Tuesday, August 29, 2006

By Numbers...

Greetings one and all!

Today I was listening to The Who By Numbers CD, one of my favorites. So many songs on that album that I like such as Slip Kid, Squeeze Box, However Much I Booze, Dreaming From The Waist, and In A Hand Or A Face. I do listen to lots of other music besides The Who, by the way. But I am looking forward to their upcoming shows in the New York area so I probably am listening to them more than usual.

As we all know, today marks the one year anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. Of course, Hurricane Katrina could not be prevented but the response was abysmal. I will not lump blame on any one individual, except to say that, similarly to September 11, 2001, it was a collective failure.

I was in New Orleans in 2002 and enjoyed a coffee and a beignet at the world famous Cafe Du Monde. I loved it there and I wish all those people in New Orleans the best. I really wish that our government was more proactive in the immediate aftermath of the storm. It also pains me to see that there is still not enough being done.

The fact is that for years it was well-known that the levees could be breached during a major hurricane, but there was never any preventative steps taken to ensure the safety of those who would be in danger, not to mention the massive amounts of property damage that would occur.

This brings me back to the 2004 debates between President Bush and Senator John Kerry. There was so much focus on swift boats and Vietnam, that real issues were not addressed. This country really needs to get over Vietnam! Does anyone remember the blackout that hit this region in the summer of 2003? Well, we were told many different reasons for this occurring, yet there was never any final story given to the public. There was even a claim by a terrorist group with links to al-Qaeda that they caused the power outage as a gift to the Iraqi people. I don't believe this last one.

However, my point being is that this country seems to get distracted by things that will sell in the media, rather than taking on issues that are important to the state of this nation. I guess it's sexy for the media to compare war records between two candidates, yet it is not sexy to discuss solutions to current or very foreseeable potential problems.

Instead of saying Bush lied about Iraq, why not examine why our intelligence is so inept. Look our intelligence apparatus has been wrong about WMD in Iraq, 9/11, finding anyone with links to the anthrax attacks after 9/11, catching UBL, and so on. Why is that? Why, is their still such a lack of Arabic speakers working for the CIA and FBI.

So let's take this back to Katrina. What I thought was the biggest failure was that there was not one guy in charge. There was no one who stepped up to the plate and said "I'm running the show." George W. did this, eventually, about ten days too late.

But here's what is apparent to me: I don't get the impression that today, there is anyone taking control of things in New Orleans.

One obvious lesson to me is that our government can not protect us. So in today's world if you are black, white, or brown, you better find a way to be self-sufficient. Our government is just too large with too much bureaucracy.

Think about this: The U.S. government can't even run Amtrak!

I will keep the people of the great city of New Orleans in my prayers, but most importantly I hope someone will finally step up and do what's right.


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Rob Adams said...

Heck of a job Brownie! Oh, sorry, wrong reference. Anyway, as usual, stellar work Sean. I see we've both been to The Big Easy and enjoyed the Cafe Du Monde experience. We both know the devastation, but from a distance. It's a shame that people are so hung up on race and class, yet fail to see that this was just incompetence on the part of all Americans, led by our government. It's just that simple.