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Thread: Karina "victims" using FEMA/Red Cross $2000 debit cards on strippers...

  1. #1
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    Karina "victims" using FEMA/Red Cross $2000 debit cards on strippers...

    [B]IN KATRINA'S WAKE: Storm-relief money spent at strip clubs; Police in Houston find misuse of FEMA's $2,000 debit cards[/B]

    On the heels of a report earlier this week that Atlanta area Katrina victims were using $2,000 debit cards to purchase luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags, Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs.

    The Houston Police Department just formed a task force to investigate the abuse of the cards, which were distributed to thousands of Katrina hurricane victims to provide for necessities, such as food, clothing and toiletries. On the first day, the police found the cards being used to buy beer while ogling exotic dancers.


    According to a report by KPRC, Channel 2, in Houston, a manager at Caligula XXI Gentlemen's Club said he has seen at least one debit card used at his club. A bartender at Baby Dolls, identified only as "Abby," said she has seen many of the cards used at her establishment.

    "A lot of customers have been coming in from Louisiana and they've been real happy about the $1.75 beers and they're really nice," she said.

    She couldn't say for sure whether the cards she has seen were from the Red Cross or from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but she found no fault in using federal dollars to guzzle beer at a strip club.

    "You lost your whole house, then, why not?" she said "You might want some beer in a strip club. There are a lot of guys out there that like to do that."

    The wife of the manager of another strip club told KPRC that her husband has seen patrons from Louisiana offering Red Cross and FEMA debit cards, but she declined to reveal the club's name.

    The FEMA and Red Cross cards have few restrictions, but some evacuees have gotten into trouble when they tried to get additional cards.

    Meanwhile, Houston police are going undercover as evacuees to keep their eyes on those who get in line more than once.

    "There may be some individuals who use some false identifications or providing false information on the forms, so we're targeting those persons also," said Lt. Robert Manzo.

    Officers handed out a warning that falsifying government documents could result in a 20-year prison sentence.

    Earlier this week, the New York Daily News reported that "profiteering ghouls" were using the debit cards in luxury-goods stores as far away as Atlanta.

    "We've seen three of the cards," said a senior employee of the Louis Vuitton store at the Lenox Square Mall in affluent Buckhead. "Two I'm certain have purchased; one actually asked if she could use it in the store. This has been since Saturday."

    Restrictions on the cards say they can't be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

    The clerk at the Louis Vuitton store said: "There's nothing legally that prevents us from taking it, unfortunately other than morally, it's wrong." The unnamed employee told the Daily News two women who had made purchases with the card each bought a signature monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbag in the $800 range.

    Meanwhile, in Memphis, Tenn., residents told News Channel 3 they saw Hurricane Katrina survivors purchase designer jeans, high heels and purses with their $2,000 emergency debit cards. According to the report, one Katrina victim was spotted at a Cordova clothier buying stacks of $65 designer jeans. Another viewer reported spotting a survivor buying "over $700 in high heel shoes and purses" at a Memphis department store "while (her) younger children, most of them looked under the age of 3, looked like they haven't showered in weeks."

    "If they make an inappropriate decision as to what to purchase, the whole issue of victims' rights comes into play," said Bill Hildebrandt, chief executive officer of the Mid-South chapter of the Red Cross. "They have a right, I guess, to be inappropriate."

    Hildebrandt conceded that the purchases could be traced, but he said if the receipts just said "shirt" or "jeans" or "clothes," there would be nothing the Red Cross could do. He said the Mid-South chapter stopped using the cards because the process became too cumbersome.

    FEMA reportedly issued about 10,500 cards in the pilot program, with a total value of $20.6 million. Hildebrandt said some Red Cross chapters are still using the cards.

    The cards have been a major source of confusion and resentment throughout the country.

    On Sept. 7, after criticism about the federal government's slow response to helping the Katrina victims, the Bush administration announced that displaced families of the hurricane would receive the debit cards to spend on clothing and other immediate needs.

    Two days later, FEMA scrapped the program after distributing the cards at shelters in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, where many of the evacuees were moved. FEMA said then that no cards will be issued to victims in other states.

