Yes, I'll admit it - on occasion I'll Google "Our Word and Welcome to It," just to find out if there's any kind of link to us that we should know about. I've found out some interesting things - for example, we occasionally wind up as a link on Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire, whenever one of our posts mentions one of the presidential possibilities. And we'll find links from some of our friends, such as Faithmouse (the first external site to link to us - thanks, Dan!).
And then there's a site that assigns tags to blogs, categorizing them based on their content. And it seems as if we've been tagged as "blog catholic mn neo-traditionalist." Can't argue with any of that, although I am amused by the "neo-traditionalist" tag. Neo? Whatever gave them that idea?
Well, I had to check out the other blogs in the "blog catholic mn neo-traditionalist" category, just to see what kind of company I was in. And that's how I stumbled on Bearing Blog, an interesting site by a fellow Minnesotan. And that, in turn, led me to this interesting piece on Brendan Loy, a blogger and weather-enthusiast who tracked the course of Katrina as it bore down on New Orleans. If you're into the political maelstrom over who was to blame, you might want to read Brendan before you come down too hard on the Feds. True, there's enough blame to go around, but consider this post, written on August 27:
For some reason that I can't even begin to comprehend, the evacuation order for New Orleans is only "voluntary" at this time. The mayor says he might issue mandatory evacuations tomorrow morning, depending on what the forecast says. What is he waiting for??? The forecast calls for a DIRECT HIT! This is the story we've been fearing for decades! And if he waits until 24 hours before landfall to order people to leave, it may very well be too late!
I can't emphasize enough what a bad decision I think it is for New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to delay the mandatory evacuation order until tomorrow morning. According to the Weather Channel, lots of tourists in the French Quarter are happy the evacuation is only "voluntary," and are planning to stay in town until it becomes mandatory...
Will Ray Nagin go down in history as the mayor who fiddled while New Orleans drowned? Could be.
I don't pretend to be an expert on this, but Ray Nagin strikes me as someone only too willing to use the MSM to point fingers everywhere but in the mirror. Now he's brawling with Governor Blanco, for whom the words "timid" and "tentative" seem to have been coined. (As Chris Regan and Bryan Preston write at NRO, "[E]very state must have a governor who, when under pressure to perform, will not freeze and cry before consulting with lawyers and advisers before freezing up again in a passive-aggressive way that shifts blame to those trying to help."
Regan and Preston go on to say:
New Orleans is a major port of entry and exit for commerce. It's sinking into a bowl and is threatened by a gulf, a lake, and a river. It needed leadership, but what New Orleans had was an old political machine, a corrupt police force, and no real disaster leadership. Since the state knew of the problems with that police force though, the Louisiana National Guard could have had a dedicated special force with a plan to secure the city after the big one. A whole team of fast boats and such could have been training for years and deployed immediately to not just rescue but to keep order. That's the governor's job to think up something creative like that, not the feds. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. And here come the ghosts.
Strong words perhaps, but when combined with the weather tracking of Brendan Loy, it seems to make sense. New Orleans had a plan, they say, for an event like this was only too predictable - they just didn't implement it as it should have been.
As I say, the blame will be sorted out in due course, and we'll separate the hysterical political point-scoring from the serious discussion of what it all means. But in the meantime, we must continue to concentrate on the victims. And with that, I'll defer to the usually hilarious Musum Pontificalis, who offers these heartfelt words of wisdom:
Another important thing is that we keep these children in our prayers, because their suffering will continue long after the news reporters disappear. Not to take away from the importance of the corporal works of mercy, but you can sacrifice in other ways as well. One cannot fathom the good derived from offering sacrifices like fasting for a day or abstaining from a daily pleasure.
Some things to think about, all from a simple Google. I'll have to do that more often.