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"Gone with the water"

This article predicted EVERYTHING... (oct 2004)

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/
 

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Very little happened as predicted. Barely a 1000 unfortunate folks perished during this disaster although that number is staggering. From the Mayor of the city through all the police and rescue folks knew about this problem. Hell, I new about this problem when I was a young man. The local folks of city responsibility did little to change the situation before hand and less after the fact. Making Washington D.C. aware of the aware of problem does not lessen the responsibility load of the city and its citizens. Organize some help for these folks or give to those that are doing so. After they get some nutrition in them stop the assistance unless they become part of the help. And quite getting them to look back and encourage them to look ahead for a change. and cut off the fingers of those that insist on pointing them at people. Life is good, BestLever
 

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Miss nomer

An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the
Welfare State

by Robert Tracinski
Sep 02, 2005
by Robert Tracinski
Robert Tracinski is the editor of TIADaily.com and The Intellectual
Activist.

It took four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to
deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it also
took me four long days to figure out what was going on there. The reason is
that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a
natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is
obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to
evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the
flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural
disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people
pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors,
nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do
is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are
suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists-myself included-did not
expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about
rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by
federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane
Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has
gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen
over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane
Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be
confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an
emergency-indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other
emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying
that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what
we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They
work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to
keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an
enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than
waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a
hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had
gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as
impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large
ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a
description from a Washington Times story:

"Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives
and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and
rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

"The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in
to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

"Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas
National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

" 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she
said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know
how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary
and I expect they will.' "

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article
shows a SWAT team with rifles and armored vests riding on an armored vehicle
through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people,
one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene
from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an
orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm
the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to
speed away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the
doctors trying to treat patients at the Superdome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further
destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a
sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage one night on Fox News
Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied
architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which is located in
the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one
of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects,"
as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable
squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of
the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"-the informational
phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels-gave some
vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans
had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of those who remained, a
large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland
then told me that early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had
no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails-so they just
let many of them loose. [Update: I have been searching for news reports on
this last story, but I have not been able to confirm it. Instead, I have
found numerous reports about the collapse of the corrupt and incompetent New
Orleans Police Department; see here and here.]

There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that
is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing
projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the
deluge hit-but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two
groups: criminals-and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over
decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The
welfare wards were a mass of sheep-on whom the incompetent administration of
New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the incompetence of the city
government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite
the knowledge that this might be necessary. In a city corrupted by the
welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts
to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters-not to ensure a
lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some
are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for
failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an
adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the
Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on
American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos
was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the
welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is
behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the
responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a
disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the
difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the
government hasn't taken care of them. And they don't use the chaos of a
disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving
their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do
they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are
going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do
they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way
of life for them.

People living in piles of their own trash, while petulantly complaining that
other people aren't doing enough to take care of them and then shooting at
those who come to rescue them-this is not just a description of the chaos at
the Superdome. It is a perfect summary of the 40-year history of the welfare
state and its public housing projects.

The welfare state-and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and
encourages-is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that
has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Source: TIA Daily -- September 2, 2005
 
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