The lousy news just keeps coming, doesn't it?

First Sandy devastates the shore, especially Long Beach Island, leaving thousands without homes, jobs or their places of business. Atlantic City's casinos were shut for an unprecedented five days, at a cost of approximately $5 million a day in lost gambling revenue, as well as lost income for casino workers and casino vendors.

Then the New Jersey Education Association cancels its annual teacher convention in Atlantic City, sucking an anticipated $10 million and 30,000 expected visitors out of the resort economy.

And this week, the New Jersey League of Municipalities canceled its annual Atlantic City convention, which had been scheduled for Nov. 13-15. That means a loss of another $20 million to the city, according to Jeffrey Vasser, president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.

All this comes on top of the costs of rebuilding the damage caused by Sandy. It's hard not to be feeling a little down. So we figure the entire South Jersey region could use a little inspiration right now. We just don't know whether to quote Winston Churchill or Anthony Bourdain. We'll settle for both.

Churchill, of course, led England during World War II and the nightly bombing of London by the Nazis. Not to draw too close of a comparison between the carnage of that real war and the financial carnage of our region's economic war, but a little Churchill never hurts:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

We can fight like that right now in South Jersey.

And bad-boy restaurateur, raconteur and author Anthony Bourdain is even more to the point.

In a recent post on CNN's food blog "Eatocracy," Bourdain urged New Yorkers who can afford it to go downtown, eat at the restaurants that took the brunt of Sandy's wrath - and leave a big tip.

The same concept can be extended to South Jersey. Among the hardest-hit of Sandy's victims are the servers, busboys and cooks of Atlantic City's restaurant industry and the thousands of service workers in the resort's hospitality and gambling industry. So, as Bourdain wrote:

"It would be a great help if those who can afford to do it would eat in the most seriously afflicted areas as early and as often as they can, patronizing local businesses in areas that were clearly hit hardest. Tip heavily. And maybe send $20 back to the dishwasher. That's not charity. It's just neighborly."

So there you have it, folks. Let's all keep a stiff upper lip and defend our islands.

And if you are among those who can, go out for dinner or spend a weekend in Atlantic City.

It won't solve the region's problems.

But it will help.

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