Enough already

It has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Katrina moved ashore on the Gulf Coast, and I think we’re beginning to witness the usual situation with any catastrophe vis-a-vis the American Psyche.

There has been a tremendous outpouring of support for hurricane victims from individuals, public and private organizations and from local, state and national government. Our friends and families have stepped to the plate in a wonderful manner — everything from kids contributing their change to families opening their homes and selflessly providing monetary and in-kind help that is seriously, deeply and forever appreciated. We can never repay (not that it’s expected), except by hoping to offer our own help should such a disaster befall them at some point. It’s wat we as Americans do.

We’ve seen telethons, benefits, clothing drives, and (tonight) we’ll even see the NFL sponsoring its own extravaganza by literally kicking off the Saints/Giants game. Go Saints.

But it’s getting old, at least in the current form. Like those who live next to a train track, we run the risk of no longer hearing the noise and the din after a while. Those who were at first welcomed and encouraged will be, like the cat who came back the very next day, soon be seen as a bother. “You again? Well, here. But don’t hang around. Shoo. Find some other doorstep to sleep on.”

Those forced from their homes are beginning to settle in a bit — either by finding new places to live or by finally working their way back into the new fabric that will be New Orleans. The federal government is coming up with new trade zones, redevelopment plans and other projects (at public expense) to help, but we are already seeing public griping about the cost. A certain segment of society also bitched about the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and TVA, LBJ’s Great Society and other long-term public works projects — and that’s exactly what this recovery is going to be. Once the tragedy winds down and the TV cameras are packed up and Anderson Cooper goes the hell home, the public mind begins clucking about the Next Great Tragedy.

I am offering no solutions. But I’m saying it’s now going to be more up to New Orleanians, Mississippians and Alabamans to take on this task, along with an army of faceless government drones and paper shufflers. “Hep yew? Hep yew? Hep yew?”

We can do this. But the scut work will be largely on our own, and we’ll have to tune out the griping from those who think they’ve already contributed more than enough. We’re not at that point yet — but it’s coming quickly.

41 Comments so far

  1. Busy (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 9:28 am

    Craig, you said:

    But it’s getting old, at least in the current form.

    Yes it is getting old. However, I along with many other “donors”, “taxpayers”, and so forth do care that we see that we are part of the “big picture”. We like to know that we helped and are part of the scut work ya’ll will be doing. Somehow in this blog I feel that you think everyone is out there just “watching” the fact that ya’ll have lots of work ahead of you. That only New Orleanians “own” this. You did recognize all the help that Americans have given; however, if we are the country we say we are, if we are the neighbors that we want to be, we all “own” this, monetarily, emotionally, etc.

    At this point, some of the blame game is starting to die down, or at least be tuned out. We are seeing stories of heroism and struggle beyond anything many of us will ever know. We are seeing victory over an overwhelming tragedy.

    The media is often very evil, but it is our link to what is going on out there, and so is your blog….from your perspective.

    I sense you just want us to leave ya’ll alone. I’m not sure that New Orleans could totally recover and be the outstanding city that it once was without our financial help. If it doesn’t stay “top-of-mind”, people move on and won’t continue to help. Which is worse?

    Everyone has and will always complain about what it costs in this country to help everyone and this being the most expensive disaster ever will be no different. But that doesn’t make “needs” go away. Like you said, we just have to process what we hear and tune out what is negative as you try to be positive and rebuild.

    We continue to pray for and wish New Orleans well as she gets herself back together. Don’t view us out there as the enemy…we’re your neighbors.

  2. Craig (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 9:59 am

    Moving on is at it should be. We see too often what happens when a society continues to look back and overcontemplate its own navel.

    Most of us are very uncomfortable being the focus of attention and help, as much as we might need it at the time. We’re a nation founded on self-reliance, so holding out a hand comes hard.

    Most of us also see both sides of this — including how we’d feel if it happened someplace else. As much as anything, it’s like being 17 years old — there’s so much you want to do and can do for yourself, but you don’t have the legal ability or the complete independence to do it.

    Our heartfelt thank you for everything.


