Sunday, November 20, 2005

New Orleans Revisited

TIME Magazine reports on New Orleans. Another saddening look at the nation's inability to help itself... on any level.

We're worried about Iraq, we're trying to figure out Afghanistan, we're running legislative circles around gay rights. There are a half million political issues that people can and will get fired up about, but New Orleans isn't leading them right now. I've heard of only a few efforts to go help with cleanup and reconstruction. One of them came from a local group who went to save stray animals and bring them back for temporary housing until they were claimed or adopted. Small a thing as this is, it's help. It gets potentially dangerous or dead animals off the streets and into a warm, clean environment where they can be taken care of. It saves the lives of peoples' pets, and offers an opportunity for their owners to get on their feet before they claim their beloved companions. It keeps the streets free of dying animals, which in its small way reduces health risks for workers and residents.

There are other little things. A group here wanted to go down there over fall break, while I went to Canada, and help out. Another trip was scheduled for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. It won't be many people, I can guarantee it. But it will be help. Unfortunately these tiny student-run ventures don't get press, or great results. What can a dozen college students do, anyway? It's tough to get things organized, to get food and water and building materials shipped in, and to get people into safe housing. We can't do it alone, but here the government is tying itself in knots because of holdups with various agencies. Screw the agencies. Spend the relief money on dump trucks and bring Habitat for Humanity in. Plans for 5 years from now? What about plans for tomorrow? If I were in charge I would have settled in for a long haul - tearing down the hurricane-damaged buildings and rebuilding. What needs to be debated?

Things like this make me hate America and wish I wasn't tied to my schoolwork. We are a country of self-serving fools, and if I knew of anywhere it was radically different, I'd move immediately. At least I'd help out more, if I had the means to get to where I was needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment