Summary: Every crisis tells us something about ourselves, and who we’re becoming. This post looks for lessons from the NYC snowpocalypse, so revealing about the state of 21st Century America — its people and leaders. This is a follow-up to Winter Storm Juno warns scientists not to burn away their credibility.
- Typically outrageous actions by our leaders
- Obvious but important observations
- Putting the pieces together: the big picture
- For More Information
(1) Typically outrageous actions by our leaders
From the smouldering embers at the Left comes this apt summary, by Jerry White at the World Socialist website.
By 6 p.m. Monday night, Cuomo ordered the shutdown of all transportation, saying only emergency vehicles would be allowed on the streets of New York City — and roads in 13 state counties — as of 11 p.m. “If you violate this state order,” he said, “it’s a possible misdemeanor; it’s fines up to $300.” The governor also activated the New York National Guard, which dispatched 260 soldiers and airmen.
As the storm approached, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Thomas Prendergast, said there would be no reason to close the subway system, which is largely underground and protected from the snow, because “We’d be able to run trains.”
By 11 p.m., however, even as it was becoming apparent that the worst snowfall was well to the east and north of New York City, Cuomo, apparently without consulting with Mayor de Blasio or the New York City transit command center, went ahead and shut down the subway system, the only remaining transportation in the city. This was the first time trains were halted because of snow in the 110-year history of the system, which serves more than four million commuters each day.
As it turned out, the subway system actually continued to run in order to keep the tracks clear, just without passengers.
The Brooklyn Paper reported that the subways ran anyway (just without passengers), that closing it was unnecessary even in a severe blizzard, and in the words of an insider “The closure will strand people and put lives at risk, not because the subways can’t run, but because Cuomo wants to look good.”