New Orleans Bleg

When my wife and I were planning our wedding 13 years ago we reached the point where it started to get hairy.  You know what I mean…where is so and so going to sit, what color will the linens be, who will do the toast at the reception, etc, etc, etc.

 I will give you the very short version of the ending – the planning process started to involve way too many people and quickly spiraled out of control.  I remember to this day sitting on the couch in our apartment (yes, we lived in sin!) and saying to my fiance at the time, still my wife to this day the following:

Do you want to get the heck out of here and elope to New Orleans?

 The answer was an enthusiastic YES.

And so we did.  That was back in 1995.

Read more

Michael Lewis Article

In the comments to this post, commenter JP left a link for an article Mr. Lewis wrote in October of 2005.  I think this article needs a little more publicity than to be buried in a comment thread.  The link JP left was for Times Select, but you can find the article for free here.

 The essay is truly outstanding if you are interested in Katrina and the aftermath.  I recommend you print it out, take a few minutes out of your day and read it.

 Thanks to JP for leaving the original link.

Michael Lewis on Disaster-Risk Trading

This is an interesting and entertaining article, a bit long but worth reading. I’m not sure that Lewis completely understands some of the concepts here (or maybe I don’t understand them), and I think that he overpersonalizes his discussion by framing it as a narrative about mostly one person, which I suppose comes with the territory in journalism. It’s still quite a good article, however.

Read more

You Are The First Responder

The tragedy in Minneapolis of a few days ago underlines something I have written about before and will no doubt have to write about again.  I never really thought about it much until Katrina hit and I saw the images that all of you saw.  Those were images of people standing in what seemed like endless lines for food and water or to be evacuated. 

Read more

Review of John Robb’s Brave New War

Dan from Madison has written a thoughtful review of John Robb’s Brave New War.

Excerpt:

Most urgently Robb almost begs for the US to radically restructure the electricity grid. Again, those who can afford it will simply go off the grid – through the use of wind, solar and other types of generation. Another interesting point he made is that some municipalities may just go ahead and create their own power generation and distribution. A wonderful example he provides is suburbia – I think Chicago. Many suburbs are breaking apart from large cities as we speak to ensure their own safety and care. This is an excellent point. IIRC there is a suburb in Atlanta doing this exact thing right now and I would argue that many suburbs in the Chicago area will eventually break away from the black hole that is Cook County. Do you honestly think that people in places like Downers Grove will ever send their kids to the Chicago Public Schools? On the flip side, what sort of parent, if they have the resources and live in the City of Chicago wouldn’t send their kid to a private school? That would be borderline child abuse.
 
De-centralization of everything seems to be Robb’s key point.

Read the whole thing.