The Continuing FEMA Follies in New Orleans

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The Wash Post has a story about "Waste in Katrina Response." Who'da thunk it, but the FEMA crew's snafus were hardly limited to questions about response time, evac routes, etc. "The toll of false starts and missed opportunities," writes the Post, "appears likely to top $1 billion." Among the lowlights:

FEMA spent $900 million to buy 25,000 manufactured homes and 1,300 modular homes, most of which cannot be used because agency rules say they are too big or unsafe in flood zones.

The agency spent $632 million to subsidize hotel rooms for tens of thousands of families at an average cost of $2,400 a month, three times what it later paid families to rent two-bedroom apartments.

The agency spent $249 million to secure 8,136 cruise-ship cabins for six months, at a cost that Inspector General Richard L. Skinner estimated at $5,100 a month per passenger. That is six times the cost of renting two-bedroom apartments.

Skinner's report cites a "basic lack of understanding" of FEMA regulations for the $900 million manufactured- housing fiasco and a "fundamental lack of planning" for a makeshift program under which FEMA is reimbursing localities to lease 66,000 apartments for evacuees. It found the cruise ship program "not necessarily efficient."

Whole thing here.

Reason's December 2005 issue had a special section on "Public Policy Failure and Hurricane Katrina" that included articles by Jesse Walker, Kerry Howley, Ronald Bailey, Jeff A. Taylor, Jacob Sullum, and others. Check it out here.

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  1. Did FEMA suck this much in the 90s, and I just didn’t notice because the scale was smaller?

  2. joe, FEMA did not have to deal with a Katrina size disaster in the 90s. But as we both know that explains only part of it.

    However judging by the pissing and moaning that goes on after each Florida storm I’d say they’ve always had some problems.

    They did not have Brownie doin’ a heckuva job, though, so they may have managed better. 🙂

    How well a community deals with a disaster depends far more on the preparedness and efficiency of local residents and officials. Or at least that is the Florida experience.

  3. I think they were suckin in the ’90s as well, Andrew was no light gale for sure. But there was just a higher level of sucking here, combined with a massive storm make for a super bad situation to say the least.

    “FEMA spent $900 million to buy 25,000 manufactured homes and 1,300 modular homes, most of which cannot be used because agency rules say they are too big or unsafe in flood zones.”

    This is how the government works. No one will be held accountable, or fired or anything. The reason they probably did all this is because they probably felt it was better to be seen doing something than nothing even though a plan was far from complete.

    Oh well, I’m sure they cared and had only the best intentions so what’s a couple hundred mil down the rathole anyway?

  4. Did FEMA suck this much in the 90s

    Same as it ever was.

  5. Another Lurker:

    Worse, you know that those homes were bought from some bigwig’s brother-in-law, although of course there’s no way that had anything to do with the purchasing decision.

  6. The Feds have no intention of helping the people of New Orleans – at least not the black ones, like those of the 9th ward. New Orleans and Biloxi, and such, will become resorts for the white, “Christian,” elite. Another Vegas, but with bigger churches. Think of it as sort of an Outer Banks of the Gulf Coast.

    Don’t be lulled into the fooloish misbelief that somehow the government is simply being incompetent here. Disingenuous and back-handed, yes – incompetent? Only for your consumption, my fine Libertarian friends.

    JMJ

  7. JMJ,

    Wow layers of conspiracy theories. “The Feds have no intention of helping the people of New Orleans – at least not the black ones, like those of the 9th ward. New Orleans and Biloxi, and such, will become resorts for the white, “Christian,” elite.”

    Dude, if you are going to use canned answers could you at least get some off brand ones, maybe with organic ingredients? Because these are giving indigestion.

    You must be like 18, because you see everything in black and white, neat little boxes. I want to like you but then you keep coming up with crazy shit like this.

  8. AL, C’mon, it’s not “layers of conspiracy theories.” It’s common knowledge. Why the hell you would think this “crazy” is beyond me. There have been pieces on this subject in every relevant newspaper and periodical in the nation. The 9th ward is still lying in tatters, the Army Corp has no plans to get it together, the ridiculous and arbitrary and stupid 3′ rise rule is insane. That you would think what I said is “crazy” gets right to what you said about my age – I fear you are not a good judge of human character, sometimes. Look a little closer at the things around you, AL.

