Monday, June 30, 2008

An Interesting Observation

Caught this in an email thread.... as I watched the news coverage of the massive flooding in the Midwest with over 100 blocks of the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa under water, levees breaking, and the attention now turned downstream for when this massive amount of water hits the Mississippi, what amazed me is not what we saw, but what we didn't see...

1. We don't see looting.

2. We don't see street violence.

3. We don't see people sitting on their rooftops waiting for the government to come and save them.

4. We don't see people waiting on the government to do anything.

5. We don't see Hollywood organizing benefits to raise money for people to rebuild.

6. We don't see people blaming President Bush.

7. We don't see people ignoring evacuation orders.

8. We don't see people blaming a government conspiracy to blow up the levees as the reason some have not held.

9. We don't see the US Senators or the Governor of Iowa crying on TV.

10. We don't see the Mayors of any of these cities complaining about the lack of state or federal response.

11. We don't see or hear reports of the police going around confiscating personal firearms so only the criminal will be armed.

12. We don't see gangs of people going around and randomly shooting at the rescue workers.

13. You don't see some leaders in this country blaming the bad behavior of the Iowa flood victims on "society" (of course there is no wide spread reports of lawlessness to require excuses).


  1. hope and change, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change, rick cotter, hope and change, hope and change.

  2. The problem is very similar, the circumstances are quite different. The affected areas are sociologically polar opposites. That stuff aside, Rick Cotter has nothing to do with it.

  3. Anonymous10:10 PM

    the comment was meant to be a joke, but I'm taking the opportunity to point out that if you agree to the circumstances being similar and I think no one will disagree to them being opposites in social status either. With that said I think we could put less blame on the government for natural disasters which most liberal democrats did aka kanye west, sean penn, rick cotter. Yes we know its the easy way out. I think he refered to george bush as "a fucking idiot." I heard that Obama will be able to cure cancer, offer free gas to everyone, and stop a tsunami at any point. I have nothing against rick cotter, i think he is a very nice person thats speak his mind. Everyone else may be allowed to voice their opinon regardless if you believe in it or not. Kinda of like andy the brit saying that soccer is "the real football"

  4. But the circumstances *aren't* similar. There's little comparison to the Iowa floods and Katrina - do some quick research on the comparison between the two. Katrina killed roughly 2000 people and literally almost wiped a city off the map. I think the flood has claimed about five lives right now. The email is clearly a partisan rant without any real attempt at intellectual honesty. They even squeeze in a gun control argument! Now that is impressive. Of course, not as impressive as it will be when Barack Obama cures cancer, but impressive nonetheless.

  5. Hurricanes usually get front page before the levees break. That was the same day gays were allowed to get married in California. So, why didn't they feel God's wrath instead? This wouldn't happen if we didn't have a stupid ozone layer anyway. Who is going to take out that menacing ozone layer?!

  6. things are warming up a bit, who loves a good volley on the blog?

  7. The events are similar in nature however clearly not similar in magnitude. They were both large floods that took place in large cities in the US. They were both cities built on, around or over top of rivers and well within harms way (look the the flood plains people, if you live underwater you will get flooded). Both cities were protected by levees that failed. Both floods caused major pollution problems. Iowa due to dead animals, farm waste and agricultural chemicals, New Orleans because of city waste and city chemicals.

    Clearly the effects of the 2 events were different at best and I think that is what the email highlights. So which of the 13 points do people generally disagree with and why?

    Why doesn't someone with differing political views write up his or her own political rant (or copy and paste it the way i did) and post it. I am sure I would get as much amusement out of it as I did out of this one.

    wonder how many more people will get cancer due to the floods. maybe Obama is behind the floods. more flooding = more cancer = more need for somone who can cure cancer in the white house.

  8. I guess my point was that the *premise* of the argument is false, therefore you can't draw valid conclusions from it. Most of the points are simply meaningless.

    There's simply no comparison to the devastation and desperation of what happened on the gulf coast. Thus drawing conclusion based on a direct comparison proves and means nothing.

