Don't Rebuild New Orleans

On the radio today I heard some people accusing the U.S. of forgetting its promise to rebuild New Orleans. They framed it as a moral issue to rebuild New Orleans on its present location for a similar number of people. This is wrong. The French Quarter and the Garden District are intact and can be restored. Good. New Orleans can be a pleasant historical small city. Most of the rest of the city should revert to wetland - a monument to the arrogance of picking a fight with the Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico.

Cities are not forever. Been to Carthage lately? Miletus? Troy? Babylon? Nineveh? Persepolis? Jungles swallowed some cities. Deserts covered others. Some are underwater. Trade routes shifted. Harbors silted. Climates changed. Technologies made them obsolete. People moved away.

New Orleans has experienced several of those things. How stupid would we have to be to spend billions of dollars to restore a mistake? Let's make a comparision

Not Rebuild

New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen and an ongoing ecological offense maintained only at the cost of billions of dollars and a never ending battle against water, wind and gravity - against nature itself. The cultural centers of the city are still there. The rest was a breeding ground for poverty, crime and hopelessness. There is nothing of value to restore. We would be spending millions of dollars for each person who lived in the wet parts of the city. It is not worth it.

Places don't have souls. Only people matter. The displaced people should be fairly compensated for their lost property and advised to move to higher ground. We are not the Netherlands that needs reclaim land from the bottom of lakes and oceans. America is a big country with a dynamic economy. It looks like most of the people don't even want to go back anyway. Make it easy for them to make the right choice.

Rebuild

Somebody else will need to fill this in. I can't think of one good reason.

We have a rare opportunity to start over. New Orleans has been a costly mistake. We got into it little by little, so we didn't notice that the levees are essentially made out of money. Save what is above sea level. We can still have Bourbon Street. We can still have the cool parts. Let the gators and the catfish have back what is theirs.

Posted by Jack at December 17, 2005 8:42 PM | TrackBack (1)
Comments
Comment #103595

I said before the people who were ‘dislocated’ by the storm will find themselves better off than if they all try to pour back in to the same area.
I still believe that.

Posted by: dawn at December 17, 2005 8:56 PM
Comment #103596

While I agree with what was said here, my one question has to do with the need for a harbor at the mouth of the Mississippi. Admittedly, I know little to nothing about the layout of the Mississippi and New Orleans, but I have been told that many goods are shipped down the Mississippi and out to through the Gulf…what would happen to the economy if we lose that shipping route? Would we still be able to use New Orleans as a port without rebuilding?

Posted by: jen at December 17, 2005 9:03 PM
Comment #103598

Most of the terminals are now up river or offshore. They require few New Orleans workers to make them run.

We can choose to restore the places that make sense, in any case. But the city will be very much smaller.

Posted by: Jack at December 17, 2005 9:11 PM
Comment #103599

The US cant afford to rebuild New Orleans, as a matter of fact Louisana even……The Governor and Mayor were both pathetic and should be held accountable for criminal negligence!! To rebuild that city is ridicious…….!! I visited there last year and it was filthy and dirty,,,,,we felt like people were just waiting to rob us……..Don’t rebuild New Orleans!!!

Posted by: Alfred at December 17, 2005 9:28 PM
Comment #103600

I’m 14 years old. After Katina I was strongly against rebuilding New Orleans. Why waste billions of tax dollars for a city that is either going sink, or the same tradgedy will happen again within 5 years. It makes no sense! I am sure the city breeds much good, but all we here is sex at Mardi Gras, or crime. Why expand the deficit for nothing?

Posted by: Jeremy W. at December 17, 2005 9:33 PM
Comment #103603

I don’t know Jeremy W. why don’t you ask your half-retarded president? I’m sure he has a reasonable explaination. Maybe it’s to protect us against another 9-eleven, ‘er sumthin’.

His rebuilding plans are more liberal than anything the democrats wanted put forward, hello?

Posted by: A damned good republican at December 17, 2005 9:54 PM
Comment #103606

It’s easy for all of you to say that it would be a waste to rebuild New orleans, you seem to think that the french quarter and the garden district is all that needs to be salvage and that these areas would create the pleasant historical (White) district that you have been hoping for all along. New Orleans 9th ward and other predominant black areas is not just filled with criminals, it’s also filled with some of most Hard working,friendliest, caring and fun loving people in this world . Who are you, to decide whats better for them, why do there neighborhoods have to be sacrificed. Why do everyone think they know whats best for new orleans. Why is it that.

Posted by: Louisana Grown at December 17, 2005 10:08 PM
Comment #103608

Louisana

If the local people or investors are freely rebuilding the city, it is none of our business. If you are asking the U.S. as a whole to pay, then it is. I don’t care what color the people of New Orleans are. As long as they live above sea level and/or don’t suck up too much tax money per capita.

It looks like the cost of rebuiding and holding back the water will be too high. We will reach a decision about what to do by democratic means. There is no obligation to rebuild.

Posted by: Jack at December 17, 2005 10:30 PM
Comment #103609

Lousiana Grown, I totally agree with you that the residents of New Orleans should be the ones to decide what is best for that city, and the rest of us should keep our noses out of it.

The government should help the PEOPLE who were effected by Katrina. But that doesn’t mean that we should help New Orlean’s mortar, brick, steel, concrete and wood. If once we’ve helped the human beings who were effected and they decide to rebuild the city, then let them do it and enjoy the full benifets of their enterprising spirits.

The rest of us should not be asked to assume, without any possiblity of reward, the enormous risk of paying enormous amounts of our own money so others can live below sea level in a hurricane zone.

On the other hand, New Orleans was a great cultural center and tourist attraction with an incredibly glamourous history, and with the enormous risks of rebuilding it may come enormous rewards.

You can probably buy real estate in New Orleans right now at incredible bargains. Those who are willing to take that risk and help rebuild stand to enjoy an amazing return if their risk pays off.
But again, don’t ask the rest of us to foot the bill.

Posted by: sanger at December 17, 2005 10:38 PM
Comment #103613

Louisana Grown:

I certainly an sorry that your region went through hell recently. It was hard enough to watch. It must have horrible to live through.

That being said, I have a hard time spending so much money to rebuild land below sealevel. I don’t mind rebuilding once. I just want to know we wont have to rebuild two or three times in my lifetime.

If you can rebuild with your own money then I have absolutely no objection.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 17, 2005 11:10 PM
Comment #103616

I completely agree. Rebuilding the city of New Orleans is a mistake. I have nothing personal against the people who have or still do call it home, but the simple reason is that it is way below sea level is my objection. That coupled with the fact that it is in area of the country that gets hit with hurricanes means that Katrina was only a matter of time, and it is only a matter of time untill it happpens again.

Sure we can rebuild levees but I’ll put my money on mother natures side, man can do little in this case to stop it from happening again.

I vacationed in New Orleans a few times even watched my Packers win the Superbowl there, and I remember my friend saying (back in 97) glad I got to see New Orleans before it’s gone. Looking back it really wasnt a bold prediction. Having a city with close to a million people under sea level is asking for trouble.

My heart goes out to all of the people who lost all they had but common sense tells me that rebuilding it will be a waste of time, money, and likely more lives. America is a big country with every region offering its citizens many benefits. I’m sure the people who used to call it home can find a new place to live. Personally if my home town was wiped out by a disaster and it was only a matter of time till it happened again I would relocate rather than face the devestation again.

Not to often I find myself whole heartedly agreeing with a post from the red column but this is one that I do.

Posted by: Dr. Shopper at December 17, 2005 11:19 PM
Comment #103624

Wow, you’re good. Five minutes ago I read the title thinking “what?!” but now I totally agree. And I would also like to add: as my Spanish teacher said to a kid who though New Orleans was a Hispanic city, “only the French would be stupid enough to build a city there.”

Nice job.

Posted by: xxreadytorun at December 17, 2005 11:53 PM
Comment #103638

p.s. adding the French comment in there was not meant to offend anyone.. sorry if it did

Posted by: xxready to run at December 18, 2005 1:03 AM
Comment #103675

New Orleans will never be the same as it was, but it will be rebuilt, as Mr. Bush has promised. It will be rebuilt for the same reason that San Francisco will be rebuilt in the event of a major earthquake or the same reason any American city will be rebuilt in the event of a devastating terrorist attack: because that’s what Americans do. Our nation was founded on the ideology of hope and progress. We aren’t going to turn our back on a great American city, even a badly flawed one, while spending untold billions and thousands of lives to do “nation building” in a part of the world where the odds against long-term success are long indeed.

Indeed, I’d say we’re in Iraq partly for the same reason we’ll rebuild New Orleans: because we just don’t have it in our DNA to say, “It’s too hard and risky and we’d better not even try.”

It will also be rebuilt because of government pork and political promises and electoral votes and gentrification and geography and history and oil and a range of other reasons. So, just get over it. Unless the U.S. economy goes the way of Argentina (which is quite possible given our massive debt and deficits), the rebuilding of New Orleans is a given. If you want to contribute to the discussion, then discuss the hows and the wheres and the technologies and the environmental engineering.

In the end, New Orleans will wind up a healthier, if smaller, city, though it’ll take years. It’ll be a testament to who were are as a people, and the experts will see it as breaking new ground in terms of preparing for the already-rising oceans linked to worsening global warming. New Orleans might even be seen as a city of the future, proudly highlighted on the cover of some major news magazine in another two decades. And then the naysayers will scramble for condos there, considering them damned good retirement investments.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 18, 2005 2:22 AM
Comment #103726

well, i certainly expect to see the same comments about rebuilding when L.A., Seattle, or San fran goes down after an earthquake, or Mt St Helens does a job on the pac northwest, or Miami gets levelled by a hurricane, or any other gulf coast area, or all those beautiful golf courses on the eastern seaboard end up drowned. we have the tech and the resources to rebuild. i don’t hear anyone telling haley barbour to move biloxi to “safer” ground.

Posted by: synecdoche at December 18, 2005 5:16 AM
Comment #103732

It’s not a question of resources, it’s a question of tax dollars. And when money is involved, every American should theoretically have a say. Of course we have the resources… I have the money to buy a Lamborghini, but that doesnt mean I’m going to, because in my opinion it’s a waste of money. Especially if, as scientific studies have shown, New Orleans will be an island in a couple decades. I feel bad for the people of New Orleans, but if I were them, I personally would not want to go back.

Posted by: Justin Marble at December 18, 2005 7:48 AM
Comment #103734

Reed and Synerdote

Healthier and much smaller.

The original reason that New Orleans became a big city are gone. The port facilities are more automated and moved offshore or up river. The Mississippi would move given the natural course of things.

Sometimes we have a big investment in the wrong place. It can be hard to leave precisely because it is so big. But if it is destroyed, you are smart enough not do it again.

Home owners. If you house was destroyed, would you build the new one the same way?

Let me give the really mundane example QWERTY. That is the keyboard you are using. It was designed more than a century ago to SLOW typists so they didn’t jam their machines. We keep using it because all of us have such a big investment in owning and learning how to use it. What if our typing memories were wiped clean and all our keyboards were gone. Would we not replace this with something better?

The interesting part of this argument so far from proponents of rebuilding is that it is not practical or economic. Of course we should rebuild where the benefits outweigh the costs. That is why we quickly are rebuilding and restoring the industrial facilities along the Gulf Coast. But why pay billions to restore what had little or no economic value? People can (and have) moved to better places.

The best argument against rebuilding is ecological. We would spend billions to get thousands AND at the same time ruin the environment of the coast. There is no upside.

Some people mentioned San Francisco. First it was rebuilt largely with private and local investment. What people do with their own money is their business. Bur consider this hypothetical. The Hetch-Hetchy reservoir supplies much of SF water supply. Many environmentalists consider it a mistake and advocate taking it down. Reasonable people disagree, since the dam is useful and supplying needed water. What if it was knocked down by an earthquake? Would we rebuild it as it was? Or would we think about alternatives?

