Friday, September 09, 2005

Blood pressure dangerously high...

Building upon my post below about how the leader of a particular government agency doesn't HAVE to be proficient in the agency's field so long as they are a competent administrator... (that is, Lee Iacoca doesn't have to know how to weld to run a car company) It certainly helps if they have SOME kind of experience.

I would prefer that the head of FEMA know what the fuck a disaster is and how to help mitigate one, but if his operational staff are competent, then I'll cut him some slack. If he knows the high altitude lay of the land and is aware of how best to lead and support his agency then I'm happy.

But the fucktard in charge of FEMA isn't competent in any way, shape or form. In fact, five of the top 8 people there are Bush appointees. Go take a look at an analysis of Mike Browns credentials here. This is beyond padding your resume to get into a good paying corporate gig, this is fucking lying your way into a job where you are in charge of saving lives. This man isn't fit to run a Quiznos, let alone FEMA. If you disagree, or think I'm way off base, sound off in the comments. Tell me I'm wrong and cite your logic. Right now my blood pressure is so high I need to go hug a goddamn tree and pet some bunnies.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why am I not happy?

I am exploring the possibility of changing from my Sidekick II to the sexy Treo 650. I bought one last week and have been messing around with it a bit. I have 30 days to see if its for me. Certainly the better coverage is a big plus. It also is supposed to get my email, which it is refusing to do. It's also supposed to act as a wireless modem for times when I need to hook my laptop to the internets to fix a clients website (which happens any time I am over 1,000 miles away from home or nowhere near an wifi hotspot. It's supposed to do this but we haven't gotten that worked out yet.

I CAN surf the web using the phones built in browser, which is passable. But my joy at receiving delicious internets even while snuggled up in my tent in Michigan is made sour by what I am seeing on it.

The more I read about the disaster in New Orleans the madder I get. I am, at this time, almost incandescent with rage. At first, I was willing to blame our President/King only for failing to act in the manner which he is required to during times of natural disaster. After all, he is not a disaster relief professional. His job is to reassure the public and make sure congress funds relief efforts. But in this simple task he has failed miserably. He stayed on vacation for two fucking days after the levees broke, eating cake and playing a guitar with the presidential seal on it. WTF??

His photo op in New Orleans (when he did show up) required all air traffic to be grounded and while a coast guard crew acted as a backdrop, they were not out saving lives. The man in charge of the government agency that IS supposed to do the lions share of this work has NO emergency management training. Okay, the president of Ford may not know how to weld but he's a good administrator right? But the guy in charge of FEMA isn't a good administrator. He's a political hack, who was fired from his previous job as head of the Arabian Horse Breeders association. He and his right hand man at the agency were given the jobs as thanks for helping get Bush elected.

During the disaster, the Vice-President was on vacation as well. Fishing. Rumsfeld was at a baseball game. And Condi Rice went on vacation AFTER the levees broke. 57 countries are trying to give us aid, and she's out seeing Spamalot and buying $2000 shoes. Who the fuck is working down in D.C.??

There is no doubt that local and state officials must shoulder some of the blame for the cock ups that kept thousands stranded without food or water. Of course, they didn't have communications, power, transportation, or sufficient manpower. In the end, the military stepped up and seems to be doing a good job of moving materials, supplies and troops where they need to be. FEMA on the other hand, doesn't seem to know that they have hundred of fire fighters sitting around in Atlanta waiting for something to do, or that a Navy hospital ship is sitting empty or that a mobile hospital designed of this kind of disaster is idle. They claim they couldn;t get to the convention center, yet three college students did it in a 2 wheel drive Hyundai.

The White House press corps slapped Scott McClelland around today and rightly so. The republicans are one and all saying:
A) We cannot divert ANY attention from Katrina relief
B) 'Blame-Game' politics are evil and should not be tolerated.

Funny, I can chew gum and walk at the same time, the government should also be capable of more than one activity. And it's called 'accountability' when you demand that the moron running the show be sacked. Just because the machine is running better now doesn't mean that the director isn't still incompetent. That FEMA is now doing it's job is a tribute to those who actually DO SOMETHING. They are doing their jobs, bringing the vast resources of the government to bear. But I wonder how much better the results would be if they had started earlier.

In the end, I feel that the President deserves much of the blame here. Not all of it. Yes, he was the first President to cut funding to the levee system, but even with full funding the levees would likely have still broken. Yes, he has refused to sign the Kyoto accords to reduce pollution and global warming which may be creating larger and more deadly hurricanes, but even with a signed treaty it will take decade to see any noticeable change. No, I can't blame Bush for everything, but I do blame him for acting irresponsibly. I blame him for failing to provide leadership in a time of crisis. This is the second time he's been placed in a position where he had to rise to the occasion, and he blew it again. I blame him for appointing political hacks to positions in FEMA. (I'd be interested to know if this is something that has been done from the start but I believe that FEMA has only been around since 1984).

This country simply can't afford to leave this man in charge. If he were a gentleman he would but his affairs in order, and resign the presidency. In the wake of this disaster an independent investigation should be conducted and action taken to assure this never happens again. McClelland said as much. "Now is not the time for playing the blame-game". But it's been 4 years since 9/11 and no one has been held accountable for that have they? The buck simply doesn't stop anymore.

Update** About 1,000 firefighters are sittng around in a hotel in Atlanta doing...nothing. Well, they are getting FEMA classes on secual harrasmnet and they MAY eventually be sent out into the field to hald out FLYERS with FEMA's number on it. I wouldn;t have believed it if I hadn;t read the article for myself. 50 fire fighters DID get sent to Louisiana, so they could stand next to Bush as props for a photo op. May the Gods stike this imecile down.