Friday, September 09, 2005

Feedback is Fun!

A JG reader notices it takes a long time for the editorial board to reach an "informed position" on the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Unfair to blame feds for hurricane response

It was not terribly surprising to read the editorial, “The response debacle” (Sept. 2). Unfounded criticism is generally lodged by people who are uninformed.

The Journal Gazette’s charge that “The delayed and deficient response by federal officials to the suffering and chaos in New Orleans is inexcusable.” First, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco didn’t request federal assistance until late Monday because the storm had passed and folks commenced to get ready for the cleanup. Granted, there was massive destruction, but it was not until the levees broke that flooding began and created a catastrophe. Electricity and water don’t mix well; hence power and communication losses were immediate. Roads and streets were blocked, and people were trapped. Hospitals were running on auxiliary power. The phone system was inoperable.

There is no doubt that chaos reigned and continues in spite of everyone trying their best. The governor is located in Baton Rouge, 80 miles away. How was she to find out the seriousness of the problem? Generally, auxiliary power comes from gasoline-powered generators. Potable water won’t flow without pumps. How do you get fuel into an area that’s flooded?

I don’t understand what took The Journal Gazette so long to write the editorial. The newspaper must have known by Tuesday or certainly by Wednesday that the enept [sic] presidential administration was to blame for the delay and deficient response. The administration may even have been to blame for allowing the levees to break. Certainly they were to blame for all those folks who couldn’t or didn’t get out of town when warned.

JAMES R. LOOMIS
Fort Wayne

And then there's this, another response to the same editorial:

More at fault than government

Regarding the very one-sided editorial, “The response debacle” (Sept. 2).

Yes, the feds have been slow. I am neither Republican nor Democrat, but to show a picture of President Bush smiling and playing a guitar one day after Katrina hit, not two as the caption suggests,* is both pathetic and transparent. Should the president of the United States have dropped everything he was doing on Monday and Tuesday to fly to Louisiana while the storm was still wreaking havoc in the South, with the damage yet to be assessed?

The editorial writer goes on to blame the Homeland Security director. This is preposterous. His job is to protect Americans from terrorism, not hurricanes.

Whoever wrote this drivel certainly has a knack for asking questions. My question is, where are your answers?

Should officials have known that people would start shooting near the Superdome? Where else should people have gone? After the waters rose and the Superdome became unsanitary, where else should officials have moved people other than the Astrodome? The writer failed to provide any answers. It’s easy to ask questions with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight while providing nothing original from yourself.

Lastly, why was there no mention of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin or Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, both of whom are Democrats, and the residents of New Orleans still there, who chose to ignore warnings to evacuate? You only blame federal government officials, Republicans, but again fail to call out the two politicians closest to the situation. Shouldn’t these two take most of the blame since they are the ones who didn’t properly prepare their city and state? Oh, I’m sorry, I just realized they’re both Democrats, and clearly that would not fit with The Journal Gazette attack.

JEFFREY A. KLEKOT
Fort Wayne

*Today, the JG published a correction about the date cited in the caption



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