Posted by: Jack at December 18, 2005 8:54 AM
Comment #103735

As an american citizen and a tax payer i have the right to my opinion and a right for it to be heard. look at this situation realistically…portions of the area that were inhabited were below sea level. is that really safe? where is the common sense people? regardless if the people are black or white to rebuild a city that is below sea level is really stupid. this the the perfect oportunity for those individuals who were dispersed from the area to start fresh. not many people get an oportunity to get a second chance with the help of the government and the insurance companies, they can. i live in the north east…there is an economical and social suppression here. i am not afforded an oportunity to get the much needed assitance to be self sufficiant. the programs here and their “common practices” are way outside of the structured guidelines set up to assist the needy. i urge those who have been displaced to start fresh with what ever means of assistance you can get and move forward in life!DO NOT REBUILD “ATLANTIS”!

Posted by: B.C. at December 18, 2005 9:07 AM
Comment #103741

Jack

I swear, I wonder if your human at times.

Posted by: ? at December 18, 2005 9:45 AM
Comment #103742

?

You prefer ecological and economic folly to let some people have what they say they want?

Posted by: Jack at December 18, 2005 9:47 AM
Comment #103743

Jack,

Your argument makes some sense, but you need to think seriously about the precedent you would be setting. There is billions of dollars of developed beachfront property in Florida. Should the feds tell the owners that they are building at their own risk? Otherwise there would seem to be a double standard with racial overtones.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 18, 2005 9:50 AM
Comment #103755

Life is risk, people. If we abandoned every city that suffered catastrophic damage, we would be poorer for it. Hell, we wouldn’t have a capital in Washington D.C. |(Burned to the ground by the British in the War of 1812)

If you look at archaeology, we find that cities are often built right on the ruins of the old ones, and catastrophically destroyed cities are often rebuilt. It’s not always game over. Many cities are in places of strategic importance. Being at the mouth of the Mississippi is not merely a risk, but also an opportunity.

It is wise to reconsider the defenses the city has against floods and Hurricanes, and to reconsider where the population ends up, but all this talk of not rebuilding New Orleans is just the kind of pessimism which passes for free market thinking in some parts of the Republican party. The truth is, we cannot avoid all risk without passing up all real-world workable opportunities in the process.

This is part of why towns are rebuilt in the shadow of volcanoes, on the top of major faults, and on coasts that see hurricanes and which have below sea-level segments. This is not so much the human inability to think long term. It’s also our inability to gain much if we don’t take certain risks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #103760

It seems to me to be another case of “let’s clean up your back yard before cleaning up ours” and then looking down their noses at us.

It has been said here that people who build below sea level are stupid.

What about the people who build major cities on earthquake fault lines? San Fransisco, anyone? Los Angelos ring a bell? When it comes down not to “if” it will happen, but to “when” it will happen…who is really stupid?

Are we to abandon those cities? Is anyone here ready to go on record as calling people in S.F. and L.A. stupid?

How about the lesser known threats? Anyone heard of the New Madrid fault? How about the fault that runs through New York City? Don’t talk about those much, do we? After all, who wants to scare the crap out of Chicago, St. Louis or Memphis? After all, think of what would happen to the real estate market in New York if we started discussing that fualt. According to the opinions on this board, all those people in all those cities are just stupid.

More stupid people (according to this board)? How about Tokyo? How about the entire country of Japan? How about Peru? All these people (according to this board) are just plain stupid. They KNEW it would happen sooner or later, right? So why did they move there in the first place…and why should we rebuild when we KNOW it will happen again.

Everybody that lives in an area known for natural disasters needs to move NOW, right? ‘Cause if they don’t, they’re just plain STUPID, right?

Everybody that is living in a place that is prone to natural disasters needs to move to a place that is free of them. I’m sure that Aruba has plenty of room for the world’s population!

What about tornadoes? Is the entire population of Oklahoma City stupid? According to this board…yes.

Posted by: Jim T at December 18, 2005 10:56 AM
Comment #103761

Stephen,

BTW…good post.

Posted by: Jim T at December 18, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #103790

“only the French would be stupid enough to build a city there.”

Actually, the French Quarters were built on the only available high ground around, and they held up fairly well.

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at December 18, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #103791

Why rebuild it?

We can just wait for the trash to pile up again until the areas destroyed look just like they did prior to the flood.

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at December 18, 2005 11:47 AM
Comment #103797

A sage opinion, Jack, and I agree wholeheartedly. The politicians however, are going to throw money at rebuilding the levees and wetlands for fear of political rhetoric to be used against them in future elections. If they do, they commit a self-fulfilling prophecy, because I and many others will be voting against them for that very reason as well.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 18, 2005 12:01 PM
Comment #103829

Woody

YES -emhatically. The Feds should not subsidize these sorts of things. Barrier islands, flood zones, slide areas etc all should be at the risk of the person stupid enough to build there.

It is mostly the rich who are plundering the treasury. They build on a barrier island and then call on the Feds to protect their property from storms and water. Nature works in cycles. Sometimes we can anticipate them.

Stephen

Rebuild if the reasons for the original building still make sense, but don’ rebuild just because something was there before. The below sea level building was a costly mistake. We have a chance to do right.

Jim

See above. If there is a good reason to build, by all means do so. Conditions no longer justify a city the size of New Orleans on the site of New Orleans. I would not have advocated moving the city before the hurricane, but now that it moved by nature, let it go.

David

Thanks. We consistently agree on only one thing: the need to do things that work with rather than against nature.

All

Ask this question. If there were no city on the site of New Orleans, would you build one there? How big would it be? What would be its main industries? Let the answers to those questions guide the rebuilding.

Posted by: Jack at December 18, 2005 1:04 PM
Comment #103842

I would also have to reluctantly agree with most of the bloggers here. There are portions of New Orleans that would be impractical to restore to its former status quo. But you have only yourselves to blame for the suspicions your proposals engender because of the flippant and selfish way you justify them.

Not rebuild New Orlean’s? OFCOURSE we’re going to rebuild New Orleans! It is not a question of taking homeless New Orleans refugees and leaving them that way. This is the greatest fear of these people and I have heard precious little said by our President of the Congress which would comfort them.

It should be made clear that the majority of City WILL be the way it was, and certain portions of the city WILL be rebuilt on higher ground. To suggest that New Orleans will go the way of Pompeii, or Ninevah, invites an angry response.

Save money? When you claim you will save money it is only natural for one to ask, ‘What is it you DON’T intend to rebuild’? Who is going to get shafted? Quitely likely it won’t be you.

If we’re going to truly do justice to the former residents of these neighborhoods, money will not be saved by rebuilding on higher ground, as least not in the short and medium term. If we rebuild on higher ground, it will cost more, not less upfront, because we will be recreating a great deal of urban infrastructure from scratch. Any savings will be long-term; by preventing the need to rebuild again and again.

If you attempt to justify the abandonment of whole neighborhoods on moral, or economic grounds, or as a kind of “urban natural selection” get ready for needless political warfare. A far more reasonable approach is to justify it as serving the best interests of the former residents of these neighborhoods. It is an obvious argument; no one wants to live on an active flood plain. It will not fly however, until it is made clear that we are doing this to serve the best long-term interests of New Orleans, and not ourselves.

Posted by: Mike Cooper at December 18, 2005 1:46 PM
Comment #103871

First, I have to totally agree with the writter of this article. New Orleans should not be rebuilt as it was, where it is. Before Katrina I was considering a move to New Orleans. Even so, today I am still considering a move to New Orleans. Will New Orleans be rebuilt? I am pretty sure it will. But I agree that the areas seriously under sea level should be abondoned.

First I thought, “Build up river”, then I noticed that it was still mostly swamp (same situation), Then I looked and saw what looks like dry land are to the south of the river. So there is a place to rebuild. Compensate the home owners in the to be abandoned areas, give them dibs on property in the new area, and tell the owners of the derilect “blighted” property to bugger off.

Like I said I am still considering a move to New Orleans. I want to move there for the culture, the music and the party. How deep will I go into New Orleans? About three feet. I am developing plans for residences that will minimize the damage from a flood up to seven feet. I just don’t want to live six feet under.

The areas most people are suggesting to be abandoned were and should be swamp and wetlands. They will help absorb future floods. The Mississippi is already trying to change course. The US is pumping millions of dollars into systems to keep it from moving. Let’s save some money and let it. There is a nice town and bay at the other end of its new (and previous) course that can be the harbor. As someone else pointed out, the reasons that New Orleans became that big city has moved on. What was left was the problems that come when the jobs move.

To Jeremy W., I am glad to see at 14 your in here putting your two cents in. Your two cents is worth as much as everybody elses.

Posted by: gmduggan at December 18, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #103913

If the good people of N.O. want to rebuild in
the same exact spots where they lost their homes
and businesses, then they should. Just don’t do
it using federal government tax money. What
happened after Katrina could happen again, many
times over. We should be using those millions to
improve education, infrastructure, defense, etc.
NOT constantly bailing out people who choose to
live in natural disaster prone areas, no matter
how rich or poor ( or what color ) they are.

And yes, you can assign a certain amount of
ignorance to people who choose to live in these
areas. Whether it’s below sea level, next to an
active volcano or avalanche prone mountain or
in a heavily active earthquake prone area. It’s just stupid for a home or business owner or city
planner to build in these areas. Flood plain/zones
and ocean/river shores run risks of natural and
man made disasters.

Being from Oklahoma, I worry only slightly about
tornadoes, even though they’re far more unpredictable than hurricanes. Tornadoes literally
can drop out of the sky with little warning. If
the conditions are present, then watches and
warnings are issued, but usually just an hour or
so before a tornado might form. If you live on or
near a coast, there is usually days of warnings
before a much more destructive hurricane arrives.

The footprint/lethal path of a hurricane is usually much wider involving not only destructive
winds, but also torrential rains, flooding, tidal
surges, etc. The comparisons of tornadoes and
hurricanes and the people who live in the those
regions are only slightly valid.

Long before there was a Farmer’s Almanac or Doppler Radar there was this little book called
The Bible that gave parables warning about what
type of land you build your homes foundation upon.
Unfortunately the wisdom of the ages ( and of
Jesus Christ ) are lost on an increasingly secular
world whose main philosophy seems to be…
“whatever!”.

For those celebrating the true reason for the
season, Mary Christ-mas. To the rest, have a
wonderful Hanna-Rama-Kwans-mas. To you secular
atheists and those in retail. Happy Moneydays.

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 18, 2005 4:06 PM
Comment #103919

Mike

It does save money not to rebuild where it was. A country as big and dynamic as ours can easily absorb the population of New Orleans that does not go back. It is not only the money, however. We have been engaged in a big mistake for a century. We have been trying to fight the ocean and the river. In some places we can achieve a workable solution. In others we ca’’t.

Can ANYONE give me one good reason beside sentiment that we should rebuild below sea level. People move all the time. Most Americans move every couple of years. Many of us have moved from our hometowns because we couldn’t find good opportunities. Many of us move to different places because of cheaper housing, better schools or better jobs. Why is it that of all the people in all the world the people who live in one inappropriate part of New Orleans can’t be expected to have the same motivations?

Would we choose build a big city there today? We have an opportunity do things right.

To all

This is part of a bigger - much bigger - problem. With the help of modern maping techniques, we can tell within a couple of meters whether or not a place is a good place to build. We have lots of options now. Let’s do it right.

As regular readers know, I own a tree farm. Parts of it are very good for growing loblolly pines because they are low and wet. The cheapest place to build a house would be among the loblollies. Anybody who built a house here, however, would have trouble with flooding basements, mold and septic problems. I could remedy this problem at significant expense, or ask people to move up the hill a little or I could demand the government build levees at the cost of millions of dollars, or maybe it would be better to let the loblollies have that part of the land and build nothing.

Posted by: Jack at December 18, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #103961

I cannot believe what I am reading here.

I am an New Orleanian and proud of it. I am an American and proud of it, and as an American, I have always believed in my heart that when the chips were down, I could count on my fellow Americans to rally round and help me, just as we always helped each other in times of crisis. I always believed that the same spirit that lead our valiant military to lay down their lives for the defense of my freedom, safety, and homeland would lead Americans to help their fellow Americans in time of tragedy. I always believed I could count on you, my countrymen.

Apparently I was wrong.

I always believed that government had several limited purposes, primary among which were to provide a common defense and to provide for the common welfare by helping its citizens in time of extrordinary need.

From what I have read here, apparently I was wrong.

