Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To start with a retraction of sorts. It appears the at least parts of the Falls Creek report were exaggerated. There is a rebuttal here, but of course, consider the source; it is written by an emergency response bureaucrat. Probably the safest bet is to follow the advice of Napoleon and never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. And friction. Never forget the friction. Of course the two most disturbing elements in the original story remain: one confirmed by the rebuttal (the "guests" are in fact detainees that are not allowed to leave for any reason), the other ignored (the government "leased" private property without the consent or knowledge of the property owners). And again we see the PC Police with their insistence that changing the label you attach to something somehow changes the facts. I too "insist" on referring to the refugees as refugees because that is what they are. Look the word up in a dictionary if you don't believe me. They may also be "guests," although, at least where I'm from, one doesn't lock guests in the bedroom and insist they stay against their will. And God forbid that citizens "self deploy" to help others out. That might steal some of the glory that should be accruing to the bureaucrats.

In any case, my original opinion stands. Given that the oldest political joke in the world is "I'm from the government and I am here to help you," why would anyone in their right mind depend on the government for their own safety and the safety of their families? That goes double for disaster planning, where it is provable that the government is not making adequate provision to fulfill it's own promises. Think of it this way: I promise to give you one million US dollars on 12/31/2005. I put it in writing and sign it with witnesses on national TV. You, being a bit of a skeptic, decide to check on me and discover that the only way it would be mathematically possible for me to fulfill my promise would be to win the Super-Lotto, which you have on good authority I don't play. Would you then go $1 Million in debt, expecting to pay it off with the $1 Million I promised to pay you in 14 weeks? Sure, I'm a liar and a scumbag and probably a number of other things (none good), but would you expect to get a great deal of sympathy from people for having placed yourself in a position of dependency on someone that was provably, in advance, not worthy of your trust?

Emergency services are all well and good, and there are certainly large scale things that need to be handled by the National Guard or coordinated by some federal agency, such as recovering New Orleans from the bottom of a lake, re-establishing navigation on the Mississippi, or rebuilding the power grid. But when it comes to the health and well-being of yourself and your family, you have exactly one person you can rely on; yourself. Thus it has always been.

Now for what is really important in this world: soccer. Saturday was my first time out as a coach. The team did very well, although I have my doubts as to how much I actually had to do with it. We lost the first game 3-2 and tied the second 4-4. You would be hard pressed to find three more evenly-matched teams. We had three girls score their first goal ever in a game and one that scored our other three goals on an incredible effort. Almost everyone on the field was playing a position they have had little or no experience in. Due to my slackerlyness (a word which oddly does not spell check), we had three regular practices, plus two optional practices over the Labor Day weekend prior to the game. I was extremely proud of everyone. Great job Lady Blazers!!!

Other than that, not much to report from over the weekend. Soccer has officially taken over my life until the end of October.

Wiley Miller is from Maine, which gives him a front-row seat for the Dover, Pennsylvania court case that will decide if the intelligent design "theory" is science or religion. That may explain two recent cartoons, found here and here. I have nothing to add.

And that seems to be all I have at the moment.


Me said...

great informative blog...keep it up...

Ric said...

Thank you for the kind words. Your comment also explains the hit I've been getting from India.