How You Can Provide Direct Help To New Orleans

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Religious Romance, Spiritual Satisfaction, Holy Love at Big Church

New Orleans citizens can get personal help from you, right now. You can send necessities such as blankets, flashlights, mosquito repellent, portable toilets, and water filters/distillers. Instead of sending money through the 'American Red Herring' - very little of which actually helps those intended - You can send the necessities of life to our fellow Americans and remain secure in the fact that none of what you donate is being scalped to support war, "homeland insecurity" or the deep pockets of a tax-sheltered CEO.

Michael Moore provides important contact information for sending your donations where they are need most right now, New Orleans. Although his double negative PR as well as that of Cindy Sheehan's has had a strangely positive influence on a certain pagan zealot who claims that he is "born again," many of you believe that Michael Moore is the enemy. As devotees of Our Spirit World we must rely on actual truth - not manufactured 'truth' that only exists by word of mouth. With that in mind, please read the Following by Michael Moore that could help answer questions on how to get back to the basics of charity:

A lot of you have written me to ask what you can do. Many don't know who to trust. Many want to do more than write a check. You are right to think that writing checks to relief agencies will not get water and aid to people in the next 48 hours. Checks will be needed later and can be written later.

I have a way, though, for each and every one of us to do something today that can affect people's lives TODAY.

For the past few days I've been working with a group that, I guarantee you, will get direct aid to the people who need it most.

Cindy Sheehan, the brave woman who dared to challenge Mr. Bush at his summer home, has now sent her Camp Casey from in front of Bush's ranch to the outskirts of New Orleans. The Veterans for Peace have taken all the equipment and staff of volunteers and set up camp in Covington, Louisiana, on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. They are accepting materials and personally distributing them to those in need.

This is where we come in. We need to ship supplies to them immediately. Today they need the following:

Paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, Pedialyte, baby items in general, powder, lotion, handy wipes, sterile gloves, electrolytes, LARGE cans of veggies, school supplies, and anything else to lift people's spirits.

You can ship these items by following the instructions on VFPRoadTrips.org. Or you can deliver them there in person. The roads to Covington are open. Here's how to get there. You can drop them off or you can stay and participate (if you stay, you'll be camping so bring your own tent and gear and mosquito spray).

If you can't ship these items or go there in person, then go to VFPRoadTrips.org and make an immediate donation through PayPal. Camp Casey-Covington will have immediate access to this cash and can buy the items themselves from stores that are open in Louisiana (all donations to Veterans for Peace, are tax deductible).

Each day I will post up-to-the minute information as to what is needed and the progress Camp Casey is making. Please visit MichaelMoore.com often and do what you can to help.

Many other groups are also doing good work. MoveOn.org has set up a system for people to offer rooms in their homes to the survivors.

There is no time to waste. People are suffering and dying. Each of us can do something. There is no other alternative.

Thank you in advance for your help. Tomorrow, we will take care of the other work we need to do about the ideologically hamstrung incompetents in charge.

Yours,
Michael Moore
Mike @ MichaelMoore.com
MichaelMoore.com

You got that message? Good! In essence, the people of New Orleans need all kinds of camping equipment - nothing fancy, just the bare necessities. The one source of camping equipment that has been very trust worthy to me is campmor.com. I recommend them because they have the best service with the lowest prices on the web. First, go to VFPRoadTrips.org to find out what they need in New Orleans at this time and where to send it. Then go to campmor.com, order whatever you can donate, and tell them that it is a donation for the New Orleans Citizens Disaster Relief.

You can also believe that these victims - especially the children - are malnourished because they only have access to MRE prepared foods and very little of it. You can help them by sending vitamins and other necessary supplements. What's more - You don't have to break the bank because you can get Thousands of Vitamins and Supplements - Up to 75% OFF! at VitaCost. There are nutritional supplements that the kids should be getting - especially since it's near flu season. When you order tell them it's a donation for the New Orleans Kids.

Thank you for your time and God Bless What's Left of a Truly Free America.


