Saturday, October 27, 2007

Human created disasters

Why do we have to stand in line feeling sorry for people who place themselves and their families in harms way and then get harmed?

I know, it's hard to move from a place where you grew up, so I guess second generation and above folks should get some of our sympathy? I dunno. I moved away from the place I grew up because I saw disaster coming in the form of immigrants from the big city moving in and was smart enough not to move someplace where I was likely to have my life destroyed by earthquake, flood, hurricane or wildfire. People will do what they have to do to survive. Maybe some of the young people living in vulnerable places are simply uninformed?

Why do people populate places like this? I remember looking up at the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans thinking "what the fuck?" I wouldn't spend the night in the shadow of a gigantic mass of water looming over me like that. . . WAY too creepy. And again, I understand that a lot of people get stuck in places like this, but wouldn't it be more cost effective for the gov't to work towards moving people out of harms way rather than supporting them within harm's way. . . or in the case of New Orleans, NOT supporting them?

How about these Southern Caleefornia morons? Did you see those houses that were burning? Most of them were mansions. Tennis courts, swimming pools, sweeping broad roof lines. . . these weren't poor people residences. Why didn't they have fire lines around their homes? Not too bright? How about fire proof roofs and siding? surely if you have a million dollar house you can afford a few tens of thousands of dollars in fireproofing. I have some in-laws who live in a forested area in Northern Caleefornia. They've got brush and tall pine trees right up to their wood clad house on all side. If a fire sweeps through the area, there will be nothing left. Would I feel sorry for them? Maybe, on some level, but geez, these are educated people who really ought to know better. So if their house burns because they were too stupid or lazy to clear the brush and trees from around their house and install a tin roof and aluminum siding, I'm not going to feel real bad for them or be in favor of any of my tax dollars bailing them out.

Have you ever seen the enormous mansion houses perched on hillsides in the Hollywood Hills? Oh, it's a sight to behold. When the first big one hits the West LA area those things are going to go down faster than a 5 dollar whore with a 50 dollar bill in her face.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is another place where insane people congregate. They have almost every foot of ocean coast line available covered in big luxury homes on stilts. These things are huge and beautiful, but the first big hurricane that plows through will take them right out to sea. It happens. If you look at the communities along the Banks, you will notice that they are all tucked into wooded areas on the sound side of the islands. People who live there aren't stupid enough to live next to the ocean. So how do I feel when a hurricane sweeps up the Atlantic coast and takes out a thousand ocean side half million dollar homes? Not very sympathetic. Even when I see the sobbing home owner standing in front of their vacant lot I gotta just snicker and think "moron."

So sorry if this makes me a bad person, but fuck these idiots who put themselves smack dab in front of catastrophe and then want our sympathy and tax dollars when catastrophe doesn't go around them. You gambled and you lost and I don't have to cover your ass.


Phoebe Fay said...

Why do we have to stand in line feeling sorry for people who place themselves and their families in harms way and then get harmed?

We do it because compassion is a greater virtue than self-righteousness.

It's that simple.

Leota2 said...

C'mon Sagacious,

Where's the love?

What about the great feast of diversity here? Isn't it wonderful that some love the mountains, some love the water, others love the dessert? And let's face it--no place on earth is safe from the elements. I live near West Virginia--we get tornados, blizzards and even had an earthquake a while back. It's called Mama Nature.

Frankly--if everyone lived in a "safe area" that would change soon enough. We affect our environment with overpopulation and natural resource abuse. Sad, but true, even if we consider our being there passive. Anyway--would you want all those displaced moving next to you and living in misery--longing for home?

So a lot of people just live with insurance and no fire breaks, or too close to the trees or water. They just wanted a happy life. Should we vilify them 'cause they are wealthy and didn't go for the fireproof roof--which in the end wouldn't have saved the house anyway.

Loss is loss.

And one day, even if you might not want to help rebuild my burnt, flooded, or blown away home--I wouldn't hesitate to help you rebuild yours.

We are all in the community of man.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

90% of people don't give a damn where they live as long as they can get a latte on the way to work and aren't more than 10 minutes from their closest McBarfBurger restaurant.
I know people who live in Caleefornia and they never go to the beach, they never go up to the mountains, they never go out to the desert. They bitch and complain as much as anyone and probably whine more.
Compassion? Ok, I have compassion for children whose parents put them into harms way. I've got lots of compassion and love, but I don't suffer fools lightly.
Tornados, blizzards, Earthquakes in middle America,. . . all random and hard to avoid, but listen up, I'm not talking about random stuff. I'm talking about fools who don't fireproof their house in a fire zone, people who build on the ocean's edge, bozos who build on steep hillsides in earthquake territory, etc.
There is a difference between being a victim and inviting disaster.

Leota2 said...

Obviously you feel--ummmm, strongly about this.

Well I guess in a perfect world all those POOR people in New Orleans who barely had a pot to piss in would have left years ago and moved inland to the very people who held guns on them when they tried to get past the bridge. Or maybe all of them (some relatives of mine-thank you) would have been welcomed wholesale to the wonderful red stated midwest and handed jobs, where someone would have told their ragged, homeless asses they were goddamned idiots to have been born in and lived their lives in New Orleans anyway.
Very nice.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

leota, "Strongly?" Naaaw. But I do feel it's an excersize in futility to support the relocation of people back into the same below sea level, naturally prone to being completely submerged locale they were in.
Why not relocate New Orleans?
What sense does it make to build a city 20 feet below the surface level of one of the biggest rivers in the world?
And yes, the way the people of New Orleans were treated was criminal and anyone comparing the fires of SoCal '07 to N'Orleans '05 needs their ass flogged.

C.Rag said...

I agree that people shouldn't live in places like that.
It was difficult for me to have sympathy for the Katrina victims. I felt sorry for them only for the ineptness of our governments, but when the wetlands are taken away what do you except?

I have major problem w/people who live in the desert there's a reason the Native Americans had were sparsely populated out there.
Gov. Bill Richardson mentioned a need for a National Water Policy. He wants water from the Great Lakes trucked down to New Mexico & Arizona. This solution is a quick fix to a problem. We are ignoring the real problem. People shouldn't live there. People shouldn't have green grasses & plants that aren’t native. People shouldn't have hundreds of golf courses.

AngryMan said...

Word. I'm sick of the news coverage.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

leota, You're absolutely right about the residents of many sections of N'Orleans that were left homeless with very little government help.
These people are no different from any other group of working class poor who have been relegated to a specific and confined area where they have little or no options.
Perhaps I should have been more definitive in who I was referriing when I talked about those who "place themselves and their families in the path of disaster."