North of Jewfish Creek


Dear Friend & Subscriber,

Here's an interesting letter I received from one of my newsletter subscribers regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It certainly gives us all something to think about.



This might appear to be cruel and heartless thinking, but I say now that this “worst natural disaster in the history of the U.S.” has hit, it’s time we stand back and assess where we go from here.  With 25 Billion dollars in damages, we would be absolutely INSANE to rebuild ANYTHING in the same spot again.  No matter if insurance companies carry the brunt.  Since its incept, New Orleans and its many surrounding areas have routinely suffered very similar fates every twenty years or so, generally caused by Mississippi River flooding.  Millions if not billions of dollars have been spent building and maintaining scores of bridges and levees that traditionally fail when needed most (as now).  Today’s radio news said one of several levee breeches is the size of a football field.  Meanwhile, Lake Pontchartrain is steadily unloading between seven and 15 feet of its bulk into downtown NOLA., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has no idea how to stop it. 

My business contact told me about thirty-five years ago how he and his family had sat at the kitchen table in their home on the West Bank during a then-recent flood, watching the water rise.  When it got to knee level, they scrambled up to the second floor, then watched as the water continued up one step at a time.  Before it reached the top, the flow ebbed and the danger was contained.  What did they do?  Cleaned up the place and went right on living there.  I’ll bet theirs was one of the homes we watched this week (either under eight feet of Lake Pontchartrain water, or washed away altogether).  He told me tales of folks living right on the river who watched everything they owned wash away during that same flood in the 1960s.  When interviewed by the media, one man said, “Well, my granddaddy lost everything here 40 years ago, and my daddy lost everything here 20 years ago, and now I just lost it all.  But we’re tough – we’re gonna rebuild right here!” 

Poor choice of words, IMHO.  He should have said, “We’re ignoramuses (and evidently mighty slow learners).”

This week the mayor of Houston initiated a great humanitarian effort to bus the “Superdome people” clear over to Houston’s Astrodome for temporary shelter.  I say they keep that caravan of busses going for as long as it takes, and begin evacuation of ALL sea coast population, New Orleans to Biloxi or even Pensacola.  Give the ‘below sea level land’ back to the sea!  Move everyone as far back as it takes to reach high ground (at least 30 or so feet ABOVE sea level).  If that means Oklahoma, so be it. 

Let the Cajun bayou country go back to the gators and snakes.



Thank you for all the emails you've continued to send me about how to help. I've been overwhelmed with the care and concern shown by my newsletter readers... from all around the entire globe. Thank you.



Gary C. Halbert


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