03 May 2010

Stepping in the oily slick

I really offended some facebook friends when I mentioned that FEMA had not responded at all.  It turns out they work peripherally for the agency...and of course, I assumed, if this isn't what FEMA is for (a multi-state natural/man-made disaster) then what IS it for, right?  But it turns out that the FEMA guidelines are strictly dependent on what the governors and President do.  They all have to declare states of emergency.
For instance, the police don't prevent crime...that's not what they do.  They are there to arrest the perp after the crime is committed.  Strictly speaking they don't protect and serve.
FEMA is a reactionary agency and until a disaster blooms to a certain magnitude, they don't respond.
It would be like a fire department that doesn't respond to a house fire until the whole house is fully engulfed and they are there to keep the fire from spreading to the neighborhood.
Or maybe it's more like a nuclear cleanup crew who don't get called in until the leak escapes from the plant, so they stand around until the meltdown is fully engaged.
It's shockingly short-sited, I think, to decide not to respond to a disaster that can potentially spiral out of control.
With the full force of the world's greatest military out our control, we should be able to cap an oil well, protect our border, and destabilize militant dictators intent on our destruction.

Cementing by Halliburton gone wrong?
North Korean sub blew up oil rig?
SWAT teams were not sent; Obama used hyperbole
Houston luncheon US Dept of Interior was about to give 'outstanding safety and pollution prevention' award to BP?
Earth Day, Gulf of Mexico set afire and undersea oil well explodes
Fire hoses sank the oil platform?