Is New Orleans Dying? by John Cole| December 14, 200511:27 am| 42 CommentsThis post is in: Domestic PoliticsFacebookTweetEmailThis seems to say it is. Can New Orleans ever really be rebuilt?
Why the hell would anybody who had a choice and/or already lost everything move back there at this point? New Orleans was one of my favorite cities to visit, but at this point, I’d rather see it die than spend untold billions to rebuild a friggin city below sea level.
Not that it can’t be done, but because there is no ambition on behalf of the federal government to do so. FEMA is still dragging its heels.
Hell, even the lights in Jackson Square that were lit up like a Christmas tree for Bush’s speech are still dark.
If the feds were to actually do something, I would disagree with the idea that NOLA is dying. Alas, since this administration is too busy outting CIA agents, starting wars and giving nice Christmas tax cuts to the weathiest of Americans and large corporations, I can only say…
R.I.P. New Orleans. Thank goodness I got to meet you before you died.
I wonder how many people even realize the city only flooded because of a simple engineering flaw (the pilings were not deep enough, a study has concluded)?
Can the city of Mardi Gras ever really die? I doubt it. Never underestimate the power of boob flashing!
Can it? Sure. But it would take a president who actually cared about actual, competent governance — and not just photo-op promises — in order to get it done. So kiss the Big Easy goodbye.
This below sealevel shit always cracks me up
Listen, we put a man on the moon. We built the grand canyon. We cured erectile dysfunction
We can build some dams to hold back the tide. Even if the city is below sea level. Stronger, safer, etc
It’s not like we lost some bland city like Columbus or Omaha… its New Freakin Orleans. It’s one of the most recognizable cities in America. Re. Build. It.
Stupid Pajama person doesn’t get the French heat wave year right.
I heard an interview on NPR about Tulane – they are expecting well over 80% of their students back. OTOH the medical school fired a lot of staff because of the city’s depopulation. Asked if that was really “fired”, not “laid off until the city is back on its feet”, the president or whatever of the university said “fired”.
Is Howard Dean guest-blogging at Balloon Juice? What’s with the “retreat and defeat” attitude, John? Only a traitor would damage the morale of the brave men and women working to rebuild New Orleans!
It’s remarkable how many conservatives (not really including John in this criticism) think it is perfectly legitimate to talk about whether success in New Orleans is feasible, but it’s treason to discuss the exact same issue with respect to Iraq.
My friend, who was supposed to be completing his final year of law school at Tulane this year, has been forced to take his classes at Harvard Law School instead. Wow, what a tough break he caught.
NOLA should die. It was a hotbed of sin, corruption and liberalism. Building the city back up would only send a message of capitulation in its moral depravity.
Build a nice big pond, put some golf courses around it and call it the New O Retreat. Let the moral scum that destroyed the real beauty of the city find new places to drag down or let them go to prison.
does anyone have a reputable link for this, or just the pajamas site?
Of course New Orleans can and will be rebuilt. As to who would ever move back, come here to Houston and I’ll introduce you to thousands waiting to move back. Folks who have relocated their businesses and all their employees here temporarily, but who will definately move back.
And of course, I couldn’t help but gag at this bit of bullshit.
Yeah, if only the French shipped their aging parents off to convalescent homes rather than taking care of them as a family unit.
Jeez! What an asshole. As if one couldn’t come up with viable criticism of the French!
And also, the whole below sea level meme is total bullshit. Got to Holland for Christ’s sake! I’ve stayed in homes there that sit over 3 meters below sea level!
Not by government, it can’t…unless you are willing to spend twice as much as needed and wait three times longer than planned. Government hasn’t exactly been known in the past few decades for its efficiency and workrate, so why all of a sudden do we expect it (especially in the notoriously…ummmmm, how to put it delicately…inefficient state of Louisiana) to do the hardest job it’s ever been asked to do, without endless bureaucracy and delays and fraud? And it’s only been three months, right?
The City and State haven’t even submitted the idea for the germination of a plan to have a plan, because they’re too worried about getting emergency money and protecting their political butts. Congress won’t vote on the money for NOLA until a rebuilding plan is in place, or we all know that the cash will end up in the ether.
If the Times expected to see great waves of mobilized workers hoisting Cat 5 levies after three months, I think they’re smoking more rock than usual.
I’m sorry. We can’t afford to rebuild New Orleans.
All reconstruction moneyies have been diverted to rebuilding Baghdad.
I saw something on Right Hand Thief (a New Orleans resident) concerning the $2 billion mega-embassy going up in Baghdad. Meanwhile, FEMA temporary housing vouchers are running out, Houston is basically packed to the brim, and New Orleans’ only energy company can’t get any funding to continue to provide power to the residents that are there.
