Midwest Ramblings 

Your Fired!

The inevitable finally happened and Mike Brown ďresignedĒ from FEMA. Too bad many people died and hardship was prolonged before it happened. I guess the good thing is that from now on all eyes will be on FEMA and those running it.

And not a moment too soon

Looks like heads are beginning to roll over disaster relief. It appears FEMA Director Mike Brown is out as the head of Katrina relief.

He was obviously going to be the first to take the hit over this.

It is only a matter of time before he leaves FEMA. He is probably already preparing the usual " I want to spend more time with my family speech".

He was clearly unqualified for the position. There are some places where it really doesn't matter if someone has experience. This is not one of them. I am coming to the conclusion that what we need is sort of a natural disaster czar who is only answerable to the president and is authorized to cut all red tape and ignore all bureaucracies.. It seems like someone who is a former high ranking military officer would be a good fit although others such as Rudy Giuliani could get the job done. There also needs to be a clarification as to what the law really is regarding federal intervention. I suspect many of the same people screaming that the military should have been there immediately would have gone nuts if the national guard operations were federalized and active duty military sent in by the president without the proper request and authorization from the governor

OSU vs Texas

Perhaps the biggest game of the college football season is taking place this weekend. The Texas-Ohio State game will knock the loser out of the national title chase and should give the winner a great opportunity to get to the title game. Being a Buckeye fan I have certainly seen a lot more of OSU than Texas but I have watched Texas a couple times over the last few years. I am not buying the new and improved Vince Young. It is one thing to put up big numbers against an inferior opponent and another thing to put them up against Ohio State. I donít see that happening. This is the year buckeye fans have been pointing to for a couple years. We have 3 quarterbacks that can get the job done, an experienced offensive line, a defense that appears reinvigorated after a down year last year and probably the best group of receivers in the country. I actually think the game is not going to be that close and think OSU will win by 20.

Buckeye fanís nemesis Trev Alberts was fired from ESPN. I am sure there was a lot of sorrow in Columbus over that. Often buckeye fans take things far to personally but there was something about him, especially during the championship year. He kept hammering them and hammering them. When you combine that with the piling on ESPN did over the Maurice Clarett allegations, taking into consideration the NCAA found no substance to them, well it just made for an ugly relationship. Now if Mark MayÖÖ

Katrina Aftermath and Relief

I have stayed away from posting on Katrina for a bit because of the continued finger pointing and shifting of blame that has been going on. It will take some time for the facts to become clear and in the meantime all we have all people spinning information to keep themselves out of the blame. A couple things are becoming clear though. First there was woefully inadequate preparation at the local level in Louisiana. Local resources that were available were left unused. Secondly there was a lack of local leadership in New Orleans. The feds response will take longer to evaluate since it is an ongoing process. Up to this point FEMA looks pretty bad. Some restructuring is needed.

However the bright spot once again has been the American people. Record donations, volunteers, people opening their homes once again shows the American heart. Secondly corporate America has to be given their due. For instance the anti corporate typeís favorite punching bag, Walmart, is donating millions despite their stores being looted. Companies are trying to employ displaced workers. Companies have donated their employees and services. Property management companies are providing rent free apartments. The list could go on.

Taking a Right Turn

Lost in the Katrina aftermath has been the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Now the president has another vacancy to fill and must decided whether to keep the courtís balance as it was or make it more conservative. It is tough to predict what he will do but I suspect he will name another conservative while trying to add another minority to the court. Janice Rogers Brown who was confirmed this year to the federal bench would fit that description along with a couple of Hispanic candidates not named Alberto Gonzales. I expect a fierce fight on this one. This is the real prize, not the Roberts confirmation

Good Bye Little Buddy

Yesterday was a sad day for classic TV lovers with the death of Bob Denver, better known as Gilligan. Talk about a show that became a cult classic. I know I must have seen every episode 20 times. A few years ago I saw a documentary on that show. When the show was canceled the cast had a choice of a lump payment for future rerun rights or a syndication fee for each show. They all chose a lump sum payment. Turns out if they had chosen the syndication fee they would have made millions off the show. As it was they didnít make that much from it. None of them had any idea how long it would remain popular.

On the Lighter Side

On the lighter side it was an interesting first week of college football. Us Buckeye fans found out that the swarming defense of the championship team is back and it appears Troy Smith is not going to waltz into the starting quarterback job after his suspension. We also see the same spread offense that ended last season and is suited best to their personnel. Woody Hayes must be spinning in his grave right now. I am now more convinced OSU should go unbeaten and play for the national title.

Elsewhere Oklahoma gets knocked out early. Is it just me or does it seem this year Virginia Tech is the team the media is building up as their pet team? Watched them barely beat NC State. They are going to have to play better than that. Louisvilleís offense is terrific but can they stop anyone? Canít tell much about USC since they crushed an outclassed Hawaii team. Miami vs. Florida State tonight but I doubt either of those teams will be factors in the national title

Get a plan

One thing this shows is the need for support systems other than the federal or local government. Every church, every major employer, and every community group needs to come up with a plan of action in case of a widespread disaster, whether it be a natural disaster, terrorist attack or civil unrest. If nothing come up with a means of getting in touch with people to make sure they are ok. Families need to come up with a way to communicate in case they get separated in a disaster.

The Blame Game

The blame game in New Orleans is in full bloom though most of it seems to be coming from local officials blaming the feds and of course people looking to score political points. It is way too soon to start assigning blame. First of all this was such a strong storm it is unlikely anything short of a total evacuation would have stopped the loss of live. As to why there wasnít, why relief didnít get there sooner, why law and order broke down there will be plenty of time to assess that. Why does there also have to be someone to blame? Arenít there accidents anymore or natural disasters? Is someone to blame for everything? Eventually it will become clear what happened but to try to assess it in the heat of the moment is stupid. Look at 9-11 and how much we thought we knew about it right away turned out to be false and how we are still learning things about it. Stop the blaming and just get the job done.

What's the point?

I started to write in detail to debunk the charges some are beginning to make that disaster relief is slow because the vast majority of hurricane victims are black but decided not to. The whole charge is just pathetic. Probably over 100 billion dollars in relief and rebuilding will be spent by the feds in the next several years. I wonder if the race hucksters who make those accusations truly believe that, if they can sleep at night and how they can look at themselves in the mirror. All you can do is have pity on people like that.

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