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RUSH: Waylan in St. Louis. Hi, Waylan, nice to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Rush, thank you. It’s an honor to talk to you. I’ll make my point brief.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I have been a Missouri National Guardsman since 2001, and what I’ve seen post-Hurricane Katrina is the politicians will call the National Guard out, out of sometimes just a knee-jerk reaction, because here in Missouri, our governor, Matt Blunt, has been absolutely massacred by the press, and he doesn’t want the bad press of somebody saying, ‘Well, you didn’t do enough,’ so we get a strong windstorm that knocks out a few power lines, an ice storm, we’re called out just so we’re on the front page of the newspaper. People feel good because they see the government’s doing something, and a lot of what it is, is just fluff. We’re out there being seen, but not really doing a whole lot to assist the situation.

RUSH: So you’ve become a photo-op and a prop?

CALLER: Oftentimes, yes. And I don’t blame the governor for it because I mean he gets beat up in the press all the time.

RUSH: No, but you know what? I don’t, either, but it’s not that I don’t blame him. It’s what that represents that bothers me, that so many people have to see that the government is doing something, before they feel like things are under control. Now we’re talking power lines and this kind of thing. The power company comes along and does that. You know, I gotta tell you something. We had two hurricanes hit the same spot, just north of Jupiter, within three weeks of each other, and then Hurricane Wilma came through there from the left, you know, Cancun, destroyed that, came up the Gulf. We were on the north end of the island where I live, and we were without phone service for nine days, and we didn’t have electricity for nine days. The cell phone was spotty and so forth, but I was fortunate in that I had advanced planned and put in a generator that has a multiple-day supply of diesel, and it runs most of the functions on the property. But it’s loud, and so the neighbors, they’re a little bit upset and jealous at the same time, those that had hung around. But the point I want to make is that it wasn’t long after they had cleared the streets of the debris and opened the bridges, there were power company personnel from electric companies all over this country, had driven down from Ohio, they were from northern parts of Florida, from Georgia, and they were working around the clock trying to get the electricity back.

I remember driving home two or three times just stopping to thank these guys, because they were away from home. They hadn’t gone through a hurricane, they lived in other parts of the country, but they were away from home and they’re working around the clock, and that time of year, hot, humid, muggy, miserable, and they were kind of stunned anybody would thank ’em. They never get thanked for what they do. They’re always out there when people are mad, ‘I’ve lost the power, fix it!’ A lot of my neighbors here on the north end would stop and thank these guys. They were all surprised by it. But we didn’t sit around and wait for the government to show up. The local government here went into action and hired these crews from outside because there just weren’t enough. Plus, these companies are entrepreneurial. They knew that Florida, south Florida was devastated and they were going to need a lot of help so they called and said, ‘Hey you need some trucks and some crews?’ ‘Yeah, bring ’em on down. We’ll dig into the emergency funds paid for by the exorbitant property taxes of our residents to pay your exorbitant bills. So bring ’em on down.’ I still stopped and thanked them. By the way, reminds me, Snerdley said, ‘You know, Dianne Feinstein made a rather intelligent comment about these fires out there.’ I said, ‘Really? What?’ He said, ‘Well, she doesn’t understand why these local communities continue to allow people to build homes in what is obviously a fire path.’

These fires happen every year. These fires take place every year. There’s a certain place in Southern California, they don’t all hit the same spot every year, but there are fires out there, depending on how out of control they get. And she said, ‘We’ve gotta restrict some of the zoning here, some of the residential zoning and permits so the people can’t build there.’ And, well, that’s getting close here, the feds telling you where you can and can’t live. But Snerdley said, ‘No, she was just asking, ‘Why do the communities do this?” I said, come on, that’s the easiest answer on the face of the earth. It’s called property taxes. Why do local communities let people build right on the beach when you know that you can have a hurricane? You know you can have a flood. The percentage of people in this country that live on the coast if you count New York and come all the way down, Philadelphia, Boston, Texas and then out to California, the percentage of people that live on the coast is larger than you think. I don’t remember what it is off the top of my head, but people still think, ‘That doesn’t make sense, get everybody to move inland, get ’em away from the beach, too much disaster happens on the beach.’

Well, you have to live near water, you just have to. That’s why settlements were on rivers and so forth, which happened to flood. And even if you find somewhere safe and you’re landlocked, hello, Mr. Tornado. Hello, Mr. Drought. I mean, life carries with it risks. That’s why you insure yourself against it as best as you can. When I land in Los Angeles, sometimes I go to Burbank, sometimes I go to Van Nuys, and I’m driving into the hotel in Beverly Hills, and I go through some of the canyons, people have houses built on stilts on the side of a hill. I would no more do that, I would no more walk into their house as a guest, I see the video of the mudslides every year that happen out there. I say, ‘How in the world do you get permission to do this?’ This is a bunch of liberals out in Southern California, Los Angeles. (whispering) Property taxes! Taxes, taxes, taxes, property taxes. The more times you build, the better.

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