Friday, December 02, 2005

We Are Living In A World Of Shit



Fuck keeping hope alive. Who are we kidding? Our lives are that fragile lampshade, and our fate is that black mold, and that's it. I want to sleep, not take pictures or talk to FEMA or put on a happy strong face.

Beating me down yesterday: since I bought my mom her little trailer it's in my name, but I don't live in it, so on paper FEMA considers me some rich absentee landlord and my mom a mere tenant, so we're both ineligible for the rebuilding grants, which were as much as $21,000. The FEMA inspector chastised my mom for being honest on the application. It seems that honesty is a big handicap in modern America.

More: We knew this was a risk when my mom evacuated, being left out of the loop, but when my mom went back for Thanksgiving she discovered that we missed, by only one day, the Army Corps of Engineers program that provided rubble removal for free. We'll now have to take some of the money I'm saving for rebuilding to pay a contractor for the massive debris removal. The drone who informed my mom of this almost seemed to enjoy himself, as if he was punishing her for having evacuated.

More: It seems the small school that's been Pearlington's only lifeline is going to be bulldozed, leaving them with nothing. Merry fucking Christmas, Pearlington.

More: That big ad job I stayed in NYC to bid on, the reason I couldn't be with my family on Thanksgiving, was awarded to some guy in Paris. That job would have gone a long way towards rebuilding my family. Fuck easy come easy go.

Enough. Sleep. Ignore. Delay. Distract. I'm done being the lampshade, I want to be the black mold.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not computer savvy enough, so am making this request to those who are. Someone please get this blog posting forwarded to a legislator with a conscience. There has to be one or two left. Who among us has not experienced the "it's not what you know, but who you know" method of greasing the squeaky wheel. Please make this wheel squeak until there are no options left except to find the exception to the idiocy that this family is having to continally face.

cheesemeister said...

Don't blame you one bit for being pissed as hell. You've actually been a lot better than I would have in this situation. I would have fallen apart. Sometimes its fun being the black mold, especially if you can envelop beaurocratic assholes and suffocate them!
There are always rules that serve to do nothing but keep the "little person" down. All you were doing was helping your mother not have to be in complete filth and squalor, and now you are both being punished. And then the government wonders why there are horrendously disgruntled citizens. After all, aren't we living in the Disneyland World? Ridiculous!
That asshole probably did get a sadistic kick out of making your mother feel two feet tall. I have a friend in Texas who suffers from diabetes and congestive heart failure. She can hardly walk. Yet when she went to apply for food stamps, the bitch who took her application had her in tears, accusing her of trying to scam the welfare system because she owned a house--which happened to be in foreclosure because she could no longer pay the taxes on it!
Sometimes it really makes one feel like pulling a "Project Mayhem."
Somehow, some way, these a-holes will get theirs. But that isn't much consolation right now.
If only good wishes were all it took to bring you and your family out of your awful situation, you would be out of it right now! I continue to wish you the best.
Peace.

Crack Head said...

Like I said before. Write a book! It will not only sell, and help you and your family survuive, but it will also give a big middle finger to the legislature for the way they are treating people.

Take your blog. The entire blog, and make an elctronic version on cd, or convert to a PDF if you can, and hit ALL the news and media you can!! Don't let the government win! Take it to any local paper and any news station you can find. Get this on the air and what they did with the bulldozing and how they are fucking people over!! It needs to be on the Television and in the papers, and spread as far and wide as possible!!

No one ever said it was going to be easy, but you are doing the easiest thing of all, just being honest! It will come to your advantage down the road!! Trust me, you only get screwed when you let them put it to you.

Damn the man! And damn anyone who is so hearless to not understand your struggle and what the people down there need.

It seems almost like some far fetched conspiracy, that they would take out theschool where people are sending items to. Like as if the government got wind of your efforts and don't want the black eye in the face of all the damage they contributed to after Katrina.

Don't give up and don't give in! More people need you than just your mom and bro!

You have done too much good so far to throw in the towel now! And I know you are making a differnce!

If you have to, get those church people involved and show them what is happening, what the government is doing.

If anything, work it like a politician, only for the good people, and for the right reasons!

I reapeat, get it out to any media avenue you can and do some interviews for the TV and local news papers.

You can make the perfect gift to these people by telling the truth in any forum you find! We are doing our bes tto spread the work of your blog, so don't stop the fight! Fight fire with fire!

Beth said...

I'm sorry Clayton. I don't have much to offer but wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep your head up and contuie to be strong. Take it one day at a time..and if you have to one minute at a time. And remember that there are people out here in the world that support you and what you are trying your hardest to do.

Kate said...

I'm so sorry, Clayton. Trust me, I understand wanting to sleep through it all. Sometimes I want to flee, but then I don't know where I'd go.

Our country's become cruel. I don't know if it was always like this. Now it is self-righteous and judgemental and mean. We have become what Hannah Arendt spoke of when she said "the banality of evil." It is banal, this overwhelming bureaucracy. And it is evil, for it pays no mind to the flesh and blood soul houses it crushes.

Tell us how we can help you. We will, however we can.

Take care --

Jessica Melusine said...

Saying "I'm sorry" feels so futile right now...but I am and you and your family should not have to go through this. You all are in my thoughts today.

If it helps, I share this blog with everyone I know and I am so glad that you haven't forgotten, that you keep reminding people--I'm in DC and it's horrid how people seem to have just glossed over all this tragedy. I'm trying to do what I can, but please, if there is anything else I can do, don't hesitate to ask.

(I know how horrible job stuff can be too--I'm a contract worker, so hearing about that made me sad too, so my sympathies.)

You're spreading light and bravery--please don't give up.

Leslie said...

Clayton,
Shit is right.

The problem - most of the land is owned by Stennis AFB. That leases the land to the Hancock County School, which in turn leases property to towns people. I think I have that right.