  3. fogueira (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 11:43 am


    It may be getting old, and obviously anyone way outside who has never been a part of it couldn’t possibly understand what you’re going through. But I think you’re probably going to have to make allowances for a new breed: people who woke up and sensed something about the place they had to be a part of: a sort of inexplicable yearning solidarity vaguely akin, but greater than, falling in love. Some of us want to indefinitely “hep yew” because we want to help ourselves, or at least our own hearts reflected on the rising waters.


    f. kwan

  4. rebyj (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 9:52 pm

    every media hungry star and star wannabe has made their appearance on the real news and on other programs to the point that i cringe when i see another on. its gotta be wearing on NO residents who want to quit seeing home on tv and just want to go HOME and start assessing and rebuilding!

    being a self sufficient hard working man you want to FIX EVERYTHING NOW. i know its got to be driving you nuts. hang in there my friend, soon enough you’ll be home working your behinds off!

  5. Ray (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 10:00 pm

    A friend of mine had a beautiful mansion in Gulfport. This beautiful home had survived Camille and it is still (almost) standing after Katrina. It is one of only two that could be rebuilt in a three mile stretch. Having spent enjoyable days and nights there, it was with great sadness that I reviewed the pics of the destruction. What had been the showplace of Gulfport, is now a shambles, with everything gone on the first floor down to the lathes (even the plaster is gone).

    My friend tells me that he is o-kay and that he still has his health and that is what is important. His home is not o-kay. His most valuable possessions are gone. His life’s work on making this a showplace is gone. Yet he talks of rebuilding. I want to say to him, please consider how much effort this will take, and how many years it will take to bring this back to even a semblance of what it once was. I want to say to him that it will happen again, and I don’t know if he can take it again.

    I can’t tell him because he doesn’t want to hear it. He may think that I am simply not being supportive when this is the time for a friend to be supportive.

    How can I tell him?

  6. Chris (unregistered) on September 18th, 2005 @ 11:17 pm

    The way I see it, the telethons are raising much needed funds to help those who have been displaced by the devestation. Can there ever be too much money flowing in?

    It’s obvious, that in your way of thinking, New Orleans residents have plenty of funds to recover and will no longer need assistance from FEMA or the Red Cross.

    I wonder if those still living in shelters feel the same way.

  7. Janet (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 12:02 am

    Dear Craig,

    My coworkers and I have been discussing the disaster at work almost every night, and the consensus is that this is going to be long term rebuilding, and we in Michigan are behind the people in New Orleans for the long run. I have RN friends who are already mapping out leaves from work in Oct, Nov and Dec to help in the recovery. They know there will be volunteer opportunities for a while to come.

    So, unless you are saying the RECCOVERY workers are the cat on the stoop (Scat, cat, get out of our city!), I think, contrary to recent events, Americans are smarter than you think, and will be welcoming in the cat until he is fat and sassy and back on his feet.

    Janet in Michigan

  8. Sinjin von hook Straaten (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 4:19 am

    Ungrateful bastard. You want people to leave you all alone so you can get on with fixing the problem? Fine. Give back the donated money and goods and tell all the non-Louisiana workers to LEAVE… and then petition congress to become your own damn country.

    As long as YOU are a PART OF AMERICA we will invade your town as much as we fucking want in order to HELP those that need help. Unless you wanna get everything done and fixed and everyone helped sometime before Mardi Gras 2089, welcome it and shut the hell up.

    Have a nice day :)

  9. Craig (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 7:24 am

    What I’m saying here is that many of us who were forced out don’t want to be seen as always having a hand out. We’ve never before seen an unemployment check, gotten Red Cross money, been to a shelter or done many of the things we’re having to face these days. It’s an extremely humbling thing and part of us fights desperately against it.
    However, the other part of us knows we are incapable of changing the short-term situation. I cannot snap my fingers and make my business okay. I can’t blink my eyes, Samantha-like, and make our water system pristine. These things take time, physical help from countless thousands of people and monetary contributions from the various drives that will continue.
    We are extremely grateful. But sometimes our pride gets in the way. We want to do it all ourselves but we know we cannot. In talking to fellow evacuees who have something to go back to, the overriding feeling is a combination of pride, frustration, helplessness and sometimes unrealistic self-sufficiency.
    We gratefully accept the help. We know we need it. But we don’t want to become accustomed to accepting it and, especially, we don’t want to be seen as feeling we somehow ‘deserve’ it.

  10. Are You Serious? (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 9:56 am

    Craig: Although I won’t call you an “ungrateful bastard”, I have to agree somewhat with the previous post-er! We here in the Northeast have given money, support, and have sent workers to assist your city after YOUR local officials (mayor and governor) royally screwed-up in preparing for this natural disaster! Your PRIDE evidently didn’t get in the way when you-all elected those nitwit politicians down there…get over it! You are right, though, with attitudes like yours, you really don’t deserve the outpouring of assistance to FELLOW AMERICANS in need!

