It would seem that Bush doesn’t get it — the NY Times (and many others) reports that he went to New Orleans to wax historic about Helping Rebuid:
“I have returned to make it clear to people that I understand we’re marking the first anniversary of the storm,’’ he said, “but this anniversary is not an end. And so I come back to say that we will stand with the people of southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi until the job is done.”
I’m sure it galled him that he couldn’t somehow invoke the spectre of “nahn-elevin” as well. It would be utterly spectacular, from the White House’s point of view, to be able to conflate “tur’rism” with natural disasters.*
And as for “marking the first anniversary” — sheeyut, he didn’t mark the original event, so what right has he to grandstand now?
Meanwhile we’re reminded from time to time about the “courage” of NewOla residents in choosing to rebuild. I don’t think courage is the adjective we need; I think foolishness is more appropriate. I’m reminded of Swamp Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the castle that kept sinking into the swamp on which it was built — until the fourth construction attempt. Can we afford to rebuild NewOla three more times, or should we perhaps concede that:
- Since the city is below sea level; and
- Since the city is in a hurricane-prone area; and
- Since the deliberate rerouting of the Mississippi River (and its impending self-rerouting) is bad for the river itself, the gulf coast and, obviously, the city
…it makes more sense to abandon the site — or at least large portions of it — and realize that there is no way we’re ever going to win in the match against nature?
Or would that be “letting the storm win”?** Am I suggesting “appeasement” here? Am I (as Rummy might have it) using the same language of apologetics that was employed prior to WWII to excuse the encroachment of the Nazis?
Look, there are some places where it’s just stupid to place a city. On the side of a volcano is one. On top of a major fault line is another. Anywhere on any coast below sea level is a third. It really doesn’t take much intelligence or foresight to predict outcomes from such decisions — so what kind of mentality permits this sort of moronic behavior? Is it the same kind of thinking that allows idiots to own SUVs and eat food they know is going to kill them?
Should we have any sympathy at all for the outrageously cretinous?
* That such disasters are frequently referred to as being “acts of God” should sober believers, but of course facts can’t possibly outweigh The Truth, now can they?
** And before anyone wants to try to accuse me of an –ism or two, let me point out I’m suggesting shutting down the entire damned city, not just the places where poverty and ethnicity met in a truly disastrous coincidence.
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