Monday, August 29, 2011

Sen. Lieberman

The tornado victim

The esteemed panel

All photos by Patrick Dobbs

Ah, so close and yet so far away.

Last week I had the honor of being part of a panel discussion at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Conn. – a truly impressive interactive science museum. The museum has a new exhibit called “Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters” and the discussion was on the theme “Are We Ready for Nature Unleashed?”

I was asked because the museum personnel wanted a survivor of the tornado in the group and had been steered to the stories I’ve written by a friend of mine. I joined a panel that included the state’s deputy commissioner of emergency services and public protection, a vice president of Connecticut Light and Power, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official and the chief operating officer for the Connecticut and Rhode Island American Red Cross.

The star of the show, though, was Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

I thought it would be interesting to ask Lieberman two things: does he really support the idea of cutting Social Security in order to strengthen a defense strategy against terrorists as reported and does he agree with what Mitt Romney proposed about eliminating FEMA and allowing states to respond to disasters without federal help.

I didn’t get the opportunity to pose either question and Lieberman framed his remarks around being prepared for national security threats rather than natural events.

He did ask the audience if they would contact their members of Congress to get entitlements under control.

He offered no message about tax reform or questioning whether or not the war in Afghanistan is worth the lives and money it is costing.

The discussion was a worthy one with all of us contributing to it, but the journalist in me was yearning to be allowed to talk.

I thought it was interesting that a week later we are hit by a huge hurricane. What's next? A plague of locusts?

© 2011 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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