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Author Topic: Letter from a volunteer?
Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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One of my coworkers forwarded me this email....it's apparently been forwarded quite a bit....what do you guys think? I'm noticing a couple of inconsistencies (such as this is allegedly written by a doctor, but the spelling, grammar, and punctuation seem to be poorer than what you'd expect from somebody that well-educated, plus the sig states "Dr. Johnston" is in Mississippi, but this was clearly written by somebody in Texas....oh heck, here it is, as I got it:

Subject: What the news does not show...

Thought I might inform the few friends I have on my recent traumatic
experience. I am going to tell it straight, blunt, raw, and I don't give a
damn. Long read, I know but please do read!!!


I went to volunteer on Saturday at the George R. Brown convention center for two
reasons.


A: I wanted to help people to get a warm fuzzy feeling.


B: Curiosity.


I've been watching the news lately and have seen scenes that have made me
want to vomit. And no it wasn't dead bodies, the city under water, or the
sludge everywhere. It was PEOPLE"S BEHAVIOR. The people on T.V. (99% being
Black) were DEMANDING help. They were not asking nicely but demanding as
if society owed these people something. Well the honest truth is WE DON'T.
Help should be asked for in a kind manner and then appreciated. This is not
what the press (FOX in particular) was showing, what I was seeing was a
group of people who are yelling, demanding, looting, killing, raping, and
SHOOTING back at the demanded help!!!!! So I'm thinking this can't possibly
be true can it???? So I decide to submit to the DEMAND for help out of
SHOCK. I couldn't believe this to be true of the majority of the people who
are the weakest of society. So I went to volunteer and help folks out and
see the truth. So I will tell the following story and you decide:


I arrived at the Astrodome only to find out that there are too many
volunteers and that volunteers where needed at the George R. Brown
Convention Center. As I was walking up to the Convention Center I noticed a
line of cars that wrapped around blocks filled with donations. These where
ordinary Houstonians coming with truckloads and trunks full of water,
diapers, clothes, blankets, food, all types of good stuff. And lots of it
was NEW. I felt that warm fuzzy feeling while helping unload these vehicles of
these wonderful human beings. I then went inside the building and noticed
approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of clothes, shoes, jackets, toys and all
types of goodies all organized and ready for the people in need. I signed
up, received a name badge and was on my merry way excited to be useful.


I toured the place to get familiar with my surrounding; the entire place is
probably around 2 million sq. ft. I noticed rows as far as the eye can see
of mattresses, not cots, BLOW UP MATTRESSES!!! All of which had nice
pillows and plenty of blankets. 2 to 3 bottles of water lay on every bed.
These full size to queen size beds by the way where comfortable, I laid in
one to see for myself. I went to look at the medical area. I couldn't
believe what my eyes were seeing!!! A makeshift hospital created in 24
hours!!! It was unbelievable, they even had a pharmacy. I also noticed that
they created showers, which would also have hot water. I went upstairs to
the third floor to find a HUGE cafeteria created in under 24 hours! Rows of
tables, chairs and food everywhere - enough to feed an army! I'm not
talking about crap food either. They had Jason's Deli food, apples,
oranges, coke, diet coke, lemonade, orange juice, cookies, all types of
chips and sandwiches. All the beverages by the way were put on ice and
chilled!!!! In a matter of about 24 hours or less an entire mini-city was
erected by volunteers for the poor evacuees. This was not your rundown crap
shelter, it was BUM HEAVEN.


So that was the layout: great food, comfy beds, clean showers, free medical
help, by the way there was a library, and a theatre room I forgot to mention. Great stuff right????


Well here is what happened on my journey -


I started by handing out COLD water bottles to evacuees as they got off the
bus. Many would take them and only 20% or less said thank you. Lots of them
would shake their heads and ask for sodas! So this went on for about 20-30
minutes until I was sick of being an unappreciated servant. I figured
certainly these folks would appreciate some food!!! So I went upstairs to
serve these beloved evacuees some GOOD food that I wish I could have at the
moment!


