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  • "I'm sick of hearing about Katrina!"

    Last night, while watching the Saints parade online, my roommate turned to me and said, ďIím sick of hearing about Katrina!Ē I was rather appalled to hear this come from anyone, let alone someone like him who claims he loves New Orleans and has visited pre and post-Katrina. I asked him if he was sick of hearing about 9/11, considering that itís still the rallying cry for his political party of choice, and naturally, he framed 9/11 as a national incident, and we canít forget about it because weíre at (a seemingly perpetual) war, etc. He went on ranting about Drew Brees ďconstantly talking about Katrina,Ē and said that all the coverage is negative. I countered that positive stories donít sell, whether itís Katrina, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but he remained resolute that everyone in New Orleans is always harping on Katrina in the media. I said that itís important that people not forget about the tragedy that happened there, especially since there were some politicians who believed that New Orleans, a city under sea level, should be allowed to fail. He claimed that he never heard anyone say that, which is fascinating considering that those individuals were guests on the talk radio shows he treasures so dearly. When he started ranting about the Lower 9th Ward being a slum (although he used a far more inflammatory choice of words) and determined that it was not much of a loss when it was wiped out, I probably deserved some sort of Zen medal of self-restraint for not killing him on the spot.

    He and I are very different people. I form my opinions from research and weighing options on both sides of the argument. He forms his opinions from what he hears on slanted talk radio programs. Debating with him often proves frustrating because he seems to hold little interest in facts. But in this case, Iím not going to let it slide.

    We can go back-and-forth about media coverage regarding Katrina, but weíre not going to get anywhere there. Rather, I think the larger issue is what people from the city now want to happen in this rebuilding era. He has major issues with this rebuild because American cities have been hit with hurricanes and earthquakes and have not had this much focus in the media. He also makes a point of saying that Biloxi was able to rebuild, so why couldnít New Orleans, an argument that ignores that vast differences in size and population of the two cities.

    Iím truly ashamed to say it, but one thing I realized last night is that I donít actually know what the remaining major issues are in the rebuild. Yes, I know the Army Corps of Engineers are not building the levees as strong as they could be, and I know that the deterioration of the wetlands is another major issue that exacerbates the problem, but I canít really speak to specifics in either of those cases. If someone could point me toward an article(s) or your own firsthand knowledge that would help educate me on the current problems and possible solutions, that would be great. If you also can speak to the reasons why these solutions are not being implemented (right or wrong, there are ALWAYS reasons), that would also be much appreciated. And if there are large looming issues with money that has been allocated but not dispensed (whether the dollars are federal, state, or city), I would like to know about that, too.

    It is humbling to have to ask for this information, but Iíve never seen an article or speech which laid everything out in specific terms, and specifics are what I need. Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
    Last night, while watching the Saints parade online, my roommate turned to me and said, ďIím sick of hearing about Katrina!Ē I was rather appalled to hear this come from anyone, let alone someone like him who claims he loves New Orleans and has visited pre and post-Katrina. I asked him if he was sick of hearing about 9/11, considering that itís still the rallying cry for his political party of choice, and naturally, he framed 9/11 as a national incident, and we canít forget about it because weíre at (a seemingly perpetual) war, etc. He went on ranting about Drew Brees ďconstantly talking about Katrina,Ē and said that all the coverage is negative. I countered that positive stories donít sell, whether itís Katrina, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but he remained resolute that everyone in New Orleans is always harping on Katrina in the media. I said that itís important that people not forget about the tragedy that happened there, especially since there were some politicians who believed that New Orleans, a city under sea level, should be allowed to fail. He claimed that he never heard anyone say that, which is fascinating considering that those individuals were guests on the talk radio shows he treasures so dearly. When he started ranting about the Lower 9th Ward being a slum (although he used a far more inflammatory choice of words) and determined that it was not much of a loss when it was wiped out, I probably deserved some sort of Zen medal of self-restraint for not killing him on the spot.

    He and I are very different people. I form my opinions from research and weighing options on both sides of the argument. He forms his opinions from what he hears on slanted talk radio programs. Debating with him often proves frustrating because he seems to hold little interest in facts. But in this case, Iím not going to let it slide.

    We can go back-and-forth about media coverage regarding Katrina, but weíre not going to get anywhere there. Rather, I think the larger issue is what people from the city now want to happen in this rebuilding era. He has major issues with this rebuild because American cities have been hit with hurricanes and earthquakes and have not had this much focus in the media. He also makes a point of saying that Biloxi was able to rebuild, so why couldnít New Orleans, an argument that ignores that vast differences in size and population of the two cities.

