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Government response to Katrina was unbelievable


Published: Sun, September 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.


Government response to Katrina was unbelievable
EDITOR:
As I watched the events following Hurricane Katrina unfold last week I couldn't help but think: I can't believe this is happening. Not here. This is the United States. There is absolutely no reason for something like this to happen on our soil.
I'm not talking about the storm itself -- that is nature at its worst and we have no control over that. But the absolute catastrophe that followed in New Orleans in the days after the storm is totally inexcusable.
For years it was predicted by numerous experts and through many studies that if a category 4+ hurricane would hit the New Orleans area the levies would fail, the city would be flooded and it would take months to pump out the water. Where was the planning? How were so many people still in harm's way and eventually stranded in the city? How is it that thugs were allowed to roam the streets unfettered looting, robbing, raping and murdering? Where was the leadership -- local, state or national? How could it take five days to get things under control?
We have councilmen, mayors, state senators, governors, congressmen, U.S. Senators and the entire cabinet of the president. Along with agencies such as FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security and numerous disaster response teams around the country. Numerous elected officials and political appointees -- some with the precise job of preparing for disasters such as this -- are paid extremely handsome salaries to take care of our country. And they dropped the ball again.
The lack of leadership in this country is killing us. Literally. It is time that we, the American citizens, take back our country. Our elected officials care about one thing and one thing only -- themselves. All they care about is raising money and winning the next election or getting the political appointment they want. God forbid they would take care of the real problems in our country or make a decision that was not politically motivated. Satisfy big business, sell out to foreign countries, leave our borders open and grab as much pork as you can for pet projects in your state.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Homeland Security Department was formed to protect the United States and co-ordinate and prepare disaster response. Billions of dollars were thrown out to communities all over the country in the name of Homeland Security in a money-grabbing free for all. Then the 9/11 Commission was formed to examine what went wrong and how the attacks could happen. It was bipartisan and it concluded that among other things the lack of co-operation among numerous government agencies contributed to the vulnerability. So where did we improve? Where was all of the cooperative work among the government agencies?
We couldn't get troops to the area until days after the fact. I had to watch on TV as a great American city was reduced to a Third World city and its citizens tore it and each other apart.
GARY RUSSELL
Youngstown
Labor Day letter was a slap
EDITOR:
The Labor Day letter "Liberals still singing ..." was disrespectful on a day set aside to recognize the efforts of America's working class, the backbone of our nation. These proud individuals face struggles and challenges daily in the workplace. What's sad is it doesn't need to be, but is because of egotistical, unappreciative management.
Labor unions were also bashed in regard to their collective bargaining right to strike. Workers organized to create a better life for themselves and their families. Many gave their lives fighting for what they believed in. Still today, our government, corporations and many citizens seem to have a problem with workers earning their share of the millions and billions they help create for their employers.
Liberals also were criticized. May I remind everyone the political affiliation of both our president, and our governor? Also, what condition is our country and state in currently?
The author offered no solutions to the mess our leaders have put us in. It is my opinion that labor unions and liberals did not create these problems. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. The Labor Day letter is part of the problem.
RICK STRAUB
Columbiana


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