Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cool Shirt, Great Cause
The folks at have released a Regrowth: Katrina t-shirt. Buy it for $10, and Threadless will donate $20 to hurricane relief, up to $50,000. I bought mine. Where's yours?

Aftermath Reports uses a Google Map that allows people to report the damage found on the Gulf Coast. I'm sure people who haven't been able to return are finding this useful, whether it has good news or not.

Victim or Survivor?
It's hard for me to talk to Hans about political issues, because (1)I probably don't care as much as I should anymore and (2)he hears only what is reported over there, and I'm not always sure he gets the full story. With that said, he told me he had watched a special about the hurricane aftermath the other night. One that apparently pointed a pretty strong finger of blame. And I know that everyone has their opinion on the matter, but last night I came across a couple articles that took a spin that I had yet to find online.

It made me think, and I sent these to him. If you have a few minutes and an open mind, try reading it as well: "There Isn't Always A Reason". Below is just an excerpt, but the whole thing is worth reading.
We would be better off when we realized that in a huge disaster, people will die, even Americans, because we are no more special than the people of Bangledesh, just more comfortable.

We would be better if, in a need to vent, we reserved our anger for the lawlessness and how it has caused would-be rescuers to now treat people like animals, suspicious of motives, instead of the political people we hate. Egging on the crowds with cries of slave ships and making excuses certainly won't turn the focus to the lawbreakers and how badly poor behavior has hampered and damaged the rescue effort.

We would be better off if we didn't assume the government and the military had their act perfectly together and somehow would not be hampered by nature, bureaucratic red tape and the laws of physics. It would at least make us less likely to be victims because we wouldn't be thinking that we were. We would realize that what or who saves us probably won't wear a uniform or have government forms to fill out, followed by money. We would have to help each other instead of looking out for number one until the Red Cross arrived.

Some of the people you see on TV are survivors and some are victims. The difference is in their head and is easily seen in how they react. The survivors will naturally survive. The victims will never forgive whoever happens to be on their usual list of suspects to blame, and their lives will be permanently stuck on page Hurricane Katrina as an excuse for their future until the day they die. They won't survive this, though they will live.
And once that has sunk in, try reading her follow-up post, "What is Compassion?".

On that note, my sister was just telling me about when she went up to Grand Forks with a team from our church to help clean up after the flood in 1997. She said it was horrible. They would go into people's basements and spray the whole thing down with bleach water. This site gives you an idea of what it takes to clean up a home after a flood.

Time Wasters
I don't have time for this, but Rocketsnail has some fun little flash games. I've been addicted to mancala for some reason.


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