Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav Curiosity

First, I would like to make it clear from the outset that I feel deeply for those who find themselves in the path of Hurricane Gustav. My prayers, and the prayers of many, go out for those who are finding their lives turned upside down by this storm. Watching the reports related to the storm have left me wondering about a few things. If you can help me with my quandaries I welcome your comments and thoughts.

My first curiosity is about the reporters down there riding out the storm. If officials are trying to get everybody out of harms way, why do we need to have reporters there? Couldn't they set up a camera that would be able to catch images of the wind whipping trees or something and allow the reporters, camera people, etc. to leave? By having the reporters there I get one of two messages: If the severity of the storm is true then they are recklessly endangering the lives of those there to report from the middle of the storm. If they are not being recklessly endangered then it seems that officials are lying about the severity of the storm and the message, if I lived in that area, is that it just might be fine for me to stick around and ride out the storm. Why do the TV stations do this?

My other curiosity is related to John McCain and the Republican National Convention. This, I fear, is going to show my naivete. I realize that there are delegates whose homes are in the path of the storm and they probably feel a bit torn. (On the bright side they are safe from the storm at the convention.) However, how does suspending the convention help with the storm? There have also been reports that John McCain may not make it to the convention because of the storm. Why? I understand President Bush not going too the convention because he is in a position where he can do things to make things happen with his position as president. John McCain is not president yet, what can he really do? Is he going to roll up his sleeves and muck out houses after the storm passes? I doubt it. It seems to me the best thing he could do is use the podium of the convention to rally troupes to help with recovery efforts.

Am I just being naive? I don't know. I think this storm is serious business and the lives that are being changed is serious business. However, isn't this a bit of an over reaction? The storm is just beginning to hit land as I write, yet the reactions are as if thousands of lives have already been lost. They've evacuated nearly 2 million people, and that's a great thing. So how much damage can we anticipate? How much should all of us, especially those of us who live a thousand miles away, be expected to shut down our lives in response to the storm?

Please, don't hear this as not caring about those caught in the path of this storm. How many people have just gotten back on their feet, or are still getting on their feet from Katrina? It's painful to think about, so I pray fervently. Yet I wonder about our other reactions in regards to the storm. Maybe somebody can help me better understand because I am honestly curious.

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