While Val and George and Robert and Alan and Florida Cracker and Amanda and SWLiP and Steve mop up after Hurricane Katrina, having apparently gotten through it all right, the damn thing is heading for the Gulf Coast, and via Instapundit, we can see that weather watcher Brendan Loy is live-blogging it from
New Orleans Indiana now.
And from this far distance in California, I marvel that the United States, again and again, gets the most humongous third-world-brand serieses – serieses! – of natural disasters, disasters that travel – hitting more than one city at a stretch, huge disasters no one can stop, over and over, disasters Europe rarely sees, and in our country, we get through it. Hurricane season is only about half over and a couple of big ones have already blown through. Last year, there were even more.
What awesome force they are! When I went to Fort Myers earlier this year, I was taken up the road to see the awful remains of Hurricane Charley – the stripped trees with all their tops ripped off, some of them whose huge trunks were snapped in half in the middle like matchsticks. Some were stripped bare like winter trees, all their leaves blown away. I saw the blue tarp roofs of houses still waiting in line for repairs, because there were so many roofs torn off. I saw the odd hovel that would be better off leveled that someone, somehow, wanted to save. Tear down and build up.
Every single year Floridians and other Gulf Coasters get through the horrendous, low-tech process of rebuilding.
But they rebuild as if they are high-tech, with efficiency, capital and urgency. This is the force of capitalism, enterprise and the American spirit in action.
How very different it is for my friends in Sumatra and Sri Lanka, still to this day devastated by the truly terrible tsunami. There, it’s not all about rebuilding and getting on, going on as is done in the states the way Floridians and Gulf Coasters do, except in the marketplace where the High Priest Vulture Elite don’t look too closely. Rebuild? No way.
Instead, international aid rackets have set up empires and fiefdoms already, entrenched throughly after a half year. That place will never be rebuilt. Billions and billions in aid, and somehow it will always remain a charity case.
Devastation everywhere, but such different responses.
Here’s to the heroes of Florida and the Gulf Coast who win over the vast forces of nature every time. This is an American victory.