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If It Is Broke, Fix It!

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It occurs to me that as old adages say, waste not want not, might not entirely be true when it comes to those anointed few in the halls of Government, big surprise! The Senate Panel charged with this inquiry determined that “Hurricane Katrina turned FEMA into a ‘symbol of a bumbling bureaucracy’ so far beyond repair that it should be scrapped.” Ya think?!? But that doesn’t mean it should be scrapped for Pete’s sake! Ever thought of repairs?

You can always tell the ‘haves’ from the ‘have nots.’ Take me for example. When my faucet pipe broke the other day, I looked at it, and sure enough, the faucet itself was very old, a little corroded, and probably in need of replacement sometime in the future. While Lieberman et al would just throw the thing away and get a shiny new one, (quite possibly inferior to the old one as new does not always mean better), I didn’t even think of that option. Why, you ask? I ain’t got the money! Novel approach, huh? I had several feet of pipe to replace the bad, a bottle of ‘Liquid Wrench’ to clean up the pipe threads, and a can of ‘Brasso’ to polish that old faucet up. Granted, it did take some time and hands-on effort mind you. It also took a trip to Wal-Mart, a fight through the checkout line, and nasty traffic on the return home, not to mention a needless waste of fossil fuel chasing after something I didn’t really need.

Now I know that comparing my leaky pipes to the FEMA fiasco is a bit odd, but not really. Why should we kill one bureaucracy only to start another one called “The National Preparedness and Response Authority?” If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, then….

Unlike now, the authority would communicate directly with the president during major crises, and any dramatic cuts to budget or staffing levels would have to be approved by Congress. But it would remain within the Homeland Security Department and would continue receiving resources from the department.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said FEMA needs to be stripped out of the larger department and restored to an independent Cabinet-level agency. “That’s how it was done in the past and it worked as we hoped,” said Lautenberg, a member of the Senate panel.

So let’s try a novel approach, say, oh I don’t know, Fix It? Can’t the chain of command for FEMA be rerouted as proposed? Can’t the reorganization be better outfitted to an existing structure? Do we really need to throw away all that stationary? Are we really better served trashing those nifty T-shirts, windbreakers, clipboards, and pens, not to mention those swell plastic name badges that hang from a lanyard? And what about the Website? Should we just go out and pay the same guys who posted the FEMA site to copy and paste their work with a few new NPRA logos? Wait!! That’s already taken by the National Pro Rodeo Association! What will we do now! Time to have a new Oversight Committee look into this one’s apparent trademark infringement!

I better stop while I’m ahead; I am ahead aren’t I?

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