I've been keeping pics and links for Kaitlyn Mae that she would someday learn the REAL truth about a city so corrupt that all the failures of an ignored infrastructure, politicos with no character and citizens unable to save themselves brought down a great American city.
Now we re-visit it all for the two year anniversary and take a peek at the endless money hole New Orleans has become.
Guest writer Michelle laments employer promises not given, work teams formed but not functioning and the dread that it might be time to move on to greener pastures.
| Web Site Worth the Visit|
The Apple Game
In honor of the change to fall, here’s a game for the season. It’s kind of like Space Invaders. Only with apples.
SITE ABOVE HERE
A New Demographic Tackles the Mess That Is New Orleans
As is my pattern, I type these Katrina posts directly to you. For you were but a year old when a hurricane hit this country’s Gulf coast and slammed directly into New Orleans.
It was near the end of the month and that city’s welfare checks wouldn’t be coming out for a couple of days. Thousands of families with only those government handouts for income didn’t have gas to evacuate the city in advance of a storm they knew was coming for at least a week prior.
The storm hit and the city’s infamous levees broke. The hurricane itself was no big deal beyond the kind of deal a hurricane is. Those levees breaking were the real disaster. They’d been designed, or so it’s been alleged, to withstand at least a Force 3 hurricane. But with the corruption in that city, ran by Democrats for many years, goodness knows federal money allocated for levee repair was diverted to the friends of local politicos.
It was a mess, Kaitlyn, and the media managed to make the hurricane somehow the fault of the federal government! Well hell, do we expect the local recipients of all those federal funds to have an evacuation plan or something silly like that?
Thus I documented the storm, the time leading up to the storm, and the aftermath. It’s now been two years and still the lying media, who got it all wrong, “celebrate” the day that Katrina destroyed a great American city.
I’ve got a couple more stories and updates on the Katrina aftermath now some two years later. Kaitlyn, please do not let your teachers lie and deceive you. It’s why I do all this work documenting and linking the truth for you.
Interestingly, below is the first story following Hurricane Katrina that illustrate the true American spirit.
For young people looking to make a name and reputation for themselves are descending to New Orleans in droves. It’s the kind of “can-do” American spirit that made this country great.
Although it’s been two full years since this infamous storm, Kaitlyn, sadly, New Orleans still is mostly a ghost town.
A few years back, the big acronym was "DINK," for "double income, no kids." In New Orleans, it's “YURP, “ for "Young Urban Recovery Professionals." It's a small but growing trend in the population here in New Orleans — young professionals who have moved to the city after Katrina to help it rebuild and grow.
It didn't start as any kind of organized movement, but a group called "NOLA YURP" estimates there are at least 5,000 of these young people in the city. They range in age from 21 to 35 years old and come from all walks of life — they may be accountants or attorneys or architects. Some are young people who are from here. They may have gone to college out of state and decided to settle someplace else. Now, many are finding their way back home to help their family and their city.
The Darker Side…Two Year’s Later
President Bush is visiting New Orleans to mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, as are Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, and Republican candidates Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter. The White House will probably release a fact sheet detailing how many billions of dollars the government has spent on Gulf Coast recovery. The Democrats, no doubt, will call for more money and action. Here's hoping at least one political visitor will be brave enough to say the truth: that while many New Orleans residents are courageously taking the initiative to rebuild their homes, they cannot build an effective police and prosecutorial force on their own.
Even though the howling Democrats railed the stingy White House for denying them funds to fix the levees, it’s now two years after Katrina and per the article above, the criminals still roam New Orleans in lethal packs, demoralizing, robbing and killing those citizens trying to rebuild and return home.
Not a word of complaint is uttered about the local government’s CONTINUING inability to control crime.
New Orleans’ Property Taxes On the Rise
The second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina arrived yesterday, with the White House disclosing that U.S. taxpayers have chipped in no less than $127 billion (including $13 billion in tax relief) to rebuild the Gulf region. That's more than the GDP of most nations. But we thought we'd draw attention to a little-discussed issue in New Orleans that may well determine how many residents ever return to their homes--to wit, rising property taxes due to cleaner government, of all things.
Above yet another result of the entrenchment of a corrupt government, Kaitlyn. Now two years after Katrina, only 60% of New Orleans’ former residents have returned. To add to the woes, before Katrina the local government was so corrupt that property tax valuation was subject to much manipulation. You’d be surprised at how shaving a couple hundred bucks off a tax bill will bring in the votes.
Keep this ingrained corruption going and soon enough any attempt to turn the tide is almost impossible.
Throwing Money at the Problem
We end this two year re-visit to the after effects of Katrina with a note that the federal government is NOT guilty of ignoring New Orleans. Do not let your public school teachers tell you such a thing, Kaitlyn.
