Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Letter from the Gulf Coast

The letter below just about says it all.

I thought it was a powerful testimony to the significant and lasting impacts BP's oil is having on the familes that rely on the Gulf for so much.

A Letter from the Gulf Coast:

I am sixty-one years old, have never done one blog, computer search or even gotten on line at all – My children and grand children are however fluid while using their computers. I don’t even own one.

I’m not signing my name because I am thousands that live on the Gulf Coast – we have lived here for 10 generations -- our lives, all our memories, our recreation, our baptisms, our first kisses, our most intimate moments, our loved ones ashes and our income have always revolved around the Gulf of Mexico – we have never taken her for granted – with our husbands she has been “the other woman”, with our children jumping the “biggest waves” has been an age old right of passage, our luxury saving for a week on the gulf in the summer or a month on the Gulf in the winter at Christmas.

We have held hands walking down the beach at the brink of divorce, the budding of new love, the devastation of death and disease --- and the Gulf, she allowed us to breathe in new breath and start again with new perspectives. This oil spill has devastated us.

Also, each of us – every family lives on some sort of inlet, the bay and on the creek – now our front yards are no longer a place of entertainment or consultation --- no swimming, no skiing, no wake boarding, no tubing, no fishing, no days playing in the water with cousins by the dozens while our 90 year old plus grandparents watch with wonder and are occasionally dipped into the water or navigated by strong healthy grandsons in to our small ski boat to see the growth that is happening since they skied and fished these waters. Now no one can even breathe well when the wind blows a certain way. So some days we cannot even sit on the deck --- the dock is totally out of bounds!

The Fourth of July – I can’t even imagine what it will be as I look out my back porch window – in the yard sits an above ground blue plastic pool – the flags that usually line the shore now line the back walk ways – the “pool” 15’ feet round by 3’ tall – only the smallest grandchildren can even get wet. While our normal Fourth of July – for generations – has been a family reunion – in the water swimming and skiing, hot dogs and hamburgers on the deck, watermelon on the dock – and the Fourth of July boat parade where everyone decorated their boat with everything red, white and blue and palmettos, reeds and with fishing net too. Then we form a parade from creek to creek culminating into an exorbitant fireworks display, each family spending a minimum of $150 on fireworks – no maximum has ever been determined (this year is bound to have an economic effect on out little seasonal fireworks stands in the area).

One of my children’s families owns a 4 generational business, a very well known bar and grill on the bay – a gathering place for tourists and locals alike – they are now operating well below 20% of their normal income at this time of the year – this business supports at least 12 families that can no longer pay their bills – this multi generational business so in grained in our community it hosts several fundraisers every year – its location surrounded by water is perfect to lure a very large crowd with big enough hearts and pockets to support them generously – now what effect will this have on those organizations.
My husband owns a second generation business – a boat marina – one of the best known in our area for repairs and sales, it is operating at almost 20% at its normal income 5 families are supported by this marina and lay offs are eminent – not to mention the dream of making it to 3 generations is becoming impossible – even though our oldest grandson has spent every summer since he was 10 years old (he’s 15 now) learning how to repair our board motors and run the business – and completely erases the dreams our other grandson has of following in his cousins footsteps in two years when he turns 10.

Another lifelong dream was finally realized when another one of my children completed a 3 year long renovation of a very large sailboat – they sold everything in order to live aboard this beautiful sea worthy vessel to travel the Gulf waters from the Louisiana coast down past the Florida Keys and every inlet in between. They put it in the water at their slip in February of this year – its June this area is now uninhabitable – the passageways closed – the Gulf filled with oil – their new adventure halted – their lives drastically altered.

Our family – we have survived damn near everything in tact: holding hands, praying, celebrating playing and looking forward with hope. This oil spill – the slow response to stopping the leak, the chemicals dispersed, the conflicting information, the fear of long term effects, watching the dolphins gather in the back of the smallest creeks in order to breathe, the schools of fish and minnows swimming slower (some upside down) dogs that still swim in the bay no longer have fleas and the sand has an orange tint right at the waters edge, businesses closing, boats with for sale sign on them on too many corners.

