“The Best Of People Comes Out In Times Like This”

Governor Sonny Perdue has just finished a press conference regarding the continued flooding across North Georgia. His tone was incredibly somber as he relayed his observations of a tour he had just completed along with DOT Chairman Vance Smith and GEMA chief Charley English.

He has announced that I-575 is now open, but I-20 and I-285 remain closed, though he is hopeful to have the interstates open by this afternoon.

He was thankful that the rain forcast for last night did not materialize, but notes that flood waters have still hit or approached record levels in many areas. He indicated the hardest hit were both the Douglasville/Austell area, as well as the Hwy 92 @ Hwy 575 area, but that damage is widespread.

His over-riding request was for safety, and it did not appear to be lost of him that most of the 7 confirmed fatalities were small children, some who were ripped from their parents arms as they tried to fight off rising flood waters.

Lives cannot be replaced, but property must be cleaned up and/or repaired. Water service is out in part of Douglas County, and Carroll County is under a “boil water” advisory. The Governor has issued a “State Of Emergency” for 17 counties, and indicated there are more to come. He has also transmitted a request for a Presidential Declaration of Disaster Areas to President Obama.

But with the assistance that is available from various levels of Government, Perdue reminded us that this is also a situation where neighbors helping neighbors, and communities helping communities, will make the biggest difference. “The best of people comes out in times like this.”


  1. Jeff says:

    I was hoping someone would bring this up.

    It is NOT the government’s place to even assist in disaster recovery – see Davey Crockett’s “Not Yours To Give” speech and the backstory of it. (Caveat here being roads & other state-owned infrastructure. Similarly, local government should handle repairs to any local roads/infrastructure – as the City of Leesburg is doing as we speak with a sinkhole that claimed one of our roads during the flooding we had back in April.)

    That said, it IS the neighborly thing to do to help your neighbors and community in times like these.

    The strength of the US is NOT our government – it is our people.

    • ByteMe says:

      And Jeff expounds on exactly what’s wrong with the Republicans: the underlying belief that the government is not US, even while trying to win office to run the government.

      It’s not a winning argument to bring up Davey Crockett in 2009.

        • ByteMe says:

          I stand corrected. Apologies for placing you in the GOP, Jeff. You have many things wrong, but that’s not one of them. 😉

          • Jeff says:

            Gracias, that is the second time in as many months someone has tried to call me a Republican – a thought that almost literally makes me puke!

            After all, I do have SOME sense!

          • Game Fan says:

            It’s sad to say but as a member of the “white guys in the mid-40s” category who’s first vote was for Ronald Reagan, I really don’t think that the folks in the 20s or 30s have nearly the same “party identity” as the ones over 40. Nope, the Republican party has been living off the credibility of the past, while at the same time kicking the “old school conservatives” (a.k.a. small government conservatives) in the teeth. This generation of self-identified Republicans has constituted a “free ride” for the opportunists who simply took people for granted. I doubt you’ll find such a stubborn, “proud to be a (Republican/Democrat) among anyone under 40. And the “party machinery” views real conservatism like it’s some type of alien slime which must be exterminated at all costs. 🙂

      • Jeff says:

        By the way, the Founding Fathers were clear that governments are NOT the people, but that governments are instituted AMONG the people to preserve inalienable rights.

        Why else would there be such a distinction in each of the founding documents between the government and the people? If they were one and the same, would they not be interchangeable in those documents?

          • ChuckEaton says:

            Davey Crockett, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, the Constitution; these are fictional creations no different than Santa Claus or Astrology and not to be used for winning arguments.

          • Game Fan says:

            I’m not sure which is worse, you’re pie-in-the-sky Libertarian idealist with no real grounding in reality or the paternalistic statists like you who simply use “Daniel Boone” as a convenient straw man for your own agenda.

        • ByteMe says:

          The founding fathers also envisioned the country as a loose affiliation of farmers and small-town tradesmen. They also had trouble with the idea of black folks counting as a full person. And, of course, those pesky women-folk didn’t count for much at all.

          This is 2009. We’re getting better at this.

          • Doug Deal says:

            And we have had the good sense to make such changes under the law with constitutional amendments and such.

            Changing the law because some feels like it should be different and not following the law as written is a very dangerous thing. If you want to live under such a system, you are by all means welcomed to move to Venezuela and try it out for a while.

