Befuddled

I am overtaxed and overloaded.

The events of this last week were too much for my aging brain.

I wake to find that Lehman Brothers (a brokerage firm that has been around for 158 years) has gone under.  One article described the Lehman Brothers employees pouring out of their headquarters caring bags of their stuff into Times Square. Merrill-Lynch appears to have been saved from insolvency by having been bought up by Bank of America.

Earlier I was worried about friends, a couple, living in Houston.  We called them right before Ike hit and they were prepared.  And Saturday, I think it was, they got a call through to us saying they were OK.  But the connection kept breaking up.  Sunday they called again and I was able to speak with my friend for 5 to 10 minutes but then he had to get off because his cell battery was running down and at that time (up to the present, as far as I can tell) he has no power to his place and no way to recharge the cell.

I imagine their ice box has pretty much melted out.  There they sit in that sweltering heat with no air conditioning.  2 million are without juice, and they say it may take WEEKS to restore power to all who have been affected.

Since when has the Red Cross started calling the people who evacuate to their evacuation centers not evacuees but “clients?”  Is there some stigma involved in being an evacuee that is lessened by calling an evacuee a client?  I don’t get it.

And was it a public official who said Evacuate or Face Certain Death!  Boy, that’s like if you don’t do what we, your oh-so-trusty-worthy-government tells you, we are cutting you lose and letting you die as you will.  Whatever happened, to leave nobody behind?  Or maybe that’s just the Marines. 

Or what about just good old plain Christian Charity.  And so we had CNN newscasters berating people who were not evacuating as troublesome, irresponsible people who deserved whatever they got, as if they were bad, bad children refusing to obey their parents.  And of course those newscasters were speaking with no direct knowledge of what might be involved for some people in even being able to evacuate.

Over all, not a pretty picture.

3 thoughts on “Befuddled”

  1. Yeh, the Financial Wizards have really gotten us in a fine mess this time….FDIC has 50 billion to cover 3 trillion….there’s a bunch of zeros missing somewhere….all because of wild speculation with worthless mortgage “products”….people with savings are now being told “worry about it” because of totally reckless borrowing and criminal lending…..

  2. NIck, I am just reading this now. We were without power for 11 days, I think it was. The house we rent has an electric stove, and we don’t own camping equipment. That’s a whole lot of canned tuna and really nasty warm bottled Nestea “iced-tea” to kick start that morning. We live in a big, bad city, so of course we couldn’t sleep with the bedroom windows open. The first couple of days city officials said the water was not safe, which meant that after bagging up a dozen jumbo bags of hurricane debris in the sun and the damp heat and mopping up the interior flooding and spreading out my soggy treasures to dry out around the house and trying to bleach down the tiles, etc., I didn’t even feel really great about standing in the cold water shower. But honestly out of all of that, the hardest part was being totally cut off. Our land line went out and stayed out for at least as long as the power, maybe longer. For quite a number of days, officials instructed the population via the radio not to leave their residences because so many of the street lights were out and live wires were hanging down everywhere and a huge number of repair crews needed to be able to move about this vast Petro-Metro as quickly as possible. The cell died really early. J. said it took most of the battery just trying to get one call out–to his mother–and we didn’t have a car charger, though we had looked. The mayor said this was a time for neighbor to help neighbor. James had been standing in the street for 45 minutes trying to make this one call, and he introduced himself to the woman who lives across the street from us and down one, who was also out in the street. He said his name, shook her hand, as is the custom. She smiled and shook his hand and said, “Hi.” That’s it. Just hi. No name. Let alone, “Gee, if your land line is out, you can use mine.” (Not everyone lost their land line.) She’s a widow. She obviously feels she has to be that careful.

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