Checking from above

Illustration by Gioia Shebar

Thanks to rank-and-file New York State workers and my fellow citizens who helped each other weather the storm. We’re the good guys who try to stay faithful to our vows and our pledges of sobriety and decency (lots of times we actually succeed.)

Thanks to the town boards ready to evacuate people to town halls.

Local governments work hard with the few resources our rich (yes, it is!) state government trickles down to them. Thanks to my plumber who makes it all work for us and my good neighbor who cleaned up after the storm and the police officers who worked extra duty whom we don’t pay nearly enough while we pay our greedy CEO’s way too much.


Thanks to our road workers who make sure the firemen and ambulances get through in an emergency.

BUT a BIG BRONX CHEER to the elected officials who helicoptered around the state checking everything out from their lofty heights, like medieval Lords.

Unless you have a big red cape and an “S” emblazoned on your chest; unless you fly under your own steam and really fill out a pair of tights, don’t bother. That filling out a pair of tights should be a prerequisite for public office. At least they can be decorative as long as they’re so useless.

Did any of these guys carry generators and sump pumps and sand bags in those helicopters? Were they bringing extra people to help the firemen and electric workers speed the recovery? NAW!

Gee, if only the 19 billion in Cuomo give-a-ways to the filthy rich (I stand by the phrase) had been put towards infrastructure repair (those fragile bridges and roads), and more emergency and security jobs, and stockpiling generators and other equipment for emergency public use!

If only some money had been spent helping farmers protect their crops and land. We had a lot of advanced notice, but where was the advanced help?

But no, Mr. Big Bucks needs another vacation house in Palm Beach and he pays for election campaigns, so screw John and Jane Q. Public.

Please elected guys, don’t feign interest by running around “surveying” the devastation, much of which could have been prevented if elected officials had their  priorities straight.

If, for example, Albany officials had put that $19 billion in Wall Street tax breaks to better use than feathering their own political nests, it would have helped a lot.

Not all the destruction in the aftermath of natural disasters can be blamed on an act of God…not in this technologically brilliant and resourceful nation with so many people willing and able to work.

Most of the suffering is the result of non-action on the part of our “public servants” who care not one bit about the public and serve only the people who need it the least — and who pay VERY well indeed to play.

Gioia Shebar



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