HELP VICTIMS OF KATRINA

You can donate directly to local charities to give immediate help to those most in need.
To those planning to donate money and other resources to the Red Cross and related 'mainstream' charities, I urge your consideration of other, more grassroots organizations. These various grassroots groups may be more appropriate and effective for getting assistance to the victims of Katrina. A list of organizations is at this link - CLICK NOW. any suggestions for additions to this list would be appreciated.

Please read "..Establishment charities have criminal history of stealing disaster funds..." at Health Shopper


Eyewitness Report from New Orleans

There are those of you who may think, "Why should I help a bunch of looters and pillagers? They have already stolen their share of shotguns, Nike shoes, and diamond jewelry. What more do they need?" Actually, what you saw was a riot. If you saw the television broadcasts of the escapades on main street, then you saw very few rioters in contrast to the thousands of people who tried to make their way out of the city to safety. In the words of the people in the White House, I suppose you could think of those rioters as "insurgents" or even "terrorists" upon reports of their actions. After reading the following eyewitness report from New Orleans, anyone may wonder if an insurgent is simply a subjugated peon of society who pushes back against a system that would sooner bury them than help them. According to FOX news, "the most powerful voice in broadcasting," they reported rapings and shootings. OK. If they know about this, then why did they not show the victims or their distraught families. We all know how FOX news is hell at getting hold of distraught families and putting them on TV.

Back to the rioters, we have to consider what could possibly have set them off at that particular time that they should descend into anarchy and chaos. Was it the hurricane? Was it the flood? Was it an "animal instinct" fight for survival? All three? Or was it one, small, consistent phrase, "You're on your own," from the police officials, who did nothing to help the people who they were supposed to be protecting?

FOX news, "the most powerful voice in broadcasting," along with other big media outlets seem to have the worst time with their video equipment when victims of the New Orleans disaster attempt to give their account of what happened. Guess what? Here is one story that will NEVER be censored from one of my own California Alumni:

Sept 5, 2005

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded. Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived at the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay.

Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowd cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts.

Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in. Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the f*cking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

Lyn H. Lofland
Research Professor
Department of Sociology University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616 USA
Telephone: 530-756-8699/752-1585
FAX: 530-752-0783
e-mail: lhlofland @ ucdavis.edu
"The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe" [Proverbs 29: 25]

09/13/05 - This story just in: B*sh admits that the federal government's response to the New Orleans Disaster was less than perfect:

President Says He's Responsible in Storm Lapses
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and RICHARD W. STEVENSON
The president suggested he was unsure if the country was prepared for another catastrophic storm or terrorist attack....
Did he say that he would try to improve the system in case of another disaster?... no.


ActForChange brought to you by Working Assets

Let Katrina Survivors Vote
Iraq, South Dakota, the Supreme Court. In the shadow of the Bush administration, the list of our losses continues to grow, while the human cost compounds. But America perhaps knows no greater shame in the Bush years than our government's failure to protect its own citizens -- those who were poor and black, that is -- in the flood that followed Hurricane Katrina.

On Saturday April 22, New Orleans voters will go to the polls to cast their ballots for mayor and city council. Those elected will help determine whether the survivors of Katrina will have a "right to return" to the city they love or a say in the distribution of billions of dollars in much needed funds for rebuilding. Sadly, because of inaction by the federal government, those most affected by Katrina will be the least likely to vote.

Half of the voting population in New Orleans has been displaced, and the vast majority of those voters are African American. A local political consultant has said that he thinks that 90 percent of the people who are going to vote are within 100 miles of City Hall. That means, it's of vital importance that we help get African American voters in and around New Orleans to the polls on Election Day, and fast track aid to bring affordable housing -- and displaced Katrina families -- back to New Orleans for good.

3 things you can do to help rebuild democracy in New Orleans

1 Tell Congress to stop bickering and start rebuilding New Orleans
The main reason that many families have not been able to return to New Orleans is the lack of affordable housing. While the politicians in Washington bicker, Louisiana residents languish in desperate need of federal funding for housing and flood protection. With another global-warming-fueled hurricane season right around the corner, it's time for Congress to fast track much-needed aid.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has taken a step in the right direction by amending a stingy House aid bill to include additional resources, including $4.2 billion to provide affordable housing for Louisiana's Katrina survivors.

