'I, too, have started to wonder ...':
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill has his own thoughts on 'can't-do government':
"I, too, have started to wonder if government needs to get out of the way, or at least supplement itself in emergencies by outsourcing the really hard stuff to the private sector. It occurred to me last night watching Fox's O'Reilly factor, where earlier this week the host contacted a 77 year-old-woman and her 98 year-old-mother who were trapped in their home, and getting sicker and weaker by the day. They were contacted, of course, to get a 'desparate' person in a phone interview - but O'Reilly decided they would get rescued. They got together a private rescue mission of former special forces to go get her this a.m. - no word on if they went yet. La. Fish and Wildlife employees may have rescued them last night.
"But here's the point. It all made me think: Private contractors could have gone into the key 'security gap' that occurred in the last 72 hours. The whole reason for the horrible suffering and dying was that convoys did not go into the 'dangerous' parts of the city - either due to lack of communications (and hence, coordination), or lack of manpower for security (policy, Nat. Guard, etc.). Surely this is a text book example where teams of 'flying security detachments' perfectly suited a private sector solution. We know these teams exist in Iraq. Civilian contract workers have their own security details there - consisting mostly of former highly trained military personnel. We needed something like that here."'It never gets smarter':
Things are bad when Reader No. 1 and I agree that Paul Krugman is right:
"Krugman actually makes a couple of good points which may (or may not) define the 2006 midterm election campaign. And Sid Blumenthal
gives us a preview of 2008 Hilary Clinton stump speeches.
"But there is something strange about advocating more Government to address the problem given what we're seeing in the various government today, and how government has led us to this problem. Excellent overviews in the WSJ today on the problem with Government's essential character - and why for all of our griping, it never gets smarter, by Dan Henninger
, and on the particulars of New Orleans by Tom Lifson.
As a water-facing region where we inevitably look to government first to solve our problems serious and otherwise, we should be particularly chastened by Katrina."Update
-- Reader No. 1 writes back in: "Thanks for posting - but a clarification, I don't agree with most of Krugman. I think Krugman has come up with an effective label, but I think he's mostly wrong and especially on the underlying root causes." ... I should add that yours truly is not too keen on Krugman's federalist analysis and approach to every problem. But I liked his 'can't do' sentiment.'Can't-do government':
Blaming national and local leaders for damage caused by Katrina is absurd and even cruel, knowing how vulnerable New Orleans has been to the "big one" for centuries. ... But what's fair game is criticism of post-storm plans and general inept action that have actually exasperated and prolonged the misery. There's no excuse for some of what we're seeing -- the lack of security, emergency housing, food and medical resources, evacuations. I can't believe it, but Paul Krugman nails it
this morning: "can't-do government." Krugman, naturally, is looking at it from an anti-Bush federal perspective. But an equally culpable party appears to be state and local governments that were closer to the long projected ground zero, for lack of other words, and failed to have workable plans in place. ...
... The much ballyhooed journalism/blogging "convergence" has finally arrived in the wake of Katrina, in case you haven't noticed. John Daley
has pointed out a lot of great N.O. blogs -- here
, for example. The Herald has dispatched Peter Gelzinis
, who's best reporting is in his blog. I could have sworn I saw a Globe N.O. blog but can't find it. But the point is that the MSM is now using blogs and the 'net as indispensable tools of the trade, while citizen journalist bloggers chip in with their own awesome posts. Combine the two together and you have, folks, "convergence." ...
... Speaking of blogs, here's a sad thought of loss from one blogger at the CSM
"In the almost 15 years that I've been living in the US, the past few as a citizen, I have come to feel most at home in the South. Not that I hate my new hometown of Boston, or despise the hustle and bustle of New York, or the laid-back endless summer of Los Angeles. They have their charms. But the pace of life, the way people treat each other, the connection to the land (all often expressed in music and folklore) -- these were the things I missed the most when I left Nova Scotia, and the South was the place I found them in abundance. Especially in New Orleans ..."