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Unfair Cirticisms
By Mark Neckameyer


September 02, 2005

President Bush along with local and state Louisiana governments have been blasted in the press over the handling of hurricane Katrina relief and as well as pre-existing high gasoline prices made even worse by the hurricane.  Much of this criticism is blatantly unfair and more than a little of it is obviously politically motivated.
First the energy and gasoline issue;  Energy demands have skyrocketed of late as China, India and the rest of Asia joined the modern world and started driving cars and using power in factories, cities, etc.  The populations there account for half the people who live in the entire world!  We have oil reserves ourselves but we are not allowed to access them,  We can't drill in Alaska because caribou might be bothered, can't drill off the Pacific U.S. coast because surfers might not approve, etc.  So called environmentalists, mostly Liberal Democrats and individuals even further to the left of our political spectrum have successfully fought oil drilling and exploration through the courts and in the legislatures ... have fought tooth and nail.  At he same time their "Green", environments kin have stopped the building of oil refineries to the point that there has not been a new one built anywhere in the U.S.  in almost three decades.  Many European nations use nuclear power  to generate electricity thereby saving oil for other uses but we can't.  Environmentalists don't approve even though nuclear power is safe and clean.  Our energy crisis can be laid right at the feet of our liberal politicians, judges and their supporters.
Next, the hurricane; people have some responsibility for where they live.  Citizens of Seattle like the current residents of Naples, built near the ruins of Pompeii, must know that some day MT Ranier and MT. Vesuvius will erupt again and their cities will be destroyed.  They are hopefully consciously taking chances.  They are assuming risk.  The residents of San Francisco and Los Angeles too are assuming the risk that major earthquakes will put their lives at risk sooner or later.  A few days before Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, everyone was warned to leave.  Those that chose to stay are at fault for their own woes just like smokers knowingly assume the risk of lung cancer or motorcyclists who forsake helmets are responsible for their own scrambled brains in case of accidents.
The hurricane stopped blowing in Louisiana on Tuesday.  The dykes that protected New Orleans, obviously inadequate for years, gushed though today, Friday.  The highways and bridges are down and even the rivers are blocked.  Power and phone lines have been destroyed yet already the National Guard has been called and is on the scene,  millions of meals ready to eat have been delivered and Federal troops have arrived.  The President himself has been there twice and the people who failed to leave when warned have mostly been evacuated to Texas and elsewhere.  Conditions would clearly be better if New Orleans was not populated by gangs of thugs and looters who shot up aid convoys and rescue helicopters.  What ever happened to old warning that "looters will be shot on sight"!?
Except for stationing massive numbers of troops and supplies in every city that might be at risk, what could our government have done?  Aren't individuals ultimately responsible for themselves?

Mark Neckameyer
Irvine, CA - USA




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