Saturday, September 03, 2005

Four years today and the slime that rules us all

[If here via Tertia please scroll down, links under "HOW YOU CAN HELP"]

Four years ago today I was spending my last day in Israel on the kibbutz. I was supposed to have flown home the day before but JIP, with that uncanny cat sense they have, had decided not to come back to the room at all. Uzi and I looked everywhere for her and in the end he drove me to the airport so I could postpone the flight. She showed up immediately after our return and was very much distressed bcs she was forced to stay in till the next day, and then it was Humungous Pet Carrier Time for her and the baby (Tripod was abt 4-5 months old then).

And I remember being on that aeroplane and knowing that coming back was the right decision bcs Vet School was absolutely the right thing for me [HA!], but that it was breaking my heart. Uzi and I had spent a good 3 hours at the airport just sitting on trolleys and talking bcs we were early, and we also took pics of us and the cats in/on the pet carrier. The notion that everything was never going to be the same was so strongly w me I couldn't bring myself to have the film developped. I don't even know where said film is, much to my added grief now. I believe I'd have overcome my reticence if I'd known that was the last time I'd see Uzi alive. Don't cry Pip, you'll be back so very soon, and we'll visit each other often anyway, it will almost be the same thing.

Yesterday was a bad Uzi day even bfr I remembered the date. Then I did. Then it was an even worse day.

New Orleans... I've just woken up after 3 h of sleep, I woke up at 5.17 am thinking of all those at the Dome and everywhere else. I have been very effective at watching even less news than usual but information does filter in and my stomach has been increasingly heavy. Last night I was reading a blog by a nurse, a blog I used to enjoy loads bcs she often goes into detail abt clinical cases and procedures. She was talking abt a man who is devastated bcs he doesn't know what became of his 3 cats, which he had to abandon behind as he evacuated. And then she said something like "Oh well, as long as that is your biggest problem." And I was left staring at a computer screen wondering how on earth someone who chose nursing for a job can show this much compassion.* I know leaving my animals behind would kill me - actually, I wouldn't leave them behind, EVER. That would be as unconscionable as abandoning children, I think. It breaks my heart into minute pieces just thinking abt all those pets and strays. I've accepted the responsibility, it is mine till the end. How could I ever live w myself otherwise?

This was the last straw and now the floodgates of hell are open again. Imagine your city w all the supermarkets under water, all your familiar landmarks gone, imagine your house is only visible at roof level and you have got nothing but the clothes you are wearing. You have lost everything. EVERYTHING. It's unimaginable really, and there's too much water in it again, too much death and misery through water again. But this time, unlike the tsunami that killed Uzi, so much could have been prevented bcs WE KNEW IT WAS COMING! Hey Bush boy, how's the holiday going? You enjoying yourself there, love? How's that golf handicap? Should be close to 0 w all the practice you've been getting. Must be good to rule the world, all this free time and pahtying.

Bush is a murderer and a worse one w every day that goes by. Iraque wasn't bad enough, apparently - where is he now? Where are you, you coward, now that women are being raped in the Dome and no one does anything to prevent it? Now that armed groups have claimed their power back in the worst possible way, now that people are left starving and dying of thirst because life as we know it is over in New Orleans and there is nowhere to turn to for things we take so granted every day such as bread and water, WHERE ARE YOU, YOU BLEEDING IDIOT? There are people stranded everywhere and no one coming to their rescue! Katrina was devastating enough but that the very poor (and very black, how surprising, and no one mentions it - reverse racism at its best, see how PC shit can kill?) are now being blamed for not having done what they were told - they are POOR, how could they have evacuated? With what money, with what means? And how were they to anyway, after traffic came to a near halt due to the human stampede, even if they had found the means? Where were you, Bush boy, where are you still?

Bush is a criminal, is what I think, and he belongs in jail, preferably Guantanamo-like. He makes me sick with disgust and shame and I curse the day this man was elected - and America, the world thanks you, really we do, how could we not, our fate in the hands of an acephalous wannabe cowboy. If there ever are photos of him in his underwear in the newspaper, believe me I'll keep mum. Forget abt fair, let's talk justice now. I wish I could spit in his face or smack him soundly across that lying mouth of his. The man makes me lose all composure and I feel my blood boiling!

Read this, he says it so clearly. And she does as well.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP:

If you're feeling overwhelmed, donating IS something you can do and you may save lives and help give thousands some dignity and hope back. If you're concerned abt whether your money will be used properly, make sure you choose a bona fide organisation.

  • The Fug girls have put together an amazing collection of links for money donations here, as has The Truth Laid Bear.
  • If you want to donate goods go here, these people are gathering comfort goods to make life easier for those who have lost everything and will at some point be relocated to hotels.
  • You can register to house the now homeless here.
  • You can help the animals here and here. Please find out how to and help them and their worried owners.
  • And blood, you can give blood even if you can't afford to donate money. There never is enough and now it's certainly needed. Some of us would give a lot to be able to and aren't allowed, please don't waste what is a truly wondrous gift.

Update: I put my money where my mouth is and have donated both to people and to animals. Do you know, I could never donate for anything Tsunami-related and it increased my sense of loss bcs those people, the survivors who lost their houses and their families or part of it, were victims as well. Less than Uzi, of course, but victims nevertheless and I have been refusing to help. I simply couldn't and I still cannot even look at advertising banners. This time I wasn't a coward, see, and my money will help, my money will make a difference, I will make a difference instead of simply wringing my hands and crying and breathing on in general.

*Update 2: I went back to that nurse's blog bcs I wanted to leave a comment and as it turns out she didn't say what I thought she did, it was a misunderstanding, she is heartbroken over the animals as well, and I am very grateful that I can keep on reading and thinking good things abt her. Sorry abt that again, HN!

Update 3: Kayne West is my new hero. It took balls indeed, and more anger than I like to think abt. And through Dovbear I found this: Ted Koppel slaying Michael Brown, Director of FEMA. Indeed. Astonishing! He didn't even know the difference between the Convention Centre and the Dome! [The American habit of over-using one's first name when replying is rather annoying, gah!] There's also this piece where Shepard Smith tells you how people are locked inside the Convention Centre, and how a checkpoint has been set up on a major road preventing people from going into Gretna, Louisianna, where there is electricity and hope, how anyone walking out of New Orleans is sent right back in, and a very disturbing Hannity person says he wants to get perspective and an absolutely shell-shocked Smith yells back THIS IS PERSPECTIVE!

Update 4: In awe of her, as usual.

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21 Comments:

At 3/9/05 09:06, Blogger CarpeDM said...

You are preaching to the choir, sister. He just amazes me with his lack of caring for his own people. Loved the letter from Michael Moore. Thanks for linking to it.

As to Uzi, I have been thinking of you a lot lately. I know that this has been very difficult for you and want you to know how much I love you and that I hope you are doing well.

Beijos

 
At 3/9/05 13:21, Blogger Diana said...

I was wondering how you were doing with all this to remind you. Thanks for doing this. The Red Cross is also very good and very reputable and first on the scene (before troops and all). Please don't feel a tiny bit of guilt about not sending to the tsunami. It is completely understandable and NOT COWARDLY. (Here's a hug.) And, hey, Bush did his part. He ended his month long vacation at his ranch 2 days early! And he flew over things! And is unsuccessfully trying to deflect criticism. So there. Don't say he is not and hasn't been doing his utmost.

 
At 3/9/05 13:56, Blogger Stacey said...

I could never abandon an animal either. My pets are precious to me. My cat got outside and was missing for 24 hours a few months ago and I was a wreck -- we all were. Thank G-d she was just romping with the neighborhood orange tabby. (He is a stud, how can I blame her?)

The devastation in New Orleans is heartbreaking. I live next door in Texas and busloads of evacuees are arriving.

Thank you for your kind heart and donation. I donated through a fund set up by the Jewish community here and today I am taking my 3-yr. old to the store and we will buy food and other items for the displaced residents so that she can begin to understand the true meaning of tzedakah (since the meaning of just writing a check is lost on her).

 
At 3/9/05 14:25, Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

I hate him, I hate him, I hate him. And even my conservative-leaning friends, with those with loved ones in the military and so contractually obligated to say nothing but words of lofty praise about the Bastard-in-Chief, have admitted to his failings and the shame that they feel.

My husband hopes that Bush will be impeached over this. Clinton was impeached and still came out smelling like a rose (including to me, although I suspect that had that not happened Bush never would have gotten north of Dallas). I imagine something more violent, more unseemly, more dirty. Like drowning in sewage or being eaten by the local gators. What's good enough for the American people lost in the flood should be good enough for him, right?

And meanwhile, Britney Spears (from Louisiana!) is 'praying' for the people. Why doesn't she write a nice fat check and send her husband to the area to help out and perhaps improve black-white relations since he's not sure where he belongs? (We have an impolite word for that here - 'wigger' - for a rich white guy who likes to identify with poor black ones because they think it's trendy.)

