New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina has stirred up a lot of emotions and thoughts.

I am profoundly sorry for what the residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida went through. It doesn’t make the news as much, but entire Mississippi and Alabama towns and neighborhoods were completely wiped off the map.

I am extremely disappointed with the human filth that is terrorizing those stuck in New Orleans. It’s OK to loot to provide for basic needs when there is no other way. However, it’s felonious to steal luxuries like TVs, used cars, DVDs, drugs, jewelry, designer clothing, and so on, and it’s especially pathetic that New Orleans cops were caught in the act at the Garden District Walmart.

I am glad that many parts of New Orleans were not flooded. Look at this aerial photograph. Where the streets turn black, they are flooded. Much of the best stuff is not flooded: Garden District, Audubon Park, Tulane University, the St. Charles Avenue corridor, the French Quarter, and a lot of downtown.

Before you call me elitist, think of what this means. Billions of dollars are going to pour into that city to rebuild it. What parts will get the most attention? What part needed the most attention in the first place? The parts that got the most flood damage. It is fortunate that the main tourist areas are intact: it keeps a key economic engine alive.

I am disappointed that shutting down most of New Orleans isn’t on the table. Even if it is rebuilt, New Orleans will remain a disaster waiting to happen. Abandoning large swaths of the city should be considered to avert another disaster.

I think the New Orleans mayor is an idiot. He comes across as a dope, and he whines like a spoiled brat when things don’t happen exactly as he demands.

I think the media has done a terrible job. Pictures have been extremely slow getting out. News stories have been rife with bogus information. All major news outlets seem to keep showing the same AP photos again and again and again, and it takes an incredibly long time to get new photos out. There is little excuse for this except for poor preparedness. The New Orleans Times-Picayune is the best news source so far. Drudge Report has been especially obnoxious. Matt Drudge keeps linking day old articles as if they are breaking news.

I am really tired of conspiracy theorists who say that high gas prices are due to some mythical oligarchy jacking up prices. Gas prices were already high because of high demand, political instability, and inadequate refining capacity. Now that a chunk of US refining and production capacity is offline for who knows how long, gas prices are naturally increasing. The oil and gas industry is one of the most transparent industries out there. High school economics fully explains the price situation. There’s no conspiracy!

I am glad we visited New Orleans last June!

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