Emminent Domain nightmare
Fellow DUers, I have been listening intensely to alternative media regarding hurricane Katrina, and I was confused by FEMAs delay tactics and other inconsistencies:
-- Why are there so many cases of FEMA interfering with local relief efforts, such as turning back truckloads of water supplied by Wal-Mart?
-- Why is FEMA so determined to remove *everyone* from New Orleans, even those that are determined to stay in their flooded homes?
-- Why won't FEMA take advantage of ample lodging capacity in Algiers, the 20% of New Orleans that is not underwater?
-- Why is the government determined to get everyone far away from New Orleans?
All of these actions result in circumstances that require the victims to leave the area, as opposed to surviving locally until the crisis is resolved.
My wife's theory (and I'm now close to convinced) is that the Administration is intentionally "cleansing" the area to expedite gentrification (this process had reportedly already begun to some degree).
Note that Bush has stated the following:
"Here's what I believe. I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans. (Applause.) I believe the town where I used to come from, Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself -- occasionally too much -- (laughter) -- will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to. That's what I believe."
It is the use of the phrase better place to come to that really got my attention.
The "smoking gun" for this argument will come in the settlement offered by the Administration to the victims. My wife believes that this settlement will include the following:
-- A federal limitation (cap) on damages related to Katrina (provided at the 11th hour by our beloved Republican legislature)
-- A token offer to the victims of some cash compensation in exchange for title to their damaged real estate
You'll know that we're onto something when the deal is structured in a take-it-or-leave it manner which will make it prohibitive for the victims to do anything but accept the deal. We believe that they may be forced to take the deal because the Feds will delay certification of the area as inhabitable for much longer than need be, perhaps years.
We believe that the land will be held temporarily by the Feds, but ultimately resold to private developers with close ties with the Bush Administration. The developers will construct brand new, high end waterfront property, effectively force-gentrifying the area, a goal which before the hurricane would have been unattainable.
At first this theory may seem far-fetched, but in my view it is not inconceivable. The Bush Administration seems capable of almost anything, so taking advantage of this natural disaster (as they did with 9/11) should not be dismissed out of hand.