Friday, September 16, 2005

Mr. President, What is this Precedent?

I must ask you because you are setting the expectations from this point forward of what the role of the federal government is. And truthfully, I do not like it.

After the attacks on 9/11 and the incredible payouts to the families, I feared that this would become the new standard for any sort of disaster that occurs. The federal government will rush in with barrels of money to appease the masses.

Now, we have an area encompassing three states that has been generally destroyed, and once again, you are rushing in to make things better. Is it no wonder that no one takes any preventive actions any more? Do you really have to wonder why no one buys the optional flood insurance? One state plans to force the insurance companies to pay for flood damage when their policies clearly stated that flood damage was not covered. "Because they can afford to pay" is the justification for this. That they did not pay for flood damage is considered to be just a technicality.

How long will the rest of us continue to pay for our insurance, and manage our risks prudently when it is clear that the federal government feels that it has the job to bail everyone out for all the poor decisions and choices that they make over their lifetimes?

Mr. President, you are creating the largest government we have ever seen. You are creating new entitlements that we would never have dreamed of. You are creating two classes of people in th is country more clearly than ever before. The first class takes care of itself, lives within its means, and plans for what may go wrong. The second class has the motto "let the good times roll". They live with reckless abandon, knowing that if the going gets rough enough, their favorite uncle is going to bail them out.

How long do you think it will be before we all decide the hell with it, let's join the second class, and party til we can't party no more?

A Kerry presidency would have never had the balls to propose what you have. And there is no check on a republican president that can clearly outspend the liberals....and that is a bad place to be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Tale of Two Communities

Whether or not you recognize it, we each live in two communities, one know as the public(governmentally controlled) and the private(controlled by business owners and stake holders).

To see the the success and failures available to each, we have been given New Orleans as a live case study.

Business owners reduced their risk exposure as best they could by closing business locations down and getting people out of town. The local government? They left their best assets for evacuation in areas that would surely flood, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in trasportation assets to be lost.

And when it was time to start looking to get things back under control, the local and state politicians got in front of the cameras and begged for help. The business people started helping themselves and that is why today the private enterprises that are so critical for the city to bounce back are coming on line faster than any of the so called disaster experts had forecast.

There is such a night and day difference between the two approaches. How many more times must we be shown that government does nothing very good and most things very poorly? How many more lives will be lost by convincing people to rely on government and then having government fail miserably, and then play the blame game? How many investigative committees will be formed, with none of them actually identifying the main culprit.

Government is meant to be there to protect rights. Government is not meant to run enterprises. If we learn anything at all, it would be nice if we could learn this once and for all.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thinking Outside the Box

Anyone watching the story unfold in New Orleans hopefully can see how inadequate our government truly is.

How is it possible to have such a vacuum of leadership? The simple things which, if implemented, would have bought some time for all involved seem to just not be considered.

Port o Johns should have started moving into the area on Tuesday. Just about every one available within 500 miles of New Orleans certainly could have been there by now and set up on the elevated I-10, just as the buses are now arriving to pick up people and transport to Houston.

How can you expect a different outcome when your shoes are (if you are lucky enough to have them) are covered in feces, there are dead bodies wrapped in sheets all around you, and there is no food or water available?

If the very basic needs were addressed, then there would be plenty of help from those there to help with whatever activities need to be addressed. Everyone would have at least had a chance to pull together, as we saw in New York on 9/11.

No one asked the firemen and police in NYC to work without sanitation and without food or water. Everyone worked together. But the environment the city of New Orleans created was an us vs. them mentality, and survival of the most brazen or violent becomes the rule.

It has been 4 full days and this is the best that we can do? God help us were we ever to have a major attack. No one seems prepared. The Homeland Security project has obviously been just a feel good effort. Bush's lack of leadership is appalling. Had this been a chemical or nuclear attack would it have taken four days to show up?

And if you are not prepared yourself for whatever you might have happen to you, it will be your own fault after seeing how this has been handled. If you cannot fend for yourself, if you have not thought about what if something happens, where you may go, where you records may be, what you would do for cash, how you would get water or eat, then nothing can motivate you.

When the levees gave way, there should have been an immediate call for citizens with boats intact in the rest of the state to aid their fellow citizens. Sure, there are dangers, and if one responds to such a call we would understand. But do not tell us to just donate cash and to stay away while the government screw it up so bad that people needlessly die.

All the meetings of federal and state homeland security have shown us what they are really worth. Face it, holding meetings in DC will not and will never prepare you for real world disasters of any type. But I am certain we all felt better...until now. We know it just does not work as it is structured today.