C B on C Ray

Sep 5, 2008 by

Crusty curmudgeon C.B. Forgotston wastes no time in sharpening his rapier – wit, notwithstanding:

It’s been almost two weeks since Mayor Ray Nagin was given an “Award of Distinction for Recovery, Courage and Leadership.” …

The situation [Hurricane Gustav] was deja vu of my final days in New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I can empathize with the citizens who were being kept away from their homes and property.

Despite the flood waters (a result of the incompetence and negligence of the Army Corps of Engineers) having long receded in my neighborhood and the ground being baked dry by the ever-present heat and sun, Nagin would not allow us to return to our homes to see if anything could be salvaged.

Many things may have been salvaged had they not been allowed to sit and bake for weeks after being soaked in salt water. By the time enough pressure could be put on Nagin to allow the citizens to return to their homes, it was too late to salvage much of anything.

Apparently, that sorry episode slipped from Nagin’s mind or he is an incredibly slow learner. Or, perhaps the recent Award of Distinction for Recovery, Courage and Leadership gave him the impression that preventing citizens from returning to their own property was wiser this time.

This time the citizens wouldn’t stand for such an outrage. The citizens of New Orleans stormed back into the city daring Nagin to stop them. Fortunately, Nagin, as usual, backed-down.

However, Nagin didn’t back down without a fight. When it became obvious that he was going to get no help from the public officials in the surrounding parishes (many harder hit than New Orleans) nor anyone in New Orleans, he realized he had chosen not only a unpopular stance, but a dumb and unwinnable one. …

Perhaps Bernardo will host another ceremony and find an appropriate award to commend the mayor for his defiant, but losing effort to prevent the citizens of New Orleans from returning to their city.

It could be called the “Award for Discovery;” as in Nagin’s discovery that the city of New Orleans belongs not to him, but to the citizens of the city. Maybe a copy of the U.S. Constitution would be an appropriate gift.

Kudos to the people of New Orleans who returned to claim their city in spite of the mayor’s best efforts to keep you out.