“…People have no idea how out of control things are down here…”

I read a story about FEMA not allowing Katrina victims to talk to reporters.

That sounded a bit outrageous to me so I asked a friend of mine who works in a position which allows her/him to see what’s going on across the state of Louisiana to tell me if it was true. (Sorry, they are not allowed to speak “on the record” to the press!)

Here is her/his unedited response (with parts taken out which could reveal her/his identity):

…worse than that, they shut down public religious services and have to sneak in ministers and religious service providers to do private ceremonies in people’s trailers in what residents call the “concentration camps”, you have to show an ID to enter, armed (with machine guns) national guard walking around everywhere like it is a prison, many complain of having to pay the FEMA people for gas and water and other stuff they aren’t supposed to have to pay, many problems with internal policing too, there is only one FEMA bus per day that goes to, you guessed it, walmart…..

it is like a prison in the biggest of those camps….we went to do XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX the cops were running license plates and then at 5am doing sweeps of homes claiming to look for a child molester and instead waking them up at 5am, entering their homes and then rounding up folks with any outstanding warrants of any kind, traffic violations, whatever, so we went a few times to meetings of the internally organized people’s council to explain that you just dont’ have to let the cops into your trailers, your trailers are your homes, and they need a warrant to enter….

my contact on the organizing council who invited XXXXXX, and many others, mentioned that they wouldn’t let the press in then….that there are occasionallly press conferences organized by the administration and signs are put up on people’s doors telling them they are not allowed to go outside during the times of the conferences….she then showed me that the hand held video camera she was using to tape my presentation was actually from WFAB. Apparently this reporter had been refused so many times that she smuggled in a camera and lots of tape and put it in the hands of the organizing council to tape what was going on….you know for them to give up equipment like that the situation had to be crazy….

I did lots of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , mostly at “Renaissance Village” one of the biggest “settlements” in the state with over 1500 families, in Baker, LA, about 30 min outside BR….

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX….they just lifted this ban yesterday though (THANK GOD) because of the media pressure.

People have no idea how out of control things are down here….I mean really unbelievably out of control….

the complaints for racial profiling and police harrassment…are starting to take a more military influenced direction….the torture techniques made public with abu gharib and guantanamo …are now becoming routine down here….instead of just going and rounding up some black kids in the neighborhood and telling them they have to come out of their own yards to answer some question and then beating them up a bit or searching them and putting a gun to their head or whatever the routine racial profiling scenario would have been pre-k [Katrina], now you see stops without arrests where young black boys are stripped and cavity searched in public, in daylight, in front of the neighborhood….we are collecting…complaints about what the officers in such brutality cases say when asked by the victims “why me”….routinely people are getting responses like “there is still room in the mississippi” or “you didn’t have to come back, now did you.”

One victim testified at a city council hearing a few months back….pulled over for a windshield wiper violation (I mean, you can’t make this shit up) in front of the 5th precinct in daylight. Beaten severely, dragged back around the corner to his car, left cuffed and bleeding on the side of the street while the police cut up his seats and burned out the inside of his car…dragged him back (remember there are tons of witnesses) and put him in the back of a police car, in the heat, for several hours, took him out, he could barely stand from the heat and blood loss….did a strip and cavity search in front of the police precinct…found nothing, charged him with nothing, let him go…

[RELOADED: I am getting quite a few emails questioning the validity of the information mentioned in this post. Though I will not name my source these incidents can be verified by looking at local New Orleans news sources.]

Explore posts in the same categories: Hurricane Katrina Relief, katrina victims, New Orleans, personal

84 Comments on ““…People have no idea how out of control things are down here…””

  1. It’s a disgrace. Sad.

  2. meettravis Says:

    Jesus Christ!!!

  3. TerryC Says:

    Dude, is this stuff true? That city is lost. Who’s running things? People should be protesting. And the press should be reporting it!

  4. chartreuse Says:

    It’s all true. And that’s just a part of it.

    We still have THOUSANDS of prisoners who have not seen an attorney or been allowed to make a phone call since the storm, trapped in rural louisiana jails where the local sheriffs are collecting twice per head what they were being paid by the state from FEMA., like Tom, picked up the day before the storm for failure to appear at a child support hearing, maced into a locked cell and abandoned in the prison, had to break out through the walls like in the pictures i just sent, then was shot at and most (not him but most) were then additionally charged with “escape”….Tom turned himself in and was abandoned on the highway in the heat in handcuffs for a few days then taken to a field where no guards would enter, prisoners wildly killing each other without administrative intervention, food was literally catapolted over the fence in big sheets filled with sandwiches and water and then they had to go pick up the food from the dirt like dogs….then taken to Angola or Jenna where they were beaten in the most brutal ways, sometimes forced to only drink their own blood or eat their own vomit for days….then transferred to some small louisiana prison where they are then rented out to private companies AS LABOR so the sherriffs get money from FEMA and for using them like slaves…..tom got out in march, was taken back 3 weeks later on the SAME charge that he had just spent 7 months in a federal pen for, a charge that is not even criminal, not even misdemeanor, he did not have bail, he just had to stay till mon and go to the hearing… ….then over 350 prisoners who are “lost”…claim they can’t figure out where they put them….of course most of us now think they are dead and disappeared but govt still saying no loss of life in the prison….

  5. candice Says:

    Yes, that kind of stuff is true. It sounds like the fema trailer parks outside Baton Rouge, I have heard no such things out of the parks in the city proper, maybe you have?

    I have definitely heard about the ‘outstanding warrants’ bit , and various other bits of privacy invasion in the camp in Baker. Times-picayune’s got some of it.

    That part, at least, is not the city, it’s a combination of FEMA and middle-of-nowhere paranoid cops who don’t want more black people in their small town. The camps are bad. Really bad.

    I live near a couple of the small ones in Orleans parish, which seem to be fine, aside from the private institution ones (the universities and hospitals all have some), the local ones are all tiny.

    Terry, only the lucky among us have TIME to protest. The rest are fighting really hard just to get by.

