Monday, September 8, 2008


As I am writing this, I am watching the breathless coverage of Hurricane Gustav. One would think in viewing this that this was the first hurricane ever to hit the coast of Louisiana. Some of the networks, the cable channels, and the weather channel have wall to wall coverage of this storm. If I am not mistaken, storms have hit our gulf coast several times a year for all eternity. Some strong and some just so-so. So what is so special with this storm? I have a few thoughts on this subject.

This is the PC coverage requirement. This is the make up for Katrina. This is the media doing their mea culpa for previous sins. The sin of omission. When Katrina hit, several people died. Hundreds of homes were lost to flooding. The left jumped on this as an indictment of President Bush and the rest of America. We let the people of New Orleans down. We didn’t take care of them. We just let them suffer and die. We didn’t physically evacuate them. Finally we haven’t re-built their city.

You can think what you wish, but I deny responsibility. Consider this. If you lived in a city that was in the path of several major hurricanes every year, and you lived below sea level, and you were somewhat protected by some very questionable levees, and you didn’t evacuate when you were given plenty of time to do so, and you didn’t carry flood insurance, and you suddenly lost everything, how much of this loss would be your responsibility? How much of it should be mine?

New Orleans is supposed to be the city where the party never ends. Perhaps it is past time for the party if not to end, at least to be tabled until the adults have time to get their city ready to deal with the nature of their normal weather patterns.

This reminds me of the California problem. Every summer they have brush fires. Every summer hundreds lose their homes. Every winter rains bring mud slides and what homes are left slide down the mountain. It never fails. People, when asked, plan to re-build. Right in the spot where Mother Nature has told them that homes should not be located. Of course their insurance goes through the roof, but so does yours and mine. Ultimately we all pay for the excesses of the few. I am told that some insurance companies are trying to deny coverage for these multiple losers. I wish them luck.

Every Spring, in tornado alley, twisters spring up. Homes and farms are lost. People are killed. It is the nature of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana. Often other states feel the power of these storms. Still people choose to live there and to re-build. How much of their loss should be the loss of the American people? How much should be theirs because of their choices?

Nature, by its nature, isn’t very friendly to humans and other living critters. It is therefore incumbent upon us to take responsibility for our own safety and for the security of our possessions. Why should the people in Bangor, Maine be held liable for the irresponsible people in New Orleans? Why should the people in Fargo, North Dakota be held to account for the hillside dwellings in southern California? Whether through insurance or more probably through taxes we all pay.

I have this message for the political left of this country. The biggest flaw in your philosophy is the absence of personal responsibility. As more and more people grow weary of supporting the so-called wards of the government, this problem will only get worse. Those who pay are rapidly being overtaken by the people who receive. This does not bode well for the continuing general welfare.

To the media, you’ll forgive me if I change the channel or turn the thing off entirely. I have seen enough hurricane coverage to assuage my guilt for generations to come.

Ron Scarbro September 1, 2008

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