***The following statements are graphic, truthful, and discuss UNRATIONAL
behavior***


Evacuees come slowly to receive this mountain of food that is worth serving
to a king! I tell them that we have 2 types of great deli sandwiches to
choose from - ham and turkey. Many look at the food in disgust and DEMAND
burgers, pizza, and even McDonalds!!!! Jason's Deli is better than
McDonalds!!!! Only 1 out of ten people who took something would say "thank
you" the rest took items as if it was their God give right to be served
without a shred of appreciation!!! They would ask for Beer and liquor. They
complained that we didn't have good enough food. They refused food and
laughed at us. They treated us volunteers as if we where SLAVES. No not all
of them of course.but 70% did!!!!!! 20% where appreciative, 10% took the
food without any comment and the other 70% had some disgusting comment to
say. Some had the nerve to laugh at us. And when I snapped back at them for
being mean, they would curse at me!!! Needless to say I was in utter shock.
They would eat their food and leave their mess on the table. some would
pick up their stuff many would leave it for the volunteers to pick up. I
left that real quick to go down and help set up some more beds. I saw many
young ladies carrying mattresses and I helped for a while. Then I realized
something. There were hundreds of able bodied young men who could help!! I
asked a group of young evacuees in their teens and early twenties to help.
I got cursed at for asking them to help!!! One said "We just lost our
fucking homes and you want us to work!!" The next said "Ya Cracker, you got
a home, we don't" I looked at them in disbelief. Here are women walking by
carrying THEIR BEDS and they can't lift a finger and help
themselves!!


WHY SHOULD I HELP PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO HELP THEMESELVES!!!!


I waved them off and turned away and was laughed at and more "white boy
jokes" where made at me. I felt no need to waste my breath on a bunch of
pitiful losers. I went to a nearby restroom where I noticed a man shaving.
I used the restroom, washed my hands and saw this man throw his razor
towards the trash can...he missed. He walked out leaving his disgusting
razor on the floor for some other "cracker" to pick up. Even the little
kids where demanding. I saw only ONE white family and only TWO Hispanic
families. The rest where blacks.sorry 20% to 30% decent blacks and 70%
LOSERS!!!!!


I would call them N*****S, but the actual definition of a n*****r is one
who is ignorant, these people were not ignorant..they were ARROGANT
ASSHOLES. The majority of which are thugs and lifetime lazy ass welfare
recipients. We are inviting the lowest of the low to Houston. And like
idiots we are serving the people who will soon steal our cars, rape,
murder and destroy our city while stealing from our pockets on a daily
basis through the welfare checks they take. We will fund our own
destruction.


By "US" I don't mean a specific race, I mean the people who work hard, work
smart, have values and morals. Only people who want to help themselves
should be helped, the others should be allowed to destroy themselves. I do
not want to work hard, give the government close to half the money I earn
so they can in turn give it to a bunch of losers.


I don't believe in being poor for life. My family immigrated here, we came
here poor and now thank God and due to HARD WORK we are doing fine. If immigrants, who come here, don't know the language can work and become
successful... WHY CAN'T THE MAJORITY OF THE HOMEGROWN DO IT!!! If
we continue to reward these losers then we will soon destroy our great
country. I just witnessed selfish, arrogant, unappreciative behavior by the
very people who need help the most. Now these same people who cursed me,
refused my cities generosity, who refuse to help themselves are DEMANDING
handouts on their own terms!!!!!!! They prance around as if they are owed
something, and when they do receive a handout, they say it's not good
enough! Well you know what..these types of people can go to hell for all I
care!

ETA: Rangerdog brought up a point--granted, I don't believe that it's the Doctor's home address, but his work one, but just to be safe....

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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"Richard L. Johnston, M.D." on google brought up this

Edited: fair enough Rangerdog, but the info is extremely easy to find. Something "Richard L. Johnston" from the "University of Mississipi" may already know to his cost. Truly a shame if his name has been attached inadvertantly.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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tribrats
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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There is a Richard L. Johnston on the staff at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Listed here.

quote:
Richard (“Ricky”) Leake Johnston
Resident
House Staff

There is a pic of him also.

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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my sister is an OR nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center
what she told me is that they have canceled all elective surgeries requiring overnight stay or blood tranfusions since the injured & ill from the MS Gulf area are being brought to Jackson

so it seems to be a bit weird that a doctor from UM Medical Center would be traveling to TX to assist hurricane victims when the need is just as great in MS ... at where he works

I guess I could email this to her & ask if she knows him ... though it is a big place

as for the writing style ... does not seem surprising to me
I work in an Army medical center & few of the doctors & nurses (officers) write well
higher education in medicine does not necessarily mean good command of language

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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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Yea! You go Richard! Where do traumatized people get the nerve to not bow to your greatness!