    JMJ

  9. Were all those evacuees able to find those cheaper two-bedroom apartments right away? I know there’s a monumental waste to be seen in FEMA’s actions, but we can’t be fair in our criticisms if we compare the results following a massive evacuation with an everyday instance of apartment hunting in the South.

  10. “It’s common knowledge.” Well sure if you see a racist behind the eyes of everyone as you seem to.

    To rebuild the 9th Ward is stupid anyway. Why would you want to put these folks back in the same flood plain that they were in before. That would seem a bigger disservice. See your cry of racism works for everything. If they were rebuilding hand over fist there, you would say “see they are racist they want to put them back there where the next hurricane will flood them and drown them all!”

    I think my judge of character is dead on.

    Having said all this, are their racists in La? Well duh just like everywhere in the friggin world. Is it the driving force behind everything. No, unless it is the glue that holds together a crackpot worldview such as yours.

    I revise, you are more like 12 am I closer?

  11. AL,

    You may be absolutely correct about what should and shouldn’t be rebuilt in LA. As for racism, if the 9th warders were all poor whites, I think the results would have been the same. Class and race are similar conditions.

    Besides, it’s more than that. This is also about scattering a major Dem stronghold in the South and picking up new permenent GOP seats, contractors and developers making some dough, etc. What you don’t see here is beyond me.

    JMJ

  12. “You may be absolutely correct about what should and shouldn’t be rebuilt in LA. As for racism, if the 9th warders were all poor whites, I think the results would have been the same. Class and race are similar conditions.”

    I think the poor part is more on par. These folks don’t have the same level if ANY insurance coverage as the richer folks. This explains as much as conspiracy theories. It think the original post about the ineffectiveness of FEMA is more to the point. They still don’t even KNOW what they want to do with that area (which is stupid after all this time).

    As far as picking up GOP votes, yeah you’re right this whole thing has been a big PR boost for the GOP, Bush’s pole numbers have never been higher. Give me a break.

    What you don’t see is beyond me.

  13. AL,

    I think what Jersey is saying about GOP seats refers to shrinking the size of the solidly-blue New Orleans, and scattering its Democratic-voting (or at least, Democratic-district-populating) residents into red districts.

  14. I think JMJ is right. Since Bush knew Tom Delay was going to get into trouble for his redistricting scheme in Texas, he asked God to bring Katrina into the Ninth Ward to scatter all them black democrats across the US and solidify a GOP base in LA.

  15. Let me put it this way, if the area destroyed had been populated by middle class GOP voters without insurance (say, a freak flood happened as opposed to this utterly forseeable one), FEMA would have rebuilt the whole town by now.

    JMJ

  16. “if the area destroyed had been populated by middle class GOP voters without insurance (say, a freak flood happened as opposed to this utterly forseeable one), FEMA would have rebuilt the whole town by now.”

    And if your uncle had tits he’d be your aunt. Happy Friday!

  17. I think they were suckin in the ’90s as well, Andrew was no light gale for sure.

    Actually, some say Andrew was the first major test for FEMA, in that it was the biggest storm to ever hit a major population center in the US.

    And what was actually demonstrated was that local precautions and preparedness were much more important than what the feds did. Florida counties and cities took it to heart so they were fairly well-prepared for the three storms that hit Central Florida in 2004.

    There has, needless to say, been extensive waste and fraud in FEMA operations. And plenty of complaints about its shortcomings and failures.

  18. A fool usually believes that the man that conned him was a fool.

    JMJ

  19. So what you are saying, McJones, is the Government is responsable for rebuilding. I don’t buy it. I’ve spent a couple of weeks down there working with a church group cleaning out houses. NOBODY down there that I came in contact with is screaming racism. Everyone seems to genuinely want to work to rebuild. We did get to meet a few house owners who were only then (this was 3 weeks ago) returning to examine their property. These houses were right next to the levee that broke. THEY don’t want to rebuild ther, either. As far as creating a GOP stronghold where a Democrat one existed, the State of Louisiana has mailed over 400,000 voting instruction packets (listen to the interview on NPR with the Louisina Secretary of State (Democrat). There were only 235,000 registered voters in Orleans province so they mailed out more than twice as many as there are registered voters. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with insuring the voters who want to vote are able to do so. Get some facts instead of throwing out tired cliches’.