And, if FEMA is going to give the School District 100% of the flood insurance - which is only about 1/3 of the real value - the school has to come down by 12/15/05.

AND, if any building that is on SAFB property is more than 50% damaged, it must be demolished - regardless of whether it can be afforded or not.

The building the relief center is in is the gym - about 10,000 square feet. They have tons of stuff set up, and the school board has said the center can stay on the property as long as they aren't in the way of demolition. OK - I'd like to see how that can happen.

SO - yes, calling a legislator is fine and dandy, but what they're going to need is some sort of shelter to set up in. If you are willing, please write or call tent makers/sellers for the largest ones they make. Eureka has a defense contract and COULD make one large enough, but they don't donate items of that nature as their "SOP". I've already called. But that doesn't mean they won't do it if folks don't start calling and asking....

The folks I called are going to one of the county Commish's house to talk to him about it and see what can happen. I should know more by Monday....

Leslie

Anonymous said...

ok, this really sucks...and as bad as it is for your mom, your brother, and you, the worst part, is: how many other people are also having to go through this shit??
i'm glad you took the time to let us know what's going on. you have been so strong, and so upbeat and positive throughout all of this.
there's not much worse than being poor in this country right now.
keep your head up dude! you've got tons of people out here rooting for you and your family. for every one of us who chooses to comment, i bet there are 50 or 100 or maybe even more who have read your blog. and although i am not sure what i think about the power of positive thinking anymore, i hope there is still some kind of energy in the fact that lots of good people are thinking good things for you and your family.

take care, and thanks, as always, for sharing.

lori in texas

josh said...

clayton,
Although I cannot directly share in the pain you are suffering now, nor the pain that your family will experience in the coming months and years to rebuild the generations of your family that seem to now be lost, I can offer you one glimmer of hope and faith... there are many wonderful people who would be by your side right now if they could. Unfortunately, we are stuck... because of the decisions of the same beurocratic SOBs that are making your life hell right now. They are and have been affecting many lives recently. I am serving for a military that has failed to appreciate its members for the better part of a decade, for a people that barely appreciate us, in a country (right now) that wants feircly for us to just go back to our own home. The worst part isn't knowing that the destrcution we have seen here in Iraq is comparable to that which is found in a once glowing city of vast residency, a landmark of what it trulymeans to be an American, but it is in fact worse to know that the destruction, while comparable... was caused by US here.
I do my job because i have to help provide for my wife and son... but I'd rather be in New Orleans!
Keep on keepin on, bud. Eventually we will all be home...

and to tell you the truth, your pictures and your words have created a connection. From half a world away in a war zone I can somehow feel that every service member would be proud to call a little house between two levys right underneath I-10... HOME.

-feeling the connection, and i'd rather be in New Orleans.

from Iraq,
-josh

Anonymous said...

Clayton,
Keep being the LIGHT.I wish there was something we could do for you and your Mom,but we have little to spare and this really hurts us.Rachel is feeling so upset about not being able to help everyone in the family.I have told her maybe some day we can help all. Clayton,PLEASE STAY BEING THE LIGHT.DO NOT LET THE WORLD FORGET PEARLINGTON,YOUR MOM,DALTON ,AND NEW ORLEANS.
CHERYL OF SLIDELL
FAITH,HOPE,LOVE....
MY FAITH IS NOT THE GODLY TYPE JUST THAT THERE IS GOOD IN THE MANKIND.I STILL HAVE FAITH IN MANKIND,EVEN AFTER ALL I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE DO TO OTHER PEOPLE.
I TRY TO LIVE BY SPEAK TRUE BE STRONG....CHERYL

gina said...

did you go through the appeal process? You should have 60 days to appeal.

I know you are wore out, but you have to hold on & fight

It actually looks like the rebuilding grants are for rebuilding businesses. Not people's lives.

-girl from FWB who lives in Boston now

slidell said...

Don't give up. I think that all of us affected by Katrina are very, very close to seeing a change in the bull!x#@ that the government (in all tiers) has been feeding us. What's needed is the cooperation of every citizen who cares about Katrina victims' plight to write their senators, their representatives and any one else who can make a difference and demand positive action. The more people that write and complain, the more they will realize that we are not going to "go away" the way they want us to.

Clayton, I agree with Crackhead. Get yourself published some where. Write the major new magazines, contact Garland Robinette (WWL radio). Your blog is very important. It brings reality of post-Katrina life to the world.

In the meantime, take a break. Sleep if you can. Be good to yourself; you've got a long way to go.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Sipsey said...

Hunter Thompson said that America suffered a national nervous breakdown after 9/11. For those still teetering on the edge of that breakdown, Katrina was the final push over the edge. The reality that our government, for the first time since FDR, will not come to our aid when needed is a bitter and frightening pill to swallow.

As Kate said above, we've become a cruel people. At my workplace, once a laidback, cooperative kind of place, people are ripping each other's guts out. Every night, America gets a dose of reality TV, "The Apprentice" et al. The asshole is king. The asshole celebrated. Nice people are chumps. "Rebuild? Not on my dime. You shouldna lived there".

When I spent my best-years-of-my-life 7 years in New Orleans; I worked at the Convention Center. I worked with a guy named Jake Millon. To the white folks there, he was just Jake the carpenter. To the black folks, however, he was, by God, Big Chief Jake of the White Eagles Mardi Gras Indians. One Mardi Gras day, I caught up with the White Eagles and, on this street in the wrong part of town, got a hug from Jake. For a farm boy from Indiana it was so exotic, so wonderful.

Will the Indians ever parade through those streets again? For those of us who get it, such a thought is unbearably sad. Have we become, as a nation, so craven, so numb, that it doesn't matter anymore? Is the black mold everywhere?

Windfall Woman said...

Bless your heart. All of that just sucks. No other way to say it. Keep your chin up. We're here for you.

Anonymous said...

Clayton,

IIRC, if you aren't eligible for a FEMA grant, you may be eligible for a low-interest SBA loan. Fill out the paperwork and try to get one. You can always turn it down, if they offer it.