Say, I’ll bet this calls for a tax cut.
From the 2000 debates:
MODERATOR: Sure, absolutely, sure. Somalia.
BUSH: Started off as a humanitarian mission and it changed into a nation-building mission, and that’s where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building.
Maybe he heard “America” instead of “Somalia.”
Make New Orleans a federal tax-free area for 10 years, and it’ll get rebuilt lickety-split.
But you’ll never find a Republican or Democrat who can wrap their little mind around that one.
I think NO should be rebuilt, but the problem with rebuilding is that it is only a band aid. NO is effectively moving closer to the Gulf of Mexico every year through coastal wetland loss. Every mile closer is less land for any hurricane to dissipate its strength before hitting. The wetlands also effectively control flood waters (most flood waters anyway) by absorbing water. La gulf coast since 1900 has represented 80% of the national coastal wetland loss all by its lonesome.
why so much wetland loss? Because the levees have stopped the Mississippi from deposititing sediment it carries down from the US. All this sediment now flows to the Gulf instead of depositing and replenishing these sinking wetlands. So, rebuild…however realize, as NO gets closer to the gulf, a smaller hurricane will do just as much damage and with the levees in place, there is no way to stop it.
Kind of like a perpetual disaster machine. Unlike SF or other natural disaster prone cities, NO, by its own engineering and existence, is hurting itself.
That would explain the wet underwear, then.
Do all these liberals on this site support the morbid morality that NOLA stands for? The corruption, depravity and absolute disgusting nature of New Orleans is what drew the destructive hand that damaged it. Why tempt the fates again?
Ah yes, flashing your boobs has a direct correlation to the meteorologic patters upon which hurricanes develop off the eastern cost of Africa, migrate through the atlantic and caribbean via ocean currents and then follow the gulf stream current north.
Later on, I’m going to take my boobs and go cause a tsunami in Indonesia. What? oh crap, someone’s boobs already did that??
NorthWstPHD, it wasn’t a hand, it was a giant featus.
“And the Law-ad did cometh down from on high, and he did say-ah ‘I seeth this den of iniquity before me-ah, and I shall smiteth it-ah!’ And the Law-ad did smiteth Louisiana, killing the poor, killing the meek, and killing the lame-ah, but sparing the French Quarter to tempt future evil-doers into Hell. For as the Good Book does say, it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven–because God-ah doesn’t kill rich people! Praise be to the Law-ad!”
Hey, at least they don’t fuck mules like they do in Georgia.
NorthWstPHD – this is not a freakn’ joke or way to be snarky, or partisan so JUST STOP. Your comments are unhelpful and don’t add to the conversation. I spent 18 years of my life living and growing up in that city and your comments are so far from helpful no matter the motivate behind thm. Call me over sensitive if you want but just STOP.
As someone from N.O., the city has been dying one way or the other since the 1930’s. Letting it rot, literally, is freakin’ insane. The city wasn’t just a place it was people’s lives. We didn’t talk about abandoning LA after the earthquake, and can we count the number of hurricanes to hit Flordia this year? Please.
Yes the below sea-level excuses are just cover for we don’t want to spend money on what we consider a useless/dirty place. I will conceded that real estate as an industry, built (because of demand) in areas that it shouldn’t and the houses that were built were not terribly appropriate (there is a reason uptown house are built on piling for the most part) but that is all.
My family didn’t loose much – except my brother whose house was looted – but the “oh well, nevermind” attitude is not exactly helpful. Some areas are going to be OK other are not. Some areas will be rebuilt, some will not. New Orleanians I think, accept that to some extent.
I know people in the rest of the country are less interested in rebuilding a city that is not theirs. But if the don’t do something to repair N.O. then other cities should NEVER expect to be rebuilt if they EVER suffer a catestrophic event. This isn’t just about N.O. it about the future of other cities – will this government just let them die or wither as well?
I know that this a bit of an academic question for most, but for those of us that live or have ever lived there, this is not just an issue. My entire family lives there damn it it is not just about their houses. It is about their lives. Many of New Orleans have hardly left the state (or city for that matter) for a vacation, much less lived anywhere else. Many families have been there 200-300 years their connection is much deeper than just a place where their house is. Starting over in a place without the same language and cultural references and rythem of life is easier said than done, and is easier for those that didn’t live in an area that didn’t always feel like it was in America.
OK, rant over. Take a deep breath.
A part of me is NOT looking to going to see the family for Christmas. It is totally depressing me to know what I am going to see. It is not the city I grew up with. What happened to it and is still happened to it, are not things Americans think of ever hapening to an American city.
Is a donkey the same as a mule?
Well, at least y’all allowed yourselves to be completely derailed off the main point.
