Sunday, September 3, 2017

Good Time Trump

What is up with this weird, creepy dude and his megachurch?
I feel really sorry for the people of Houston right now, their lives will never be the same.
I say this because I know about when a hurricane slams into a community.
I live in the epicenter  where "Superstorm" Sandy slammed into.
Five years later, people are still rebuilding. Ripped off by contractors or waiting years for FEMA funds to trickle down on them. It's better than it was here, but there are still houses that have been abandoned. It is a myth that the federal government is going to step in and give compensation for all the losses that occur in a disaster situation.
The insurance companies will balk over wind damage or water damage and the people in Houston, like here in New Jersey, probably did not have near enough flood insurance.
Getting insurance companies to pay is another nightmare. They are in business to make a profit, not to pay out when a disaster comes calling.
Then you have  a "photo opportunity president" that comes calling.
"Heckuva job Brownie!" Bush and " No Red Tape!" Obama and now "Have a Good Time!" Trump.
It is such a good time trying to get FEMA funding, dealing with your insurance company.
It's a real party.
The average citizen who has nothing, will be forced to live in moldy flooded homes.
I know people who are still living in conditions like this. They did not have insurance and couldn't afford to re-mediate their homes.
We have another upcoming emergency of our government running out of money and money for Harvey survivors is going to be tied to it, I am guessing.
I wonder how much money we are spending in Afghanistan and how much funding the people of Houston will get in disaster relief?
I understand there was no call for people to evacuate from Houston, because it would have created a logistical nightmare. Almost no one I know here in Jersey evacuated from Sandy. They simply had no where to go, which I suspect, was the case in Houston.
We have people who live and work in low lying coastal flood areas, but no way of evacuating them when a storm is headed their way.
Houston  is 1/4 of our economy and the chemical plants and oil companies that are now digging out, will take years to recover and may just start over somewhere else, if they can.
To top it off, Hurricane Irma is making it's way towards the Southeast US. What's the plan for that?
I just don't get it. How many damn hurricanes do you need to get before there is some kind of cogent plan put forth?
The answer; there never will be one.
We bumble our way through war after war and we do the same thing, disaster after disaster. While charlatans and con artists rip off people trying to rebuild. Just like the mercenaries and defense contractors in the Middle East.
We never learn.
What I did learn was that in Houston, people got in their boats and didn't wait for an overwhelmed police force to rescue people, they did it themselves.
Congress and the Senate will waste time, dithering in DC, while people need real help, now, not later.  If that help does come a lot of the money will get diverted by people in power with projects they throw to their construction company friends or big advertising campaigns to get them re-elected.
                                        Sandy funds used for Christie's re-election campaign.
I really hope Houston is "stronger than the storm" it's going to be an uphill battle. Houston will sadly, have to face doing much of it on their own.
Have a good time with that.  Houston will be a do-it-yourself recovery, just like at the Jersey Shore. People going to endless meetings and all the donations made to shady places that never got to the people who needed them. Be careful who you donate to.


  1. I've been working at a lHouston-area egal aid organizaiton through a few of these disasters, and the problems go on and one, as you say. In rural areas, for example, many families are living on properties that are still in their grandmother's name, and Grandma has been dead since '68, which causes all kinds of problems in getting things done after a storm. We do a lot of probates to fix that, but it takes time.

    Also, if you have previously applied to FEMA for the same property, it slows things down to a dead halt. Landlords and probation officers go crazy after these disasters, waiting lists get longer, contractors start preying on the unwary.

    After our 2008 hurricane (Ike), we were still seeing blue tarps on apartments and houses in the poor sections of town in 2013.

    I know that other places have been through this, and so has Houston, and we'll see whether our government rises to the occasion this time. I'm not convinced it will.

  2. Harry, I am very aware of "grandma's house" as you say. I know a lot of people that are doubled and tripled up since the "Great Recession" in Grandma's house. It is still that way here. People living in houses, that were only meant to be summer residences and with bad times started living in places year round, that never should have been built in the first place, in a flood zone. It was like a war zone here after Sandy, people walking around in a state of shock, I am sure it is much the same in Houston. I read to day that a debate has begun in DC over federal funds for Houston. They should just send the damn money. No one asked any questions about money going to Afghanistan! We need to take care of these people NOW! I can only imagine the devastation there. These people are in my prayers and I can add your name to the list. I wish you luck and I hope the people in Houston get the money and support they need. Godspeed Harry, helping the people in Houston, it is only the beginning for them.

  3. Houston been vulnerable to flooding for years, the storm intensity due to global warming made it worse. Even when I lived in Houston in the 1970's we had flooding, freaked me out, I moved there from Montreal, Quebec at the time. I been telling people for a few decades that this can happen to Houston because of the increases in storm intensity. Thousands are already up here in Dallas. But there is also a sense/ culture of people working together here to help (besides government) that you wont find in many states. I know about Olsteen ... dude is a hustler only, his congregation is not very welcoming to the poor IMO either, never was. My daughters and I already knew about Red Cross, we donated money to local groups.

  4. I imagine you must be inundated with people in Dallas, I am sure everyone is pulling together to help the flood victims. It was the same way after Sandy. Neighbors helping neighbors, But there was the other aspect of shysters and people looting and trying to get into houses and take what they could. It was pretty chaotic, I am sure it's like that for the people of Houston. I hope Hurricane Irma doesn't wallop anyone, but like you say, these intense storms aren't going to stop and the government just acts surprised when there's another one. Then argue about who gets what, while the congresscritters line their pockets and the people who need help struggle. Stay safe Ranch!