12/30/2007 10:31 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Road Home: Punishing the Self-Reliant

New Orleanians get no shortage of hortatory messages about self-reliance from other parts of the nation they thought they belonged to. So Sunday"s Times-Picayune sends the message right back. Here's a story full of as many touchstones of self-reliance as one can bear -- a Charity Hospital nurse, a widow who raised nine children, children who came to her aid when the floods struck, children who rebuilt their own home and rental properties with no government assistance. Read the journey, if that's what you can call it, this 69-year-old woman took through the torturously Kafkaesque world that the state's "Road Home" program has become, and recall it the next time a lecture on self-reliance begins forming itself in your mind. This is what happens to people who, in the old Clintonian formula, go to work every day and play by the rules.