  20. Joe, REALLY? Of course I got that, but my point (lost due to lack of clarity) was that any of that is offset by a general lack of trust in the GOP after the FEMA fuckup. I think think your and JMJ’s assertions are just a tad paranoid. Keep in mind I am not a Republican or a Democrat lest some preconceptions get made.

    “Let me put it this way, if the area destroyed had been populated by middle class GOP voters without insurance (say, a freak flood happened as opposed to this utterly forseeable one), FEMA would have rebuilt the whole town by now.”

    Buddy of mine and his wife lived in that area of New Orleans. Lost pretty much everything. They moved away, decided living 9 feet below sea level was a mistake not worth making again.

    Look don’t get me wrong, racism is a factor in everything. I don’t need Crash to decrypt that for me. I don’t believe it is the driving factor in most folks lives as you do. I’ll leave it at that.

  21. Silly question (first of the day):

    When did it become necessary or proper for FEMA, or any other government agency, to rebuild any storm-damaged neighborhood composed of privately owned homes and businesses? Anywhere.

    As for diabolical racist conspiracies- piffle!

  22. Best post of the thread award goes to Deacon Blues.

  23. DB,

    “So what you are saying, McJones, is the Government is responsable for rebuilding.”

    No, but at least cleaning up the mess and taking care of the levees and storm walls on interstate rivers and coastlines.

    “I don’t buy it. I’ve spent a couple of weeks down there working with a church group cleaning out houses. NOBODY down there that I came in contact with is screaming racism.”

    That’s because there are more of you churchies down there than there are residents. Only half that ward is back at best. If you haven’t heard cries of racism, you’ve never heard of a newspaper, magazine, or television.

    “Everyone seems to genuinely want to work to rebuild. We did get to meet a few house owners who were only then (this was 3 weeks ago) returning to examine their property. These houses were right next to the levee that broke. THEY don’t want to rebuild ther, either. As far as creating a GOP stronghold where a Democrat one existed, the State of Louisiana has mailed over 400,000 voting instruction packets (listen to the interview on NPR with the Louisina Secretary of State (Democrat). There were only 235,000 registered voters in Orleans province so they mailed out more than twice as many as there are registered voters. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with insuring the voters who want to vote are able to do so. Get some facts instead of throwing out tired cliches’.”

    I did hear that interview, and for a churchy, I must say, you’re awfully disingenuous. Most of the displaced voters have not even been located.

    Stuff your “facts,” God-boy. A churchy wouldn’t know a fact from a fairy tale.

    JMJ

  24. “When did it become necessary or proper for FEMA, or any other government agency, to rebuild any storm-damaged neighborhood composed of privately owned homes and businesses? Anywhere.”

    Thank you.

  25. Did anyone not see this coming? Gasp! Huge amounts of waste, fraud, and graft among government handouts, programs, entitlements?

    Worse, was there any alternative? As soon as a camera turned on in New Orleans, every “abandoned” resident of Nawlins took the opportunity to scream into the camera “Damnit Weth Mah Money!?”, “Why are they not doing anything!?”

    Did FEMA have any alternative besides throwing piles of money at these people? (don’t call it “hush money” of course)

    Since the race card was practically played before Katrina even reached land, if FEMA tried to place tighter controls and restrictions on money, what do you think Jersey would be screaming now?

    (this message does not condone FEMA’s ineptitude)

  26. Churchy? Dude you really are an asshole. I am not religious and I am offended. Besides at least “churchies” are helping these folks. I don’t see your “progressive” ass in the street helping out. But arm chair quarter back racism crys you got for miles.

    Some “liberal” you are. MLK was a “churchie” dumbo, maybe you are a racist too.

  27. A guy named Finkelstein trying to write, phonetically, what he imagines black people to sound like is funny.

    But following that up with a complaint about others playing the race card – that’s downright hilarious!

  28. Look, I, and most anyone who knows anything about America, know that NO was barely a functional community before the flood. Heck, I had a very, very close friend murdered down there for a lousy $20. For all I cared, after that, the whole damned town could burn to the ground. But when the flood happened, I realized that those people were people like anyone else. They were what made New Orleans “New Orleans.” Most had been there for generations. Yes, they were poor, like most of the South, but they were who they were and they deserved their identity. Now they are gone and most will never return. Now will be sanitied, Hannitized and Disnified. A Las Vegas for the white Southern Baptists. FEMA will leave the poor, scattered throughout the land, some trailers and government cheese and their lives will remain in ruins. America should be very ashamed of itself this time. This was just lousy.

