Friday, October 28, 2005

Dead Smelly Fridges

French Quarter Fridge

The only plague to strike the Quarter in Katrina's wake, besides lack of power and telephone, was the horde of stinking fridges. Every street was littered with dozens of them. Alone, askew, or lined up like fat little people waiting for the bus. It might seem wasteful to throw out these fridges just because some food rotted in them, but if you've ever had this happen to you you know it's impossible to salvage them. No amount of bleach can clean that stink away.

I wonder if the same is true of government?


click here to see hurricane pics said...

The fridge says to blame Bush. Should we? Should we blame Blanco too? Should we blame the mayor? No, we should blame ourselves. Who's Job Is It To Care For The Man In Need?

We all noticed that during the Katrina aftermath, that churches and private organizations did what the government and all it's money could not, they helped people in need. In the town where we delivered 12 tons of supplies, only churches were feeding the 50,000 people there a week and a half after the Strom hit. The government is always slow and inefficient. The private sector always gets the best bang for the buck.

Any government response and program will be red tape upon red tape. It will have the efficiency of the DMV, work ethic of the state highway department, and the fairness of the IRS. Government never does as well what private industry does in competition. Fore example, the U.S. Post Office was sold to private industry so it could complete with UPS and FedEX.

That is why God does not put caring for the needy in the hands of people who don't care. Biblically, feeding the poor is not a government job. As we read the New Testament and understand that much is said about caring for those who cannot care for themselves, we also realize that the responsibility is placed on those who are local, responsible and care.

Study it for yourselves Christians. First of all we should all work hard to pay our own way in life. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) The needy are first to be cared for by their immediate families. (Read Mark 7:7-13) Next we see, that when their immediate family cannot care for them, only then should the local church should care for them. ( 1 Timothy 5:3-16)

The burden of benevolence is never placed on the back of government because it was not designed to do that. God has given three divine institutions. The family, the government and the church. They each have distinctive roles. They should give each the freedom to play their part without metling in each others business.

Governments true role is in protecting the rights of life, liberty and property of the citizens by punishing the evil doer. (See Romans 13:1-8 & proverbs 31:8-9 for Governments role) Unfortunately today, our government is neglecting the role of protecting the lives of innocent babies in the womb. It is not protecting the property of it's citizens. It is not defending their rights to public prayer and religious expression. It has abandoned it's true Biblical calling of giving justice by punishing the wicked. Now we have "correctional facilities" not a hangman's noose. We have no justice in our justice system. Liberties are slowly being eroded because a lack of security produced by a lack of justice through punishment of the wicked. (Proverbs 16:12, 25:5, 29:4, & 29:14)

Meanwhile, as the government abandons it's true role, it has invaded the home, taking over the role of educating our youth, rather than parents. It has taken over benevolence from the charity of the church through socialism and wealth redistribution programs such as welfare and social security.

Rather than punish murderers with guns by executing them, their solution is to steal the rights of the honest citizen to have a gun for hunting, sporting, self and national defense. Rather than use the full force of power on anyone who would dare threaten us, we steal the rights and civil liberties of our citizens away in a futile struggle to create a "secure homeland."

Governments solutions to needs that are really family and church responsibilities are always ineffective and often disastrous.

Government must punish the evil doer. But do we have the will to let government do it's God given job? Security comes with the utter defeat of those who would harm us. That was true for Germany and for Japan. And only when we totally defeat our enemies and rebuild them in our image will we have peace with them that will last until they are our allies selling us cheap cars and buying out our own auto manufacturers like Toyota and Daimler Chrysler.

Today the individual doesn't want to take care of himself. He wants the government to do it. The Families don't want to take care of their own. They want the government to do it. The churches don't want to feed the poor and help the needy. They want the government to do it. And the government was not meant to meet these needs. It can't even when it tries.

Meanwhile, the government is not allowed to do what it should be doing, that is rewarding those who do good and punishing those who do evil. (1 Peter 2:13-14)

God help us!

clayton cubitt said...

You've said a lot. Much much more than I have the time to respond to right now. FYI, your scripture quotes maybe don't carry the weight you'd hoped for, unless you're talking with another Christian.

With Evangelicals in the highest reaches of power, arguably controlling the Executive branch, both Houses of Congress, and much of the Judiciary (and soon more of it), I don't understand how you can feel that the government is your enemy. You have basically become the government.

I couldn't help but ponder this as I wondered why it was the Christians that were the ones getting the most done when it came to relief in the Gulf. It should be known that I don't particularly care who helps my people, as long as someone helps, and it's natural for Southern Evangelicals to help in the South, with a ready-made grassroots network of volunteers and shelters in the region. But my wonder was, has the government's recent hard turn to utter uselessness been exacerbated by the fact that Evangelicals now control most of it, and they have contempt for it, so they're trying to dismantle it from within?

From "Faith Based Initiatives" to FEMA directing visitors from its web site to donate to Pat Robertson's organization, to Grover Norquist's stated mission to starve government until it's small enough to "strangle in the bathtub", it all seems like part of the philosophy. A cause, more than an effect, IMHO.

Marco said...

I'm more than a little tired of people quoting the Bible. It's not in the Scriptures. The truth is in the flesh, soul and spirit. Try quoting scripture to a floating body. Try quoting scripture to someone who's lost their home and family. I give much credit to the Faith-based people who are helping out people who've lost everything. They've done much more than I ever could. What bothers me is the proselytism that comes with the help. It seems that you can't get one without the other. I don't intend to offend anyone. You can do anything you like. It's a free country, supposedly. For me religion is a very intimate private re-linking with the source of Being period. Live your life so God can use you, someone once said.

Crack Head said...

["Who's Job Is It To Care For The Man In Need?" - scripturist]

It is all our responsibility. Every last one of us. Period.

RED said...


I'm glad you spoke to the quoting of bible passages - I think it's condescending, especially coming from somebody who doesn't seem to be personally involved or invested in your situation.

He's right about red tape getting in the way of real aid, though. I buy that. For discussion's sake, though, shouldn't we blame beaurocrats for being beaurocratic? Aren't they hired to make decisions and do things with the scads of tax money you pay them with? By that logic aren't they, after a fashion, employees of the American public?

Then why not call a spade a spade? (I'm not suggesting we devote a ton of time, because it's not a luxury there's much supply of.) The link Clayton posted was a great example. Also, there are millions of dollars pouring in from all over the world that doesn't seem to be reaching you where you are - would any of the posters here suggest that we leave well enough alone and continue to let aid be doled out as it is now? I think sitting idly by and not questioning the systems at work is a foolhardy road to survival.

To the poster from
"Biblically, feeding the poor is not a government job." I mean no disrespect, but that sounds a LOT like rationalization completely isolated from reality - why do you care about whose job it is? Why doesn't the witholding of easily deliverable aid make you raging mad inside? Why don't you speak to that? Are you actually suggesting that the people of Louisiana blame themselves? For what? For being assaulted by one of the biggest natural disaster the world has ever seen? I don't see the sense in any part of what you're saying.

The people, as you have shown us Clayton, are rising and digging their hands in. I wish your government could look you in the eye with it's head up and say the same. You deserve much, much better.



P.S. To the scripture quoter who said: "Governments true role is in protecting the rights of life, liberty and property of the citizens by punishing the evil doer...Unfortunately today, our government is neglecting the role of protecting the lives of innocent babies in the womb."

I think it's disrespectful to use this forum as a vacant soap-box lot. People sitting around hashing up incensing (and frankly irrelevant) issues doesn't get us any closer to the solutions. There are many other places to have this nature of idealogical discussion.


Kate said...

Red tape exists in non-profits, including churches and the Red Cross. It also exists in corporations, as anyone who has been transferred a half a dozen times after calling customer service can attest to.

The neocon promise of "smaller government" is a lie. We have the largest deficit in our nation's history. How is that small? They aren't "conservative" in the slightest, unless you consider Al Capone conservative, or even the PRI of Mexico. The neocons are a bunch of gangsters. They are laundering our tax dollars through government to give to their corporate and "faith-based" friends. They are robbing us blind and for the pleasure we get to drown in their incompetence.

Call me crazy, but I don't think our government should be by and for a bunch of crooks.

As for scripture, how about a review of the US Constitution instead? For the time being, at least, we still have a secular government. Thank god! Here's a sample:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The Constitution is the foundation of our government, and what do you know, it begins by stating the no-brainer goal to "promote the general Welfare." Welfare of the people, not Halliburton, not the Southern Baptist Convention. Government was responsible for upkeeping those levees just as it was responsible for responding to the crisis in a timely, humane fashion. Instead our government failed us. This doesn't mean we should dismiss our government. (Will the baptists fix the levees? Will they repair the roads?) It means we should make our government live up to its promise, the promise first stated over 200 years ago.

I'm appalled that anyone gives excuses for our government's failures, especially when those excuses are meant to dismiss government's role completely. The third world is a world with incompetent, corrupt government. The images of New Orleans that flowed into our living rooms after the storm (if we were fortunate enough not to be there ourselves) could have been from Darfur or Sierra Leone during the war. What made them the same? A failure of government. When government collapses, when it fails, the people suffer. This is true around the world.

Competent government is what separates the first world from the third. It is not the number of churches or the number of "good people." There are churches and good people everywhere, even in the middle of war-torn countries. It is government that is responsible for the welfare of the people. And it was our government that failed us. For that, they should be fired. Firing Chertoff would be a good start.

Crack Head said...

I am glad to see I am not the only one who finally came back with a response to some of this. It's about time we start identifying the problem.

Every time I say somehting about Bush, I get slammed. But I am glad to see some people ralize that if there is a problem, it's ok to say who needs to go and who stays. For me, I woul dimpeach Bush in a heartbeat. Not so much becaus ehe is president, but when the top official is running the sho andhe has no clue as to what the hell he is doing, it doesnt say a lot for the people who work under him. They are just as much to blame for going along with him for this long. They have to power to make the final word on what laws get passed and they are just as much to blame when they drop the ball on situations like Katrina. They hold just as much the blame as Bush and his elected people. Fema is a joke, and for a unit that was designed to help in response to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, it's scary how they handle things.

Yeah, I feel a whole lot safer after 9/11 (NOT!).

To all those who have been helping, keep up the good fight! We need all of you, wether your republican, democrat, christian or whaterver.

People help because they can, because they want to and because they care. And they don't ask for anything in return, becuase they do it knowing that it is the right thing to do, not because they want some patt on the back or some reward or to protest their beleifs on others, they do it just because it needs doing, and they know that it is our responsibility.

Ron Koch said...

Fuck you for erasing the comments. I Guess free speech is only free when you like what we are writing.

clayton cubitt said...

Ron Koch-
I don't erase comments, unless they're sheer personal insult with no redeeming value, or they're only to spam some blog or website. So note to all: if you're here to be an idiot you're not welcome, and if you're here to promote some website of your own, earn the right with something smart and relevant to say. Insults and spam not welcome, otherwise, good bad or stupid, I leave comments up.

Case in point, yours, Ron. It's both bad and stupid, and I'm still letting it stink the place up.

Mike T said...

Well put, Siege. I was about to reply with something nasty and unhelpful but that would have made me look like Ron, wouldn't it?

spittin nad said...

religious talk.... whatever. Let's have more action. More intermingling. I wanna see those baptists doing outreach to the bitchiest tranny in the Marigny. Otherwise it's just more talk. "To the least of your brothers" was what the jesus dude said. If he was in Nola right now, that would be amended to "whatsoever you do to the most FABULOUS of my brothers, that you do unto me"

On another note, we saved some wonderful fridge magnets off of someone's upper 9 fridge. Thanks to whoever for brightening a poop-slime filled afternoon.

Vote for the worst smelling fridge.... Dempsey's house of fish on Poland. ugh.

spittinmad said...

oh by the way

If anyone wants to know how to help most effectively, so that your money is not wasted, do this:

Getcher ass down to New Orleans and do whatever.

Cancel that ski trip, take that family reunion south. Grab those muck boots, and your biggest pot and your propane stove. Set up a food kitchen somewhere hard, so people can work on their house AND eat a meal. Knock on a door and ask if anyone in the hood needs anything hauled out. EVERYONE would be happy to have 5 workers show up on their doorstep to do whatever. Fix up a safe secure propane hot water shower station in Mid city so people can clean up without having to drive across town.

Just be prepared to rough it, unless you're rich. You'll have to supply yourself with food and housing and a PLAN to take care of yourself, so that you can help others.

Christmas in New Orleans for everyone!!! Why spend money to fly to reno to see your relatives; bring the whole family down to the big skanky and give and work and celebrate humanity.

trey said...

you have nice writing.

Anonymous said...

Common Ground Relief is organizing volunteers to assist in cleanup efforts in the Lower Ninth during the week of Nov. 20-27.

Windfall Woman said...

I am so over all those religious quotes myself. Good for you! People need to put action and resources where their mouths are! Your blog is great.

Crack Head said...

Just a link to some items being requested at Common Grounds Releif. I would think it safe to say that these same items would be things you could also send to Pearlington.

missbhavens said...

"Keeping Mike Brown at Homeland Security to investigate his role in the Katrina fiasco is like paying Ken Lay to run a price gouging investigation," said Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee

Yep. That sounds about right.

click here to see hurricane pics said...

For the record...

I am not bragging. I am defending myself against those who say I am trying to avoid the responsibility to help others.

I have been to Louisiana with a semi load of supplies less than a week after Katrina. We have sent four other teams of people to Louisiana and Mississippi during and after Rita. I have sent over $21,000 in aid plus donated used clothes and supplies. We did not give it only to other Christians but helped anyone who wanted it at local distribution centers and churches. All of that is on top of the 15% I normally give to my church and the 30% I give to the government to squander.

And yes, I do get mad when the government can’t spend our money wisely and help people. Why, because I would have spent it better. My taxes are a waist. Government cannot do benevolence as good as the private sector. It’s a fact. Let’s focus government on it’s God given job and allow benevolence to be done by those who are good at it and who truly care (unlike FEMA).

I do not support "faith-based" use of government funds. I do not believe that the church should be funded by the government. I believe they should be independent of each other. But I do believe our faith and morality should effect how we govern.

I said that benevolence is not the government’s job. I did not say that interstate commerce or infrastructure (such as roads or a levy) were not the government’s job.

I fully understand many people do not accept the scriptures as authority. I do. It changed my life, gave me peace, made me a better person, took away my selfishness, taught me love and joy and gives me the hope of eternal life.

Government does not make for good nations. Even good government structure does not make for good nations. Every law can be “loop-holed” if people want to keep the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Every form of government can be corrupted by greedy or power hungry people (as ours has). Moral people make for good nations. Even old George Washington said, “Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” And he also said, “"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible". Government should be secular but without godly and moral people using Biblical principle to guide their actions it will become corrupted.

We are a government of the people, for the people and by the people. If our government is corrupt, it is because we as a whole have become corrupt and allowed corruption to creep in to our leadership. George Washington warned, “"Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppressive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people."

George Washington also wisely said, “And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Name for me one government of an atheist nation that was not oppressive, communist, and corrupt. North Korea? China? Soviet Union?

I do proselytize as I give out assistance because not only do I care about their physical needs and try to help them; I also care about their spiritual needs, their soul and eternal salvation. You may not believe in Heaven and Hell. I do. You may not believe in redemption, salvations, repentance, forgiveness, and changing people at the very core of their being from evil to good… But I do. You may not believe all people need saved. I do. So I don’t proselytize because I hate people. Quite the opposite. I proselytize because I love people. But even if they don’t accept faith in Jesus, I will still clothe them, feed them, and help them.

spittinmad said...

I'm a pantheist/atheist and I feed and clothe and shelter others. People who don't believe in god are not inherently moral-less, nor more non-spiritual than believers are.

Of all the persons in my family, only three christians iare accepting of the yoke of sacrifice and duty, all the others argue for the right to make cash and not worry about others..they are corrupted and allow for the corruption of our government. All of us atheists in the family are constantly involved in the process of social justice and caring for those less fortunate. We need no bible, we merely live within our humanity.

Benevolence IS (or should be) the government's job. It is the common ground, the matrix of humans living together.

You may argue that this is god's work, but I say god is smoke and mirrors. Your appeal works for those with belief alone. You cannot prove your god, as I cannot prove the nonexistence of your god other than absence. Organized religion is as corruptible as any other human system. People speaking in the name of god have oppressed me and many since time immemorial. If your "god" makes you a better person then the world is better off for you being religious. Some of us grow to be better people without the religous framework; recognizing that sometimes the religions and their dogmas get in the way of truly helping ALL people.

A government allows people to address these issues of predjudice and slight. In it's best incarnations it gives every citizen the basic diginities of life necessary to thrive. (hello... sweden) without the trappings of religions that we cannot and will not ever agree on in this country.

Rialle said...

OK, look "click here to see...": I don't mean to say you're not helping with Katrina. but seriously, instead of coming here ansd bashing everyone else because we don't read the Bible, go do something else. It's great that you have a book to believe in, but I choose to instead belive in the human spirit. If this doesn't work for you, go back to your home and read all the scripture you want. Damn me to the ends of the earth, but leave me to my beliefs. I'm happy enough without your words, thank you.

Crack Head said...

Some more of those stinky fridges:

Noni said...

Morality is not dependent on religion.

Only kindness matters.