What I see with a disaster and ensueing debacle such as hurricane Katrina is much more than just an end of the year reminiscence. New Orleans was a mistake waiting to happen and it seems as if we Americans are destined to learn our lessons the hard way. Broken state and local governments combined with a procrastinating federal government were as much to blame as any weather event to cause the ruin of this vital city.
What it also shows us (and the rest of the world by the way) is how vulnerable our big cities and economic infrastructure are. As I've pointed out in a previous blog, one small nuke in one of our major cities would reek havoc in more ways than just race and lost lives. Katrina sould be a wakeup call for all of us.
Southerners traditionally eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck. Sandra Lewis says black-eyed peas are good on the remaining 364 days a year too. She likes them served up in a non-traditional salad with rice, corn, and a spicy Southwestern dressing.
The Associated Press is reporting today that "one million cans of leftover drinking water" for hurricane victims were dumped,with much of it going to the Lake June Scrap Metals business in Dallas which drained the water into a local sewer. According to the AP story, most of the water was still good. The unused water had been stored in the Ft. Worth distribution center of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before being dumped. FEMA spokesman Don Jacks said, "We didn't need it anymore."
Another example of your federal government hard at work for you.
With so much attention placed on the War in Iraq, we tend to forget that 19,000 American soldiers are serving in the war in Afghanistan. 99 American soldiers lost their lives there in 2005, nearly twice the number who were killed in 2004. In a visit to Afghanistan in December, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld said that he had authorized a reduction in US forces in that country from 19,000 to 16,000 this year. He indicated that an increase in NATO troops will make up the difference. There is still no word as to whether we are any closer to capturing or killing Osama bin Laden who is believed to be in the region, i.e., if he is still alive.
Mayor Laura MillerScott Bennett picks Dallas' two No Votes on the strong Mayor issue as his event of the year for Dallas, the Texas Supreme Court ruling on Robin Hood as his event of the year for Texas, the appointment of John Roberts to Chief Justice as his event of the year nationally, and the December elections in Iraq as his event of the year worldwide.