Katrina

Jenn got the call today that her dad was being activated by the national guard in response to the hurricane damage in New Orleans. I've been reading, watching, and listening about the devastation in the area. What I find most appalling is how rapidly the civil situation turned into anarchy. Looting is a sad but expected result, but shooting at rescue personnel and causing general mayhem? I had higher expectations of the people of our country than that. What are these shooters thinking? Of course, there are lots of things I don't understand about this situation. Why stay after the order to evacuate? Why build a city under sea-level? Why make a bad situation worse by harassing the rescue workers and terrorizing other victims? I just don't understand it.

I'm also really disappointed with the media, oil, and insurance industries. The media has already started the witch-hunt to blame someone. It's completely ridiculous. A study was done several years ago that stated that a category 5 hurricane would completely destroy New Orleans. It was a known risk. Yet nearly every newscaster has asked the same ridiculous question: "Why weren't you prepared?" In a catastrophe like this, the loss of life is unavoidable. It's wrong to try and lay blame on any person or organization.

The insurance and oil industries didn't waste any time in using the hurricane to boost profits. Gas around us ranges from $3.19-$3.50 a gallon. Insurance companies are talking about how rates are going to rise.

While I'm ranting, let me make one final observation. What nations are rushing to OUR aid now? Whenever tragedy strikes in the world, we Americans are expected to come running to the rescue. When we need help, who answers the call. If any foreign aide is headed our way, I haven't heard about it yet. I suppose the rest of the world thinks we either don't need or don't deserve their help.

Sorry for the rant, but the whole situation just puts me in a foul mood.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you had ever gotten a chance to go to New Orleans. I was able to go a few years back. Having been there and also being a social worker who has to work and know the dinamics of poverty really helps one understand the situation. The south in and of itself is one of the MOST impoverished areas in this country. People were just simply unable to leave! Many followed orders to take shelter at safe havens but then are not getting what has been promised. Imagine living paycheck to pay checking, renting your home, and knowing that if you leave you will have NOTHING...you have no savings account to fall back on, thus you WILL be homeless!! Once the government moves you to a place you still have nothing you WILL have to live off handouts and how long will you have to be in this strange city (note you most likely have NEVER been out of New Orleans) What are you going to do for money to survive there, is the government going to forget about you. You have likely been through the welfare system and you know what a tangle and hard time they give you when negotiating that system. Then IF you get to go back to your home community, you will still be homeless, you have no money for a deposit or first months rent. These people are under an increadible amount of stress they are in shock. Yes some of the people are hampering assistance for many but people need to understand their perspective as well. We sent millions if not billions to the tsumniami(sp) victims and the fundraising and government assistance seemed almost immediate, it is going to take almost a week in order for the federal governement to have money available for the rescue effort, it is coming up with a considerable amount of money but the basic needs of these people are currently not being meet. It is hot and humid in the south and people are dieing as i type this due to lack of WATER!!!
Okay that was a rant but just how I am feeling right now!
Hope all is well for you and yours
Denise

Adam said...

Hey Lady, thanks for the comment. I get where you are coming from.

What I Get:

- The impoverished, sick, handicapped, or in some other form inhibited from leaving.

- Taking (aka looting) bare essentials from groceries. Things like meds, food, water, hygiene items.

- Frustration over the slowness in the arrival of help and desperation to take advantage of it when it arrives.

What I don't get:

- Jacking electronics, guns, and jewelry. Seriously. The power is out, what are you going to do with a 50" plasma.

- Shooting at the victims, rescuers, police, and national guard. I heard on report that folks were doing this to get attention, as a "come rescue me now" shot. The rescuers are working as fast and hard as they can. Everyone is desperate. Shooting isn't helping. This one scares Jenn and I both a lot since her dad is going to be there helping with the rescue efforts.

- Well heeled folks who didn't evacuate because they have some sense of invincibility.

- Beating, raping, and causing general mayhem.

I feel for the folks who are suffering through this, I really do. I'm just so disappointed by what this tragedy has brought out in some people / corporations.

Jennifer said...

Okay, I have already ranted on my blog too, but I'll put my 2 cents in here too. First, I beleive that the respnse is slow becuase there is jsut no way to get into the city. I mena everything is under water. And on top of that, as a rescue worker, would YOU want to go in if you knew you were going to get shot at!? I wouldn't. Sorry. But, yes, New Orleans is one of the poorest cities with the highest crime rates in the nation. I'm not surprised that the criminals came out en masse to take "advange" of the tragedy. I'm pretty sure all these "impoverished" people who couldn't get out are people on welfare who have made no attempt to find a job and use what money they have on drugs and alcohol. That may sound harsh, but I've been there, I've seen these people in the streets begging for money. Okay, now I'm being harsh, but I know people who had time to get out (granted they've still lost everything, but they are safe). I don't get the staying becuase if you leave you will lose everything. You staying isn't going to keep the apartment from flooding. I don't know, it's all just VERY sad.

Anonymous said...

It is all very sad, but after opening up one our locations down there all the news about the crime, not leaving, shooting at rescue workers did not surprise me in the least. When I got back from NOLA I told my husband that I kept looking over my shoulder, half expecting it to be raining fire and brim stone. The crime that we are seeing is definatly nothing new, with less people around their just better able to do it. It's really a poverty and lack of edcuation thing. I guess the short of it is don't move to NOLA. It is very sad to see a part of our country like this.

 
Jade Mason