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Tom Piazza: House Thieves on a Grand Scale

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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:28 AM
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Tom Piazza: House Thieves on a Grand Scale

Four years after Katrina, New Orleans is at a crossroads -- not just a logistical crossroads, but a moral one, and one might as well say a spiritual one. We are all rightly concerned about crime -- violent crime, like the kind that took Dinerral Shavers and Helen Hill, and nonviolent crime like the house break-ins that might now fairly be called an epidemic.

But there is a different kind of crime about to happen in our city, and in some ways it is more ominous because it travels under the cloak of the law. With a stroke of a pen, an elected official, serving the interests of a cadre of greedy and selfish developers, has just wiped away the hopes, the work and the dreams not just of a single victim, but of hundreds of hardworking people who trusted and loved this city and worked to rebuild it.


Charity Hospital sits empty. Much of downtown, for that matter, sits empty. Instead of spreading out into Mid-City, the badly needed medical facilities could be built much more quickly, much less expensively, and much more humanely, by updating and using Charity and the surrounding medical district. It would give downtown a badly needed revitalizing mechanism, and it would save people's homes, and it would get medical care to the city more quickly.

Why isn't it being done? Because a handful of greedy bastards want a shiny monument to their own power and ego. It's not about getting health care to the people of New Orleans. It's about money and power. If you live somewhere else in the city, as I do, you can tell yourself that it's happening to other people. But if we learned one thing from Katrina, it is that we are part of an integrated social and geographical and spiritual ecosystem. We can turn our heads as long as it is going on somewhere else and happening to someone else. Or we can get mad now, and make a stand for human dignity and fairness against greed and power lust.



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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:38 AM
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1. Good piece. Thanks for the post.
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