I haven’t felt much like blogging lately and I suspect I’m not the only one.
First off, after a bit of an absence I want to a gain thank CW, Candy and Maili for the great new look. I came up with the picture and they (I call them blog doctors) did most of the rest. I’m not exactly sure who did what but I know Candy did the banner, CW the guts with major consultation work by Maili.. I also have to thank CW and Jay for holding my cyber hand as I, with closed eyes (seriously I closed them) transferred the old into the new in the late late (or early, early ) hours. My deepest thanks for all the wonderful work.
(Egads I sound like I’m giving an Oscar thank you speech don’t I?)
I like probably everyone else, has been following the news this past week. The following are just some of my thoughts on what has happened this past week. I have watched in horror and anguish along with everyone else, the devastation that Katrina caused. And words almost fail me as I watch what happened and continues to happen in the aftermath. I have read blogs and followed news links and I am beyond appalled at what has taken place. I spent one evening watching the news and was completely confused and horrified as to how news cameras and personnel could get into the convention centre and Superdome, into hotels and overpasses where people were trapped and desperately waited for rescue, but the authorities couldn’t get anyone through. That made no sense.
Another thing that bothers me is the number of people saying now is not the time for finger pointing. I don’t think it’s finger pointing – I think its demanding accountability. There is too little of that anymore. No one wants to be held responsible for anything anymore.
In the case of Katrina and the debacle after, all levels of government hold some degree of responsibility. They mayor certainly for not having made sure someone or some group would be in charge at the Superdome. To a much greater extent FEMA for not having made sure there were evacuation plans. FEMA used to be respected – not anymore. Now they and the president are a cruel joke. What happened to a once great support and warning system? Homeland Security – what a joke - enough said. And ultimately the one who holds the most responsibility is the president. I’m not saying George Bush solely, this is a problem that has been in the making for years and preceding presidents did nothing. But Mr Bush made it so much worse with his successive funding cuts.
I am saddened by the further division this has caused in the US. It seems staunch Democrats think the current administration is completely to blame and staunch Republicans are absolving the administration of all blame and placing it where it does not belong. Why can’t both sides agree this has been coming for years and crosses all political parties.
I have read various comments of such hatred and lack of understanding for the victims. “Why didn’t they leave. They had plenty of warning. I don’t feel any sympathy” This kind of thought terrifies me in it’s lack of compassion and understanding of even the most obvious facts. Many of these people simply COULDN’T leave.
And then the stories that are emerging after make me so angry I can hardly bear it. The young man who took a bus, loaded it with complete strangers and drove to Texas. He should be hailed as a hero, instead at first the bus was denied entry because it didn’t enter through the “proper channels” and then he was accused of looting. This is beyond belief. Even this morning in our local paper there is a story of a family that were accused of “squatting” while they waited for help at gunpoint by law enforcement only released when they offered proof they owned the home. So what if they had broken in? This is a family trying to survive an unprecedented disaster. Should they be punished for surviving? It horrifies me.
Now stories are emerging how help was refused. The city of Chicago offered help. It was turned down. The Red Cross was turned away. What kind of insanity existed in the minds of the power that be to do this? I truly do not understand.
And now it appears the survivors are being screwed by the insurance companies. I read Larissa Iones’ accounts and my heart goes out to her and her family. She related her conversation with the insurance company. It seems the damage to homes won’t be covered in many cases because they don’t have flood insurance. People have spent years paying the high cost of hurricane insurance, believing they were safe in the event of a disaster only to be told they aren’t covered because the damage was caused by flood waters (caused by the hurricane). How can insurance executives sleep at night? How can they not do everything in their power to help?
This rant is in no way directed to the American people. I don’t blame them for any of this. It is the government that has failed its people time and time again. I’m sure, in time the resiliency and caring of the ordinary citizen will triumph not because of the leaders but in spite of them.
I don’t live in the States but I have asked myself could the same breakdown, the same failure happen here should we suffer such a cataclysmic event?
Sadly, I have not the slightest doubt that it can.