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In the days before Katrina hit and then for about four years I kept almost a daily blog on Hurricane Katrina. More than 1,000 posts. It was a labor of love. I am going through and mining all the posts I made where Republicans (but also some liberals) said why rebuild a city that is below sea level? FEMA sucks, we shouldn't fund it. I could talk for hours about the inability of us to fund basic levees, which I like to call "earthen mounds." Or that we are losing something about the size of a football field a day in wetlands, that used to serve as a buffer to storms. Or that you can see from space the chemicals creating "dead zones" in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you think I am making up that last statement, here is the NASA image.


But I want to focus more on all the "political elite" and "thinkers" (even here if we don't have short term memories) that said why rebuilt the city. Will those same people in say DC, NYC, NJ that love their beach front homes come out and say we shouldn't help them rebuild?

I used to live in DC. At the time it seemed like the center of the Universe. But then I moved far away and I quickly could see why folks didn't like government, or should I just say the "elites" so much.

The the last few years within 200 miles of my house these things have happened and the coverage a fraction of this storm:

4.0 earth quake. 5.2 in 2008.

17 days of 110+ temps this year and a historic drought:


Just so you know "feed" corn is closer to 8-10 feet high. This ain't how corn is supposed to look.

A flood that put large areas here underwater, include a major city 8-12 feet underwater. Here is Cedar Rapids:

A tornado that almost wiped a mid-sized town (Joplin, MO) off the face of the map:


I don't mean to belittle the crisis of this storm, but I will come back to my first point. Will these same people that, like Paul Ryan did, want deficit cuts for aid to my area, want the same for the rich folks on the East Coast? That New Orleans should not be rebuilt cause it is below sea level, give up their vacation homes on a beach?

I don't REMOTELY want to seem heartless here.

But I want to say this early, early in the game. I know without a doubt the response we hear in the editorial pages of the WSJ and on Fox Noise will be 110% different then it was for things that happened by me when we really, really needed help.

And finally I want to point this out, I realize I am preach to the choir. We're all liberals and like with health care, we want everybody to have help and support.

You hear the phrase "fly-over" country. Note what I've said and realize why that phrase makes us want to punch you in the face. Like we are second class citizens.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not Trying To Start A "Pissing War" Here (4+ / 0-)

    but as I said, I want to be on the record here early about how I know the reaction to this terrible, terrible event will be different than how it is for others of us that live in this nation. IMHO people need to be aware of this.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 10:54:22 AM PDT

  •  Remember this piece in the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Avila, TiaRachel, Lujane

    NY Times the following Sunday?   Made some very nice points...

    What It Means To Miss New Orleans

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 10:56:02 AM PDT

  •  what BS (0+ / 0-)

    you might as well say don't rebuild any city that has been hit repeatedly by a natural disaster. And you as as hell don't respect the contributions New Orleans has made to our culture, jazz being the primary one. I suggest you take some of your time togo to the Netherlands and see their dike system, and learn why it is so effective.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:01:29 AM PDT

    •  I Think Your Reading Comprehension Is Off (7+ / 0-)

      I kept a blog for four years promoting rebuilding NO. In this Diary I was asking a very simple question. Those, and there were many in NYC/DC that said not to rebuild it, if their town is crushed today or tomorrow, will they say the same about their community. Is that not clear?

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:06:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oops -apologies (8+ / 0-)

      my low caffeine bad- i thought this was another hate New Orleans diary. Please accept my apologies. And I will add part of my diary on the Katrina flood:

      How Bush destroyed New Orleans:

      February 2001
      Bush’s first budget proposed more than half a billion dollars worth of cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers for the 2002 fiscal year. Bush proposed half of what his own officials said was necessary for the critical Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Project (SELA)—a project started after a 1995 rainstorm flooded 25,000 homes and caused a half billion dollars in damage.

      Bush did this to offset the tax break he gave to the top 1% of rich Americans. The first major economic initiative pursued by the president was a massive tax cut for the rich, enacted in June of 2001. Bush signed his massive $1.3 trillion income tax cut into law-a tax cut that severely depleted the government of revenues it needed to address critical priorities.

      February 2002
      Bush provided just $5 million for maintaining and upgrading critical hurricane protection levees in New Orleans—one fifth of what government experts and Republican elected officials in Louisiana told the administration was needed. Bush knew SELA needed $80 million to keep working, but the he only proposed providing a quarter of that.

      February 2004
      The SELA project sought $100 million to repair the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain levees, but Bush offered only $16.5 million. The Army Corps of Engineers asked for $27 million to pay for hurricane protection upgrades around Lake Pontchartrain—but the White House cut that to $3.9 million. Gaps in levees around Lake Pontchartrain & the Industrial Canal, which were supposed to be filled by 2004, were not filled because of budget shortfalls. Repair work on the levees, including the ones that failed, was stopped due to lack of funds.


      President Nixon -- August 1969 when Cat-5 Hurricane Camille hit roughly the same area as Katrina, President Nixon had already readied the National Guard and ordered all Gulf rescue vessels and equipment from Tampa and Houston to follow the Hurricane in. There were over 1,000 regular military with two dozen helicopters to assist the Coast Guard and National Guard within hours after the skies cleared.

