Tuesday, September 13, 2005

didn't fully do its job right...

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility,"          -President Bush

The President was asked whether people should be worried about the government's ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina. "Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond," Bush replied. -9.13.05, Tuesday, joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

I find these quotes quite interesting in light of all the responses to my posts about Katrina, President Bush and the government's responsibility and response. The above statements probably ring really true to anyone who just experienced Katrina first hand. I wonder what our response will be when the terrorists hit our city? Should there be critical analysis of this whole tragedy in light of the almost positive possibility that we will experience another large scale terrorist attack in one of our major cities? I think so.

Especially since relief, food and water issues, communications, transportation issues, local response, government preparedness and survival options are present realities that need to be fully discussed.

I am simply not confident that the Government both local and national, showed itself ready for anything. After all the money, the restructuring, new positions, etc., we are still sitting ducks. That bothers me and leaves me feeling fairly less confident in this administration.

I personally think it is the citizens duty to engage its government, be involved in the life of our communities, do all we can to ensure the welfare of our people and live out the values and actions of Christ in the process. We are called to live in this nation and submit to the laws of the land. I think being a nation of laws and not men, is advantages to the cause of Christ and not a hindrance. 

We have power and to not use it or allow others to use it for you and relinquish your duty as a citizen is to waste the precious gift we have been given.


Chris said...

Thanks for an insightful and relevant post. It hit home to a lot of my frustrations, as I had a recent harrowing experience just yesterday:

on sunday, sept. 11th a video was released from Al Queda threatening Los Angeles and Melborne. The city was put on some level of alret but most weren't very concerned. I work on the 54th floor of the second tallest building west of the mississippi river and felt a little more than slightly vunerable to some sort of attack. Sure thing, the very next day I was at work and the lights went out in the afternoon! The whole building had to be evacuated (down 54 flights!) and work was called off. Aparently some dummy at the department of water and power cut trhough the wrong cable and basically the whole county lost power. Street lights malfunctioned, people were trapped in elevators, and the all important A/C shut off around the teeming metropolis. The power grid is so overstreched and vunerable in this city that a single mistake in the next county can completely shut us down.

The real issue was that Enron poorly administered california power services for so long, and made tremendous profits from it. Look it up for more details in the scandal. Unfortunately our president was associated with Enron's executives very closely professionally and personally. It makes me angry seeing a 'form of Godliness' when we have no power!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Eric; well said. For clarification purposes, the "power" we have as a nation of laws - is that the power to influence laws? If so, what all can we do? How do we engage our governemnt, become involved in the life of our communities? These are true questions, not for argument's sake:)

Surely spouting off on blogs does nothing for our country's sake - not that it's not our right, but I want to know how to put your words into action.

I think it's important to point out that the government knows where it has failed, and, according to your quote, it is finding out how to better respond. This certainly is a critical moment for our country to learn from our mistakes.

That said, we are fighting on many different fronts right now, and we're working with limited resources: people, money (taxes). As I said in my previous post, it just doesn't make sense that many of our people tend to place all the blame on one entity when there are 3 branches of our government: legislative, judicial & executive. All 3 play an important role in the way our country is run.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Rach, I appreciate your thoughts. I do think we have the power to influence laws and even whole govements, our history is a testimony to that fact.

Most great changes have come about through speaking out, protest in whatever forms...speaking, marching, writing, singing, choosing to embody the answer in ones own life, preaching, of course prayer is all powerful and makes all the other acts potent.
Voting is a treasured means of producing change.

But I think most of it starts in places like this a small ball gets rolling and like an avalanche it picks up speed and momentum and mass and soon can bring about massive change in time.

I wrote to a friend today about the picture posted on the blog and said this in the email...Yep, it stirred the pot a bit but I think that is good. It gets complacent people to think and even speak out. It gets blood boiling which is needed in this lukewarm era. People should learn to wrestle with issues, speak out and possibly see things from points of view that they had not and little things like a picture can spark those things to happen or at least potentially happen. Jesus said he didn't come to bring peace but a sword but most of our fellowships and interactions with the bible, truth or issues in the church are all about peace. I think talk radio has boomed because the hosts have caught this truth by the tail and that is why they are engaging thousands and our churches are catering to grannies and women.

Chris said...

I find it interesting that you said gannies and women...

As I understand it women often have been the instigators and leaders of social change. Men are historically (perhaps genetically) apathetic, and often the goading of their wives, or to gain the love of a women, is the only force that gets a man to take action. Men favor the status qup because they benefit from it the most. Regarding my genetic comment: When Felicia was in Africa she saw a lot of lions in their natural habitat. Their behavior match that of african people: the women and lionesses do the hunting, childcare, cleaning etc, while the men and lions sleep in the shade, run around with their friends, etc. YEt the male lion is the unquestioned king of the jungle. I always remebered that...

Anyhow, I think that men ought to start roaring like lions because there is so much injustice in our world now. It is real and it is complex, but it seems that the Christian-Republican bloc is sometimes bent on defending the injustice rather than taking action. We have gotten in bed with money and it is clouding our vision. For example, we are called to be good stewards of the earth. One doesn't have to worship Gia to fulfill this simple calling. Yet so often corporate profits and American quality of life take precedent over a healthy enviromental policy, and its usually Chrisitian-Republicans who are the first to defend such policy. This is not the rule but an all too often occurance.

I pray that we get back to having our hearts on the poor, the downtrodden, and the calling of fiscal and environmental responibility that is upon us. The bright light of the gospel and the sweat of His people's brows can make amazing things happen.

Unknown said...

My comment about grannies and women was simply reflecting more on the stereotypical assumptions that they would be more prone to want our conversations to be tame, gentle, calm, safe, protected etc....I know that isn't true of all women and that at face value the comparison seems a tad bit sexist, that wasn't the gist of what I was trying to say. Granted some of the most heated arguments arise with the estrogen fueled sex! ;)

Though I'm not sure I would sign on to your stereotyping of men either. I was simply trying to say that the tendency to want peace and avoid swords in our engagement of ideas, values, policies is often painfully sugar and spice. Speaking your mind gets the label of "spouting off" as Rachael so tenderly put it ;) lol.

I enjoy the debate and the sparks of iron sharpening iron and I have a problem with anyone who refuses to face that fact that a fart stinks, no matter who does it and no matter how much you say it smells good...it doesn't.

I think there is a lot that stinks right now. Not everything, not every policy but pretending or ignoring or acting like the dog did it...won't produce change either.

Anonymous said...


How often did the Jews actually try to influence the government that ruled over whatever land they were squatting in at the time?

Unknown said...

Hummm...considering all the bloodshed penned about in the bible and throughout history, I would say a lot; whether it be the outright establishment and taking of other nations land as decreed by the dominion mandate of Genesis and the abrahamic covenant or the promised land crusade.

The Maccabees aimed high and actually succeeded for a good time.

The Jews didn't sit quietly for long in the New Testament era...some, like Essenes took the to hell with the world its going to hell anyway route and established a pristine, rigorous religious zealots community along the dead sea and spiritualized their issues with the culture and wrote about it in the dead sea scrolls while washing themselves incessantly and dressing in white and crafting mighty fantasy tales about demons and angels and the end of the world...much like modern gamers do.

Others finally took all the sucking up they could do and tried Ye Old Sword again but unfortunately got slaughtered in the end and saw their nation, temple, laws and rituals burned to toast.

But my favorite is Esther...born for such a time as this. Much to learn in that little gem of a book. A beautiful and tragic story about influencing a nation, a king and a people without much religious talk at all. I think Esther leads the way and I seek to follow her.