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Mayor Ray Nagin told a crowd gathered at City Hall for a Martin Luther King Day march that New Orleans will be "chocolate" again.
"We ask black people
... It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," Nagin said Monday. "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
The city was more than 60% black before Hurricane Katrina displaced about three-quarters of its population, but spared several predominantly white neighborhoods.
The city wasn't always disproportionately black. It wasn't until the 1970s when many whites fled to Chalmette, coupled with government incentives to poor unwed black mothers which made it economically attractive for them to stay unmarried and continually pregnant, that the city's population began to darken.
Since Nagin claims that God wanted New Orleans to become a "chocolate town", does that mean by extension that God is in favor of white flight? What about the practice of having baby after baby while living off welfare, with no husband in sight? Does God also approve of that? My white bible says that immorality is a sin, and that if a man won't work, he shouldn't be allowed to eat, either. Presumably this last judgement extends to women as well.
What about slavery? Surely the ancestors of the black people in New Orleans didn't swim here from Africa --- does Nagin think that it was God's will that the black man be stolen from his home all those years ago, put on slave ships, and sold on the auction block right here in our unfair city?
I don't believe God intended for any of this to turn out the way it has. The tree has fallen, however, and if we sincerely trust the Lord, He'll help us to cope with where it happens to lie. However, doing so might require us to humble ourselves and act like we love our complimentary-skinned brothers once in a while (I think both bibles say something about this), instead of revealing the divisive, hateful contents of our heart at public rallies.
NOTE: Here's another link to the story.
I was born in Louisiana and lived here for most of my life. We cajuns have always lived with the nagging fear of death and destruction falling from the skies. We remember Betsy and Camille. We've also seen the loss of our barrier islands and marshes that served as a buffer against the storms and knew that something bad was going to happen sooner or later.
My family is from Houma and the surrounding communities, about 60 miles south of New Orleans. Parts of Houma are 12 feet above sea level, whereas New Orleans averages about 5 feet below sea level, so in my seven years of living in the Big City, my first choice of where to evacuate (I've done this three times now, go figure) was south to Houma, a direction that always puzzled quite a number of my friends.
When I finally went to bed that Saturday, I suspected that the storm would at least sideswipe New Orleans. If memory serves, the winds were up to 135 MPH, but when I woke up 4 hours later at 6:30 AM (thanks, Amber), they had increased by 30 MPH. I couldn't believe that the windspeed had increased so much in such a short time. The storm looked huge on TV, and its eye stared at me onimously. I knew right then that we had to leave Metairie. We lived right off Metaire Road in Old Metairie at about 8 feet elevation, but I had been listening to Bob Breck for 7 years rant and rave about the bowl filling up and drowning everything in the entire metro area, so sticking around was not really an option.
To tell the truth, I really didn't feel comfortable weathering the storm at my parents' house. I was sure the storm was going to hit Terrebonne Parish. Andrew back in the 90s did considerable damage to the parish, and my Mom said that when the hurricane passed by, they thought the roof was going to come off due to the high winds. Fortunately, their roof sustained only minor damage. I was afraid that Katrina would pass even closer to their house, and that perhaps even the eye wall would pass over the area. My heart was filled with fear about the winds, because of the fact that in the space of just a few hours, the winds increased by 30 MPH, and by late morning they were reaching 175 MPH. I feared that they were going to strike our parish at speeds approaching 200 MPH, which would totally destroy any house standing in its path, in my mind. After talking it over with my Mom, I reluctantly decided to head down to their house to ride out the storm.
I managed to get our two vehicles packed and on the road by 12:30PM Sunday. I took what I deemed essential --- my business records, a few data CDs, 3 laptops, my desktop and a new server I had just acquired, the technical books I had recently been studying, and a few changes of clothes. My wife also packed the things she thought were necessary into her car and we left the city.
Airline Highway was jammed with cars, so we took the overpass to Jefferson Highway, made it to the Huey P. Long Bridge, and headed westbound down US Highway 90. As I anticipated, there was a bit of traffic from Avondale to Boutte. Once we got past the I-310 interchange, traffic was flowing quite well, and I think I got up to 65 MPH for a mile or so. However, as we approached the Raceland exit, there was a line of cars stretching for about a mile, and we were completely stopped for probably 20 minutes. Finally we started moving, and I considered getting off at the Kraemer exit, which would have brought us to Highway 308, but I decided against it and immediately regretted it. I did get off at Raceland once we started to move again, and 308 was clear, as was old Highway 90 (I forget the new name for it). We didn't have any more trouble getting to Mom's house.
During the drive to Mom's, my wife and I communicated with a pair of walkie-talkies I had picked up at Home Depot a few months earlier. I hadn't ever used them until the hurricane, but they worked very well, to my surprise. Incidentally, the trip normally takes 1 hour, but with all the traffic we made it in about 2.5 hours.
