Early on during this hurricane drama one of the threads on LP began a shrill call for people to go down and buy bottles of water to send to the victims hours after the storm came in. A time when little was known about conditions on the coast, except that people were in trouble.
That's the way we Americans tend to do things. We jump in without pausing for reflection, anxious to do SOMETHING, even it it's a meaningless gesture.
We might, with this storm and these gasoline prices shooting through the roof, have reached a point in our history where we simply can't afford that sort of behavior anymore. This disaster might well be a turning point, a maturing process for all of us.
In 2001, FEMA issued a report of the greatest threats to the US for the President. Here's a list of the threats:
1) A terrorist bombing of New York,
2) A major hurricane hitting New Orleans,
3) A major earthquake in California.
Take a breath, blog readers. Pause a moment and scroll back up above that ashtray. Read those three threats again.
Any gambler knows that sometimes a run of bad luck happens. Wise gamblers also know that when Mama Luck frowns she tends to keep frowning a while.
Two of those three threats have happened to the US, along with this gasoline price debacle. Anyone with half an eye can see things aren't going rosey for the US right now.
We have to feed, house, clothe, and provide medical treatment for these displaced refugees. We need to do this as carefully, prudently and frugally as we possibly can do it. Mercy also demands that we do as little as possible to add to the trauma these people, particularly the children, have already suffered. We need to get them into a setting as secure and settled as possible, as soon as possible.
But having done that, we need to pause and consider many factors. This country might well be facing a third disaster as devastating as this one.
We dare not exhaust all our resources behaving in our usual way in a devil-take-the-hindmost rush to rebuild areas located below sea-level. Such as New Orleans.
For once, we need to carefully consider the options, the sacrifices by all Americans, not just the anguished faces of the displaced. We need to examine every option and the cost before we rush headlong into a rebuilding project that places these people back in harm's way.