OK, I suppose I should put a hurricane post. There are two points that I would really like to make about this thing.
First off, I do feel bad for the people, but the level to which I feel bad is quite relative. I will obviously feel ‘more’ for the kids and other innocents who do not have a choice in the matter – let’s make that clear up front.
With that said, it’s not like that region is unknown for experiencing hurricanes – large hurricanes. It’s not like it’s an obscured fact that the city of New Orleans is below sea level. It’s not like they weren’t already predicting that the storm was in excess of category 5, the highest level they have for rating hurricane winds.
It’s not like they weren’t predicting that the 1) levies might break, 2) pumps might break down, 3) entire city could be flooded. It’s not like they didn’t have evacuation plans in place. It’s not like there was no shot across the bow.
I have a hard time feeling really sorry for anyone that in essence stands by a running sprinkler then complains about getting wet. I don’t feel very sorry for people that live high up on the cliffs in California when their house slides in the ocean. I can’t feel very sorry for people who live in the flattest parts of Kansas when a tornado comes through. I won’t feel very sorry for anyone living in Buffalo, New York during a large blizzard. I will not get very depressed when yet another earthquake shakes loose a bunch of buildings along the San Andreas fault line. I won’t break down to tears when someone living on the Mississippi flood plain finds themselves on their rooftop waiting for a passing boat to save them.
There has to be a certain point at which people are held responsible for their own actions regardless of how severe the consequences. Sure, there are going to be hazards just about anywhere you live. I do feel bad for people who lose all they have in a forest fire – that is unless it is somewhere like the pacific southwest where dry-fires are common place. I do feel for the citizens of Washington state who were hit unexpectedly by the blowing of Mt. Saint Helens – although I would not feel the same for someone living in Hawaii on a hillside below a known-to-be-active volcano.
I have a friend of mine that moved down to Florida over 15 years ago. Every time there was a snow storm up here in Michigan, he would never fail to call me and ask “So, how’s the weather up there?” and laugh to himself out loud. I would of course reply “Great!!!” because I love Michigan for ALL it’s seasons – the diversity! I love to ski and snowmobile just as much as I love to waterski and ride quads or wave runners. I had to end up waiting something like 7 years before I could finally return the favor. And as luck turned out, I got to do it twice during the same seasons. Two seperate hurricanes hit the golf coast region where he lived within a one-and-a-half month period. Of course I called and said “How’s the weather down there?” and finally made my point that the weather up here might suck to some, but at least I know my house will be here tomorrow! Needless to say, he has stopped calling me during blizzards.
I hearken back to the old Sam Kinison bit about the starving people in ethiopia. Don’t send money or food, send luggage!!! There are those who are crying foul about how the ‘poor’ are the most effected. Two points on this take.
Bill O’Reilly put it the most succinct the other night and I believe just about every other common sense pundit followed suit. When it comes to disasters and other events such as this, the poor get hosed. If you are poor you are powerless. Complain all you like, but this is a fact of life. If you have no money or other resources, you are very limited on options. The answer? Stop bitching to other’s and get up off your own ass and make something of your life.
The fact that the poor get hosed is the case ANYWHERE in the world. And furthermore, there is NOTHING … I repeat NOTHING that “ANY” government can do to change this fact or to make such unforseen disasters easier on anyone [or at least anyone who isn’t smart enough to heed the warnings and get the hell out!] least of all the poor.
I tend to think that not only will our government do a better job than most cleaning up the mess, but that they also have been one of the biggest factors in doing so for just about every other disaster that has occurred throughout the world. Both from government (read: tax-payer-funded) support as well as through individual contributions.
The second point goes back to the other two comments (about not feeling sorry for people in such areas as well as sending luggage in lieu of food). The arguement is that “the poor do not have the option to move out of such regions either“. My response to this is a whole-hearty B.S.!!!!!!!
I can say this from personal experience. Upon moving to Ohio and getting jacked by my perspective employer, I was left with computer related skills and job history and was left unable to complete my college degree (in part my employer’s fault). I found myself with no job, no job prospects and very little opportunities – especially locally due to the fact it was one of the most bass-akwards parts of Ohio. (a state prison town in the middle of amish country)
After trying for close to 9 months to get out through the ‘standard’ means (looking for work elsewhere before moving) I was finally facing eviction, had a vehicle re-po’d due to non-payment on the financing and was behind about 4 months on bills when I simply decided to have a huge sale, pay what I could from the proceeds toward my rent and bills, then pack what was left in the back of my truck and head back for Michigan.
I literally slept in my vehicle at truck stops and rest areas for the first week or so until I found a room to rent with what money I had. I found a [good] job within another two weeks and a better one within a month after that.
So I don’t wanna hear the “too poor to move” mantra. I’ve been there – I’ve done it!
Now we see a bunch of people (mainly the democrats – go figure!) playing ‘politics’ with this concept as well as other things related to the situation down there. Let’s worry about bailing those lame-asses out, getting the innocents to safety and doing what we can for those who should have known better. I understand it is election season again, but it really isn’t a substantial election until next fall so put a cork in it!
I just wish all the nay-sayers would shut the hell up. Especially when we see stuff like the outburst by that rapper on the NBC aid concert. Someone should really grab some of these singers, actors and other celebrities really hard by their nipples, twist around a good turn-and-a-half and remind them that they are ‘popular’ because they can sing/act/etc. and they should stick at what they are best at. If they want to be good at politics, become a lawyer and actually GET ELECTED BY POPULAR VOTE! Your celebrity is by virtue of your specific talents and should not be construed as free license to flap your trap!
Finally I have serious concerns. I would be curious to know – in this current world climate – what the presence is of the Coast Guard down in the gulf coast region? I am sure that the New Orleans port authority is not going to be up-to-snuff for some time.
The port of New Orleans is not only one of the biggest in the country, it is also located at the mouth of the Mississippi River. I don’t think I need to remind anyone that the ole’ Miss runs straight up through the heartland of this country. I am also sure that this fact has not escaped some of the would-be enemies of this country.
I can just imagine a scenario where something might be flown into Central or South America, strapped on a boat and sailed right up into the heartland. Or perhaps even insurgients could enter via the same means. I will be curious to see if there is a significant enough security presence down there to keep this tragedy from being a great opportunity for potential terrorist infiltration.