Hurricane Katrina: Not Helpful

By September 8, 2005Miscellaneous

We’ve said in this space before that natural disasters of the kind we’ve seen this past week bring out the best and the worst in people. Luckily for civilization, the good far outnumber the bad, but those helping hands are interspersed with looters and thugs. On the political level, for all the dedicated federal employees and volunteers, you have second-guessers, folks intent on assessing blame and the Bobby Kennedy Jr’s, sons of privilege who prefer to carp from the sidelines.

We noted below so many manufacturers and others who have stepped up to the plate and been enormously helpful in beginning the rebuilding process and helping those in need. However, there are the intellectual and political looters still on the loose out there.

When you watch the TV, see the scenes of your fellow Americans homeless and destitute, you want to help, don’t you? That’s what’s driving so much of the outpouring of charity that you see. Well, for, they were apparently moved in a different way. For their part, they plan to bring up some homeless people from New Orleans and deliver a petition at the White House. Today they called on all their folks to sign a petition and to join the protest. Isn’t it time for healing and help, not for protest?

Labor, for its part, has been conspicuously silent. The group that wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on political efforts with which their members disagree — and on fighting Wal-Mart — now see themselves shamed by Wal-Mart’s enormous show of charity. This isn’t a contest, but times like these do provide a window to the soul. The UFCW, who we’ve written about before, is intent on spending whatever they must to organize Wal-mart, spent about $2 million from their PAC in the last two years or so. Why not put the same amount into helping the people displaced by the hurricane?

Finally there is what can only be described as a stray bullet for John Roberts. “What does John Roberts have to do with the Hurricane?”, you might ask. We sure did. In this article from the Boston Globe, Rick Klein writes that Senate Democrats “will invoke the vast disparities in income and living conditions laid bare by the Hurricane Katrina disaster to sharpen their questioning of…John Roberts at his confirmation hearings next week.” Hmmmm…. John Roberts, hurricane victim. We think this is what’s known in the business as a stretch.

Can we please return to some civility here, drop the blame game and focus on helping those in need (which manufacturers are already doing)? A country is in need, victims cry out for help. Rhetoric and blame won’t get it done. Everybody stand down, everybody help.

And while we’re at it, can we please get Judge Roberts confirmed?