what i'm about to write will probably make me look like a heartless bitch, so if you want to preserve your current image of me as a sweet, wonderful, humanitarian chica, you should stop reading immediately. yes, it has to do with the current katrina disaster. our local news here in mobile is still doing nearly-non-stop disaster coverage (they've been taking a little break for three hours during prime time since friday), and the local stories are much better than the chaos being shoved in our faces by the national news media. unlike the national media, which just want ratings, and let me tell you, people getting help and supplies don't get nearly the ratings of people who are stranded and starving, the local media are showing the people who are getting help. so many people seem to blame the president for this. how is this his fault? i may not be bush's biggest fan, but i disagree with all of the criticism he has faced over this disaster. it takes a long time to put together such a massive relief effort. everyone compares this to the tsunami or other hurricanes that have hit the U.S. but does no one recall that it is normal for relief supplies to take a couple of days to arrive in areas that need them? we didn't send supplies and relief teams to tsunami victims for about a week. it is normal for disaster relief to arrive in an area two to three days after a hurricane. you can't have them waiting in the disaster area itself, and it takes a bit of time to figure out which areas need the supplies the most and which places are safe to act as distribution sites. that's why they tell potential hurricane victims to collect essential supplies to last for at least three days after the storm. no one had to tell me these things. common sense allowed me to figure this out. so why is everyone bitching about the slow response? the scope of this disaster is so much larger than anything we've ever had to deal with in this country, how can we blame the people who organize relief for being a little slow? yes, it's bad and will cost lives to waste time, but it's not as if they aren't trying to get supplies to the hardest hit areas. and let's not forget how many local groups from all over the country are sending in supplies. let's also not forget that some of the assholes trapped in new orleans and the surrounding area hijacked supply trucks. so the people who are there are just making it harder to help them. when a small group of people steals and hordes all of the supplies, no wonder it's been nearly impossible to get food, water, and medicine to the people who really need and deserve it (no i don't think the assholes who are shooting at the people who are trying to help them deserve the help).
this brings me to a different point. the more i see people screaming on the national news about how no one is helping them, the more i see reporters eating it up like a big banana split, the more people talk about how high the death toll will rise, the more people scream about how their babies aren't being fed or changed, the more pissed off i get. does no one realize that these people are in their current situation through no one's fault but their own? every single person in the city of new orleans had the opportunity to leave it. they were ordered to leave it. buses were sent in and pick-up sites and times announced to take the poor, sick, and elderly to shelters outside the city. this simple fact makes it very hard for me to feel sorry for the irresponsible jerks who refused to leave and are now screaming about how no one is helping them. all of this could have been prevented. not one single person had to die because of hurricane katrina. now this has become a terrible tragedy. this hurricane was not like the tsunami. the major difference? people knew it was coming. they knew that new orleans would flood. yet still people refused to leave. at the very least, they could have gone to the superdome (where, contrary to some reports, they did have food and water for at least a few days). the people who are trapped there now with infants and toddlers piss me off the most. where is their sense of parental responsibility? where was the instinct to protect their children? it is one thing for an adult to decide to stay in the danger zone and risk his/her own life. it is quite another to risk the life of a child who had no way to make the decision to get out of harm's way. one story in particular involving parents pissed me off. this one couple had a baby just 9 days ago - prematurely. so, the infant was in intensive care in a children's hospital that was due to be evacuated. and what did this premie's parents do? they left. they evacuated and left their baby in the hospital, not knowing where he would end up. wtf? i'm sure that the hospital staff would have allowed the parents to stay with the child. how could they just go off and leave their baby, especially not knowing what city he would end up in?
tourists are locked in their hotels because they couldn't get out of new orleans. at least they tried to leave. however, they shouldn't have been in the hotels. they should have gone to the superdome, as many tourists who couldn't leave new orleans managed to do. if all of these people were in one place, it would be much easier to get everyone out of new orleans now.
i feel exactly the same way about all of the people who died in coastal mississippi. officially, reporters are not supposed to be given death tolls until there is a final body count. my alabama state trooper friend is one of many who have been assigned to the recovery effort in harrison and jackson counties in mississippi. chad talked to him last night and was informed that his unit alone has recovered 100 bodies from gulfport and 40 from ocean springs and pascagoula. now, they have been removed from the body search and assigned to police coastal mississippi due to the large number of rowdy looters. a group of people recently attacked one of the unit's police car. the situation is completely out of hand. my pal in law enforcement says he wishes martial law would be declared in mississippi as well, because they can't control the looters. he sounds very unhappy, and who could blame him?
so, yesterday i heard president bush say he's surprised that katrina didn't kill a million people. wtf??? how he could he be so stupid? and why do i seem to be the only one who realizes that no one had to die or that the people who did are dead through their own actions?
The Biker Family
2 days ago