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CRAIG MARTELLE: FEMA is not a first responder

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"Don't be so quick to pillory the federal response in New Orleans. Immediate emergency management is primarily a local and state responsibility."

Lots of FACTS here. However, the gradual turning of attitudes, carefully fostered over the past few decades--and coupled with a studied LACK of attention to proper instruction of our youth in what used to be called "Civics"--means that a good many people don't understand the basics of Federalism.

It's so simple a concept, and so vital to the original construction of our Republic. Jefferson believed that the COUNTY was the level of civic governance at which the most power ought to be vested as it was that closest to "the People."

But "the People" must jealously guard their sovereignty. If they do not, we have the gradual slide into decline that we've experienced in this nation since FDR.

Sorry, not much "S.E." content here, but a lot of us are (or should) be involved in the reconstruction of the LA, MS and AL gulf coast region. And this won't be the last time we'll be called on to respond to disaster among our fellows. I believe we ought to understand how things are SUPPOSED to work, and why.

The stupidity of this debate is galling to me. These things ought not even be up for discussion, but sadly they are, because politics and political power are seemingly the only thing many people have left to aspire to.

Too bad.

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