I typically don't watch a lot of TV, but I love to cook and having it on in the background isn't all that bad. I was making dinner last night and popped on the O'Reilly Factor. What was I making, you ask? Well, I didn't know it at the time but I was well on my way to making what turned out to be perhaps the very worst tuna steak I have ever sunk my teeth into. If I had to describe the taste I would say it was like eating seasoned cardboard.
I used to watch Bill O'Reilly all the time, back when I had time and cared a lot more about the world around me. The show still has good entertainment value for me, I was pleasantly surprised to find. A guest appeared that really got my goat, though. I can't remember what she did for a living, but she was railing that the slow response to Katrina was due to the fact that the government was being covertly racist. She asserted that the response would have been much faster if the people were all white. O'Reilly pressed her and very simply asked, "what proof do you have?" I have discussed the matador style of debate before and lets just say that she wouldn't look so good in those funny shoes that the matadors wear. No proof of anything, of course.
Which brings me to Katrina, yet again. When Katrina wrecked New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast, I wrote a very lengthy series on the disaster. To this day I think it is some of my best work (for thoughts, not necessarily style) and if you have some spare time you can still access those essays in the archives. But then I read "Tribes" by Bill Whittle. That pretty much brought to an end all of the essays, thoughts and anything else anyone had to say about the tragedy that was Katrina and human nature. If you haven't read it yet, please do - I will be referring to it in the rest of this post. Across the blogosphere everyone basically said that there isn't much to add anymore, Whittle wins. That includes myself.
I think a lot about the aftermath of Katrina and Tribes. To this day I don't understand why those people couldn't WALK out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Even going at a very slow pace of 2 miles per hour you would make it in only a couple of days. If you don't believe me, next time you are on a treadmill set it at 2 miles per hour - it really is slow. The thought process must be that they thought that the government will take care of them. Has anyone learned any lessons? This years hurricane season will tell the tale.
Bill Cosby is most certainly in my tribe. Did you hear what he said yesterday at a rally? He aired all of the dirty laundry that the racial hucksters like Al Sharpton don't want you to hear.
Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children," he said. What kind of a village is that?
Bill Cosby says it like it really is. What kind of people eat their young?
The New Orleans police department has been convicted of confiscating the personal property of those who rode out the hurricane in the form of firearms. My tribe will never surrender their means of protection at any time. Let me see the logic here - we have a superdome full of people eating each other, virtually no law and order and the police want me to surrender my means of protection so they can do nothing to protect me. Forgive me for laughing out loud. I have purchased a junky rusted handgun to give to the police if they come calling someday for my firearms. Here you go officer...have a nice day.
Here in the Midwest we seem at times distanced from the misery that Katrina wrought so many miles away. But it can happen here in other forms. Dirty nuke. Disease. Tornado. Flood. I will be ready to defend myself, my family, my property, my tribe.
Perhaps I worry too much about doomsday. Apparently many in the New Orleans area didn't worry enough. Do you remember those lines to get out of there for the busses? Do you remember the looting, the rioting, the misery, the loss of hope? This tribe didn't band together and depend on itself. This tribe does not know how to look INWARD for strength. This tribe has sucked on the teat of the government for it's whole existence and continued to do so when disaster arrived. This tribe was helpless at the exact time it needed to help itself the most.
I saw very few politicians in the hurricane zone passing out water or food. I did see a lot of news conferences by politicans that said they really cared about the people.
I saw, after an interminable delay caused by Gov. Blanco, the military sweep in with force (armed force, that is) and restore some type of order. I saw an Army (or was it Marine) General tell people they were full of shit and that we are going to get this fixed and right now. I saw ashamed New Orleans Police set down their weapons in front of the General quaking in their boots.
What portion of America is ready to look INWARD to themselves I wonder aloud. To clean up their own mess, to right their own ships, to take care of their personal Katrinas? We will see when the next disaster hits who can, and who can't. I have my hunches. I hope I am wrong.