In the meantime, write this all to the appropriate legislators. Please. They can make things happen for you. I am certain that there will be provisions made for "family properties" like this. And, if I were you, I'd talk to a lawyer.

From Another Anonymous - slightly northwest of you, in the Katrina Zone

Jon White said...

Clayton,

Nobody took more shit from redneck clipboards who thought they were running the world, Red Cross officious officials or slews of control freaks attepting "hostile takeovers" in Pearlington than I did. Yet, I always knew that somehow we would find a way for need to meet resource. We came from all over North America because we wanted to make a difference and we stayed because we cared for the people of Pearlington. We took volunteer time out of our lives, homes and careers because someone needed us and we knew you would do the same for us.

Take a day off. Fall back and regroup. Do a little dance, make a little love, then get back in the game. None of us have forgotten and I, for one, are here for you in whatever appropriate way I can be. Have some faith - belief without evidence - that the solution is available. There are many, believe it or not, who will help you find it.

Your friend,
"Canada Jon" White
Facility Manager, Pearlington Recovery & Resource Center (Ret.)
jonw@bconnex.net

Anonymous said...

The only thing I haven't seen here, is Hey! America doesn't owe you a damn thing! Yep, it all sucks! There's no doubt about that... We have a bunch of disasters in Minnesota and N.Dakota..snow and ice storms that take out our power for weeks at a time, floods that take out whole cities and blah blah blah and the ones who help for real are ourselves! our friends, families and neighbors. Not the government! We choose to live in the frozen, harsh tundra, you choose to live there.
I think if you put half as much effort into working on a new life as you do pissing and moaning, you'll be over it in no time! Waiting for the government to do anything for you is just plain stupid. I gave money to the relief funds and I see more abuse of it than anything.
In this country, you can work hard and be rewarded. or wait for the government and get nothing but dissapointment! Do it yourself, not only will you feel better about yourself but you'll realize we are not a nation of hand outs...we are a nation of Ass Kickers!! America is the Best place on earth! PERIOD! Don't think so?? go live in a cave in Afgahnistan, see how that works for ya!

Anonymous said...

Sissy, whiner, Lazy, Disrespectful degenerate!
Get over your sorry self and get to work.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your site and I cannot thank you enough for your beautiful words and photos. My extended family all lives in Hancock County, around Clermont Harbor / Lakeshore; many of my ancestors are buried right there in the old Pearlington cemetery. It is so refreshing to see that someone else has a profound appreciation for this bizarre and isolated little corner of the world. Your work is the first I've seen that could possibly convey the spirit of the people and landscape of the rural Gulf Coast to those who haven't ever been there.

I heard it said once that "there are only three distinctive American cities: New York, New Orleans and San Francisco. Everything else is Cleveland." I couldn't agree more. In the aftermath of Katrina, I felt the same overwhelming sense of guilt you did for being high and dry and several hundred miles away. But I also felt angry that this cultural annihilation happened to one of THE ONLY funky cities left in a nation of conformity and cookie-cutter sprawl.

I fear that after Katrina, Mississippi's coast will be overrun by Yankee condo builders who want another Myrtle Beach or, even worse, that it will look like some dystopian Florida hell-hole where they tell you what your mailbox has to look like. I have nightmares that the French Quarter will plaster on a Disneyland facade. Those of us who grew up with New Orleans in our backyards understand that its beauty is in its dysfunctionality. I wouldn't ever want to go to an orderly, clean, safe or white New Orleans.

Keep the South weird!

doctorj2u said...

Clayton,
The last two posts are what I have come to call Katrina backlash. It is the ugly side of America. They are not seeing the misery on TV anymore so it is time to protect their walllets. For all the promises given by the government, it is true that we are left on our own. It doesn't matter that there are major parts of this country that still don't have drinkable water or electricity or heat. Sad. The most depressing thing to me is that I have lost my idealism of what my country stands for. And that hurts to the core.

TravelingMermaid said...

Notice the 2 negative comments were annonymous - it figures. Speaking of something they know not of. If they were here (N.O.) or there (MS Gulf Coast) they would know we ARE working to help ourselves! But the government does owe us assistance - remember it's "Government FOR the people" as well as by the people. What they construe as "whining" is actually demanding the government LISTENS,ACKNOWLEGES and ACTS! The beauracracy is atrocious! Oh, and by the way, when was the last time an ice storm completley demolished your house, city and life?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Clayton, I remember your first-ever post, before you knew that your mother and little brother were safe. That's the most important thing. Try to hang on to it if you can.

Cheryl of Slidell said...

Clayton,
To the two Anonymous comments I have nothing to say except:I pity you both because you both have no souls or hearts.People here are hard working AMERICANS and when they do need help from THEIR government it is so f----up it is beyond words.My DOD is 80yoa and has never asked for help from anyone except for this time.He had water in his home,the same home where I grew up in and the same home my Mom died in on August 29th,2004.He stayed through the storm and was able to save his home for the most part,but he did have loses.He applied for FEMA and after numerous SCREW UPS,they finally send him assistance just this past Thursday.My DOD is a proud person and comes from the era YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN..Well,now he sees his government in a different light.He will never ask for anything from them again,even if he needs help.He was lost in the system,screwed by the system,and I take some responsiablity for that since I said" Dad apply for it you have earned it".Yes,he earned it by numberous means,but he won't do it again,nor will I tell him too do so.
People don't seem to understand hurricanes are different from ice and snow storms having lived in Mich.I know about the winter storms.The ice and snow melt but the hurricane damages last for months,years YOU DUMBS ASSES AKA Anonymous 1&2..I have family in Iowa and they thought it was like a flooded basement I DON"T THING SO!!!My Dad sent pictures and finally it dawned on some it is different well DUH!!!!!Yes, I am pissed off @the FEDS,STATE and anyone who can't see the truth in this mess...
TO THE TWO HEARTLESS ANONYMOUS COMMENTS..I HOPE YOU TWO NEVER NEED ANY HELP FROM ANYONE BECAUSE YOU WILL FIND NONE.
CLAYTON,
BE STRONG SPEAK TRUE
CHERYL

Foose said...

