Who truly cares if Melania Trump wears her high heels when what is overlooked is her Adidas white low-cut tennis and the fact that she and the president went to serve food in a shelter? Remember when Obama continued his Martha's Vineyard vacation during a similar national disaster? What should be looked at is the administration's response as well as the results which accumulate for the affected people.
Love him or hate him, Trump's appointment of Brock Long as head of FEMA was an inspired choice who has taken command of the Harvey and Irma situation leaving no one behind who wanted an out. Impressive are they with a full force response of emergency responders, a naval hospital ship, and the "Cajun army" just to name a few stars. The hurricane season isn't over and now the hard part surfaces for a resource for this money hasn't been identified. Many of the conservative forces on the right and the left are bent out of shape about lifting the national debt, but someone has to make some hard choices.
A little innovative thinking is in order. Why not have an IRS check off on the tax form for $10 or more for a National Disaster Relief Fund? Given her background in architecture I have been pushing to get our First Lady Melania Trump to take on the cause of post-disaster housing for both here and abroad through seminars in our schools of architecture and engineering. It is clear that those areas in the path of hurricanes should have questions regarding whether it makes sense to keep rebuilding when the same problem is likely to recur in twenty years.
Haiti has not recovered from the massive earthquakes and the Clinton Foundation remains absolved of liability for funds raised on their behalf. Princeville, North Carolina, repeatedly struggles. And so many of the Katrina, Harvey, and Irma victims have no flood insurance to cover their losses. Many great ideas such as Cross Industries from Richfield, North Carolina, house in a box — built on a flat bed with wiring already within — should be resurrected. The late Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee, an American architect and a co-founder of the Auburn University Rural Studio program in Hale County, Alabama, demonstrated that sound housing can be done cheaply for the impoverished to meet any nation's needs. Israel leads the world in fresh water recirculation, a technology ocean states should model. All of these address our problems and should be a focus for our long term restoration and relief efforts.
I support the Salvation Army for during Katrina and Rita it did what I expected my dollars to do — fed the people, provided shelter, and offered sage counseling for rebuilding. The Red Cross needs work and accountability for its expenditures and outreach. Flood Insurance should be a requirement for flood zone areas and without it, future rebuilding may not find assistance available.
Citizen security should be paramount in disasters. Those found shooting at rescue vehicles or looting disaster areas should be handled as if in Marshall Law. Should sheltering be provided for sexual offenders and criminals with others? If folks can't get along and help the situation, should they be taken out of the picture? Surviving a disaster may be the easy problems, rebuilding in all socioeconomic issues of relief will be the challenge.
Dr. Ada M. Fisher was the first black woman to serve as the Republican National Committeewoman. She was a candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, a candidate for U.S. Congress, and a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives. She is the author of "Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Solutions for What Ails Us, Book I." For more of her reports, Go Here Now.
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