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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Archive for December, 2007

Kristolnacht at The New York Times

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

LNW_kristol-happyAn Open Letter to the Editors of The New York Times on the Hiring of William Kristol

Levees Not War is strongly opposed to Kristol’s becoming a New York Times columnist because that paper would give him an even more prominent platform (in addition to his magazine The Weekly Standard and his appearances on Fox News) from which to push for war with Iran as lustily as he pushed for war with Iraq—a ‘regime change’ he believes is going just fine.

The following letter has been e-mailed and snail-mailed to the publisher and editors of The New York Times. Names of executive and managing editors, etc., along with the Times’s mailing address, appear below, along with some choice quotations from the opinings of William Kristol.


A Christmas Wish

Monday, December 24th, 2007


On Christmas morning, on Christmas day we pray for gifts of home, food, family togetherness, good health, and heart-warming music for all, especially for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and those who find themselves far from home in a foreign war — may they all be never far from the peace of the Lord born this day in a lowly manger. In the new year may our faith and our works help bring shelter to those who have none. Peace to all.

Christmas card, 1958, from New Orleans Mayor DeLesseps S. ‘Chep’ Morrison.
From New Orleans Public Library |
Louisiana Division Photograph Collection |
City Archives/Louisiana Division.

Homeless for the Holidays: Who Would Jesus Evict? A Tale of Two Christmases: 2007, 1959

Friday, December 21st, 2007

New Orleans Council Votes for Demolition of Housing. Raze ’n’ Taser Now, Replace Housing Later. Maybe.


In New Orleans, where rental costs and homelessness have doubled since Katrina, protesters at City Hall clashed with police and some were Tasered while inside the City Council voted unanimously to allow the federal government to demolish 4,500 units in the city’s four largest public housing projects.


Years of Decision

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

These are the last few years of decision, but they can be the first years of a bright and hopeful future if we do what we must. . . .We have everything we need to get started, save perhaps political will, but political will is a renewable resource.’

Norway Nobel Peace PrizeOn the very same day that Al Gore was awarded his (shared) Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway (Dec. 10), the also honorable Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a report concluding that “the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.”

The stark contrast between Waxman’s report and Gore’s speech shows two very different paths that can be taken: one of an administration’s childlike, even mentally ill refusal to face reality, and another of a courageous grown-up’s acknowledgement of a life-endangering predicament. Because of the threat that rising surface temperatures and melting ice caps pose to low-lying, hurricane-prone areas such as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, we prefer the adultlike approach. Yes, we’ll go with Mr. Gore’s call to move from business-as-usual in order to live in a more sustainable relationship with the planet that gave birth to our sometimes admirable species. We believe that the name Homo sapiens need not always be as ironic as it’s been feeling lately.


The Destroyer

Friday, December 7th, 2007

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

LNW_Bush.2001.swear-in.CNNIf a president recites this oath, is he legally bound to take care of the nation itself, or only to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution’ of the United States (however White House legal counsel may interpret that clause)? Does he have some ‘wiggle room’ here? (Does the oath pertain only to duly elected chief executives?)

Although he has (twice) placed his hand on a bible and spoken the words, George W. Bush has never been serious about protecting the United States—not on Aug. 6, 2001, when he was shown a Presidential Daily Briefing titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,’ and not on September 11, when the nation’s defenses were suspiciously slack. He disregarded his duty when for a year after 9/11 he opposed the establishment of a department of homeland security. And then there was Katrina .


Homeless for the Holidays

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

In my pocket . . . not one penny
And my friends I haven’t any
Nobody knows you when you’re down and out

At the very same time that permission has been cleared for demolition of public housing units in New Orleans—at the same time the U.S. is burning through about $12 billion per month in Iraq—FEMA is planning to close the trailer parks in which displaced New Orleanians have been warehoused for the past 28 months.