Are you not aware that New Orleans was founded in 1722, that it was a city long before America was a country? Do you not realize that New Orleans is approaching three hundred years old, and that this is the first and only time that this grand city has been destroyed by a hurricane and flood? Do you not remember that Hurricane Katrina was one of the most powerful storms of the century that did this to New Orleans? You talk of her like she gets destroyed every other year and you have no interest in rebuilding her for the umteenth time, but once in three centuries speaks well of her location and her founders, as well as those of us who continue to call her home.

If my government cannot or will not come to the aid of my city and its people at a time like this, then I cannot count on my government for anything. If you people who have written against rebuilding New Orleans represent my fellow Americans, then perhaps I can’t count on you for anything. And I question what need I will ever have of you. And if you represent the thought of Republicans and conservatives across this nation, then maybe we Republicans and conservatives are as soul-less as the liberals say we are.

I cannot tell you how hurt and angry I am, reading what you all think about not helping your fellow citizens—me, my family, my neighbors and friends—when an Act of God has caused us such suffering and loss. How heartless you are. How uncaring about your neighbors. God forbid that a hurricane or a tornado, an earthquake or a conflagration ever befalls your home, your city. You may be setting the precedent, with your heartless talk, of being abandoned by your fellow citizens for the same, or similar reasons, to those you use for not helping us now.

Mostly those against rebuilding New Orleans have talked about the excessive cost of doing so. You don’t apparently object if we want to rebuild it ourselves, just don’t ask you to pay for it. Have you forgotten, if you ever felt it, a sense of loyalty and kinship to your fellow Americans? Does everything in your life get measured by the dollar cost? Again, I can only hope that you don’t represent the consensus of thought in this country. God help us if you do. And I mean God help us as a country, as a nation.

In closing, let me say that you may have recognized some anger in the words written here. There is, to be sure, some of that. But more than that, far more, is the terrible hurt and disappointment I feel to my soul that my fellow Americans can look at our situation and say, in effect, “Those people in New Orleans are not our problem. Let them fend for themselves. It will cost too much. Let their city live or die, it’s not our responsibility to help them.”

And to those of you who have written in support of rebuilding New Orleans, let me say thank you. I appreciate you, my fellow Americans, now more than ever, and when New Orleans rises from this cataclysm, as she will, the generous people of this city will be there for you when you need help.

Tom Grace
New Orleans (Metairie), Louisiana

Posted by: Tom Grace at December 18, 2005 8:16 PM
Comment #103970

ALL,

IF THAT IS THE LOGIC THEN WHY ARE WE REBUILDING THE WORLD TRADE TOWERS AGAIN, SCREW IT THEY’D ONLY GET HIT AGAIN!!!

We should not rebuild anything, like Iraq, WHY ARE WE REBUILDING IRAQ?? WE’LL ONLY HAVE TO go back & BLOW IT UP AGAIN. WHY BUILD SCHOOLS THERE WE’LL ONLY BLOW THEM UP AGAIN. OR WHY ARE WE FEEDING REFUGEES OF WAR THEY’RE STILL QUITE OPEN TO GUNFIRE.

WOW you guys are really brainstormin’!!!!

Posted by: A perfect reflection at December 18, 2005 8:53 PM
Comment #103976

I say rebuild New Orleans. Then send the trash that migrated to other areas and are causing problems back. The good folks can stay.
We’ve had about 200 come over here from New Orleans after the huricane. About 70% of them are sitting on our welfare rolls and getting into trouble. The other 30% have gone out and found jobs and places to live. I hired two at the factory and don’t want them to leave. But one says that if she can ever get her insurance company to pay her for her home she wants to go back. The other one is planning to stay. And I say welcome.
But the 70% that’s inflating our welfare rolls and crime rate need to get the hell out.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 18, 2005 9:23 PM
Comment #103986

This is scary I almost agree 100% on something with jack. There are some things we should not do. at the top of my list is to build homes, towns or cities below sea level or in major flood plains. This for me is wisdom, the answer to it is not always as easy to see. Yet we continue to fight nature in ways we should not. I think of the house we see time to time build on cliffs starting to fall apart as the ground has shifted and the cliff is disappearing. I feel sorry for those involved but think that we will realize that it is not a good idea to build homes that close to the edge of a cliff. Yet they do have a good view, and I know some day my house has a good chance of being hit by a tornado. But I love the Midwest.

Posted by: jp at December 18, 2005 10:06 PM
Comment #103987

Tom,

As a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, I think the feds (spending my money) should bend over backwards to help the Katrina victims with housing, small business loans, job training, etc. I also think that New Orleans should be mostly rebuilt.

If someone was living several feet below sea level, however, I don’t see how it is doing them a favor to rebuild their home in the same place. Actually it seems to me that it would border on criminal negligence, unless there was a levee that could withstand virtually any conceivable hurricane.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 18, 2005 10:08 PM
Comment #103991

Tom

I don’t mean to attack New Orleans. Parts of the city should be rebuilt. But not all. If my children had a house where it was in permanent danger from the elements and could be maintained only by investments of millions of dollars per room, I would help them move to a better place.

Part of your city sits where it should not be. If you wanted to use your own money to rebuild it, I would still advise against it, but it would not be my business. That is why I make the distinction.

It is not only New Orleans. I would say the same about barrier islands, cliffs, and flood plains.

Posted by: Jack at December 18, 2005 10:52 PM
Comment #104128
Rebuild

Somebody else will need to fill this in. I can’t think of one good reason.

Because you can.
If you can rebuild the NYC’s WTC towers even taller, why can’t you build stronger leeves? Fill the area under sea level?
Talk about compassionate double standard!

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2005 9:35 AM
Comment #104132

Phillipe,

Well, I for one am not saying we should blow off the Katrina survivors and let them fend for themselves. I don’t think anyone is. It is not a matter of compassion, but the most effective way to be compassionate.

Your idea of filling in the land occurred to me, but I don’t see how you could do that effectively and preserve the character of the neighborhood. Venice has struggled with this problem for centuries. And if you aren’t going to preserve the neighborhood intact, why bother? You can build a new neighborhood on a slightly removed patch of land.

I don’t know about the levee. If it were possible to build a really safe levee, you would have to look at the price tag. One could even ask the survivors if they would rather have the levee or the money (which would certainly be in the ten of thousands of dollars per person, if not more). If it were me, I would take the cash in a heartbeat. (Of course in reality you would want to make sure the money was spent effectively.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 19, 2005 9:55 AM
Comment #104141

I guess we should not have built Chicago after the O Leary Cow Fire. Maybe we should not rebuild Florida’s areas because of the multiple hurricanes through the Disney World areas.
Maybe we should have forgotten California because of its multiple earthquakes or the Tsunami that is going to hit it soon. Maybe we should not have rebuilt the World Trade Center, after all, all it did was spread credit card debt around the world and fund terrorists and launder drug money. Did you notice how our country faired fine after 911, it was our trade partners that were hurting. Then again, most of those things were non-Black. Shuffle Shuffle!

Posted by: chiqagolil at December 19, 2005 10:11 AM
Comment #104159

Why should our tax money go to rebuilding New Orleans?
What’s wrong with the insurance companies doing it?
The home owners did have insurance did’t they?
Doesn’t the City of New Orleans have insurance?
If they don’t then tough shit. They should’ve.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 10:30 AM
Comment #104173

chiqagolil

You are missing the point. We should rebuild if the conditions still make sense. It made sense to rebuild Chicago because the site made so much sense AND it was possible to rebuild better without fantastic cost.

The conditions that build New Orleans to its size last year no longer make sense. We will rebuild the parts that still are viable. There is no question. But why not be smart about the rest. Some places are not good places to build. You have to make a very strong case to build below sea level in a place unusually prone to floods and storms.

I can think of many reasons to rebuild Chicago based on its location, surrounding infrastructure and the fact that rebuilding would not be particularly expensive or difficult. BUT they did not rebuild it as it was, did they?

Can you think of ANY reasons to rebuilt the below sea level parts of New Orleans? It would literally cost millions of dollars for each home when you count in the cost of storm and flood control. People can move and many already have done.

Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #104218

chiqagolil
Guess what? I don’t think our tax money should’ve been spent on rebuilding any of them places either.
I don’t have a problem with New Orleans being rebuilt. Hell extend the levies and build more under sea level if you want too. But when those levies break again why should the reast of America have to pay because you want to live under sea level?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #104228

What’s the saying about those that don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it? So what if people in the past have rebuilt on the sites of old cities that were ruined by natural disasters? They were idiots. Let’s not be.
When a quake devastates L.A. why would we rebuild in the same place? The government SHOULDN’T bail out people that rebuild where these natural disasters keep occurring. So what that you WANT to live there? I WANT to have my tax dollars help people that don’t make a conscience decision to put themselves in a vulnerable situation.
To compare the towers or Iraq, to natural disasters is asinine.
Almost everyone that posted is in favor of helping the PEOPLE of New Orleans, just not helping them to rebuild in a place that doesn’t make sense. By all means get the people from NO back on their feet and give them all the help they need.
Why not give them a one time deal? You can have your house rebuilt in place after which you’re on your own for any future disasters. Or you can have the cash and sign over the title for the land to the government and nothing will be rebuilt on that site.
We can stop our political idiot leaders on both sides of the isle if we write letters and emails and talk to our friends and vote for term limits.

Posted by: APN at December 19, 2005 12:45 PM
Comment #104254

Why rebuild New Orleans?

Because the people who lived there are your fellow countrymen. I feel that many of your calloused responses show ignorance to the situation.

To say that it’s “tough sh*t” for anyone who didn’t have insurance ignores the crushing poverty that many of the citizens of New Orleans live in. It may be incomprehensible to you, but many people can’t afford cars to evacuate or insurance to rebuild their own homes.

To view the rebuilding only in economic terms ignores the invaluable, intangibles that New Orleans culture has brought to the rest of the United States. When was the last time you got excited about that great new restaurant specializing in Detroit food? Or went to hear the band with that great San Diego sound? New Orleans inspired countless artists from Tennessee Williams to Edgar Degas to Louis Armstrong to John James Audubon, the Marsalis family, Anne Rice, Emeril, Paul Prudhomme, and countless others you may never have heard of. The Higgins boats used to ferry troops on D-Day were built in New Orleans. The design came from boats used to navigate the Louisiana swamps. So thank New Orleans that your kids aren’t speaking German.

Many also state that it’s foolish to rebuild when it could happen again. So change bulding codes like they have in California as a resut of earthquakes. Take measures to protect the city. The rebuilding must include plans for restoring the wetlands to the south of New Orleans which act as a buffer for storm surges. The levees that tame the Mississippi are resposible for eliminating the silt deposition that built the delta. Read “Bayou Farewell” for a good description of this.

I take great offense to Ron Brown who says that it should be rebuilt only to send the “trash that migrated to other areas”. Out of sight, out of mind. To simply move “the trash” doesn’t take care of the problem. Whether or not they live in your neighborhood, they are still your problem. They are my problem.

You should not think of rebuilding New Orleans as an expense but an investment. In fact, I think I’ll make up a good chicken and andouille gumbo, drink a sazerac, listen to some Louis Armstrong and write a check to the Red Cross right now.


Posted by: Kris at December 19, 2005 1:57 PM
Comment #104275

Jack,

Finally a conservative that is willing to make a specific stand. Someone who gives more than simple, “This costs too much, that costs too much…”

However, as an historian, you should have mentioned that probably each one of those cities were destroyed by war… not natural disaster.

You are so right. How dare Americans wish to pull together to help other Americans. I do agree with you… it is disgusting and goes against everything that America stands for!

Personally, I would love to see that whole area a wet land. Same with the old Everglades of Florida.

Just curious… who do you think developed these areas? Drained the wetlands and created sub-divisions? Us tree huggers?

I am not a big fan of the expansion of the west in America and how it was carried out… but let’s look at it… hostile natives requiring the expense of protecting. Don’t go there! We have enough space.

Space program… we don’t need to go to the moon. We have enough here. Too expensive and not worth it.

We need to come up with a specific sliding scale of value to use with each disaster. FEMA can use it prior to determining the response… It could be like a maximum liability on health insurance… once a comminity gets to a certain level we notify them that they will no longer be covered and we need them to shut down their city.

1) Fault? How stupid were they to live there?
2) Past costs of disaster?
3) Future value of location?
4) Sympathy value?
5) Political value:
a) When are the next elections?
b) Historical demographics and voting record?
c) Poll of the rest of Americans feelings?
d) Prevailing belief of the role of federal vs. State.

