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BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...

02 Oct 05 - 08:56 PM (#1574392)
Subject: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bobert

Hey, like I've pointed out before it was Einstien, you know the MC squared guy, who pointed out that repeatin' behavior expectin' differnt results is the defination of insanity...

Well, maybe it is and maybe it ain't but it does make ya think about the wisdom of rebuildin' New Orleans...

Okay, it is port and an important one at that. How many folks does it take to run the port????

Okay, folks say "Hey, Bobert" it is a music center. You want take that away???"

Well, yeah, maybe I do....

Hey, I ain't 100% on this one but at the very least we should be havin' this discussion...

BTW, if rebuildin' wins out, how about havin' "barge blocks" with entire blocks built on disguised barges so that if it floods the city rises with it??? Yeah, there will still be wind damage but that was only 10 % of the damage in NO... It was the water... Yeah, float the city...

Or don't spend my tax bucks on rebuildin' it with traditional foundations...

Thay are insane...


02 Oct 05 - 09:02 PM (#1574396)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: freda underhill

psst - what did einstein say?

..It's not that I'm smarter It's just that I stay with problems longer

- Albert Einstein

02 Oct 05 - 09:08 PM (#1574399)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Peace

"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." A Einstein

02 Oct 05 - 09:26 PM (#1574406)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bobert

"A problem cannot be solved with the same consciencnessness that created it"... Bro Ein

02 Oct 05 - 09:31 PM (#1574410)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: freda underhill

It can be done, Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia has gone from

to this since its reconstruction after Cyclone Tracy.

If they can reconstruct Iraq, they can reconstruct New Orleans.
you're right about reconsidering how they do it Bobert. in Darwin the council strengthened build regs, everything had to be cyclone-proof after that.

Australia has always been innovative about building in flood prone areas.. this house
is typical of houses built in the top end of australia. Built on stilts, with large shady areas underneath for parking and storage, they ride high above flood waters. My first memory is of being underneath the house in Darwin, playing with sticks and leaves in the dirt under the house..


02 Oct 05 - 09:39 PM (#1574415)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: freda underhill

here is another example of the houses on stilts up north. in this shot, you can see one of the stilts, in the previous one, they had lattice fencing covering the stilted part of the house.

and here is another beautiful old queensland house - they were designed this way not only for flood prevention, but to be higher, to catch cool breezes.

and another

02 Oct 05 - 09:44 PM (#1574418)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: JohnInKansas

But Bobert - this was a "*500 year event." So if it costs *$3 billion to rebuild, amortized over the next *500 years before it's likely to happen again, that's only $11.41 per minute (not counting interest, of course).

Of course while we're waiting for the next "big one" in N.O., we'll have to do Fla *80 or *100 times, CA forest fires about *200 times, WA & CA mudslides *250 times ... but these are likely to all be little ones (individually, at least).

* = all figures I made up on the spur of the moment.


02 Oct 05 - 09:54 PM (#1574425)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: freda underhill

now i'm getting addicted to these lovely old houses on stilts rising up above it all

Mind you, they're not all beautiful, in some places, the ground is just too baking hot to build on..

who needs an avenue of pines?

02 Oct 05 - 09:57 PM (#1574426)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: dianavan

I don't suppose they will be building housing for the large number of poor folks. My guess is that it will be the tourist industry that receives the largest share of the building funds. If my hunch is correct, you will see casinos before any type of social housing.

If they do build, why not build out of concrete? It would certainly resist hurricanes but I'm not sure how it holds up in a flood. I like the idea of houses on stilts and float houses. The advantage of stilts is that then the alligators can't get you. The disadvantage might be the wind.

BTW - Where you been, freda?

02 Oct 05 - 10:04 PM (#1574427)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: freda underhill

I got mudbitten, diana, and so have been having a mudbreak. concrete is a great idea -
look what they're doing in Mexico

and some of it specifically designed for low income housing

x freda

02 Oct 05 - 10:11 PM (#1574429)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Ron Davies

Well, at least they have to restore a lot of the wetlands nearby that provided the natural flood mitigation which was obviously sorely lacking.

02 Oct 05 - 10:39 PM (#1574442)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Some are talking of stilts for the houses in the Ninth Ward when they rebuild it, but I doubt the little boxes will be replaced with anything other than more little boxes.

Now Bobert, lots of bodies are needed to keep the city tickety-boo.

Without them, who will wait on tables and clean the rooms and toilets in the hotels, keep clean the houses in the gated communities and Garden District, cut the grass, etc., stock Wal-Mart, wait on you in stores, short-order cook at Wendy's, deal Big Macs with fries, move the produce, pump the gas, paint madam's toenails, clean the sewers, collect the garbage, service the Johns and do the thousand and one other dead-end jobs of a big city.

