Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Seven Things I Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, this past week, Hurricane Katrina came and passed through New Orleans.  I came to note seven observations over the past ten years of the event.

First, you could go and tell ten thousand people of a life-threatening situation coming to their edge of the world, advising them to leave now....and at least ten-percent will disregard your advice and stay.  Whatever advice or wisdom that you tried to offer them.....didn't matter.  You can offer up a brief prayer for these people and just say adios.  You don't need to be concerned about these people if they realize the impact of what you suggest.

Second, the news media is mostly there for the thrills and bogus human interest stories.  Nothing much has changed in the past decade.

Third, if the National Guard hadn't gotten it's act together quick and gotten to the Super Bowl to pull those people out.....several hundred folks would have perished on top of the chosen-to-go crowd.  Folks don't readily grasp that the National Guard activation comes up and it takes two or three days to get everyone at their post and get trucks to a designated point.  Still today, people don't realize that.

Fourth, about the last thing of value that you can get from a US President is some fly-over of a disaster area.  It doesn't solve anything or fix anything.  Send some general down and just order the guy to fix the problem and give him ten-thousand Marines.

Fifth, folks don't return unless there's something to return to.  Look up the population of New Orleans today....roughly 378,000 compared to 500,000 a decade ago.  Houston took up a fair number of folks, who've opted not to leave....they are happy in Texas and know the job market is better than in Louisiana.

Sixth, I learned that global warming and climate change didn't really bring a hundred more hurricanes after Katrina like all the experts for CNN and ABC/CBS/NBC predicted.  It was supposed to be an era of huge disaster episodes.  And it never came.

Finally, I learned that it's best to run your own disaster escape plan and not rely on the US government for much.

Wal-Mart and the AR-15 Episode

This past week, Wal-Mart decided that it will only carry guns that hunters and clay-pigeon shooters will operate. So the AR-15, it's top model of gun that it carried for a number of years....won't be carried.

This will mean that they basically carry an assortment of cheap shotguns, and a small quantity of bolt-action rifles.....which will generally mean a six to eight round magazine.

This comes after some court action and legal scares on Wal-Mart, triggered by aggressive lawyers working for various foundations.

Wal-Mart even went out and produced a simplified statement which hints that it still supports hunters.  As long as no mass shootings occur with shotguns, that attitude will continue along....but you can imagine the first time that some shotgun mass shooting occurs....the Wal-Mart business team will examine the whole firearms strategy.

So, what you got was the Wal-Mart "message".  They won't be playing because it's not in their interest.

Your reaction?  You can sit and chat about this.....get frustrated with the neighbor over a long talk of the subject....even slam your fist down once or twice in anger.  Or you can send Wal-Mart a "message" and thug lawyers.

If you need cheese, milk or bread.....go down to Piggly Wiggly and buy it there.

If you need new tires....go to your local tire shop in town and haggle with the manager over the price and just accept their tire deal (being $20 more expensive than Wal-Mart).

If you need cheap t-shirts made in Mexico....go over to Pennys or Sears and buy them.  Oh and by the way....remember all those cheap $7 packs of Wal-Mart men's underwear made in Mexico?  You could go to 'Flint and Tinder' and get US made quality underwear (for more money, I agree) and you will help to employ Americans, not Mexicans.

If you need tools, go to your local hardware shop in the town you live.

If you need gardening items or plants.....same deal, shop locally.

Give these people the business that you took away from them two decades and return to the people that gave you an honest deal.

If you need a gun or ammo.....go to your local gun-sales shop and buy off of them.  Tell the guy that you are a former Wal-Mart consumer but you want his shop and ask for deals.  Show your face three or four times a year and let them know you will stand behind their business.

For you folks who pushed on Wal-Mart and the foundations to get them to this position?  You'd best go as extreme as possible in buying off Wal-Mart and help support them while the other folks quit the business operation.  In twelve months.....Wal-Mart would start to ask questions and discuss closing down various operations because profit loss.

Remember, there was  time before 1980 where Wal-Mart didn't exist in your community and you used Mom-and-Pop operations, along with the local grocery operations.