books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Sunday, September 18, 2005

On New Orleans

I hate all the blaming! We've all had trying times and wished in retrospect we had done some things differently. Some laws and policies need to be changed, but there is another time for that. I don't think it ever occurred to any of us that so many people would not have evacuated. They've rescued 10,000 people and there are still more! I also didn't realize that there were so many poor, old and elderly who couldn't evacuate. In retrospect, they should have had busses to take the people out before the hurricane, but who knew? I don't think any of us in hurricane areas will make that mistake again. This is the first time a hurricane has hit an area so urban and highly populated. Andrew went through and we all breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't the heart of Miami or New York or Washington, DC. Our nation's capitol would be an even worse disaster. It is a city of the powerful and the poor. What about the museums? It would be a mess. Who could think of all the variables?

All that blaming keeps me from focusing on all the wonderful things that people have done. I think we should all be so proud of what lengths American people have gone to to help. Focus on Houston and her open arms. Focus on the 15 year old boy who commandeered a bus and drove old people and babies to Houston. Focus on what happened when the full force of the US Government stepped in. Focus on what neighboring states have done. Focus on the prayers and tears of a nation. The outpouring of help is something our nation can be proud of and the grippers and blamers are taking that away from us. When did it get to be this way? I don't remember this kind of second guessing during Agnes, Camille or Gilbert.

I have been watching FOX almost non-stop and I have seen members of the press so effected by what they have seen that they were nearly in tears; and I have seen them doing something about it. So much can happen when we don't take time out to blame. We're all angry about a lot of things that happened or didn't happen, but we knew it was going to be a catastrophic disaster and that is part of what catastrophe means. I'm not aiming this at any of the exhausted, over-stressed people who are in the middle of all this, or the people who are trying to help them. When things go this wrong, we sometimes need people to lash out at. I am aiming it at politicians or special interest groups who take time in a press conference to stir up trouble instead of finding out what else needs to be done. They write articles about everything they see is wrong...even as far fetched as global warming (what caused Galveston or Camille or Gilbert?) when they could use the power of the press to list what we can do in our communities to help. We should all be on the same side...the side of the victims.

I think this is a wake-up call for all of us. It could be called a dress-rehearsal. When the crisis is over and we can sit back and look at what has happened the Mayors, Governors and the Federal agencies should get together and critique the operation. Blaming will get us nowhere. To be very blunt, the Democrats and liberal media who are taking partisan jabs at President Bush and the government are making fools of themselves. Blaming President Bush for the hurricane makes them look like idiots. Did they flunk General Science in high school? Scientists who study hurricanes say that this is just part of a regular cycle. We've actually been blessed with very few hurricanes between 1975 and 1995, but there were plenty of hurricanes in the decades before 1975. Florida suffered from serious drought for several years and the reason was that we didn't have enough hurricanes to replenish the aquifer.

It's embarrassing. Years ago I was a Democrat, but now I am ashamed of the party. I wouldn't want people to know that I am more interested in partisan politics than the plight of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. This disaster needs all of our attention and we should all take note of the people who are sitting back and criticizing instead of helping. I know I am. I want to be a part of a government which is not afraid to look at something like this and say that this response was "unacceptable" and not be afraid to make it right. I am in awe of what was done in 24 hours and I am very proud of it. I hope that the people overseas ARE watching. They saw a situation that got terribly out of hand including the lawlessness and today, in only 24 hours they saw a country rise to meet the challenge in an unbelievable way.

Stop for just a minute and think about what happened in perspective. An area the size of England suffered a double catastrophe...devastation from a strong category 4 hurricane and then the failure of the levee system in New Orleans flooding the poorest sections of the city where about 12,000 residents didn't follow the warning to evacuate. The situation was so dire yesterday that there were questions about ever being able take this city back. In 24 hours incredible progress was made. The Convention Center and the Superdome were evacuated. Lawlessness was brought under control and people were transferred to places where good people were waiting to help them. All of the sudden there is a feeling of empowerment. We can do this. We are Americans. The ones who have will help the ones who have lost everything. We are at our best in times like this. I'd like to see any other country that could have done better.

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