Fire, Flood, and Foolishness

Two years ago, the U.S. was shamed before the whole world by its incompetent handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Bush “clan” (in the sense used to describe Armenia’s quasi-criminal networks) nepotism, not to mention well-disguised racism, were the root. People died needlessly. Now, opulence is on the way, via a transfer of real estate to moneyed interests, supplanting the gritty lives led by the poor who gave New Orleans its flavor.
Two weeks ago, fires started in Southern California. A similar number of people were impacted. Perhaps disaster response was a little better, but no thanks to the feds. Fortunately, counties in northern California were not hit by fire and sent much equipment and manpower to assist in the firefighting.
But the ferocity of the fires complicated things. And, it is likely that this ferocity was fed by our own presumptuousness. Not only have we arguably generated the conditions for these intense conflagrations through our ongoing fire suppression efforts, but we’ve also built more houses ever deeper in fire territory. This is foolishness.
Instead of building denser housing in already developed areas, we rape virgin land to put up ugly housing developmen’s with huge infrastructure maintenance needs while older areas’ infrastructure is poorly maintained. It’s a double whammy. This is foolishness.
Now couple this with the FEMA folks being so sensitive about the drubbing they took over their Katrina failings while simultaneously being so well trained in the spin-machine manufactured by scammers such as Karl Rove that they out on a phony press conference to tout their fire response! This is foolishness.
To top it all off, places like San Diego are so right-wing, governmentophobia mentality dominated that they have underinvested in firefighting infrastructure, just to avoid raising taxes. It showed. This is foolishness.
So why does this need to appear in an Armenian newspaper? Many of us are buying homes in these newer, dispersed areas, putting ourselves in needless harm’s way. This scattering also makes community life more difficult. Hence the tide of the battle against assimilation shifts subtly against us. This is foolishness.
Let’s be smart, buy close in to our communities, and even more to the point, near our institutions–Armenian centers, schools, and churches.

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