Sunday, October 02, 2005

AID TO HURRICANE REFUGEES TO END

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Horrible headlines! I will note yet again, the death toll has disappeared and the names of the dead are close to being totally anonymous, they took more care to name the dead when 250,000+ died in December last year! Here is the latest headlines: From the Washington Post:
Red Cross to Halt Hotel Stipends in 2 Weeks, And Hundreds of Shelters Have Closed
Have they found homes? Are the victims OK? Well, read on!
Two weeks before President Bush's mid-October goal for moving Hurricane Katrina victims out of shelters, more than 100,000 people still reside in such makeshift housing, and 400,000 more are in hotel rooms costing up to $100 a night.
This is a huge number! Many are living with friends and relatives, we all probably know a number of such. Think of it this way, the numbers are over HALF A MILLION are dependent on the Red Cross and FEMA for any sort of housing!
Federal officials are struggling to launch an alternative interim housing program that would give families whose homes are destroyed or uninhabitable a lump sum of $2,358 in rental assistance, or $786 a month for three months, with the possibility of a 15-month extension. So far, 330,000 families have signed up for the housing assistance. But if evacuees have to use those stipends to pay for hotel rooms when FEMA stops covering such lodging, the funds will not last long.
Many of these unfortunate people are hoping to go back home. They see the news which tries to be happy-happy and wonder if they could go home, the ones who have gone, many find their neighborhoods in ruins and their homes a scummy, filthy, mouldering mess with virtually nothing salvageable. Mostly only glass ware and such, things that can be washed in boiling water! Many of these people owe a lot of money on their homes which are now uninhabitable and most are also uninsured for mouldering type problems. Namely, you have to strip the house of all interior wall materials, all plaster, all insulation, everything. The wiring has to be ripped out, too. The floors removed and then, aired out for many weeks if not months in that high-humidity place. Then rebuilt, maybe! This is no light problem.

Even as they are kicking people into the streets pleading "no money," money flows like the Mississippi to non victims! From the Washington Post
The hasty appeal yielded one of the most controversial contracts of the Hurricane Katrina relief operation, a $236 million agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines for three ships that now bob more than half empty in the Mississippi River and Mobile Bay. The six-month contract -- staunchly defended by Carnival but castigated by politicians from both parties -- has come to exemplify the cost of haste that followed Katrina's strike and FEMA's lack of preparation.

To critics, the price is exorbitant. If the ships were at capacity, with 7,116 evacuees, for six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week, according to calculations by aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). A seven-day western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston can be had for $599 a person -- and that would include entertainment and the cost of actually making the ship move.
Amazing, how the money flows so easily to groups that lobby the GOP heavily in DC!

From Seattle Times:
Knight Ridder has found that a lack of oversight, generous contracting deals and poor planning mean that government agencies are shelling out as much as 10 times what the temporary fix would normally cost.

The government is paying contractors an average of $2,480 for less than two hours of work to cover each damaged roof — even though it's also giving them endless supplies of blue sheeting for free.

"This is absolute highway robbery and it really does show that the agency doesn't have a clue in getting real value of contracts," said Keith Ashdown, vice president for Taxpayers for Common Sense.

As many as 300,000 homes in Louisiana may need roof repairs, and as the government attempts to cover every salvageable roof by the end of October, the bill could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
So, there is little money to house the refugees, and they are becoming "refugees" very fast!---there are many millions to be spent doing work which I do all the time, hell, I lived in a tarp covered TENT for TEN years! On a mountain! And I, alone, covered it annually with huge tarps that were 50'x100', all by my lonesome self! This is ridiculous. People can "tarp" their homes themselves, too, you know.

As a survivalist, I hate to say this, but everyone is bankrupting America because we are all so dainty and worse, real people who need real help are not getting it, but the people who should be able to cope themselves aren't bothering, they, the vast southern middle class, wants Uncle Sam to come and cover their homes, free, while here, up north, on my mountain, no one helped ME! Not a soul. Not a penny! I had to cope alone, by myself. I see this photo of an obviously middle class home, being "saved" at my expense! What? HUH? If my roof blows off, god forbid, guess what?
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I will have to climb up, me, a 55 year old woman, and fix it myself! Period! We had 80 mph winds in a vicious storm two days ago. It damaged a part of the roof and some water leaked in.

Guess what? That was hurricane force winds and I had to deal with it, myself! See? Gads, and the south shrieks about "nanny states"? Well, BAAAA you silly goats! Meanwhile, really poor people, stuck in stadiums and churches, are about to be thrown into the streets and no nanny is going to save them! They, the people without any means of support or help, must make do by themselves but the well heeled homeowners want us all to pay for their roof repairs.

Gads.

From Yahoo:
Rubble piles bear "For Sale" signs. Homes without roofs are being sold as-is. Placards announcing "We Buy Houses, Cash!," are posted on corners throughout middle-class neighborhoods.

The Mississippi coast, wracked by Hurricane Katrina, is caught up in a real estate rush, as speculators and those looking to replace their own wrecked homes pinpoint broken and battered waterfront neighborhoods. In the weeks since the hurricane, prices of many homes — even damaged properties — have jumped 10 to 20 percent.

But what Katrina spared, the real estate rush now imperils. The arrival of speculators threatens what's left of bungalow neighborhoods that are among the Gulf's oldest communities, close-knit places of modest means where casino workers, fishermen and their families could still afford to live near the water.
OK. Time to arrest people. How dare anyone build in this zone! These same clowns will put in very expensive stuff right in the destruction zone and then demand we cater to them when they get destroyed and then spend billions rebuilding the splintered mess! What the fuck?

They all hope to buy the land, apply to the government for aid, and then build fancy stuff there! Geeze. Bottomless purse and all that!

Public weal: the poor and dispossessed need our help and aid. This is because they have literally nothing after losing everything. Next comes public weal #2 which are the displaced middle class that is on slender means and who have lost both home and jobs. After them comes municipalities that need to reestablish services and clean up. Dead last to zero public weal: well to do people with minor roof damage! Good grief! And rich businesses! Hell, they can use private services! And they want us all to swim on our own but note how we are wasting millions to keep these WRONG people happy while telling the truly needy they are going to be cut off?

Good grief, talk about ass-backwards.

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