Weeding By Example

Thursday, 08.30.07 

Sorry for the slight delay in posting again.  I had wanted to write yesterday on the anniversary of Katrina but my day was literally nonstop from 6 am til midnight, and I just didn’t have a chance to squeeze in a moment for the blog.  Now I know how John must feel when he only gets 2 hours of sleep due to being constantly on the go for 12-18 hours straight! lol.

There is a lot of great coverage for the 2-year anniversary over at CNN and CNN.com.  In addition, All Things Anderson and All Things CNN have posted some noteworthy material, namely recaps of Anderson’s broadcast from NOLA last night, as well as his Oprah report.  I missed both, unfortunately, due to my 18-hour marathon yesterday. (Ok it was not a literal marathon but it certainly felt like it).

Tonight, I am going to depart from my normal format of the blog and put out my thoughts about what’s going on in the Gulf Coast region.  Normally I don’t want to use the blog as a sounding board for my personal opinions (except if it pertains to our admiration of John!!!!)  And normally I like to stay out of polticial blogging, but this is too much on my mind at the moment to ignore.  So please bear with me.

Just like everyone, I have strong feelings, emotions, reflections and opinions about what happened two years ago as well as about the progress (or lack thereof) in Louisiana and Mississippi.  I may be in the minority when I say this, but I think that a lot of the blame, fingerpointing and criticism towards the government is simply unfair, unrealistic and just plain biased. 

Granted, the government has its responsibilities to take care of in this mess, but I am a firm believer that personal accountability is also a huge part of the mix as well.  Plus, the government’s actual physical response to Katrina had no precedent, so there were a lot of things that had to be learned the hard way, unfortunately. 

My belief is that the government is only as good as the people who run it – not just the President and the Governor and Mayor – but the people who work for them and with them.  The lawyers, the managers… the contractors, the field workers… the office personnel… the clerks and secretaries…  each and every single person is an integral part to the whole picture. 

My point is, you can’t just blame one person or group of people in the government.  Too many political individuals are involved in the process to assume it’s a cut and dry issue as to who is to blame. Sure, there have been failures – one one cannot deny or ignore this simple truth – but are those failures due to deliberate mis-planning or has inadvertant human error been a factor at certain steps along the way? I tend to think the latter.

I simply cannot find it in my heart to believe that any government official, no matter who, and no matter how how powerful, ever wakes up and wonders, “Let’s see.. what can I do today to deliberately go about mis-managing and royally screwing up everything as best possible? (pause in thinking) By George I think I’ve got it!”

I know there are many who disagree and want to point fingers at a specific individual, or a group of individuals, but you can’t argue with the fact that there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on, both difficult and painstaking, and unless we have sat down with the government officials or been at their meetings, who are we as the general public to criticize?  And does the media always tell us the full story?  Can the whole story even be told? No one can know for sure. 

That said, though, and not having gone through what many victims faced, I simply cannot imagine the frustrations and hurdles they have encountered.  I can empathize, though, and my hope is that all the victims will find the peace of mind they are seeking and so deserving of.

We should all be keeping the hurricane victims in our thoughts and prayers.  Not just on the anniversary date, but during the day-to-day struggles to rebuild as well.  There are a lot of good folk out there, both New Orleans residents and volunteers who are helping any way they can.  I tend to want to focus on the positive stories and stay away from listening the blame game. 

For an example of an inspiring story, check this out. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/24/assignment_america/main3202058.shtml

Maybe this kid will have the good sense to run for mayor of New Orleans one day!! I love his slogan, “Weeding By Example”.

Coming up next: Back to blogging about John!

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