Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I'm going to refrain from any political posts this week because for once, something is a lot more important.

I want to say a huge thanks to Mexico, our wonderful neighbor down below, who has probably done more than any other nation to help us during the hurricane. I'm not talking about money donated. They simply don't have lots of that. But they've actually tried to help us physically with what they could muster and it is greatly appreciated.

I'd also like to say thanks to Canada, our wonderful neighbor to the north. More than any other nation, they helped us through 9/11. I will never forget just how many Canadians helped weary travelers, let them stay at their houses, fed them, let them shower, spend the night, and showed such wonderful hospitality. And no, Canada's not rich either.

Thanks to Cuba for offering doctors. Thanks to Holland for offering people to help rebuild the dams. Thanks to Germany for offering engineers. Thanks to the oil rich nations who offered gobs of money. And thanks to every other nation that offered anything. It is appreciated.

Now the world knows our dirty little secret. It's out of the bag. Too much of America's a third world nation. Some of you just found this out when you saw just how poor Mississippi and Louisiana are. And don't give me any I don't know what third world poverty is. I watched my uncle treat lepers and to this day I'm a sanitary freak from a very bad intestinal infection. It's been almost thirty years and my stomach still hasn't completely healed. I know what third world poverty is, and America has a lot of it.

I'm not going to discuss the reasons we have this much poverty. The rest of the world is now aware of it. They also know that our economy is a lot more vulnerable than we'd like to admit.

I have ideas of how to fix America. I'll discuss them another day though, because my heart right now isn't into politics. It's in helping the survivors.

I really wish I was still in Texas right now because we had two extra rooms, and a large downstairs. We could have taken in a family. They'd have their own bathroom and they'd go from the craziness of being homeless in a sports stadium to enjoying Zombieslayer hospitality and cooking.

But I'm not. All I could do is throw money at charities. It frankly saddens me.

I know a lot of people botched the job. There will be a time to point fingers later, but now is not the time. There are still people waiting to be rescued, wondering how they're going to get their food and medicine. There are people who will die of dysentery from drinking contaminated water. These are the people we should be concentrating on, not whom to blame for the whole thing. As I've said, we'll have plenty of time to point fingers later.

My heart goes out to all those who have sacrificed and/or risk their lives to help their fellow men, women, and children. The media keeps feeding us stories of looting and of people shooting at rescue workers. Well, screw the media. I have heard plenty of stories of heroics but they're harder to find. And I know there are at least ten times more stories of heroics than of evil. I know this, for I have been through two hurricanes and my wife was literally seconds away from dying in a flood. I have seen people do wonderful things in desperate situations with my very own eyes.

My son saved someone's life last year in a flood. Granted, they were being idiots swimming when they should have been on higher ground, but I already mentioned that story. I know the human instinct is to take care of your fellow human. It was instinct what he did. He told me he didn't even know he was doing it.

I'm not implying that what we went through was anything near what happened in Katrina. The hurricanes I experienced tens of people died, not thousands. Yet on a smaller scale, I saw so much generosity.

People are good. The media loves to tell us otherwise and only focus on the evil that we do. They tell us nobody wants to read about the hero. Everybody wants to read about the psycho. B.S. I'd rather read about the hero and I'm sure many of you would too. I've seen it on your blogs. I've seen you post the heroic stories of people risking their lives to save others.

So good people of this Earth, thank you. Let's help the survivors. Everything else is secondary.


Blogger Scott said...

I've noticed people like Shepard Smith deflect away from such logic as they are quick to point out the heroics of the battered police and other rescue workers. You are on to something here that the people who live it see a different side of people than the media focuses on; they see the heros.

9/07/2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Sometimes focusing on what's important means being political. We're doing everything we can to help those in need, and that includes making sure the rescue effort doesn't take the heat off of the government for this and other mistakes they have made. Wouldn't it be terrible if while we were paying attention to the clean-up, something else happened and even more horrible mistakes were made?

9/07/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I wonder why it takes a disaster to bring about the good in people? We should do more every day to help people less fortunate and we don't... I have to wonder why. I myself am guilty as well.

