All right, it's come to my attention that my criticism of Katrina victims may have been applied too broadly in the opinions of some readers. Let me be perfectly clear: when I criticize the victims of Katrina, I am specifically referring to those in New Orleans proper who for whatever reason CHOSE to not leave, depending instead on somebody else to save them. Then, they turn around and elect the same derelict bums who failed them the last time. My criticism should in no way be applied to anybody else. My heart goes out to everybody, from Alabama, through Mississippi, LA., and Texas who, through no fault of their own lost lives and property. Don't get me wrong, I even hate it for the people of NO, but I tend to have less sympathy because they could have mitigated the impact of the hurricane on their lives by simply recognizing the fact that they live in a flood-prone cereal bowl and leaving.
-Are there some people in NO who would have gotten stranded no matter how efficient the evacuation could have been? Sure, somebody always gets left.
-Are my insensitivity barbs aimed at them? Of course not.
-Were there thousands of able-bodied, car-owners who chose to stay despite a weeks notice of a cat-5 hurricane because they'd made a lifestyle out of depending on others for their survival? Yes.
-Do we as Americans have an obligation to help our fellow Americans in some way, regardless of a dumb decision they may have made to get themselves in thier predicament? Yes.
-Did the culture of lawlessness, dependence, and shiftlessness on the part of residents of NO contribute to their misery in the aftermath? Certainly.
-Should the government have given them places to stay? Sure, temporarily.
-Are the American taxpayers obligated to provide for them indefinitely? No.
-Should federal tax dollars be spent to rebuild no-fault housing below sea-level in the 9th Ward so it can happen again? No.
-Should private developers and citizens be allowed to buy property in the flood zone and rebuild at their own risk if they choose? Absolutely.
-Was it George Bush's fault that FEMA didn't respond fast enough? No. Local resources should have been mobilized already. Nagin and Blanco failed their people. That FEMA was late onto the scene was only the last in a long, miserable list of failures associated with Katrina.
-Was FEMA inept when they finally got on the scene? Yes.
-Are the people of NO so miserably stupid and averse to self-reliance that they would reward Nagins' dereliction and faithlessness with re-election? Sadly, yes.
-Finally, is ANY of my criticism at all, in ANY way, directed toward ANY of the other thousands upon thousands of victims of Katrina across the Gulf Coast who did not choose to remain in the cereal bowl by the sea? Absolutely not!
OK, I think I've been pretty unequivocal here so let there be no more misunderstanding. If you have a question about any aspect of Katrina or you think I'm a complete jerk, feel free to let me know.