Mayor Nagin said he was developing a plan for rebuilding the city. His blue-ribbon commission unveiled a plan, but then he rejected it. So, as the N.Y. Times article discusses we now have money but no plan. And we have violent crime again, which is why the mayor had to ask for the National Guard to come back. Remind me again: why was Nagin re-elected?
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The Bead Lady is still living, although no longer is in New Orleans.
“But if the price for all that food and music and color is dead kids mixed up in drugs, kids who can’t read or do math, and who have an incredibly bleak future, is it worth it?”My comments were obviously tongue-in-cheek, but tell me, what major US inner city does not have the exact same problem?
When I get depressed about my drug dependent sibling and the many other societal problems resulting from substance abuse the only comfort I’ve found is from the results of the most recent nature vs nuture research.
Identical twins separated at birth were studied at great lenth. They grew up in different cities, different countries, in homes of extremely different class distinction – yet they had such similiar tastes and made such similiar choices with their lives it was uncanny. The scientists comcluded that we are hard wired at birth to be what we are – ambitious, angry, stingy, generous, faithless, passionate, grumpy, optimistic, etc. Environment does not define our possibilities as we once thought. My sister and I grew up in the same house and shared the same bedroom. She is a negligent mother and a drug user. I am a professor. She chose not to get an education, I chose to get a terminal degree… etc, etc. I made this happen. My parents didn’t pay my way. Of course Jimmy Carter helped. Its nice to know the help is there is we need it.
The first thing that struck me about New Orleans my first Mardi Graa in 1979 or 80 was its amazing tolerance of others craziness, eccentricity, etc. Many of the people living on the streets would have been living in state institutions anywhere else. Does anyone remember the bead lady? What happened to her?
There are a lot of people living in NOLA who are hard wired to tolerate excess. Its a double edged sword since it brings like minded tourists and attracts the deadliest drug dealers… if only the profits of this trade in excess could be shared with those who want to better their lives through education…
Maybe NOLA just needs to import some of those Ohio troopers like they did in the late 90’s. I was stopped for making an illegal left turn for the first time ever in NOLA during that time. My friends in the city said New Orleans was trying out a new experiment called law enforcement….
The mayor’s election was going to be the one time, finally, that New Orleans had the chance to reverse hundreds of years of history and prove that it could turn things around – but it didn’t happen and, you know what??? Now I can’t help but think that just maybe it was (is) not ever meant to happen.Look, Tulane will never win a national football championship. The Saints will never be in the Super Bowl. There will always be garbage on the streets of the French Quarter. And the city will never stop tripping itself up. And, in the end, that’s really all okay because if any of those things ever did happen, we just may never be the same again.You want progress, go to Alanta. You want clean living – Seattle is the place for you. You want the rat race – New York, LA, Houston, blah, blah, blah. If you think about it, good government would probably destroy New Orleans as we know it – the freewheeling, dark cornered, colorful, anything goes city that the likes of Jean Lafitte and (insert favorite corrupt, yet colorful, official’s name here) have thrived in for centuries. Maybe, just maybe, Nagin, by not saving us from ourselves, has saved us from becoming just another big dot on the map like everybody else.So, when your friends say that people in Cincinnati can’t believe Nagin got re-elected, the correct response is “I can. It’s a New Orleans Thing – You Wouldn’t Understand.”
Looks like the spammers finally found you! Too bad. Word verification helps.
The great thing about New Orleans is that life is richer there than most places because of the things you mention… the art, the music, the food, the architecture.
I don’t think money doesn’t make life richer – just more comfortable.
It scares me too which is why I’m glad The Guard is here! I can imagine the message it’s sending to the rest of the country, but we have nothing to lose at this point. I’m not as concerned about the message as I am about basic safety and the protection of what little so many have left..The sad fact is our city government is a lost ball in high weeds.
Calling out the National Guard is, in fact, a surrender of sorts. It scares me that civil authorities are not up to the task. Calling out the military is worse than you know, for the message it sends all over the country. I remember after Hurricane Hugo that troops were called out to patrol the streets of Charleston. Even though that situation, like post Katrina, is appropriate for the National Guard, the timing of THIS call up and the admission by the mayor and governor that they “give up” are intolerable.
1979 – Oil is going to $100 a barrel and we are all going to be rich.
1984 – The World’s Fair is going to lead to a rejuvenation of the city and we are all going to be rich.
1994 – Land based gambling is going to revitalize the city and we are all going to be rich.
2002 – A new mayor is coming to office to clean up the city and we are all going to be rich.
2006 – Katrina recovery money is coming to lead the way to rebuilding the city and we are all going to be rich.
Why should I believe it this time? Please, someone, tell me why I should come back and don’t reference New Orleans culture, food, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, etc. I know those reasons. Give me something concrete that I can believe. A plan would be nice.