The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal which was overtopped and drowned the Ninth Ward, as I noted in the FEMA thread, is a Federal responsibility, with three agancies involved; Department of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, and Coast Guard, Dept. of Homeland Security. At present, construction is going forward on a new lock (So far 748 million appropriated) and a new drawbridge has been authorized (guesstimate 500 million plus). Earlier it had been decided that raising and strengthening the levees could wait-

Since 54% of the houses in the Ninth Ward are (were) rental, we probably can expect some gentrification of the area, with high-rise condos, limiting the area available to the impecunious. If I were you, Bobert, I would consider investing some serious money in buying out those who were flooded while they scratch to get whatever they can.

02 Oct 05 - 10:41 PM (#1574444)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: dianavan

The houses in Mazatlan are surrounded by concrete walls. The walls often surround a city block. All outer walls are concrete. I thought it was for security but no - its protection from hurricanes.

02 Oct 05 - 11:05 PM (#1574453)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: CarolC

We drove through Gulf Shores, Alabama a few months after Hurricane Ivan passed through that area. Most of the houses on stilts got toppled over, or knocked over, or washed away, or in some way not so much on their stilts any more.

02 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM (#1574473)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bee-dubya-ell

It's been a requirement that all new housing on Florida's (and presumably Alabama & Mississippi's) Gulf Coast barrier islands be built on pilings (stilts) for a number of years. Ground floors can be only be used for such things as garages, utility and laundry rooms, not living quarters. They can be enclosed, but the walls have to be engineered to break away in storms so that floodwaters can flow underneath the buildings. It's a system that works pretty well in category one or two hurricanes, but when you start talking storms with winds in excess of 125 mph and with storm surges that push water into the second floors of piling-built structures, all bets are off.

02 Oct 05 - 11:58 PM (#1574476)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: robomatic

Ron, seems to me the wetlands have had no trouble restoring themselves of late!

03 Oct 05 - 12:38 AM (#1574496)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...

ok..bobert, your original post makes you sound like your a damn idiot.

why rebuild new orleans?

1. it's filled with a huge portion of U.S. history and some of the best examples of architecture in the U.S.

2. It is the worlds capital of blues music

3. It's the nations most important port, with out it..our importing would be much more difficult and the costs would increase becuase they would need to use several different, and more expensive, means of product transportation

4. oh yeah and not to mention its the hometown and living space of thousands of peoples...whos lifes are based there.

I hope alot of people who know you don't see this, so you don't look like a complete idiot to them

03 Oct 05 - 12:46 AM (#1574499)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: CarolC

The Mississippi wants to change its course and empty into the Gulf of Mexico through the Atchafalaya, rather than through what is currently the mouth of the Mississippi. I've been wondering if it would be a better idea to allow the Mississippi to change its course and to have the port located somewhere near the mouth of the Atchafalaya, and to allow New Orleans become more of an historic city rather than a major industrial/port city.

03 Oct 05 - 09:31 AM (#1574517)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,Bobert fan

hey, guest, 12.38 am - think irony, irony, irony.

maybe you shouldnt be up posting so late at night.

fed up

04 Oct 05 - 09:15 AM (#1575423)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: robomatic

The number one reason for rebuilding New Orleans from the Yank point of view:

Because we're not going to let Nature have the last word, THAT WHORE!

Besides, how expensive can a couple of floating trailer parks be?

Freda I love that your earliest memories were playing under the house in Darwin with the sticks and leaves, but what about the giant poison spiders? giant poison snakes? Six foot long earthworms (poison)? Giant poison crocodiles? Giant poison sharks? Giant poison MPs?

04 Oct 05 - 02:08 PM (#1575656)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

Although I know it's not really an answer to the question, and although I know the reason behind the question (Why rebuild in flood/hurricane alley), I can't help but point out that we have rebuilt cities much more devestated than New Orleans.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Berlin, and many of the other cities pretty much razed in WWII. (Of course we shared in creating that devestation).

The north west hemisphere is home to all sorts of wonderfull natural occurences (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, ice storms, sinkholes, etc.) If we didn't re-build after these events we'd have gone back to our places of origin many years ago.

I think the best answer though is one that makes the least sense logically but the most sense emotionally - because we want to. As the Prez said "We can't imagine a United States without a New Orleans". We have the technology, we can make it better, stronger....

Sorry, drifting off into the bionic man there.

04 Oct 05 - 02:51 PM (#1575713)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Now if Bush and his cohorts will just get on with building those trailer parks far from N. O. for African-Americans refugees from the Ninth Ward- giving them their own version of Redneck Heaven- (I think there's a tune somewhere) and the new 'Reconstruction' (hasn't been a good one since the Civil War) can progress. How about gated condos with boat docks for residents? Sound good?