The Gulf Coast usually bustling, the traffic unbearable, the song of laughter from the sunny beaches – is no longer present. Hope is beginning to also be a feeling of the past. I believe from now on our live will be defined by referring to life as before the BP oil spill and after the BP oil spill. Kind of like this generation refers to life as before 9/11 and after 9/11 and how my generation refers to life as before the war and after the war. I do feel as if we are in the battle of our lives for our life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Voice Of The People In South Louisiana

A Lake Martin swamp sunset

Photo by Claude Nall

OK, I'll keep it short here because this blog was set up to promote the history, culture, wilderness and people of Louisiana. And if you scroll down to the next post you can see who I am, and what I have to offer you on some other issues.

I am a political person, and I couldn't resist sharing here as a Lafayette local says it all musically, in front of Obama's oil spill commission at the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans.

So what does this have to do with My Wild Louisiana?

Katrina and the government/corporate bungling after it, hurt me and a lot of other small busineses in south Louisiana. I was out of the swamp tour business for nearly three years because people just stopped coming to south Louisiana.

Presently the oil spill is threatening more than just our coastal wilderness.

The oil spill hasn't shut me down yet, as I am still doing my world famous swamp tours, but we are watching this oil spill situation closely.

In the end, hopefully we can use this oil spill, like Katrina,
to make Louisiana a better place for wildlife, and us to live and for you to visit.

Here is my friend, Drew Landry.


This You Tube video was pulled from a C-Span broadcast:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Destruction Of Nature And Our Free Nation

I am Marcus de la Houssaye in the picture here, with my daughter Christina on an ancient Bald Cypress in Lake Martin, owner and operator of de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours Photo by Philip Gould

On the Native American side of my family, I would be called a medicine man.

On the Cajun side a traiteur(in English:treater of ailments).

And I am painfully aware that I cannot "legally" make any "claims" about the effectiveness of prayer, positive attitude, clean air, pure water, diet, or an herbal treatment in curing disease because I do not have a formal education or a college degree OR a license to practice medicine.

Below is an article I copied from a website at: http://www.naturalnews.com/029130_Gulf_of_Mexico_censorship.html

I am sharing this because at the same time we are witnessing a crime against man and nature unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, we have a bigger problem in my opinion.

Photo by Claude Nall

Another crime against "we the people of the United States of America" is happening and we have been so brainwashed as of lately, it appears most of us don't care if our freedoms are being stripped away.

The first amendment, right to freedom of speech, is being denied to us who can't keep our mouth shut: journalists.

Photo by Martin Blake


From the website: NaturalNews.com

As CNN is now reporting, the U.S. government has issued a new rule that would make it a felony crime for any journalist, reporter, blogger or photographer to approach any oil cleanup operation, equipment or vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone caught is subject to arrest, a $40,000 fine and prosecution for a federal felony crime.

CNN reporter Anderson Cooper says, "A new law passed today, and back by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, ... will prevent reporters and photographers from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife just about any place we need to be. By now you're probably familiar with cleanup crews stiff-arming the media, private security blocking cameras, ordinary workers clamming up, some not even saying who they're working for because they're afraid of losing their jobs."

Watch the video clip yourself at NaturalNews.TV: http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=203

The rule, of course, is designed to restrict the media's access to cleanup operations in order to keep images of oil-covered seabirds off the nation's televisions. With this, the Gulf Coast cleanup operation has now entered a weird Orwellian reality where the news is shaped, censored and controlled by the government in order to prevent the public from learning the truth about what's really happening in the Gulf.

The war is on to control your mind.

If all this sounds familiar, it's because the U.S. government uses this same tactic during every war. The first casualty of war, as they say, is the truth. There are lots of war images the government doesn't want you to see (like military helicopter pilots shooting up Reuters photographers while screaming "Yee-Haw!" over the comm radios), and there are other images they do want you to see ("surgical strike" explosions from "smart" bombs, which makes it seem like the military is doing something useful). So war reporting is carefully monopolized by the government to deliver precisely the images they want you to see while censoring everything else.

