Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Kicking Them When They're Down

by Paul Jacob

Politicians and bureaucrats have power and are often careless about how they use it. Respect for the rights of innocent people? Not always a priority.

Not even in New Orleans, where so many are struggling to pick themselves back up after one of the toughest gut punches anybody can suffer.

So you live through Hurricane Katrina, return to the city, spend thousands to fix your home. Double-check to make sure it isn't targeted for demolition. Then what? Well, if you're IdaBelle Joshua, two days after City Hall says your home is safe . . . it's smashed! Gone. No prior notice except tiny type in a newspaper somewhere.

New Orleans has a new "get tough" policy, speeding up the rate of demolitions. Perhaps because the federal government is about to stop footing the bill for demolition costs. So hurry, hurry, get it all done, no need for care or consideration.

Robert Brown, president of the Preservation Resource Center, sends DEMOLITION ALERT postcards to New Orleans residents on the demolition list. He reports that frantic owners often have no idea of any problem with their home.

What's IdaBelle Joshua going to do? She says: "I'm a 79-year-old senior citizen, crippled and can't travel, and I can't pay anybody. I will be dead and gone by the time I get any recourse from the city."

Politicians and bureaucrats! They just destroy everything you have and move on. Like some blind storm.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at www.samadamsalliance.org.