Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Government Failure in New Orleans - Today's Downsizer-Dispatch

This was the message and action item we sent out today. There will be more actions coming. The New Orleans flood and disaster relief are vivid, emotional demonstrations of just how big, centralized government works.

Politicians love to re-write history. It is vital to them that they do so. Since politics is nearly synonymous with incompetence, accurate history will tend to show most politicians in a bad light. So history must be controlled and spun to the greatest extent possible.

But it is better still if unflattering history can be forgotten before it is even learned.

That is what the politicians are attempting now. They want us to forget about the history of the New Orleans mess, and how they caused it, before our memory of the facts can solidify. When the politicians ask us to not assign blame, and when they accuse those who do so of playing politics with the misery of others, they are engaging in the ultimate political exploitation.

Imagine if the executives of Enron had said to the media, "The politicians shouldn't be assigning blame in this case, and gaining political advantage from the misery of others." No one would have stood for it.

But the politicians do the same thing and expect to get away with it. They know that if they can get us to stop thinking of all their failures while the evidence of those failures is fresh in our minds, then they may avoid paying the price for their criminal negligence once memories have faded and passions have cooled.

We will not participate in this scheme to forget history in advance. And we hope you won't either.

At DownsizeDC.org, we are considering several possible campaigns on this issue. Big government failed in every possible way in New Orleans. Big government has mismanaged the New Orleans levees since the 1970s, under both Democrats and Republicans. Big government mismanaged the National Guard's response to the crisis. FEMA has mismanaged the relief effort. And most stunning of all, every level of government has collaborated to keep private aid AWAY from the ruined city.

Each of these acts of failure deserves a response, but we have to start somewhere, so we are going to start with the National Guard.

Not enough National Guard troops were placed in the city early enough to rescue people and preserve law and order. There are many reasons for this failure, but perhaps the most significant is the misuse of the National Guard. The National Guard was not created to be, in George W. Bush's immortal words, "a nation building corps." It exists primarily for tasks here at home. But due to a back-door draft, the National Guard serves in Iraq instead.

An armed force of 1.4 million active duty personnel should not need to rely on the National Guard to maintain troop levels in Iraq. The Department of Defense has misused it resources. It has taken weekend soldiers away from their jobs and families, and put them in harms way overseas, while leaving nearly 500,000 fulltime soldiers deployed far away from the front - mostly in America and Europe. Why?

Is Canada or Mexico planning to invade the United States? Is Europe in danger of attack? Of course not. But New Orleans was in grave danger, as everyone in the world knew far in advance. The National Guard should have been here to help when the crisis came.

We want to urge Congress to bring home the National Guard, and discontinue deploying National Guard units overseas except when the United States is directly attacked by a foreign nation. Please help us correct the Federal government's misuse of the National Guard by sending a message to Congress today. You can do so by clicking here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
Downsize DC Foundation
& DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. The Downsize DC Foundation is doing its part as well. Remember, at this site, DownsizeDC.com, we talk about The Race between the forces of Big Government vs. Human Progress. Human Progress is brought to you by Social Power & the Free Market.

At this website we tell the story of individuals, churches & charities, and inventors & entrepreneurs delivering Human Progress, thanks to their freedom to innovate or help their neighbor. There are lots of amazing personal stories on the ground in the wake of this disaster (almost all of which are accompanied by some form of Big Government incompetence). In New Orleans, Social Power lost The Race to Big Government and the damage is immense. Thankfully, the forces of Human Progress haven't quit and gone home. Individuals, private organizations, and companies are diligently trying to repair this government-imposed mess. Thank God.

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