No problem

On the surface, at least, I don’t have a problem with this approach by the Corps of Engineers.

We can’t build things to reel San Francisco in to Nevada like a giant carp if there’s a giant earthquake. We can’t put a dome over the Pacific Northwest to protect it from Mt. St. Helens and we can’t be expected to construct giant snowblowers for North Dakota. Mother Nature will always bat last and, to my thinking, there’s only so much we can do as mere humans. If New Orleans faces what the Mississippi coast did during Katrina, we’re just gonna have to deal.

That said, our faith in all levels of government is rivaled only by our confidence in how long Lindsay Lohan is gonna stay off the sauce and ask someone else to do the driving. Our state leaders are too inept or powerless (or both) and our local folks are like the caterwauling child in church — everyone wishes they’d shut the hell up or that someone would take them the hell outside. At the federal level, we’re Old News, Bad News or (worse) No News. So guess what — no matter what the Corps says or wants, we’re already just gonna have to deal.

I’m currently reading “A Wilderness So Immense,” an excellent history of the Lousiana Purchase by Jon Kukla. I was struck by this quote he cites from Federalist icon Fisher Ames, who would have preferred to see the newly acquired territory ruled as a colony rather than seeing its inhabitants obtain the full rights of US citizens. He referred to residents of Louisiana as a “Gallo-Hispano-Indian omnium gatherum of savages and adventurers.” Another federalst reported to Alexander Hamilton that “New Orleans is a place inhabited by a Mixture of Americans, English, Spanish and French and crouded (sic) every year….with two or three thousand boatmen from the back country, remarkable for their dissipated habits, unruly temper and lawless conduct.” This same writer also decried the city as “a place where the white population bears so small a proportion to the black.”

…so federal sneering is nothing new to this city nor the region as a whole. To a degree, it’s ignorance. But, to another degree, we’ve been bringing it on ourselves for upwards of three centuries.

…and it’s one of the reasons we live here.

1 Comment so far

  1. HARRY (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 7:35 pm


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