Monday, September 12, 2005

Blame Game

I've had a hard time trying to blog over the past couple of weeks, as evidenced by the lack of posts. (Not that I'm usually very prolific anyway.) The reason is Hurricane Katrina, and specifically the maelstrom of spin and finger pointing that came in the storm's wake. Almost from the moment the levees were breached, it has seemed that the primary focus of attention from politicians, media and many bloggers has been assigning blame for what has happened or defending against such accusations.

One would hope that faced with a disaster of this magnitude the primary focus would be on saving lives and doing whatever is needed to rebuild the Gulf Coast region and the lives of the people who lived there. Unfortunately, I'm not naive enough to expect that. I understand why politicians and pundits play the blame game. In the current political environment everything is seen as an opportunity to score political points.

The government response has certainly been far from perfect. Those agencies involved (federal, state, local) should review what happened and do their utmost to learn from the experience and correct what can be corrected (some "problems" in our system are features and not bugs, as a computer programmer might say, and as such can't be corrected). There is a time for this kind of review. But it just seemed crass to me to indulge in punditry about the response while the disaster was/is unfolding.

FWIW, there has been plenty of good reporting and blogging about Katrina. In particular, I'm thinking about efforts by bloggers to suggest and collect donations for relief agencies and charities.

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