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

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Bush Shock Doctrine at work in New Orleans

This is a must-read for anyone confused by the slow response to Katrina.

If I were Amy, I might change the title; because I've come to the conclusion that the real mission was accomplished. Make no mistake... this wasn't simply bumbling incompetence on the part of our Federal Government.

"From the Bayou to Baghdad: Mission Not Accomplished," by Amy Goodman:

Tracie Washington is the president of The Louisiana Justice Institute and a lifelong resident of New Orleans. She says only a quarter of the more than 5,000 affordable housing units in New Orleans are filled. "There is a feeling by our government that public housing of old needs to be dismantled, buildings shut. We have litigation going right now to change that, but it's horribly slow, and it's tragic."

She describes the plan by which public housing will be converted to "mixed-income" developments: "Some of these developments that are closed down took in no water. But the decision was made to take advantage of an opportunity. Hurricane Katrina came. 'Look what we can do. We can keep these people away from here, bring in the bulldozers, tear down this housing.'"

It is not just renters. Private housing is being demolished as well. Washington described how the city instituted a stunning policy to allow the legal demolition of homes. Whereas once homeowners would have at least 120 days and several layers of appeals to prevent their homes from being demolished, Nagin instituted an "Imminent Health Threat Demolition" ordinance. He now gives residents only 30 days to stop demolition.

To the tens of thousands of New Orleanians scattered across the country, the city's scant notice -- a sticker attached to the property plus mentions on a city website and in The Times-Picayune newspaper -- is clearly insufficient. According to The Times-Picayune, in addition to homes being destroyed, liens are placed on properties for the cost of the demolition, setting the stage for the displaced owners to lose their property to the city.

Read the entire story...

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