Gov. Blameco’s Going, Too? I Got a Clue For Them

…and it wouldn’t cost near what their little forty person jaunt is costing WHO? (Need I say it? Yes, YES, I must!)
You and me.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco left for Holland on Monday to learn how the Dutch created the huge flood-control system that protects a land much farther below sea level than Louisiana.
The trip means the Democratic governor will miss President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, scheduled for Thursday. Blanco said her trip had been long scheduled when the White House informed her office about the president’s trip to Louisiana.
The governor was among more than 40 government, business and education leaders – including Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu – who took the trip in hopes of learning how to create levees and floodgates strong enough to withstand a storm as large as or larger than Hurricane Katrina, which overwhelmed New Orleans’ flood control system.

Okay, first you get a shovel

…then you USE it.

And you were looking for a picture of Hans Brinker? Not in MY lifetime. Plus, Hans…is American.

The legend of the brave Dutch boy – by others thought to be named Hans Brinker – who supposedly put his finger in the dyke to prevent a flood, was actually a literary invention by the American writer Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge (1831-1905), who was born in New York.
Hans Brinker was made famous in the USA by her children’s novel Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, dating from 1865. In the chapter called ‘Friends in Need’ there is this story read out in class called ‘The Hero of Haarlem’. This is the story – quoted above – of the heroic boy who saves the land from drowning by putting his finger in the dyke all night long. The adventure is situated near Haarlem, not yet in Spaarndam (both in the province of North-Holland). Actually, the hero in the story remains anonymous, but still the adventure is mostly attributed to Hans Brinker, Hansie Brinkers or Peter of Haarlem. (By the way, several of the names Mary Mapes Dodge invented perhaps look or sound Dutch for Americans, but they are not, and sometimes they look more like German names – Hans’ sister for instance is called Gretel, like in the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale).
…The art historian Annette Stott states that with Hans Brinker Mary Mapes Dodge created a work of pure fiction: “She had not visited Holland when she wrote it and relied on a variety of published sources about Dutch life, literature, and art for her information. She also mined the memories of a Dutch-born couple living in the United States.” (Holland Mania, p. 240). Stott concludes her research on the book by saying: “The fanciful tale of a finger in the dike, which was repeated by other authors of juvenile literature, undoubtedly went some distance toward establishing in young American minds a belief in the courage, independence and trustworthiness of the Dutch” (Holland Mania, p. 241). Somehow, Mary Mapes Dodge tried to depict Holland as an ideal and idyllic nation of brave, righteous, godfearing farmfolk on wooden shoes.

A work of FICTION. Just like the reason for this trip.

7 Responses to “Gov. Blameco’s Going, Too? I Got a Clue For Them”

  1. That 1 Guy says:

    Personally, I think this trip may be valid. Surely, you can’t ignore how well Holland has been able to handle all of the Cat 5 hurricanes that they deal with?

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Yes, they had a bit of a rough go during their last big storm:
    In February 1953 the Netherlands faced disaster when the dikes protecting the southwest of the country were breached by the joint onslaught of a hurricane-force northwesterly wind and exceptionally high spring tides. The flood came in the night without warning, a fateful combination of freak high tides and gale-force winds that killed 1,835 people. Almost 200,000 hectares of land was swamped, 3,000 homes and 300 farms destroyed, and 47,000 heads of cattle drowned.
    Hmm, how do you say ‘cannibalism’ in Dutch? Did Chimpy McHitler let all those dutch minorities die then, too?

  3. how do you say ‘cannibalism’ in Dutch?
    And I’m sure they moved all the Turks over that-a-ways.

  4. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Just a friggin’ junket. And a worthless one at that. But, hey, think of the shopping they can do!!!

  5. Nightfly says:

    Maybe they hope that they can float to safety on their wooden shoes.

  6. The_Real_JeffS says:

    I think that their wooden heads will provide sufficient buoyancy, Nightfly.

Image | WordPress Themes