Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Tom Ridge’s Duct Tape

Do you remember when the last Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, told us that to be prepared for emergencies, we should put together a readiness kit? I do. The kit layout is suggested at Ready.Gov. The portion of the kit for dealing with attacks and natural disasters should have, ideally, “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food” and a corresponding amount of water – a gallon per day per person.

Yet when he announced the suggested measures that we all take to prepare for potential terror attacks or natural disasters, he was met with nothing but mockery. So much so, that his name is synonymous with duct tape – since that’s the only thing anybody in the MSM (or for that matter the lefty blogosphere) cared to discuss.

Thanks for undercutting it, my patriotic left wing friends, and calling it partisan scare mongering. What kind of a warped mind, can spin basic common sense as partisan bickering.

So answer me this, how many of the displaced persons in New Orleans secured a ready kit? If none, then why not? They can’t all be that poor – three days food and water is pretty cheap, especially if you’re buying the non-perishable staples (e.g. beans & stuff) recommended.

Do you remember what the left said about Ridge, that it was just foolish alarmism for political gain? The only thing the left could focus on, was duct tape. I would argue that the partisan sniping from the left, in the form of ongoing and repeated rants about about duct tape, caused people to really dismiss the message Secretary Ridge was trying to put out. The message was simple: The Feds can’t prepare for everything. You have to be ready to survive for 72 hours. After that, FedGov can get enough stuff in place to help.

Before you, my patriotic left wing friends, blast away accusing me of blind, fact-free partisan sniping, reflexive Bush defense, or whatever else crosses your wee minds, I would hope that you check out the juicy links enclosed below.

I’ve gone to the trouble of looking at what the left said about Ridge’s politically motivated scare mongering – how they described it way back then. Yes, I remember what the left said back then, and through the miracle of the innerdsnet, I can bring it to you. Read it and weep. Literally. And ask yourself, if the left and the MSM hadn’t worked so hard to discount Homeland Security readiness efforts, whether the people in New Orleans would have been better prepared.

Here’s what Duncan Black, AKA Atrios, AKA choagy boy for Media Matters, said about it. I bet he doesn’t want you to remember what Ridge said about preparedness, or how ol’ Atrios himself worked to undercut the message.

Here’s Kos going on about it. And again with another.

And Pandagon with another.

Here’s the American Prospect and Matt Yglesias with some mockery of Ridge’s readiness plan.

Here’s what another Dem said about Ridge’s lunatic idea, about keeping food & water on hand.

Here’s what another one said.

Here’s another one, mocking Ridge’s “duct tape and bottled water dreams.

Here’s another mocking Ridge and duct tape.

Here’s one about Ridge’s readiness list as “fear based mind control.”

Here’s one that says Ridge’s list was the result of White House fear mongering.

Here’s another, talking about “Big Head” Tom Ridge “securing the Homeland with duct tape and fear mongering.”

Here’s another

And another.

And another.

You know, it never occurred to any of our leftist friends in the blogosphere or the MSM, that maybe Secretary Ridge went to the trouble of preparing a readiness web site with emergency kit lists, in the public interest. It never occurred to them that it could be anything other than partisan fear mongering.

Well, shame on them. Do you think anybody might have taken Ridge’s pronouncements and urging to be prepared, had his every comment not been met with mockery, allegations of political dirty tricks, and the relentless cry of “duct tape duct tape”?

Matter of fact, here’s some icing on the cake. Here’s a spectacularly ill-informed lefty mocking out DHS for not taking seriously it’s duty to tell people to prepare for disasters. You’re shitting me, right? When a cabinet secretary puts out a 12 page list of simple things to do to prep for disasters, and you spend two years mocking it as a fear mongering, politically motivated directive to buy duct tape, it seems to me you have few grounds to accuse others of having not taken the threats seriously.


34 thoughts on “Tom Ridge’s Duct Tape

  1. Well said. The problems with preparedness inside the superdone, convention center and elsewhere for three days – with organization, supplies, and presence – will also have to be looked at. Right now the key is saving as may people as possible in the entire Gulf Coas region, because a lot of that area has bene hit hard.

  2. Don’t you know by now, we are all supposed to wait for Collective Control to collectively save us all from the wreck and ruin.

  3. “Spectacularly ill-informed lefty” checking in here. I’ve run a number of successful statewide (ok, not national, but the same principles apply) public education programs on controversial issues, and I’ll tell you flatly, has been a disgrace since day 1 (PS ever wonder, since the need was there from Sept. 12, for at least a fledgling outreach program, why Ridge waited until the eve of the Iraq War, to actually launch it? Does that make you feel safer?).

