Beer, iPods and Katrina

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by joepunk, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    a profane existence
    #1
    This is despicable

    The trouble started when Congress increased the cap on Homeland Security credit cards from $2,500 to $250,000 after Katrina, while putting no guidelines in place for how such cards should be used. Among the questionable purchases by DHS, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service:

    • An $8,000 plasma TV;
    • $68,000 worth of unused dog booties designed to protect search dogs’ feet;
    • 110 laptop computers;
    • 54 IPods;
    • “Team-building exercises” at private golf and tennis resorts;
    And, perhaps most shocking:
    • $1,000 worth of beer-brewing supplies, which the Coast Guard said “enabled the agency to save money that would be otherwise spent on commercial brands at official functions.” Because obviously, it’s our duty as Americans to pick up these people’s bar tabs.

    David Norquist, Homeland Security’s new chief financial officer, said the agency has approved tighter spending guidelines but hasn’t implemented them.

    Sorry if this has been posted already but it was hard to do a search for "beer, iPods, and Katrina."
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #2
    Hey, good help is hard to find, doncha know.

    Small potatoes, but what yanked my chain was the Coasties/beer thing: An estimate of the cost of them brewing their own beer worked out to around $12 per sixpack's worth of beer. Hell's bells, your friendly grocery has all manner of good imported beer for less than that. I guess it's the arrogance of the so-called justification that chaps my fanny.

    How do you lose all those boats? Just walk away and leave them at some dock somewhere? "I don't need it, anymore; here, guy, have a boat."

    The check's in the mail; I'll file for divorce as soon as I get home, and I'm from the federal gummint and I'm here to help you. There's another Big LIe, but it ain't suitable for a family publication.


    And people still try to make me believe that a government can run a socialist state. Maybe that's the biggest lie of all.

    'Rat
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    well, that's a bad estimate. if the equipment is paid for, grain is bought instead of extract, and labor is discounted, it works out to a lot less.

    grow your own hops and culture your own yeast and it's downright cheap to homebrew, like $5-10 / case.

    i'm in no way excusing the fraud, just defending homebrewing :)
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    No, the biggest lie is that modern conservatism is about smaller, less intrusive, government. ;)
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
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    Terlingua, Texas
    #5
    More like "modern" and "conservatism" are contradictions in terms. :D

    What form of government has EVER become smaller or less intrusive?

    I always felt sorry for JFK: He swore to have a hiring freeze in the number of government employees. A year after his announcement, there were an additional 11,000 government employees.

    Back To FEMA: The inherent problem for any government--or any government agency--is that there is no profit motive and thus no institutional motive for efficiency. Ergo, waste.

    Then, as agencies get more police power, they attract people who derive some enjoyment in excercising power--which adds to snoopiness or intrusiveness. (See what happens if you resent the Census folks' snoopiness and don't cooperate.)

    'Rat
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    I'm starting to think we should drown FEMA in the bath tub. I would hope to have an agency that actually works, let alone efficiently, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Apparently the worst of "conservatism" has succeeded in it's aims, purely by being so terrible at governing.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Funny then that Clinton was able to reduce the size and cost of government...
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #8
    FEMA's prime directive is the continuation of government.

    They have no plan for mass evacuations.

    It's every man for himself until the dust settles.

    They are here to insure that the corruption continues.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #9
    mac, have you a link to something that showed that the number of federal employees (other than military) declined from 1993 to 2001? I'm dubious.

    I'm also dubious that the size of the federal budget declined (in real terms) during that time, other than monies budgeted for the military.

    My own view of FEMA is that like many fedgov agencies, it's gotten too big and sprawling. Sorta hard to be Big Nanny Rescuer for the whole country, against all disasters of whatever sort, and still be efficient. Much like the Army, really. Once well-trained folks are on the ground and in action, all well and good. Getting that sort of people in place is a Gigantic Thrash. Trying to accomplish something meaningful with semi-trained newbies doesn't work, as we saw post-Katrina.

    There's a story at the Popular Mechanics website that shows contradictions between popular perceptions and actual performances in the post-Katrina efforts by FEMA. What is implicit in the article is that screwups are highly publicized and much less is printed about the worthwhile accomplishments.

    I will offer one point in FEMA's defense: Too many people thought that somehow somebody else would take responsibility for their evacuation, and that somehow they themselves weren't responsible for their own well-being in the first days after Katrina. My own opinion is that this is in large part a direct result of how such programs as FEMA are sold, leading people to expect far more support than actually can be delivered in a post-disaster situation.

    'Rat
     
  10. joepunk thread starter macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #10
    I wonder if I will be invited to one of the official Coast Gruard functions. I've got a friend in the Coast Guard.

    Probably not as we have not spoken in a long time :(
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Colly-fornia
    #11
    Well you can look here if you want The Nation's take - which I'm sure you'll take with a grain of salt, since you can also find articles that will claim Clinton raped puppies while slashing the military and increasing taxes to fund his one-world government increases. However, I can tell you that the Cato Institute (no friends of Clinton) had this to say in the middle of a government-bloat rant against GWBush:
    That's because, under Bush, the operating doctrine is the same Grover Norquist BS: underfund and mismanage agencies while giving them mandates that sound good but are impossible to meet - even with solid funding - such as the ever-catchy No Child Left Behind. These guys are DELIBERATELY abusing these necessary government components to feed their ideological purity. FEMA ran well enough under Bush 41 and Bill Clinton. Sure, not perfect, but when you put political cronies with no experience in crisis management in charge you're creating a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Of course that's true. It's true for every president.

    The people who couldn't get out were the poor and the sick. And perhaps a few people who have a sense of entitlement that the government should come help them are mixed in, but I would need to see some real proof to believe that they are the majority.

    Protecting the people who cannot protect themselves is the job of government.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2003
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    Terlingua, Texas
    #12
    Thanks for the links; I'll take a look in a few days when I get back in town.

    "I would need to see some real proof to believe that they are the majority."

    In no way the majority of all evacuees. I never even implied that.

    "Protecting the people who cannot protect themselves is the job of government."

    Doesn't that raise the issue of the Nagin-babble over the school buses?

    SFAIK, the legal structure to call upon FEMA goes back to its early days of the 1970s: The governor has to make the request. That was not done before Katrina hit. It's up to local and state government to protect those who could not protect themselves. Local and state government failed, miserably so.

    'Rat
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
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    #13
    I call BS on your claim that the governor did not request FEMA aid prior to the hurricane. Can you prove that contention with links?

    Also, I particularly enjoy how you are more than happy to blame local and state governments (which coincidentally are Democratically-controlled) yet ascribe no miserable failure to anything the feds did. Why is that? Do you believe that only state and local governments are responsible for protecting those who cannot protect themselves?
     

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