For months, now, the most consistently insightful journalism about post-Katrina New Orleans (and its evacuees elsewhere) has come from New York, from the magazine City Journal and its ace reporter (actually, Contributing Editor) Nicole Gelinas, who deserves a Pulitzer and other big prizes far more than do certain NYTimes revealers of national secrets and Wash Post wardrobe critics. Here, here and here, are three of the many excellent pieces Ms. Gelinas has done on the subject. Her conclusions, boiled down, are that the solutions to the problems all involve creative, small-government approaches. In most cases, the best solutions are exactly the opposite, or at least the converse, of what FEMA and the Bush administration have done. (Donald Powell is a disaster as reconstruction coordinator, by the way.) Of course, LA and N.O. state and local governments have been disastrous as well; there is plenty of blame to go around. Most importantly, Gelinas says, New Orleans needs federal help (and better local initiative as well) to get its crime problem under control. The good news is, she’s full of good advice for how to do so.
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