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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Politics and Penguins

The big story today was Michael Brown's testimony before Congress today. In my opinion it didn't go well for him as it shouldn't have. He refused to accept the fact that he was unqualified for the job as FEMA head and while he did take some of the blame, he cast most of the blame on the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, and even the Bush Administration. While there is blame enough to go around, Brown deserves much of it. The one mistake that he admitted to was the failure to recognize the fact that Louisiana was dysfunctional, but as Christopher Shays (R-CT) said, communnication and planning is what FEMA does. It was Brown's job to make sure things were happening in the affected areas, he couldn't do it, so he lost his job. While I appreciate the fact that "Brownie" is being castigated, I think an independent committee is needed to investigate why everything went so wrong. Michael Brown is not the only problem.

During the Falkland Island War between Great Britain and Argentina in 1982, many minefields were laid. The soil on the Falkland Islands is very peaty so the mines would be very difficult to remove. There are approximately 25,000 mines left buried on the islands in about 117 mine fields. This may sound like a very bad thing , but the mine fields are fenced off and have now become unofficial nature preserves. Sheep can't graze there so the vegetation is coming back and many of the fields have become mating areas for several species of penguins and other sea birds who are too light to set off the mines. Because of natures recovery, the Falkland Islands have become a visiting point for tourists who want to enjoy the view.

In Iraq, two more people were killed bringing the total to 38 for September and 1922 in total.


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