RSS

Tag Archives: Harvey

Why is International Support for Harvey/Houston So Low?

After Hurricane Katrina over 150 foreign countries contributed or offered aid.

Under the Chumphshit…That has dropped to a trickle.

Yet another way the Chumphshit is destroying America.

Image result for hurricane harvey houston

Dozens of countries offered help after Hurricane Katrina. After Harvey, not so much.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, more than 150 countries offered volunteers, supplies and cash to the United States.

Impoverished Bangladesh, suffering a not-so-slow-motion climate catastrophe, promised $1 million and rescuers. Thailand offered 60 doctors and rice as a “gesture from the heart.” Germany sent high-speed pumps; the Dutch offered levee reconstruction experts. “Very large cash” donations came from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Canada sent navy ships, helicopters and about 1,000 helpers.

Mexico’s convoy of soldiers, all-terrain rescue vehicles and drinking water was followed by food, medical workers, water-treatment facilities and a kitchen that could feed 7,000 people daily.

After Harvey?

Not crickets exactly, but close. Few countries have publicly offered aid.

Image result for hurricane harvey houston

The European Union sent satellites. In a statement, Mexico offered “help and coordination” to Harvey-ravaged Texas, though they didn’t go into specifics. It’s worth noting, too, that that same statement responded forcefully to a Twitter diatribe from President Trump, who once again demanded that Mexico pay for a border wall and threatened to “terminate” NAFTA. (The State Department has not said whether it will accept aid from Mexico. In a statement, it said “if a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward.”)

Canadians are shipping supplies like baby bottles, formula and bath towels. Taiwan reportedly offered $800,000, and Venezuela promised $5 million. It’s unclear whether that funding would be accepted.

At a White House briefing, spokesman Thomas Bossert said that Mexican and Canadian leaders have called the president, but they didn’t discuss how those countries might help. “The president didn’t get into the specifics, and neither did the heads of state calling. So I think their primary purpose was to express and extend their prayers and their thoughts and their condolences to those that lost their lives,” he said.

Image result for hurricane harvey houston

Bossert also noted that the White House would turn over to FEMA and the State Department any “actual concrete” offers. FEMA did not return a request for comment. State directed questions to FEMA.

It’s possible that more offers of aid are forthcoming, and that countries are simply waiting to see how things play out. But Markos Kounalakis, a professor at Central European University, has a different theory about what’s going on.

“Maybe a distracted State Department experiencing attrition is unable to process foreign offers and aid. But it might also be that Trump actively alienates American friends and allies, boasts he is cutting USAID, and makes clear that America First translates into an aid policy of every nation for itself,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Miami Herald. “Countries seeking political payback, or simply eager to make a point, by sitting silent is a conceivable, if cruel, reaction to a White House that has been deliberately self-centered and dangerously provocative.”

There’s another possibility, too.

Related image

The United States struggled to make use of the foreign aid donated after Katrina. According to a 2011 Heritage Foundation report, just $115 million of the $850 million offered in Katrina relief was used. About $400 million of oil aid sat untouched. There were other snafus, too. Britain donated 400,000 ready-to-eat meals. But some contained beef, banned at the time because of fears of mad cow disease. So the food sat in a factory in Arkansas.

At one point, the State Department suggested that countries funnel their donations directly to organizations like the Red Cross, where they’d be put to better use.

At the time, the Bush administration explained things this way. “There is a process of matching needs with expertise and the donations that have been made,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack explained to the Associated Press. Decisions about what to accept are based on need, he said, not politics. Germany’s high-speed pumps, for example, were eagerly accepted. Cuba’s offer of 1,100 doctors, not so much.

Image result for hurricane harvey houston

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Chumph Tweets While Houston Drowns

More despicable behavior by Putin’s Bitch –

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Daily Chump Disasters

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Difference Between Being a Good Neighbor…And a Chumph

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mexican soldiers rolled across the border in a 45-vehicle convoy and set up camp at the former Kelly Air Force Base near San Antonio. They served victims 170,000 meals, distributed 184,000 tons of supplies and conducted hundreds of medical consultations. Mexico also shipped humanitarian aid to New Orleans, and former President George W. Bush met with Mexican Marines to thank them.

Despire repeated provocations, grandstanding, and churlishness by the Chumphshit – Mexico is again taking the high road in providing help to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. It is, after all, what good, mature, and responsible neighbors do.

The Chumphshit is doing what racist loser do.

 

Abbott says Texas will accept Mexican offer of Hurricane Harvey relief

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday the state is accepting Mexico’s offer to help get Texas back on its feet in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“Yes. I have, and we are,” Abbott said from Austin when journalists asked him about the topic. “We had a list of aid and assistance that they have offered to provide that we are accepting.”

