Friday, September 02, 2005

My view

For the last few days, I have been glued to the boob tube and the radio. I am riveted by what I have seen and heard thus far. This is a scene of chaos and despair. Humanity and generosity. I am overwhelmed with desire to go down to the Gulf Coast and help any way I can. But I can’t. I am a giving person by nature. I give to my community where I can. But helpless is what I feel in this time of need. So I will choose to be a bit of a hypocrite and pick apart what I see, as I see it. I will do this over the next hour of 2 as I see it on TV. I now it’s wrong in some lights, but I need to do it. It’s either this or yell at the TV. Ok, here goes………………………………………

A quote from the press: “Ray Nagin: You’re no Rudy Guiliani”. I agree. Stop bitching to the press and get down there, in YOUR city and help YOUR people. You look might clean and dry!!! Help is coming, but it is slow for several reasons. Stop yelling and get to work. Get your ass on one of those boats, with a loud speaker in hand and tell the people what to do. They don’t know what to do. Tell them and give them some personal reassurance that help is coming. From a political standpoint get dirty

Giraldo Rivera made it from New York to the Convention Center in New Orleans. He gave, as he is known for, a very emotional report on the conditions there. I commend him for getting into the “trenches” and doing exponentially more that the average would. “Let them out” he said. But I ask this: What did he bring with him? Any water or food or toiletries or INFORMATION? He got in. Here’s a hint Giraldo: Just march them out! Take charge (because the on scene management seems to be failing) and march those people over the bridge. Find people in the building who seems competent to be leaders and appoint them to help. Break them into groups and just cross the bridge. Mass numbers of very pissed off people will not be stopped.

To the kid who stole the school but to help people move: GOD BLESS YOU! This is a perfect example of one who can think under pressure. Doing what seems wrong under normal conditions and sticking you’re neck out to help the fellow man is what this country needs more of. They should make YOU Mayor!!!

The reaction of the relief effort, particularly in the national level is disappointing to people. Much of the victims are on day 5 without seeing anyone from outside the area. The president and others are under political attack. The president has said himself that his is less than pleased with the reaction. No shit!!!!!! What the hell do you expect? We are stretched close to our limits. National Guard units are being in other areas of the world. Just the name National Guard assumes that their job is to guard OUR nation. Much of these people are everyday workers. Assume that you are in the National Guard and working an every day job as a welder, or a fork lift operator, or a HVAC contractor ( a close friend is one). How long would it take you to pack up and leave everything? Plus, our nation has not faced a national disaster of the magnitude for generations. 9-11 was different on many levels.

I am watching video of people being air lifted into helicopters being pulled out of the mess. Yes, I am watching the show, but my military experience defaults here. Why are the cameraman allowed on board? Helicopters (birds) have a limited space and weight. The cameraman is getting in the way and taking up space and weight. To the media, just get out of the way. Cover the situation from on the ground.

Why didn’t the people leave? They never have in the past! A close friend at work (fellow military) who was stationed there for years tells me this: The people of New Orleans have held Hurricane Parties! Over the years, this has become a “Cry wolf” story. Many oh many of these storms have come in and never gave the people major trouble. “Close the doors and wait it out” has been the norm for many, many years.

Shootings and rapes have been reported in the Convention Center. Duaaa! Take a mass of people, who have been undereducated in what may be the nations worse educational system and put them together like rats in a cage for days without food or water. Need I say more?

Oh course we were slow getting down there. We have never done this before. We have a hurricane template if you will. We go down there to fix power lines and clean up the mess. The situation is exponentially different.

More to come, I hope!


Blogger InterstellarLass said...

I can't say as I agree with you on some of this. A flood affecting almost 100,000 people is drastically different than the Sept. 11 attacks. (Not saying one is any worse.) Any resources Nagin may have had to help his people after Katrina passed over were under water as soon as the levees broke. In Dallas, we're still receiving refugees from the New Orleans.

I think it's a combination of responsibilities for who should be helping. They all failed. And from what I have read, the FEMA director is either an idiot, or his staff woefully mis-informed him of the actual situation. Bad communication. Just horrible.

The press have a responsibility too. Where else would you receive the infomation you've been consuming if they weren't there? There are many vantage points that the story will need to be told from.

Some left if they could. Some didn't because they never have before. Some didn't because they didn't have the means. Whatever reason, everyone knew that there were going to be people there during and after the storm. "We told them to get out" isn't a valid excuse for not helping expeditiously.

I volunteered yesterday at the North Texas Food Bank. I did it for the hurricane. I'll go back and do it again because a) they need the help, and b) that's the kind of work I like doing (manual labor -- I prefer to pay in sweat).

9/04/2005 9:57 AM  

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