Barry Goldwater suggested four decades ago that New York City and the rest of the liberal U.S. Northeast seaboard should be sawed off and allowed to float out to sea. In the wake of New Orleans’ recent catastrophic swamping by Hurricane Katrina, another great public figure, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, has proposed a more serious notion, that the oddest city in the U.S. (even weirder than San Francisco) should not be rebuilt, in which case New Orleans eventually would subside into the Mississippi mud for an eternal rest.
Meantime, a majority of otherwise-charitable Americans shortly and abruptly may execute an about-face and either a) start expressing hostility for New Orleans’ bizarre way of life, or b) demand that President Bush declare martial law and purge Louisiana’s cultural capital of its witless political leaders for crimes against humanity.
The latest outrage from "The Big Easy" (America’s most crime-ridden big city, nicknamed for a 1940s detective-story potboiler about New Orleans) comes from its foul-mouthed mayor C. Ray Nagin, this year’s poster boy for Tourette’s Syndrome. Having initially ignored state law on mandatory evacuation and failed to order the city’s massive fleet of school buses to take thousands of eventually stranded residents to higher ground, Mayor Nagin finally has decided–one week after The Great Flood–to act.
And this, believe it or not, is what he has decreed:
An immediate expenses-paid week’s vacation to Las Vegas for all New Orleans policepeople (except for the two who committed suicide and the 200 who deserted their jobs rather than face stress).
In addition to the cops, firefighters and other municipal emergency workers and their families also will be put on free planes to jet away to free rooms, free entertainment, free food and free booze in Nevada’s version of Babylon. Mayor Nagin, a former cable-TV maven before he jumped into politics, has not revealed if free gambling chips and free condoms will be included in the windfall holiday that will become the newest financial burden of strapped local taxpayers.
In any event, 6,000 New Orleans gumbocrats, their spouses, children and Significant Others or Longtime Companions are happily abandoning the bad times to resume pursuit of les bon temps sloganized by their French/Cajun/Voodoo and Socialist Dictator Huey Long culture: Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
Echoing the mayor, Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III revealed that a moral compass is not part of his imposing name. Said Super Compass of the city workers’ pilgrimage to distant craps tables: "When you go through something this devastating and traumatic, you’ve got to do something dramatic to jump-start the healing process."
In true liberal Democrat fashion, Mayor Nagin first tried to twist the federal government’s arms to pay for his storm troops’ healing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in a sudden act of good sense, refused the request.
His Honor, of course, has not explained how he will extract the taxes needed from New Orleans citizens to replenish the city’s rapidly dwindling coffers in order to pay for the Las Vegas junket, inasmuch as every resident and business has been ordered to abandon the uninhabitable city. If they are smart, many of these people and companies (especially the productive ones) will never return to the land of the dead and dying.