Let me begin by making a statement of universal reliability. Governments are incapable of coping with any event or situation that requires immediate effective action. They will hold hearings about why they fucked everything up. They may pass laws that they won’t use any more than the laws they already have on the books. They will then assume that the situation is under control, the lessons learnt. It isn’t and they weren’t. Next time there is an emergency, the same clusterfuck scenario will ensue. Why, you may ask, is this so? It is so because there is no functional link between policy and reality. Any dipshit asshole can think up policy. Reality is reality.
Our reality is that, being the richest and most powerful of nations, we know that we can remediate (in a manner of speaking even if not in real terms) any situation simply be throwing money at it. In other words, we don’t seek to prevent calamity or to mitigate calamity by changing our modus operandi or our modus vivendi. It’s easier for us simply to write checks after the fact, accompanied of course by the usual finger pointing and lamentation theatre. It may help to understand this attitude if you recognize that even the poorest amongst us is probably better off being destitute here than 90 % of the rest of the world’s population. Once you recognize that, it is also easier to understand why folks so aggressively try to come here to live, notwithstanding our immigration laws and enforcement policies. With absolutely no apologies for any seeming arrogance, we are the most successful society in the history of the world. Even the wealthy in other nations hedge their bets by making investments in this country that can be the basis of immigration preferences in their favor should they decide to flee the insecurities of their own countries. They also know that if they can get even one child a green card and on the road to USA citizenship, that child’s relatives can come here to “visit” when they are about to have babies so that the babies are natural born USA citizens if they choose to be.
But that does not detract from the fact that we also afford and support assholism as an authentic social subgroup that always seems to lean towards government “service” careers. Government is the socially acceptable dumping ground for our misfits, perverts, chemically dependent and delusional fuckwads. Evidence abounds of their “contributions” to our life.
For example, consider the Internal Revenue Code. Our system of taxation is so overlaid with competing bullshit interests that it is the most fucked up possible way imaginable to raise revenue. If we were smart and simply had a national sales tax, no one would have to file tax returns except those having to account for sales taxes collected. Sales tax is not regressive if the necessities of life are exempt from tax. In that way, the poor do not pay taxes on what they need to maintain life, such as clothing (under a certain price), food, and medicines. The IRS could be housed in an office about the size of a McDonalds restaurant and run the whole program on a few PCs. The parasites who live on filling out tax returns and processing payroll deductions would have to find something productive to do for a living. There would then be no income tax, as all revenue would be derived from the sales tax. The more shit you buy that you don’t really need, the more tax you would pay. Makes sense, doesn’t it. The same net revenue to the government could be raised if the national sales tax were about 17 % of sales. If you are an SCF (Sanctimonious Church Fuck) who wants to tax sin, have a higher sales tax on everything that makes folks happy.
Strong evidence of the government’s inability to cope with anything that cannot be dealt with by lengthy debate and consensus compromised programs may be seen in what is laughingly called FEMA –the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
For many years, ever since its establishment, people who really understand how everything works in an emergency have known that FEMA is just another idiot pool established as a propaganda tool to fool imbeciles into believing that, when the shit hits the fan, the government is an effective instrument of protection.
Exhibit One – Evacuation route planning for large metropolitan areas in the event of an impending calamity. This is a categorical impossibility. You might as well plan to hide inside your own asshole. You have a better chance of doing that.
Here in Houston this past week, we had a laboratory demonstration of just what it is that the imbecile pool at FEMA (FEMA and State Emergency Management, plus the imbecile pool known locally as our municipal government) considers to be the appropriate approach to mass evacuation. Over two and a half million people hit the road in obedience to an emergency mandate to escape Hurricane Rita that was two days away from landfall and then expected to hit Houston. Forget about the fortuitous fact that the hurricane didn’t come to Houston, but made landfall 100 miles away, with Houston on the “clean” side of the storm. Morning and afternoon rush hour in Houston would inform anyone with even a smidgen of good sense that you can’t organize an emergency mass evacuation of a major metropolitan area by telling folks to hit the road, even if you tell em which roads to hit – as if they didn’t know the way out of town already – DUH!