    FEMA Director Mike Brown resigned a few days later after being sent back to Washington, D.C., and relieved of his duty as head of the federal government's hurricane efforts.



    Since then, FEMA has stopped handing out the cash cards, but is now requiring evacuees in other states outside Texas to apply for cash assistance.

    FEMA is still distributing $2,000 per household to victims of the hurricane, but the process has been slow. After a brief experiment with the debit cards, the agency is now directly depositing the money in bank accounts.

    Hurricane victims have to register with the agency by calling an 800 number that is almost always busy. The same goes for a Red Cross fund, which has distributed $140 million thus far, determining the amount per family based on need.

    [url]http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46361[/url]

  2. #2
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    We should raise taxes so that these people can have more free money. Why not?

    Makes sense to me - I work, they go to strip clubs with money I've earned. It's win-win. Makes me want to work harder....

  3. #3
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    Love to say I'm surpised.....but I'm not. :(

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    I really hate to say this and I hope that this doesent come across in the wrong way but what is happening is that the majority of these individuals have been living off the goveremnt for years. They now have the entitlement attitude and obviously see nothing wrong with their actions.

    I live here in omaha NE and I heard an interesting story like this the other day. We have around 500 to 1000 refugees or whatever they want to be called staying here at our civic center. An individual who volunteered to greet these people when they get off the bus and hand out water had a rather rude awaekining. He said that people were yelling at him and other volunteers because they werent handingout different kinds of pop, pizza chicken and whatever. While the city and redcross has provided local catering from a variety of different restaraunts and even moved in hundereds of queen size mattresses donated from local retailers.

    This and the story from this thread make me not want to donate anything. Our society continues to dissapoint and scare me day by day.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Love to say I'm surpised.....but I'm not. :([/QUOTE]


    Ditto.

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    What did everyone expect? That overnight the idiots among the displaced were going to develop morals or a sense of responsibility to an act of generosity?

  7. #7
    Guess what guys, bad apples make the news. Good apples don't.

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    Strippers can be a tension breaker during times of extreme stress, but you do need to take care of the important stuff first. :yes:

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound]Guess what guys, bad apples make the news. Good apples don't.[/QUOTE]

    It's amazing how hard it is for some people to figure that out - and how easy it is for some of the ones who have figured that out to ignore it when it suits them to

  10. #10
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    Lets see, how much money from these debit cards were wasted on non-essentials? Lets say a few thousand dollars, ok I'll give you a few hundred thousand dollars. KBR misplaces that amount of our tax money over lunch. Alaska builds million dollar bridges to nowhere with our tax money.

    Atleast in this case the money is being abused by people who have lost their homes, their possesions, and possibly family members or friends.

    Besides it could be argued that entertainment is a legitimate use of the debit cards. If you want to fault anyone it should be the people who came up with this plan to give out debit cards that could be used anywhere that credit cards are.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]Lets see, how much money from these debit cards were wasted on non-essentials? Lets say a few thousand dollars, ok I'll give you a few hundred thousand dollars. KBR misplaces that amount of our tax money over lunch. Alaska builds million dollar bridges to nowhere with our tax money.

    Atleast in this case the money is being abused by people who have lost their homes, their possesions, and possibly family members or friends.

    Besides it could be argued that entertainment is a legitimate use of the debit cards. If you want to fault anyone it should be the people who came up with this plan to give out debit cards that could be used anywhere that credit cards are.[/QUOTE]

    classic liberal justification of this behavior....absolutely classic!

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]Lets see, how much money from these debit cards were wasted on non-essentials? Lets say a few thousand dollars, ok I'll give you a few hundred thousand dollars. KBR misplaces that amount of our tax money over lunch. Alaska builds million dollar bridges to nowhere with our tax money.

    Atleast in this case the money is being abused by people who have lost their homes, their possesions, and possibly family members or friends.

    Besides it could be argued that entertainment is a legitimate use of the debit cards. If you want to fault anyone it should be the people who came up with this plan to give out debit cards that could be used anywhere that credit cards are.[/QUOTE]

    You would have been better off leaving out the word "fault". I will agree that whoever came up with the debit cards should have tried harder to make them less 'misuse-able'.

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