Thursday, December 07, 2006

North Dakota

vs New Orleans

I can't remember if I'd seen this before. It appears it has made the rounds several times, but it popped into my inbox (again?) yesterday. I'm filing this under the same place we put the "Germany didn't attack the US for WWII" stuff.

Weather Bulletin - North Dakota



North Dakota News

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the western part of North Dakota state after a snowstorm.

Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.


George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV.

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else,

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families. Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sit-in at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves. "In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate."

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.
Y'all know I can't let this go. Luckily, there already was a rebuttal up on But I'll add my own to the mix. Tell me what you think.

Now, I’m not going to get baited into the “New Orleans v North Dakota Strategic & Economic Importance” debate. I’m not going to get into the fact that, before the storm, Orleans Parish had roughly 2/3 the population of the entire state of North Dakota 2000 Census, and the population of the Greater New Orleans area, including Jefferson & St Bernard Parishes outweighed the entire state of North Dakota almost 2 to 1 in an area much, much smaller.

Why will I not get into these things? Because they don’t really have to be part of a rebuttal to this particular email. Both New Orleans and North Dakota are important parts of the United States of America and I will treat them as such here.

The blizzard, as described, dumped 44 inches of snow and was accompanied by winds of up to 90 miles an hour. Katrina dumped a lot of rain, was accompanied by sustained 130 mph winds and knocked out power to over 2 million. Katrina also brought with her a storm surge of up to 28 feet to parts of Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana.

The blizzard sounds like a terrible, terrible storm. But it is a scientific fact that wind power increases exponentially as mph increase. Plus, 44 inches is just short of 4 feet. That much snow is terrifying. But I’m taller than 4 feet. A 28 foot mountain of water, on the other hand, contains significant tonnage to outweigh the snow somewhat. Other similarities could include that both storms were predicted by the National Weather Service, that state agencies and National Guard units were readied to respond, and the power that people depended on were carried on infrastructure subsidized by both the state and federal governments.

But it snows every year in North Dakota, oftentimes up to 4 feet in places and accompanied by winds of up to 90 miles an hour. There are snowplows, and salt trucks and snowshoes. There are wood stoves in houses. There are no US Army Corps of Engineers built domes over the State of North Dakota with the intention of keeping snow out.

While it rains every year in New Orleans, and while localized flooding of three feet can occur in low lying neighborhoods, 20 foot walls of water are, shall we say, something of a rare quality. There are giant pumping stations to keep flooding under control, and many people have boats for recreation that turned into rescue craft during the flood. However, people don’t generally keep scuba gear in their homes so that they might breathe underwater in case 20 some odd feet come along unexpectedly. Why would a 20 foot wall of water be unexpected, even in a place like New Orleans? Because, one, it doesn’t usually happen and, two, unlike North Dakota, New Orleans does have a US Army Corps of Engineers wall around the whole city that was built with the intention of keeping water out.

George Bush didn’t come to New Orleans, either. He flew over the Gulf Coast in a nice airplane. Public outcry and PR later forced his hand.

FEMA did nothing in North Dakota? Hmmm.

I find it very hard to believe that under 4 feet of snow and 90 mile an hour winds, no one called 911, that government owned snowplows and salt trucks were not on duty, that firemen and police were taking the day off, and that government contracted infrastructure maintenance folks weren’t being asked for by name. But I reckon only people in our part of the world ‘howl’ for the government, folks in North Dakota ask nicely.

No one in New Orleans blamed the government for the hurricane, either. However, as I pointed out before, New Orleans does have a government built and maintained wall around the place with the intention of keeping water out. So, when water ended up inside, and someone asks, “What’s all this water doing here?” What are you going to say? The government has a big agency that is supposed to help people in disasters. They do it in Florida and the Carolinas every year. When there are tons of water and supplies sitting in warehouses and a bureaucrat egghead is waiting on paperwork to deliver it to hungry babies, sick grandmothers and dehydrating people in the 110 degree sun, what are you going to say?

I find it very hard to believe that under 4 feet of snow and 90 mile an hour winds, no one in North Dakota said an expletive. Had there been as many TV cameras in North Dakota as there were in New Orleans, I betcha woulda heard one or two.

The Revs. Sharpton and Jackson can tell where the TV cameras are. So can the Hollywood types.

I find it hard to believe that in any federal disaster zone, someone somewhere did not apply for disaster benefits or aid. Perhaps North Dakota has better insurance companies…

No one looted in North Dakota? Again, I find it hard to believe there wasn’t someone who shoplifted something from a hardware store. I find it hard to believe that not one car left in a snowdrift wasn’t stolen when the owners got back. Then again, considering the 4 feet of snow, maybe I can.

