KK's Korner

No telling what’s being thought of in the mind of a lunatic

No Wonder American Exports Are Teh Suq

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Hi, we’re from the government and we’re here to help.

The trailer industry and lawmakers are pressing the government to send Haiti thousands of potentially formaldehyde-laced trailers left over from Hurricane Katrina—an idea denounced by some as a crass and self-serving attempt to dump inferior American products on the poor…

…The 100,000 trailers became a symbol of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s bungled response to Katrina. The government had bought the trailers to house victims of the 2005 storm, but after people began falling ill, high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical that is used in building materials and can cause breathing problems and perhaps cancer, were found inside. Many of the trailers have sat idle for years, and many are damaged.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, which is coordinating American assistance in Haiti, has expressed no interest in sending the trailers to the earthquake-stricken country. FEMA spokesman Clark Stevens declined to comment on the idea and said it was not FEMA’s decision to make.

Haitian Culture and Communications Minister Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said Thursday she had not heard of the proposal but added: “I don’t think we would use them. I don’t think we would accept them.”

In a Jan. 15 letter to FEMA, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the trailers could be used as temporary shelter or emergency clinics.

“While I continue to believe that these units should not be used for human habitation, I do believe that they could be of some benefit on a short-term, limited basis if the appropriate safeguards are provided,” he wrote.

Uh oh.

For the recreational-vehicle and trailer industry, which lost thousands of jobs during the HUSSEIN recession, the push to send the units to Haiti is motivated by more than charity.

Bidding is under way in an online government-run auction to sell the trailers in large lots at bargain-basement prices—something the RV industry fears will reduce demand for new products. Some of the bids received so far work out to less than $500 for a trailer that would sell for about $20,000 new.

Lobbyists for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association—which includes some major manufacturers in Elkhart, Ind., among them Gulf Stream—have been talking with members of Congress, the government and disaster relief agencies to see if it would be possible to send the trailers to Haiti instead.

OK, I guess I could make a comment like, “So it’s OK for Americans to get sick from these trailers but not Haitians?” but then again, why in the hell would ANYONE but a FEMA trailer? I’m all about saving money, but Jesus Christ. Then again, I’m sure the people buying these trailers won’t actually live in them but rather “flip” them to unsuspecting buyers.

Finally, this quote made me laugh for some reason.

Myriam Bellevu, who is sleeping in a tent because she does not feel safe in her damaged home, said: “If the trailers are not good, the Americans must keep them for themselves. It’s true that we are poor, but if they want to help, they must help in a good way.”

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Written by kkktookmybabyaway

January 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Posted in News

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