Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ooof.

I could write a bunch of shit about how everything sucks, but you already know it does.

The scariest part of all this is that the basic responsibilities of government, really of civilization, were not met. What does that mean for us as a country? Have we entered our decadent phase? Will we be ritually wrestling for mating partners come 2015?

This is what I think: The primary advantage of belonging to any organized, centralized social unit is protection. The most nut-bag distilled water hording tree-dwelling libertarian weirdo couldn't deny that fact. Maintaining a sembalance of safety is the primary role of government. All other rights are secondary, It was true in Hammurabi's time, it should be true now. We go through our lives expecting the state to ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. That conceit keeps us from running around like Daffy Duck, going "Woo Woo! Woo Woo!"

It's that basic. Whatever your party, having to watch your baby die of dehydration because somebody couldn't figure out how to airlift water to the pot of fecal soup your family has been stewing in for a week is pretty the definition of savagery. When said authority actually turns offers of water and emergency personnel away, that goes beyond simple disorder into cruelty.

Some people have been eager to lay the blame on the city, the parish, the state. So, yeah, New Orleans, surprise surprise, is an inefficient and corrupt little burg , but we aren't just talking about losing Tipitina's here. This is about national security and national economics, hoss. That falls on squarely on the federal lap.

The 2004 National Response Plan explicitly states that, "at times of any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions,
the federal government pre-empts local and state government in its responsibility to act quickly."

Where the fed failed:

a) we may have lost, through incompetence, up to ten thousand people.

b)we have lost our primary eastern container port.

c)we have signaled to the world that we couldn't get our shit together security-wise after four years of comic opera pomposity and stern buttock clenching from our incompentent leadership.

Those are my thoughts, for what they're worth.


Having said all that, this post from High Clearing sums up how the blogs are taking this:

From what I can tell in the last couple days’ reading, Katrina has chiefly served to confirm people in their previously held views. Liberals proclaim it proof of the need for a robust federal government (shades of Bill Moyers in September 2001), conservatives find themselves confirmed in their belief in the overriding importance of social order vigorously enforced, and libertarians regard the disaster and its aftermath as an exemplary failure of government. (Anarchists see government failing at even its core functions. State-accepting libertarians see government as having ignored its core functions for inappropriate pursuits.) Environmentalists amaze themselves with the realization that Katrina proves we need cars with better gas mileage and religious nuts of all persuasions discern the hand of God smiting their - and, need it be said, his own - enemies.
Hooray! Everyone wins! Again!

(Original post can be found
here.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous karena said...

How can he not know the NRP that he signed into order in 2004? How can the MSM not know this and not hammer him on this? Excellent writing, gut wrenching and so scary-true. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

For what it's worth, the policy of this blog is:
"government ignored its core functions for inappropriate pursuits"

And so I slip further along the libertarian path.

2:15 PM  

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