posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 09:30 PM
This situation is really making me nervous. Watching the news, reading the articles, etc., there's been one resounding sentiment between all
political parties, all takes I've read on the matter. The federal government needs to step in sooner.
Why does that make me nervous?
Glad you asked. The federal government currently needs a state's permission to operate within their borders. This was set up to prevent the central
government from gaining too much control over the individual states. As US citizens, our primary voting power is not in electing a president, it is in
electing local government. They're the ones that influence your day to day most, be it at town, county or state level. They rule your day to
day life. If you don't like it, you can move to the next town, the next school district, county, or even state without having to leave the basic
principles and inalienable rights afforded us by the Constitution of the United States.
The aftermath of Katrina is horrible. It appears so many people screwed up at their level, but at this point it is still hard to say. There really
needs to be an investigation before we start pointing fingers, and there will be several, both official and by the media.
After Katrina struck, the governor of Louisiana believed they had the situation under control. Things were bad, but the levies held, and the first
response teams were there. Shortly after, though, the levies started to break apart and New Orleans started to flood more severely. We all have seen
the footage. A day later the governor of LA declared a state of emergency, thereby giving the federal government permission to move in. This includes
FEMA. Normally FEMA says it will take between 72 and 96 hours to be able to mobilize and be on scene. Thankfully in this situation they had already
been preparing and were on the scene about 2 days after the declaration of a state of emergency, just over 72 hours after the levies started to
Now one of the major questions floating around is, in the wake of such a horrible disaster when the first response units, which are usually stationed
where the disaster takes place are taken out of commission, what's the backup. This makes perfect sense. FEMA really needs a first response
backup unit; a second response team, if you will. That doesn't make me nervous.
What makes me nervous is people are asking who makes the decision, and fingers are pointing to the federal government or even FEMA its self. If we
enact that, it gives the federal government unbridled power. At what point do they decide a disaster is too much for local authorities? We've seen
some of the aftermath of the Patriot Act, and we've seen some ways in which it's already been abused for non-terrorist investigation. Who's to say
the government won't decide that city drug use is out of hand, and send the ATF into the scene with shoot to kill orders? It seems crazy, I know, but
6 years ago if you asked me if the government would ever be able to pass something like the "Patriot" Act in this country and have it
supported I would have laughed at you until I couldn't breath. Now it's a reality, and it seems its powers are being expanded to other areas
outside of terrorism.
There needs to be change in our disaster response. Of this, there is no doubt. However, we cannot make a rash, spur of the moment reactionary decision
like we did in the wake of 9-11. We cannot let our emotion, our heartbreak at the suffering there cause us to react instead of investigate and
determine what failed and how it could be prevented. All of us are raw right now. We have just lived through the worst natural disaster in the history
of this country. It was televised, we saw first hand what was happening, and it was terrible. We need to step back, now, before making changes. We
need to let the wounds scab over and look at this analytically, instead of relationally. We reacted after 9-11, and some of our most important,
previously inalienable rights were taken away, possibly forever. Don't let this happen again!
So I'm nervous.