It's been Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You can't believe how messed up it still is, down there. There were 2038 MD's before. Now there are 510. There were 128 schools. Now there are 56. This year alone 40 police officers quit. Most of the city is just as it was. Overturned cars. Skeleton homes. Dried debris and mud caking the sidewalks and windows. The rebuilding and support has been on the shoulders of the individual compassionate and the residents. The corp of engineers says they have no confidence the leevees will hold, if another big storm comes. Should I say the contractors who "handled" Katrina are the same ones "handling" Iraq? At astounding record profits in both arenas? No, I probably shouldn't go there. See for yourself in Iraq For Sale, a documentary. I believe people who are happier, stronger, and living their dreams, can pay closer attention to the wrongs and troubles in this world. Because they feel optimism. They feel the power to help. They feel connection to everything. Today what I'm going to do is order a King Cake from a bakery in New Orleans. That's a little revenue for them, a little support, someone far away saying, "You are on my mind." I could buy a King Cake in the grocery store here for $8.00. But that wouldn't send my love. and a few more dollars, to New Orleans. I read today that one of the Jazz clarinet players lost all his gold records and an instrument collection, in the flood. I am so moved by a loss like that. A blow so personal. That irreplaceable. Yet there he was at Mardi Gras, as he has for 46 years, leading the walking band. I'm inspired by him. they say at least they had a good Mardi Gras turnout. New Orleans was listed as one of the top ten "best places to visit in the world." prior to Katrina. It is. Beautiful. Haunting. Historical. Unique.