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Yes, New Orleans Is Worth It

Published on 9/3/2005
This editorial was published Sept. 2 in The Times-Picayune:

Even as people from New Orleans desperately search for their family members and rescue workers patrol the region in boats, hack through roofs and try to pluck survivors out, some people in other parts of the country have begun to blame us, the victims. Our crime? Choosing to live in New Orleans.

Especially heartless were U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the writers of an editorial that appeared Wednesday in the Republican American, a newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., Mr. Hastert was quoted by the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., saying it makes no sense to rebuild New Orleans where it is. “It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed,


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If I were an American as I am British, I would ask both Mr. Hastert and the good people of Waterbury if they'd ever pondered the meaning of the Latin motto on the Seal of the President of the United States:
"E Pluribus Unum".
Although I'm not a Latin scholar it means "Out of many, one".

It's fortunate that Holland isn't governed by people like the current crop of U.S. politicians. But, then again, Americans never seem very willing to consider any examples beyond their own borders.

Interestingly, Holland (among many others) has offered their expert resources to help, but, despite all the devastation and the desparate pleas from those affected, Wee Georgie seems to think that he can handle it all single-handed and "stay the course" in Iraq as well.

I've read comments from people who seem to think the people left in New Orleans are without honor and human dignity. They should stop and reflect that there are thugs everywhere in this country. Just look at the White House.

As I've posted here before, one of my good friends and neighbors stayed in New Orleans to care for his elderly parents and to keep an eye on the neighborhood. He has done just that. There are a couple of elderly ladies who live in the house at the end of the block. He's made sure that they had food and water and that what necessary repairs they needed were taken care of, at least on a temporary basis. He's kept an eye on the whole block and made sure that the houses left standing stayed secure and checked on others in the area who he knew were still in their homes.

This man is a hero. He had a helicopter offer to air lift him out, but he refused to leave his family and his neighbors and his home. He figured they'd made it this far. They could see it through. He's been helping in the distribution of supplies that have FINALLY started arriving, since he knows the area and knows who is still there. I just pray that he's not mistaken for a "looter" and shot. He's black, you see.

The impression that I've gotten from the news media is that all looters are black. I saw those pictures on the news of whites who had "found" food and drink and blacks who were "looting" grocery stores. I also saw pictures of uniformed police officers who were "looting" and white people with shopping carts full of luxury items. All this makes me afraid for my friend.

We are all Americans. We should not let the criminality of a few harden our hearts to the desperate needs of many innocents.

As for rebuilding, we are going back. The men in my family are carpenters and will be needed. I work at a local University, and I think I'll be needed too, but if not, there's plenty in New Orleans for me to do.


Rep. Hastert is as much of a moron as Bush. No amount of spin by his staff can turn his heartless words into anything but the despicable bullshit his words truly are.

America must stand up to stand down the Bush administration, the Republican Congress along with the corpocratic democrats who masquerade as progressives, and especially reel in the ideologues who have been appointed by neo cons and confirmed by the crooked Congress.

Americans at some point have to re-educate themselves about our American form of government. Three co-equal branches sharing power and acting as a check and balance each upon the other. Since at least 1980 and more likely since 1963, we, and I personally, have seen the process of the erosion of this concept of American government.

Face it America, what you have now is a dictatorship. This now has become what my father fought against in WWII. That dictator was Hitler. I am not about to sit here and watch idly while this dictatorship continues to consume my country/our country. Just like New Orleans, the United States of America and its government under the Constitution as written, not as manipulated by the neo cons, is worth rebuilding. Let all Americans of good will work together to rebuild both.

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