It appears it worked again.
It’s been several days since Hurricane Sandy first began battering the East Coast, and government appears to be working. I use the term government somewhat collectively because a host of hardworking folks in not just the federal government, but in state, county and city governments did and are doing their jobs.
They produced accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings. They made sure that folks heeded those warnings. They helped folks in the path of the storm evacuate and, later, helped rescue those other folks who chose not to evacuate.
By the way, I’ve always found it admirable that when rescuers get a call for help from some moron who ignored warnings that he should leave and, as a result, found himself in need of saving that they go ahead and rescue the guy. See, my response would probably be: “The heck with him, he’s a moron.”
But that’s not the way government is supposed to work. Government, since we all pretty much pay for it, is supposed to be there for everyone. Including the morons. After all, morons pay taxes, too.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the government. Since my dad served in the military throughout most of my childhood, my view of government’s role is probably a bit skewed. See, I believe that government provided my dad a pretty good job that allowed him to raise a family of seven kids. Sure the government sent him to war three times, but, hey, my dad had seven kids. War was probably a break for him.
Government provided my family with free health care. Government, at times, provided my family with housing. It did and still is providing my dad a comfortable retirement. Government did the same for hundreds of thousands of men and women my dad’s age and continues to do that for the hundreds and thousands of men and women who followed my dad’s generation into military service.
I like government. Even when it screws up. And, let’s be clear here, government does screw up. But the successes of government, the good things that government does, far outweigh the screw-ups.
Nobody knows that more than the people of Joplin.
Before the 2011 tornado hit, folks with the National Weather Service were issuing warnings to residents. Those warnings likely saved thousands of lives. After the tornado hit, city and county first responders rushed to aid the injured, fight fires, provide traffic control and guard against looting. Later, emergency workers from across the state and eventually from across the nation showed up to help. The National Guard stepped in to provide assistance.
And then the federal government stepped in with money to help pay for all of the local help. It stepped in with money to help clean up, and later with money to rebuild. And that federal money continues to flow to Joplin as the town begins reshaping itself.
Government worked in Joplin, and it’s working along the East Coast.
Over the past few days, as I’ve watched and read coverage in the aftermath of the most recent storm, I’ve been struck by the similarities between the response to Hurricane Sandy and to the Joplin tornado. I’ve watched incredibly brave and selfless government employees rush in to save lives and assist victims. I’ve watched them help folks dig out of destroyed homes and I’ve seen them provide food and shelter to thousands of people.
In short, I’ve seen government do what government is supposed to do.
We here in Joplin have an idea what the folks on the East Coast are going through. We also have an idea of what lies ahead for them. We just pray that the government continues to work as well for them as it is working for us.
It appears it worked again.
- Local News
UPDATED CANCELLATIONS: Joplin Schools, MSSU added to list of cancellations for Friday, Dec. 6
With a cold front forecast to the Four State Area that is accompanied by freezing rain, snow and sleet and temperatures in the single digits, several cities have rescheduled Christmas parades and are canceling or postponing community events.
PSU to once again host Baja SAE competition
For the second time in four years, Pittsburg State University will host the Baja SAE-Kansas competition, which officials anticipate drawing several thousand competitors from across the U.S. and numerous countries.
Special prosecutor named in family’s beef with police
A special prosecutor has been appointed for the misdemeanor cases of a father and son arising from a family member’s suicide in March and a resulting imbroglio with Joplin police and paramedics.
Nature center’s interim director promoted
Donna Whitehead, interim director and business manager of the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center, has been promoted to the position of director of the center.
Irving pupils dazzled by room sizes, colors in new school building
Ask 9-year-old Logan Foglesong what he likes about the new Irving Elementary School, and he’ll tell you he loves its size. “You might need a GPS for it,” he said. “It has so much stuff. I love the classrooms, and it’s just so big.”
Seven semifinalists selected for Crowder president
The Crowder College Presidential Search Committee is closer to making a selection, having narrowed the candidate field to seven semifinalists.
Manager of Carthage apartment complexes draws prison term
A Carthage woman was sentenced Thursday to three years and five months in a federal prison for fraudulent schemes involving four apartment complexes she managed.
Suspect denies any attempt to rob bank
A suspect in a bank robbery attempt in Miami that led to a fatal crash claimed in federal court this week that he was merely inquiring about opening an account at the bank and left when a teller used a racial slur.
Local runners question decision to end marathon
Runners and others involved with the Mother Road Marathon don’t want the event to end despite Monday’s decision by the Joplin City Council. A council majority, citing costs of the event and declining participation, voted to discontinue funding for the marathon crossing three states on Route 66.
Kansas attorney general mulls seeking death penalty for four killings
No decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty for a 22-year-old man charged with capital murder in the deaths of a woman and her three children, an assistant attorney general said Wednesday after a court hearing.
- More Local News Headlines
- UPDATED CANCELLATIONS: Joplin Schools, MSSU added to list of cancellations for Friday, Dec. 6