Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Week After

My heart has been too heavy and my mind too muddled to write with any semblance of organization. I am so deeply sad for the people of the Gulf Coast who were left behind, and those whose lives will never, ever be the same again. It’s been over a week now and the reality of the anguish and suffering are just now displacing the initial shock of the images of a government obsessed with wealth and power abandoning its most vulnerable people.

“Sir, you aren't just telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?” – Paula Zahn, CNN News Anchor interviewing FEMA’s head, Michael Brown (September 1, 2005).

“The federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today – Michael Brown answering Paula Zahn, (September 1, 2005).

“Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.” – George W. Bush,
complimenting FEMA chief Mike Brown on his agency's response to Hurricane Katrina, (September 2, 2005).

“I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?” – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, (September 2, 2005).

“Our family is willing to help your family by coming to get you and letting you stay with us in our Pittsburgh home. We can accommodate one or two adults and up to four young children.” – Just one of hundreds of similar ads on Craigslist offering help (September 2, 2005).

“In America we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need.” – George W. Bush, (September 3, 2005).

“I open the television there's people still there waiting to be rescued and for me it's not acceptable. I know there's reasons for it. I'm sorry to say I'm being rude but I don't want to hear those reasons. You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares? They're not going to go too far with it. Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once. The main thing right now it's not the people who are stealing. It's the people who are left there and they're watching helicopters flying over their heads and they're praying. How come it's so easy to send planes in another country to kill everyone in a second, to destroy lives?” – Celine Dion, (September 3, 2005). I'll (probably) never have another snarky thing to say about Celine.

“The palettes of food and water that have just been dropped at selected landing zones in the downtown area of New Orleans. It’s an outrage because all of those elements existed before people died for lack of them. There was water, there was food, and there were choppers to drop both. Why no one was able to combine them in an air drop is a cruel and criminal mystery of this dark chapter in our recent history. The words “failure of imagination” come to mind. The concept of an air drop of supplies was one we apparently introduced to the director of FEMA during a live interview on Nightly News on Thursday evening.” – Brian Williams, NBC News Anchor, (September 5, 2005).


Jackie said...

Do you think Celine really said that or do you think she was reading it off of a teleprompter or something?

It sounds awfully insightful to be her own original thought. I like it, however. Not enough to buy one of her CD's, but I Like it.

Van said...

Great quotes. I saw a couple of these interviews and they blew my mind. How can people who are so smart act so stupid? All these FEMA lawyers...
They should have put truck drivers incharge, they would have got the job done.

Cyrus said...

Jackie - I actually saw Celine's plea for sanity on the Larry King special...and it was definitely her own...it was very heartfelt. I can't imagine adding any of her CDs to my collection either...but I won't make fun of her anymore (or my boyfriend for having like all of her stuff).

Van - "They should have put truck drivers incharge, they would have got the job done." ...so so true.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am not very big at doing this blogs things, maybe because I am just lazy. But when it comes to something like the natural catastrophe caused by Hurricane Katrina and the not so quick response from "those in charge" to help the victims. I feel awful to be part of this thing call humanity. I was glued to the T.V and I felt helpless. I had a talk with my father for about an hour about the people suffering along the Gulf Coast, he lives in Argentina and up until the Hurricane hit, he thought that there were not poor people in America, that not what he was used to see on T.V. He was very sorry for them and he had them on his prayers. The majority of the world don't know that there actually are poor people in the U.S, but the most common question is why they took so long to rescue the victims. My heart broke in a million pieces just watching the images, I felt for them and will feel for them until the day I die, It changed my whole way of thinking. I prayed really hard before the storm hit, and I kept doing it after. I am simply embarrased at the reaction....Cyrus thank you for your very helpful blog and keep doing what you doing, hoping that this world, one day would be a better world....


A* said...

Cyrus- I tried to explain the difference b/w this and Hurricane Andrew. Then the pictures came out...REALLY came out... all explanation ceased.

The government is filled with morons. Their lack of response and the outpouring of support by "regular, everyday people" proves their incompetence.

While Celine rarely excites my musical fancy, she seems like a fairly compassionate person. It's not like I've seenher on Oprah (twice) or anything..

hofzinser said...

Great collection of quote, maestro

VegasGustan said...

Good job man. Good job.

Love the Brian Williams one.