News Snipet 'Blog

 
PREPARE!
Do Something!
Find Elected Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

See Issues & Action
Select An Issue Area:


Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Other things
Find Affordable Care!"
Other things
Sorry refugees, I misjudged you
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I would like to personally thank the Hurricane Katrina refugees for showing remarkable restraint in the face of overwhelming temptation. You apparently spent only $1.4 billion (about 16%) of your free money on sex, drugs and rock and roll instead of food and shelter. While most of the country is condemning you today, I want to congratulate you. I expected worse. Many of you did everything wrong, right up to the time the government gave you a bunch of my money. I expected you to blow it all – or most of it anyway. You only blew one dollar in six. Not bad. I had low expectations of you because – well, if you had been responsible, you wouldn’t have needed the money in the first place. You would have known that you live in the path of a hurricane. You would have made plans to evacuate, including saving some money for such an emergency. Had all of you done that, it would not have been necessary for the government to give you nine billion of your fellow citizen’s dollars on which to survive while Katrina occupied your homes. To be sure, we still would have opened our homes and hearts to you. We would have provided you with emergency supplies and shelter, but in short order, you would have taken control of your own situation, and you would not have needed those taxpayer funded ATM cards with which some of you had so much fun. If you are not aware of some of your fellow refugees adventures, they used the money to buy divorces, Caribbean vacations, season tickets to New Orleans Saints, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and Dom Perignon champagne, just to name a few. I’m ashamed to admit that I expected at least half of the money to be misspent, but the GAO audit cannot confirm more than about $1.4 billion in abuse – about 16% of the total assistance. So I offer my sincere apology for misjudging you. Apparently most of you actually used the money for the purposes for which it was intended. That doesn’t mean that I support the spending, mind you. I don’t think you should have received it. I think charity and self-reliance should have sufficed, but our government never wants to be left out of any charitable endeavor. Just because I apparently misjudged you, I’m not going to abandon my view that people should, and largely can, care for themselves, and that they are ultimately better off for doing so. But I will admit (because I always admit when I’m wrong) that abusing only one in six of the dollars you got from the kindness of strangers is better than I expected of you. Ralph Bristol
posted by Jack Mercer @ 6/14/2006 09:48:00 AM  
9 Comments:
  • At 6/14/2006 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    Sick!!! I AM my brother's keeper.

     
  • At 6/14/2006 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    BTW, who is Ralph Bristol?

     
  • At 6/14/2006 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Ha!

    Ralph is another author that posts. His commentaries often get reaction!

    Now that I have your reaction, what is sick about Ralph's post?

    (Looking forward to discussing this one! :)

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/14/2006 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    To be fair, I must state upfront that I am not a fan of sarcasm. That aside, I object to statement, “if you had been responsible, you wouldn’t have needed the money in the first place. You would have known that you live in the path of a hurricane. if you had been responsible, you wouldn’t have needed the money in the first place. You would have known that you live in the path of a hurricane.” From the beginning of recorded history, human settleemnts have sprung up near waterways. Living where the hurricane struck is not any more irresponsibel than living near other waterways. People live in expensive houses in the mud slides in California and in the shadow of volcanoes and near the oceans where storms plunder the land. Mother Nature is bigger than we are! Where should they live? Where should any of us live?

    Then, “You would have made plans to evacuate, including saving some money for such an emergency.” Easy to say, but the people affected the most were poor blacks, who lived near the levee. It’s hard to save on minimum wage or unemployment. These people live from day to day. And why were they there? Well, they were there because that’s where they were born. Their parents lived there. And back in slavery times, their foreparents wer “sold south.” That was the threat masters held over their slaves. Seems they actually did it quite a few times. New Orleans is (was) mostly poor and black.

    Now poor people have little experience with large sums of money. So they blew some of it. Why is that surprising? Didn’t most of us blow some of the “big bucks” from our early paychecks? Oh, but that’s different. We earned that money. Oh, PLLLLLease!!! Don’t put your white collar mores on poor folks. Of course, people should “largely care for themselves.” But sometime they can’t. Sometimes we can’t. We all need help. Man is a social being. And if man didn’t need help, why did God make woman? Not all help is the same. So why should the government step in? Because these are OUR people!!! That’s why. They are citizens of the USA. They probably even pay taxes. Not much, I grant you. But whatever the law of the land calls for. A government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” helps the people. That seems simple. Were ther abuses in the monies allotted? Of course, there were. There always are. Should the gov’t help again, knowing there will be abuses? Damn skippy!

     
  • At 6/15/2006 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Good spirited discussion, Helen!

    Couple of things to note. In the aftermath we discover that:

    Race was not a factor (In spite of what Jesse, Al and Kanye had to say).

    The state's demographic information suggests that whites in New Orleans died at a higher rate than minorities. According to the 2000 census, whites make up 28 percent of the city's population, but the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm's fatalities in the city.

    African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities.

    Overall for the state, 658 bodies were identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.

    Second, since we discuss scriptural principles, there are several things of note:

    In Matt 17 Jesus refers to these people as foolish people.

    I Timothy 5 indicates that any parent or guardian who does not provide for the contingencies of their own family they are worse than people deserving of Hell.

    The Bible is bloated with references about the foolish being unprepared and living for the day.

    ie: "Proverbs 14:16 A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.",

    Your statements support these assertions:

    "These people live from day to day. And why were they there? Well, they were there because that’s where they were born. Their parents lived there. And back in slavery times, their foreparents wer “sold south.” That was the threat masters held over their slaves. Seems they actually did it quite a few times. New Orleans is (was) mostly poor and black"

    Helen, there were exceptions to the rule laid out in Ralph's article but it wasn't the rule.

