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By Geoff Metcalf

September 5, 2005

�Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will.� �Ralph Waldo Emerson

The tragedies of Hurricane Katrina continue and help, aid, and assistance is belatedly trickling into the devastated area.

In addition to the ubiquitous visual images of flood-ravaged victims, two equally disturbing images supplement the graphic catastrophic images.

1. We hear local authorities spin their complicity to problems with blame casting.
2. We see assorted special interest elements exploiting the natural disaster to further personal, professional and political agendas.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating recently uttered a very significant and largely overlooked empirical axiom, �leadership at the local level is EVERYthing�� HOOAH!

While filling in for Chris Core on WMAL Friday night and discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina one caller said, �It�s all Bush�s fault!� Huh?

This brand of brain flatulence myopia falls under category #2 (above) as one of those exploiting the natural disaster to further an agenda, regardless of facts and evidence that contradicts the preconceived opinion or prejudice.

  • Was the president responsible for the weather?
  • Was he responsible for local officials ignoring his pleas to evacuate?
  • o Prior to the storm�s landfall Bush said he �cannot stress enough the dangers this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities.�
    o "I urge all citizens to put their own safety and the safety of their families first by moving to safe ground," he said.

  • Was he responsible for the incompetence of the New Orleans Mayor?
  • Did he order school and municipal buses not be used in the evacuation?

    o "Scores of New Orleans school buses are sitting in flood waters after Hurricane Katrina instead of being used to evacuate thousands of poor people before Katrina hit.
    o Almost 400 New Orleans Regional transportation Authority buses are also now under water, never used for the evacuation of the neediest of the City's citizens."

  • Did he fail to protect the local infrastructure�and was that even his job?

The answer to all the above (and more is �No�).

This is a complex and devastating situation that could have been mitigated and wasn�t.

Mother nature had already plotted New Orleans for a fire mission�it wasn�t a question of IF but WHEN a major Category 3 or larger Hurricane hammered the artificial bowl of the Big Easy.

An old Army buddy wrote, �This wasn't a sneak hurricane attack. They have been tracking this Lady for weeks and knew she was a Class 5 storm. They new exactly her land fall and surly New Orleans was a bucket ready to be filled.�

This former Special Forces/Retired DEA Agent said, �If this country can�t handle a natural disaster, with an abundance of warning, I shudder to think what would transpire if a major terrorist attack occurred.�

He isn�t the Lone Range. What IF we had been (or ARE) hit with a biological or nuclear terrorist attack? If Katrina is any suggestion of how we will respond we are S.O.L.

As with 9/11 and previous natural disasters from Hurricanes to Earthquakes�from Blizzards to Tornados, it is (and will always be) the LOCAL first responders who do the heavy lifting.

At best, the feds are a bridging mechanism and supplemental resource provider.

Beyond the miserable, incompetent job performance of local authorities, there was/is another contributing factor to the chaos and it was manufactured by the government.

Several observers have commented on the disproportionate number of black faces in the growing file footage of post-Katrina New Orleans.

That is largely a function of demographics and the fact the media has focused on New Orleans and not ventured into the surrounding devastation. Orleans county is 67.3% Black. Were a camera crew to venture into Hancock Mississippi with only 6.8% black population, the file footage would look different.

The Orleans county black population is largely poor. Presumably many have been �conditioned� to expect government to �help�.

The focus has been on the victims stuck in New Orleans. But how many packed up and left (as the President urged the Mayor to order)? How many who couldn�t get transportation just walked out?

When did individual self-reliance morph into waiting for the government to solve your problem?

The story of the Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp is illustrative of a for real problem.

The allegory of the pigs includes a serious moral lesson. It is a story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people.

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail:








The horrific deaths of thousands of innocent Americans rip the fabric of the republic, yet remarkably� bureaucratic territorial imperatives, politics and careerism have become impediments to the truth?