Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Daveawayfromhomeland Security

Okay, I'm going to put on my tinfoil hat now. Twice now I've written posts which contained criticisms of Michael Chertoff, the director of Homeland Security. Twice, when I went to post them, I got the log-in screen, resulting in the complete loss of all I had written. Admittedly, the first time it happened I had been a long time writing it, and may have just timed out. But the second time had only been about a half an hour. Maybe that one timed out, too, but it was the fastest that it ever happened, if so.
Yes, perhaps I am being paranoid, and No, I dont really think that Homeland Security is watching me. Not really. I dont think.

What set all this off was something the New York Times reported Chertoff as saying:
Louisiana and New Orleans have received a total of about $750 million in federal emergency and terrorism preparedness grants in the last four years, Homeland Security Department officials said. Mr. Chertoff said he recognized that the local government's capacity to respond to the disaster was severely compromised by the hurricane and flood. "What happened here was that essentially, the demolishment of that state and local infrastructure, and I think that really caused the cascading series of breakdowns," he said. (thanks again to Librarybitch)
You know, I always thought that the whole point of FEMA was to be there after the "demolishment (sic) of that state and local infrastructure". Okay, so Homeland Security threw money at the area for four years, what was that money intended for? Obviously not improvement of the area's levee system.
There was more ranting and more links, but after losing it all twice my brains gone all soft. I tell you what, just read this:
Last year an emergency exercise run by the federal, Louisiana and New Orleans governments, featuring a fictional Hurricane Pam, almost exactly foretold the disaster now unfolding. But officials said plans to prepare for an actual catastrophe were abandoned because of cuts.

"No one can say they did not see it coming," reported the The Times-Picayune from New Orleans this week. The newspaper published a five-part series predicting the disaster five years ago. Officials and experts last week wearily recalled their attempts to make the government take action. "It's frustrating to have planned, begged and pleaded that this could happen," said Walter Maestri, emergency management director of the now submerged Jefferson Parish. "They would say, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.'" (from The Independent)
Oh yeah, the reason this comment struck me: I'm sorry that I cannot provide a link for you, but Michael Chertoff was interviewed on All Things Considered in the latter part of last week. Chertoff was unaware of the situation at the Convention Center, but it took four repetions of the question before he finally quit squirming and was forced to admit he didnt know anything about it. I'm not sure that Chertoff is qualified to run a 7-11, let alone Homeland Security.

Okay, one last thing, from Ran Prieur: An article from the Washington Post on the absorption (and reduced effectiveness) of FEMA by Homeland Security. What will we do in the future in case of a major castrophy?
I dont know. Maybe Martial Law.


coturnix said...

WordPad is your friend. Blogger also has a new feature that you can install into your MSWord to publish directly from your word file into Blogger.

G said...

Thanks for the props. Your site's pretty good. I'll be reading.

WordPad is a good trick - type up the post in it (or Notepad, whichever) and then copy&paste it into Blogger. Add whatever formatting to it (links, pictures, etc) at that point. That way, you at least still have a copy of the text sitting still in Wordpad in case you lose the post.

- G (Library Bitch)