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Move New Orleans

If we are going to throw away a gazillion dollars attempting to build levees on shifting mud, we might as well use it on moving it to higher ground instead. Everybody wins -- the liberals get to see lots of federal money spent, Louisiana gets lots of attention (which they seem to crave), and we get to still have a place called "New Orleans" on the map. There is a danger that a more stable location for the town would lead to it becoming a harder-working, more prosperous, less lawless and corrupt city, but I think we can handle those little deficiencies.

Oh, and I have questions for the liberals bitching at Confederate Yankee in his comments (I tried to post a comment but his weird spam filter threw up a frankly incomprehensible error, so I'm putting it here):

What's wrong with the idea of relocating New Orleans to safer, more stable ground? Why is it so important to some of you people for it to stay where it is, where it can be swept away by another flood? Are you superstitiously invested in the idea that it's location is somehow "sacred"? Or is the idea of a safer, relocated New Orleans anathema to your need to have a place always in need of government "help"?

Perhaps you are simply in love with NOLA's French Quarter. (I doubt you are thinking about its dreadful slums or ugly industrial complexes.) Well why not disassemble the French Quarter and move it upstream? If we can bring whole bridges and castles from overseas, we can surely move a few buildings in our own country upriver a few miles.

I really don't see what your problem is here. Moving the city would save it. Leaving it where it is would likely result in its untimely demise. Don't you really care about the people of New Orleans, or do you only care about having your fun "cosmopolitan" party showcase?

Update: John Hawkins and Kathy Shaidle are both annoyed by the ongoing New Orleans psychodrama. I'm not sure what conservatives Kathy is talking about -- after all this time I can barely remember who said what about Katrina. And is it really so bad to be upset at the destruction of a city where, after all, lots of normal law-abiding people lived? Here's what I said at the time: I thought the cries to just abandon the city were disgraceful, an un-American example of giving up in the face of nature and a tacit admission that we were unwilling to clean up our messes -- of which New Orleans with its many levels of neglect and corruption had been an example long before Katrina. (The admiration for the outlaw which allowed the place to hang onto its "Big Easy" reputation is, alas, a long-standing American tradition, one of the few I wish we'd abandon. Naturally we're hanging on to that while we dump traditions like expecting new arrivals in this country to become Americans, not Foreign-Americans, expecting people to get married before they have children, and so on.)

On the other hand, I didn't boo and sob along with everyone else about "poor, poor NOLA" -- I've been through hurricanes myself and don't think much of people who don't plan ahead and fob off advice to evacuate and then cry because their perfectly good car is under ten feet of water. And if it looks like there will be no way to ensure that the location of the below-sea-level portion of the city can be made safe from future storms then one must bow to reality. As it stands now, I think anyone rebuilding anywhere that is below sea level in that city is a fool, and deserves what he gets. Liberals are acting like even talking about this is racist, as if we are obligated to return everything to what it was pre-Katrina because black people lived there! and it's a Chocolate City so if you so much as voice concern that repairing the city is just throwing money down a well you're a member of the Ku Klux Klan, but I know what they really care about: it's the French Quarter and that cemetery where they filmed that orgy scene in Easy Rider. Well, those parts of town are on higher ground, that's why they lasted so long. Turn them into a theme park and move the residences and business upriver. We could leave the mayor's office where it is, though. With any luck the next hurricane will sweep it out to sea.

One more update: well, it looks like we won't have this to worry about much longer. Ghost towns don't come back. Though I still think a viable theme park can be made out of the historical district... All I can say is, two years after Andrew Miami still looked pretty battered but it was well on its way back. And look at it now. I just found out (I had no idea -- everything nice happens to a place after I leave it) that they put in some sort of trolley thing through Coral Gables, one of the nicer parts of the area and one I grew up going through (we lived outside the city, inside the City of Miami proper, because we couldn't afford to actually live in the Gables, but I went to Coral Gables High). And so on.

I'm guessing the difference is the people. One word: Cubans. Cubans have taken over the city (it's majority Hispanic) and that's a good thing. Cubans aren't like some of the other Hispanic ethnic groups -- they work hard but they have ambition to better themselves, not just make enough money to send back to the old country (though they do that too); also, they believed in America and becoming Americans. They're human just like everyone else but the Tony Montana-type criminal is rarely Cuban, despite what that movie claimed (the famous "Drug Lords" were mostly Colombian, I believe), and despite accusations of cronyism and nepotism they tend to stay on the lawful side of things in their political dealings. The second wave of Cuban refugees that came in on the Mariel boatlift were more problematic, but these were people who had been under twenty years of Communist rule, and most of them have assimilated as well.

The only thing is Cubans are considered rather bourgeois, therefore they don't get good write-ups unless they belong to a salsa band. Oh -- and they are mostly Republicans, so our professional news media doesn't much care what they do or what happens to them. CNN et al would rather coddle the losers in NOLA, who continually shoot themselves in the foot by voting again for Ray Nagin, and sitting around waiting for someone to "care" about them, and so on. Cubans know that they aren't universally beloved, so they don't take things like that into consideration. I think we need to stop talking about how much we "care" about New Orleans because 1) all the care in the world won't stop the inevitable, and 2) I think that the residents of NOLA need that reality check. It will take a while to sink in -- hopefully this will happen before the city sinks.

Comments (4)

Annalucia [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I've heard that the French Quarter is on (relatively) high ground and didn't sustain that much damage.

Perhaps it could be left in place, as a French-flavored theme park, while the living-and-working areas can be moved upriver a ways.

I was scolded via email for not taking into account all the corruption in New Orleans. I didn't really consider it because apparently corruption is part of NOLA's charm. I posited the theme park thing to the emailer too. Perhaps they could make corruption an attraction at the new theme park -- kind of like the "It's A Small World" ride at Disney, they could have a ride called, maybe, "It's A Chocolate City" -- an animatronic Ray Nagin could be programmed to give the famous "Chocolate City" speech, and then a water ride could be taken through an exhibit of drowned buses, submerged homes, and for a thrill they could have a fake leveee gushing water onto the ride at one point...

The_Real_JeffS [TypeKey Profile Page]:

What's wrong with the idea of relocating New Orleans to safer, more stable ground?

Absolutely nothing. Which I'm sure that you knew, but, hey, I wanted to make a comment!

If you want a stark example of how the NOLA reconstruction is a failure, check what the Tree Hugging Sister said.

CGHill [TypeKey Profile Page]:

We've moved whole towns in Oklahoma before, though admittedly nothing as big as New Orleans. I just wonder where they'd put it: most of the nearby higher ground seems to be occupied by soulless suburbs already.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 31, 2007 9:59 AM.

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