It was this week 4 years ago that hundreds of thousands of human beings in the American city of New Orleans were left stranded as the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina rose all around them. It was this week, 4 years ago, that the truth about the lack of plan and the blatant incompetence of a government became clear. And having been born in a country, as well as a world, that has such a narrow and limited understanding of history, it is this week, 4 years later, that I reflect on a great crime committed against hundreds of thousands of people, many who died, and still more who have never really recovered from what took place in New Orleans.
In 2007, thanks to a bit of help from a supporter of this program, I went down to the Gulf Coast and visited with relief workers in New Orleans. Among the things I reported on, how people’s houses were being stolen from them.
In the coming days Ill be looking back at the podcasts I recorded during my journey, following the path of destruction and broken promises. After that, it is also important to get back to the present, as the situation has not been resolved, and the Federal Flood continues to make its victims suffer.
Making the rounds on several of my favorite NOLA bloggers, I was especially captivated by Ray’s post a few days ago on a specific house that several bloggers had helped to gut. He featured a video which I wanted to include on my blog as well. Its 8 minutes or so long and contains the first visit to the house after the storm and you see the very grim pictures as they remove everything from the house that no doubt looks nothing like it did before the storm.
I recommend you read Ray’s entire post, the struggle and the pain continues down in the Big Easy.
Seems like with every year that goes buy, there are more and more things you can buy insurance for. Travelling, living, playing, borrowing… hell the city of New York is even hoping someday soon you’ll have to buy insurance just to record video of it.
On the other hand, whenever there comes a time when people look to their insurance companies, which they’ve been paying for years without ever receiving a dime, the companies work hard at finding a way not to pay. You probably saw that scene in Sicko, where it is right there in black and white, Nixon’s advisor explaining how medical insurance and HMO’s will work, make money by providing as little as possible. It has always been a big part of the insurance business, but it seems like now its the only part of the insurance business…. collect money and do everything in your power NEVER to pay out to a client.
So recently we see the appeal in New Orleans, where the judge has ruled against the citizens who have lost their livelihoods; their homes. They were insured in case of the dangers that come with owning a home in New Orleans. However the insurance companies, panicking at the idea that they will actually have to pay out a huge sum of money from the even larger sum of money they’ve collected over the years…. they have fought tooth and nail in order to stop their customers from being allowed to collect the insurance they thought they had.
I heard a few news reports that talked of the difficult position insurance companies are in. They’d risk huge loses by having to pay for the flood damage caused by hurricane katrina. Once again I repeat in slightly different words: they’d risk huge financial loses by actually providing insurance payments to their paying customers. For them its more honorable and necessary to find a loophole… its not their fault bad things happen, they’re only the insurance company, working hard to hang on to their record profits.
He knows the city will flood again, and is fully aware of all the corruption and neglect that goes on in New Orleans. But the American Zombie says there is no where else in the world he would rather be, than living in New Orleans, and exposing the bastards, up until the very end.
– His early blogging following the hurricane
– Blogging as a reporter and a watchdog, covering the rebuilding
– Corruption, from insurance, to taxes, to the mayors office
– Who is Mayor Ray Nagin really?
– Who is profiting from the bad state of things?
– Decline of New Orleans, death of America
– The inevitable flood and looking to the future