Like every situation, there are many positives and negatives that can be observed. I had wanted to write this earlier but also wanted to wait, since I did not think it was the proper time to drop something cynical on this blog, when so many people needed feel-good stories to get by. So I have fixed that by combining the “jeers” with some “cheers”, so that the article is not overwhelmingly negative. If you have read the previous “Weathering the Storm” articles, than you will know my experiences with relief work have been very rewarding and positive, but there are a few things going on in our area that have slipped through the cracks, as you will see below.
- Cheers to Barack Obama and Chris Christie for actually working together in this time of crisis to ensure the fastest and most effective possible action to help the people of New Jersey. From signing orders in advance of the storm, to offering military escort for anyone out-of-state who wanted to help but could not make the drive, Obama did it all, and showed that in a time of urgency, he really can be a stand-up leader, regardless of what you think of him. As for Christie, with each passing day, I want him more and more to run for president in 2016. He put party politics aside at a crucial time to get things done and gave credit where credit is due. His no-nonsense bullying attitude is something that we need in politics today, and once again, during a natural disaster, he was right on top of everything nonstop, like a good leader should be.
- Jeers to anyone attacking Christie (and furthermore, blaming him for Romney’s defeat) because he expressed his true feelings toward Barack Obama, and that is thanking him and saying how helpful he was. Apparently, saying “Thank You” to somebody is a big no-no if they are not a member of the same party as you. How disgusting. Is this how low politics have stooped in this country? Have we put our political affiliations at a higher level than our love of country, patriotism, and helping each other in a time of need? How anyone in their right mind can attack and blame Christie is nonsensical and mind-boggling, and shows the true colors of the G.O.P majority: unwilling to stand in the middle of the aisle for the sake of the common good. To all of you out there with those feelings, it is you who are un-American and cowardly, and are choosing to “play” politics when you could very well be helping somebody out. People like you are the reason why we are in such a mess in this country, and you are in too much denial to recognize it. Live in New Jersey and can’t stand Christie? By all means, move the hell out.
- Jeers to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for…well…losing his mind? While I definitely liked him during his first two terms, ever since he won his third one, some of the decisions he has made have been questionable to say the least, and some, downright loopy. We can all sit around and make fun of his soda sugar law, but in the end, that really is insignificant when compared to his actions after Hurricane Sandy. Remember how long it took for him to cancel the marathon, even amidst the controversy? And how about this little gem from the other day, when he banned food donations to shelters because the nutritional content could not be regulated? I think that was the last straw for some people, as we have all realized that whatever Mikey wants, Mikey gets. Manhattan has become the personal playground of a spoiled old man who thinks he knows what is best for you, and since wonderful democracy was in action when you voted him in for a third term, let’s all sit back, hold up a 32oz Big Gulp and raise a toast to King Mike, the High Exalted Mystic Ruler of Nutritional Nazism!
- Jeers to Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking so long to institute gas rationing in New York. What was he worried about, that people were going to think he copied what New Jersey was doing? I don’t think the people on the back of a three-hour long gas line would have minded so much. What is being heralded as a glorious decision by Christie is actually a very simple one: sort people’s cars by even and odd numbers on even and odd numbered days, and viola!, you just cut the gas lines in half. Three hour lines eventually became just over an hour, and within two days, the waits were only slightly longer than normal. Heck, just the day after the law became active, I waited six minutes on line at an Exxon station—six minutes! This was a station that, the day before, had a line that curved down the street and around the block and was probably a mile long. Thanks, Governor…and get with it, New York!
- Jeers to anyone caught looting during the aftermath of the storm. Really, have we degraded so much as a race that we have to rob and steal from people even in their most dire time of need? There were reports on Long Island of people sailing their boats up to people’s houses before looting them. Just a simple observation: if you can afford a boat, chances are you are not that desperate that you need to steal from some unfortunate citizen. Even closer to home, in nearby Union Beach, 60 people were arrested for looting in one single night. If that’s just how many who were caught, imagine how many were actually doing it. Declaring Martial Law seems to have only raised hesitancy for delinquency for only a few days (much like how long the be-nice-to-everyone grace period lasted; man, those four-way stops due to power outages have been fun, fun, fun!) and now a fringe part of the human race is back to their normal ol’ selves. Is it too barbaric for us to take a step back and instill something that was in effect after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake? During the chaos following one of the biggest disasters in our nation’s history, looters were shot on site and their corpses hung up on light poles to serve as a warning to all others considering breaking the law. I think that would work great today, only problem is, there probably aren’t enough light poles.
- Cheers to all the volunteers who have spent so much of their time to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I was saving this for last because I had to end on a positive note. Despite my loathing of the human race, I have seen enough kindness and generosity over the last few weeks to last a lifetime, and while there are members of society who are downright scum, most people are good people who just want to help. Thankfully, my experiences in volunteering have been nothing but positive, and it shows that we really can work together in a time of crisis to help our fellow neighbor. We have also learned that no matter how old or young you are, no matter how big or small, rich or poor, everyone has something that they can give, especially when we follow the three M’s: Money, Materials, and Manpower—everyone has at least one of those. Whether it be monetary contributions, sorting clothes, delivering necessities, or doing heavy lifting and construction/demolition work, we all fit together as pieces of the giant puzzle with the same goal at the end of it all. While there is so much more that needs to be done, we are on the way thanks to the selfless individuals who have taken it upon themselves to make relief work a personal mission. Kudos to them and keep it coming!