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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Excuse the rant - FEMA hurricane cards bought jewelry, erotica - Jun 14, 2006
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A $200 bottle of champagne from Hooters and $300 worth of "Girls Gone Wild" videos were among items bought with debit cards handed out by FEMA to help hurricane victims, auditors probing $1 billion in potential waste and fraud have found.

The cards -- given to people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- also bought diamond jewelry and a vacation in the Dominican Republic, according to the Government Accountability Office audit.

The GAO uncovered records showing that $1,000 from a FEMA debit card went to a Houston divorce lawyer; $600 was spent in a strip club and $400 was spent on "adult erotica products," all of which auditors concluded were "not necessary to satisfy legitimate disaster needs."
The rest of the article talks about the failings of FEMA in verifying and tracking claims.  I will concede that it was an emergency of unparalled proportions and the need to act quickly was great. 

But, my rant is not about FEMA.  It is about people who have no more respect for themselves and their fellow man than to use such underhanded, deceitful, cowardly, and shamful tactics. 

I'm going to expand this a little bit to talk about social welfare.  I am all for governmental assistance and social welfare programs.  I think we all have a responsiblity to stretch out a hand and lift up our fellow man.  However, by receiving said assistance I think individuals assume a responsibility to match or exceed those efforts to better their own situation.  I have known people my entire life who took advantage of the system.  People with no impediment to finding a job other than their own laziness who reach for every handout available drive me up the wall. 

I'm all for a matching type system.  You need $1000 a month to support your family.  Fine, do $500 worth a work and we'll give you the rest.  Can't get a job because you lack educational training? Fine, enroll in one of our educational training programs and put in $500 worth of education and we'll give you $1000 (of course, this requires some sort of competent educational training program).  Deal doesn't sound good to you?  Fine, better call your momma because you aren't getting money from us.

Of course, I'm not talking about people that need assistance due to an inability to work due to disability, age, ect.  I'd even go as far as to count actually being a parent and raising your children (something not near common enough today) as your work contribution in situations like suddenly widowed individuals who had been in a single income family.  I don't mind giving you money as long as you do SOMETHING to EARN it.

Anyway, not necessarily in with the theme of this blog.  But, I haven't had a good rant in a while.

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