Author Topic: The Republic is Burning Thread  (Read 44741 times)

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Online nacho

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The Republic is Burning Thread
« on: May 06, 2008, 04:21:34 PM »
Okay, a thread where we can collect news and opinion on the End of America as we know it (while feeling fine).


http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/05/06/theres-a-good-side-to-americas-decline/

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Not only has America fallen, but the rest of the world is hardly even paying attention to us anymore -- except when our military invades some country for oil or whatever.

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"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

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Offline monkey!

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2008, 11:27:30 PM »
We should never have sold Hong Kong. Or let India run wild and free.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2008, 11:36:00 PM »
Yeah, Hong Kong was a mistake.  And the Panama Canal is our great mistake.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008, 11:43:31 PM »
Yeah, Hong Kong was a mistake.  And the Panama Canal is our great mistake.

Damn that fool Light Brigade.
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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 07:27:06 AM »
Putting life into the thread with the post-Katrina roundup:

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/08/katrina-pain-index.html


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A snapshot of New Orleans three years after Katrina:

0. Number of apartments being rehabbed to replace the 963 public housing apartments demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant.

.008. Percentage of the rental homes that were supposed to be repaired and occupied by August 2008 which were actually completed and occupied – a total of 82 finished out of 10,000 projected.

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in percentage of housing vacant or ruined.

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in murders per capita for 2006 and 2007.

4. Number of the 13 City of New Orleans Planning Districts that are at the same risk of flooding as they were before Katrina.

10. Number of apartments being rehabbed so far to replace the 896 apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the Lafitte Housing Development.

11. Percent of families who have returned to live in Lower Ninth Ward.

17. Percentage that wages are up in the hotel and food industry since before Katrina.

20-25. Years that experts estimate it will take to rebuild the City of New Orleans at current pace.

25. Percent fewer hospitals in metro New Orleans than before Katrina.

32. Percent of the city's 50 neighborhoods that have fewer than half as many households as they did before Katrina.

36. Percent fewer tons of cargo that move through Port of New Orleans since Katrina.

38. Percent fewer hospital beds in New Orleans since Katrina.

40. Percentage fewer special education students attending publicly funded privately run charter schools than traditional public schools.

41. Number of publicly funded privately run public charter schools in New Orleans out of total of 79 public schools in the city.

43. Percentage of child care available in New Orleans compared to before Katrina.

46. Percentage increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.

56. Percentage fewer inpatient psychiatric beds than before Katrina.

80. Percentage fewer public transportation buses now than pre-Katrina.

81. Percentage of homeowners in New Orleans who received insufficient funds to cover the costs to repair their homes.

300. Number of National Guard troops still in City of New Orleans.

1090. Days National Guard troops have remained in City of New Orleans.

1250. Number of publicly financed vouchers for children to attend private schools in New Orleans in program's first year.

6,982. Number of families still living in FEMA trailers in metro New Orleans area.

8,000. Fewer publicly assisted rental apartments planned for New Orleans by federal government.

10,000. Houses demolished in New Orleans since Katrina.

12,000. Number of homeless in New Orleans even after the camps of people living under the bridge have been resettled. This is twice the pre-Katrina number.

14,000. Number of displaced families in New Orleans area whose hurricane rental assistance expires March 2009.

32,000. Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans, leaving the public school population less than half what is was pre-Katrina.

39,000. Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding who have still not received any money.

45,000. Fewer children enrolled in Medicaid in New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

46,000. Fewer African American voters in New Orleans in 2007 gubernatorial election than 2003 gubernatorial election, according to a report in the Times-Picayune in April 2008.

55,000. Fewer houses receiving mail than before Katrina.

62,000. Fewer people in New Orleans enrolled in Medicaid than pre-Katrina.

71,657. Vacant, ruined, unoccupied houses in New Orleans today.

124,000. Fewer people working in metropolitan New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

132,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the City of New Orleans current population estimate of 321,000 in New Orleans, according to reporting in the Times-Picayune in July 2008.

214,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the U.S. Census Bureau current population estimate of 239,000 in New Orleans, according to reporting in the Times-Picayune in July 2008.

453,726. Population of New Orleans before Katrina.

320 million. The number trees destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi by Katrina.

368 million. Dollar losses of five major metro New Orleans hospitals since Katrina through 2007. In 2008, hospitals expect another $103 million in losses.

1.9 billion. FEMA dollars that are supposed to be available to metro New Orleans for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

2.6 billion. FEMA dollars that are supposed to be available to State of Louisiana for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 11:11:02 AM »
Jesus fucking Christ.
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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2008, 08:13:19 PM »
I wish I was in Minneapolis right now. I'd love to be documenting some of the shit that's going down.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2008, 10:36:26 PM »
It's pretty horrific police state shit. God. Fuck this country sometimes.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2008, 11:42:46 PM »
I will be leaving for Minneapolis at 4 a.m. Thursday morning. Wish me luck!

