Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Holistic Meltdown

That's the term I use to describe the farce that has become disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Holistic Meltdown.

I think it may be fair at this point to say that the governments of New Orleans and Louisiana will be found utterly incompetent at best, and irreversibly corrupt at worst. There is simply no way you can justify the complete lack of cohesion and response in New Orleans. Mississippi and Alabama - while spared perhaps the worst - have no such similar issues. No, it's New Orleans that has shamefully - singularly - failed to take care of its residents following a natural disaster that could have - should have - been expected to have happened during any Autumn in the past 40 years.

To make matters even worse, amidst all of the ridiculous allegations that race (rather than incompetence) were behind the abysmal treatment New Orleans' residents received at the hands of the motley crew of first responders, here now stands FEMA pouring salt into the wounds of the survivors.

You'd think something as important as disaster aid, which is only really useful to people who have been in a disaster, should be as easy to register for as possible.

However, if you visit http://disasteraid.fema.gov with anything other than Internet Explorer 6 w/ JavaScript enabled, you're not going to have much luck applying for relief funds appropriated by your federal government. Somehow, your browser version is important in applying for relief. I'm not sure why your browser version matters to FEMA. In reality, it probably wasn't an intentional act. Maybe it's because the government has bought licenses for a bajillion copies of Windows XP w/ IE6, so they figure everyone has it. Unlike AOL, it doesn't come in boxes of cereal. Libraries, etc. with internet-connected computers may not actually have IE6.

It's almost comical in a Douglas Adams kind of way. Bumbling bureaucrats who have nothing left but policies & processes. A careless decision by disinterested employees of a mega-establishment, blissfully unaware of the consequences of their actions. It's almost surreal.

This however is the least of the survivor's problems. There are too many people who could really use clean clothes, a good meal, and a bottle of water that don't give a damn about a FEMA website.

Perhaps the most disturbing stories are those recounted by people very close to those providing relief. A co-worker's brother is a Pastor in the Dallas area, and helped to establish a facility where survivors could stay, be clothed and fed, etc. People have driven from thousands of miles to offer assistance to families there. One after the other, they offer housing and personal aid to as many people or families as they can.

Here's what's disturbing. One gentleman came from Mississippi, offering to take up to 15 families back with him. He would house them, feed them, help them re-establish their wardrobes & dignity, and pay $200 per day (equivalent of $50,000 / year) to the able bodied for assistance in cleaning up his home town.

Nobody came forth.

The offer was repeated over the PA system that so many before him had used.

Again, no-one came forth.

If there was ever a question that the entitlement mentality engulfing this nation's poor - fueled by the misguided, affluent liberal contingency - is a downward spiral, this situation should put it to rest for good. These people would rather live in squalor than go to work for $50k per year. LOTS of them. Even those with nothing left to lose would rather beg than earn.

Can someone from the left please read The Dream and the Nightmare with an open mind, and re-evaluate the real consequences of bleeding heart liberalism?

1 comment:

Newsman said...

Couldn't agree with you more. Which others should take a long hard look at and think about being more prepared in case of disaster.

There are simple things one can do to be more prepared, such as...registering with their local fire department to be placed on a special list to be searched for in case of a disaster.

As we have noted, water, or I should say drinkable water is one of the most (if not the most important) needs of survivors. Most people don't even realize that you can store and keep a gallon of drinking water fresh for an entire year with a drop of bleach.

There is a "Disaster Preparedness Kit" advertised online at many sites which is selling for $29.97 and up, and I personally believe that it is worth whatever value you place on your life or the life of a loved one.

However, your readers need not pay for such valuable and beneficial items such as this when they can obtain it and many other such valuable gifts FREE at http://southernliving.blogsome.com/

Many thanks, and keep up the good work.