Tuesday, September 06, 2005
There was a time, not so long ago that I enjoyed a good debate. I have since learned a few things. The biggest thing I learned was it is difficult to find someone capable of debating a subject without resorting to personal attack which, of course results in the natural human response, defense. Before we know it the "debate" has deteriorated to the point that it resembles little more than a verbal wrestling match, oftentimes to the point that the original topic is completely disregarded if not forgotten! In a way it is understandable, after all, unless you are in a classroom, with a subject and a side being assigned to you, chances are, all involved in the debate are feeling emotional about the subject at hand.
Since I cannot see the wisdom in participating in something that seems destined to become "ugly" while accomplishing nothing, these days, I tend to bite my tongue. Yes, a retort is usually right there, just begging to be loosed but, if I stop, bite my tongue, count to 10 (or, if necessary 20), and ask myself if anything will change, if anyone's mind will be transformed by my words, I usually determine that nothing will be gained by opening my mouth and allowing my (oh so clever ;) )retort to have it's way. I do my best to not add to a controversy which seems to be doing a fine job of brewing and stewing all on it's own with no help from me whatsoever.
There are, in life, circumstances, and events which, whether we realize it or not, personally affects each and every one of us. Some are wonderfully exhilerating! Others are tragic, and then there are those which seem to serve as nothing more than to be controversial.
Katrina and her aftermath, without question falls into the tragic category. Some, perhaps as a coping mechanism, seem to be attempting to place it in the controversial category, placing the blame for the aftermath on their favorite Political scapegoat. Democrats (and some Republicans) are blaming the President, Republicans are blaming the Democrats closest to the situation. Truth be told there's plenty of blame to be passed around, starting at the top, with the resident fellow in the White House, down to Fema and Homeland Security, on down the line to the local government and, in what I expect are rare cases, the residents themselves who chose not to leave, as opposed to those who really had no choice in the matter, due to finances, physical limitations and their employment as emergency personnel.
I expect a lot of blame lies quite simply with lack of coordination and cooperation between agencies from the bottom to the top and everywhere in between. I seem to recall a verse that might apply here, something about a kingdom divided...
Yes, it would seem there were some mistakes made at the local level. One question I find myself asking is why were the flood waters rising around buses? Why were the buses there? Shouldn't they have been filled with potential victims and sped out of harms way? I am also aware there were instances in which the local government wanted to act but couldn't, their hands were tied by their higher ups, the federal government. It is important to learn who all was to blame, for what and why. We need to know so lessons can be learned and mistakes won't be repeated..
We also need to have an understanding of where we stand should a catastrophy hit our area, whether it be from Nature's wrath, man's mistakes, a terrorist attack or what ever else you may dream up. If the situation in the Gulf coast is any indication it would seem the answer is, we're on our own.
While my family does what we can to assist the victims of Katrina. we are also considering what additional steps we should take to help ensure our survival should we one day become victims of Nature's fury. As was the case along the Gulf Coast there will be neighbors helping neighbors in any way possible. Naturally, those who are the most prepared will be able to reach a little further, help a little more. I hope everyone who witnessed this tragedy will be doing the same.