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When I was 19 years old, both of my parents died in the same year; my mom of cancer and my dad in a car accident. Through the next two or three years and a series of bad decisions - all my own, I might add - I ended up literally homeless, before that was even a word. I even slept occasionally under a pier on the Gulf Coast.
Never in our country's history have we witnessed a natural disaster that has impacted so many people in such a wide area. In fact, as of the writing of this column, millions of people along the Gulf Coast have been displaced from their homes in a period of only five days.
The poorest residents of the gulf coast were most affected by the devastating hurricanes, and the poorest Americans have shouldered a disproportionate share of the burden in Iraq.
Imagine if, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast residents had to wait on Democrats and Republicans to agree on cuts before receiving clean water or loans to rebuild. Congress' negotiations often come slow or not at all.
The Gulf Coast has the potential to create a culinary raw ingredient paradise that smart cooks can capitalize on.
My great-grandchildren will not be able to enjoy the Gulf Coast of Louisiana the way I have.
Class certainly loomed large in Katrina's aftermath. Blacks of means escaped the tragedy; blacks without them suffered and died. In reality, it is how race and class interact that made the situation for the poor so horrible on the Gulf Coast. The rigid caste system that punishes poor blacks and other minorities also targets poor whites.
Michael Eric Dyson
Hurricane Katrina exposed the harsh reality that we have been skating on thin ice when it comes to this country's energy concentrations on the Gulf Coast.
I also believe that Hurricane Katrina did reveal a weakness in our energy supply systems, highlighting the reliance this country has on the gulf coast for our energy resources.
East and Gulf Coast states are at risk of hurricanes; prairie and other central and southern states are constantly threatened by tornados; and western states commonly face damaging droughts. Extreme weather does not discriminate by American geography.
I know that my Republican colleagues are as ashamed as I am that the United States is forced to borrow over $1 trillion from foreign nations to pay for our national priorities like reconstruction of the gulf coast and the war in Iraq.
Nearly two weeks have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast, and while we are still dealing with the tremendous devastation - and will be for quite some time - we are also seeing increased signs of recovery and help in our region.
Now you can get artisanal everything - pickles, coffees, house-cured meats, mustard. The pendulum has swung back to this kind of food, and it gives me the greatest hope for the future, especially because we're living in a time with issues like polluted Gulf Coast seafood and food labeled organic that may not really be organic.
The second is there are some communities that we thought originally would take mobile homes that have decided they don't want them. And we're not going to cram mobile homes down the throats of communities in Louisiana and the Gulf - and other parts of the Gulf Coast.
The gulf coast, we all know now, after Katrina, is responsible for 25 percent of U.S. production of natural gas. Following Katrina and Rita, almost 75 percent of the natural gas production in the gulf was shut down and not producing.
I was very fascinated with meteorology at a young age. I lived on the Gulf Coast and hurricanes blew through there. That is the class I failed in college: meteorology.
As proud as we are of this city and as extraordinary as it is, all of south Louisiana and all of the Gulf Coast is a very special place, and the federal government has underinvested in it year after year after year, whether it's education or health care.
President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, and several cabinet level officials have visited Alabama's Gulf Coast in recent days to tour the devastation and to offer their continuing support and prayers for everyone affected by the storm.
I'm from the gulf coast of Louisiana.
I have no doubt that the government of this great nation will work with its people to lead New Orleans and the Gulf Coast back to an enlightened, proud, safe part of the world.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Thirty percent of the Nation's energy comes off the gulf coast.
Keystone will deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada, North Dakota, and Montana to Gulf Coast refineries.
As horrific as this impact has been on my constituents, it is only a small part of the overwhelming destruction covering 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast.
One of two historically African American communities that sprang up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast after emancipation, North Gulfport has always been a place where residents have had fewer civic resources than those extended to other outlying communities.
I have tested my nerve by reaching a little too closely toward a lengthy alligator on the Gulf Coast and a saucer-sized tarantula in a Houston car park.
The recovery of the Gulf Coast region will take years to complete.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.
Robert Green Ingersoll
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