Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | September 1, 2005

People Need YOU

The images that have been burned into my head over the last few days don’t even compare to what those that have seen it first hand have to contend with.

I can’t just sit back – it’s easy to just sit back.

I am off to the Houston Food Bank right now and probably to the Astrodome with Erin this afternoon. We’re doing what we can.

Kevin at has links of how you can get involved.
Rea at has set up a web site for donations to go directly to the Red Cross.


Update: I’m back from the food bank – and lifting 8oz hand weights. I’ve wiped, packed, and tossed a whole bunch of pre packaged food this morning with about 40 others. Tomorrow it’s off to an orientation to assist with other efforts throughout the city.

And I was SOOOO looking forward to getting drunk this weekend


  1. Good for you! We took a collection at the office to send some Target gift cards to our staff who have nothing left and are working to get them out of Lousiana if we can. It’s hard to see it all.

    Well, maybe you can get a drink in Sunday night or something…

  2. Getting drunk is really cool when you have earned it.

  3. Your donation of your time is quite commendable. Cant you still find time to imbibe?

  4. I am so annoyed at the Federal government in this mess. I spent so much time writing my Sentaor’s last night to complain about their complete lack of action in the face of this disaster. It’s disgusting. And I’m tired of hearing about how we can’t get supplies into these people. If you can get busloads of people out, you can get busloads of supplies in. So mad.

  5. I look forward to you getting drunk too. I’m going to Houston next month, I hope we still have a hotel. Take pictures and post them, inquiring minds want to know.

  6. I’m off to the Astrodome to pitch in tomorrow myself. Should be interesting.

  7. I’m a veteran of the CG, our mission was to be ready at a moment’s notice for ANYTHING. The National Guard is pretty much the same. We were (are) trained for that.

    The civilian management of this is chaos, the military should have been allowed to take over the entire operation and then you’d see law, order, and aid being distributed quickly.

    I will say though that the devastation is such that many roads are impassable, the logistics of this are a nightmare, and it’s not as easy to get people in and out of there as you think. However I will admit that Mayor Nagin, Senator Landrieu and Governor Blanco are certainly responsible for this nightmare.


    Louisiana received billions in pork last year. A significant portion of that could have been used to strengthen the levees. WHether or not that would have worked who knows? I mean New Orleans is losing coastline and sinking every year, perhaps there is no way to save a city in a fishbowl. Even with levees that could have handled a Category 4 or 5 (this one was only up for a cat 3), who knows if it would have held? The power of nature is devastating and cannot be predicted.

    Also, the Mayor and Governor should have pushed the Federal Government agencies for transportation and emergency funding ahead of time to get these people out of there. THe NHC had this predicted to hit New Orleans days before it actually hit.

    In the end, we can lay blame all we want, the fact remains that this was going to happen now or in the future. For New Orleans it was a game of russian roulette, it was not a matter of “if” but “when”.

    Well “when” is now.
    I think all of us are changed by this. I know I am.

  8. Jess, if you want you can check my comments on Thomas’ blog that sort of address everything you wrote here – assuming he doesn’t delete them. I was a long winded bastard.

  9. Jess, Justin’s comments are still on my blog. Look for the post titled “Bushville.”

  10. As my favorite president Harry Truman used to say: “The buck stops here.”

    President Bush really wanted to be president. But that entails showing up and having an awareness of where we are vulnerable.

    Famous last words – “We didn’t know the levys would break.”

  11. Um, I meant “levees.” Walking away from the computer with my tail between my legs.

  12. Jess,
    You are right, it is easy to lay blame and play the should have game. However, it does all relate to politicing. If Bush had put tax funds towards strengthing the levee’s he would have been criticized b/c he had just spent 8 Billion dollars towards an unprecedented war.

    It was a lose – lose situation.

    It’s also easy to argue the state should have evacuated the people PRIOR To Katrina.

    Easier said than done or imagined.

  13. Louisiana’s pork last year totaled into the billions. You can thank LA Senators and Representatives for that. I can’t believe they couldn’t spare some of that for their levees.

    When you live in a city that is 10-12 feet below sea level and sinking every year you have to expect that even the levees may not hold, no matter how strong they are. You are taking a chance. Since there was never a guarantee that they would hold, the Mayor and the Governor should have had a plan in mind on how to handle this should a major hurricane be on its way.

    It was poor planning on the part of those who run New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. Pure and simple. 🙂

  14. I’m not picking a fight with anyone specific, nor trying to defend anyone in particular, but what is the point of figuring out who to blame? Does blaming the Governor and NOT blaming the Mayor, or blaming the President change anything? When the people in California rebuild in the same spot as last year’s mudslides, did blaming that town’s Mayor make one little bit of difference? We (all of us, regardless of color or political affiliation) will continue to make the same caliber of stupid mistake over and over. Someone else will be at “fault” next time, and the time after that. *shrug*

    My personal plan is to just shut up and help the people if I can. I was at the ‘Dome Friday night. Saturday they had more volunteers than jobs, so I’m staying away for the long weekend, but I’ll be back during the week when I’m sure they’ll need help again. And the week after that…

  15. You are drunk on philanthropy! 🙂

    I know people are SO thankful you are there!!!


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