Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sue New Orleans for Negligence

Some things seem obvious to me. If you live below sea level you are going to get wet.

Did the elected officials of New Orleans not realize this? Based on the devastation being wreaked on that town, I think we should sue them for negligence. What they have failed to do to keep the deluge out will ultimately affect all of us.

For some reason they chose not to put a thorough effort into bolstering the ancient levees down there. Not just to protect the people of the city, but to protect the economy of the country. I can hear echoes of "not my job" even as cars are being swept away.

It is becoming very apparent that New Orleans wanted us to think that the town was just a great place to party.

Turns out it's the largest and most important port in the United States. The fifth largest in the world.

Didn't somebody in charge know this? Didn't it occur to anyone to take steps to build a better infrastructure to protect the port and keep it open?

One might also think safeguards would be in place to insure the quick recovery of the city's transportation and power. It doesn't sound like that's going to happen.

The failure of these systems is beginning to give new meaning to Roll Tide.

One levee has already given out. Throughout this whole mess, people have been talking with assurance about the damage the water can do when left to its own devices. If they knew this, why wasn't that city better prepared?

Did you see the footage of  the Super Dome? How the skin peeled off the roof, raining down a ton of water on all those people who trusted they would be safe when they couldn't get out of town?  How could that not shake the confidence of anyone who lives and works there? What an embarrassment.

Apparently the magnanimous gesture of the Mayor to offer refuge failed to include providing extra toilets, or any kind of generator to keep the air circulating. So the smell of sewage mixed with the odor of all those bodies in the heat and humidity is conspiring to make every breath the refugees take seem like their noses are firmly planted in the crotch of a pair of sweaty shorts.

For a town that lives at the mercy of Mother Nature, it's surprising that the walls around the city haven't been built a little better. I guess someone figured if things only get destroyed every forty years or so, no big deal.  

Water has been causing trouble in those parts for quite some time. There's a tradition in New Orleans to keep a axe in the attic. That's so you can break through the roof when the water hits the rafters. We could see where one guy did just that before the Coast Guard helicopter was able to get to him.

Some poor man, Harvey Jackson, lost his grip on his wife as she was swept away. This didn't have to happen. I live in a town that lost 700 people one summer because of the heat. The city learned its lesson and put cooling centers in place, and began to do house checks on the elderly among other things. People rarely die from the heat now.

New Orleans and the nearby cities have been hit hard by hurricanes before, what lessons have they learned?

The bigger issue is that this hurricane damage isn't just a problem for the people in New Orleans. It's going to affect us all way more than I realized until I started watching some of the coverage.

I remember the seventies when OPEC withheld production and gas prices tripled and quadrupled. The gas stations instituted a cost savings program that included pumping one's own gas. O-o-o-o-o, that helped. I was waiting for OPEC to pull another stunt again and render our SUVs useless, except to the very wealthy. They sure got up a head of steam recently.

But who knew we would end up doing most of the economic damage to ourselves when Katrina came along.

Now that we see how vulnerable and unprotected New Orleans was, Katrina makes OPEC look like a bunch of fat old men sitting around smoking cigars.

That bitch is not only messing with the refineries, but New Orleans turns out to be the major port in the country for delivery of grain to the world, steel for our cars, and a conduit for all the major waterways in the heartland.  In fact if you look at the country's arterial-like rivers, the HEARTland not only looks like a huge circulatory system, but it has just suffered a major infarct.

One quarter of everything the US exports passes through the port of Louisiana. Disrupt the port and you disrupt our whole economy. Terrorists couldn't have dreamed up a better scenario for taking us down.

Our own sense of invincibility has left us vulnerable again.  And this time we did it to ourselves.

New Orleans has dodged so many bullets with hurricanes heading their way then turning left or right that they probably thought they were immune.

The powers that be probably knew they were gambling with the safety of their citizens, but did they consider they were also gambling with the economy of the entire country? Turns out they lost. Now it's going to cost New Orleans many lives and the rest of us more than we possibly imagined.

I say sue the bastards.


robbush6 said...

Don't we always do it to ourselves?

How about this time we scrub the john at the gas station for extra savings, now that we're already pumping our own gas?

You put a bunch of beer-drinking Cajuns eating gumbo in charge and "Le bon temps roulez!"

suzypwr said...

And this one did still turn east at the last minute - imagine a head-on hit. Who builds a major city 10 feet below sea level between a river and a lake?


screaminremo303 said...

What do you expect from a city that has the unofficial motto of "Show us your tits for some plastic beads!"

bosoxblue6993w said...

i noticed how all the ritzy white people got their asses out oif town ... leaving the poor, infirm and black people to fend for themselves.

meforevermore said...



swmpgrly said...

ill stay in new england

shaz19743 said...

Yeah its gonna cost alright ....14 billion and counting of course thats just the financial cost ......80 lives and rising seems an even higher price to pay for the negligence x

thisismary said...

Make it a class action suit and I am in!  But first, a moment of compassion for the poor and elderly who had not the means to escape on the short notice that they had. A big kick in the hiney to everyone else, I say!

hewasolddog299 said...

The true costs of this almost criminal lack of preparation will not rear their ugly heads for a while. Just wait until you or I try to heat our homes this winter, or fire up the jalopy to stand in line at the store for our ration of bread. Assuming there's any flour available at all.

There have been no reports of the over 1 million people who live south and southeast of New Orleans, or of the incredible damage to the communities on the lake. Our family in Baton Rouge tells us that Ponchatula's main street has been flattened, destroying brick and stone buildings which have stood since the Civil War. There is absoultely no contact with family members in that area -- we have no way of knowing if they are alive or dead, but given the appearance of tsunami-like destruction of the causeway, it is not unreasonable to expect to find them all dead in their attics.

We've destroyed the rail infrastructure; the roads are in gridlock and fuel so dear that only the rich will be able to afford it by Thanksgiving. I read in another's journal about not taking trips "... until gas comes down to something reasonable, again." -- Now THAT'S wishful thinking. Good luck, campers -- another Great Depression is upon us. And the hurricane season is only half over...


alright4u said...

I agree with you. New Orleans stunk way before the hurricane. Just riding into the city years ago was a smell of nauseation. For the visitors to the "Big Easy"- it was obvious that the town was corrupt and morally bankrupt.

The major was an idiot. He was with his city through thick and thin, but; when it got too thick-he thinned out.

The Governor seemed dumber then a box of rocks. With 20-25 percent unemployment, how can we expect the generations of welfare recipients to ever work?

Yes, the Dems blame Bush. Was it not a Democrat who said- "ask not what your country can do for you-" etc? The Federal Government cannot do one thing until the governor declares martial law. The blame game starts with those expecting a handout.