Diary

A Flood is a Flood

According to my insurance company it is. That was the news I received this morning from them. Despite the fact that it wasn’t rising streams and rivers that caused my problem, a flood is, well, a flood.

Many of us have discussed this on Susannah’s diary about giving but to recap, I’ve gone through all the steps that I was told to take including registering with FEMA, which you will see if you follow that link isn’t very useful in my situation. For others in the same situation, be prepared to receive the same treatment.

Now, it could be that FEMA is rather indifferent because they’re almost broke.

Last month, FEMA Director W. Craig Fugate wrote a letter to Congress warning that its relief fund had fallen to $693 million as of April 7 but the agency owed $645 million to 47 states for past disasters. That doesn’t include the $1.7 billion settlement the agency owes to the Gulf Coast state and city governments for Hurricane Katrina.

It seems that FEMA is having trouble meeting it’s obligations or pledges, if you will, for some time as $1.7 billion is earmarked for Hurricane Katrina and has yet to be paid.

I told myself and others we shouldn’t make this Obama’s Katrina.

I’ve heard that this or the oil spill should be Obama’s Katrina. Truth to tell, Bush should have never had a Katrina in that meaning. Yes, Obama is absent except for signing a document declaring TN a disaster area, but so what? So what if he doesn’t care?

When Katrina happened, everything was hunky-dorry, nothing to say really until the levees broke. The levees broke AFTER the hurricane had passed. Mississippi was devastated along it’s entire coast and further inland. It survived and rebuilt without Bush having to hold the Governor’s or Mayors’ hands. Nobody paid much attention to MS and still don’t. Still less was paid to Mobile AL which also suffered some damage. All eyes were on N.O. and a lot of nasty and completely false things were said about Bush and the HHS response to the disaster.

There is no looting going on here like there was there. Of course, you’re always going to have some, few or many, who will complain that everything isn’t being handed to them. That’s one of the drawbacks of the response to N.O. It now sets the standard to disaster response and it shouldn’t. People have the expectation of everything being handed to them, no questions asked, because that is what was done in N.O.

But we will get through this and we will rebuild, regardless of whether Obama utters a statement or hops on a plane to make some toadying campaign speech in a dry spot of downtown, which is all he can really do without a hundred other toadies to do the heavy lifting of his agenda, and we’ll be better and stronger for it.

If anyone really wants to use this against Obama, use it in campaigns not as a “he doesn’t care” but as a measure of the resilience and fortitude of a people who don’t need a government overseeing every little step of our lives. Why do we always look to Washington, D.C. for the answers when the answers are truly inside each and every one of us who makes a decision to be independent and self reliant? Use as proof that Obama’s claim that we are needy and stupid is simply wrong for the majority of Americans and use this as proof of that. Use as well all the other states which suffered this disastrous weather and other disasters before this.

I’ve lost everything in my life before. It is only sticks, bricks, and mortar, after all. I could lose everything again but if I lose my freedom and and the right to exercise my own free will, there’s no coming back from that.

It would be so easy to engage in the same kind of rhetoric used against Bush. Too easy, in fact. But it wouldn’t stick to Obama like it did to Bush anyway, not just because Bush is a Republican but because Democrats never accept responsibility for anything and never will. They can make all the decisions and control all the power but when what they do utterly fails, it will still be someone else’s fault. They have been that way for decades… or a century. Tough to tell these days, they’ve gotten so good at it.

So, let’s try to use this in a positive way for conservatives and the American people and whatever negatives fall on Obama as a result, well, they will be well earned.

I would stand by that but there are some lessons to be learned and we’d best learn them quickly. We can still make it a positive message.

This administration which is in charge of DHS under which FEMA falls, has pledged to contribute a part of multi-billion dollar bailout for Greece, but not much for disaster relief when it is our tax dollars that fund both. We are on the hook for auto bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, union bailouts, ACORN, and stimulus bills that don’t stimulate much of anything but bigger bureaucracies, but when the American people need it’s, “eh, not so much.”

It’s not that we should believe Obama doesn’t care. I think he doesn’t but it’s more than not caring. It feels like being hated for simply being an American as I watch this government take from us the means to take care of ourselves while denying us care that is so readily available to others. Plus there seems to be  a willingness on the part of this administration to never think about a “rainy day” as it passes massive bills such as the health care reform bill, with cap and tax and immigration on the horizon, all of which are massive spending bills with little to no benefit to the citizens who fund them.

The article linked above citing FEMA’s budget crunch talks about a number of issues, outlined by a Heritage Foundation report, such as the fact that Obama has signed 108 disaster declarations for the year 2009 and 128 for this year. Including Katrina and 9/11, Bush signed a total of 130 for his entire 8 years. Clinton signed 89 and Bush I signed 43. Obama has tripled those numbers of the other three combined in less than two years.

Read the entire report. Being largely in agreement with the Heritage Foundation’s conclusion that FEMA should not be the first responder, there are still problems. The first responder has largely taken the control of disasters out of state and local government hands and it is not likely to give back that control, or the funds, willingly. Or FEMA can continue pledging money it doesn’t have, rather like Cash for Clunkers.

For those who have a spare dime: Give. Not for me but for those who have lost so much more. My losses are minuscule in comparison and I can recoup or fix them over time. With or without the aid, or lack thereof,  from the federal government, we can rebuild and be strong again. The government needs us more than we need it, at least in its present form. Without us builders, doers, and thinkers there would be nothing. The government knows that. It just thinks you don’t.