FEMA hired a California government contractor to translate disaster-assistance information into two native Alaska languages, but all it and the natives got was a big heap of nonsense.
After a typhoon hammered the west coast of Alaska in September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hired a Berkeley-based company, Accent on Languages, to translate instructions for applying for disaster aid.
FEMA quickly turned the company’s work into tri-fold, glossy brochures that left native Alaskans utterly perplexed, as they encountered phrases like:
- “Your husband is a polar bear, skinny.”
- “Tomorrow he will go hunting Alaska very early, and will (bring) nothing”
- “When she said so, the dog ran farther off from the curtain.”
University of Alaska Fairbanks linguist Gary Holton says one of the translations is a random assortment of phrases copied from a compilation of far-eastern Russian folklore: “Yupik Eskimo Texts from the 1940s.”
“They clearly just grabbed the words from the document and then just put them in some random order and gave something that looked like Yup’ik but made no sense,” Holton told AP. He summed up the work as a “word salad.”
In a publicly-posted letter, Accent on Languages CEO Caroline Lee said her firm will reimburse FEMA $5,116. “We make no excuses for erroneous translations, and we deeply regret any inconvenience this has caused to the local community.”
Lee said when the “horrifying,” botched translations came to her attention, that her company hired a new team of translators to do the project over again. FEMA has fired the company.
Former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney wants more than a reimbursement, saying the company is guilty of fraud — “and you can’t put a price on the impact of denying services to vulnerable communities because of misinformation.” The grandstanding Sweeney even called for congressional hearings.
Retired U.S. Army Major Ed Dames is one of very few people with specialized knowledge of remote viewing as developed by U.S. military intelligence. Remote viewing operations are now declassified, though they were kept under wraps for decades. The power of remote viewing, an extra-sensory perception involving seeing distant places and people through one’s inner eye, is explored on Major Dames’s website.
He now teaches this skillset to the public and says successful predictions include the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, and Hurricane Irene in the United States.
Awards Major Dames has earned for his work for the U.S. government are testaments to the success of his remote viewing course. One award, cited in a video on Major Dames’s website, states: “His insightful threat analysis has contributed significantly to this country’s ability to maintain its military superiority.”
Another states: “Dames identified and confirmed the existence of an entirely new Soviet offensive weapon, and then personally briefed senior officials of the National Intelligence Agencies regarding the significance of this new Soviet capability.”
A Texas roofer was arrested in Florida for repairing homes without a license in what critics are calling an egregious case of no good deed going unpunished.
Terence Duque, the owner of Duque Roofing, was arrested last Friday for conducting business without a Florida license, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said.
Duque is a licensed contractor in Texas. His business was founded in 2008 and is a Platinum Preferred Contractor of the national roofing supply company Owens Corning. He and other Duque Roofing employees traveled to Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian believing that Gov. Ron DeSantis had permitted out-of-state contractors to conduct business in Florida to speed up recovery efforts.
The company has previously assisted with hurricane relief and its website says that employees provide tarps, food, and water for those impacted by severe storms. Posts on social media show that Duque Roofing held a BBQ on Oct. 9 with the help of Miami-Dade County police.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ (R) campaign blasted Vice President Kamala Harris (D) Friday afternoon over remarks that she made suggesting that the administration is working to prioritize distributing relief funds for natural disasters based in part on race.
Harris made the remarks during a discussion with leftist Priyanka Chopra at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.
“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris claimed. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.”
She added, “And if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work.”
DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw responded directly to Harris’ remarks by saying that it was false.
“This is false. @VP ‘s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified,” Pushaw said. “FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit http://disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.”
The La Soufrière volcano erupted Friday morning on the island of St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean, prompting evacuations–but only for those who can prove they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 China virus, CBS News and other outlets reported.
“Nearly 20,000 people have been forced out of their homes on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent after a volcano erupted there for the first time in more than 40 years. Cruise ships are now evacuating people from the island — but only those vaccinated against COVID-19.”