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August 28, 2006

Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on the Gulf Coast. Lots of bloggers are remembering the event, and I just want to point to two ways it touched my life.

The first was definitely the proudest moment for me as a blogger. This whole exercise in semi-regular public writing is pretty ridiculous most of the time. But last September I can honestly say we made a difference. By we, I mean you, the very generous visitors to annika's journal who pledged $2,250 for hurricane relief.

You folks really deserve congratulations, because you showed how beautiful you are. We outdid some real big time blogs,* as you can see from the final list. Special thanks to Shelly who added a lot of cheerleading and cajoling to his characteristic generosity last year.

The second thing was that I bought a gun and started a disaster preparedness kit. Even though some of the horror stories turned out to be exagerrated, what did happen was still pretty horrible. And it could happen anywhere. I grew up in Oakland and have witnessed my share of natural disasters, so I have no excuse not to be prepared. The one lesson we should all take from Katrina is that each one if us is responsible for his or her own safety. Don't ever count on the government to do it for you, it's your job, and they're not very good at it.

* I didn't mention it at the time, because I thought it in bad taste (and maybe it still is) but I was really amazed at the sharp political division between the bloggers who joined in the fundraising and those who stood on the sidelines.

I did some informal research during the drive. I checked the biggies, like Kos etc, and they were on the ball. But I was curious about the smaller fish, so I started going down the list of the blogs listed as members of the League of Liberals. I actually went through the whole blogroll. Of those blogs that were still active, I was disappointed to see that the vast majority had absolutely no link to any charitable organization. That was despite the fact that most were not shy in hurling criticism at the administration (deserved) or at conservatives in general (undeserved). I seem to remember that there were only two blogs that had any charity hyperlinks. One of them put it up only after I left a scathing comment. And then it was to PETA or some sort of animal rescue org.

I acknowledge that my point is probably unfair. How do I know what these people donated in private? But the contrast between the left and right sides of the blogosphere back then really surprised me, and I think of it as kind of a watershed moment.

Posted by annika, Aug. 28, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: History & On The Blogosphere


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Posted by: Zack on Aug. 29, 2006

IIRC, about one-fifth of N.O. cops walked off the job right after Katrina hit. Some of them were even looting.

Yeah, it would be a good idea to prepare for anarchy and arm oneself.

Posted by: reagan80 on Aug. 29, 2006

Just wondering how much water can any gun bail?
The devestation of Katrina was/is much greater than 9/11..
My wife and I went to NOLA in June to visit her neice...
Ya know how traffic slows on our commute because drivers want to see some fender bender? That delay bothers us more than this entire nation turning our back on what happend a year ago.
Our initial response as a nation to 9/11 was my proudest moment as an American. Our response to Katrina made me ashamed.

Posted by: nogo postal on Aug. 29, 2006