OT: Wheres the World donations for NO?


filmy wrote on 9/3/2005, 12:46 PM
>>>I'd propose a different sort of discussion;
What has anyone here done to assist in relief efforts?<<<

Trying to set up relief for one of the fogotten parish's - St Bernards Parish, where the local police and fire departments have been doing it all without any outside aid. The media has all but ignored this area. Last night there were still people on their roofs waiting for help. While New Orleans is "80% flooded" and has the worlds attention, Chalmette is 99.9% flooded and no one seems to care other than the community itself.

You want real heros? the SBPFD for thus far doing 99.9% of all aid in the parish. Want real un-selfishness? I offered money directly to assist my best friends family with food or hotel costs or, furter down the line, rebuilding their home. His mom and dad have lost everything, their life of memories gone, their home underwater with not much hope for even getting back into their neighborhood for 4 months or more...and you know what he said? He said he can not accept the money because there are so many other people worse off.

I do not have the means to get in there to help, sending a check or money is pointless at this second. Cloths, food and so on are as well because getting directly to those who need it in the parish will be hard. They are underwater and will be for some time. My help will be more in force once we can get back into the area. I have already offered to go there and do whatever is needed when the times comes.

EDIT - Passing on this just as an FYI type of thing about 'da parish'. Pass it on if you want. Open letter to GW from Henry Rodriguez.
Henry “Junior” Rodriguez
St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
(504) 278-4200

Dear President Bush:

My name is Henry “Junior” Rodriguez and I am President of St. Bernard Parish Louisiana.

My parish is completely flooded from the recent passage of hurricane Katrina. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over my parish and has caused mass destruction and complete flooding.

Of our community of 67,000 citizens, many are surrounded by water and have no place to go. We have NO food, NO water, NO sanitation, NO power, and NO communication. We have no way to rescue or recover our citizens.

Absolutely no attempt has been made to communicate with me regarding the catastrophe that has occurred to the citizens that I represent.

I cannot believe that in a country as sophisticated as the United States of America that the leadership in the White House cannot somehow communicate NOW with me and the local government that I represent.

This disaster is a direct outgrowth of the neglect of the Federal Government to address the costal erosion problem of southern Louisiana.

I implore you to please contact me directly or have the appropriate federal agency respond IMMEDIATELY to this disaster. I am in danger of having many citizens die if they are not rescued now.

On behalf of the citizens of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, I am begging for your help.


Henry “Junior” Rodriguez
President, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

filmy wrote on 9/3/2005, 1:34 PM
Jack A. Stephens
St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
(504) 271-2504

September 3, 2005; 11:00 AM CST


Because of the total breakdown of law and order and the civil insurrection in the City of New Orleans:

No one, including residents, will be permitted to return to St. Bernard Parish until further notice.

The City of New Orleans appears to be in a state of civil insurrection which WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO MIGRATE IN TO ST. BERNARD PARISH.

It is NOT SAFE for residents to travel through Orleans Parish to get home


You will not be allowed into St. Bernard Parish so do not risk your life by traveling through Orleans Parish to get home.

If you attempt to enter St. Bernard at a barricade – turn around and leave immediately. Anyone attempting to evade any barricades will be dealt with severely, including being shot on site.

Please be assured that St. Bernard Parish is safe and secure and we will make every effort to maintain same during this emergency.
filmy wrote on 9/3/2005, 1:39 PM
here is some info in case anyone here can offer up these items to directly help those in St Bernards Parish when the water starts going down.


If you have heavy equipment, skills operating heavy equipment (Bobcat, bulldozer, back hoe, etc.), and/or other skills that may be beneficial in the rebuilding effort, please send an email to volunteer@stbernardparishgovernment.com.

Please describe your equipment and/or skill and include a return email address and a telephone number (if possible) in your message. We will notify you when you are needed.

We WILL monitor the responses. Please do not be discouraged if you are not contacted immediately. It may take some time to respond because of the lack of communciations capabilities.
Jimco wrote on 9/3/2005, 2:18 PM

I feel for Junior Rodriguez, but he'd be better off writing to the governor of Louisiana. The federal government is not in charge of coordinating efforts in Louisiana.

risce1 wrote on 9/3/2005, 2:22 PM
i imagine there are many places such as this. Many dead, homeless , hungry , in shock . and I hate the term refugee.

