The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, September 30, 2005


From USA Today (H/T to The Agitator):

The former NBA all-star and a crew from his logging company in Arkansas spent two weeks in Pascagoula, Miss., hauling away debris left by Hurricane Katrina.

"Everything about this just felt right," Malone says. "My mom died two years ago, and in our last conversation, she told me that one day I would have to step up on a grand scale and help people. I knew this was it."
When Malone arrived, he says he ran into resistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Army Corps of Engineers officials who said he wasn't authorized to bring his machinery into the area to clear private property.

"There was a lot of red tape, and I ain't got time for that," he says. "I found out that if you're going to do something good, just go ahead and do it."

Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, says FEMA and the corps by law could only allow approved contractors to clear debris and that only government agencies could work on "public rights of way."

Malone says landowners were told that debris had to be moved out to the street before it could be hauled away. "How is a landowner who just lost everything going to pay $15,000 or $20,000 to have a lot cleared? I mean, there were two or three houses on top of one another in some places."

Great job Mailman! Nothing bothers me more than the government interfering with private charity. Well ok, other things bother me more, but this bothers me a lot right now. Basically we have an issue where the government has decided that its the only one who knows the best way to do something, and will do what it thinks is right for the people. What's sad here, is that the people are saying they want his help... and ultimately isn't the government supposed to serve the people?

What's the ultimate lesson here? The government is saying once again that donating your money is just fine (because they'll decide how to spend it), but donating your time and effort isn't acceptable? Donating time and effort to a cause like this I think yields much more in the end, and the government out to be welcoming anyone who wants to help. Just another case of overblown regulation getting in the way of the ultimate goal of helping people.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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