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 09:23:34 PM »
to put those numbers in little bit of context though, right off the bat you can see how losing a large chunk of your population in just quantity of people and as taxpayers would lead to fewer buses, fewer hospital rooms, and an increase in rents (property values skyrocketed even if there was a barely inhabitable building on the land).  The increase in charter schools is generally seen as a good thing because there was such a disparity between private schools and catholic tuition-based schools and the piss-poor public schools.  the homeless number is probably more accurate now than it used to be because, as we all should know, counting the homeless is a hard task, so i would wager that "double the homeless" might not be true.  also it's widely suspected that a large number of those homeless were actually attracted to new orleans after Katrina from many other southern cities because of the thought that the government was going to indefinitely hand out food, money, assistance, etc.  many of the people "under the bridge" (which was a really kind of fucked up thing to see no matter how you look at it....a giant army camp of street people living under the Claiborne bridge a couple blocks from the french quarter) are also not displaced citizens but more of your usual social security check-cashing drug and alcohol abusers who all have sad stories no doubt, but it's not like 6,000 families lost their home and just walked over to the bridge and set up a tent. 

the public housing issue is also a tough one, but most middle-class citizens see it as necessary.  the Housing Developments were drug-infested, welfare-baby producing shitholes that were housing more people than they were even designed for.  They were planning on tearing them down before the storm anyway and replacing them with mixed-income apartments.  one of those developments was finished before the storm and is about 2 miles away from me.  it looks nice, houses actual poor to lower middle class families, and businesses are being attracted back to the area.  i hate to sound callous, but if you've got a huge state/federal/city funded complex that does nothing but pile on more costs with crime, unemployment, and children that either have to grow up on a welfare check and don't go to school or get taken into social services and then a storm damages that complex, the government is going to jump on that like hungry dogs on a ribeye.  it's better for the city and for the honest people who are in the public housing program.  the ones who are displaced?  maybe it's not their fault that it's the only life they knew how to live, but, honestly, they're someone else's problem now.  plus the stat about "0 apartments rehabbed to replace public housing units" is misleading.  they tore everything down and they're going to build new buildings, not rehab old shit.  that dream died once everyone realized how much money they could make with the alternative.

the national guard issue is a touchy one too.  the neighborhoods where the guard actually patrol (they don't patrol the entire city) want them there, but because the police force isn't up to snuff yet.  kind of just like parts of iraq.  but the money's not coming down the same pipeline.  you can't take the cash you're spending on the increased national guard duty and put it into the police force, so...for the time being they're going to stay.

and i've said it before and i'll say it again, 11 percent of people have moved back to the ninth ward...and that's 11 percent too many.  the area is just too vulnerable.  a lot of people there owned their houses or had had them in their families for a few generations because they were so old, but at the same time couldn't (or wouldn't) afford homeowner's insurance.  so with a paltry grant people can't rebuild and even if they did, the insurance premiums have skyrocketed, so the next time a big flood comes (doesn't even have to be a hurricane), the same thing is going to happen again.  the ninth ward is not a slum or a critically ignored area.  it's a piece of land that is just in the wrong place, and cheap land attracts poorer people, and poor people attract sympathy. 

but as far as the other stuff goes, it's mostly accurate, shocking, and disappointing.  but like i said, when was the last time your government inspired any kind of confidence?  why expect it now?  all the good things going on in the city are being done by the people themselves, and maybe that's how it should be. 
You ain't a has been if you never was.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2008, 11:18:22 AM »
When I was there we were working on rebuilding some homes in this area.  We spent a good amount of time roaming around the neighborhood talking to people also.  This neighborhood was very near one of the abandoned housing projects that Cass mentions.  Without exception, the people that we talked to stated that without the public housing a) crime was drastically reduced and b) we were actually safe to walk around (as we were doing).

The 9th ward is an eerie graveyard.  I was completely freaked out by it.  Plots of land with mowed lawns, but no house, just steps leading to nowhere...right next to jungle lots, overgrown with man-high weeds...right next to people who have rebuilt and are living in a ghost town.

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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2008, 11:45:50 AM »
It's hard to believe that all this is happening in a major American city.  It's completely surreal.
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Re: The Republic is Burning Thread
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2008, 11:50:38 AM »
What'll be funny is how fast Houston will recover if Ike does what Ike's supposed to do.  You won't even know there was a hurricane through there in a couple weeks.