Friday, May 05, 2006

RITA AMNESIA

The Louisiana Blog Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated has an article examining why it is that New Orleans gets so much attention and the rest of the hurricane-devestated areas do not.

WE call it “Rita Amnesia” here in Southwest Lousiana and Southeast Texas. We had a hurricane, too. Communities are still speckled with the blue tarps installed by FEMA to protect damaged roofs. Entire communities disappeared in the storm surge. But the news is all about New Orleans.

Why?

Tanker goes on to quote from a news story by The News Star:

Sending a shudder through Democrats is that last weekend only 108,000 New Orleanians — just 36 percent — voted in the most publicized mayor’s primary election in history. That’s down from the 136,000 residents there who voted in the 2003 governor’s race.

If the New Orleans population does not grow, Gov. Kathleen Blanco and other Democrats seeking statewide office in 2007 will not be able to count on a 2-to-1 margin in heavily Democratic Orleans Parish to help them statewide.

Louisiana, like other Southern states, could become more of a Red state, with Republicans dominating the statehouse.

So in a day when EVERY Senate and House seat is important in the swing of party politics in Washington, NEW ORLEANS is suddenly VERY important. It’s not about helping people. It’s about assembling a voter bloc that will keep Louisiana’s dimmocrat senator and representatives in office.

A Commenter added this thought:

“…Meanwhile, SW Louisiana and SE Texas continue to get screwed by FEMA and the federal government…”

I doubt it will ever change. The news media couldn’t find any sensational stories about helpless citizens “forced” to suffer due to the incompetence of their local, state and federal governments.

I never heard or read any reports about the remarkable efforts of the local citizens to restore their lives. Nobody reported the amazing fact that evacuation of coastal areas was near 100%. Nobody reported that the emergency workers were amazed to find access to destroyed areas already accomplished by individuals without the aid of anyone but their neighbors. Nobody reported that thousands of churches and individuals, instead of complaining, pooled their resources and fed anyone that was hungry.

If another hurricane strikes in the near future, the damage will be less. The dangerous trees are mostly gone. The repairs to structures include upgraded wind loading, which will prevent damage. The power lines are now cleared, so the time to restore electricity will be be substantially reduced. Otherwise, the terrible conditions after a hurricane will become even less of a reportable event.

God bless all that helped and are still helping. I hope this area never loses its self-sufficiency or ethics.
-by Jessho

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