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Running Government Like A Business

Another Washington Post investigative report: Tons of food spoiled as FEMA ran out of space

As many as 6 million prepared meals stockpiled near potential victims of the 2006 hurricane season spoiled in the Gulf Coast heat last summer when the Federal Emergency Management Agency ran short of warehouse and refrigeration space, according to agency officials.

In all, hundreds of truckloads of food worth more than $40 million are being thrown away or scavenged for unspoiled contents to be offered to domestic hunger-relief groups, FEMA officials said. Most of the meals were commercial versions of the military’s Meals Ready to Eat, which were ruined despite being engineered to withstand the demands of desert and jungle climates.


News of the latest problems at FEMA follows findings after Katrina that the agency awarded up to $1 billion in improper payments to individuals, spent $900 million on 25,000 trailers that could not be used in flood zones and paid $1.8 billion for hotel rooms and cruise ship cabins that were more expensive than apartments.

MREs aren’t designed to be stored for extended periods in deserts and jungles; they are designed to be stored in human compatible warehouses until needed. If you keep the stuff at 70° it lasts for years, but at 100° it’s months. The storage requirements are on the boxes if you bother to read.

These people don’t seem to have any relevant training or experience in any of the necessary areas. Why are they still employed?

[If the WaPo keeps this up, they might be mistaken for a newspaper.]


1 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.13.07 at 11:21 pm }

“These people don’t seem to have any relevant training or experience in any of the necessary areas. Why are they still employed?”

That pretty much covers this entire regime, across the board, doesn’t it. They are employed so that they can control every single thing that’s going on in this country, to make sure that the poor and the powerless continue to suffer and die off and lessen the burden on the tax-avoiding billionaires, while the good resources and the safe food are safely hoarded away for their sake.

In case nobody noticed, we’re tit-deep in the depression now, and the “Lord Of The Flies” shit is already kicking in. Stock up on those few safe canned-goods and filtered water.

2 Bryan { 04.14.07 at 12:09 am }

Hell, yes, we’re in a recession. The only thing that has been keeping things afloat are home equity loans, and the burst housing bubble ended that.

Thanks to the Boys Scouts and the Air Force I know how to live off the land, until I can plant a garden. Better than canned goods are seeds in your freezer when things get really bad.

3 BadTux { 04.14.07 at 4:46 pm }

Utilizing seeds also depends upon having land where you can plant said seeds. Unfortunately most of the arable land in the United States is owned by the same mega-corporations that are ripping us off in all other ways… for example, my land is in one of the largest parishes (counties) of Louisiana. But virtually every square inch of that parish is owned by big timber companies. I have a couple of relatives living on my land right now (land purchased 120 years ago by my distant ancestors) because there literally isn’t an inch of land anywhere in the area that’s for sale — the big mega-corps have snatched it all up to get rid of competition (same reason they bought the local sawmill — so they could shut it down so that they could drive up the price of sawn lumber, nevermind 100 years of history and the entire local economy).

So don’t just store seed. Identify places where you could use it too. And knowledge of how to hunt and fish and gut and cook the results is very useful too…

4 Bryan { 04.14.07 at 7:22 pm }

Land is only a problem when you live in the city. That’s the only thing I dislike about cities, and I’ve lived in a fair few around the world. They depend on energy and they have destroyed the life of the land near them. You really need to get well away from them to do any growing.

You learn to do that in Survival School, and I’ve been to a few of them because I was flying world-wide. After what has been dumped in the waterways, I’m not sure I would trust fish anymore.

5 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.14.07 at 11:52 pm }

Another aspect of land “scarcity” in Louisiana is the post-Katrina gouging and artificial inflation of land “values,” not to mention the removal of shitloads of perfectly usable housing units and otherwise unused empty land that has been pulled off of the market.

Apparently, the only people who are “welcome” to move into Louisiana or to own property or find new rentals are the rich yuppies, while more and more public and subsidized housing is being removed from the market, “gentrified” (flipped for richer buyers, removing rentals from the market for poor/working-class tenants), or just flat-out destroyed (most notably in Orleans) so that the municipalities, parishes & state can turn around and sell that property to major developers.

More yuppie-scum condos, fewer “projects,” and nowhere for the poor, the disabled, or the otherwise disenfranchised to go.

I’ll never get the hell out of Redneckistan at this rate.

6 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.14.07 at 11:53 pm }

And another thing that I’ve been curious about but haven’t seen anything about in the media — all of those community gardens in New Orleans, those nice little half-acre plots where locals could grow their own food, since most rental properties don’t have the space — do they even still exist anymore? Or are they being “re-utilized” so that the city can turn that land into something more “profitable”?

7 Bryan { 04.15.07 at 3:01 am }

The whole thing about NOLA that makes no business sense [I’m talking small business, the kind that actually provides real, local jobs] is where are the workers supposed to live? You can’t run a tourist based economy if the workers can’t afford to live there. You can’t staff a government, if workers can’t afford to live in the area.

Gentrification will kill the business environment. People don’t want to carry their own luggage, wash their own dishes, make their own beds, clean their own rooms, when they go on vacation. There are a lot of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs that need to be filled, but they can’t be filled if there is no place to live.

Things are so bad here, that one of the guys in town who owns a restaurant rents a four-bedroom house for his workers to give them a place to stay until they can find something on their own. With all of the deposits required, people can’t just rent a place when they go to work, they have to work for a few months to get the deposit together.

These people aren’t thinking things through, they aren’t looking at the entire picture. I watched it happen in Destin, and it is a pitiful thing to see.

8 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.15.07 at 6:27 pm }

Ahhh, but with all of Dumbya’s special-entre’ “guest workers” taking over Orleans & Jefferson parishes (not to mention the Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran gangs driving the crime rate up higher than pre-Katrina), I’m guessing that the construction corporations who get special permission to pay illegal immigrants below-standard (below-living wages, really) are finding ways to house those workers much like the Irish ghettos when Canal Street was being built.

But as for actual Americans who want to return to New Orleans, whatever their field of employment, it doesn’t seem like there’s ever going to be adequate housing or anything that they can afford. They’re tearing down the public housing projects, the landlords are not reinvesting in subsidized-housing units, and the gubmint sure as hell isn’t spending a dime to help poor people come the hell home.

So, apparently, if you want to live in New Orleans, you have to be rich, white, and republicunt, or undocumented, Central American, and willing to work yourself to death with no OSHA, no healthcare and no job security.

9 Bryan { 04.15.07 at 9:28 pm }

A lot of the people who were imported into NOLA have moved out, with some of them stopping here, because living conditions are better, though the pay isn’t.

The corporations are deducing the taxes from the workers, but a lot of the corrupt bastards aren’t reporting the taxes to the government, they are simply reducing workers wages. That’s the most common method of paying sub-minimum wages.