$114 BILLION, Kaitlyn. Taxpayers across this fruited plain have given $114 billion bucks to New Orleans and yet they can’t protect the few returning citizens from the criminal jackals roaming the streets of that once vibrant city.
It’s not the money, Kaitlyn. It’s the total lack of decency and leadership. There’s not enough money in the world to buy that, Kaitlyn Mae.
From the Rocky Mountain News:
Several New Orleans neighborhoods still look like a wasteland, and Tancredo says the federal government is partly to blame. It has spent about $114 billion — or around $1 billion per week — but hasn't paid enough attention to how the money has been used, he said.
Citing a Government Accountability Office report, Tancredo said potentially more than $1 billion in taxpayer money has been "squandered through waste, fraud and abuse."
Since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 I've been keeping a separate series of the effects of the hurricane, the politics of it, the ongoing attempts to bring flooded New Orleans back to normalcy.
I documented it all from the day of the hurricane on through today. My posts are directed straight at Kaitlyn although at the time of the hurricane Kaitlyn was but a year old. It is my hope that someday Kaitlyn read the links and commentary provided to her by Grandmother that the teachers of her era do not deceive via the carefully edited school books the liberals might write about the disgrace of a city and state so corrupt that it couldn't even save its own citizens.
Below a list of the many posts on Katrina gathered and compiles for Kaitlyn since September of 2005 through to the present time.
First Katrina/Kaitlyn post-the Beginning-9/6/05
9/7/05-H urricane Folklore/Wisdom and Nastiness
9/12/05-Hillary's "Katrina Kommission" and the Debacle of the Debit cards
9/14/05-FEMA Email; Dumb, blond Louisiana Senators
9/15/05-Ophelia and Grandmother
9/16/05-Katrina and the Helpless Pets
Stop Blaming FEMA-a pictorial explanation
What Will Become of New Orleans?
Nagin,the refinery bill,Character
Cops and Cadillacs
Those NO Prisoners
Documenting the Thieves
Blanco and the Dead
Samaritan Helps Evacuees-Murdered!
Those Wacky Louisiana Emails
The Myth of the Bridge Sniper
As the Media Preens the Myths Are Busted
Nagin and the Phantom Police
Grandmother Is Also Fooled
A Katrina Baby Boom?
I have partially lost the battle.
A short time ago I was told I would be changing Supervisors and reporting structure. Again. This is my fifth Supervisor change in nine years, of which only one was a choice. In the grand corporate tradition, this was not that one.
In 1998, I had a team. I was semi-newly hired, having about a year under my belt. I'd come on board as a temp in early '97 and was hired shortly afterward. That first Supervisor went out on baby leave soon after I was hired and I was handed off to another. This was no surprise, since I believe they'd talked about it (my Supervisor and my to-be-Supervisor were, if I remember right, my interviewers) in my hiring interview. If not then, soon after, so it wasn't a shock and I knew and liked them both. I don't count these among my changes (hired and handed over), since I'm pretty sure I knew from the get-go that I
sorta reported to both and my department didn't change.
Supervisors did come and go occasionally, but my job stayed the same and I still had the same basic hierarchy, like working in retail where the store manager might change, but you still bagged groceries and everyone around you was still your team.
I can't remember how many people were on that team, but I know I traded direct duties with at least four. (Of course, we all had someduties of our own, too.)
In early 2000, I lost that team, and didn't gain another. This one, however, was the choice. I had a great opportunity to move up. I'd made a bit of a small name for myself in my position, and someone somewhere had noticed that I was good with computers and that I seemed to have a love for Access databases. (I was also considering a different position in a different site out of desperation.) We had one person maintaining databases; would I like to be her assistant?
I jumped at the chance and moved out of my team. I didn't regret it then and I don't regret it now. I spent three years working one-on-one with my new Supervisor, learning about databases and how to make them do what I wanted them to do. (Sometimes. With databases, it's not always a sure thing.)
Things weren't perfect, of course. Sometimes I grumbled and sometimes I hated my boss and sometimes working there was the greatest thing in the world. Generally, the good times were more frequent than the bad times.
I found I missed (a little) having a true team. Two people do not a team make, and we often got left out of things, including semi-important announcements. So somebody decided I should go be part of a different team as a surrogate. You know, attend their meetings and such but not really be theirs. My adoptive team (about fifteen people) were welcoming, kind, and happy to have me join them. Through no fault of their own, my time with them became sandpaper on my fraying nerves. Each team meeting, I'd sit through whatever topics they had to cover for their own team (of course) but which didn't have anything to do with me or my job. Then, I'd sit through their litany of upcoming items. Sometimes, these applied. Sometimes, they didn't. And at least once per meeting, one would catch my interest but I couldn't participate. "We're all going to have an all-day offsite!" the Supervisor would crow. "Oh," she'd add, shooting a puppy-dog look
at me, "except for you."
