I have long believed that the only ones who actually listen to shows like Rush Limbaugh are far removed from me. I don’t mean in a partisan sense or simply based on ideology, I mean that I thought that those kinds of people lived in other regions of the U.S., regions far from here. Rush Limbaugh is only the first name that came to mind when I was trying to think of the very conservative radio shows, I am sure there are dozens of other names that I could have thrown out there had I been thinking about it. Not that it really matters for my purposes right now.
Hurricane Katrina was a horrible disaster that destroyed a major city. The same kind of devastation happens overseas fairly frequently but here in the good old us of a it’s pretty rare. Turns out that when it does happen we are woefully unprepared. For days before the hurricane actually touched shore it was common knowledge that it was going to be bad. I live in Arizona FFS and I knew it was going to be bad. When it hit, and when they got one of the worst case scenarios, everything went to hell.
Most of the people had already abandoned the city. The elderly, the poor, and the 24 hour convenience store clerks (which kind of fits into the last group) were probably about the only ones who didn’t flee. Why didn’t they flee? They couldn’t. People started offering up shelter for the victims by the thousands after the hurricane, before it though they would have just had to hike out of town and find a vacant lot to sleep in, hoping they could survive the storm in a vacant lot rather than their low-income housing unit. If I had been in that situation I would have hoped that the flood waters didn’t make it to my house, the other option seems a bit worse. I really doubt that the majority of the people who didn’t flee stayed back because they were stupid or stubborn. Poor probably but not stupid or stubborn.
The negligence of every agency charged with responding to disasters borders on criminal. From the City level all the way to the Federal level. There is simply no reason why it should have taken several days to get buses in there to start moving people out, why Wal-Mart (how I despise them) was the first on the scene with fresh water, water for christ’s sake, didn’t anyone other than Wal-Mart think that a city many feet deep in sewage and human remains might need fresh water? The response to this catastrophe was horrible at every level, I think that is a fair statement.
Today I overheard a conversation where I work, it was not pleasant. The man, whom I will call Cluelss, was talking to well, hell, I don’t know who he was talking to (the other person was behind me). Clueless started spouting some facts about the hurricane relief. “Bush had the National Guard on the borders of Louisiana on Sunday night. When they tried to get into New Orleans on Monday the residents were already shooting at them.” Only he didn’t say residents, he dropped the N-bomb, thus sealing his fate as being called clueless for my purposes. His racism aside though, does he really believe that? If the National Guard actually got to New Orleans on Monday, and if people started shooting at them, don’t you think it would have been pretty big news? The National Guard probably just wouldn’t have turned tail and run, it would have been a bloodbath. The only thing I ever heard about guns being fired in the beginnig was regarding people shooting into the air as helicopters hovered overhead, not shooting at them, but claiming the next shot was for the pilot if he didn’t land and carry them to safety. I suppose it will be quite some time before we know which of those versions is closer to the truth, but I am pretty sure that his version was spoon fed to him by someone on the far right of the political spectrum.
Clueless went on to say that our esteemed leader was actually in New Orleans on Tuesday (meaning the day after the hurricane hit) offering federal aid to the city. I just went and googled it up and it turns out that Bush didn’t actually visit New Orleans until the 12th (yesterday), a full two weeks after the hurricane hit, though in defense of Dubya it only took about a week for him to deliver on the Federal aid that he promised while he was in New Orleans still on vacation, national disasters be damned!
Clueless really believes that Bush did absolutely nothing wrong in this whole ordeal, not a damn thing. Stupid democrats are just trying to tarnish his reputation (as if we have to actually try to do that). Every bit of fault for the slow response is at city or state level. When the federal government tried to help New Orleans and Louisiana would not let them. I find that just as laughable as religion, but he sure seems to believe it. I guess a lot of other people are with him on that logic though, at least 50.1% at the very least. Somehow I doubt that that number is going to stand up after the federal handling of this disaster.
I was brought up thinking that this was supposed to be the United States of America. If the government isn’t supposed to respond to a disaster in a particular state then we would just be the States of America. That would mean that the federal government is a really evil, money stealing roughneck (sounds about right anyway). The funny thing is that people from every state in the union are stepping up and sending money and supplies to the ravaged area, some are even offering spare rooms in their own homes to the victims. That is what being United is all about. Common good. Not just common good for campaign contributors.