Thursday, September 01, 2005

Holy crapazoid. Rebirth is now free. Which is totally cool. If you want to just dabble in playing around with making techno noises, this is one cool program to download.

Begin rant mode:

In other news, our government is apparently incompetent and/or not doing its job. If I, a mere layman, could have told you what a crapfest was going to result from Katrina, why couldn't the people we pay to pay attention to this type of shit? We knew that the position of New Orleans was perilous at best (back in 2001 at least).

Where is the federal command and control? Why is FEMA so incompetent? Why aren't there THOUSANDS of troops on the ground right now? What the fuck is going on in this country? I'm not talking about the National Guard, a large number of whom are in Iraq, but I'm talking about the Army. This was not unforseen at all, no matter what Bush says. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that a city below sea level right by the sea, if hit by a large hurricane, could flood. Why was funding removed or not given to the Army Corps of Engineers, for arguably necessary public safety infrastructure? What else is the purpose of government, other than public safety? If government cannot or will not provide public safety, haven't they abdicated their right to lead?

For that matter, why can't we open up all the closed military bases as refugee camps, instead of sending people to quickly overcrowded SPORTS FACILITIES, for god's sake?

As a country, we seem to be really dropping the ball here. There seems to be no one in command, no one taking charge of the situation. And that makes me sad. I can't stand seeing the talking heads from the government (I'm looking right at the FEMA spokesmen, mostly) congratulating themselves for all that they're doing, (or arguing that we shouldn't be 'playing the blame game,' when there CLEARLY is an awful lot of blame to go around) while people are dying, being raped, or worse. People are not 'frustrated' in New Orleans. They are dying. Dying.

I'm going to give blood on Saturday with some friends. It's the only thing I really know to do to help from here. And my wife and I gave some money (after seeing the telethon on 40/29) to the Red Cross. I'd encourage everyone to do the same, or something similar. If the politicians won't fix this situation, then I guess it's up to volunteers and such organizations. And individuals.

Rant mode off.

11 Comments:

Blogger munkee girl said...

You can also give money to the Salvation Army. We did that because there are a lot of areas in the Gulf Coast in Mississippi where they are the ONLY organization trying to get food to people, and their resources are limited to like a bowl of corflakes per person (at least per NPR this morning).

Well, Pete, what can I say, it's a huge freaking mess--I think it's a matter of numbers at this point. It's just logistically impossible to get help in there faster, as much as people are trying; it was the same with the tsunami. As for preparation, I was thinking about that this morning, too. Can you imagine what would have happened if the feds showed up in poor black neighborhoods before the levees breached and said: "Hey! We want everyone to get on these buses, and we'll take you away to somewhere 'safe' because this is all about to be underwater." I think there would have been riots, as the government arranging mass transports of minority groups has certain obvious creepy parallels. Plus, I can see that people don't want to leave the perceived safety of their homes for the unknown.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Steven Jarvis said...

I think you can step back further than the government getting people out of the city ahead of the hurricane. They wouldn't have had to try to bus anyone out ahead of time if New Orleans' flood control infrastructure had been properly maintained and updated. Instead, the money was siphoned off to fund the occupation of Iraq (see Pete's link above or Google News for a metric assload of related links). Sure, it would still have been a soggy mess for a few days/week and there would have been some structural damage from the hurricane winds (it was still a BIG hurricane), but New Orleans wouldn't be the Mad-Max-meets-Waterworld hellhole it will be for the forseeable future.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Can I just say...I am officially loving the rant!

-N

9:36 AM  
Blogger dj said...

The best rant I've heard so far was from the mayor of New Orleans.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.nagin/index.html?section=cnn_latest

And here's the ongoing journal of a guy in NO who refuses to leave for those I haven't sent it to. Worth starting at the beginning.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/

You're just saying what a lot of other people are saying Pete.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Oh yeah, I'm sure my ranting is not unique.

Steven does kind of encapsulate it though: MadMax-meets-Waterworld.

It's all just SO sad. Sigh.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Michael "VendorX" Heaney said...

Pete, did you take my rant off, or did it just not post properly?

8:36 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

New Orleans is a casualty in the war on terror.

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/003700.html

The money went to fund Iraq. (see http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050901/pl_nm/weather_katrina_funding_dc

It's a shame.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Mike, I didn't take it off. Haven't seen it. Please repost. Blogger must be hiccuping or something.

12:17 AM  
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