Now the same Big Brother approach is being used in the Gulf of Mexico: Criminalize journalists, censor the story and try to keep the American people ignorant of what's really happening. It's just the latest tactic from a government that no longer even recognizes the U.S. Constitution or its Bill of Rights. Because the very first right is Freedom of Speech, which absolutely includes the right to walk onto a public beach and take photographs of something happening out in the open, on public waters. It is one of the most basic rights of our citizens and our press.

But now the Obama administration has stripped away those rights, transforming journalists into criminals. Now, we might expect something like this from Chavez, or Castro or even the communist leaders of China, but here in the United States, we've all been promised we lived in "the land of the free." Obama apparently does not subscribe to that philosophy anymore (if he ever did).

So how does criminalizing journalists equate to "land of the free?" It doesn't, obviously. Forget freedom. (Your government already has.) This is about controlling your mind to make sure you don't visually see the truth of what the oil industry has done to your oceans, your shorelines and your beaches. This is all about keeping you ignorant with a total media blackout of the real story of what's happening in the Gulf.

The real story, you see, is just too ugly. And the government has fracked up the cleanup effort to such a ridiculous extent that instead of the "transparency" they once promised, they're now resorting to the threat of arrest for all journalists who try to get close enough to cover the story.

Yes, this is happening right now in America. This isn't a hoax. I know, it sounds more like something you might hear about in Saudi Arabia, or Venezuela or some other nation run by dictators. But now it's happening right here in the USA.

As Anderson Cooper reported on CNN:

"Now the government is getting in on the act. Despite what Admiral Thad Allen promised about transparency just nearly a month ago.

Thad Allen: "The media will have uninhibited access anywhere we're doing operations..."

Anderson Cooper: The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers, reporters and anyone else from coming with 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on an island surrounded by a boom, you can't get close enough to take that picture. Shot of oil on beaches with booms? Stay 65 feet away. Pictures of oil-soaked booms uselessly laying in the water because they haven't been collected like they should? You can't get close enough to see that. Believe me, that is out there. But you only know that if you get close to it, and now you can't without permission. Violators could face a fine of $40,000 and Class D felony charges."

See the video yourself at: http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=203

Welcome to the (censored) club.

All I can say to CNN is: Welcome to the club! This kind of censorship, intimidation and tyranny has been going on for decades in the field of health, where the Orwellian FDA has treated the entire U.S. public to a nationwide blackout on truthful health information about healing foods and nutritional supplements. CNN has never covered that story, by the way. Most of the mainstream media has, in fact, gone right along with censorship of truthful health information by the FDA and FTC.

Now they're suddenly crying wolf. But where was the media when the FDA was raiding nutritional supplement companies and arresting people who dared to sell healing foods with "honest descriptions" about how they might help protect your health? The media went right along with the cover-up and never bothered to even tell its viewers a cover-up was taking place.

You see, even CNN is willing to tolerate some Orwellian censorship, as long as its advertisers are okay with it. The only reason they're talking about censorship in the Gulf of Mexico right now is because oil companies don't influence enough of their advertising budget to yank the story.

Censorship is not okay in a free society.

I like the fact that CNN is finding the courage to speak up now about this censorship in the Gulf, but I wish they wouldn't stay silent on the other media blackouts in which they have long participated. Media censorship is bad for any nation, and it should be challenged regardless of the topic at hand. When the media is not allowed to report the truth on a subject -- any subject! -- the nation suffers some loss as a result.

Without the light of media scrutiny, corporations and government will get away with unimaginable crimes against both humanity and nature.

That's what's happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico: A crime against nature.

Obama doesn't want you to see that crime. He's covering it up to the benefit of BP. He's keeping you in the dark by threatening reporters and photographers with arrest.

How's that for "total transparency?"

The only thing transparent here is that President Barack Obama has violated his own oath of office by refusing to defend the Constitution. By any honest measure, in fact, these actions, which are endorsed by the White House, stand in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. And that means this new censorship rule in the Gulf, which suspends the First Amendment, is unconstitutional. It also means those who decided on this rule are enemies of freedom.