  6. acab Says:

    Unfortunately New Orleans has always been like that. I’ve heard from good friends that were there as law enforcement officers NOPD is the most corrupt police force in the country.

  7. TerryC Says:

    Sorry. It just makes me mad. Didn’t mean to critisize. I guess people like Char who know about this stuff need to keep complaining till the rest of us pay attention.

  8. Alvin Says:

    That this is going on in the USA is a damn shame.

  9. Andy Hagans Says:

    This is all pretty unbelievable, that’s not to say I don’t believe it.

  10. This Melancholy Profession

    As you stare out the office window, searching for the weekend, here are some choice posts from my favorite sites…Chartreuse just published a rough, rough letter from New Orleans. We need to get these stories out there.Edward Champion linked to…

  11. Mark Says:

    Actually, there’s quite a few news stories now about FEMA’s reversal of it’s media policy

    Google News

  12. New Orleans was always a dirty, seedy, vile place. The people there are horrible. Their only purpose on any given day was to take advantage of some clueless tourist.

    I am glad the place is destroyed. People have been saying it was only a metter of time for years? Why was everyone so shocked when it finally happened? Personally I watched the hurricane come through on the weather channel and I CHEERED IT ALONG! Good riddance.

    It doesn’t surprise me much that the cops and the entire FEMA “enforcement” team is completely corrupt. Lawyers and cops are the crookedest, meanest people in any town. So these cops must be the scummiest of the scum.

    Screw them all. Pull all the decent relief workers out of there and cut them off from food and clean water till they are all dead then burn all the corpses and pave the entire region.

    PS – Don’t bother replying to me. You aren’t going to change my mind. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you feel the need to censor and editorialize someone else. Might does not make right so I dont care if I am in the minority opinion.

  13. roland Says:

    ^^Seems like all the compassionate bits in christianity went right over your head and you went straight to the gory bits, kill, maim and destroy these vile people. The only thing you have revealed in that little tirade, is how much you hate yourself and how frightened you are, which there is no shame in btw. Learn to love and respect yourself more and you’ll find your compassion for others will be restored.

    *Fear is being manipulated to encourage negative base instincts, which is the place you seem to be trapped in. This is happening everywhere so you’ll all have to be more resilient and look out for each other, these old fashioned and destructive notions about peoples worth need to be left behind, they have no place in the modern era, be strong peeps.

    PS Phil, im not trying to change your mind, thats for you to do, I just don’t like seeing human beings unnesessarily suffering, especailly when the potential of life is so great, so your comment and the suffering of the hurricane victims has encoraged me to respond, I wish you all the best.

  14. bananasfk Says:

    America says hello to Bushland

  15. This shit needs to stop. Nobody’s talking about this, not the Democrats or the ACLU or any mainstream media outlets. So don’t be crying Bush alright? All of these groups are responsible. Crying Bush vastly oversimplifies the problem, and oversimplifying isn’t going to solve it.

    I’m glad they’ve organized an internal council, but they need more than that. They need to organize something, they need to make some collective demands in the socialist fashion.

  16. Edie Says:

    I am going to repost this on my blog with a link to you. The bottom photo is just incredible.

  17. range Says:

    It’s like an ongoing warzone in the USA.

  18. AliasUndercover Says:

    If this is true something must be done immediately. If this is allowed to continue it will spread to the next place to have a disaster, then the next, until we all live under this sort of thing.

  19. Aaron Says:

    I believe that something like this is going to happen again and again and again until this country wakes up and realizes their error and turns around. Our country was founded with the belief/idea that the states had 85% of the power and the fed government has 15% (percents just a guess). Now its 100% fed government and 0% state. It is outrageous.

    I pray that this country will turn itself around and stop sinning every second of every day of every month of every year.

    I hope and pray that nothing like this ever heppens again to New Orleans or any place else for that matter.

    Christians need to stand in the gap and pray.

    Enough said.

    GB you all.

  20. Brian Says:

    Or maybe Christians and Muslims and Jews etcetera need to stop killing each other in a race to find out which god is the right one first?

  21. John Says:

    What happened to you?
    I mean what happened to USA?
    You used to be a great nation and now look at you!
    The wars , this katrina thing, civil liberties been taken away, paranoia everywhere you look!

    Do something about it. It ‘s not too late.

  22. PJ Says:

    This link shows some footage my class took in February 2006, just after the 9th Ward was opened to the public. Main stream media has all but forgotten about New Orleans, but THEY STILL NEED SO MUCH HELP. Habitat for Humanity gave us the opportunity to help one family – there’s still so much left to be done.

  23. Ian Masters Says:

    I found this link after reading a thread about it on another site. People think that what you posted in Bullshit. I have a brother who volenteered in Louisiana last month so I know that it’s all true.

    I think people don’t want to beleive it because it’s just too horrible to think about.

    Thanks for posting.

  24. Irfan Says:


  25. Have you checked in with those living and working to rebuilt the coast line of Mississippi to compare their story with New Orleans? Their destruction was much worse, with whole neighborhoods and families wiped off the map, literally. Nothing standing in the path of the wall of water that came blasting in. Whole towns destroyed.

    What about them? What about their story? Katrina was not all about New Orleans. It’s about 90,000 square miles of massive devastation, the majority of which gets no money, no help, no attention, and ignored by the government. The 180 square miles of New Orleans gets it all.

    I live in southern Alabama near the coast and even now, there are homes sitting here in wreck and ruin from floods, wind, and tree damage. Signs are missing off many buildings, stores, and gas stations. A motel down the street finally was leveled a month ago, after sitting there all this time, a fractured scrambled egg with half a roof.

    Do you hear news from the destruction in Alabama? Of the lives ruined by Katrina?

    There is a lot of horrors to this story. Look at all of it.

  26. erinlee Says:

    that is just unfair…these victims should be able to speak to anybody they want to. They’re not prison detainees and they didn’t do any crime, and banning them from talking to the press sounds like a conspiracy. Thanks for sharing the story. If you didn’t post it, I wouldn’t have realized that it’s happening.

