We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Secret History of FEMA

Click here to access article by Garrett M. Graff from Wired

The author reveals the extensive history of an organization that has many iterations of evolution, but its priority beginning in the 1970s, which was largely kept secret, was to protect the nation's officials (and likely members of the capitalist ruling class involved in the Deep State).
Created in April 1979, FEMA brought together more than 100 programs from across the government; publicly, the agency would be known for coordinating the government’s response to natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. But few in the public understood that much of FEMA’s resources went instead to its primary mission—coordinating the nation’s post-apocalypse efforts—and that the majority of its funding and a third of its workforce was actually hidden in the nation’s classified black budget. The agency’s real focus and its real budget was known to only 20 members of Congress.

Indeed, FEMA was hobbled from the start, limited by weak central leadership, full of political patrons, and pulled in multiple directions by its disparate priorities—some public, some secret.
FEMA truck stuck  in Houston, TX on August 30, 2017.
This checkered history resulted in what today is a largely ineffective agency to deal with the increasing occurrence of environmental disasters. Since the 1970s the agency when it began to expand its operations to disaster recovery, what FEMA has demonstrated to me is that providing recovery services for the people after a disaster is a low priority for our masters in the ruling class.
This confusions [sic] and lack of focus all came home to roost in August 2005 as Hurricane Katrina churned through the Gulf of Mexico toward New Orleans. The federal government’s response to the hurricane—combined with mistakes at the local and state government level—was an epic disaster in its own right. It triggered the strongest indictment of governmental incompetence of the 21st century. FEMA Director Michael Brown, a one-time horse breeder who lacked any emergency management experience, became a national punchline.

In the end, the only arm of the federal government with the resources, logistics, and manpower necessary to help on a massive scale—the US military—had to step in.

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