My apologies for not explaining about Snopes in better detail: I kind of take it for granted everyone around here knows about it.
Snopes.com is a site run by a few dedicated professional journalists. The aim is to research, debunk, or (rarely) verify various urban legends and rumors goung around. They also keep track of hoaxes going around through email (the ever-famous "Bill Gates will send you $$ for every copy of this email you forward" hoax comes to mind). Their website is very balanced, and not biased at all. It's so well run and objective that I tend to check it regularly to see if anything new has popped up. I always
check it should I get some suspicious email about how Jesus is going to be portrayed as a homosexual in a new movie, how Sesame Street
or Touched by an Angel
is going to be cancelled by an act of congress, how Disney's Aladdin
movie has a hidden admonition for young girls to remove clothing, or any other "here's a TRUE STORY! Spread it around!" email. (And those first three pieces are old, old falsehoods that were debunked years ago, but continue to circulate.)
If you ever have some time, I heartily endorse this site. But beware: it has so much good stuff in it that you can waste a whole week poring through it all....
I was also wondering about the whole "bus vs. airplanes" angle. I didn't ask about it at the training courses, because I had the feeling they must be asked this question constantly, and they had little enough time as it was to train us. From what I learned during the courses, I believe that they aren't chartering buses for one or more of these reasons:
1) As my group is based in California, it would take several days to get each of us down there and back. And as we can only commit to a couple of weeks each, this would seroiusly cut into our volunteer time.
2) They already have the connections for airlines, but none for buses, and it's taking time to ramp things up.
3) Too many washed out/hopelessly clogged roads in and out of the area.
4) Security concerns. It's a lot easier for a bus to overturn, break down, or be held up at gunpoint than it is for an airline. Our journey might take us near or through some still-lawless areas that the national guard/army/police haven't secured yet. Red Cross has stated over and over that running shelters is hazardous enough under the best circumstances, and they cannot send volunteers into harm's way. (Which is why they weren't anywhere near the Superdome or Convention Center when the worst happened in the first week after the clouds lifted. If they'd been allowed to set up those places as shelters ahead of time, you can bet things would have turned out very different indeed.)
BTW: Did anyone else catch Michael Brown pointing fingers and puffing his accomplishments before a congressional committee last week? Jeez, Mikey, you were SUPPOSED to bow down, say "it's all my fault, forgive me", and take the heat off the current administration who put you in there in the first place. That whole thing was conveined so you could fall on your sword and save face. Couldn't you even do THAT right?