Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gustav vs. Katrina

Hurricane season is on, and Gustav ~ PC-ness even in the world of hurricane-naming, but that's an altogether different rant for a different time ~ is gearing up for the big time according to the weather guys.

Ever since Katrina, the weather people are afraid of the ensuing hue and cry if they accidentally miss anything, so they bend over backwards to dish out some severe over-hype any time the smallest possibility of weather presents itself, making it sorta hard to take them too seriously anymore...sorta like the boy who cried wolf. The Age of Excess is alive and well. But I digress, and that, too, is another rant for another time. As for Gustav...well, time will tell...

Meanwhile, I keep hearing in the media about FEMA and Gustav's potential, and I got to thinking that this entire topic merits a closer look.

As far as I can tell, the discontent seems to center around the FEMA trailers that were made available for the refugees from Katrina. Well, ok, maybe they weren't the Hilton, but...any port in a storm, right? Apparently the trailers were better than the waterlogged, snake-infested, low-lying swamplands they were escaping from, or, I imagine, the evacuees would have stayed where they were, right?

Not only were these trailers not top-of-the line, according to the news reports, but "FEMA put those people in those trailers and kept them there for three years." WHAAAAAATT?!!!! FEMA put them there? I wasn't aware anyone had been taken against his (ok...or "her.") will. And FEMA kept them there? How'd they do that? Locked them in? Put armed guards around the perimeter? Boarded up the doors and windows so they couldn't get out? And not only did FEMA put and keep them there, they kept them there for three YEARS!!!! Am I just waaaay off here thinking that three years is enough time to find a job and start taking some control of your own life back?

So. Fast forward to the present: Gustav is presumably coming along next week and when/if it does, another batch of refugees is going to be forced to move into another batch of bad FEMA trailers, and history is going to repeat itself, because according to whiner wisdom, "FEMA didn't learn anything from Katrina." let's agree that FEMA didn't learn anything. What can we say about all these upcoming refugees? They are back where they were pre-Katrina, seemingly none the smarter for their ordeal, trusting FEMA to provide better trailers for next time. If FEMA is the abysmal failure they think it is, and I'm not saying it isn't, why, oh why, are these geniuses depending on it?!

Who didn't learn anything here, anyway?

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