Sunday, August 31, 2008

Of Hurricanes And Cable News Sunday

As Hurricane Gustav bears-down on the Louisiana coast, the cable news channels have been covering the story all day. (See CNN's here.)

And so they should cover this major news event.

I grew-up in Florida, which is Hurricane Country.

And, interesting as it may seem, one of the things that many Florida folks used to say, (and many still do say) is that these monster storms don't hit the big coastal cities head-on.

At least they haven't hit them since the early 1960s.

Before that time, Hurricanes often did devastate large coastal cities.

These same people say that nowadays the storms "wobble" away from the larger coastal cities and strike nearby less populated (and most often relatively poorer) towns instead.

Among many other examples, they point to Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew while noting that each storm had major cities (New Orleans and Miami, respectively) in their sights and, within a few hours of landfall, "unexpectedly" veered away from their predicted courses. (Katrina devastated the Mississippi towns of Pass Christian and Biloxi while Andrew all-but-destroyed Homestead, Florida.)

With New Orleans again in peril, I hope and pray that there will be another "wobble" that takes the storm far enough westward into Louisiana's bayous thereby minimizing the damage to long-suffering New Orleans and the Mississippi coast.

We'll find out Monday when, (and if) various government officials use those oft-repeated phrases "we dodged a bullet," and "it could have been a lot worse."

Now for the record, we do not generally believe in conspiracy theories.

And we do not believe that anyone in the "government" can "make" such a gigantic force of nature as a Hurricane change its course one bit. At least not with current technologies.

But what if, hypothetically-speaking, somebody (or somebodies) in the "government" could influence the course taken by any one of these killer storms just enough to prevent a direct hit on a major coastal population center in the United States? Would we, the American People, be told about it?

Meanwhile, we'll continue to keep the people of the Gulf Coast in our thoughts and prayers.

Update: (Monday, Sept. 01, 2008, 4:05 P.D.S.T.) Brian Williams of NBC reported (to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann) "Thank goodness Gustav took that little unexpected 'hick-up' to the left. We dodged a big bullet." [Ed's note: "to the left" was westward.]