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The question popped into my head while I was sweeping.  The TV was on for background noise.  MSNBC's Tamera Hall was keeping me updated on the day's events.

But something in the tone of her voice caused me to stop my chores and sit.

Across the screen was that red "Breaking News" and the story about the thousands of motorists stuck on highways in Georgia.  About the kids who had to spend the night in schools.  About the businesses who let people out early- only to discover that the roads had not been cleared.

And what do all the 'people in charge' say about this disaster?

We were not expecting such a big storm.  We didn't think it would be that bad.  We were not prepared.

I live in New York, and even I knew that the south was going to be hit with a storm that would be devastating to their way of life.  I mean, we can barely handle the snow storms up here, and we have plows and salt and snow emergencies.

The meteorologists have been calling this storm (Leon) for almost four days.  They have been predicting dropping temperatures and snow and ice.  Some even warned that an area not prepared for this storm would be in trouble.

And so, all major municipalities should have been "on alert".  I wonder.  How many meetings were held as to what to do, how to do it, and when the solutions would be put into action?

I don't know about you, but this is what I expect from my government.  As a citizen, I need my government to protect me- keep me safe from harm.  That is what they are elected to do.

So, now this is what I cannot understand.  For all the hype about 'keeping me safe' from those horrible terrorists, so much so that most of my freedoms are now gone, how can I ever believe that when push comes to shove the government would know what to do?

Because they can't even handle a snow storm.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I repeat, two words: Mike Bilandic. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:44:57 AM PST

  •  Far too many people, (10+ / 0-)

    including those in positions of responsibility, operate with the strategy of crossing their fingers and hoping it won't be as bad as the meteorologists are predicting. If they make decisions that disrupt life and the storms are not so bad, they get a lot of complaints. If the storms turn out to be as bad as predicted they get to write it off as an act of some god.

    In my experience the weather forecasters are getting pretty damned good at what they do and if they say there is a high probability of crap hitting the fan, I pay attention and prepare.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:46:58 AM PST

  •  The motto in my home is (8+ / 0-)

    Prepare for the worst, but expect the best.

    My mother's favorite:

    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:55:25 AM PST

    •  But by that motto you protect yourself. (4+ / 0-)

      My government does not keep me protected from weather events. I have to get the house ready with shovels, blankets and salt. I saw the school children kept at school last night but they had cots and blankets and looked like they were doing ok but I am sure they wished they were home. When ice happens no one can move.  Real men and women with families and responsibiliies do the best they can when they work on the plows, salters and traffic safety and they are endangered more so than the motorists.  The smart thing would have been to stay home from work and school.s

  •  I wonder what would have happened (8+ / 0-)

    if the local government officials had ordered people to stay off the roads. I'm sure the conservative types would have called it governmental tyranny.

    The last big storm here in Massachusetts, we were told not to drive except for emergency workers and essential personnel. People stayed home and the roads were cleared with the minimum of fuss. There were some complaints, but most people understood the reason for the order.

    Not sure the people of Georgia would have had the same attitude.

  •  What surprised me about the photos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, isabelle hayes, greengemini

    of the highways was the large number of tractor trailers stuck on the road.

    You would think that seasoned truckers would have heeded the storm warning- if there was one released.

    Here in NY, for only an inch of snow there was a "Winter Weather Advisory" released.  Most people take these warnings in stride, but then the burden shifts from government responsibility to citizen stupidity.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:07:32 PM PST

  •  Naming of winter storms (7+ / 0-)

    It is a silly affectation of The Weather Channel, which is subject to ridicule by most serious weather watchers. (REALLY serious weather folks just ignore them)

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:23:10 PM PST

  •  Bingo: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, grannycarol
    So, now this is what I cannot understand.  For all the hype about 'keeping me safe' from those horrible terrorists, so much so that most of my freedoms are now gone, how can I ever believe that when push comes to shove the government would know what to do?

    Because they can't even handle a snow storm.
    I have been called a "romantic idealist' my entire life.  First by my father, then others.  Even so, from a very young age I somehow recognized the underlying theme of your diary.