  27. cgot Says:

    That’s denial of freedom of speech, something they do in communist countries!

    check out my blog at

  28. NotInDenial Says:

    ‘They’ won’t be hating us for our freedoms much longer, it would seem.

    The real tragedy here is the lack of outrage.

  29. truthWatcher Says:

    I was in New Orleans 2 weeks ago. It is like 2 cities. Where the tourist hang is all nice and pretty again (by NO standards), and the rest is screwed up.

    Places still don’t have electricity.

    Military vehicles roam the street.

    Soldiers are everywhere.

    It is like Baghdad.

    Crime is a major problem because you have complete neighborhoods with stuff just thrown in big piles. No real public transportation. Jobs are scarce if you are not in construction. Businesses of all types are struggling to keep head their heads above water, and so are the people brave enough to rebuild.

    People are too tired to be outraged.

    The people who should be outraged are all of us watching “the greatest country in the world” letting a whole region of our country die.

  30. Bob Says:


    Don’t forget to take your medicine, pal.

  31. valerie Says:

    Oh my goodness…

  32. Wonton Says:

    Glad to here the MExicans are actually going there to rebuild the area.
    If not for them the situation would be worse.

  33. Michael B Says:

    FEMA screwed up the first time, now they are trying to cover up what is going on down there. Any mistakes they make will be automatically attributed to Bush and his inept way of handling the situation initially, so it is naturally in the administration’s best interests to keep the occupants contained and keep the media out so that the rest of the populace doesn’t realize what a problem it really is.

    Stories like this don’t get airtime because it doesn’t benefit the Prez and his oil buddies. This kind of issue gets the hush-hush treatment, while the war in Iraq/Iran is twisted to seem like it is the most relevant thing in the world. The longer the war over there goes on, the higher gas prices will go, which in turns lines the pockets of GW and Associates.

    So will everyone kindly ignore all the issues going on in our country and please pull up to pump three so that the reaming of America can continue. Thank you.

  34. Ashley Endemann Says:

    My God. I had no idea. Well all I can say to the people commenting on this website is what are we going to do about it?? Are we all just going to sit on our butts messing around on the internet posting comments or are we going to take action and try to bring this information to every single person we possibly can?

    I say email this site or similar ones to everyone you know. Better yet call your congressmen, senators, local media outlets and ask them why this is happening and why they aren’t talking publicly to the level they should be about this. Give them the websites you are posting on here. Demand they respond to these stories and pictures.

    I think the reason why this country is going to crap lately isn’t because we elected a moron or are in a war for oil and big business. It’s because we the people have forgotten our power. The power of the people is what the entire idea of a free America was built on. Don’t forget how powerful you all are. Don’t let the world down by remaining complacent. Do something.

  35. […] Chartreuse posted this yesterday – “People have no idea how out of control things are down here” which is an article dedicated to the human tragedies that have taken on new life on our Gulf Coast. […]

  36. びっくり Says:

    Oh please. All the major networks would be crawling all over this for ratings if it was even remotely close to the truth. They don’t have that many good reporters, but hey, they figured out the questionable wire-tapping. Friends have visited since the storm and never located the “secret concentration camps” of hurricane victims.

    I’m a little disappointed that only one person expressed any doubt.

  37. bangno Says:

    Who said anything about secret concentation camps? I didn’t see that in the post.

  38. Ben Says:

    If this is true, and it seems like other people have been corroborating, then we are in trouble. Who is in charge of FEMA? Stalin? I mean seriously, it seems like there are Gulags, bread lines, complete media censorship, arrests and searches without warrants? People are disappearing?!? This is what most people would call a police state, and nobody is holding the police accountable.

    Lets hope this article isn’t based on truth, but let’s act on it as though it is. We need to tell as many people as we know, just in case there is a media lockdown. The more pressure the public puts on, the more likely we will find out the truth.

    And that “questionable wire-tapping” was only found after months upon months of research, death threats, and guidance from a high placed government leak. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you know everything thats going on in the world. What are you afraid of? That they might be wrong about what’s going on down there? I’m far more afraid of finding out that it was true and that I did nothing.

  39. […] This story about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and what is really going on in New Orleans is not something youll hear on the evening news.   The photo says it all […]

  40. Mark Says:

    Bingo! What Ben said!

  41. Vik Says:

    found your post via oh word.

    touching. it seems many have forgotten about nola….but not ALL.

    thanks for the reminder.

  42. Rebecca Aguilar Says:

    Where is the irrelevant, outmoded news media during this crisis?

    What NOLA needs now: an independent, truth seeking Kevin Sites kind of “SoJo” reporter!

    Arm this SoJo reporter with an HD digital camera with a satellite modem to deliver photos, video, and stories to a website like the one at http://hotzone.yahoo.com.

  43. Sounder Says:

    I watched part of the C-span segment on 911 theories last night. I skipped most of it because it pains me to see so much ill focused frustration. I did happen to catch the, what do we do section, as this is where my interests lie. These are good people looking through the glass darkly, trying to penetrate to others encased in amber.

    Guerrilla Ontology

    A ground up examination of reality.
    Thursday, July 27, 2006
    Creativity Unleashed

    This paper seeks to encourage others to engage with the process of creating the parameters for the next paradigm. The ideas put forward as possible parameters are less important than the need to recognize that the next paradigm will best be built from a wide social and cultural base. The “other” can then become our salvation rather than being seen as a threat.

    Creativity Unleashed, or Who’s Gonna Let the Dogs Out?

    How is it that society will come to understand more constructive ways to relate to the conditions of our existence? This paper seeks to illustrate the manner by which fixed belief systems inhibit our creativity and ability to change the expressions of our consciousness. In particular, a notion will be advanced that Satan and Lucifer are G-d’s necessary helpers and are pitted against each other, rather than against G-d.