I see some are worrying about filling jobs left vacant by the refugees, but no problem- Just settle in illegals from Latin America. Of course that means burritos instead of poorboys, but the oyster beds will take a long time to rebuild, so no importa, no problema.

04 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM (#1575720)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

Hell Q,

The shrimp and the crawdads have been imported for a while now from S.E. Asia. The ironic thing is that a good percentage of the gulf fishing fleet is either hispanic or S.E. Asian. Oh and by the way, before it was a French holding it was actually a Spanish settlement so hispanics there would be nothing new. They also make up a good percentage of sugarcain field workers and oil field roughnecks.

04 Oct 05 - 03:43 PM (#1575751)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Don Firth

Should New Orleans be rebuilt? In addition to its economic importance as the largest U. S. port on the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is rather an American cultural icon (think music). It has survived a whole bunch of hurricanes in the past, and if the desired levee repairs and improvements hadn't had their funding cut by Guess Who?, it may very well have survived Katrina. It was not that the possibility hadn't been anticipated, it was that New Oleanians' attempts to prepare for it were forestalled.

Take a good look at Holland. The land is flat, with over 25% of it below sea level, some areas almost 20 feet below. The balance of land averages only 37 feet above sea level. Much of the land that was once below sea level is today reclaimed and protected by 1,500 miles of dikes. With a well maintained system of dkes and pumps (the famous windmills), they've managed to get along nicely for centuries.


Don Firth

04 Oct 05 - 05:01 PM (#1575836)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,mg

I read somewhere that there were numbers of Filipinos who had settled long ago in New Orleans...some sort of trade route... mg

04 Oct 05 - 05:34 PM (#1575863)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Chief Chaos- Yep, the Spaniards were entrepreneurs in N. O., some still building there under the early U. S. dominion, but they are not really considered in the U. S. Census definition of Hispanics.
Included are Latin Americans and Puerto Ricans (those living in the U. S. but not those in Puerto Rico). But not Brazilians or Portuguese. Complicated, no?
I should have used the term "Latinos," but some Hispanics object. (Now don't say that includes Italians etc. using a Latin-based language. I am using the present on-the-street U. S. understanding of the term- I think).

Extended definition-
"Persons of Hispanic origin were identified by a question that asked for self-identification of the person's origin or descent. Respondants were asked to select their origin (and the origin of other household members) from a "flash card" listing ethnic origins. Persons of Hispanic origin, in particular, were those who indicated that their origin was Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or some other Hispanic origin. It should be noted that persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race." The 'other' lets in Spaniards if they want to be classed with those listed above.

What would the descendents of the old Spanish in Louisiana call themselves? Probably American.

04 Oct 05 - 05:53 PM (#1575883)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: CarolC

A friend of mine whose family came originally from Spain, but has been in what is now New Mexico for more than four hundred years, calls herself "hispanic". Of course, in that part of the US, there are still many people whose families have been there for centuries and whose first language is Spanish. What is the first language of the people of Spanish ancestry whose families have been in southern Louisiana since before the French controlled the area?

04 Oct 05 - 08:24 PM (#1576037)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Burke

The Spanish did not bother with the swamp called Louisiana when they were settling Florida & Mexico. The French came down from Canada & founded Mobile then New Oreleans. After some war or other, the Spanish held Louisiana, then it went back to the French. Napoleon sold the Louisian territor to the US. This included the whole central US, basically between the Mississippi River & the Rocky Mountians.

Almost all older houses in New Orleans were not built on slabs, but had crawl spaces underneath. From the way some houses looked skewed around in pictures, I thought some of the flooded houses in the 9th ward were built that way, but then knocked or floated off their raised foundations. I think it might be after they got the big pumps figured out, some time in the 20th cent. that they stopped building that way. I know the 50's & 60's era houses we lived in were on slabs. The Lakewood houses were of the same era & mostly on slabs as well.

I heard in one news report that it was a New Orleanean who invented the pumps that keep Holland dry. Once they were turned on, the did pump the water out much faster than anyone expected. New Orleans can get rid of water, it's levees that are a problem.

One thing I have not seen or heard much of, was the way the canals seemed to have funnelled the storm surges in a way that really stressed the levees. They must be thinking of it because I think I've heard that rebuilding them will include closable gates for times like hurricanes.

The short changing of water projects and diversion of funds to other projects in & around New Orleans has a long & dishonorable history through administrations of both parties both national & local.

04 Oct 05 - 08:27 PM (#1576039)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Peace

People tend to want to live where they . . . live. It doesn't have to make sense. The heart is a lonely hunter.

