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August 31, 2005

Normal blogging will continue...

This space (at least for me) is *not* going to become "All Katrina, all the time." We'll leave that to the news bloggers, bloggers in the area, and those who have sources.

That shouldn't be taken as we don't care.

We've got the donate button up, in a post *and* in the sidebar, and SWWBO and I have made, and will continue to make, targeted donations. And while we'll leave the Project Valour-IT button up, we won't be flogging that as hard now, either. Frankly, the rescue and clean-up from Katrina is more important in the near term.

Food for thought, however. As someone who sits on the board of a significant local charity, it will be a chore keeping up the needed cashflow to support the day-to-day local work, as people's charitable dollars understandably and usefully flow to the South. I'm not going to make the job any harder!

That's a simple reality.

Consider that as you scrape up spare change for Katrina victims - the needs in your local community don't diminish. If all you do is skip a movie, DVD rental, night out a month, you don't sacrifice much at all, and the local charities can do great things. Keep that in mind - there are a *lot* of people who will be sacrificing and suffering in the weeks and months ahead - but most of you who read this won't be among that group. $5 in the right place goes a looong way in the right hands. Don't just give to the disaster de jour, give locally! And yes, give more than you are used to. We're at war, we've just had the equivalent of an Army march through Louisiana and Mississippi, and you *still* have the local day-to-day needs of your communities. How many of you look at your parents/grandparents through the lens of the "Greatest Generation"? You know what made them that? They went through trying times, pulled together, and did what needed to be done. Guess what? Now is that time for us. We may not have to give as much as they did - but we should certainly give.

Oddly enough in my experience - the people who will feel it the most... also give the most, sometimes in absolute terms, not relative.

That said, I may, however, have my head explode over tripe like the German newspapers and government officials are putting out, or this little gem from RFK, Jr, where he blames Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, for the hurricane. *As if* the Kyoto Protocol is a magic wand that if ratified, would have *prevented* the hurricane, or reduced it's severity, this early in Kyoto's intended lifecycle... not that the purported effects at the far end of the Protocol are all that impressive. The Protocol is more a piece of 'feel good' legislation that has costs far outweighing any putative benefits accruing therefrom, than it is a piece of good science.

The staggering damage totals have far more to do with the increasing urbanization of the coasts, and the gamble that New Orleans has *always* been, than it is a product of the weather patterns.

A lack of historical perspective on hurricane patterns over time, and local government happy to have the people and tax revenues, land owners and developers wanting to make a buck - but no one willing to impose any sane restrictions on type of construction and where construction will be allowed. I'm all for the free market and making a buck - but sometimes we need to take mother nature into account, too - or not whine about it. I live in tornado country, and my house reflects that reality, as does my insurance. Just sayin' that when we rebuild, let's do it smartly, and not just recreate what we had in place last Friday. Let's rebuild it with an eye to yesterday...

If we aren't willing to impose any controls, then we get to pay the piper. Of course there's a balance to be struck... but short-sighted local and state public officials who can't see beyond the next election - and the public which punishes them for trying, are as much to blame here as the President. And guess what, Bobby Junior... they haven't all been Republicans.

Update: As Boudicca notes, even though New Orleans is going to be the spotlight, don't forget Mississippi and Alabama.