LET THEM EAT BULLSHIT
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
The army of Marie Antoinettes spawned by Bush continue their wayward path, killing American citizens or working them to death or fiddling while New Orleans burns. Literally.
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"
As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.
Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.
Federal officials are unapologetic.
"I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak.
The firefighters - or at least the fire chiefs who assigned them to come to Atlanta - knew what the assignment would be, Hudak said.
"The initial call to action very specifically says we're looking for two-person fire teams to do community relations," she said. "So if there is a breakdown [in communication], it was likely in their own departments."
One fire chief from Texas agreed that the call was clear to work as community-relations officers. But he wonders why the 1,400 firefighters FEMA attracted to Atlanta aren't being put to better use. He also questioned why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - of which FEMA is a part - has not responded better to the disaster.
The firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of them
came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.
"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter.
"We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."
The firefighter, who has encouraged his superiors back home not to send any more volunteers for now, declined to give his name because FEMA has warned them not to talk to reporters.
On Monday, two firefighters from South Jordan and two from Layton headed for San Antonio to help hurricane evacuees there. Four firefighters from Roy awaited their marching orders, crossing their fingers that they would get to do rescue and recovery work, rather than paperwork.
"A lot of people are bickering because there are rumors they'll just be handing out fliers," said Roy firefighter Logan Layne, adding that his squad hopes to be in the thick of the action. "But we'll do anything. We'll do whatever
they need us to do."
While FEMA's community-relations job may be an important one - displaced hurricane victims need basic services and a variety of resources - it may be a job best suited for someone else, say firefighters assembled at the Sheraton.
"It's a misallocation of resources. Completely," said the Texas firefighter.
"It's just an under-utilization of very talented people," said South Salt Lake Fire Chief Steve Foote, who sent a team of firefighters to Atlanta. "I was hoping once they saw the level of people . . . they would shift gears a little bit."
Foote said his crews would be better used doing the jobs they are trained to do.
But Louis H. Botta, a coordinating officer for FEMA, said sending out firefighters on community relations makes sense. They already have had background checks and meet the qualifications to be sworn as a federal employee. They have medical training that will prove invaluable as they come across hurricane victims in the field.
A firefighter from California said he feels ill prepared to even carry out the job FEMA has assigned him. In the field, Hurricane Katrina victims will approach him with questions about everything from insurance claims to financial assistance.
"My only answer to them is, '1-800-621-FEMA,' " he said. "I'm not used to not being in the know."
Roy Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said his crews would be a "little frustrated" if they were assigned to hand out phone numbers at an evacuee center in Texas rather than find and treat victims of the disaster.
Also of concern to some of the firefighters is the cost borne by their municipalities in the wake of their absence. Cities are picking up the tab to fill the firefighters' vacancies while they work 30 days for the federal government.
"There are all of these guys with all of this training and we're sending them out to hand out a phone number," an Oregon firefighter said. "They [the hurricane victims] are screaming for help and this day [of FEMA training] was a waste."
Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel into pockets of Louisiana where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.
But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.
I am publishing this in full in case this article is removed by the paper owner after Homeland Security visits them. They will squelch this story.
Firefighter crying because he is so depressed by the FEMA people.
Infuriating. Absolutely totally infuriating. The souless cannibals running Homeland Security and FEMA should be arrested today. Instead of refusing to work with them, these firemen could do a citizen's arrest! I will help them if I could. I have arrested people in the past. "You are under arrest. Do not resist. I am calling the police."
Well, there are no police for the vampires running America want us to lose our faith in America. In Israel, Sharon, using OUR money, spent billions building his wall and a number of fancy houses for his Zionist welfare cases, at our expense, and then gently move the spitting, rioting, violent gang into these brand new built by America homes! And of course, Chertoff was very happy the enterprise went so well, you can bet, just like the NYT and WP both carefully covered that story to insure everyone got goodies from America, worried endlessly about those poor illegal settlers who didn't want to leave for POLITICAL reasons even though we built them beautiful houses on Palestinian lands on the West Bank....well!
These very same neo-cons building that socialist parasite state in Israel bankrolled by the USA are out to undermine our own government! "You can't trust DC to save you!" they crow as they deliberately make it impossible for real patriots to save anyone. Misguiding them, deliberately stalling them, demanding more red tape, these neo-cons pour it on as thick as possible. Now, in disgust, everyone will throw up their hands and yell, "We can't do it!"
This is destroying America overseas. Already, irritated, countries like European ones, are suggesting maybe they should run our country. I agree! Worse, Cuba and Venezuela are laughing at us and much more dangerously, China is now treating us as a client state in need of Chinese guidance and aid...which is true!
We are a basket case. We are not planning on paying for this disaster. Taxes will be cut even more, the deficit will soar higher and higher and the Chinese will tighten the noose around our necks and our people will be helpless because they are scared of gay men kissing and the thought that monkeys might be related to us!
Well, I seriously doubt monkeys will want to own up to being our relations at this point. They have some pride still.
The cynical traitors running America know they destroyed a Democratic stronghold. They are not going to allow it to exist again. They know they have broken up and scattered to the four winds one of the oldest black communities in America, for New Orleans had freed slaves who bought their freedom settle there for many generations before the Civil War. This very old community will be fractured forever and replaced with a corporate mockery of the original. The Supreme Court now allows the rich to displace the poor for financial reasons alone and you can bet, what will be salvaged from New Orleans will be owned totally by a small handful of rich people.
The poor, displaced, atomized population will cause a crime wave. This serves the neo-cons who think of blacks as American Palestinians: people to be put behind walls and shot on sight and humiliated and abused at will because they are not the Master Race!
And white America will be angry with these unhappy people. And will want to supress them and will give the neo-cons carte blanche (literally) to pen them all into concentration camps (aka, prison) to be reenslaved. For this is the long term goal: population reduction of only the minorities and reintroducing slavery. The Civil War still goes on. Ask any white southerner.
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