OR

I'm a very charitable person and humble servant-o-the-lord that abides by the christian ethic of unconditional love and all that...as long as the people I'm helping fully recognize my awesome display of charity and profusely thank me for being the magnanimous person that I am.

I'm not sure which bit of snark best fits.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Milhouse Van Houten:
Yea! You go Richard! Where do traumatized people get the nerve to not bow to your greatness!

OR

I'm a very charitable person and humble servant-o-the-lord that abides by the christian ethic of unconditional love and all that...as long as the people I'm helping fully recognize my awesome display of charity and profusely thank me for being the magnanimous person that I am.

I'm not sure which bit of snark best fits.

Well, I did think that too--whoever did write it (I question if it was actually the doctor, for several reasons), did clearly expect to be treated as a god just for being there, and is pretty ticked that they didn't get that.

Granted, a 'thank you' was in order. But this person apparently expected to be received like Christ coming into Jerusalem.

Magdalene

--------------------
"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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quote:
The people on T.V. (99% being
Black) were DEMANDING help

I have to admit that I haven't had much time to be glued to the TV in the past few weeks, and that I've been getting most my Katrina news via the internet. I also have to admit that I didn't have the stomach to read this guys report in the OP more than a skim through the first few paragraphs.

But from what I've seen, the people (in general) haven't been like that at all. In almost every case, people were "hanging in there" the best they could, and basically having a determination to make it through.

If the OP is true, it was probably a few people ruining the reputation of the entire group. I remember handing out Halloween candy a few years ago, and in my mind "most" of the kids didn't say thank-you. In reality, it was probably a few who didn't, combined with many who were too young to really know enough.

But what's the point of circulating a letter like this? What's his goal? That we shouldn't help these people, because they EXPECT it? Does he really expect them to come groveling, crawling on the ground, begging for mercy?

-Tim

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Rehcsif Mit:
If the OP is true, it was probably a few people ruining the reputation of the entire group.

-Tim

If there is any validity at all to the letter in the OP then I'd guess you're right. The schools around here are doing food and clothes drives. One person at one of the schools said they only had one evacuee family that had any sort of attitude at all. She just shrugged it off though. The rest have been appreciative. One lady called into the Neal Boortz show the other day and said she had been arranging housing for some evacuee families and one of them demanded to get some blinds put up that night. I'm willing to be though that the people she mentioned were in the vast minority of evacuee families.

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I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Sounds like a crappy volunteer to me, spent more time wandering from task to task than actually helping anyone. Actually, volunteers have to go through an orientation and then get assigned to a specific task. So this description of doing 5 different things is fishy to me.

Also, my understanding is that the Red Cross-run shelters are NOT taking donations of stuff. So no cars full of water and supplies whould have been at the Convention Center to unload. And, the description sounds like it was written after folks had settled in a bit, but also describes people arriving on buses.

Bad sentiment, bad writing, and bad research for some bad lies.

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rodh
Deck the Malls


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As far as the people on TV demanding help as he mentions in the first paragraph... I'd be demanding help too in that situation. If I'm told to go to the Superdome by the governemnt and then prevented from leaving the Superdome by the government, then the government had better get me some food and water!!!!
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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Waffles

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Allegedly, the original blog.

Info on the writer:
Gender: Male
Status: Single
Age: 23
Sign: Virgo
City: Houston
State: Texas

Definitely not a doctor in Mississippi

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I emailed the info to Dr. Johnston, including a link to this thread and the link to the blog.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Maher is a piece of work isn't he? I thought probably the doctor wasn't the originator. Probably just spreading it around and wound up with his name tacked on to the end of it.

I'll second Kismet's assesment of a crappy volunteer. Wanted the glory, didn't want to work, hence wandering from place to place. Expected to be groveled out for handing out water bottles. Pathetic.

Gibbie

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spankmantha
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What a worthless bastard.....

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"Mind is not a celestial state with idol hymns of praise." ~Pearl Jam "Angel"

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I agree that whoever wrote the piece is an insufferable hate-mongerer, but I don't see any reason to post the Doctor's home phone number and address on a (very) public message board. In fact I would very much discourage this practice from spreading any further and I would encourage the poster or Jenn to edit that data out.

Rangerdog

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by RangerDog:
I agree that whoever wrote the piece is an insufferable hate-mongerer, but I don't see any reason to post the Doctor's home phone number and address on a (very) public message board. In fact I would very much discourage this practice from spreading any further and I would encourage the poster or Jenn to edit that data out.

