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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 Sept. 14, 2005 / 10 Elul, 5765

Three heroes and the brutal banality of bureaucracy

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Katrina's detritus will be months in the sifting, but what best reveals what went wrong may be found in the contrast between bureaucrats ensnared in red tape and three individuals who sprang into action as circumstances required.

Their names are Deamonte Love, Jabbar Gibson and Sheriff Warren C. Evans.

Deamonte Love is probably the most familiar. He is the 6-year-old who led a troupe of tiny refugees to safety after rescuers separated them from their parents. Deamonte was the oldest of the group, which included his 5-month-old brother, three toddlers in the 2-year-old range, a 3-year-old and her 14-month-old brother.

All held hands as Deamonte led the group along Causeway Boulevard in New Orleans, where he identified himself and his associates to authorities. In a sea of helpless victims, while heartier adults dithered or complained, Deamonte found the guts and fortitude to take care of himself, his family and friends.

Another victim of the storm, Gibson is perhaps better known as the 20-year-old who commandeered a school bus and drove 70 homeless passengers from New Orleans to the Houston Astrodome, beating the other 25,000 or so refugees awaiting evacuation from the Superdome by officials still trying to figure out who was in charge.

When no one is in charge, as seems to have been the case for too long in New Orleans, a leader eschews the clipboard and takes action. While city officials couldn't find their way to use hundreds of available school buses to evacuate some 100,000 residents without transportation, Gibson "stole" a bus and rescued 70 strangers.

A photo of the abandoned and eventually submerged school buses has become an iconographic image in Katrina's record — a kaleidoscopic history that would qualify as comedy if the results had not been so tragic. At times like this, bureaucracy isn't just a frustrating boondoggle; it is a faceless accomplice to negligent homicide. "No one is to blame because, sir, we were just following the rules."

Not Warren C. Evans. The sheriff of Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit, ignored his own governor's pleas to wait for "formal requests" and put his leadership instincts to better use. While other law enforcement volunteers were held up for 2-3 days dealing with paperwork, Evans led a convoy of six tractor-trailers, three rental trucks and 33 deputies to Louisiana.

Explaining his pre-emptive action to The New York Times, Evans said: "I could look at CNN and see people dying, and I couldn't in good conscience wait for a coordinated response."

Meanwhile, other more obedient citizens and potential rescuers, as well as evacuation vehicles, medical and food supplies, even a floating hospital, were stalled or unused as officials and politicians bickered over territory and protocol and — in an indictment that speaks for itself — gender sensitivity concerns.

I wish I were kidding. Hundreds of firefighters who volunteered to help with Katrina relief were held up for days in Atlanta while they took classes on sexual harassment and community relations, all courtesy of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of coordinating federal relief. At the White House, concerns about overriding the female governor of Louisiana reportedly contributed to the decision not to take control of a national disaster that clearly had overwhelmed state and local officials.

There are other examples of such absurdities too numerous to list, but two stand out. Amtrak offered to evacuate people from New Orleans, but city officials declined and the last train left the city — empty. A Navy hospital ship, the USS Bataan, which was in the Gulf of Mexico through the storm, had 600 empty hospital beds and six operating rooms, awaiting relief orders while the injured and ill on land were without aid. Although the Bataan was among the first to help in rescue missions, federal authorities were slow to use the ship's other resources.

Dozens of readers have reminded me the past several days about the proper order of things, that local and state officials are the first responders to a catastrophe and the federal government responds only as local officials make "formal requests" for help.

Noted. But sometimes the rules get in the way of what is right. The rules were for Sheriff Evans to stay put until the paperwork was processed, but Evans thought lives were more important. The rules were for firefighters to take classes on sexual harassment, and who knows how many lives didn't get saved as a result?

The argument that we are a nation of laws is of course inarguable and admirable — as far as it goes. But we are also a nation of pioneers endowed with common sense, and catastrophes call for the talents and spirit of that heritage. Such as that we witnessed in Evans. And in a 20-year-old who stole a bus.

And finally, in a little kid named Deamonte whose can-do spirit exposed the sometimes impotent inhumanity of the United Bureaucracy of America.

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.

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