04 Oct 05 - 09:46 PM (#1576105)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Near the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square is a building built about 1815 with Spanish money; I can't remember the name of the builder. In any case, Spanish funds were important in N. O. around this time. Also the Cabildo, where the Spanish council met, built in 1799 (Spanish control from 1762-1800). The French had it back for less than 5 years before they sold out to the U. S. Throughout the period, to about 1825, Spanish investors were important. By 1810, New Orleans was the largest Southern city (only 10,000).

Houses with crawl spaces beneath were common throughout the South; for air circulation and to partly check insects such as termites.

The famous Shotgun houses of New Orleans had 2-3 feet space beneath them. Lots were narrow, about 35 feet, leading to the straight through, front to back room alignment. See:
Shotgun House

There are many of these houses in the lower income areas that were flooded; they are a prime worry of the preservationists. One would hope that their effective, low-cost wood design will persist.

The website given above shows some prime examples.

05 Oct 05 - 04:13 PM (#1576711)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Irish sergeant

Guest actually had some very good thoughts on the subject. And for once I agree with our president. the United States wouldn't be the same place without New Orleans.
Rebuild? by all means never mind the economics or anything else. Rebuild New orleans because it's the right thing to do. Neil

05 Oct 05 - 06:39 PM (#1576803)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Uncle_DaveO

This is long, but good, and it should go a long way toward answering you, Bobert.

Subject: Geopolitical New Orleans beyond what you see on TV.

To the thinking people.

I have heard many say New Orleans is gone and will never be the
same. I just read an article:

New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
By George Friedman.

This article is the best analysis of the value of New Orleans
that I have read. You may enjoy reading it as much as I did.

The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the
American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch
from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of
a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than
they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding
capital of American industry.

But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who
alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography -- the
extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and
allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All
of therivers flowed into one -- the Mississippi -- and the Mississippi
flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New
Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos
stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.

For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a
key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred
after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we
suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers -which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans. The hero of the battle was Andrew Jackson, and when he became president, his obsession with Texas had much to do with keeping the Mexicans away from New Orleans.

During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored
graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer was
simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The industrial
minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the agricultural
wealth wouldn't flow out. Alternative routes really weren't available. The Germans knew it too: A U-boat campaign occurred near the mouth
of the Mississippi during World War II. Both the Germans and Stratfor have stood with Andy Jackson: New Orleans was the prize.

Last Sunday, nature took out New Orleans almost as surely as a
nuclear strike. Hurricane Katrina's geopolitical effect was not, in many ways, distinguishable from a mushroom cloud. The key exit from North America was closed. The petrochemical industry, which has become an added value to the region since Jackson's days, was at risk. The
navigability of the Mississippi south of New Orleans was a question mark. New Orleans as a city and as a port complex had ceased to exist, and it was not clear that it could recover.

The Ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans, which run north and south of the city, are as important today as at any point during the history
of the republic. On its own merit, POSL is the largest port in the
United States by tonnage and the fifth-largest in the world. It
exports more than 52 million tons a year, of which more than half are
agricultural products -- corn, soybeans and so on. A large proportion of U.S. agriculture flows out of the port. Almost as much cargo,
nearly 17 million tons, comes in through the port -- including not only
crude oil, but chemicals and fertilizers, coal, concrete and so on.

A simple way to think about the New Orleans port complex is that
it is where the bulk commodities of agriculture go out to the world
and the bulk commodities of industrialism come in. The commodity chain
of the global food industry starts here, as does that of American
industrialism. If these facilities are gone, more than the price of
goods shifts: The very physical structure of the global economy
would have to be reshaped. Consider the impact to the U.S. auto
industry if steel doesn't come up the river, or the effect on global food supplies if U.S. corn and soybeans don't get to the markets.

The problem is that there are no good shipping alternatives. River
transport is cheap, and most of the commodities we are discussing have
low value-to-weight ratios. The U.S. transport system was built on the
assumption that these commodities would travel to and from New Orleans
by barge, where they would be loaded on ships or offloaded.
Apart from port capacity elsewhere in the United States, there aren't
enough trucks or rail cars to handle the long-distance hauling of these enormous quantities -- assuming for the moment that the economics could be managed, which they can't be.

The focus in the media has been on the oil industry in Louisiana
and Mississippi. This is not a trivial question, but in a certain
sense, it is dwarfed by the shipping issue. First, Louisiana is the source of about 15 percent of U.S.-produced petroleum, much of it from the Gulf. The local refineries are critical to American infrastructure.
Were all of these facilities to be lost, the effect on the price of oil
worldwide would be extraordinarily painful. If the river itself became
unnavigable or if the ports are no longer functioning, however, the impact to the wider economy would be significantly more severe. In a sense, there is more flexibility in oil than in the physical transport of these other commodities.

