Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Orleans Poor Pay For An Expensive Saints Opener

How does Al-Jazeera get it and ESPN and entire American media establishment doesn't?

The Super Bowl-like display for the re-opening of the Louisiana Superdome last night may have a far lasting legacy than the Saints' week three victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

FEMA spent $185 million on not just rebuilding, but markedly upgrading a sports arena when thousands still lack the necessities of a simple third world nation.

What does this say about our society? Was the tens of millions that ordinary Americans donated to the relief cause really happen? If so, then why is every quote, every interview and every story telling us how a three-hour football game was exactly what the citizens of New Orleans needed. Exactly what they needed?

How about a roof? What about consistent running water? A clean classroom?

Was a huge federal expenditure needed to repair the Superdome so soon or did the acts of a reprehensible owner push the city and state in this direction? It should be recalled that while Hurricane Katrina was a nasty storm, the tragedy of New Orleans was irrefutibly man-made.

Very few American media outlets (Here's ESPN's take), reported Monday night's game in it true ight, but inexplicably Al Jazerra did.
'This is exactly what the city needs,' said Saints season ticket holder Clara Donate, 58, who lost her home and all her possessions to Katrina's floodwaters. 'We all need something else to think about.'

But some were in no mood to celebrate the team's return, saying the $185 million dollars spent on refurbishing the Superdome could have been better spent on helping those still struggling to rebuild their lives after Katrina.

Irma Warner, 71, and her husband, Pascal Warner, 80, live in an apartment in suburban Metairie while working six days a week to restore a home flooded by 7 feet (2.1 meters) of water in New Orleans' Lakeview neighborhood.

'We rode around through the Ninth Ward yesterday,' Irma Warner said.

'When I saw that, I thought, how can they spend $185 million on the Superdome. What about all these poor people?'

It's not hard to see why the Superdome was built before thousands of destroyed homes were even cleared. New Orleans is and has always been the most corrupt city in America. Every sector of the public trust is plagued with graft from the mayor's office to the dog catcher. The city has always been crime-riddled and the school system a national joke.

The flood walls were built with the flimsiest of materials because building them properly would have been less money in the profiteers pockets. The voters of New Orleans continued the cycle of corruption by recycling crooked politicians by not paying attention to their decaying city.

The people of New Orleans, of whom no national figure would dare criticize in the light of Katrina, are to blame for disaster that unfolded and by their native inability to choose a safe and honest mode of government have again squandered a huge opportunity to take care of their future instead of their fleeting desires.

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