So, tell me, does that include Galvaston? Corpus Crisiti? Miami? Maybe all of Florida, lower Mississippi, Alabama, Lousiana, Eastern Texas, South and North Carolina? We shouldn’t forget the Mississippi River from nothern Wisconsin all the way down to the Gulf for about 2 miles on either side. Or, California because of earth quakes. Or, New Mexico, Arizona because of droughts. Okay… we move people away from there.

Wait, what about tornadoes? People living down river from dams? Nuclear power plants? They all need to move too! I think we just moved about 60% of our population and closed ourselves off from all forms of shipping.

So, 130 million people all need to move to where? Colorado? Maybe we can get away with a 50 miles barrier from the coast? Was that far enough to protect the people in the middle of Mississippi? Lousiana? North and South Carolina?

I am sure that if a natural disaster effects wherever it is that you live… and they all have them… you are willing to foresake any assistance from the government and pack everthing you have left and leave your home?

Please tell me you will be because I would hate to believe that a conservative with such a clear vision of what parts of America would not be consistent.

Also, please don’t say that because other are taking money then you will. Your morality, honor and beliefs are not dependant on what others are doing? Are they?

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 19, 2005 2:31 PM
Comment #104379

Kris

You know the river is moving. We can keep it in its 19th Century bed only with heroic and very expensive (both economically and environmentally) mean. It is much easier to move people than move the Mississippi.

Darren

It depends on the costs and the benefits. If you read the rest of my postings you will see that the “cost” I am talking about is not only money. It is also environmental. Let me say again that the old part of New Orleans is not below sea level. It will remain. There will still be a New Orleans. What I think is not effective is restoring the below sea level additions. These are mostly 20th Century creations of the levee system. They are no longer valid. You are creating a neighborhood at great cost to the taxpayer and to the environment. The price is too high.

Most of the cities I mention were not destroyed by war. Julius Caesar rebuilt Carthage. There is no thriving city there today because of climate change and silting. The same goes for Miletus. Babylon suffered a fate similar to New Orleans if the Army Corps let the Atchafalaya and Mississippi alone - the river moved. War can destroy a city, but if it makes sense people rebuild it. Parts of New Orleans still make sense. They will remain. Most don’t

Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #104388

Kris
The trash I’m talking about CAME from New Orleans.
THEY’RE THE PROBLEM OF NEW ORLEANS! Not ours. We have enough of our own trash to deal with. As much as I would love for them to leave, I’m not advocating sending them to New Orleans. They’re our trash so I reckon we’ll deal with them.
Sense these idiots came over here the crime rate has gone way up. In a county that might have 3 or 4 armed robberies a year we’ve had 12 sense the scum came over. We might have 6 to 8 burgerlies a year. We’ve had 19 sense the huricane. We never had to worry about locking our cars. Now if we leave them unlocked even while we run into the store for a miniute things get stolen from them. There’s been 10 cases of women being asulted at gas stations because they refused to buy one of them assholes gas.
So YEAH I want them to leave and go back to where they came from.
Like I said earlier not ALL are that way. The ones that has gotten jobs and aren’t causing trouble can stay.
And NO the trash that lives in other areas ARE NOT my problem. They’re the problem of the area they live in.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 4:34 PM
Comment #104529

I personally am tired of reading “opinions” written by those whose inability to spell (among other grammatical errors) reveals, at the least, a lack of care in how they communicate — and, at the extreme, a lack of thinking ability. Whether one likes it or not, the ability to communicate correctly through the written word (and that means correct spelling, grammar, and diction) reveals quite a bit about the intelligence or lack thereof of the person — and one respects the opinion of someone much more when the person can express him/herself cogently.

Opinions without solid thought behind them, much less research and a knowledge of the issue(s), hardly sway the thoughts of those who are educated, informed, and intelligent.

“Forgetting its promise to rebuilt [sic] New Orleans…” and “levies” — ? Please! Get educated before expressing yourself as an informed “journalist.” At the very least, use spell-check or have your writing proofed.

Posted by: Diane at December 19, 2005 7:24 PM
Comment #104530

OO!
Tha gramar an speellig polsee are otu agian.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 7:29 PM
Comment #104532

New Orleans is “totaled.” Like a ‘82 Buick that will cost thousands to repair, it will likely cost more to rebuild the city—ghettos and all—then it will be worth when the project is over. Some city belongs there; it is a geographically essential location, the intersection of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. But the rebuilt New Orleans should be smaller and geared around its essential tourist, oil and gas, and shipping sectors. The vast swaths of ghetto are not good for the city or for their residents. Scattering about these people to more civilized, less crime-ridden, and more orderly places will likely allow some individuals to escape multigenerational poverty that the toxic culture of New Orleans did not allow them to do. These people deserve help, but there is no reason to spend extra money to rebuild every inch of New Orleans, 80% of which was a blighted place of drug abuse, shiftlessness, illegitimate “families,” and a degraded and ignorant culture of violence. Perpetuating this at substantial cost to the nation serves no good, not even a sentimental one.

Until now, New Orleans functioned as a reservation with the hopelessness of reservation culture. By shipping poor and (collectively) dysfunctional New Orleanians to far flung locales like Phoenix, Louisville, and Dallas, perhaps they’ll learn to behave like the locals there and get a job, behave better, and earn some self-respect. Their common culture until now has little to recommend and suggests that its breakup by nature may prove fortuitous for them and the nation.

But, hey, if you think a city with endemic corruption, third world crime rates, and people that shoot at rescue workers is A-OK, then I guess we really should build it back in its pre-Katrina splendor and with the exact same mixture of productive and unproductive neighborhoods, people, and officials. At least those drug-infested ghettos will produce the occasional quality rapper, like Master P.

Posted by: Roach at December 19, 2005 7:33 PM
Comment #104539

I can’t believe this is open to discussion. If my home burns down it’s my problem. It’s my problem even if I built it in a safe place, had the wiring installed properly, if I did everything right. I don’t understand how it can be my financial or moral obligation to rebuild the homes of people who live in areas where disaster is a very real threat everyday! I’m not going to build were a hurricane is likely to hit or in a flood zone because it would be STUPID!!!

Posted by: kate at December 19, 2005 7:58 PM
Comment #104540

I’ve seen only sparse mention of southern Louisiana’s wetlands in these posts. Louisiana’s wetlands and barrier islands (that form a “barrier” — get it?), had they not been so eroded in the past several decades, would have taken much of the punch out of Katrina before it ever hit New Orleans. Were the wetlands and barrier islands still intact, Katrina would never had had the effect it had.

If you’ve done any reading or research on Louisiana’s wetlands, you would have learned that their erosion has come from several different factors, including the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the oil and gas industry, and even nutria from South America.

Let’s look at just one of those factors, the oil and gas industry, which has been a major contributing factor to the loss of Louisiana’s wetlands.

The oil and gas industry off the coast of Louisiana (or what remains of it) has benefitted all of the citizens of the United States, by providing oil, gas, and heating oil (not to mention the ubiquitous 20th Century creation, plastic).

Eighteen percent of U.S. oil production originates in, is transported through, or is processed in Louisiana coastal wetlands with a value of $6.3 billion a year. Almost 24 percent of U.S. natural gas production originates in or is processed in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands with a value of $10.3 billion a year

Louisiana, through the exploitation of its offshore oil and gas reserves, has helped heat, cool, and otherwise support the citizens of this country for decades. And, in the process of doing so, it has had its main natural and God-given protection from hurricanes destroyed.

How has the State of Louisiana been compensated for this ongoing contribution to the citizens of America and the country’s economy?

In spite of the fact that some states, such as Texas, receive 50% of their oil and gas revenue, the State of Louisiana receives a mere small fraction.

It would appear that Louisiana is supposed to sacrifice its protective barrier islands and wetlands in service to the citizens of this country — as well as part of its physical existence.

Perhaps it’s time for the citizens of this country to compensate Louisiana for its contribution — and for the Federal government to compensate the State of Louisiana by annually paying it a higher percentage of the oil and gas revenue Louisiana contributes.

Even enemies of war receive post-combat reparations for the destruction wrought.

Posted by: Erin at December 19, 2005 8:00 PM
Comment #104552

New Orleans was well over 100 years old before America bought it and accidently acquired 13 states in the process. My family has lived in New Orleans since the 1700s. If America doesn’t want New Orleans, please give us the gutted shell that was New Orleans - let us South Louisianians succeed from the United States. We want everything south of I-10 from Texas to Mississippi. We will never ask for your help again. Fair?

100 years ago, the US Army Corps of Engineers started building major levees which channel the river all the way to its mouth and prevents the river from depositing its rich sediments into our wetlands that had been growing in size for thousands of years. That caused Southeast Louisiana wetlands to start eroding. Then the US Army Corps of Engineers gave permits to companies to cut 30,000 miles of pipeline canals through our marshes. Then the US Army Corps of Idiots built the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet which further accelerated the wetland erosion and provided a very efficient path for a hurricane storm surge. Then the US Army Corps of Engineers, after hurrican Betsy, provided us levees to protect us from a storm surge associated with a cat 3 storm. In New Orleans, during Katrina, we only saw a surge typical of a cat 1 or 2 storm. The levees failed in conditions below what they were aledgedly designed to withstand.

Louisiana provides this country more oil and gas than Saudi Arabia. The combined port of South Louisiana is the biggest in the world and completely essential to economies of the heartland of America. We are the most interesting city on this continent. Jazz and rock were born in New Orleans - despite what you may think. We can cook.

If you don’t want us, stop our enslavement and let us at least have our city and region. Treat us with the rezpect we deserve or let us go. Do the right thing.

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 19, 2005 8:38 PM
Comment #104553

I could go on all day with the reasons why we should rebuild New Orleans. However, I’m only going to respond to Kate who thinks she is so much safer wherever she lives. Honey, NONE of us knows what is coming. You can think you’ve minimized risk to the point of perfect safety, but that is a complete fallacy. And I somehow feel certain that if somehow your house is taken out by an unexpected flood (like Taunton, Massachusetts) or a terrorist attack or one of the 90,000 other possible things that could happen, seems that if you have a life worth living today in your city that you might just want to live it there tomorrow and might want to rebuild. I don’t wish bad on you, just a close enough call for you to see how very tenuous your small little life is. We ALL live with risk, known and unknown.

Posted by: Dmd at December 19, 2005 8:39 PM
Comment #104569

I am a high school freshman from south Louisiana, and because of this, I can look at this from both points of view.

Reasons to Rebuild:

Considering the majority of my state’s income is from oil and Mardi Gras, not rebuilding the city would be economical suicide. With oil becoming less and less available(for lack of a better word), the only future source left would be Mardi Gras, which is held predominately in New Orleans. With out New Orleans… well, i’m having issues just thinking about no money in our economy…

And on a more personal note, two of my extremely close friends were displaced by the hurricane, and as much as i hate that they’re going back home this week *tear*, if the city wasn’t rebuilt, they’d have no home or school.

Reasons not to rebuild:

well, other than in not doing so we’d be ridding the state of a very large number of lazy democratic criminals who spend thier welfare checks on more drugs and prositiutes, i don’t have many more reasons. Personally, i believe we should take all the bodies (both from the hurricane and the ones from old graveyards), throw them into the pit that is, or was, new orleans, fill it in until it is above sea level, and THEN build a new city. it’s a costly idea though.

Posted by: ash at December 19, 2005 9:13 PM
Comment #104572

Another New Orleans resident checking in here.

Erin and Ray: I couldn’t have said it better myself. America should have a direct hand in rebuilding New Orleans because, through its years and years of enjoyment of our oil, gas and other natural resources, America had a direct hand in its destruction. Congress’ years of refusal to allocate funds for wetland protection have finally come back to bite them in the end.

Now I’m not looking for some sort of handout; I had adequate insurance, and I’ll rebuild my own house. All I want is our levees built correctly, as they should have been. But to the poster who thinks we should say, “tough luck” to those without insurance, I’d love to see you look into the eyes of my uninsured elderly neighbors and tell them the same thing. You can’t look at this situation with such a “macro” view - everyone has a different story, and a lack of flood insurance doesn’t necessarily equate to their being “cheap” or “dumb.” At least in the case of my neighbors, when they built their home 50 years, ago, there WAS no flood insurance, and (until August 29, 2005) the need for it had never arisen.

