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Ron Paul: No FEMA response necessary; States can decide for themselves

"There's no magic about FEMA. They're a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don't have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states," Paul told NBC News. "A state can decide. We don't need somebody in Washington."


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Understanding FEMA

I just came across a superb article by G. Edward Griffin about FEMA's handling of Hurricane Katrina, and what the agency is designed to do. Read it here. Once you understand the way FEMA really works, you will understand why they turned away volunteer firefighters who came to help fight the recent Texas wildfires . . . and why northeasterners should be very thankful that Hurricane Irene turned out to be a dud.

It was clear from the start that the goal of FEMA and Homeland Security was, not to rescue people, but to control them. Their directive was to relocate families and businesses, confiscate property, commandeer goods, direct labor and services, and establish martial law. This is what they have been trained to do. The reason they failed to carry out an effective rescue operation is that this was not their primary mission, and the reason they blocked others from doing so is that any operations not controlled by the central authority are contrary to their directives. Their objective was to bring the entire area under the control of the federal government - and this they succeeded in doing very well.

Furthermore, quoting an article by William Anderson:

governments are territorial entities. The first rule that a government agent follows when confronted with an "emergency" is to "secure the area." For example, when two young men were merrily going on a murder and mayhem spree at Columbine High School in 1999, the vaunted police "SWAT" team stayed outside and encircled the complex because someone said that the area had to be "secured" before police actually could try to save anyone. (Of course, we found out later that not only did police fail to save people, but at least one person bled to death because police refused to get help until the man had died. This was not incompetence; it was the normal workings of the "I am in charge and don't you forget it" mentality that permeates government at all levels.)

Immediately after the hurricane had stopped in New Orleans, for example, a Wal-Mart had brought a truckload of bottled water; FEMA officials turned the truck away, declaring that it was "not needed." Before we dismiss this incident as yet another example of incompetent government, we should realize that the official's actions were completely within the character of government.

When governments act to provide services to individuals, they are done within a very different context than what occurs when private organizations provide services. The post-Katrina services performed by the Red Cross and other organizations such as civil groups and churches did not come with the threat of force attached to them. Church volunteers cannot arrest or even kill someone in those circumstances, but a representative of the government can perform such things without recrimination (and on more than one occasion did just that post-Katrina).

Moreover, government services are performed in as visible a manner as possible. Anyone who has watched some of the post-hurricane coverage has seen press conference after press conference after photo-opportunity of government officials from President George W. Bush to mayors, governors, FEMA and military personnel and the like, people whose job is to be seen doing "good" for political constituents. These things are done with the podium and the TV camera in mind.

The FEMA official who waved off the Wal-Mart truck was correct; FEMA did not "need" Wal-Mart to help. In fact, people from FEMA did not want Wal-Mart to help, as the company would have been able to steal some of the thunder that "rightfully" should belong to FEMA and other government agencies.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

and as always

fox news is already using those poor people on the east coast to slam the good DR. for the FEMA comment- because what would those poor east coasters do without FEMA? and even further, they went on to say that first the state and local help agencies are doing their best, but that without FEMA, some of those people would be affected in a seriously horrible way. UUUUGHHHHHH!! Lets talk to some of the people that have been "HELPED" BY FEMA in the past-
Do people not understand the money stripped from them by these BOGUS programs?
- my heart does go out to those affected on the east coast and have been in my prayers... my aunt lives in Virginia near the coast and so yes- i am aware of what is happening...
If people just understood that they would be able to care for themselves (and should)if government intervention was absent along with the taxes taxes taxes... am i wrong? oh- and maybe they would have to really think about the harm they may be putting themselves in living on the coast ... I don't see anyone aiding any of the farmers and ranchers because of the drought- that is also a natural disaster, and the ranchers here in texas have been selling their cattle since there is no water or grass- they are taking the hit... NOT expecting the government to pay them for their losses...


Disasterous relief

All this reminded me of a portion of "The Yes Men Fix The World" that exposes problems with the government when it gets involved in disaster relief. Although this doc is part entertainment, it really does have an impact.
This portion talks about the Katrina "clean up."

Start watching at around the 58th minute

Can anyone edit this portion? Might be worth posting...

FEMA is Useless

Ron Paul is right. FEMA is an overblown government agency full of waste and useless politicians. The US government has funneled so much money into this organization, yet for the last couple of disasters it did nothing. In Alabama, this last spring when people had their homes leveled by tornadoes, FEMA denied many of them aid. This agency has some serious problems. They are not here to help the American public, they have proven that time and time again. Every disaster they have handled incompetently. Based on the government documentation for this agency, they may have more sinister purposes. These prison camps they have built around the U.S. should be a cause of Major concern for Americans. And they are prison camps, not relocation or temporary housing. Do the research, look it up. History always repeats itself.

wow... mostly government employees there...

what a bunch of pro-government vampires.

