Katrina gleanings

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Keeping up with the latest commentary on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

Mister Snitch! has several more informative links today, including one to a "fingerpointing-free timeline of the Katrina response" by Rick Moran. Moran lists what actions were taken, by whom, and when, and avoids questions of what might have been done but wasn't. Snitch's entry has the Readers' Digest version, and a link to a masterful Mark Steyn column on the culture of passivity and New Orleans' response to Katrina.

Louisiana native and New York resident Ken Wheaton compares the situation and leadership in New York on 9/11 with the situation and leadership in New Orleans now. He says that unlike NYC in 2001, NO lacks "a functioning political system," and he thinks what happened may wind up improving the lot of many of the poorest New Orleans residents:

I don't think any human on the face of the earth could have busted up New Orleans slums and fixed the city, not even Rudy G. And, as harsh as this may seem, I think this natural disaster may have served as a radical chemotherapy for one of the last big malignant tumors of extreme poverty in this country. Free from a useless government, predatory criminals, lack of employment options, and a barely-there-but-still-addictive social net, I expect a lot of those evacuated will indeed move up in life.

Oklahoma City's Downtown Guy notes that the city has a large supply of vacant housing in public hands and suggests fixing it up and making it available at a nominal cost to hurricane refugees. Some of the comments echo Ken Wheaton's sentiment, for example, this from "PapaJack2":

My experience with New Orleans indicates a lot of the evacuees wanted to get out of New Orleans, but lacked the means to do so. Many will never return. A friend of mine at Express Personnel said they were contacted by evacuees as early as last Friday looking for jobs in OKC. People with that kind of initiative are always welcome.

Speaking of personal initiative, Charles G. Hill links to Baseball Crank, who writes that Katrina proves there's a lot to be said for having the means to move yourself to safety.

The lesson here is that anybody who can afford a car is crazy not to have one, the dreams of bicycle-riding environmentalists and central planners the world over to the contrary. In addition to its other virtues, a car can get you out of harm's way without having to depend on the government in a time of crisis.

There's an interesting (and, for Dustbury, unusually heated) comments thread on Charles's entry, in response to his closing remark:

And there remain those who are anxious to point out that poor people don't have all these options. This is, of course, one of many reasons why it sucks to be poor, and if you have any ambition and any sense, you'll reorient your life so at some point you become not poor. (Waiting around for the government to do things for you, incidentally, is neither ambitious nor sensible.)

Oklahoma Baptists are ready to welcome 3,000 refugees at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center near Davis, but the refugees haven't arrived, and there's no word on when they're likely to show up. Yesterday the highway patrol had to turn away volunteers, who drove from all over the state to help.

Finally, the intrepid DirectNIC crew has more news and photos from the heart of New Orleans, where they have been keeping a data center operating through the entire crisis. They're offering to help those who have fled but have an office in their building or nearby -- they will check on your office or even try to hook up your computers into their network to allow you to access your data.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 6, 2005 11:26 PM.

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