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the consul general in Austin, applauded the governor’s decision. He said vehicles, boats and food will start arriving in Texas within days.

“We are very pleased with Governor Abbott’s response,” Gutierrez said. “Mexico looks forward to doing its share.”

With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.

Mexico, in a diplomatic note Tuesday, provided a long list of items it could supply, including troops, convoys of food, medicine, portable showers and water.

“Texas and Mexico share more than half the border,” Carlos Sada, Mexico’s undersecretary for North American relations said. “There are families, marriages, businesses that bind our two sides. This is about being good neighbors.”

In Washington, following a meeting at the State Department, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso for its “wide range of assistance.”

“It was very generous of Mexico to offer their help at a very, very challenging time for our citizens back in Texas,” he said.

Videgaray responded: “You’re absolutely welcome. We are here to help. We are friends. We are neighbors, and that’s what friends do.”

We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada.Both being very difficult,may have to terminate?

President Donald Trump has not responded publicly to Mexico’s aid, though on Tuesday he accepted an offer from Singapore to lend four of its CH-47 Chinook helicopters for rescue efforts. Trump spoke by phone with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he flew to Texas, and accepted the offer, according to Lee’s office. Singapore’s Air Force has trained since 1995 with the Texas Army National Guard.

Mexico’s offer of help comes at a crucial time for the U.S.-Mexican relations, which in many ways is largely shaped by Texas, home to nearly 11 million Hispanics, the majority of them of Mexican heritage. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, with a population of more than 600,000 unauthorized immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center.

To unauthorized immigrants seeking shelter from Harvey’s devastation, Sada said: “Don’t be afraid to come out. There is no deportation operation underway. We have the assurance of Gov. Abbott and the mayor of Houston.”

Beginning Friday, activists are set to launch statewide protests on two fronts. They plan to rally against the state’s new ban on so-called sanctuary cities, a law taking effect Friday. They also plan demonstrations to register growing fears that President Donald Trump will soon end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by the Obama administration to block deportation of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

Moreover, negotiations between the U.S., Mexico and Canada to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement — from which Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. — will resume Friday. No other state has more at stake in those talks than Texas, where nearly half a million jobs depend on the deal.

“Mexico’s desire to be humane at a time of such great need contrasts the character and the churlishness coming out of Washington, D.C., and NAFTA,” said Tony Garza, a prominent Republican and former U.S. ambassador and now legal counsel with White & Case in Mexico City. “In Texas, given the Legislature’s focus these past few months on sanctuary cities sends a clear signal to hundreds of thousands of Texans, particularly Latinos along the Gulf Coast and in Harris County, that we’re not with you and in an increasingly purple state, that may mean something.”

Garza recalled Mexico taking “the high road” in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Mexican soldiers rolled across the border in a 45-vehicle convoy and set up camp at the former Kelly Air Force Base near San Antonio. They served victims 170,000 meals, distributed 184,000 tons of supplies and conducted hundreds of medical consultations. Mexico also shipped humanitarian aid to New Orleans, and former President George W. Bush met with Mexican Marines to thank them.

It’s unclear how Trump, who arrived in Texas on Tuesday to survey Harvey’s catastrophic damage, will react to Mexico’s offer to help. The president and Mexico have had an acrimonious relationship dating back to Trump’s first day as a presidential candidate, when he referred to Mexicans as rapists, murderers and criminals.

“We know that Trump is intensely disliked by Mexicans, but in the end Mexicans see us as a neighbor, a place where Americans are good, decent people,” said James Taylor, a partner at Vianovo, an Austin-based consulting firm, and chairman of the Aquila Alliance, a Texas group dedicated to promoting closer relations between Texas and Mexico. “Mexicans are demonstrating they care about their neighbor — especially their immediate neighbor, Texas.”

On Sunday, as waters rose across southeast Texas, Mexico reached out to Texas. Trump, meanwhile, bullied Mexico on Twitter to pay for his promised border wall. On Monday, he repeated his threat the the U.S. would at some point kill NAFTA.

“We’re in a critical and delicate negotiation with NAFTA,” said Ricardo Ainslie, director of the Mexico Center at the University of Texas at Austin. “Mexico has been the brunt of a lot of highly pressured, hostile rhetoric. So I think it’s very interesting that Mexico is saying in so many words ‘Hey, we’re present, and we’re critical to things that happen in Texas.’ They’re showing real political maturity.”

Texas has its own dicey issues with Mexico. The recently signed SB4 was scheduled to go into effect Friday until a federal judge blocked its implementation late Wednesday. SB4 effectively outlaws sanctuary cities — places where local law enforcement limits or refuses cooperation with federal immigration agents — and gives police the right to ask the immigration status of people they detain. Mexico’s vast immigrant population would be affected.