Help however you can . No finger pointing just help.
fldave wrote on 9/3/2005, 3:13 PM

I hate the term refugee, also, but when I was in the Ivan relief line last September, that's what I called myself in disbelief. I tried to think of another term that best described it. I wasn't displaced, but most of Katrina's victims are/will be. I was just in need. And I was proud of my country that had people in the relief lines there so quickly and who were happy to help me in any way they could.

Compassion. That is the key.
rstein wrote on 9/3/2005, 3:20 PM
To the original post, here is a list of countries which have pledged aid; note that the Administration has not elected to accept any of them at this time. Please don't try to, in so many words, claim we are the unilateral saviors of the world, because such a statement is egregiously wrong.

The State Department said offers of help had been received from:

Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

International organizations also offered help ranging from medical teams to tents to cash donations. They include NATO, the Organization of American States, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Health Organization.

A State Department official said a needs assessment was being done to determine which offers would be accepted.
Coursedesign wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:08 PM
I can only assume that you were hibernating during the response to 9/11 by Mayor Giuliani. Now THAT was true leadership. Where’s Rudy when you need him?

I kinda was hibernating. I was legally blind at the time, and my short term memory spanned a few seconds on the best days, so I wasn't as embedded in what happened on 9/11 as many other people.

I remember hearing later that many New Yorkers were very impressed with Rudy's hands-on approach, so I'll certainly take your word for the rest.

Still, I also remember hearing that while people were running for their lives out of the WTC buildings, others were breaking and entering in the basement hallway to steal ultra-expensive Torneau watches and other goods from the stores there.

And did Rudy ever ask the EPA to apologize for blatantly lying to New Yorkers during the months after 9/11 that the local air was safe for all?

They made a very strong "scientific statement" that the air pollution from the 9/11 event was not a health problem and that there was no problem working in the area.

Later, it came out that they knew that they were lying (because their internal written scientists' reports indicated a clear and present danger to the residents of Manhattan) and that they had signaled All OK only to calm people.

Lying to the population is certainly a time-honored tradition that goes back thousands of years, but then it is good if people know that their rulers are prepared to "bear false witness" at any time, if only to comfort them.

Could it be true that Pat Robertson will issue a "fatwa" against anybody in the Federal Government who "bears false witness," since that is an important Commandment from the sacred Ten (or Twelve or Fourteen or Fifteen depending on the exact flavor of Christianity or Judaism) Commandments?

This just in a few minutes ago from Reuters: "New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday."

It's always the paperwork. That's why we need powerful characters like Rudy Giuliani and G.W. Bush, to cut through the <brown stuff>.

johnmeyer wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:16 PM
My family and I are survivors of hurricane Andrew (1992).

That must have been absolutely horrible. May I ask something? My memory of that event is that aid was also extremely slow in showing up -- over a week in some cases. I heard earlier today that it actually took longer than the 3-4 days it has taken to ramp up the effort in LA and MS.
jlafferty wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:25 PM
You know, I applaud anyone saying that we should be expending a good amount of our time and energies on taking positive action instead of merely speaking about it here (and elsewhere). Personally I've -- so far -- given what money I can, and created a flyer distributed at a local coffee shop with info on how others can help. Tomorrow I will be bringing dried/canned food and clothing to a relief drive in the neighborhood. I've contacted friends in the area of N.O., and offered to send them supplies to pass along. I'm in the process of putting together some video spots aimed at heightening others' awareness of the situation, and I'll probably be bringing the same flyer to work with me early next week.

However, the idea that we should all just sit back and assume the best of our government while pouring out contributions has been tried before and failed miserably. The last time "we" as a nation took our government at its word, we ended up starting a largely needless war that has spilled the blood of tens of thousands of innocent bystanders, thousands of armed troops, and saddled us and our future generations with considerable financial debt. And for what? No WMD's. The world seems demonstrably less safe. And gas prices aren't exactly falling.

I'm not going to sit back and close my eyes to what I feel is yet another gross injustice at the hands of a bungling, clumsy and lethargic government -- without at least speaking up about it.

- jim
typo wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:50 PM
1-866-82-BLOOD BloodSource
farss wrote on 9/3/2005, 5:55 PM
agreed, now isn't the time to be playing the blame game but when that time comes who listens these days, who even bothers to cover it? We just accept what the spin doctors do with it. What's missing in so much of the world today is hard hitting investigative journalism and the will of the people to take the time to listen and digest it's oftenly hard to swallow messages.
filmy wrote on 9/3/2005, 6:32 PM
Henry “Junior” Rodriguez
St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
(504) 278-4200

September 3, 2005; 5:00 PM CST

Update on conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

The flood waters in St. Bernard Parish have been steadily receding toward the MRGO.

