Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Harvey, devastation, the truth, and "rich man's problems"

No, a shark was not swimming down a Houston freeway next to a driver.

No, the planes at Houston Hobby airport are not underwater.

No, there are not alligators crawling up Houston driveways.

Yes, the rainfall in the Houston area is being measured in FEET, not inches.

Yes, the National Weather Service did have to add colors so that it could accurately show how much rain has fallen in the area.

Yes, people are stranded on rooftops and being rescued by people with boats.

Yes, the police have gone looking for boats to commandeer.

And yes, the videos and many of the pictures coming out of Houston and other areas are heartbreaking.

This morning, I posted a Facebook status saying that I wondered if some of the pictures I was seeing were fake.  One picture, of an assisted living center with water up to the residents' waists, I wondered if it were real.  Unfortunately, it was real.  My post sparked some discussion about stuff that was fake and real.  There are fake photos going viral (including one of President Obama serving food at a shelter -- that photo is a real one, but it was from Thanksgiving 2015, where he was helping at a homeless shelter.)  It may not be accurate to refer to some photos as "fake", as in "Photoshopped", but rather "mislabeled", as in the Obama picture I mentioned.  Also, the alligators crawling up the driveways are real pictures, but not specifically from Harvey.  I understand that there IS an alligator refuge in danger of flooding where alligators could escape.

I have read at least one Facebook post urging us to pray rather than worry about fake pictures.  A friend answered that it wasn't helpful to be passing along fake information.  I also pointed out that one could pray and also be concerned about what information is true or false.

In my church's small group on Sunday, I shared some personal concerns.  One of them is about our dryer, which decided it didn't want to heat.  It's since decided to start heating again.  I suspect it may need to be serviced.  One of the small group members commented that many of our problems are what are called "rich man's problems".  In my case, although I have a malfunctioning dryer, I live close to a laundromat.  I can take my laundry there and back.

I also tend to whine about not having an iPhone (my Android only has about 2GB memory) and about only having one car.  But I have transportation, and my husband can take public transportation to and from work.

In comparison to the vast majority of the world, I am rich, and therefore, several of the problems I have are "rich man's problems."

In contrast, what the people in Houston are dealing with are NOT "rich man's problems".  They are life or death problems.  Six people are already dead in flooding and I'm sure the death toll will rise.  As I write this, I'm watching Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel, and he's reporting a levee breach in one area.  A FB friend has family in the area and she's very afraid for them.  People have lost power, they have no running water, and they are running out of food.  Hundreds, probably thousands, will wind up losing everything.

Those are NOT "rich man's problems".

THOSE problems put my "rich man's problems" in perspective.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Losing hope

This is a depressing post, and for that I'm sorry.

To begin with, my mother has been in and out of the hospital for the last week and a half.  She had a blood clot in the same leg where she's had problems before.  The whole situation has been very stressful on all the people involved.

I've been concerned about North Korea.  But I also think that the little dictator there has a serious case of short-man complex that he compensates for by saber-rattling.

And then came Charlottesville.

I have not been sitting in front of the TV camped out with either CNN or Fox.  But it's impossible to avoid the news of the last few days.

I am fed up, and I have lost hope for this country.

We are so angry.  We are so much at each others' throats.  We've lost common ground.  I'm just waiting for someone to throw the Molotov cocktail that will launch us into World War III.

And at the risk of making people even angrier, I do agree with our President to an extent:  there is hatred on both sides.  I wish he had called out the Nazis and the alt-right immediately.  When you walk around wearing white hoods and carrying a swastika flag, what in the world do you expect is going to happen??  When you identify with the people who perpetrated one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history, you DESERVE to be called out and condemned, pronto!

On the other hand, it seems that the sins of the right are always magnified, while the sins of the left are ignored or minimized.

I truly feel like throwing up my hands and screaming, "Forget it!" along with a lot of other nasty words.  Because it seems like nothing I can do or say is going to do one bit of good.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.