Where am I now?

As you can see, this blog hasn't gotten any love in many years... But you can now find me on my site jessicatravels.com.

02 September 2005

Weather & Politics

I haven't said anything here about the disaster on the Gulf Coast, mostly because the whole thing is so far beyond words. New Orleans is a city dear to my heart, a city I truly adore - and seeing the pictures on television is making me ill.

What upset me the most, however, are the looters and snipers. Okay, if you're breaking into a store to pick up water or diapers, that's one thing - but stealing stereos and jewelry? That's just theft. Even having said that, I can almost understand the motivation behind the looters - it's chaos down there. What I absolutely cannot understand are the snipers. There are people shooting at their fellow hurricane victims as they're being evacuated from flooded hospitals. What in the hell is that all about? Until someone can explain to me why they're shooting at people who are suffering as much as they are, I have to consider them sociopaths.

Seriously, though, if this isn't a clear indication that the concept of anarchy doesn't work, I don't know what is. Anarchy can't last - people broke into flooded Wal-Marts and stole all the guns, so they're now the new rulers of a drowning and lawless city. I dearly hope something is done soon to restore order, or the loss of life will continue. Can you imagine surviving the hurricane and the flooding only to die during the fucking rescue efforts? Unbelieveable.

And then there's this gem, from the American Progress Report:

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said yesterday that it made no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild New Orleans. "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," said Hastert. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco responded, "To kick us when we're down and destroy hope, when hope is the only thing we have left, is absolutely unthinkable for a leader in his position." Hastert later attempted to clarify his remarks, saying he was not advocating the city "be abandoned or relocated" and that his "sincere concern" was with how the city would be rebuilt. Hastert's clarification did not include an apology.

Yeah, because it's always easiest to kick people when they're down.

**

Completely unrelated, and a bit of what I consider good news (also from the American Progress Report):

In a step forward for gay rights, the California State Senate "approved legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriages." The bill now moves to the state assembly "which narrowly rejected a gay marriage bill in June." Right-wing legislators in California have gone on the attack. State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth "suggested that 'higher power' opposed the legislation." A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger "would not comment about how the governor would act if the bill is sent to his desk."

To help the relief efforts along the Gulf Coast, please consider a donation to the Red Cross.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I also was mind-boggled by the reports of people shooting at rescuers, until the past day or two, when more and more eyewitness reports have come out about how horribly some of the survivors were treated. I've read several stories - and Russell heard some on "This American Life" of people trying to leave N.O. and being forced to stay!! I mean, the police and Nat'l Guard had shoot to kill orders, and they WEREN'T distinguishing between plasma TV and grocery survival looters, apparently. Russell pointed out that he totally understood how, if you weren't being allowed to leave, and also not being given any help, food, water, etc, and people are waving guns in your face, you might decide to take matters into your own hands.

I don't condone the choices, but if the stories are true - and I suspect that they are - I can understand now why people were driven to do some of the crazy things they did.

Russell said that some of the folks they interviewed who were allowed into the Super Dome said that it was the "gangs," with their looted guns, who were actuallly keeping people safe, preventing women and girls from being assaulted, and attempting to maintain some kind of order. The authorities have been worse than useless.