Wake-up calls should be heeded
There usually follow, in the wake of major catastrophes such as wars, hurricanes, earthquakes and fuel shortages, a lot of hand wringing, soul searching and talk of lessons learned. We refer to these eye openers as wake-up calls and vow that never again will we be caught unprepared and vulnerable to the onslaught of predictable and unpredictable events. Ho hum.
Oh, we mean it at the time, but time is not user-friendly to our attention spans. When our sound and fury runs its course and our lives drift back to normal routines, well, as we all know, it's business as usual until the next round with Mother Nature and the warlords.
We are reminded time and time again that the infrastructure of our country is in serious disrepair. Our bridges, our dikes, our highways and many of our public buildings, including schools, are run down and worn out. Our city streets are patched and potholed, and our rivers and streams are like backed up sewers. Our factories continue to spew poisonous emissions into the atmosphere. If we dare to raise our voices in protest, we are called tree-huggers and threats to the economic growth of the nation.
I believe that most Americans yearn to live in peace with a clean environment and in a society that is free, fair and safe. Wishful thinking perhaps, but natural disasters and wars notwithstanding, maybe one day, we'll remember the lessons of the past and strengthen our resolve to halt the cycle of the "memory loss" that all too often prevails.
- George Morin
Sheehan rights come with responsibility
Pat Dozier's letter ("Cindy Sheehan has the right to protest," To the Editor, Sept. 24) wailed, "Cindy Sheehan has just as much right to protest on public land as you have to write your opinions."
Yes, but with that right comes the moral responsibility to at least act like a civilized human being. Calling terrorists who would gleefully destroy our country "freedom fighters" and calling our president a "murderer" can hardly be called acting responsibly - or sanely.
- Ernest Wade
Feds not to blame for lack of action
Please send that flag to me care of the Gwinnett Daily Post ("Shame on feds for disgraceful response," To the Editor, Sept. 22). I will give it a home where it will be displayed proudly. I took my flag down the moment Bill Clinton lied openly to the American people and then debated the meaning of the word "is."
We were all touched by the images from Hurricane Katrina, but to put the blame on the federal government is shameful. This was a natural disaster. However, it was compounded by the belligerent inaction of local government - Louisiana and New Orleans in particular. To assess the blame on the president, vice president, Karl Rove and, amazingly, Pat Robertson, suggests that you know little of how our government and disaster assistance works.
By the way, blaming the federal government but praising FEMA is contradictory. Also, that a large number of New Orleans police officers abandoned their job is not worthy of praise.
I eagerly await the criminal indictments of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and La. Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
- Tony Rivera