Friday, May 05, 2006

The devil is in the details

Oh, my...we're actually going to have a semi-political post here...

Back during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I thought some people were being a bit too harsh on New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin. After all, it's easy to arm chair quarterback from a safe, dry distance. Surely we could forgive a little hysteria. And as for poor prior planning --- we in California have no right to say anything about this until we have removed the massive logjam from our state's eyes.

But now Ray Nagin has had enough time to calm down and think and plan clearly. And he has come up with a plan, a large scale evacuation plan. When I first heard of it on the news, I thought that quite a bit seemed to be severely lacking from his plan but, even then, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was just the news media that was not fully reporting this plan he has spent so much time developing, no doubt with other mayors in his state as well as with other leaders, officials, and sundry experts.

However, it now appears that the reason the details seemed sketchy is because...well, Ray Nagin is not a detail man. One of the best posts I've read on the subject is from a New Orleans pastor, Joe McKeever. I suggest that everyone interested in the New Orleans situation read his blog, starting with Now All We Have to Work Out are the Details.

I loved this gem from Pastor McKeever's post:
All of this reminds me of something Will Rogers said in the middle of the First World War when the German U-boats were creating havoc in the Atlantic. "I have a plan for getting rid of all those U-boats," Rogers said. "You just bring the temperature of the Atlantic up to a boil. The submarines will get so hot they can't take it and will have to come up. Our people will be waiting with guns and can pick them off." When asked how he planned to bring the temperature of the Atlantic up to a boil, Rogers answered, "That's a detail. I'm a policy man myself."
He ends up going far beyond the political by writing:
So, for those who are still living away, I want to say this. Come home as soon as you can. We will welcome you back. Drive through your city. It's your home, make no mistake. You came back, you love this place, you have hurt in absentia, and now you're going to hurt in person. You will shed some tears, and if I'm any judge, you will be depressed. It's part of the price one pays for loving.
Read the rest of his blog to learn how the church is responding in New Orleans. It's great stuff.


  1. Related. . . I noticed you've been drinking Community Coffee lately. . .

    I talked to my grandmother in NO last week for her birthday. "When are you coming to visit?" We've put it off. . . for some practicel reasons. But honestly, I'm a little scared to see the place that holds so many of my treasured memories.

  2. I can certainly understand that it would be difficult to go back. We've been in New Orleans every year for the past five years for a martial arts competition, and I have mixed feelings about the fact that they have moved it to Dallas this year. Part of me will really miss NO; part of me is relieved. It must be so much more difficult for someone who has actually grown up in the city!