My ire has been building ever since Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, but it is not against what you may think. My ire has been waxing against an expanding roster of people like the Arkansas Times, which has a large audience and great influence, yet sees fit to criticize people anyone with respect to what they did or did not do before, during, and after this great disaster. I find Mara Leveritt’s article Sept. 8, “Losing New Orleans,” totally reprehensible. The truth of what you write matters not one iota. Not one iota. You have greater culpability than the very people you have accused. Why? Two reasons: 1) The people you have taken to task may have done or yet may be doing their jobs poorly or not at all, and may have even acted in a self-serving and reprehensible manner, but your criticism cannot correct any of the wrongs and worse yet, it can only hamper the many good efforts by distraction from that which is important: assisting the victims; and 2) You have not used the Arkansas Times as the rallying point it could be to show the people you influence how they can help the many, many victims of Katrina. Just stop criticizing and help.
Carl W. Bird
My first response to Mara Leveritt’s article is you’ve got to be kidding. She may have been able to predict many of the things that have unfolded; however, get in line with the many, many others that reported on this as well. Is she saying New Orleans’ problems started in November of 2000? Where were the previous presidents and their spending budgets on New Orleans’ problems? How in the world you can place blame on someone in office in just the last few years is simply ludicrous. As far as the evacuation of the city, I’m sure it could have been done differently; however, again one cannot blame President Bush solely when there is what we call a “state” government as well as a “city” government with resources, too. Where was the city in planning for evacuation? The state? This was the best they could come up with? Please, spare me the politicizing of this disaster and grab a sandbag to help. Nobody really likes hearing a “told you so” when it’s already happened.
If blame for Hurricane Katrina settles on global warming, President Bush will be seen as wrong on all counts. He canceled U.S. participation in the Kyoto Protocol that would have limited the principal cause of global warming, atmospheric carbon dioxide. He said global warming was a hoax.
Looting began as soon as the hurricane diminished. Hunger and homelessness sent survivors out to obtain food and shelter, some at gunpoint. It was not Bush or any of his Republican cabal who foresaw such developments. The warning of societal breakdown and even war came from atmospheric scientists on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The Pentagon took the warnings seriously and prepared a secret report for the president, which he evidently ignored. He could still reject the plea of a grieving mother to bring troops back from Iraq, but the breakdown of law and order may force their return. Peace must be maintained at home among people displaced by flooding because Bush diverted to Iraq millions of dollars that could have been budgeted to strengthen the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain.
Ruth A. Ray
I just finished reading a letter Sept. 1 from Tyler Horton disparaging parts of the downtown Little Rock community. It reads as though a petulant child were complaining. The only part of his letter that I agree with is the lack of a grocery store. RAO Video has the best selection of movies that I have ever come across. It is not in a sketchy location — it is almost next door to the Rep! I do not think that the high-class society members of Little Rock would visit a sketchy part of town for anything — and yet the street is continually clogged on theater nights. If Mr. Horton is terrified of people walking down the same street that he does, maybe he shouldn’t live in a neighborhood that requires a lot of walking. There are also plenty of eateries downtown that do not require a tip (in fact I don’t know of a single venue anywhere that has a gratuity requirement for fewer than 6 people); these eateries just may not be open during the hours that Mr. Horton is awake. There is at least one hair salon that I know of — on Seventh Street, around the corner from RAO Video. However, I’m sure that was just overlooked by Mr. Horton since he doesn’t frequent that part of downtown. I love being downtown — it is one of my favorite parts of the city. If anything is going to change there, as far as more businesses and later business hours, that is in large part up to the community as a whole. If the people demand more businesses and more hours, we all might just get what we want.