I get so sick of hearing the ‘is New Orleans dying’ crap.
Of course it’s not dying. It’s survived, through hurricanes, fires, plagues and wars. It survived with less protection and less help than it’s going to get today.
And each time it’s made itself over better. What makes anyone think this is different?
Don’t forget the story of Katrina isn’t just about New Orleans.
Mac is hilarious. He believes that the US Government is competent to pacify and rebuild Iraq and should spare no effort in that cause. However, when it comes to rebuilding a single American city, he thinks it beyond the Government’s capacity. The “hardest job” it’s ever been asked to do? What about WWII and the subsequent rebuilding of Europe?
A splendid example of ideological schizophrenia.
You are so right CrockPot. Of course I also don’t hear let the Mississippi coast die comments and it got hit by 2 MAJOR hurricanes in my lifetime.
The most disgusting morally corrupt city in the Western Hemisphere would draw the ire of God. The French Quarter being spared is minor to the lesson that everyone should take from the destruction of NOLA.
Wow! New Orleans is more corrupt than Washington AND Vegas. Now I know NorthWstPHD is a plant.
What a jackass question.
Mine were responsible for the ice storm in Montreal. Never underestimate their power.
Show where I ever said that! On the contrary, an entity of the size and power of the US government should be able to pacify and rebuild Iraq…except politicians and bureaucracy get in the way, and the result is lost money, slow progress, and bad press. That the military can do what it does is a testiment to their ablities to overcome the government apparatus.
“unless you are willing to spend twice as much as needed and wait three times longer than planned.” I see no evidence to the contrary.
Our role in rebuilding Europe was essentially writing checks. The government would have hands-on role in planning and executing the rebuild of NOLA.
Mac Buckets appears to be saying that the pacification of Iraq should have been handed over to private contractors right after Hussein was pulled out of the spider hole, pissing himself in fright.
If not, well, thats always what I have believed. Private companies would have a much greater interest in a grand Democracy in the Middle East where capitalism could make billions for America. Instead, liberals bitch and whine and moan about “no-bid contracts” and “halliburton” giving a chilling effect and reducing the chances of Iraq being done right.
All this pissing and moaning about NOLA going down (no pun intended) for the third time is simply the local politicos chumming the water for large amounts of federal largesse (read: your tax dollars and mine) that will dissappear into the pockets of said politicos faster than you can say “Mardi Gras”.
NOLA will not be wiped from the planet, despite the trolls comparison with S&G. It just won’t be the same NOLA as it was, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Mac’s comedy hour continues. Since I didn’t quote him, his challenge is absurd. If he wants to object to my characterization of his view, fine. Anyone who chooses to comb through his various posts vis a vis Iraq can decide for themselves whether I’m being fair in my assessment.
Accepting, for the moment, his position as stated above, it follows that he must either want us to abandoned both Iraq and NOLA or commit to salvaging both. Otherwise he would be arguing that waste and corruption are fine in Iraq but not in the rebuilding of a major US port city. Or is it vice versa?
The remaining possibility is that Mac thinks we should toss the Constitution into the shredder and replace corrupt civilian authority with the pristine efficiency of a military regime. Or perhaps he would settle for imposing a military regime on NOLA alone.
Mac doesn’t want a military regime. He has always been pretty firm about his beliefs–he wants a corporate kleptocracy ruled by raw lassiez faire capitalism, which will bring about a neo-Randian utopia. He is a staunch propertarian, not a militarist. Not saying that his idea is any better than a military dictatorship, but it is quite different.
Mac may be a propertarian Randite but that doesn’t seem to affect the lines of his argument here. You can’t argue that the Government is too incompetent and corrupt to rebuild a major US city while simultaneously arguing that it is competent to pacify and rebuild an entire country on the opposite side of the globe without contradicting yourself. Even Mac recognizes this. Hence his resort to drawing a distinction between the military and civilian arms of the government. He openly asserts that the Army could do the job if those pesky civilians would just get out of the way.
So Mac’s brand of “Libertarianism” doesn’t really hold that all Government is corrupt and inefficient, just the civilian branches. He continues to support the misadventure in Iraq despite his belief that the civilians are mucking it up. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask why what is good enough for Iraq isn’t good enough for NOLA. If he believes that the army is competent to do the job in Iraq he can hardly argue that it couldn’t manage NOLA. The implications of his argument are clear even if he doesn’t recognize them.
As a fellow Houstonian, unfortunately Davebo paints an incorrect picture. I have met quite a number here, who are not going back. At least they have zero plans to at this point. And these people include business owners. Also, I hear from some of them that several of the great NO chefs have landed high-dollar gigs across the country (one in Utah even) and are making too much $$$ to consider moving back to NO where competition for the food dollar is fierce