Bush Blows Katrina

Taylor Blows Katrina

Chuck Taylor's piece "Bush Blows Katrina" [Sept. 7] illustrates a lack of journalistic integrity that stoops to new lows. Using a nonpartisan natural disaster to inflame emotions and readership for commercial gain is disgusting and should be abhorred by readers on all sides of the political spectrum. The New York Times ran a similar piece on the missteps of local, state, and federal agencies in their efforts to deal with a cascading tragedy that left so many destitute in Louisiana and Mississippi. However, the Times was sensible not to point fingers at a single individual, because its writers understand the complexity of the situation and true nature of the preparations and response at all levels of government. The bigger issue seemed to be the lack of coordination and communications and the bickering between government workers choosing to exercise politics over prudence.

Neither President Bush nor any politician in office today should be held responsible for a series of levees that were built 50 years ago, to protect the people that live in a city that rests below the natural water tables. It's easy to point fingers at a political target that you know much of the readership already hates. Perhaps Seattle Weekly should take the higher road in channeling journalistic resources, like using the paper for a public calling for assistance and contributions.

Grow up. Finger-pointing and inflammatory partisan pieces such as Taylor's are worth nothing at a time when people in the hurricane-devastated region could benefit much more from our collective charity and outreach of support.

Tyler Davidson


God help us!

I just read "Bush Blows Katrina" [Sept. 7]. This article ties everything together so well—far, far better than anything else I have seen. Even though I saw some of the television interviews to which Chuck Taylor refers, I have been too stunned to take it all in, so thanks for bringing clarity to my thinking on this event.

Another 40 months of this mass-serial-killer-war-criminal and his evil deeds—I had not done the math! God help us all.

Lauren Brockway

Minneapolis, MN

Blame Beyond Bush

Is Chuck Taylor kidding ["Bush Blows Katrina," Sept. 7]? I can't believe how unaccountable everyone is being. Don't get me wrong, I cannot stand Bush and his administration, but let's get real—the blame is not exclusively his. Had the mayor and governor not had their heads up their arses, the level of relief efforts needed would not have been so massive. Louisiana had perfectly good evacuation plans when Bush called for a mandatory evacuation before the storm hit. Apparently the governor and/or mayor informed folks that evacuating was their option. They told people to seek refuge at the Superdome without having provided security or anything else! The list of local government's failures goes on probably longer than the federal government's.

Everyone from Bush on down to the stubborn person that wouldn't leave their sinking home is to blame. Once this is realized and accepted, there may be some hope for positive, worthwhile progress.

Carrie McNamara


Unintelligent Design

The Bush administration is reaping what it has sown along the Gulf Coast after its routine disregard of science and expert opinion on all levels ["Bush Blows Katrina," Sept. 7]. Appointing the Lone Horseman of the Apocalypse to head FEMA was one in a long line of examples of George Bush's preference for politics over professionalism. An administration that ignores the overwhelming opinion of scientists around the world on the issue of global warming can't be expected to look for expert opinion in the area of emergency management. A president who stands up for the destruction of scientific education in America's schools by endorsing "intelligent design" can't be depended upon to understand cause and effect. George simply doesn't understand the benefit of designing systems that are accountable and produce effective results; sounds too much like work, heh, heh, heh. This president and administration are far more interested in boosting the business fortunes of political supporters than in the welfare of the American people.

Kathleen Barry


MIchael Moore Journalism

After I finished reading Chuck Taylor's article "Bush Blows Katrina" [Sept. 7], I concluded that he must have graduated from the Michael Moore School of Journalism. How else could I explain his skill in fixing blame on every conservative in sight, while giving every liberal a free pass? He never mentioned that the primary responsibility in such a tragedy falls on the mayor, who in this case failed to implement his city's written evacuation plans. He never even hinted that the secondary responsibility is with the governor, who failed to send a timely request for aid to the federal government. In explaining the failure of the flood protection projects, he never mentioned the environmental organizations that worked hard to put a stop to many of them. And he leads us to believe that only the federal government is responsible to fund the construction projects. Ever heard of a state building its own infrastructure? Ask the mayor and the governor about their funding priorities. If they would have done more preparations for the inevitable, the federal government (that's our money being spent) wouldn't have had so much to do. But then Taylor wouldn't have had so much to complain about; maybe he should be thanking the local politicians for their lack of foresight.

Alan Younker


Give Reichert His Due

I've got two problems with your stories about the King County Sheriff's Office in the Sept. 7 issue ["A Messy Race for Sheriff" and "Off Year? Off the Monorail!"]. First, you state in your endorsement of Sheriff Sue Rahr that there is a federal investigation of the sheriff's office. This is not true! At the request of Sheriff Rahr, the U.S. attorney's office was asked to review the Dan Ring investigation, which they agreed to do. They are not investigating the sheriff's office.

Secondly, while Philip Dawdy singles out five detectives and praises their work on the Green River case (and rightly so), he neglects to mention the 10 other detectives from several different police agencies who worked on the reconstituted task force from 2001 through 2003. They also contributed mightily to Gary Ridgway's conviction.

Perhaps Dave Reichert did get a lot of public credit for the case. But at least give him credit where credit is due. Name me one other sheriff who would have had the balls to pull Ridgway out of jail and sequester him in an office building for six months! Ask any of the Green River detectives, and they will tell you that at least 45 additional cases were solved because they had 24-hour-a-day access to Ridgway. Without that, Ridgway would never have provided the information he did, and those 45 families would still not know for sure who killed their loved ones.

Reichert didn't "solve" those cases alone, and in six years working next to him, I never heard him say he did. But it is because of extraordinary detective work and the guts of Dave Reichert that those cases were solved.

Sgt. John Urquhart

King County Sheriff's Office

Vote For Paul

I've made a protest vote or two in my time, and have been accused of "wasting" my vote. But never have I seen or heard of wasting a protest vote until I saw your utterly lame endorsement of Al Runte, whose selection by your editorial board probably couldn't stir up any excitement outside of a UW faculty party ["Off Year? Off the Monorail!" Sept. 7]. If you're really wanting to protest Greg Nickels and hopefully embarrass him in the process, simply write in Paul Allen for mayor. You might actually achieve something that way. PAUL ALLEN FOR MAYOR! ELIMINATE THE MIDDLEMAN!

Chris Hite


Stir things up: Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com. Letters should be less than 250 words. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.

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