Out of necessity, we have been breached several flood protection levees to allow water to drain. This has proven effective in reliving and reducing the water level. At this point some of Judge Perez drive and the area south of Judge Perez to the river is dry except for some low areas that still contain water. We estimate that it may take an additional one to two weeks before the entire parish is dry.
craftech wrote on 9/3/2005, 9:27 PM
Based on your statement, I can only assume that you were hibernating during the response to 9/11 by Mayor Giuliani. Now THAT was true leadership. Where’s Rudy when you need him?

I am sorry Jim, but as a New Yorker I cannot let that statement go by unchallenged.

I know a lot of people NOT from New York City think Rudy Giuliani can walk on water, but many of us in New York think that Mike Bloomberg is twice the mayor and twice the man Rudy Giuliani could ever hope to be.
Giuliani doesn't represent the spirit of New York City. That is a mythology propelled by his near brush with death on 9/11 and his ability to say the right thing in front of the camera. A dictator who was disliked by so many including former mayor Ed Koch for his truly "nasty" personality became a world celebrity in a week. His history of shafting public employees wasn't forgotten by many of those affected.
His 2000 budget called for merit pay for public employees specifically teachers who he condemned in his budget speeches. And unlike previous merit pay proposals which were designed to supplement wages, Giuliani's was to REPLACE basic wages. Then he wanted the school vouchers which would have shortchanged the public schools he was so "deeply concerned" about. Good teachers ran from the city to the suburbs creating a shortage. Then he encouraged letting anybody with a pulse teach to fill the gap.
In 1995 the municipal employees' unions accepted a two-year wage freeze to help Giuliani balance the city budget. Then when he had a surplus he proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and asked New York State to allow the city to increase its debt by billions of dollars, in order to pay for critically needed infrastructure repairs for bridges, schools, hospitals and even ferry terminals.

In 1983 Rudy was appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a prosecutor he employed ruthless tactics such as seizing prominent stockbrokers and traders from the floor of the exchanges and dragging them away in handcuffs with the television cameras already in place and rolling. In his most famous case, against stock market innovator Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham, Giuliani used the threat of the Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act statutes – which were so draconian that Milken had no choice but to make a deal with the federal government. That's over the top even for a prosecutor.
On 9/11 No emergency escape was planned for, such as portable air mattresses as commonly found at theme parks and at Hollywood studios, or cable and pully systems to connect between buildings as commonly found in US Navy for transferring cargo and personnel between ships. There was not even any attempt at helicopter rescue, despite many skyscrapers having heliports on rooftops. No emergency operations plan by mayor of New York, Rudolf Giuliani, leading to the deaths of 350 firemen and police.
An additional $50-Billion in federal welfare was demanded by Giuliani, to cover alleged losses by NY City government.
Giuliani turned down $10 Million that the city desperately needed to score a few cheap political points.
It was brought here by Prince Awaleed from Saudi Arabia. After the Prince answered a question on CNN that Lou Dobbs GRILLED him twice to answer Giuliani decided to pull a political stunt for himself by broadcasting to the nation that he wouldn't take the money based upon the answer the Prince appologetically and politely gave Dobbs (I listened to it myself that night).

Not to mention the anger on the part of the families of the 9/11 victims who needed Giuliani to ask the questions they wanted so desperately answered. They were stonewalled by the Whitehouse as expected, but they did not expect Giuliani to "sugarcoat" the questions to the reluctantly formed 9/11 Commission (as they put it.)

They jumped out of their seats shouting at Giuliani and the panel. Giuliani's betrayal to the victim's families has permanently soured them against him.
Issues like malfunctioning firefighter radios and what they see as the city's lack of disaster preparation, failing to push Giuliani as he testified that New York was "unbelievably capable" and "terrifically effective."
Given his external popularity, Giuliani could have been an instrument in resolving major issues, but instead the Commission spent the entire time praising Giuliani one after the other and little time on anything of substance. Giuliani ate it up and polished his crown throughout the hearing.
But relatives of firefighters are upset over reports that faulty radios may have doomed some of their loved ones. Fire Department radios had long been an issue before Sept. 11.

"Talk about radios. Talk about the radios," some yelled. As Giuliani left, one shouted: "My brother was a fireman. I want to know why 300 firemen died."

Many questions by the families still remain unanswered by the Commission, but their ONE hope at getting them to do that (Giuliani) failed them.

