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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

These Things Happen

Jack Burkman gave three justifications for the Presiden'ts slow response to Hurricane Katrina: 'These things happen', 'We have limited resources [because] we have a war' and third the limited resources mean the president must protect us against terrorism rather than natural disasters. If you couldn't follow that, the president started a war which limited the federal government's resources to protect the United States from both natural disasters which destry entire cities and terrorist attacks. I certainly support the principles of small government more than the Bush administration (which has dramatically increased the size of government) yet acknowledge it is the federal government's duty to ensure the structures it builds (such as the New Orleans levees, built by the Army Corps of Engineers) actually do their job. Further, if a lack of resources hamstrung the government's relief efforts, it is the administration's fault for not asking sacrifice of Americans sufficient to protect our fellow citizens lives and property.

Terrorist attacks by foreign adversaries claimed 4,000 lives during the Bush administration--Hurricane Katrina alone has claimed upwards of 10,000. Such a utilitarian analysis is crude, yet I assume those who lost everything--husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, homes, savings, and all worldly possessions--in New Orleans feel pain little different from that felt by the families of those who died on 9/11. Burkman's quotes:
1. "These things happen"
"There must be a limit on what Uncle Sam can do...I understand there are 10,000 people dead, it's terrible it's tragic, but in a democracy of 300 million people over years and years and years these things happen. We can't abandon our way of life and our way of government and have a national panic because these things happen...we must put this in perspective..."

"We have limited reasources. We have a war...maybe it's the case that the federal government could have put more moeny into storm prevention, but if we'd have done that we wouldn't have enough money to guard against bioterrorism"

"The government's first job is to protet the country against terrorism. Is protecting America against terrorism more important than protecting the country against hurricanes? Of course it is."