Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thursday, September 1, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I’m Miss September!

Or, I should say, one of my calendar articles is the feature piece for the month. Since I wrote it in 2003, I can look at it as though someone else wrote it and truly enjoy it.

Update on New Orleans:
Gangs roaming the streets with guns, attacking hospitals and refugees. Not acceptable. Unfortunately, many people have defended the looters, saying, “well, they’re desperate, they’re trying to do whatever they can to survive.” Taking a few boxes of diapers for a baby and some water bottles might –might—be forgivable, but gangs roaming the streets shooting up hospitals and cops are not. The shoot-to-kill policy against looters needed to be implemented on the very first night. It should not have been left up to the looters to instigate shoot-to-kill-the-populace.

In additional to the suggestions I emailed to my senators and representatives on ways to stop the rising gas prices, I also stated that I want outgoing international aid to stop immediately, in light of the deafening silence from the international community. We need these resources here at home. Enough of us being expected to foot the bill financially and personnel-wise for the entire world, and they just stand by and do nothing in return. Also, international troop deployment needs to stop, and those troops need to go to our own Gulf region.

Since I sent that email (not because of it, but since then), I have heard the following, but have not yet personally confirmed it:

Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have offered aid. Very nice, and should mean that gas prices don’t have to keep rising. However, the oil companies want to make sure their executives continue with their six figure salaries and they can buy their wives and mistresses a dozen pairs of Manalos each to shut them up, no matter how many hundreds of thousands are homeless and dying in the Gulf region, so the prices will continue to go up. Yes, I understand that refineries are out of commission and production has slowed down. But it is time for the oil companies to step up and, instead of allowing the prices to rise, citing “supply and demand” do the moral thing and simply make less profit for a few months. They make multi-billion dollar profits. They can afford to freeze prices.

France, Germany, and China have offered . . .words.

Gee, thanks. How about some rescue workers and medical supplies?

Of course, it’s more than most of the other countries have offered.

So I guess I should delete the message I was going to send to Chirac (similar to the one I sent to Tony Blair). Anger sounds so much better in French. Heck, just about everything sounds better in French.

Individual churches throughout the country are mobilizing to do what they can. However, the major, multi-million dollar evangelical leaders are doing . ..nothing.

Big surprise.

LSU finally decided to cancel their season opener because they felt it would be “insensitive” to move evacuated refugees out of the hotels to make room for the fans. You think, you dumbasses? They also said it would be “difficult” to move the people in the basketball center, which is being used as a triage right now. Could you at least find a spokesperson who sounds like he cares about more than the frigging games?

New Orleans Fairgrounds has sustained serious damage; however, since they had not opened yet for the seasonal meet, no horses were stalled there –as far at they know – and, as far as they know, all personnel made it out. Churchill Downs, who owns Fairgrounds, has set up a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hotline to handle questions about pay, benefits and assistance for anyone who worked there or expected to work there in the coming season. The grandstand has sustained serious structural damage, and it is highly unlikely there will be a meet there this season. They can’t make a final decision yet because they don’t have enough information. But they have moved swiftly and humanely to offer as much help as they can to their people.

I’ve received a lot of questions about physical donations – hold on to them for now. There is, literally, no place to send them. Refugees are being moved around from point to point, temporary space to temporary space. There’s no address to send anything. Right now, money is the only thing the agencies can handle – even $5 makes a difference. Hold on to your boxes – there will be a time to send those donations on and a place to which to send them. However, right now, there is no physical place to do so, because everything’s been wiped out. They have no idea where they’re going to house the emergency workers because there aren’t any buildings left. And most of the workers who came in from this region carried their own supplies of food, water, and bedding, both to supply themselves for up to three weeks and to share.

As of today, the State of Connecticut has opened six armory locations to collect bottled water, blankets, and non-perishable foods. If you’re in the Connecticut area, there is a place to start bringing donations already. They will be packed up and prepared to be trucked or flown down to the region as soon as there are places to which to deliver.

As critical as I am on a regular basis of President Bush, I can’t help feeling sorry for him. To a point. He wants to do something, but has no idea what. The most vital things for him to do now is get the personnel and supplies in place to save lives and also to stop protecting his rich friends who run the oil companies and make them cough up.

Some sports teams are stepping up. The NY Yankees and the NY Giants each donated $1 million apiece. Also, remember, many athletes head their own foundations. Research your favorite athlete, and, if he or she heads a foundation, contact the foundation and urge them to get involved in the relief effort. If you want to do something physically in the short term, and a local organization is running a charity fundraiser, you can always volunteer your time to help out with it, rather than giving money. Because, for some people, they don’t have the $5 right now in this economy. And many people who want to help feel that their desire to aid is being dismissed because they can’t do so financially.

We need to remember that help is needed in the long term. However we can help, there will be an opportunity to do so at some point in this process.

Also, I’m hoping that, a bit further down the line, a system will be set up so that churches and other groups can adopt a family for the rebuilding process. When your aid is going to a specific human or group of humans, when there is that connection, it benefits both sides so greatly on both the physical and psychological levels. That is a few months down the line, I’m sure. But it’s something to urge the agencies to set up.

Devon

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