Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wild is the Wind

It's not the popular opinion, but I'm torn on how to feel about events in Oklahoma.

Yes, the twister was tragic and almost unimaginable.

Yes, "almost".

This story has been played out time and time again over any number of central states over decades.  And only a few years ago in this exact same town.

It confounds me when people talking to the media are quoted as saying "how did this happen?".  Oh honey, you moved to Tornado Alley - that is how it happened.  People always say "lightening never strikes twice", which is proven to be untrue. If the environment was right for it to happen once, chance are, it will happen again.

I know they're talking out of shock and no other words come to them, but none of these circumstances should be news to folks who live there.

If you've ever been to Oklahoma, almost every single telephone pole has 10-20 horns on them, facing all directions, to warn folks of just such an event.

NPR's Talk of the Nation was somewhat enlightening yesterday.  People from the area say they have shelters but rarely use them  because they go out to see the storm, because more often than not, it will hit somewhere else in the county.  "Our guests have used our shelter more than we have...."

I'm sorry, but this is Natural Selection at its finest - only these folks didn't bite it.  Other did.  Kids.

Why aren't there better shelters at the schools?  When you have a gathering of any amount of folks, why is there not some kind of built in protection?  Yeah - I hear crap about the water table being too high for them to dig, but then you had better find Solution B.

Of course, you can't have a natural disaster with out politicizing it anymore.  Katrina made sure of that. Sandy too. And it is the latter that is on everyone's mind.

Allegedly, OK Senator, Tom Coburn will refuse federal aid (does he actually have that authority?) for disaster relief unless there are matching budget cuts  He did the same thing for Sandy relief and voted against funding.  Easy enough to do when you don't actually have to answer to the folks in that state.

But now this is his home state.  If funding doesn't pass - this could make for an interesting scenario....except for the fact that it won't.

Any number of political talk shows will say, unless this story hit right at election time, none of the voters will care:  for Okies (or whatever they're called), the issues are still abortion, gays, immigration and Obamacare.  Yes, they'll be outraged now, when they don't get what they want, when they want it, but for all intents and purposes, the Senator will probably get a pass.

The governor,  however, has asked Obama for assistance.  He is not running for re-election (allegedly) so his skin in the game, other than helping his residents, seems legitimate and sincere.

I'm not completely uncaring, you know.  I'll go on record, I do feel bad for the folks who have family, friends, pets and farm animals perish. It must be horrible to lose everything - homes, possessions, etc. I do feel for them, but still I have this nagging undertow of choosing to live in a known disaster zone and choosing your elected officials who aren't with you - not really.

For all those who are against "big" government, I'd like to see each of those families turn down offered assistance - though they won't.  Reports will say that those states who are most against it are the biggest users of such FEMA funding.  Shocking.......not.

What they also don't realize, or care, is that the recovery of the Dust Bowl, centered right where they live, was funded by - you guessed it - "big" government.

If only they feds had kept their paws out of that one, Oklahoma would still be uninhabitable and this tornado would have affected no one.

Stupid government. It's all their fault.

Song by: George Michael


anne marie in philly said...

it's like people bitch about taxes, but they fund the roads, police, schools, firefighters. can't have it both ways.

OK is one of the 10 states I have not visited yet. think I'll pass on it and TX.

Ur-spo said...

yes, you hit it spot-on
I haven't heard any 'this is God's punishment' statements yet, perhaps because the area hit was staunh Romney supporters and it is hard to say God's wrath would go to Romeny types.

Mike Carlson said...

Places like Oklahoma which are considered "tornado alley" should never be inhabited to avoid incidents like this where many people die.

Anonymous said...

I've only met one family from Oklahoma here in California and they were a bunch of homophobic, racist a**holes. Now I know everyone there isn't like that, but if they keep re-electing people like Inhofe, Coburn and Sally Kern to office I don't know what else to believe.

As for people saying, "How could this happen?" Well, they choose to live where they do, and by doing so they assume certain risks.

Just like I do with brush fires and earthquakes.

Anonymous said...

I may complain about the outrageous taxes and corrupt government in Upstate NY, but the lack of tornadoes, mudslides, wildfires, and other natural disasters may well balance this out.

My wife spent a large part of her childhood in Solon, and they experienced several tornadoes while she lived there. Tornadoes are the single biggest thing that gives me pause about moving to the mid-west.

Happyman said...

The average person in Oklahoma (I'm originally from Kansas-same thing) is a religious fundamentalist, racist, homophobe and Republican. Critical thinking is a sin. Funding for shelters in schools? Only for liberal, latte swilling Democrats. Natural selection is an accurate statement.

Erik Rubright said...

Aside from all the other stuff mentioned, I do question as to why gathering places such as schools/hospitals, don't have proper and adequate built-in shelters. Especially when one lives in a danger zone.

Then again, I only live 25 miles from the OK border and we don't have a tornado shelter either....

cb said...

My hometown in Iowa has been hit at least 4 times by tornadoes in my lifetime. That's one a decade.

Granted it was only descimated once in 1974...

But we all have basements.