There is clearly good news as information comes in. By all accounts, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which services supertankers in the
Gulf, is intact. Port Fourchon, which is the center of extraction
operations in the Gulf, has sustained damage but is recoverable. The status of the oil platforms is unclear and it is not known what the underwater systems look like, but on the surface, the damage - though not trivial -- is manageable.

The news on the river is also far better than would have been
expected on Sunday. The river has not changed its course. No major levees containing the river have burst. The Mississippi apparently has not silted up to such an extent that massive dredging would be
required to render it navigable. Even the port facilities, although apparently damaged in many places and destroyed in few, are still there. The river, as transport corridor, has not been lost.

What has been lost is the city of New Orleans and many of the
residential suburban areas around it. The population has fled,
leaving behind a relatively small number of people in desperate straits. Some are dead, others are dying, and the magnitude of the situation dwarfs the resources required to ameliorate their condition. But it is not the population that is trapped in New Orleans that is of geopolitical significance: It is the population that has left and has nowhere to return to.

The oil fields, pipelines and ports required a skilled workforce in
order to operate. That workforce requires homes. They require
stores to buy food and other supplies. Hospitals and doctors. Schools for their children. In other words, in order to operate the facilities
critical to the United States, you need a workforce to do it -- and that workforce is gone. Unlike in other disasters, that workforce cannot return to the region because they have no place to live. New Orleans is gone, and the metropolitan area surrounding New Orleans is either gone or so badly damaged that it will not be inhabitable for a long time.

It is possible to jury-rig around this problem for a short time.
But the fact is that those who have left the area have gone to live with relatives and friends. Those who had the ability to leave also had
networks of relationships and resources to manage their exile.
But those resources are not infinite -- and as it becomes apparent that these people will not be returning to New Orleans any time soon, they
will be enrolling their children in new schools, finding new jobs,
finding new accommodations. If they have any insurance money coming, they will collect it. If they have none, then -- whatever emotional
connections they may have to their home -- their economic connection to it has been severed. In a very short time, these people will be making
decisions that will start to reshape population and workforce patterns in the region.

A city is a complex and ongoing process - one that requires physical
infrastructure to support the people who live in it and people to
operate that physical infrastructure. We don't simply mean power
plants or sewage treatment facilities, although they are critical.
Someone has to be able to sell a bottle of milk or a new shirt. Someone has to be able to repair a car or do surgery. And the people who do those things, along with the infrastructure that supports them, are gone -- and they are not coming back anytime soon.

It is in this sense, then, that it seems almost as if a nuclear
weapon went off in New Orleans. The people mostly have fled rather than
died, but they are gone. Not all of the facilities are destroyed, but
most are. It appears to us that New Orleans and its environs have
passed the point of recoverability. The area can recover, to be sure, but only with the commitment of massive resources from outside -- and those resources would always be at risk to another Katrina.

The displacement of population is the crisis that New Orleans
faces. It is also a national crisis, because the largest port in the
United States cannot function without a city around it. The physical and business processes of a port cannot occur in a ghost town, and right now, that is what New Orleans is. It is not about the facilities, and it is not about the oil. It is about the loss of a city's population and the paralysis of the largest port in the United States.

Let's go back to the beginning. The United States historically has
depended on the Mississippi and its tributaries for transport.
Barges navigate the river. Ships go on the ocean. The barges must
offload to the ships and vice versa. There must be a facility to empower this exchange. It is also the facility where goods are stored in transit. Without this port, the river can't be used. Protecting that port has been, from the time of the Louisiana Purchase, a fundamental national security issue for the United States.

Katrina has taken out the port -- not by destroying the facilities, but
by rendering the area uninhabited and potentially uninhabitable. That
means that even if the Mississippi remains navigable, the absence of a
port near the mouth of the river makes the Mississippi enormously less
useful than it was. For these reasons, the United States has lost not
only its biggest port complex, but also the utility of its river transport system -- the foundation of the entire American transport
system. There are some substitutes, but none with sufficient capacity to solve the problem.

It follows from this that the port will have to be revived and, one
would assume, the city as well. The ports around New Orleans are
located as far north as they can be and still be accessed by ocean-going vessels. The need for ships to be able to pass each other in the waterways, which narrow to the north, adds to the problem.
Besides, the Highway 190 bridge in Baton Rouge blocks the river going north. New Orleans is where it is for a reason: The United States needs a city right there.

New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial
infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located,
but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given,
a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be
opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to
endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to.

