19 December 2005

Ken Odinet is an Idiot...REDUX

Today, December 19, 2005, at 9:53 PM a comment was posted on one of my previous posts:

Anonymous said...

Al,of Seafood City,you are the idiot. Rep. Odinet is an honest and sincere person who is looking out for ALL of his constitutents. He has watched his parish flood twice because of the Gulf Outlet (MRGO)which benefits New Orleans - not St. Bernard. It has only destroyed the wetlands, homes, businesses and lives of St. Bernard. Rep. Odinet is standing up for all those people that do not have a voice elsewhere. He is one of the few political figures that still stands by his beliefs. There should be more leaders like Rep. Odinet.

You really kind of made my point for me. I never doubted Rep. Odinet's honesty or sincerity and I never doubted his loyalty to the people of St. Bernard. What I called into question was that Rep. Odinet used his political power to benefit a few rather than benefit the many. The assignment of a unified regional levee board does not mean that the interests of St. Bernard are going to be ignored with regards to the MRGO, which we can all agree is a miserable failure. What greater benefit is the continued fragmentation and polticialization of our levee boards going to serve? We have known for nearly 50 years that the MRGO was a potential for mass devatstaion. According to a report published on www.louisianasportsman.com a 1958 report published by the Department of the Interior, warned that “excavation of the (MRGO) could result in major ecological change with widespread and severe ecological consequences.” And on the same website, "an article in the October 2001 issue of the Scientific American warned that a worst-case hurricane impact could swamp the entire city of New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands of people. The areas projected to be most impacted? St. Bernard, Orleans and Plaquemines." Ok, the MRGO is a significant problem, but what benefit does Odinet's actions serve? What good comes from his political move?

Back to the Sportmans website, the reason for the MRGO in the first place "according to a 1957 article appearing in the New Orleans States Item: “…the (MRGO) is a chance for the industrial development of St. Bernard parish as a supplement to the great industrial growth of neighboring Orleans parish.” REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT! (Does the name Estopinal mean anything here?) The fact that we did not have the science or the foresight to see the devastation MRGO has had on our wetlands and the fact that it needs to be fixed doesn't change the fact that we ALL need a unified, scientific, engingeering based Levee Board.

Again, let it be clear that I am taking issue with Ken Odinet's ACTIONS not his CHARACTER. His role as a stand-up guy of good character and his family orientation (I was friends with some of his children in college) is not the issue here. His role as the main force behind killing something that benefits us ALL is what is the real problem I am voicing.


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