Tell your Senators: Immediately approve important new funding for housing and flood protection in Louisiana by supporting the Senate Appropriations Committee's amendments to the supplemental appropriation bill (H.R. 4939).

Take action!


2 Volunteer to help Get Out The Vote in New Orleans:
If you can get to New Orleans to volunteer on Saturday April 22, you will be an instrumental part of efforts to help Katrina survivors cast a vote that counts on Election Day. Please join us.

New Orleans elections are held on Saturday. And parties are a tradition in New Orleans. We need 40 volunteers to help us throw parties to increase turnout at two of the largest polling places serving African American voters.

Learn more about volunteering
to help get out the vote:

Learn more about volunteering to help get out the vote at the University of New Orleans (Lakefront district)

Learn more about volunteering to help get out the vote at the Voting Machine Warehouse (N.O. East).


100 volunteers are needed to help monitor the polls and help work the neighborhoods to get out the vote on Election Day.

Click here to learn more about Election Day Poll Monitoring


It's not just about voting, it's about making it possible to come home again. ACORN, one of the largest and best organizations fighting for the rights of the poor, is helping New Orleans families reclaim their community, one house at a time. After the election, volunteers are needed to help clear the debris from flooded homes so that low-income families can return to New Orleans and start the process of rebuilding. Housing is provided and help is urgently needed.

Click here for more information about Rebuilding New Orleans


3 If you can't volunteer, forward this email to someone who might.
Tell your friends about how they can volunteer to help New Orleans get back on its feet. Forward this email to anyone you know who might be able to join us in New Orleans on April 22 or help begin the rebuilding process.


Thank you for working to build a better world.

Will Easton
Manager
ActForChange.com/ Working Assets




Evacuee Study Finds Declining Health

By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: April 18, 2006

Neither the author of this article nor any of the "health officials" mentioned recommend essential nutrients in any of these stress-related cases, so I have taken it upon myself to quote the altruistic medical doctors quoted at in the necessity of proper nutrition in order to combat the ailments mentioned here:

Families displaced by Hurricane Katrina are suffering from mental disorders and chronic conditions like asthma and from a lack of prescription medication and health insurance at rates that are much higher than average, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Children's Health Fund, is the first to examine the health issues of those living in housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 650 families living in trailers or hotels, it provides a grim portrait of the hurricane's effects on some of the poorest victims, showing gaps in the tattered safety net pieced together from government and private efforts.

Among the study's findings: 34 percent of displaced children suffer from conditions like asthma, anxiety and behavioral problems, compared with 25 percent of children in urban Louisiana before the storm. Fourteen percent of them went without prescribed medication at some point during the three months before the survey, which was conducted in February, compared with 2 percent before the hurricane.

The "behavioral disorders" were already prevalent in children at about one third {and a lot more who did not participate in the "Mailman" study} of the adolescent population. Since most of the children are from poor families it is logical to assume that their diets were already not fulfilling their proper nutritional requirements. Even if any of these poor families had their own gardens, they still would not have the resources to grow a nutritionally fulfilling, mineralized crop. Now, we look at how stress has become a factor:

Nearly a quarter of school-age children were either not enrolled in school at the time of the survey or had missed at least 10 days of school in the previous month. Their families had moved an average of 3.5 times since the storm.

Their parents and guardians were doing no better. Forty-four percent said they had no health insurance, many because they lost their jobs after the storm, and nearly half were managing at least one chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. Thirty-seven percent described their health as "fair" or "poor," compared with 10 percent before the hurricane.

More than half of the mothers and other female caregivers scored "very low" on a commonly used mental health screening exam, which is consistent with clinical disorders like depression or anxiety. Those women were more than twice as likely to report that at least one of their children had developed an emotional or behavioral problem since the storm.

Instead of being given a chance to recover, the study says, "Children and families who have been displaced by the hurricanes are being pushed further toward the edge."

Officials at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said the study's findings were consistent with what they had seen in the field.

"I think it told us in number form what we knew in story form," said Erin Brewer, the medical director of the Office of Public Health at the department. "We're talking about a state that had the lowest access to primary care in the country before the storm. And a population within that context who were really, really medically underserved and terribly socially vulnerable."