I would also be pissed as hell, I cant even imagine what it is like to be you. All I can say is that life is not fair, and it will never be. But keep doing what you have been doing. You have such much talent, and are using that to help your family, and to show the world the truth. Dont lose hope, you have come so far, and you cant give up now! There are so many people who are looking at this blogg, and are reading and finding hope, but also so many people reading and pulling for you to come out on top!!


good luck
dont give up
keeping speaking the truth

...e... said...

Okay Clayton, that's it. I'm gonna be your mama since your mama's busy just now so you listen to me: go to bed! Go fall on Katie and sleep for a week. Now. I mean it young man, NOW!

Your mamas love you, baby.

clayton cubitt said...

Thank you all (well, except the anonymous douchebags), I'm not giving up, never giving up. I'm just running on fumes. We got some very good news, though, I'll post that soon. It helps, you help. Don't stop.

J.R. said...

I agree with ...e..., Clayton...it is okay to take a break from it. I am a nurse and one of the things I have to remind myself is...I can't help anybody if I don't take care of myself. Being overstressed and sleep-deprived makes you dangerous. Recharge your batteries and dive back in...Peace to you

Leslie said...

Hey all -

I've been making phone calls since Clayton made that post about the relief center being dozed.

It isn't. At least that's what the rumor mill is saying at this particular moment. It seems the gymnasium is a separate building and is in good enough condition to remain standing, while the rest of the school must come down.

The letters that were written over the weekend haven't been sent, and are being kept just in case.

At least 1 building in the entire town will remain standing.

Leslie

Anonymous said...

if it makes you feel better, my name is Lew, i live in Minnesota and don't ask for help from the government. THEY DON'T OWE US SHIT! If our founding fathers were alive and read all your pitiful woes they'd pick up a rake and hit you with it! I understand that hurricanes are horrible, and our floods (Grand Forks) were not just basement floods, it took out the damn city! we didn't loot anything or go on and on about our woes. We fixed it and moved on! Quit whining and go to work!!
Lew

Anonymous said...

I have been working since 7:30 this morning and get to take a dinner break, then i will go back to work until 2 a.m. but tommorrow, i get to sleep in til 8:00!! I'm sooo tired....but i'll address some of the smart comments. Traveling Mermaid is not anonymous?? (Dumb) i just read the bill of rights (which you should do) and guess what?...nope they don't owe you a bunch of money, or help. And apparently only YOUR emergencies deserve help? I can't remember a time when i heard someone say "we are living in a world of shit" and thought, gee, i should listen, acknowledge and act. And last weeks ice storm didn't wreck my house or my neighbors house, just the water pipes and part of the roof. we only lost power for 5 days. Can you guess what i didn't do? Whine and call the government or anyone else for that matter. I went and got a generator and several gallons of water, so that my family could get on with their lives. But the flood a few years ago, took 60,000 people out of their town and lives and totally demolished their homes etc. etc...

Next! We have souls and hearts. We just choose to do things ourselves and not wait for the hand outs. and guess what DUMBASS! I never once said, I thought it flooded their basements! Moron! I'm sorry the smart ones in Iowa thought so.
and don't worry, I won't ask for your help. But I will continue to pay my insurance, so that when something happens I can make a demand on my insurance company, Not the Government.

Next! I hope everything works out down there, I don't want any american to suffer in any way, but We've made our donations and sent people there to help. But when people lie, cheat, steal, whine and so on. Don't expect anything else. Sorry your idealism of America the Beautiful is diminished. Move to Canada or Norway or where ever you can expect to be taken care of your whole life.

Sincerly,

Maniacal Bard (there I put in a funny name like the other un-anonymous people did)

G said...

You stupid assholes. How is applying for FEMA aid begging and whining to the government for help?

Our tax dollars fund FEMA. The government provides the funds to get local economies rolling again after a disaster. The Congress authorized the funds to be distributed to the communities affected the worst by the disasters.

One of the problems is that FEMA outsourced its IT dept, and the databases run on old technology. Not to mention that the databases are not set up to analyze data from a social perspective....and god knows the Gulf Coast definitly has their own set of social rules and identity. (This is one reason your app was denied, I am sure).

The point I am trying to make is that the Congress authorized that money to go to Clayton and his family. There are adminstrative roadblocks to getting that money. And you can be sure that the big companies that stand to make a killing on the rebuilding of New Orleans have already figured ways to bypass these roadblocks.

I live in New England now, and none of these crazy ass Yankees up here would think to compare an ice storm to Katrina. So, I don't know what it is about the midwest, but y'all sure do seem to have a chip on your shoulder. No one really gives a damn that you are working 18-hour days...LIKE THE REST OF US.

Personally, I give a damn that part of the world that I am of from is gone forever, and as an American taxpayer I want to be sure the billions of dollars in aid that our Congress allocated for this disaster goes to the places it was intended.

Cheryl of Slidell said...

