Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricanes, floods, celebrity concerts, Homeland Security, and other disasters

I haven't said anything about the continuing aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the growing societal nightmare that is unfolding along the Gulf Coast for two reasons: 1) that's not what this blog is really about, if it's about anything at all and 2) there are others who do it much better than I could.

What I usually do is throw together stuff and try to find links between them or just write to amuse myself.

Plus I don't want to diminish what is happening to Real People when Awful Stuff Happens by sandwiching it amongst my musings on "Desperate Housewives" and what my youngest daughter said at the dinner table last night.

But I have found a way to combine some stuff in such a way that it gives me justification to throw in my 0.75 cents.

Entertainment Weekly informs me that (in the depressing tradition of most media-publicized disasters) musicians are performing tonight to raise money for hurricane relief. That is fine, I guess, if you like that sort of thing. It always stirs my cynical nature, however, when these concerts happen. I would rather give to the Red Cross than be motivated into it by Tim McGraw.

(Speaking of giving, my company is providing matching funds for our donations and Tegan and I have offered to donate some money that my bible study group had been gathering each week for a (then as yet unknown) charitable donation. Now our small amount of money can be doubled. So, good for my company. I don't know how long this corporate-matching program will continue for Katrina, but if any of my family is planning to donate to the Red Cross, why not send it to me and make your money go farther?)

But, back to business . . .

The celebrities are mobilizing quickly to sing and dance for aid, but the government is taking lots of heat about the slow response to get supplies and aid into the hurricane zone. Personally I keep going back and forth on this. I understand that mobilizing anything down into a twisted, flooded mess with no transportation infrastructure is REALLY hard to get done. But at the same time, that IS the mandate of the Department of Homeland Security, isn't it? If not them, then who?

I helped clean out the flooded house of one of my dad's colleagues back when parts of Southwestern Georgia flooded in the early 1990s. It is my only experience with the aftermath of such disaster. I remember the stifling heat, the muck, the smell, the almost total loss of interior furnishings, and non-structural stuff. And that was only 4 feet of river water--nothing like what is happening in Louisiana and Mississippi.

So, I am worried that things are getting worse before they get better. And I try to remain hopeful that the people in power are doing EVERYTHING they can do to set things right as fast as possible. They'd better be.

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