Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Collapsing World

It strikes me that the title of this blog is more appropriate than ever. It has its origins in a regular column I wrote for my college paper many moons ago. In that particular frame of the film, the economy was stagnant in a recession no one would acknowledge, we were in the midst of (at the time) the most controversial war since Vietnam, and the emerging science of DNA comparison was revealing a ghastly number of innocent people sentenced to Death Row. Every facet of what we had known to be good and just about the world seemed to be, piece by piece, falling down around us.

How little things change, eh?

Now we have witnessed the literal collapse of both a city and society within it. Now that adequate relief support has finally reached the survivors along the gulf coast, the real questions are beginning to be asked. Primarily: why the hell did it take four days for meaningful help to reach these poor people? Even President Clinton, reluctant ever to speak a harsh word of anyone, said, "Our government failed those people in the beginning, and I take it now there is no dispute about it. One hundred percent of the people recognize that--that it was a failure."

At the end of Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, even milder-mannered Bob Schieffer delivered what for him was a downright foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe against the officals responsible. It bears repeating. I hope he will not mind my reprinting it here in full for those who missed it:

A personal thought. We have come through what may have been one of the worst weeks in America's history, a week in which government at every level failed the people it was created to serve. There is no purpose for government except to improve the lives of its citizens. Yet as scenes of horror that seemed to be coming from some Third World country flashed before us, official Washington was like a dog watching television. It saw the lights and images, but did not seem to comprehend their meaning or see any link to reality.

As the floodwaters rose, local officials in New Orleans ordered the city evacuated. They might as well have told their citizens to fly to the moon. How do you evacuate when you don't have a car? No hint of intelligent design in any of this. This was just survival of the richest.

By midweek a parade of Washington officials rushed before the cameras to urge patience. What good is patience to a mother who can't find food and water for a dehydrated child? Washington was coming out of an August vacation stupor and seemed unable to refocus on business or even think straight. Why else would Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert question aloud whether New Orleans should even be rebuilt? And when he was unable to get to Washington in time to vote on emergency aid funds, Hastert had an excuse only Washington could understand: He had to attend a fund-raiser back home.

Since 9/11, Washington has spent years and untold billions reorganizing the government to deal with crises brought on by possible terrorist attacks. If this is the result, we had better start over.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:21 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

I cannot believe that you slimy motherfuckers are using this disaster to promote your spamming product. Normally I wipe these spam comments off the face of the Earth the moment they appear, but I'm going to leave this in place so everyone can see what pus-ridden scum you people at Feedmagic are.

BTW, for anyone who would like to spam the hell out of these slimebags, here is their Internic registration and contact information:

Kent Thompson
1102 Wanda Way
Bloomington, Illinois 61704
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com)
Created on: 12-Jan-05
Expires on: 12-Jan-06
Last Updated on: 12-Jan-05

Administrative Contact:
Thompson, Kent kent.thompson@sprintpcs.com
1102 Wanda Way
Bloomington, Illinois 61704
United States
Technical Contact:
Thompson, Kent kent.thompson@sprintpcs.com
1102 Wanda Way
Bloomington, Illinois 61704
United States

3:40 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

BTW, here (supposedly) is a picture of the bastard who runs Feedmagic.com. His name is Kent Thompson. He probably made up most of the bio on his web page (which, BTW, is Start the DoS attacks, kids!)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Here is the cute little suburb Kent lives in just north of the Bloomington airport. The street he lives on wasn't actually built at the time this image was taken, but you get the idea.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Lesson to comment spammers: don't fuck with me.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

have you had many mess with you since this?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Only a few spambots. I turned on word verification a few days ago and haven't had any since.

12:04 PM  

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