Unless you have been totally disconnected from current events, you know of the disaster Katrina has caused in New Orleans and elsewhere. This morning on NPR I heard that Venezuela offered assistance as did other foreign nations. And what did our esteemed leader do? He puffed up his ego and said, nah, we don't need your help; we can do it all by ourselves.
Nearly every single person in New Orleans has been rendered homeless. Gas prices here in NJ have hit $3.29 a gallon. Lives are being lost. People who were helping with rescue efforts had to be moved to police duty to stop the civil unrest that has erupted. And our president says we don't need any help? Perhaps if he'd given the city the money they asked for to update their levies this wouldn't have happened. But he chose to use that money to fight the war in Iraq instead. And, perhaps if Louisiana's national guard wasn't in Iraq...along with the money... there'd be enough folks to rescue everyone who needs rescuing and evacuate the tens of thousands of people stuck in a place with no food and no fresh water. But that isn't the case. The policies of our government may not have caused the hurricane (although some argue they didn't help since we are the worse contributer on the planet to the green house effect and refuse to ratify the Kyoto protocol), but the policies engendered by the right definitely contributed to the inability of the levies to withstand the storm, and have created a situation where there is not enough money or manpower for the rescue and cleanup that is needed.
I don't usually tell people what to do, but I'm telling everyone now that they need to give whatever they can to help the situation. Contact the American Red Cross for ways you can help (be patient - their website is encountering some seriously heavy traffic -- you can also call 1-800-HELPNOW). Or check out www.guidestar.org for organizations that will use your donations to help the victims of this tragedy. Just do something.
Oh - and most importantly - when the time comes...vote for someone that isn't tied to the current war machine.