Christmas Presents for New Orleans
December 5, 2007 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Bulldozers for the Poor: despite being the brainchild of the chief of police, tent city, home to approximately 500 of the city's roughly 12,000 homeless, is slated to be disbanded to make room for state office buildings and a national jazz park. this comes at the same time hud is readying to demolish four housing projects, where many of the tent city residents hoped to return. meanwhile, residents of one of the swankiest neighborhoods in town are successfully protesting and receiving tax breaks.
posted by msconduct (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Balisong at 3:54 PM on December 5, 2007

From the tent city link:

"The homeless of New Orleans have left the city's shelters and gutted buildings to set up camp on the mayor's doorstep.

About 250 homeless people have erected pup-tents - the only affordable housing they say they could find since Hurricane Katrina -- and created a colony of despair in a grassy plaza outside City Hall.

Nagin has not met with the group..."

That's just fucking great Ray. Way to show your solidarity with the people of your city. Prick.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:56 PM on December 5, 2007

This is genius. Get rid of all the poor, and everybody will be rich, right?

Also Postroad: WTF?
posted by pompomtom at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2007

but they've got some spiffy new roads over in baghdad. (or, at least in the parts of baghdad where the americans live).

so that's something.
posted by CitizenD at 4:06 PM on December 5, 2007

Well. That's it.

I've had all I can stand today of arguing about our how our supposed "Institutions of State" really function. If this is not proof enough of how fucked up things are I don't what is.

In the mean time 'get thee to a tent city, poor people.' Get out of the way and let the authorities do their jobs. Right. Right?
posted by tkchrist at 4:34 PM on December 5, 2007

Mod note: Removed the What Postroad Said meta-discussion. Give the thread a chance to be what it's going to be, please.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:19 PM on December 5, 2007

This sucks
posted by mattoxic at 5:39 PM on December 5, 2007

WARNING : First link contains shrill anti-Israel rant.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:40 PM on December 5, 2007

WARNING : First link contains shrill anti-Israel rant.

Thats OK Afroblanco, at least let a discussion take place.

Shutting down a debate is a piss-poor method of discussion.
posted by mattoxic at 5:47 PM on December 5, 2007

Message: "Stay the fuck in Huston you poor black fuckers, NOLA doesn't want you back, we want to be a white city, not a black city. You black folk with rhythm who like to entertain us with your special black music, you can come visit, please leave your family back in Houston. Black doctors and other folk who make us feel good about hanging with the black folk, you are welcome too, as long as you are living large in the Garden District, not the South Ward."

(this sucks)
posted by caddis at 6:55 PM on December 5, 2007

Caddis nails it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 PM on December 5, 2007

this has been ongoing



posted by eustatic at 7:39 PM on December 5, 2007

This really reminds me of Mugabe, in Zimbabwe, bulldozing informal settlements. That it's the U.S.A. is disgusting. And where is the so-called "compassionate conservative" Prezdent, with all his so-called "Christian" ways?
posted by Goofyy at 7:47 PM on December 5, 2007

This does suck indeed. I love it how we can fund a war no one fawking wants but yet when it comes to putting people in homes the gazillion dollars we spend cannot go to citizens of our own country. Even if they don't want to build homes... Why not put up apartment buildings. I am positive that an apartment with indoor plumbing and a soft bed would be better than a tent. Brad Pitt is doing something for these people and I just might join in.... Global Green USA for those who want to do something.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:29 AM on December 6, 2007

Billions spent to kill Arabs over oil in the Middle East, and yet back home... well I guess it's all about the American dream
posted by thefinkler at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2007

"compassionate conservative" Prezdent, with all his so-called "Christian" ways?

It's so completely clear at this point that was an electioneering slogan rather than an actual set of values that it's one of the few things the administration doesn't try to lie about anymore.
posted by namespan at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2007

"Billions spent to kill Arabs over oil in the Middle East, and yet back home... well I guess it's all about the American dream"

I agree that foreign wars are a waste of money, but what should we do, play Robin Hood and throw everybody's money at the poor?

Katrina showed us that they'll probably spend it on strippers, booze, and lotto.

There have always been poor people, and there always will be poor people. I don't think throwing any amount of money at the poor will help them combat the underlying reasons for their poverty.
posted by Sukiari at 8:11 PM on December 6, 2007

I agree that foreign wars are a waste of money, but what should we do, play Robin Hood and throw everybody's money at the poor?

