The Times-Picayune took the extremely rare step of placing an editorial at the top-center of its front page today, Sunday, November 20, 2005.
I find the following to be the most compelling lines:
Some voices in Washington are arguing against us. We were foolish, they say. We settled in a place that is lower than the sea. We should have expected to drown.
As if choosing to live in one of the nation's great cities amounted to a death wish. As if living in San Francisco or Miami or Boston is any more logical.
. . . The federal government decided long ago to try to tame the river and the swampy land spreading out from it. The country needed this waterlogged land of ours to prosper, so that the nation could prosper even more.
Some people in Washington don't seem to remember that. They act as if we are a burden. They act as if we wore our skirts too short and invited trouble.
I think almost everyone on the Gulf Coast has been helped and moved by the generosity of our fellow citizens on a personal level.
However, something is missing at the governmental level. At this point, I still can't tell if it is incompetence or malevolence. My suspicion is that it is a kind of lazy indifference that metastasizes into malevolence AND incompetence.
I don't think any of us in New Orleans want blind charity. We want smart, effective help at a basic level. When it is determined that the science and engineering are available to repair our wetlands and levees, we deserve a chance to thrive.
Human activity made most of this mess, and I have a strong suspicion that human ingenuity can fix it.
(Graphic above from www.wwltv.com.)