by Daisy Luther
(The “Cajun Navy” assisted those in need during flood, but then the government stepped in)
Around the world, governments have recently been issuing an unsettling call for their citizens to become more self-reliant. Just this week, the governments of both Germany and Czechoslovakia warned that people should be “be prepared for the worst case possible scenario.”
But here in the United States, just the opposite is happening. Our government seems to have an unquenchable thirst for cracking down on those who take responsibility for themselves. There is an abundance of evidence of this in Louisiana.
The southern state has been hit with the worst flooding in over 500 years.
While the final numbers won’t be known for some time, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office has estimated 60,646 houses were damaged and 30,000 people rescued; other people escaped on their own. FEMA says 109,398 people or households have applied for housing help, and 25,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been filed. The American Red Cross called it the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey in 2012.
This massive disaster was all but ignored by the mainstream media, since it didn’t fit the current agenda of divisiveness and racial tension. So what did the folks in Louisiana do?
They rolled up their sleeves and took care of business.
First, the Cajun Navy, a loosely organized group of local fishers, boaters, hunters, and guides, took it upon themselves to being rescuing people trapped by the sudden flood. Initially, the local sheriff’s department was reluctant to accept the assistance, but as they became quickly overwhelmed, they realized that they were disregarding a valuable asset.
Initially, authorities in Livingston Parish didn’t want private citizens headed into the water, worried amateur rescuers might end up in trouble themselves, said Layton Ricks, the parish president. But as the calls from stranded residents continued to mount — at one point, Livingston officials said they were about 150 calls behind — parish officials relented.
“Then it was like, do you have vests? Do you have insurance? Are you truly capable of doing this?” Ricks said. “And as it turned out, we couldn’t have done it without those guys. They were a tremendous asset for our people.”
Locals who were not affected by the flood began cooking and donating food. Others helped flood victims to begin gutting their homes so they could start to rebuild. This community in the bayou pulled together to show the world that a real emergency response begins at home, undertaken by the very people who were affected. They didn’t wait around bemoaning the lack of FEMA, Red Cross, and government aid. They got to work.
They opened up their own shelters in local businesses that were not affected. They distributed immediate relief to those who were displaced. They performed their own rescues, organized the response, and used social media to coordinate their efforts.
They made just about everyone in America who heard about their efforts feel a wave of pride. In fact, they were so effective at their own free-market local disaster relief that they rendered the government’s assistance all but unnecessary.
And that is when the government said, “Oh, no. We can’t have that.”
Of course, the government doesn’t want citizens to realize that they are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves. If people realize that they can perform independently and that it is much better than performing within the strictures of government regulations, they will be a heck of a lot harder to control.
So, they stepped in and uttered the scariest words ever.
“We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
Like a horde of modern-day carpetbaggers, they began “helping” by forcing people who were struggling to rebuild to purchase permits. That’s right. They forced people to ask for permission for the right to repair their own property.
Considering the daunting expense of rebuilding in itself, those State permission slips may make reconstruction cost-prohibitive for some, while others — given the strict regulations pertaining to the floodplain and more — may not be allowed to rebuild on their own property at all.
“We haven’t suspended any or our requirements for permitting,” Justin Dupuy, building official for Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge, told Reason in an interview. “Before they start making any repairs, they just need to call in and check with us to see what they need.”
Really? These people who are about to undertake a repair have no idea what they need unless they ask the government?
Fortunately, in a small act of grace pointed out by Reason, fees for reconstruction permits have been waived by local officials — though the permits, themselves, are still mandatory, as permission to repair some of the 20,000 flood-ravaged buildings in East Baton Rouge might not be given at all.
How very kind.
But that isn’t the worst of it.
They also decided to charge fees to the Cajun Navy before they were “allowed” to continue rescuing people.
I couldn’t make this up.
No good deed goes unpunished. The Cajun Navy is a group of volunteers that operates at its own expense to rescue people trapped in flooded areas in Louisiana. They use their own boats. They risk their lives. And now that people have noticed that they are far more effective than government rescue efforts, there are plans to require them to pay a fee before they are allowed to do any good. “Don’t worry. It’s just a small fee,” legislators explain. “Maybe only fifty dollars. That would be worth it to put authority behind the Cajun Navy, wouldn’t it?”
When the Cajun Navy members said, “No thanks” to the government who wanted to train them to do what the government wasn’t even able or willing to do, they were treated like criminals.
That’s right. The government deployed the police to prevent these good Samaritans that we all wish now were our own neighbors from continuing with their efforts.
