Skip to comments.THE LESSON OF KATRINA
Posted on 08/29/2006 8:27:05 AM PDT by shortstop
The lingering lesson of Hurricane Katrina is the great value of self-reliance and the terrible danger of dependence.
It was a huge storm. Possibly the largest natural disaster ever to hit the United States. It was the storm of the century.
But it taught us more about human nature than it did about the power of nature. More frightening than the storm itself, was the widespread personal failure demonstrated in its wake.
It was a peek into the entitlement culture and a sad display of the unwillingness and inability of some Americans to take the slightest responsibility for themselves and their wellbeing.
Certainly, this is a generalization. There were clearly many people and communities who stood up to the storm and its damage stoically, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and working tirelessly to clean up and rebuild.
But they didnt make the news.
Instead, the year since Katrina has been a national sob session. Its as if were all paralyzed by some giant fit of post-traumatic stress disorder. We have made whining an art form, and a years news coverage has been an endless rehash of just two stories the pathetic helplessness of individuals and the incompetent failure of government.
We have spent a year celebrating weakness, enthroning entitlement and demanding sympathy. It has been a shameful time, not for what the government didnt do for the people, but for what they seem too good or too lazy to do for themselves.
First of all, this wasnt the worlds first disaster. Certainly it was historic, but it was not unprecedented. Calamity has been humankinds near-constant companion. All peoples in all times have been faced with incredible challenges, large and small. Fires, earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, plagues, blizzards, droughts, famines and even hurricanes.
And through them all people have survived. They have dug deep and found in themselves the grit and determination necessary to survive. And if they didnt, they didnt. They died. And stouter, tougher people took their places.
Because we are a species of survivors. At least we used to be.
But the example of Katrina was something else altogether. Instead of displaying the best of human strengths, it highlighted the worst. Instead of showing peoples native toughness, it showed their selfish weakness.
At least it did on the news.
Countless sob stories talked about displaced people whose highest ambition seemed to be sitting on a cot in an evacuation center angrily wondering when they were going to get their FEMA trailer. Sometimes you didnt know whether it was the wake of a disaster or a giant welfare scam. People angrily demanded that somebody come do things for them.
It was the welfare mentality at its worst. A selfish, chip-on-the-shoulder sense of entitlement that recognized nothing but unreasonable desire. There was no consideration of the difficulty of relieving an entire region of the country, of the physical impossibility of serving so many people instantly. A sub-culture of dependent people, demanding instant gratification, bit the hand the feeds them.
Even now, after a year, the only politically correct perspective on the hurricane is the one regurgitated nightly by the evening news sob story after sob story of people demanding that somebody do something. While invariably the people involved have done nothing to help themselves or anyone else.
And dont expect to hear a word of gratitude.
After astounding amounts of taxpayer money were sent for relief, more hundreds of millions were donated by concerned Americans. And all that has been heard from anyone is a cry for more, more, more.
Compounding it all has been a relentless attack on the federal government with the seeming intent of damaging public confidence. That has presumably been done as a partisan media attack on President Bush, but it has come at the cost of national peace of mind. A years worth of trashing in the press has reduced public confidence in the governments ability to respond to a disaster by between a quarter and a third.
Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster.
Our response to it has been a national disaster.
Not the government response that has been the staple of a years newscasts, but the personal response which those newscasts so often showed to be shameful and failed.
Those who have done best in the wake of this disaster are those who were self-reliant, who took the cards they were dealt and made the most of them. The ones who worked and cleaned and rebuilt.
While those who were dependent, whose mindset was based on the assumption that others had an obligation to take care of them, have failed miserably. They have whined for bigger payments and more services, gotten both and insisted that it was not enough. Each new largesse has engendered not gratitude, but anger. Each new benefit has created more dependence and personal failure.
It hasnt been a pretty year.
We learned about the ravages of nature and the weaknesses of men.
At least according to what we saw on the news.
"While those who were dependent, whose mindset was based on the assumption that others had an obligation to take care of them, have failed miserably. They have whined for bigger payments and more services, gotten both and insisted that it was not enough. Each new largesse has engendered not gratitude, but anger. Each new benefit has created more dependence and personal failure."
This author NAILED it!
Lesson-----Chocolate Cities don't work well.
It's been a direct or sometimes indirect wall to wall bash of the Bush administration from the start.
Your right... I am sick of hearing anouy Katrina cry babies. I know there are many heroes but mdm wants to focus in on the down and needy who can not TAKE CARE of themselves.............. nbc is first in the blame Bush game..........
