Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina and Food World

Long time no post. Busy the death threats are a little chilling on the muse. I will post all that crap after (before) this one:

Our response to the Katrina disaster is:

1) shake our heads at the incredible continuing incompetence of the Bush Administration. In June of this year they cut 25% of the Army Corps of Engineers budget, losing 1500 jobs. The cut eliminated planning and preparation for Category 5 hurricanes. In 2001, FEMA put the rest of the government on notice that a Cat 5 hurricane was the mostly likely devastating natural disaster to hit the Northern Hemisphere. Bush also cut the New Orleans drainage authority by 50% in June. Total savings: less than $300 million. Cost of shutting down New Orleans for three months? Priceless. Oh, and there are 6600 Lousiana National Guard troops in Iraq. They have generators, water purification equipment, mobile hospitals and HIGH WATER VEHICLES. Boy, sure need those in Iraq.....what with all the water over there and all.

2) Try to find a food worker stranded in New Orleans, get them to Carmel Valley and put them up for three months and give them work. There is no way the restaurants are going to open for months. There will be no work except cleaning and rebuilding......and where they gonna live anyway? So, we email Bethann, who worked for us and Bay of Pigs as pastry chef, before being driven away by incompetence and sexual harrassment. (Sadly, not our incompetence or harrassment......just our lack of enough interesting and remunerative work). Anyway, Bethann made it out of the city. Here is her story:

Thank you so much. I'm not certain what I'm doing yet but will let you know. I had just taken a position at Peristyle Restaurant with anamazing pastry chef who had trained with Jean Georges Vongrichten(sp?), at Lutece, Striped Bass in Philadelphia, with Daniel Bouloud,Pierre Herme, the Roux Brothers, etc., all over New York, Paris,London, etc. My job was to have started on Tuesday (after havingapprenticed for free for the past two weeks.) I was so excited and loved working with him. He's a breadmaker and pastry chef who also worked as a sous chef at many top restaurants and was the Exec PastryChef at Ventana Inn around 1995. Anyway, whenever I can reach people,I'll pass on your offer. I may hang out in Memphis for a few months, or pursue the corporate flight attendant work again. California is still on my mind, however. It's too soon to know for sure. I have my car and2 suitcases of clothes and my cat and some not so terribly expensive jewelry, but I know I'm more fortunate than so many others. At least I made it to shelter and don't have to pay for daily hotel and food expenses the next few months, etc. My sister-in-law's parents have a nice home, but we have a lot of cousins and friends from New Orleans staying here with us and all ofour pets.

Our real tragedy at this point is that the cousins' mother is a doctor who was on-call this weekend and had to stay behind and work at the hospital. The winds broke the windows out of the hospital and it flooded up to the second floor. Looting was occuring and yesterday agang of people stabbed the security guard in the neck. I found out today that they were able to operate and save him. The Natl Guard wasprotecting them and evacuating people and patients, but then it kept deteriorating. The National Guard left yesterday (or Monday night?) saying "they could no longer handle the situation". This left Jeanne(the doctor) there among the last 10 medical personnel.

Gangs of drug addicts and other desperate and/or violent people have been demanding drugs and supplies and they're getting down to having nothing left to give them and they feel incredibly unsafe. She's been especially terrified since the Natl Guard left and stopped evacuating people fromthe hospital. The group of doctors is now considering trying to findcivilian clothes, leave behind their wallets and cell phones(valuables) and venture outside. They fear that noone will be back to evacuate them and they can't keep out the armed gangs forever and they're running out of provisions. We've been getting some text messages and have gotten to speak with her several times but now she has turned off her phone to avoid drawing attention to it.

We've been getting the inside stories that aren't in the news. It is somuch more dangerous than people realize. We heard about the prisoners taking over the prison on Monday. The looting at the hospital started immmediately and it was scary enough before the National Guard left the hospital but for the past two days the last few doctors have been on their own there.

We know all of our homes and apartments are completely under water from all the information we've gotten. I'm wondering if New Orleans willjust be one big superfund site. Anyway, thanks for your offer. We're all still at a complete loss as where to even think of beginning. It's going to take me a bit of timeor organize any sort of plan. I'll let you know as soon as I can,though. Thanks again.

Bethann--- Michael Jones wrote:> We have a room in our house (queen sized bed, own bath).....and> random work, > as always. Also a car.> > If this is not of use to you, maybe you could pass it on to a fellow> worker > or couple. We always need help in the kitchen/store.....and we can> offer > space in the house until the restaurants open again. It looks like> months > from our vantage point......> > What else can we do?> >

Michael and Amanda> A Moveable Feast/Cachagua Store>


Blogger kathy said...

My sister-in-law sent this to me today. She and my brother live in Ft. Lauderdale so they got a nip from Katrina. And the rest of her family lives in New Orleans. Besides, it's just black people and hispanics and poor people - what's the problem???

This is just fabulous...Thank you Mr. Bush!!!

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday!

Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your
vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you
had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of
flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your
business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put
your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how
you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say
I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and
try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable.

Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that
30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.


Michael Moore

7:22 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

Does anything more than this need to be said? They "needed" them out of the hotel so they could set up a command post. If that's the case, then why weren't the guests moved to the BACK of the line to wait it out? This fries my amble ass!!!:

At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line - much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday.

"How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?" exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

8:44 AM  

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