The lack of compassion of the majority of the posters on this board is astounding, and it sickens me. As a fellow Republican, I’m deeply saddened to be in the same category as you.

Posted by: Dave at December 19, 2005 9:19 PM
Comment #104578

well, this computer is dumb, so it only posted half of my post, so here’s the whole thing.


I am a freshman from a south Louisiana private high school, and because of this, I can look at this from both points of view.

Reasons to Rebuild:

Considering the majority of my state’s income is from oil and Mardi Gras, not rebuilding the city would be economical suicide. With oil becoming less and less available(for lack of a better word), the only future source left would be Mardi Gras, which is held predominately in New Orleans. With out New Orleans… well, i’m having issues just thinking about no money in our economy…

And on a more personal note, two of my extremely close friends were displaced by the hurricane, and as much as i hate that they’re going back home this week *tear*, if the city wasn’t rebuilt, they’d have no home or school.

Reasons not to rebuild:

well, other than in not doing so we’d be ridding the state of a very large number of lazy democratic criminals who spend thier welfare checks on more drugs and prositiutes, i don’t have many more reasons. Personally, i believe we should take all the bodies (both from the hurricane and the ones from old graveyards), throw them into the pit that is, or was, new orleans, fill it in until it is above sea level, and THEN build a new city. it’s a costly idea though.

And though i personally dont think the ORIGINAL new orleans should be rebuilt, the human side of me believes at least something should be built for my neighboring citizens, no matter how much they disgust me with thier screaming and begging for help and then complaining when they got it.

sort of off topic:
TO ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THE EFFORT TO HELP THE CITIZENS OF NEW ORLEANS WAS NOT ENOUGH: because im from LA, i think i have the right to say, shut up. what the media didnt tell you, new orleans was the ONLY city that got help. every city south of there was left to fend for itself, but you never hear of those people complaining or shooting rescuers, because they are too dead to do so. and the ones who managed to survived are just glad to be alive, so they arent begging the government for credit cards to buy plasma screen tv’s or escalades with.

none of the above was meant to be TOO disrespectful to my elders, but i just wanted to let people know more than what the media has said. if my opinion makes me sound like a naive, ignorant, hormone-driven teen, well, argue with me. i love debating.

Posted by: ash at December 19, 2005 9:32 PM
Comment #104579

Ray et al

Let me say one more time. There will be a New Orleans. The New Orleans your ancestors settled is above sea level. That is why they built where they did. That part is already being restored. You can live on the same piece of land your great-great grandfather did (if you can find it and afford it).

But other parts as less fortunate. Why should we put people back where there is no longer a justification? This happened faster in New Orleans, but the process is nothing new. Large areas of the great plains are emptying out. The conditions that brought people there no longer make sense. Large areas of the East have reverted to forest for the same reasons. My wife’s “ancestral” dairy farm that was in her family for generations, is now covered over in secondary growth forest. You can’t profitably raise cows or crops on the land, so her family moved away. The situation is similar to New Orleans. It just happened all at once. This is the way of the world.

Dianne

I do appreciate your comment and have fixed the errors. I don’t do this professionally (we don’t get paid) and I tend to write between other tasks. I have never been very good at either proofreading or arithmetic, but I am good at math and expressing ideas. I am sure that - despite my errors - you understood just fine. Judging by the number of responses I get, most people do. I also specifically do not write in the way you do. I would not use “one”, for example, because it is archaic and inappropriate to this kind of writing. I will end a sentence with a preposition if it sounds better and I boldly go with split infinitives if I want to. I also modify verbs with adjectives if it seems right. Oh yeah, when somebody, says “Who is it?” I never answer, “It is I.”

Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2005 9:33 PM
Comment #104581

Ron Brown,

a word ( among many ) you should learn…
SPELLCHECK.

A word you’ll probably never learn ( or
group you’ll never join )… MENSA.

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 19, 2005 9:41 PM
Comment #104584

I must admit that I haven’t read ALL of the posts here but I have read a good majority of them. I see many good reasons for and against a rebuild of N.O. Someone made mention of the fact that they were from N.O. and they were very hurt by the lack of American spirit (my paraphrase) in the writings of this thread. He asked if people could see beyond the money factor and tap into the American spirit of helping other Americans when they were down. I personally don’t think that there is a lack of American spirit in that regard so much as there is a general “fed upness” with the way our tax dollars are doled out for every cause under the sun. I, for one, keep seeing my taxes going up and up and I don’t see shit happening as a result. Where are the better schools for my kids, the safer roads, affordable health insurance, a medical system that works, and so many other things? And now they want to burden me further to rebuild a city below sea level? Well, I can’t say that I’m for that idea. However, that being said, I wanted to point out to my fellow American in N.O. that it ALWAYS comes down to the almighty buck because that is what makes or breaks things. The American spirit is a great thing but it sure as hell won’t pay my electric bill, put gas in my car, pay my mortgage, etc., if my hard-earned money is getting taken away for every other damn thing the government wants to do with it. And what about the owners of the insurance companies? Let’s just focus on that ONE point for a second. Will any smart, business-minded executive allow their insurance company to write a policy on someone who just got done rebuilding their home below sea level after what has happened? Perhaps so but in the already financially depressed area of Louisiana, who will be able to afford what surely will be an incredible premium? Never mind what I think about rebuilding. Can those who rebuild afford the increased costs that will result? Perhaps the increases I’m thinking will happen, won’t, but if I were a betting man, I’d say that the costs of things down there will soar. Will you go from once having worked to live to having to work just to survive and pay insurance premiums? It’s just food for thought. I’d love to hear what others in this thread think; especially anyone familiar with the insurance world.

Merry Christmas to all!

Posted by: Mike at December 19, 2005 9:45 PM
Comment #104585

Very glad to hear from the folks actually from New Orleans. It’s so easy to try and make this some kind of abstract game that well-fed Americans play from behind their computers in their darkened dens. But it’s not a game, of course. It’s serious stuff. As you say, the U.S. owes New Orleans in a hundred different ways and has failed it big time. You’re our friends and neighbors and the nation should rally to your cause.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 19, 2005 9:49 PM
Comment #104597

Reed

We should help the people of New Orleans. We owe nothing to the geography of New Orleans. People matter; places don’t. Perhaps the best option for many people would be to settle elsewhere.

The people of New Orleans have a reasonable expectation that other Americans will help them, but it is not a blank check and they also have the responsibilty to be reasonable. They don’t have the right to demand that the help be in the form of the most expense and ecologically devastating alternative.

It is as if you suffer a loss. I offer to find you a new house and I can get you a good house in a nice town for $100K. But you demand that I rebuild on the site of your old house at the cost of millions of dollars. When I say that I don’t think it is worth it, you call me stingy.

Another thing to keep in mind re New Orleans is that there were not enough jobs there to support the population before the hurricane. Many businesses have already relocated. There will be fewer jobs now than before. If you rebuild and move people back in similar numbers, you will condemn them all to poverty pretty much now and forever. AND many of the people don’t even want to go back.

Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2005 10:22 PM
Comment #104600

Oh sure, they will rebuild New Orleans…but not like it was. The “carpetbaggers” are already down there, and the gov’t has already declared the areas that will be converted from “residential” to designated “commercial” zones—gambling casinos and hotels, etc. So who benefits? Not the former residents who will undoubtable get pennies on the dollar for their property…but the well-to-do real estate investors will certainly do well when all is said and done.

Posted by: Cari at December 19, 2005 10:27 PM
Comment #104607
People matter; places don’t.

Yes, places do matter. They matter very much. But if you don’t already understand this, there isn’t a blog in the universe that will convince you.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 19, 2005 10:41 PM
Comment #104609

I’m a native New Orleanian and a registered Republican. My home had 8 ft of water in it for 3 weeks. If you are not going to support re-building New Orleans where it is, then a national decision needs to be made right now. No further help to American citizens by the federal government in any catastrophe of any size. Whether it be mud slides, droughts, wild fires, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, or hurricanes. This is it. Katrina is where we as a nation are drawing the line on aiding citizens. Mayfield, who is head of NOAA (National Hurricane Center for you dry land types), said after Katrina that he is dreading the day when a major hurricane hits Manhattan or New England… and he said it can and probably will happen. So, okay, let’s tell everyone now: you are on your own. Memphis, L.A., Seattle, San Francisco: no more help if an earthquake,mudslide, wildfire - large or small hits you. New York and New England: no help if a hurricane hits you. I think the Republicans are going to have a lot less red states in the south after the way the republicans have treated the Gulf Coast. The republican party has been condescending to us. Hope you aren’t counting on our electoral votes in futre presidential elections.

Posted by: orleanian_bill at December 19, 2005 10:58 PM
Comment #104611

Let me re-stress what my fellow New Orleanian and my fellow Republican, Bill, said in his post just above. Hope the Republican Party isn’t counting on the South’s electoral votes in the next Presidential election. The only red you’ll see from us is the red of fury in our faces by the demeaning manner that we have been treated by Republicans (NOT democrats) during this horror called Katrina.

Posted by: new_orleans_rick at December 19, 2005 11:06 PM
Comment #104622

I think most of the whole problem revolves around the idea that “It’s not my fault - someone else should fix it”. I may be outdated, but if I lose something, for what ever reason, it’s my problem. Not anyone else’s. If I want it fixed, I should fix it.
Through out this entire Katrina problem, all we hear is “who is going to fix my problem?”
We don’t hear Texas crying about Rita!
If you want it fixed - Fix it! If you want SOME help, ask. Just don’t demand help.

Posted by: Rottweiler at December 19, 2005 11:54 PM
Comment #104625

You guys can vote as you please.

Almost every post on this thread has advocated helping the people of New Orleans. My original post talked about restoring the historical sections of New Orleans. But if you believe that the help of your fellow Americans can be only on your terms, you are wrong.

New Orleans certainly HAS NOT been on its own. The question is only how many billions will be spent. I am sorry if the check can’t be blank.

The best approach would be to let the private market price the risks of living below sea level or in flood-prone areas. As others have said, no place is perfectly safe. But some are safer than others. You could choose your risk. If you still think it is a good idea to live there, go ahead.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 12:04 AM
Comment #104657

Because of the forum and the comments… I am making a leap of faith here, but I am gonna guess if Kate were asked she would proudly state she is a Conservative-Christian Republican.
If not, then my apologies… it just sounds like a “personal responsibility” statement straight from their handbook.

Which brings me to my point. Exactly where in the Bible does it say that we ignore others in their time of need?

Not just this hurricane, but disasters are called acts of God because they are beyond peoples control… as I mentioned in previous comments, no part of America is safe.

People want to believe the myth that America was made completely by self sustaining individuals but that really isn’t the case except for a few exceptions.

People have banded together to help. To travel across the plains, to build a barn, to put out fires, to provide common defense and law enforcement.

I just cannot see a Christian (of which I am… a liberal Democrat and Christian) watching what happened and saying to themselves, “Just keep walking north until it is dry and start over.”

Try a bit of compassion and put Christian morality (if you are Christian) before political or economic ideology. If something like this happens to you, which it very well might, I promise, no one will force you to surrender your beliefs if you want to walk away from your life. But, there are those of us that are wanting to help.

Kate, as far as I know, there has only been one perfect human being on earth… and they nailed Him to a cross.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 20, 2005 2:36 AM
Comment #104690

Ron Brow,

Why should our tax money go to rebuilding New Orleans?

[…]

when those levies break again why should the reast of America have to pay because you want to live under sea level?

For the same reason every american tax payers have to pay for a war in Iraq even if they didn’t agreed with.
For the same reason every future americans generation will have to pay their parents’s huge federal debt even if they weren’t born to disagree with the fiscal policy that lead to it.

Democracy: by the people, for the people.

(To compare with: by the people, for the elite…)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 20, 2005 3:49 AM
Comment #104717

To the misinformed individual that claims it is safe to live in the historic areas of New Orleans because it is higher ground: it is only inches higher and had the storm surge been as high as that associated with a cat 3 storm - it all would have been under water as well.

I’ve voted republican for thirty years, but that might change if the republican senate doesn’t do everything they can to make us whole BECAUSE this WAS NOT a natural disaster - it was engineering negligence by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The results are exactly the same as if the Army accidently set off a Nuke in our city when only our elderly was home. The feds must take responsibility for its past actions.

