Thursday, April 27, 2006

Politics: Well, they're half right.

A bipartisan Senate inquiry has determined that the bloated, incompetent, and only vaguely Constitutional Federal Emergency Management Agency should, after its abysmal performances last Autumn, be dismantled...

...and replaced with a brand-spanking-new bloated, incompetent, and only vaguely Constitutional agency; one with the much less acronymically mellifluous handle of "National Preparedness and Response Authority".

What difference do they think changing the name on the sign out front of the building is going to make? Anybody want to lay odds that the Federales look for people with strong Emergency Management backgrounds from FEMA to staff the "new" agency? How much is it going to cost me to pony up for mailing these clowns new business cards?

I'm with James Madison on this one:
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article in the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..... With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
It makes one look like a savage to say so, but if your house burns down, blows over, or floats away, it's not the job of the federal government to fix it for you. Charity is one thing, but federal tax dollars coerced at 1040-point from a single working mother of two in Dubuque (and then filtered through a morbidly obese federal agency) to rebuild your bungalow in Destin is not charity, okay? It's extortion.

The Senate panel was half right: FEMA needs to go. But it needs to stay gone, not come back in drag.


Anonymous said...

ABC news woke me with this announcement, however, they never mentioned the creation of the newer newspeak agency. I remember thinking (semi-sleepy) "When have the overlords *ever* made themselves into the smaller government that they occasonaly like to joke about?"

Mainstream Media lie by ommision.

And hey, it was just freaking yesterday that the news spewer told me that those critters that call themselves "D"s want to wave the gas tax for the next 60 days, which could be considered radical except of course that after a little digging I found they would "make up" the lost taxes by "windfall profits tax" on oil producers. Yea, who do you think is gonna pay that tax?

If you can't see the problem here, it's exactly like congress slipping a sawbuck in your front jeans pocket, while they steal a ten-spot out of your wallet when you wern't looking.

Any reasonably intellagent news-critter could figure this out, so this is either deliberate spin, or the press is stone stupid. Take your pick.

T said...

It doesn't make you look like a savage. It's one thing to assert that charity is a moral and public good. It's another to assert that collecting money at gunpoint and redistributing it for charitable purposes is a moral and public good. Forced charity is not charity at all.

BobG said...

They'll probably hire a lot of the people that worked for FEMA, and then give them a raise and more benefits.
I agree with Steve:
"In any event, the first responders are the local and state authorities. FEMA is only supposed to get involved when a disaster overwhelms them (or they prove to be utterly incompetent, as New Orleans and LA were)."

It should be handled on a local level except when there is something that is so extreme as to be unusually difficult for a local level, such as 9-11 was for NY City.

A national service should NOT be responsible for wiping noses and propping up local programs that are under par.

Anonymous said...

I used to catch the bus for work right in front of FEMA HQ in DC. The P5 to NRL. Sometimes when I had to wait a long time, I'd read the new FEMA regulations posted on an outdoor bulletin board.

They were all the same, though. FEMA decides that FEMA officials have power to commandeer whatever they want in an emergency. Buildings, vehicles, food, teenage daughters... OK, I didn't actually read that last one. But like I said, I only read the bulletin board if the bus was late.

phlegmfatale said...

as per usually, beautifully stated, Tam.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Civil Defense instead! Decentralized, people and equipment in every state who knew their area, limited mission.

Shane said...

What I never understood is why oh why do the local building codes NOT require that residential be able to reasonably withstand the local natural disasters?

Live in an area prone to Earthquakes? Your home needs to be able to withstand them.

Live in an area known for wildfires, your home needs a firebreak or needs to be fireproof.

Live in an area known for Hurricanes or Tornadoes, you need a house that can withstand one.

Yes, we can build these kinds of structures.

Yes it is expensive, but then I see folks paying over a million dollars for a mansion on a postage stamp, so it really is not a money issue, it is an issue with folks thinking "it'll never happen to me, and I want a BIG house, and I have insurance, and then FEMA will bail me out"

Which makes my insurance rates go up and my taxes get wasted even more.