As for not being the time to point fingers - I have to disagree. I'm one of the ones whose only option is to throw money and I am appalled and disheartened at the lack of response from our government (local & federal).

And yes, we need to solve our poverty problem. How, though, is another topic...

9/07/2005 12:24 PM  
Blogger Raemius said...

People will disgree about many things, but no one can disagree that this is a tragedy of epic proportions. The number of dead has not yet been counted, and I expect it will reach into the thousands. It is truly sad to see so many lives lost and ruined.

9/07/2005 12:50 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'm going to keep pointing my fingers, but I wholeheartedly agree with the thanks to the other countries. You should see Rotterdam in the Netherlands. You're a hefty number of feet below sea level in much of the city, and you know it. All that dammed up ocean is pretty intimidating. I'm worried about the dams on our water supplies here in Cali. I hope they're built to sustain a big shake.

9/07/2005 1:03 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Jason - That's where the Dutch could really help us. It's their expertise (as well as wooden shoes and windmills).

Raemius - Agreed. We'll know in a few weeks just how bad it really is.

Laura and PC - Oh, there will be plenty of blame to go around, believe me. And heads will roll, as they should. However, in a very bad situation:
1) figure out how to get out of it,
2) figure out how to make it so it never happens again, which is where people will get their a** chewed out

We're still in step 1, as we need to focus on keeping the survivors alive.

Scott - There were so many stories of heroics that got buried. You always hear about the two police who killed themselves, or the ones that gave up. Yet you never hear about the ones who had already lost everything and are still working full day shifts to rescue people.

And Rat in the Cage posted something on his blog last night about a group of seven kids, who made sure all seven of them survived. Half of them were toddlers. Plus there were teams of regular folk who were going house to house trying to rescue survivors. It wasn't their job, they had nothing to gain, yet they did it because they were heroes.

9/07/2005 1:56 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Good point, but I've done all I could personally do with step 1, so I'm working on Step 2, especiallly since we're still on step 2 from 9/11 and the first Bush election.

9/07/2005 4:24 PM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

Thank you Zombie! Your post touched my heart with its simple truth. It thoughts like these, that will serve as a balm for healing.

I have sat down and had serious talks with my eleven grandchildren. I have had to remind them that hatred of others because of skin color should not be tolerated, on both sides of the color spectrum. That no one should be stereotyped because of what they are seeing on the television. I believe that there is good in humanity as a whole --- sometimes it’s hard to find, but it’s there.

There are a lot of good folks, white/black/brown/yellow, etc. all human beings, that have shown themselves to be heroes and heroines during this horrible disaster. They live all over the world, but I am so very proud of Americans who have opened their hearts, homes, and pocket books to help out their neighbors. It’s the most wonderful thing I have seen in a long time.

No matter what is reported in the Media, or how much hatred they attempt to excite, we, the people, from all walk of life, regardless of skin color, should never allow them to succeed.

Another wonderful thing that has come from this disaster is that Americans everywhere are talking to each other, openly and honestly. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving --- and will speed up the healing.

9/07/2005 5:19 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

LP - Glad I could be of help. You know Houston. When that '94 hurricane happened that I almost had to abandon my car, I was trying to pick up my mother at LBJ hospital (she worked there at the time). You know how in the Fourth Ward, the lighting is terrible, and getting caught in that flood can be dangerous especially if you end up under water because you can't see which way is up. Luckily, I was able to drive up to higher ground.

She ended up having to sleep in the hospital that night.

I was complaining about my experience until I got home and found that a lot of my friends lost everything. It looked like the Twilight Zone for weeks afterwards, as people had everything they owned completely ruined by water.

But yes, the media tried to make the people of New Orleans out to be savages, when in fact, the vast majority of them did a lot of good things that they conveniently overlook because that story wouldn't sell.

PC - Don't worry, I'll get to that next week.

9/07/2005 5:29 PM  
Blogger Moni said...

"I know a lot of people botched the job. "There will be a time to point fingers, but now is not the time."


On another site I stated this and got skewered for it.

