year" - for a family of four, it's below the Census Bureau's $22,000 poverty threshold and well below minimum needs in any US metropolitan area.

In addition, one fourth of area housing is either vacant or blighted, "by far the highest" US rate. As a result, about 58% of city renters and 45% of suburban ones pay "more than 35 percent of (their) income on housing." Above 30% is unaffordable, forcing families to do without, including for essentials like enough nutritious food and health care, less available to poor people throughout the country, especially in New Orleans where the official poverty rate is double the national average. The unofficial one is even higher, given the indifference to Blacks communities five years post-Katrina.

In greater New Orleans, everything they need is in short supply, including schools, medical care, jobs, public assistance, and affordable housing, the number of public apartments down 75%. Destroying them was planned, upscale properties intended for well off White folks. Blacks aren't wanted.

The same holds for schools, mostly privatized, 85% of their students White in a formerly Black majority city. No longer, and a result, less public ones accommodate 43% fewer students, poor Blacks most affected. They also get less public assistance, fewer social services overall, or none at all.

The entire region was affected, nearly 100,000 square miles of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama communities destroyed or heavily damaged. Over one million people were permanently displaced. Hundreds of thousands lost everything, compounded by the spring Gulf disaster, the greatest ever environmental crime, potentially affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions.

Billions of dollars in promised aid never arrived, going instead for luxury hotels, casinos, private clubs, the oil industry and gentrification, the polite term for dispossessing poor communities, replacing them with upscale ones for the rich and well off, a similar pattern across the country, especially impacting Blacks and Latinos. They're victimized by class warfare under Democrat and Republican administrations, destroying the lives of millions. An uncaring nation left them on their own and out of luck.

New Orleans is a metaphor for as bad as it gets, poor Black communities devastated and ignored, most of the two hardest hit still uninhabited - the Lower 9th and St. Bernard Parish back to less than one fourth of pre-Katrina levels.

After it hit, FEMA provided 120,000 trailers throughout the region. Now, they're gone, sold at public auction, some to families using them. On August 20, Newsweek said only 860 Louisiana families were still accommodated, excluding buyers still in theirs.

Getting no federal, state or local help, others now pay unaffordable rents, live in destroyed or damaged houses, double up with relatives, or go homeless, the numbers twice the pre-Katrina rate, south Louisiana's social infrastructure gutted to displace Blacks for preferred Whites.

Even New Orleans levee rebuilding isn't finished, the Army Corps of Engineers estimating completion by late summer or early fall 2011 at the earliest. Some experts say the new system still won't protect adequately against another major hurricane.

Post-Katrina, New Orleans bears testimony to a callous, uncaring nation. "America the beautiful" is for the privileged alone - no one else, especially people of color, the poor and disadvantaged, "The Big Easy" their ground zero.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on September 2, 2010.
 

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