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Lower 9th Ward: March 2006

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    These are stills captured from video shot March 2006 in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Lower 9th Ward: August 2006

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    These are photos and stills captured from video taken August 2006 of the Lower 9th Ward specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Paying The Bills

« Why I Hate New Year's Eve | Main | You Done Good »

January 01, 2013


Dear Ms. Beale,

It is difficult to respond to what your wrote withourt lowering the downer mood you mention in your ending. And yet... We have not hit bottom yet.

You wrote: "I realize this is all theater, it's all pandering to the cameras, which is just further proof of our massive institutional failure. Our government simply no longer functions."

I think you have it half-right. It is theatre, but the institution is not in massive failure (except in failure to the general populace it is claimed to be for -- by the people, for the people, etc.).

It is working exactly as those that control it want it to. The theatre part is still necessary so that sleeping giant, which has turned a little restive lately, slumbers on and lets those in charge, stay there. Remember, those in front of the cameras are the ones making the rules as they want them to be. What you see as failure is simply the system working as it is designed to do. Unfortunately, it is designed for the benefit of the few that like sitting on top of the heap.

Obama heckling Congress? Talk about the thin skin, especially considering two decades or more when "Democrat Party" is the least of their slurs...speaking of, I idly tuned into C-Span just in time to watch McCain use "Democrat Party" while doing his own pearl-clutching routine.

What whiners -- whiners who've been at it so long they don't have the slightest clue of how smug and entitled they look to, well, me at least.

It was after watching McCain...and some clown from Georgia...that I searched around the internets to see what horrible insults Obama hurled at them. That they can't work out a deal? That they delay until the last second? Imagine if Obama had, oh, I don't know, questioned their citizenship, shouted out "liar" during one of their speeches, etc. etc.

Makes you wonder how they can tie their shoes...oh, right: they've probably got staff to do that for them...

boner + cantor shirley can make the leap. right? RIGHT?!?

Surely you don't trust Corker on statistics, do you ?

It seems that the repubs, especially those in the house, continuously talk about how Obama's approval is falling while the actual numbers are that the prez has a much higher approval rating than Congress.

Kind of like how the vote in November was overwhelmingly for Romney - all the way into election night.

Ahem --- living in New York is not the "most privileged extreme." That's a really crappy kind of reverse snobbery. $250,000 for a family of four isn't that much here. And since you mentioned climate change, people who are living here are taking up less space and leaving a smaller carbon footprint than people in the 'burbs are.

"$250,000 for a family of four isn't that much here...."

So you live in an expensive place. But that's not the fault of the rest of us. And there's an infinitely larger percentage of Americans for whom making $100,000 would be like winning the damn lottery. I'm sorry you live in an expensive city but is raising the marginal tax rate by 4% on just that income over $250,000 going to take food out of kids' mouths there? Because I guarantee you there are people here who are really going to be hurting if they lose those unemployment benefits in the Senate bill, or the jobs that will be lost if sequestration happens. There are people who need the stimulus this will pay for.

This post definitely was not meant to be a slam on New York (a city I love and visit often) or on the lifestyle of New Yorkers, or to make any point about the comparative carbon footprint of New Yorkers versus other Americans. That's way out of bounds. But the post was meant to make a point about the attitude that somehow it's going to be the end of the world to a very small group of people. It's not.

Just in case it isn't blazingly obvious, that 4% equates to $40 per thousand, only on he income over whatever threshold they decide on.

$40 per thousand.

It's not even chump change.

"Remove the tumor, be it the media, lobbyists, corporate personhood,"

All of the above, plus right wing think tanks and the entire Rethug party.


It's amazing that all this ruckus was over a lousy 4 percentage points---they let the 2 percentage points of payroll tax holiday expire without a second thought, but then the working class is not within the scope of interest for the Congresscritters.

But my standard for a good settlement agreement is that no one is happy with it. So by that rule of thumb, this works. I don't know of anyone (except maybe Obama, who was ready to give away everything) who was happy with it.

Winston Churchill said something worth noting, albeit said in a somewhat petulant mood, because the United States did not come into the war when he preferred (something which likely would have prolonged the war, since the level of mobilization would not have been the same without the attack on Pearl Harbor). Thus: Americans always do the right thing, after first trying everything else.

I'm not entirely convinced that was ever universally true, but the general sentiment bears consideration. Once, the observation might have had merit, but today, no. The calls for general sacrifice today are not for the preservation of the nation, but, rather, for the preservation of the power of the nation's elite, two remarkably different things which have been conflated disingenuously. Solutions to the very real and pressing problems of the nation are, in fact, antithetical to the interests of the powerful.

I would hope that Churchill was right--that we will eventually do the right thing--but, rationally, I have no expectation of that actually happening, if only because the power of the aristocracy (fuck it, let's go ahead and call `em what they are) has grown so enormously in the years since Churchill's lament.

Even in Israel's district, median income is under $72,000, less than a third of what he thinks isn't much to live on.

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