- Reader response to recent Gazette 'Our View' on Preference for Private Sector Fire Response
Let's cut to the chase: Without a concerted, pooled federal response, marshalling teams of trained fire fighters as well as an aerial assault using C-130s dropping tons of slurry, Colorado Springs - all of it- might well have burned to the ground. It was that rapid response (within two days of the start of the Waldo Canyon fire) and within a day of the request for aid, that teams arrived and began the fight that has now contained the Waldo monster by 80%.
You'd think the local wingnuts and Libertarians would be on bended knee giving praise to the feds, but instead they' re doing anything but - continuing to act like spoilt ingrates that need a board taken to their collective backsides.
Let's leave out for now the disgusting one-sided "polls" mounted by the local Libbie rag (the Gazette) which results were posted in Monday's ( Colorado Springs Gazette, p. A12) paper, showing:
- 56% gave the federal response to fighting the fires as an 'F'
- 14% gave the federal response a D.
That is 70 percent of Gazelle respondents giving a grade of D or below! I'd earlier blogged about these local yahoos and miscreants blaming the feds for "arriving too slowly":
when the law ('Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 2007') clearly stipulates that: "The intent of the Stafford Act is that Federal assistance be supplemental to local, state, and private relief organizations. Nevertheless, it is not neessary for the community to exhaust its resources before it requests Federal assistance"
Yet the local dunderheads exactly misconstrued the above law, believing they had to allow private resources to be exhausted before going to the feds. (A misperception I lay at the feet of their core aversion to ANY federal aid, hence engendering a rationalized delay....perhaps to be able to blame the same feds for lack of alacrity later). Indeed, according to our Reep Rep Doug Lamborn:
"What Congress has decided previously is that in a case like this the private sector has to deplete its resources before federal assets can be brought to bear.""
Instead of owning up to their misconstrual and misreading of the law, they continue to blame the Feds for "allowing several C-130s to sit idle for days" and then accusing them of "following protocol". Meanwhile, in today's Opinion, the local rag continues its bullshit with the header:
'Feds Have Bungled Fire Fighting Plan'
Accusing Obama and the feds of a "lack of dedication to controlling fire on its land was further exposed on Sunday when the Denver Post published a story about a bold strategy to battle wildfires."
These nutsos at the Gazelle (my mock term for them) then go on to assert that the Post "quotes the director of resources of the Government Accountability Office explaining the importance of Fire Program analysis. The GAO has warned Congress, in reports and hearings, that federal firefighting agencies were failing to implement the new technology."
Any why the fuck do you think THAT is, you dumb assholes? It's because the austerity-deficit hawk fetishists - and Tea Baggers in the HOUSE (the Republican -controlled HOUSE) have refused to increase the necessary budgets to provide for the implementation of said technology! In other words, you're bitching about your own kindred assholes! But rather than be direct and honest, the Gazelle conflates all of the feds under the single term "Congress" as opposed to further differentiation that would expose THEIR limited government side as the culprits.
And, for a reminder, let us recall Mitt Romney's OWN words castigating Obama, while echoing the Tea Bagger clique he so desperately needs to win:
"He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers."
And, of course, new fire fighting implementation technologies are useless without more firemen! (Whether to fight urban fires or wildfires). Hence, knowing this, the Reep House elected to reject the new technology implementation budgets since with that move the need to hire more fire fighters (as well as replace worn and aging air craft for aerial firefighting) would be obviated. No new money need be spent.
But the choicest canard and the item to which the reader responded (top of blog-quote from online comments) was an opinion rendered a few days ago when the editor (Wayne Laugesen):
"How we recover from Waldo will define this community. Local, state and federal governments are doing their share, but they have limitations. The private sector has far fewer limitations and should shoulder the bulk of our community’s recovery efforts. No able-bodied person among us lives above or beneath the need to assist the community in getting back on its feet. Each of us has something we can give".
Well, at least in this piece Laugesen got it right that the feds were "doing their share". But then he goes on to claim the private sector "has far fewer limitations". Really? Well, truth be told you will wait until Hell freezes over for any general relief using major pooled efforts-resources from them, as the reader opined. Their byword is PROFIT and hence, using their private resources for rebuilding etc. will only reduce their profits, so reduce any willingness to assist. (As opposed to existing non-profits, e.g. 'Care & Share', which can help but whose resources are limited).
As for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) averring they "will not make anyone whole" - referring to the owners of the 350 -odd homes lost in Mountain Shadows' upscale neighborhood, that is par for the course. When my folks' ($100,000) home in Port Charlotte, FLA sustained major damage from Hurricane Charlie in 2004, FEMA barely covered one half of the expenses. Insurance did pay the balance but then the rates were jacked up three times higher the following year. This is one reason Port Charlotte remains a place full of abandoned homes to this day, as I learned when I returned for my dad's funeral in July, 2009.
Mountain Shadows' residents have a bigger 'mountain' to climb since their homes average $450,000 - $500,000 each and hence rebuilding costs will be a lot more than in Florida for that hurricane. Estimates now run to $100 million. One could even ask (being politically incorrect here) about the advisability of rebuilding in an area which is now known to be fire prone. Doubtless, the insurance companies will also reckon that question into the mix when the new rates are issued for homeowners there, even those who didn't lose homes (the same way new rates were jacked up for everyone in my folks' neighborhood - and one reason they had no choice other than to move to a retirement complex.)
Time will tell, but time so far has shown much of the limited government brigade in the Springs to be unrepentant, shameless ingrates...as well as assholes. That's my opinion....and you're right, I could be in a better mood, but am not!