Louisiana State Senator Jonathan Perry is the engineer of the licensing requirements.
“Perry said that if members of the Cajun Navy continue on without his legislation, they will be stopped by law enforcement officials from rescuing residents past police barricades…
Under current state law, citizens who cross police perimeters are breaking the law and could face punishment.” (Source)
You can be assured he’s doing this for the Cajun Navy guys’ own good. He is trying to “empower” them.
That must also be what the Red Cross is doing when they make it more difficult for good-hearted locals to help.
Beth Yancey Houghton, a local woman who volunteered made the following post on Facebook.
“So as we are headed back home from the River Center in Baton Rouge volunteering our nursing services Dawn and I have come to the conclusion that neither of us WILL EVER volunteer or donate to the RED CROSS. The Red Cross basically takes over the shelters and starts refusing clothes, donations and various volunteer services UNLESS they are previously contracted. So what does that mean….well, 60 boxes of doughnuts were discarded this morning becuase the delivery vendor was not in contract, hot meals were refused becuase the entity providing wasn’t contracted, and medical supplies including medications were trashed for same reason. Clothes that were “donated” needed to be left on the street unless they were “furnished” by Red Cross. As of tomorrow, the shelter we were at will be completely over taken by the Red Cross other than the medical area because they couldnt have the actual room since LSU has a contract with state to provide medical care. Its sad when the military police were helping to “protect” the medical areas from the red cross when there are so many other issues at hand. Anyway, next time to want to donate or volunteer your services, do your homework.”
The Red Cross vehemently denies Houghton’s claim. Except…this:
Nancy Malone, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, said there’s misinformation being spread around, and people are confusing the Red Cross with their partner organizations. She also said there are liabilities to feeding people food that doesn’t come from certified vendors, which is why some offers to cook hot meals have been turned away.
But she categorically rejected allegations that the Red Cross has thrown away donations.
“If you came today and said you have 5,000 meals to offer, well, we already had food delivered today, let’s find a way to arrange for you to help someone else or come back another day,” Malone said. “It has to be about coordination. We are held accountable to state regulations. This food has to come from a certified kitchen.”
Perhaps, technically, they didn’t throw food away, but turned it away, even though they didn’t have enough meals from “certified kitchens” to feed everyone.
They make it seem like a conspiracy theory that many preparedness enthusiasts plan to avoid government intervention in the aftermath of a disaster. But as you can see in Louisiana, the intervention often takes the form of exerting control in an effort to foster a culture of dependency. The rules, regulations, licenses, and permissions mean that anyone receiving help must be compliant. An article called “You’re Right to Fear Government Intervention During Emergencies” sums it up neatly.
In a crisis, whether a natural disaster that displaces you from your home, war, or TEOTWAWKI, this is exactly how you will be treated by government so-called assistance. Red tape, bureaucrats, nonsensical rules that deny help because of more nonsensical rules. Nothing will come easy. The process will favor a few. Your needs will be met only on occasion and by pure coincidence.
So, while the governments of Europe are actually requesting that their citizens begin prepping for the future, the very idea of self-sufficiency scares the heck out of the United States government.
It’s important to note that their need to make us dependent isn’t only restricted to the aftermath of a disaster. They seem to do everything they can to hobble those of us who even attempt to become even a little bit more self-reliant.
Here are a few examples of the anti-independence stance of our government:
Unfortunately, I could go on and on. Here in the US, we are strongly encouraged to rely on ‘the system’. In the event of a national emergency, our government seems to prefer people to line up and get a government issued MRE than to pull something out of the pantry, share with our neighbors, and calmly go about our business.
If we become too self-reliant, then it becomes obvious we don’t need them or their ridiculous regulations. This is the greatest fear of those in power: our knowledge of their irrelevance.
And maybe that’s the real reason for the complete lack of coverage of the flooding in Louisiana. Not only was the flood a non-story because it doesn’t fit the current narrative of Black vs. White. It doesn’t fit the narrative that we are helpless and in need of the government to save us.
But this isn’t at all true. We are actually incredibly capable of preparing ourselves for life’s disasters and then dealing with them when they occur. (If you aren’t prepped yet, you can go here to put yourself on the path to self-reliance.)
The Cajun people didn’t wait for rescue. They rescued themselves. They proved that they had the wherewithal to take care of the business at hand without Daddy Government swooping in to save the day.
In fact, the only thing the government did for Louisiana was to make their lives more difficult by forcing beleaguered residents to get permission to go about the business of rescuing and rebuilding.