Friday, September 23, 2005

The Stink

Yes, there it is again - the rank smell of bitter failure clinging to everything FEMA and DHS(HSA) has done since Hurricane Katrina first made Category 1. It's an odd smell, sort of a weird mixture of rank locker room towels, old sweat, sewage and fear, compounded and shot straight up your nostrils like nasal spray.

No matter what you do, you can't get the smell out of your nose - it's like the smell of burning hair.

An eight-lane highway was available to evacuate people from Galveston and Houston in advance of Hurricane Rita this week, so what did the locals do? Opened only 4 lanes and let the traffic back up until I-45 was a gigantic parking lot.

Ice sent south in the wake of Katrina was diverted, sat in the trucks for days or weeks, then sent to Maine and Massachusetts. I expect they were waiting for Ophelia up there.

Doctors were forbidden to treat patients, because of lawsuit concerns.

Firefighters were detailed to pass out leaflets.

And now we hear that Michael Brown, the dean of the horsey set at FEMA, is still getting paid by that agency, "for transitional purposes." Ho, ho. Imagine trying to get paid for "transitional purposes" at YOUR job if you have to be forced to resign from it.

Now, take all of this (recalling that we haven't yet seen FEMA's response to Rita once it makes landfall), and imagine.

Imagine a radiological bomb exploding in downtown Los Angeles on a busy Friday afternoon.

Imagine a homemade batch of Sarin being released on the DC Metro.

And now try to imagine the response of FEMA and the DHS/HSA.

You smell the stink already?


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