    Me and my family gave sacrificially to the victims, participated in the cleanup, but SO much of what happened could have been avoided had people exercised a little prudence--prudence even poor people are capable of.

    Helen, I don't understand how Christians can indicate that God gave us the ability to choose then in the same breath remove culpability from those who make the wrong choices. Which is it? If all of these people were "victims" simply because the color of their skin and the results of their culture, then I would be in the same circumstances.

    Helen, I grew up poor--very poor. In addition I have seen true poverty (not the American variety we talk about). I understand poverty and its causes better than most Americans.

    I have a friend named Boonie. Boonie is simple minded but lovable. Boonie has only the ability to understand 2 step instructions and is considered mentally disabled. Boonie is not content with that, worked two simple jobs and has a home and a car because of it.

    Putting all this aside, though, I think that Ralph also points out that our government does with little thought about WHAT it does. Take disability for example. There are thousands of individuals drawing disability that are just as capable of working as you and I. The problem is that these people are not monitored AT ALL. As a matter of fact, if you were to report a person who goes water skiing every weekend, and fishing every day, and builds houses on the side getting money under the table who is drawing disability, guess what happens? Nothing! Our government is good at coming up with rules and programs, but sadly deficient in policing them.

    Helen, if we continue to make excuses for people we don't help them. If we make excuses for sin, it never is faced and dealt with in one's life (slothfulness/lack of preparation is a sin!).

    I have a problem with my tax dollars being spent on "divorces, Caribbean vacations, season tickets to New Orleans Saints, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and Dom Perignon champagne" (Ralph forgot to add prostitutes to the list--guess he missed that news item). 1.4 billion would buy a lot of food, clothing and shelter for those who really need it.

    Not sure I understand the defense, Helen.

    -Jack

     
  • At 6/15/2006 08:43:00 AM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    Okay Jack, we'll leave race out of it, though I think it was in. And I'm sure you're telling the truth about getting out of poverty. Did your parents encourage you? Mine did. (We were probably poor but didn't know it, as children, not the kind of poverty I mean. We ate three balanced meals a day and had adequate clothing and shelter.)

    Choices have to mean choices. They have to mean we don't come in later to judge those choices. We are NOT God. I don't understand why we can't just help people and not resent them later.

    Aren't season tickets to the Saints games a better way to spend money than on rocket ships to explore Venus? Isn't fancy champagn a better buy that WMDs? (That's what we call them when "
    bad guys" have them?) Why can't Christians judge themselves by Biblical standards and then love others (possibly non-Christians, mostly we don't know) into the Kingdom of God by showing them they are important enough to be called our fellow citizens? That's when God's rules kick in.

    And how do I say: They aren't YOUR tax dollars. Once collected, they are OUR tax dollars. Our includes people who don't think like you and don't want to. Our includes the folks who misused the money. You have to get over it.

    It's going to be a busy day, Jack. Might not get back to you real quickly. You get my drift; you just don't like it.

     
  • At 6/15/2006 09:08:00 AM, Blogger Helen Losse said…

    And BTW, concerning "African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities."

    None of the dead people, black or white, are accused of spending money foolishly, are they?

     
  • At 6/15/2006 10:25:00 AM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever."

    Wise words to live by, most will agree. Unfortunately with Katrina they don't really apply. Obviously the best case scenario would have been that everyone had savings and contingency plans and knew the best evacuation routes, but this was simply not the reality. People had nothing and got screwed. Did they get screwed due in large part to their own failure to plan? Of course. But saving for a natural disaster isn't a luxury most people on fixed incomes have... and besides, it was all spilled milk by the time the ATM cards were given out.

    Should we have given them nothing instead? Simply let them forage for food in the forests of Louisiana? I've eaten alligator before, but I wouldn't want to have to physically hunt and kill one to do it again.

     
  • At 6/16/2006 09:00:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Smorg,

    My perception of the "left" nowadays is that they seem to be "absolutists". They define the rule by the exception, and that was not always the case. For example, all abortion should be legal based on the few exceptional cases that arise (threat to mother's life, rape, etc.). The same goes for many other things, universal healthcare for everyone based on the few that really need it. The examples could go on. (Remember, you and I have discussed safety nets before and I think we are in line with each other on that)

    The problem with government is that we no longer fund and administer programs as safety nets, we just throw money at problems and expect them to go away. This creates a bigger problem in those that come to depend on government rather than prepare/save, etc.

    I realize that natural disaster strikes. For years I lived in a very modest home, very low payment so that I could avoid the hazard insurance. I have not always been in my current financial state--it took planning, preparation and sacrifice--something our government knows nothing of and fails to teach our spoiled generations.

    Helen, I'll be back Monday for more discussion on this. Yes, we lived in abject poverty--we knew hunger, disease, cold and destitution.

    Will be back!

    -Jack

     
Post a Comment
<< Home
 
About Me

Name: Jack Mercer
Home:
About Me:
See my complete profile

"Snipet" (pronounced: snipe - it) is not a word.It is a derivative of two words: "Snipe" and "Snippet".


Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.


Miriam Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage.


In short, "Snipets" are brief, snide shots at exposed situations from a concealed vantage point.

WARNING! With due reverence to the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment there is NO comment policy on the News Snipet.

Other things
Archives
Politics
Template by

Free Blogger Templates

BLOGGER

free hit counter