The man is a disgrace and it is terrifying to think that so many would like to see this liar in the White House in 2008 based upon a myth.

johnmeyer wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:00 PM
many of us in New York think that Mike Bloomberg is twice the mayor and twice the man Rudy Giuliani could ever hope to be.

But not that many ...

Exactly what is better, in day-to-day life, in NYC since Bloomberg took over? Taxes lower? City cleaner? More jobs?

No one walks on water, but Rudy Giuliani provided a Churchillian leadership style at a time when that was exactly what was needed. Churchill was a man of gargantuan faults, and he was eventually voted out, but no one will ever forget -- or ever question -- the quality of leadership he provided during WWII.

The exact same thing can be said about your former mayor.
Coursedesign wrote on 9/3/2005, 10:42 PM
many would like to see [Rudy Giuliani] in the White House in 2008

Yes, that will surely happen.

With massive support from wealthy evangelical Christians who can truly appreciate that he had a public girl friend while married.

The U.S needs this kind of moral leadership now. Just giving us lies doesn't cut it anymore, now we want adultery.

Rudy can surely be forgiven the two gay co-habiting friends at his house, after all our Vice President has a lesbian daughter and that has been thoroughly accepted.
RichMacDonald wrote on 9/3/2005, 11:15 PM
Anyone who mentions Churchill deserves a response - I'm still steamed at Time magazine for putting him #2 for the last century instead of #1...my son is named Winston, fwiw.

...I'm coming into this thread just now. Two thoughts:

1) Yes, Katrina was on a scale that will overwhelm any system. Still, the slow start indicates to me that the US is still in the lip-service phase of "national security" and has a long way to go before we can be truly proud of our emergency response system. No point blaming Bush since he's just one in a long sequence of bureaucrats who spend their time covering their butts and failing to perform when it counts. Probably from top to bottom. I consider the relevent agencies to be equivalent to any major US corporation...IOW, 20% of the people doing 80% of the work, the other 80% of the people just getting in the way, and a miracle they're able to function at all. Any of those Apollo engineers still available? As always, it'll take at least 2 disasters before we the people decide we need to make the necessary sacrifices to get our shit together.

2) I've got two missing cousins in NO. Both females. One 75, the other a freshman in college and daughter of a NO police officer who may or may not have gone awol to look for her. Another 50+ relatives who got out beforehand with a suitcase. They probably all lost their homes and they won't be getting a free cot in the Astrodome. Once again its going to be the middle class who gets the quiet screwing, while the people who really screwed up get all the attention.

...Ok, this is my first public post on any of this in any forum and I was originally just going to say hello John and mention my two cousins...then I kept adding sentences that I'm going to regret. Clearly I've got some issues I'm not completely in control of right now. Should have obeyed my instincts and continued to ignore this thread. Still, I'll just hit the send button and ask you to accept my apologies.
busterkeaton wrote on 9/4/2005, 12:26 AM
Exactly what is better, in day-to-day life, in NYC since Bloomberg took over? Taxes lower? City cleaner? More jobs?

Off the top of my head:

race relations
crime is even lower than under Rudy
the 311 system
the budget deficit from Rudy's wild-spending second term is under control
he is unafraid to tackle some of the hardest problems in government whether or not they would generate headlines
he did not appoint the unqualified son of his political mentor to head a city agency as in the case of Russell Harding who just plead guilty to possession of child pornography and embezzlement of $400,000 in city funds.
he didn't let his wife know he wanted a divorce by holding a press conference
he didn't try to keep his Mistress (#1) quiet by giving her a $150,000-a-year job
he didn't have his divorce-lawyer savage his wife when she objected to the Mistress #2 coming over to her and her children's house
he wants to help keep CBGB's open

he can be highhanded as when he banned smoking in bars
he doesn't stick up for the city enought when the state is shortchanging it

