Raving Conservative


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricaine Katherine and the New Orleans Disaster

There are times when I hate being right. In 2004 I learned that New Orleans was built below sea level. Being a coastal city I warned my wife that if a major hurricaine ever hit the city it would be flooded out and become unihabitable, leaving the entire population to seek refuge and build new lives elsewhere. Hurricaine Katrina proved me right, and I couldn't be more unhappy.
New Orleans is one America's truly great cities. It's older than America itself, founded during colonial days by the French as a port city, the site chose because of its location at the mouth of the Mississippi River. It has prospered, and until now, despite the poor choice made to build a city on the coast, in a swampy area, below sea lvel, it has avoided major disasters while providing a hub of commerce to middle America, and fostering a unique culture that has influenced American society.
Considering its location it was only a matter of time before the city was destroyed, but that does make it any easier to watch, and it is does not offer any comfort to the half a million refugees from the devastation. It rends my heart to all these men, women, and children of all ages and ethnicities suffer in the heat without food, water, or shelter. It sickens me to think about all the people who were killed, and the children, sick, and elderly who may die from exposure before they can be rescued or evacuated. I cannot go there myself to help, but I want to encourage every American to donate at least twenty dollars to a good relief organization so we can help these people. It doesn't sound like much, but we have over two-hundred-million people here in our country. We would raise over $4,000,000,000 to help the refugees if we did this. So if everyone pitched in, a little bit would truly go a long way.
As bad as this disaster is there is a ray of hope. We Americans have an indomitable spirit. In the coming months many of the refugees will build new lives for themselves in other towns and cities, starting afresh with two boosts, one from the charitible actions of their fellow Americans, and one from the insurance money they will probably get. I say probably because a disaster of this amgnitude may bankrupt some insurance companies, in which case no money will be given, and personal charity on the part of every American will become all the more important. Eventually, New Orleans will be rebuilt, and many of these refugees will return home ready to start afresh. This is the American spirit, and it one of the primary things that makes our country great.
It is good that the federal government is stepping in with aid. Our government is supposed to serve the people. While I do not advocate government run charities, favoring personal contributions over government beaurocracies, I do believe that one job of our government is disaster relief. It alone has the resources to send enough manpower and materiel to a major disaster quickly enough to make a key difference. With major disasters speed is often the deciding factor between life and death for many people.
I have spoken to the Red Cross. They gave an initial estimate of ten-thousand volunteers needed right now with that number likely to grow to fifty-thousand needed very soon. If you can, please volunteer your time to go and help out. Every person working search and rescue, delivering food, water, and medicine, and clearing out the bodies before they can cause widespread pestilence is a person who saving lives. These volunteers, sacrificing their time and incomes for their fellow man are heroes, join them, fund them, do your part.


  • Connick Says New Orleans Will Rebuild
    In an interview Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, Connick compared the rejuvenating spirit of New Yorkers after the Sept.
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