September 02, 2005

Seeing The Light

It hasn't been my experience that you can stop off at The Corner for a dollop of bipartisan good sense. I guess wonders will never cease.

... For years, Democrats complained that we needed to spend more on "first-responders." I took this for what it often was: an attempt to pad municipal budgets with pork. But, one must concede it wasn't entirely about that either.

... The choice isn't between a lean, fiscally responsible, Republican budget and a porcine Democratic budget which included money for first responders. The Republican Congress has proven to be just about as disgusting in its spending as a Democratic Congress might have been. Sure, perhaps Democrats would have spent a bit more, but Republicans are supposed to be against bloated government and the stealing of tax dollars for personal projects and missions. So whatever pennies we've hypothetically saved with Republicans, their hypocrisy and betrayal of principle more than compensates.

... But, we were supposed to be preparing --at the national level -- for a major terrorist attack for the last four years. I just don't see much evidence of that preparation. Congress re-assembled lickity-split to deal with Terri Schiavo -- a decision that didn't and does not bother me the way it bothers some. But however you define the issues involved in that case, in terms of real human suffering they are very hard to stack-up against what's happened in New Orleans. ...

Jonah Goldberg, folks. I can't exactly point a finger over the partisan digs, ahem, but he's sounding refreshingly sensible.

First responders are the people who go into the burning buildings, wade into the floodwaters, go from safety to danger. Exactly the opposite of what anyone's good sense would usually dictate. It seems like padding the budget until the day you need it. It might seem like a waste until the only show on TV is the people who couldn't afford to get away and you find yourself face to face with the reality that your fellow citizens are dropping dead in the streets and begging for days for someone to help them.

Yes, a crisis like this is a persuasive argument for seeing the light about the need to prepare for the worst. If there was a functional opposition party in this country, they might even be able to use this new public attitude to make their case and browbeat the majority party into making a longer term investment in this country's emergency and civic infrastructure. Not holding my breath.

Posted by natasha at September 2, 2005 06:12 AM | US News | Technorati links |

When will business and government organizations finally wake up and realize that crisis preparedness is not something you deal with after the fact?
The cataclysmic debacle in New Orleans is just the latest example of a management team not anticipating and planning for the worst case scenario. I see this "it can't happen here" mentality in business all the time. In fact, we recently partnered with a trade publication called Business Continuity Insights to survey hundreds of readers, all of whom are top corporate security and risk managers, about crisis preparedness. We asked two questions: Did they have a crisis plan in place? More than 80 percent did. Had they ever simulated a crisis? More than two-thirds hadn't.
Crisis planning isn't a nice to have. It's a MUST for every single business, government, sports, entertainment, for-profit and non-profit organization.
How many more times do we have to see an egregious planning and preparation faux pas a la New Orleans before the people in charge finally wake up?

Posted by: Steve Cody at September 2, 2005 09:49 AM

What we've seeing is not a breakdown of the system. This was not flaws in the system. This was not a malfunction of the system. This was not a shortcoming of the system. This was the system.

People were reduced to desperation so that their desperation could be exploited in the most disgusting ways. Karl Rove couldn't have asked for more.

Posted by: PhilK at September 2, 2005 07:56 PM