    Because of that innate "recognition" & because of weatherdudes diary, I prepared for & tried to warn others regarding this weather events potential hazards.  Guess I should have included the local tv weather & the governor.......

    You are correct-there was plenty of warning for the powers that be to take action that may have offset some of the worst of what is happening, IMHO.  

    Those who should- need to own their part in this-and stop the blame shifting.

    Saying (on tv) to stay off the roads-long after the events started to domino sure did not sound very helpful to those thousands stuck last night.  

    Seeing it up close & personal or being in it is not pretty.  Looks like something out of a zombie-apocalypse movie-I cannot begin to imagine what those stuck in this for hours or overnight or still stuck in it have endured or are feeling or thinking.

    Personally, seeing this unfold & feeling the special terror that only a parent can feel wrt the safety of their offspring, I had a brief & nano insight into the reasoning behind survivalist types.  

  •  No $h!t? (5+ / 0-)

    Just like Katrina and Sandy? "We didn't know it would be this bad." I knew. It was on the tv machine for a week. If you aren't seriously sick of our leadship right now, check your pulse. You might be dead.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:38:43 PM PST

  •  If the local TV weather people there (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, lina, isabelle hayes, BachFan

    are anything like the ones in SoCal, they are going bananas if there is three drops falling from the sky, what with the dire "storm" warnings. For a lot of people, it is crying wolf.

    "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

    by HugoDog on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:39:58 PM PST

  •  Two words: Republican governance. (4+ / 0-)

    "Government is the problem", so they do their damndest to prove it.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:16:58 PM PST

  •  One inch of snow in Chicago is a (0+ / 0-)

    "slow down a bit, let the plows work, and business as usual the next day"

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:18:14 PM PST

  •  Zenbassoon nailed it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannycarol, jan4insight, greengemini

    To have government be effective or work, you have to believe in it.
    When your party's whole mantra is "government bad", "government evil", "government is always the problem", then how shocking is it that the GOP is so incompetent when in office?
    They don't believe in government. They don't believe it can help people or make people's lives better.
    And they set out to prove it every day.
    So the only good they see for government is to enrich themselves, their families, friends and contributors.
    Everything else government related they want to tear down.
    And somehow they believe that is the moral thing to do.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:26:47 PM PST

    •  An honest republican's campaign motto (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Vote for me and I promise not to do anything worthwhile in office.  Pay me, and I promise to be a freeloader, while making you hate and fear all the 'freeloaders' in the country today.

      Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

      by grannycarol on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 02:24:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I was the mayor of Atlanta (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd start worrying about the next election.  Seattle showed their mayor the door after a bad snowstorm where the roads were plowed between the mayors office and city hall but most other streets were left unplowed.

    •  You do realize that here down South we have NO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      snowplows, don't you?

      I'm in Chattanooga but from up north, and the winter I first moved here there was a snowfall of 1" and I couldn't believe what happened.

      People flocked to the grocery stores and bought every last loaf of bread and all the milk and eggs. The checkout lines reached all the way through the aisles to the back of the store!

      I drove across town -- too late I realized there were NO SNOWPLOWS, and nobody knew how to drive in the snow. It was frightening to be behind the people stopping on a hill! I finally made it to a friend's house and only got home a couple days later.

      Several years later there was a big snow that came mid-day, and hundreds of people trying to get home abandoned their cars on the interstate! Just got out and left them all there.

      You just have to understand that there are no plows, and limited salt and sanding trucks.

      •  They need to stop denying climate change and buy (0+ / 0-)

        some (and train workers in how to use them).  The weather is becoming more extreme in recent years, which means that they can expect more storms of all kinds in the coming years.

        •  Probably not yet cost-effective. (0+ / 0-)

          It may become so later.

          Also because of FREEDUM, the gov't isn't allowed to buy luxuries like city equipment that sits idle most of the year.

          •  Disruption of businesses and schools, emergency (0+ / 0-)

            services and rescues, probably work for tow trucks for weeks; I think that's enough to pay for some snow plows that bolt onto the front of existing trucks, along with the hydraulics to raise and lower them.  

            I suspect that obtaining and storing salt plus the cost of spreading equipment would be more expensive than plows, but I'm just guessing.

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