Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina on Wheelz

"The disaster, it seems to me, is the failure of a philosophy. A philosophy of small government, tax cuts, deficits and privatization. The federal government should have arrived sooner but the federal government was doing other things." ~Stephen Elliott at Salon

That says everything I've been scribbling and scratching out, ranting and ruminating about for a week now. Well, almost:

How does a mayor call for manditory evacuation without evacuating the Intensive Care units in his hospitals?

How many people drowned strapped into their wheelchairs, or on their stairways as they crawled up on their bellies to escape rising water?

How many people starved and dehydrated in close proximity to food, water and help, because their power wheelchair batteries had died during the second day after the storm?

How many people died from insulin shock with dose after dose of ruined insulin in their laps?

After 9/11, the President called for disaster response plans that addressed the needs of people with disabilities. Did anyone actually work on that? Was any provision made in the days leading up to Katrina to evacuate people with disabilities before the catastrophe turned their city into a deathtrap? When Michael Chertoff and Michael Brown were smugly suggesting that the citizens of New Orleans had a responsibility to "Get to a distribution center," did anyone remind them that not everyone can just jump up and wade through the mess?

Katrina proved to me that our nation still forgets the disabled. We are unimportant to our government, the moment hard times arrive. How can we, wheelchair users still living, working, and paying taxes, get big enough, loud enough, to matter?

52 comments:

Zifferent said...

This brings to mind something I've had a thought about recently. (and I know I'm taking it completely out of context.)

I've heard an idea from being bandied about. That the flood washed away the city "clean".

Granted it wasn't always so blatantly worded. Usually it took the form of the person talking about how they can now replan the city and rebuild it anew. Which roughly translated from polical speak means "Any of the poor who didn't drown, die of infections, starvation or exposure we can bus out to other cities that they won't be able to afford to leave, and then we can emminent domain the land cheap and rebuild a nice little palyground for the rich" Although, I did hear one person blurt out the cleansing phrase verbatim.

I know they were talking about the criminal elementof the city, but just for a minute put yourself in the Ultra-Right Wing Republicans' shoes, and that statement takes on a new almost eugenic purpose. I can see Bush and Lott behind closed doors this week gasping for breath between the jokes over the plight of those poor, infirm and of old age that are no longer sucking money away from their pockets. Maybe more of an social/economic cleansing of the city.

How pleasant.

cynthia said...

I've heard this stuff too-- I got in at least one argument over a comparison of Katrina to the great flood or Sodom and Gomorrah...a disgusting, arrogant position to take in the face of ordinary Americans enduring such suffering.

As for NOLA having been "cleansed" of entitlement recipients, I hadn't thought of it exactly that way, but it does seem likely that a "new NOLA" will be built by the rich, for the rich-- It's a very interesting angle from which to contemplate the future of the city, given that the touristy French Quarter has survived. Life goes on (plus newly available real estate) for the developers and businesspeople, permanently dispersing the community displaced by the storm.

I am determined to remember, through all the future finger-pointing and head-rolling, that all levels of government have responsibility for the disaster. Ray Nagin doesn't get brownie points (then or now) for telling residents to jump in their cars and leave, because he did nothing to make transportation or emergency lodging available to the poor, the disabled, or the patients in his hospitals.

What did Louisiana's Governor, State and Federal legislators do? I'll need to look into that.

At the federal level, Chertoff and Brown embarrassed themselves by braying about how everything was under control at the Superdome (!) pretending there was nobody at the Convention Center. If there are not serious repercussions for both of them, it's a travesty.

The President seemed unprepared, uninformed, and disinclined to get involved, at least for the first few days. Why? He seemed to have plenty of compassion for NYC after 9/11, not to mention passion and boundless energy to make things happen. His response to Katrina, a disaster much closer to home for him, has been robotic at best. Is this evidence of the "Sodom and Gomorrah theory" affecting him, or evidence that his famous emotion over the terrorist attacks was motivated not by compassion, but by fear for himself and his family as a target? Either way, it's a disgusting, arrogant position.

Gimpy Mumpy said...

CWD: Crip World Domination :)

But seriously we do need to speak out and promote awareness at all levels including within our own communities and globally through blogs like this.

cynthia said...

What are we going to do today, Gimpy? ;>}

But seriously, I hope one day this blog has enough readers to make a difference. I know that I haven't been envolved enough with my local community on Disability issues; I guess I need to bite the boring-meeting-bullet and get busy.

Scott Rains said...

We have also been talking about this at the Rolling Rains Report (http://www.RollingRains.com)I posted an insightful editorial by Anne Finger there on Sept 12. Mary Johnson has been writing on it at Edge-Centric. Pattie Thomas has been talking about reconstruction using Universal Design at The Ample Rambler. Offline many of us have been strategizing and organizing to rebuild a safer more inclusive city. If the idea of meetings in your local area seem mind-numbing you still have the blogosphere!

Ziggi said...

There are many ways to get involved. What you do here on this site does represent involvement and is important. Great site, keep up the good word. I will certainly link over to your blog.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ziggi said...

Slow down, lots of high intellectual stuff and mind numbing thoughts going on. Awareness is one thing, and certainly should be pursued by whatever means one is comfortable with. What seems to be missing on the awareness front is widespread involvement of the grassroots folks. The people with disabilities.

In most cases their lives are so complex, so involved with getting by the daily grind that it becomes difficult to focus on other than personal day-to-day issues of importance, and there are many of those. They have also become conditioned to the abuses of so called assistance services and agencies and tend to anticipate them rather than react to them.

Ground swell I believe it's called. We need to talk to and inspire each other. Any venue will work as long as the participants are tenacious.

real estate note said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blazerup said...

