The false paradigm: a lack of perspective

‘The flailing response to Katrina’ – say what?

After his administration’s incompetence and indifference had lethal consequences in Katrina’s wake, President Bush has been scrambling to regain his footing. [ Jackson, Eased out of the big easy . Chicago Sun-Times 05oc04]

There is an awful lot of this throwing around of words like ‘incompetence’ and ‘indifference’ and ‘failure’ and so on. But when push comes to shove, those throwing such words cannot support them with anything more than anecdote, rumor, and hyperbole.

The problem is that such statements are thrown out with confidence and repeatedly such that they can become ingrained with an aura of truth. Yet they are vague allegations only supported out of context or with anomoly. They presume a negative paradigm and view everything through a distorted lens.

In regard to the Big Easy, it is being found that the paradigm of federal malfeasance traces back to the earliest reporting. Local and state corruption was ignored. Many reports were based on unsubstantiated rumors. Angry people demanding immediate gratification were paraded as responsible and reasoned. Politicians trying to minimize malfeasance and maximize influence were given much exposure to criticize and complain. People describing facts or being reserved about their descriptions of the problems they encountered were grouped into the generic collection of mud throwers no matter the substance or quality of their evidence.

This has become so bad that many feel the need to qualify the examination of warts and small errors and anomolies else an angry partisan will take what one says as proof positive of their views, even if absurdly out of context.

Meanwhile, it can be seen that the response to the disaster was timely, effective, and perhaps overdone. The problems of local, state, and federal coordination and management delayed some efforts but did not have undue actual consequence and they did provide good meat for learning for future improvement.

In only a month, the region is getting back in its feet. The ‘doom and gloom’ contingent is shifting from lack of immediate gratification to disasters of excess spending and poor accountability in government funds. Perhaps it will be found yet again that the expectations of failure, malfeasance, and incompetence will have been grossly exagerated. The expressions of those expectations will once again be swept under the rug. It makes one wonder how big the lump in the carpet will need to get before people start to look and find all of the detritus of false paradigms and lack of perspective.

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