Thursday, February 09, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost. Desi at Mia Culpa was in a conversation the other day that included people thinking that the Katrina victims should just get on with their lives, it has been long enough. We are such a forgiving nation, aren't we? Meanwhile BadTux is lividly following the hotel evictions with a side of ire reserved for the budget reduction of the Army Corps of Engineers. So I was not really surprised to find this:
United Press International - NewsTrack - Trailers for hurricane victims sit unused: "Slightly more than half of the 135,000 requests for trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been filled since hurricanes swept the coast in August and September, The New York Times reports.

Local officials, contractors and residents say some of the delays seem to stem from the federal government's poor planning and its frustrating layers of subcontractors and bureaucracy.

FEMA, meanwhile, criticized local governments for rejecting trailer sites in certain neighborhoods and engaging in drawn-out negotiations about where the trailers should go. Agency officials also said that private companies and electric utilities had contributed to the problem by being slow to provide services."
And from the New York Times we get this:
"The trailer problem is an individual human tragedy," said Reinhard J. Dearing, the chief administrative officer of Slidell, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. Several city officials, including police officers, are still without trailers or just received them this week, and have been sleeping with friends or neighbors, and in one case, under a desk in a government office.

On Monday, frustrated by the delays, four members of the St. Bernard Parish Council performed what they called a symbolic act, taking three trailers from a local stockpile of about 275 and delivering them to residents.

"If this happened with any other business, you would find another purveyor," said Councilman Mark Madary, who represents a parish where 6,000 families are waiting for trailers and about 2,000 have received them.

The problems in administering the $4 billion trailer program mirror those of other major recovery efforts undertaken since the hurricanes crippled the region, and appear to be a result of failures at all levels of government. Local officials, contractors and residents say that some of the delays seem to stem from the federal government's poor planning and its frustrating layers of subcontractors and bureaucracy.

For example, trailers are often sent to two different holding areas before they are distributed, and sit collecting dust while families wait.
We are supposed to be this great nation, heroes of the world, saviors of the little people whose worlds have been destroyed by forces outside their control and we can't even clean up our own back yard? To make matters worse, we don't want to unless other people can benefit, not the ones who suffered the greatest injuries. A shining example of freedom, democracy and compassion to all.

Like the sheen on a fresh pile of puppy poo.

No comments:

Post a Comment