You’re Kidding, Right?   3 comments

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/nyregion/new-york-blizzard.html?_r=0

 

They shut down New York City for five inches of snow. They threatened people with arrest if they left their homes. Not only did they ban driving altogether, but they also banned walking.

For the record, it is -35* here in Fairbanks, Alaska . Yes, that is 35 degrees below zero, which is 67 degrees below freezing. It’s the coldest it’s been all winter (this being one of the mildest winters on record). Some of us were late getting to work because our cars don’t enjoy these temperatures, but everyone is here. Our kids went to school. Businesses are open. A lot of people will order-in for lunch today, which means the takeout guys will be working. I let the Labrador stay inside today because she’s not an Arctic breed, but the husky was curled up on her old armchair in the woodshed, happy as a husky in cold weather.

Fairbanks, unlike (say) Valdez, does not get huge amounts of snow most years, but occasionally we get two feet in a 24-hour period (Valdez has gotten two feet in a hour). When it snows here, traffic moves slower, but it moves. I work for Department of Transportation and all hands have to be on deck because we’re the ones who make the roads passable. Same when it decides to rain after winter has started. We have to get to work and we do.

DOT here in Alaska never tells people that they cannot drive. We occasionally close specific roads for specific reasons — avalanche danger, for example. We issue travel advisories suggesting extreme caution in certain conditions. State Troopers occasionally ask us to tell people not to drive. We decline and they wimp out on doing it themselves and people drive anyway. Then for a while, the Troopers will suggest that people “stay home if able”, until they get a new watch commander from the Lower 48 who has to learn the Alaskan way. He’ll request/demand, we’ll decline, his Public Information Officer will explain the nightmare of government ordering Alaskans to do (or not do) anything, and he’ll learn to suggest rather than order.

And absolutely no government agency here would ever think they had the authority to tell people they could not walk in the snow. Is there an occasional death of someone who drove their car off the road or fell in the snow and couldn’t get up? Yes … and that is the acceptable cost of freedom.

The shutting down of New York City for five inches of snow is a clear example of out-of-control government and people who do not push back when they should. It’s one thing for government to suggest you stay off the roads and even to warn that they won’t rescue you if you get yourself into trouble. That’s fair. But to order you to do it on pain of arrest … ???

You’re kidding, right?

3 responses to “You’re Kidding, Right?

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  1. Reblogged this on The Grey Enigma.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.

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  3. Aw heck with 2″ of snow they close down motorways and stop trains in the UK.
    Now that really is the nanny state at play.

    Like

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