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Katrina Landfall 120 hours later...

No doubt you have been reading and watching the news of the literal disintegration of a major city. Had the events involving New Orleans not unfolded, Katrina would be a page 3 article by now, if that much. Yes, the Mississippi coast got whacked, but they'll be able to pick up and rebuild, and what's the latest in Iraq?

But that's not what happened. Instead, Mother Nature decided she wanted to reclaim New Orleans, and the results are devastating. New Orleans is now a third-world country, and the citizens there are trying to cope with life in a third-world city such as Niameny, Lome, Port au Prince. No communication, no power, none of the basics of civilization as we define it today. New Orleans today is no different from New Orleans of the late 1600's at this point.

The fingers can be pointed, the blame placed at someone's feet, who will promptly kick it to someone else. Experts knew that this was a real possibility, newspapers reported on the possibility as something to be concerned about. Human nature responded in it's usual fashion however, and those reports were simply ignored or if they were taken seriously were given a lower priority.

It was also human nature to think that this couldn't possibly happen. Yes, the experts said that if a Category 4 or higher came that way it would do these things, but really, how often has that happened? Let the next person deal with that possibility. This attitude has always held in our elected politicians, never preparing for the absolute worst but only for what's most likely.

Mother Nature reminded us that those possibilities, those worst-case scenarios CAN happen, and WILL happen. She's very adamant in this respect, as she really does write the rules. We know Category 5 storms can occur. We know they can reach land. We know they can create massive swaths of total destruction. And we can at the very least either prepare for them or get out of their way. But we chose neither in this case, holding on to the false belief that this wasn't really going to happen, the storm would lose strength, turn in one direction or another...

All that we can do now is pick up the pieces. Will the city be rebuilt? Do we provide the kind of protection the city needs or do we 'nickle and dime' the protection thinking it won't happen again? Can we have a vibrant city again with opportunity for all, or will it simply sink back into the divisions of class and color that existed pre-Katrina?

No one knows those answers yet. What we do know is that there's now an entire population that's been scattered to the winds, and no one knows if they'll return.


Tal Greywolf

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