Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · On our own in New...
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On our own in New Orleans and beyond

George Foster - September 15th, 2005
Images of hurricane victims fighting for their lives in rising waters of the Gulf Coast, while looters rape the cities, will not soon be forgotten - if ever.
But what did you expect? The Lone Ranger riding into downtown New Orleans to save the good guys from the bad? Superman using his super-breath to dry up the flood-waters before carrying the victims to safety?
There is no denying that Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The refugees of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama who lost everything: their homes, possessions, and jobs - happened to be the lucky ones.
Unfortunately, many victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina and waiting for rescue by EMS, Homeland Security, FEMA, or National Guard troops are gone. Tens of thousands stranded in the hurricane’s wake may have already died.
Before you join the mob and start the finger-pointing blame-game at federal, state, or local government officials - quick... think of a major crisis when any level of government rescued a significant number of people with prompt and thoughtful action.
If September 11, 2001 comes to mind as an example of swift government intervention, you are suffering from acute memory loss, my friend. Communication problems within the NYPD and NYFD cost many lives that could have been saved on 9/11. The most critical problem of all was that no one seemed to be in charge for days after the attacks.
The former chairmen of the independent 9/11 Commission are now saying these same mistakes were made during Hurricane Katrina that plagued our relief efforts for 9/11, only worse. Former federal terrorism official Richard Clark could have been referring to Hurricane Katrina when he addressed the 9/11 victims, “Your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you.”
Though we are paying hundreds of billions in taxes to fund Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and FEMA, first responder heroes in the Gulf Coast were unlikely rescuers such as Sean Penn, Geraldo Rivera, and the Canadian Mounties. How were these parties able to enter disaster areas and save lives before official government relief was well underway? The absence of a major disaster effort until almost five days after the hurricane struck the Gulf Coast underscores each individual American’s responsibility for their loved ones’ well-being. We have been put on notice once again - so don’t blame the police, the governor, or the president the next time we suffer a major disaster. You and I are on our own, buddy.
Speaking of Homeland Security, what good was this over-hyped new federal department during the hurricane crisis? Just as many feared - it was one more bureaucratic hoop to jump through before relief could be given to the victims. Let’s save the $50 billion spent on Homeland Security and get rid of bureaucrats that only get in the way. We don’t need more red tape - traditional agencies such as FEMA, the FBI, and CIA have to perform better, much better. These agencies do some good work, just don’t count on it.
By the way, can you believe New Orleans officials are threatening to bodily remove locals who want to stay home? It is bad enough not to show up while the neighborhood is drowning, but for government officials to kick New Orleans residents out of their homes when they finally arrive seems like an outrageous irony.
After what these victims have experienced, I couldn’t blame anyone for hunkering down in their home while stockpiling guns, water, and provisions. I would also recommend the use of a couple of good guard dogs similar to mine.
The idea isn’t to hurt anyone, just to send the message - I am not counting on Uncle Sam or anyone else to save me. Ultimately, only I can take responsibility for me.

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