September 13th, 2005

DW: TARDIS

Hello!

I just created this journal and have no friends as of yet. But this is something of an introductory post. I have a journal that I have used for a few years, and I decided I needed something new, something fresh, and, most importantly, a place to keep my thoughts.

With that in mind, this is going to be a journal that is politically charged, but also will contain academic ramblings. Also, with my interest in research, I will use this space to hammer out ideas for possible studies.

So welcome to a place of discourse and, above all, critical thought.
  • Current Music
    Mi Tentación by Rey Ruiz
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Oh, Katrina

Well, as good a place to start as any is with my thoughts on the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.

This is worse than 9/11. Worse, and very similar. Once again, our government totally ignored all evidence that this disaster would happen, and absolutely no preparation was taken to avoid it. The levees in New Orleans have needed repair for years, and every year they ask for money from Congress to fix them, and they are given only enough to pay the workers who couldn't do any work the year before.

The Bush administration dropped the ball on this and there is no way for them to sugar-coat it. The President was on vacation at the time (His unlimited vacation time will be a topic for a later discussion.), and chose to continue his political agenda and totally disregard that people's lives were being destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi. He finally realized that it was impossible to ignore this and returned to Washington. No trip was made to New Orleans until he could get a good photo op out of it.

This is to say nothing of (former) head of FEMA, Michael Brown ("Brownie" to his friends), a man with no emergency management experience in his life. I can't bring myself to really chew out a man who was so grossly unqualified. It's like giving a cub scout a scalpel and telling him to perform neurosurgery. When it all goes wrong, you don't blame the scout, you blame the idiot who gave him the scalpel.

As the number of confirmed deaths currently stands at 423 and will undoubtedly continue to rise, we will see many fingers pointing blame at different people. But let's not forget that it is the Federal Government that must shoulder the most blame.

But the most important thing is not who is to blame, but how to help the victims of this tragedy. If all you can do is give to the Red Cross, do that. Though as Samuel L. Jackson pointed out on The Daily Show, who knows who's pocket that money goes into before any gets to the victims. If you can do something above and beyond to help the real people, go the extra mile. The million-plus displaced people are all across the country. Do your part to brighten their spirits and make them feel just a little bit better, if only for a moment.
  • Current Music
    I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John
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Bush Admits Fault

For the first time in his presidency, President Bush admits he made a mistake. The President took responsibility for the failure of the Federal Government to adequately respond to Katrina. This is a dramatic change from what seemed to be the President's belief in his own infallibility. I remember well his comments during the Presidential Debate here at Washington University, where he flatly denied that he ever made a mistake. I think continuing to read My Pet Goat on 9/11 is just one example of a mistake. I think looking for non-existent WMDs was a mistake too.

So you can understand my skepticism of this admission of guilt by our President. Either someone just explained to Mr. Bush the meaning of the word "mistake," or the administration is trying to salvage any shred of political capital they can muster.
  • Current Music
    White Sox vs. Royals
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