Gut Rumbles

September 08, 2005

finger pointing

One thing that always disgusted me at work was when we had a big calamity and all the bosses huddled together to find someone to BLAME for it. They didn't concern themselves with what caused the problem (that might have involved THEIR asses) and they didn't seem to care about stopping it from happening again.

They just wanted a goat to scape.

I see the same thing happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This finger-pointing bullshit may score some temporary political points for the shriekers, but it doesn't address the problem. The list of things that went wrong is long enough to occupy a lot of people for a long time, if they want to study the root causes.

The mayor of New Orleans is a dumbass --- I'll grant that fact. The governor of Louisiana is just as dumb as the mayor. But voters elected both of them, so live with your choices. Quit whining now.

This was a disaster just waiting to happen, and I blame our pork-barrel congress a lot more than I do President Bush for what occurred. Just go read this. I don't usually link to the Godfather, but this one was too good to pass up.

I was Captain of the Fire Team for ten years at work. I put out a lot of fires and went to every got-dam training school the company sent me to. I also was a certified Haz-Mat Incident Commander, although I never had to exercise those skills on my job.

But we drilled and we practiced all the time. We staged scenearios and figured out what to do if the very worst happened. THIS is at a pissant chemical plant just outside of Savannah. Why can't state or federal government do the same thing?

I know the answer. FEMA jobs are a gravy train. Politics is a gravy train. NOBODY is accountable for performance, and they DON'T fucking practice.

All they do is point fingers at somebody else when the shit hits the fan. Find a goat to scape, and YOUR problem is solved. That kind of behavior surely does the people a lot of good.

But--- I have to admit--- we keep electing the government we deserve.


Every time I read about the "Blame Game" as you have mentioned, I keep thinking of one of the commercials that Budweiser produced in the "Leon" series.

(Yes, I know you don't care for their products, but my wife works at corporate HQ and it puts food on our table)

When asked about losing the game, he places the blame squarely on the shoulders of his teammates. When asked if he felt his four fumbles contributed he states:

"Not if my teammates had fallen on the ball! 'Leon' cannot do everything!"

Posted by: Djsbud on September 8, 2005 01:47 PM

I got pissed when the goofus maor started yelling for help and blaming Bush and the goverenor. The governor needed the blame but the adnistration did what they were supposed to do. The hell of it is that the blame game started before the bodies were counted! Ask me again why politicians stay at the top of my shit list along with preachers and lawyers. The not so fucking reverent Jessie Jackson is currently my all time number one uncaring asshole of the country! The mayor was and is a dumb MF but he screamed because he was dumb not because he wanted the political power like Jessie Jackson. SUMBITCH! and I ain't smilin when I say that partner.

Posted by: GUYK on September 8, 2005 02:56 PM

Isn't it interesting how a republican-run state (Texas) has so totally come to the rescue of a democrat-run state (Louisiana) that the majority of the evacuees now say they plan to stay here because they have been treated so well.......

Posted by: blondage on September 8, 2005 03:26 PM

And notice that as soon as the military, which is trained and drilled for just these sort of scenarios, started moving in, people started getting rescued and getting the supplies they needed.

I can understand (some) of the criticism coming from the left in regards to the reaction of the feds, at first. But the fact of the matter is, the feds and private agencies such as the Red Cross, not local and state organizations, were and are doing a far more effective job right now than Nagin or Blanco's crews did at ANY point in this crisis. Nagin was shell-shocked from the beginning and Blanco refused to let the military move in at Bush's request out of sheer partisan spite.(Notice now that even Nagin is calling her out on this)

I think Brown should be fired, w/o question, but if the voters of LA and NO keep these two turds in office, they are really no better than if Bush leaves the former in place.

Posted by: Chris on September 8, 2005 03:52 PM

Remember boys and girls, The State is NOT your friend.

Gerry N.

Posted by: Gerry N. on September 8, 2005 05:28 PM

The most disturbing thing for me about this entire thing was the lack of personal responsibility I saw everywhere...not just on the part of the govt and officials, but mostly on the part of the people who were in the middle of the storm. Why just sit there and wait to die? I don't understand it. Why just complain and wail and wait for someone to rescue you? WTF? Why didn't they try to survive?

Posted by: U on September 8, 2005 05:34 PM

Rob, FEMA trains. I've seen the videos of them training in urban areas. They weren't drillling handing out water or food though.

If you see FEMA coming you'd be best off running the other way.

Posted by: Justin Buist on September 8, 2005 07:02 PM

Ok, Justin, don't tease us; how *do* they train?

Posted by: Justthisguy on September 8, 2005 09:03 PM

Texas is doing a great job, although, to be fair, Houston's having an economic boom right now, primarily from the re-rooted ship traffic they're getting.

I think everyone needs to get the job done right now (restore order, rescue, drain the city, etc.) and wait for the dust to settle to start pointing fingers, or, better, drawing lessons. This disaster, like most, has fallen victim to hyperbole and panic on the part of everyone, and that makes people irrational.

That said, there were obviously some pretty big screwups out there, but lets wait 'til we know all the facts to go firing governors & governments.

Posted by: William on September 8, 2005 10:11 PM

Acidman: But--- I have to admit--- we keep electing the government we deserve.

Hey didn't Jimmah Cahtuh (who I like no more than Acidman) say that we should get a government as good and virtuous as the American people?

Posted by: Mark on September 8, 2005 10:57 PM

The killer is that they did practice the very same scenario a little more than a year ago. And failed. It's apparent that no lessons were learned and no remedial actions were taken.

One of the main points of such an exercise is to find problems and correct them so that when the real thing comes up the problems don't recur. DUH.

Posted by: StinKerr on September 9, 2005 09:52 AM
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