    JMJ

  29. I noticed you didn’t answer for your shitty comments, I assume it is because you realized what an ass you where but were not up to the challenge of saying your were sorry to Deacon.

    That’s cool. It’s ok, there are a ton of right wing pricks that post here too if it helps you sleep better.

  30. Just in case some of you people are not aware of it, there are still people in Florida living in FEMA trailers nearly two years after Hurricane Charlie.

    And you cannot drive four blocks without encountering a roof covered with a blue tarp. And that’s in Altamonte Springs, one of the most affluent republican strongholds in the USA. On the coast it’s even worse.

    There is a huge backlog of repairs and a shortage of materials. Major rebuilding programs are not completed overnight.

    And yes, even people who believe that this area needs to be rebuilt with a massive subsidy need to be questioning how big that subsidy ought to be.

  31. AL, which points shall I redress or take back for you?

    JMJ

  32. ISAAC ISAAC! You are destroying JMJs fragile worldview. He could spiral out of control, how could you!

    Seriously, in FL blue tarps are as common as snow shovels in Alaska. ALWAYS

  33. FEMA will leave the poor, scattered throughout the land, some trailers and government cheese and their lives will remain in ruins.

    According to some of the interviews I’ve heard on that right wing bastion NPR many of them are rebuilding their lives in new communities quite nicely.

    While it’s true that many will stay in a rut of poverty perhaps most people are quite capable of living their lives when they have appropriate incentives. They are not the subnormal helpless victims you seem to presume them to be.

  34. IB,

    Crime and drug abuse rates in those trailer cities are a ridiculous. Crime rates in towns where the displaced have settled are through the roof. They are miserable, in general, and though some morons would try tp put a positive spin on this, reality may set in – or – it won’t, just as so many Americans were so “surprised” to see how poor NO was in the first place. Idiots.

    I listen to NPR EVERY MF’N DAY ALL DAY AS I WORK. Don’t try screwing with me, pal.

    JMJ

  35. “AL, which points shall I redress or take back for you?” Man I gotta say I have to agree reading skills in the US are sucking.

    So it is ok for you to call someone a “churchy” or “God-boy” because you think of yourself as a “progressive”? It’s good to know what mindset you need in order for it to be ok to be a prejudiced prick. Switch Churchy for your favorite racial slur and I am sure you would rightly be up in arms. As would I. But for you it’s totally cool because you are so righteous.

    Hypocracy and stupidity folks, but then I repeat myself.

  36. AL,

    I know that religion is a curse on mankind, that morality is arbitrary and misguided, and that even when religious people do good things, they are doing them for the wrong reasons. I detest religion. It is regressive by definition. You’ll find me quite consistent in this way, regardless of race.

    JMJ

  37. And that’s in Altamonte Springs, one of the most affluent republican strongholds in the USA…

    Isaac – sure you’re not thinking of Winter Park? Ha ha…

  38. “You’ll find me quite consistent” Consistently wrong is never anything to brag about.

    Again, I think you are not reading my posts or just cherry picking the parts you want. Again I am not religious. But I don’t like to see folks trashed by prejudiced assholes such as you.

    You may be too stupid to realize it, but I would come to your aid if someone starting calling you a pinko or a commie or something equally idiotic. You’ll find that I am pretty consistent about not painting folks with a broad brush. You have a ways to go on learning about tolerance and judging people as individuals.

    Your comments are good for trolling though. So if your goal was to come in here and be as big a jerk as possible. It’s working.

  39. JMJ:

    Assuming for a second that you’re actually not faking the content of your posts for mere pot-stirring enjoyment, let’s review: people who actually volunteer in NO are evil because they go to church, but some armchair “progressive” who splits his time at “work” between listening to NPR and posting puerile shit here is doing the real heavy-lifting when it comes to making the world a better place? GMAFB.

  40. This just in:

    Reverend Jesse Jackson announces he will retire from public life- “It’s all a sham,” said the churchy-godboy, “all of it; everything I’ve ever done, worthless, because my motives were impure.”

    Jeepers, McNanny, see what you’ve done?

  41. Joe,

    Did FEMA suck this much in the 90s, and I just didn’t notice because the scale was smaller?

    FEMA has always sucked:

    Three days after Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida in 1992, Dade County’s emergency operations director made a plea on national television.