Fortunately, most folks didn’t obey. Unfortunately, a sufficient number of sheep, 2,700,000 of them, did obey. Rush hour was exponentialized. The maximum attainable speed of travel was about five miles per hour, and impossible to sustain. Thousands experienced car failure from engine overheating, and many more thousands simply ran out of gas. It took several hours to go twenty miles. The sides of freeways that lead into rather than away from town were empty, and remained so. They were not designated as additional lanes for traffic leaving town until much later in the process, after the evacuation catastrophe was fully into deadlock. That is not an exaggeration.
The heat approached 100 degrees that day. People had heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages and gave birth to babies right there on the road, available to mosquitoes, other bugs and vermin and to wandering marauders, with no possibility of medical attention reaching them. Parking lots all over the county and beyond suddenly became camp grounds as people gave up or ran out of gas. Days later workers were still removing the detritus of encampments that had no sanitation facilities. The smell of soiled diapers, vomit, urine and fecal matter in the fetid heat seemed to permeate everything.
A wheel well fire from overheated brakes on a bus full of old age home evacuees was oxygen fed from the old farts’ oxygen bottles. The oxygen bottles themselves exploded, spraying a mist of old folks’ guts everywhere, and only the fact that the fire was fierce and incinerated almost all of them kept the scene from being really ugly. There were no deaths in the Houston area from the storm. All the more than 130 deaths were caused by the evacuation “plan”.
Of course, the rich had a different evacuation experience. Today’s paper has a story of how wealthy Houstonians handled evacuation. Instructing their staffs to prepare one of their other homes in another locale for their arrival, they then went to Central Market, our local gourmet supermarket, and stocked up on the necessities of life on their terms. Their idea of MRE rations would be things like pate, smoked fish and meats, fresh baked breads and rolls, cheeses of every sort, fresh fruit, assorted snacks and sweet treats, with the appropriate wines and champagnes for each course. In one instance, a woman who could not get a room at the Four Seasons or its like went out and purchased her own favorite designer bedding and towels and wash cloths, her favorite soaps and assorted exclusive toiletries, knowing that nothing she would ever like or use would ever be found in any hotel that wasn’t grand luxe. Airport runways were clogged with their private jets waiting for take off clearance. Several became furious that they were not immediately cleared for takeoff and decided simply not to go away. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in spent jet fuel besmudged the air around Hobby and George Bush airports, while uppidy air traffic controllers failed to recognize and show deference to the glitterati of Houston society. They were absolutely incensed. Phone lines were jammed as they all tried to reach high government officials to whom they had donated over the years so that the air controllers might be ordered to accommodate them immediately. I mean, what’s the fucking point if you have to wait in line to take off?
Meanwhile, the poor of Houston and New Orleans hunkered down in their shelters, ghettos and under freeway overpasses hearing stories, rumors mostly, about FEMA handing out cash and prepaid debit cards that they could go get free for nothing and use to shop for necessities. They mobbed up at the locations where all this government largesse was to be taking place, and, instead of debit cards and ice, what they got – if anyone was there from FEMA in the first place – was an application to fill out so that they could get on a FEMA list in the event that at some future date FEMA might actually have something for them. If they had received prepaid debit cards, there was no place to go buy anything anyway. In FEMAspeak, not having what is promised doesn’t count as a failure of effort if the success of the effort would have been meaningless anyway. Now that is really the kind of “reasoning” I am referring to when I suggest that FEMA is simply a dumping ground for mental fuckwads. The forms that the poor filled out were useless. They had to list where they were located, and since they were located in shelters from which they would be moved and resettled as fast as possible, FEMA would be unable to find them even if it did come up with anything to actually be of any use. The entire exercise was a typical federal government clusterfuck. Only scads of police kept the FEMA imbeciles from being torn limb from limb by the angry mob. The police would have done a real public service if they had simply left and let the mob rip the FEMA dipshits to shreds.
Now, a few days later, the scene is reversed. It takes several hours just to get on the road to come back to Houston from either Austin or Dallas – the backup to get onto the freeway is over twenty miles long. And for the first day there was no gas to be found between your starting point and Houston, and no gas when you got to Houston. Every gas station in Houston was pumped dry by the fleeing hordes on their way out.
