Friday, September 09, 2005

Have the rats ...

found the cheese?

Not long ago the road home was repaved (Nifong west of Providence). Now it's all shiny and black and smooth. I was great. At least until people started driving on it. And it's not that driving on it ruined it or anything. But rather than there were yet no lines painted on it, only those little post-it looking tabs sticking up from the road surface. Yellow ones for where the yellow lines would go and white ones where the sides of the road where and the shoulder began.

But that wasn't sufficient. Most people either didn't see them, ignored them, or didn't understand what they meant. And so they had this whole wide new black road to drive on and they took advantage of it. So if they were turning and wouldn't pull through traffic to finish their turn they could now block the entire road rather than just their lane. D'oh

And it continued and continued. When I first drove down it after the paving was finished I was mildly confused until I saw the post-its and realized what they signified. Then I knew where the lanes were going to be and I drove accordingly. I realized one night driving home that this was just like a big rat maze that the psychology people use in their experiments, except the walls had been removed (well mostly removed). The rats had no idea where to go now that there was no clearly defined path for them to trudge along.

However it seems that yet again, I'm in the minority. Many people were close but there were (and always will be as far as I can tell) those for whom we can say (and I love this quote)

"You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of
horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating

I've continued to read things about the recovery and aid efforts following Katrina. I'll have to admit that other than delaying going down to the worst hit parts of LA/NO, the only thing the president did wrong was appointing an unqualified (as far as I can tell) lawyer crony as the FEMA director.

Seems to be pretty free of finger-pointing, blamestorming and liberal bias. And it asks several interesting questions. It seems there were plans in place both for evacuation and response in the event of major storms. So my previous question "why wasn't there a plan" is moot, there was, but no one seemed to follow it (them).

However it doesn't appear that Governor Blanco or Mayor Nagin acted soon enough with enough decisiveness to deal with the situation. The president asked for an evacuation before the storm and the governor refused. The mayor called for an evacuation but was overriden by the governor. He didn't make use of the school bus fleet which the evacuation plan called for. None of them (Blanco/governor, Nagin/mayor, Brown/FEMA) paid enough attention (it seems) to the Hurricane Warning center or events as they unfolded.

But it's easy to sit up here cool, dry and well-fed in Missouri and say these things, isn't it? (and for the record I have donated money and have been wrestling with the idea of putting my name on but with Matt here I don't know if it would work)


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