Another Day, Another Disaster

When the alarm clock went off this morning our temptation was to cover our omnipotent head, curl up in a little all, and huddle under the covers. The arduous search for a job that pays better than blogging has taken its toll, sapping our strength and resolve. It's also extended to our much-beloved blogging which explains the two consecutive, all-photo posts this week. Our apologies to all of our dear readers for the slippage in quality. We haven't felt like a rant this week, but we are going to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do something today.

Here goes.

Hurricane Rita is bearing down on the Texas Gulf Coast, bringing fears that it will mash into the devastation brought by Katrina, creating one huge mega-disaster area. Let's call it the "KatRita" disaster for short.

It's too early to tell yet if preparations are better this time.

Those who believe the last fiasco was unforeseen and unprecedented have already started to look for evidence that things will be different this time. Hundreds of buses leading away from Galveston are contrasted with the hundreds of unused and inundated school buses in New Orleans. Dear Leader has laid down his free guitar, stayed home from his regularly scheduled bi-weekly vacation, and and is poised to make the first near-daily visits to the newly flooded area. Promises that he'll print more money to pay for all this are already being made. No word yet on when we can expect the first resignations.

For those who don't believe, there is ample evidence of another failure in the making. The Texas evacuations started early, but there are thousands of cars stranded in a 100 mile long traffic jam that leaves them vulnerable in their cars instead of safer in their more substantial homes. The triumphantly-repaired New Orleans levies have already been breached and the flood waters are rewatering large parts of the newly dewatered Big Easy. The Army Corps of Engineers, whose engineering caused the problems in the first place, are hard at work engineering a new solution. It's heartening when someone gets a second chance, isn't it?

So, at this point, the situation is normal - FUBARed, stuck on stupid, or some other military euphemism for hosed beyond belief.

However, one difference we have noted this time around is how the inevitable rise in the cost of gasoline is being presented. Oil company shills explain that $4 per gallon gasoline is actually for our benefit. While puzzling over why we'd never thought to send them our gratitude and thanks, they explained that without the high cost there would be no gasoline at all. They apparently have no explanation for how someone who makes less than minimum wage is supposed to pay for that "plentiful" gas, but this is a mere quibble we're sure.

This spaghetti logic mirrors a discussion we once had with a co-worker who explained that sweat shops were wonderful for the Third World because, without them, there would be no jobs in those places at all. We were never quite clear on how working 16 hours per day for wages that are still lower than the per capita wage in whatever
slum they live in was such a sweet deal for the workers, but voodoo economics never was our best subject. Perhaps it's the same logic that promotes offshoring jobs as a way to create jobs, although we think it's a pretty hard sell to tell a laid off software engineer that a
job at McDonald's really is the pathway to the American dream. Curiously, we never seem to outsource "important" jobs. Oops, we forgot about Cheney and Halliburton.

The problem is this - capitalism is an economic theory primarily based on the credo "greed is good". We guess we shouldn't expect much else.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, September 23, 2005

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