Mr. Brin brings a balanced and insightful perspective to the issues surrounding the official reaction to Katrina and, to a lesser extent, to 9/11. Such an approach is rare. Even more rare, he treats with respect the professionals who put their lives at risk for the rest of the population while at the same time exposing dangerous trends among some of that group's leadership. Instead of presenting a partisian picture and instead of slinging mud, he speaks frankly about the problems and opportunities facing the professional groups and the average citizens.
A responsive and responsible citizenry is the foundation of a democracy, especially in these times of increased peril. Mr. Brin turns a uniquely American light on these issues with a view toward making things better.
Mr. Brin makes a compelling argument for citizen power in the face of official disarray. He also exposes how an "effective" official response can stymie the purpose and ability of well-meaning citizens. Definitely not the sort of thing you've had drilled into your head since you were a child. Well worth a read.