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Friday, September 02, 2005

The Storm


The devastation in New Orleans has been more than my head can handle this week. When teen daughter and #1 son were way small, Janet and I went on a trip to New Orleans. I fell in love with the squares and the live oaks and the food and the music and the art and the free spirit of the place. Peter and I sent some $ off and the school is starting up a drive for relief boxes. It feels necessary but so insufficient. The kids are freaked out about the looting so I read Smoky Night today and we talked about getting out of control in out of control circumstances. I told them about seeing footage of women walking out of a store with stolen diapers. I don't excuse looting, but I told the kids that if you have a baby at home, you really want diapers there too. In our local paper, I read about 2 Bloomingtonians who left New Orleans with their cats and that's all. They left teaching jobs and are living with parents here in town. Their schools are gone, their jobs are gone, their home is gone, and they're happy to be alive with a place to live and a pair of shoes on their feet. In their interview they talked about the extreme poverty of their students.
I'm slowly coming to look at what has happened. I don't think my slowness is only my own fogginess. The news reports early in the week were general and full of vague comments.

Edited to add: Check out this site about how looting is compared with finding in these photos.
And you might want to read Pareti's piece about how the free market killed N.O. and will bring us all down eventually. The comparison with Cuba's hurricane evacuation is startling enough. And I slogged to a Democracy Now podcast that gave me more info in an hour than I've gotten from a week of news bites. And Michael Moore's letter to Bush is a good read too. Posted by Picasa

8 comments:

hr said...

Did you notice that Yahoo pulled the photos linked by Boing Boing due to the controversy? Interesting...

PS>Great idea reading Smoky Nights!

LH said...

Hey ms. r., i didn't notice that. i wish i had printed them out.
several kiddos were complaining that no other country ever helps us, so i've been gathering news reports showing that indeed other countries are helping us out. on another sadness, slate has a great podcast called Department of HOmeland Screw Up that shows how unready we are to deploy the army for any domestic catastrophe, even years after 9/11. Which is pretty horrible, considering that soldiers at Fort Bragg were allowed to go off base to join an anti Cindy Sheehan protest in Crawford last month, according to a podcast from the Ed Schultz show i listened to today.
latergator,l

KateG said...

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LH said...

Kate, thanks for the link and the warning. I'm on shaky ground right now after hearing a great talk at the Unitarian church this morning about how Congress will probably repeal the estate tax this week. Stats about wealth and poverty were woven into a powerful talk and that ended with a jazz band launching into When the Saints Go Marching In. I was wrecked.

LH said...

I just watched the 5 minute video kate wrote about. Another link it to it is here on the brad blog. It's devastating and shameful.

http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001798.htm

Anonymous said...

I just read this quote from Chertoff, spinning spinning spinning. Those dead people were hiding, not waiting for help to come...

...And the secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, warned that there will be gruesome sights in the days ahead.

"We need to prepare the country for what's coming," Chertoff told Fox News . "We are going to uncover people who died hiding in the houses, maybe got caught in the floods. It is going to be as ugly a scene as you can imagine."

i'm so disgustedby this.

Julie said...

Shoot. We missed church sunday morning for some really stupid reason. And this is a talk I would've liked to hear.

LH said...

i looked for you, j.
is andy doing the high school group? r is joining.
they're having a potluck this weekend and parents are supposed to come, that's the problem.