I am appalled and so I must vent.

Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster of epic proportions. As we speak, there are countless people working tirelessly to rescue stranded folks. Yes, there are looters. Yes, there are people who stayed despite warnings. But there are a lot of human beings who need help. Period.

And so I’m reading letters to the editor in The New York Post today and all I see is whining, judgmental commentary on other countries not doing enough, on Hollywood not doing enough, on people not helping themselves. Is this productive? Is it humane? How embarrassing that anyone outside of the Northeast would read this and think we all hold these ignorant, tunnel vision views as we sit here in our air-conditioned homes with our families intact.

How about conjuring up a little sympathy? Kindness? Compassion? Where does this mentality of looking only outside of ourselves and pointing a finger come from? It’s a crisis! If you can write a check, then write a check. If you’re not moved to, then don’t.

As if that wasn’t enough to set me off, I decide to put on the television and get updated on how things are going in New Orleans tonight. For some insane reason, I opt for Bill O’Reilly because I’m curious how he handles crisis. Now I know.

He reinforced my previous opinion that he is a self-absorbed blowhard who wouldn’t know how to conduct an interview if he tried. He has the audacity to speak to a rep from the National Guard in a confrontational way? Right now? When most of those people haven’t slept in days? When they’ve seen unspeakable horrors? Can you imagine the smells they’ve endured? And some self-congratulatory guy who has, for some reason I’ll never understand, secured a primetime forum to bloviate is in this man’s face? What an ass.

How about we stick to reporting the news instead of playing Monday morning quarterback? How about just letting the sadness wash over us? Or just experiencing the disbelief? Or counting ourselves as blessed?

Please. Where is the love?