You know.....


.....there are days when I shouldn't read the paper. Living in blissful ignorance would probably be better for my blood pressure.

Look, the Summa Mamas rarely comment on world news or politics or things of that sort, believing that our strengths lie in what we deal with every day--the more mundane issues of wife-ing, mom-ing, and how our faith relates to those issues. We talk about the things we love: kids, families, God, books, movies, television (yes, even television). It's not that we don't KNOW about things other than those, but we're not into the whole argument thing.

But yesterday I opened the paper to headlines blaring out the scandal of "FEMA payments made to people who didn't qualify or deserve them. Big ones! Oh, the agony!" Well, not exactly, but that was the impression given.

If you lived anywhere where large numbers of refugees from the disaster were moved, you've heard a LOT about FEMA and its handling of the disaster. And I'M NOT TRYING TO DEFEND FEMA IN PARTICULAR! THEY WERE WOEFULLY UNPREPARED FOR HANDLING SUCH A MASSIVE DISASTER.

There. So in what I say next, please remember the sentence above.

It strikes me, however, almost laughably two-faced of our media now to be shocked, absolutely shocked, that payments by FEMA went to "people who were not residents of the disaster area." And "FEMA did not adequately ascertain the residences of the people to whom they gave compensation."

This is the same media who were incensed during disaster relief that FEMA at first actually tried to tie down peoples' addresses before giving them the aid that they needed. When relief aid first started, our newspaper huffed that "how could those heartless aid workers compel people to show some identification proving their legal addresses? Don't they understand that these people left wearing simply what was on their backs? They didn't bring drivers licenses or birth certificates! They didn't know they would need them."

The push THEN was to hand out the money, hand out the money, hand out the money.

So, kick FEMA then for handing out the money too slowly.

And now, kick FEMA for handing out the money too quickly.

A discussion is in order, certainly. HOW, in the midst of a disaster the size of Katrina and Rita, DO you help people who are in need? In all the article yesterday on the topic, not one sentence was aimed at figuring that out, or talking to anyone who was interested in that.

I'm glad I don't work for FEMA. Nothing they can do is right. If they try to verify, they are cold-hearted and people are suffering. If they don't try to verify, they are wastrels with the public's money and gave it to people who didn't qualify. If I were them, I'd feel like a mole in a Whack-a-Mole game.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on June 15, 2006 8:52 AM.

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