Thursday, April 27, 2006

Katrina? What Katrina?

In the movie "Independence Day," most of America's major cities are wiped out by aliens (from outer space, not from Mexico). "We will rebuild," President Bill Pullman says, or something to that effect. For the sake of Judd Hirsch and the rest of the fictional survivors, I hope he had a better plan than president George "How Much Coke Did I Do?" Bush.

Eight months after a major American city was wiped off the face of the earth, FEMA is cancelling relief assistance to roughly a third of the the survivors. This is despite the fact that these people were led to believe they'd receive assistance for a year. Many planned their lives around this. Imagine budgeting your money so you can get by until your next paycheck. But then the next paycheck never comes. In the city of Houston alone, 9,000 people could become homeless.

Worse, the reasons for FEMA's move are vague and arbitrary. Many of those who received letters telling them time was up have no idea why they were cut off. Either this is a horrific lack of communication on the government's part or, worse, a complete lack of compassion from those who branded themselves as "compassionate conservatives."

Obviously, the government can't provide assistance forever. But there is an interesting contrast between how this country treats the families of 9/11 victims and the Hurricane Katrina victims.

Some families of 9/11 victims got MILLIONS in relief. Now, I'm not going to make any judgement as to whether this was fair or not. All I'm saying is... the victims of Katrina, lost their loved ones, their homes, all of their posessions and their livelihood... and all they got was 8 months rent?

Meanwhile, a Senate committee recommended today that FEMA be dismantled, and a new agency created in its place. Brilliant idea guys. When it's broke, don't fix it... throw it out and spend another couple billion we don't have to create the same damn agency with a different name.

Of course, hurricane season is just a month away, and FEMA has a new plan. OVER-REACT!

The acting director of the agency, David Paulison (Michael Brown is now working at the Denny's off of interstate exit 21B) says that FEMA will evacuate people even during a category 1 hurricane.

In other words, when it starts to drizzle, FEMA will immediately spend billions of dollars to move people out of the way of raindrops. Then, when a real bad storm comes, and they screw up again, they can say "hey, at least we saved you from Hurricane Pussy Willow."

How about some common sense guys. Category 1 storm? probably not gonna require a full-scale evacuation. Category 5? Yeah, get em out of there.

But no one ever accused this administration of being logical.

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