We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, November 8. 2012
At great expense to you, the federal government has sold you a lemon. No surprise there: Forgotten by FEMA: Volunteers step up in storm-ravaged NYC borough.
When American people can get beyond any infantile expectations of government, it can be wonderful to see what they will do for eachother. Believe it or not, when last night's snowstorm was predicted, the tiny number of inept and seemingly useless FEMA people fled the flooded boroughs of NYC in their SUVs. (See BAD SIGN: FEMA office on Staten Island closes 'due to weather')
Meanwhile, volunteers and church groups have been constantly busy there since last Weds.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
It's not FEMA's job to clean up people's houses. It's the job of each free citizen to clean up their own mess. And I speak as a householder who took on 7 feet of filthy water that trashed half my house. Don't trash the government for failing to do so ethi g tha's not its job.
Be suspicious of church groups doing their good works to be seen by the wide world. Where I live, all the churchgoers virtuously drove off to help people in FarRockaway and Queens . Leaving us, their flooded neighbors and fellow worshippers to clean up unaided.
It's wonderful to be charitable to strangers. Godly. blessed. More awkward with people you actually know. We manage on our own, and know that we are on our own.
In America, church community is just an evangelistic bait and switch. As long standing members, we know the real belief of our congregation is "God helps those who help themselves." I'll probably become Catholic after this. At least the liturgy is beautiful and one is part of the Church Universal.
My dad was a lineman for a small utility in Vermont. Tough, gritty and dangerous work. In many spots it meant strapping on snowshoes to get at lines deep in and away from the roads.
One of the things he always commented on when returning from a 'trouble call' was the kindness and generosity of those folks who came out to bring hot coffee and food, or allowed them to park their trucks in the yard and sleep for a couple of hours. They got the power back on as they could, although the farm buildings were top of the list. Cows gotta be milked!
I have a client who gets all his "news" from the NY Times and NPR. When I mentioned that I had read numerous reports of problems by FEMA and various state and local agencies in NJ and NYC, he took considerable offense.
His reply was, "The Times says.." I guess no actual data needed.
No wonder we lost the damned election, it was determined by freeloaders and the clueless. Worse, the very same people who have been more or less abandoned by the various levels of government will still probably still vote Democtatic next time.
As the redneck comedian says, "you can't fix stupid".
Whatever FEMA's "job" is, we have to help ourselves and our neighbors whether FEMA is doing their job or not.
My neighborhood was fortunate enough to have only fallen trees, lost power, crunched roofs, and rumpled autos. Maybe a ruined swimming pool. But we each need to do what we can. We need ourselves to clear our property and dig one another out as necessary. We need the municipal government to clear the roads for emergency and repair crews.
We don't each have the skills or tools to do everything that needs to be done. So we must share of the skills and tools we have. I'd rather my five days of supplies be used in three days than watch my next door neighbor have nothing.
I won't fault someone who digs in and helps just because they are evangelical and may preach to me. I'm good at not listening when it suits me.
I have been in my share of so called natural disasters on both sides of the register. The government has been nowhere involved like the volunteers. The last one of any consequence was Katrina where I obtained a generator for a friends business and delivered and connected it. A 2000 mile round trip with 3 16 hour days. His business was cleaning up refinerys and chem plants.
If everyone just does what they can do, an amazing amount help is at hand.
If ten million people are struck by a disaster, you have ten million helpers right away.
It scales, as engineers say.
That's so long as you don't wait for somebody else to help.
There's an Army Master Sergeant among my smoking buddies at the Pentagon who has orders to the NYC area. She went up there last weekend to house-hunt. On a whim, she and her husband stopped at a Walmart and bought about $200 worth of batteries, space blankets, and freeze-dried food to hand out on Staten Island. She told her tale of quickly finding people who needed her stuff and more, she collected over $500 in cash and promises for later in the day right there from the smokers in preparation for a second trip this weekend. That's how Americans act. Instinct? Altruism? Training? Some of all that, no doubt.
My point is that Americans have a well-deveoped automatic response to trouble. It's not just the Military folks either. Every day going home I've observed ubiquitous line trucks, rescue trucks, and other emergency vehicles heading North on I-95.
We should take quiet pride that we help our fellows.
Also, via Mead: In New York we get a mayor who makes war on Big Gulp sodas while proving himself inept at basic government functions such as clearing snow.
Which reminds me of Jasper McLevy, the Socialist who was mayor of Bridgeport CT for 24 years: 1933-1957. Mayor McLevy is the owner of one of the more memorable quotes regarding the role of government in snow removal.
While he was a Socialist, McLevy was known for his fiscal restraint. When asked, after a snow storm, when the City would begin plowing snow, McLevy allegedly replied, "God put the snow there, let him take it away." McLevy gained a reputation for balancing budgets, reducing spending and micromanaging city affairs. In the vernacular of the time, McLevy was referred to as a "sewer socialist", a pragmatist who focused on the details of running a city.These days, instead of having Sewer Socialists who carefully husband taxpayers' money, we have free spending Socialists in All But Name whose fiscal incontinence is turning the country into a sewer.
Don't expect too many of these reports in the MSM; but, many folks without power (still!) are reporting that LIPA and other power companies have removed their meters and will not re-hook up them to the power grid until a licensed (does that mean union? hmm?) electrician certifies that the house is safe to be re-connected to the power grid, even though power has been restored to their neighborhood!
FEMA will not help with this, nor is this happening to just houses that had flood damage (in flood damage homes, this makes some sense; but it makes no sense in non-flood damaged houses). Homes that had no damage but lost power are being hit with this extra layer of "safety."
Once LIPA and others remove the meter the home owner is on the hook for about $500 or so for these certs.
Bureaucrats - about as useful as sand in your bathing suit.