Around The ‘Sphere Sept. 13, 2005
Our occasional linkfest to weblogs of VARYING VIEWPOINTS. Views don’t necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV.
The Story Of Hurricane Katrina in poem form (WARNING: If you believe only the government or only local and state officials are responsible and that criticism is the “blame game” this may be harardous to your health. So White House apologigists, local government apologists, state apologists, and political partisans may wish to avert their eyes). (PS: Note that we are JOKING: this is a very well done political poem and everyone should read it…..)
“One Down, One To Go” writes Bull Moose, who wishes President Bush would say “Rummy you are doing a heckuva job.”
Here’s some advice for Bush haters via Oxblog.
Blogging Can Be Time Consuming And Frankly A Pain In The….and one moderate blogger (a really good one) is reluctantly leaving. Read his post in full, but Alan Stewart Carr at one point writes:
We created The Yellow Line as an attempt to battle that trend. Iâ€™m not claiming a purity of vision. All Iâ€™m claiming is that Joe and I (and those whoâ€™ve joined us) have made an honest attempt to keep truths as truths and our opinions as opinionsâ€”and weâ€™ve tried not to mingle or purposefully confuse the two. We havenâ€™t always succeeded, but weâ€™ve always made the effort.
Yet I have come to wonder if being a tiny voice for reason in the blogoshpere din is worth the tremendous personal effort that goes into this blog. I wonder what real effect I can actually have here and what price Iâ€™d have to pay to achieve it. I wonder if blogging is the best way for me to make a difference. And I wonder if I can achieve much more good with my time by focusing on other paths.
His point is a good one: I’ve told people privately many times that bloggers (including TMV) get all puffed up with self-importance, as if a post is going to change the direction of national thinking. It WON’T. Blogs have a LIMITED AUDIENCE and a limited INFLUENCE. Their role as significant political organizing tool is iffy as well. He also writes:
I will leave with this last comment: Our political system is in serious trouble. The vast majority of leaders produced by our parties are partisan hacks more interested in political power than in governing wisely or even well. We need change. And the people, Iâ€™m convinced, want that change. Not just minor adjustments, but fundamental change.
I think the time for talk is quickly passing. Itâ€™s now time to act. Iâ€™m not sure what that means for me, but I know it will include me in some form or fashion. I may be leaving this blog, but Iâ€™m not giving up on the fight.
The Cost Of Incompetence is high…
Brace Yourself: Bill Frist aka Mr. Expediency is making all the sounds of someone who is definitely running. (And we will NOT use the words “intelligent design” in the same sentence with his name…)
Musings On Patritorism from lalaoshi.
Wisdom On Disaster Relief from the east…
Great Posts By Iraqi And Afghani Bloggers can be found at the Carnival of the Liberated.
Don’t Forget That Katrina’s Victims also include pets.
911 Revisited Part I: Due to our travels, we really couldn’t do the kind of 911 roundup we had hoped to do (but we put a tribute on the site). Many blogs on the left, center and right left tributes. Tom Watson wrote a blunt one that should be read in full. Here’s a small part of it:
The greatest failing of the Bush presidency is the timid Federal response to the events of September 11, 2001 in New York, and Washington, and Pennsylvania.
For all the rhetoric, for all the political hay made with the phrase “9/11” – although I suspect Katrina has ended its evident effectiveness forever – for all the manly posturing, the bullhorns, the stately music and the photo opps, we have failed. And by we, I mean the national government we placed in power and indeed, reelected on the promise of security.
Because Osama bin Laden is at liberty. And he has been for four long years: a span of time longer than that between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrender of Imperial Japan on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. The political and moral will to kill or capture (and then kill, frankly) the 9/11 mastermind has dried up along with the crocodile tears shed by politicians who see those terrible attacks as mere political opportunity.
Read the rest yasself….
911 Revisited Part II: Intel Dump’s Phil Carter, who is a military officer and law student, also offers an assessment from his point of view. Again, this is just part of it 4 U:
In destroying Al Qaeda’s Afghan sanctuary, we also caused the terror group to metastasize into an even more amorphous network of shadowy players and ideologies than it once was, making it even harder to quash than before. This is not to suggest that we should have let Al Qaeda stand and flourish in Afghanistan; such thinking is sheer idiocy. However, we must recognize Al Qaeda today is more dangerous than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, and that it will be a much tougher enemy to defeat than we originally imagined. Indeed, though we may eventually crush the Al Qaeda network, we will likely never extinguish the Islamic fundamentalist ideology which fuels its violence.
And we have also faltered since Sept. 11, 2001. Our detention and interrogation policies have backfired in a way unimaginable just four years ago, when many of us were ready to stick a terrorist’s head on a pike along the Washington mall. This has greatly diminished our moral and political standing in this global struggle, and thus diminished our ability to get things done in a war where we need international cooperation to win. Likewise, our war in Iraq has succeeded in its stated aims (WMD denial and regime change), but has ignited a new wave of terrorism in that country and abroad. Tomorrow’s jihadists are being recruited and trained in Iraq today, faster than we can kill or capture them, and we cannot predict how these men (and women) will be thrown against us in the future.
Domestically, Hurricane Katrina has shown us many of the inadequacies, fissures and friction points in our consequences management plans. As I wrote last week, there is little differences (from a consequences management perspective) between a terrorist WMD attack that destroys a city and a natural disaster which achieves the same end. You have the same human, environmental and logistical effects to manage regardless of the causal mechanism. In the four years since Sept. 11, we have spent an enormous amount of money to be “ready” for the next one, whatever it might be. We have had time to build bureaucracies, purchase equipment, stage rehearsals and learn lessons. Unfortunately, it appears that we have wasted the opportunity of the last four years, and that we are not ready for the next one. We must not waste any more time.
Indeed, this is why those who hurl around the phrase “blame game” or insist the government did just a terrific job (so terrific that Michael Brown was demoted and then resigned) are indulging — to be blunt — in political CYA versus trying to do what needs to be done protect ALL Americans of all political parties. To fix things we have to find out VERY QUICKLY what went wrong, not paper over it, or delay it until a politically opportune moment. And if that means a Repoublican President, Democratic mayor or Democratic Government doesn’t look good, then that’s just too bad. LIVES depend on us fixing this system — a system that many of us thought had been fixed and strengthened.