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Warning! This video contains a black man speaking about freedom and the founding documents you consider ancient relics apparently no longer applicable in our society.

        • Doug Deal says:

          Didn’t you aregue that the tax collected is the people’s money on another thread? Now, all of a sudden, the government is not the people?

          I may be confusing you with DNA, but you are all Libertarians and none of us can tell you apart anyway.

          I do not agree or disagree with your side of this argument, I just think it funny that there are two very contradictory arguments from the same school of thought argued with the same level of certainty.

    • Game Fan says:

      I think lotsa people agree with the Libertarian philosophy, but at the same time are realists and tend to support pragmatism over idealism at least for the short term considering the “state we’re in”.

  2. bryce says:

    And the founding fathers created a way to modify the constitution as the country agreed with a change the compact. Black folk, women folk all have a place in the constitution. Both of those changes happened through the amendment process.

    • Doug Deal says:

      I can agree it is not the Federal government’s place, except as an adivsory or second seat roll, but it definitely is something state and local government’s better be involved in. I suppose Jeff is against fire departments and police for the disasters of infernos and crime.

    • Jeff says:

      Difference there is that the dog-in-trash is a violation of my property rights caused by the property of another, and if said other refuses to correct the action, I am perfectly correct in seeking a court remedy to it.

  3. tinsandwich says:

    To say that “it is not the place” of the Federal government to assist is way to black and white. National disasters call for assistance from the National government. When your whole state is under water you don’t want to wait for a town hall meeting.

    • ByteMe says:

      Only to have it hijacked by old people worried that you might tamper with their free government-provided health care…..

    • Doug Deal says:

      The Federal government should not take the lead on any kind of disaster relief, as that would be a full fledged disaster itself. Local and state governments, who know the needs of their people the best and who are likely trusted by more than FEMA should take the lead and use the feds for assistance as requested.

      Otherwise, why not use your model of governance and get rid of state and local government and just have Presidential Czars run the county at the whim of the President?

      • tinsandwich says:

        It’s not a model for government. It is called disaster planing. It’s the button you push that says “In case of emergency”!

        Thats the reason the Mayor of Austell did not have a press conference this afternoon.

        • Doug Deal says:

          To expect the government to act flawlessly on a major disaster is utter lunacy.

          You cannot plan for everything that can go wrong; you cannot even plan for a fraction of what could go wrong. There is an old saying that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and the same can be said of disasters.

          In hind sight, people sitting on the sidelines and sniping at the supposed incompetence of others can criticize those that are rendering aid all they want, but every emergency will have things that go haywire.

          Overall, I think disaster recover is generally one of the things that are handled relatively well by the government. It is a testament to the firemen, police, National Guard and others that lend aid in these times, not to the politicians, bureaucrats and partisans either taking credit or assigning blame.

  4. Icarus says:

    September 22, 2009

    Upon reviewing the comments on this thread and others, Gov. Perdue respectfully wishes to withdraw his comment “The best of people comes out in times like this.”

  5. Progressive Dem says:

    Abraham Lincoln, who may not be a “founding father” but is undoubtedly one the greatest presidents drew a different conclusion about the relationship of government and the people. He said this:

    “…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    November 19, 1863
    Gettysberg, Pa.

  6. Progressive Dem says:

    Bush, neither one, will ever be confused with Lincoln, nor listed as one of the greatest American presidents.

    • Doug Deal says:

      You see what you want to see. I dislike Bush more than most Democrats, yet, I found myself defending him constantly because instead of focussing on legitimate deficiencies in the Bush Whitehouse, the extreme left went all whacko and lost all persepctive.

      The fact is that Lincoln acted is a way very similar to the actions ascribed to Bush (some fact, mostly fiction). Lincoln suspended Habias Corpus (a precident that was duplicated in FDR’s unprosecuted war crime of imprisioning Japanese-Americans during WWII), threatened to jail the Supreme court for daring to declare his actions un-Constitutional, silenced decent, suspended the first amendment, arrested war protestors, imprisioned political enemies without trial, and in general acted as a de-facto despot.

      It is funny how you guys truly do not really believe the things you spout for political ends.

  7. Bucky Plyler says:


    Can front page posters delete a post & start over? Man, this one got jacked up & put on stumps.