Rudy has some great talents, but his ugly side is really, really ugly.
He is a raving egomaniac who cannot share the spotlight. His career-making prosecutions were developed and investigated by other people. Giuliani only took them over when they looked like they would bear fruit and headlines. He did not share the credit with the other investigators
The story of crime in New York was that during the Koch administration/crack epidemic crime went up and up in the 80's. The first mayor to lower crime was Dinkins. Dinkins hired 6,000 more cops and the last three years of his administration were marked by a decrease in crime. Crime fell even faster during Rudy's terms. (As crack receded, crime went down all across the country, still NYC kept ahead of that trend.) Rudy wanted sole credit for this, but the architects of the policy were a transit cop named Jack Maple and Giuliani's Chief of Police Bill Bratton. Maple started as a transit cop and Bratton saw his talents there made his Deputy Chief. Maple's insight was ideas about targeting areas of crime more effectively and he came up with a computerized to system to track it. He realized now with more cops in NYC than ever, they had the manpower flood high crime areas without leaving areas unprotected. Giuliani facilitated these policies, but also claimed them as his own. Soon it leaked out who was behind it and the press began to praise Maple and Bratton. This infuriated Giuliani who is unbelievably thin-skinned. When Bratton got a book contract, Rudy forced Bratton to resign at a time when his approval ratings were 70 percent. Maple left shortly thereafter. Giuliani's last two police chiefs were horrible, though at time it was not widely known how dirty Bernie Kerrick was only that he was unqualfied for the job. (Literally did not meet the legal requirements for the job.)
Rudy's second term before 9/11 was a disaster. He ended up being surrounded by yes-men. They tried to even better on crime than the first term and expanded the crime sweeps using cops who were less well trained. This led to a couple of ugly racial incidents where unarmed black men were shot to death. (Incidentally this led to political rehabiliation of Al Sharpton.) After both incidents Giuliani behaved abominably. As he was running for senator he tried to gain as much political support as possible by spending wildly. NYC's finances were in rough shape before 9/11. When Giuliani realized he wasn't going to win the race for senator and was going to drop out, he told a bunch of reporters where he was going to have lunch and then showed with Mistress #2 and proceded to walk hand-in-hand with her in front of several new photographers. By 9/11 his political chances were toast. For Rudy 9/11 provided was must be the most amazing third act in US history. He was inspiring during those days, no doubt about it. But even then, they were still traces of his ugly side. When Giuliani's preferred candidate lost in the NYC primary, Rudy tried to illegally extend his term in office. First he tried to get the term limits law repealed and when that didn't happen, in a naked power grab he tried to extort the other candidates into giving him three extra months in power or else he and people would not help during the transition and he would badmouth those who didn't go along with him right before the general election. He also understood the power of the 9/11 spotlight and deliberately kept elected Democratic officials out of ground zero including the Manhattan borough president.
Giuliani is smart, tireless and a lot of other positives, but he is also a ruthless authoritarian at heart. He would have preferred to rule in a non-democratic system.
busterkeaton wrote on 9/4/2005, 12:33 AM

Sorry to hear about your cousins.

This forum has an EDIT feature you can use on your own posts to clean up typos or belatedly obey your instincts.

Good luck
busterkeaton wrote on 9/4/2005, 1:11 AM

I wrote a long post in response, but then my browser crashed.

I'll give the condensed version.
This has become about politics because an event like this even though it was caused by nature goes to the heart of government, about what are our priorities, what kind of government/society we want, etc. It has shocked people because Americans never thought they would see images like that in America. Even before freedom what citizens want most from a government is security. I think Americans were shocked that they could be left to elements for several days after even a catstrophe the size of Katrina.

Even the nature of relief is political because the vast majority of citizens cannot offer direct relief/help. Government is the only force that can address this. Even efforts of private citizens need to be coordinated. Long-term private citizens, charities, corporations can do a great-deal of good. Most citizens cannot do anything to save lifes in a direct minute-to-minute way. That requires the sweep and focus of national authorities. If the government response is slow, unfocused, and uncoordinated as it has been, citizen outrage is justified and a tool for focusing that response and perhaps saving lives.

I donated money to the Red Cross. However the Red Cross has not been in New Orleans because the authorities would not let them in.
I have heard stories of citizens with boats being turned away.
I have heard stories that FEMA told people they would have to pay for their own gas, if they brough their boat in.
I have heard stories of Army troops, National Guard units, other countries all ready to help, but they have not been asked.
All of this is politics.

The front page of Saturday's NY Daily News puts it well. The headline is Shame of a Nation. The front page editorial begins:
It is absolutely outrageous that the United States of America could not bring comfort to tens of thousands of forlorn, frightened, sick and hungry souls earlier than it did. Who is at fault for what is nothing less than a national scandal?

There is great compassion in America, and help from citizens will come pouring in. However, in the immediate aftemath of a disaster the crucial initial response is from the government.
Jimco wrote on 9/4/2005, 5:06 AM
Hi Craftech,

My point was in reference to the strong leadership that Guiliani provided on the day of the disaster. What he did is common knowledge. How he remained in charge and set up a mobile command unit is common knowledge.

Were there problems in NYC? Sure there were. America was admittedly not prepared for terrorists flying airliners into the WTC towers. However, for anyone to blame Guiliani (or anyone else other than the terrorists) for anyone who was killed on that fateful day is just despicable to me.

