Tag Archives: Hurricane Katrina

Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” New Orleans housing charity is in trouble

From NY Post: Brad Pitt is caught in a hurricane of litigation over defective houses his Make It Right foundation built in New Orleans and he can’t find a graceful exit from the storm.

Make It Right appears to be barely functioning. The charity reportedly stopped building new houses in 2016. Its website hasn’t been updated since December 2015, and social-media accounts went idle in mid-2017. Like most nonprofit orgs, Make It Right has publicly posted its tax filings and financial statements for several years, but the last available filing is for the 2014 tax year. Years ago, the charity partnered with other groups to build veterans housing in Newark, New Jersey, and affordable apartments in Kansas City, Missouri.

New Orleans homeowners are suing Pitt and the foundation, claiming fraud over defective designs and shoddy construction. Pitt and other former foundation officers are petitioning to be removed from that suit, and he and the organization are suing the architect who oversaw the project in the city’s devastated Lower Ninth Ward. The charity has made repairs to rotting and collapsed porches.

In December, the city of New Orleans warned the 109 Make It Right homeowners that natural-gas meters in their houses might be improperly installed — a dangerous condition that could lead to gas leaks and explosions.

For Pitt — an architectural buff who hoped to pioneer new designs for affordable, green housing — the venture has been an embarrassing disaster. “The easy thing for him would have been to walk away, but then he would be accused of abandoning the people he promised to help,” my source said.

Pitt — after buying a mansion in the French Quarter and raising millions for the foundation after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — was busy making movies. He let other people run the project, which aimed to build 150 green-energy houses.
“Brad was a co-founder, but he wasn’t on the board for years,” the source said. “When the problems arose, he committed to help make it right.”

Ron Austin, the lawyer representing the homeowners, told me, “According to their 2015 tax filings, the foundation is insolvent. If Mr. Pitt succeeds in getting himself removed from the lawsuit, these residents will be without any remedy. It’s obvious he is trying to cut and run.

Austin said his clients are stuck with 30-year mortgages. “It’s sad and scary. They don’t have anywhere to go, and they can’t afford to move.”

Emails and phone calls to the foundation were not answered.


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Brain-eating amoeba in metro New Orleans tap water

My husband and I have a morbid joke about the United States becoming a Third World country. Alas, the joke is getting less and less funny, as it becomes more and more real.

blood worms

First it was an Oklahoma town’s drinking water being infested with worms — icky blood worms, the larvae of small flies, up to half an inch long. (See photo above). Town officials have no idea how the worms got through the water filtering system.

Now we are told the tap water in New Orleans is infected with brain-eating bacteria.


The CDC says it's found Naegleria fowleri, an almost always deadly amoeba, in drinking water supplies for the first time in the United States.Naegleria fowleri, an almost always deadly brain-eating amoeba

Maggie Fox reports for NBC News, Sept. 16, 2013, that officials said a deadly brain amoeba that’s killed two boys this year has been found in a U.S. drinking water supply system for the first time — in metropolitan  New Orleans.

The Naegleria fowleri parasite killed a 4-year-old boy who likely got it playing on a back yard Slip ‘N Slide, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say. Tests show the bacteria is present throughout the water supply system in St. Bernard Parish, directly southeast of New Orleans.

Dr. Michael Beach, head of water safety for the CDC, said: “We have never seen Naegleria colonizing a treated water supply before. From a U.S. perspective this is a unique situation.”

N. fowleri is a heat-loving amoeba that’s usually harmless, unless it gets up someone’s nose. It’s not entirely clear how or why, but in rare instances it can attach to one of the nerves that takes smell signals to the brain. There, the amoeba reproduces and the brain swelling and infection that follows is almost always deadly.

It killed a Miami-area boy last month — 12-year-old Zachary Reyna — and a 12-year-old Arkansas girl, Kali Hardig, is recovering slowly after an unusual experimental treatment.

N. fowleri is usually found in warm, fresh waters all over the world. It’s been seen in hot springs and swimming holes, freshwater lakes and even in neti pots used to clean out sinuses. Incomplete disinfection probably allowed it to thrive in St. Bernard, which has its own independent water system.

“The key to this is understanding that this amoeba is kind of a heat-loving bug,” Beach said in a telephone interview. “If water temperatures start going up, you really need to be extremely careful about maintaining the disinfectant. The farther you go from a plant, the more likely you are for the disinfectant levels to get low.”

N. fowleri has only been reported in about 130 people in the U.S. since 1962, making it extremely rare. Kali Hardig is only the third person known to have survived infection. It was formally identified in 1965, in Australia, where it did contaminate drinking water systems for a while, says Beach.

“In Australia, it was basically water being pumped from rivers and overland,” he says. The water got warm over long distances across the desert, and the amoeba thrived. Three children died after being immersed in baths and wading pools. Better disinfection has meant no cases since 1981, Australian health officials say.

Lousiana health department spokesman Ken Pastorick says officials are flushing out and decontaminating the St. Bernard Parish system, a process that may take several weeks: “They have shocked the water, so to speak. What has caused the problem here is low chlorination.” Pastorick says other Louisiana water systems are safe.

Beach says proper chlorination should take care of the amoeba contamination. He stresses that water is safe to drink and bathe in even if it’s contaminated. Stomach acid appears to kill the amoeba, and people can protect themselves by not snorting water up their noses, or not allowing it to be forced up the nose.

