In New Orleans these days there's a quiet conversation taking place unmasking a deep almost primal fear of a Thursday not too far away... Hurricane season 2006 begins on Thursday June 1st and everyone is either ancy or getting depressed as that date looms and nears.
You hear it in conversations left and right over coffee, drinks or dinner - it always seems to come up and everyone feels it, senses that we're probably going to take another hit. It could simply be the post traumatic stress - but that fear is tangible.
It certainly does not help when articles come out in the Washington Post stating that the Army Corps of Engineeers is either screwing up the levee repairs
or defering some obvious weakened levee re-construction for some date down the road and the fact that even now, six months later, the decayed, skeletal remains of people are still being pulled down out of attics
or found behind couches.
New Orleans can not take another hit.
And if we do, the already colossal failure by the Army Corps
to adequately and by law protect us from hurricanes will be but a footnote in the history of a truly colossal government screw-up.
New Orleans will cease to exist and the price will be paid by everyone in this country in the cost of oil, gas, wheat, steel - you name it.Newt Gingrich has even opined
how the Federal Government must wake up to the fact that South Louisiana's thoroughly weakened coasts is the most crucial issue facing this country and that he is sickened that the United States is spending more money to rebuild Iraq's wetlands than on our own soil.
We must force our government
to realize that rebuilding the levees and wetlands of New Orleans and Louisiana is one of the greatest, unescapable challenges to ever face this republic. If we fail at this, it will be the defining moment for the decline of the United States of America.