    Here’s a DIRECT QUOTATION from Ridge when he announced “it’s probably not a bad idea to sit down and just arrange some kind of a contact plan.” That’s leadership? Give me a break.

  4. Pingback: The Sundries Shack
  5. — You know, it never occurred to any of our leftist friends in the blogosphere or the MSM, that maybe Secretary Ridge went to the trouble of preparing a readiness web site with emergency kit lists, in the public interest. It never occurred to them that it could be anything other than partisan fear mongering. —

    But this is because, were they in Ridge’s place, the use of the office to enhance their power, prestige, and partisan objectives is the only thing that would concern them. We always suspect and fear in others the darkness we know to be at the core of our selves.

  6. Nice work!

    Before the internet existed, Dems and leftists could (and did) say any outrageous thing they wanted without having to worry they’d ever be called to account, because they knew their Dem/left friends in the MSM would never publicize any spectacular goofs or outrageous comments.

    While the latter is still true, fortunately for our nation the internet lets us find what they wrote and drag it out into the sunlight for all to see.

    They’re like children caught doing something wrong: ‘No, really, I didn’t do it. It was, uh…my invisible friend Ralphie.”

    Surely on an intellectual level they know that the ‘Net stores their past writings, but their old habit of saying anything outrageous to knife the GOP hasn’t changed yet. Oh well..

  7. Doggone! I hadn’t heard “choagy boy” in many a year… that jogged some memories…

    Preparedness is a state of mind against hose of us down here on the coast. I’ve lived through ice storms (no electricity for five days) hurrincanes (Audrey ’57, no lights for a week) and various little upsets in the fabirc of society and we KNOW that a few gallons of water, a few candles, a keroseen lamp and a camping stove will stand well between temporary inconvenience and standing around with a cardboard sign that ways “where’s my government help?”.

    Oh, and guns… Loot this…

  8. You are right on about being prepared for disasters. As you pointed out a 3 day survival kit is not beyond any American’s means today. Even the duct tape that was found to be so humourus in the lefty blogs might help to put together an impromptu floating device or a shelter.
    The liberal left still believe in some fantasy world where a great power called the Federal Government lurks unseen ready to wave a magic wand and make it “all better” instantly. Of course that government has to be left wing and liberal to make that work.

  9. Funny thing about some on the left who are whingeing. They have not bothered to check that the civil defence plan for NOLA is online and was largely ignored by officials in that city.

    Mostly Cajun; after the ice storm in Maine a few years ago some rural Mainers did not have power for 3 weeks.

  10. W. David Stephenson’s response above is indicative of the Nanny State mentality of the Left. Evidently it’s not enough for DHS to put together a website to provide information on how to assemble a disaster survival kit; he seems to want DHS to step in and personally assemble it for him, or perhaps to mail it to him using federal funds. Or maybe some government representative is supposed to go door-to-door and hand out fliers, I dunno.

    No matter what this administration does, it’s never going to be enough for some people.

  11. Yeah, who’s laughing now…

    A three day supply of food is not that expensive, but it is when you are living hand to mouth.

    Francis makes a good point; why believe a talking head when its purpose is to fluff up the incompetent leadership?

  12. Nice to see you guys all sitting around and blaming the victims. Does the ‘party of personal responsibility’ ever own up to any mistakes?

  13. Thanks Mike. I copied and pasted everyone of those links into one document for potential future use. Probably won’t need it, but it gives me satisfaction to have it all right here just in case, like a three-day supply of emergency refutation. Thanks for doing all that.


  14. Molly:

    If you rely on others to take care of you at all times, prepare to be very, very disappointed. As to expense, I suspect that even the very poor could afford 3 gallons (per person) of water, and 3 days worth of canned beans. Not the best chow perhaps, but cheap and edible.

    The bigger problem for the people in New Orleans was the speed at which the water rose. I’m sure that some of the trapped people had disaster kits and panicked (I’m not criticizing – I have no idea how well I’d respond to such a situation) and ran up to their attics and roofs – and only then thought about the supplies in a closet somewhere.

  15. Molly-
    I don’t mean to be inflammatory, but please explain exactly who you think is responsible for the tragedy in Louisiana and why.

    It seems to me that when mother nature meets a bunch of people who refuse to prepare for disaster……well, very bad things happen. If I’m wrong, please tell me why.

  16. Let’s see… Three days of nonperishable food?

    A couple of pounds of rice (I have more than that right now as a matter of course) (3000 calories total) = $1.50
    Dried beans (1400 calories total) = $1.50
    *Five* gallons of water (three to drink, two to cook or soak) = $6.00
    One loaf of bread (1500 calories total)= $2.00

    Total = $11.00, and if you can’t make it three days on almost 6000 calories, you probably need to lose that weight anyway. Add another $2 worth of potted meat or something (sandwich meat is cheap, too, and you can knock it off first after the power goes off). Admittedly dull, but you won’t starve. If you want to be really prepared, buy five or ten pound bags of beans and rice, and some dried potatoes, total budget up around $25.

