RE: [lpsf-discuss] Re: If Cuba can do it ...

Thanks, Chris; an excellent analysis, as usual. I think there's some evidence that _people_ are learning that they need to rely on themselves and each other--even some media people. But not politicians, of course: The problem, in Hillary's view, is that FEMA isn't Cabinet-level; the bureaucracy isn't powerful enough.

I was particularly inspired by the denizens of Johnny White's Sports Bar
in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where there remain 18 to 25
hurricane survivors who are refusing to leave the city. See
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050904/ts_alt_afp/usweatherbar_05090418354
9). In an interview on NPR yesterday, one of the barmaids explained
that Bourbon Street is one of the few remaining areas of the city that
appears to have sustained little permanent damage. The workers and
customers of the bars in the area rode out the storm and have been
taking care of each other quite well over the past week and a half.
When asked if she was concerned that the police have too much work to do
to protect them and might forcibly remove them from the area, she
laughed and said the government did little or nothing to help them in
advance of the storm, absolutely nothing to help them in the aftermath
of the storm, and has pretty much left them alone so far, having many
more pressing problems in other parts of New Orleans. The only
assistance the government has provided her was a police escort to a
Walgreens drug store, where they told her to go in and take whatever she
thought the Sports Bar needed (she stocked up on bandages, medicines and
other first aid supplies).

She explained that they had plenty of food and beverages for everyone
who had taken shelter in the bar and had not consumed any of the
contaminated water. Why bother when you have kegs of beer and cases of
sodas and booze? They work every day to clean up the neighborhood of
Bourbon Street and see no pressing need to evacuate. She estimates they
can get along for at least another two to three weeks without government
assistance, now that the plumbing is working and they can bathe in
pre-treated water.

It was a great example of private citizens taking care of themselves
when government has failed them. The barmaid even invited the reporter
to stop by the bar the next time he's in the area and she will pour him
a free drink.

Terry Floyd