  11. Craig (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    We indeed get what/who we deserve, in terms of who we elect. Feelings are extremely mixed about what has happened — on the one hand being angry at what was/wasn’t done, but on the other being completely understanding about how overwhelmed everyone was, all the way up the line. I’m not about to get involved in the Blame Game so many people have been playing.

    I am, however, completely on the side of our mayor in his desire to get folks back in as quickly as possible. I think he’s likely jumping the gun on much of it, but this is part of the frustration. He wants to go too fast, but we’re also concerned the go-slow crowd wants to wait until New Orleans is antiseptic in its cleanliness (which it never has been). It’s the waiting that’s difficult.

    There was a business owner interviewed on CNN this morning. He’s having to wait it out in Baton Rouge until he can get back to his shop, clean it out and get back to work. There’s also a piece on http://www.nola.com about the evacuees being spread about the country, including one guy who now finds himself in Milwaukee. His point is that while everyone has been very nice and helpful, all he wants to do is get back home. These are the quandries we find ourselves in — grateful for what you still have, but gunning your motor at the stoplight until the road back home is clear.

    Lord knows we’re not the first to be in this position and we certainly won’t be the last. Part of the frustration is seeing all these people being so willing and able to help when we’re not in a position yet to be able to help ourselves nearly as much as we’d like.

  12. Are you serious? (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 10:55 am

    Craig: Are you so self-centered that in the midst of perhaps the most horrendous natural disaster to hit this nation since its inception, all you can “be” is FRUSTRATED about not helping? What is it you think you can be doing? Don’t you see the helping RESPONSE from the rest of the nation? – that’s what’s great about this country, we all pull together in a major crisis! We won’t think less of you because you had your house and belongings destroyed and need a few dollars or some clothing to tide you over for a while!
    “Change the things you can, ACCEPT the things you can’t change…”

  13. Colonel (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 11:59 am

    In case you aren

  14. Paat (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 1:55 pm

    Craig……..what a piece of work you are!! I assume you have never been in real need. Well, you just sit there smugly and wait until disaster strikes you……then we’ll see how you feel………..

  15. Tom (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm


    As sad as I am to do this, I must agree with you on this tragedy being layed at the feet of the local and state government and at the feet of the power structure (both old south white and black)of the city of new orleans.
    I lived in the New Orleans area for 12 years, and by the grace of God, lost my job and had to find one in Houston a year before this storm. All the while I was living there, each and every local person KNEW and PREDICTED that one day the BIG ONE will come and New Orleans will become a mass grave. EVERY ONE KNEW IT!! And yet life went on as usual in a state of denial.
    I for one had very mixed feelings about leaving New Orleans. The place and people are fantastic, but I was very glad to escape the constant fear of the BIG ONE coming. And who was to blame about living in such fear? Not the government, ME. I had the talent and means to live in another place, but I chose to live in risk. My point is that each and every other person in New Orleans made this conscious decision to live with this risk. But as in every gambling game, your luck will eventually run out. And it did in New Orleans.
    Now about Nagin. The majority of those I knew were very glad when he was elected. Because he did not seem part of the corrupt underbelly of New Orleans politics. He even went after the crooks and tried to get them out.
    But maybe it was his optimism, or his lack of planning, he did make tremendous mistakes in not evacuating the poor and immobile population. That IS HIS RESPONSIBILITY. Not George Bush, Not BLANCO, …..Nagin was the mayor and the evacuation was in his hands. Goes with the territory.

  16. Linda (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 9:52 pm

    Craig: I’m not angry at what you are saying…I don’t think you mean it the way it sounds. I think given the amount of people saying people in New Orleans deserves what they got (and no…not the majority are saying this…but enough are) that what you were trying to say in your own way is…hey this is hard. We need it…but its hard. For me…I’ve been helping as much as I can. I don’t need your thank you. I’m not doing it to be thanked. I and the people who are volunteering so much time and effort are doing it to help out…but we are doing it because we need to feel we are helping. There’s a big difference believe it or not. If everyone would calm down and try and put themselves in these people places…its a form of grieving they are going through. First is disbelief…but one of the stages is pride and anger. The anger doesn’t make sense when its against someone who has “left” you…or died…the same as this doesn’t make sense…but its a stage. Give some credit here. What Craig is trying to say is he’s not expecting to be taken care of. He’s not sitting back assuming everyone will put his life back in order for him. He’s not doing what so many people have been accusing the people of New Orleans of doing. Think how you would feel if you were being talked down to and lied about and you had no way of confronting the person or letting the world know its just not true??? C’mon…give a little here…not money, clothes or time necessarily…how about compassion and understanding. Saying the same things in a more gentle way still gets your points across.