Geopolitics is the stuff of permanent geographical realities and
the way they interact with political life. Geopolitics created New Orleans. Geopolitics caused American presidents to obsess over its
safety. And geopolitics will force the city's resurrection, even if it is in the worst imaginable place.

05 Oct 05 - 07:21 PM (#1576823)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Donuel

Good article.

Port cities are critical.

In fact bin Laden has vowed to destroy 6 American cities this month of Rammadan.
I suspect they will be port cities.

05 Oct 05 - 09:16 PM (#1576874)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: gnu

Because we can.

05 Oct 05 - 09:39 PM (#1576882)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

A very good article, Uncle Dave. It is receiving comment from several sources and hopefully it will be widely read- and understood.

Maintenance of the structure of the city and port received much less attention and money than its importance warranted. Because of the neglect, the American people must foot the bill for many, many times the cost of the supports that were needed to prevent the destruction.

06 Oct 05 - 11:14 AM (#1577091)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bill D

**SOMETHING** called New Orleans must and will be maintained and protected, because, as noted above, the port and other things are too important to be lost. It is just a matter of working out how to avoid total disasters like this again.

We know that with modern engineering, we could, in time, creat something like the Dutch use.....but it cannot be done overnight! It will take YEARS to build a strong, reasonably safe,environmentally friendly levee/flood wall system for a selected portion of the N. Orleans area. In the meantime, storms are becoming stronger and more common! We cannot throw an unlimited budget at this situation.
   Even the Dutch don't try to do the ridiculous.

New Orleans should not exist as a major city, but we know that history and nostalgia and bureaucracy will ensure (not 'insure' *wry grin*) that it survives in some form to allow tourism and the necessary infrastructure to support the port and allow workers to live near their jobs..etc....but it would be cheaper in the long run to build rapid transit to housing in dryer areas to the north than to try to protect areas which are inherently unsafe.

06 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM (#1577137)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bunnahabhain

Hmmm, not sure about that article. It argues the port of New Orleans is vital, and cannot be moved. This is true. It misses the point that the port is not the city.

Rebuild the port, and move the rest of the city uphill.

06 Oct 05 - 12:58 PM (#1577215)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

I have a chart that depicts loads comparing trucks, trains, and barges. Depending upon the size of the barge, I have seen them loaded with approx. 250 containers (intermodal).

Good call on the definition of Hispanic. From the reading I have done there is/was a large class division within the "Spaniards" themselves. The two remaining divisions in Louisiana are Creole and Quadroon (I might not have the correct spelling) which I think is now considered a derogatory term. I was told by a Cajun friend that the former was Spanish/Indian/African mix and the latter was Spanish/African. I don't know that he was correct.

I don't recall a Filipino community but there was an extremely large Vietnamese community (my guys even got shot at down there).

06 Oct 05 - 02:32 PM (#1577297)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: M.Ted

The City of New Orleans was not destroyed by the flooding, it was simply temporarily displaced, and, even as we speak, has begun to pull itself back together.

Even if all the buildings had been washed away(and they weren't), the city would still exist, because the relationships--families, neighborhoods, parishes, etc, still exist--and the people have a will to pull these things back together and continue as a community together--

BillD, when you say that New Orleans should not continue to exist as a major city, you are advocating the destruction of all of these families and communities and all the misery and alienation that that displacement would cause because you think it would be cheaper to stick these people on light rail and send them off somewhere else--

Do you advocate that we regularly evaluate all the towns and cities in the US, and destroy all the ones that aren

06 Oct 05 - 02:43 PM (#1577305)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: M.Ted

(con't) aren't cheap to sustain, because they require some sort of technology intervention?

Following your logic, we should trash New York City because it couldn't sustain itself if the without the articfical support of electricity

How about this? Let's abandon Wheaton and Silver Spring because the population can no longer be supported by the food that is grown there, and a if there was a prolonged traffic jam on Georgia Avenue, it would be impossible to bring food in--

You could move everybody out to West Virginia--

06 Oct 05 - 03:42 PM (#1577355)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Superdome cleaned, and repair can start. Should be ready for 2007-8 Saints games.

Digression, but 1860 U. S. census for New Orleans is interesting-
Total Pop.       169,000
African-American- 24,000
    Slaves       13,000
    Free persons
      of color    11,000

European-American 144,600

Native Born       78,000
Immigrants         66,000
Irish             24,400
German             20,000
French             10,500
British             3,800
Spanish             1,400
Italian             1,000
Other immigrants    3,400
(rounded off)

Slaves household or skilled worker
In the looming Civil War, many of the immigrants fought for the South.

06 Oct 05 - 04:16 PM (#1577386)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Wesley S

It loks like the president will be headlining a funraiser for New Orleans. Here's a link to the promo photo.

