Every time that I plant a seed, Sheriff Steve Prator says give me your name and SS# before I let it grow

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Steve Prator, the sheriff of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, is hopping mad because FEMA won't release the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of hundreds of Katrina evacuees, so he can do background checks. The sheriff cites information from a snitch that led to his finding 33 evacuees had lengthy criminal records. FEMA says federal privacy laws won't allow them to release the information.

But Sheriff Prator points out that people in federally funded public housing developments have to go through background checks, and he doesn't see why it should be any different for evacuees living in FEMA-paid hotel rooms and shelters.

Call me a snob, but I think there should be a difference in presumption of guilt between somebody who ends up in public housing because he's a bum and somebody who ends up there because his house was wiped out by a flood. If we're going to be providing these services [Insert libertarian boilerplate about how anybody who provides assistance to those less fortunate should be sent to a death camp here], it makes sense to treat emergency evacuees differently than chronic handout-seekers (though there's certainly going to be some overlap between the two groups).

Thanks to David N. Smith

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  1. Good point Tim, but by making it, aren’t you implicitly accepting the view that we need to take care of people less fortunate than we are, and shouldn’t you therefore be sent to a death camp?

  2. To a gas chamber, go!

  3. Whoa, easy there, Billy, aka Whittaker Chambers. “Atlas Shruggled” wasn’t that bad.

  4. Did I really just write “Shruggled”?
    Yes I did.

  5. Jamie-I wondered if anyone would catch the reference.
    And Atlas Shruggled sounds like an amusing children’s cartoon about the joys of rational selfishness. (Shudders)

  6. Hey Billy, your ‘Caribean Queen’ was a real toe-tapper back in the ’80s. Thanks, man.

  7. On the surface of it, I agree. Typical public housing is a benefit. This is emergency relief. I don’t see why it should double as a dragnet.

  8. And Atlas Shruggled sounds like an amusing children’s cartoon about the joys of rational selfishness. (Shudders)

    Can’t be any worse than Captain Planet was.

  9. it makes sense to treat emergency evacuees differently than chronic handout-seekers (though there’s certainly going to be some overlap between the two groups).

    If they weren’t the latter to begin with, they’d already be off the Katrina dole, so I guess there’s close to 100% overlap. Anyone know?

  10. Timothy-Or “Help, Mommy! There are liberals under my bed.” Or whatever that other thing about the democrat squirrels was called.

  11. And Atlas Shruggled sounds like an amusing children’s cartoon about the joys of rational selfishness. (Shudders)

    Ah, you beat me too it. Only I was imagining a show with cute Muppet-like puppets — The Shruggles — living in Happy Gulch Land. With a bouncy theme song by Richard Halley.

  12. This is emergency relief. I don’t see why it should double as a dragnet.

    At this point, police feel that everything should double as a dragnet.

  13. C. Queen was by Billy Ocean.

    “Occam’s Razor” would be a great name for a band, however.

    Kevin

  14. The Shruggles — living in Happy Gulch Land.

    Hey, kids! On the Shruggles this week – Monty the Mooching Moose tries one more time to get into Happy Gulch. Will Irma the Inventive Ibex and Pete the Productive Panther be able to keep him out? Be sure and watch to find out!

  15. Kevrob, I have one of their CDs, “Mister Moon.”

  16. This is emergency relief. I don’t see why it should double as a dragnet.M

    I’m torn on this. I agree with you that we shouldn’t have a dragnet, but on the other hand, should wanted criminals be allowed to continue criminalling(*) on my dime?

    (*)I know, but it sounds good here. Like kibbitzing.

  17. [Insert tiresome boilerplate about all the other libertarians are Randroid? liberty-bots]

  18. And next week on “Atlas Shruggles,” kids!
    We follow the heroic tale of the “Big, Benevolent-Universe Wolf” who is wrongly labeled as “bad” because he actually stands for goodness by blowing up three public housing projects and kicking a bunch of free-loading pigs out on the street.

  19. TPG:

    “I’m torn on this. I agree with you that we shouldn’t have a dragnet, but on the other hand, should wanted criminals be allowed to continue criminalling(*) on my dime?”

    This is just a criminal record. It doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily funding their continued criminalling (hehe, it does sound good, like “truthiness”!). Furthermore, this is emergency relief, which, as many have pointed out, is different from the perpetual public teet-suckling on the welfare state. Now, if this taxpayers-paying-for-hurricane-victims thing stretches on for years, I’ll change my tune (I think it’s already been too long—a retard with one arm could get a job @ McD’s tomorrow!). Regardless, saying that people with criminal records don’t deserve emergency relief but those with clean records to is inherently absurd. If you happened upon a group of people who had been injured in a bus accident, would you only treat the ones who had no criminal background?

  20. a retard with one arm could get a job @ McD’s tomorrow!

    Especially in New Orleans. When I was there over winter break, all the restaurants and fast-food chains were desperately trying to cobble together staffs large enough to reopen for at least part of the day. The few that had managed it got insanely lines; I think every McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s in the city had a ‘now hiring sign.’

  21. It’s not the lack of jobs that’s keeping people out of New Orleans, its that outside of downtown and the French Quarter there has been next to no rebuilding of residential areas.

  22. Only in America will you find a labor shortage and a high unemployment rate in the same place at the same time.
    Thank God for Mexicans.

  23. Deus Ex: speaking of which (and sorry, this is a bit of venting too), I was a bit disturbed to discover that my mother is now on the Citizens’ Planning Commission for Lakeview. They’re in charge of figuring out what Lakeview residents want, so they can write it up in a plan to submit to the mayor’s Committee to Rebuild New Orleans. Once all the plans are submitted, the Committee will decide how to allocate the resources for rebuilding New Orleans in accord with the people’s wishes.

    At least she promises me that they’re not making any Five-Year Plans.

    But that’s why no rebuilding is done outside of Uptown, Downtown, and the Quarter: they’re waiting for all the Committees and Commissions and such to report before they decide how to rebuild them.

  24. Silly me, I thought it was the fact that FEMA has yet to issue the updated flood maps. This would be the real reason people haven’t rebuilt in Lakeview.

  25. As long as we’re ordering Tim to a death camp, I met a REAL Libertarian yesterday at the physics conference in Baltimore. She was handing out announcements of some talk concerning silver as an antibiotic. You may recall that the LP candidate who turned his skin blue did so by consuming silver-based drugs.

  26. Call me a snob, but I think there should be a difference in presumption of guilt between somebody who ends up in public housing because he’s a bum and somebody who ends up there because his house was wiped out by a flood.

    Building below sea level is just another poor life choice. I’ve met too many Katrina evacuees who have restarted their lives to think much of those who are still in FEMA housing.

    The ones in FEMA hotel rooms in Houston are disproportionately represented on the crime blotter.

    As a policy, people living off government money should be thoroughly and publicly humiliated. It’s the only way to be sure they really “need” it.

    I’d set up tent dormitories with feed pellets. Surely Purina could whip something up. The approaching summer should encourage people to find better options. I’d stock the book shelves with the complete “Idiot’s Guide” series.

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