James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Thoughts on the FEMA-gate Scandal

Rushing to Judgment: Some fair-minded people are claiming we shouldn't pass out blame too quickly. Wait until all the facts are in, wait until there's a full investigation, etc. On the other hand, should the government be granted time to spin its way out of responsibility? Granting that the natural catastrophe and the flood was worse than imaginable and that snafus are inevitable, still the President, governor, and mayor had 48 hours before the storm hit to mobilize troops and supplies at a safe but nearby distance, so that they could move in quickly. We need to hear their explanations and excuses, and response to all questions, now, not after some frickin "bi-partisan commission" report!

What Are Taxes For?: Americans pay something like $2.1 trillion in taxes, and the government spends $2.5 trillion. And none of that went to planning for a major flood disaster?

Third World: Experienced journalists compare the misery in New Orleans and the curious response by the government to that of a third world country. The reason is obvious: the Bush Administration has the mindset and behavior of a third world government. It is a murderous kleptocracy, that doesn't care who dies as long as the ruling class secures its wealth.

Atlas Evacuated: The people who apparently made New Orleans an attractive tourism spot and charming place, were the ones who were able to evacuate, as they were instructed. Those who were left were criminals, agents of a corrupt political class (police) and the poor. You see what happens when productive people abandon a society. And it is productive people, full of compassion and seeking to return to New Orleans to provide assistance and evacuate people, who were prevented from doing so by ... agents of the political class (FEMA and the National Guard).

Race Card, Part I: There are a lot of things that go reported that I accept as a working truth but do not believe beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, I suspect that there was much depraved and violent behavior in New Orleans last week, indicative of underclasses worldwide regardless of nation or skin color. I also suspect that such instances were exaggerated for some purpose.

Race Card, Part II: Was FEMA's obstruction of relief efforts racially-based? My position is that if incompetence was the only reason for the rescue delays, it wasn't racial. But I confess that I suspect a conspiracy, that government negligence and obstruction was deliberate, as another play in the secret government's agenda that might involve control of the world's depleting oil supplies, control of the weather, or something else. And if so, I wouldn't be surprised if provoking racial tensions is part of that agenda.

Race Card, Part III: Knowing what I know, and believing what I believe, let me say that if I was also black, my anger would be so vast and deep at what has happened, I don't know what I'd do. At minimum, I'd view every person in a government uniform with a gun as the moral equivalent of a stormtrooper. I "think" that way already; if I was black, I'd probably feel it too.

George WMD Bush: Once your opinion of a person can't sink any lower, all that remains is the ways in which that person can disappoint you in unexpected ways. The "last straw" with Bush was way back in 2002 with signing McCain-Feingold and imposing steel tariffs. Everything aside from some decent judicial appointments since has been, well, whatever the metaphorical opposite of icing on the cake is. In theory, you accept that this President could sink lower, but it still surprises you when it happens. It's not that I suspected that Bush would manage Katrina well, it was that I assumed there were FEMA procedures for such a scenario already in place regardless of who the President was. I was wrong. George W. Bush must be brought down, destroyed, removed, by whatever nonviolent means possible. And Dick Cheney too.

Priorities: In 2006 and 2008, anyone running for federal office who attempts to generate political capital by their position (whatever position that may be) on whether gays should be included in our unnecessary and counter-productive marriage laws, or whether Intelligent Design should be taught in our failed public schools, is a WORTHLESS PIECE OF CRAP who is trying to distract us from focusing on our real problems. Culture War issues distract from proper oversight on how the people's taxes are spent.

Incumbency: FEMA-gate isn't just Bush failure, it is total system failure of government. Every incumbent in Congress must be held accountable, with the presumption of guilt that each must disprove: that they were part of the problem that made Katrina-FEMAgate possible.

On a lighter note: This past Friday evening, I had a conversation with my sister in which I asked if she remembered who sang "Walking on Sunshine" some twenty years ago. She couldn't remember, and I said "KATRINA AND THE WAVES!" One of those ironic anecdotes I like to mention in casual conversations. Anyway, I kid you not, the very next thing I did was get into the car and started it. Not happy with the music on the radio, I pressed "seek" and the first thing I stumbled upon was ... "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. And the fact is, listening to that song, which is one of the most energetic and joyous in rock history, was perhaps the highlight of my entire week.

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7 comments:

  1. MaryJane Colon2:10 PM PDT

    I am outraged at the blatant incompetence of FEMA Director Brown and DHS Secretary Chertoff. Clearly, our country is dismally lacking in leadership in this time of crisis. I find it hard to believe that the flooding event in New Orleans that followed Hurricane Katrina went virtually ignored for so long. Americans died as a result of the delay in response by the Bush administration. I urge you and every American citizen to demand the resignations of FEMA Director Michael Brown and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff due to their unconscionable and inexcusable incompetence.

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  2. Slow response because of security concerns (looters and criminals shooting at rescue vehicles and personnel), no local and state leadership, cops quitting and leaving their posts, communications and infrastructure failure definitely hampered operations. I think the local and state leadership definitely dropped the ball. Did anyone see the 200 school buses still parked and flooded even though they could have been used 2-3 days prior to Katrina? Yes, there was a mandatory evacuation, so I think the mayor of NOLA screwed the pooch.

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  3. As a goldurnded furriner, in Sydney, Australia, I am an outsider to this tragedy. However, one set of Aussie tourists that was rescued from N.O. by an Aussie TV crew admitted that EVERYONE was a looter. They had to steal food and water to survive. Have y'all seen the Walmart clip, where EVEN THE COPS were looting? This, in America! A country so stripped of 'safety nets' that it can not even rescue it's own citizens. What the heck, right? Those bleddy blecks didn't pay taxes so a malthusian solution is perfectly acceptable in Neo-Amerika. Does anyone else see this as a test run for population control? I think a good definition of insanity is not realizing there is a REASON to be paranoid! Cheers.

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  4. Actually, I wasn't even thinking of the looting. That wasn't depraved; it was justified. The food and other inventory were written off as "total loss" for insurance purposes anyway. The depravity I was referring to was the shootings, rapes, and other violence.

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  5. blamegame2:56 AM PDT

    Two links pointing out why New Orleans was doomed even before Katrina hit:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/344065p-293598c.html

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007219

    What do you think?

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  6. Anonymous3:02 AM PDT

    Two links pointing out why New Orleans was doomed even before Katrina hit:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/344065p-293598c.html

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007219

    What do you think?

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  7. Katrina was a failure of government per se, not just of the federal government.

    Katrina reflects poorly on Blanco and Nagin. But the response of Bush and FEMA should frighten everyone in the nation.

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