Ms. Brewer said that some of the trailer sites were regularly visited by mobile health clinics, but acknowledged that such programs were not universally available. Neither Congress nor the State of Louisiana eased eligibility requirements for Medicaid after the storm, and because each state sets its own guidelines, some families who received insurance and food stamps in other states were no longer eligible when they returned home.

While state officials said $100 million in federal block grants was in the pipeline for primary care and mental health treatment, the study's authors said the need was urgent.

"Children do not have the ability to absorb six or nine months of high levels of stress and undiagnosed or untreated medical problems" without long-term consequences, said Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Mailman and co-founder of the Children's Health Fund.

The households included in the study were randomly selected from lists provided by FEMA. They included families living in Louisiana in hotels, trailer parks managed by the disaster agency and regular trailer parks with some FEMA units. A random sample of children in the surveyed households was selected for more in-depth questioning.

For comparison, the study used a 2003 survey of urban Louisiana families conducted by the National Survey of Children's Health.

David Abramson, the study's principal investigator, said it was designed to measure the social and environmental factors that help children stay healthy: consistent access to health care and mental health treatment, engagement in school, and strong family support.

The National Survey of Children's Health has been around for years. Unfortunately, this national "Health" agency reports NO data on the level of essential nutrients made available to American Children on a regular basis. The data from this agency is, however, used in tandem with the multi-national pharmaceutical companies, their hand-picked counselors, and academic committees in choosing which anti-depressants and anti-psychotics should be mandatory for "problem" children. Of course, if the families of poor "problem" children such as the ones in New Orleans cannot afford these drugs, then they are segregated by denying health care and financial support. Unfortunately, the way the system works, these poor families have to keep looking for health or financial support in order to survive, so they have to keep moving; this, in turn, causes stress in the family.

We shall examine how malnourished people live on a "metabolic cliff" according to Derrick Lonsdale, M.D.

In the Gulf Coast region, where child health indicators like infant mortality and poverty rates were already among the highest in the country, Dr. Abramson said, "all of their safety net systems seem to have either been stretched or completely dissipated."

The study's authors raise the prospect of irreversible damage if children miss out now on normal development fostered by stable schools and neighborhoods.

One couple told interviewers their three children had been enrolled in five schools since the hurricane, in which one child's nebulizer and breathing machine were lost. The equipment has not been replaced because the family lost its insurance when the mother lost her job, they said, and the child has since been hospitalized with asthma.

In another household, a woman caring for seven school-age grandchildren, none of whom were enrolled in school at the time of the survey, said she was battling high blood pressure, diabetes and leukemia.

That woman, Elouise Kensey, agreed to be interviewed by a reporter, but at the appointed hour was on her way to the hospital, where she was later admitted. "I've been in pain since January, and I'm going to see what's wrong," she said. "It's become unbearable."

One woman who participated in the survey, Danielle Taylor, said in an interview that she had not been able to find psychiatric care for herself � she is bipolar � or her 6-year-old daughter, who not only went through the hurricane but had also, two years before, been alone with Ms. Taylor's fianc� when he died.

The public clinic Ms. Taylor used to visit has closed since the storm, she said, and the last person to prescribe her medication was a psychiatrist who visited the shelter she was in four months ago. No doctors visit the trailer park in Slidell, La., where she has been staying, she said.

Ms. Taylor said that her daughter, Ariana Rose, needed a referral to see a psychiatrist, but that her primary care physician had moved to Puerto Rico. "She has horrible rages over nothing," Ms. Taylor said. "She needs help, she needs to talk to somebody."

The survey found that of the children who had primary doctors before the storm, about half no longer did, the parents reported. Of those who said their children still had doctors, many said they had not yet tried to contact them.