    Rotate it through your normal food budget, so it’s always fresh and available (so you know it hasn’t been ruined by sitting in the back of a cupboard with stuff on top of it, or eaten by the dog).

  17. Did you happen to read the post of mine to which you linked? Because in it, I quote Tom Ridge talking about the fact that the Department of Homeland Security raised terror levels for political reasons, against its will, because of pressure from the Bush administration.

    And that’s the problem — when you cry wolf, people stop listening.

  18. My husband and I have seven children and he was an enlisted man in the military for twenty years while I was sahm, homeschooling mom. Other people on our salary were on foodstamps. We were not.
    We lived on an island regularly visited by typhoons and we kept three days of water and nonperishable foodstuffs on hand. It was not easy, and it took me time to build up our disaster kit- and then we moved to an area where snowstorms were the problem and we had to do it again but different (I’ve been without power or water for one week because of a blizzard). Again, it was harder than most people here seem to imagine, but it was *doable*. Cans of beans, a bottle of bleach, ramen noodles (these make a great snack when they are uncooked- like chips), raisins, peanut butter, rice, boxes of instant mashed potatoes, vegetables you deyhydrate yourself (in the oven or on a screen in the sun if you need to) and bottles of water you fill are not that expensive when carefully purchased on sale over time. And the thing about a hurricane is you have some advance notice, so you can start filling up water containers *before* it knocks out your water supply. Since we always figure it’s our duty to help others, we lay in enough extra supplies to share, too. On an airman’s salary.
    It’s one thing to be compassionate and understand that still there are people so poverty stricken that peanut butter is not affordable (although I’ve seen how much food foodstamps will buy for a frugal shopper), it’s another to allow your ‘compassion’ to *cripple* people, by telling them and everybody else that of course they can’t buy a few extra cans of beans and fill up some bottles of water at the kitchen sink. That kind of compassion is, and I mean this quite literally, deadly. The poor do not need the patronizing, stifling, sticky, spider web compassion of the left. It does not help.

  19. From my own shopping experience last Saturday:

    Three days’ worth of canned food, about $6. Three days’ worth of water, about $6. This is assuming 4 cans of canned pasta & meat, & 2/3rds of a case of 20oz water bottles a day. Not great grub, but enough to keep you going until some Coastie can lift you off your roof. That’s $12 a person, assuming that you don’t have the canned stuff on hand. I know that when my paycheck minus my debts had me living hand-to-mouth, that a great deal of my meals were eaten out of a can. The food side could be a lot cheaper, if you add a bit more water & use ramen for your food source. I don’t care how broke you are, you can afford frikkin’ ramen.

  20. Tryin to help, but you closed your comments. I doubt this’ll get to you in time, but hopefully you’ll read this before next time you paint…

    – Blue tape’s fine for what it’s intended for – but you gotta press down all the edges. Also, taping is never as good as cutting in. Seriously. Learn to cut in, it’s faster & gives a better edge. BTW, walls first, trim second, you won’t have to cover so much.

    – Two words: Benjamin Moore. Covers in one coat (very rarely, in case of EXTREME color change, two coats. Never more).

  21. New Orleans teaches us three obvious lessons.

    1. Government cant protect you from anything. They come after the fact to clean it all up.

    2. Be self reliant. Have a plan. Take charge of your own well being and your family’s. If you don’t, you may well die.

    3. Own, and be proficient in their use of, firearms. If not, you and your family will be at the mercy of those who do/are, and you may well die. If where you live won’t allow it, move.

  22. When you’re homeless and living day by day, you won’t have 3 days worth of extra supplies.

    On the other hand, anyone who owns a home anywhere near the Gulf Coast and isn’t prepared for a hurricane, with more than a little water and some duct tape, is a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

  23. Amazing! I always have kept a small emergency/evacuation/sustenance kit at the ready. This was something my parents taught me. It is all in a bag that can be taken with me if I need to go somewhere in an emergency, or can be used at home. After Ridge’s comments I added duct tape to the container. Just this morning I was checking the expiration dates on things and cycled out a few items and replaced them. Then I went on the internet and found this post. Great Minds……:)

