Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 8:35 AM

California’s fiery Katrina…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Given the remarkable precision and care with which a reported 1 million people have been evacuated from the amorphous vortex of raging fires in California, it seems clear that federal, state, and local government officials have heeded the tragic lessons of Hurricane Katrina.

Indeed, not least in this regard is the way Qualcomm Stadium (home of the San Diego Chargers) has been converted into an organized, hospitable, and sustainable shelter for these evacuees; which stands in stark contrast to the chaotic, menacing, and unsanitary prison that The Superdome (home of the New Orleans Saints) was for Katrina evacuees.

Nevertheless, I urge you not to begrudge San Diegans the assistance they’re getting by making allusions to that which New Orleaneans did not get. Because no matter how prepared and resourceful, there’s only so much man can do to tame Mother Nature’s fury – whether she rains flood waters or scorching fires….

Therefore, as we watch in feckless awe, let us pray for the millions whose lives have been disrupted, the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced, and the thousands who have lost their homes or businesses.

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Meanwhile, there is a silver lining in the clouds of smoke now smothering Southern California; notwithstanding the legal and ethical clouds it’s bound to create.

After all, no region has been more affected by the synergistic fallout from plummeting real estate values and subprime mortgages. But these “apocalyptic” fires will provide an expedient pretext for hundreds, if not thousands, of homeowners – who were facing imminent foreclosure on their McMansions – to simply walk away from the charred remains by blaming force majeure; i.e., an act of God!

(Although, considering their contributory negligence in offering so many inherently bad (subprime) loans, the banks would probably be happy to write off the loss and bid these defaulters good riddance.)

Adding to this silver lining, however, is the macroeconomic fact that nothing could do more than these fires will to stimulate California’s economy and re-ignite its housing boom….

Finally, given the drought conditions that persist all over the United States, one wonders how much all of the water being expended to fight the fires in this state will exacerbate these conditions….

Related Articles:
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina II

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