There are days when I wish I worked for the government. I’ve been a writer for 30 years. Since you don’t become rich as a writer, I have also worked at a variety of jobs over the last three decades. Although I’ve learned new techniques and routines on-the-job, I always knew the basics before I started. Apparently, when you work for the government, knowing the basics is not as important as knowing the boss.
The appointed head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, not only lied on his resume, but had limited experience working with emergency management agencies in general. The good news was that he knew President George Bush. The bad news for Americans was that he knew President George Bush. So “Brownie,” as George Bush calls him, was appointed head of the first response agency at a time of national disaster.
Everything would’ve been fine if the mother of all natural disasters hadn’t hit the United States of America. Now Brownie had work to do. The only problem was that he had no idea how to do it and people died.
Michael Brown was fired as a result of his ineptitude. Excuse me, I was thinking of what would happen in a regular company. In the company called the United States government, he was called back to Washington where he will sit behind his desk and push papers while he continues to collect his paycheck.
So it seems you I will continue to pay Michael Brown his fraudulently gained paycheck until public pressure forces his good buddy the President to replace him with someone who might be able to save lives when the next natural or man-made disaster occurs.
In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Katrina, We Have Met The Enemy And It Is Us
The events in the Gulf are devastating. But the events happening since the hurricane are even more devastating. We are the most powerful nation on earth and yet we can’t seem to take care of our own people. The disaster in New Orleans has focused the eyes of the world on our frailties, our inadequacies and our shortcomings.
As I watch the disturbing videos and pictures displayed before my eyes, I can’t help but wonder why we are still unprepared for disasters in the 21st century. New Orleans has become a microcosm of what could potentially happen in this country if civilization were to suffer a complete and total breakdown after a catastrophic terrorist attack. As inconceivable as it is that we would see a dead body just sitting in a wheelchair pushed against a building, it is mind-boggling that people would be looting stores for electronics while people are starving and dying. Mostly, it is disturbing that a government so intent on helping citizens of foreign lands is so inadequate in their attempts to help United States citizens.
We have suffered a Third World disaster and we are dealing with it in the same way a Third World government would deal with this type of tragedy. Why weren’t we prepared? Why can’t we move faster to save the lives of people in this country who desperately need our help? The rhetoric coming out of Washington tells us that things are being done, but reality shows us that not enough is being done. More people will die while politicians talk.
We spend close to one billion dollars every week in Iraq. We need to spend that money in this country right now. Congress came back into session in the middle of the night to deal with a religious issue that related to one individual’s right to life. They do not seem to be in any great rush to come back from vacation to save thousands of American lives.
President Bush has said that this hurricane is “a temporary situation.” To the thousands who will die and the millions of Americans whose lives will be changed, hurricane Katrina is viewed as anything but temporary. We need to change our priorities before our current priorities destroy our way of life.