I'm sure that the authors for this "Mailman" study went to "stable schools," but we must also consider what represents any kind of "stability" for impoverished children in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. The only real stability that children in poverty have to look forward to are their friends and families. The lack of authority figures in a structured environment makes no difference, one way or another, to malnourished children: Malnutrition causes higher brain functions to revert back to the primitive limbic system. Here is the issue as presented by Dr. Lonsdale at Vitamin Shopper:

Here we must note that the brain uses more energy than any other tissue in the body and this is particularly important in the lower, limbic system brain since it is the "computer" (CPU kernel) and works 24 hours a day. We may not be aware of this inordinate consumption of energy since there is no obvious physical evidence. We can envision the use of energy when we run a mile or dig a ditch and are not surprised by the fatigue that follows. But those that use their brains for their livelihood know that this is more fatiguing than digging ditches. Thus, we find that there are many conditions, particularly in growing children, where the process of oxidation (the combination of fuel with oxygen) is compromised and the result is various forms of mental abnormality. That is why Hyperbaric Oxygen (pure oxygen administered under pressure) can be so beneficial in many different conditions. On the other hand, the commonest deficiency in this equation is the catalysts, the vitamins and minerals, and that is why their administration is invariably beneficial to virtually every disease known.

Why do we have to use what is sometimes called megadoses of vitamins and minerals in the treatment of disease? Well, these catalysts are necessary for the efficient use of the enzymes that do all the actions of the body that enable us to orchestrate our total function. Over a period of time, a marginal deficiency of these nutrients results in loss of efficiency in the enzymes and they no longer respond to the small amounts of vitamins and minerals that are referred to as the RDA (regular daily allowance).

I started this section under the title of the "metabolic cliff" and now I think that I can explain what I mean. Let us imagine that someone has inherited an excellent brain that dictates for great intelligence. He (the male sex for convenience) shows every sign of this in the early stages of his development. The food, however, is marginally deficient and his energy production is lagging behind the tremendous growth and function that his cellular genes require. Or perhaps his mitochondrial genes, responsible for running the engines of his cells are compromised. At some point in time, he begins to show evidence of regression and slowing down of his development. Or perhaps this is associated with some form of stress that is imposed on him. This could be an inoculation, a relatively simple infectious illness or even an injury, particularly to the head. I would suggest that this infant was born on the edge of a "metabolic cliff." The stress factor pushed him over the edge!


Mentally and emotionally stressed Ariana Rose and all other poverty stricken children are, therefore, more easily absolved of their "behavior problems" with the addition of essential nutrients for children including immune system nutrition and stress relief for their parents. Will state or federal "health" departments subsidize those essential nutrients?... NO. But if Louisiana Representative, Billy Tauzin, can make more than $2 million a year as one of Washington's highest paid lobbyists for the pharmaceutical and insurance companies, then he and the other political figureheads can also lobby to help get essential nutrients to poor people in his own state.

The study's authors recommended expanding Medicaid to provide universal disaster relief and emergency mental health services, as well as sending doctors and counselors from the federal Public Health Service to the region.

The Children's Health Fund, a health care provider and advocacy group, is not the only organization to raise the alarm about mental health care for traumatized children after Hurricane Katrina. A report issued earlier this month by the Children's Defense Fund said youngsters were being "denied the chance to share their bad memories and clear their psyches battered by loss of family members, friends, homes, schools and neighborhoods."

Anthony Speier, the director of disaster mental health for Louisiana, said that while there were 500 crisis counselors in the field, the federal money that paid for them could not be used for treatment of mental or behavioral disorders like depression or substance abuse. Instead, he said, much of their effort goes into short one-on-one sessions and teaching self-help strategies in group settings.

"The struggle for our mental health system is that our resources are designed for people with serious mental illnesses and behavior disorders," Dr. Speier said. "But now the vast population needs these forms of assistance."

Dr. Speier continued, "What we really from my vantage point could benefit from is a source of treatment dollars."

According to the study's authors, the post-storm environment differs significantly from other crises because of its uncertain resolution.

"This circumstance is being widely misinterpreted as an acute crisis, somehow implying that it will be over in the near term, which is categorically wrong," Dr. Redlener said. "This is an acute crisis on top of a pre-existing condition. It's now a persistent crisis with an uncertain outcome, over an uncertain timetable."

What Dr. Redlener is trying to say is that the conditions for the poor in Louisiana have gone FROM BAD TO WORSE. What makes them special from other poor people is that their homes are destroyed and their livelihoods are erased. For those of you who have wondered how the war-torn civilians in Iraq feel, just ask one of the poor who have been displaced from New Orleans.... then blow some depleted uranium dust in their faces.

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