September 12, 2005

Will we ever learn?

An article in Time Magazine reports that Mike Brown, the former head of FEMA, "padded" his resume to get where he is, er, was. I don't really blame Mike Brown, though. We live in a world where imaginary credentials are more important than real experience, where people cannot learn and work in fields that interest them but must "meet the demands of the market" and where a despotic consumer is encouraged to make insane demands of honest business while supporting hand over fist any corrupt entrepeneur that will meet their petty needs.

We have created a world where honest, ethical business practices take a back seat to the bottom line and consumers are encouraged to be petty tyrants. "Padding" a resume is not only common practice, it is an essential business skill. Why have we allowed this to happen? Does anybody really know? Does anybody even care?

September 02, 2005

Have we truly sunk this low?

Go here: CNN

Five days ago a Category 4 hurricane named Katrina struck the Gulf Coast Region. Tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of people are left stranded with no food, no clean water, no medical assistance, and no hope of getting help anytime soon. Is this truly the United States of America? Is this the same nation that rebuilt Germany and Japan, financed the rebuilding of South Korea, drove the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, and recently invaded two Middle Eastern nations on the pretext of bringing democracy and fighting terrorism? We can command the world but we cannot manage the evacuation of a single city surrounded by some of the richest communities in the world? Have we sunk so low that firing on hospitals, rescue workers and police is our first response to the loss of civil order?

For the first time in my 44 years of life, I am truly ashamed to call myself an American. The failure in the Gulf Coast is a complete failure on so many levels it is unimaginable that this could even happen. One hurricane, a few broken levees, a drowned city, and the common people revert to behaviors and attitudes not seen in centuries.

Are we truly so shallow? Has American culture truly reached the point where we create more sociopaths than socially responsible citizens?

There is no doubt that Katrina has killed New Orleans. The city will never recover. I fear it may also spark the end of the greatest nation in the history of the world. The past five days have clearly shown that America has reached the point where she cannot take care of her own people.

This is our burning of Rome. This is the beginning of our end. People are dying and what is our president doing? Wining and dining his old friends in the oil industry and asking them not to raise gasoline prices.

At least Nero was honest in his fiddling.