Disasters Happen

My heart aches for those in Haiti.

The “pros” say to have a 72 hour disaster kit.  If we’ve learned anything from Hurricanes Katrina and Ike and others and now the earthquake in Haiti, it should be that a 72 hour kit is grossly inadequate.  The reality is that it will be 72 hours before real assistance BEGINS to arrive.  Those who survive “well” are generally those who can tough it out for 10 days or more.

I hear the US government making the same promises it has made before.  They are there, boots on the ground, now.  We Americans do incredible emergency work, some of the best in the world from hospital ER’s to disasters.

I hear the US government promising they’ll “stick it out for the long term”.  I hope those in Haiti don’t put much faith in that because we do NOT do that well.  I can’t think of a single disaster in the US that we’ve followed through to finish the clean up work, certainly not in recent memory.  I know people still struggling to recover from Katrina, even having to fight to get their pets back.  Ditto for the survivors of Ike.  Those pets “rescued” and then sold by humane groups really bother me.  There is something wrong with the priorities when those who show up to help are actually being opportunistic and have their own agenda.  Sadly, some of those save animal rescuers are now in Haiti.

Our Congress has signed us on for the biggest public debt in history.  We’re drowning but we’re sending resources to Haiti now.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment of not turning away but I also know that “put your own oxygen mask on FIRST” is what’s always needed to ensure we can help ourselves and others in the future.  I just don’t think we can afford to be sending public dollars to help other countries even in disasters when our own country is in need of cleaning up multiple disasters still.

And then there’s the matter of priorities.  I FREQUENTLY blog these days about dog seizures but they are only one example of the multitude of ways the government has developed a pattern of utter disregard for the rights of citizens and residents.  Government officials have become incredibly abusive.  The knee jerk use of electroshock weapons is one example.  I saw a story from Oregon this morning that just infuriated me.

A man put money in a parking meter while a meter maid was ticketing it.  The meter maid went right on to write the ticket and the man was annoyed.  I can’t say I blame him as I can just imagine the attitude that was being displayed by the meter maid too.  The man parked and put money in other meters.  Amazingly, it is apparently illegal in Eugene, OR, to put money in someone else’s meter but they didn’t arrest him for that.  There had been a verbal altercation but that was over.  It was after he put money in other meters that the meter maid called 911!  “Police spokesman Melinda Kletzok said the parking control officer was in fear of Bond and intimidated by his behavior. So much so that she called 911.”  Three, count them, THREE police officers respond and eventually “cit[ed] him with obstruction of a government official ($530 fine) and harassment ($280)” but that’s after throwing him against a wall and putting cuffs on him.  I am sick to death of officers that can’t withstand a little exercise of free speech!  The officers I knew well way back when would have said this type of officer has “little D syndrome”.  Seems to me there’s a LOT of that going around.  Little Ms. Meter Maid also needs to “grow a pair”, figuratively speaking.  Yes, I know the term these days is “parking enforcement” whatever.  WHATEVER!  If you’re going to act like the wimpy little meter maids of yesteryear instead of like an officer, then I’m going to call you “meter maid”.

Bill Wiswall gets my KUDOS today for taking on this case pro bono.

I have sadly come to the conclusion that we in the US are up against a multitude of disasters both natural and manmade with one of the big manmade ones being the government having become quite abusive.  Therefore, I must focus my efforts on disasters here at home and fight against public funds going abroad until we tend the repairs still needed for our own natural disasters AND until government officials get their priorities straight.  Those should be to protect and serve and to respect the Constitutions and laws; not abuse, harass, snatch up property, and increase fining people to bolster their bloated budgets.

Free attorneys are a rarity but never let that deter you.  WE can fight back.  So I’ll end today with this: Nurse Outduels IRS.  If we bury the government in lawsuits fighting back, they may just get more reasonable and, while lawyers are nice to have, they aren’t actually a necessity in many cases.

And you attorneys out there need to learn to be creative.  Many of these cases come with the potential to sue and recover fees from third parties after you win the initial suit so step up and do those initial proceedings at discounts, pro bono, or at least with a lien against future related recoveries instead of leaving people to fend for themselves unrepresented.

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