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I guess we do live in two America’s

October 28, 2007


In the past decade we have had some major catastrophe’s. It is easy to pass judgment on how each individual handles adversity. It is also easy to jump to conclusions on how authorities are handling the situation on the ground.

A good example of a failed response would be the handling of Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of a system gone awry. We heard how the Bush administration failed to get help to the residents of New Orleans in a timely manner, but what happened to the local and state authorities that were supposed to be taking care of their constituents? Someone once said that if you wait on the government to help you, you are in for a long wait.

fjones-3a.gifFast forward to this past week when Southern California was inundated with wild fires fanned by Santa Ana winds. The local and state firefighters jumped to action and began fighting the fires as best they could. President Bush contacted Governor Schwarzenegger to offer any help the federal government could give. He most likely extended the same offer to Governor Blanco of Louisiana if the truth were known, but that is beside the point.

Looking at the news reports from the mainstream media there was another breakdown in the federal governments response to the fires, but when the whole story gets told the picture is painted a little different. One huge problem, in my opinion, is the people that want to make it a political forum instead of a disaster that everyone needs to help with.

I was glad to see when Gov. Schwarzenegger told a reporter from ABC news there is no bad news and she is not going to find any. When you have senators running their mouth before they get the facts it really shows what a sad state we have in Washington. Harry Reid D-Nevada was one of the first politicians to blame the fires on global warming. History proves that the Santa Ana winds have been blowing for centuries and the fires have been around for just about as long. In 1594 a European explorer noted that the Native Americans actually set fire to the chaparral so the animals would be forced into the open for hunting purposes.

We then had the likes of Barbara Boxer D-California saying that if it weren’t for the war in Iraq the state would not be short of equipment to fight the fires. Another myth debunked when it was found out that out of almost 20,000 national guardsmen enlisted in California, there are only two thousand deployed to Afghanistan.

Finally, the attitude of the people of New Orleans was that the government owed them the help that seemed to never get there. There were stories of looting and shootings all over New Orleans. It was basically chaos with no end in sight. The attitude of the people in California was we have a serious problem, let’s get to safety, let the firefighters do their job and we can help where ever we can.

I guess we do live in two America’s. One is to be self sufficient and help our neighbors, the other is to expect an entitlement. Which one do you live in?

Larry Donaldson
Darlington, SC

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