Tags: City | Crisis

City in Crisis

Tuesday, 06 September 2005 12:00 AM

Let's start with the charge of Global Warming. Liberals are obsessed with the idea of climate change. They used to worry about Global Cooling, but that didn't pan out, so they switched over to the warming side. So did warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico cause Katrina to power up? After all, she started as just a small storm. Well, ALL hurricanes start small. And like many things in nature, weather patterns are cyclical. We had a few years of lesser hurricanes, but we've had Katrina-style killers for as long as we have written history. In 1900, 6,000 people died in Galveston from an unnamed storm. Hurricane Flora got another 6,000 in 1963. Hurricane Fifi took 8,000 in 1974. Of course, we can name many other storms that have hit the coast from Carla (September 11, 1961) to Beulah to Camille. And Bush wasn't even president yet.

What about the charges of Mayor Nagin? Did he expect the government – as big and bloated as it is – to have every boot on the ground, carrying food, medicine and other supplies as soon as the wind stopped blowing? Not possible. The government reacted as fast as a behemoth can act.

But this was a much different disaster from the 9-11 attack in New York. In New York, the damage was confined to a small area and first responders were still able to act. New Orleans was virtually destroyed, making it harder to respond. The federal government was slower than we'd all like – but it was marshalling its forces, and Mayor Nagin's tantrum was not helpful.

What can you say to answer Molly Ivins, who hates President Bush, always has, and always will find a way to blame Bush first? Sure, Molly - Bush and Gingrich both plotted to cut off all funding to New Orleans so that a killer storm could wipe it out. And, of course, it's Bush's fault that so many National Guardsmen are in Iraq and not available to help in the current situation. The part of Cindy Sheehan is being played by Molly Ivins.

Earlier, we said that government is in part to blame, though, and here's how. This city's very location should have set off alarms at the state and local level. The federal government has fifty states to deal with, but the various governors of Louisiana and city councils of New Orleans over the years should have realized the danger and should have acted. Oh sure, they built levees and installed a system of pumps. Pumps! For crying out loud, you have a city built in a hole with water on three sides, and they were depending on pumps!

Perhaps a bigger failure is that of our government's socialistic system of education. People ask why more Orleanians failed to evacuate the city? And why, people are asking, are there so many looters?

We pulled out our trusty World Book (1988 edition, no less) and read about the social problems in the Crescent City. When the entry was published, whites had already largely moved to the suburbs. Poverty, slums and crime were rampant.

According to the entry, one-fifth of the city's families had an annual income of $5,000 or less. Most of these people had little education. Many of the poor were living in overcrowded, run-down housing projects. "High unemployment and crime rates especially trouble the city's black neighborhoods and contribute to racial tension," said the entry.

So many didn't leave because they were too poor to afford to. Many became looters because they were already thugs in the inner city. And yet, this isn't a third-world country. This is a nation with free government schools and affirmative action programs and welfare programs – all failures.

New Orleans was a city in crisis before Katrina. It was a city in a hole both literally and figuratively. With the help of the Bush administration, New Orleans will be rebuilt. In the rebuilding lies great opportunity. All Americans hope that New Orleans will find a better location, or some way to stem the power of future Katrinas. We should also hope for a great leader to emerge who will inspire the citizenry to pull themselves out of poverty and crime.

After all, New Orleans is more than just a city in Louisiana. It is an American city.

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Let's start with the charge of Global Warming. Liberals are obsessed with the idea of climate change. They used to worry about Global Cooling, but that didn't pan out, so they switched over to the warming side. So did warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico cause Katrina to...
City,Crisis
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2005-00-06
Tuesday, 06 September 2005 12:00 AM
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