Tuesday, August 29, 2006

While looking for the calorie count of seedless red grapes, I discovered calorie-count.com. It has all the tools needed for keeping track of weight, calories, nutrition, activity, it even assigns a grade to the foods and exercises that a dieter uses. And it's free! Everything I've logged, so far, has received an overall grade of C, pretty typical for average, ordinary me.

Radio, tv, and newspapers are full of Katrina anniversary reports. I heard one story this morning I had not heard before. While Pres. Bush was flying over the storm-ravaged areas, he was playing air guitar, clowning, and cracking jokes with those aboard Air Force One with him.

Contrast that with President Johnson's involvement in less than 24 hours after Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1965. LBJ arrived in New Orleans five hours after talking to Senator [Russell] Long. Reporters noted that he was shocked by the suffering and in particular by the thirst of survivors in one shelter. He immediately announced that the “red tape be cut,” and he took personal control of operations, which he continued—according to the Washington Post—“day and night.” (from WhiteHousetapes.org)

We still have Katrina reminders all over our neighborhood - lumber, shingles, debris from repair crews who left before completing their jobs, two units facing the water that are still uninhabitable, bare places on the lakeside where the rocks and soil were washed away, and posts protruding from the water where piers used to be. Those issues are so insignificant compared to problems on the coast that they seem hardly worth mentioning.

It was the rallying of local people to help those in need that stands out sharply in my memory, and the washing away of the denial of many that poverty still dominates large segments of our population. We, as a Great Society, have failed to care adequately for the "least of these." Social reforms aimed at elimination of poverty and racial injustice did some good, but there is so much more that needs to be done. When will we get our priorities in the right order?

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

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