The Politically Incorrect Mom


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Few Words on New Orleans

I have started typing on more than one occasion regarding what’s going on down in New Orleans, but honestly – what hasn’t been said?

I just have a few thoughts on some things people have said to me face-to-face over the past few days that were either relevant enough to repeat, or stupid enough to repeat so you-all can get a laugh.

Let me just say that one of my biggest pet-peeves is when people pick and choose what suits them from the Old Testament and say the rest is just “old law”.
No, I do not believe that God is punishing New Orleans because of their sin. The Bible is very clear in that God does not punish people and that Jesus paid the price for our sins. My cousin, who also happens to be an incredible writer (obviously it didn’t come from the side of the family we share), made a valid point. “This vengeful God they envision was the same God who was nearly persuaded to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of just a handful of good folks, could they have been found. My guess is, New Orleans had at least that many.” The day of judgment is coming – it’s not here now.

New Orleans has been a corrupt place for a very long time. I fail to see, however, how they are more corrupt than what goes on in Hollywood every day. Could it be that they are in the deep south – the “Bible Belt”, if you will, and we expect more from them? The same things that go on in New Orleans have been going on elsewhere in this country for a very long time. If this was a vengeful act of God, then why hasn’t California broken off and floated out to sea yet?

Whose fault is it?
This is probably the topic that irritates me the most.
First, where I come from there is an old saying, “crap rolls down hill”, meaning that when something goes wrong – the people at the top usually start going down through the ranks to see where the breach occurred. These days in the United States – crap seems to roll up hill. For some reason, everything from hurricanes to the price of tea in China is blamed on George W. Bush. To that I just have one comment. Since when are our basic survival needs the responsibility of the Federal Government?

When I was 5 years old, Hurricane Agnes hit the United States with a vengeance. I lived in a valley in the mountains of Pennsylvania, on the bed of the Allegany River. I have very vivid memories of my father taking us out of our home by rowboat to the edge of town where my uncle picked us up in his pick-up truck. The water was all the way to the top step of our front porch, which would be approximately 4 – 4.5 feet off the ground. Looking back and knowing how far our home was from the pick-up location, my father must have been exhausted. I don’t know how many trips he made, but I do remember that he could not take all 5 of his children, plus my mother, in one trip. I believe he took us two at a time. In the aftermath, my parents did not look to the Federal Government for answers (and let’s face it – we were in good shape compared to the coastal areas). The people in the community said, “we need floodgates on this river!” and some time after Agnes, those floodgates were poured and remain there today. Hindsight is 20/20 and the local municipality took the appropriate steps to see that this didn’t happen again.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin has a lot of nerve blaming the Federal Government for his lack of concern for the citizens of New Orleans. While I understand that many of the people who did not evacuate were of little or no means to do so (thanks to the media for pointing that out every 5 seconds), I also understand that if I had no car, no money and no place to go and someone told me that a devastating hurricane was on it’s way to my house – my children and I would be taking the shoe-leather express up the highway to the first “road-side rest”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the victims. That’s just what MY solution would have been, but as many blog sites have pointed out, less than a mile from the Dome where so many took shelter before and after the storm, there were some 150 +/- a few school buses that could have been used to remove approximately 9000 people from New Orleans. Ironically, that’s about the same figure Mayer Nagin is using to estimate how many may have lost their lives in the storm.

In Pennsylvania we get snow…a LOT of snow. Over the past 10 years, I can recall three blizzards that called for the local government to step in and deliver orders to insure safety for the communities finding themselves in state of emergency. The orders are always something along the lines of:

“There is too much snow on the roads to safely operate a motor vehicle, therefore it is unlawful for anyone to drive a motor vehicle, aside from a snowmobile or all terrain vehicle, unless you are a member of a police or emergency department. If you drive your car, you are breaking the law. If you are involved in an accident as a result of this illegal activity, there is no guarantee that emergency response teams will be able to help you”.

How the heck does this relate, mom?

If the local and state authorities in Pennsylvania have the authority to issue this type of order in my state – it makes perfect sense to me that Mayer Nagin could have issued a similar order:

“There is a hurricane headed to New Orleans. If you do not have the means to leave the city, we will remove you by school bus to a safer location. If you do not leave New Orleans and the outlying areas via the transportation the city is providing and choose to stay in your home, you are breaking the law. If you become harmed, injured or ill because you have broken the law and failed to accept the evacuation being provided to you, there is no guarantee the local authorities will be able to help you in the event New Orleans becomes flooded”.

It’s really quite simple. Nagin FAILED New Orleans. NOT God, NOT the Federal Government, NOT George Bush, NOT FEMA. The floodgates (which barely qualified to be called such) in New Orleans have been a time bomb for decades and their own local government’s failure to prepare and ultimately have a reasonable evacuation plan falls on the shoulders of one foul-mouthed cry-baby named C. Ray Nagin.

Enough said.

UPDATE: I just had to add this - while watching a news clip on New Orleans, the following statement was made, "Fires continue to break out across the region, which authorities say they are unable to contain due to the lack of water". Ok...maybe I'm missing something here, but the video showed a fire raging in the middle of a flooded area. Please correct me if I way out of line and misunderstanding the intricacies of putting out fires when I suggest that they should use the stinking flood water!!!


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  • At 1:52 PM, September 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had wondered the same thing about using the water that seems to be everywhere to put out the fires. Apparently, given every place the flood water has gone, it's likely to contain solvents, fuel, motor oil, and other substances that won't help put out a fire.


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