Posts Tagged “new orleans”

I have been meaning to post this since last week…

India pledges new aid for victims of Bhopal gas leak

It’s 26 years later and it is still being hashed out in court.

The human toll of the Union-Carbide disaster was far greater than the Gulf Oil leak but the principles are similar. A foreign-run company perpetrated an industrial disaster on a citizen-represented country. The horrific thing is, considering the amount of suffering they caused, UCC and its executives fought it out in court and pretty much got away with it. They built a hospital, they paid out a few thousand to each family and about a billion to the Indian government. I say “got away with it” because pay-outs aren’t enough. Union Carbide Executives should go to jail in India. I also say they got away with it because Union Carbide was in such decent shape business-wise that they were bought by Dow in 2001 even though the fallout from the Bhopal disaster was still in court. Who would buy a corporation that had industrial disaster cases still in court? Who would buy a company with the reputation of Union Carbide? A company who knew the fight was fixed is who.

Just last month, a few Indian executives were convicted and sentenced to two years but freed on bail shortly after. They are in their 70s now. They are appealing.

Also, when I was hunting links, I found this story which also compares the two disasters…

India fury over US ‘double standards’ on BP and Bhopal

The article inexplicably states that Barack Obama has been tough on BP. Perhaps it seems that way in India but from down here in Louisiana I can assure my fellow citizens of the World, the US Government will treat us the same way it treated you. That stance is just for show. No one will suffer but us just as no one suffered but you.

I always wondered why boom was always on hand yet never seemed to work. I wonder if there is a dispersant school out there. A few weeks old and NSFW but I’m posting it anyway…

I have sort of made it my life’s goal not to know too much about anything. I have always found it best to know a little about a lot rather than a lot about a little. Then I can strike up a conversation with someone, find out what they know a lot about, throw out what little I know about it and they begin speaking at length about it. So long as the subject is interesting, the expert and I can talk all night. I leave educated and he or she leaves feeling smart. It’s perfect for both of us. Everyone likes to talk about their field.

That said, what I and everyone else have been talking about recently is oil drilling. Even in my most novice opinion, the more I learn about oil drilling and the massive geological, economic, political and environmental scope of it all, I become more and more terrified. Even with a keen awareness of the hyperbolic, I am convinced it will eventually lead to disaster after disaster of every sort. Not groundbreaking thought I know.

But I think it’s the geology of the entire thing that is most concerning, because that’s where many extinction-type events begin and end – with the crust of the Earth. Yes, I wrote extinction. This whole thing has got me in a fatalist state of mind. Thinking of this well, in this spot, at this place in time and putting it in the context of all the wells that have ever been drilled across the Earth and all the wells that will be drilled before supply runs out, it’s a testament that Armageddon hasn’t happened yet. We have some amazing scientists and engineers on this planet. But they can’t save us. Because some of the most irresponsible fucks are in charge of the whole thing. It confounds even the most critical thinkers (many of whom are in agreement that we are fucked.)

Back to my ignorance though. I really didn’t have an understanding of just how much pressure fossil fuels put on the Earth. I realize this should have been evident after watching reel after reel of old footage showing oil spewing out of wells and celebrating prospectors but, it really didn’t sink in I guess. Yes, those well fires during the first Gulf War should have made it abundantly clear as well. But I was trying to get LAID around that time. I was not reading the news. But now, finally I understand. So I can’t help but wonder how long it’s going to take before something much worse than this little disaster we have in the Gulf of Mexico results from our poking little straws into a pressure cooker. The thought of toying with pressures so strong just seems goofy. I know, we have no choice. We don’t want to walk to work. I’m not looking to blame anyone here. I’m just trying to look at this whole thing from a forward thinking perspective. Like an alien professor asking his or her students, “So who can tell me what led to the Earthlings demise?”

And this might sound very ignorant but what is happening under the crust of the Earth (particularly in the Gulf and Middle East) when billions of barrels of oil are removed, refined and burned? Am I correct in thinking that there are huge underground caverns under the Earth? Someone help me out here. Can I get an expert?

Every English teacher and editor I had in my short academic life would say it’s probably poor writing to state how unqualified the writer of an article is throughout said article. I’m not trying to fool anyone here. I’m speaking from my gut. It’s just too damn poetic that extinct plants and animals from millions of years ago will render the extinction of life forms millions of years later. Maybe the next generation of intelligent life will continue the cycle.

Not really sure what I’m trying to say and a good writer would probably ditch this whole post. I guess I am terrified. Not so much about the spill in the Gulf. I’m sure it will be plugged. Relief wells are almost there. By the end of this month they say. It’s more terrifying when the scope of energy dependence on fossil fuels is really placed in context, when all the elements are placed together and the variables are all put together…

geology+ecology+ideology+economics+energy+population+dependence+terrorism+greed …

There is so much that can go wrong. It only takes one thing.