  17. Are you serious? (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 11:09 pm

    It takes cash (lotsa cash) to rebuild, not compassion and understanding…typically, “pride” and “frustration” force an individual to take action to change its source – when circumstances prevent this, as in this instance, “acceptance” is the better course. To paraphrase Tex Antoine, a long-ago NYC area TV weatherman, when “inaction” is inevitable, lie back and enjoy! Craig, the “helping” America is not looking down at the victims of this disaster. Can’t you accept the assistance in the same open-hearted manner in which it is given?

  18. Linda (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 11:27 pm

    Well, seems to be ya have two choices Craig. Accept the help…and feel frustrated and have a bunch of idiots say you expect them to pay or don’t accept the help…and have some people say you are an ungrateful bastard. I personally think I would accept the help…be damned with what anyone says or thinks…and do the best I can to take only the help I need. Know that there will always be some people who will question you and doubt you. That’s just part of life I guess. Know also though that there will be people who understand you and agree with you. Then there is the majority that stand somewhere in the middle. I will say one thing though Craig. It makes people…ok…some people…feel really good to help. Its a gift you can give them to accept help. Its not always given begrudgingly. Accept the help this time…and the next time you come across someone who needs your help…give it with an open heart.

  19. Craig (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 11:42 pm


    I’m not saying anyone is “looking down” on us. Everyone is tremendously willing to help, and that’s a great thing and highly appreciated.

    Sometimes the guy who hits you up for change at a stoplight really needs it — he’s temporarily down on his luck and any help would be seriously used well. But other times, particularly when the same guy shows up time and again, you don’t know.

    My point has been that we don’t want to be the ones you’re not sure about. Even if it’s an honest appeal, folks eventually get tired of hearing it.

    That’s all.

  20. The West Coast Midnight Run (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 4:48 am

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  21. Are you serious (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 8:50 am

    OK, Craig, if the rest of the USA sees you-all in trouble AGAIN after the next hurricane destroys your city, we’ll know it’s a scam and you’re on your own!

    Linda makes a great point: accept the help and pass it on!

  22. holly (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 9:56 am

    I do not think that any part of Craig’s original comment seemed ungrateful towards the efforts of outsiders to help. He is homesick. He is frustrated. He wants his city back. Is that wrong? Of course not. It is completely natural for someone who has gone through what he and everyone else that has been displaced has gone through.

    Ease up a bit people. I see a way too much venom coming from people who claim that they have helped in one way or another.

    Donating money to a cause and then requiring gratefulness from people who have lost everything seems just a bit disingenuous to me. Like, say, politicians kissing babies and hugging distraught people for photo ops. In fact, donating money and then expecting something (anything) in return is the complete antithesis of true charity.

    Anyone who has been displaced by Katrina has been living for nearly a month in a sort of surreal limbo watching their destroyed city, homes, lives, jobs become a political debate, a reason for telethons and an ongoing saga on CNN. That can’t be a very comfortable position to be in and I imagine it causes a lot of conflicting emotions. I imagine one of those emotions is helplessness and another is frustration and yet another is sad shame alternating with fierce pride.

  23. Are you serious? (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 10:42 am

    Sorry, Holly, but in true giving from the heart, there are NO EXPECTATIONS or requirements of gratitude or pride or frustration or even “thanks” from those receiving – isn’t it enough to “do this in remembrance of Me”, as someone (I wonder who?) in the bible said?
    It’s our duty and obligation to care for each other in times like this – we don’t have to be “sure about you” as Craig worries in his most recent post. Geez, just accept the help with a simple “thanks”, if you feel the need to express something…don’t let pride and frustration get in your way!

  24. Benny (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 10:58 am

    OK,OK, enough already!!

