My government has managed to disappoint me yet again. All those people stranded, holding their babies who are dying from dehydration, and nothing. I was watching the news last night and the grizzled police officers trying to keep order and rescue the folks they could were breaking down crying. It was too much for everyone. The reporters were saying that the looters are taking food and water, no televisions, because they have seen zero aid from the government. The insanity of the first 24 hours is over, and while I understand the nervousness of the police and National Guard knowing that firearms were the first things taken, these people need help and FEMD has basically said, ďhey, donít look at us, try the Red Cross.Ē Pathetic. The guy representing FEMD was given every chance in the world by this reporter to explain and put his agency in a good light, and basically he said, ďwell, we usually just give people money, but they canít get to a bank right now, so there is nothing we can do.Ē Again, pathetic. Money is useless when there is nothing to BUY dickwad. One of the shots I saw from earlier today was of a few people breaking into the concessions area of the Superdome and passing out the food inside. I was astounded. I figured that would have been done the first day. How could they have supplies and be keeping them locked away from human beings who need it? Why were the starving people even forced to break into it? This is the kind of retarded stuff that is happening. The US has stores of all kinds of stuff everywhere (yes, the Superdome is not government property, but the same attitude applies. Not to mention there should just be a basic policy that if you give life necessities to people in a national emergency you will be reimbursed.). They can take care of these people. They just arenít doing as much as they can for whatever reason. Where are the troops to help out? Oh yeah, theyíre wasting away in Iraq, ill funded and ill protected. We have been spread way too thin and with absolutely no thought to priorities. It is not like you have zero warning for hurricanes. Yes, it may have been worse than was originally thought, but jeeze, people, we knew it was coming, shouldnít there have been some preparation for a worst case scenario? It isnít even the first tropical storm of the year. Why wasnít it considered that one of the many this year could get really bad and maybe we should put a little forethought into this. Heaven forbid W has to interrupt his vacation to actually do his job as Commander in Chief and make sure the military is ready for the aftermath of the biggest hurricane in over 100 years. Oh, well, of course there is the fundraising concert telethonÖ I donít mean to be snide, because I know the intentions are good, but jeeze louise, you gotta be kidding me.
On the upside, good show to Texas (I didnít think I would EVER write that sentence) for helping and taking all those people in. That is the sort of thing we should be seeing from the Feds, but whatever. Also, the people who are down their working and trying the best they can with what they have to help as many people as possible, they are heroes in the true sense of the word. I keep trying to think of things to do to help, money only goes so far. Iím eligible to give blood, so Iím going to try to do that this weekend. It is just so very frustrating.
As I listen to all of this on the news I am reminded of something I heard at a geology/ history lecture (yes, Iím a dork. Donít judge me.). The only reason San Francisco wasnít completely leveled in 1906 was because the army was still stationed in the Presidio, and when the fire started the fire departments fought the flames from one side while the Army came at them from the other. The military is now all but gone from the bay area, and per capita we have fewer firefighters now than we did in 1906. Granted, we have better building codes and such now, and buildings are better prepared for earthquakes to help prevent the gas leaks and electrical fires, but we also have exponentially more people and taller buildings which are harder to evacuate (see 9/11). Were we to have a fire of that magnitude in the city again, we would be very hard pressed to fight it. If this is how they are responding to something they actually had warning (however short) of, where will that leave us, who are, by the nature of our natural disasters, given no warning whatsoever? As I said before, I am not afraid of earthquakes, but right now I really have zero faith that the country I pay a sizable portion of my paycheck to in theoretical exchange for help when it is needed, will make good on its promises, or that it will even care that it isnít helping. That is very sad. The only thing we have going for us is that because there will be no warning, the rich people wonít leave first so there will be a vested interest for the Presidentís campaign funds. Wow, did that sound cynical or what? Not that the current president would give two shits about a city as liberal as SF, but there would definitely be more pressure.
I canít talk about this anymore. Iím getting myself very worked up and upset so I just need to stop for a while.