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Friday, November 2, 2012

What a Week of Trial

This has been a real humdinger of a week.  My cousin Valerie lost her husband of 36 years which is devastating to the family.  Ron was a good man; funny and solid and grumpy/sweet.  He will be terribly missed by his wife and children. 

Hurricane Sandy roared into the Eastern Seaboard and tore up Staten Island, New Jersey and Breezy Point, Long Island.  Manhattan got smacked around too.  People lost everything and the President made a huge showing of running around in a rain slicker and telling people FEMA will not let anyone wait longer than 15 minutes on the phone.  All that is fine except that no one has power, the grids are down so no one can use their cell phones and the cold weather is coming.  People are screaming for help.  So far the most effective relief organizations have been private (American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of NY, The Bartenders Guild of Manhattan and no, I am not kidding) and just as it did under Bush when Katrina pummeled New Orleans The Government is not getting the job done.  The difference this time?  No one is holding Obama personally responsible for the fact that people on Staten Island and at the Jersey Shore have been reduced to abject poverty by a storm.

The election is still ahead but it looks as though the President will be re-elected.  I suspected all along he would be but still feel pretty good about voting my conscience and refusing to get pulled into the nasty, paranoid fray that  is US politics.  Politics has always been nasty.  The rich have always pulled the strings.  I think that now it seems worse because of social media sites.  People with little or no critical thinking skills - on BOTH sides of the political aisle, I might add - insist that posting one line political jokes is discourse.

Today is the Feast of All Souls.  Please remember those who have gone on before us.  Pray that their time in Purgatory is short and that we may all be together soon in Heaven.

And please pray for my family...we are suffering.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Leslie,

My prayers go out to you and your loved ones who have suffered this loss.

Who is responsible? Is it President Obama, or Cuomo, or Bloomberg? There seems to be a lively discussion going on about where the buck should stop, with the State or with the Feds. No one wants to see suffering, and my generation is obsessed with “blame.” Are we going to call it act of nature, act of God, or act of Man (by way of anthropogenic climate change?) Everyone is off the hook for the first two, but not with the third. I think Bloomberg is testing those waters now. The problem with a political office is that taking responsibility is viewed as a type of psychotic behavior that is rewarded by not being invited to play again. You can deliver promises, but you must be careful in promising deliveries.

I think it comes back to our limitations again, and our desire to have a pass on them. I live in earthquake country, and used to live where funnel clouds grew. You haven’t lived until you’ve looked up and seen one of those coming down on top of you. I think we have been told a lie about our limitations, about the risks we take each day. My ancestors came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail, and that’s where they left their dead. Not pretty, but true. Now I can jump into my car and be at my friend’s house in Arizona, near the Mexican border in thirteen and a half hours. There is an expectation that I arrive there relatively unmolested by man or beast, but is that a reasonable expectation? Almost forty years ago men from the United States walked on the moon for the last time. My expectations informed me that there would be Lunar and Martian colonies by now. Instead, we carpet parts of Mojave with wind farms which harass the residents at night with their bright red navigation beacons shining into their homes to assuage the energy guilt of others. Obviously my expectations were in error. Just a thought.

Robert