2 September 2005

Katrina: The chickens return to roost

I'm a bit shocked at the extent to which the situation has deteriorated in New Orleans. I get the feeling that by the time this is all over, some heads are going to roll. As Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans’ emergency operations said, “FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control.” The state of the national macrocosm seems to have been made manifest in the state microcosm.

Ex-Army Corps officials claim that budget cuts have imperiled flood mitigation efforts. I suspect that similar things can be said about American infrastructure investment nationwide. Last year, I recall driving up to San Francisco and hitting endless potholes in the freeway. We're talking about one of the nation's major freeways; yet it felt like I was driving across a country road. Similarly, the East Coast transportation infrastructure is appalling with Marc and Amtrak using ancient trains that constantly break down. And the cutting-edge internet technology and cell phone networks in the U.S. also seems to be lagging behind those of many countries. Granted, these observations have been pieced together from my own personal experience and observations, but I do think there's a pattern of neglect of the things that have helped the U.S. create great wealth in the past. Instead of building bridges and dykes and working to establish strong communities here in the "homeland," the U.S., under Shrub's "leadership," has been running around the world destroying other country's infrastructure and social cohesion. And all we've got to show for our troubles is a sky-rocketing deficit and improvements in the prospects for Halliburton shares.

It's amazing, if you think about it. We've supposedly got this military augmented by state National Guard units that can, at the drop of a hat, fly around the world and project force in the most obscure places, yet there are currently 2,000 people living outside the New Orleans convention center with absolutely no water.



Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Realliy pisses you off it does. I can't believe how much of FUBARed everthing is. And you know who is running all the shelters etc. not the government, maybe a handfull, but it is mostly private citizens providing relief.

But hey mission accomplished in Iraq and we punched a hole in a freakin commet. Yea ha. *barf*

Karlo said...

FUBAR...that's what I should have titled this post.

Sanshinseon said...

Right on, Karlo! This very sad and disgusting tragedy just demonstrates to the entire world the hollowness of "the One Global Superpower". What has happened to America ever since Ronald Reagan, and now just greatly amplified in the five years of the Shrub, is truly an amazing downhill degeneration. Can't even take care of its own citizens in crisis; neither the resources (all moved to and spent in Iraq) nor the political will. Not much public infrastructure remaining, nor concern for the common good...

What took ancient Rome 300 years to suffer in its fall, we are accomplishing in less than 30.

Karlo said...

Yep. I'd call you and discuss this but my cell-phone network keeps cutting out. Maybe the phone's suffered too many jolts from the potholes on the way to work. And yet I'm told that we're "rebuilding Iraq." Whatever the hell that means. I think all that matters to the current administration is that the dollar leaves my bank account and enters a bank account of one of Shrub's friend. Everything else is a secondary consideration.