The media can kiss my "where the sun don't shine." Especially the foreign press, they see it as an opportunity to poke jabs and the Bush adminstration, if they want to hate the American government that's fine but don't use this tragedy as a debate point. It's like a slap in the face to the victims. To simply down grade this as a "Bush failure of the American people," is an insult, it's way more than that.

And ZS don't be sad by the fact that you, "threw money," at the situation. It takes money to help people.

9/07/2005 6:57 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Wonderful post Zomb. Amen.

9/07/2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

Great post, ZS. Hope your trip was a good one.

9/07/2005 8:55 PM  
Blogger SME said...

I've never been down South, but the people I know who have spent time there always bring up the same word: Poverty. It's hard to believe it until you see it, though. I think we're all getting a rude awakening.

9/07/2005 10:32 PM  
Blogger dave said...

i like your willingness to help the people who are suffering. you're a good man, zombieslayer.

9/07/2005 11:31 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

umm.... Bush should be givin this Vote of thanks...nwyas people are good!

hope love and compassion lives on forever!

9/08/2005 3:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But i Tell ya one thin'....USA is a self-centered Bitch! how did you americian ever become so selfish and attack million and one countries....spread ill eveywhere... i wish the Prisident would sign the 'KYOTO' Protocol ....and do somethin about Global warming....its because of it that the people of USA are suffering rite now!
GEE! when are you gonna wake up and open you eyes with understanding and 'love and understanding' as tenxin says.
man! the way this world is working is really getting me down.

9/08/2005 3:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Anonymous: I think there are many Americans that agree wholeheartedly with you that our country is going in the complete wrong direction. Personally, I think campaign finance and electoral refor is the key. If we can get the big money out of our electoral system, then regular folks' votes will actually mean something again and we can take back our country from the corporate pigs.

9/08/2005 6:19 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

I'll agree there is poverty is the South. (and in the west, and the north east, and everywhere else.) But I'll be honest, it isn't to the third world level I have seen yet. Not even close.

And maybe I'm a cynic but I don't think we will ever get rid of poverty.

Lots of good was done in NO but as in Iraq or anywhere else (with the exception of NYC on 9/11)the press focuses on the bad. Chaos sells papers and advertising.

9/08/2005 6:40 AM  
Blogger Slade said...

Awesome! well said! Did we actually accept all of the offerings of other countries, because I heard on the news that we didn't want any outside help at first...I hope we did accept it

9/08/2005 6:46 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

"They'd have their own bathroom and they'd go from the craziness of being homeless in a sports stadium to enjoying Zombieslayer hospitality and cooking."

That is so hospitable. I want to be more like that. "Throwing money" at charities feels safe but I need to think outside of my box more often.
Thanks for this post Zombie. This was more of a slap on the wrist for me than anything anyone else has said.

9/08/2005 7:34 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

Great post good opinions. Thank you.

9/08/2005 8:04 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Yeah, I too heard we were turning away offerings. That really got me upset.

And anonymous, hate to break it to you but I'm not running the country. Bush doesn't call me up once a week and ask for advice. I guarantee you whatever country you're coming from has a lot more blood on its hands than we do, unless you're from Costa Rica or Greenland.

As for poverty, it needs to be addressed. It is our dirty little secret. I'm in the process of writing something up on it and I'm really curious to how it will be received.

9/08/2005 10:19 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

Yep, this country has a poverty problem that we continue to perpetuate.

I would love to hear your take on it Zombie.

9/08/2005 10:39 AM  
Blogger clothosfate said...

This is a powerful post, you are a good soul and I love that you have so many readers. People identify with what you are saying, and what you say is generally inteligent and real. That is inspiring, your readers are inspiring.

There are good people in the world and they definitly need more recognition, because most of us would much rather rally around the hero then the bully.

Jewel says it well "fill your lives with love and bravery and you will lead a life uncommon."

You are good people, Thank YOU.

9/08/2005 8:10 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

i really wanted to just say this is a great post ZS..and yes, we have dirty lil secrets and lots of people that live in third world conditions..

9/09/2005 8:41 PM  

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