    The current occupant of the White House has said; “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” This is a call for eternal war, and cannot be considered positive for the development of culture or society. Also, in a little noticed statement, the US Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, said that; ” the “unknown unknown” is the thing that keeps me awake at night”. The only work that I am aware of, that deals with the subject of the “unknown unknown” is found in a book called “Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method”. Here Henry Bauer makes a strong case that use of the scientific method alone does not provide the necessary ingredients for the formation of valid science. Of greater necessity is having a community of searchers that have a common language and boundary conditions. He uses the puzzle analogy of Michael Polanyi to show how the scientific community working together produces the solution to the puzzle.

    Normal science deals with elements found within the boundaries of the dominant paradigm. That is the known and the known unknown. Elements outside those boundary conditions are often denied existence. Henry Bauer calls them the unknown unknown. To better understand the meaning of the known, the known-unknown, and the unknown-unknown, consider a square. The lines represent the boundaries of a puzzle. These boundaries represent our corollaries and assumptions. Inside the lines are puzzle pieces. The pieces that fit together are considered to be the known. The pieces inside the lines that don’t yet fit together are considered to be the known-unknown. Everything outside the lines is considered as being the unknown-unknown and also, unfortunately, irrelevant.

    Henry Bauer’s use of the puzzle analogy is helpful although it is less than consistent. On one occasion it is treated as a fixed entity as when he says; ‘Actually and ultimately, there is only one way to fit all the pieces together.’ This implies that the puzzle is all of reality. On another occasion he talks about the puzzle growing. He seems to feel no need to explicitly state what is implicitly recognized through nearly everybody’s experience. That is to say, the first thing that a puzzler does is to put together the boundary pieces. Yet the edge pieces define the puzzle and not the edges of reality. In a picture puzzle the edge pieces are the easy ones while in real life the boundary conditions are the most difficult to define. Indeed without boundary conditions we hardly have a puzzle to solve. The following statement of his provides another indication that Henry Bauer confuses the puzzle with reality.

    “Every now and again, though, something happens….and then we have “revolutionary” science, or a Gestalt shift in some part of the puzzle…..The players thereby can never claim absolute finality for any part of the picture, and yet as larger and larger areas are completed, it does become less and less likely that major Gestalt shifts or minor rearrangements will need to be made-the less likely, the more there are links to surrounding areas of the puzzle.”

    Any credible scientist would concede that boundary conditions limit the extendibility of any given model, rather than considering them as the limits of reality itself. Currently existing paradigms deal with the known and the known unknown. Frontier science is liable to contain greater obvious error, but it represents the only way to deal with the unknown unknown. Its error or truth cannot be judged reliably by existing paradigms, as its conclusions lie outside the boundaries of current paradigms.

    It seems to me that the strongest single determinant regarding the succession of paradigms lies in the aesthetic. The Copernican system was aesthetically more pleasing than the old Ptolemic system, yet at the time could not be said to predict events any better than the old system. Contrast this with this statement of Henry Bauer.

    “The filter and puzzle model describes how the practices and institutions that have evolved in science sift out bias, error, and fraud under the scrutiny of the scientific community and the control of the prevailing paradigm.”

    It seems that most unbiased observers would see that while the current paradigm may sift out some bias and error, it will at the same time institutionalize other forms of bias and error. Those in “control of the prevailing paradigm” certainly felt justified in inhibiting the work of Galileo. In Galileos time the forces restricting science’s pursuit of truth were religious, today those forces are economic and political. A Gestalt shift however, involves the replacement of one puzzle with a new puzzle; not simply the rearrangement of existing pieces. Previous rationality may now become irrationality, and vice-versa. Before Coperinicus it was considered irrational to believe the sun to be the center of the solar system, after conversion the opposite became true. How prudent is it then, given historical precedence, to be totally invested in current conceptual structures?

    Consensual representations (OwenBarfield) form the relative truth structures at any given time within society. . While Truth may be Absolute, our understanding of Truth is never absolute. Any claim to understanding is mediated by words that form the interpretation of intimations of the comprehensive, (Karl Jaspers) or the ineffable (Abraham Heschel). Communication is also limited by the mutual understanding of the language used. As such, expressions of the Absolute will always maintain some distance from us.

    Experience shows that when relative truth is promoted as being Absolute Truth, pathological response patterns are often the result. It is a false security thereby derived, as working with rigid or frozen categories surely inhibits a person’s connection to the ineffable (Abraham Heschel) or the comprehensive (Karl Jaspers).

    Creativity is found in reformulating the information content within and between categories or, our ‘forms of structure’ (Aristotle) or ‘forms of understanding’ (Kant). Our current forms of understanding are rooted in a hard dualism via the Greeks and Descartes. This has been a legitimate stage to go through in that it has greatly assisted us in improving our analytical abilities. Still, it is time we used our innate creativity to better transcend the limits of dualism. Creativity can be used to reframe the boundary conditions of our puzzle. The “unknown unknown” can then become part of the known and the known unknown. That is, some of the “unknown unknown” can be brought within the boundary conditions of the puzzle (the known and the known unknown).

    When boundary conditions change, (a rare event) the expert classes must redefine their relationships to society. Therefore, Mr. Rumsfield’s true fear is more likely, not the “unknown unknown”, it is rather that the “unknown unknown” might become part of the known and known unknown. It may however also be the case that Henry Bauer and Mr. Rumsfield deal with the “unknown unknown” issue so as to signal and inspire other thinkers. Indeed in times past, members of the expert class would sometimes present exaggerated versions of orthodox positions so as to inspire students to examine new approaches to a given problem. (Beral Lang, Philosophical Style)

    It is safe to say that most people are not happy with where society is at, or their place in society. Many search for the root causes of this dilemma, yet circumstances suggest we are far from identifying these causes. Our personal crusades may mask root causes rather than identifying them. Look at any panel of “experts” convened to address our larger problems. One person will cite breakdown of the family, another will cite lack of love, and the others will claim still different elements as the root causes. The primary cause expressed will always reflect the profession of the speaker. Each person will have valuable things to say; yet all will be far from the root causes. I fear that many “experts” exist to fill some “basic fault” or gap between perception and reality. (Morris Berman, ‘Coming to our Senses’) If this is the case then most experts will probably feel threatened if deeper causes let alone the “root causes” are brought up. Still there is a place for everyone in existence. Job descriptions and the means of value creation can change. Initiative is required to define our places in society, and our problems may be the best spur to initiative there is. I propose a toast to our problems: May we always have problems, never insurmountable, yet always a challenge.