  25. BickDickDaddy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

    i think you all need to wait it out. if your local and state have planed for this none of this would have happiend. And if over the past years spent the money to repair and or upgrade the levees instead of spending the millions of dollars they recived to fix the levee problem on other things like casnos and new houses for local and state goverment and a lot in there pockets none of this would have happiend. You guys voted Mayor Nagin in and he left you there to die. what kind of leader is that? And Govenor Blanco would not let the feds and redcross in to help people. And one thing is really wier on this hole thing. Is why did the levees break a day later and resendents living next to them hearing several explosings before the levees broke? Sounds like a setup to me cause the mayor and Govenor got the hell out of there and half the police force split. sounds like this hole thing was planed and aimed at the poor people. Sounds like they wanted to wipe out poverty. And they did. now when they rebuild people wont be able to aford the houses. Think about it real hard. And why wont the locals let people in to do an investagation on the levees. Police shot 4 people by there. so whats realy going on. if i was you guys i would demand answer now before the shit get covered up and swept under the carpet.

  26. Stacy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 7:20 pm

    Wow…umm…Dick. You really have some of your facts wrong. Mayor Nagin has never left the city. He was there at, I believe, the Hilton Hotel the whole time during and after the storm. So, no, he didn’t leave them there to die. Everyone in that town had a choice to leave and I can’t believe anyone is dumb enough that when they see a cat 5 hurricane coming that they have to wait until someone else tells them to leave. If that’s the case, then so be their destiny. I think you are making a whole lot out of a really logical situation. Dams break, yet they don’t need a hurricane to do so. All they need is a lot of water pressure.
    And, dude, seriously, you need spell check.

  27. BickDickDaddy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

    well dude i know where he was be he did not a damn thing to help people,elders,children,without any ways of getting out. o yea he was right next to those 350 some buses that got flooded. i forgot. and then try to bring 250,000 people back when another big storm is on the way. WHAT A GUY! GOTTA LOVE HIM!

    lets see the leevs withstand katrina and a day later they break. ok seems to me they should have broke in the storm if you are implying your pressur theory. storm leaves then leeves break. hmm you think about that.

  28. Craig (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

    Thank you Holly. You get it.

  29. AustinResident (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 2:13 pm

    Ya’ll wait….see what happens in Texas. We’re lucky though. Our politicians spent the Federal Homeland Security monies they got on the stuff they were supposed to and that has prepared us to sustain a cat 5 hurricane and STILL take care of all the people (approximately 275,000) from LA. And fortunately for the people of Galveston and Houston, their mayors are not morons who mug for the camera and squeal for the Feds to come while they sit on their fat asses and whine for help. They actually do their jobs, which is organizing evacuations and preparing shelters with enough food and water to sustain those unfortunate enough to have to be there. I doubt very seriously half the police forces of either of these two areas will abandon their posts in the heat of the crisis, either.

    Rick Perry has already requested federal aid, and FEMA is already pre-positioning water, ice and MREs outside of potentially affected areas. The mayors of Galveston and Houston are evacuating low lying areas and the people in their jurisdictions who can’t evacuate themselves. Did your criminally stupid mayor or your jesus freak governor do any of that 4 or 5 days prior to Katrina?? The answer, my friends, is a big No. So we’re already better off than you were to begin with.

    But the race baters and the Bush haters are going to say that it’s because this was (and still is) GW’s home state, and that we are better off because we got preferential treatment and because most Texans are rich and white, which isn’t true either.

    Just for your information, since I understand the public schools in Lousiana aren’t so good, there is a disproportionate number of poor, black folk in Galveston, living cheek by jowel with the rich white folk there, as well as the 4th and 5th Wards in Houston, and what do you think has happened to them??? Well, again, for your information, the mayor of Galveston has ordered several hundred busses to get them all out of town, so that they won’t be drowned in the storm surge and the low lying areas of Houston are being evacuated as I write this.

    I really feel sorry for all the people who trusted in their elected officials in New Orleans and in that poor, demented idiot in your State house. How bereft you must feel that these people put their own political agendas and petty power squabbles above your lives, and allowed a natural disaster of epic proportions to affect an entire population in such a way, and I sincerely hope that you will show your displeasure at their very poor performances at the voting booth in the next mayoral and gubernatorial elections.

    But of course, that probably won’t happen, because historically, poor black people don’t vote, which is why they got left behind in the first place. The elected politicians don’t give a rat’s patoot about a bunch of lazy, good for nothings that don’t vote. They’re just collateral damage.

