Had a bit of fun this morning. An agonized scream as the missus stepped into an ice cold shower. Well - once I stopped laughing, which took quite some time, I did a bit of checking. We have a combined boiler, which both heats the house and produces hot water on demand. The pressure in the system had dropped too low to allow the hot water circuit to work. It's a simple fix. And if I had noticed the pressure gauge earlier, there would have been no shriek at all. Should have taken all of 5 minutes, but the cupboard had to be emptied of all the crap that has been stashed in it first. Anyone want 60lbs of soap and shampoo?
"A stitch in time saves nine." Your grandma taught you that. And it's true. Pre-emption is invariably better than reaction. An idea that the current administration doesn't get. One of the unspoken assumptions in the Republic is that those in power are at least vaguely competent, and the thought that they are not is frightening. There are entire agencies that only exist to "check the pressure gauge" on the boiler of international relations. So why do they get ignored?
Basically - politics. Remember the crap stashed in the cupboard I mentioned? Replace relatively benign soap and shampoo with optics, messaging, fund raising, and policy statements by the President and his lackeys, and the cupboard gets much harder to clean out.
Clinton was warned about bin Laden - repeatedly. He listened and told the various security services to keep watching. Not a lot else he could have done, to be fair to him. You can't just go killing someone that badmouths your country. The world's population would shrink to zero overnight if that was the case. Then the politics peeked in with Janet Reno's totally marvelous idea of stopping the various services talking to each other and sharing information, a procedure solely designed to protect Clinton in his time of trouble.
GWB was warned about bin Laden, again repeatedly. But the briefings he got were disjointed, thanks to Reno. One agency was saying that the boiler pressure was fine, another was saying the boiler was redlining. While reversing Reno's rule seems totally obvious in hindsight, at the time it seemed a fairly trivial problem for a new President to be bothered with. Bush had other priorities - keeping up the good international relations his predecessors had created was one of them. And how much damage can one skinny, bearded volleyball fan do to a huge nation? So again, it was wait and see. We all know what happened after that. The pressure gauge was reading empty and the boiler exploded.
It's happening again. The international boiler is failing, the pressure gauge is really on zero now, and it's shaking and giving off clouds of smoke. But you can't get to the fix, because the current administration have packed the cupboard so tightly with crap that it's impossible to get in at all.
Just a silly. Felt like writing it, after I stopped giggling at the missus.