A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Here's one that will probably get me in trouble.

Listening to people here, many are comparing the aftermath of this hurricane to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. There are few similarities, in my opinion.

The 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by a hand-full of well-financed hypocritical, islamist nut-jobs intent on destroying America because they believe they are at war with us because we believe that freedom is an appropriate way to live. The attacks, even though the outcome was spectacular, if unintended, were rather isolated and small scale. The affected areas were only the combined size of a few city blocks. The death toll per area was very dense and limited. People were murdered in the Trade Centers and the Pentagon, but people a few blocks over were only scarred emotionally. 9/11's greatest tool was its surprise. It woke us from the 90's induced torpor of self-absorption. That hangover, and the immediate fear of repeat attacks caused much of the nation's grief.

Looking at the aftermath of the hurricane, I'm struck by the completeness of it. The affected areas in all the states that were hit must total hundreds, if not thousands of square miles. The population of Baton Rouge, nominally a city of about 250,000 has seen a 100% increase in less than a week. Paris, TX a city over 8 hours away is packed and starting to integrate the refugee children into their school system. Houston, thirteen hours away, is seeing the same thing.

The entire city of New Orleans may be uninhabitable for months. We are unfortunately not going to be able to throw hundreds of well meaning and talented union workers into a hole with heavy equipment and celebrate in seven months when everything is cleaned up and life can go on as it had.

The biggest problem with this latest disaster is there is no one to blame. (Sure, the morons say, "Look! Global warming! You should have signed the Kyoto treaty. STFU. Your own hot air is more damaging to the earth than anything the US currently does. You don't like it here, GTFO.) With 9/11 it was pretty easy to determine the root cause and attempt to put systems in place to prevent it from happening again. (And, thank God, it hasn't.)

Had this damage been caused by a bomb, we'd know what to do. We, as a nation are good, and creative problem solvers. But since this mess is the result of Nature being a Mother, all we can do is throw money at it and pray. There is no one to discipline and nothing to do to try to prevent future hurricanes. Hell, for all we know there is another one on its way to do the same thing.

So, what the hell am I talking about? I know this rambled and probably didn't make much sense, but my overall point is I think this current situation will prove to be significantly worse than 9/11. Even holding the death tolls as equal, there will be more widespread physical and psychological affects for the people of this area than there were in New York. People aren't going to be scared to fly because of this, people aren't going to start strip-searching old ladies at airports because of this, but there will be hundreds of thousands of people who will never be able to go home.

In New York, about 100k people had to move their jobs somewhere else. The attack occurred at work. Here, the bulk of the damage is residential. These people all lost everything and will not be going back.

That is why I, as someone who was equidistant from each tragedy, believe that this hurricane will prove to be a greater national disaster than 9/11.

(Of course, I am in no way suggesting that we, as a nation, alter our set course of action related to finding and killing islamist-terrorists, wherever they may be. That is still the first priority for our National Security.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good random thoughts. Language, language, language!

10:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home