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Disaster relief: A tale of two regions

Posted: July 23, 2008 12:41 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
Vinton M. Lampton in his letter to the editor on July 6 (“God Bless the tough Midwesterners”) said what many have said and believe but haven’t put into print.

The tortured, brave people around Iowa and Missouri are suffering unimaginable losses and agony with the massive floods, and what have we heard from them? They thanked God for their family members who did survive and then told of leaving their own devastations to go downstream to help others who were going to be in harm’s way.

Not once did we see them whining to the cameras demanding “the government” solve all of their problems, nor did they loot, steal and expand as riffraff criminals.

Hurricane Katrina occurred nearly three years ago, and it remains a political football.

We’ll never know the true extent that FEMA failed because of the all-too-common liberal slant on its media “reporting.” However, we do know that in the hours before the levee broke, President Bush was on the phone with Louisiana’s then-governor, Kathleen B. Blanco, who said her state didn’t need any assistance.

In addition, we know of the repeated and utter failures of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, which have been well documented but intentionally overlooked by those who would rather rally to solely blame George Bush.

Some would have us believe that George Bush personally made sure New Orleans was ignored. Get real. Any blame is to be shared by many.

Sixty-two billion dollars was allocated by the feds (plus the charities), to date, for Katrina and about $45 billion has been “spent.” American taxpayers do not have an itemization of the accounting.

One scant media reference was made to the significant Vietnamese population of New Orleans who helped themselves to better their situations. That was not aired by the mass media. It was too clean.

Yes, the affected New Orleans citizens were all victims of Mother Nature. We who have lived through the horror of earthquakes well know. Nevertheless, clearly diverse mindsets were operating after Katrina.

There were the ones who have worked hard to help themselves, those who did not, and those who are still receiving free government help and doing zip.

There was the mindset of politician Ray Nagin artfully expressing his classy self on the airwaves, telling others to “get off your asses” and help him.

That fine display of leadership ability was then outdone by his proactive pursuit, within weeks of the devastation, to keep his seat as mayor. It worked. He won.

His sophisticated prowess was then topped off with his statements on CNN that the city would be rebuilt as “a Chocolate New Orleans” and “You can’t have New Orleans no other way.” His unenlightened remarks went unchallenged.

Two things bear repeating. To quote Lt. Gen. Russel Honore: “Don’t get stuck on stupid,” and Vinton M. Lampton’s: “God bless the great people of this great nation.”

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