To Maniacal Barl maybe you missed the point here.No one is whining. People here work just as hard as you do,and they pay taxes and if they can afford insurance on their homes they buy it.We pay taxes and in return we as Amercians are allowed to ask for assistance when needed,if you can't afford insurance.Now as for a generator after the storm there were none and no gas here for weeks.I brought gas back Slidell for my Dad to use in his generator.Water had to be boiled for weeks and not enough bottled water for a number of days.How can people boil water with no power,no gas ? Try to understand TOWNS in La. and Miss. were wiped off the face of the map.They no longer exit.We live in a country that gets aid to people in other countries quickly with out delays which were encountered here.WHY? I don't have all the answers.My family is not whining nor have we ever asked for any government aid in our lives.We have all worked hard for what we have,and we are willing to help others.I am a retired law enforcement officer so please allow this one thing.I worked for the government I know how the system works sometimes.IT is wrong to let your own citizens suffer so much.Have your ever visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. there is a story at the end which remains me of the things here.I wish I could remember it all,but I do remember the last part which is basically When the Nazis came for the Jews, another Jewish citizen stood by and did nothing,and each time they took someone else he still did nothing,so when they came for him,there was no one to hear him scream for help.We are not whining nor begging such trying to let THE WORLD people here are suffering do something to help them out.
My family did not wait for hand outs we fixed things ourselves even if it shortened our wallets.I repaired my roof no one but ME and MY PARTNER.By the wayI went to Canada this past summer to marry my partner,and we were treated very friendly,not like here @times.The U.S. is my home and I don't always agree with it's policies,and I will in my small way continue to change them and if I see injustice I will try to correct it.I ALSO KNOW WHAT IT IS TOO WORK LONG HOURS.
CHERYL OF SLIDELL,AND THE WIFE OF RACHEL WHO IS CLAYTON'S COUSIN.I AM NOT ANONYMOUS.I AM SOMEONE WHO WILL SURVIVE AS WILL MY FAMILY.THANKS TO ALL FOR THE SUPPORT AND CARE.WE APPRECIATE IT ALL.

Cheryl of Slidell said...

Cheryl of Slidell,
Sorry about the mistakes in the above,but I was upset.We are not whining,Just trying to let the World know about things here.We all did not lie,cheat,steal.If I saw someone stealing food for survival MORE POWER TO HIM OR HER...Yes that from a retired deputy sheriff...
We are thankful for the help from our fellow citizens,but don't forget the government is our creation and we have created some real WINNERS.
Thanks to All including those who still don't understand..If you need me I'll be there for you.
Cheryl of Slidell

Jolie Blonde said...

Clayton, I have been following your blog for some time now. I apologize in advance for the length of my post, but I feel compelled to respond to the comments of "Maniacal Bard" and others who feel the same. Apparently he is under the impression that no one in Minnesota or North Dakota has ever asked for or received assistance from the Federal government following a natural disaster. Please see the following links to FEMA's website showing declared disaster for 2004 and 2005.

http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema?year=2004

http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema?year=2005

Strangely, both Minnesota and North Dakota are on that list, as well as states across the country, so someone must be asking for some help.

I have lived in Lafayette,LA all of my 35 years, and have seen hurricanes come and go. Rita blew a tree on my roof, as did Lili in 2002. Luckily, my house was habitable. I still had a place to live and a job to go to. I paid my deductible and my ins. co. paid the rest. The devastation caused by Katrina is unprecedented, and anyone who believes otherwise needs to stop by for a visit. We all had friends and family staying with us after Katrina and Rita, because they had no where else to go. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps becomes slightly more difficult when you have no home, no clothes, no food, no water, no job, your family and friends are scattered across the country.

As for the charitable folk who continually comment that LA and MS got what they deserve for living where they do, please point out an area in the country that will never suffer a natural disaster, and I will be happy to move there. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, snowstorms, etc., are going to happen where ever you go. So unless we all plan to abandon the country entirely, I suggest that they make their peace with the risks inherent to where they live, and I will do the same.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Anonymous said...

Your story is powerfull. Publishers out there - publish this guys story!

Send a copy to John Stewart at the Daily show. It'll make the news. Hell, someone who reads this must know someone on TV. Get this guy on 20/20.

Stick it to the man.

Land of the free? Only if you've got a buck-o-five...., well, $1.05 times a million.

We are here for you man.

Stephen VanDyke said...

Put a PayPal button on this blog entry.

Who the F needs FEMA?

nostinkinbadge said...

Clayton,
Try this? Sell the trailer to your mom for $1.00. This protects her from paying state sales tax on the transfer and instantly devalues the trailer so it is not considered an asset. Then reapply to the FEMA fuckers if you can stand the smell of beauraucracy. She should then qualify, but you have got to get in under the red tape deadline for re-application. Just a technical way of maybe getting what you need and deserve. And its 100% legal and might make a great Xmas present.

FEMA= Federal Employees Missing Again LOL.


Give 'em hell!

Anonymous said...

Quit whining. The government doesn't owe you anything. You think the people in Indonesia got massive government assistance? You are all still alive, and living better than most of the world.

Anonymous said...

WHO IS WHINING????Don't y'all get it YET????People in Indonesia got some assistance from their own government but THEY also got ALOt FROM THE USA,without the hassles.

5000! said...

You think the people in Indonesia got massive government assistance?

Um, yeah, they did. A big chunk from our own government, in fact.

You are all still alive, and living better than most of the world.

Actually, a pretty large group of people aren't still alive. And the ones that are aren't necessarily living better than the rest of the world (as revealed in this TIME cover story from a few weeks ago). I'm sure you're assuming that because you live in the Gran' Ole US of A that everything in the Gulf Coast must be fine by now. But it's not, and that's the whole point.

You, and the other comments like you, need to educate yourself before you start spouting rhetoric you picked up from talk radio.

Coryn said...

Oh wow...I am disgusted by some of the comments here. Since when is applying for tax-funded disaster relief a whiny, selfish thing to do? Part of the reason we pay taxes is for government programs to help those who need it. An example of one of those programs is (gasp) disaster relief! I'd certainly hesitate to tell someone who has lost their house, neighbors, and town that they have no need of help. As someone pointed out above, this isn't a lone person deciding to randomly ask the government for money, this is someone suffering from a national disaster accepting money offered to everyone in their situation, only to be turned down because of red tape.
I'm sure NPR would air this story if someone sent it to them. They're reputable and nationwide, so hopefully someone would take notice and fix the situation, or you would at least get enough donations to help buy your mom a new home.

TravelingMermaid said...

