I've listened to a lot of commentary about the situation, some of which I agree with, some of which I don't. But there have been a couple of comments I heard that were just plain dumb.
#1 - Heard a guy in the locker room sort of flipantly say "Ah, they've been through it before." OK, so it was the first day, when we thought it was just another hurricane passing through. I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't say that a few days after the storm hit. But so what? So what if they've had their lives uprooted and their houses destroyed once before? So what if its not the first time that dead bodies are littering their neighborhoods? Again, I can't imagine what the whole thing must be like for those folks. But for some to go through it multiple times? Like its supposed to be "old hat?" Sure, they live in an area where it can and does happen from time to time. And there are some who chose to live there that could move elsewhere (not true for many of the urban poor in most cities in the US). Nonetheless, its a calous attitude to have to off the cuff say "they've been through it before," as though somehow they're old pros at having their lives completely rearranged.
#2 - Guy on a talk show who asked "So where are all of the countries that we're constantly helping? Why aren't they stepping up to help us?" The absurdity here is rampant...
- most of the countries we've helped are poor anyway;
- we're only a few days into this tragedy - who's to say some countries might not help down the road?
- we're the richest country on the planet - we have EVERY resource we need to help make this relief effort the biggest in history - IF and only IF we can see past "me" long enough to have our hearts engaged in what's going on with people in the region
If you want to help, there are many ways. World Vision is a good one. Our church is working mostly with International Disaster Emergency Services (IDES), a long-standing worldwide organization that works through churches in affected regions all over the world. Check them out and get involved.
If you want to see some amazing pictures, try this: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/new-orleans-imagery.htm