First, I agree totally with Kayne West in his famous rant during the Katrina telethon a few months ago, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." More precisely he doesn't care about poor people. And that's harsh reality #1, if you're poor, you have little if any power. I like to think of myself as having a fair amount of money, but when I see the money being thrown around by the special interests, corporations, and fat cats, I realize that I am just part of the unwashed rabble. So the lesson for many of the folks in Louisiana is that you were a burden on the system before and now is the government's chance to wash you off of its hands.
That being said, it should also be noted that it truly seems that self-reliance and self-responsibility have also gone out the window. Perhaps this was the negative fallout of The Great Society that the government would be there to help you when things got rough but some turned that help and made it into a lifestyle. The lesson we should all learn from this is that we should be prepared to take matters into our own hands. Once a disaster has struck, you had better be prepared to take care of things on your own, both in the short term and the long term. I think I had written right after the disaster that people were whining about the lack of response. While they did have a valid complaint because the response was so feeble, the fact remains that after a major disaster, you are pretty much on your own for the 1st 24-48 hours until a relief system can be established. Don't stand there and cry that there is no one to take care of you. Hopefully we all still have that survival instinct and we can find food, water, and shelter at least temporarily.
I tend to listen to the interviews on the radio with a jaded ear. It seems that the people who complain the loudest have some other agenda they are pushing. I found it interesting that there was sob story about a man who must travel regularly from Houston to New Orleans to get his medical treatment. Now wait a minute! He has to travel from the 4th largest city in the US to a city with very little medical infrastructure left for special treatments?!? What could possibly be available in New Orleans that would not be available in a major metropolitan area with probably every medical technology available?!? Mississippi River mud baths? A special shrimp creole diet? Also, is it just me or does every single person who lives in Louisiana have some sort of terrible disease? Everyone who gets interviewed has cancer, diabetes, heart disease, AIDS, or some other infliction. I guess the media singles out the worst cases to use as examples.
Finally, I hope everyone is prepared for some disaster. I have a lot of friends in SoCal and there is no doubt that there will be another major quake in our lifetime. There are also a lot of furs down in Florida. Every year you are in the crosshairs for hurricanes. Make sure you have your shit together. Can you survive for a few days? Remember, George Bush doesn't care about furries.