Rangerdog

I've edited it but included the link. I don't think you can get much more public than google however, but point well taken.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by RangerDog:
I agree that whoever wrote the piece is an insufferable hate-mongerer, but I don't see any reason to post the Doctor's home phone number and address on a (very) public message board. In fact I would very much discourage this practice from spreading any further and I would encourage the poster or Jenn to edit that data out.

Rangerdog

I edited the original post--granted, I believe that the address was his work one (which, if you know who he works for, is easy enough to find), but fair enough.

Magdalene

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RangerDog
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[Smile] I meant to also say *even though it is on Google*. Y'all are A.O.K. in my book.

RD

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Sara at home
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Heard back from Dr. Johnston. Seems he copied the rant off a website and sent it to friends. In the process, his name inadvertantly got attached as though he had written it. He says "It was a colossal lapse in judgement on my part and I would do absolutely anything to remove my association from this."

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Thanks, Sara!!

I still think this is BS - but not WHAT is written. As it touches on all of the hot-buttons, I think it is a construct and just used to enflame.

BUT, that being said, after having worked some MINOR disaster stuff, the people there were gracious. I can see a volunteer being turned off if the people being helped were that rude and ungracious.

I'm sorry, but if I pretend the post is true - I have to agree with the attitude. If I offer you help when you need help, yes, call me rude and uncivilized, I expect at least a small, "Thanks."

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Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
Heard back from Dr. Johnston. Seems he copied the rant off a website and sent it to friends. In the process, his name inadvertantly got attached as though he had written it. He says "It was a colossal lapse in judgement on my part and I would do absolutely anything to remove my association from this."

I wouldn't say colossal lapse....just one of those "DOH" things.

And at least we snopesters realized right off something didn't click about his name being on it. Dang, we'se smart! [Big Grin]

Magdalene

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
Heard back from Dr. Johnston. Seems he copied the rant off a website and sent it to friends. In the process, his name inadvertantly got attached as though he had written it. He says "It was a colossal lapse in judgement on my part and I would do absolutely anything to remove my association from this."

I wouldn't say colossal lapse....just one of those "DOH" things.

And at least we snopesters realized right off something didn't click about his name being on it. Dang, we'se smart! [Big Grin]

Magdalene

I'd have a lot of sympathy for him if he was passing that missive on in a "can you believe the nerve of this guy" way. On the other hand if he was passing it along in a "can you believe the nerve of "those" people" kind of way, well, ok, I admit, with the sympathy? Not so much.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Sara at home
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His email to me did not indicate why he chose to copy and email the crap.

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EthanMitchell
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I used to coordinate (mostly white) volunteers for a housing project in a (mostly black) inner-city neighborhood. You get all types. But I think it's very common for people who are volunteering to have a fairly negative reaction. For starters, they are likely to be way, way, outside their usual comfort zone. On top of that, new volunteers generally don't realize how many other people are giving service. They tend to expect that both the service organization and the people recieving the service will be obsequiously grateful. And perhaps we should be: its always nice to smile and say thank you. But if you are trying to figure out what to do with the eigtieth person that day who wants to Feel Like a Hero, but has no usable skills and is standing in front of a door people are trying to use, gratitude is hard to dredge up. And, I would imagine, if you have just lost your house, your job, and your aunt, it might be hard to get into the cheerful, 'ooh, thanks for the bottled water' spirit.
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I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus
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Ethan, I agree. I coordinate volunteers for many types of charity. If people are looking for overt gratitude to feel good, they need to volunteer in situations where the recipient is not in immediate crisis. Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army's Christmas gifts programs, mentoring young kids-these activities give high emotional return for your time. Some types of volunteering need to be done for the help it provides, and are unlikely to come with a big hug from the recipient.
Posts: 2115 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sexy Sadie
Newsqueak


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Apparently, young women who decided to donate their time and energy to help victims are less capable of carrying beds than traumatized (albeit rude, assuming there's no exaggeration in his account- probably an incorrect assumption but let's give him the benefit of the doubt) young men who had just lost everything. [Roll Eyes]

I can't stand his attitude, that these people didn't have a right to "demand" help and that he was being a selfless Good Samaritan(TM) while grudgingly handing out water bottles and demanding gratefulness from people who were likely in shock.

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Look, if it's about that decapitation thing I'm sorry!

Posts: 32 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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I don't actually want to wish an ill fate on the city of Houston with Hurricane Rita, but I would love for the writer of that letter to be forced to experience what the New Orleans evacuees experienced.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 1514 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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