September 1st, 2005

history

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So, New Orleans. Lots of water. I'm reminded of the Lake Okeechobee hurricane of 1928, which hit Puerto Rico and south Florida and resulted in the deaths of some 3,400 people. A storm surge overflowed the small dike at the southern end of Lake Okeechobee, resulting in a massive flood that covered hundreds of square miles in water up to 20 feet deep. And most of the victims were migrant workers and tenant farmers who were unable to get out of the storm's path. (I refer you to Eliot Kleinberg's Black Cloud for a comprehensive and well written account of that particular disaster.)

Not to minimize the loss of human life or the economic impact it will have on the entire country, but I think the worst thing that could possibly come out of this disaster is for New Orleans to be rebuilt. I think the smart thing to do would be to write off the city as a total loss and build a new New Orleans somewhere above sea level. Building a city in that particular location was a massively dumb idea in the first place; rebuilding it in the same place would be… I don't know, let's say monstrously negligent. Sure, it would be kind of a shame to lose the historic buildings and such, but hey, being destroyed hasn't hurt tourism in Pompeii. Let's turn New Orleans into a national historic park, like Harper's Ferry. Or just let nature reclaim it. But for Pete's sake, don't rebuild it in the exact same place. Everyone knew that something like this would happen eventually; back in early 2001, FEMA said a catastrophic flood in New Orleans was among the three disasters most likely to hit the US in the near future. (The other two: a massive earthquake in San Francisco and, no kidding, a terrorist attack in New York City.) Rebuilding the city where it stands (stood?) is just asking for the same thing to happen again.
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10-T, 10-C

Reader Request Month, Day 1

Ten things jheaton would never say unless really, really drunk:

  1. I will love you forever, persona
  2. I regret not having voted for George W. Bush.
  3. This episode of Dawson's Creek is really good.
  4. Susan Bones? Who's she?
  5. Armadillos are filthy, disgusting creatues.
  6. Yes, I would like to see that new movie with Ryan Phillippe and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
  7. James K. Polk was a terrible president.
  8. I didn't really care for any of those Harry Potter books.
  9. Yay, sprawl!
  10. The Beatles? They suck.

OK, so here we go with the second annual Reader Request Month. Yes, I know I've been doing reader requests for about a week now, but my plan from the beginning was to start this special event by doing the list persona suggested a couple of weeks ago in this post. For the duration of this so-called month, I may or may not suspend poetry and art posts. Or maybe I'll do a list and a poem. I guess I'll decide on Saturday. If you have any strong feelings one way or the other, say so in the comments.

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