Who can learn lessons?

Even today, after thousands suffered on live TV for want of water and other supplies (along with security), it’s a sign of “confusion” in the Administration that it appointed as head of FEMA the man who mentioned that a stockpile of emergency supplies, including but not limited to duct tape, would be a useful thing to have if disaster struck.

Apparently, the idea of having individuals prepare themselves to be cut off from civilization for a few days, and even to be able to reduce their exposure to airborne nastiness, is too ridiculous to even consider. Combine that with the criticism the Federal Government received for its “slow” response to a problem that wouldn’t have existed if the non-evacuating population had recourse to such a stockpile along with competent security forces, and you see the underlying premise:

People cannot be expected to take care of themsleves in any significant way. People who are allowed to vote cannot be expected to stockpile food and water in any amount; if they go without in a disaster, it’s some government’s fault. (And if they go without because a state government turned the stuff away, it’s the Federal government’s fault for not bringing replacement supplies faster).

Of course this continues an old pattern. A new medicine has unexpected side effects? We can’t rely on the idiots out there to catch on to the idea that new medicines might have unforeseen side effects – we’ve got to keep it out of their hands for several years, and then let them have it only with a permission slip from their doctor. All under the direction of Federal regulators, the only people in the country capable of learning from other people’s experience.

13 thoughts on “Who can learn lessons?”

  1. Whatever the official line is, citizens are ultimately responsible for themselves and their families. The system fails now and again in even the best-managed localities, and is rarely as effective at helping individuals as they are at helping themselves — assuming that they have the right attitude and have made some preparations. These are just facts of life.

  2. I enjoyed the Chicago Boyz feed when I discovered it via Thomas Barnett. I thought it would be a constructive conservative forum, but it appears to be turning into another whistle stop on The Permanent Campaign. I’m taking it out of Bloglines – over and out – and sincere thanks for allowing comments, it is classy.

  3. ..I’m taking it out of Bloglines – over and out..

    So we’ve lost a reader who doesn’t agree with us who authors a blog no one ever reads or links to.

    Oh, well. Win some, lose some.


  4. There’s nothing wrong with not liking our blog. To each his own. If you don’t like a blog, you can move on and try to find blogs that you do like — sort of a sorting process.

  5. It’s funny, but I find few real discussions of the conservative viewpoint on blogs remotely like those occurring here. Megan McCardle comes to mind. What’s doubly strange is that this particular post would draw that comment. In two small paragraphs are contained the basic complaint of conservative thought: individual liberty means individual responsibility.

    The idea that one cannot or should not prepare for a disaster on your own would have been a laughable assertion to anyone born before 1950. In other words, WTF?

  6. I’m a husband and a father. Sorry to sound old-fashioned, but the safety and security of my family are of primary importance to me. Where single females with children outnumber two-parent families, as is the case in New Orleans, women, children, and the elderly are on their own in a crisis, not to mention starting from a worse position before the crisis hits.

  7. One area that people are also responsible for as individuals is making sure their governments function properly. It is the responsibility of the citizenry to monitor the integrity of the government at the local, state and federal levels.

    The people of New Orleans suffered greatly because they tolerated an inefficient and corrupt approach to disaster planning in their local and state governments. Time will tell if the state gets the housecleaning it deserves but if they don’t and another tragedy occurs then they will only have themselves to blame.

  8. As a taxpayer, I hope for transparency & accountability. Enabling corrupt governments – whether in this country or in others – makes as little economic as it does moral sense.

  9. I am continually mystified by the mileage that the whole ducktape mention gets. I just couldn’t understand what was so ludicrous about such a suggestion to warrant constant mention.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that the disconnect is due to my upbringing. I grew up in rural northern Missouri, where everyone, liberal and conservative (by rural NW MO standards) at least knew that you had to prepare yourself for natural disasters, particularly the ones that occur every year, thunderstorms (and possible tornadoes and hail). It was just unfeasible to expect help to come right away, if at all. And when my town was hit by a tornado last year people did take care of themselves, as well as working hand-in-hand with the local government to help everyone out and clean up. The majority of the clean-up was done from regional volunteers, the city/county government simply worked to coordinate efforts.
    We just learned that having ducktape in the house is a given.

  10. FEMA has reminded us of the obvoius fact that all of us should get some duct tape, at the next election anyone who shows up without proof of being a duct tape owner should be ejected from the polls.

  11. I suspect some of the ducktape mileage comes from humor already floating around. The pbs favorite, Red Green, solves about all problems in rustic Canada with duct tape. While this might logically reinforce the point, Red Green has pretty successfully made it funny. Then there is Alvin Crow; he and the Pleasant Valley Boys had a hit (at least an Austin hit) with “Nyquil Blues”:

    Gimme a bottle of Nyquil, that restful sleep my body needsAnalgesic decongestant, with an anti-histamineI went to 7-11, the man says “what you need”?I said “a roll of duct tape and a case of Nyquil please.” The “Nyquil junkie”, again, is not exactly a model of preparedness, even though, again, the universality of duct tape is reinforced. href=”http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=41378″>Thanks.And maybe it just seems funny to people who are so home depot impaired they don’t know what duct tape is.

  12. “The people of New Orleans suffered greatly because they tolerated an inefficient and corrupt approach to disaster planning in their local and state governments.”

    I’d like to agree, except for the shameful fact that I live in Chicago (and even worse, have Dick Mell for my alderman). How does one go about not “tolerating” the thorough corruption that’s embedded in the very DNA of this city’s (hell, this state’s) government? Hell, as fast as the Feds prosecute them, the more new crooks sprout up.

    All I can do is keep a few day’s supply of food and water on hand, along with a “grab ‘n go” kit if I need to evacuate. Which, trust me, I will, rather than rely on local officialdom.

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