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They Call Me the Fat Man
This year is the fifth anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans. It is incumbent on the american people to rebuild this city to the form it once had.

I offer as the reasons: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Louis Armstrong; The fat man himself; The Neville Brothers; Dr. John; Allen Toussaint; The Meters; Clifton Chenier; Beau Jocque; Hell, even Huey "Piano" Smith and Frankie Ford. Catman feel free to add names.

If america has done something positive in this world it is its popular music. New Orleans has provided more than its share of talent to the pool of artists who have furthered american popular music.

Our neglect of this city, for that reason alone, is unforgivable.
I find it embarrassing that parts of New Orleans are still in the same disastrous condition as they were when the water receded, in addition to whatever further decline the five years of neglect have caused. How a world power can allow one of its historic cities to remain in such a state escapes me.

I'd say you gave a good representative sampling of the music, although of course the list could go on for a very long ways. I am a huge fan of the New Orleans brass bands and the traditional jazz. Perhaps Joe "King" Oliver should be added, since he (a native New Orleanian) sent for Louis Armstrong and brought him to Chicago and worldwide fame.
Earth to John and Cat, Earth to John and Cat, come in please.....

While I have great appreciation for all things cultural, there remains one giant insurmountable fact you spend-other's-money types are disregarding. New Orleans is about six feet UNDER sea level.

Do you see the insanity of rebuilding below sea level? The place should have never been settled in the first place and now you two want to reward this insanity with more tax money.
So we should just let the French Quarter and everything else go, and make close to 400K people relocate? You'll notice that I'm not calling you a "type".
I can just imagine Kowboy's ancestor griping that the Louisiana purchase is idiotic because we already have more land than we need.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Kowboy raises a legitimate point. There may be parts of New Orleans that are so at risk that rebuilding them should be carefully considered. I would also point out that there are parts of New Orleans that did not flood during Katrina. The entire city is not 6 ft. below sea level.

This is a legitimate issue that should be considered in a lot of locations. In California there is currently a push to improve the levee system. Areas at risk if levees fail, include the Sacramento, San Joaquin delta and the area north of Sacramento now being heavily developed. The Sacramento, San Joaquin delta is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. The area north of Sacramento is flat, easily developed land. I am personally conflicted because I wonder if the social and ecological cost is worth what would be protected, but it is not a simple issue.

It should also be understood that previous government actions to channel the lower Mississippi River contributed significantly to the damage in New Orleans. By channeling the lower river silt which would have maintained the wetlands south of the city went into the Gulf. Look it up, the amount of wetlands south of New Orleans has diminished a great amount since the lower river was channeled. These wetlands would have dissipated some of the energy involved in the storm surge which damaged the levees and flooded the city. The channel also focused the storm surge so as to make it worse. These facts were so obvious that the channel has been blocked and what might be done to correct the situation is under consideration.

It is legitimate to consider the value of government actions. There are also unintended ecological effects of attempting to control natural phenomenon.

None of the above should alter the need of the american people to restore New Orleans. It may inform details of the restoration but it does not alter the need.

I will admit a certain amount of self interest. I, and almost all of my family, live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are all at risk of significant damage from an earthquake. I would hope that the rest of the country values this area enough to help us if a large earthquake should occur.
Although building on ground that eventually, will get flooded, I believe that destruction of New Orlean's surrounding wetlands contributed to its vulnerability to the storm surge from Katrina. Some parts or New Orleans are relatively safe froom flooded but perhaps the 9th district should not be rebuilt.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
derF: You are correct concerning the wetlands. However, most of the catastrophic flooding occured because of the failure of the levees on the north side of the city, which were supposed to keep Lake Pontchartrain out. That can be blamed on inadequate construction and maintenance by the Army Corps of Engineers. My understanding is that the levees are much stronger now than before.
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