cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The saga of the trapped miners in Chile has captivated the imagination for a couple of months. We were told that they could be rescued by Christmas. They are coming from the mine now and that is a significant achievement.
If we look at our own response to emergencies, I wonder if we could’ve engineered this remarkable feat. We didn’t seem to get the oil rig thing under control for quite some time. There was much back and forth and finger-pointing involved in that situation. We didn’t do so well with the Katrina thing either. Again, the fingers pointed in every possible direction then, as well.
Chile seemed to differ in that there was no finger-pointing of which I’m aware. The President of Chile is reported to have taken control of the response almost immediately and has earned a huge level of gratitude amongst the Chilean people for the handling of this disaster that almost certainly promised to have cost the lives of more than thirty miners.
Even against such long odds, I watched last evening as the first miner came up from that potential tomb some half-mile beneath the surface of the earth. I hope that we might learn more about the handling of this situation, about the decision-making process and about the control of the resulting plan. Almost certainly a movie will be made about this. Yet that will be unlikely to fill in the blanks without some kind of political statement being made at the expense of truth.
Is our political scene so skewed that we are simply unable to respond with such quick analysis and response? Have we simply become incapable of a true ‘rapid response’ to such things? Do we not have the will to cause the political disagreements to be set aside while the problem is being worked? Are our response plans so poorly constructed as to make us so incapable?
The world press was in Chile and it certainly was looking for the inside story just as it would’ve been after had this event happened in our country. Yet there was no such report. There appears to have been no disagreement about the process, nor any bickering amongst differing ideologies.
I’d like to know how the Chileans were able to do something so quickly and so professionally when it is doubtful, in my mind, at least, that we’d have been able to do as well.