Katrina’s mounting numbers and anecdotal stories are starting to tell the story, which is a long way yet from it’s end.
Hurricane refugees believed to be camped out in Texas
Percentage of the city of New Orleans underwater
Amount of disaster aid approved by Congress and President Bush
Percentage of people below the poverty line in New Orleans before the storm hit
Number of U.S. military personnel committed to provide relief to hurricane survivors
Homeland Security estimate of how many hurricane victims received help by Saturday
“Amid the tragedy, about two dozen people gathered in the French Quarter for the Decadence Parade, an annual Labor Day gay celebration. Matt Menold, 23, a street musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung over his back, said: “It’s New Orleans, man. We’re going to celebrate.””
Is this a day for celebration, for parties, for parades? Is this such a day?
That isn’t bravery, that is callousness, and denial of the enormity of what has hit one’s fellow man. That is Nero playing while Rome burns.
Callousness, ineptitude, sluggardliness, caviling, depravity…. these are going to shape up the picture of how things went so wrong.
But beside that, there will be the picture of the fury of a disaster which I do not believe modern America had ever seen on it’s shores. And did not believe could happen. From the devastation will rise the other stories, too, the bravery and the fortitude of the rescue and rebuilding.
The events of 911 changed us; Katrina is doing no less. We will emerge a changed people from this, my sincere hope is that it will be a better people…. but beware of the biting and devouring of political self interest, fellow citizens…. beware of the insidious rot of that.
===on another note====
For those who give through Vineyard Church, our pastor stated that the consensus among the national leaders, and others, was that the state of the situation was too chaotic. So they are putting money into a fund for using as wisely as possible to help the survivors. This seems good as the many stories of held-up supply trucks and scrambling to make an infrastructure.
The Baton Rouge Vineyard is becoming the staging ground. For immediate aid to the victims of Katrina, you might want to check with them, Contact Baton Rouge Vineyard
*** NEW INFO ON OFFERING YOUR HELP ***
(2:00 pm ET)
If you are willing to offer your personal vehicles to transport victims, please do not head to disaster locations. Please contact your local RED CROSS office. They are training and scheduling volunteers.
There is no fuel or power in the hit areas, and not enough parking spaces available. There are trucks trying to enter to distribute food, water and supplies and they can not even get in to help. Thank you for your wanting to help – but PLEASE CONTACT THE RED CROSS TO COORDINATE THE EFFORT
====From Amy Ridenour on the emergency response:
Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog
Katrina Rescues: A Military Perspective
I’m posting a letter from Joe Roche, whose wife is doing helicopter rescue missions in hurricane-affected areas, “24/7, very tired, sometimes being shot at, facing intense heat and humidity, having spartan-to-bare sleeping conditions, with sickness and disease spreading.”
I want you to know that over the past days, our soldiers of the National Guard have quickly and readily made big sacrifices so they can get down to the Hurricane Katrina rescue mission. My wife, as you know, is with National Guard. I watched last week as they worked feverishly, being called in from their other jobs and away from their families, to get everything ready to go.
Tens of thousands of National Guard soldiers have mobilized all over the country like this……”
There is alot of talk going around, it helps to get a proper perspective – although those who give a reasoned description get drowned out in the clamor.
This report from Amy Ridenour should help to get some of the facts out.
I read an article from CNN this morning about how difficult it is for the media to sift through whats rumor and false and what is factual.
Lots of caveats are in order, and let’s not put our critical reasoning on hold. Gather facts, and there is going to be a careful look at matters after the immediacy.