Much of the Katrina/NOLA talk seems to be of the finger-pointing, meme spreading, hobbyhorse-riding variety. So much heat, based on so little data. In years to come, there will be investigations aplenty. There will be endless blame to be laid, and a feast of crow to be eaten. Given that the current national administration is Republican, and both Louisiana and New Orleans are run by Democrats, I predict that the carnage will be bipartisan, and people of all political persuasions will be able to point their fingers at the other side and say, "It was your fault!" Pundits and politicians across this great land will peer through the retrospectoscope and declare that if only they had been in charge, things would have been so much different.
You know what we need for natural disasters? An NTSB, charged with examining each natural disaster in detail, and issuing a report on what happened, and why, and what might be done differently in the future. Non-partisan, like the NTSB. Run by engineers, not politicians, not lawyers. The NTSB has been notably successful. The number of airline accidents and deaths per miles flown has been declining for decades. The 9/11 commission, on the other hand, was run by highly partisan politicians, satisfied almost no one, and the flaws in its reports are already being discovered. I prefer the NTSB model.
In the meantime, I have made a Katrina-directed donation to Mercy Corps, an efficient charity. (Efficiency == more money to those in need, less to administration/fundraising/etc.) That, at least, should do some good.
The September/October issue of Lenox Avenue is up! This is our first themed issue, "Mechanical Oddities." Stories by klingonguy, Jon Hansen, David Walton, katyha [fixed 9/5/05], and jaylake 'n' jennreese. And very cool robot sculpture by Lawrence Northey, that I really really wish I could afford, but almost certainly can't.
BTW, LA now has a blog, with entries linked to the stories, so if you'd like to comment on what you've read, you can clicky-clicky directly from the story to the blog entry. Cool.
命懸け == inochigake == (noun,
adjective that takes の) life and death, risking one's life, risky,
|Top radical is an old form of 'prefecture' (県), used here in its early sense of 'attach/hang'. The bottom radical is 'heart' (心). This character originally meant 'that which hangs on the heart', i.e., worry/anxiety. While it can still mean this in Chinese, in Japanese it has taken on mainly meanings related to 'hang'. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Heart still attached to old prefecture.'|