And then they are talking about the possibility of a hurricane hitting this thing. Let me save yall the speculation. A hurricane WILL hit this thing. I guarantee it. “It’s the way God wants it to be.” That’s a Ray Nagin quote to end this thing.

One of my personal favorite pics. Took a couple tries but finally framed it up right…

This may be my favorite thing ever. This house had “Danger Unstable” spray painted across it after the storm. Since then, the elements have had their way and now the condition of the house has been rendered, “Dang Stable.”

Ya boi Varg will be at the first-ever Broad St. Bazaar today from 10 – 3. That’s Sept. 27! Like today!
I’ll be slinging salvaged wood folk art for the most affordable prices ever. Promo is below…

There’s a new market in town and it’s gonna rock! The Broad St. Bazaar launches this Saturday in the heart of Mid-City with a great cross-section of flea market vendors, and some of New Orleans most creative artists, crafters and clothing designers. Neighborhood fave Ruby Slipper will be serving up hot brunch and cold cocktails and Mid-City’s own DeSoto St. Band will provide the live musical backdrop. The weather’s supposed to be gorgeous. Come help us launch the market in true New Orleans style!

BROAD ST. BAZAAR: Flea Market & Community Services
WHEN: 4th Saturday of every month, beginning Saturday, September 27. 10 am – 3 pm
WHERE: Robert’s parking lot, Broad St. @ Bienville
WHAT: Flea market vendors; artists, designers and crafters who work with recycled materials. Plus: brunch & drinks by Ruby Slipper; music by the DeSoto St. Band; free Tulane Community Health screenings; Phoenix recycling station; voter registration; personal services like braiding and massage.
WHY: To help revitalize the historic Broad St. corridor and link to the Bayou Rd. development district, which has a Fresh Market every 4th Saturday.

Cree’s Cheap Chic: Vintage clothes & original Cree-ations
Donald Miller: Used books: Lit classics, Greek to Beat, plus sci-f and Louisiana-ana
Howlpop/Calamity: Value-priced art fashion
Fleur de Lisa Candles: Soy Candles & Reed Diffusers in a variety of scents
Lance Vargas: Salvaged wood folk art and flea
Renee Allie: Used books, knick-knacks & other flea market items
Defend New Orleans: DNO t-shirts, hoodies & accessories
High Bohemia: Handcrafted spirit dolls, jewelry, lavendar bags
Linda Glessinger: Vintage items, some way cool and some way collectible
Recycle Bicycle: Refurbished used bikes & accessories
Avant Garbe: UP-cycled funky wear with a New Orleans flare plus unique vintage pieces
Amanda Golub: Used DVDs, toys, collectibles, old purses, books, etc.
Maggie Mae: Original t-shirts, jewelry & art; vintage jewelry, clothing & collectibles
Tatyana: Original voodoo dolls and recycled animal/dolls; women’s clothing & shoes
Bayou Salvage: Recycled selvage & salvage
Rachelle Matherne: Handmade resing jewelry and bottlecap magnets
King & Queen Emporium: Essential oils & incense
Art by Mags: Stenciled clocks & signs; NOLA Rising & Obama art prints; silkscreened clothing
Amy & Robert Sorenson: Tie-dye and folk art

Rep LaBruzzo,

Hello! My name is Lance Vargas and I am a blogger over in New Orleans. I am sorry for bothering you as I am sure your e-mail box is filling up with inquiries about your sterilization program. I am trying to help get the word out there by getting some questions answered. If you answer the interrogatives below, I will post them on the blog. They all relate to The Program.

- Will The Program be offered to all women or just poor women? How will income be verified?

- What will be the age limits?

- Will proof of residency be verified? How long after a person lives in the state will they be eligible?

- What department of state will manage The Program?

- How much will the doctors be paid to perform the procedures?

- Who will assume liability for complications?

- Will there be counseling provided to the participants before and after? At what cost?

- Will the $1000 be taxed?

- What are the overall costs per person for The Program?

- Has a study been done to weigh the cost of the program vs. safe sex education or adoption?

- Has a study been done to determine how many poor women would be willing to participate?

- How will this decision effect the already dwindling population rates in South Louisiana? Will we lose more Congressional seats because of it?

- How is the state going to determine how many children of poor mothers grow up to be taxpayers versus dependents? How much revenue will be lost to the state and country?

Those are some practical questions but here are some more honest questions…

- How am I supposed to react when I see the state is providing free health care to poor people when I, as a struggling artist, have to hustle to pay the mortgage every month and sit worrying about health care?

