A Thousand Talkers Whose Tongues were all Broken

Originally uploaded by YourAuntBee.

I'm terribly late to the show on this one. I have several excuses, but the reality is that I'm just so overwhelmed and confused that I just can't seem to get my thoughts into one cohesive sentence.

So please bear with me. In fact, it may be better if you don't read this at all. It's jumbly and half of what I want to say and I'm sure it's everything you've already heard from a thousand other voices.

I'm on vacation right now, so I've been sitting in front of the computer, reading things I never imagined. I'm looking at pictures of worlds I can only compare to images from science fiction movies.

Yesterday, I probably spent a whole hour staring at images on Flickr. The Mississippi coastline looks like Wichita after the ice storm. The trees are stripped bare of leaves and bark. Everything is monotone in shades of grey. And these were the least scary of the pictures.

I can't believe how many people have been left behind. It's unimaginable that a city that lies below sea level didn't have a better plan to evacuate. I'm horrified by the images of hundreds of school buses lined up and buried in grime at the bus barns. Why weren't they used to haul people out of there before Katrina hit?

Now people are left behind in what appears to be complete anarchy in such post-apocalyptic scenes.

I've read story after story about help being turned away. I can understand not wanting to endanger more people. But when you're turning away truckloads full of water? People are desperate for that. Don't tell me you don't need it.

I can't say I have any solutions. I would have no clue as to what to do. But I can't help feeling like something more could be done. Why do I feel like we're quicker to organize troops for war than for relief and rescue?

Where are our political leaders? Both Democrats and Republicans have disappointed me. "Our hearts go out to those affected." Screw your hearts! Where are your hands and your leadership? Why is it continually left up to Hollywood to make the people rise up? Once again, it's people like Sean Penn and Kanye West starting the revolution. Even "stars" I'm normally not a fan of, like Oprah and Celine Dion for heaven's sake, give me more hope that something is going to happen.

It used to be up to our president to encourage us. President Bush, with his blinking and blank stare while he listened to FEMA tell him what they planned to do that day, was less than inspiring. It was the same blinking and stare he had while school children read him My Pet Goat.

Reading the news today, I see FEMA will give debit cards worth $2,000 to victims of Katrina. My first thought? "That seems like nothing and where do they have to spend it?" My second thought was "I wonder if the ATMs will charge them $1.50 to use the cards."

I don't know. I don't know what to do or what to say. I've donated food and water. I've given what little money I can. I feel helpless. I wish for the victims to get out of that hell. I hope they find their families. I pray that peace, understanding and calm come and come quickly.

Katrina People Finder
The American Red Cross
The United Way

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.
---Ferdinand Foch

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