Monday, June 19, 2006

Thinking out loud

As always, I have been thinking about home. Here are some of the things I think about:

1) 5 murdered teens in Central City. Is this a sign that things are back to normal? This does not seem like the normal we want or need. First reports indicate that it was probably drug related.

2) It seems to me that the anger and outrage at the pace of recovery has abated to some extent and has become replaced with apathy at the way things are. Of course the ACOE is behind on their fixing of the levees. Of course FEMA is removing the volunteer camps. Of course drug related murders are back. Of course things are going to end up the way they were. As I have said before, if you were given a clean slate to start all over again, would you keep doing the things that did NOT work?
We must break free of the old way of thinking. No more! No more drug dealing, no more failing public schools, no more corruption, no more cronyism, no more accepting the status quo. We must move forward and not regress into the comfortability of the way things were. No more officers looking the other way, no more fear, no more stealing, no more sub-standard hurrincane protection. No more!

3) Fires everywhere in New Orleans. I was talking to my friend George down there. I was recalling the anecdote about the people somewhere uptown (Broadmoor maybe?) who were standing outside their expensive flooded home knowing that the flood insurance could not cover the amount of damage the house and its contents had suffered. As they stood there mulling their loss, the roof collapsed. They laughed and cried and hugged each other because now insurance would cover the entire house (or so they thought - no idea how this story ended). This led us into a discussion about insurance. If your house was worth $200,000 preKatrina, you were paying premiums on a $200,000 home. Once your house is flooded, and the property is worth only $100,000, does your insurance premium become reduced? What is the value of the home once it has been repaired? So my question was this - the house is flooded; you got your NFIP check. Then your house burns down to the ground. Does your home owner's insurance cover this? To what extent?

4) The AFL-CIO wants to spend a lot of money to build a Jazz Park. Why? Is this what is needed?

5) Some hurricane victims were here in Easton. The story in the local paper said that they were given a free place to stay. They rented rooms out (despite the fact that they were living rent free), wrote bad checks, forged checks, stole furniture and appliances, left hundreds of dollars of unpaid utility bills, damaged severely the property they were using, and were dealing (or at the very least using) drugs. Is this how you thank someone for their generosity and kind spirit? This makes me angry and upset. I was going to go find these fellow New Orleanians. I am glad I didn't.

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