St. Bernard and Plaquemines are screwed.

Oxfam has a report from the poor and isolated St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes in southern Louisiana.

The rural areas there are pretty much totally depopulated and everyone’s livelihoods are destroyed. There were a lot of farmers and fishermen there, and that ain’t happening. And, in general, the people in those parishes get screwed when government money is being handed out because they lose at the political game. Plus, as a bonus, the place is full of heavy chemical industries and refineries which got all stirred up and spread on those parishes like peanut butter. Householders are being told not to return home until they have tetanus and hep A and B inoculations.

Oxfam is trying to raise $2 million for both short- and long-term aid to St. Bernard and Plaquemines. Help if you can!

Oxfam Katrina Relief

My own favorite charity, Oxfam, has a Katrina relief fund. They’re good at disaster relief but also good at long-term structural help with the economic and social problems that persist years after a catastrophe. If progressive politics give you the willies, you probably will prefer the Red Cross. If band-aid solutions and a refusal to address poverty and discrimination along with disaster make you grumpy, I suggest you give a few bucks to Oxfam America at this link.



Famine in Niger, war and famine in Sudan, famine and disease after the tsunami, predatory landlords, dirty drinking water, the abuse of women and children, yet more war everywhere, AIDS, hurricanes, the impossible life of the subsistence farmer, drought, endless cycles of poverty and corruption, malaria, and still more war.

What’s a person to do?

Give a few bucks to Oxfam if nothing else. 77% of their donations and 90% of their emergency fund donations go directly to operations. They help in emergencies and crises, and they fight the root causes of the world’s miseries too. They do it locally, with global reach.

For those outside the U.S., the donation link is this one.