      President Clinton -- September 1999, Hurricane Floyd -- Cat-3, was bearing down on the Carolinas and Virginia. President Clinton was in Christchurch, New Zealand - meeting with President Jiang of China. He made the proclamation that only Presidents can make and declared the areas affected by Floyd "Federal Disaster Areas" so the National Guard and Military can begin to mobilize. Then he cut short his meetings overseas and flew home to coordinate the rescue efforts. All one day BEFORE a Cat-3 hit the coast.

      President Bush (41) -- August 1992 -- was in the midst of a campaign for re-election. Yet, he cut off his campaigning the day before and went to Washington where he martialed the largest military operation on US soil in history. He sent in 7,000 National Guard and 22,000 regular military personnel, and all the gear to begin the clean up within hours after Andrew passed through Florida.

      George Bush (43) -- August 2005 -- Cat-5 Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf. Both states are down nearly 8,000 National Guard troops because they are in Iraq -- with most of the rescue gear needed.
      Bush is on vacation. The day before Katrina makes landfall, Bush rides his bike for two hours. The day Katrina hits, he goes to John McCain's birthday party,
      George Bush (43)’s responses to FL hurricanes in 2004:


      In 2004, George W. Bush and FEMA left little room for error. Not long after Hurricane Charley first made landfall on Aug. 13, Bush declared the state a federal disaster area to release federal relief funds. Less than two days after Charley ripped through southwestern Florida, he was on the ground touring hard-hit neighborhoods.

      Bush later made a handful of other Florida visits to review storm-related damage, but the story on the ground was not Bush's hand-holding. Rather, it was FEMA's performance.

      Charley hit on a Friday. With emergency supply trucks pre-positioned at depots for rapid, post-storm deployment, the agency was able to deliver seven truckloads of ice, water, cots, blankets, baby food and building supplies by Sunday. On Monday, hundreds of federal housing inspectors were on the ground, and FEMA already had opened its first one-stop disaster relief center.

      By the end of September, three hurricanes later, the agency had processed 646,984 registrations for assistance with the help of phone lines operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fifty-five shelters, 31 disaster recovery centers and six medical teams were in operation across the state. Federal and state assistance to households reached more than $361 million, nearly 300,000 housing inspections were completed, and roughly 150,000 waterproof tarps were provided for homeowners, according to FEMA figures.

      "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

      by azureblue on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NO Worries. I've Misread Things Here (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevvboy, Avila, GAS, Lujane

        myself. No worries.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My Favorite Post I Made On My Katrina Blog (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, lgmcp, hazzcon, Kevvboy, Avila, gustynpip, Lujane

        found this women that let me repost her stuff. She wrote this:

        I passed a man at a shelter the other day. He was tall and lanky and sunburned, dressed in cut-offs and a soaked blue t-shirt, with a grubby baseball cap shoved on top of muddy curls. There was something about his lean, sinewy body that made me think of the shrimpers I’ve seen down in Cocodrie — it’s a hard life and it makes for no-nonsense, self-sufficient men.

        He was sitting in a metal folding chair, slumped forward, his elbows on his knees, and the exhaustion in his shoulders made me ache. Between his feet was a medium sized box, and he was staring down into it. The box held some basic necessities: toiletries, canned goods, a pair of socks, and a pair of underwear. I realized, then, that he was barefoot — the grime around his ankles marked him as having abandoned his shoes somewhere along the way. His large feet were probably too big for any of the donated shoes stacked up at a one of the neaby tables.

        When I looked back at that box, I wondered what he must be thinking. My first thought, without seeing his face, was that this wasn’t much to give a man after he’d lost everything. This wasn’t much to hold onto for a man like that, and maybe he was angry at having lost everything, or frustrated that this is what he’d been reduced to. I had no words that would be of use, no words which could do any good, and I began to turn away when he suddenly looked up and caught my eye.

        He had tears on his cheeks. When I stood there, not sure what to do, he shrugged and said, "I can’t believe how generous people are. I can’t believe total strangers would go out of their way to help so much." I mumbled something about it being the least we could do, as neighbors, and I moved off into the crowd, feeling wholly inadequate and humbled in the face of such grace.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:17:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wait a minute.... (15+ / 0-)

    when did we rebuild New Orleans?

    You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

    by kenlac on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:02:29 AM PDT

  •  I live in CT (11+ / 0-)

    the "rich" folks on the East Coast are already taken care of via insurance and FEMA.   Two of our largest cities are on the shoreline -- Bridgeport and New Haven.  They are both packed with not rich people.  Same for cities on rivers, like Hartford and my little City of Torrington.  We are not rich people.  I live between 2 branches of the Naugatuck River which, along with the Mad River in Winsted, wiped out entire towns in 1955.  I can watch the river rise from my kitchen.  I'm not rich.

