I’m doing the same thing tonight most everyone else is
Last year, when Charley (and the other storms) ran through Central Florida, the major reaction was:
“Well, dammit… no air conditioning for a friggin’ WEEK…”
And that whole thing about “getting back to the simple life of our ancestors” that a lot of folks blather about? It’s *crap*.
As I drove West on 20 from Atlanta to meet my wife and freinds who had evacuated to a friend’s farm up there, I was indeed proud of our country in which a veritable armada of linemen’s and tree service trucks and their crews were streaming toward the predicted path of the storm even as people left. Yes, I know they are prepositioned at the fringe, not directly in the path, that would be stupid. But you get my point. We are already taking action.
Sure, there will be a few idiots. Some people wouldn’t leave their homes if they were made out of those really yummy Pepperidge Farm cookies with the chocolate chunks and Macadamia nuts, and CNN had video of a 100-foot Cookie Mon…
Responding To A Crisis
Over at Vodkapundit, Stephen Green has a great point about what we’re watching unfold on the Gulf Coast.
American’s attitude towards disaster stems in large part from our attitude towards life. We don’t depend on anyone to make things happen. Instead we take responsibility for our own lives. So if there’s a disaster, in general we have the attitude that we’ll figure out a way to cope with it.
Most people know in their bones that the government can’t do squat in an emergency. But we don’t care, because we know we can take care of ourselves.
Although it wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this, but the American Spirit demonstrated after 9/11 ensured that the effects of the disaster were mitigated. As you say, we donated blood till there was no need for more, vaults full of money, and they had to turn away many, many earnest volunteers who’d traveled to lower Manhattan to do whatever they could to help.
So today, (aside from the hole at Ground Zero), we’ve largely recovered. Three thousand deaths–as tragic as they are–were not the thirty thousand most would have predicted on 9/12. Our economy was not dealt a death-blow. Our military are taking fewer casualties than in peacetime while kicking the terrorists’ asses. We’re doing this to ensure that democracy will be established, so that we won’t have to do all this in vain.
So yeah, we’re certainly not worse off after the disaster of 9/11, and argueably better off.
The same will be said of the damages after Katrina.
TO: Stephen Green
RE: I, the Non-Conformist
“I’m doing the same thing tonight most everyone else is
I’m looking forward to hearing about the international aid that no doubt is headed towards the US.
When the Northridge quake hit LA, we had three kinds of people: the Americans, white black brown and yellow, who looked around the wreckage and started doing whatever they could do,however minor, the ones, mostly immigrants, who ran out into the nearest open space, squatted, and waited for somebody to do something for them, and the self-appointed chattering classes who toured the mess, critquing the people actually doing the work (“Why’s he sweeping the glass there?“)but somehow never stopping to actually do anything themselves.
It’s a part of the American character that tends to drive people form other countries nut. Our attitude is to see a problem, and believe we can fix it. Whether it’s a disaster at home, or a mess internationally, an American’s first reaction is “how can I fix this?” It just doesn’t occur to us that maybe we can’t.
Just to pick a nit, Stephen, but the last stat I read (a couple of years ago) puts the percentage of tornadoes that occur in the US at 90%.
If I had some of that American spirit in me, I’d actually look it up and post it here, but … naaaah!
Lecter: What became of your lamb, Clarice?
Clarice: They killed him.
I find it amusing that you say “stuff hits the fan” and “fatwa-issuing fuckers” in the same post. Apparently, “fuckers” is acceptable language, but “shit” is not. I wonder if that’s some meaningful commentary on the modern human condition?
If one really wants to aggravate a shortage of needed supplies, enacting and enforcing laws against price gouging and profiteering is about the best way to do it. Conversely, if one wished to flood (no doubt a poor choice of words in this circumstance) the disaster-struck areas with needed generators, chainsaws, and the like, allowing people to charge as high a price as they can get is the best way to ensure such an outcome. The idiocy of central planning never seems to register with many.
When the Northridge earthquake hit, my house was directly over the fault. As the damage was being repaired I figured, hell with this, I’m leaving, and moved to New Orleans. I have now fled both Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina, though Ivan turned away from New Orleans and Katrina didn’t. Not only that, it has followed me up here to Jackson, Mississippi, still a category 1 hurricane as it passes through the area.
Wherever you are, you’d better pray that I don’t move to your town next.
I’ll lay a five-spot on ya to move to San Francisco or Boston…
I’ll make it a tenner if you can get an apartment in Cambridge.
Another thing that is rarely (if ever) mentioned is that, for some strange reason, the death toll from these things tends to be much MUCH lower than it is in, say, Turkey, Iran, or Pakistan, or India.
Serious consideration about why this is the case would do far more to help the “third world” than all the professional caregivers that ever lived could ever hope to accomplish.
Richard, Steve T.:
Maybe James Wolcott is looking for a roommate?
Hmmm. Maybe we can pin Katrina on another middle-east country, and attack them.
It was no act of God, man! It was the Zionist Jews! Just like the tsunami in Indonesia, man! They were paying us back for not suppressing Mother Sheehan’s speech like we were told to, s’what it is!
Hard luck, your lordship
This poor fellow left the following comment at Stephen Green’s place: When the Northridge earthquake hit, my house was directly over the fault. As the damage was being repaired I…