November 2, 2012 Leave a comment
New York City was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. We’ve all seen pictures of the flooded subway and the burned out neighborhood in Queens. There are currently gas lines two hours long or more and food shortages throughout the city. There is traffic gridlock in Manhattan where the Mayor has ordered that each car entering must have at least three passengers. Police are located at each entrance to Manhattan to enforce the new rule. Out on Staten Island, there is a massive generator shortage. There’s no water and food is becoming scarce. FEMA is nowhere to be found
With all of the devastation in New York, with all of the shortages, the Mayor is going forward with the New York City Marathon. He’s diverting police, water, generators and food from where it’s needed in the city to the marathon. Looters abound in New York but the police are busy enforcing traffic laws and blocking streets for a marathon. Is anyone else noticing how absurd this is? In a city that has traffic problems, they’re going to block 26 miles of street for a running race. In a city where many are without water, people running a race get first priority for water. In a city where many are without power, generators are being diverted for a marathon. Where are the priorities?
The madness doesn’t stop in New York though. Just across the river in New Jersey non union electrical workers from Alabama showed up to help fix electrical problems. They were told to take a hike by the unions. Even in the face of disaster the unions are going to protect their ground, even if it means millions remain without power. Again, where are the priorities? What’s more important, getting people electricity so they can eat, have sanitation and live normal lives or protecting a union? In New Jersey the union is more important, though I’d bet the farm most of those without power don’t care who fixes it as long as the job gets done.
The problem in New York is that the residents there truly expect government to save them. They expect government to provide food, water, shelter and such despite the fact that the government clearly isn’t capable of it. New York City isn’t capable of caring for 20 million people in a disaster. Yet the people in New York expect it of the government. No doubt the folks on Staten Island will be outraged that the Marathon is continuing forward but the fact is that while the Mayor has misplaced priorities the water, generators, food and police wasted on the Marathon are nothing compared to what’s needed in Staten Island and other parts of the city. FEMA hasn’t even made it to Staten Island, government just isn’t capable.
The Red Cross isn’t much better than the government, they haven’t made it to Staten Island either. The Red Cross has long been a hit or miss bureaucracy. You’ll recall after 9-11 they received millions in donations, very little of it went to help victims. It went to feed the Red Cross bureaucracy. It doesn’t take large organizations to help people after a natural disaster. Bigger isn’t always better. It requires people in a local community to actually care about and look out for each other. It requires smaller charities and churches to be active in communities because by being active they’ll know who needs the most and where they are.
The disaster looming in New York borders on Katrina levels of incompetence by governments, including the Federal government. It won’t be reported as such because the press loves Obama and people in Manhattan will love seeing the Marathon go on because they frankly don’t give two hoots about people in Queens or Staten Island. We all know where the mainstream press is located, those folks don’t venture to Queens unless they’re going to the airport and most of them don’t really know where Staten Island is. As such they really don’t care about their plight, especially 4 days before an election.
The lesson to be learned in New York is clear. We cannot trust government to protect or save us when a natural disaster hits. We need to be prepared to take care of ourselves and we need to be prepared to help our neighbors. Big government does not equal big protection when a disaster hits. The folks dumpster diving in New York ought to provide a vivid testimony of this. Our hope and faith must never be placed in government because government simply isn’t capable of properly responding. They don’t have the resources and they tend to get distracted by shiny objects like the NYC Marathon. We must rely on ourselves and for those who cannot rely on themselves we who can must give to small charities and churches who will look out and care for those who cannot take care of themselves. Government is a failure.
UPDATE: New York finally decided to cancel the Marathon. This after already setting up the course and diverting resources away from hurricane relief. It’s clear Nanny Bloomberg only canceled the race after outside criticism.