    Lots of not rich folks in NYC.  Lots of not rich folks on the Eastern shore of MD and in Baltimore.  Maybe I'm mis-reading but you seem to think there's more rich folks on the East Coast than poor folks.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:06:04 AM PDT

  •  Very confused by this post. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Avila, Melanie in IA

    Obama was in Iowa City in 2008 helping place sand bags outside the library.
    And from what I remember, the national response to that major flooding in Iowa in 2008 was strong.
    Of course New Orleans would be rebuilt.
    This diary sounds angry about something (while having a bit of a republican-like whistled melody) not sure what the agenda is here.

    •  People Here Seemed To Be Confused (5+ / 0-)

      yes Obama was there. I mean state next to his home state. But Republicans were not. I didn't once say Obama as POTUS wasn't strong in his response. I said the rich and media elite that didn't think we should "save" New Orleans or wanted deficit reducing spending to help my area won't request the same for the rich in NY and NJ. I mean I am not sure how much clearly I could have been on this.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:22:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not clear. (0+ / 0-)

        There are very rich and very poor people in every city.

        The Rs kept referring to Obama as an "elite" in the last election.
        You write of rich "elites" or "media elites".
        When I think of an elite, I think of a very wealthy person, a person of inherited multi-generational wealth who is also highly private schools like Phillips Exeter or Andover and then...Ivy League or Oxford, Cambridge for the PhD..that sort of thing. Don't know what you mean by elite...someone who reads the news on TV? Someone who made a bunch of money by selling an ap or pizza chains?

        True elites tend to be isolated from the many concerns that most people face.
        They may have a lot of opinions, but in the end politics/policy works best when the vast majority of people are served, not the very few at the top.

        Anyway, no one was ever serious about not rebuilding New Orleans.

    •  No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orphanpower, nchristine

      We lost a quarter of the university in Iowa City. Major buildings are still tied up, 4 years later, in controversy over whether to rebuild. FEMA decides one way, FEMA changes mind, FEMA thinks about it again... (In other words, we don't HAVE those buildings, and may never.) FEMA helped, yes, and private insurance helped, yes, but as to "national response"? None I know of. Cedar Rapids is in worse shape, had far more damage and is still battling for relief.

      That said, I think the diary is confusing, too. Not sure what the real point is, other than looking at a perception NO as po' folks not worth helping, as compared to "worthier" people along the east coast.

      •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Melanie in IA

        I didn't know there was so much difficulty in the aftermath.
        I know that the art museum closed and maybe did not re-open? They had quite a collection...I'll never forget that Max Beckmann triptych. There are a lot of bulidings along the river there...I thought  they rebuilt Hancher?
        (I miss going to Prairie Lights for coffee and books.)

        I hope the funds get untied to rebuild the rest of the structures!

        •  The art museum is gone. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't know what the plan is to replace it. Hancher is gone but they are breaking ground next month to rebuild. Studio arts is gone. They are using the old Menards building on highway 1, on the SW side of town for that. NO music building. NONE. Music is still scattered. Part of it is in the Old Capitol mall, part in various churches. The first year they also used West High. Not sure if they still are. No performing/recital hall. :(

  •  The 'elites' are just as good at ignoring things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, lgmcp

    in their own neighborhoods (except of course 'those people' are in other neighborhoods, y'know). Plenty of them have homes elsewhere, y'know...

    And the first time I ever heard the term "flyover states" (& most of the time since), it was from people who live there. I wouldn't be surprised if it originated with some right-wing 'we hate the coasts' radio show...

    Media consolidation -- especially news media -- should never have been allowed. Every state/region should have its own independent (and non-ideological) news broadcasting organization, especially.  

  •  Expect Demands for Cuts In Exchange for Storm (8+ / 0-)

    aid even to the East Coast. Definitely if they do well in the election.

    The right is playing endgame with government now.

    Don't get me wrong, they won't leave the area unrecovered. But they will demand cuts to pay for it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:25:10 AM PDT

    •  You Maybe Right, But I Don't Think So (0+ / 0-)

      If that happens I might come to believe they are "true believers." But my gut has always been they know what side of their toast is buttered and it will never happen.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:28:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're underestimating (0+ / 0-)

        just how much of the elite crowd you're thinking of (not to mention the huge money crowd) is from outside the 'boswash' corridor. Even the ones who live here at the moment don't have much connection to the area.

        True, this is a wealthier area overall, and much more liberal (in many ways, but especially in views about the responsibilities of government).  And most of the national media is centered here -- but they already ignore a whole lot that doesn't affect their social crowd.  Even when it's right next door.

        Any huge money that pours into the region will somehow manage to miss a whole lot of people -- but that'll never be covered, so the rest of the country will be able to keep their dam'yankee prejudices healthy.

  •  dont build on the sea (4+ / 0-)

    people build on the sea and then demand government to rebuild their seawalls and compensate for sea erosion.
    I do think that there is some argument against building in extremely vulnerable locations.

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 11:27:09 AM PDT

  •  My idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    for rebuilding NOLA was to take down the levees and transform the city into another Venice with real canals in stead of  a Canal Street. Never gonna happen, but it would be pretty cool.

  •  It will be the same as New Orleans in NYC (0+ / 0-)

    They will clear out the public housing residents and they won't be allowed to go back after the storm.  They are going to turn Brooklyn into a mini-Manhattan.

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