Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I'm getting tired of this : In reading up on the wake of Hurricane Katerina, I've come across a sentiment that runs counter the idea that the blame for the impact and lack of recovery should be laid at the feet at all level of governments. My own experience with the ice storm we had a few years back resonates with this: to place all your trust in the authorities, to assume that someone is taking care of it, that there are proper contingency plans in place, and that the will and the means to carry them out exist, is a mistake. You can punish them in the voting booth, but for the moment, the only person that is going to save you is you.

Having said that, I believe that the governments must be held accountable, since it is their responsibility to do whatever they can to minimize the risk of such situations occurring and to react in an effective manner if they do. This has clearly not happening in the case of New Orleans. The lack of both leadership and action is disgusting, and the appropriate people should be held accountable.

Aside: Anderson Cooper looses it on head-in-the-sand suck-up politico (mov, via Robot Widsom)

Part of the problem, I believe, is that bureaucracies, by their very nature, are not sympathetic to individual cases. They look at the big picture. How many people live in New Orleans? About 1.3 million (in the greater area). How many people are stranded there? 50,000? (I can't get an accurate count... there are apparantly ~30k at the Superdome...) That under 4% of the population, and may also consist of people who arguably bear some responsibility for not having evacuated when they were told to. "Well, we DID tell them to leave!" From the bureaucratic perspective, detatched from the reality that these people are suffering, this must be an acceptable situation. No need to freak out, everything is ok.

Look, it's either that or the government organizations are grossly, almost criminally, incompetent.