Maniacal Bard - My name is Charlotte and I live in New Orleans. No, I won't post my last name or email because there are too many wacko's on the net. No reference to you, just sayin...
I am up at this late hour not because I just got home from work, but because I am looking for jobs on the internet, as I do daily, because my company bailed out like so many others after the storm. I'm not whining. I had flood insur even tho I live in a so-called no flood zone, so I did get insurance money to pay for my home repairs. Yes, I realize I live in a bowl surrounded by water and within 20 ft of the MS river & I choose to continue to live here. I am one of the lucky ones to have gotten thru Katrina so well. Maybe that's why I feel so strongly for those who lost EVERYTHING, not just material things but family and the means to support what family is left. If you could see the mountains and mountains of debris and whole areas of this city wiped out, you might feel the passion too. It looks like a bomb was dropped, literally. There is not a single person in this area that hasn't been affected by this disaster. There is nowhere in this city that doesn't show the effects, nowhere you can go to escape it. I could go on & on but I won't. One more thing, I've said before & will continue to say how thankful we are for all the volunteers who came down & helped us out and for all those who donated in any way. And I'm really sad that you think your donation was abused.

Anonymous said...

Well, some of you got it, and some of you are extremely well spoken and i understand your statements.

I know that all of you are hard working, ass kicking Americans. The point I have been trying to make is that, yes, the hurricanes sucked alot of ass!! I feel for ya, I donated, I want you to succeed, I want you to overcome this, But I refuse to listen to a world of shit, and merry fuckin christmas and anything else!

I lived through a devastating flood, i know people that fema helped....and more that they didn't help and i also know you can do it with or without them!
I know that if your waiting for the government to help you out, you'll just keep on waiting... i know Americans have been overcoming obsticals (apparently I don't know how to spell obstacles) for decades and they/we will continue to do so. I know that you all have huge hearts and i know that those of you who stay marrowed in sorrow will not get very far. And one very cool thing, is that I know I can sit here and yell at you guys and you can yell at me, and the government/the man or anyone else will not walk in my office and arrest me or tell us that we can't rip on each other. We have this right and much much more because we are AMERICANS...the most giving, caring, hard working bunch of ass kickin sons of bitches in the world! Try that anywhere else in the world and see what happens. Call me Douchebag, asshole or anything else you want, without fear of anything happening to you....and you do that because of who you are.... an American. I'd give the shirt off my back and my last dollar if I thought you'd use it wiseley...Take care you soggy sons of bitches! Now get to work, and keep the south wierd, and whatever else it is you feel the need to do!

Drive fast....take chances!

Maniacal Bard

clayton cubitt said...

Maniacal Bard, and other rah-rah boot-strappers, I think we can all agree that we're pro-America, and anti-moving to-Norway-or-Canada-or-a-cave-in-Afghanistan. In fact, I'm so proud of America, and being American, that I'd like to fix it. I suggest we change the choice from America: Love it Or Leave It, to America: Love It So Fix It. This means paying attention to the actions of elected officials, and voting the incompetent, lying, stealing, dumbass ones out of office.

It also means taking care of your family and friends and neighbors, which, if you've read this blog at all, you'll know I'm all about. This whole blog has been DIY American action, self-sufficiency and citizen helping citizen. Read it. Yes, sometimes I'm going to bitch about a lame bureaucracy, sometimes I'm going to moan about the ill fortune that's befallen us. I also sometimes glow in the good fortune we've found. Good days, bad days. Life. It's all in here.

You'll find some of us are so proud to be American, so red white and blue patriotic, that we want to go way past just helping our immediate circle of fellow Americans, and we want to help Americans clear across country. In situations like this, when maybe we can't get off work, or we've got kids at home, and yet our fellow citizens are facing some enormous obstacle, we invented this thing called government. It should, when run properly, take care of a lot of the things we can't do by ourselves as puny little individuals.

Like deal with the recovery and rebuilding from a Category 4 hurricane the size of Great Britain.

We know it's possible:
http://operationeden.blogspot.com/2005/12/eight-years-two-americas.html

Is the government the answer to all things? Is it the only place to look to for action? Is it inherently evil? Must it be useless? No. No. No. And, no.

We're supposed to be living with a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, it will be what we make of it. Be part of the solution. America: Love it, so fix it. It's not complicated.

cfromflorida said...

Am I the only one here that thinks that it’s a bit irresponsible to blame the government for all your problems? It’s not the government’s responsibility to see that you’re taken care of in times of crisis; it’s a perk you get for living in this country. The bottom line is that you should take care of yourself, and any help you get from the Feds is a bonus. It may be aggravating as hell and totally mismanaged, but it’s still a privilege, not a right.

And another thing: the government doesn’t generate revenue on their own. They get money through citizens in the form of taxes. So to everyone out there collecting federal aid: remember you’re not taking money from some big, faceless agency, you’re taking money from your friends, your neighbors, and people you don’t know, including those of us who had the common sense not to live in a bowl ten feet below sea level.

Was Katrina a tragedy? Undoubtedly. Do I feel bad for the thousands of people who share your experience? Absolutely. Have I done my part to help? I sure have. But
I don’t feel much sympathy for spoiled whiners with a sense of entitlement that believe that all their problems should be solved by the government. Don’t blame FEMA for your problems, blame the hurricane, your choice of a home, and poor civil engineering. As backward as it is, FEMA’s just trying to help.

I live in southwest Florida and have been hit by two hurricanes in the last two years. But I acknowledge that it was my choice to live there and my responsibility to be prepared for such a catastrophe. Maybe you should think about all the people out there who are taking care of themselves before you post another whiny rant about how you aren’t getting your handouts in a timely and courteous manner.

Straxus said...

What's all this 'get back to work' shit I keep reading? Is it not apparent to you that he is working, and trying his damndist to rebuild his family's life? In fact, he and many others were hard at work before the hurricane, paying the taxes that fund FEMA. If FEMA is incapable of doing the job we pay them to do, then we all deserve to have the money we pay to fund them returned to us.

