Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post, November 25, 2007
"While Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has hailed the casino openings as a harbinger of Mississippi's resurgence and developers have proposed more than $1 billion in beachfront condos and hotels for tourists, fewer than one in 10 of the thousands of single-family houses destroyed in Biloxi are being rebuilt, according to city permit records. More than 10,000 displaced families still live in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency."
Maria Margaronis, The Guardian, November 9, 2007
"Now that the world's eyes have turned away, the Peloponnese is facing its own moment of what Naomi Klein has called "disaster capitalism". She has documented how big business turns disaster to its advantage - whether in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Sri Lanka after the tsunami or Iraq since the occupation. In Greece, the scale may be smaller but the pattern is familiar: an inept government, which is slow to respond to the disaster; private initiatives rushing in to fill the gap; local officials seizing the chance to push forward pet schemes, and a resident population too bewildered to do anything about it. 'We're all in shock still,' says Maria Pothou, in the village of Makistos. 'And yet we have to try to organise ourselves and try to make decisions.'"
Mark Sauer and Janine Zúñiga, San Diego Union Tribune, November 1, 2007
"A tent city is set to spring from the ashes near Barrett Junction as wildfire-weary residents in the rugged community near the Mexico border have been told they will be without water and electricity for another 10 days. Trucks carrying makeshift quarters for up to 200 people, with tents, cots, toilets, showers, power generators, laundry facilities and a community room with TV, are scheduled to arrive today. The tent city, a donation from the controversial private-military company Blackwater Worldwide (formerly USA), is expected to be constructed tomorrow with equipment and materials coming from the firm's North Carolina headquarters."
* "Blackwater's Relief Effort Wins Praise of Project Foe," San Diego Union Tribune, October 30, 2007
Harbor Light News, Harbor Light News, October 31, 2007
"A company that plans to offer national catastrophic disaster survival assistance through private memberships will locate one of its national response centers at Pellston Regional Airport with a reported investment of up to $79 million, if all goes according to plan....Sovereign Deed's target market are people living in major metropolitan areas. Members would get one-on-one personal planning assistance, everything from analysis of potential threats and disasters to individual survival packs, provisioning and evacuation planning, [Executive Vice President Richard] Mills said....
"Asked about the cost of membership, Mills called it a 'country club style of membership.' There is an initial onetime fee of $50,000 and annual fees of $15,000. Mills said the cost is so high because it is a brand-new industry. He said once the infrastructure is in place, 'if you buy a car, you will have this service. But it ain't happening over night.'"
* The Michigan Messenger's fantastic coverage of Sovereign Deed
Isabella Kenfield and Roger Burbach, CounterPunch, October 29, 2007
"In the Brazilian state of Paraná, Valmir Mota de Oliveira of Via Campesina, an international peasant organization, was shot twice in the chest at point blank range by armed gunmen on an experimental farm of Syngenta Seeds, a multinational agribusiness corporation. The cold blooded murder took place on Sunday, October 21 after Via Campesina had occupied the site because of Syngenta's illegal development of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Via Campesina and the Movement of the Landless Rural Workers (MST), the main Brazilian organization involved in Via Campesina's actions, are calling the murder an execution, declaring, "Syngenta used the services of an armed militia."
Kim Yoshino, Los Angeles Times, October 26, 2007
"Carrier is a certified firefighter, but he doesn't work for a government agency. He's an employee of Firebreak Spray Systems, which partners with the insurance company American International Group Inc. to protect the mansions of the moneyed.
"AIG's Wildfire Protection Unit, part of its Private Client Group, is offered only to homeowners in California's most affluent ZIP Codes -- including Malibu, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Menlo Park -- and a dozen Colorado resort communities. It covers about 2,000 policyholders, who pay premiums of at least $10,000 a year and own homes with a value of at least $1 million."
Bill Walsh, Times-Picayune, September 29, 2007
"It is a smorgasbord in New Orleans! It is a buffet, an economic buffet! All you can eat! If you have a lawnmower and an edger, you can make money in New Orleans."
- Mayor Ray Nagin, New Orleans
Elinda Labropoulou, Independent, September 19, 2007
"The Greek government is facing a major embarrassment within days of its re-election after it gave property developers the green light to build on an environmentally sensitive area next to forests ravaged by this summer's deadly fires. Documents leaked to the Greek press show the finance ministry pushed through an agreement allowing building activity to begin in a protected area in the Southern Peloponnese, the region hardest hit by last month's blazes that killed 67 people and destroyed nearly half a million acres of forest and farmland.... "The agreement, revealed this week, covers a valuable coastal zone in Zaharo, the area that accounted for nearly half of the deaths during last month's 'national emergency.'"
Ángel Páez, Inter Press Service, September 4, 2007
"An earthquake is like a war situation arising from a foreign invasion. In situations like this we need a single chain of command, with less democracy and a more vertical command structure."
- Peruvian President Alan García
Lucien Chauvin, Washington Post, August 26, 2007
"Each tent camp is like a small United Nations of aid and supplies. The Angulos' camp includes tents from Italy, a water system from Spain, and supplies from Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. A Peruvian religious congregation and a U.S. mining company co-manage the camp with Aramark....
"Aramark was installing a satellite dish and computers this week to provide residents with Internet access. There have also been hamburgers and Happy Meals from McDonald's, which has set up temporary operations in Pisco, a city without fast-food chains."