Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Weather or not

As a proud public servant for 30 years and a volunteer for years before getting on the payroll, I take no small umbrage when I hear people hopping on that anti-government train.  

And just the other day, I saw the bizarre ramblings of a man who in one simple post said that "the government is totally corrupt and messed up and incapable" and then added that he feels "the government" is involved in massive schemes to winnow the population through various means.  First, as we all know, "the government invented AIDS" and spread it, and now, "the government" is getting everyone hooked on opioids so that lots of people will pass away from overdoses, thereby cutting down on the surplus population.

And these people, the ones who believe these things, vote and drive and own property and take vacations and might be sitting on the same boardwalk bench as you and your family this summer, eating a soft ice cream sundae and believing nutty notions.

Image result for hurricane andrew path
Don't worry; it's a hoax.
Trust me on this. The average gov't employee is too busy trying to get his or her job done with fewer supplies and support personnel to sit around dreaming up population-control schemes, let alone implementing them.

But, no matter how people feel about the government, when there's a fire, when someone needs arresting, when the neighbor turns his front yard into a used-car lot, when someone needs emergency medical services, when people want to vote or get a flu shot or have the kids play rec league soccer, the government is there to serve.

That said, I thought it might be a good time, with the Atlantic Hurricane Season starting last week, to point out that there is no one in charge of the two federal agencies who deal with hurricane preparation and aftermath.

The current occupant of the White House has been on the job and on the golf course for five months now, and no one has been confirmed to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Someone was nominated to run FEMA in April, without any action on confirmation yet.  And there has been no action from the White House on hiring a new boss at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  NOAA operates the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, whose forecasts and advice before and during major storms is sort of important.  

The people who still work at NOAA are calling for an above-average hurricane season, but nonetheless, the administration budget calls for cuts for FEMA and NOAA, so we can spend more money on a wall that will keep out illegal immigrants about as well as a sand castle will keep out a hurricane.

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