They are the ones who should be arrested and hauled off to federal prison, not the CNN reporters who are trying to cover this story.

The seeds of tyranny.

The loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico isn't the only catastrophe taking place here, you see: Now we're losing our freedoms while our government tries to intentionally blind us all from the truth of what's happening on our own public beaches.

When those who seek truth are branded criminals by the government, it is only a matter of time before that government expands its criminalization labeling to include anyone who disagrees with it. These are the seeds of tyranny, and Obama is planting them at your doorstep right now.

What BP did to the Gulf Coast, Obama is now doing to your freedom.


Photo by Claude Nall

OK, I am back, and I want you to know I am not an Obama hater, but I do hate censorship, and I am not sure who is responsible for what is happening here but our governor here in Louisiana has a few things to say about the federal governments handling od this oil spill and bear in mind he is Republican.

Below is a letter written by our governor in Louisiana to his supporters.


Dear Friends -

Recently I flew over Lake Pontchartrain which is now threatened by tar balls and oil after decades of work to restore the lake to healthy levels. For weeks we requested 20 miles of boom to create multiple layers of defense for the Lake along with shallow water skimmers. The recent oil impact on Lake Pontchartrain now brings the total amount of shoreline impacted by oil in Louisiana to over 337 miles.

Even with this mounting crisis and rising miles of shoreline impacted by oil, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a coastal protection measure for Barataria Bay just this past Saturday. This rejection came after a month of meetings, phone calls and compromises to try and win federal approval. We even joined locals to meet with the President on this rock plan around a month ago. We were told that we would get a response in a matter of days. Instead, several weeks later, we got a flat rejection. As I told the Baton Rouge Advocate, only a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. would say rocks are more harmful to our water than oil. These people need to come to Louisiana. They need to touch the oil, feel the oil, and smell the oil that threatens our way of life here.

Most frustrating of all is that when the federal government denies one of our plans they also fail to offer an alternative. We need the federal government to show a greater sense of urgency and fight this oil like the war that it is. As I also told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, simply saying no is not an answer, no is not a plan, and no is not acceptable.

We need the federal government to recognize that when they reject our defense measures they fundamentally choose for oil to come in our wetlands. That will never be the choice we make. We cannot allow bureaucratic roadblocks to prevent good plans from being implemented.

This week we also took Senator Mary Landrieu and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus – who the President charged with developing a long-term recovery plan for the Gulf Coast – on a flyover of our coast to show the oil impact here as well as the significant coastal erosion problems we have experienced for generations. This year we were on track to have the lowest rate of land loss in 80 years. Now, that progress is threatened by oil impacting our coast and wetlands. We had a very clear message for Secretary Mabus. The time for coastal restoration studies is over. Our fragile coastline cannot afford years of more studies. We need quick action to restore our coast.

Finally, I am constantly amazed by the perseverance of our people in responding to this disaster. They are on the front lines every day – turning fishing boats into defense ships, dragging boom to stop oil – and always coming up with more ideas to protect our land and waters. It is the same spirit of perseverance that strengthened us through Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike; and this same perseverance leaves no doubt in my mind that we will win this war against the oil spill and come back better than ever before. To the people of coastal Louisiana, we will stand with you and work alongside you until every drop of oil is off of our coast and out of our waters and all of our fisheries and our industries are 100 percent restored. Our prayers continue to be with those on the coast and every Louisianian who is impacted by this spill.

Governor Bobby Jindal


Photo by Claude Nall

Here is a Youtube video of a solution for cleaning up the Gulf Oil Spill that I haven't heard of until today:

Bioremediation Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks


Sometimes things can be so simple, but to quote George Carlin:
If pro is the opposite of con, does that mean progress is the opposite of congress?

Photo by Claude Nall

Welcome to My Wild Louisiana!

I am, Marcus de la Houssaye

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Western Coastal Louisiana Is Still A Pristine Wilderness

With all the bad news we are getting from southeast Louisiana, I thought it time I show that we are still in good shape on the southwest coast.

