- State declares test results for schools invalid (10/4/17)2
- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody (10/12/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
This is depraved indifference
To the editor:
Fire and rescue companies nationwide have sent highly skilled emergency workers to aid in the Katrina disaster. Men and women, driven by humanity and armed with skills and the determination to use them, volunteered to leave their homes and wade into waters rife with toxins, poisonous snakes and rotting corpses and enter dangerously ruined buildings to save lives and aid the injured, sick and abandoned.
In a report from the Salt Lake City Tribune, we learn that FEMA knew just what to do with these generous souls: turn them into leafleteers, passing out FEMA's 800-number to a population still largely without phones. So off went the dutiful firefighters and EMTs to FEMA community relations and sexual harassment seminars, while New Orleans drowned and burned. According to the Tribune, worse was to come.
Finally, 50 firefighters were dispatched to Louisiana's devastation. Their mission? Stand behind President Bush for his photo opportunities. They weren't there to secure the area, maintain safety or deliver any assistance. They were there to be props, like the Coast Guard choppers and rescue personnel who acted as a backdrop for President Bush's photo op a few days earlier.
When public relations and cheap political theatrics trump the welfare of the injured, the shell-shocked and the ruined citizenry awaiting deliverance from disaster and death, this is an increasingly familiar situation in Republican governance, and in fact there is a legal phrase which covers it: depraved indifference to human life.
RICHARD A. ALMEIDA, Cape Girardeau