Monday, December 12, 2005

Kathleen Blanco, Ray Nagin and President Bush are in the same gumbo on the burner; will someone rise from the stew to save New Orleans?

The NY Times editorial read in class today is entitled Death of an American City. the story begins ...

"We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

We said this wouldn't happen. President Bush said it wouldn't happen. He stood in Jackson Square and said, "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." But it has been over three months since Hurricane Katrina struck and the city is in complete shambles.

There are many unanswered questions that will take years to work out, but one is make-or-break and needs to be dealt with immediately. It all boils down to the levee system. People will clear garbage, live in tents, work their fingers to the bone to reclaim homes and lives, but not if they don't believe they will be protected by more than patches to the same old system that failed during the deadly storm. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment before they will stake their futures on the city.

At this moment the reconstruction is a rudderless ship."

See more of their argument at NY Times/Opinion.

The paper points out an unconscionable delay in committing to the expense of rebuilding New Orleans levees. While much of the blame falls on Bush, the onus is shared by state and local officlals.

My response will be to write to Blanco and Bush and recommend that we spend the $32 billion on the levees and cleanup. I will also write Jim McCrery, David Vitter and Mary Landrieu.

A comprehensive site for govt. officals' email addresses is

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