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This morning a number of NOLA (and out-of-state, on-holiday) Kossacks attended John Edwards' announcement at a rehab home in New Orleans East.  The setting was poignant, and it drove home the Senator's message of why we need to fight a new War on Poverty.

But the press corps still wondered--Why New Orleans?

Here's why:

First, the press conference took place at a home which was being worked on by the folks over at, some local Louisiana folks who are grassroots supporters of the Senator's campaign (and have some awesome T-shirts).  One of the Kossacks even got to ask a question re: the ICC, which Edwards knocked out of the park.

Following the press conference, two local Kossacks (NOGoddess and SundayHighway) took my wife and I on a tour of the Lower 9th Ward and Holy Cross neighborhoods.  What I saw, nearly 16 months after Katrina hit, was astonishing and sad as well:

Desolate.  No life.  Gutted homes without residents as far as the eye could see.  This, in a major American city well more than a year after a disaster.  Osama Bin Laden's wet dream.

August 2005, this frame would've shown about 10 homes just 50 yards from the levee.  Still today, nothing.  I saw more egrets (2) than I saw residents in the entire Lower 9th.

This photo pretty much sums up Dubya's presidency for me.  I think it speaks for itself.

"Home.  This was Home."

One of hundreds (thousands?) of homes I saw that formerly had residents, but will soon be demolished only to be replaced with what?

So to anwser the MSM's question, this is why.  

This is the disgrace that our nation's leadership has left us with.  

This is the festering sore of poverty that our nation's elite turn their heads away from due to their supposed "Katrina-fatigue."  

This is the result we can expect of the next major disaster that hits a lower/working-class neighborhood while the nation's top 1% of wage earners rake in record amounts.  

This is New Orleans.  This is America.

Originally posted to docciavelli on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Egads (11+ / 0-)
    That "Home, this was Home" pic is simply mind-bending.

    Be good to each other. It matters. [me] --o-- Odd Republican politician: Bill Sali

    by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 12:35:24 AM PST

  •  Oh, and before I forget: (16+ / 0-)

    Here's a photo of us and Edwards at the announcement (via NOGoddess' flickr account):

    The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. - MD Constitution

    by docciavelli on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 12:50:26 AM PST

  •  Thanks for publishing the pictures (16+ / 0-)

    I was there in the 9th ward a few weeks ago and although I normally take around two hundred pictures a day when I am traveling, I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of what remains of the 9th ward. It's not easy to focus pictures when you are crying your eyes out. For those who haven't seen the destruction first hand, try to imagine a whole zip code in your city looking like the pictures in the diary. It is indeed the city that care forgot! Tens of thousands without homes and the "high and dry" housing projects are boarded up and are being torn down. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that these 9th ward people could be utilizing these housing projects for living space while they try to restore their homes yet they are locked out. It just makes me sick.
    The good news is that my trip although depressing was a success in that we were able to help with a fundraiser for my old neighbors. We cooked and sold over two hundred fried chicken and fish dinners and raised over a thousand dollars to buy heaters for five families. These people need our help.
    Thanks for keeping the spotlight on our national shame.  

    •  Yeah, a lot of folks griped (6+ / 0-)

      at me for not documenting all this over the last year and a half, but I just couldn't.  Aside from the pain, it seemed so rude to bring my lens into people's loss.

      Hey docciavelli, thanks for running this.

      Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air.

      by Crashing Vor on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 05:37:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same here (3+ / 0-)

        I am a terrible shutterbug.  I take all the pictures of all the events in the family.  I went on a "misery tour" in July and carefully cleared my digital camera to document what I saw.  It ended up I couldn't take one picture.  It seemed disrespectful, even though I know the world needs to see the truth.  All I could think about was that each one of those deserted houses and each one of those deserted businesses was a family destroyed.  American lives destroyed and MY COUNTRY was no where to be seen, not even for kind words of support.  The image fully ingrained in my mind was of an 75 year old man in Lakeview by himself cutting 2x4's to rebuild his home by himself.  No picture is necessary.  It is perfect imagery of the Gulf South itself -left to rebuilt on their own, even though they have no means to really do it.  This is the character of the people so easily dismissed by America.

  •  Keep on keeping on! (8+ / 0-)

    You guys are doing great things down there- for those of us too far away to come down more than once a year, we can only hope the new Congress figures out a way to send the cavalry soon.

    To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all -Goethe

    by commonscribe on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 04:19:30 AM PST

  •  If I hear one more word (6+ / 0-)

    about government being useless and evil I am going to scream.

    Want to know why government is useless?  Because we spend billions of dollars to invade a country for no reason and refuse to spend half that amount to rebuild one of our most historic cities.  Its disgusting and a disgrace.

    •  It is because of Crass people in the admin (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckydog, America08

      Our country has got to change.  Now, people really don't care if you are old or if you are sick or if you are a child without parents.  If you don't have 'money' that they can milk out of you, they have no reason to need you.  And, that's the way it's always been during Republican Administrations.  This particularly pitiful Bush Administration simply has perfected crassness and taken it to a new level and their supporters have jumped on the bandwagon with great gusto!  America, we're better than this!

