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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 August 29, 2006 / 5 Elul, 5766

Things fall apart

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | New Orleans, as it once existed — as a city of half-a-million people built below sea level in a flood-prone area in the path of hurricanes — was never a natural phenomenon. It was a triumph of human ingenuity, of the feats of engineering that gave it the levees and flood walls and pumps to keep it dry enough to support its charming, but politically, socially and economically dysfunctional, existence on the edge of the deluge.


A year ago, the deluge came. Republicans, nervous about a political catastrophe for their party this fall, often wonder what accounts for the sour public mood, despite robust economic growth. The answer, at least symbolically, is Katrina. The hurricane and its aftermath stand for this sullen chapter in our national life when human ingenuity confronted vast uncontrollable forces, and lost.


The heroic phase of President Bush's presidency was in the immediate post-9/11 period. It was marked by national unity in the face of a horrific terrorist attack; by a celebration of the self-sacrificing heroism of New York City firefighters and policemen; by the toppling of a terrorist-coddling regime in Afghanistan within a matter of weeks, in a demonstration of the reach and tactical brilliance of American power.


Katrina has been an exact counter-point to all of that. The major players in Katrina couldn't keep from political finger-pointing even in the midst of the disaster. Even if there was plenty of heroism (the Coast Guard saved tens of thousands of people), many New Orleans police officers disappeared off the job, and some were accused of participating in looting. The federal, state and local governments couldn't quickly re-establish order in the city, as its poor presented a picture of Third World abjectness despite a decades-old federal "war on poverty."


Leadership is the great intangible in such crises, and it was nowhere to be found. Mayor Ray Nagin was an ineffectual loose canon, who — depressingly enough — has now managed to win re-election despite being manifestly overmatched by his job. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco dithered and wept as New Orleans sank, and has done nothing to distinguish herself since. The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, thought that the way to strike back on behalf of his neglected agency was to not talk to top Department of Homeland Security officials during the storm's immediate aftermath. President Bush was slow to realize how Katrina was ripping the political guts out of his administration and has during the past year repeatedly made laughably implausible promises of how the Gulf Coast will come back bigger and better.


The levees were supposed to check nature's destructive power in New Orleans, and the Army Corps of Engineers has said that they failed due to unforeseen circumstances. This is cold comfort, since the world specializes in producing the unforeseen. One engineering expert who has studied the levee failure has said he personally wouldn't live in New Orleans, because it is simply too risky. This represents human ingenuity's white flag.


Half of the city has heeded it, and not returned. It doesn't help that a squabbling New Orleans officialdom still doesn't have a rebuilding plan, or that it has been unable to control gangland violence that has necessitated the return of the National Guard to the city. Federal aid has been slow to flow to the city, and the rental-assistance checks FEMA did rapidly hand out have been ripped off to the tune of $1.4 billion.


The Gulf Coast disaster exists against the backdrop of the Iraq War, where America has been seemingly powerless to impose order on the country's warring factions or rebuild a country devastated by 30 years of tyranny and now a budding civil war. If there were a theme to the past two years it would be Ralph Waldo Emerson's "events are in the saddle, and ride mankind." Nothing is so damaging to a political leader. Bush's presidency will remain diminished until he finds a way to vindicate human ingenuity's power over events, and show that he again is in the saddle.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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