How fortunate we were to have had the benefit of the FEMA debacle in New Orleans two weeks previous when Hurricane Katrina hit there. I’m just being sarcastic. We didn’t learn a damn thing from the FEMA debacle in New Orleans. So much attention was given to criticizing looters in New Orleans that nothing constructive was accomplished. The moral lesson of New Orleans, according to the imbeciles of the neocon constituency, is that looting is wrong and people shouldn’t do it. The arrest of some poor bastard stealing from a store was given law enforcement resource assignment priority at precisely the moment when looting was the only possible way to obtain the necessities of life or of obtaining things that could be traded for the necessities of life. The moral high ground great thinkers of the neocon right decided that people in dire straights should simply do without until FEMA could arrange relief. That is a good indication of the intellectual acuity of FEMA. Of course there was no relief from anything for several days.
Almost a week after the storm, truckloads of ice in bags arrived in New Orleans from New York. That’s right, ice in bags arrived a week later in trucks from New York. And of course FEMA had not arranged for any FEMA moron to sign for the fucking ice, so the trucks were ordered to drive the ice to Massachusetts to be put into commercial cold storage. Ice in bags that might normally retail for about fifty cents a bag cost the FEMA idiots about $ 6.50 a bag, and nobody got the fucking ice. Now the guy who got the contract from FEMA to haul the fucking ice looted big bucks on that contract, but you don’t hear anyone discussing that as a form of looting.
91,000 tons of ice cubes cost the taxpayers more than $ 100,000,000 and almost none of it was delivered. According to an investigative report published in the New York Times on October 2, 2005, truck drivers hauled tons of ice around for several thousand miles each, sitting at the end of a supposed “route”, not in any of the hurricane damaged areas, but in Virginia, sitting there with their motors running for days (after waiting days in the hurricane areas with no one to take the ice, also with motors running). You need to read the whole report to appreciate the sheer stupidity of the situation. It is incredible. Truckers’ bills for hauling and storing the ice exceeded the value of the cargo itself by 300 %. And the television news media covered the poor stealing from stores like it was something really awful and immoral as well as illegal. Looting $ 100,000,000 is just political mismanagement while stealing sneakers and a few television sets is a national disgrace, right? Give me a fucking break, please!
When the politically connected steal, it isn’t polite to call it looting. And the fact that looted merchandise would, in all likelihood, have been declared a disaster loss had it simply been left in the stores and not been looted was never brought up either. Actually, it would have been sold out the back door for cash and declared a loss for insurance purposes in most instances, so that the stores would have been looted by their owners in the normal contemplation of how reality actually works in those situations. In Houston following Hurricane Rita, the largest category of loss claims was $ 72,500,000 in food and perishables that non-looted grocery stores claim they had to throw out due to risk of spoilage. Much of that found its way into the underground street economy where people bought it at very low prices, taking whatever risks may have been present concerning the possibility of spoilage. Had the stores actually been looted, that same food would have been less dangerous to consume and also claimed as an insurance loss. The net economics is the same whether there is “looting” or not. When the store owner sells it cheap out the back door, is that considered looting too? If you loot your own store, are you guilty of looting, or is that simply the free enterprise system at work? I mean, really now, you can’t steal from yourself, can you? Or is it stealing not from yourself but from your insurance company? Think about that as a policy issue. Self looting is merely alternative distribution, right? Everyone knows about dual distribution, alternative channel selling, and all the other politically correct pseudonyms for insurance fraud. It’s only looting if you are a desperate victim with no alternative source for the necessities of life. When the desperate do things like that it’s fucking wrong of them, and they should take the moral high ground and go without, leaving their families also to suffer rather than engage in “wrongdoing”. Wrongdoers only exist amongst the poor and desperate, right? Corrupt store owners and government opportunism aint wrongdoing. It’s just how proper people take advantage of difficult circumstances. Selling overpriced goods and services to the government during emergencies – goods and services that don’t even get delivered most of the time – is the motivation for anyone to support the government by making political contributions. As Leona Helmsley used to say, “Only the little people have to obey the laws.”
What, therefore, is the difference between a looter and a government contractor in a three piece suit? Well? I’m waiting.