    “Where in the hell is the cavalry on this one?” asked an exasperated Kate Hale.

    [SNIP]

    The federal response to Andrew was poorly planned and chaotic. FEMA had spent years preparing for a Cold War nuclear apocalypse, but it seemed unprepared for Mother Nature.

    “WE NEED HELP,” a front-page Miami Herald headline screamed four days after Andrew hit.

    The effort was tangled up in red tape. Some FEMA officials wanted to move truckloads of supplies to Florida ahead of time so it would be closer to victims. But FEMA’s lawyers said the agency could not move supplies until after an official disaster declaration. Similar problems hobbled the federal removal of storm debris and delayed federal troops from being deployed to Dade County, snarling the ability of states to help each other.

    When Andrew hit, there was no standardized way for states to share resources.

    “It ended up being a midnight phone call between governors,” said Amy Hughes, a policy analyst for the National Emergency Management Association, which represents state emergency response agencies. “A lot of legal things had to be done in the middle of the night.”

  42. According to some of the interviews I’ve heard on that right wing bastion NPR many of them are rebuilding their lives in new communities quite nicely.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-labor4apr04,1,1553697.story?coll=la-headlines-nation
    +++ … Thousands of men from Mexico and Central America were driving into the city[New Orleans].

    “In one car there’d be three up front and three or four in the back, with suitcases and tools on top. It looked like a river of people from our countries.”
    … their pay coming from FEMA subcontractors.
    +++

  43. I know that religion is a curse on mankind, that morality is arbitrary and misguided

    Nutball Leftist Character or Nietzsche? The fun new web quiz.

  44. Three days after Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida in 1992, Dade County’s emergency operations director made a plea on national television.

    “Where in the hell is the cavalry on this one?” asked an exasperated Kate Hale.

    The lesser known story was that a few months later Dade County fired Kate Hale’s sorry ass for so manifestly failing to perform her duties as the County’s emergency operations director. She forgot that she was the cavalry.

    Andrew was a disaster for a lot of reasons than FEMA. Chief among them was widespread corruption and incompetence in the bulding inspection department and the crony relationship they had with builders putting up houses that did not come close to meeting code. The South Florida building code was already one of the strictest in the nation, but a code that is not followed is worse than useless. Property damage was much worse because of this. Several builders are still being sued by insurance companies whose losses were staggering.

    Other counties took the lessons of Andrew to heart and put evacuation and shelter plans in place to an extent that made later disasters much more manageable. Emergency management officials evacuated one of FL’s counties (Flagler I think) almost completely in the face of brush fires in the late ’90s. And almost all the people on barrier islands got inland to shelters or hotels for the storms of ’04.

  45. Much of New Orleans is BELOW SEALEVEL!

    Hello people! Why should we be spending hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild people’s houses BELOW SEA LEVEL????

    Everybody thinks it’s somehow a government conspiracy that the levees broke (was there thermite in the levees?) yet had the storm gone further to the west it would have been the “Lake New Orleans” scenario where the water is pushed into the city above sea level. People would be asking why the levees didn’t break, or why Bush didn’t break them.

    When I see headlines like “New Orleans parish hardest hit by Katrina wants to hire the man who was second-most at fault for the hurricane” I have to just wonder if the entire world has gone bonkers. THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT STOP HURRICANES! (Perhaps this sort of thing is why Bush is acting more and more like he’s God.) Quickly growing suburbs in vibrant communities don’t grow overnight — why should we expect a corrupt city, BUILT BELOW SEA LEVEL to be faster?

    Are we asking for a nationalization of the entire economy? That’s pretty much the only way that you’ll be able to get huge amounts of labor and capital to relocate to a city BUILT BELOW SEA LEVEL and completely rebuild it within six months.

  46. “Hello people! Why should we be spending hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild people’s houses BELOW SEA LEVEL????”

    Ammonium, you are obviously a churchy god-boy racist for saying that. Go stand in the corner!

  47. Let me put it this way, if the area destroyed had been populated by middle class GOP voters without insurance (say, a freak flood happened as opposed to this utterly forseeable one), FEMA would have rebuilt the whole town by now.

    I know that Andrew probably hit before you were born, but read about it, and FEMA’s response. Shut up and learn, just for once.

  48. The lesser known story was that a few months later Dade County fired Kate Hale’s sorry ass for so manifestly failing to perform her duties as the County’s emergency operations director. She forgot that she was the cavalry.

