Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?




Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I'm not wrong
This feelings gettin stronger
The longer, I stay away
Miss them moss covered vines...the tall sugar pines
Where mockin birds used to sing
And I'd like to see that lazy Mississippi
Hurryin into spring
The moonlight on the bayou
A creole tune that fills the air
I dream about magnolias in bloom
And I'm wishin I was there

Two years this week since Katrina made landfall, spared New Orleans... only so it could drown by governmental neglect. Two years and I'm still not over it - and I don't even live there, although a piece of my heart drowned with the city.

This week I will be writing about New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and the continuing neglect. I once had an entire blog devoted to Katrina and the aftermath. I tried to move on, but the pain is - today - as raw as it was two years ago. Betrayal is like that.



And where is our government? Absent. Uncaring. AWOL.

As the Washington Post so scathingly put it:

Two full years after the hurricane, the Big Easy is barely limping along, unable to make truly meaningful reconstruction progress. The most important issues concerning the city's long-term survival are still up in the air. Why is no Herculean clean-up effort underway? Why hasn't President Bush named a high-profile czar such as Colin Powell or James Baker to oversee the ongoing disaster? Where is the U.S. government's participation in the rebuilding?

And why are volunteers practically the only ones working to reconstruct homes in communities that may never again have sewage service, garbage collection or electricity?

Eventually, the volunteers' altruism turns to bewilderment and finally to outrage. They've been hoodwinked. The stalled recovery can't be blamed on bureaucratic inertia or red tape alone. Many volunteers come to understand what I've concluded is the heartless reality: The Bush administration actually wants these neighborhoods below sea level to die on the vine.



In the end, that is what keeps me here; keeps me in the blogging trenches day after day. New Orleans. My anger, pain, bewilderment, sadness and outrage. And I won't rest until there is justice for that beloved city.

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