Of course, the heads of the agencies in charge of rendering emergency aid were people who had absolutely no experience in any instance of emergency management. Of course, they did manage somewhat when the calamity was in a state in which the President’s brother was governor, a state which voted for the president in the last two elections. Does that count? Compare that to how they managed when the calamity was in a state that voted for the opposite party in the last two elections. DUH! Get it? The head of FEMA was a horsy set dilettante who had been fired because horse show events he planned usually resulted in multiple lawsuits over mismanagement, and the other, the head of the so called Homeland Security Agency, was a wealthy former Federal Judge New Yorker whose idea of an emergency might have been a bad day in the stock market. Now the Horsy Set pissant was “removed” – a word to make you think he was fired. Bullshit. He was made a consultant to FEMA. Now why do you hire a consultant? Is it on the notion that a consultant may have specialized knowledge that you need for a particular moment? Does this fucking imbecile have any specialized knowledge about handling emergencies? DUH! He was made a consultant to FEMA because in that mode what he would say at the ensuing hearings would be controlled by the White House, and he would not then be able to tell any version of the facts other than that authorized by the White House. And, after the President had visited the area of destruction and pronounced that FEMA was not handling the matter in a satisfactory manner in a photo op interview at the scene, Bozo Brown, the defrocked FEMA director cum consultant showed up to swear that the federal government did everything right and that it was a combination of a turf war between the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana and their inability to coordinate anything that caused all the suffering. They should have had someone there to sign for the fucking ice truck.
So, what are the real lessons to be learnt from all this? There are several, and they are as follows.
What does this mean to you, my fellow Americans? It means that if there is an emergency and you accept what the government (any government, federal, state or local) says about how it should be dealt with, you will suffer for it and wish like hell that you had possessed some good sense of your own. The assumption that the government knows what it is doing is total bullshit. In fact, it is so out of touch that the word government is a misnomer. It isn’t the government. It is the mismanagement team. Those whom we elect to “govern” always come up with the worst, least effective, least efficient, fucked up way to do everything. If you have good sense, you know that the only effective solution will present as the consequence of your using your good sense. There are only four possible courses in any situation anyhow – fight, flee, fuck, drink. You decide which to pick based upon your own observations and analysis of available basic factual information. If you abdicate your responsibility to yourself in favor of some government selected “solution”, you will suffer for it.
It means that you have to be able to function when all the electronic gadgets upon which you depend every day don’t work because there is no fucking electricity and no way to recharge waning batteries. You have to know at least enough to have a fresh supply of batteries at all times and you have to have an in your car plug into the cigarette lighter recharging device, because your car will recharge your shit until your run out of gas. When you run out of gas, then you are really fucked. That is when you have to have prepared ahead to have available supplies of beer, wine cocktail ingredients, snacks and ice. Right? Ice! You wondered why the fuck I was upset about the goddam ice truck, right? Now you know.
It means that you never, under any circumstances make any contribution to any political party unless you are a rich contractor in position to profit from emergency contract awards. If you aren’t going to be able to profiteer from emergencies, why make contributions. No matter which political party wins any election, it will be the same old bullshit, just in a different style. There are only two political parties anyway. They are the “eat the rich” party and the “fuck the poor” party. The result is always fucked up, no matter which is in power.
It means that practically everyone is an out of touch, utterly ineffective person, willing to be herded like a fucking sheep to his most miserable mode. Do you want to be included in that herd when doomsday comes around, or, worse yet, when the government falsely announces that doomsday is at hand and doomsday is really not at hand. Under that condition, it is the government that will kill you with its idiotic “solutions”, not the calamity that you could sort out for yourself if you were only paying attention.
It’s very much like the imbeciles who believe that they don’t need to own a gun because the police will protect them. When the assailant is standing there in front of you brandishing his weapon, just say to the sumbitch, “Will, you wait a minute while I go call the police?” Similar fools believe that, while it may be OK to have a gun, you ought to have it locked up and unloaded “for reasons of safety”. When the assailant comes around to those fools, they can just say to the sumbitch, “Will you wait a moment while I go get my empty gun out of its locked case and put some bullets in it?” Properly applied reality logic tells you that politically correct admonitions about how to plan for or deal with anything of consequence is always total bullshit.
And the ultimate lesson - - If you get killed, what good will it have done you to have followed instructions? Optimization of your survival chances by bringing some real intellectual assets to the game is the only solution to anything. You only have four choices – FIGHT, FLEE, FUCK, DRINK. Pick the right one or at least pick the right order of priority.
I suppose as long as we quietly accept this kind of bullshit as though it had any meaning, we probably deserve it. In Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, a fucking French inspector of police by the name of Javere stalks Jean Valjean for years because the poor bastard stole a loaf of bread. Persecuting the poor for petty theft while the government steals in grand style and government contractors with bribe money loot billions from the public treasury without consequence is epic portrayal of how inequity really works.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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