      We need Jack back in the White House...And Emma Claire too. Edwards 2008!

      by Carolina Voice on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 07:39:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So typical of our media to be utterly clueless (7+ / 0-)

    Why?  Why?  You totally offensive idiots, New Orleans represents how our government treats us!  Like expendable parts, thrown away without a thought if not useful or uncooperative.  Jesus, the vapid stupidity of our "journalism" corps still surprises me, even after years of watching them stupidly smash the place.

    On the few times I turn on the Evening Propaganda I'm often struck by the beautiful graphics and maps of Baghdad--Sunni's over there, Shiites over here, bridges, districts, rivers.  Sometime the maps are in 3D animation and the view flows through the city.

    Not once, not ever in the last year (I watch for this carefully, I've always loved maps and cartography) have I ever seen one overhead map or view of New Orleans on television.  Not satellite shots, no 3D animation, just nothing.

    [sneers] Those disgusting animals at CNN said they were going to open a bureau for New Orleans.  Fucking liars.

    If I didn't have the web I wouldn't have a clue as to what's going on there.  Thank God for Scout_Prime at First Draft, she's extremely good (which reminds me I have to send a note and gift of thanks to her).  Other than Scout's work these are first pictures I've seen of New Orleans in a long time.  Jesus I can get see great maps of Baghdad, a place riven in total war, but no, maps of one our own cities must remain cloaked in ignorance.

    This is the great source of lying to our disgusting "journalism:" omission.

    Omission of the working class, their stories and problems.  Total omission of the poor and how we degrade and put down our people.  Omission of anything and everything as long as the facade of reality is held up with their god damn lies for corporate profits.

    I have some news for our shit-for-brains "journalists" and their awful corporate masters:  the game is up.  The disconnect from what's happening in the country and the lies broadcast and printed in the MSM are becoming far too gross for even the most casual observer to dismiss.

    People watch the news and know they've just been lied to.  The MSM did everything they could to protect Bush and the Republicans for the 2006 election cycle and what happened?  The people saw through the "journalism" shit, knew they'd been lied and threw the bums out.

    That's your fate too, you repulisve "journalism" animals, the good people of this country will throw you out of their lives for being such offensive liars, blood dripping eveywhere in the lying war you cheered on so.

    Every time I think I might quit writing something like this happens and just jacks my resolve to the stratosphere.  God damn it, we are a great, developed country that can't even tell the truth to ourselves!  We degenerate on a daily basis with that active help of "journalists" and jesus does it crease me endlessly.  Fucking scumbags, yeah you, NBC, you're horribly repulsive.

    You too, CNN.  Lying ABC, sycophant CBS, your time is soon to be over.  No one will believe your utter shit, and no one will trust you after all the pain is inflicted from felon Bush.

    •  Can someone get "CNN type" maps of NOLA? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AllisonInSeattle, luckydog

      That's a brilliant idea, Paradox.  Sounds like something Jon Stewart and his reporter's should do.

      "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

      by MontanaMaven on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 07:53:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MSNBC's jibe "Multi-millionaire candidate to (4+ / 0-)

      focus on poverty."  Thanks, Poodles.  Thanks for being so condescending. It's just like a bunch of Restoration fops from a 18th century play.  What this awful woman meant was that the insiders get very angry when  one of their kind (rich, successful, former insider) turns against their class.  And a southerner that turns up with black folk in NOLA?  What was he thinking?

      "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

      by MontanaMaven on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 08:00:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for sharing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    machka, luckydog, America08

    Yes, the media has no clue and glad JRE and you guys were down there to help them out :)

  •  What a disgrace to the Bush Adminstration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckydog, America08

    They should crawl out of Washingto and hide their collective heads in shame!  That is a disgrace to humanity!  

    We need Jack back in the White House...And Emma Claire too. Edwards 2008!

    by Carolina Voice on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 07:33:12 AM PST

  •  John Edwards shows great leadership skills (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckydog, America08

    He took a golden opportunity to highlight the plight of the victims of Hurrican Katrina and the victims of the Bush Administration.

    We need Jack back in the White House...And Emma Claire too. Edwards 2008!

    by Carolina Voice on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 08:04:07 AM PST

  •  ICC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can you diary Edward's comments on the ICC program?  Also, heard on the NO local WVUE TV that the home that Edward's group worked on is the home of a soldier.  This lady lost her home while her son was at war.

  •  This man could have annouced from any (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dereau, luckydog

    place, yet he was there, with bloggers along to keep this alive and out to the netroots. These pictures are so real, more than what the MSM in doing.

    Edwards did the right thing by bring attention here.

  •  Great points. Great photos. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for this diary.

    Be good to each other. It matters. [me] --o-- Odd Republican politician: Bill Sali

    by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 10:22:19 AM PST

  •  AMAZING Photos (0+ / 0-)

    The color tone is haunting.

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