Hurricane Irene--The aftermath

Hurricane Irene left death and devastation in its wake. Now the really awful part begins as states prepare for massive floods.  Photo: subadei (Flickr)

LOS ANGELES, August 29, 2011—From North Carolina to New Hampshire, Hurricane Irene leveled homes, destroyed communities, and even took some lives. Aside from “it could have been worse” (it can always be worse), there’s no silver lining to this black cloud of rain-drenched despair.

Perhaps worse than the physical destruction they cause, natural disasters inflict an enormous psychological toll. This is magnified by the utter helplessness that we mere mortals are reduced to. We can fight terrorists and kill them. We can sue them in courts. We can freeze their bank accounts. Arguing with God has not worked since John Denver tried it in the movies. In real life, God wins and the questioner gets a padded cell with white rubber walls. 

For Atheists, acts of nature are the same. Try arguing with a whirlwind. If the whirlwind responds, you are insane and lose the argument of life, no matter who wins that particular argument.

While ordinary people are suffering, some politicians will try to use this to their advantage. Right now some of them are meeting with pollsters, who will tell them how and when to respond. “Never let a crisis go to waste!” If I hear the current President say that this crisis would have been worse but for his intervention, my head will explode.

It’s nice to believe the best of people from a moral and an intellectual standpoint, but it is easy to lose heart when some dolt asks New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when the casinos will reopen. It is one thing if you own the casino or depend on it for a paycheck. If you are worried about playing the slots, please do not reproduce because idiocy is exponential.

As much as this situation calls for people to help each other, no one should feel guilty for being unable to help directly. There are things each of us can do, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for what we can’t do.

When I was a freshman in college in Los Angeles, several of my classmates felt guilty because they could not just catch a plane to Israel to defend it against Saddam Hussein’s scud missiles. My dad put it in perspective: “Everybody has a function in life. The soldiers in Israel need to fight. Your mother and I have to put food on the table to feed you. Our function in life is to fulfill our responsibilities. We are going to work. Your functions are to go to school and get good grades.”

(I did one out of two. I showed up. My grades were adequate.)

Would a lot of us like to fly to New York today? Yes, but we have responsibilities to family and work in Cleveland or South Carolina or Iowa. We can’t be everywhere, nor can we help others by neglecting our own responsibilities.

No one can stop a storm. Natural disasters are not preventable and are usually not even predictable. We might prepare the best we can, but what we can do for others is in the aftermath. The best things we can do sound cliche, and even mentioning them seems banal, but sometimes the obvious is still the best course of action.  

Call your loved ones. Donate money if you can. Donate time if you can. Donate blood if you can. 

Don’t focus on “if you can.” Do what you can. None of us is Superman. Yet even if what anyone of us can do is small, there are a lot of us. Doing the little that we can in our tens and hundreds of millions gives us enormous power to do a vast amount of good.

The rest of the world may do little to help us, even those nations that are willing. Their own disasters, natural and economic, mean that it is up to Americans to take care of themselves, as we always have. And as we always should. This is a country of neighbors, even if they live a thousand miles away.

Our neighbors are hurting, some like they have never hurt before.

Let’s help them, not just because we know they would help us, but because that’s what neighbors do. The America I know and love is proof of this.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We can do this.

I’m from Suffolk County. Most of my family and many friends are in Brooklyn. I haven’t heard from all of them, and their safety is precious to me. Like many of you who have family and friends in that region, I want desperately to let them know that. To them I offer love and prayers that you and your families are all right. Call when you can.

To the remaining 300 million members of my extended American family, God bless.


Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.

Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.

Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS

Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.


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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.



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