updated 9/6/2005 10:49:00 AM ET 2005-09-06T14:49:00

12 p.m. EST

The shock and fear citizens experienced during Hurricane Katrina and in the hours after have given way to anger.  On the faces of those stranded in the Big Easy, and in the emails we receive daily--countless emails--one resounding question:  Why?

For example, why were thousands sent to the Superdome when there was no way to feed them or provide water there?  And why can we airlift supplies to countries in Africa and Asia, dropping cases of food, medicine, and water in Indonesia for tsunami relief, but we have been unable to do so in the United States?

I don't know the answers to those questions, nor am I versed in the logistics of relief efforts.  But I, too, have questions.

When Terri Schiavo got caught in the center of her own storm, there seemed to be no member of Congress who wasn't vying for camera time to argue for the right to live or the right to die with dignity.  Dick Durbin's comments comparing the conditions at Guantanamo Bay to Nazi camps drew calls for resignation, shouts and red faced diatribe on the Senate floor.

Congress worked late into the night--set up cots even--to fight over the nomination of Justice Priscilla Owens.

But for the thousands of people dying in the streets of New Orleans the elected officials have been kind enough to cut their vacations one day short.

This is not a blue or red thing.  It's not a Evangelicals versus liberals thing.  It's a life and death thing.  It's the reason we pay taxes.

If anything good comes from this terrible natural disaster, and something good always does, I hope it will be a catalyst for all Americans to examine the system, to demand more from those who we pay to be there in times like this.  Some things are not about politics, they are just about people.

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