I don't expect the US government will come to my aid in the event of a major crisis like this. But when they take our hard earned money by force (all taxes are taken by the threat of force) for the ostensive purpose of disaster relief, we damn sure have the right to bitch about it when they don't. This is America goddamnit. And there's a reason this right is the first amendment to our constitution, and not the second or tenth. If you want to live someplace where you don't have to be subjected to hearing complaints about your country's shortcomings, move to Korea or Iran.

clayton cubitt said...

cfromflorida, what part of the comment I left directly before yours did you not understand? This isn't rocket science I'm explaining, sunshine.

LaneinPA said...

There's an aspect of this commentary that some of the dumass Anons are overlooking:

While I don't expect my government to be Johnny on the Spot handing out miracles and solving everyone's problems, I sure as hell didn't expect them to hinder the recovery efforts.

I certainly didn't expect them to hand over the contracts to Haliburton. Those rebuilding contracts should have gone to the local people (that's called jobs, employment, to you Anon yo-yos who keep screaming we should all get back to work). How do you get back to work when the job's been given to an outsider? Explain that.

(I wanted to go throw up after hearing that jackass who's squatting in the Oval Office tell us how he's rebuilding Iraq. Bricks and Mortar. Whahoo. Iraq is more important to him than his own country. I guess that's the New Patriotism.)

Clayton, don't let these bastards get you down. There's a lot more good people out here than bad, and we're not taking their crap anymore.

Thank you for this blog. I gotta go now and decide which photo I want to purchase.

Anonymous said...

Yep, keep blamin the president!
If you could get some of those folks out there to quit raping pilaging and plundering, you may get some sympathy.

Anonymous said...

whahhaaa, they gave a job to someone other than me. Go get a different one, create one, apply for one with the people who did get the contracts.
And wasn't it outsiders that gave the tons of donations? dillhole!

LaneinPA said...

Doesn't take much bait to get all you rodents crawling out of the sewers, does it, you Anon jerks. Tell you what, if you can get your soul back from the Devil, I'll get 3 jobs. Whadaya say?

I will quote our Lord Jesus, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

Anons, you make Christ weep. Do you have no shame? Please, just go away and leave us alone to do what we have to do to get back on our feet. I have family to take care of.

Anonymous said...

It's becoming obvious that some of the anonymous commenters are getting their jollies by stirring the pot here. Pathetic.

spittin mad said...

let's see maniacal bard.... you get on here and whine and whine and whine. And what are you whining about? That someone else is whining. So constructive.

Might I also point out that instead of starting your own blog and whining on that, you chose to come to a blog that someone else created and spends many hours maintaining. Hmmm. Seems YOU may be a lazy whiner.

Ain't nobody I know down there who isn't working their ass off. And if one gets a little bitchy sometimes, that isn't too surprising.

to anyone who hasn't been down there..... mr cubitt's title of "a world of shit" is not just a metaphor....it is a fact of life.

Alex Camacho said...

During Hurricane Allison my father lost nearly everything. The house I grew up in was in over three feet of water. Photos of our family life before my mother passed away were gone forever. The walls we had painted as a family were stained with mold and water, the paint peeling. My brother and I did the only thing we could. The very next morning, after the storm, we went to my dad's house and started working. We tore down the water logged sheetrock, moved out the ruined furniture, and started rebuilding all before noon. A close friend from my father's office came with a truck full of tools, lumber and two good hands. Our neighbors watched from their front yards, waiting for the FEMA to step in and save them. When the FEMA representative came by our house he informed us that since we had started working on rebuilding he was ineligible for reconstruction relief. Since my father planned on staying in the house it had to be "livable conditions" and he couldn't get any financial aid for that. He too, was reprimanded for being honest.
Our neighbors however, those who sat around watching their belongings float away, were rewarded for doing nothing by receiving full financial aid. It was a heartbreaking experience but I can't say I would have done anything differently.
My father is an honest, hardworking veteran whose never been afraid to take on responsibility or hard work. He taught us the way with a quiet determination to do what was right even when others said it was wrong. I don't think it ever crossed his mind to wait for someone else to do what he considered his work. I was proud to loan my hands to help him rebuild when the government he served most his life wouldn't. It was an eye-opening moment in my life that I'll always remember.
My heart goes out to you and your family. Our thoughts are with you.

--Alex Camacho and Family

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
--Mary Anne Radmacher-hershey"

cfromflorida said...

clayton,

Okay, maybe I didn't read all the comments before getting on my soapbox and delivering a brash, emotional rant about things that I can't understand because they didn't happen to me.

And okay, maybe I didn't take the time to go through your blog enough to realize you were having a bad day and the tone of the post was slightly out of character.

And maybe I was in a pissy mood and reacted to the tone of said post in a way that was less than fair.

And maybe all of those things together made me seem sort of like a heartless, inflammatory, knee-jerk reactionist asshole.

Sorry about all that. I can't imagine what you're going through and I know I wouldn't be handling it as well as you. Hope you find some peace and you have some good breaks in the future. And it is tragic that the government can’t pull their head out of their ass long enough to actually help people who need it.

For the record, I’m about as far from a rah-rah republican as you can get. I’m as upset about the state of this country as you are. I’m fully behind your stance of “America, love it or fix it.” Well said.

Also for the record, I’m not behind people who always blame their bad fortune on someone else. And expect someone else to be responsible for their actions. I know that’s not you, clayton, and I apologize for taking out my frustrations on you - you didn’t deserve that.

And finally - Straxus, last time I checked, the First Amendment covered heartless, inflammatory knee-jerk reactionist assholes like me, too :)

bitchinboutitall said...

