I’ve been thinking a lot about all the money we’re about to spend on reconstruction of New Orleans, and other areas. With Rita bearing down on Texas, and already causing at least one NO levee to break again, it seems that we may not even be close to knowing the full extent of this year’s devastation.
I have read a lot of different opinions out there, including those who say that we should remember the old days, when the federal government would not have assisted in any significant way. I first received this opinion via e-mail, but then found it online as well. The facts are questionable, as I couldn’t find evidence of any hurricane in 1927 in my cursory search. However, the underlying sentiment is a reflection of a broader opinion by many people that we should not simply dole out federal money in the form of blank checks to blindly rebuild the city. Some of the more conservative Republicans in congress are not entirely on-board with the President’s plans, either.
National Review’s John Tamny writes an interesting column, talking about the flood of 1927 that hit New Orleans (probably the disaster that the writer above mistook for a hurricane). In short, we need to take care that we are not spending money for political expediency, something that both Democrats and Republicans seem all to willing to do, trying to prove that their respective party is more sympathetic to the plight of gulf coast residents than the other. Nothing the federal government has done in the entire history of this country suggests that it is the best entity to re-construct an entire region. It will obviously have to be involved, but the less so, the better for all of us – especially the residents of that area.
I filled up the other day for $3.34 per gallon (premium). This was at a Costco in the suburbs – even regular gas is more than this downtown, so it could be worse.
Still, this is the first time in my life I can recall paying over $3.00 per gallon, except one time in Hana, Maui (thanks Novell), but they only have one gas station there and it has to take quite a trip to reach the town.
Friday was my brother’s birthday, so he had a party at his place in downtown Chicago. Beautiful night for grilling on the rooftop, with great views of the city.
On Saturday a friend and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry to see Game On, and exhibit on the history and future of video games. It was pretty interesting – of course right as you walk in, there’s Pong on a big screen. He beat me 10-8.
There were probably a couple hundred games there, ranging from arcade-style to console games. I hadn’t been to the museum in several years (I think since the Titanic came through). There were quite a few new things to see, including a completely re-done U-505 exhibit, which was impressive. Next time you have an urge to tour a German U-boat, this is the place to go, since it’s the only one left on Earth.
This’ll be short, sweet, and to the point, because I don’t feel like wasting much time disputing the irrational opinions of Internet polemicists.
I love how East-coast liberals have jumped at the chance to do some Monday-morning quarterbacking on the tragic situation in New Orleans. I firmly believe that none of these people have the slightest idea just how bad the situation is down there, just like I don’t. You can’t get the whole picture by watching television or reading the New York Times. Instead, they believe that the federal government possesses some kind of magic wand, and that they failed to wave it around quickly enough.
Come on, people. This is a catastrophe of biblical proportions. Lots of people are dead, and more will die. It’s going to be an ugly situation for a long time, regardless of how “prepared” the govenment was to deal with it, and regardless of the quality of President Bush’s speeches. The truth is that these partisan hacks are just finding another excuse to demonize the president and his administration because they hate him and everything he stands for. Wouldn’t it be great if they expended this much energy actually doing something to help the people in the gulf states?