Thursday, November 17, 2005

Should Peoria pay for terrorism risk?

Some nice people from a farming community in a 19th century type culture that some naysayers apparently want to return to in the US. Terrorists could help them make their dreams come true. (The Guatemalans are trying to sell items to French tourists.)

A right wing blogger linking to Terrorism Insurance Progresses says that Peoria shouldn't have to pay for terrorism insurance because it won't get hit.

Um, did anyone tell that to OKC? I think that they'd disagree with that point.

BTW, it turned out that red farm belt states got more terrorism prevention funds per person than blue coastal and entry states. So if Peoria and places like that were not supposed to receive terrorism, then why did they actually get more per capita than New York City which has been proven to be a continuing target? Hmmmm?

I mean a reason that doesn't include the 'tribalism' of the Bush administration.

Okay? Now, the next point is related to the whines of those people who thought that New Orleans should have taken care of itself when Katrina hit too.

Lets just go to Google for a few minutes.

Google on the "web" (not News)for "most important port in the United States". Hit I feel lucky.

I did this on a hunch the other day after reading another right winger babble that New Orleans should have taken care of itself.

This just happened. I was prepared to read that New York or Los Angeles-Long Beach CA or even Mobile, AL had the most important port in the nation if that were the case, but I was not wrong.

The article comes from a Texas based private global intelligence service

The Title: New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize.

The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding capital of American industry.

But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography -- the extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All of the rivers flowed into one -- the Mississippi -- and the Mississippi flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.

For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers - which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans.


During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer was simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The industrial minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the agricultural wealth wouldn't flow out. Alternative routes really weren't available. The Germans knew it too: A U-boat campaign occurred near the mouth of the Mississippi during World War II. Both the Germans and Stratfor have stood with Andy Jackson: New Orleans was the prize.

Without New Orleans, the farm belt would die. The keeping of the Mississippi open though, caused New Orleans to lose its natural protection 30 miles of wetland between it and the sea. Oil company needs also caused more loss of natural resources. (Um, guys the farm belt gets it oil imported through Orleans too. Not to mention their TVs etc.)

We owe New Orleans because we need it. I love the people who sit in the farm belt and say we shouldn't rebuild it. They are so good for a laugh.

Similarly, they need Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and even Atlanta and other places that have been targeted by terrorist.

There are farms all over the world. There are little businesses all over the world. In both kinds of venues people eke out a miserly existence, dying before their time.

Farmers, and minor business people are a dime a dozen in the world. Why aren't Americans? Why does the American farmer drive a truck that doesn't have to be fixed at night so he can use it in the morning while his family slowly starves or even does without a truck?

It's the big boys in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, New Orleans (and nearby areas of each of those cities) and even Atlanta the center of our airline model bringing money into the United States. Without them we could join the Africans following behind their ox, the South East Asians sitting near their tiny shrimp farms waiting for the next tsunami, the near slaves on Indian, African or East Asian tea plantations.

Do you think you still want to go back to the 19th century by allowing terrorists to hit our vital big cities?

Think about this.

The only thing keeping the rural areas from imploding right now is the nice little welfare program of farm subsidies.

Who do you think pays enough taxes to afford those subsidies? Winn-Dixie?


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