Katrina. One year later. Heck of a job, FEMA, Bush, Brownie, Chertoff and all of the Department of Homeland Security gang of fuck-ups and their bosses.
Some people think that Joe Lieberman’s idea to put FEMA in DHS was a bad idea. But DHS is the right place for FEMA. Incompetent, screw-up agencies should always be grouped so it is easier to deal with them when a new administration comes along (we hope in two years). In the meantime . . .
DHS has a website, recently updated: Ready.gov. When the Federation of American Scientists first looked at it they thought it could be, well, let’s say, improved. Improved as in: better writing; better, more complete and more accurate advice; clearer advice. Minor stuff like that. So they threw all the considerable resources of a non-profit at it: a summer intern. In two months she had thoroughly critiqued the DHS site and produced a better one: ReallyReady.org.
DHS’s response — believe it or not — was that their site was constructed by federal experts, not a summer intern and that the ReallyReady site would confuse people. Confuse them with better, more accurate information? Couldn’t have that. Better that there be one message, even if it’s wrong. Nothing confusing about Iraq having WMDs, after all.
The topper, here, is that now DHS is going after the FAS site on the grounds of trade-mark infringement. This, via BoingBoing:
“On August 1st, Boing Boing featured an article about the efforts of my summer intern, Emily Hesaltine, to improve on the Department of Homeland Security’s website Ready.gov. Her website, launched by the Federation of American Scientists, is called reallyready.org. Now the Department of Homeland Security is coming after us because they believe we have infringed on their ‘intellectual property.’ Specifically, they take issue with our use of a green check mark over the word Ready. I have posted their letter to us and our response. For the record, it cost them more money in lawyer time to write the letter then it did for us to create the entire website.” (Boingboing)
Don’t take our word for it. Go to both sites (keeping in mind that the DHS site has been recently improved as a result of the FAS criticism).
Heck of a job, DHS.