Look what they did to our homes and buildings:
Katrina f damage pictures from Ray Broussard

And, that is just a very small fraction of the damage. Visit New Orleans and see for yourself what the feds did to us before you condenm our city. It ain’t just the lower ninth ward. And, it ain’t just New Orleans. Americans are suffering everywhere from Cameron Louisiana to Bayou LaBatre Alabama - living in tents and cars.

If the US is not going to do the right thing and act responsibly, let us go, let us succeed, let us rebuild on our own with our own resources. You will regret the succession, but it is only fair if you won’t take responbsibility for your negligence.

To the poster that places are not important - Do you feel that way about the continental US? To me, the landmass south of I-10 between Mississippi and Texas is the most important place in the world. I will live here the rest of my life. It is the land of my ancestors. I was born with that right and will fight to retain that right. New Orleans, unlike where you probably live, does have a soul. Most Americans that move to different cities every other year don’t live in a city where they have hundreds of relatives. We do. We are families devoted to our heritage and location. Most of us wouldn’t even consider living in the souless city you call home. Your home could never be our home. You only invest two years in a location before you move on to greener pastures. My family has invested over a dozen generations in our home. All across the nation, New Orleanians are actually dying of being homesick since Katrina. Your cold shoulder attitude is killing us too. Almost every New Orleanian can tell you about relatives who have died since the evacuation.

The correct solution to our problem is to tear down all the levees south of Baton Rouge and let us South Louisianians go back to our original tradition of building housing appropriate to our environment. It was your idea to try to manage our waterways - how stupid was that. If the feds continue to insist they manage our waterways then they must provide sound engineering - not pseudo levees designed to fail prior to design specifications.

Another thing that pisses me off: Why can’t you folks give us credit for our successful evacuation of 92% of our population before the storm. I bet your community couldn’t do that as quickly and efficiently as we did. Why cannot you understand that the people that did not leave stayed because that is what they insisted upon. Six seperate families begged 82yo Miss Winnie to please evacuate with us, but she wouldn’t, and she drowned in her home.

So, citizens, either be responsible for your federal actions or give us back our home. Don’t forget where your oil, gas, seafood, salt, sugar, rice and soul come from. You need us more than we need you. You screwed us over big time. Come up with the big bucks if you want forgiveness or be fair and let us go.

Getting angrier by the day,
Ray Broussard
decended from the first poor cajuns to immigrate to Louisiana to build a new life in a new land - We are not going to let the carpetbaggers take it away.

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 20, 2005 6:40 AM
Comment #104720

I lived in New Orleans for over 20 years. We always knew this could and probably would happen at some point.

My view is that the city be made smaller, not just a “rich white section”, but smaller, a defendable portion. This will allow New Orleans to be New Orleans. The port can still be there (important), the hotels and the tourists can still thrive, the historical portions will make it.

So, where do all the people go? To the west bank and west in Jefferson Parish. This has been happening all along. People needed a place to live and they went to high ground, such as it is.

This will cost less and the basics of New Orleans will remain as it should for the good of the country.

Posted by: Mike at December 20, 2005 7:14 AM
Comment #104745

Darren et al

We are NOT ignoring New Orleans or its people in time of need. We are spending billions of dollars to help. Volunteers are there from all over the country and the world.

The question is whether we should rebuild parts of New Orleans that until a hundred years ago were swamp. The city has grown beyond its logical borders. We can rebuild the historic parts at the cost of rebuilding any comparable city. That we are doing. We can rebuild the lower parts only at very high cost in both money and ecological damage. The question is not whether or not to help the people of New Orleans. The question is not even whether or not to restore New Orleans. The question is whether we should rebuild all the city in exactly the same place or whether we can use this opportunity to make a better choice.

The demands of some people are unjustified. I understand that you suffered a loss. You can choose to live where you want, but you should not expect to have your choices so extravagantly subsidized.

I say the same about building on other ecologically sensitive spots. I oppose rebuilding of permanent structures on known floodplains, barrier island, unstable slopes etc. No place is perfectly safe. But some places are just safer than others.

Even in the region of New Orleans this is true. Sometimes a couple of meters can mean the difference between minor damage and wholesale destruction. Just be smart about it.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 9:32 AM
Comment #104762

To the poster that wants us to move to the west bank or to Jefferson Parish: Your ignorance is astounding. Those places are not higher. They just didn’t get flooded because their levees held on the east bank and this storm’s path didn’t threaten the west bank with a storm surge. New Orleanians choose to live in Orleans Parish because that is where they want to live. That is where we want to vote and pay taxes. New Orleans is the city we love. We love our people, cultures and traditions. Those places you recommend we move to contain almost as many uncarring New Orleans hating racists as this blog.

As usual, you outsiders don’t understand the issue of hurricanes in South Louisiana and wish to tell us how and where to live. Kiss my butt.

If you are not going to be responsible and make up for this federal government caused disaster, then let us succeed so we can deal with it ourselves. Fair enough?

Look at what you did to our homes and businesses:
http://www.maritimenewmedia.com/katrina/

You are not treating us with the respect we have earned. Either make us whole or let us be our own country so we can help ourselves with our own resources. We are becomming ashamed to be Americans because of this post Katrina crisis. Our feelings are very hurt.

Ray Broussard
an educated white republican hard working cajun New Orleanian

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 20, 2005 10:02 AM
Comment #104773

Ray

If you could do it yourselves you would not have to succeed you could just do it yourselves.

The country is offering billions of dollars of help. This is done by private, public and Federal authorities. You just don’t have unlimited options.

I might choose to live on a little island off the coast of Carolina. I could not build there with my own money, but if I can get the Feds to spend millions on me (building sea walls etc), I can have a house worth thousands. Is this a good deal for anyone but me? Can I feel angry or hurt if others don’t buy into my dream?

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 10:30 AM
Comment #104819

If you think the federal government souldn’t step in and help after the natural disaster that wiped out the Gulfcoast (Alabama to Louisiana), more power to you.

Maybe residents of the effected areas should foot their own bill.

After the rebuild I say that since they were able to rebuild without the help of the federal taxes that they had paid into the system over the years, then the Gulfcoast shouldn’t continue to pay the billions and billions of federal tax dollars into the system any longer.

In 2002, $7.5 billion in offshore revenues went into the Federal treasury and more than $5 billion, or 2/3 of that amount came from offshore Louisiana. Among states, Louisiana ranks 1st in crude oil production and 2nd in natural gas production. Many coastal states keep 50% of the taxed revenue for themselves. The state of Louisiana only keeps around 2% of that taxed revenue. If the state of Louisiana could recieve more if the $5 billion (that should be theirs to begin with) Then maybe they wouldn’t need federal help. Shouldn’t the states keep 98% of that taxed revenue instead of giving it to the feds? It is after all, the state and it’s population that is taking the risk to live in an area that is so prone to natural disasters.

Posted by: Richard at December 20, 2005 11:41 AM
Comment #104836

“If you think the federal government souldn’t step in and help after the natural disaster that wiped out the Gulfcoast (Alabama to Louisiana), more power to you.”

We ARE spending billions. Most of the areas will AND HAVE received Federal aid.

We are talking about the swamp around New Orleans and why we should spend billions to restore something that wasn’t very nice to start with. We are talking about why we should spend billions to corrupt the environment. What will you get for those billions?

Don’t misstate the question. YOu have recieved help. YOu will receive more. You don’t have the right to ask for everything.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 11:51 AM
Comment #104894

We ARE spending billions. Most of the areas will AND HAVE received Federal aid.

We are talking about the swamp around New Orleans and why we should spend billions to restore something that wasn’t very nice to start with. We are talking about why we should spend billions to corrupt the environment. What will you get for those billions?

Don’t misstate the question. YOu have recieved help. YOu will receive more. You don’t have the right to ask for everything.

I don’t think the people of New Orleans are asking for “everything” If they were, they would be asking the federal government to fill the whole area with 8 feet of dirt and rebuild the city on top of it.

We are talking about the swamp around New Orleans and why we should spend billions to restore something that wasn’t very nice to start with.

The “swamp” around New Orleans hasn’t been swamp for hundreds of years. True, many of the suburban areas were reclaimed, but if you do not rebuild the areas that are below sea level and concentrate only on the higher areas then you will not have enough land available for the population that is needed to support the industry that is in the area.

Another fact about the area is that as many “below sea level” homes did not flood and are built upon reclaimed swamp land. They survived because the levee’s protecting them did not break.

Also the flooding of the area was only indirectly caused by the Hurricane. It was a failure of the man-made levee system that is overseen by the federal government. Some think it was the fault of the local Levee Boards, but this is false. The design and construction of the levee is overseen and approved by the Corps of Engineers.

What are you talking about? “restore something that wasn’t very nice to start with.”
That is just an ignorant statement.


Posted by: Richard at December 20, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #104915

If you believe that New Orleans should not be rebuilt, lets be sure that anywhere along the coast susceptable to a hurricane is advised of the same plan, e.g. Senator Lott in MS, those in Alabama, Texas, Florida or South Carolina. Following your logic it seems if an area is at risk we taxpayors should not have to subsidize rebuilding.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 1:22 PM
Comment #104939

Well Jack, in my opinion you have completely lost creditably with your “restore something that wasn’t very nice to start with” comment. It’s one thing to debate the issues and it’s another to use a blanket statement such as this to insult many of the residents of New Orleans. I see from the main web page that WatchBlog.com is searching for individuals who can debate intelligently and write well to become WatchBlog editors. How did you squeak by?

Posted by: Keith Zibilich at December 20, 2005 1:54 PM
Comment #104950

Does anyone know how many square miles were affected by Katrina? Does anyone know if anyone from inside the Beltway has had the testicular fortitude to put a price on restoring all that was lost? Has President (and I use that word loosely) Bush and his cronies come up with a plan to rebuild? What is the word from the mayor and/or the governor? I’m asking these questions because I don’t know the answers and not to stir up more finger-pointing. I’d also like to know how much outside money has been poured into the recovery process. I don’t care who gave it. I’d just like to know if any bean counters are keeping track of non-Louisiana money.

I live in Maine and, as such, my view of what is happening in LA is tainted at best by what I see on the nightly news and the newspapers. The news, of course, is all about sensationalism and highlighting death, destruction, poverty, and anything anti-Republican and it’s very rare that I see a heart-warming piece on the news about the great things that ARE happening in LA. What I DO see and hear relatively frequently on my LOCAL news station is the stories of people from all over the country (and world) coming to the aid of those in that region that need help and I DO see that the lack of coordination and planning by those who are supposed to do it is causing more heartache and bitterness by those in need. Do we point the finger at the Feds? Yes, but not only them. What about local planning boards in N.O.? There is plenty of blame to go around but I have to ask if more time is being spent on finding things to blame on others instead of just doing what needs to be done. When us folks here in Maine went through the great Ice Storm a number of years ago, we saw power company crews from as far south as Georgia driving their power trucks up to Maine to help our state restore power to the vast majority who went without it for months in some cases. It’s not an easy task and I saw more people working toward the solution than I did of people looking to blame someone for not being prepared for an unprecedented event like a total ice storm.

My point? Well, let’s help the people of N.O., and we are, and let the talking heads of politics worry about their penny-ante blame games. I like the post that someone made earlier about “by the people, for the people.” It’s what America is about. Now, there must also be some hard decisions about this event and the potential for it to happen again looms over the entire decision-making process. The people of N.O. have made their wishes known. Some will leave, some will stay. Is it really asking too much to have people move to an area with better odds of surviving another event like Katrina? I won’t answer that question. That really is going to boil down to whether or not the funds will be made available to rebuild things in their original location, and people at income levels way above mine are going to have to fight that battle.

And to Mr. Ray Broussard, I can feel the passion in your posts but I think you made some generalizations about people. You wrote, “Those places you recommend we move to contain almost as many uncaring New Orleans hating racists as this blog.” I don’t think that just because people don’t want their money going toward rebuilding something that looks to be a poor decision because of it’s lack of elevation makes them “N.O.-hating racists.” I’m not a N.O.-hating racist and I also don’t think it’s particularly wise to rebuild UNLESS AND UNTIL there is a better way to protect the area in question. The tone of your posts, in my opinion, has me thinking that YOU are more of an “anything not N.O. hater” than those of us who want to see your great region rebuilt in the most feasible and responsible way.