We made a donation for more than we really can afford, but those people have nothing while we have clean water and roofs over our heads and hot coffee and toilets and a choice over what to have for dinner. (By the way, the Red Cross is dissuading people from donating food, because of the preservation and need issue. Canned green beans may have a long shelf life, but they need things like milk.) Cash is best. And this morning I thought how strange that they aren't urging people to give blood like they have with other disasters (even 9/11, which was fruitless as there were no survivors to be found at the end).

This is our humanity. I miss New Orleans, as icky and humid as it was, it was vibrant and the food ohhhh so good. Now they don't even have water, or homes. The Cajun and Creole cultures, in a moment, became diaspora that will never have a home again.

 
At 3/9/05 17:21, Blogger Jo said...

Add me to the "what the hell was Bush thinking?" list of folks here.

We've been expecting busloads of patients at the hospital, but none of them have come...because of the lack of a coordinated relief effort in New Orleans. I hear the folks in Texas are having to deal with sick doctors and nurses and volunteers from the Superdome--sick enough that they couldn't care for the people they were supposed to be trying to help.

And a friend of mine in Montana, for heaven's sake, is working on rescuing Danes and other big dogs from the area. She does GD rescue already, but is overwhelmed by how little space there is in shelters.

This whole situation, from the start, has been a huge clusterfuck. If they KNEW that the levees wouldn't stand a Class 4 storm, and they KNEW that this would be The Big 'Un, and they KNEW that power and water would be gone, why didn't anybody consider using those 500 buses the Red Cross has finally lined up to evacuate people prior to the storm? Why wasn't there more in place in terms of infrastructure and supplies prior to the storm's hitting?

It's shaming. Lorem Ipsum is right: Creole and Cajun cultures are now displaced. The worst loss will be that of the cultures that made LA so incredibly rich and unique.

HN

 
At 3/9/05 23:53, Blogger The Lioness said...

Ladies, wouldn't it be lovely if the world were ruled by people like us?

*sigh*

Jo, tnx for not being pissed off at my misunderstanding what you meant. And yes, Lorem has said it, as she so often does.

 
At 4/9/05 04:16, Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

Ugh. Sean Hannity is the guy I had the nightmare about a week or two ago. He's despicable.

 
At 4/9/05 11:00, Blogger elvira black said...

Lioness:

Thank you for another moving and inspiring post, and the terrific links you always provide. It came as no surprise to me to see confirmation of what many of us have known all along--that the Iraqui invasion was based upon a lie. I don't believe this administration does anything that is not blatantly self-serving. Seeing Bush putting his arms around victims in New Orleans to "comfort" and "reassure" them five days after the fact nauseated me.

You have been one of the inspirations for my latest post as well. Thank you again for your terrific site.

 
At 4/9/05 12:41, Blogger Bubbi said...

Hi Lioness,
I do not have the words--I have yet to really even post on my blog regarding this national shame.

I have to get my thoughts together and until yesterday--I did not know if good friends who live there where ok (they are--Thank God)

The crime is not only federal but the elected officials of the state of La.
In the US--each state is like its own country--and La. especially has its own way.

I will tell you that animal rescue from TX (where I am originally from) is on the job and has rescued over 500 animals at last report--that was two days ago--so I am sure it is higher. They will attempt to match with owners.

I too could not leave without my animals and many are there because of that fact alone. Yes--those that stayed because of their animals do not recieve much sympathy--except from other animal lovers.

Now that I know my friends are safe--I will be posting my thoughts on this. All I feel right now--is shame.

 
At 4/9/05 12:45, Blogger Bubbi said...

PS.--I am not happy with GWB but MM is equally crooked--getting rich off the people he claims to speak for.

 
At 4/9/05 14:04, Anonymous Noorster said...

I could barely watch that Nightline video in its entirety because I was this close to tearing out my hair in helpless rage. I am so, SO angry.
They had all the time and the money in the world to keep people from dying and it looks like they hardly even tried. I don't think you can blame it all on Bush. Rich white people with power don't care and I don't think they ever have.
Sri Lanka and Indonesia donating to the relief effort just broke my heart in ways I can't elaborate.
I find it absolutely infuriating that the government of the richest country in the world can start and finance a war on another continent and at the same time fail to rescue its own citizens at home.
In any case, I hope donations do get to the people who so desperately need help.
Thanks for the links.

 
At 4/9/05 21:59, Blogger The Lioness said...

Lorem, he looks... sleazy, I suppose.

Elvira, tnx, and you're welcome. I agree w you absolutely. Will go read your post now.

Bubbi, yes, shame. I'm ashamed as well and I'm not even American. can't imagine being in their shoes, can't imagine being in all of your shoes. Very happy to hear your friends made it to safety. (I'm slow today, who is MM?)

Noorster, yes, I know. And I agree but see, he IS the President. And the donations from those countries I do not like to mention yet broke my heart as well. Rumours say the US have denied offers from some countries. I dearly hope this isn't true.

 
At 5/9/05 02:23, Blogger Panda said...

I'm putting my hand up for running the world with you guys. We'd make a kick-ass government!

The whole thing just makes me so very very sad and very very angry. We had the Ted Koppel interview shown here yesterday morning. Jebbus cripes, who the hell are these poeple who claim to not know what is going on? I'm sitting here in a small country town in South Australia and I know more than those fuckheads.

And I'm right there with you on the responsibilities towards our pets, Lioness. There is no way I would leave without my kitties. They're my babies. Plain and simple.

 
At 5/9/05 10:29, Blogger Rozanne said...

Great post and great comments.

It's so hard to know what to say and yet there's so much that needs to be said.

That photo of that cat is just heartbreaking and brought instant tears to my eyes. I've been trying to avoid thinking about all the pets, cuz bottom line people have to be the priority, but those poor terrified animals. I hope as many as possible can be saved. It's impossible to convey to them what has happened or to reassure them. It just breaks my heart to think how petrified they must be.

I have to hug Rusty (my cat) right now.

 
At 6/9/05 05:20, Anonymous Nicole said...

Ya, I blogged it.

I agree with Jo's comment re: the Bushies. 'Nuff said.

I gave to the Canadian Red Cross (being a Canuck and am part of Water Safety Services). My employer's Urban Search and Rescue team was sent too. A lot of work got put on hold because of that.

Can't really say any more because I can barely type about this without crying.

 
At 6/9/05 13:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came here via Teria. So glad you had to the space and time to slam the President, as opposed to focusing on the tragedy. Nice work!

 
At 6/9/05 14:32, Blogger The Lioness said...

Why anon, *blush*, thank you! You're right, I already had this here blog and it unfortunately becomes easier by the day to slam the man. I'd be interested in your definition of "focusing on the tragedy". A post without any criticism of your admnistration, is that it? A post that focuses - a verb you seem to fancy - on NOT mentioning what went, and is still going, horribly wrong?

Besides - listen carefully, brave anon, come closer: see the text up there? It starts w the sentence "Scroll down for links". See, if you do that you will come to said links, and then you will know how to help. That is called FOCUSING ON THE TRAGEDY.

Also, please make sure you specify "the president OF THE USA", there being all those other countries of which he is NOT president, regardless of how you may capitalise his job. Most of the world is, in fact, NOT American. Shocker, I know.

 
At 6/9/05 15:38, Blogger The Lioness said...

Oy, sorry ladies, Mis Wisconsin up there threw me a bit. Self-inflicted blinders never cease to amaze me.

So:
Panda, we could be the new bonobos! Or in your case, a panobo, all encompassing. I like it.

Rozanne, the way I fool myself is to say "Oh that cat was photographed and therefore saved as well, and SO WERE ALL OTHERS!" I can't bear to think abt it so I very effectively don't. Am becoming rather good at it.

Nicole, welcome. Did you come via Manuela? Thanks again for the ammunition, quite unexpected. :)

 
At 6/9/05 16:33, Anonymous Nicole said...

Hi Lionness - thanks for the welcome and the comment on my blog.

I think it was Manuela's blog, or perhaps from Julie. Or maybe Tertia :)

 
At 8/9/05 00:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, Bush is a murderer? Maybe not doing his job well, not a good leader...but a murderer? He wanted people to die? I'm just amazed that people really believe he is so evil. Crazy stuff. I don't have a blogger account, but my name is Kristine.

 
At 8/9/05 01:12, Blogger The Lioness said...

Hi Kristine, for me murderers are not just the ones actively looking for victims. Anyone who knows there will be deaths, has the power to prevent those deaths and fails to do so, thereby causing said deaths is, in my opinion, ultimately responsible and yes, a passive murderer.

Now, regarding Iraq. Sentencing thousands to death due to ego and daddy issues? Criminal - again, murder but entirely active this time, and by no means over.

I don't hink he is "evil". His morality and the whole "axis of evil" thing scares the hell out of me. People w an open channel to God, archangels and What Is Right are very dangerous, I think. Not evil. Pathologically narcisistic, inferiority complex, immaturity and lack of intelligence, and ruler of the whole world one way or the other. This is more how I'd describe it.

Tnx for the name.

 

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