Well, it appears as though another newspaper columnist has taken up the “let it die” cause.
This one has considerably less credentials than the last but he needs to be addressed nonetheless. No one gets a free pass when they are advocating my and my neighbors’ financial ruin and the destruction by neglect of our homes.
Following is a point-by-point retort to Mr. Bryce Lambley of the Freemont Tribune, a 139 year-old paper in Eastern Nebraska that should really have a more respectful attitude towards history and cultural heritage.
The continued hand-wringing over rebuilding efforts (and our tax money being spent) in New Orleans is starting to wear real thin on me.
Then you can imagine how thin it’s wearing on US.
The experts are now saying if they build up the weakest levees, it will put the French Quarter in even more jeopardy.
Seems to me the smartest response is to simply rebuild the poverty-ridden city on higher ground; just annex the neighbors like Omaha did.
I like that he uses the word “simply” in reference to rebuilding an entire city with a giant port, four major expanses, with many historical districts and cultures and built on the deepest channel of the Mississippi River.
It’s not that I don’t have a heart.
No. You don’t get it both ways. You advise that people be made to leave the place where their families have lived for 300 years and write that a major city to be abandoned rather than spend a small portion of your tax dollars on it, and you still want to pretend you have a heart? No.
We’ve got tornadoes in this part of the country. There are also wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, ice storms, blizzards, floods, and all matter of other natural disasters. All are regrettable and most are unavoidable.
But when New Orleans – a huge part of which actually existed below sea level – got hammered by Hurricane Katrina, the nation’s outcry and shock was astounding, fueled by knee-jerk angst from pseudojournalists like Geraldo Rivera.
Perhaps their outcry and shock were fueled by the fact that they contained a shred of humanity and were outraged that such a botched response could happen in the United States to Americans? No but, really, it was Geraldo and Anderson Cooper who conjured up a spell that made their viewers suddenly sympathetic. Because nobody is moved by a bloated body floating in the street of a great American city unless a journalist tells them to be upset about it. Ditto for the reactions to dead old ladies in wheelchairs.
I too was shocked when I learned how much of that city was built below the level of the Mississippi River, Lake Ponchartrain, and the Gulf of Mexico. Do these people not understand the simple nature of water and physics?
That’s it. The Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t understand the simple nature of water and physics. You got it. This sports writer from Nebraska has a stupefying revelation for the United States Government. Somebody call the Netherlands! Water flows DOWN!
Some lessons must take a while to sink in (pardon the pun). Years ago, when Nebraskans tried to alleviate flooding in the southeast part of the state, they quickly found that when you channelize one part of a river, you just about have to do the same for the rest of the river downstream.
Yea, downstream, that’s us. And why didn’t your state just tell those folks to simply rebuild their cities? Wait, they had alittle vision?
If you don’t, the newly-straightened (channelized) portions of the river do a great job of quickly moving heavy downpours out of the flood-prone area. But when this accelerated runoff then hits the unchannelized portions downstream (with lots of twists and turns), the flooding is dramatically worsened.
In other words, if you don’t do the job completely, you’ve actually made the situation worse. We learned those lessons quickly on the Nemaha river system as well as the mighty Missouri.
Doing the job completely, yes, that’s what we want.
So what should we learn from this disaster? Move the city to higher ground!
Even though I have said this isn’t the smartest path, I want you to know that to create a new infrastructure for New Orleans in a different location would be very, very expensive for everyone involved, including the oil and gas industry. There is already an infrastructure in place so it would all have to be rebuilt elsewhere. Then there is the problem with what to do with the infrastructure in place. Ban people from entering the city? How exactly is this supposed to take place? Is this more practical than simply buyilding better levees? Probably not!
Instead, in New Orleans (and Washington) it seems they’d rather point fingers, hold out their cup, or label the poor response as racism. That and blame the President, FEMA, the Red Cross, National Guard and the war in Iraq. Where is the federal relief money? Where is their FEMA trailer?
And the head of FEMA who had no emergency management experience? What was that? We were supposed to keep our outrage to ourselves?
