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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 18, 2010 / 5 Sivan 5770

A salute to FEMA in Nashville

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | NASHVILLE, Tenn. | George W. Bush taught Barack Obama one big thing, and the new president learned the lesson well. When a storm strikes it's important to send help, not grudging hindrance.

When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans five years ago, the Bush administration dispatched FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to help. Sending FEMA, the city quickly learned, was only sending in the clowns. The feds dithered in getting to the scene, and dallied once there. "FEMA" is still the ugliest four-letter word in New Orleans.

In the wake of a punishing storm and flood that devastated large swaths of this city's neighborhoods and parts of several surrounding counties, Nashville is giving FEMA high marks. (The press, not so much. The national media has looked the other way.) FEMA has approved $79 million in grants since the Cumberland River, which meanders through Nashville, escaped its banks two weeks ago. "Having this amount of money on the street and having served this many clients, this certainly wouldn't have happened a few years ago," says James Bassham, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. "There's a lot of great lessons learned."

The Obama administration is learning similar lessons now in the Gulf of Mexico, where a broken oil rig and a runaway gusher is pumping oil into the Gulf. The estimates, some no doubt exaggerated as estimates in the wake of natural disasters always are, run to thousands of barrels a day. President Obama, decrying "finger-pointing," pointed his own finger at British Petroleum and the federal agencies responsible for monitoring the safety of oil rigs.

The weather disasters that befell Nashville and New Orleans are not remotely alike in the scope; many neighborhoods in New Orleans sat under 13 to 15 feet of a toxic soup of salt water, oil, raw sewage and other unsavory stuff for a month. Residents returned from refuge elsewhere to find their houses damp with voracious mold. Many houses, particularly in black neighborhoods, were no longer fit to live in, and remain abandoned and rotting today. New Orleans seemed briefly threatened with extinction.

Neighborhoods near the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville, and Opryland, an amusement park surrounding the Grand Old Opry, were under water for several days. Basements in many houses on higher ground were flooded when up to 15 inches of rain turned streets into rivers and low-lying lawns into lakes over two bleak and soggy days. The water receded, and the tasks of assessing damage and cleaning up began. Ruined furniture, housewares and carpets wait now at curbside for pickup, and the struggle is on with aggressive mold, muck and stench.

But this time there's many a kind word for the feds, who are often mistrusted on principle by Southerners. It's genetic. Genes passed down from long-forgotten great-grandfathers who survived harsh Reconstruction make wariness of "yankee bureaucrats" instinctive. But FEMA's quick response has dissolved residual resentment of bureaucrats, Yankee or not.

Floodwaters surrounded the home of William Nicks in the Bellevue neighborhood and moved so quickly that Mr. Nicks and his wife had to flee to the roof of their house. When they were rescued Mr. Nicks applied for federal help. "We had heard they kicked most of the applications back to make you re-do them just to cull out some folks," he says. "But in one week I got $30,000 in the bank. That's all right."

FEMA officials say they tried to make Mr. Nicks' experience typical. Putting cash in bank accounts, and eliminating the usual bureaucratic hurdles, became a priority. "I think we've tried to streamline as much as we can," Derek Jensen, a FEMA spokesman, tells the Tennessean, the Nashville newspaper. "There's a lot of money out on the streets already, and we're less than two weeks out [from the flood]." FEMA inspectors, armed with laptop computers, became a familiar sight on blighted streets, entering photographs and information for instant communication to FEMA headquarters. Homeowners were typically not asked to fill out the usual reams of forms for dealing with Washington. Evan Kroft, whose home in East Nashville was flooded, filed for a grant to repair damage to his insulation and ventilation system, and four days later received a grant of $2,500. "Then they came out and did a follow-up call to make sure everything went well. Talk about responsive."

The dry-out, clean-up and fix-up will continue for months; residents still are asked to take only brief showers, limit their laundry and wait a while to wash the muck and mud from their cars. But the response from the feds was a nice surprise. Maybe Barack Obama should thank George W. Bush for the lessons in how not to respond to a natural disaster.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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