17 January 2007

The New Orleans Saints: More to the Story . . .

I know we've been in overdrive in regards to the 2006 Saints season over the past several months here at TBNO. Obviously, many more serious things are there to be concerned with and to be focused upon regarding post-KTMB New Orleans. However, I believe the New Orleans Saints are relevant to our city as their success this season has served as a unifying rallying cry (rich/poor, black/white, Orleanian/Jeffersonian/St. Tammanian) for New Orleans, and to borrow Mr. Clio's "bread and circus" analogy, something which has acted as a positive diversion for those of us choosing to remain here as New Orleans' viability and future quite honestly lingers in question.

Additionally, I've missed less than ten home games since 1984 (attending nearly all with my father and my now-deceased grandfather) so I've got much time of my life, along with an incredible amount of family memories, invested in this team and finally, "the 'hell-freeze over' dream" has at least a chance of becoming reality. So to me, personally, and the other contributors to this blog--my closest friends whom I also attended these games with from puberty to now--the New Orleans Saints are damn relevant.

This article appeared on Sports Illustrated website this morning. Generally speaking, I'm ok with its content with one exception: Mr. Layden erroneously calls the drowning of the City of New Orleans a "natural disaster." I wholeheartedly disagree with that assessment. That statement is in line with the other un-questioned"fact" that New Orleans is a city built 10 feet below sea level . . .

I decided to alert him of his error. Here's what I sent him:

Mr. Layden:

Good piece on
New Orleans and the Saints--but I am afraid you have one major part of the story incorrect just as most of the media with exception to Harry Shearer (see his blog). The still-lingering, horrific damage incurred to the City of New Orleans in August 2005 was not via a natural disaster. Instead, this damage was caused by a MANMADE disaster of failed floodwalls and earthen berm levees. There is a significant difference. No one outside of this area seems to realize or comprehend this. What happened on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Katrina and the SW Louisiana Coast during Rita was in fact a natural disaster caused from essentially a tidal wave--the "storm surge." Because of New Orleans' geographic position levees (and floodwalls) have been constructed in some form since the city's inception to protect New Orleans from periodic Mississippi River flooding and storm surges from the sea. Prior to Katrina our citizenry was assured the flood protection system was adequate by the federal government (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) whom is responsible for it. The Corps formally admitted culpability for the flooding of New Orleans--to the sound of crickets chirping. There was nothing natural about what happened to this place 18 months ago. Our city continues to struggle (although the 2006 Saints provide a welcomed "bread and circus" distraction), but our federal (and even state) government doesn't seem to really be bothered by the conditions here. Our country's response to New Orleans' plight is pathetic and quite frankly makes me embarrassed to be an American.

Seymour D. Fair
New Orleans


At January 18, 2007 12:06 AM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

Did you see this letter to the paper? Too many of our leaders do the same thing.

At January 18, 2007 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the message is this. we shall kep it alive untill all americans hear it

At January 18, 2007 5:51 PM, Blogger Big__Shot said...

If a bridge or tunnel collapses, or when a plane crashes, no one blames gravity. Why then do so many insist on blaming a hurricane for what happened in New Orleans? Thanks for taking the time to write the letter.

At January 18, 2007 7:37 PM, Blogger Friends of Bandit & Malvin said...

Right on.

At January 19, 2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "man made" aspects of the 2005 flood disaster in New Orleans extend beyond just the micro-engineering aspects of the floodwalls. We also have to remember, and continously remind everyone, that the loss of our protective wetland buffer is the direct result of Federal policies on navigation, water management, agriculture, pollution, and flood control. American has enjoyed the benefits of the unsustainable exploitation of our productive but fragile ecosystem, while Louisiana has had to 'go it alone' when dealing with the costs.


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