Thank you so much for posting this.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Media is as media does." They just can't wait to bash the administration on anything and everything, from actual faults (to which they have no better idea) to imagined ones (where only they see an imminent threat...which, ironically, is how many of them described Iraq prior to us going in there - not the President's description.
So we ride the wave, hopefully countering the lies and the spin, and continuing to contrast our plan for victory to the Democrats' plan for defeat - of Bush and the Republicans.
I think it's time for a "high-up" in the Administration to say what is painfully obvious to most of us, and let political correctness be damned: Perhaps we could finish the war much faster, and start to bring some of our brave troops home, if the Democrats were as committed to defeating America's enemies as they are about defeating America's leaders.
I suggest for next mardi gras they should make floats that really do float.
The only lesson of Katrina is that the next time there is a disaster and you see a news van and reporters, run the other way.
Reporters are the scum of our society, they are leaches, punks, agitators, bastards, political hacks, commie-vampires, elitist snobs, creeps, and should have their teeth knocked out whenever they approach.
the lesson of Katrina
is to put floodgates on the canals
Watching cradle-to-grave liberalism shred itself to pieces in the calming breeze of reality by FReeper BureaucratusMaximus 9/2/05
The lesson of Katrina is to clean up cesspools of Demagogic political decadence and corruption before they collapse into such weakness and helplessness.
No the lesson of Kartina is, never live in a gulf coast city surrounded by a lake, and a river 10 feet below sea level!
Another lesson is that the scumbags of the Democrat "mainstream" newsrooms will sink as low as they have to in order to smear Republicans by editorially morphing an agency like FEMA into a "first responder" while at the same time asserting that Bush and the Republican Congress reacted poorly (and subliminally suggesting that maybe the Republicans in fact caused the hurricane by their environmental policies).
Naturally, most of these Democrat newsrooms also went into full spin cycle to protect the Democrat mayor and the Democrat governor from responsibility, and no way would these Democrat newsrooms examine the welfare-state's role in the New Orleans circus as neighborhoods full of government-dependent illiterates flailed their arms in helplessness.
The Gulf Coast is in the hurricane zone. It has always been in the hurricane zone, and it always will be.
Katrina, as bad as it was, was not a unique event. Hurricanes come every year, several times a year. If you are going to live on the Gulf Coast, you accept this and devise strategies for dealing with it. If you are going to be a public official in a Gulf Coast community, hurricanes are a part of your bailiwick, just as surely as roads, sewers, and trash pickup.
Four states were hit hard by several hurricanes in close succession. In three of four states, people have set about to rebuild with little fanfare. They are essentially the same people spread across the region, but only in New Orleans, under the disastrous watch of Nagin and Blanco do we have this ugly example of what happens when unworthy people hold office.
The press are doing their best to re-write history, but in doing so they have to ignore the fact that New Orleans was only one city out of several hit, that Louisiana was only one out of four badly hit. And it was only there that the people went out of control, the police went out of control, rescue workers were denied entry at the governor's order, and the victims sealed in and prevented from escaping.
The Katrina situation in New Orleans was criminal, and Nagin and Blanco should be removed from office in shame. Instead their party and a dishonest press have rallied to their defense.
I'd like to buy the author a drink. He has spoken the truth. I can only imagine the hate mail he's gonna get on this one but it needs to be said, shouted from the rooftops. Well-written piece.
Another lesson from Katrina is that the Press will not hold Democrats accountable for their failure to perform their sworn duties.
How much money was allocated by the Federal, State, and local governments to keep the levies in shape?
How much of that money was diverted for more glamorous projects by the Democrats in the House and Senate, by Democrats at the State level, by Democrats at the local level?
How much oversight was actually given to how the money was spent (for example, there are at least 8 local Levy boards in New Orleans responsible for different parts of the Levy, each independently elected, each accountable to no one).
This cries out for an investigatory reporter to extract the information and lay it out for the public to see. But the Press is on the side of the Democrats, so it won't happen -- better to just blame George Bush.
Between New Orleans Levys, Big Dig Tunnel, and the lack of illegal immigration law enforcement, there is plenty of evidence that you can't trust the government to protect its citizens.
"Certainly, this is a generalization. There were clearly many people and communities who stood up to the storm and its damage stoically, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and working tirelessly to clean up and rebuild.
But they didnt make the news."
That's right. There are those still recovering from storms which occurred almost 2 years ago. Where I live, we still have flood damage from Hurricane Ivan in October 2004. But people aren't waiting around for a handout. They are getting themselves together. I'm really sick and tired of all this whining and moaning from and about New Orleans. If the other places hit hard by storms can rebuild, so can they. I think we've pumped enough money into NO's recovery. It's time they do their part and get their act together.
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