    Ike — Joe didn’t ask if local authorities always sucked this badly 😉

    But Hale and Nagin are pretty freaking comparable in this case. Neither had any effing idea what to do, completely botched everything from evac to relief to rebuild and then turned around and blamed the government.

  49. Here’s a nice website dealing with the political economy of FEMA:

    http://www.be.wvu.edu/divecon/econ/sobel/fema/

  50. I love how some of you resort to baiting me by questioning my age when educated circles are well aware that the age of the average liberatarian is like 18. LOL!

    All I said was that the NO expats will not be returning anytime soon as long as the Bushies have a say in it.

    You are all so quick to assume the incompetence of government, when you want to, and so quick to assume it’s malicious intent, when you want to, but you just can’t imagine that the two conditions can be present together – and not only that – are mutually dependent.

    There’s an old expression (lost on the religious, by the way): there’s a fine line between stupidity and evil. 😉

    JMJ

  51. “I love how some of you resort to baiting me by questioning my age when educated circles are well aware that the age of the average liberatarian is like 18. LOL!”

    Oh look, a universal truth. Just like “every parent knows that when class sizes shrink grades improve.” LOL, indeed.

  52. Fair enough on the age thing, we can all have fun with harmless cheap age shots.

    “You are all so quick to assume the incompetence of government, when you want to, and so quick to assume it’s malicious intent, when you want to”

    Sounds like you dude, n’est pas? The difference between you and me is that we both know that the government can be incompetent AND malicious and yet YOU are the one who expects it to fix all of societies ills with the snap of a finger. It’s like asking your alcoholic drunk buddy to drive you home.

    If you tried you could get it, I feel you may be close. But so stuck in the off the shelf one size fits all world view you bought at K-Mart that you just can’t see the forest for the trees.

  53. I do not believe the govt is the solution to all life’s problems, just as I know it’s not the cause of alife’s problems. But when a historic community, and American community, is wrecked by nature, I expect the gov’t to do the right thing by the people. Be it rebuilding there or somewhere else.

    JMJ

  54. Whoa, Jersey, I don’t know how you found out about the evil republican’s plans but you need to shut the fuck up before those NSA listening guys locate you and Cheney gets the black weather ops guys to crank up the machine they made Katrina with to send a storm to wipe New Jersey off the map.

    Look, I got family in New Jersey, I’d hate to see them blown away coz o’ your loose talk.

  55. “I do not believe the govt is the solution to all life’s problems, just as I know it’s not the cause of alife’s problems. But when a historic community, and American community, is wrecked by nature, I expect the gov’t to do the right thing by the people. Be it rebuilding there or somewhere else.”

    Wow man, if you had just said that earlier instead of all the crazy ass shit you said as well as trashing folks that were actually trying to rebuild said city we could have ended this a long time ago. Why are you so angry at anyone who wants to go down there and help that is not FEMA.

    Some fella is down there risking his health getting exposed to toxic crap and asbestos and all you have is “Churchy”. You still need to own up to being an asshole on that. I don’t give a shit if I disagree with Deacon on every other point of his life philosophy, I am going to give it up for him for taking some action. More than I can say for you.

    “I expect the gov’t to do the right thing by the people.” – As do I, usually that means staying the hell out of my personal life choices, my wallet, and my business in general.

  56. Did FEMA suck this much in the 90s

    If you read the Lewis Report recomendations, and then read the Hurricane Evacuation Study for Opal, you might get that idea. As for the scale involved, I couldn’t say. But I should add, I’m in a category of those who have to take NIMS training, and if trouble hits, feh!

    when religious people do good things, they are doing them for the wrong reasons

    Your ignorance of the civil rights movement is astonishing.

  57. IB,

    I wouldn’t worry about New Jersey. The country needs us more than we need them.

    AL,

    If I’m a Troll, you’re Bizarro Troll. 😉

    “Wow man, if you had just said that earlier instead of all the crazy ass shit you said as well as trashing folks that were actually trying to rebuild said city we could have ended this a long time ago. Why are you so angry at anyone who wants to go down there and help that is not FEMA.”

    No, I’m not angry at him for that! C’mon man – follow me here! I;m mad at him for misrepresenting the locals and their condition.

    “”I expect the gov’t to do the right thing by the people.” – As do I, usually that means staying the hell out of my personal life choices, my wallet, and my business in general.”

