Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bush to keep all his staff..

Seems according to a local article that rumors of a "staff shake-up" have been put down.

Two people specifically I would like to see replaced is Michael Chertoff, and Alberto Gonzales, mostly Mr. Chertoff. His lack of effort along with President Bush's led to a horrendous disaster in which still has yet to be resolved. Yet Mr. Chertoff has seemingly stayed away from any blame being set upon him for Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Gonzolas mostly for his avid defense of this domestic spying program and his push to sustain it.

There are many people that should/need to be replaced in the Bush administration. I don't have a doubt in my mind that Bush knows that some people needs to be replaced, he just doesn't want to admit he made a mistake in picking the wrong people for the job.

Scrub the National Civilian Community Corps?

How is abandoning a working, functioning, well-inentioned program that produces results like the NCCC a good idea? WAPO has more.

Of all that exists in "big government" that is fundamentally corrupt, broken, and/or just doesn't work, this is the best place to start making cuts? The president calls our nation to serve the country, then destroys the tools that make it possible. Add this to the list of horrible decisions made by this administration.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mentioned at the Agonist

We got a front page nod over at The Agonist. It's a great site with a great community. Go check them out.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Images of Cameron Parish, LA after Hurricane Rita

After the 2005 U.S. hurricane season, I had a work assignment on the west side of Louisiana. I was much, much closer to Texas than to New Orleans. My focus was through out Cameron Parish. The eye of Hurricane Rita passed over the area I was working, meaning it essentially got hit twice. The pictures here include aerial shots of the debris line and damage from Hurricane Rita.

This video is of Holly Beach, a residential area located right on the Gulf Of Mexico. Hundreds of homes wiped out.

Here is a great site that has before and after satellite imagery of Holly Beach.

I've wanted to post these pictures for quite some time. They date from September-November 2005. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues, who requested to remain anonymous, for sharing some of their photos with me.

While working down there, I had the great joy of meeting and working with people from Louisiana who were greatly affected by the disasters. Many people I met from Louisiana were flat out disgusted with the mainstream media's covereage of the hurricane disasters. The vast majority of coverage was on New Orleans with snippets of Trent Lott; there were other cities that were flooded that had their levees broken. There were other cities outside of Louisiana that were devestated. The true damage of what happened down there is unimaginable and to see first hand how the gov't handled the emergency response and to now see how the gov't is still handling the situation half a year later is beyond less than impressive.

There are still huge debris lines. There are still rotting animal carcasses. There are still people who have not recieved FEMA aid. I'm not as worried about FEMA cheats who claim to be hurricane victims as I am about shady gov't contracts, wasteful spending, and irresponsible pork projects. In my experience, too many people who had the authority to make decisions down there wanted to be the hero and not enough people wanted to do the work. Maybe this accounts for the "communication breakdowns?" I believe this is why you saw many first responders side-lined or simply sent back to their home states while America watched people suffer and the devastation on TV.

There needs to be a definite chain of command in situations like this. While the lower echelon was eager and willing to lend their hands and backs, the higher echelon seemd to not see beyond the edge of their desk to carry out an effective plan. What looks good on paper does not always work in the real world. Sometimes you just need to get your hands dirty and work. The biggest problem in Emergency Response is that despite all your pre-planning, sometimes your eyes on the site need to make snap decisions and adjust plans. There's your communication breakdown.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The New Blog

Congratulations on the birth of Granite Rock Sound! This is the first of hopefully many posts.