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Mr. President, where's the help?

This letter, written last week to President Bush by Shiloh High School sophomore Jessica Stewart, was sent to the Daily Post by her father.

Hello Mr. President,

My name is Jessica Stewart and I reside in metro Atlanta, Ga. I am currently 15 years of age and am a sophomore at Shiloh High School. I have been watching the news and trying my best to get the most recent information on Hurricane Katrina. To my understanding the Red Cross was told not to deliver food in the Superdome because the National Guard doesn't want people to stay. But how could the government afford to have more people die due to lack of food and water? Many children, older citizens and pregnant women are still down there. They could now become sick from being exposed to dead bodies and bad water, etc. I feel that the government is taking its time to handle this situation and it's sad.

I also feel that the term refugee is very degrading. These people are American citizens. They did not flee a different country to escape hardships. I believe that the government should have reacted faster especially if they knew this type of situation could have arrived. Personally, I think that the decisions made by your staff show a lack of concern for the people down in Louisiana and Mississippi. This destruction could be the down fall of the United States of America, because a larger gap could rise between the rich and the poor if nothing is done to stop it. Even in the paper the other day a journalist wrote that the poverty level in the U.S. is rising. Please, Mr. Bush, if you and your staff really do care show it by reacting to the Katrina relief much quicker.

Also, President Bush, I have another bone to pick with you as some may say. I have also heard about the desire of the government to change the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act limits our freedom in the U.S., so instead of being a democracy we would be more socialist or even worse, communist. We might as well throw the Bill of Rights away and amend the entire Constitution. By allowing the government to change the Patriot Act our freedoms as American citizens will not be available anymore. The government can search through my home without a warrant and may access my personal information just so our security would be tightened. If this happens then we, the American people, may no longer be able to identify ourselves as free but more in line with people in captivity.

I pray my words reach to your heart because we need the government to protect us and if this protection fails then we, the United States of America, have also failed. We put you in charge of our great nation. Don't let us regret our decision.