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
Farmers Insurance teams up with Rebuild Joplin
Farmers Insurance announced Tuesday that the company will team up with Rebuild Joplin for an initiative to help the community complete its recovery efforts. The company already has placed one of its executives in Joplin, and it is pledging additional funds and volunteer hours by company workers to go toward the city’s recovery.
Crowder president to join MSSU staff
Alan Marble, who will retire as president of Crowder College in June, has been hired as special assistant to the president of Missouri Southern State University. “With his long experience in higher education administration and his intricate knowledge of the needs of students, we knew Dr. Marble would be a great fit at MSSU,” President Bruce Speck said in a statement that announced the transition.
Mike Pound: Husband helps pull off surprise for Carl Junction teacher
Keri Keckley said the key to pulling off the Sunday surprise was the deceptive minister.
Boy, if that isn’t a great opening line for a crime novel, I don’t know what is. But in this case, the line doesn’t belong in a crime novel. It belongs in this column.
‘Letting Go Day’ planned to help clear the clutter
When Ann Leach lost most of her possessions in the tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011, she realized that things don’t matter that much.
Arma mother facing murder charge in sleeping baby’s death
Heather Buckalew fell asleep on a couch with her 4-month-old baby after a night last summer drinking beer with her boyfriend. The boyfriend, Donald Harvey, got up to go to work a few hours later and spotted his son, lying face down on a pillow between the back of the couch and his sleeping mother.
Joplin residents lend a hand in Moore
Joplin is paying it forward. The day before the two-year anniversary of an EF-5 tornado leveling one-third of Joplin, pastors from Ignite Church in Joplin were in Moore, where an EF-5 spent 40 minutes on the ground on Monday.
Monetary donations cited as best help for Moore
Financial support for organizations providing shelter and supplies to Oklahoma tornado survivors is recommended for people who want to help. Otherwise, the word is to wait for requests.
Joplin man continues struggle to recover two years after tornado
As the Joplin tornado passed overhead, sweeping the house at 2430 S. Pennsylvania Ave. away in its wake, there was a moment of calm. Delbert Mcguirk was on his back in the basement, where he had sought shelter along with his wife, daughter and two grandchildren. In that moment of relative quiet, he stared up into the eye of the tornado.
Via Christi Health to cut up to 400 positions across state; Pittsburg impact uncertain
Via Christi Health announced Today that it would cut up to 400 positions within its system across the state of Kansas to compensate for financial challenges as a result of declining hospital and physician visits.
Globe reporter describes scene in Moore, Okla.
Joplin Globe Reporter Andra Stefanoni said the tornado-damaged town of Moore, Okla., is eerily reminiscent of Joplin on May 22, 2011.
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