You a idjit. Plain and simple. Idjit.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:45 AM on December 7, 2007

Seems like a pretty weak argument against what I have said. You betray yourself.
posted by Sukiari at 12:50 AM on December 7, 2007

I ain't betraying nothing. But when you start saying stuff like "everyone's money" just what "everyone" are you talking about? And it IS about foreign wars being a waste of money: that's exactly the point, Einstein. The money spent so far in Iraq is mind-boggling. Obscene. An absurdly small sliver of that money ("everyone's", remember?) "thrown at" the poor would indeed alleviate a LOT of problems, a LOT of the specific problems of housing that these people are talking about. "Robin Hood"? What the fuck? And they'd spend it on, excuse me, "trippers, booze and lotto"?

posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:05 AM on December 7, 2007

and yeah, that was a typo: supposed to be "strippers", like you said. Jerk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:07 AM on December 7, 2007

And the more I think about your stupid comment, the more I realize that you are just supremely ignorant, OR... you are a troll. Either way, I ain't talking to you no more, fool.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:13 AM on December 7, 2007

sukiari: no one is asking anyone to throw money at anything, although that's exactly what's happening--the city and the state (and probably the feds) have thrown and are throwing money into development, which is designed (purportedly) to give the city the opportunity to make more money, not the least of which they expect to come from you, the tourist, because we've got new! improved! facilities, pristinely clean streets (read: no homeless, beggars, and other human eyesores), and nice, big houses on the park that you can 'oohh' and 'ahhh' over. you can bet they're also going to count on a sympathy factor so people can say 'look how they pulled it together after that wretched disaster! aren't they plucky!'

part of my point here is that rounding up and sweeping undesirable social elements into less visible locations does NOT make them go away. it's the nimby (not in my backyard, for the uninitiated) attitude sponsored by the very institution (the gov't) that supposedly has an obligation to take care of its people. the other part of my point is that the government cannot take care of its people so it wants to hide what it can't do.

i live here. i know there are plenty of people who don't want to work for a living. frankly, i'm one of them. but i have a job that i get up and go to every day because i was instilled with a work ethic, was brought up to value an education (which i paid for myself), and have been too close to being one of the working poor that i'm scared to death that some unpleasant circumstance might force me over the line and out of my house and into some incarnation of tent city.

this isn't new orleans' problem. it's going on where you live, too. and yes; the poor will always be with us. that doesn't give anyone a free pass to negate their humanity.

i saw too many middle class white people scheming to get more money from insurance companies, fema, red cross, and whoever else had a modicum of sympathy for a disaster victim than to believe that only homeless winos have their hands out. start talking to people and asking them where they made out on their taxes. or managed to cheat their insurance company. or are angling for early retirements based on 'disabilities.'

i don't know what the answer is, but i can promise you this: rounding up and moving out these people isn't it. at least two of the contracts awarded to tear down the projects went to out-of-state firms, which will bring in more overpaid contractors who are going to force up rents, and most likely employ lots & lots of illegals (MUCH cheaper labor) and probably build shoddy structures for a city that already has, depending on which figures you look at, anywhere from a 10 to 31 percent occupancy rate on downtown real estate. and then when the job runs out, we'll have more people here who can't afford the faux standard of living they helped to create.

but as long as you can still get your latte at starbucks every day, i guess that's ok.
posted by msconduct at 4:33 AM on December 7, 2007

ignore sukiari. he is a well known troll who loves to make inflammatory remarks like this just to get a rise out of people, although he may very well be as lacking in empathy toward his fellow man as it appears.
posted by caddis at 7:00 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Actually, I help the poor at the local homeless shelter. I made Thanksgiving dinner for them a few weeks ago, and again last week (well it wasn't Thanksgiving then, but they got turkey and potatoes).

But I know that you can throw an infinite amount of money at the poor, and it will have no long term benefit simply because a lot of people are poor (most?) because they put themselves into poverty. Drug abuse has a lot to do with it, and there is some mental illness involved too. But I think free will isn't to be left out of the picture when speaking about poverty.

So I will give my time, buy the food, make it, etc. but I won't give the homeless a dollar, and will vote against politicians who think they should be in the business of redistributing wealth.

And msconduct, you assume a lot when you think I go to starbucks, or the mall, or anything else like that. I just look back to my own home state of Minnesota and see how much money they throw at the poor and the homeless. You know what it gets them? Harv and Marv and other section 8 slumlords pay for welfare recipients from Chicago to take the Greyhound up to Minnesota and start collecting bank.
posted by Sukiari at 4:54 PM on December 7, 2007

And Caddis, I'm not a troll. I just don't subscribe to the same touchy feely politically correct socialist world view that most MeFites seem to hold. I know it makes you uncomfortable to deal with people who aren't like you, but I think it's good for you to get out of the little insulated spot you live in and step out into public every now and again.
posted by Sukiari at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2007

let them eat cake
posted by caddis at 6:41 PM on December 7, 2007

Turkey and taters, not cake.
posted by Sukiari at 6:44 PM on December 7, 2007

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