This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Two Sets of Joneses

My wife's going to like this. To illustrate the difference between the Federal Government and the Private Sector in terms of getting aid to people, I present to you the end of an MSNBC story (which they stole from the Washington Post):
Tale of two relief structures
For evacuees who have been struggling in the past week to get any kind of help from the federal government, the relative ease of getting the Red Cross to pay for hotel room charges is striking.

"I called the Red Cross and told them I may not be able to vacate my room before the 14 days run out, and they told me it would probably be extended," said Julie Burkhamer, 42, whose home in Mandeville, La., on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, was damaged in the storm.

She and her husband and their two cats and a dog are staying in a $100-a-night room at the La Quinta hotel in Lafayette. Their two weeks run out on Monday.

"Now, FEMA, that's a different story," Burkhamer said. "They haven't done jack squat. I contacted them by phone, and they said they would be back to me in two weeks. There is no one around here to see from FEMA. To get the Red Cross hotel coverage, I didn't have to do anything."

This is why all this talk of FEMA and Bush's dislike for black people and 50 billion in Federal Aid is misplaced. We should never expect the Federal Government to bail us out, protect us from hurrcanes, or efficiently act to help us in an emergency. It's never going to be able to do that, because it's a lumbering fat elephant of an animal that sits on problems to squash them in lieu of solving them. That's why the National Guard showed up at the Superdome with guns drawn, ready to shoot anybody who approached them. That's why the levee was being rebuilt before people were being evacuated. That's why it appeared as though GW Bush acted too late -- this is how the Federal Government does things! It's not that Bush doesn't care about the poor, it's that there are procedures that must be followed for the government to act. There are stories that the National Guard didn't come in until Friday because neither FEMA nor the State of Louisiana asked for them. It had nothing to do with them being in Iraq -- they were waiting to be asked! That's like, everybody's fault, isn't it? We knew from the news on Tuesday that it was hellish down there, but because of either bureaucratic carelessness or governmental confusion, things took three days to get done. That's why people who stayed down there because "we've been through these things before" and "if my house collapses I'm sure the government will help me" were fools. They still need help, but they were fools.

Thank God for the Red Cross and the hearts of people in this country, eh? Let's remember this the next time a crazy umbrella help bill makes is proposed by some well-meaning member of congress, shall we? Think about it: Do we really want these people running the health care system?

And now that I've used Hurricane Katrina to make a political point, I'll go take a shower.


  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger jill said…

    i have a new sixth grader from hurricane katrina. i was meeting with his mom tonight and i asked her if she's getting the help from the government/fema that they're saying is out there. she said it's a disaster. she gave them her ssn and they said she doesn't exist.

  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…




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