Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Making Georgia Proud

Thank you, Representative David Scott, GA - 13th!

You do your state proud in going to bat for this one. God help any coastal district representative who voted 'for' this piece of... absolute nonsense.

However, since 162 members of the United States Congress voted in favor of punishing victims of natural and man-made disasters, I can only figure that the "Distinguished Gentleman" from Dallas, Rep. Jeb Hensarling was not informed by any of his GOP colleagues of one very pertinent fact:

Texas is a coastal state, and Dallas is prominently positioned in a geographic location affectionately known as "tornado alley."

Let me bring up some additional examples of other times amendments like this were not brought before the United States Congress:

Charlie, Frances, Gaston, Ivan, Jeanne 2004; < - entire state of Florida rebuilt, fatalities as far north as Birmingham, flooding as far north as Athens, GA.

Isabel, 2003;
Isidore, Lily, 2002;
Gabrielle, 2001;
Gordon, 2000;
Dennis, Floyd, Irene, 1999; < - Florida and Coastal Georgia evacuated, half of North Carolina flooded & rebuilt.

Bonnie, Earl, Georges, Mitch, 1998;
Danny, 1997;
Bertha, Fran, Josephine, 1996; < - I graduate from high school.
Allison, Erin, Opal, 1995; < - Out of school for summer under threat of evacuation.
Gordon, 1994;
Andrew, 1992; < - Homestead, FL destroyed, Miami badly damaged.
Chantal, Hugo, Jerry, 1989: < - Texas hit twice, South Carolina rebuilt.

Some of those names ring a bell? They do for me. I grew up in a Southern, Coastal State. Those names, and their associated imagery, are seared into my mind of memories. Middle of the night phone calls to family; canned food and batteries filling tupperware containers; the Weather Channel at 4 in the morning; riptides; water over the FJ Torras Causeway; water to the foot of my elementary school; panicky tourists while Jerz and I were roaming in the rain, drinking beer and laughing; one long summer afternoon drive, Mama stopping at 5th Street with tears in her eyes, telling me we may never see our Island like this again.

Maybe it's 'cause no one ever had to leave Dallas in the middle of the night worried that their city might be erased in the next 36 hours.

Part of being American is that, when disaster - natural, manmade or both - stikes your state, the other 49 pitch in - in official capacity - to fix it, because it could happen to them next year. That ain't charity, that's prudent planning. That's nationhood. That's one of the benefits that comes with membership in the More Perfect Union. That is one of the answers to the question we answered loudly back in 1865 - no one can vote themselves off the island, no one can get voted off the island. Membership has priviliges, and membership has responsibilities.

Thank you, Ashley for the HT on this one. And thank you to Rep. Scott of Georgia and the 266 other members of the United States Congress who have brains.

2 comments:

Dante said...

Hmmm... does anyone have any info on what Hensarling specifically introduced? I find it hard to disagree with his intention "that anybody who is receiving income-based assistance from the federal government ultimately — ultimately — ought to be on the road to self-sufficiency." I just wonder how far along the road he thought they really ought to be. Funny that TP would print the entire transcript of Scott's speech but only paraphrase in a paragraph or so Hensarling's proposed amendment.

I imagine that Hensarling is well aware of his geographic location. After all, as far as disasters are concerned the top 3 Texas-related disasters (both man-made and natural) are:
1. The Alamo
2. Galveston
3. ?

(My personal #3 is the destruction of Lancaster, TX by tornado but there are various floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and even a Presidential assassination that occupy the #3 spot depending on who you talk to.)

All of the disasters you've mentioned are before Hensarling's time. He even went so far as to point out that he was not in office during 9/11 in response to Green's speech. Given his track record, I wouldn't be surprised to see him introduce such amendments to any federal aid bills regarding those disasters if he weren't already occupied in the private sector during much of that time.

I'm not saying I agree with Hensarling. It's hard to know if I agree or not without knowing exactly what he proposed. But I do agree with the principal that federal aid should only be part of a plan to return individuals to a self-sufficient state.

And if I remember correctly, that Samaritan Scott mentions wasn't sent by the city of Jericho. He stopped on his own to help out. And I'm pretty sure the Samaritan wasn't still helping the same person over a year after the fact. He just got the man on his feet, back to health, and on his way.

sophmom said...

Golly, Cousin Pat, it sure took me long enough to find you. Wow. Great post. I think you hit the heart of the matter when you said, "That's nationhood. That's one of the benefits that comes with membership in the More Perfect Union. That is one of the answers to the question we answered loudly back in 1865 - no one can vote themselves off the island, no one can get voted off the island. Membership has priviliges, and membership has responsibilities." Bullseye.