The people of Texas, particularly in Houston, have been under stresses the likes of which we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy this week.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey and the weather system in its wake have deluged the Texas city this week, with residents finding themselves stranded, abandoned, homeless, or worse.
To make matters even more frustrating, the initial reaction from the city’s democratic mayor was an abysmal and irresponsible set of suggestions to ignore national weather media warnings about the severity of the storm and Houston’s ability to cope with it. This has led many officials to now publicly state that the damage done by Hurricane Harvey rivals or bests that of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina; a storm that leveled New Orleans and changed the face of American disaster response forever.
Now come the vultures.
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First up is CNN, who is openly exploiting the plight of the people of Houston to create better ratings for themselves. The struggling network was caught red handed today, harassing Houstonians at an evacuee shelter, and refusing to yield to a mother who gave them a piece of her mind.
Now, reports are coming in from around the city, and the state of Texas, of horrendous and amoral price gouging of needed supplies, including gasoline and bottled water.
“There have already been more than 500 complaints about price gouging during Hurricane Harvey over the weekend, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC on Monday.
“That includes reports of up to $99 for a case of water, hotels that are tripling or quadrupling their prices and fuel going for $4 to $10 a gallon, he said in an interview with ‘Closing Bell.’
“‘These are things you can’t do in Texas,’ Paxton said. ‘There are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this.’“Anyone who does so can be hit with a $20,000 fine per occurrence, or up to $250,000 if the victim is someone age 65 or older.
“As for whether there will be a shortage of goods, Paxton said the big retailers are in the process of re-establishing supply chains as quickly as they can.
“‘I don’t think as large as our country is, as large as Texas is, that supply is ultimately going to be that big of an issue.'”
Americans the nation over have been appalled by the stories such as this coming out of the U.S. heartland.
Worse still are reports of looters and other criminals who have been posing as rescuers, only to then rob the needy at gun point. Members of Louisiana’s “Cajun Navy” today reported that they had been fired upon by just such a group of criminal cretins while attempting to rescue Houston families who have been trapped in their homes.