I find it hard to believe that not one “caravan of SUV’s” was sent out without some form of government organization in North Dakota. As for New Orleans, boat owners from all over the country showed up to help pull people out of the flood. They did this completely volunteer. We even had boaters showing up to help pull pets out of the flood.

Melting snow for water must be the most convenient disaster response ever. In New Orleans, the temperature was over 100 degrees for long enough to kill naked people in the shade, and the water was filled with industrial waste, oil, fecal matter, household chemicals, debris and decomposing corpses. If only Katrina had been nice enough to leave 4 feet of snow behind.

Shame we have an affirmative action government that tries to save American and foreign lives in the face of great disaster. Thank the Lord for all those ‘affirmative action’ firefighters and police who charged the WTC towers on 9/11; thank the Lord for all those ‘affirmative action’ Coast Guard pilots who threw out the rules to rescue people from rooftops during Katrina; thank the Lord for all those ‘affirmative action’ volunteers; thank the Lord for all those ‘affirmative action’ civil workers who know that sometimes projects are so big and disasters so catastrophic that the government is the only organization strong enough to put the right resources in the right places at the right times.

Where I come from, that’s part of the social contract and the reason we keep government around in the first damn place. Where I come from, we ain’t afraid to call a spade a spade and point out problems and demand better service for our tax dollars. That’s not blame, that’s asking someone to do their damn jobs we pay them for the right damn way.

And one last thing: the reason you have 90% less social problems north of the 48th parallel is that 90% of the world’s population lives below the 48th parallel.


patsbrother said...

Disclaimer: "where I come from" is a metaphysical assertion on one's beliefs, not a geographical statement. I mention this only because St Simons and Glynn County aren't big social compact-type places, and I would be quite sad if anyone got the wrong impression.

da po' boy said...

I'm glad you didn't let that go. I hadn't seen that email yet. And, if I had seen it without your response, my head would have exploded. So, thank you for preventing my head from exploding.

liberalandproud said...

I would like to remind everyone that this is the opinion of one North Dakotan. I feel quite sure that most folks up there do not share this guy's opinions.

petallic said...

Why would I take someone seriously who doesn't know how to check the spelling of Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand's names?

Patrick Armstrong said...

Well, I'd take it seriously for the same reason I take the "Germany didn't attack the US in WWII" emails seriously.

Like it or not, with the speed of the information superhighway, folks can put information out there that might be opinion that other people believe is true. Forwarding such information to others who trust you may veil the information into the public consciousness.

I, for one, used to be one of those people who thinks, "Oh, no one will believe that," and then one day I heard someone talking to a friend who said "did you know that Germany didn't ever attack the US at the start of WWII?"

Like Da Po Boy, hearing that without knowing where it came from would have made my head explode. Which is why I take all such emails seriously and try my best to rebut them with facts and logic.

Anonymous said...

Your a complete moron! Thats all I have to say because a storm surge is not a "Wall" of water 20 feet high similar to a Tsunami, but instead is the level above the water table normal for that particular areas... If your 21 feet above the water table you won't have anthing to worry about, but since New Orleans is below sea level its different...So stop trying to say it was a 20 foot wall, because it wasnt, but four feet of snow is just that; FOUR FEET HIGH.... I'm sure drifts were well over 10 feet in many areas..

Tippy said...

I am willing to bet most people haven't seen snow blowing at 90mph. I strips paint off houses, barns and cars. I live in ND, and yes, most of us feel Katrina was blown way out of proportion. We flood nearly every or every other year. Just a couple years ago Grand Forks was severely flooded and downtown was nearly burnt to the ground. Yet, a couple months after the water receded, you would never have guessed. The mess was cleaned up and people were back at work. People in New Orleans are still complaining about how the government did nothing for them and the mess is still there. Then I read that the blacks down there are complaining that the mexicans have moved in to start cleaning up the mess working for the contractors in charge of the responsibility. I am sorry, but these black people are the same blacks who were more content to get in front of the camera and bitch about how no one is helping them instead of picking themselves up by the britches and cleaning. And, no, there was absolutely no looting in up here during any of our blizzards or flood. We tend to respect other peoples' property. You can argue until you are blue in the face that the fact we have fewer problems is because we have fewer people. I dare say, we have fewer problems, because we are better people. Most of us were raised on farms and are accustomed to hard work and doing for ourselves. My grandpa always said, "Never ask someone to do something that you can do for yourself." I think that pretty much sums up our attitude up here. If the people of New Orleans spent as much time and energy getting their lives back together as they spent getting infornt of a camera and blaming their problems on other people, we wouldn't be having this discussion. People would be saying, "Katrina who?"