Friday, November 9, 2012

The 12 Days Of Sandy In A Third World Nation

So far it has been 12 days. The storm began on Monday October 29th and today is Friday November 9th. The roads are not blocked by downed trees, there was no major long lasting flooding that forced rescue crews to go through entire neighborhoods by boat, both as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The major highways are all passable as are the local streets and that despite the fact that a second major storm downed hundreds more trees and dumped a few inches of snow on the ground just two days ago. The airports were not, as they were during Katrina, totally flooded and partially destroyed and thus are all operational.

So why is it that FEMA is only just beginning to get temporary housing, in the way of trailers to NY? Why is it that people on Staten Island have reported, as recently as a day ago, that there is no organized relief effort to dole out aid to those stricken by the storm and things like food, water and clothing are being left on street corners by well meaning folks, who have driven there to help but have not found any organized relief stations? Why is it that the Long Island Power Authority has run out of electric poles? Hell, they run virtually all of their power wires on poles just like is done in any other third world nation. So, you would think they would have had the foresight to have enough on hand or would have ordered more as the storm was hitting. They apparently did not have that foresight.  What happened to the 12 million gallons of FREE gasoline that the government promised to the disaster stricken public? Oh, that's right they are giving it to first responders who are working disaster relief. Not totally true based on what has been told to me by a reliable source. I have heard of plenty of federal agents going to the distribution centers and getting it for free for their government cars and they are not assigned in any way, shape or form to the disaster relief. In addition, now, NY State is following the lead of NJ and is going to a system of forcing gas stations to dole out gasoline using odd/even license plate numbers; cars with plates ending in odd numbers get it one day and those ending in even numbers the next. This is supposed to shorten the lines at gas stations but someone please explain just how that will accomplish that goal. It is going to create confusion and prevent people who really need gas from getting it when needed, like someone traveling through NY from another state who runs low of gas on his or her off day to buy gas. Yes, out of state residents are included in the rationing. It makes one wonder, 'Hey this is day 12, why the fuck is there a shortage of gasoline in the first place at this late stage'. All the excuses of the gas companies are a lot of bullshit in my opinion. They say terminals are not operational. They could be trucking it in from terminals afar with their fleets of gasoline tanker trucks; apparently they are not, at least not by way of major effort. Then again, the people who drive in NY could be trying to conserve fuel by using mass transit whenever possible. Oh yeah, that's right, the Long Island Rail Road and the NYC Transit Authority lines are still not running at full service, at least not as of yesterday morning. Oh, one more thing on the so called gasoline shortage - how is it that Westchester County supposedly uses the same gasoline delivery terminals as do NYC and Western Long Island, yet there is a shortage in NYC and LI and not in Westchester? By the way, how is it that the EPA, a mere one day after the election, decided to change how it polls whether or not gas stations are open and there was a sudden overnight post election day 12% increase in the amount of stations they were reporting closed. It reportedly took them 10 days, and a completed presidential election, before they determined that stations that did not answer their phones, over several days, to take he open or closed poll, were closed! Yet, before the election, they were evidently unable to figure that out and thus reported a much smaller percentage of gas stations being closed than were actually closed. No way that could have had anything to do with election day coming up could it?  Of course, the president made sure to fly into NJ, just a day or two after Sandy, for a photo op right before the election but nah that must just have been coincidence, right!

I am pretty bitter about all of this. Now please note, I am not bitter about the outcome of the election because my choice of candidates did not win. I am bitter though about seeing all of these storm victims suffering without relief in sight. I am bitter that the largest urban population of federal agents within the USA is pretty much sitting on its collective duff and doing little to help. I am bitter because, some federal agents, who work in NYC volunteered to help but were told to stay home and conserve gas; yet not too long ago those same agents were forced to car pool with their government cars - so why not have them car pool to volunteer sites! I am bitter because it has become painfully obvious that the USA has failed its people.

Let's face it folks, the reason for all of the above is obvious: We are living in a third wold nation, a banana republic at best. Then again, there could be another reason, at least in the eyes of those with a different perspective. We could do like them and just blame it all on George W. Bush and get on with life. After all, none of this could have anything to do with any imagined failings of the current administration - could it!

All the best,
Glenn B

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