Defend democracy in the South.


Hurricane season sales tax break

By R. Neal
May 23, 2006 - For the second year in a row, the State of Florida declared a 12 day sales tax exemption on supplies and other merchandise used for hurricane preparation. The tax holiday started Sunday, and continues through June 1st, the start of hurricane season. Tax exempt items include: Flashlights and portable, self-powered light sources – $20 or less Portable radios, two-way radios and weather-band radios – for $50 or less Flexible waterproof sheeting (tarps) – $50 or less Gas or diesel fuel containers – $25 or less Batteries – $30 or less

Disaster profiteering

May 19, 2006 - One of the great obscenities of the government response post-Katrina is that, while officials failed to provide food, evacuation buses, and other assistance, they somehow found the ability to deploy massive security detachments.

Toxic FEMA trailers

By R. Neal
May 18, 2006 - You may recall the report about exploding FEMA trailers from a while back. Now it appears there is a new FEMA trailer threat: toxic formaldehyde fumes. Mr.

Coastal residents not prepared

By R. Neal
May 18, 2006 - When I first saw this story, I thought it was an attempt by FEMA to lay blame at the feet of residents for FEMA's past failures and their own unpreparedness in advance of the upcoming hurricane season.

FEMA response in perspective

By R. Neal
January 31, 2006 - Chris posted yesterday on the latest revelations that FEMA had ignored help that was available from other federal agencies, and notes that nobody seems to care and nobody is being held accountable. Here is a little thought exercise.

Same problems with FEMA in Miami

November 7, 2005 - Hurricane Wilma hasn't received a lot of media play, but families in South Florida are facing a lot of the same problems as those in the Gulf Coast. Here's a dispatch from the Miami Worker's Center, a grassroots group that organizes low-income workers, about an event they hosted last Friday to bring attention to the situation:

Gov. Jeb Bush blames the victims

By R. Neal
October 27, 2005 - Posted by R. Neal Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is taking the heat for another bungled hurricane relief response in Florida. Yesterday in a press conference he said "Don't blame FEMA. This is our responsibility." He also blamed the victims: