Sunday, September 02, 2007

Good Samaritans not welcome

By Libby

This is rich. The GOP extremists are forever excusing the failure of Katrina by sneering at its victims for not taking care of themselves. Tancredo said yesterday, “The mentality that people can wait around indefinitely for the federal taxpayer to solve all their worldly problems has got to come to an end.” Even Bush tells us we have to depend on each other in a crisis and not on the government.

So if that's true, what do suppose is behind this program?
In an effort to provide better control and coordination, the federal government is launching an ambitious ID program for rescue workers to keep everyday people from swarming to a disaster scene. A prototype of the new first responder identification card is already being issued to fire and police personnel in the Washington, D.C., area.

Proponents say the system will get professionals on scene quicker and keep untrained volunteers from making tough work more difficult.

Call me crazy but I think it might be difficult to look out for each other if you need a permit to help. Of course, FEMA came up with this scheme, (supply your own disaster snark here), and one citizen who organized private relief efforts at Ground Zero, that proved more effective than the government's responders, has an idea on what this is really about.
“They’re more worried about keeping volunteers out than doing an analysis of what really went wrong,” Shearer said. “Independent citizens need to be involved, where we have no ax to grind or cross to bear. But we will tell the truth, and we will tell what we see and bear witness to the incompetence.”

...Dickinson, the federal fire official, said the government is not trying to discourage volunteers, but he thinks there should come a time, within a few days of a disaster, when civilians step back and let the professionals take control.
And just who are these professionals?
For reasons ranging from general safety to protection from lawsuits, construction and demolition companies want to see a disaster ID card program succeed.
Ah, corporate cronies. Wouldn't want any "untrained" eyes witnessing the professional work they do up close, such as the miraculous restoration of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Not to mention all that unpaid labor cuts into profits. Hard to get into cost overruns when those darn volunteers are rebuilding everything in sight for free.

So the deal apparently is, when disaster strikes, don't expect your government to rescue you but once the crisis is over, get out of the way of the corporate gravy train. It will now be illegal to impede political payola without a permit. What a heckuva plan.

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