That being said, my National Guard unit sent a lot of troops down to your area to help with the law enforcement and clean-up effort and we were (ARE) proud to be doing it. On a personal level, I find it one of the most wonderful feelings knowing that I was able to help a fellow American move toward restoring their lifestyle. It moved me to tears when I saw the area and a feeling of overwhelming futility swept over me immediately when I saw the area from the air but people from all walks of life rallied together and still rally together to help people try to regain what was lost; just like they did here in Maine. It’s no easy task and it will certainly take years but it can, is, and will move forward. Don’t paint all of us bad with your broad brushstrokes if we don’t agree with everything YOU would like to see done, or not done. I think everyone in this blog has the best interests of all Americans in that area at heart; especially when the chips are down as they are now in N.O. The only difference is the methodology and execution of the plan.

Let’s find the common ground and let’s move forward. Let’s make progress and stop the finger-pointing. We’ve rallied together as a country before and we can do it again. A lot of heads will inevitably roll from the fallout but that’s not for us to decide. I’m here to help in any way I can and I want to do so in a way that is most productive and most logical and will give my dollar the most bang for the buck.

I do hope that in spite of all that is still wrong down there that you are able to have a merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and that this time of year will offer some hope for a productive and fulfilling future. My prayers go with you.

Posted by: Mike at December 20, 2005 2:14 PM
Comment #105072

The last “Jack” post is not mine. Somebody made a mistake or there are more than one of us.

Mike

Katrina devastated an area about as large as the UK. It was a fantastically large area. We are rebuilding most of it at the cost of billions of dollars. We are talking about not rebuilding in a few square miles of the most high-risk real estate. That is how unreasonable this has become. Some people want things put back just as they were. This is probably not possible. It is certainly not desirable and it is expensive in terms of economy and environment.

Keith

I have been to New Orleans only once. The parts I visited were very nice. They are being restored and were not below sea level. I didn’t go to the other parts because tourist generally don’t go there. I am sure like most places there were good and bad parts, but I have heard nobody tell me why we should spend literally billions of dollars and maintain an ecological problem in order to restore some hundreds of thousands of homes?

On the other side of this blog somebody talked about choices. Give the people the choice. How many really want to return to what they had if they have the option of something else? I don’t know the answer, but it already looks like it is hard to get people to come back. And come back to what? Unemployment was high in that area. There will be even fewer jobs now. Many of the people did not own their homes.

So you are advocating spending billions and harming the environment to allow people to return to one of the weakest job markets in the U.S., one of the worst school systems in an area with one of the highest poverty and crime rates. I am sorry for the blanket statement, but you can find those statistics. Why would you want to recreate it? Let the people go. Most will find a better life.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2005 4:57 PM
Comment #105124

As a fellow citizen of south Louisiana, i just want to give a hand to Ray Broussard. You speak for many of us.

Posted by: Liz at December 20, 2005 6:17 PM
Comment #105171

Thanks Liz, but they don’t understand our environment or levees or our region and don’t seem interested in learning. They don’t appreciate our contribution to this country. They don’t understand the concept of engineering negligence and federal responsibility. They ignore the promise made in 1965 and never fulfilled. They don’t understand the importance of our wetlands or how we came to be in our situation. Their attitude is basically that since they have now finished ruining our geography in the interest of cheap oil, gas and seafood, that we should now be discarded. They have no respect for our culture or traditions. All they want from us is to visit our fine city and brake our laws during Mardi Gras and puke on their shoes and pee on our streets and perpetuate the myth that Mardi Gras is a decadent thing. They want our cheap oil and efficient port, but they want it for nothing. They don’t get that how we rebuild is none of their damned business. They don’t understand that we are not begging - we are demanding full retribution for the harm they have done to us through their broken promisses and negligence. They don’t understand that if they don’t very quickly bring us everything we need to be whole on bended knee, we will rebuild on our own and find a way to take it from their lilly white racist skin. There are quite a few red states here that might reluctantly turn very blue due to their attitude. They hate us. They don’t care about hard working poor people - they only care about what they perceive to be their money. They don’t deserve anymore of my attention.

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 20, 2005 8:11 PM
Comment #105180

I’m a native new orleanian and I agree with someof what Jack said. I think every citizen of new orleans should get a choice: real help relocsating or going back and understanding that the gov’t will fund only cat 3 levees. I don’t think it’s fair of us to expect billions to protect swampland. I know there are a lot of angy red state types right now…but we also have to be fair. Our city was poverty and crime ridden. This is a chance for those people to get help and a start - somewhere else. I’m tremendously embarassed by the behaviour and actions of our local and state elected officials. I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical of us.

Posted by: orleans_citizen10 at December 20, 2005 9:10 PM
Comment #105369

Would these people with no respect for New Orleans justify not rebuilding Los Angelas after a major Quake? When a Cat 5 storm eventually destroys Manhatten, would they refuse to support its rebuilding?

Why cannot they understand that what happened in N.O. wasn’t even the result of a natural disaster - that it was negligence of man - specifically engineering negligence by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

This is exactly the same thing as if the US Army accidently set off a nuke in New Orleans

They killed hundreds of our elderly (parents and grandparents) and destoyed 80,000 homes (in just New Orleans) of American citizen and seriously disrupted the lives and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of citizens? This was a crime - not a natural disaster. The feds owe us big time, but these greedy ‘do not rebuild’ folks want to renig. I almost wish it had happened to them.

Why cannot they understand that the currently unflooded areas in Orleans are protected by the same levees as those area that flooded and had we had a cat 3 storm surge those areas would have flooded too. Their ignorance is astounding. They stole our southeast Louisiana wetlands and we need them back for our protection - we didn’t even need special levees before they took our wetlands. They built our soupbowl and promissed their levees wouldn’t fail up to a storm surge much higher than when it did fail - engineering negligence! They lied and tricked us into building our homes below sea level so we could work in their oil fields and build and load their ships and deliver their products worldwide. New Orleans never should have flooded and would not had flooded had it not been for the negligence of the US aArmy Corps of Engineers.

disenfranchised,
Ray Broussard
70130

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 21, 2005 8:33 AM
Comment #105505

Ray

Probably the last time.

Most people who wrote in (and certainly me) are in favor of rebuilding most of the Gulf Coast and even much of New Orleans. What we don’t want to do is rebuilt the parts that are under sea level and susceptive to flooding without very elaborate levee and pump systems. Places that are under sea level tend to fill with water except in very dry deserts such as Death Valley or the Dead Sea region. Notice the adjectives used in both those place names. It is not a coincidence. Louisiana is not a rain-starved place and a fair amount of water flows past, so unlike these dry places, a natural result of being below sea level is being full of water.

The below grade parts of the city of New Orleans were created at great economic and ecological cost. Let them become a park. People can hike there, fish. It will make the surrounding environment cleaner and more pleasant. The U.S. has millions of square miles of land. We have jobs and a dynamic economy. Why insist on restoring a few square miles of former swamp? These places were not part of New Orleans during most of its history (as the crescent city) and they don’t need to be part of New Orleans during its future.

You talk about leaving the Union. Assume that was possible. If the people of Louisiana and maybe some of the neighboring states really made a decision to spend their own money, AND take that money from other projects, do you really think they would choose to rebuild the lower ninth ward?

Posted by: Jack at December 21, 2005 12:11 PM
Comment #105614

Jack

You talk about leaving the Union. Assume that was possible. If the people of Louisiana and maybe some of the neighboring states really made a decision to spend their own money, AND take that money from other projects, do you really think they would choose to rebuild the lower ninth ward?


I wouldn’t put it past them. They seem to think that it’s some kind of landmark of something. Most likely it was the best neighborhood in the whole town. And from what little I’ve seen of that town it wouldn’t take much.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 21, 2005 3:34 PM
Comment #105618

If we’re going to spend our tax money on rebuilding New Orleans then we should rebuild it back the EXACT same way as is was before the huricane. With the exact same kind of rat holes that were there before the huricane. No fancy new places or the like. Just the same crap that was there before. That way we aren’t out that much when the next huricane comes through and tears it up and/or floods it again.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 21, 2005 3:41 PM
Comment #106158

Amazing what y’all don’t know anything about - but want to condemn anyway. The lower ninth is but a very vary small part of what was destroyed by the negligence of the US Army Corps of Engineers which you claim should not be rebuilt. FYI, even our lower ninth has more historical value than your whole county.

Yes, we are aflicted with the welfare state mentality practically forced upon our pathetically poor and extremely stupid people to ensure a voter base for corrupt & greedy politicians - keep them stupid so they know for whom they should vote. But, that don’t mean most of these poor uneducated people are not honest hard working tax paying American citizens. They more than make up for their lack of social significance (to you anyway) with their character, traditions and many talents. Despite their poverty, they know how to live. Most are hard working church going family oriented people. Some are hopeless parentless shells with no respect for their life much less anyone else’s. Yea, nobody wants and everyone fears the bad ones. But those good people deserve your respect. It was people like you and me that made them that way. We denied them an education. We encouraged the teenage moms to have a dozen kids by the time they were 25yo. We made a big bucks off their hard work performing their minimum wage jobs. I suspect you never respect uneducated black people regardless of how they came to be that way.

But this ain’t about just the lower ninth. Did you know that the corps drowned more whites than blacks per capita in N.O.? Do you understand the feds stole the homes and all wordly possessions from over 80,000 families in just New Orleans. Do you realize that 75% of those murdered by the Corps were over 75 years old? Did you know that over 70,000 small businesses, in just Louisiana were interrupted.

We are not like you. We love our culture. We have a real home defined for us by our ancestors long before this city was bought by this country. We live in the same city as our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We have a family community. We know and love our neighbors. We have a heritage. We have unique character. We have unique traditions. Our city has a soul - unlike wherever you probably live. You may not use us up and throw us away. Justify your opinion with your bean counter mentality if you want, but we suspect you are actually jealous of our character and special lifestyles and you would like us destroyed so that your boring city and food will taste less bland. dowhatchawanna, but we will rebuild how and where we want and it just ain’t up to the ignorant uncarring carpetbaggers like yourself. KMA.

You don’t understand that when you throw away the lower ninth ward, you are also throwing away St. Bernard Parish and its refineries, port, people and fisherman - have you ever had oysters from St. Bernard? You seek to discard our huge yugoslavian community of oyster fishermen. Where is your heart? Do you have any idea how much of the gasoline in your SUV comes from here?

I would have lived on a jack-up-barge or boat had I known the Corps was so incompetent. I blame me for trusting my government. I trusted their levees. The new house will be much higher, but I’ll still be parking my car way below sea level.

Ray Broussard
New Orleanian

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 22, 2005 3:28 PM
Comment #106179

Ray Broussard
Did someone spike your eggnog?
If someone is on welfare the TWO things they ARE NOT is hard working and taxpayers.
Sense you like this people so much hurry up and rebuild that God forsaken town so we can ship the scum that migrated over here back. You like them, you can have them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 22, 2005 3:45 PM
Comment #106267

I keep hearing all about how bad the folks of New Orleans had it and still have it. And I’m not saying it wasn’t and isn’t. I cann’t even imagine looseing everything and having to start over again.
The thing that bugs me is we almost never hear anything about Biloxi. Here’s a whole town wiped out by Katrina. And almost everyone there lost everything they had, and have to start all over again too. And they are still trying to recover themselves. But how much have you heard about their recovery efforts?
My preacher works for an insurance company. He was sent over to Mississippi right after Thanksgiving to help with the claims. He’s been there for almost a month and won’t be getting home till Saturday. He’s most likely going to be going back right after Christmas.
One of my sisters lived in a small town just North of Biloxi. Her town was completely distroyed by the huricane. She still hasn’t heard from her insurance company on her home.
But we don’t hear about this. All we hear is about is New Orleans.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 22, 2005 7:05 PM
Comment #106298

This is what the Ron Browns and Jacks don’t get. There are hundreds of thousands of American families suddenly homeless everywhere from Cameron Louisiana to Bayou LaBatre Alabama (including Biloxi) and there is a huge sense of abandoment and fear and uncertainty. It is getting damned cold and many are living in cars and tents and the lucky ones have a cramped FEMA trailer. Our properties are being looted. We lost our jobs and businesses and homes and most lost family members. What we storm victims need more than anything is a little compassion from our countrymen. We need to feel confident that they are going to help us get through this. But no. Instead, you have these bean counters like Jack and Ron Brown that know nothing about our worlds debating whether or not we should rebuild. How does that make us feel? It really hurts our feelings. It does not give us the confidence we need to get by and move forward. Nevermind that folks’ homes are being foreclosed on by financial institutions and there is little available housing and rents have skyrocketed, businesses are gone and government cannot seem to get the ball rolling.

