Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One kind favor

“There’s one kind favor I’ll ask of you – see that my grave is kept clean”
-from an old blues song-

Every year, the sea turtle eggs on the Florida Atlantic coast hatch at about the same time, releasing seemingly uncountable numbers of little turtles that scurry franticly for the surf and freedom. A great many do not make it, but by virtue of the large number, many do. That’s a natural strategy practiced unwittingly by many species and perhaps by corrupt administrations as well.

If the scandals occurred one by one or two by two, we could pick them off like the sea gulls gobble up turtles, but released in a wave, the birds are overwhelmed and can’t catch them all. So it is with the Bush scandals, it seems. In the midst of all the lapses and inadequacies and the failures of leadership and the cronyisms and payoffs, many will escape notice. Here’s one that didn’t.

South Floridians were all shocked a few years back to find that a Cemetery in Palm Beach County called Menorah Gardens had been selling the same plots more than once by digging up remains and simply tossing them in the bushes. A similar case was “unearthed” in Georgia where some vaults were sold as many as 67 times and remains simply stuffed inside. 15 SCI owned mortuaries were accused of "macabre mishandling, abuse and desecration of bodies." SCI was also involved in an earlier scandal in Texas. Eliza May, former Texas Funeral Service Commission Director, filed a lawsuit accusing George W. Bush, then Governor, of obstructing an investigation into SCI license violations. May was fired.

Guess which company was selected by FEMA to handle the remains of Katrina victims. As North America's largest funeral and cemetery company, SCI, the parent company of those cemeteries and many others that have been in trouble with the law, operates 1,500 mortuaries and cemeteries nationwide. It’s owned by a longtime Bush family friend who has contributed a fortune to their campaigns in return for another no-bid contract. But you guessed that already.

That Louisiana governor Katherine Blanco signed off on this deal is a mystery that remains to be solved, but perhaps she was as overwhelmed by the tragedy as we all are. Perhaps she just relied on the honesty of the Federal Government a little too much. The story is as web-like and complex as any but you can read more about it at The Raw Story


Crankyboy said...

The meak shall inherit, more like lease, the earth, the politically connected will inherit everything else

phinky said...

Once again, imcompetence rises to the top.

d.K. said...

When I used to hear the expression, "actions have consequences" I thought it was a warning, like "you reap what you sow."

Now I'm learning that actions (dumping bodies for profit) have consequences (additional government contracts). So I propose we amend the adage to say: "actions have consequences which depend on how close you are to the corrupt wielders of power."