Thursday, April 20, 2006

....But I Don't Own New Orleans....

For months now, we've been hearing all manner of suggestions as to how to rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel. There are many websites to which one might contribute money to help--still! The incapable (as has become painfully obvious) federal government has a website that has a long list of links for victims to seek aid, and for donors to offer goods, services and funds. The inept Mayor Nagin unjustifiably makes himself look much the hero on the City of New Orleans site. And Louisiana's equally incompetent Governor Blanco maintains yet another site that belatedly tries to close the barn door so we can't see that the horses have long since escaped.

Hurricane Katrina was named after Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor of The Nation, because of their very similar dispositions. But, I digress.

I heard an announcement on the radio today calling for architectural ideas for the rebuilding of the city. I missed the details, and they're not important, because it only served to make me wonder: Why are we discussing rebuilding New Orleans?

Why are we discussing rebuilding New Orleans??

Like most of the area to which we fondly refer as the Unites States of America, New Orleans is largely privately owned. Individuals and firms own homes, condos, apartment buildings, businesses, strip malls and shopping centers. We don't actually have anything to do with it. Unless by some happenstance one or two of you happen to own a bit of property there, neither you nor I has any interest in New Orleans--of course, I mean any real financial interest there.

Many of us might have made some sort of donation to one of the many charities committed to providing one or another kind of aid to the unfortunates effected by the storm. Fine.

But the task of rebuilding the city is really the task of each property owner to rebuild his property, however he sees fit. It's his property. It's not ours. New Orleans does not belong to us.

Each and every one of the property owners that comprise the city of New Orleans has the responsibility to either procure insurance, make other arrangements (in advance) to be prepared to rebuild, choose to live elsewhere, or just risk it.

Wherever each of us lives, there are risks. It's the responsibility of each of us as individuals to prepare for the possibility of disaster as best we can.

Debbie and I have fire and earthquake insurance. The house is on fairly high ground, not very near a body of water that's likely to flood severely. What with these and various other precautions, we think we're pretty secure against just about anything but the theft often authorized by eminent domain.

America needs to re-privatize. All of us ought to look at the United States as a huge patchwork of bits of private property, owned and controlled by individual owners.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm Regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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