Sunday, September 04, 2005

From the Hurricane Katrina blog at New Orleans...

...and another guy gets it right, backed up by
on the scene reports.

An important piece for future reference.
Let me address the political situation for a
moment. I noticed that the responses I've been
getting on the blog and the stuff I've been
reading in the mainstream media has become very
politicized. I'm not going to get into politics
here -- I'm just going to do my work and then
report what I see and hear throughout the day. If
you guys want to play Democrat vs Republican vs
Independent, go right ahead, but I'm really weary
of the permanent election season this country's
turned into. Honestly, these are politicians you
guys are getting so excited about. Politicians.
As far as I'm concerned, I don't trust people who
want to tell other people how to spend their
money and what they can read or see on television
and what they can do in the privacy of their own
homes. There's no way I'm going to feel
comfortable supporting someone who thinks he
knows what's best for the rest of "society" and
is willing to use force and the threat of force
to make others fall into line.

So yeah, I'm not going to support or condemn
anyone specific for what's going on here.

And another thing to think about when we start
pointing fingers is this. The government is never
equipped to handle a crisis like this. There's
too much bureaucracy -- initiative-stifling
bureaucracy which prevents swift, effective
action. I would like to hear from government
employees on this. The nature of that bureaucracy
is such that you have very specific guidelines to
follow for even the most minute tasks. You need
approval for just about everything, and the
person you need approval from usually needs
approval to give you the approval.

It's not as easy as say rounding up 4 of your co-
workers and saying, "We've got someone at such
and such an address, let's go grab her and get
her out of there." Now add a destroyed or
disabled command and control center to that
bureaucracy and you've got a total and complete

You (as a civilian) don't need "Approved"
stamped on 3 different forms before you can run
into your neighbor's house and pull them out. I
hope this makes sense.

Anyway, I'm sure there's been human error in
this catastrophe. How could there not be? But
what I'm saying is that I've come to expect poor
decision making and a total lack of initiative
from government. They can't even balance a
budget, at the federal, state, or local levels. I
could balance my checkbook and spend within my
means when I was a teenager. But I'm not gonna
point fingers and get into the blame game. If you
want me to blame something besides the storm
herself, I blame the nature of government in the
first place. It's too big, it's too slow, it's
too inefficient, it's too bloated, and it's too
intiative-stifling to be effective in normal
circumstances, much less in a disaster. It's a
systemic issue, more than an issue of individual
people in government.

It's entirely a systemic issue.

See it all. (with webcam)