I am one pissed off motherfucker. Fuck u BUUSSHH, Fuck u Cheany, Fuck u Rummmsssfeldddd. For a bunch of conservatives u sure dont seem to have a problem with the lives of our military members or how much money u all blow on the oil war.one thing that is for certain, u dont give one flyin fuck about us katrina victims.God help the troops, for you are all walking dead men and women, but you are not alone, us katrina victims feel the same way

dewey said...

i spent several weeks in pearlington ran the water truck showers and did anything that was asked of me it didnt matter if you were atruck driver or a doctor there most wrked side by side no matter who you were. the people of the town are awsume save this town because this place is truely where america comes from dewey kast cozad ne.

Anonymous said...

Myself and about 1 million others are experiencing what you went through. I also don't sleep, can't get throught the day, etc. But stop expecting someone to help you, your government abandoned you. Take responsibility for TODAY, get up and do what you can, YOU ARE STILL ALIVE AND SO IS YOUR MOTHER AND THAT'S MORE THAN ALOT OF OTHER PEOPLE CAN SAY. Feeling sorry for yourself isn't changing your situation. BTW-the people who voted for Bush did this, so did corruption, greed, laziness, a lack of responsibility, and sheer bad luck. Deal with it the best you can and maybe that's not what you had before, but same with us. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

HEY IT'S BEEN AWHILE SINCE THE TRAGEDY AND YET THROUGH YOUR STORY I CAN STILL FEEL THE PAIN AND THE UNFAIRNESS, THE COLD HEARTEDNESS OF THOSE WHO ARE ABLE. I AM NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY AT THIS POINT BUT KNOW THIS TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A TIME THAT TIME WAS NOT YOURS BUT ONE DAY YOUR TIME TOO WILL COME UNTIL THEN MY DEAR FRIEND I BID YOU COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE DON'T YOU GIVE UP, GOD ONLY KNOWS WHY THINGS HAPPEN THE WAY THEY DO AND HIM ALONE WILL HELP YOU FIND THE PEACE AND COMFORT YOU SEEK. GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND GOD BLESS ALWAYS.

Anonymous said...

The haves and have nots are so seperated from each other now that there real gap between the two not only in finances but in their conseption of reality. This is most of the problem. I was watching tv the other day and the news was interviewing a man who was looking at purchasing a house in a developement outside of Las vegas nevada. The show was about the drought that this area has been having and the news caster asked the apparently well to do man and is wife who were looking at the homes were they not concerned about maybe not having any water. His response to the news caster was that there is plenty of water for people who have the money to pay for it.
Kind of like the noblemen and the peasants issue. Reminded me of the let them eat cake comment that lost Marie Antoinette her head during the French revolution.

Anonymous said...

Its always angered me that we seem to give aid to other nations at the drop of a hat but not our own people when they are in need.
But this week they did run to texas when they thought texas was going to have issues. And Florida seems to get quite a lot of support when needed.
this country is able to get massive aid rapidly to other nations that have some economic relationship to our major banking or business interests
but our government is usually scolded by the poorer nations for not responding fast enough during crisis which occurs in thier country. Check it out reads like your congressmans congressional record on the new history archive called the w3. I got so mad the other day watching the program on the palm island the shiek of nowhere is building with all the
oil money that was made off the worlds people.
The entire world weather is being affected by global warming and these idiots are building custom designed hotels on man made islands
which are so complex it requires new engineering technologies to build it. What I marvel at is that the shows would display things like this to impress me with the state of the technology. What they impress me with most is that they someone would waste all this resource for something of this nature when there is so many other things that the money could be used for to benifit the people of thier contries. You know Im all for science and exploration too. But to spend money for going back to the moon or mars especially the moon under the excuse of well we will be strip mining the moon soon for an energy resource is crazy.
Business as usual is not going to get todays issues solved. Personaly I think they which does not include us plan to use the moon as a last escape destination if needed that is why they are willing to invest billions of dollars in taxpayers money under the guise of looking for energy resources. If they don't make some changes soon and go back to being the government of the people, by the people, and for the people they may need to make that trip sooner than they think.

Anonymous said...

Florida doesn't get a lot of help when needed, there are plenty of folks there, and it's been in the news, that are pretty hot about the fact that New Orleans got so much more help than they ever received. All of the rest of us in the remaining 48 know it's all too little, too late, or non existent. Red Cross puts up a tent and asks for volunteers, fima sends out money, but does anything ever get anywhere? Who can forget the trucks full of ice traveling round the country til the drivers dumped the ice out because they weren't getting paid or getting to deliver the ice where needed? E-mailing legislators doesn't do anything, someone writes a bill, it gets vetoed, or money gets appropriated, funds go out, but it is so tied up in agencies to disperse that it never gets where it needs to. And why why WHY are the insurance companies allowed to claim huge profits and not pay out claims filed appropriately. There is no such thing as an act of God, God doesn't punish people that way. Insurance companies do. Either you had insurance, or you didn't. If you didn't, you are in a bad way, because the government doesn't feel compelled to bail you out of your problems. If you had insurance you are in a bad way, because to minimize losses the adjusters have been instructed to give the run around in every way possible. The worst thing is no one is asking for a handout, or even for their home to be rebuilt. They just want the public utilities back on line, so they can rebuild themselves over time. Where is the army corp of engineers on that? Why isn't public water and electricity and phone service and places for people to shop for government subsidized low priced food items available to to these people after this long? What can the single taxpayer who's struggling to survive themselves supposed to do to help? We don't know what to do anymore, but something has to be done.

A loony said...

Um, hello. I'm just a highschool senior who knows nothing about real loss or any of this, but your story (along with problems of friend who's losing his house) have inspired me to
go froward with a project that may bring a horrible amount of grief to me. Nothing illegal or morally wrong I assure you, but controversial to say the least. The man, the sadistic piece of shit, punishment would do nothing to him or make any use of him. People like him, and most of the world need to discover their humanity, or discover they have no humanity. That is what I want to do. What I hope to do. What I NEED to do.
Thank you for sharing your story and the tale of your humility to those you care for. I wish I would do the same for my family.