This has been a week for paying attention to Mother Nature. First, many of us in the Washington DC/MD/VA area were rudely jolted by a 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday, and then as we regrouped from that, we were told we were under a tropical storm warning. Double whammy!
I understand that the West Coast "experienced" earthquake veterans have laughed at our modest experience, and I cheerfully acknowledge our naïveté in this area, but I am glad that only property and not people suffered injury here.
Denver Post has collated a photo album which demonstrates the breadth of damages seen across these many states. Tonight millions are still waiting for rivers to crest, flood waters to recede or are trying to restore their lives to normalcy. Some 40 lives have been lost and this toll continues to rise. I am certain we all share in condolences to all who have lost so much here.
To those such as Eric Cantor (whose home state suffered from both the hurricane and the earthquake) who demand that moneys spent in this necessary relief, be offset from some other approved spending streams before it is expended, I say hang your head! I heard candidate Michelle Bachman laugh at the "double whammy" of earthquake and hurricane and state that God was trying to send Washington a message. (She later -- after being roundly condemned for these words which were spoken more than once -- claimed to be only joking!) Former Senator (and unsuccessful Democratic Presidential candidate) George McGovern speaking on the Diane Rehm Show decried this attitude by stating that his God wouldn't send people to their death in order to make a point. He felt that Bachman should not pretend to speak for her interpretation of God. He also spoke out against the combative nature of politics today and the mission of the minority in the Senate to paralyze any effective legislative measures. He mentioned how effectively he and Senator Bob Dole worked together to find food for the poor. Working for the common good was seen as a role for government. Shouldn’t that be true even today?
Government, as I have said before, is a reflection of the goodness of a people, government is us. People such as you and I make government work by our dedication to our duties, whether great or small. Few get rich serving as federal employees. Those who do get rich are ones such as defense contractors and lobbyists, (and some legislators) who may not be serving for the greater good. So let's not tar all with a negative brush. Let's say thanks to the first responders, the National Guard, the Federal and local workers who manned the emergency lines, worked on power lines and opened relief centers even though their own families may have been in harms way.
Let's hear what you think. Shall we all fight hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters on our own or should we use the pooled resources of the many to assist those in need? Seems like a no-brainer to me!