New Orleans is certainly getting special attention because we are the bigger city and we did not have a devastating natural disaster like what totally devestated the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast from Pearlington to Pascagoula. He were victims of the federal government. It was negligent homicide and according to Ron and Jack, the murderer should not only get away with their crime, but the victims should be forced to give up the rest of what little they have left. I think they hate black people and wish them harm and they are ok with killing off us cajuns and other white people just as long as they wipe out a bunch of blacks in the process. They don’t want ‘their’ money spent on black people. Never mind that the Army may as well have set off a nuke in N.O. They apparantly have no conscious.

That free thinker Ron Brown cannot even imagine that a neighborhood can consist of welfare moms, murdering drug dealers and good hard working families - all in the same block. He would throw out the baby with the bath water. I bet he lives in some all white no crime area with good schools, honest politicians and smooth roads. How stereotypical of him. I bet they all shave their heads. He don’t even know that the ‘Battle of New Orleans’ was fought just below the lower ninth ward about 193 years ago. Just use us up and throw us away. No respect.

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 22, 2005 8:52 PM
Comment #106754

Ray Broussard
I live in a rual county in Georgia. We didn’t have much crime here until the scum from NO showed up. We have crooked politicians, our roads are full of potholes because the crooked politicians won’t fix them. Our school aren’t the best in the state. They aint the worst either. Most of us don’t shave our heads. And yes I know that all kinds of people can and do live very close to eachother.
And I certianly understand that a whole heap of folks both good and bad lost everything thing they had. And I feel for them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 2:10 PM
Comment #107215

I appologize Ron. And, we New Orleanians regret that portion of our populace forced to migrate to your communities and no doubt cause a lot of harm. Sorry about that. Had the federal engineers tasked with having brians big enough to design and oversee constuction of something as elementary as a levee, the flooding never would have happened and our thugs would still be in New Orleans. On the bright side, thousands of communities across the ccountry might finally learn to cook interesting food.

It is the folks like Jack that I’m really mad with. Thier f-em attitude is not fair in my view because 1) if we could sue the feds for their negligence we would win huge awards because what they did was very very wrong and severly damaging to a huge group of citizens & 2) he places no value on places he knows nothing about - AAMOF he states that places are not important - I wonder if he feels that way about the whole continental US or just those parts where black people live.

Does he realize their are thousands of tree farmers, depending on their farms for their retirement plan, just like himself that lost every tree and cannot get them picked up before they rot because the loggers are naturally all working for the huge corporate tree farmers. It seems the man has no empathy.

There is no damage to see on the Mississippi Gulf Coast because everything is just gone. Same goes for Plaquemines Parish in LA.

Ray

Posted by: Ray Broussard at December 24, 2005 8:36 PM
Comment #110380

Sorry guys, having a city where New Orleans sits isn’t optional. We weren’t ‘stupid’ to build there. New Orleans drove the South’s economy and the nation’s shipping industry for the entire 19th century and much of the 20th. Yes, the city fell into decline in the 2nd half of the 20th century, but was still the most unique city in America, the birthplace of modern music, the only city with an indigenous cuisine in America, and one of the world’s greatest cultures.

Anyone with an open mind and the werewithal to escape from the tourist cattle farms on Bourbon Street could easily understand why people would choose to live in New Orleans, and often fell in love with the city.

If all of this isn’t reason enough for America to rebuild this most American of American cities —in a smarter, safer way — then I am ashamed by what this country is all about. Is Money Now, Money Now, Money Now the only thing we care about anymore??!!

Posted by: Cameron at January 5, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #112239

New Orleans may very well be the birthplace of Jazz, Blues, Cajun, whathaveyou. It is obviously a dangerous place to build. In response to some previous comments, owners of property on Florida’s beach know that the ability for natural disaster is always constant. However, the area where it was built was a huge risk. It is a wetland. DUH. Florida’s beaches aren’t wetlands. There were clogged levees. I agree, New Orleans is home to a lot of people. But weren’t the twin towers a near-home to people? Are we going to rebuild those? Should we? We should have a memorial. Things end. Cities obviously fall. It’s best to start anew, because if we don’t we’re just going to make Mother Nature even more angry and a hurricane a lot worse than Katrina will come along. Think about it.

Posted by: Jay at January 11, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #112377

DO NOT REBUILD

If you must rebuild on what is obliviously is a major flood plain, do so at YOUR own financial risk. Not mine. It is infuriating to think that my taxes are enabling people to return to a disaster prone area, make me pay for rebuilding and perpetuating a mistake made hundreds of years ago and additionally raising the cost by constructing “better” barriers/dykes on top of the ones that just failed. Worse yet is the smoke and mirrors being served to the victims that believe the rhetoric and are fooled into thinking they are safe now behind new walls and willingly move back into harms way. Helping to re-build on non-flood prone areas (new locations away for the swamps) is fine.

Shame on them for not seeing the folly of their decisions and shame on the committees/financiers/city fathers who ponder such foolishness. To hide behind words like “historical area” “tradition” “birthplace” etc when in fact the motivation is mere $$$, is criminal. NO tradition, NO amount of history warrants putting people in harms way, or pork barreling American tax monies under such shallow reasoning.

So, IF you must rebuild, go ahead. It’s your decision - but do so without benefit of Fed monies. Maybe the insurance companies will pick up the tab or be willing to under-right the costs of re-building next time based upon your premiums paid (by New Orleans residents). Yea, right. Perhaps, if all concerned knew that there would be no payback/support if they rebuild in a disaster prone area, it would not happen. “But hey! As long a “someone” will reimburse me if things get rough why not. Pretty good investment on my part – a couple of years paying taxes from me and millions/billions paid back to me from American tax payers to underwrite my losses and my gamble when the next flood or hurricane strikes again”

Please don’t perpetuate a bad decision made a couple of hundred years ago by allowing the city to rebuild. We already know it doesn’t work, Katrina showed us that. It’s time to correct what should have been corrected years ago.

Posted by: brian at January 11, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #112378

DO NOT REBUILD

If you must rebuild on what is obliviously is a major flood plain, do so at YOUR own financial risk. Not mine. It is infuriating to think that my taxes are enabling people to return to a disaster prone area, make me pay for rebuilding and perpetuating a mistake made hundreds of years ago and additionally raising the cost by constructing “better” barriers/dykes on top of the ones that just failed. Worse yet is the smoke and mirrors being served to the victims that believe the rhetoric and are fooled into thinking they are safe now behind new walls and willingly move back into harms way. Helping to re-build on non-flood prone areas (new locations away for the swamps) is fine.

Shame on them for not seeing the folly of their decisions and shame on the committees/financiers/city fathers who ponder such foolishness. To hide behind words like “historical area” “tradition” “birthplace” etc when in fact the motivation is mere $$$, is criminal. NO tradition, NO amount of history warrants putting people in harms way, or pork barreling American tax monies under such shallow reasoning.

So, IF you must rebuild, go ahead. It’s your decision - but do so without benefit of Fed monies. Maybe the insurance companies will pick up the tab or be willing to under-right the costs of re-building next time based upon your premiums paid (by New Orleans residents). Yea, right. Perhaps, if all concerned knew that there would be no payback/support if they rebuild in a disaster prone area, it would not happen. “But hey! As long a “someone” will reimburse me if things get rough why not. Pretty good investment on my part – a couple of years paying taxes from me and millions/billions paid back to me from American tax payers to underwrite my losses and my gamble when the next flood or hurricane strikes again”

Please don’t perpetuate a bad decision made a couple of hundred years ago by allowing the city to rebuild. We already know it doesn’t work, Katrina showed us that. It’s time to correct what should have been corrected years ago.

Posted by: brian at January 11, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #117861

My heart goes out to the people of New Orleans. However; the people of New Orleans knew that they were living below sea level. The knew the levies could only protect them from a Cat. 2 or 3 hurricane. They decided not to purhcase flood insurance. New Orleans has traditionally been know for the corruption (I use to live there). As a country we should do everything we can to help those people start a new life, somewhere else. Not a dime of my hard earned tax dollars should be used to rebuild that sinking bathtub.

Posted by: John at January 28, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #209698

I dont understand how you people can so easily say how you want to allow the most cultural city in the country to go waste. This is not just a place or a “sinking bathtub”, this is my home. This is the place where I grew up, have family and friends, and memories. We are still dealing with the pain down there and you should be ashamed of yourselves to not back up your own fellow citizens.

Posted by: Jamie at February 25, 2007 10:58 PM
Comment #233369

This is, perhaps, the most clear assessment of the New Orleans issue I’ve seen. It’s nature, not racism, that should cause thinking and responsible decision-makers to reconfigure metropolitan New Orleans to reflect reality.

Posted by: Jason Kibby at September 18, 2007 9:54 PM
Comment #239340

#233370
If people want to go back home they should be able. with the help of government and other agencies that are will to lend a help hand in time of need.

Posted by: melissa at November 27, 2007 12:32 AM
Comment #249782

I can understand why rebuilding New Orleans would be pointless. The reason it’s worhtless is because New Orleans has always have had flood problems and now that hurricane katrina has hit it has devistated many people. The way New orleans is formed it lets all the floods come towards the towns and cities of New Orleans so rebuilding will be point less. I can also understand why many people want New Orleans to be rebuilt.You have to think about how the people who went threw katrina suffered and wished that they’re homes be restored. To some people New Orleans was a fabulos place full of legacy so dont take away the only thing they had

Posted by: Lisa Ocana at April 3, 2008 5:23 PM
Comment #273602

I’m not from New Orleans, but I am from another city built in a “stupid” location. So, to those of you who think “places don’t have souls,” I challenge you. What is the matter with you? HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF NEW ORLEANS? That place has more soul than the River Styx. If the financial appeal of saving NO isn’t enough (and there is appeal- i.e. public works projects, job creation,ring a bell?) maybe i don’t know, ITS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE is? Are you kidding me. NO is like a walking, talking, BREATHING, louvre. Cost, expensive or not, YOU CANNOT PUT A PRICE ON SAVING CULTURE. Once you let it sink, you cant get it back. Hundreds of years of history gone. Now that’s ghostly. Maybe you who oppose it just don’t like jazz, or something… but I DO, and so do millions of Americans! We want New Orleans, and for those of you who don’t- ITS A WHOLE CITY! SINKING! With people! What do you do when something is sinking! You help it up. (you don’t leave it- that is not justifiable on any fiscal grounds) I cant believe Americans are willing to let its oldest city sink. It is our Louvre, whether you like it or not. I don’t care if you don’t like the “painters.” I don’t care what it costs, its people who need their city rebuilt. Another thing: what is this business about rebuilding the “good” parts of town? I would hate to see an off-the-Richter earthquake shake down Los Angeles, but what I would hate even more is if you said we weren’t worth the rebuild… And you know what I would hate the most- if you all rebuilt LA and forget about South Central: because that’s just racist. Somehow this is sounding very familiar.

Posted by: dubois at January 15, 2009 12:44 AM
Comment #274108

Okay this article has some good economical points to it. However, people need to understand that this was not an isolated incident. If we should rebuild New Orleans bc its below sea level then people should leave florida along the coast and the coasts along California and any where else that is below sea level! Imagine what that would do to our economy….Right? Because you are saying that it is dangerous to live below sea level. Anyone that is saying that is only saying it because it is good timing to speak about it and to raise an issue. New Orleans just flooded…not because it was below sea level, but because the levee system in New Orleans was built and are still built like s***! There are many other cities in the US that have poor levees as well and are at risk for flooding. What you need to realize is that we can fix this and make the situation better if we put the money where it should be and one of those is levees. The Feds and army corp screwed over these people by building terrible levees in the first place to protect the city. So don’t screw them over even more by taking away the homes that these peoples families built with their own elbow grease. The solution is simple…Improve the levees.

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Posted by: christian34q at July 24, 2014 11:54 AM
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