I meant to start this blog in late August. Great timing, huh? Anyway, this is what I had to say in 2005.
On how to tell when things are back to normal:
This is now my litmus test for when things are back to normal in the GNO area. When I stop getting flats, things are back to normal.On Presidential obligations:
Mr. President, reclaim New Orleans. Come down to the Cabildo and sign a new Louisiana Purchase. Buy not the barren land you see before you, but the awesome potential that lies in its regeneration. Raise the American flag over New Orleans once again so that your citizens will know they have a home and will be protected by a great and caring nation.On defeetists:
We all know the defeetists. And they are not justified by the facts. When they say “I betcha five bucks I know where ya’ got dem shoes,” we know they do not really know.On the war in Iraq:
Oh, that’s right. I forgot. We’re fighting them over there so that we can’t build bigger levees over here. Priorities!On the federal government's response after Katrina:
We might find at the end of the day that it is not black New Orleanians that the federal government has neglected, but New Orleanians of every color.On Mardi Gras 2006:
Yes, having Mardi Gras next year will send the message that the Mayor and the tourism industry want: New Orleans is open for business. But, to cancel Mardi Gras would send a more powerful message to the nation: We are not back to normal and we need your help.On the correct way and the Orleans Levee Board’s way of inspecting a levee:
Which one is more accurate? Which one helps us in our mission to rebuild?
Eight engineers versus grass cutters. My head hurts.On Army Corps workers being threatened:
If people in the Lower Ninth were threatening ACE workers, it probably went something like this:On Rumsfeld’s Thanksgiving epiphany that they Iraqi insurgents weren’t insurgents:
"Dude, your levees suck."
That's not a threat. That's a fact.
I am glad that when I have an epiphany, it does not become national policy. My epiphanies are limited to things like better ways to wipe my ass. I can't imagine the entire country all wiping its ass just like me.On water:
Southern Louisiana evolved over millions of years to take a big hurricane every now and then, so there is a place for the water to go. We need to find where that place is, figure out a way to channel a massive storm surge there, and get it done. If we raise our structures off the ground and build them strong enough to withstand the movement of the water, the whole city can be a channel for the storm surge to go to a happy place.On that stupid question that stupid people kept asking right after Katrina hit:
Or, we could just rebuild the city every fifty years. Either way.
The question shouldn't be: “Why rebuild in New Orleans?” It should be: “Why build in areas which may flood?” And the answer is because people live there. New Orleans is not the only place protected by levees, and the country needs to invest in plans to keep those places safe.The first real post:
I started this weblog four days before I packed my family in a car and ran from a storm called Katrina. I wanted to speak for my city, New Orleans. I wanted to promote what was going right in my city, shine a light on what was going wrong, and hold the powerful accountable for the plight of the powerless. While I believe these goals to be valiant before the storm, I see them as essential after Katrina. The problems of my city are now out in the open. The solutions are scattered somewhere in the debris that still lines our streets weeks after the hurricane made landfall. As New Orleanians return to their city, they are going to talk about what happened. And they are going to talk about it like only New Orleanians can. And they are going to find solutions like only New Orleanians can.That pretty much says it all.
Down here, we speak a different language. We speak New Orleans.
On this blog, I’m going to speak New Orleans. Feel free to listen.
Thanks for tuning in.