Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's difficult for me to get into the nutty mood usually required to write a blog entry when the world has come to an end in not so-far-away Haiti. In keeping with my irrational personality, I'd like to be there helping fix an unfixable problem, but instead I'm sitting here in boondocks Upsala doing very little. I can offer you a link to a page that lists places you can contact to help . . . not much, but the best I can do. You can read about two bloggers' progress getting help to the Haitians here and here.

Politicians are negotiators. Firefighters are fixers. When people are dying, you need to cut through as much negotiation crap as possible and get the fixers on the scene pronto. All governments seem to have trouble with this, I guess because they're run by politicians instead of firefighters. The flip side is that if the fixers aren't coordinated and directed properly, their ability to fix is impaired or destroyed. Negotiation and politicking are necessary even for agencies dedicated solely to emergency response (like fire departments), but they must be done in the quietness of a boardroom and not dragged onto the fireground to be effective. Click here to read more of my views on politics.

Fire departments exist for emergency response. Governments exist to run countries, so emergency response is not as much a priority as it needs to be at the moment an earthquake strikes the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

Bureaucracy is the bane of fixers, and is undoubtedly one of the impediments hindering the response to Haiti right now. My January article talks about the pros and cons of this necessary evil . . . you can read it here, and see the cartoon I drew to accompany it here.

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