St. Bernard water customers are being cautioned not to fill kiddie pools with tap water, or to use other water toys such as the sliding game that the 4-year-old boy who died was playing on. Topping up swimming pools with hoses is a bad, idea, too, unless the water first goes through the disinfection system.

Louisiana state epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard says the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 may ultimately be to blame. Low-lying St. Bernard Parish, badly hit by the flooding that Katrina caused, was almost completely depopulated. Ratard explains, “You have a lot of vacant lots and a lot of parts of the system where water is sitting there under the sun and not circulating.” That provided a perfect opportunity for the amoeba to multiply. Without enough chlorine to kill them, they can spread.


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Alabama city backs off on disarming citizens in a "disaster"

Here’s an example of the power of the New Media of bloggers.
We may not be successful at dislodging corruption and incompetence from the White House and Congress, but in case after case, the volunteer army of citizen bloggers are successful in countering small petty tyrants.
A recent example is the mayor and city council of Guntersville, a city in Marshall County, Alabama. Located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River on Lake Guntersville, the population of Guntersville was 8,197, according to the 2010 census.
On February 26, 2013, Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars sounded the alert that Guntersville’s mayor Leigh Dollar was working with city officials to pass an ordinance that would give police the power to “disarm individuals” during a disaster.

The new rule would allow authorities to confiscate guns of “unruly” people during an extreme weather event such as the April 2011 tornadoes or any other emergency. “The ordinance states officers could disarm individuals, if necessary, reports ABC 31. “Dollar says the proposal is just way to give officers more authority to protect themselves.”

Dollar denied that the ordinance would be used to take away constitutional rights, but residents questioned why authorities would need to pass a new ordinance given that police already have the power to arrest citizens who are being “unruly,” whether armed or not.

Watson called the proposed ordinance “a chilling example of how the second amendment is being assaulted via the back door” and reminds us of what happened in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when the New Orleans Police, National Guard troops, and U.S. Marshals confiscated firearms and only law enforcement was allowed to have guns. The National Guard conducted warrantless house-to-house searches, targeting not just Hurricane-hit areas under the pretext of stopping violent looters, but also high and dry homes that were not even affected by the storm.

The Guntersville gun grab ordinance would be on the city council agenda at their meeting on March 4th.


After the story went viral, relayed by citizen blogger after blogger, Guntersville’s mayor Leigh Dollar backed down!
On February 28, 2013, four days before the city council’s meeting to consider the gun-confiscation ordinance, the City of Guntersville issued this statement on its website:




It was never the intent of the City of Guntersville Mayor or City Council to disarm individuals during a disaster.

As of February 27, 2013, the Emergency Preparedness Ordinance was officially withdrawn from consideration.


We won this one against little tyrants! 😀


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They Sent My Census Form Back

In answer to the question,
‘Do you have any dependents?’,
I put … ’12 million illegal immigrants, crack heads, unemployable
bastards, the cast of The Jerry Springer Show, 140,000 people in our 133
penal establishments in California,
leftovers from Katrina, half of Mexico,
much of the Congress & staff, most of the Senate and a Muslim President!’
Apparently this wasn’t an acceptable answer.
I worked really hard on this.    ” umm Gross Alert”
~Steve~       H/T   Miss May.

I mean Really Really Hard. Can someone show me how to type with my elbows?

I think I Know Why.

I guess skippy needs some more money.


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The Great Flood That Everyone Forgot

There is an anonymously-authored article that has gone viral because it perfectly articulates what many Americans think. It was posted on the Arizona Tea Party website, among other places.
The article is about the Great Flood of 2009. That spring, the Red River hit a record level of 40.8 feet and flooded wide swaths of North Dakota and Iowa.
What’s that, you say? What great flood of 2009?
I can’t blame you, because I spent more than half an hour this morning “googling” for news on the flood, but found very little — which just goes to show the article is right.
By the way, the same article can be written about the Great Floods of 2011 along the Missouri River.
H/t beloved fellow Joseph.

The Great Flood That Everyone Forgot
Seems like there is a big difference in attitudes when it comes to geography
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, the media blamed the lack of response on the Bush administration’s dislike of black people. Can we then conclude that the lack of media coverage and response by the Obama administration that Obama doesn’t like white folks?

Where are the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help in restoring Iowa and North Dakota and helping the folks affected by the floods?

Where is good old Michael Moore?

Why is the media NOT asking the tough questions about why the federal government hasn’t solved this problem?
Where are the FEMA trucks and trailers and food services?

Why isn’t the Federal government moving Iowa people into free hotels in Chicago and Minneapolis?

When will Spike Lee say that the Federal government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?

Where are Sean Penn, Bono, and the Dixie Chicks?

Where are all the looters stealing high-end tennis shoes, cases of beer and television sets?

When will we hear Iowa Governor Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a ‘vanilla’ Iowa because that’s what God wants?

Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of shootings at rescuers, of rapes and murder?

Where are all the people screaming that Barack Obama hates white, rural people?

Where are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Oprah, and Ray Coniff Jr?

How come you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever again?

Where are the gov’t. bail out vouchers? The government debit cards?

There must be one hell of a big difference between the value of the people of Iowa and value of the people of Louisiana.

And indeed there is!

From the U.S. Census Bureau:


  • Total population in 2009: 3,007,856
  • 93.9% white; 2.8% black

North Dakota:

  • Total population in 2009: 646,844
  • 91.9% white; 1.2% black

New Orleans:

  • Total population in 2006: 223,388
  • 28.1% white; 67.3% black


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