    I have been thinking a lot about the Katrina evacuation and all the people who wouldn’t leave their homes (and still are refusing help even when it comes to their door or roof). Of course there are many reasons people choose to stay in their homes. Some of them unfortunately may not have the mental capacity to make an informed decision and may not even understand the gravity of the situation. I think, though, that a huge reason many of the elderly and infirm stayed behind is to be with their animals. In many cases these people are alone and cut off geographically from family members if they have any at all. Often their pets are all they have for companionship and warmth and to share their long days with. They cannot imagine life without their pets. So they stay, knowing that they may die with their animals. Obviously, rescue personnel in boats and helecopters must focus on human rescues and are not prepared for dogs, cats, birds, etc. Yet, if I were elderly and ill and knew that life as I knew it was going to hell, I am not sure that I would not choose to stay behind with my my pets, too. I don’t remotely have an answer to this dilemma but I hope that in the months ahead as we as nation look at disaster planning improvements for the future, that one of the variables we look at is what needs to be done to get people to evacuate.

  24. You know, I never did get why everyone got so down on duct tape. As an independant woman who occasionally has to hold things together with ‘spit and bailing wire’, I can surely attest that duct tape can fix almost anything at all, at least temporarily.

    I never thought too highly of sealing the doors and windows with it, but it is an absolute essential in my preparedness kit. Also, my emergency automobile repair kit, my hose and actual ducts repair kit, my damnit-I-don’t-have-time-to-sew-that-slipcover-rip temporary repair kit…it just goes on and on.

    In the words of the commercial, ‘Duct tape saved muh life.’

    If the lefties had a single clue how to do for themselves, they’d have known the value of duct tape. They’d probably insist it be an item appended to food stamp benefits.

    Ultimately, it’s very simple. Lefties think the government is the end-all and be-all. The rest of us (ya know, the sane folks) expect to care for ourselves and hope to be able to assist others.

  25. Are there Boy Scouts and Guides in New Orleans? Strange how people who live in a hurricane area and below sea level wouldn’t have a plan.

  26. Boy Scouts helped out, actually. I’ve seen a few stories on it.

    As for duct tape. This month?ǨѢs Bicycling magazine has a list of great wrenching hacks if your bike breaks down. The most amazing, and to my mind legendary hack, involved a guy who broke his frame hucking off an enormous, 10 foot high rock. The frame broke along the top tube and the front down tube, about two inches (on each tube) away from the steering head. So he used a leatherman tool, cut down a sapling, cut a couple six inch pieces, shaved the ends down, and pounded them into the frame, essentially patching a length of frame pipe using a wooden insert. Then he duct taped the wood in place. It worked really well and rode okay.

    Then, being a moron, he decided to huck it off a 5 foot rock, and the wood broke and he had to walk out 10 miles. But that?ǨѢs not the point. The point was duct tape and a little bit of cobble jobbing did the trick.

  27. I’m with Brendak on this one. You should always have duck tape (or duct tape, if you prefer) on hand. Stuff is magic, and holds almost anything together temporarily, even feet – backpackers know it prevents blisters (it may take the skin off your feet when you remove it, though).

    In everyday life, it is used to hold plastic over broken windows, to hold bumpers on cars, to hold oddly-shaped pieces of whatever together while the glue sets. It provides good grip and cushioning on ax handles. It holds countless shaky dioramas together every school day.

    Even in a flood it’s useful. It can temporarily seal wounds (how many times did we hear that small wounds could become fatally infected in New Oreleans’s floodwaters? Not with the watertight duck tape seal!). It can be used to spell out “Help” on a roof. To tape supplies to said roof so they don’t slide off. To patch a leaky water bottle.

    It’s one of the least laughable pieces of emergency equipment there is. Seriously, I love the stuff.

  28. Thanks for the post, it is a great lead in to set up your own readiness kit. A public service.

  29. Three days of provisions is FINE, and that’s what folks in New Orleans were told to bring with them. SO WHY THE HELL DID IT TAKE THE FEDS AN ENTIRE WEEK TO GET THERE AND GET THEM OUT! That’s the issue…not the stuff you pack up in hopes of surviving a diaster. The problem is that the feds (which is why we HAVE a FEDERAL emergency management agency) didn’t do what they were supposed to do. The president stayed on vaaction for two more days. So did Cheney. The FEMA director didn’t even friggin’ KNOW there were folks at the convention center FOR A WEEK.

    Do I feel safer now (9/11, 9/11, 9/11, terror, 9/11). Hell, no. The guys in charge of FEMA have NO disaster experience at all…they’re campaign cronies who got cushy jobs and are now falling flat on their faces.

    BAH! It has NOTHING to do with right vs. left. It’s about COMPETENCE, which this administraiton has NONE OF. Along with no credibility any more.
    TIme for impeacement for dereliction of duty. If he’s’ commander in chief, I’m the Easter Bunny.

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