    At this point in our history many problems seem insurmountable. Whether the problem is resource depletion, environmental degradation, epidemics, fear of the other, or any other problem, the dilemma is inherent in our outlook rather than the potentials of reality itself. To be caught on the “horns” of hope and despair is a melodramatically paralyzing response better replaced with a personal absorption of the dilemma, which if lived with long enough can yield a personally meaningful response. While the solutions presented here (always partial and incomplete) may seem surreal and outlandish, be assured ancient “truths” are appealed to for the foundation. It is simply the case that “truths” are layered by rhetoric and myth making over time. One initial task is to cut through the rhetoric and reclaim more of the substance of the myths.

    It makes sense that, over time, our guiding institutions will shape the forms of structure (understanding), so as to promote interests of the institutions. For example, while the early Hebrews considered Satan to be a roadblock or impediment to righteousness, a later Christian interpolation cast Satan as the representative of some external enemy. Casting Satan as an external threat then provides obvious benefits to the guiding institution, so as to rally the community under a perceived threat from the “other”. Misdirected focus surly contributes to the loss of original information content (substance) within the category that we call Satan.

    Our current dualistic system for understanding inhibits critical self-examination and promotes an unjustified sense of righteousness. The good vs evil agenda provides an all to simple target and shield for everyone involved. Culture and society can flourish only to the degree that our systems of understanding treat the “other” as a necessary element rather than as a threat. Towards this end, I would like to present a re-interpretation of a few categories that have been stripped of their substance over time. The following (abridged) system for understanding reality seeks to overcome some current limits of thought and speculation. Abraham Heschel, in his book “God in Search of Man”, said that all experience contains elements of both law and spontaneity (order and liberty). Higher-grade experience happens when order and liberty are balanced and support each other. A low-grade experience will result when one dominates the other. Order without liberty produces a shallow and sometimes negative expression of order, and vice-versa. The following diagram serves to illustrate the effects of balance or lack thereof between order and liberty.

    Missing image can be found at GuerrillaOntology@blogspot.com

    Imagine this figure in 3-d with an inverted tornado overlaid on it representing ones experience and history.

    This figure implies that we all have both positive and negative elements to our being, and a focus on the positive will produce better relations.

    Mr. Heschel claimed that there are three types of people. The first type seeks self-salvation. For the second type the Self is the problem, so that he will seek self-abdignation. The third type simply seeks fellowship. The salvationist will tend to do what he is told under the mistaken assumption that that is the way to claim his prize. People, for whom, the Self is the problem; expend their energy trying to transcend the limits of existence. Both are Self-centered and seek to relate oneself toward ones conception of reality, rather than to reality itself.

    This version of Mr. Heschel’s analysis changes his terminology so as to brighten the contrast of these images and to show substance within forms that many people consider to be empty of substance. First of all, there is no battle of Good versus Evil. In fact, if we allow that G-d is unnamable or beyond categories, then the battle is not between G-d and Satan at all. It is rather between different tendencies of expression, which educate through contrast. To illustrate, let us call order without liberty the static principle, or Ahriman (Satan). Under this principle you will do as you are told, and consider that the relevant authority structure is telling the “Truth”. Next, let’s call liberty without order the principle of indiscriminate change, and further, label this as Lucifer. This principle (idea) dispenses with received authority, replacing it with a, self-contradictory and absolutist demand for relativism. According to these measures, dogmatic orthodoxy is the tool of Satan, while rebellion from conventions is to be influenced by Lucifer. This can be brought into a modern secular context by considering “Type 1” and “Type 2” personalities. Type 1 personalities generally submit to the conditioning pressures of their parents and society, while Type 2 personalities tend to rebel from conditioning. While many people are not at the ends of the continuum, the rhetorical advantages are clearest at the ends. There is also a Type 3 personality, neither beholden to, nor disdainful of current conventions. Our job is to encourage first in us, then in our children, Type 3 personality expressions.

    My contention is that a more balanced relation between order and liberty will deepen the possibilities within our categories and thereby better illustrate the substance contained within our forms. The quality of our experience is a direct reflection of the balance, or lack thereof, between order and liberty. This results in the strange corollary that Ahriman and Lucifer are G-ds necessary helpers. They serve to provide opportunity for discernment and a functional background on which we may find the value and effects of applying free will.

    While consciousness is less developed, as with young children, it is reasonable for order to dominate liberty. As consciousness grows elements of liberty become more relevant, and if repressed will produce negative expressions of both order and liberty. The repressor will demand total obedience, while the liberator demands total repudiation.

    In time consciousness will recognize the imperative to balance order and liberty. Then, rather than doing what we are told (Ahriman) or doing what we feel like (Lucifer), we will do the right thing and the Christ will rise from within us, sweeping the garbage of Satan and Lucifer out of our heads and allowing us to become effective co-creators with G-d. We can celebrate difference as an element that makes for a rich culture. Conversely, we can allow nasty operators to continue to create monsters that “must” be subsequently destroyed. An Old Spanish proverb says; take what you want… Then pay for it. All the fortunes in the world could never pay for the deceits of the ages. (Talk about family secrets, Diane Rheim. Dec 6,PRI) Still, the Grace of G-g rains down upon the just and the unjust alike, and the Glory of G-d will find expression. That is, the Grace (voice of the ineffable) will produce the Glory (harmony of greater understanding.)

    In G-ds Love, Sounder

  44. Ashley Endemann Says:

    Sounder, no one cares about your masturbatory pretentious college paper. Try commenting on what this posting is actually about.