  30. Claire (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 4:04 pm

    You know what – half of those assholes there in LA were not even grateful for the food water beds blankets that were given to them in the dome and the convention center. So f’em. They had the audacity to complain and ask for soda instead of the CHILLED water we had. What the he** is the matter with that picture. 70% of the people down there with no where to go, no food, no beds, no water and here we are, volunteers trying to do our part instead getting cursed at calling us racial slurs, F*** THEM a**holes. That was so horrible. Ungrateful, refusing food or water because its not good enough. Fresh food, fruit water stuff to help these poor bastards stay alive and they look at you and curse you. I hope they all f****’in die!

  31. Linda (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 5:21 pm

    Claire…first I won’t assume to know how it must have been down there. Must have been horrible and scary for you. But mannnn…if you are truly this angry…you need to get some counseling. I’m not trying to be a smart ass here. Like I said…I can’t imagine what you went through and its pretty common from what I understand that people who have been in situations like this need to talk to someone. Its not an insult at all.

    If you really think back…was it really half the people screaming at you?? Or just some of the people? Whether it was some or more…I can understand how angry that must have made you when all you were trying to do is help. I guess what I’m trying to say is…I feel for everyone that has been effected by this disaster. The same way you were trying to help them…I’m hoping my saying this might help you??? Other than that…maybe thats what you are doing here by writing out your anger…maybe thats the way you have chosen to handle it. Hope you start feeling a little better soon and know that there are people everywhere that don’t think before they talk.

  32. Busy (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 6:44 am

    After the initial writing by Craig and the subsequent responses and his better clarification of what he meant by his original post, this has been weighing on my mind.

    I personally know Craig. I know Craig to be a hardworking participating member of this society and never to depend on any type of aid. At this point though ya’ll, you gotta get the help as well as thousands of other people. This was SO FAR beyond your control (and we all know how we hate losing control). You’ve described in subsequent blog posts how you are seeking the aid, insurance, etc. to help you rebuild your business, your sole source of income.

    If I misunderstood your original post, I’m sorry. If I didn’t, then you need to buck it up and let us help, even if we are in your space now and then. You need it and you deserve it. Everyone and anyone could be in your shoes at anytime for a myriad of reasons and often those we can’t control.

    There is a huge difference between getting help and getting back on your feet and those that continually work the system.

    I applaud you for having the courage and the gumption to get back to New Orleans and rebuild the life that you love.

  33. good thoughts for you (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 8:03 am

    I can understand your frustration and no bad names or thoughts come to mind towards you when I read your posts. To call someone an ungrateful bastard and other things when they are going through so much, even if you are one of the lucky ones, is mind boggling. Even the lucky ones have no city to call home right now. I hope the less damaged areas are operable soon to give all of you some hope for the future.

    We haven’t had any “official” evacuees here, but we have still recieved hundreds of evacuees. We are not seeing ungrateful people. They are being offered housing and donations (to set up a house, etc) and employment almost immediately. We are trying for longer term solutions now so that these people are already ok once the giving dwindles – we all know it will at some point. Anything to give these people some sense of normalcy while they either settle here temporarily or permanently.

    What I am seeing is people wanting to be self sufficient.

    I don’t get the feeling that the people want to hold a hand out forever. They just need a hand up. Neighbors helping neighbors.

    Please try not to feel guilty for needing us now. We know you would do the same for us.

    I pray Rita misses you and pray for those in her path.

    God Bless

  34. Tim Faucheaux (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    Just an “FYI” Austin Resident: “Poor, black people” in New Orleans DO vote. They are picked up by buses sponsored by local candidates and the candidate’s party on election day and taken to the voting booths. I have personally witnessed this!! HMMM…but oddly these same buses weren’t manned to drive them to safety before Katrina hit. The “poor black people” didn’t even realize they would be abandoned to fend for themselves when a crisis struck. Abandoned by the very same smiling, handshaking, promise making “I’m black, I want to be mayor, and I’m just like you, so vote for me” incompetant and criminals that are running the city and all of the congressional districts that are majority “poor black people”. I hope they (poor black people) have learned that white candidates are not bad simply because they are white and that black candidates are good solely because they are black. Maybe a dream, but one can still dream. God help us all to do what is right for ALL of humanity, of any ethnicity. P.S.: I left New Orleans six years ago for the Greatest City in the Greatest State in America…..Austin, TX. “Ain’t it Great to be Alive in Austin, Texas?”

  35. AustinResident (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

    Tim –

    You bet it is! ;-)

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