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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. 12, 2005 / 8 Elul, 5765

Blame Aplenty

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A team of Indiana firefighters, volunteering to help rescue victims of Katrina, went to Atlanta, where Federal Emergency Management Agency staffers told them that their job was to hand out fliers and that their first task was to attend a multi-hour course on sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity. This is, astonishingly, standard operating procedure at FEMA. And in other parts of the federal government: Former CIA agent Robert Baer writes in his recent book how in Central Asia he asked headquarters to send someone who spoke Afghan languages, and Langley offered to send a four-member sexual harassment team instead. These are perhaps things to keep in mind when it comes time to assess the response to Katrina. Government is a clumsy instrument.

Even so, it is possible to spot some clear mistakes. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin should have ordered an evacuation on the Saturday, not the Sunday, before the hurricane, which, as predicted, came on Monday. Nagin made an even greater mistake by not following the city's emergency plan and using the 200-plus school buses to evacuate the elderly, infirm, and infants who had no other way of getting out of the city. Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's state department of homeland security should not have blocked the Red Cross from bringing water, food, and sanitary facilities to the people in the Superdome. I don't doubt that Nagin and Blanco wanted to do what was best for their city and state, and I would not want to have to shoulder the responsibility they had. But, alas, they made mistakes.

Bum rap. As for President George W. Bush, he probably should have left his Texas ranch a day earlier, and he might well have made a mistake in appointing Michael Brown, a man with little previous experience in emergency management, as head of FEMA. At week's end, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff named Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, who has such experience, to take Brown's place directing the post-Katrina relief effort. The president, despite his well-known loyalty to longtime friends and aides, recognized his mistake, pulled Brown back to Washington, and put in a man who knows how to do the job.

But it's a bum rap to say that Bush left New Orleans unprepared for the flood. New Orleans has been engineered to withstand a Category 3 hurricane, as the result of decisions taken by many federal, state, and local administrations over many years; Katrina was a Category 4. But the Army Corps of Engineers hasn't been shortchanging Louisiana. As Michael Grunwald wrote in the Washington Post last week, "Over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large. Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate." So there have been mistakes all round, some made by single individuals in moments of crisis, some by many people over the course of many years.


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But we should resist the notion that we can come up with some organizational solution that can prevent every mistake. Today, as we look back on World War II, we tend to think that everything worked smoothly. But that wasn't the case. Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn shows that U.S. commanders made many blunders in the 1942-43 North Africa campaign. There were constant complaints about bottlenecks and snafus in defense production, and President Roosevelt changed the organizational chart several times. In 2002, everyone agreed FEMA should be put under Homeland Security; now people say it should be taken out. Fortunately, we don't depend just on government. Millions of citizens have contributed $500 million, thousands are taking Katrina evacuees into their homes and schools and churches, and private companies are hurrying free supplies to those in need. Government will never be perfect, but fortunately America is more than just government.

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BARONE'S LATEST
Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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