In 2015, Texas and 25 other states blocked the Obama administration, through a federal court ruling, from extending deferred action to an estimated 5 million undocumented parents of children who were citizens or legal residents, as well as to young immigrants who arrived between 2007 and 2010. The ruling was upheld on appeal, and last year, the Supreme Court split 4-4, leaving the lower court’s decision in place.

Texas leads a group of 10 states pressuring the Trump administration to end DACA, and in recent days Trump has signaled he may do so. A legal challenge could come as early as Sept. 5. Most affected immigrants live in either Texas or California.

“Yes, we know about Sept. 1 and Sept. 5, but our decision, our willingness to help Texas isn’t based on politics,” Sada said. “This is a spontaneous reaction to a neighbor in need, and we, based on our own experiences with natural disasters, know recovery periods can take months, years. So we’re here with one message: Texas, Mexico is ready to help.”

Already, volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross, firemen from the border state of Coahuila and rescue teams from Guanajuato began arriving in Houston to assist.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Houston – You Have a Problem

There are a series of manmade issues which have resulted in the massive damage we are seeing in the Houston region of Texas. The major contributor is the lack of Zoning Laws which would require developers to use certain standards in location and construction. Much like what happened in Florida during Hurricane Andrew some years back, there are no laws requiring builders not to build on floodplains, or to utilize special construction. As such a lot of the lessons from Andrew, and Katrina (I worked on parts of the Katrina recovery) were ignored.

The second problem is the US Government and FEMA. While FEMA is really strict on rules for coastal homes built along the ocean, and insurance rates are sky high (if you can get it at all) – they take a highly permissive approach to insuring homes and property a few miles inland – even when that property is located on a floodplain which repeatedly floods. I live in a coastal area, designated as a “flood zone”. I was required to utilize certain building methods. For instance the roof and siding are designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane – 140 MPH winds. The house is on “stilts” 13′ above the ground, which were driven 20′ or more into the earth. It has survived 4 Hurricanes, including a direct hit by a Cat 5 with no significant damage despite a 12′ Storm Surge and flooding. Indeed as I write this, my area is being pounded by a Tropical Storm moving up the East Coast, and we are expecting 60 MPH winds and 2-4 inches of rain.

FEMA has paid on properties which repeatedly flood – far in excess of the property values. Properties and localities with no storm mitigation systems.

The National Flood Insurance Program, established in 1968 was meant to protect and indemnify people without creating economic catastrophe. Instead of avoiding the floodplain, insurance allowed people to build within it, within management constraints recommended by FEMA. In theory, flood-hazard mitigation hoped to direct development away from flood-prone areas through the disincentives of risk insurance and regulatory complexity. It isn’t working – especially in areas where there was substantial construction before the law (NOLA), and in Texas where there is no Zoning.

In Houston’s case, catastrophic floods have been anticipated for some time. The combination of climate change, which produces more intense and unpredictable storms, and aggressive development made an event like this week’s almost inevitable. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has called for a national flood risk-management strategy, and the Houston Chronicle has called flood control the city’s “most pressing infrastructure need.” A lack of funding is often blamed, and relaxed FEMA regulations under the Trump Administration won’t help either.

The famously “un-zoned” city has allowed developers to pave over natural areas that provide resilience to floods, and build homes in the way of cataclysm. According to a 2016 analysis by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, 166,000 acres of coastal prairies have been destroyed by development since 2001.“More people die here than anywhere else from floods,” Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher, told us last year. “More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”

Not counting the Harvey’s devastation in Houston, in the past two years, 16,000 buildings have been flooded, and $1 billion in damage was caused by the so-called “Tax Day” and “Memorial Day” floods. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison killed almost two dozen people and caused $5 billion in damage in Harris County, which includes Houston.

The next problem is Houston’s road system. Those giant highways are impervious surfaces which cause rapid rainfall runoff. In the case of the major superhighways in Houston, that runoff is along the road filling underpasses – making evacuation nearly impossible.

After Hurricane Sandy 36 Republican Senators refused to vote in favor of funding relief, including the two Senators from Texas. The political ramifications of that are floating around in the political miasma.

Maybe we need to take a different view of how to pay for this. The State, which is responsible for the laws leaving citizens defenseless – should bear a greater responsibility for its actions. Second – maybe we should put relocation on the table. Those buildings that have repeatedly flooded should be torn down, the owners should be provided FEMA Insurance money – but only to build elsewhere or to build with significant mitigation strategies. Ergo – the State, County, and City has to put a plan of mitigation on the table before a dime is spent for rebuilding.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2017 in American Greed, Disaster Prep, News

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: