Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Feeling the Pain

"Houston is feeling some of the pain from the failure of the New Orleans criminal justice system, " said Rafael Goyenche, head of the watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission of New Orleans. "The people who are the most dangerous know the system the best," he said. Criminals in the jails came to cities of evacuation on the buses just like lots of people from New Orleans. Since Houston took the bulk of the evacuees, the city services and citizen's patience have been sorely tested. A study was conducted using end of year crime statics and crime is on the rise. This is not a surprise to those of us living in the city and watching the evening news.

The City of Houston is in need of approximately 500 more police. The Fire Department has incurred approximately $450,000 in overtime per month due to the incresase in needed EMT services. For reported heart attack victims alone, EMT services have been called upon 33.9% more than last year, pre-Katrina. FEMA compensation may or may not come.

From personal experience, our subdivision has a rather large apartment complex at the entrance and they are at full occupancy thanks to allowing section 8 housing now to fill vacancies with FEMA vouchers. The elementary school took in the largest number of evacuees. The crowds of students waiting for school buses in the morning at the complex has easily tripled. Crime, according to our subdivision's monthly newsletter, has risen. More reports of theft, whether it is stealing lawn equipment or household goods from empty houses during the day or cars overnight, are of concern to all of us. Our doors are locked whether we are home or not.

Governor Kathleen Blanco called a second special session of the Louisiana legislature. They met at the New Orleans Convention Center. They took a bus tour of damaged areas of the city. Many legislators did not do the tour in protest. Why are they being treated as tourists by the governor? To make political points of the slow recovery. Perhaps she doesn't realize it is she, as the top government officer of the state, who is responsible. Blame others.

Governor Blanco told the special session that Washington, D.C. has lost interest in the people of south Louisiana affected by Katrina. And Rita never happened as far as she could tell by their attitude. Mayor Ray Naquin said he is hosting foreign leaders in the city and asking for foreign aid, as the federal government is not throwing money at the problem fast enough for him. A bus of evacuees living now in Houston has gone to Washington today to demand congressmen provide them the opportunity to return to New Orleans.

Contrast this with the people of coastal Mississippi. Citizens of communities like Pass Christian, Gulfport, and Waveland lost absolutely everything but the most important, their lives. Yet when was the last time you saw them holding a press conference saying they are marching on a congressman's office? Instead they are marching around their property trying to rebuild their homes for themselves. They are living in tents and trying to get debris removed. They are rebuilding libraries and putting their children back into schools. They say they will make do until everything is up and running again.

Hurricane Katrina was not a racist event. As long as black America chooses to be victimized by outdated hateful speech by liberal America, their lot in life will not change. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the lives of more white Americans than black. The statics are in.

Yesterday, in a huge modern church north of Atlanta, a funeral service was held for Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. As is in vogue today, some politicians took it upon themselves to make it a political rally. This does not honor the dead. Missing WMD and Hurricane Katrina had no relationship with the death of Mrs. King. How pathetic that the audience allowed themselves to applaud and whoop with glee when victimization was the topic of discussion. Are they proud to be encouraged to live their lives as victims of the white people and especially conservative America?

Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and former President Jimmy Carter both appealed to cheap political speech instead of kind words for the grieving family and friends of Mrs. King. And the reference to wiretapping from Teddy Kennedy was rich. DOMESTIC wiretapping of political enemies by LBJ and JFK was the order of the day. Nixon came after them. Bobby Kennedy wiretapped Martin Luther King.

Joseph Lowery, after doing his hateful speech, passed by all of the former presidents and the current president to shake hands on the way back to his seat. President Bush, setting aside the lies he had just endured, smiled as he was shaking the hand of Lowery and pulled him closer for a hug.

New Orleans is a mess because of decades of corruption. The cost of the war on terriorism has nothing to do with it. The city has a black mayor who wasn't able to evacuate the most vulernable of his city's population. Many of the "victims" had automobiles at their disposal. They chose not to leave until they had to climb out onto their roofs and scream for help.

The same way of life they expect to find in other cities does not exist.

"Everything that is worthwhile in life is scary. Choosing a school, choosing a career, getting married, having kids -- all those things are scary. If it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile". - Paul Tornier


Jennifer said...

I was appalled at the behavior of some during yesterday's funeral, and thought it a most dishonorable display. A time and place for everything. The celebration of one woman's life and mourning of a heroine's passing was neither the time nor the place for the political grandstanding.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The positions hardly matter any more; the posturing makes me sick.

Open Book

srp said...

I expected as much from Teddy Kennedy. What else would you expect from an alcoholic murderer. He should not throw stones.

On the other hand, I had admired Jimmy Carter for his deep faith and commitment to truth even if his pacifist leadership (I don't know if those last two words can be used together as they are most often mutually exclusive) helped push us into the position we are in with Iran. His inflammatory comments yesterday were uncalled for. He has obviously not seen the statistics that just as many whites as blacks were killed in Katrina and just as many lost property. Hurricanes do not care what color your skin is. I have lost my last ounce of respect for him.

aka_Meritt said...

I respect Mr. Bush more than any other President thus far in my lifetime. (I'm 35).

AC said...

Well said in your post and commenters - ditto, ditto, ditto. Lowery just amazed me and not in any good way. And Carter? I think he has lost his mind. Does anyone really not understand that surveillance of suspect terrorists is *NOT* the same as illegal wiretapping? Oh, lets not confuse the issue with any kind of facts or even debate the definition of *reasonable* in the 4th Amendment.

Over all the issues, of which there are too many to strangle out, I was dismayed by rudeness. We seem to have lost the art of polite behaviour in this country. Raised in the south as I was, being polite was a virtue. Maybe hard, but doable. It was Wellstone's funeral redux, but worse.

I don't see how President Bush gave that man a hug. I don't see how Mrs. Bush keeps from clawing their eyes out. Oh, wait. They are POLITE!