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I just went to a site that promotes riding a bike to work.

It happens to have a compilation of 2000 data on car-free households.

In 2000, over 27% of households in New Orleans DID NOT HAVE AN AUTOMOBILE.  And the percentage of families in New Orleans living below the poverty line in 2000 was about 23%.

I'm getting pretty sick of Homeland Secretary Chertoff and FEMA Director Brown (who was an estate planning lawyer before coming to FEMA and whose only qualification for the job appears to be that he was a Bush donor/fundraiser) trying to divert blame from their own sublime incompetence in the wake of Katrina -- and blame the victims.  They are now repeating certain talking points:  "These people chose to stay...these people decided to stay...these people ignored the warnings..."  But the Census Bureau shows that many of these people had no means of getting out of the city.  They're poor.

These idiots need to resign...NOW.

Data here

and here

Originally posted to valabor on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The other point to be made about this is (4.00)
    that, for many who live in the city proper, the streetcar system is extremely efficient, you can get fresh vegetables at the Farmer's Market in the Quarter, and you really don't need a car--you especially wouldn't waste money on one if you're poor, but can do without it.  So it is incomprehensible to me that all these goverment types, who should know their own city, keep claiming that they begged people to leave, but provided no system of public transport out--what, did they expect them to sprout wings and fly?

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:39:29 PM PDT

    •  yes (none)
      When I lived in Chicago a while back, none of my friends owned cars, as the public transportation system there was good and the traffic was a nightmare to drive in.
      •  Millions (none)
        in New York have no cars for same reason.  Bet no one has even thought about it.  (I really believe the authorities just don't think anyone will care if lots of people in Harlem or Bed-Stuy die.  If the Upper East Side gets hit though ...)
    •  Great find! (none)
      When I lived in central NJ, I had a car and put 7000 miles on it in 3 years (including a huge move to the midwest). I had NJ Transit. Never once drove into NYC the 3 years I worked there.

      I've been wondering if anyone was going to make this point on the news. Consider this emailed and recommended.

      "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

      by themis on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:17:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Buses for evacuation (none)
      Some of my family in Ireland have been incredulous when they hear that evacuation orders were given, but no transport provided for non-car people. Are we certain that there was absolutely no attempt to provide any kind of transportation? That's what I've heard, but I would just like someone to confirm it.

      Also the evacuation was on a Sunday, a day when the public transport system would be on a limited schedule. So unless the metropolitan system had a revised schedule, I presume there would be no way for all these people to exit the city that day. And unless the scheduled or specially provided buses delivered them to shelters, I can't imagine too many people taking a trip to God knows where.

  •  Recommend (4.00)
    Very important information.  Needs to go to the TV folks who will be interviewing the idiots tomorrow.  
  •  Highly recommended! (none)
    Excellent find!
  •  Mayor Morial... (none)
    provided buses when Hurricane George almost hit New Olreans. No buses for Katrina for evacuation...this is a crime against humanity.
  •  Amtrak $700? (none)
    My daughter coincidentally left New Orleans 2 weeks ago, just before the first warning, aboard the City of New Orleans Amtrak train for Chicago. The fare was $112.

    A friend mentions he "heard on TV, can't remember what channel" that the fare after the evacuation order, but before  the storm hit, had risen to $700. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not finding it on Google News.

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:58:47 PM PDT

  •  exactly (none)
    They simply have no concept of how poor urban Americans live.  No idea.  They are so isolated in their chicken hawk ivory towers that they truly, incredibly have no clue.  To them, this is a game of chess, where we are all just pawns in some game devised on their computers.  So, while building their sim city, something went wrong back by the stadium.  What do they care.  They can always quit and start over.  sheltered, isolated, elite neo-cons don't care about collateral damage in their wars.
  •  The Right Hand (none)
    doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    Well, all right, perhaps FEMA Dir. Brown can't tear his gaze away from the TV cameras to look at a TV screen and watch CNN where he could find out about what's going on at the Convention Center.

    But surely he could read the Federal Census information, and any other demographic data he could get his hands on regarding the Katrina-impact area, BEFORE he makes a criminal out of himself on TV!

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:02:14 PM PDT

  •  I'm getting pretty tired of the "they're... (4.00)
    poor so they don't have a car" crap.

    I don't have a functioning car. I don't need one, I live in a freaking city with good bus transportation. Keeping the car on the road is more trouble and expense than it's worth to me.

    Even if they're poor they could have had cars if they wanted them. You can pick up functioning beaters for a few hundred bucks.

    Lots of theose people don't own cars because they don't need them.

    •  Yeah (4.00)
      And then you have to pay insurance and for gas (no mean feat these days). And if you've bought a car for a couple hundred bucks, its going to be money pit of repairs.

      Trust me, as someone who currently makes less than 20,000 a year, it is not feasible to own a car.

      Ben P

      Visit the web's premier blog about British politics and society, Transatlanticism

      by Ben P on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I'm getting at. (none)
        I hardly used the damn thing at all. I was driving less than 3,000 miles per year but I was paying nearly $1,000 a year to insure the stupid thing. One day I said to myself, "this is stupid" so I parked the thing and let the insurance lapse. I was spending more every year on insurance than I was on gas!

