Bad news, worse news: Feast or famine

Tuesday - 4/10/2012, 2:00am EDT

After two weeks of media overdosing on GSA's fiasco in the desert, innocent feds — from the majority of GSA workers to folks at Interior and the Pentagon — must be praying for an incident that will take them out of the spotlight.

What would it take?

Maybe one of the GOP candidates will snap at the next debate and give one of the opposition guys a wedgie. Or maybe one of the Kardashians will do something, like get married, get pregnant or get a real job. Anything they do is news to us. You go Kim.

Whatever.

Meantime, it would be nice if somebody (outside of the Tidewater media in Virginia) would check out what the Navy has done in the wake of that potentially tragic event when a fighter jet crashed, shortly after take off, into an apartment complex.

That nobody was killed is a minor miracle. Or was it?

While the incident is still under investigation, it is clear that much (maybe most) of the jet fuel on the F/A-18D Hornet fighter — which was apparently out of control and going straight up — was dumped before it crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex in Virginia Beach. That action alone — either because of superb training or divine intervention — drastically reduced the scale of the fire that followed when the aircraft slammed into the buildings.

Both crewmen managed to bail out — at the minimum height safety level — and both survived. So did everyone in the apartment complex. The pilot who was rescued by local residents apologized profusely for hitting their building. Most residents of the pro-military town seem to have adopted an accidents-happen attitude and are grateful the flyers and people on the ground survived it.

Although the government and the military have a reputation for red tape, the Navy moved immediately to provide financial aid to people impacted by the crash. It has set up shop close to the complex where impacted individuals can be given up to $2,300 to help pay immediate costs, for lodging, food, clothes, etc.

A friend said the action reminded him of the time years ago when a major hurricane slammed into the Homestead, Fla., area. People were without power — and everything that goes with it — for weeks. The military mobilized. The U.S. Postal Service delivered the goods, and drove imported Social Security Administration workers around to see that elderly people, whose mail boxes were gone and whose banks were closed, got their checks. A representative of FEEA (the Federal Employees Education and Assistance fund) flew to the area, with a suitcase full of cash and made immediate on-the-spot loans and grants to needy feds.

How many old or accident-stricken people have been saved this year by alert letter carriers, who noticed that someone (who lives for their mail) isn't picking it up? Probably a couple of dozen, and its only April. But we don't hear about these things, unless it happens to a neighbor, relative or us.

When the government — or any part of it — screws up, we have a right to know, and holler. But it would be nice once in awhile if some good news got people's attention, if only for a moment. I'm just saying ...


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

By Jack Moore

The first mass-produced Peeps — the Easter confection of sugar and yellow food coloring — were first born in 1953, when a Pennsylvania candy-maker acquired the company that originally produced the treats by hand, according to Life's Little Mysteries. Today's modernized process creates 4 million Peeps a day.


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