Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Today it was suggested that those of us typing should be DOING something more. People spoke up to say we should all pull together and we should stop slandering the president.

A combination of my responses there, and to another list, is below...


For something to be slander, it has to untrue. It's true people were left to die for days with no food or water. That's not slander. That's fact.

If you really think all we need to do is pull together and do something for victims you have no understanding of how our political system works. *Someone* has to speak out about the horrible injustices or they just continue unchecked. And, they get worse. This should be an example of how things get worse.

If you just want to pull together that's great. I applaud your efforts. But don't criticize mine because I want to do something beyond this disaster.

We all do what we can. Frankly, writing is one of the things I do best and it can have a small impact in a different way than handing out sandwiches or taking in a family or whatever. I get over 65,000 hits a month on my website. If I can convince a couple of those people that we need to make major changes and do something beyond the immediate concern, then I've done something very valuable for the next group of potential victims.

You're concerned for these folks who were harmed by this - and so am I - but I'm also concerned for the next folks and the ones after them and on and on and on. We can't always just be reacting to the current situation. We have to change. And in our system - broken though it may be - change doesn't happen until a bunch of people do a bunch of bitching and holding people's feet to the fire. We all have our talents. I'm not good at one on one relief efforts but I'm damned good at holding people's feet to the fire and I don't intend to stop anytime soon.

The need is far greater than it should have been. Many people have died that didn't have to. We were ill prepared and unwilling to even admit it, much less change it. NOW is the time to keep this in the news.

Six months from now when people are resettled and there's a Mardi Gras and things are moving along, it will be very easy for the public to forget that our government messed up - big time - and no matter what they do to "fix" it - it can't be undone. Our government the last few years has been very big on "accountability" and I want to see some of that.

This should be a huge wake up call to everyone who thinks security on the homefront is all we need to be concerned with. I participated in a mock disaster a year ago - funded by homeland security - to make sure we were all prepared in case of a terrorist attack. It was so horribly mismanaged and confused that I knew it was hopeless if anything ever happened here.

I live near a city that's in the top ten of their guess of potential targets. I stockpiled some bottled water in my basement and decided to hope for the best because I knew there was absolutely no hope that anything "official" would happen if we were hit. There were three agencies involved - they didn't even bother to CALL one of them when the supposed disaster hit - the medical one. And, of course, they *could* call.

Why do you assume that those of us who "type" are ONLY typing? We're multi talented people who can manage many things. Just because we don't chose to share with the world what we may view as private business does not mean we have no right to point out what is wrong with the system.

Absolutely we need to be doing all we can to help these victims. But that only addresses the RESULT of the real problem, which is our government is broken. I want to address the real problem so this doesn't happen again in another circumstance. And, trust me, it will.

Not everyone understands the frustration I - and others - have expressed. Not at all. You may, most of the people here may, but about half of the people in the country approve of how this was handled. Those people are the ones that want the rest of us to shut up - to get about doing something to help. I *am* doing something to help. I'm trying to fix what's broken.

I'm fed up with the people who say we should stop criticizing about any idiotic thing the government does. I thought leaving people to die in the freaking streets would wake people up, but apparently not. Well, I won't be silenced. I've had all of the ineptitude I'm going to take.

When we get to the point that we're leaving corpses to be eaten by rats in the streets, it's time for SOMEONE to take notice. I'm not going to be the nice little quiet person who just hushes up about this mess and digs in with both hands to tidy up yet another of our government's screw ups. I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. We've been putting bandaids on the results of the screw ups for a few years now and I'm sick of it.

I COMPLETELY applaud the efforts of people who are doing hands on, in the trenches, relief work. I am truly amazed at the generosity of people who are taking people into their homes for some undetermined amount of time. I'm awed by that. Totally, completely, awed. I'm grateful that people want to volunteer for the Red Cross and hand out sandwiches and do paperwork for new ID information and whatever else needs to be done. It's all great - and very important - and I never want to diminish that in any way. I'm thankful that so many are willing to do so much. I am touched by the heart warming stories.

But, I'm insulted by your suggestion that keeping the topic of the gross mismanagement on people's minds is not helping. It's the only way something will change long term.

The public's memory is very short. We have to talk about it now - while it's hot news - and keep talking about it - for something to change. Pretty soon the memory of people languishing in filth and wading through water with corpses floating in it while Rice bought shoes and Bush strummed a guitar and Lance Armstrong cycled with him will fade. We'll focus on the good news - like Jabbor Gibson - and we'll forget there should have been no reason for those hero stories.

White House aides, after the poll I've mentioned here, were "relieved" that the numbers were so good for the president. They were worried about his approval rating. If someone had been worrying about the people drowning in their homes instead, we might not have lost so many. This insensitivity is what makes my blood boil.

I'd just as soon not repeat this whole scenario. If we don't fix the problem, we will. People who are concerned about terrorists should realize they have TVs. They can see that we can't handle even something we've planned for. They could blow up dams. Obviously, we don't know how to deal with water. We've already demonstrated with people fleeing NY during a 6 hour power outtage that we can't deal with not having power. How many more vulnerabilities should we demonstrate in full blown, living color?

Our government is in chaos and incapacitated by its own bureaucracy. I, for one, am not going to be silenced about it, regardless of how many want us to be quiet so they can keep their heads in the sand about the real problems.

If we do not keep the *reasons* this happened in the forefront, and make changes, the next time people die because our government failed, their blood is on all our hands.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)

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