Waves of empathy

I don’t usually go in for even a semi-poetic tone but the images
of NYC
and Atlantic City have got me thinking about our little thing here
in NOLA 7 years ago. 7 years? It was really another lifetime but whenever
there’s a big disaster-especially in a place I’ve spent time in like Manhattan-my stomach gets knotted and my expression gets grim.

There’s always an adrenaline rush before and during a massive system like
Sandy. The next day comes the hangover, when the scope and extent of the damage
is clear. This is a particularly strange event since it started as a tropical
system and then morphed into a blizzardy, wintery mess. I don’t envy folks who
are digging out from this system having to deal with cold weather. Sarcasm
alert: Climate change obviously does not exist.

There seems to be an immutable rule that the worst parts of a storm system
come in after sunset in order to be even scarier. Another immutable rule is
that some teevee journos will do and say stupid things. Southern Beale has a
few scathing
words about that over at her joint.

Speaking of stupid things said on teevee. It is *not* better to lose power
when it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk than when it’s cold. It’s
just different. As someone who lost power for 5 days after Isaac, I know that
from personal experience. Either sucks the big one and there’s not a whole
helluva lot you can do about it but be patient until you’re not.

Athenae has posted a bit about the politics of the Frankenstorm but I’ll
chime in too. I usually cannot stand Joisey Governor Chris (STFU, I’m the Gov)
Christie but he has called Obama’s
response thus far “outstanding.”

Thanks, Governor; good way of hedging your bets and looking towards 2016 if
Willard goes down. Of course, it helps when the Prez appoints the most qualified
person in the country, Craig Fugate, as FEMA director. One final thing about
Christie: lose the shirt with Chris Christie, Governor stitched on it. It looks
like a maternal camp name tag or something. You don’t wanna look like Edward
Norton in Moonrise Kingdom, after all.

Willard is already circling around how to pretend he hasn’t called for
FEMA’s functions to be returned to the states or, better still, in his view, to a
private company. Bad idea. We saw enough FEMA crony capitalism in post-Katrina
New Orleans to last a life time.

I assume that Mittbot’s plan is to lie, deny and later vilify his way out of
the corner he painted himself into. It’s what he does. At the risk of sounding
like a religious bigot, it’s classic male LDS behavior. When Joseph Smith got
caught with his pantaloons down, he had a revelation from God that plural
marriage rocked. In the 1970’s when the Mormon church was under fire for its
racist policies, then President
Spencer Kimball
had a revelation from God that they should change that.
It’s a form of self-righteous denial that has served Willard well. It’s the
main reason why he seems to *believe* his whoppers. Politico just believes them
because they’re biased and want the drama of a close election. There’s enough
drama without that right now, y’all.

Enough nattering from me for now. I hope all my Northeast peeps are high and
dry. Just gird yourself for a long, slow process and be thankful that
the infra-structure in Joisey and Noo Yawk is better than that in NOLA. I
somehow doubt that we’ll be able to comply with Springsteen’s request to
“meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”

6 thoughts on “Waves of empathy

  1. “Willard is already circling around how to pretend he hasn’t called for FEMA’s functions to be returned to the states or, better still, in his view, to a private company.”
    Please don’t forget Michael Bloomberg refusing FEMA help in his speech 48 hours before the storm. He was wrong about everything, from hospitals to cranes to saying it wouldn’t be a storm surge, but a “slow” water rise.

  2. As I read this story, CNN is playing Romney’s 2011 tape. I’m guessing that he will do like the 47% tape (deny it for a couple of days even though it was a TV tape of a public speech/debate. His supporters post denials all over the net to raise reasonable doubt. Then after a few days of denial and ‘poorly worded’, finally cave in and say he didn’t mean that).
    To me, I hate the coverage. I hate how callous this sounds. Any big storm is a danger and should be taken seriously. I heard this AM something like 19 confirmed dead. Levee breeches in NJ. I understand that this is with an occluding front. I understand that the infrastructure isn’t as ‘hardened’ against this as in the SE (where a landfall at 80 mph sustained winds, 12 to 13 foot storm surge, and the amounts of rain that have been dropped is fairly common). That there are a lot of tree limbs that haven’t been blown away from previous storms. etc.
    But I really resent the news clowns reporting this as the worst ever (because it sounds good from the movies, a lot calling it the ‘storm of the century’). Admittedly, the media clowns would be out in force for storms in the SE also.
    ***Either minimizing or exaggerating the storm has the effect of making people not pay proper attention to future storms.***
    Bloomberg minimizing the storm and news personalities getting out in the storm to get yet one more photo op of the beach in driving rain lead to people going outside when they should be holed up.
    Calling it the storm of the century leads to complacency regarding future storms. After all, I lived through the storm of the century, so why bother about future storms. Sure the levees broke and flooded 3 cities, but it was the storm of the century so it isn’t worth investing the money to strengthen the levees. etc.

  3. Thanks for the mention! I’m not worthy …
    Seeing pictures of the East Village under water really brought back memories of Nashville’s 2010 flood, when our Cumberland River overflowed and our entire music district was under 15 feet of water. I guess every disaster is personal.
    It always annoys me that “climate change” is the issue which dare not be named. It’s become so toxic a topic (thank YOU Teanuts!) that outlets like CNN would rather fearmonger about global financial collapse because the antique wood floors of the NYSE will have to be replaced then discuss how human activity has caused this problem in the first place.
    On the upside, as more of us experience weather disasters like floods and hurricanes, perhaps we’ll have more empathy for our fellow citizens out of state. One thing you don’t hear anymore is “well, why should MAH TAX DOLLAHS pay for YOUR insistance on living in an earthquake/wildfire/tornado/blizzard/flood zone…” We used to hear that a lot, remember?

  4. New York has had two “storms of the century” in two years. In biology, when a mutation takes hold, it’s no longer a mutation. I think storms like this are probably the new normal. Bloomberg, for all his many flaws, at least grasps the ramifications enough to be asking out loud today whether Manhattan needs a levee.
    It’s a step. It’s a small step. But it’s a step. And as my friend @pourmecoffee tweeted, if you liked the fine work of our weather forecasters in the days leading up to Sandy, you might also enjoy the work of our climate scientists.

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