And the many people rebuilding in the city right now who never held out a cup? What about them? We are supposed to tell them they don’t count and no one is going to regard them because everyone is so pissed off at the poor people who can’t afford to rebuild? Everyone wants to drag out the people who are waiting for government assistance that they are ignoring the people who don’t. Therefore they are drawing attention to the very thing they despise and ignoring those who are actually doing something.
Do you really think the disaster response would have been as botched if Katrina happened in Miami Beach?
The people down here are asking for federal money because federal levees failed and caused the disaster in the first place.
And since you brought up the War in Iraq, you may want to look over your figures and see how many of your tax dollars are being spent on that debacle and compare it to how many have been spent on revitalizing an American port city. We could have bought dozens of levee systems with that cash.
Are they serious?
Damn right we are serious.
They built a city on ancient river-borne sediment
When you say “They” I want you to realize you are talking about people like presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. You are also referring to people who maybe thought it to be a good idea to have a city on the mouth of the continent’s largest river. These people thought it could possibly be a good idea to regulate traffic on that river. They also saw a resource rich continent to the south that would need a port close by. They also saw that large ocean-going vessels could never make it up the river so they would need to offload their supplies somewhere near the mouth. I know. What dumb asses!
that is prone to compaction (sinking)
Thanks for the parentheses. I never would have known what compaction was without that aside.
and did it below the level of an ocean that is known for brewing up nasty storms, and suddenly they’re horrified this great act of tempting fate backfires.
It’s a gulf.
Most of the city (including my house) is well over sea level, so much so that it is measured in meters. And I’m in New Orleans proper too. Also, the horror is from the selfish nature of certain members of the American populace and their unwillingness to care about the city and its people. We are also a little teary-eyed about the death of vision in America.
It would seem to me that when natural disasters strike here in the Midwest – such as the monster blizzards in the high plains this past winter – that folks simply button up their coats and help each other in any way they can.
And as many have pointed out, there was not widespread moaning that the federal government wasn’t helping. Or complaining there wasn’t a FEMA trailer or stipend for them.
Really? Because with a simple Internet search, I found a blizzard that occurred in 1949 that required the help of the Fifth Army, the Red Cross, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force, the National Guard and the Civil Air Patrol. I guess the three people that died in this blizzard didn’t button up their coats far enough.
And I suppose everybody refused this money allocated to the state shortly before Katrina.
They didn’t expect the President to be there in person. And (thankfully) there were no visits from Sean Penn, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or other grandstanding opportunists.
So if someone comes down to help, they are only doing so to be an opportunist, and someone who doesn’t do shit is…what exactly?
Didn’t everybody expect at least a visit from Bush? I mean, is it too much to ask for the guy to put his feet on the ground and make an appearance? Smell the odor of flooded houses? LBJ did it.
Yes, the destruction caused by Katrina was devastating and I truly feel bad for those affected.
Again, no. You don’t have the right to back off from your own words by stating that you care. If you cared, this article would be in the form of a plea rather than sounding as if it was the schoolboy scribble of a snide heel. So spare me the part where you try and make yourself feel good by saying you really do care for people who you attempt to make look stupid with remarks about not understanding physics and such. Especially since none of us have forgotten that we lost 1,700 neighbors two years ago.
And I do hope much of the city can be rebuilt Å on higher ground and without my tax money.
Vote for who you want to vote for (though I have a sneaking suspicion you aren’t happy with any of the candidates) but rest assured, your money will be wasted on much worse than building people new homes and helping them get back on their feet.
But let’s put things into perspective. If you or I are crazy enough to build much more than a ramshackle cabin on a Platte River island or shore, and a flood sweeps it away, folks here won’t have much sympathy for our decision to build there in the first place. We take the risks of developing such land knowingly.
I wouldn’t project your lack of sympathy onto others. That’s a bold and arrogant step. Simply because you lack compassion for your fellow Americans doesn’t mean everyone else does.
Your “they deserved it for living there” argument is common. I wonder how many of you felt like writing that after thousands of people died on Sept. 11 in a building that had been attacked once in the last decade? I don’t recall many people writing editorials about that. But somehow it is okay to insinuate that about New Orleans. I wonder what the difference between the people who died in those two disasters is?
Anyway, you are on the list.