Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some Perspective...

I just saw Duncan Hunter (our Representative and one of the 87 announced candidates for President in 2008) on KUSI TV. He said something that resonated with me. I can't quote his words precisely. The context was a comparison between the emergency response to our wildfires and the response to the Katrina hurricane. He pointed out that the people of San Diego had demonstrated their good character in their response to these fires – almost no looting, so many volunteers and donated items that the relief agencies are begging people to stop contributing, and the complete absence of the “victim mentality” so much on display in New Orleans. He's right, and I'm glad he took the time to made the point…

The map at right is much like the other that I've posted this week, except that I have added the light red cross-hatched areas that show the perimeters of ALL the fires we've had since 2000. Between those past fires and this current fire, it looks to me like well over 50% of the land in the county has burned in the past 8 years. Our home is in that odd-shaped corridor that has not burned at all in that time, trending roughly east from La Mesa. We've been very lucky…


  1. Comparissons between what is currently happening in San Diego and the events surrounding hurricane Katrina are ludicrous. There is no comparison between the destruction and the situation. It is bad here right now, but to compare the actions of people in both situations is simply absurd.

  2. Sorry, Jeff, but I don't believe the comparison is ludicrous at all. Just because the magnitude and type of disaster are different doesn't mean we can't compare the reaction to them – of course we can. In the face of disaster of any size, each individual chooses how to react. If I lost my home, it wouldn't make any difference to me if I was the only one, one of 1,500, or one of a million. Someone who decides to loot would likely make the same choice no matter what the size of the disaster was.

    So I find much to admire in the reactions of the people in San Diego, by comparison (whether or not you think it is ludicrous to do so) with the way so many people reacted in New Orleans.

    At this point, I have nearly completely discounted the news reports of what happened after Katrina -- the news organizations did an awful job there. I have read two very well-researched books on the Katrina debacle, and both of them relate some tales of heroism and good character in the aftermath -- but so much more of the opposite. It's a tale of corruption, hopelessness, crime, and many other things we think of as the worst of humanity. Both of those books were depressing reads.

    Someone will write a similar history of the 2007 fires in San Diego County. I don't know what that history will say, but I'm pretty darned certain it will not be full of corruption, crime, and the worst of humanity. Instead, I'm confident that it will be an uplifting history, one to be proud of. Not perfect, by any means -- I'm already angry about the CalFire bureaucracy keeping firefighting planes on the ground for three days -- but overall, it will be a story with much more positive statements about the human condition than negative.

    Unlike the aftermath of Katrina.

  3. We arent poor, we were not trapped in our attics for 3 days, we were not witout food, water, and toilet facilities. We were not denied exit to dry land by armed LEOs.

    Our atms worked, and once outside our immediate neighborhoods we could come and go as we pleased. our neighbors, mostly middle class and up were not damged by the fires at all, and therefore were intact to help us.

    None of those things were true about Katrina survivors.

    HUGE props to SD for how we as citizens respnded to this set of fires.

    To compare what happened to me, a mere evacuee, or D, my bud who last his home, to Katrina people requires obtuse denial of the scale difference between what that was, and what this is.

    I agree with you looter scum is going to loot, no matter what. Guess what? Our local deputy has already had to run looters off my block here in Jamul. First nioght we were gone.

    Our local tweekers can be just as vile as gangsters from NO.

    Is the 619 better place to live than NO? I think so, baed onwhat little I know of NO.

    On the average did people out here behave better than those in NO? from what little unbiased verifiable info I got, probably yes.

    Do we KNOW how San Diegans would ahve behaved in and after Katrina. Not at all.

    Why would ANY group of folks be so quick to presume they were better than another group of people? Why would any group of folks need to feel they are better than another group? what is the point of wasting time in such parlor games?

    We got work to do, if a person is in construction, or tree work, or architecture, or can run power or commo lines or move dumpsters around, lets get to it.

    If a person cant they ought to ask those of us who can how 2 help. dont waste time contempting on the NO people, or congratulating us.

    Pandering such folly is.
    Just my 2 cents.