'Cause there's a monster on the loose

Read The Comments To The Story Posted On MSNBC

They are panicking because if there was no FEMA then everything will be flooded, there will be chaos, all of the property will be gone and etc. I remember the 10th amendment stating that powers not vested in the constitution are left to the states and states should be in charge of any weather emergencies; not the federal government. FEMA is a one size fits all blunder of a bureaucracy that is not in the interest of each states problems. Its time to get rid of FEMA and the FEMA camps.

Live Free or Die

his comments are trending on CNN

Under "Latest News" on the left hand side on their main website. It is called, "Ticker: Ron Paul wants to cut FEMA"

Honestly Hurricane Katrina

Honestly Hurricane Katrina and FEMA's response (or lack there of) justified cutting all funding to FEMA. How quickly it seems people forgotten that bureaucratic blunder.

I will remind them.

This doesn't help RP

I know why he said what he said, but 90% of America will not understand or like that comment. And now the media is picking it up all over. Fail.

fireant's picture

"And now the media is picking it up all over". Win.

Ride the coat tails of a hot story on the wings of controversy. What better way to get some free advertising while creating an oportunity to educate?
All that really matters is that they talk about him. It will give him more face time in response.

Undo what Wilson did

Perhaps you all need a re-fresher:

Watch this...it may shed some light on our future...I sure hope not.

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

SteveMT's picture

Now CNN picked up the story, negative comments there also.

This will no doubt be the fodder used to try and attack Ron Paul tomorrow w/Wallace.

Ron Paul: We don't need FEMA
By: CNN's Ashley Killough, August 27th, 2011 03:59 PM ET

(CNN) - As Hurricane Irene barrels along the U.S. East Coast, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the nation would be much better off without the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time," the GOP presidential candidate told CNN after a New Hampshire campaign event Friday. "There's no magic about FEMA. More and more people are starting to recognize that."


SteveMT's picture

Posted this comment:

(awaiting moderation)

Wake up people. How much money would there be to throw at these disasters and how many more people would there be to help if all of the undeclared wars and empire building around the world ended, and we brought our military home? Plenty!
Ron Paul is right. The government has become the overgrown gorilla in the room with an appetite for our money and for wasting our children's lives on fighting useless wars that never end.

still at 39 comments for awhile now...

don't see yours yet - I hope it comes up.

SteveMT's picture

Slow readers vs. slow moderation. Poor in either case.

I think I have a longtime to wait. I posted the same response on the MSNBC comments...it's also nowhere to be seen. Did I say something so bad?

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Wake up people. How much money would there be to throw at these disasters and how many more people would there be to help if all of the undeclared wars and empire building around the world ended, and we brought our military home? Plenty!
Ron Paul is right. The government has become the overgrown gorilla in the room with an appetite for our money and for wasting our children's lives on fighting useless wars that never end.
August 27, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |

895 comments now

I saw yours. great!

SteveMT's picture

It made it. I thought not in this lifetime. 994 comments

Nice increase in the comments.


reedr3v's picture

Check out the hostile comments

from those who are convinced people must be cared for by our wise overlords. This is the fearful population we're up against.

If all the troops from

If all the troops from overseas came home to protect our own borders and people, we wouldn't need FEMA

F ederal E mergency M anagment A gency...

Federally managed emergencies...

Think about that.

RON2012PAUL...The r3VOLution continues...
"I always win"
+GOLD and SILVER are money+

What??? You can't be serious?

What??? You can't be serious? We can't just let people run their own lives and decide things and take care of themselves! They might make mistakes, They haven't been licensed or certified by the government to take care of themselves, the government would not know who's doing what and would be unable to keep track of them and watch over them. Are you people crazy or something?

Hee's my addition to their posts

Rather than disaster preparedness, FEMA ITSELF is a disaster! Those of you who are here lambasting Paul for his FEMA stance. But first I'd like to say that when you resort to name calling such as "old goat" and "Idiot," it says a lot more about you than it does about your argument. This is an intellectual failing and it's obvious that you don't know what you are talking about if you must resort to such tactics. Anybody who defends FEMA has obviously never done any research at all and never seen these folks in action. They are storm troopers of the worst type. After Katrina, they moved in like an invading army, confiscating people's property, imprisoning thousands in a stadium with a couple of feet of water in it and not allowing them to leave, while at the same time turning away help from all quarters. When Amtrak wanted to run trains in to help remove evacuees, they were turned away. The New York Times reported that 91,000 tons of ice ordered by FEMA at a cost of over $100 million and intended for hospitals and food storage for relief efforts never made it to the disaster area In a September 15, 2005 New York Times opinion column about the privately owned Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, Bob Herbert wrote, "Incredibly, when the out-of-state corporate owners of the hospital responded to the flooding by sending emergency relief supplies, they were confiscated at the airport by FEMA." Wall Mart sent tanker trucks of water to the area, and were turned back by FEMA. The Coast guard sent people in to help, and were turned away by FEMA. That doesn't even discuss the thousands of trailers that the CDC admits had EXTREMELY toxic levels of formaldehyde in them that thousands of citizens got sick from.

