Friday, September 02, 2005

  Taking it back

(reference For Bush, Katrina is the Perfect Storm)

Although both Mr. Stone and many of the people commenting on the article offer good starting points for discussion, I'm not willing to assign high intelligence or the masterful following of an agenda to this administration.

The promise that Americans (and many other humans on the planet) have been seduced into accepting that a) their government is motivated to provide for their security and b) that they are somehow extraordinarily qualified to do it, is hopefully coming under some scrutiny as a result of this disaster.

As one example related to this event, consider that if a levee that was susceptible to failure was owned by a person or organization in the private sector, those interests would necessarily have to be insured and that fact would have forced the people responsible to meet the requirements of whatever agency was underwriting that insurance. And as much as people want to speculate and assign blame for the disrepair of those levees, the actual bottom-line fact is: no one was responsible. Responsibility defined as being directly and immediately injured by the subsequent loss.

Absent such responsibility (which will ALWAYS be the case when we attempt to assign it to government), we have to rely on the wisdom and good nature of our government to take the action necessary to prevent catastrophe and/or administer the bandages. If the political capital that can be gained by doing so is great enough, they will...if it doesn't, they won't. No politician whose self-interest is in maintaining their career and its attendant power will EVER make a decision on any other basis.

As it happens, at this point in our history we get to see this truth writ large. The majority party is so drunk on that majority they don't seem to care that everyone can see that things like "compassion" and "securing the homeland" and "looking out for the little guy" are myths borne of political expediency. The "other party" dares not rock the boat (they may be slightly chagrined that that the emperor has not only taken off his clothes but is now dancing gleefully across the graves of many of his countrypeople) because they know their bread is buttered on the same side. Unfortunately, it's not on the side of the citizens of this country and never has been.

I'm here to tell you it never will be.

Although these people may seem to be the worst of the lot, I'd like to suggest that they're doing us a service (as alluded to in this article). The "waking up" that's being called for from so many quarters today should not be based on the idea that if we just get rid of a couple of particularly distasteful apples that the future will be rosy. I think we'd better be ready to literally take care of ourselves and to the extent that each of us is able and inspired, take care of each other.

I'd hope this is what we REALLY mean when we say "let's take our country back."
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Name: Bill St James
Location: Portland, OR

Let's celebrate uninformed uniformity

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