C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\OLK1280\getmsg.jpg

06 Oct 05 - 04:21 PM (#1577394)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: beardedbruce

"if there was a prolonged traffic jam on Georgia Avenue, it would be impossible to bring food in--"

If traffic is considered, ALL of the Washington DC area should be condemned.

06 Oct 05 - 07:37 PM (#1577574)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Donuel

The foremost carpet bagger buying up all sorts of condemned New Orleans property is Donald Trump. I imagine there are many others.

The prospect is that New Orleans will repopulate to half its former strength. Ward 9 will most likely be much less than 1/2 its former population.

06 Oct 05 - 09:52 PM (#1577666)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: M.Ted

I won't disagree, BB--Did you know that the first traffic jam on the Beltway occurred about an hour after it first opened?

06 Oct 05 - 10:46 PM (#1577694)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Donuel, like I told Bobert, the Ninth Ward is one great big opportunity. Don't let the Trumps get it al. I can see the condos rising now- and marinas at water level-
Bulldoze out them old shotguns. The Hispanic emigrants and illegals will work for less, and they will find a place for their barrios.

Much of the rest of N. O. will return, I think.

Seriously, I have been looking at the satellite photos on Google Earth. The Ninth Ward is filled with shotguns, which provided effective, reasonable housing for the poor, own, or rental (54%). The appearance is quite different from satellite shots of neighborhoods with the usual 4-squate houses. It's too bad most of them cannot be reclaimed. Many of the musicians of New Orleans lived in the Ninth, although some could afford to live elsewhere. Their roots were there, and there they stayed.

06 Oct 05 - 11:59 PM (#1577707)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bill D

*bemused glance at M. Ted, who has managed to draw such interesting inferences from my little attempt at a reasoned point about New Orleans' future*

gee, M.Ted, isn't "... you are advocating the destruction of all of these families and communities and all the misery and alienation that that displacement would cause..." a bit heavy? And suggesting that I'd equate other cities' situations with that of N. Orleans and advocate abandoning them is just....ummmm...silly? (well....maybe San Francisco, if they get an 8.7...)

It seems to me that anyone who advocates putting those "families and communities" right back where they were is playing dice with the very lives we are ALL concerned with protecting!

Sure, a 'city' is more than the infrastructure, but.."...if all the buildings had been washed away(and they weren't), the city would still exist, because the relationships--".etc.... hmmmmmm, and I suppose Pompeii still exists in some sense, also...and Carthage, and Mohenjodaro.

   It seems I am not exactly alone in my fears....serious planners and experts are beginning to be heard about the wisdom of allowing 'spirit' and nostalgia to interfere with reason. Some residents OF N.O. are beginning to say that the 9th ward is basically un-salvagable, and that it is foolhardy to attempt to rebuild it...even over time. There are other areas which are almost as bad.

   I have just been watching a program on how the Dutch dealt with their water problems, and the scale of engineering necessary to get N.O. to that level of security is immense! It took the Dutch 20 years to build the multiply-redundant series of barriers and locks, and I don't think I want to bet that the increasing hurricanes will all go somewhere else while we pretend we are coping!

The Corp of Engineers says they don't even have authority to TRY right now...they can only repair to the previous level....and reports now say the previous system was VERY flawed...both in concept and in construction.

M. Ted...I lived in New was a 'small' hurricane that drove my family out, and I'd LOVE to know that places and people from my memories would be there for me go go visit again....and no doubt many will be. There are areas that could be protected with a concerted effort...but they DID have water standing on Canal St. and if that is to be avoided in the future, someone has to foot the bill!

   So far, I see no way to pay for even the cleanup, much less the 'restoration' and even less for the level of protection that ought to be afforded for your "families and communities" to dare living 8-20 ft below sea level again!

Oh....about that ".. prolonged traffic jam on Georgia Avenue"...yep...that IS an issue. I don't even TRY to get home on Georgia at certain times.......and did you see today's Post?....seems the traffic jam is already showing up in Fredrick and Fredricksburg as the planners refusal to admit that bridges and local traffic are overloading the carrying capacity of I-95 & I-66.

Not quite the sensitive issue that New Orleans is, huh? Really s...l...o...w disasters seldom are. Ask me again in 15 years...

07 Oct 05 - 12:01 AM (#1577710)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bill D

oh...Q...the 9th ward WAS filled with shotguns. Google Earth is a wee bit behind...

07 Oct 05 - 01:08 AM (#1577733)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: catspaw49

Gotta' say I am really with Bill D. on this one with a touch of Bill Maher thrown in. By all means we need to rebuild New Orleans but let's do it in Kansas.