    Iím truly ashamed to say it, but one thing I realized last night is that I donít actually know what the remaining major issues are in the rebuild. Yes, I know the Army Corps of Engineers are not building the levees as strong as they could be, and I know that the deterioration of the wetlands is another major issue that exacerbates the problem, but I canít really speak to specifics in either of those cases. If someone could point me toward an article(s) or your own firsthand knowledge that would help educate me on the current problems and possible solutions, that would be great. If you also can speak to the reasons why these solutions are not being implemented (right or wrong, there are ALWAYS reasons), that would also be much appreciated. And if there are large looming issues with money that has been allocated but not dispensed (whether the dollars are federal, state, or city), I would like to know about that, too.

    It is humbling to have to ask for this information, but Iíve never seen an article or speech which laid everything out in specific terms, and specifics are what I need. Thanks for your help.
    Q: Why is it taking them so long to rebuild?
    A: Why is it taking you so long to go down and help them rebuild.

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe your buddy digested to much right wing propaganda, either way his remarks were in bad taste to the spirit of the event, which although a victory parade for a Super Bowl Champion, I think we all know it was so much more than that.
      Not sure how to answer the rebuilding questions. I'm sure some locals will chime in. I do know the Wetlands and Levees are biggies and I know alot of people have yet to come back because they have little to come back to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Was does ďrebuildĒ refer to? What specifically needs to be done? And what is needed to make this happen? Federal money? Individual donations? Volunteer labor? Tourist dollars spent in the New Orleans economy?

        Remember, Iím looking for specifics.

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=groovy1967;309940]Was does “rebuild” refer to? What specifically needs to be done? And what is needed to make this happen? Federal money? Individual donations? Volunteer labor? Tourist dollars spent in the New Orleans economy?

          Dude, I'd say all of the above. Remember, google is your friend.
          Last edited by marignygreg; 02-10-2010, 12:11 PM. Reason: Had to put a smiley in there so not to offend.:)

          Comment


          • #6
            Your roommate must get royally pissed off every year when there's renewed talk about D-Day. And Hiroshima. And that damned Revolutionary War. I mean that was nearly 234 years ago! Why the heck do we still have to hear about those whiny colonials?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Baconwrapped View Post
              Your roommate must get royally pissed off every year when there's renewed talk about D-Day. And Hiroshima. And that damned Revolutionary War. I mean that was nearly 234 years ago! Why the heck do we still have to hear about those whiny colonials?
              haha...i'm sorry...that' funny!

              Comment


              • #8
                Personally, I am tired of hearing the media say it was the HURRICANE that flooded the city (instead of the faultily designed & built levees that were NOT overtopped but failed, ahem).

                And the report that aired on Superhype Sunday before the game, where they interviewed a couple of lower 9th ward residents absolutely reinforced the stereotype that people like your buddy hold about the flood. The interviewees seemed to be helpless and asking for a handout. Why the heck they didn't interview the many residents of that same area who have organized ther community and provided resources to help each other rebuild? Or the people from countless other neighborhoods who also had their homes destroyed and have shown incredible persistence, dedication and hard work as they have returned and rebuilt, despite the government's total neglect? Why not? Because CBS news wants to continue to reinforce the idea that the flood only affected people who never had much going for them and still don't. Oh, yea, and they happen to be black.

                Well, '67, you got me wound up this afternoon!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
                  Last night, while watching the Saints parade online, my roommate turned to me and said, ďIím sick of hearing about Katrina!Ē I was rather appalled to hear this come from anyone, let alone someone like him who claims he loves New Orleans and has visited pre and post-Katrina. I asked him if he was sick of hearing about 9/11, considering that itís still the rallying cry for his political party of choice, and naturally, he framed 9/11 as a national incident, and we canít forget about it because weíre at (a seemingly perpetual) war, etc. He went on ranting about Drew Brees ďconstantly talking about Katrina,Ē and said that all the coverage is negative. I countered that positive stories donít sell, whether itís Katrina, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but he remained resolute that everyone in New Orleans is always harping on Katrina in the media. I said that itís important that people not forget about the tragedy that happened there, especially since there were some politicians who believed that New Orleans, a city under sea level, should be allowed to fail. .
                  Don't know what to say about that. I'm a Republican and I strongly believe we should never forget about Katrina or rebuilding our beloved city of New Orleans. I have heard a few people say they think New Orleans should fail (from both libs and conservatives) but I think the common factor was that it came from people who didn't know much about New Orleans.