When we arrived at Hebert's Landing on the east side of Big Lake, we were under the fringe of a tropical storm, and were immediately greeted by a flock of pelicans. The outer bands circulated above us and to the south we could see large well formed cumulus clouds that looked like kernals of popcorn on the horizon, against a cerulean blue sky over the Gulf of Mexico.

Several families complete with seniors and children were also launched and boarding boats to spend a day on the water, typical of a Louisiana family experience.

As we pulled out of the landing, the storm was behind us,

and my friend and fishing buddy Ed, needed a day on the water to play with his toys, and forget about the responsibilities of the office about 80 miles away.

Blue skies and sunshine were in front of us and the kids were looking out into the vastness of the lake.

Soon they were all smiles.

I took the kids out for a day on the water in western coastal Louisiana on Big Lake.

Of all the fish in coastal Louisiana, my favorite is redfish, and it wasn't long before I had the prize of first fish caught and in the end, the biggest of the day too.

We caught about 30 pounds of finger mullets in one cast at the weir, and were off to see if anything else was hungry.

It wasn't long before we were greeted by a second flock of pelicans,

and my friend Ed, began to score a weighty gain of bragging rights for his favorite fish the saltwater speckled trout.

Before it was all over we got to swim with the porpoises, were well tanned, and experienced something we have done generation after generation; taught the kids how to fish.

In light of the BP disaster unfolding a couple hunderd miles away, we must consider that these Louisiana experiences are precious and worth preserving for future generations.

Our culture is not rooted in or dependant upon the oil industry that is presently demonstating that it only cares about profits and it's corporate image, and not the people who invented offshore oil drilling technology or the environment that, we the Cajun people have always cherished, protected, and shared from generation to generation.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Brown Pelican On Our State Flag

As our way of life is threatened by the destruction of the environment due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we are all seeking to find our way through this crisis.

My friend Francis Pavy has created an oil on canvas
he has titled "Coastal Phoenix".

The Brown Pelican is our state bird and is as iconic of Louisiana
as crawfish is to the Cajun culture.

The message conveyed is the State of Louisiana shall rise up from the oil spill.

As usual Francis has used common scenarios in south central Louisiana
to express his unique art expressions.

Coastal Phoenix" 34 by 30 inches oil on canvas
©2010 Francis X. Pavy

Here is another Pavy of life in south Louisiana:

"Summer still life" --18 by 18 inches oil on canvas
©2010 Francis X. Pavy

Fourth Of July, And The Illusion Of Representation

We the people are not being represented by our elected officials!

The incompetence, deception and dysfunction of the people in charge of managing and cleaning up this oil spill reminds me so much of the Katrina fiasco, I have to ask; have we not learned anything in five years?

Hey Folks,

Our elected officials have come up with a great idea for cleaning up the oil spill. Let the tax payers pay for it! Now go look in the mirror and see if it says "FOOL" written on your forehead...

Here is the link: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/boehner-government--ie-taxpayers--should-help-pay-for-oil-spill.php

It is starting to look like the 1st amendment right of a free press is being suspended by our federal government who is in cahoots with a British corporation who is making the rules in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in order to cover up the negligence, and damage it is doing to our people, the wildlife, and our state wetlands environment.

Here is a You Tube audio tape of Billy Nungesser, the President of Plaquimines Parish discussing the Coast Guard enforcing a 60' rule made up by BP to cover up this mess and to keep the media far enough away from the oil spill and dying wildlife to do a fair job of reporting the incompetence and dysfunction of the people in charge of managing and cleaning up this man made disaster.

Billy is a for real, local boy who grew up in New Orleans and tells it like it is.

I believe the audio is self explanatory.

Happy Independence Day.


Here is a link to a You Tube video of Anderson Cooper of CNN doing a story about the suspension of the first amendment right of a free press.


Apparently we only have constitutional rights if we stand up and fight for them.

Well, last time I looked, it was a free country, and I will do everything in my power to keep it that way.