Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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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