Hurricane Katrina Was Real, Are Our Politicians?
Many individual disaster plans recommend that you include
several days of emergency provisions to accommodate the notion
that "help" may take several days to reach you. We clearly see
this scenario playing itself out in the once proud city of New
Orleans. Despite FEMA's best efforts, it has been a full 4 days
to initiate rescue efforts on any meaningful scale, and over a
full week since we all knew a category 5 hurricane was located
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, had it exactly right
- urging and begging for evacuations last weekend. Meanwhile
many of our politicians were enjoying their "vacations". Hey,
wake up. It doesn't take a genius to know a Cat 5 Hurricane
means trouble. How would we respond to one of the top three
identified disaster scenarios?
So I was troubled to note, that after President Bush's recent
cabinet "working meeting", that Michael Chertoff,
Director of Homeland Security, started his news briefing off by
congratulating his fellow "workers" for a job well done. My
heart went out to Anderson Cooper (CNN), who unleashed a well
deserved diatribe on U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of
Louisiana, when this blonde bombshell prefaced her remarks in
the same style.
Even Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, came out with a
political correct stance on CNN's "Larry King". This lack of
empathy has been framed by a constant barrage of news coverage,
graphically depicting... reality.
May we also ask, that our President, ask for prayers... for
our politicians, whom face a road yet unexplored by humanity.
Shortly after the disaster,
Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the
- New Docs Show Gov't Forewarned
By LARA JAKES JORDAN
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department was warned
a day before Hurricane Katrina hit that the storm's surge
could breach levees and leave New Orleans flooded for weeks or
months, documents released Monday show.
One of our Honorable Senators has revealed an interesting
weakness in politicians, the notion that politicians focus on
managing problems, rather than solving them. It is clear that
many understood the precarious position New Orleans faced for
decades. That clarity failed to manifest itself into a solution
for a $10 Billion problem that required resolution. One
Presidential Historian has suggested that Katrina is the
catalyst that has opened the eyes of the public as to the true
nature of our Government's ability to respond to Natural
I can only hope that politicians learn from our incredulous
behavior. Any reasonable person knows that a Natural Disaster of
the magnitude of Katrina would deal a 5-10 year recovery window.
Yet, more than a handful of politicians tried to assure us that
they were hard at work on the problem. Risk Management, I
Having experienced the real clear and present danger,
not a mushroom cloud, perhaps we can urge our leaders
to modify the fuzzy math meters a bit. When the polls suggest
that the public is unhappy with the performance on a
particular issue, and the issue involves life & limb, and $10
Billion, perhaps a switch from risk management to
problem solving is required.
A good start would be to admit that the scope of an event
like Katrina cannot be repaired in a few meetings, or a few
months, or with a few billion dollars.
South-Asian Tsunami - Mother Nature has dealt a severe
blow to the holiday cheer. It has taken more than a week to
begin to understand the magnitude of this tragic disaster. We
are sorry to hear continued diatribes about U.S. aid efforts as
exemplified by Bianca Jaggar. Her comment that our government
should blindly donate much, much, more to the relief effort,
because Muslims hate us, is outrageous.
For some to question our government's generosity, is to deny
that over 10 million illegal immigrants live here, that millions
of jobs have been effectively donated overseas and that the U.S.
continues to far out surpass any other nation in terms of money
spent in aid to others.
If there is to be a silver lining, in the aftermath of a
disaster of biblical proportions, it is that the tremendous
outreach effort already underway, will help all the world's
faiths to gain tolerance and respect for each other.
Over a year later, one thing is clear.
Congratulations are due to all those who worked to fund the
recovery effort. Although much of the affected areas remain
devastated, it is clear that donations far exceed any ability
to use the funds, either effectively, or ineffectively.