  45. damit Says:

    Most Americans don’t care, sad but true. they would rather tune in to what Hollywood is doing. who’s @#$@#$ who! kind of crap. I do feel that those of you that are living in LA need to do something about all of the atrocities mention in this post. Hell, if you have a video camera get busy documenting, if your neigoborhood is still in a mess get off your ass and start cleaning. don’t sit around bitching (film that too). No, I don’t have time excuses. I get about eight hours sleep a day split into two shifts (doing what I need to do to get it done). As far as the sensorship stuff. that is becoming widespread. I work for a major corp. and we just had a meeting and in this meeting were told that if we ever quit we were not to talk about anything bad that has happened in the company or they would take action ( scare tactic). with blogging and other outlets if used properly can stop alot of the BS going on in this country. Don’t give Up!

  46. Sounder Says:

    You are right, nevermind.

  47. candice Says:

    Damit, this is a city where we’ve got seventy year old people gutting their own houses by hand for lack of insurance money. (Actually, a hell of a lot of people who are doing work on their own houses are retired, they have the time more than a lot of people do.) I wouldn’t accuse anyone who is actually here of being lazy. People are working through the PTSD haze and trying to get on with things.

    It is way more than “the streets are dirty.” People are still coming home and throwing out ruined furniture, clothes, all their belongings, STILL. There are neighborhood cleanup efforts that go out and try to make a difference on the neutral grounds. Until you’ve seen the sheer miles upon miles of it, it’s easy to write it off.

    And I would argue that a lot of people do care. We have volunteers from everywhere coming down to clean stuff and do house gutting and all that nonsense.

    There are, however, the kind of people who bitch to CNN that they are tired of Katrina coverage. Those assholes can go fuck off.

    Oh, and side note from the cafe the other night, the trailer park referenced in this post is in Morgan City. People are talking.

  48. damit Says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the elderly aren’t doing thier part. And I have talked to volunteers who are doing their part also. Hats off to all of you. You know, I bet they feel like the hampster on his wheel. The percentage of these people are so small, at this pace it will take forever to clean this mess up. The problem with CNN and other media coverage is the redundancy that turns everyone off. Maybe, just maybe! they are trying to get everyone’s attention. Now that I think about it, all they can do is report. It’s up to us to hear the message and respond. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  49. dr. gonzo Says:

    Phil McKraken is an idiot. That’s all I have to say.

  50. Ray Simms Says:

    I have skimmed this garbage. Wake up!!! If this was going on every liberal newscaster (that means every newscaster not on fox news) would be showijg this every night and blaming Bush. Grow up losers and get a job and stop trying to have the government support you!!!

  51. custador Says:

    Jesus…. I live in the UK, this stuff has no media coverage whatever over here. Screw that, I’m sending this link to the BBC, ITN and Reuters. The USA is supposed to be the democratic Land of The Free, not a God-damned police state.

  52. custador Says:

    Done and dusted.

  53. Noway Jose Says:

    I remember life before September 10, 2001…………..streets paved with gold, the air smelling of sweet perfumr. Birds would sing all day and night. The rain tasted sweet and houses were made of gingerbread good enough to eat…

    …….until the hoax of the century. Pretty ‘crafty’ of them to do the hoax of the century so early in the century.

    I am keeping one eye cocked open while pretending to sleep. I suggest we all do the same. There’s more of us than there are of ‘them’…

  54. […] Prince Campbell, a guy who mostly talks about the business of new media at his blog Chartreuse (BETA), is doing just that.  Last week, Campbell (who is a former resident of New Orleans), received a disturbing email from a contact still in the city.  He published a redacted version of that email as a post entitled People have no idea how out of control things are down here.., and it caused quite a stir. […]

  55. Cath Says:

    I can’t believe this. I live in Sydney and we are hearing virtually nothing about the aftermath of Katrina now. Is this really what it has come to?
    I am originally from the UK and have a friend in London who is a journalist for BBC online. I am sending this over.

  56. Oscar Says:

    What a shame that people from US want to say the rest of the world by military force how they have to manage their countries, when it is evident that people vote for polititians they seem to deserve, not even managing their own land in the right mood.

  57. Kristine Says:

    Did you ever have a moment in your life where you wanted to say screw it! A small moment compared to losing what these people have lost. Look, hope is a word of intent to act towards a positive outcome. Faith is following thru on that hope. Love is making certain that everything within your power, no matter how small, is an act of trust.

    The people of New Orleans, like any other city, have placed thier faith in OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE THE COUNTRY. WE ARE WHAT MAKES THIS COUNTRY GOOD, BAD OR INDECENT.

    Thier disaster is no less than 9/11. Where is the real help? There are scammers in all arenas. Who’s to say what is until someone says what isn’t.

    If I am hungry, I get a job. If there is no job, I move…the hunters and gatherers must roam. Our society and lifestyles, our government is removing that ability to roam little by little.

    I certainly hope that my faith in the common non political average person will bring about the change in New Orleans that is required. I trust that from this moment on there will be One hundred people from every city across this country that we live in, to volunteer in areas that are needed. That should be enough. In rotating teams, with food for triple the amount…what company out there is willing to supply the needs I am about to list. Vehicles, trucks, building materials, enough to build, repair one house above ground. One city for one hundred. One hundred for one family.

    That negative post I read…Mr. McKracken, I assume you have securities and dividends, bonds, and savings in case a storm, tornado, flood, war, famine, termites, fleas, what have you, come your way. You don’t need help from any one if you have a problem do you?

    If I need help, even with as hard as I try, I am willing to ask for help. People were created in such a way that relying on others is just as healthy as helping others.

    I have nothing of real value. Except my family, my heart and my hands.
    It’s what I was given when I was born and it’s what is intended for me to use til I can no longer use it. And for Truth Watcher…thank you for your post.

    One hundred per city. Louisville Ky. Has one to start.

  58. Kristine Says:

    Out of the middle of Sounder’s Novel…is a bit or realistic sense.

    “Still there is a place for everyone in existence. Job descriptions and the means of value creation can change. Initiative is required to define our places in society, and our problems may be the best spur to initiative there is. I propose a toast to our problems: May we always have problems, never insurmountable, yet always a challenge.”


