A weblog about all the inconveniences we encounter in everyday life. Diapers, junk food, cruelty to animals, hostile people, rude cell phone behavior, cancer, terrible customer service (also known as "why the hell am I giving this company my money?"), ignorance, parking, bad spelling, family disturbances, office politics, death (the biggest inconvenience of all) and more. Thanks for saving me thousands of dollars in therapy by reading my blog. It might even make you laugh.

Friday, September 02, 2005

At a loss

I'm at such a loss to understand any of what has gone on in our country over this past week. The director of FEMA has blamed the tragedy on the victims, saying there was a mandatory evacuation and they should have left. His ignorance and refusal to see what is in front of his face is not unique, but it is appalling. Most of the people did not leave because they did not have the means to leave. New Orleans had a 30 percent poverty rate before the hurricane. Those people needed to wait until payday on Friday to have some cash to get out of town.

The lack of humanity from our government should not be shocking, but it is. No one is getting help to these people, and when "help" does come, it's in the form of armed National Guardsmen patrolling, rather than Red Cross or FEMA people with food and water. The looting has gotten worse, yes. But why? Because people are dying of starvation, of thirst, of lack of medication. Yes, there are some who are violent, some who have gone outside the bounds of rational behavior and stolen things like big screen TVs. But why focus on them? Stay out of their way. Is this really so important in the overall scheme of things? Get the victims out, get them to safety, get them water and food. And for God's sake, why not let them take their cherished pets with them?

It's so heartbreaking and so beyond belief. I'm at a complete loss. I'm so angry and disappointed in our government and "disaster relief system." I know there are many volunteers who are trying to help, who are trying to do the right thing. But there is such disorganization, such chaos, such a focus on policing and military efforts, that the whole idea of a rescue operation has gotten lost.

Every time I see an official on TV, they basically say "It's not as bad as it looks." This is crap and we are being lied to. It's worse than it looks. Make no mistake. My worse nightmares haven't come close to what is going on down there.

I can't help but compare this to 9/11, but the comparisons are very few. It's more of a contrast. On 9/11 and in the time after I saw extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion, of hundreds of firefighters and police officers giving their lives for others. Today I hear of police in New Orleans turning in their badges and running away. On 9/11 we watched as an enemy attacked and tried to show us the worst of this world, and as New Yorkers we came together. This week Mother Nature has shown us some terrible things, but the enemy is ourselves.

The governor of Louisiana holds a press conference to demand an apology from the House Speaker. Why did she have time to do this? Didn't she have more important things to do? Besides, the speaker's comments to my hometown paper did make a bit of sense. A city below sea level in the a time of global warming really does not seem like a good idea.

Rudy Guiliani spent 9/11 on more important tasks than reading reports from other places and demanding apologies. He stood up and took command. Perhaps that's the problem here. There's no one in charge. The closest thing we've got to that is Air Force One flying overhead and looking down at the predominantly black, poor people below and saying, "We'll get aid to you. Some time. In the next, er, few days or, er, week, or whenever we can get there."

Shame on us.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Animals Need Our Help, Too

Please don't forget about the animals in Katrina's wake. The good news is there are organizations helping, and if you donate to them you can make a real difference in this effort. I recommend Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Noah's Wish.

Update on Amanda

Here is an update on the woman I am trying to help. She is separated from her family in a woman's shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. I am not clear on the circumstances that led her to be in a woman's shelter and not with her husband, but it seemed she had no place to go and that was her only choice.

I was able to text message her grandfather who called me back. He's in a hotel and lost everything. I text messaged her parents but I do not know if they were able to get the messages.

Amanda is diabetic and feeling very down and depressed. She is trying to find her husband, Felix Shelton, Jr., his father Felix Shelton, Sr., who is in a wheelchair and has MS, and Felix's mother Kathleen Shelton. I have not had any luck but hopefully I will be able to help her locate them. They're from Chalmette, which from all reports was hit very hard.

I plan to help her find where the rest of her family is and help to find a place for her to stay if I can. Her parents may be headed for a shelter in Huntsville, Texas. Once she is somewhere where help can be sent, I plan to help her with supplies, clothing, cash, whatever is needed. I will need lots of help with this as I already feel a bit overwhelmed and there's no way I can do it alone. Luckily several individuals have already stepped up, but more will be needed.

Giving to relief organizations is very important, but you can also help directly if you want to join me in my project.


Katrina Help

If you'd like to help me help someone affected by Katrina, let me know. I am going to try to help a woman named Amanda in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, get through her rebuilding time. Currently I am trying to help her contact her family and let them know she is okay and to find her husband for her.

Post a comment her or e-mail me directly if you know my e-mail if you'd like to help. I figure if we each help at least one person we can help everyone get through this absolutely horrific time.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Where My Feet Would Rather Be ...

Here ...

Or here ...

Or definitely here ...