  8. Progressive Dem says:

    My issue was not about habias corpus, detention, etc, but about the role of government (see above Lincoln quote about government of the people, by the people and for the people.) It was in response to Jeff’s statement that “the Founding Fathers were clear that governments are NOT the people, but that governments are instituted AMONG the people”.

    I’m happy to get back to it. Government action is often needed when to no fault of their own, people are harmed by dangerous weather. Governments are creations of people to serve people and do things that individuals cannot do themselves. Protecting the community and helping the community prosper fit into that definition. Government and individuals have roles and responsibilities in minimizing the impact of disasters.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Since you do recognize THAT part of Lincoln’s legacy, then I have no further quarrel. Few people know about some of the things he did under his watch. I personally feel it overrides the good he accomplished, but others disagree.

      • tocallaghan says:

        The reason that just a very few people realize all the bad things Lincoln did is because today it doesn’t really matter that Journalist were locked up. As horrendous as that was, the fact that minorities in our country are now allowed the same rights as white people overshadows the lack of freedom.

        I don’t think Lincoln’s greatest crimes was the suspension of habeas corpus though. Is greatest crime was making the ‘United States’ a singular noun.

        • Jeff says:


          Study the War of 1812. Lincoln didn’t make the ‘United States’ a singular noun – that war did.

          In that war, we very nearly ceased to exist as a nation. A foreign power had already decimated many of our larger cities and had burned Washington to the ground – while the commanders in the area ran for cover. It was men like Oliver Hazard Perry and ‘Old Hickory’ Andrew Jackson that stood in the way.

          The Star Spangled Banner originated in this war. Basic story there: Baltimore was among the last remaining American strongholds. There was a fort at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor, Fort McHenry, whose commander ordered a huge flag made and put on a pole. He basically told the citizens of Baltimore that if that flag fell, run like hell, because the British truly are coming. The British had their bombardment ships out in the harbor, with some prison ships beyond them. One one of those prison ships was Francis Scott Key – can’t remember if he was a doc or a lawyer, but he was assisting someone on the ship while watching the ‘bombs bursting in air’ that night. All through the night, the battle raged – and in the dawn’s early light, the flag of Fort McHenry was still there.

          Before The Second American Revolution, people referred to ‘these United States’. After that war, it was ‘the United States’.

          One of the best resources I’ve found is “18:12: The War That Forged a Nation” by Walter Borneman. I admit to being a bit of a history buff, but this really was a fascinating read – right up there with the best of fiction that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and yet completely true.

  9. Wow, what a bummer of a thread. I’m as jaded and prone to flamethrowing as anyone else on Peach Pundit, but geeze guys… this site is 99% partisan bickering threads and 1% general human being threads. I think this was supposed to be the latter.

  10. Rick Day says:

    1. Didn’t Davy Crockett die in the Alamo defending white Anglo slave owners ‘right’ to steal land from Mexico?

    2. Didn’t I see the CFO of BoA in Douglas county today asking where the ‘government bailout’ was?

    3. Do I see any actual flood victims posting here stating THEIR opinions on government’s role? Oh wait…laptop done floated down The Hooch, lol. Oh well, who cares about them?

      • I agree, sorry Jeff. But it would have been better if he had chosen his words better and have taken this opportunity to show how individual’s coming together in a charitable manner (as well as local communities and non-profits) usually do a better job, cheaper, are quicker to respond, cause less disruption and less dependency on government after the crises is over than the Federal Agency Bureaucratic nightmares we’ve seen in the recent past.

        Americans/Georgians have and continue to show that we are a very caring and hospitable nation/state as a whole… due to our individuals and their efforts (government bureaucratic processes usually even handcuff those individuals within government from being able to do more).

        I do love this country due to its people and their spirit in a crisis.

    • Jeff says:

      In my defense, my own post on the issue at hand was completely non-political – one of FEW non-politically-oriented pieces we do over there, and most of those are about more local things, such as purported gang initiation days.

      • Jeff says:

        and I wasn’t trying to go political even here. I was simply pointing out that as humans and neighbors, we SHOULD help each other – I only wish there was something *I* could actually DO to help my friends and family in the affected areas.

        Indeed, I remember my own dad drilling this in with me when I was a small kid in an incident he probably doesn’t even remember. We were driving to my grandfather’s house off Arnold Mill (his twin brother owned Waters Lake, and he lived right across the road), and it was storming that day. There was a person stopped on the road ahead of us, and maybe a tree blocking the road – I was so young the details are a bit sketchy. I was absolutely terrified of storms at that time, as many young kids are. But my dad stopped, got out into the storm, and did what was necessary to help this person – even though I was screaming and begging him not to go out there.

