After the 2004 elections, as Democrats whinged and caviled about the ravages of life under George W. Bush, I wrote a long story about life after a breakup of the United States into, broadly, red and blue America.
An epic hurricane strikes the upper Atlantic seaboard. And the recovery was…:
Worse? The relief effort – the attempt to bring food, fuel, clothing, even fresh water to the storm’s victims, especially the hundreds of thousands left homeless or without power – was bogged down by a civil and bureaucratic turf war that beggared the imagination.
Dennis Kucinich, Minister of Peace, ordered units of the Peace Force to the affected area. But at the edge of the damaged areas in Boston, Providence, New York, Hartford, Philly/Camden and Trenton, the convoys of troops were met by teams of armed agents and lawyers from the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Housing. Under court order, the MODP agents ordered the MOP troops to hand over their weapons; most complied. These weapons – rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers – were handed over to Housing and Labor agents, and hundreds of AFL-CIO, Teamsters and AFSCME members who’d been deputized as “provisional agents”, who proceeded to go door to door serving pre-printed injunctions against homeowners carrying out repairs without union labor on the job. Homeowners who failed to comply were arrested, and their insurance payments attached by the unions as damages by drumhead civil courts issuing summary judgements under the Emergency Law Act of 2008.
Some said the chapter was over the top.
In the wake of Sandy, I’m not sure it went far enough. An electric line repair crew from Alabama was sent packing in Jersey for being non-union:
Crews from Huntsville, as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees.
The crews that are in Roanoke, Virginia say they are just watching and waiting even though they originally received a call asking for help from Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
The crews were told to stand down. In fact, Moore said the crew from Trinity is already headed back home.
I really can’t make it up fast enough.