Louisiana Black-out: Not an Act of God, an Act of Entergy

3 September 2021 — Greg Palast

by Greg Palast

The darkness, the misery and death you are witnessing in Louisiana is not an act of God, it’s an act of Entergy Inc.

I was hired by the City of New Orleans to investigate why their power company, Entergy, simply can’t keep the lights on while citizens’ electric bills soar. That was in 1986.

In 35 years, nothing has changed my official conclusion: Entergy is a racketeering enterprise parading as a power company.

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Black Agenda Report for 28 August, 2013: The "Dreamer" With a Kill List, the "Dreamer" as Zombie, Syria Enters American Hell

28 August 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Gary Younge points out that King’s “I Have A Dream” speech wasn’t offered as the penultimate moment of his career till after his death. Those who offer it were the same corporate media honchos who first elevated, then slimed and slandered King the last year of his life. “The Dreamer” too is their construct, as far from the man who lived and died as an ordinary person from a brain-eating zombie. Continue reading

Black Agenda Report July 4 2012: GOP Healthcare In Effect / GA Prison Strike / Frisco Stop-and-Frisk

4 July 2012Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Obama Bound for Mount Rushmore?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama‘s healthcare plan, now vetted by the U.S. Supreme Court, is the spawn of Republican reactionaries, “based on the principle that people should pay for their own bodily maintenance.” It bears no resemblance to world-class healthcare systems, “expanding the healthcare compact only for those who are destitute, while turning everyone else into profit-centers for corporations.” Obama has locked in the past, and put up a roadblock to the future – just as the right-wingers that invented the “individual mandate” intended.

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New Atlantis – Part Two: How musicians rebuilt New Orleans

24 August 2011 — Jazz on the Tube

More from the interview with jazz writer John Swenson. How jazz musicians pulled together to save New Orleans the city after the federal levee failures. Includes footage from one of the first big second line parades after the flood, a memorial parade for a murdered artist, and musician Glen David Andrews speaking at  the Silence Is Violence rally.

Black Agenda Report 4 May 2011: Obama Killing Spree / Brazil in Haiti / Obama Needs Birthers

4 May 2011 — BAR – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Osama, Obama and Bush: Apt Comparisons, Missed Opportunities

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
bush-to-obama.jpgIllustration by Leon Kuhn. More of his work at http://www.leonkuhn.org.uk/
This weekend the White House announced the extrajudicial killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the secret disposal of his body at sea. Are we any safer now? And would it be any different if George W. Bush were making the same announcement four years ago?

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Promo: Tradition is a Temple

6 January, 2011 — Tradition is a Temple

TRADITION IS A TEMPLE explores New Orleans’ unique musical culture and the fragility of tradition in the modern world. The movie weaves together intimate personal discussions shot over a four year span with once-in-a-lifetime studio performances by New Orleans greats, such as Shannon Powell, Lucien Barbarin, Jason Marsalis, Topsy Chapman, Steve Masakowski, Ed Petersen, Roland Guerin, The Tremé Brass Band and many more.

This portrait of New Orleans music culture highlights the musician’s upbringing, how tradition shaped their identity and continues to inspire young people today.

We’re currently fundraising for post-production costs through a crowd funding website called Kickstarter.com. Please consider pre-ordering the DVD or Motion Picture Soundtrack by making a pledge. This is your chance to make this film happen. To learn more about our Kickstarter.com campaign click here.

Early supporters include The University of New Orleans, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, The Allan Houston Legacy Foundation and The Idea Village.

This is an artist-owned production.

New Orleans: Rebuilding on People’s Bones

16 September, 2010 — The Real News Network

Jordan Flaherty: Thousands of people are not able to return to New Orleans.


New Orleans: Rebuilding on People’s Bones
, posted with vodpod

Jordan Flaherty is a New Orleans-based journalist and works with the Louisiana Justice Institute. He was the first writer to bring the story of the Jena Six to a national audience, and his award-winning reporting from the Gulf Coast has been featured in a range of outlets including the New York Times, Mother Jones, and Argentina’s Clarin newspaper. Jordan just published released his new book called FLOODLINES: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six .

Treme: A new video on Katrina

15 April, 2010 — Levees.org

John Goodman – spokesperson for Levees.org – is Creighton Bernette in the new drama by HBO called Treme. Mr. Goodman, whose character is based on the late blogger Ashley Morris, is an angry, excitable fierce New Orleans who is not afraid to say out loud that the federal Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the disaster. The series debuted on April 11, 2010 and just two days later got the green light from HBO for a second season.

