Levees and The Holy Trinity

Community Organizing Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Houston           It was clear that a shift was coming.  Those on the inside were in motion.  Those on the outside were standing still. 

Mr. “Big Inside,” Joe Canizaro, Bush pioneer, master developer, downtown big whoop on Poydras Avenue in New Orleans, suddenly became an easy going, roll the dice kinda guy.  Let it go for “three years” and let everyone do their thing, come back, rebuild, to whatever, then count heads and see who is standing and build or teardown from there.  Mr. Joe also says “we” — thank you, lord! — have to do something about the levees to reassure business and others that it’s worth a damn to make a stand. 

Mr. “Close Enough to Hear Inside,” Bill Jefferson, Congressman on the edge from New Orleans, suddenly is on the Times-Picayune op-ed page interviews saying that “we” are on the wrong message.  We don’t want to get caught up in an impossible demand by arguing for category 5 levees.  We need to just get real 3 levees or something that was better than what we had before the storm.

And, then there is Mr. “Has Not a Clue but Sure Wishes Someone had Given Him the Word so He would not have Been Caught so Totally on the Limb,” Alden MacDonald from Liberty Bank, who didn’t catch the tide going out, so indicated that he might put the stake in his own heart in New Orleans East and send the signal that he was unsure about rebuilding and the whole area might be a goner!  This is one clipping that I will bet he will not be keeping in his new scrapbook.

So, Bush reconstruction puppet, Donald Powell, today stands in front of the White House and says “The federal government is committed to building the best levee system known in the world.”

Praise the lord, they have finally called the UN and let us annex New Orleans to the Netherlands!  Maybe there’s real hope for us now.  Prostitution will be legal, the water will be back in Canal Street, and our average high will soar above 6′ feet — we’re looking up, now!  And, there’s nothing but white people over there, right, so this will be perfect for the “new” New Orleans.  Spanish, French, American, and now, Dutch, what a treat.

Mayor Ray was up in DC for the day, and of course he had his usual say.

“These levees will be as high as 17 feet in some areas. We’ve never had that,” he said. “We will have the holy trinity of recovery – levees, housing and incentives.” 

All of this was on the AP wire, but I must have missed something. 

In the Mayor’s holy trinity we get “maybe” levees as if wishes could hold back water (and I’m believing, Ray, I’m believing, and I’m coming home!), and where exactly is the, uh, “housing” and what are the “incentives.”  This may be too close to the Holy Ghost?  Shut up and believe, I guess?

I for one can hardly wait to hear more. 

I can hardly wait to see these 17-foot high levees, too.  Now, is that the height of the dirt or the water? 

Like I say, I can hardly wait for the details.  In the meantime we have to believe. 

And, pray!

Donald Powell