I enjoyed your site very much it was a great help looking for info on pet medical insurance.
I also have a site with information on pet medical insurance and would appreciate it very much if you would take a look and give a critique.

cash flows said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cash flow industry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
notenetwork said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cash flow note said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Viaticals settlement said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
real estate note for sale said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
discounted notes said...

Hello cynthia, been looking for the latest info on american cash flow and found Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT. Though not exactly what I was searching for, it did get my attention. Interesting post, thanks for a great read.

cash flow business said...

Hi cynthia, Out surfing for information on business notes & happened upon your site. While Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

discounted notes said...

Hi cynthia, Out surfing for information on real estate note & happened upon your site. While Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

real estate note said...

Hello cynthia, been looking for the latest info on homebusinesses and found Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT. Though not exactly what I was searching for, it did get my attention. Interesting post, thanks for a great read.

cash flows said...

Hi cynthia, Out surfing for information on discounted notes & happened upon your site. While Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

business notes said...

Hi there cynthia, I had been out looking for some new information on cash flow industry when I found your site and Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT. Though not just what I was searching for, it drew my attention. An interesting post and I thank you for it.

Wheel Chair Center said...

Hi thanks for your blog, I liked it! I also have a blog/site about pet wheel chair that covers pet wheel chair related stuff. Please feel free to visit.

diabetic supplies said...

Fantastic blog you've got here cynthia, I was looking for diabetes symptoms related information and found your site. I have a diabetes symptoms site. It covers everything about diabetes care, complications, treatment and insulin. You'll find it very informative. Stop by and check it out when you can. Enjoy!
If you have a site similar to mine and would like to exchange links, please contact me through my website.

wheelchair said...

You should check out this site! http://www.allwheelchair.com

bill said...

Hi cynthia, I was just blog surfing and found you! Wow, I really like this one.
It’s such a pleasure to read your post …. Interesting! I was over at another site

looking at cash flow

and they didn't go into as much detail as you, but nonetheless interesting.

Simon Langer said...

Hi, I was surfing the internet and here I am at your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how you have put it all together.

I'll be coming back again.

Cheers,

pictures of the Hurricane Katrina

fitnessinstructor said...

After reading your blog discussing Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT I thought you might like to see my resources on community grants for wheelchair access

fitnessinstructor said...

Paperback Writer
I am learning to write, check out my site!
wheelchair hoist

fitnessinstructor said...

After reading your blog discussing Katrina on Wheelz-- Part 1, RANT I thought you might like to see my resources on wheelchair part

Detox me said...

Paperback Writer
I am learning to write, check out my site!
build portable wheelchair ramp

Detox me said...

New Writer
I've got a great site to check out!
electric wheelchair

Spirit said...

I know several other readers that will love this blog. Hey man you have a really insane blog here. Perhaps you will find my blog about Education Travel interesting.

Anonymous said...

See more information on Travel Goods here.

Payday Loans said...

Hey nice blog. Although it?s not what I was looking for. I am looking for info on Payday Loans or a Cash Advance so I can buy some Hoodia Diet Pills.. I found your blog very interesting

Anonymous said...

Good moning. You site is realy cool!
viagra
viagra
Don't delete

Anonymous said...

Good moning. Cool!
Visit my site viagra
buy http://delta-space.info/phentermine.htm viagra online
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Halo. Cool!
Visit my site phentermine
buy http://freeunixhs.info/phentermine.htm phentermine online
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi all! Thanks for information!
buy viagra
cheap viagra online
Bye

Anonymous said...

Very-very interesting!
buy viagra
cheap viagra online
Bye

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!
buy viagra,
cheap http://viagra.alldating.org/viagra.htm online
G'night

Anonymous said...

Hello people, watch here!
buy phentermine online,
cheap http://xrjuhosting.info/phentermine.htm phentermine
Bye.

Anonymous said...

Hi, interesting site.
visit smoking stop
http://stop-smoking-aid.batcave.net/smoking-stop.htm smoking stop
Bye.

Anonymous said...

Hi all!, very intersting cite. Thanks for information!
[url=http://models4.azure-shift.info/tawny-roberts.htm]tawny roberts[/url]
tawny-roberts
G'night

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dear All!
[url=http://wikkimikki.fortunecity.com/msg001.htm]levitra[/url]
levitra

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dear All!
[url=http://phentermine-abc.info/page001.htm]phentermine[/url]
phentermine

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear All Nice site.
best [url=http://tuoppi.oulu.fi/kbs-bin/readbeer?Nr=626]viagra[/url]
http://tuoppi.oulu.fi/kbs-bin/readbeer?Nr=626#viagra online
Bye.

Anonymous said...

Hi all!, very interesting. Look at my site.
buy [url=http://www.rhodesschool.com/blogcomments/default.asp?blogID=23193]phentermine[/url]
http://www.rhodesschool.com/blogcomments/default.asp?blogID=23193 phentermine
Bye

Anonymous said...

Good evening, nice design.
visit me at [url=http://viagra-store.info/]viara[/url].
Here you can buy http://viagra-store.info#viagra online.
thanks.

Anonymous said...

Halo, nice design.
visit me at [url=http://www.youthpeer.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=327]viara[/url].
Buy http://www.youthpeer.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=327#viagra cheap.
Bye.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, you are the best.
my page [url=http://www.theologicalforum.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=58]phentermine[/url].
Buy http://www.theologicalforum.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=58#phentermine online.
thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello, interesting.
Look at [url=http://bowtrol-herbal.info]viagra[/url].
Here you can buy http://bowtrol-herbal.info#viagra online.
thanks a lot.