- Yes, New Orleans is built in a pretty hurricane-prone region of the world, but Andre, c’mon, dude! Most of the people stuck in NOLA couldn’t get out: the homeless or the close to it, the sick/old/infirmed/imprisoned, people without cars or family or place to go to, etc. See this post on boing-boing to see what I mean. And I don’t know where you’re going with that WTC stuff. That’s the talk that got Ward Churchill in the trouble he got into.
- Shit happens and shit can happen in small, large, or super-jumbo-sized portions. So least anyone reading this say to themselves or others “those dumb people in New Orleans deserved it,” just remember that NOLA has endured all kinds of crazy disasters for over 200 years, and every region in this country has its potential for crazy disaster. Out west, they get forest fires; California has earthquakes; we get floods, tornadoes, hail storms, ice storms, blizzards.
So contrary to Andre, one of the things that’s kinda scary to me is that this is the sort of thing that could happen just about anywhere, at least in one form or another. Sure, we’re not going to get a hurricane in Detroit, but I have lived through plenty of “mini-disasters” in recent years. A few years ago, we had a bad enough ice storm around here to have trees come down in our backyard, taking out electricity, cable, and phone. We had to go live in a hotel for a few days. No fun. We had a hailstorm here about five years ago that was so bad that most of the roofs in our neighborhood (including ours), and dealing with the insurance company and the contractor was a six or so month ordeal. When we lived in Ashland, OR, there was a flood that took out the water system. We had to buy these five gallon jugs for holding water and had to go to these water trucks supplied by the National Guard for a week or so. That was probably the worse.
- Where’s W during all this? Why, he’s promoting his war and doing a fly-by on his way home after a month-long vacation. And apparently worried about his dog. Obviously W can’t prevent a natural disaster, but you’d think he’d at least land the plane somewhere around there and get out and talk to some people or something. But our government has its priorities, too. After all, even though this disaster is going to cost more than $25 billion when all is said and done, we’ve already spent close to eight times that much money on this folly in Iraq, and all we’ve gotten for our money there is more disaster. How are we paying for that mess, you ask? Well, among other things, the Bush administration apparently cut funds to NOLA to prevent hurricanes. Oops.
I’m not trying to say that somehow cutting the budget to deal with real protection of the homeland is directly related to our bloated expenses in Iraq, I’m not saying that spending the money on the flood walls would have prevented the disaster, etc. Believe me, I know hindsight is 20/20. But it sure as hell don’t look good.
- I’m getting a little steamed about all this Katrina stuff and the price of gasoline. (Oh, BTW, isn’t it a bit strange that one of the first things that W et al did is release the federal petroleum reserves?) I realize that there is a significant amount of refining capacity and such along the gulf coast, but come on! I filled up the car this morning about 10 am and it cost me $2.99 a gallon. I went by this same gas station at about 4:30 pm and it was $3.17. $3.17! And there’s talk of it hitting $4.00 by this time next week! I mean, Jesus H. Christ! When there’s a hard freeze in Florida that kills all the oranges on the trees, the price of orange juice on the shelves in the grocery store that day!
Well, at least I was able to buy gasoline today, and thank God I have a fuel-efficient car and I don’t drive much anyway.
- Slight addition
- I meant to mention this when I was posting this last night: Annette and I took a whirlwind trip to New Orleans a couple of years ago and had a great time. We were only there for about two days and three nights (maybe even less– I can’t quite remember) right after Christmas. Officially, we were there as part of a convention for work, but we really spent our time wondering around the French Quarter (which was really the only part of of NOLA we saw, too). As far as I can tell, there is no other place like it in this country: great food, great drinks, a constant party, beautiful old buildings, nice people, etc. It’s a great place– well, was a great place….