Mon. Aug. 28, 2017: Hurricane Harvey

Monday, August 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Eight more days of Mercury Retrograde. Argh.

If you’re looking for the Upbeat Authors post on inspirational places, please scroll down. That post is below this one.

Initially, it was the only post planned for today, but with what’s going on in Texas, I couldn’t ignore it.

Southeast Texas is drowning. A show I worked on had a sit-down in Houston, several years ago. I found it a mixed bag of a city, but then, all cities are. One of the things discussed with the local crew at bars, over dinner, etc., was how Houston has an entire warren of underground shops. Montreal has that, so people can shop when it’s brutally cold out; Houston has it when it’s brutally hot.

When discussing previous storms, I heard stories of how that whole underground network of shops was wiped out. It’s far beyond that here.

The photos I’m seeing, of water rising to rooftops, reminds me of Katrina, of course, like it does to most people; also, to the floods that regularly wiped out neighborhoods in my hometown, outside of New York. The car I drive now is the replacement for a car I lost in such a flood in 2007. I remember well the feelings of horror and helplessness.

There’s all this debate about why people didn’t evacuate, and why no evacuation order was given. First of all, most people live paycheck to paycheck, and don’t have the one or two thousand dollars in cash on hand to evacuate. Saying “well, they should know better” doesn’t help, when you’re already spending every penny to feed your family and keep the utilities from being turned off. To leave, people need money, transportation, and a place to go.

Evacuating a major city is not easy. It requires a plan that works neighborhood by neighborhood, time, and cooperation. Panicked people don’t cooperate.

It also requires legislators spending time and money IN ADVANCE on planning and resources, instead of taking away people’s right to use a bathroom or health care. And, of course, denying climate change, which is one of the major factors in the storm’s severity.

Southeast Texas drowns and the Narcissistic Sociopath tweets a book recommendation, crows about an upcoming rally in Missouri where he can attack Democrats and anyone who disagrees with him, and, when he refers to the hurricane, gives out misinformation and makes completely inappropriate comments. This, after he pardons Arpaio on Friday night (which caused such outrage people barely realized Gorka’s finally gone).

McConnell and Ryan aid and abet him. There’s some discussion that it’s only until they push through the tax cut for their rich pals, but I think it’s because they privately agree with them, and that’s why any public condemnation is either tepid or non-existent.

Unacceptable on every level.

First, the people of that region need rescue. Then, they need help to rebuild. If that disgusting group of people in the People’s House had any ethics or empathy, they would take the supposed wealth they have and LEAD the donations for rescue/recovery, letting people know about ethical organizations to which to donate and offering to match donations. But they do NOTHING and say NOTHING because they aren’t rich; they’re grifting off our tax dollars for everything they can get.

Instead, it’s authors who have stepped up –there’s an author relay going on, with authors like Joelle Charbonneau and Ann Aguirre and many others — when www.globalgiving.com’s donations reach X amount, each author gives X donation, and then passes it on for the next 10K. Pretty spectacular.

People are showing up with their own boats and going neighborhood to neighborhood to rescue those who need it — people and animals. Are the major oil companies, who get huge subsidies and make BILLIONS of dollars in profit every year helping? Are they bringing in tankers with fuel donated to help first responders and volunteers? Of course not. Instead, they wring their hands, “Woe are we!” with the refineries that are shut down that only make TEN PERCENT of our oil, and promising to raise gas prices as much as 25 cents per week until they go back online.

Unacceptable.

As an individual, it’s difficult to know how to help or what to do or if there is any way to help. I’d say research organizations. Talk to people whose judgment you trust. Take a look on Charity Navigator. Do what you can where you can. If every individual does SOMETHING, it will matter.

The biggest SOMETHING we all have to do as soon as possible is to remove this corrupt, inept administration and put in competent, empathic, JUST people.

Until then, decide where your donations can do the most good. I’m splitting mine between organizations that help humans and those that help animals. As a freelancer, there’s not much I can do financially right now, but I will do what I can. As I learn about new possibilities, and vet them through my due diligence, I will expand.

I doubt I’ll talk much about what I am doing on social media, other than sharing links to organizations I believe are putting the money to good use. I don’t want to make it all about me. I will do what I do quietly, but I WILL DO.

I am debating whether or not to postpone the release of “Labor Intensive”. For it to release well, I need to heavily promote this week, and I feel that is inappropriate. I’m not saying other authors should suspend their promotions — I am saying that, for ME, it is inappropriate to say “buy my book this week” when Harvey survivors need help.

There’s always the point that I could say “buy my book and I’ll donate 50%/70%/whatever of royalties to relief organizations, but again, for me, that feels like trying to profit from tragedy, even with the donation. For me, it feels wrong.

It’s not up to me to make that decision for anyone else or comment on anyone else’s decision. But I don’t want to do that with my own work.

On other topics, I wrote, I read, I worked on the house. I tried to mow this morning, but the mower broke down again, halfway through the front lawn. I am NOT a happy camper about that.

I was in an awful, depressed mood on Saturday, and then I felt guilty, because, in comparison to Harvey, I really have only minor complaints. Guilt made me feel worse, and then it spiralled, so I finally just said, “I feel what I feel, time to let it go and focus on what’s important.”

One major decision for the next few months has been made, and that allows me to start working on some longer-range plans, which is a good thing.

The next eight or nine months will be a test of my time management, organizational, and creative skills on many fronts.

In the meantime, I’m going to do what I can where I can to help Harvey survivors and to keep fighting the administration policies that allow people to turn away as their fellow citizens suffer and die, because the greed of a chosen few.

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Published in: on August 28, 2017 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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