I read The Rational Review News Digest every day, except weekends and holidays when the editors take a break. Other than that, I don’t generally read much of the “news,” since my appetite for having my intelligence insulted and being lied to is definitely limited. But sometimes I brace myself and peek at “Fox” and “Drudge” just to see what I might be missing.
Therefore, since I won’t see much, if any coverage at RRND about the Texas hurricane until Monday, I looked at some of it yesterday and today. What a mess.
The thing that strikes me is how seriously so much of the “news,” and the attitude of the people, treats this weather phenomenon as if it were something unique, as if it had never happened before!
We’ve been talking about history lately, and the no brainer is that these storms and various other disasters – and lots of little inconvenient incidents in between – come along with monotonous regularity. The storms and floods and winds and tornadoes should not be any real surprise to anyone these days. Even people like me, who don’t watch the news, can look out their windows, talk to their neighbors, and at least get a clue when storms and such are coming.
But why in the world do so many of them wait until the last minute to go to the store, for heaven’s sake? The idea of hundreds of people fighting in the store aisles over bottled water and at the Home Depot over sheets of plywood is nuts. The bottled water can be purchased any time, and so can the plywood. If funds are a bit short, maybe fewer cigarettes and cases of beer for a week would make up the difference. I don’t know… but it would seem that people who cared about being safe and fed in a storm could figure that out.
You don’t have to be rich to accumulate some food, water, camping equipment (lots of that available at most thrift stores), and figure out what you can do to keep yourself and family relatively safe when things go pear shaped.
And so, when I read about pleas for “help” and rescue, I’m less than tearfully moved to do anything at all. Why do these folks always, every single time, need everyone else to take care of them? Knowing the history of these things, they’ve had enough incentive to make plans and prepare for years. Many, of course, expect the government to bail them out each time, but I suspect that time is drawing to a close as most levels of government get more and more behind the 8 ball, and bankrupt.
I do feel very bad for the children, the truly innocent in all this. But for all those who could have prepared to meet this storm, and could even have managed to help those children and innocents, but did nothing but fight at the grocery store and clog the roads – now begging for “help”… I have very little sympathy for you at all.
The thing is, maybe two or three cents on the dollar actually go to “relief”; the rest goes into the pockets of the grifters. Anymore, it’s true of nearly all charities.
Certainly true of the larger, national “charities.” I suspect that most local voluntary groups are ok, but you really need to know the people involved to trust that. Our local food bank is run by a bunch of seniors with outstanding reputations. They also collect day old bread and distribute it to those who want it. Interestingly enough, they don’t stockpile much, and actually have little call for anything most of the time. They get busy sometimes in winter, but most of our transient people are gone by then. We don’t have “homeless” or street bums here. Whoever gets their help has their privacy protected as well, so I don’t have numbers… just a general idea from talking to some of the seniors.
 Just to be fair, I went looking… There have been many who bad mouth the Red Cross, but their use of donations seems pretty good. You can look at it here: https://www.charitywatch.org/ratings-and-metrics/american-red-cross/360
The same website lists many other charities, their functions and their effectiveness.
This is where I get a lot of people mad at me. The American Red Cross, wake up MAMA, the head person is paid over $400,000 a year plus travel money.
But Darkwing… why in the world should I care what he/she is paid? It’s not my money. Anyone can contribute to them… or NOT, whenever they please. I used to work for and with the “Red Cross.” I know very well their sins and ineffectiveness. The leaders there long ago adopted the worst of bureaucratic nonsense for their operations and I quit as a volunteer in disgust. I was a Red Cross emergency shelter nurse for many years, but the paperwork and regulatory bullshit just got to be too much.
The last year the powers that be at Red Cross told us we could not accept ANY handicapped to our shelter, or anyone with pets. Private property, all volunteers, and we’d been accepting all comers for many years before. And the Red Cross had NEVER paid us a penny for the use of our facility or anything else. They were glad to send us one of each form we were supposed to fill out for them… and let us make our own copies. Nuts to them.
The only thing that makes me upset is when so-called private charities wind up in bed with government and supported, even in part, with stolen taxpayer funds. So far, I’ve not found evidence of that with Red Cross, but it would not surprise me at all.
And you know, I’d forgotten all about that shelter thing until your comment! Isn’t it funny how our minds work. 🙂