When we had our disastrous fires here in San Diego, more than 25,000 people were housed in Qualcomm stadium, and I was just praying that this whole thing would be over before FEMA got here to shut everything down. Sure enough, all around the Southern California area people sent food and blankets and whatever supplies were needed until the word went out to quit sending stuff: They had enough. When people help voluntarily, they don't do so at the point of a gun, and since they have no authority, you know that they are only doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. We survived our disaster here just fine and without the dirty touch of the Federal Government and FEMA stepping in and running roughshod over everyone. So if you want to defend FEMA and denigrate Dr. Paul's stance on this issue, perhaps you should consider doing a little research on this matter first.

Actually, the best argument against FEMA

is FEMA's own horrible performance record.
Nothing else really needs to be said, except that it needs to be abolished.

My mother accepted FEMA funds

My mother accepted FEMA funds to rebuild a home after a tornado 12 years ago and I can tell you that the local help given to help her out was far better. We had large home building chain employees come and give her a generator. The local churches donated truck containers to store whatever she wanted. Another church donated clothes while another brought food everyday. Then there were the veterinarians that volunteered to keep her dogs until she could have a temporary home for herself. And a myriad of neighbors that came to help cut down trees and drag debris away. The new FEMA home was a box compared to the original. I am unsure what the insurance was on her original house so not sure why she took the FEMA funds. She passed away 9 years ago and I can't ask now. But I do remember her saying the city was pushing her to hurry up and tear down her house rather than repair it or they'd charge her $30,000 after a certain date. She was told the house could be repaired, but would cost a million dollars to fix it (way more than what it was worth and not sure if insurance company told her that). It was an old home built in 1903 and was sturdy. This F-4 tornado made the walls suck in some and it took only the front porch and damaged the back porch. I'd love to go back in time now and find out why she was being told to tear it down so quickly, what the house insurance was, and why they were saying it would cost so much, etc. I think she could've done better on her own if she had used the home insurance on the house and her own funding. It just seemed the FEMA part of everything was a fiasco while the voluntary help was tremendously better. IF she had been able to get the supplies, I'm sure the volunteers would've helped her even rebuild the house. They were that kind.

FEMA Alterative

Do you think we could make a statement by hosting a "FEMA Alternative Moneybomb" in the wake of Irene? This is in response to Congressman Paul's FEMA comments. The moneybombs in support of Paul seem to always make the news. What type of signal do you think this would send?


Just mention Katrina and the whole fiasco.

These people are insane

They are the EXACT same crowd of libs who tried to blame FEMA and Bush for the deaths of hundreds in Katrina.

Now somehow FEMA is a saint of an organization that is now a fundamantal part of our govt.

I guarantee you can find segment after segment of these fools from MSNBC trashing FEMA and Bush and putting blood on their hands. Yet Paul who agreed with them and wants to let Governors do their job, is somehow wrong and living in the 19th century.

That Exact Same Crowd of Libs

Hate FEMA when it fails and when it fails under a 'conservative' president but love it when their guy is in the white house and that its moving into their area (the states that mostly vote Democrat). Their argument is that it must work and that we must criticize it when it doesn't work and we must discuss how to make it better than just saying hey its not part of the constitution and let states do FEMA job responsibilities themselves. Remember, these are the same liberals who hate Bush's wars but are silent about Obama's expanding wars.

Live Free or Die

Here are a few

old articles from 2005 and 2006:

"Homeland audit says FEMA is biggest problem" - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10630211/

"Heat forces shutdown of Houston relief center:
FEMA officials say they were caught off-guard by numbers of people" - http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9521525/

"FEMA homes destroyed by the elements" - http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15720106/

Other than MSNBC:

"FEMA fails Katrina victims" - http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-09-05-f...

"When FEMA Met Katrina, Disaster Ensued" - http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kgJQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XAkEA...

They've done the same recently with the debt ceiling, with the Patriot Act (Homeland Security in general), and wars without Congressional approval. No surprise here.

"Of two evils, choose neither." -Charles Spurgeon
Read my columns at Freedom Bunker and Reformed Libertarian.