Click here for more information about HBO’s new show Treme.

Click here for Levees.org’s Public Service Announcement featuring John Goodman.

Confronting the Occupation: Haiti, Neo-liberalism, and the US Occupation By Kali Akuno

11 April, 2010 — Navigating the Storm

The three-month marker for the earthquake that devastated Haiti is now upon us. The significance of this marker is not one determined by the Haitian people, but rather by the enemies of the Haitian people and peoples’ movements throughout the world.

According to Milton Friedman and the intellectual guru’s of neo-liberalism there are critical timelines and stages that must be strictly adhered by to successfully capitalize on a catastrophe and transform a society. The three month marker is one of these critical timelines, and in the words of Friedman himself ‘ a new administration has some six to nine months in which to achieve major changes; if it does not seize the opportunity to act decisively during that period, it will not have another such opportunity.’ Based on experiences in Iraq, Sri Lanka, and New Orleans over the past ten years several things must be in place at the three-month marker in order for the catastrophe to be fully exploited. These include: sufficient military force to contain the population, the dispersal and fragmentation of the affected population to limit its ability to mobilize resistance, and the legislation and implementation of a new policy regime that seeks to privatize nearly everything and eliminate all financial controls.

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Learn from Cuba says New Orleans mayor By Tom Mellen

21 October, 2009 — The Morning Star

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin praised Cuba’s disaster response system on Tuesday, acknowledging that the islands’s socialist authorities ‘do a much better job than we do.’

Mr Nagin, who arrived in Cuba last Friday along with 15 officials from police, fire and port agencies, has met Cuban civil defence authorities and seen presentations on how the whole island mobilises during disasters.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 per cent of New Orleans, killing more than 1,600 people.

Last year, hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma all pounded Cuba, killing seven.

Mr Nagin acknowledged that ‘one of the biggest weaknesses we had during Katrina is it wasn’t clear who was the top authority.

‘Here in Cuba you don’t have that problem. The government says: ‘This is what we’re doing, these are the resources we are going to deploy,’ and it pretty much happens.’

In Cuba, Revolutionary Defence Committees organise communities at neighbourhood level, providing social services as well as helping with evacuations.

‘They do a much better job than we do on knowing their citizens at a very, very detailed level, block by block,’ Mr Nagin declared.

Last week, US President Barack Obama told a New Orleans town hall meeting that, in the days after ‘that terrible storm struck your shores, all the world bore witness to the fact that the damage from Katrina was not caused just by a disaster of nature but also by a breakdown of government, that government wasn’t adequately prepared and we didn’t appropriately respond.’

Then-president Fidel Castro offered the US medical assistance after Katrina struck, including sending doctors to the area to treat storm victims, but the State Department declined the offer.

FAIR Media Advisory: Erasing Katrina

2 September, 2009 – FAIR

Four years on, media mostly neglect an ongoing disaster

August 29 marked the fourth anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The devastation wrought by both the hurricane itself and the government’s inept response prompted remarkably critical corporate media coverage that promised to fight for Katrina survivors and change the way we talk about poverty and race (FAIR Media Advisory, 9/9/05).

As NBC‘s Brian Williams told the St. Petersburg Times (3/1/06), “If this does not spark a national discussion on class, race, the environment, oil, Iraq, infrastructure and urban planning, I think we’ve failed.” But four years later, corporate media outlets seem to have largely forgotten about Katrina and its survivors, let alone the conversations about race and poverty that were supposed to accompany it.

The Institute for Southern Studies issued a report (8/9/09) in which more than 50 Gulf Coast community leaders graded officials on their response to the ongoing disaster; the Obama administration received a D+, while Congress received a D. (George W. Bush received a D- in an earlier survey.) One million people are still displaced, rebuilding continues at a glacial pace, and the levees being rebuilt have been judged insufficient to protect New Orleans from another Katrina-level flood.

But amazingly, according to a search of the Nexis news media database, neither the Washington Post nor the L.A. Times ran a single piece on Katrina in the past week. ABC and Fox News didn’t mention the hurricane or its aftermath once.

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Protecting Coastal Communities: The Dutch Say Yes We Do – In America, We Can, Too

Levees.org has created a video documentary using footage captured by an Amsterdam-based filmmaker while in The Netherlands this past May

HJ Bosworth Jr and Sandy Rosenthal were part of US Senator Mary Landrieu’s Second Congressional Delegation (CoDel) excursion to Holland. Unlike the first CoDel which studied peripheral barriers (floodgates), the goal of the Second CoDel was to see how the Dutch live with – and manage – water in urban settings.


more about “Protecting Coastal Communities: The D…“, posted with vodpod

Chris Floyd: A Correction and an Apology

katrina.jpgIn a brief post yesterday, I wrote that African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens in the United States. I would now like to apologize for making such a controversial — and flagrantly incorrect — statement. Obviously, I was letting my knee-jerk liberal PC prejudices run wild. For as a new article in The Nation forcefully demonstrates, African-Americans are not treated as second-class citizens in the United States; they are treated as wild animals to be hunted down and shot in cold blood.

The article is a very detailed investigation of the white vigilante groups that formed, with police approval, in the white enclave of Algiers Point in New Orleans in the days after Hurrican Katrina. Although authorities had designated the area — which had largely escaped damage in the storm and flood — as a vital evacuation point for those trapped in the city, a group of white residents seized the opportunity to declare open season on anyone with black skin. Many African-Americans were shot and several were killed; but no one knows the exact number, because New Orleans police have refused to investigate any of the incidents, and coroner’s records of the gun-blasted bodies that showed up in the area have unaccountably gone missing.

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Media Lens Alert: “Not Very Interesting” – Haiti, New Orleans And Media Hypocrisy

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

September 16, 2008

On September 1, the press began warning that “the storm of the century” was about to hit New Orleans as Hurricane Gustav “bore down nearly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city”. (‘It’s the storm of the century,’ Daily Mirror, September 1, 2008)

A comparable storm of media coverage was to follow, with continuous live broadcasts from the city. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin heightened the sense of drama:

“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you – that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.” (Paul Thompson, ‘Storm of the century,’ Daily Mail, September 1, 2008)

But Nagin‘s worst fears were not realised. In fact weather forecasters had warned at the time that it was “too early to know whether New Orleans will take another direct hit”. (Daily Mirror, op.cit)

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“There are signs the economy is improving.” George W Bush, 8-30-08

NEW YORK: The storm is coming. All eyes on the Doppler radar, the graphic swirls, the reporters bravely standing on Levee watch in New Orleans. This time, the evacuations are underway as if to say the government is finally looking out for its citizens and evacuating the people in harm’s way. Will it work? We will see and then see it live while we wait for the next epic disasto-tainment.

As we brace for what’s been called the “mother of all storms,” the platitude-pushing wonderland of TV has shifted the political debate overnight from the prospects of a man with a “funny name” to a gun toting former small town beauty queen turned Governor who hates polar bears and shoots moose.

One catastrophe may be coming. The other may be already here, and a third, well, no one wants to talk about that. You can move populations away from hurricanes. You can adore or make fun of unusual politicians. But what do you do about a financial tsunami that everyone knows is structural but many would rather ignore, until they can’t?

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Waiting for the Bus in New Orleans By Bill Quigley

Justice Watch

BC Extra: August 31, 2008

BlackCommentator.com Columnist

August 30, 2008 – 4 pm

In the blazing midday sun, hot and thirsty little children walk around bags of diapers and soft suitcases piled outside a locked community center in the Lower Ninth Ward. Military police in camouflage and local police in dark blue uniforms and sunglasses sit a few feet away in their cars. Moms and grandmas sit with the children and wait quietly. Everyone is waiting for a special city bus which will start them on their latest journey away from home.

Hundreds of buses are moving people away from the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Gustave is heading for the Louisiana coast nearly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes across the Gulf Coast. Many now face mandatory evacuation. Dozens died in Haiti and the Dominican Republic after Gustave visited. After Katrina, few underestimate the potential of Gustave, now a Category 5 (out of a maximum of 5) storm.

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The Gulf of Disbelief By William Bowles

14 September 2005

‘We have been abandoned by our own country,’ Mr Broussard told NBC’s Meet the Press programme. ‘It’s not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now.’
Aaron Broussard, the president of Jefferson parish, south of New Orleans

Bush FishMr Broussard has almost got it right but it’s not simply the state bureaucracy that has abandoned the people of Mississippi but the state itself. What used to be called the social contract between the governed and those who govern has been cast aside, surplus to requirement in this age of rapacious and crisis-ridden capitalism.

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