  9. Oh...I just thought of something. Maybe its fame and noteriety. New Orleans contains much more attractive things than Iowa. Hence, it is being shunned. Bangelina lives in N.O., for example.

  10. So it seems that Iowa has more responsible citizens than Nawlins. But you can't take away from the Big Easy's contribution to the world of food. I'll take a Po' Boy and some Jumbalaya over fields and fields and fields of corn anyday!

    This just in - I got hit by a hurricane,
    can't blame God for bringing all that rain,
    cuz I was drownin' in New Orleans,
    when a flat screen tv came floatin' by,
    the National Guard came in and shot me,
    to make sure that all the tv's were alright..
    - Don McClosky

  11. Random Rants...

    Comparing the two is difficult at best. The image that sticks out most in my mind is sandbagging around the levees. In New Orleans this was done after levees breached by giant helicopters (Google Image Search). Along the Iowa river this was done over weeks (Check out the AP story where Wit's picture was pulled from).

    Here's a quote "IOWA CITY, Iowa - A week's work of frantic sand bagging by students, professors and the National Guard couldn't spare this bucolic college town from the surging Iowa River."

    2000 Population Des Moines: 198,682
    2000 Population New Orleans: 484,674
    (There's a reason New Orleans has NFL and NBA franchises).
    2000 Population Cedar rapids: 120,758 (sorry got tired of linking).

    The Wikipedia entry on Katrina says it was the sixth strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic (third strongest to make landfall). 81.2 Billion in damages (most expensive ever).

    And again to the sandbagging point... Katrina hit land and a day later was gone. The flooding was a week long process.

    Some comments on levees... before katrina FEMA initiated a levee certification program. Essentially a lot of levees throughout the US were built 50 years ago and haven't been maintained. Perhaps even worse is the fact that FEMA doesn't have a good inventory of levees.

    The levees that broke in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines were recently "de-certified"... that is they were once shown as protecting people... and now are not. The point is FEMA is building up more knowledge about the country's levees. (I'm waiting for june 12th orthophotography for des moines to look at how good our mapping was).

    I don't know what the status of the 53 levees that failed in New Orleans was before Katrina, but that event really put pressure on FEMA (Mike Brown Resigned or got fired over this right?). So I would expect a better response from them in an emergency.

    The next big "levee disaster" on the horizon is Sacramento California. Do a Google maps search and check out the satellite view... they've got miles of levees (certified or un-certified???) running through their downtown and a giant reservoir upstream... and California is known for earthquakes. Let's see how they react when the big one comes.

    I guess my real beef is that everything gets politicized today and if someone doesn't follow someone else's agenda then a battle ensues. (I know I've said a similar line in other comments here before).

    How did Katrina impact people? For some it seems like it was a political thing (i.e. poor people are lazy and I don't want my taxes paying to support them... or the government is corrupt and purposely tries to screw people). There's no fine line or right or wrong opinion in my mind. The only mistake someone can make is assuming they know everything.

    Not sure if this explanation will work in a comment (man we need to put a limit of the size of a comment). I'd rather take a proactive position to solve a problem... getting angry at other people's problems / situations won't solve anything.

  12. E, I saw those stats on the size of the cities as well. I would have expected a larger city to be better prepared/able to handle a disaster then a smaller city.

    I think the dramatic impact of the Iowa flood not to be mistaken with the (not flood) that occured in the Big E, will be the residual effect on the availability of corn and wheat for the productoin of food. Lets hope the eastern midwest does not get hit with drout this summer and knock out the other 1/3 of this years crops.

    That asside I don't think anyone is espically Pat is comparing the devastation. Only the FACT that both were floods and in their own magnitude, disasters. Your opinion can be that the points are meaningless some might tend to disagree.

    I had no idea this post would spark so much interest. I will post more chain emails that are charged the way this one seems to be. I have not read or contributed to the blog this much since its inception.