Mr. Coulter of Flat Rock had this to say about New Orleans and Iowa:
To The Editor: Has anyone thought about this?
We’ve got a situation in Iowa comparable to New Orleans and the results of Katrina.
But ... why haven’t we heard about the zero looting in Iowa?
Where are all the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help?
Why isn’t the federal government relocating people to free hotels in Chicago or Omaha, and supplying trailers?
Why haven’t we heard from Sean Penn, Al Sharpton, or the Dixie Chicks? Where are the beer looters? The TV looters ?
When will we hear Iowa Gov. Culver declare he wants to rebuild a “vanilla” Iowa, as oppossed to a “chocolate” New Orleans?
And finally, how come in two weeks you’ll never hear about the Iowa flooding again?
I wrote this to the editor. Ashley would have done much better.
Dear Blue Ridge Now,
Jim Coulter claims parrots the comments of Rush Limbaugh when he claims that there was no looting in Iowa. Being from New Orleans, however, I am not happy about what has happened in Iowa. It is sad, it is tragic, and it was inevitable. I do not wish these sorts of things to happen to anyone. About the only thing the two incidents have in common is that they were the result of natural disasters, they involved water, and the Army Corps of Engineers massively failed the American people.
Many property owners in Illinois and Iowa and Louisiana unwisely trusted that the ACoE would protect them and did not continue to purchase flood insurance. The flood waters inundated homes and land 400 feet above sea level anyway. Many of these property owners can count on getting exactly nothing from their insurance companies.
I cannot defend the actions of those New Orleanians who looted; it was horrible to watch and made me ashamed of my hometown. However, there were many more decent and forthright citizens who were stranded at their homes, trapped in their attics by rushing, rising waters and who lost their lives. They were rich and poor, white and black, old and young. And they were Americans..
The governor of Iowa asked the federal government to pay 90% of the costs that the state of Iowa has accrued during this time. When the governor of Louisiana asked for the same thing, she was denied repeatedly. No matter what you think about Louisiana and New Orleans,it is still part of America.
43% of Americans live in land protected by levees. It is this that should concern Americans. Comparing the scope of natural disasters is fruitless; the cost is beside the point. What has happened in both Iowa and Louisiana could happen to you. It doesn't have to be a massive disaster, but at the end of the day it happened to fellow Americans, no matter the color of their skin.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Unfortunately, this is going to happen again. To believe it is the fault of "someone else" or that Iowa is different than New Orleans simply misses the point. The infrastructure in this country is falling apart, and Americans are the ones in harm's way.
UPDATE: Apparently the letter from Mr. Coulter is some kind of email that is making the rounds. And morons are posting it to their blogs or sending it in to newspapers. I am not going to let it pass, though.
UPDATE2: I was asked to cut my letter down and resubmit it for publication. I have shortened this and may or may not post the new outrage. And it's probably still too long. It's hard to defend yourself from idiots.
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