        People in large cities with good public transportation often decide they don't need cars. Ask a New Yorker.

        And then you have to pay insurance and for gas (no mean feat these days).
  •  And it was the end of the month (none)
    as an astute CNN reporter pointed out.

    If you're poor, you're broke by the end of the month and can't afford the cost of a tank of gas to get any distance away -- even if you have a car.

    He interviewed (this was a couple of days ago, about the 112,000, he said, without cars in NOLA) refugees who said they had gone to friends and asked for money to get gas to get out of town.

    But the friends were broke, too, because it was the end of the month.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:15:12 PM PDT

  •  I posted this earlier on another diary (none)
    "But the Census Bureau shows that many of these people had no means of getting out of the city."

    Bull shit! If Chertoff/Brown had a lick of common sense, the poor people would have done pretty good.

    Chertoff/Michael Brown, director of FEMA, said they were in place prior to Katrina. They tried to initiate a quick response by getting supplies ready to go.

    Ok, I'm an old carpenter. Ate up with common sense. Chertoff/Brown you offend me to no end. I realize you work for Bush and you have to talk the talk. Please, go talk that bs to Bush not on TV especially when people are sucking their last little bit of air.

    In my trade there is a saying, you have to dig the footer before you pour the concrete. What's that? Look at it this way, you beat a hurricane before the hurricane beats you.

    By your own admission you had time to make ready for after the storm. Next time try this.

    Go into the city that is going to be hit, secure every vehicle that is capable of carrying people to safety, load the population and drive them out of town. Clue: The school buses that are displayed on TV as being under water would be an excellent place to start. Additional benefit: After the storm and damage is over the buses are not under water, Chertoff/Brown, imagine, people safe and vehicles intact and in good shape.

    How many school buses are there in the area? I seen one parking lot with 50-60 buses under water. Let me see, 50 X 80(?) people = 400 people safe, 50 vehicles safe, 400 people you don't have to rescue or bury AFTER the storm. Think there might be more than 50 school buses,Chertoff/Brown?

    Auto dealerships, new and used. Another clue?

    City and county maintenance trucks and passenger vehicles. Another clue?

    City taxi cabs and city buses. Impound lots. Parking garages. Homes with more than two vehicles. Bread trucks, donut trucks, auto parts trucks, company trucks, any empty truck or running vehicle, Chertoff/Brown. I look at TV and CNN sweeps their camera all around and I see hundreds of vehicles, thousands of vehicles - - damaged, destroyed, piled on top of one another, Mr. Brown.

    Each vehicle represents a loss for its owner and a severe safety problem for at least four real live people. American people. Tax payers. Voters.

    Your priorities are as screwed up as your values, Chertoff/Brown. If enough people that couldn't leave, were given the chance and left, security would have been a lot better than even your optimistic broadcast. There would have been a lot less people to get into trouble.

    Well, Chertoff/Brown, we must have a conversation about air planes, boats, motocycles, motor homes, helicopters, etc. sometime soon.

    Further, we might explore air drops, inflatable rafts, but my all time favorite is the empty trucks coming into town. Do you think the trucks could carry medical supplies, food, water, when coming into town to pick up people?

    PS, it's been a while, if you wait a little longer the surviors will walk out on their own. They probably will be thirsty and hungry.

    •  Ohio.... (none)
      My goodness! Poor ol' George W. Bush's head would explode if he read your post.

      All that common sense in just a few short paragraphs?!?

      Or if someone read it to him...he'd wreck his bike(again)!

      There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.-Charles Dickens

      by Ranting Roland on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:33:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great Post! (none)
      but it actually gets even better:

      50 Buses * 80 seats = 4,000 Evacuees!!

      4,000 from just 50 buses...Add to it municipal buses and all the other school buses, you are probabbly talking up to 1,000 buses

      Probably upwards of 60,000 people evacuated.  But to where???

  •  It isn't brain surgery. (none)
    Anybody with common sense would realize that if everybody owned and used a car, there would be no need for public transit or taxi cabs.

    If everybody had wings and could fly maybe the people who remained in town after being told to evacuate might deserve some blame.

    Blaming people for not evacuating when they had no means to do so is just another example of stupidity.

    This country has reached "dumbed down" status and it has elected the greatest dummies to run it.

    Freedom's Angels ~Cindy/Bunny/Sybil~

    by Skylor on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:18:53 PM PDT

  •  Here's something else (none)
    This has some statistics from the last big hurricane that hit New Orleans. It's the results of a survey done afterward, in which they tell how many left, went to a shelter, or stayed in their homes, and why they did what they did.

    The Superdome worked well that time, and people who stayed there gave it high ratings.

  •  The Freepers Claim (none)
    there were busses that went through all the NO neighborhoods on Sunday offering to take people out of town. Don't know if it's true, but they claim there was free transportation, so no car is no excuse. But they're Freepers, so who knows :(. Of course there's no link to any evidence - like I said they're Freepers.

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