Thursday, September 08, 2005

Private charity beats Big Brother every time

Here's an illustration of what Conservatives/Libertarians are talking about when they say Big government can't get stuff done like private citizens.  This is a picture of two Vancouver "search and rescue" guys, most likely firemen, who's group managed to charter a plane and get into the area five days ahead of the US Federal response.
The stricken parish of [St. Bernard] 68,000 people was largely ignored by U.S. authorities who scrambled to get aid to New Orleans, a few miles (km) away. Sen. Walter Boasso said residents of the outlying parishes had to mount their own rescue and relief efforts when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on August 29.

The U.S. government response to the disaster has been widely criticized. Politicians and editorial writers have called for the resignation of top Bush administration officials.

Boasso said U.S. authorities began airdropping relief supplies to St. Bernard last Wednesday, the same day the Canadian rescue team of about 50 members arrived from Vancouver, nearly 2,200 miles away.

"They chartered a plane and flew down," he said.

Two FEMA officials reached the parish on Sunday and the U.S. Army arrived on Monday, he said.

Note that this group is NOT an official Canadian Government effort, this is some guys who said "WTF?!!!", saddled up and headed out to the disaster site before the weather had completely cleared.  They presumably rented or otherwise "aquired" boats and other wherewithall once they go there.  They went because they gave a shit and they did what they needed to once they got there, never mind the damn paperwork.

Note again that the Official Canadian Government Response is pretty much the whole Canadian Atlantic fleet (a destroyer and three helicopter frigates), presently steaming down the coast and not expected to arrive for another couple of days.  Those guys have their forms filled out in triplicate.

Note yet again that the entire LOCAL government S&R operation was a total cluster fuck, not least of which because all the personel evacuated and didn't come back.  I have no information to this effect, but I'd bet money the St. Bernard Parish fire and rescue equipment was all left to the flood on Tuesday instead of being driven to a safe distance, along with any and all county vehicles, buses, and heavy machinery.  Not enough money in the county budget for the overtime, I bet you.  They filled ou8t the paperwork but now its a bit soggy.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you are on your own when the balloon goes up.

The Phantom Balloonist.

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