    Yes, until your house gets blown down.

    UnHappy Jack,

    “”when religious people do good things, they are doing them for the wrong reasons”

    Your ignorance of the civil rights movement is astonishing.”

    Now, that’s a stretch! Big difference between pre-modern revival Christians of today and the Christian Civil Rights folks. You’re utter and complete ignorance of all the history since then is astounding to me.

    JMJ

  58. JMJ,

    ” I;m mad at him for misrepresenting the locals and their condition.” No you are just saying stupid shit to stir trouble and be insulting for no good reason. Even if I disagreed with him I would take his word over yours because he has been on the ground there. It is interesting that your hatred of Christians overrides your concern for NO residents. Your priorities are there for all to see.

    “Yes, until your house gets blown down.”

    Don’t even try to act like you think that is the only time government should “aid” in your life. You are a classic nanny stater. So deal with that. If you are going to back up off of that when it suits your needs at least make a beeping noise or something.

    Besides, I don’t think I advocated for FEMA to go away or to not exist, I just think it could be done a whole lot better, but that the government is not going to do as good a job as anyone would like to be done. Of course thanks to you I see I was wrong and that really racists were behind it all. I love it when self proclaimed liberals resort to McCarthy tactics because I like irony.

    The Bush admin screwed that whole thing up bad, and they should could use a new PR director aroud the White House. The reality is the state of Lousiana dropped the ball as well. So badly that it staggers the imagination. If they hadn’t had racism to try and hang it on god knows what they would have come up with as a sorry ass excuse.

  59. AL,

    You must know me better than me! Look, I was fine with Churchy McChurchenstein until he started showing his colors and talking rhetorical shit. I doubt he was even there.

    Bush, FEMA, LA, NO – they all dropped the ball big time. We agree on that. I am just much more leery of the de-motivating factors than you.

    JMJ

  60. JMJ,

    I think you continue to miss my points on the similarities of your rhetoric and racial slurs which you rightly dislike. I will quit beating the horse because you are not going to pick it up even if it had a $100 bill attached to it.

    BTW, I know your ass has not been out in NO doing that type of work. But it is typical of redistribution types such as yourself (correct me if I am wrong on that) to expect others to pay the bill and do the lifting while you toss zingers. Pretty sad.

    “I am just much more leery of the de-motivating factors than you.” Nope you just want it to fit in your world view box. I don’t have to bend things to fit. My point? FEMA sucks because it is a giant govt. organization with little or no oversight. My proof? Do I need to draw a diagram? Some Perot flowcharts?

    The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

  61. You’re utter and complete ignorance of all the history since then is astounding to me

    Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the evil motives behind the religious folks who participate in Habitat for Humanity.

    P.S. – I think you want to use your, not you’re.

  62. C’mon, Happy Jack. Religious, therefore evil. You should know that by now.

  63. As of this January, there was still FEMA offices working on the recovery for 2004 hurricanes Charley and Ivan. Basically, with the increased frequency of hurricanes there is an endless cycle of rebuilding the gulf coast from hurricane damage. Nearly two years later there are still people in Mississippi and Alabama living in traylors provided by FEMA as a result of Ivan. Like any other federal program, it just becomes a monster. There is no end to it. Helping people is one thing, but I don’t think our obligation to help means an endless rebuilding pork and welfare project to the gulf coast.

  64. I’m not even religious and I think JMJ is an idiot on this what does that say? Dude you can’t even get another agnostic to agree with your 10 Minutes Hate, what does that say? LOL

  65. when religious people do good things, they are doing them for the wrong reasons

    Jersey, I am an intensely secular individual, but this is an inarguably bigoted statement. Anytime someone describse the actions of huge groups of people with gross generalizations, i.e. “when black people do good things,” “when gay people do good things,” “when liberals do good things,” “when atheists do good things,” “when religious people do good things,” they’re dismissing the individuals in these groups. So, ultimately, they’re dismissing objective facts. You ought not to do that.

  66. Les,

    I have been going over this with him for 2 days, I am going to have to give him an F and keep him in the 2nd grade another year. But that was a good try, who knows he may get it this time.

  67. Did anyone here see Michael Brown on the Daily Show? I don’t watch that show, so I didn’t see it, but I am told he was really funny and handed John Stewart his ass on a lot of points.

