Wednesday, September 07, 2005


By Brandon

House Speaker Dennis Hastert has an interesting idea. In Speaker Hastert’s opinion we should not rebuild the City of New Orleans. Others have suggested that we should help the hurricane survivors this one time but then deny them insurance coverage or federal assistance in the event of a similar disaster.

Well, as much as it may pain my fellow liberals, I have to agree with Speaker Hastert. The fact of the matter is that the people of New Orleans, and the South in general, should have known better. They shouldn't have spent all that time, money, and effort building lives, careers, and communities inan area that is repeatedly ravaged by summertime disasters. But if Speaker Hastert’s idea is to be truly effective we cannot confine it to the borders of New Orleans. There are many areas ofthe country in which natural disasters are a part of every day life (or at least a threat at certain times of the year), and if Speaker Hastert and his supporters are serious, then we should at least consider expanding the idea to every American state and territory.

For example: The entire Southeastern United States, including the Gulf and Atlantic States, is frequently plagued by tropical storms and hurricanes. Why shouldn’t they be subjected to the same kind of treatment as the type Speaker Hastert has proposed? Why should New Orelans be the only area in the country to benefit from the Speaker's proposed policy? We could go back through historical records, determine which areas have been hit my devastating hurricanes, and begin an immediate and permanent evacuation of the given areas. Having done so, we could send in the bulldozers and wrecking balls, level everything, and pass legislation which would forbid future habitation by human beings. Nor should we stop at the southern coastal states. Certainly hurricanes have caused significant inland damage; tropical storms have undoubtedly bred killer tornadoes. Clearly, if we are to be consistent, we must include these inland territories as well.

We see a parallel problem in the Mississippi River states where entire areas rest in flood plains. Why should insurance consumers and tax payers be forced to subsidize the lifestyles of foolish people who develope emotional connections to the communities in which they live? If logic tells us that these areas pose a threat to life and property then said areas should be evacuated and never used by human beings again.

The Midwest and Great Lakes States pose similar problems, although not from hurricanes. Only a few weeks ago the southeastern corner of Wisconsin experienced horrific damage as the result of a tornadic super cell. Large portions Stoughton Village were leveled. In a sane society we would permanently evacuate the entire area of Stoughton, level the remaining buildings, and relocate the citizens to other areas of the state or country. Moreover, anytime a tornado touches down and inflicts significant damage (or perhaps even minor damage) we should permanently evacuate the area in question, refuse to rebuild the damaged structures, level everything, and forbid future human habitation.

We don’t even have to limit the policy to Wisconsin--nor should we. Many states experience severe tornado damage during the late spring and summer. Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas etc. experience weather conditions which pose extreme risks to life, limb, and property. Why should the American people pay hard earned dollars to support lifestyles which are constantly threatened by Mother Nature? In my opinion, they shouldn’t. If you live in an area which experiences tornadoes, or severe thunderstorms which might inflict catastrophic damage, you shouldn’t be burdening your fellow citizens by living such a dangerous lifestyle. You should be given a onetime shot, and if it doesn’t work out, you should be resettled to an area
that has not yet been damaged.

Nor should we limit this policy to tornado damage. We could apply the same theory to the West Coast,where earthquakes are a constant threat. Why should we wait for the proverbial big one? With each minor earthquake we could abandon the inflicted area, forbid future resettlement, and relocate the local population to other areas of the United States. Moreover, the Midwest and Northeast states are long overdue for a major earthquake. Shouldn’t we be thinking about future disasters while we’re at it?

And what about Hawaii? Has it dawned on anyone that there might be a killer volcano out there waiting to dump tons of ash and lava on an unsuspecting population? Do we really want to wait for the next Krakatoa before we take action? Of course not. Get those people out of there and don't let them, nor anyone else back in.

The same policy might apply to water deprived states such as Arizona, Mexico. Nevada, Oklahoma,and Texas. Let’s face it. The American Southwest was a disastrous area in which to settle large populations of human beings. Sooner or later they will run out of water and their greedy lifestyles will create a drain, compeling southwesterners to seek water from other areas of the country. Do we really want to disrupt the economic and environmental lifestyles of others who are taking care of their resources in a reasonable manner? I think not. Whenever there is a crop-threatening or cattle-threatening drought we could simply forbid future insurance of the area, remove the locals, and ship them--either willingly or unwillingly--in the same trucks in which we ship the longhorn cattle, and be done with the situation. Future human settlement in the inflicted area would be forbidden until the end of time and that would be the end of it--no questions asked. Never rebuild, never resettle, never worry.

Granted, there may be a few drawbacks. As more and more territory is declared off limits, we will be be compelled to squeeze a growing population into an ever shrinking territory. Indeed, experts have suggested that if Speaker Hastert's idea were to be employed on a national basis, we would eventually arrive at a point where approximately 300 million people would be settled in a two acre stretch of property in the State of Montana. But if we are to preserve the financial resources of well to do Americans at the expense of lower class, elderly, and disabled individuals, we must harden ourselves and prepare for the inevitable.

Only when we recognize that the all mighty dollar is more important than local culture and human, life, will we ever be safe and secure from natural disasters.

Editor's note

Obviously, the above post was intended as satire. But on a more serious note, someone should tell Speaker Hastert that New Orleans is one of our most active and important ports. Moreover, the historical and cultural appeal of New Orleans has always been somewhat magnetic, perhaps even a tad romantic. With that in mind, we also would like to nominate Speaker Hastert for a sepcial Asshole of the Month Award.


1 comment:

Ragnarok said...

It's a very, very difficult situation. The city has been declared destroyed as I understand it, which is a massive loss as I always saw New Orleans as a city that was near the top of my must-see list. Destroyed not damaged.

If the city was anywhere apart from where it is, there would be no question that it would be rebuilt. Those entire areas of business, commerce and residency will not be rescued. They were built on the worst possible spot in the area, below sea level, not just on a flood plain. St. Petersburg in Russia and much of the Dutch coast is the same, and will at some point suffer the same ultimate fate.

Sad thing is that if it was not destroyed now, it wouldn't have been much longer with the way sea levels are rising. Unfortunately it IS time to rebulid the city - sadly it will never be rebuilt in the same place unless the government will actually fund proper flood defenses and KEEP UP the funding rather than spending it on ill-fated trips adventures abroad. Otherwise the people will suffer the same way time and time again.

On another note, I take it you saw Laura Bush's 'unfortunate' comments about the refugees in Texas?