- Isn’t The Program a form of socialized medicine?

- Or worse, Eugenics? (I wont patronize you by adding a definition)

- How does the pro-life governor feel about the program?

- How is the state going to determine if a woman is using The Program to avoid kids or just to make $1000 off the fact that she doesn’t want them anyway.

- Why does The Program seem to be geared toward women with a brief mention of men? One would think with the number of absent fathers and the cost of child support enforcement, it might be easier and more successful to gear it towards men.

If you could answer these questions and get back to me I will get it up on the blog ASAP. Also, I’m putting this e-mail and your response on the blog. It’s at



e-mailed at 9:52 am

I understand the need to convince people to leave in the face of a storm. But really, certain death? Certain? Death?

Weather service warns of ‘certain death’ in face of Ike

Perhaps the National Weather Service doesn’t understand the word “certain.” To me, it means, there will be no escape. People will all die. There will be no hiding in attics, clinging to limbs or waiting on roofs to be rescued. It means no circumstance will prevent these people’s demise.

I just don’t see the need for the blatant bullshit. Yes, people’s lives will be threatened. But “certain death” sounds like something more equivalent to the 10 mile radius of a nuclear explosion than a Cat 2 Hurricane.

I don’t see how this insane, over the top fear-mongering is going to help anyone. Like John Barry said, “just tell the truth.” Who wants to be lied to? People don’t need to be spooked like this. They need to be concerned. They need to evacuate. They don’t need to be terrified.

Do I think Ike has the potential to devastate many parts of Greater Houston and Galveston? Sure. Do I think the people living there will face “certain death” if they stay? No.

I recall while I was safely evacuated from Katrina reading the following weather report from the National Weather Service, parts of which were true but most of which was bullshit…


The following statements regarding Katrina’s impact proved to be bullshit…






Understand that this forecast was made entirely in relation to wind damage and utterly avoided any mention of broken levees or storm surge.

Update: Last time ‘certain death’ was warned: Katrina

CNN comments on the previous NWS statement calling it “largely correct” even though it barely mentions the flood or storm surge that inundated New Orleans and Mississippi. The story also states “Parts of New Orleans and the Gulf coast still bear the scars of Katrina and remain uninhabitable.” They are correct about the scars but which parts can’t people live in exactly?

Understand that I do think folks in low lying areas should get out of Ike’s way. But I don’t think NWS and CNN should be using false language to do so.

New Orleans residents told not to return Tuesday, Wednesday

I understand this…

On Tuesday, only essential city workers and utility personnel will be allowed back in to the city.

But if this is true, it is some reprehensible shit…

On Wednesday, New Orleans will begin welcoming back what Nagin described as “tier one” companies: retailers and other major companies who need to check on their stock and begin preparing to re-open.

How will people who were reluctant to leave or who spent 20 hours in traffic supposed to react next time a hurricane blows through? They will damn sure consider this the next time they are asked to leave their homes and possesions for the “mother of all storms.”

Fucking Ray. What a colossul fuck up. The insurrection starts Wednesday.

I saw folks leaving with kids and old ladies and everything else in the most miserable looking jalopies who are getting by out there with who knows what finances. There are poor residents in shelters all over the South and “retailers” and “major companies” are going to be given first right of entry so the profiteering can commence? Wow, he really does run the city like a business.

Is Southern Scrap one of the companies being considered for Wednesday reentry? After the danger they put folks’ property in?

Guess what? I sell folk art in New Orleans. I need to check stock and re-open.

I won’t even get into the asinine concept of enforcing this bullshit.

Take it back Ray. You and Gustav have made us suffer enough. Many of the people who voted you back in the office will be the ones who suffer most by this blatant favoring of commercial interests over the citizens of New Orleans. Do you realize you are fucking over 95 percent of the population? You deserve approval ratings in the high single digits.

Fucking Fuck.

Broussard just did an interview at the Hawvey Canal and said he expected it to survive the remaining surge. He patted himself just about every other official on the back for the evacuation and storm response. If he is indeed correct about the surge and nothing furthur happens then I have to say, in our Parishes, the government did a very good job with everything. Credit where it is due. Evacs were awful for many but it did indeed work.

That said, maritime interests along the canals and river were irresponsible. If any inspiring politicians read this, it must be something to examine in the future.

No sigh of relief can be breathed until reports come in on how La Fourche and Terrebone Parishes faired in the storm. The future wife spoke to a very worried couple of ladies from Houma on the way out and the weary looks on their faces still lingers. It’s also some wonderful country over there.

I have only heard so far of two Gustav related deaths, a falling limb and an auto accident.