07 Oct 05 - 11:35 AM (#1578009)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bill D

oh, goody, 'spaw...Mardi Gras overseen by the Kansas Board of Education! Girls on balconies waving Bibles!

07 Oct 05 - 11:49 AM (#1578036)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

You don't need to consider traffic when deciding to condemn D.C.!

Unfortunately its 50-50 on good areas and bad.

But if they don't get a handle on global warning the outer edges will be underwater soon anyway. Where we are the basement area flooded out and shut down business for a couple of days. Alexandria regularly has the Potomac River in it's lower section.

07 Oct 05 - 12:10 PM (#1578069)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bill D

Global warming at least will only raise the levels by an inch or so every few years, and careful decisions can be made in 'most' threatened areas - whether to protect or abandon. Alexandria might need only some creative protection...but I won't hold my breath that they'll plan that far ahead. (New York City 'might' end up as several islands in a couple hundred years.)

   New Orleans is a VERY special started low, the land is subsiding, the sea is rising, the storms are getting worse and more frequent...and the government(s) charged with figuring out what to do is getting.....well....ummmmm

07 Oct 05 - 09:01 PM (#1578435)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bobert

Actually, I'm likin' Q's ideas better and better...

Let the rich folk have the 9th Ward... Yeah. let 'um build their McMansions and gated communities and their golf courses and, and, and whatever it is that make rich folks happy...

But tlet 'um pay fir it too...

Oh, they are worried that their Mc Manasion will one day be swept out to sea? Tough! Let ''em take up a big ol' collection to do what their president has rwefused to do over the last 5 years: Spend some froggin' money to fix the levees!!! But don't ask me to pay that bill. Hey, the working and poor in this country are allready payin' way too many tax bucks to the rich... Yeah, let them have the 9th ward... No tax breaks and no warrenties...

As fir the peasants they need to run the city?

Firget it!!! Pay these folks a decent wage so they don't have to be peasants!!! $5 an hour is more criminal than slavery!!! Yeah, I'm standin' behind that!!! No, I ain't sayin' there was any redeemin' part of slavery so if yer gonna throw this up in my face some time down the road, quote this entire paragraph, tahnk you...

Now as fir rebuildin', if that is what folks want... All blocks shouls be build on barges so when the rains come the city floats...Block at a time... Firget stilts... BNarges, gol dangit... Hey, one could design entire city blocks where no one , other than the negineers would know that the blocks could actually float and be held in place by big ass bnungie cords unner 'um... That way, the only real damage would be from wind... not water...


07 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM (#1578462)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: dick greenhaus

The quwstion isn't WHY. Or even HOW. It's WHO's gonna pay for it.

07 Oct 05 - 09:43 PM (#1578470)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Barges? Might be a good idea. If you don't like your neighbors because they sing shantys all the time, just float away and nudge into another spot.

Apropos Catspaw and Bill D, I see where some sky pilots said N. O.'s Ninth was punished by God because of its sinnin' ways.

The Navigation Canal, as was posted elsewhere, part of the Navigable Waters of the United States as covered in Title 33, is run by the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation and the Coast Guard. They, plus some pork-barreling Louisiana congressmen, decided a new lock at $700 million and counting, and a new drawbridge for $500 million or so, were more important than upgrading the levees along the waterway. This money could have gone a long way toward upgrading these levees. The federales don't seem to want to talk about this and what happened to the immediately adjacent Ninth.

07 Oct 05 - 10:09 PM (#1578492)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: Bobert

Now yer talkin', Q...

Don't like the folks acroos the street? Jus' go talk to yer neighbors and move the entire block somewhere else where the folks sing on key... Actually, if each house was built on a barge, you wouldn't need any neighbors support... Just move...

Ahhhh, Dick, reread what I proposed...


07 Oct 05 - 10:29 PM (#1578511)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: nutty

Joking apart .... watching CNN tonight. They were discussing the problems caused by the 9th Ward and how a solution might be never to rebuild there because the land, which was previously wetlands, is still under water and about 90% of the present housing is marked for demolition.

Problems arose when considering the re-allocation of housing to the 106,000 blacks and other races that lived there before Katrina.

Because it was a predominently black area any decision not to rebuild was likely to be viewed as racist.

08 Oct 05 - 01:27 AM (#1578601)
Subject: RE: BS: Really... Why Rebuild N.O.'s???...
From: M.Ted

New York is already several islands, Bill,( even if you don't count the Statue of Liberty)--so it's later than we think;-) In my previous post, I was just pointing out that you can't pick-up a city and move it without making a big mess--and, if there is one thing that history shows us, no matter how bad things seem, a little creative intervention can make them worse--