Warm Southern Breeze

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Flooding Rains Damage Alabama and Tennessee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 24, 2019

America could build infrastructure to PREVENT tragedies like this from happening. And by “tragedy,” I mean to refer to the damage done in the wake of such climatological events – REGARDLESS of their causes, whether human-influenced, or not.

We once did build infrastructure, or rather, attempted to, after the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, when nearly 30,000 square miles of land along the lower portion of the Mississippi River was flooded to depths up to 30 feet, and stayed flooded to that extent for well over two months before receding. That natural disaster displaced well over 1.5 million people, and killed thousands directly and indirectly.

After that, Republican POTUS Calvin Coolidge refused to call a Special Session of the then-adjourned Congress, and rather than initiating governmental action, wanted to raise money to facilitate recovery efforts through bake sales, church raffles and private philanthropy, which he also thought should be dealt with at a local level, rather than Federal. It’s NO exaggeration to write that.

Obviously, that approach didn’t work. So Coolidge, who couldn’t be bothered to go and visit the people in the areas devastated, came under significant pressure for his lackadaisical do-nothing attitude, and assigned the task of “doing something” to then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who – though Stanford-educated as an infamously mediocre student who failed all the entrance exams but mathematics – had led food distribution efforts in post-WWI Europe.

Newspapers were not kind to Coolidge, and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (in Mississippi) wrote, “It has been necessary to school President Coolidge day by day a bit more towards the realization of the immensity of the catastrophe.”

The Paducah News-Democrat (in Kentucky) wrote that Coolidge had either “the coldest heart in America or the dullest imagination, and we are about ready to believe he has both.”

The New York Times however, saw things differently only because they were unaffected, and wrote, “Fortunately, there are still some things that can be done without the wisdom of Congress and the all-fathering federal government.”

But the Chicago Tribune thought little of the hare-brained scheme, and instead headlined a story with “Coolidge Backs Gigantic Flood Control Scheme,” while their Editorial Board wrote, “Only the resources and jurisdiction of the federal government can cope with the task of flood control.”

Coolidge’s contempt for government was well-known, and he disparagingly said, “If the federal government were to go out of existence, the common run of people would not detect the difference.”

Instead of governmental action, the Coolidge White House started Read the rest of this entry »

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