Here's how I found this story--geneo left us a comment. I clicked over to his blog and saw some pictures of him out protesting the war with friends. I'm glad he was doing that--but I wish more people were out with him.
That's where I learned that our government is afraid we're going to get addicted to this:
THEN I clicked over to "Mercury Rising" because he had linked to Phoenix Woman. On her blog, there was a catchy headline about FEMA and a post written by MEC:
FEMA has declared that it will no longer provide free bags of ice to victims of natural disasters such as hurricanes, because the ice is a “luxury”.
Reuters, to its discredit, shares FEMA head David Paulison’s callous cluelessness:U.S. hurricane victims will have to find another way to cool their drinks.
Sadly, no. Victims of disasters don’t want ice to cool their drinks. They want it to keep their refrigerated food from spoiling. Maybe they have sufficient nonperishable food on hand to see them through until power is restored, but probably not. They need free ice to keep their refrigerated food safe to eat because no power may mean no ice or fresh food available for purchase. They need free ice because they may not be able to afford to buy it.
FEMA should dispense free ice because it’s the decent thing to do. Which is why a Bush appointee doesn’t see the point of doing it.
The Reuters article includes this revealing paragraph:But in recent years, disaster managers have been debating the wisdom of certain kinds of aid because it seems to create dependency.
This is Republican thinking. Doing anything for people who need help is “creating dependency”. If our neighbors don’t have the resources to fend for themselves, the rest of us have no responsibility for them. They’re “surplus population” in Bush’s On-Your-Own-ership Society.
MEC is spot on! The number of people who get sick because they eat spoiled food during a disaster could cause even further strain on medical facilities. If we now live in an era where the government can't bring frozen water to people who need it, what the fuck are we on this planet for in the first place?
Frozen water, sometimes referred to as "ice" in the American vernacular, is not something that could create a dependence. What creates a dependence is when you mismanage your financial portfolio so badly, the government has to spend billions to bail you out so you can pay your CEO twenty million dollars to go away and stop being incompetent with your company's assets. This magical, almost mystical concoction that has so many different uses and powers it must have been brought to us by aliens--frozen water--is not going to get you addicted. It's not going to make you give up masturbating or anything like that, although, to be honest with you, anyone who masturbates with frozen water probably has other issues. It creates livable conditions so that people don't have to leave the area and go elsewhere and...depend on other communities to help them. Bringing them frozen water lets them stay with their home, stay with their belongings, and get on their feet quicker.
FEMA, on the other hand, would rather you suck formaldehyde fumes and wait 17 months for a loan they'll take away from you after you spend the money to hire a fly-by-night contractor to not fix your property. But that's for another blog post...