The Random Ruminations and Observations of a Curmudgeon

07 September 2005

A Foul Wind Blows

Although the hurricane has passed, the wind still blows in New Orleans.   Sometimes clarity is lost as the flotsam and jetsam of recrimination flies by, but a number of things are clear:

  1. The city of New Orleans was under-prepared for the flooding.  A failure, but realistically, cities on tight budgets will never mobilize adequately for “what ifs”.  

  2. The state of Louisiana had responsibilities in many places other than N.O. and perhaps did not respond as well as they should.  This is difficult for me to assess.

  3. The federal government has a long history of disaster response.  People expect it.  The response from FEMA and other federal agencies was slow, inadequate and inefficient.  The depth of indifference of this administration to the mission of FEMA is incomprehensible.  

  4. The Department of Homeland Security is primarily a public relations outfit with a secondary mission to establish an improved police state.  It has successfully inconvenienced those of us not at risk and failed to save those at risk.  

  5. Emergency response should not be under the purview of DHS.  DHS should focus on prevention…keep in a terrorist attack, will they be more concerned with emergency response or covering their failed ass for letting it happen?

And now we have the Bushies investigating themselves.  Isn’t that special.  I will be especially interested in Michael Brown’s future.  Bush has been reluctant to fire out-of-the-closet incompetents; he either transfers them (John Bolton) or gives them medals (George Tenet).  I’m betting a transfer.

Don’t get me started on John Roberts as chief justice.  Some blog-wag called him a political hack and the phrase came to mind as we look at the staffing at FEMA (and DHS).  Is anyone in this government not a political hack?  I know, a rhetorical question.