Oh, New Orleans
Sitting here watching the heartbreaking events in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you can't help but think Why them? Most of the ones hurt so badly are already so poor. How can you possibly prepare for anything like that? And what if it happens here?
When the levees were breached, that had to be the worst. And now the coverage addresses that this had been warned against. As with so many parts of this country's disintegrating infrastructure, funds were probably diverted to frivolities like public education or health, which are already seriously underfunded.
Because people don't want to pay taxes "for big government." Who they nevertheless must look to when something this devastating happens.
In Seattle, the big fear is earthquake. On my desktop right now is my list for an "earthquake preparedness kit" which I periodically look at and forget.
And what happens if the Alaskan Way viaduct -- a cracking near-death structure that is both highway and bridge, one of two arterials that are the main ways into and out of the city -- what happens if that crumbles into the Sound? We've been warned against that, too. But don't want to pay the taxes to repair it.
Americans have a true love/hate relationship with their government. Don't want to pay taxes ... for schools, or roads, or headstart early education or ... fill in the blank.
But what happens when disaster strikes?