                  As far as rebuilding info, Michelino posted some great sites.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pokerchick66 View Post
                    Don't know what to say about that. I'm a Republican and I strongly believe we should never forget about Katrina or rebuilding our beloved city of New Orleans. I have heard a few people say they think New Orleans should fail (from both libs and conservatives) but I think the common factor was that it came from people who didn't know much about New Orleans.

                    As far as rebuilding info, Michelino posted some great sites.
                    While it's a given that my feelings about rebuilding NOLA are intensified by my love for and involvement in the city, I'd feel the same about rebuilding ANY American community suffering devastation. We as a nation are a community that shares in the responsibility for and benefits from the well-being of our fellow citizens.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was just having this conversation yesterday at work. My friend was saying how her husband started ranting on Sunday before the game about being sick of hearing about Katrina..blah, blah, blah. Now I know where he is coming from because he works as an EMT in DC and sees everything, and I mean everything, so his patience with people is short. Interestingly though, she turned around and told him that she has seen New Orleans from a different angle from someone she works with and proceeded to tell him all that is wonderful about the city and the people that are there. Its really up to us (as the media clearly misses the mark) to continue to educate folks about what actually happened when the hurricane hit and that the city and its residence have worked really hard to bring her back.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I appreciate the dialogue that throwing a hot potato like this topic usually invites - and it should stir strong emotions. If I'm bummed that this year's Fest trip is financially implausible, imagine the plight of 9th Ward and Chalmette homeowners who couldn't even put the scratch together to return home to make an informed decision about whether they should save, doze or sell their property before a bureaucratic deadline that flagged the property for demolition by default. The problems with "rebuilding" cross so many disciplines: flood control, property financing, public disaster relief, faith, adequacy of health care, education... that I started to despair that any one agency could bring the issues and the resources together. I personally had high hopes for Ivor van Heerden becoming a lightning rod for positive change, but his candor (and vitriol directed at the Corps of Engineers) led to his dismissal from LSU's Hurricane Center and probably tanked any future leadership role. Maybe Mayor Landrieu can succeed where others have notably failed in convincing employers and families that the City (and Corps and State and Country) have a plan and that it's time to invest and rebuild in New Orleans.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I sick of the Fed/State Government Flood. It wasn't Katrina's fault as much as it was decades of stupid human political tricks. That's the reason I encourage all to hold their elected officials accountable no matter their party or where they live! Our life, our living, our welfare, our hope is up to us a local citizens living in communities!!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pokerchick66 View Post
                            Don't know what to say about that. I'm a Republican and I strongly believe we should never forget about Katrina or rebuilding our beloved city of New Orleans. I have heard a few people say they think New Orleans should fail (from both libs and conservatives) but I think the common factor was that it came from people who didn't know much about New Orleans.
                            For the record, I donít think this is a Republican/Democrat issue. While I guess those teabagger people who believe the government shouldnít exist probably donít want to see any involvement in the rebuild of Nola, the people whom I heard openly wanting the government to let New Orleans fail were social conservatives who viewed Bourbon Street as representative of the entire city. For the record, my roommate is not a social conservative (at least he doesnít act like one!), but he is of the mindset that other disasters have happened and we have not placed this much emphasis on rebuilding those areas. Obviously, we all know that Katrina was a very different situation in size, scope, nature, and end results.

                            I do think that heís heard reports, or likely carefully edited snippets of reports, similar to the ones Glinda described, and these have informed his negative opinion. I just heard the Dave Bartholomew/Bob French session from ĎOZ, and even 89-year-old Dave alludes to people who foolishly demand handouts. These people are certainly not helping the case for New Orleans.

                            I appreciate Michelinoís links, and from the little bit Iíve read thus far, this is helpful information. But otherwise, Iím not seeing anything aside from generalities here (and the pointless suggestion to check Google), which makes me think that Iím not the only one who canít really answer the question of what New Orleans needs right now.

                            So let me put it this way, as a major proponent of the City of New Orleans and all it has to offer the world, if someone asked you, ďWhat needs to be done to complete the post-Katrina rebuild and what is standing in the way of those plans,Ē what would your answer be?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
                              Was does ďrebuildĒ refer to? What specifically needs to be done? And what is needed to make this happen? Federal money? Individual donations? Volunteer labor? Tourist dollars spent in the New Orleans economy?

                              Remember, Iím looking for specifics.
                              My point being that when people act surprised to me that they haven't rebuilt, I point out that rebuilding takes people willing to do so. And to get to that point, it takes money or....volunteers. And for the people who have not been able to rebuild, obviously, the money is not and likely will not ever be there. Those with money have rebuilt or moved on. For those without it who still have not rebuilt, it is volunteers or nothing.

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