"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Said Light Mayo!

There are two kinds of people in America, and they may be identified by their reaction to disaster. By “disaster” is here meant some event (man-made or otherwise) which causes danger by interruption of basic services. Such modern necessities include electricity, telephone, water, sewer, 225 channels of cable television, high-speed internet access, and free immediate transportation to the emergency room of your choice, should you decide that the cough you’ve had for 10 days really does sound worse, and it’s time to get it checked, now that it’s midnight, the power is out, and the Governor is calling for everyone to say indoors.

But I digress.

There are, as I said, two reactions.

First, there are those folks who become hysterical, and set their house on fire trying to boil water over the fire they’ve made from the dining-room table. OK, so they don’t all run naked in the street, unable to find their pants in the dark. But they do begin – within minutes of the lights going out – to demand that the Government DO SOMETHING. And they mean NOW! And they’re getting hungry, and a tuna sandwich with a diet Coke is an absolute minimum delivery from FEMA and the Red Cross. RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!

Some of us, however have a different reaction. We reach for the flashlight that we’ve stashed in the bedside table (or under the bed)(well, OK, and under the bed), and go to marshal the emergency supplies. Far from hoping for immediate arrival of Government aid, or other termination of the emergency, we long for its extension. Finally, I’ll be able to use that gas-guzzling 325 horsepower four-wheel-drive Jeep to tool around the neighborhood through the snow. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get the chance to manually pump water out of those blue plastic 55-gallon drums in the basement, and crank the handle on the emergency radio. (And, to be completely honest, I rather like canned Vienna sausages, so dinner on Day 4 is not a problem.)

As you may have noticed, Florida gets more than its share of such interruptions of services. While some believe that the frequency and severity of hurricanes has increased as a result of the excessive release of carbon dioxide by Al Gore, that’s a question the resolution of which is beyond my expertise.

So it was with some interest that I saw that officials in Florida are adopting what they term a “get tough” policy. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times:
"No more coddling,'' said Larry Gispert, Hillsborough County's emergency management director. "We're telling them the first 72 (hours) are on you. The laggards need to wake up and be ready to take care of themselves."

That means having enough food, water, emergency supplies and medicine to last at least three days.

Don't expect the government to provide for your every need within hours of a hurricane hitting.
What a concept: The ability to feed oneself and one’s family for a whole 3 days, without the Marines making an air drop of MREs.

And, while I’m not naming any names, or providing any license-plate numbers, I’m confident that I know personally some of the people Governor Jeb Bush was referring to here:
Bush emphasized at his hurricane conference that aid and workers will still pour quickly into disaster areas. But it's a "lot harder when people line up in their Lexuses and Mercedes to get ice and water at a public distribution site when the Publix is open a block away," Bush said.
Just so.

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