Where Have You Gone, Colin Powell?


First of all, he acknowledged Galveston was in his district and that we should do things like we did in 1900, which is the year of the Galveston Hurricane, so when he then says, ‘We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states’  I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt that he means to include a public warning system. I have a feeling that if the state couldn’t afford it, then people wouldn’t get one. Isn’t that the point? Coordinating voluntarily between the states is a great idea when we are talking about highways and school systems but is not a good idea even a little bit when we are talking about disaster preparation. Disasters don’t acknowledge state borders or budgets; the entire general state budget for Alabama is about $2 billion dollars, after all. How could it possibly absorb the costs of a massive hurricane? What about the network of weather satellites and radar systems? They weren’t there in 1900, and if we always did things like we did in 1900, we would never have developed them.  Should we shut them down and let states launch their own?

I’m only being slightly facetious here because I really don’t know what to expect anymore other than the right wing to keep scooting to the right. Yes, in 1900 the coordinated voluntarily between the states thing was all we had but as our nation has grown in population density it stops working. The world is fundamentally different than it was in 1900, so the solutions that 1900 presents are irrelevant to us today except as answers to the question of how they did things in 1900. Of course, if this is the position that a person is taking and 19th Century morals suit them, then 19th Century solutions might be very appealing to them. However, this doesn’t make them workable solutions. Letting sick people die because they don’t have insurance or states to wallow in the aftermath of a massive disaster doesn’t make the United States a stronger nation.

This sort of thing is, for me, like arguing about vaccines. The success of vaccines has bred a generation that is so healthy and comfortable that they don’t understand what the world was like before, what a polio outbreak really can mean, or what a baby with whooping cough sounds like. The science behind vaccines is so solid and successful that they are taken for granted by our society and so there are those who will perversely reject them.

Governors who talk out one side of their mouth about secession while asking for Federal funds out the other, a Congresswoman who will never let a fact get in her way, a man who will trip over himself to deny what he’s accomplished, a bloated academic whose major contribution to politics was lowering the standards of discourse, and a pizza man who makes deeply weird Youtube videos. And Dr Paul. Honestly, I wouldn’t want any of these people in my house, let alone giving them any power over how I live. The title of this post was the cover story for the Time Magazine I was reading on my lunch break on September 10, 2001. It’s just as apt today.

United We Stand,
Divided We Fall.


7 Responses to “Where Have You Gone, Colin Powell?”

  1. I occasionally entertain the notion that we need to start thinking very critically of every facet of our government and it’s programs. Even if you think Dr. Paul’s assessment of FEMA is farfetched (or perhaps harebrained), it’s necessary that we start to take a long hard look at what we’re paying for. I hope his comments continue to stir up a slew of “Why do we need this, how can we make it affordable?” discussions.

    You don’t need heartwrenching imagery for that to make sense.

    • Huck
      Honestly, I spent an hour composing a reply and teh internets ate it. Or my hot air drifted away. I’ll try it again tomorrow. Anyway, I do respect your point.

      • Sorry to hear that, I hate it when that happens and then you can’t seem to catch that same inspiration when you rewrite so you just have to toss it.

        I swear my Muse has about 11 and a half months off a year, and more blackout dates than every major airline combined.

      • Whoa, run-on.

  2. I just couldn’t keep watching. It was painful a la in-grown toenail painful. “Let him die!” from the audience . . . really? I mean, jezuz fuck, REALLY? Coordinating like 1900? Are you serious. Let’s go back to the good old days because they worked so well, barring the logic that we have a kajillion more people and things like electricity.

    I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t drink coffee with these people, let alone let them into my house.

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