My comments were focused entirely on the strong leadership he provided. It doesn't take someone living in NYC to know what happened on that day. Media coverage was quite extensive, and post-9/11 coverage has been equally detailed.

Jimco wrote on 9/4/2005, 5:21 AM
Even before freedom what citizens want most from a government is security.

I couldn't possibly disagree more. This is exactly the thought process that has led to the disaster in New Orleans. YOU are responsible for your own security. The government cannot protect you, neither from a criminal intent on causing you harm or a category 4/5 hurricane bearing down on you.

You want protection from the criminal, arm yourself. You want protection from the hurricane, evacuate. NO knew this thing was coming days in advance.

Government is the only force that can address this.

The government can certainly help, but the most significant impact you will see after this horrific event will come from private citizens and corporations. Government's job is not to solve problems like the ones we will face in the next few years because of Katrina. Of course, if you are a Socialist...

The NY Daily News is displaying one of two things; ignorance or political bias. I suspect a bit of both. The Feds cannot be the first responders to these kinds of events. That job belongs to the National Guard and state and local police. As far as first response is concerned, the head of the fish is the governor. The governor of Louisiana and the mayor of NO have both dismally failed in their obligations.

Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/4/2005, 6:15 AM

Yes, John, it took a week (give or take a few days) for us to receive aid. However, if you were here, in the middle of the devastation you (editorially speaking) would see that the roads were totally impassable. Granted, we didn't have a fraction of the flooding New Orleans has, but the roads were under several feet of debris of totally flattened buildings, houses, cars, boats, and trees. That takes time to clear so the roads are useable.

Too, we have to keep in mind that you can't reach everyone at the same moment. Those on the periphery received aid first because they were easier to get to. Those of us at the center of the devastation--ground zero as it were--were the last. We understood that. Sure, it was tough, but when those armed National Guard troops arrived, I saw grown men (bigger and tougher than I am) break down and weep from gratitude. They were regarded as saviors!

Jim, I also agree with what you said, we, first and foremost, are responsible for ourselves. Yes, there are those who can't, such as the aged and the infimed, but they are our second responsibility.

The problem today, and in this specific situation, is that far too many have become dependent on the government. That's bad. Not only is it bad, it's extremely dangerous!

p@mast3rs wrote on 9/4/2005, 6:49 AM
"The problem today, and in this specific situation, is that far too many have become dependent on the government. That's bad. Not only is it bad, it's extremely dangerous!"

I agree whole heartedly however, every hard working American pays taxes and probably more than they probably should pay. Americans have a right to expect relief which is funded by tax payer dollars when disaster hits like it has.

Thats what made me mad at FEMA last year. They wouldnt give us ANY aid at all while people down in Miami got FEMA assistance and they were not even hit with the Canes. Granted those people were prosecuted but the fact that those hit in the hardest areas couldnt get aid because they were not a home owner or lived in an impoverished part of town or didnt have expensive property with lots of taxes paid on it got screwed.

Should these people expect the government to give them thousands of dollars and get them a new home? No. But as a tax payer, they have every right to expect some relief from the government since afterall, the government relies on taking taxes from those it governs.

The time that I knew I could count on my government is far gone. Well before 9/11. We live in a world that you dont matter unless someone has something to gain. Its truly sad.

Now that countries have offered support, the government is weighing what forms of aid we will take. Why should it matter? If a country is gracious enough to finally give back to us, why should we weigh it? It doesnt sound as if strings are attached to the aid offers.

Maybe I am taking the tragedy that New Orleans is coping with too personally. But enduring three hurricanes nearly back to back to back makes me feel for them. I remember when Charley hit, we were without power for nearly two weeks. My kids were miserable and we had a 5 month old child that needed formula and diapers. Listening to my children cry out at night because they were so hot from the humidty and no air conditioning was horrific. I cant imagine having to endure that and worry about whether we might drown from the flooding.

I have laid off this thread since some feel it was a chance to take a shot at Bush. I am not a Bush hater. Im neither Republican nor Democrat. I could care less who runs this country as long as it protects the people it governs and does so in its best interest. It just happens to be Bush who is screwing up this nation and driving us further in debt and wars while ignoring homelan security and those affected by disasters. Help may be coming now but what about those that the help is too late for that has died? Perhaps if he would have acted with the same vigor he did when deciding to invade Iraq or to save Terri Schivao's life, those that have died already in NO could have been saved too.