Because you see, I wasn't really theirs. They had no budget for me, so couldn't include me in anything which cost money. Off sites, lunches, parties, training, nothing. So each meeting, I'd get, "Oh, except for you."
I whined about it to my Supervisor, and we took it to her Supervisor. Why did I have to attend these? Why couldn't we just be on email distribution for the things we needed to know?
My Supervisor's Supervisor insisted, and tried to help in whatever way she could. Still, my unrest grew and I had trouble attending those meetings at all. Each one broke me down just a bit, each one tore at my feelings of self-worth and value to the company. Each one degraded my morale just that much more.
Then in 2003 I got a real shock. My Supervisor was gone. Just gone. One Thursday, the company decided to clean house, and laid off a bunch of people. It was devastating. The way it was handled, the method in which it was delivered, the manner in which those of us remaining were told . . . my morale went completely south.
I think it was a bad business decision. I don't know all the stories, of course, and maybe those people needed to go, but the damage of that one day, what it did to me and everyone around me wasn't worth it.
I boxed all my personal effects. I refinanced my house, and began a debt spreadsheet, whittling away at anything left after the refi. If I was to be next, I wanted to be ready.
Along with the loss of my Supervisor came yet another department/team change. I reported to someone in a different site, then. Since my Supervisor was gone, I was given another, and a different team. I didn't know my new Supervisor at all, and my new team consisted of about ten people, almost all of them located in that other site, an hour's drive away.
I hate to drive.
And I really, really, hate to drive somewhere for an hour-long meeting.
So I'd schedule others around it. I'd find times when my customers (because I support databases belonging to all the sites) could meet with me, and fill my day at that other site.
And then the original meeting would move to two days later.
Meetings were always moving targets in this new team. My hatred of driving grew with each time doing it. I grumbled about the meetings, and the drive, and the other site in general. I couldn't speak my new Supervisor's language and I always felt like I was intruding on her time, even when we had a meeting scheduled.
Just before things grew unbearable, the structure shifted again, and most of us were handed over to "half" a Manager. This Supervisor would work half of her time as our boss, and half of her time as a Project Manager.
I didn't want to report to half-a-boss. After all, I wasn't half an employee.
My new Supervisor surprised me, however, in trying very hard to do a great job. She was someone I could talk to, and someone I understood, and I no longer felt like I was intruding if I needed a few minutes. She was supportive and was actively helping me find training to increase my database design knowledge.
The team, while large and growing, was diverse and only one of the others did what I do. I knew we were a team, but I didn't feel it. Still, they were a fun bunch and seemed to truly enjoy working with me.
Then in August of last year, our department ceased to exist. We had a week's warning, and then we were pieced out like an old car. I got to come back to my old stomping grounds, my original site, but now reporting to another person I didn't know. Would I speak her language? Would she continue to support the training goal I had?
I was depressed and withdrew from the world for awhile. How long had I been happy? Six months? Eight months? A year plus? I can't remember. I know it didn't feel very long, and suddenly I had to start all over again.
It took awhile to begin looking at the good things. No more travel. Hopefully not too many more moving meeting targets (those did slow down a bit under our Half-a-Manager, but they didn't go away completely). A new team, though small, that might actually be a team.
It's been five months plus a bit, since that move. My small team of four worked wonderfully together, I felt like I belonged, and I was starting to share some of my life with them. My Supervisor thought the way I do, and was easy to understand and work with. She supported me in my business goals, and encouraged me to mentor others in database design.
I hadn't had an expense report (travel) since the one in August.
Now all of that is gone. I sit among the three who used to be my team. But I report to someone in that other site again. And while I have a "team," all but one don't do what I do, and though I've asked twice, I still don't have an organization chart to know who's on it.
I tried to fight this change. No one could give me any reasons for it that made sense. I protested, whined and cried and browsed local jobs. I told my new Supervisor my concerns - travel, feeling like I belong to a real team, being somewhere I'm happy - and together we told his Supervisor. Other positions don't get moved around this way. Other positions - even the people in a few which are being disbanded – get asked where they want to go, what their interests are, whether they have certain career desires.
I get told "the decision's been made."
I say I've partially lost the battle. I still had to change bosses, reporting structure, and departments, but they've said they think they can work through my concerns.
I have a knot of ache and anger in my belly, keeping me off-balance, making it hard to focus on work. I feel like every time I'm happy, I get moved, shuttled around like an old lamp, handed off like a used couch. So this time, I don't think I can afford to be happy again.
This time, I don't think I should share any part of my home life with my new "team."
It only hurts when I do.
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