The sun finally came out in Houston today, revealing the devastation Harvey caused. Like every situation like this, there are moments of heroism, analysis and sometimes, good tidings. And there are also moments of predatory villainy, taking advantage and incompetence.
Here’s a roundup of some of them:
Americans remain the most generous people in the world. Almost 300 online GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than a million dollars so far to help, and corporate America has raised over $100 million so far with a lot more coming. The Denver Broncos football team is matching whatever their employees – including the players – donate and so are a number of other sports franchises and companies. And it’s not just money. One example is a company that makes bedding has donated thousands of pillows to the people in Houston who are now living in shelters. It seems like a small item, until you realize how much a pillow might mean to someone sleeping in a strange bed in a shelter.
For various reasons I would not recommend donations to the Red Cross, but the Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse are highly recommended. I would also recommend Chabad and the Orthodox Union, who are giving 100% of donations to hurricane relief…nothing towards overhead. And while their appeal is addressed to the Jewish community, rest assured that their aid and assistance will not be limited to them. All these groups are hard at work already. They answer to a Higher Power.
A special shout out should go out to two groups of heroes, The Cajun Navy and the Waco Navy. As can be guessed from their name, The Cajun Navy hail from next door Louisiana . They’re an informal group of private boat owners, a number of them veterans who make it their vocation to assist in flood and search-and-rescue efforts. Once they heard about what had happened in Houston, they braved the weather and the raging floodwaters in their bass boats, airboats and other small craft to head for Harvey and rescue people trapped in their homes or clinging to debris in the water.
The Waco Navy? Same kind of people only this time from Texas, who made a point of sailing to Louisiana during the floods last year.
To do this kind of rescue work is is by no means easy or without risk given the conditions the Cajun Navy and the Waco Navy had to deal with. There are a lot of people who owe them their lives.
President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the area and toured the devastation, after which the President made a rousing speech and promised the victims of Harvey that Houston would be rebuilt bigger and better and that he’d see to it that they’d get all the help they needed.
The Left, of course went batsh*t.
First they went nuts because when the Trumps flew into Corpus Christie, the president actually gave voice to his surprise and delight at how many Texans showed up to greet him in that kind of weather. And you know what, the Texans were gratified to greet him too, with chants of “USA!,” “Texas for Trump,” “Texas Strong,” and “We Love Trump!”
They know our president a lot better than some CNN reporter with a bad case of in caput suum, aka cranial rectal inversion.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny moaned that he had seen, “Very little in terms of empathy from this president. Very little in terms of emotion or talking directly to the people of Texas.”
The president was criticized for ‘lack of empathy’ by a number of these fools, and not just on CNN. Former Bushie Ari Fleischer did a cute little number on FOX as well, whining “There was something missing from what President Trump said, that’s the empathy for the people who suffer.”
You can’t really blame them. At this point, they’re just trained parrots with a mental disease, reading the scripts they’ve been given, after which they’re given a cracker and told how clever they are.
These people have no clue what ‘the people of Texas’ want, nor do they care, really. And what they wanted and needed isn’t crocodile tears or a Clintonsque ‘Ah feel your pain’ followed up by absolutely nothing concrete.
What people who have been through something like Harvey crave is inspiration and hope. They want deeds, not words, but they also know our president is a doer,not a talker. They remember how, in the middle of a hotly contested campaign, Donald Trump and Mike Pence took Trump’s private plane, loaded it up with relief supplies and flew into the devastated flood area upriver in north central Louisiana and helped load those supplies themselves into the trucks. And remember, this was in a deep Red state Trump was certain to win anyway. And both men completely changed their schedules, cancelling a major event in New York to be there.No empathy? Really?
Trump gave the people of Texas a shot of inspiration and hope. They already know he’ll deliver when it comes to the concrete stuff, the aid and reconstruction needed. After all, he is a doer, a builder, and he’s already being praised in various quarters for his handling of Harvey and getting things rolling.
But what people in Texas will remember most is his climbing up a ladder, hoisting the Lone Star flag and waving it, saying “Texas can handle anything!”
You know what? It was that moment that the people who were hit by Harvey knew that it was true, they could handle this. And that it was going to be all right.
Houston’s airports, Hobby and George Bush are back in operation, albeit limited so far. That is very good news. It means supplies and personnel can be flown into the Houston area and get there much quicker.Caveat; not all carriers are operating yet, and parking is still in sparse supply. Check with your carrier before just simply showing up.
The cost of rebuilding Houston is likely to be less then New Orleans after Katrina,which cost $108 billion just for the rebuilding part of things, $80 billion of which was covered by insurance. Obviously there were more costs involved. So far, the estimates on rebuilding Houston are around $90 billion, but again, there will probably be more costs involved there too. The death toll from Harvey so far is 30 people, but once the water recedes it could easily be more. Katrina ended up killing 1.200 people,. So far it looks like the human cost of Harvey might be less, G-d willing.
In any situation of this kind, there are heartless predators who see it as open season. Looters abounded. And Houston was victimized by a number of fake ICE, police and firemen who knocked on doors, told people they had to evacuate and then burglarized their homes when they left. The same thing happened in New Orleans, with the difference that in a number of cases it was actual NOLA PD doing this, not imposters. In Houston local police did a superb job of combating looters when they found them.
There were also some merchants who were little better than the looters. There are quite a few reports of $20 per gallon gas and $90 prices asked for a case of water bottles.
Several fake charity scams have also been busted, but one of the worst as far as I’m concerned, as reported by the Free Beacon, was a quasi-legal one known as the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund.Its donation page promised “”Your donation is vital to ensuring that we have the resources we need to organize and fight for Texans devastated by Hurricane Harvey.”
But dig a little deeper and you find out that the real purpose of the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund is political fundraising for radical Leftists.The Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund is actually a front for The Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (TOPEF), which is a high profile Big Labor front working hard to indoctrinate voters, make union membership via closed shops mandatory, advocate open borders and otherwise do their best to turn Texas blue. Other financial backers include the SEIU; Communication Workers of America; Faith in Texas, a group that fights for “economic and racial justice”; Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid; Texas Housers, an affordable housing advocate; and the labor-affiliated Workers Defense Project, which is about as radical as its name sounds.
The SEIU has been TOPEF’s largest union sponsor, donating $1.17 million, according to the Federal labor Department statistics. The group has also received $200,000 from the AFL-CIO, $150,000 from the American Federation of Teachers, $110,000 from the CWA, $50,000 from the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees, $10,000 from the National Education Association, and $5,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers.
According to the unions themselves, more than 62 percent of their donations went to “political activities,” while just 31 percent went to “representational activities.”
With those priorities , the victims of Harvey will be lucky to get any percentage at all.
In other words people are donating to the so-called Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund thinking their dollars are actually going to help the people made homeless and destitute by the hurricane, but are actually funding a left wing political agenda.
I grew up in a union home, and my father of blessed memory was a proud union man all his life. Although I think public employee unions are a major problem in many of those areas where they exist, I’ve never been against private unions. But these scum dirty the entire meaning of what such unions once stood for. For them to make political capital and a fund raising scam out of a disaster like that is despicable.
Like I said, good, bad and yes, ugly.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com and other publications.
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