View Full Version : Man-Made Tragedies

11-21-2005, 07:58 PM
Man-made tragedies


November 21, 2005

"We will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives." President George W. Bush, with the St. Louis Cathedral spotlighted in the background by generated lights uttered these words in a demonstrative voice on September 15 before a national audience.

How long is long is relative, obviously.

FEMA says December 1 is long enough. That's the date they will render homeless the more than 50,000 evacuees from then Hurricane Katrina and later Hurricane Rita who have yet to find more permanent temporary-housing facilities other than the hotel and motels they have been living in for shelter.

We also recall the President saying that evening, "We've witnessed the kind of desperation no citizens of this great and generous nation should ever have to know... that the despair of any touches us all.

The generosity of this nation is relative, also, in spite of the magnitude of the desperation and despair of its citizens.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has no more money to pay flood insurance claims and has advised the nation's 96 companies that underwrite flood insurance to suspend payments.

FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney said Congress had been notified in September, October and earlier this month that his agency was running out of money to pay flood insurance claims. Claims thus far have totaled $23 billion. FEMA had a cap of $3.5 billion.

The House, meeting late in the evening last week, only saw fit to extend FEMA's borrowing authority to pay claims to $8.5 billion. That's a far cry from the $23 billion needed. The Senate has yet to act.

It is said that Congress will now authorize additional lending in a "piecemeal fashion" to cover all of the agency's obligations.

According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report dated October 7, 2005, the U. S. has allocated $357 billion for the War in Iraq, Afghanistan and enhanced base security since 9/11. Nothing "piecemeal" about that.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said, "We feel like we are citizens of the United States who are nearly forgotten."

We couldn't agree more.

Three months following Katrina, President Bush's opening remarks from his now infamous speech to the nation, rings truer now more than ever, "we have seen fellow citizens left stunned and uprooted, searching for loved ones, and grieving for the dead, and looking for meaning in a tragedy that seems so blind and random."

This time there's no question that it's man-made.