        My dad didn’t try to get a cop or a DOT guy out there that day – he saw a need and he got the job done himself. “Strength is our people”, indeed.

  11. Technocrat says:

    “In times like these…. Clorox is your best friend”
    said John Oxendine on Weather Channel this morning.
    Hope the campaign is smart enough to send a video and request a check.

  12. Game Fan says:

    I got a message from some guy from the “DEKAWLB” County Emergency Management Agency with some helpful information like “We’ve had widespread flooding…” You know, stuff we wouldn’t know otherwise. As GEORGIANS realize, the way you pronounce a County is a dead giveaway “IF YOU AIN’T FROM HEAH”. 🙂 But my real question is, where is this guy really? I seriously doubt there’s some guy in an office on the second floor in Downtown Decatur with an orange vest and a hard hat with a megaphone in one hand and a two-way radio in the other coordinating and directing the troops from his command center down at Dekalb ground zero. I guess we should be thankful that the guy wasn’t from India like the D. Geller Swami or something. “Herro. Dis is yua DEKOWB Coonty office of Emugincy…”

  13. Game Fan says:

    Is there anything left that hasn’t been federalized, corporatized, centralized, computerized, insourced, outsourced, offshored, or compromised by the so-called “experts”?

    And how do you throw away a garbage can?
    Why is “abbreviation” such a long word?

  14. Is there anything left that hasn’t been federalized, corporatized, centralized, computerized, insourced, outsourced, offshored, or compromised by the so-called “experts”?

    I think I’m still allowed to pick my nose and scratch my ass without a license and/or a permit. However, I’m sure there are places where I could be jailed for indecent behavior for it, since indecency is in the eye of the beholder.

    There, that should help in pulling this thread or starting over… as always, just trying to do my part. 😉

  15. Thanks for this post, Icarus.

    All you had to do was look at the flooded Chattahoochee yesterday to realize that far more lives could have been lost this week.

    It will be a long time cleaning up debris, gutting houses and putting back the pieces for many metro families in the coming days. It will be hard for them to think about irreplacable keepsakes like old family pictures, heirlooms, trophies and childhood toys. It will be the hardest of all for those who have lost a loved one in the surprise of rushing water.

    There will always be silly comments after disaster. It is better to think about the rescue workers and volunteers who helped people from flooded cars and homes, who are giving such individuals shelter in their time of need, and who will help later when the mud is shoveled out so insulation and drywall can be hung from the walls again.

  16. B Balz says:

    Been a bit busy, heah, folks. Life’s what happens when you make plans.

    In 1998 DeKalb County, and several other Georgia counties, were hit with a devastating tornado. By all accounts, FEMA/GEMA acted flawlessly in largely Dem DeKalb. Initially, mostly GOP GWINCO took the position of ‘this disaster s not a government ‘problem’. Angry citizens, the Forth Estate quickly caused GWINCO to rescind its’ position and accept GEMA, vis a vis FEMA assistance.

    This is not meant as a poke at the GOP, but rather a pointed reminder about the ‘commons’. In my case, there would not be anyway to have easily cleaned up the twenty or so trees down, drainage issues and the adverse effects that would follow. Like vermin, mosquitos and further drainage issues caused by huge holes where big trees used to live.

    In 2001 or so, Hurricane Ivan dumped so much water on the now treeless area, we experienced a flood. Yes, after the tornado, we had a flood. Again, FEMA acted flawlessly, largely due to the fact there were few claimants in GA. On that issue I was a FEMA loan recipient and durn glad to have the help.

    During the 1998 tornado, it would have been great to say, to each clean your estate, this is not a government mandate. Democracy would prevail, some who could clean up would not, others who wish they could clean up, could not. And all would suffer.

    I spent a lot of time researching a flood damage mitigation plan, fully expecting it would never be used in my lifetime. Berms and swales, piping, trenching and dry wells, all of it. I relied on advice from local and federal sources.

    My plan worked, and my little bit of paradise was dry during the Perfect Storm of 2009.

    I DO know how these folks who have lost stuff feel, I cannot imagine how someone whose child was ripped from their arms feels.

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