    Would that things be as simple as which store I should buy something rather than where do I buy it. Or with what do I buy it? Any of you folks out there feed your family beans for a month? Or maybe it was pancakes. The kind that all it takes is water.

    So, what exactly is the value we are attempting to express, and I do not mean milk it. Are we looking for a hole in the system?

    This world is imperfect because we are on it.

    Because we are not on the food chain. We are the hole in the system. Put aside politics. Put aside the welfare rants and rages about things being so bad, anywhere. We are here. It is now. And what we do with the gifts we have, the ability to nurture when all we do is destroy it’s a wonder things aren’t worse than they already are. And unless we do everything in our power to mend the damages and take care of our resources, which includes other human beings, we are condemning ourselves and this planet to an early demise.

    Think about this. If each person with their one talent, ability, passion, did their part to the best of their ability, and mentored one person to do the same…what would happen.
    A chain reaction at best. I will be the first to admit that as a parent, as a human being I screwed up. Big time. Negative chain reaction is eating away within my family at this very moment.

    But is that going to stop me from trying to do the right thing now. And just because our ancestors screwed up with slavery should that prevent us from doing the right thing. Or maybe it was something else. Maybe it was all Christopher Columbus’s fault. Or maybe it was the computer age? Maybe it was God’s fault. Maybe this really isn’t happening. Maybe this is a bad dream and we really live on Utopia. Maybe I think too much.

    Any body want to help me with that list?

  59. […] Brian Clark’s post, “The True Power of the Blog” at CopyBlogger, brings a valid point across. Brian writes in reference to a post in Prince Campbell’s blog, “People have no idea how out of control things are down here..” […]

  60. well then. i guess most of us agree to disagree. but i read some of these comments where people are so upset by what is happening…that Austrailia and Great Britain are not doing enough to cover the aftermath of Katrina. i live about an hour and thirty minutes away from New Orleans. i was also hit by Katrina. my county is still in the process of recovering. where did all of the citizens of LA go?? most of them DID venture into other parts of the country. however, there is an incredible amount of “refugees” HERE-in MY county. and we’re still adjusting. i know some of you think that it was good for New Orleans-that New Orleans deservead it. sure, it was a rotten town. still is. nothing is going to change that. but then again, what about Gulfport and Biloxi? what about Waveland and Bay St. Louis? oh, that’s right. no one really knows where those places are. THOSE places are the ones that got hit the hardest. there is still debris on the ground from August 29, 2005. and those wonderful cities will never be as they once were. no matter how long and how hard people work to rebuild the Gulf Coast-because, remember, this hurricane spread from Mobile TO New Orleans…it WAS NOT JUST NEW ORLEANS THAT WAS HIT!!!-the Gulf Coast will NEVER be the same. it’s been almost a year. yes, conditions are still terrible in some places. no, it is not right. i’m not asking any of you to stop worrying or praying or thinking about the consequences of Katrina. i guess i’m just asking you to realize that there are other places that were hit hard. that, maybe, FEMA and Bush aren’t doing enough, but that we can’t stop it. that we, as Americans, need to support each other simply BECAUSE we are Americans. no matter what political party, no matter what faith, no matter if we hated New Orleans or loved it. because when it comes down to it, people are being hurt. people are being treated in ways we cannot imagine. then again, isn’t that hurt seen every day by the child whose mother beats her? cruelty will be found in society until the Lord Jesus finally reigns in heaven and on earth. we cannot stop that, neither can we accept it. i know i am rambling. i’m sorry to waste your time. but being a victim of Katrina, i had to say SOMETHING!!!

  61. well then. i guess most of us agree to disagree. but i read some of these comments where people are so upset by what is happening…that Austrailia and Great Britain are not doing enough to cover the aftermath of Katrina. i live about an hour and thirty minutes away from New Orleans. i was also hit by Katrina. my county is still in the process of recovering. where did all of the citizens of LA go?? most of them DID venture into other parts of the country. however, there is an incredible amount of “refugees” HERE-in MY county. and we’re still adjusting. i know some of you think that it was good for New Orleans-that New Orleans deservead it. sure, it was a rotten town. still is. nothing is going to change that. but then again, what about Gulfport and Biloxi? what about Waveland and Bay St. Louis? oh, that’s right. no one really knows where those places are. THOSE places are the ones that got hit the hardest. there is still debris on the ground from August 29, 2005. and those wonderful cities will never be as they once were. no matter how long and how hard people work to rebuild the Gulf Coast-because, remember, this hurricane spread from Mobile TO New Orleans…it WAS NOT JUST NEW ORLEANS THAT WAS HIT!!!-the Gulf Coast will NEVER be the same. it’s been almost a year. yes, conditions are still terrible in some places. no, it is not right. i’m not asking any of you to stop worrying or praying or thinking about the consequences of Katrina. i guess i’m just asking you to realize that there are other places that were hit hard. that, maybe, FEMA and Bush aren’t doing enough, but that we can’t stop it. that we, as Americans, need to support each other simply BECAUSE we are Americans. no matter what political party, no matter what faith, no matter if we hated New Orleans or loved it. because when it comes down to it, people are being hurt. people are being treated in ways we cannot imagine. then again, isn’t that hurt seen every day by the child whose mother beats her? cruelty will be found in society until the Lord Jesus finally reigns in heaven and on earth. we cannot stop that, neither can we accept it. i know i am rambling. i’m sorry to waste your time. but being a victim of Katrina, i had to say SOMETHING!!!

    God bless you all!

  62. nikhil85 Says:

    i can just say god bless you all.

  63. M. Friedman Says:

    What can I do to help? Do you know anyway to get involved to make a difference? This needs to change now and I want to help.

  64. We still talk about Katrina on our site to this day. We will make sure this gets posted immediately. This is just disturbing.

  65. Ray Says:

    Chartreuse, none of those links you posted in your addendum point to any corroborating stories that would back up the stuff in that email you posted. One of th elinks points to Schroeder’s post about low water pressure in the city. One points to the ACLU complaints about treatment of prisoners in the immediate aftermath of the storm, which while a serious concern is hardly new news. The stuff about not allowing media access to trailer residents is fact, but the policy was rescinded with days of the blogger and MSM jumping all over it.