My company provides occasional tech staffing for a smallish DSL provider less than 100 miles from New Orleans, and I was notified late Friday that as of October 1, they will be shutting off DSL service to their customers. I figured something like this would happen, since I started seeing commercials a week ago advertising DSL for $24.95 from BellSouth. My client (who asked me not to tell anyone about their decision until after they notified their customers, which is why I'm being evasive here) simply can't compete with $25 per month DSL.
In other words, Bell lowered their retail rates, but not the wholesale rates they quote to third-party vendors. The whole point of the AT&T breakup in 1984 was to stop Bell from using monopolistic practices against its competitors. I understand that the bottom dropped out of the long distance market a few years ago and they're looking for new revenue, and I'm also at least slightly sympathetic about their potential impending losses due to the the VoIP revolution, but I still say that this latest bit of deregulation was a bad move. With the stroke of a pen, the Federal Cracker Company has wiped out an entire industry.
Note to independent DSL providers: if you aren't partnered with an ILEC, you're toast.
Don't like my selections? Go get your own guns.
Seriously, I already have an old bolt-action
I'd like to step up a bit, and actually start practicing on a regular schedule. The air rifle can obviously be fired in stealth-mode and can replace the bolt-action for squirrels, and I always thought the Luger-style design looked cool, hence the MK6
We have a site with a photos folder that is around 30 GB in size. This folder is causing us trouble when trying to download as these files are enormous and we keep erroring out on download. We think it may be because of the naming convention
Here is what we need. We need YOU to troubleshoot as to why they are not downloading right,install a different type of FTP mod and try downloading again, or find some other method to back up this folder remotely that works and re-upload this folder to our new server. If you can successfully download this folder to say a backup drive that we can send you, that can work as well.
Can you do this?
I guess I'm not a very good blogger. I'll try to do better, I really will.
So what's been happening?
In other news, I'm picking up a little work here and there, so we've got a little money coming in. I'm really hoping to start getting some new clients who are interested in putting Linux in their server rooms (and on their desktops, hey...) here in New Orleans.
To all those who sent their good wishes regarding my wife's ordeal, I am very grateful for the kindness you've shown to us. Thanks. I pray that when you get into a jam, the Lord helps you, as He has helped us.
Crash and Burn
My main server had been giving me trouble, and I had been looking for parts to put together a replacement (I can't afford new hardware at this point) for about 3 months. Last week I was given a motherboard and chip, and put them in a case I already had along with some RAM, etc., and put up the new box. I had everything copied over to the new box and had most of the services working correctly by Friday.
Friday evening, however, the building housing my server burned down, and all was lost, including my new server. Fortunately, I have the old box here at my house, and was able to secure another location having a fast enough connection to meet my needs, and I was able to commandeer their firewall box and press it into service as a host for all of my stuff on Monday. I've gotten most of the services working, but have been spending most of my time this week working with the business owner that lost all of his stuff in the fire, locating backups, purchasing a new server for his business, working with the telephone and data providers, etc. They are having to start their entire business over from scratch. At some point I'll have another box to put up at their new location. Possibly I will be able to fix the old box and reuse that one.
I've been trying to rustle up some business selling PCs. An interesting angle I've come up with is a site I've been working on for a while now, a church directory portal for the New Orleans metro area. It's a LAMP site that's pretty useful, in my opinion, if you happen to be a churchgoer in New Orleans. If the site gets any kind of traffic, hopefully I'll get some click-through business from it. If nothing else, it's an opportunity to improve my PHP skills.
Another thing I've been doing is studying like mad to take a couple of the CompTia certification tests. I've always downed certs, but I figured out that the stuff that's covered on the I-Net+ test is the same stuff that I've been doing for 4 years now as a linux sysadmin. For the price of a book, a couple of months' reading it to make sure I fill in any knowledge gaps, and $185 (gaa...) for the test, I too can have a piece of paper to wave around in front of interviewers. The Network+ exam is my next planned conquest, and hopefully I can knock both of them out by summer's end. LPI (now that is a worthy goal, IMHO) by the end of the year, anyone?
I hate my job.
Actually, I love my job. I'm a network admin for a large law firm. We unfortunately have to support windows/novell users, but we (me and the other admin, my boss) have serveral linux servers, and use linux/oss whenever possible. I maintain the linux stuff, and all of the windows boxen. The people I work with are great, it's a lot of fun, etc. It's just the management that I hate. That and the fact that I work for lawyers.
I also do a little linux/networking/internet/whatever consulting on the side.
Other than that, I'm a preacher of the gospel. I do missions work and evangelism. I used to have a radio program (that's programme for all of my british friends), and will start it back up once my cashflow gets better.
I like to fish, plus I hunt some. I'm a patriotic American. I'm married. I'm bored (which i why I'm writing in a blog).
I'm one of the leaders at my local linux users group. Irc? I'm mmlj4 on EFnet, freeload and rhizomatic.
I'm a cajun, unfortunately living in the cesspool known as New Orleans at the moment.
I'm a trumpet player, although about all I do now is keyboards, thanks to TMJ; I also sing, and write a little.
Ok, that's enough about me. What about you? Oh yeah, that's right, I dont have comments enabled.