Friday, November 04, 2005

FEMA :: the soylent mulching operation

A post entitled Supervised Exile gives us FEMA the Unspeakable:


FEMA is choosing the most difficult, most time-consuming, most labour-intensive, most expensive option imaginable for sheltering the former population of New Orleans. The option is geared toward depriving those rendered homeless by its staggeringly profitable "Operation Oopsydaisy" of access to employment, supermarkets, post-offices, schools, urban centers, and other people in the same straits, with shared interests in the rebuilding of New Orleans for their rehabitation.
Baker, La. - In the two months since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita swept the Gulf Coast, the federal government has spent almost $1.3 billion buying 95,151 travel-trailers to shelter evacuees - an effort many housing experts nationwide view as misguided and unnecessarily expensive.

The idea of purchasing tens of thousands of trailers and scattering them across four Southern states in parks, on driveways and in temporary trailer communities is a critical component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's massive assistance plan for the Gulf Coast.

The bills for creating the first big trailer park, built along a dusty road in Baker, 90 miles from New Orleans, are coming in and they are eye-popping: $22 million to prepare the lots for 573 trailers. That is about $38,000 apiece, or more than twice the average price of each trailer.

Undeterred by the expense, FEMA is building 10 more trailer parks in the region, evaluating 79 potential sites and increasing its budget for park construction by hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are more costs to come. By building the trailer town in a remote Baton Rouge suburb, the government has cut off residents' access to everything from grocery stores to new jobs, meaning FEMA could be on the hook for their every need - from meal service to extensive bus transportation - for as long as New Orleans neighborhoods remain unlivable.

While life in the trailer park may be a relative improvement to emergency shelters, experts say the cramped 10-foot spaces between the trailers in Baker will soon become as claustrophobic as the shelters were. Crime will spike and domestic violence will rise, they say, as families remain out of work and helpless to improve their situations.
This is clearly not laziness - constructing body-soul-and society-destroying encampments of sardine cans in isolated locations when there is no need whatsoever for them, severing the survivors of the catastrophe from all avenues of contact with the rest of the nation's population, creating remote camps populated solely by despoiled people, traumatized, uprooted, disoriented, people who have no resources whatsoever, who have lost everything, who arrive with the clothes on their backs and nothing else. This unnecessarily costly and time consuming operation clearly does not reflect an "ideological" commitment to minimal government - a common rationale offered to account for the regime's more sinister policies - or a maniacal attachment to the dice throws of the market - an even more frequently accepted explanation. Neither can this be explained by a bureaucrat's lickpenny husbandry of public funds for diversion to Imperial projects.
"They may be calling them `transitional housing units,' but if these trailer parks were anywhere else in the world they would be called displaced-persons camps," said Susan Martin, director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration and Georgetown University's Certificate Program in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies.

Frank Toussard, 52, who has been living in a travel-trailer at Baker for a week with his wife and daughters, ages 8 and 11, said: "This is not a place where life gets back to normal."
- The San Jose Mercury

Within the paradigm which attributes Bush regime policy to a stew of "incompetence," "indifference to the poor," and "free market ideology," there is no explanation for these scattered concentration camps. They are an enigma. Another paradigm, of course, would relieve them of their mystery...


Oh, just read the whole thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds ok to me as long as there's the man in the white suit there to greet 'em like he did the Joads. They had a rough time, then they got to the goverment camp and had a friendly reception, except which a bunch rough fellers busted up. Probably, FEMA is the white-suit folks and anybody who criticalizes them is the truncheon thugs. Some people thought it was a concertina camp, but then they laid the hoe down.


11/11/2005 10:26 PM  

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