    I have yet to see a machine gun down here.

    Don’t get me wrong, New Orleans is hurting right now but spinning unsourced uncorroborated scare stories does nobody any good. That’s the kind of rumormongering that right after the storm had the world convinced that babies were being raped in the Superdome.

  66. judyb Says:

    People will believe anything, won’t they?

  67. LIBBY Says:

    for the real story and not this bulls***, please check out http://www.gulfsails.blogspot.com . this fella lives in new orleans and knows what’s been going on. check out his entire weblog from the beginning!

  68. Steve Says:

    This stuff is NOT true! It is bogus myths that have been going on down here since K hit us. When you hit the link for “local New Orleans news sources” in your post it takes you to a forummon an internet site where anybody can write anything and is full of unsubstantiated bullshit.
    You people, who obviously are good at heart, are just plain stupid and gullible. That said, have at it, come on down here and, by all means, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, make it up. Everyone else does.

  69. Sandy Says:

    I am so tired of hearing about the Katrina, whose to blame, the rebuilding not going fast enough. The only real victims of that storm were the elderly, those trapped in nursing homes, hospitals & the young children that became victims because there families couldn’t get off their asses & get out of the storms path.
    I live up North in Ohio & I knew for 7 days before the storm hit that it was going to devestate the Gulf Coast. We also new that it was going to be a catagory 5 & that the levies were only rated to withstand a catagory 3. So, you try to convince me that these people didn’t know that this storm was going to be a killer.
    I believe that a majority of the ones that did stay were already set to rob & loot homes & businesses after the storm had passed, but they didn’t expect the levies to slowly leak during the night & flood the city by early morning light, so they were caught. They still ransacked homes & stores though, didn’t they? They didn’t let a little water stop them, did they? Then after, who did they hurt, there own people, go figure.
    Your Mayor down there, Ray Nagin, is the most useless human being I have seen in a long time. Between him & the Govenor of the State, they were the cause of the suffering & deaths that resulted from the storm. But yet , they are not being held responsible for not taking action fast enough after the storm had passed. Neither of them followed proper evecuation procedure before the storm hit & both of them walked around after the storm with their thumbs up there ass after the storm.
    Now, Ray Nagin is claiming racism because the clean-up & rebuilding is not going fast enough for him. Since he likes to be in front of the camera so much, you don’t see him with his sleeves rolled up & doing any clean-up in the city he claims to love so much. The only stories we hear up here are about all the volunteers that are down there doing all the work. Minus the elderly, the injured & the handicapped, why aren’t the people who actually lived down there cleaning up there properties & getting rid of the garbage? You know why, because they were evacuated & now there waiting for everyone else to do it for them. We have evacuees that were relocated up here & now they have been kicked out of there FREE housing & cut from anymore relief money because they almost killed a pizza delivery man they tried to rob. According to statistics around the country, alot of these evacuees have been commiting crimes in every state they have been relocated to, with Texas being the highest.
    I feel that if these people are healthy enough to live for free & commit crimes, their healthy enough to be sent back to their own state & clean-up & rebuild. That should be their punishment instead of being put in jail & being a drain on our cities resources, send the criminals & their families back to N O & make them WORK. That would be something new for alot of them. Seems like they are use to nothing but hand-outs. I worked my whole life & because of an accident, I’ll never be able to work again, but because I’m not a child or over 60, there’s no affordable housing for people in my perdicament or free medical, eye or dental care. But, god if your healthy & black you can get whatever you want, at least thats what I was told by a black woman at the section 8 office in Cleveland. So these people need to SHUT UP, quit complaining & get off there fat asses & start doing for themselves. If you keep listening to the news media, you would think the whole state was devestated, when it was only the coastline. I commend all those that went back & are trying to clean-up & rebuild. You don’t here much about those people, but people like that don’t make news.
    HEY, RAY NAGIN, why don’t you admit on T.V. that you screwed up royally & that you are to blame for most of the suffering that happened after the storm & quit pointing the finger at everyone else.

  70. […] Let’s remember Chartreuse’s post about FEMA and this debacle. […]

  71. illa Says:


  72. […] I think what is happening there now is one of the great tragedies of our time and one that we, as a nation, should be disappointed in allowing. […]

  73. […] Prince Campbell got an email from Katrina Victims saying that FEMA wouldn’t let them talk to reporters. It bothered him. He posted the email on his blog, but the memory of it wouldn’t go away. He had to do something. So today he made an offer — $1000, a rental car, a place to stay, and a fine video camera to go down there and get the real story. Look at it as a vacation that matters. . . . […]

  74. Informative. I also have an article about it.

  75. judyb Says:

    Do people ever check out these outrageous “rumors” or first hand reports?
    Y’all are sad.

  76. compare electricity and gas prices

    I am all for it. I wonder how many folks actually use these. I built a small store that grew into over 100 thousands items. Its crazy how fast it grows!. Anyway. I agree!

  77. good blog is dead blog:-) long live!

  78. Amjad Says:

    This is so typically American. The government does what it likes whilst the public are distracted. And the responses are also bear a typical American mentality.

    Oh I wish you folks would just open your eyes.

  79. […] When something important is going down my ex-wife is usually in the thick of it. […]

  80. Joe Bates Says:

    I am so sick of Louisiana and its crooked cops!!! I am white and I have been messed with several times by the cops i.e. Gretna putting false charges, kenner PD putting false charges, Jefferson Parish and Slidell putting false charges. I have a family , i dont use drugs, i dont hang out at night, i go to work and go home every day and this still happens to me all because the stupid cops are trying to make there quota!!

    its bs and it needs to stop,

    how are we going to get this to stop? any ideas?

  81. […] I posted an email sent to me by a friend about the atrocities going on in post-Katrina New Orleans many people were shocked and wondered, if the stories were true, where was the mainstream […]

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