By Nathan Barton
Several recent events again illustrate how really, really stupid it is to depend on government to deal with emergencies or listen to government agencies when they try to dictate what private citizens and businesses should do in a time of crisis. And the importance of being prepared.
This weekend, in addition to the supposedly “non-terrorist” bomb attacks in NYC and NJ, there was an incident in St. Cloud, Minnesota where (as reported by The Blaze) a man screaming Allahu Ackbar (and since claimed to be a soldier of the Caliphate – Islamic State) ran through a shopping mall stabbing people, until an off-duty cop shot and killed him.
Despite all the claims about how the police serve and protect the public, we know that it was sheer accident this cop was there, and that it was not a citizen with a concealed-carry weapon (I don’t think Minnesota allows open carry). But these stabbings occurred in an area filled with people, and to think that eight could be stabbed before someone dealt with it indicates that people in St. Cloud are listening too much to government propaganda that someone has their back. If someone does, it is clear that government employees do NOT. This failure to prepare properly for your own protection and that of your family – especially in public – is foolish.
This time, no one except the perp (the terrorist) was killed. Next time?
Down in five states in the Southeast (TN, NC, SC, AL, GA), people are having a problem getting fuel and are upset about increased prices. Again according to The Blaze the Colonial Pipeline Company has acknowledged that between 252,000 and 336,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from a pipeline near Helena, Alabama, since the spill was first detected Sept. 9. It’s unclear when the spill actually started. Drivers in Atlanta found some pumps completely dry or they had to pay 20 cents more because, according to a sign on the pump, the gas had to be pulled from Savannah. Quik Trip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said several stations in South Carolina were seeing outages. “When you have a pipeline of that magnitude go down, it just shows everybody unfortunately how fragile the system is and it doesn’t take much to cause some hiccups,” he said. Meanwhile, the government bureaucrats are beating on the company to “do something” and make sure that everything is perfect before fuel can start flowing again. And telling consumers to not change their buying habits (or maybe TO change them, since they think that people always wait until the gas gauge is on “E” before they buy fuel), since that will create spikes in demand. The stupidity of government telling a company that just lost $400,000 or more in inventory, to say nothing of the cost (I’d guess at least a million or more) to clean up the spill to “do something” is incredible. (Note: virtually all of the gasoline spilled was captured by a retention basin and is not a significant safety, health, or environmental threat.) Of course this company is going to do everything possible to fix the problem, but also to restore service to supply the fuel that people need. At the same time, if government thinks it can “encourage” people to not change buying habits at a time like this… well, it shows how foolish and stupid the government agencies are to believe that (short of armed intervention, if then) they will get people to change.
If government were doing the job it claims is its role to carry out, it would have made sure that (a) the company has access to the resources it needs to deal with the problem, and (b) have worked out contingency plans with business to provide alternative methods of transporting and distributing fuel in an emergency like this. Screaming at companies and consumers after the fact may make news headlines, but doesn’t do any real good, does it?
Mama’s Note: Good grief, don’t encourage government involvement of any kind, even in jest. One of the big problems is the increasingly prevalent idea that everything must remain static. Our overlords don’t want any of the swings, surprises or so-called instability of the free market. They want everything “controlled” – by them.
I am reminded of the demotivational poster of the cute little inspector in her hardhat and vest, saying “I don’t know anything about what you are doing, but my manual says you are doing it wrong.”
Again, there are lessons to be learned for lovers of liberty and their families. Recognize that the more complex systems are, the more fragile and likely to fail they are – even if only for short periods. And the more dependent on these systems we are, the more disruptive they will be. Fuel, like food and water and electricity, is a precious and scarce commodity which is essential to us: it is important to plan ahead as much as possible. With fuel, that means avoiding letting your gas tank get below ½ – at any time and not just winter. It also means having a 5-gallon jerrycan for an emergency backup in your shed or garage. And a siphon (a $5 item at Harbor Freight or most discount stores) to transfer fuel from one vehicle to another. Simple, easy steps to be able to survive.