Monday, September 19, 2005

Now we lose sight of the idea

It should be clear by now that actual emergency response is inconsistent with unreality-based statecraft.

It should also be clear that the more we hear about FEMA, the less we will actually attend. We'll hear chatter instead.
Citizens in a republic of voyeurs, we are intent on microscopic moralism, incapable of appreciating more gracefully the contradictions, tensions, and ragged edges of all lives and unwilling to take ideas seriously, as something more than bandages for personal wounds. Seyla Benhabib, writing beautifully about a completely different thing.
As FEMA is the Enron of the moment, this blog's FEMA-related cry in the wilderness will stand down. Posthaste. Mostly. Almost immediately. But first....

The Fort Laud Sun Sentinel has been studying the allergy to common sense known as FEMA. Where the money goes and doesn't go. With a lot of sidebars, anecdotes and charts. The project includes a look at Punta Gorda's "FEMA City," the future of po' folk in La., Miss. and Ala., and an equal opportunity dead end for those yet to lose their homes to a hurricane.

Speaking of which, hundreds of trailers brought to FL last year by FEMA are standing around the state, empty, never put to use. It has been suggested that these trailers could be moved to where they are needed.

But FEMA has probably forgotten about them, as forgetting is one of its key mission principles. The only activity it seems never to forget, as this splendid story from the Salt Lake Tribune documents, is PR.

The Salt Lake Tribune story was cited in Frank Rich in his last "free" column, in yesterday's NY Times. So highly does the Times prize its public mission to speak truth for dollars that it has consigned its entire battery of pundits to oblivion.

Now about those Emmys...

::Update:: on the Times fiasco:
It acknowledges that I'm a Times Select member when I try to sign in, but when I try to actually read protected content it doesn't recognize that I already have the service and offers no option other than signing up for the service and no way back to the content.

"The NYT Select thing is a total catastrophe." ~ Laura Rozen.
The Times and FEMA are One.

::Update 2::Sheila Lennon: I expect to see the columns "pirated" on the file-sharing applications that has the RIAA suing over music, passed around like contraband, or emailed around to small groups like jokes.

Indeed, as she notes, this has begun. The routing around will probably provoke the Times to sue, which will, in turn, provoke a large contest between the routarounders and the routedaround.


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