  68. “Did anyone here see Michael Brown on the Daily Show? I don’t watch that show, so I didn’t see it, but I am told he was really funny and handed John Stewart his ass on a lot of points.”

    check out the show first before you say that…

  69. VM,

    I was surprised to hear that, but I didn’t watch the show so have no idea if its true or not. I was just wondering. I will say this people in the public limelight are ussually not what they are portrayed to be. If a guy is known as a good person, he is probably a jerk and the people known as jerks are almost never as bad as they are made out to be. That said, since Brown is made out to be an idiot, it wouldn’t suprise me in the least if it turned out that he is a very smart guy.

  70. As a recent transplantee from the Gulf Coast I can attest to the screw-up that is ‘government assistance’ including FEMA.
    When Ivan blew through our neighborhood a lot of damage had occured including downed trees, blown off roofs, etc. By the time the ‘Civil Curfew’ was lifted 3 days later all the trees in our neighboorhood had been cleared and stacked for disposal, not by FEMA or some government agency but by locals in the area who happened to have chainsaws and gas to run them. Ivan blew enough shingles off of my roof that it leaked (lost my bedroom ceiling). Thanks to a friend disobeying the ‘civil curfew’ that afternoon, after the worst of the winds and rain died off, I was up on the roof nailing in replacement shingles that he delivered. Never had a blue roof on the house, but I sure have a funky colored roof with 3 different shades of shingles!
    Three days later, FEMA showed up in town with Ice and Water and MREs. We had roads and bridges that were all working A-Ok, unlike NO or Biloxi during Katrina and it still took them 3 days to move crap into town.
    Now, before somebody jumps down my throat and exclaims “What about the poor people!?” let me illustrate my neighborhood. This neighborhood consists of predominently lower class working folk. Mostly single dwelling homes, 800-1000sqft, median price $50,000. Most of the houses were occupied by renters instead of owners. The guys who sliced and diced the downed trees, well they were illegals from Guatemala and Honduras spliting a rented house between the 6 of them. Lucky for us, they worked in the landscaping industry. This neighborhood isn’t exactly rich.
    My point is that locals did more to help themselves out and in quicker time than any government agency could have or would have. The government sponsored ghetto, sorry govt. housing complex, two blocks away is still under renovation 18 months later.

  71. Kwix,

    Any answer that is not nanny state fixes it means your are racist. Haven’t you been paying attention to Lord JMJ’s posts?

    You are correct. You reminded me of when I was 17 and living in Charlotte NC when Hugo hit town. We had trees down, no water and power for ever and a day. Cleaned it all up ourselves. I don’t even KNOW of any government assistance that came through.

    Yet somehow it all worked out. Amazing innit!?

  72. All I said was that the NO expats will not be returning anytime soon as long as the Bushies have a say in it.

    So when FEMA effed up every disaster under Clinton and Carter and had people stranded or living in trailers, it was the Carteries and Clintonies that were being racists, classists, etc…?

    READ. LEARN. SOMETHING OTHER THAN DAILY KOS.

  73. Jersey McJones, I spent one week down there with the Red Cross. whether I went down there with a Church Group or the Red Cross is immaterial. These people need help. It has nothing to do with racism. I don’t happen to belong to the church that I went down with. I don’t belong to ANY church, these people need help, I had time, so I went. What have you done except sit on your fat ass yelling “racism”? Another Lurker, I was in Orangeburg when Higo went through. Same result. We cleaned up, the local power company got the power back on, and we drove on. we never saw a Government official either. I quote Abraham Lincoln, “Government should do for the people only those things they can’t do for themselves”.

  74. Deacon,

    I live in Atlanta and we still get the occasional hurricane residue here. Hugo was pretty scary 4 hours inland can only imagine what it was like closer to the coast.

    Hell even Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”. Sounds good to me. I think helping out your neighbors when they need it, generally being nice to folks and giving what you can when you can is the best way.

    I don’t believe in coming around in jackboots and forcing people to “give back” as JMJ seems too. Of course he is only here to sling mud and act like an ass.

    You got to love it when folks who advocate a nanny state, get mad when folks try to take care of themselves or others on their own. I can’t figure it except that he is just a Troll.

    You rock Deacon. Charity is a hallmark of libertarianism as it is the better way to help folks than shell game redistribution schemes. Thanks for the hard work. Making me feel like a lazy ass here.

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