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Helen Olson

Yours was a great, insightful and illuminating piece on the New Orleans debaucle. Every word is pertanant it should be read by everyone. Thank you.

The Rev. Phillip C. Cato

So well-said. My question is about the naive gullibility of the American people who keep believing the empty and misleading pronouncements and claims of this administration. We seem not to be able to grasp the truth, and are too willing to accept the constant spin. What has happened to our moral sense? We acquiesce in all this failure and deception as if we have no minds or wills that have ever been formed in any moral way.

Joan Chisholm

Thank you John Hockenberry for articulating so eloquently the anger, dispair, disappointment and dillusionment in my mind and heart in the wake of Katrina. Did we need an act of God to illustrate the disaster already present in our Nation brought on by the blind pursuit of wealth and power? Whatever happened to the notion of compassionate conservatism? Exactly whose America are Bush and other politicians asking God to bless? Wouldn't forgiveness be a more appropriate invocation? Isn't it time we reclaim the principles of Liberalism and begin the work of restoring our humanity? Only then can we hope for the blessings of a High Power.

Dennis Law

I listened to your commentary on Sunday morning, then headed out on a 60 mile bike ride with the Five Borough Bike club, wearing my Community Emergency Response Team t-shirt. Stopping on the way home to pick up some Ready New York literatue at the Brooklyn South CERT table at a local street fair. Later that night I caught the tail end of The Two Towers on TV where the dialog between Sam and Frodo seemed to provide a little hope in the darkness:

Frodo: I can't do this Sam.

Sam: I know.
It's all wrong.
By rights we shouldn't even be here.
But we are.
It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger, they were.
And sometimes you didn't want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy?
How could the world go back to the way it was
when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back,
only they didn't. They kept going.
Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo...
and it's worth fighting for.

Helen Kudos

What a relief to hear John Hockenberry's eloquent outrage. For weeks I've felt numb, unable to articulate my rage about government policies at all levels that fail to address the crying need of our people. Hurricane Katrina exposed our most vulnerable, a dramatic reminder of the onging need for remediation in the lives of our own.

Jeff Petty

I hope you don't mind, but I e-mailed the transcripts of this piece to several people and I hope it is forwarded several times by each of them. You articulated the feelings that have been building in me for the last few weeks.

Jack Wills

Absolutely spot on. I've been waiting for somebody to feel and express the kind of moral indignation that undergirds this commentary, and to find it stated with such eloquence and precision is an added bonus. Keep up the good work, and may those poor benighted souls who have swallowed the grand deception of this unspeakably bad administration finally begin to recognize the truth you expound here.

Christina Kessinger

Thank you, John Hockenberry, for your bravery and eloquence in expressing the rage I feel in light of the latest revelations of the Bush administration's total ineptitude and lack of caring for the people it pretends to protect. I live on the Gulf coast of Mississippi in the beautiful little town of Ocean Springs, next door to Biloxi. 30% of the structures in Ocean Springs were damaged or destroyed in the storm. I was out of state in New Mexico when Katrina hit. My partner had evacuated with our pets to a motel in Selma, Alabama and for 3 days after the storm we struggled to get any word of how our town, our home, our friends had fared in the storm. Understandably, news reports were focussed on New Orleans, Gulfport and Biloxi, larger cities which bore the ravages of the storm with greater loss.
We watched the televised outrage of incompetence unfold as poor people, black people, huddled on broken bits of highway, on rooftops and in the stinking pit of the convention center and the superdome for days while Homeland Security and FEMA spun the wheels of their billion dollar machine with no help forthcoming. We watched, incredulous, as Bush doled out praise for yet another of his incompentent millionaire cronies, "You're doing a great job, Brownie". As you said in your essay, "the rage". I was so angry I could almost feel smoke coming out of my ears.
I am one of the minority in Mississippi who never voted for Bush, would never, in a million years, fall for his good-old-boy, we're all in this together, flag-waving, god-fearing, macho-man charade. I applaud the man, a doctor, who told Cheney to go fuck himself when he showed up in Gulfport to pose for pictures and mouth words of support for the people he and his billionaire cartel rob and kill to fuel their greed.
If anything good comes out of Hurricane Katrina, aside from the outpouring of compassion and generosity displayed by people all over the world, perhaps it will be that finally, people in this conservative area of the country, people who are basically kind, decent and caring, will finally open their eyes and see the man, the administration they've elected for who and what they really are. I pray that this is so, and soon, before Bush leads us into yet another debacle.
Thank you again, Mr. Hockenberry, for your bravery in speaking against the ruthless hypocracy of this administration.

Christina Kessinger

Amy Lynn

Thanks for this honest and articulate expression. It seems we are all learning (the incredibly horrifying 'hard way')that the massive machine that is our United States government is utterly inept at meeting wide-scale needs, whether brought on by murderous, cowardly acts of terror-spreading enemies or destructive acts of nature. I fear we have all placed our faith in a system that is so unweildy and full of red tape it is unable to provide anything more than lip service and empty promises. The sooner we come to a point of rage and anger at the broken pledges we are holding in our hands, the sooner we can move to the next level of doing the job the government simply can't. I choose to give and help precisely because anything I do - any money I send to the Red Cross, any boxes of food or toiletries I contribute to the Salvation Army -will get to victims faster and assist them better than anything FEMA or the National Guard can give at this point. If I turn my anger at my government into actions that will make a difference, then I can feel at least some measure of relief. May we as a society never become so dependent on the promises of government to assist us that we forget how to help a brother in need.

Online Dictionary

thanks John for this wonderful insight, how many times have i felt the same just by looking at the news! great commentary


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