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  • This guy is dead on!

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  1. #1
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    Default An Unnatural Disaster

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

    by Robert Tracinski

    September 2, 2005

    It has taken 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 has also taken me four long days to figure out what is
    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 the past four days. 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 National Guard troops, 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 drive away, frightened for their lives? What
    causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the
    Super Dome?

    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 last night on Fox
    News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling.
    She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, 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 the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were
    from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me
    an additional, crucial fact: 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. 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 apparent incompetence of
    the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of
    the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But 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. 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.

    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.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  2. #2
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    I was wondering when I would see something like that. I know it has been talked about around my firehouse. And not in a derogatory way, just reacting to what you see on the tube.

    IMHO, this guys right on right on. What else could one ressonably expect from a group of people who are used to being taken care of, who are not used to dealing with things on their own.

    Please dont take my thoughts here to be racist, as thats not the intent. You see all kinds of folks being rescued, black and white, Hispanic and elderly. All of thoese who cant (or are not willing) to do for themselves and are used to the government takeing care of them. Well, this time it didnt.

    I have thought about this alot in the last week. I live in a county were the threat of huricanes is huge. In the last 23 years, I have been on the govenments side of evacuations many times (three just last year). And you know what, besides the elderly who are unable to evacuate themselves, and pre-register with us, we expect everyone else to get themslves out.

    But looking at whats happened, I realise this line of thought is wrong, dead wrong. We have to understand that there are going to be people who cant get out.

    The single mom without a car, an elderly widow who doesnt drive anymore and doesnt want to leave her home of 60 years, the Vietnam vet with a drug problem whos got nothing other then his mobile home and a few clothes. We have never really given that a thought .

    I will now. And I can only hope the people that run the show here will as well.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  3. #3
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    Honest.....I heard a report over the weekend from one of the helicopter crews that when they dropped a crewman down to a house to perform an extraction, the resident told him they had been afraid to be rescued by helicopter because they thought they would have to buy a ticket to fly out.
    In Arduis Fidelis
    Faithful in Adversity

  4. #4
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    Since many powerful minority leaders are starting to point fingers this article makes clear that the disaster response isn't a color/race issue it is a 'class' issue.

    My 2 cents: I've said since it started to let them loot because forced evacuation was going to happen anyway. No sense getting shot over a TV you can't plug in anyway.
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
    Possumtown V.F.C.

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    oh dear god don't let jessie (hymie town) jackson or Al (twanda brawley) sharpton see this all hell will break loose.

  6. #6
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    I was going to volunteer to go down to La with the local ambulance service as a gofer and toter.I had even helped to load a few trucks with the gear they were going to need.
    I saw Kanye West on TV ranting about how the President didn't care about blacks and how the NG was given permission to shoot blacks.
    I'm sorry but he must have missed the part about a DEMOCRAT Governor giving the load and lock order to the Louisiana Guard.
    He might not have gotten the word that a DEMOCRAT Mayor had those that couldn't get out of town on their own to hunker down in the Superdome without enough,if any food and water until FEMA could get off its axe and move in.
    He also must not have seen how when the news showed blacks in stores,they were usually pushing shopping carts full of TVs,stereos and other luxury items instead of food.
    Hearing his comments about the length of response time was indicative of how this country feels about blacks made me decide that my efforts to help were being spit upon so I decided not to go.
    If this country didn't care about people on basis of skin color,why were the helo crews rescuing so many people instead of just flying overhead and ignoring them?
    They helped all they could and STILL got slammed for flying over people loaded to max gross weight and not stopping to load more in.
    I hope that the ones that did go have an easier time of it than they have been and I especially want Kanye West to meet up with Gen Honore and repeat himself about how the country doesn't care.I'd pay five bucks real money to see the good General's reaction.
    Last edited by doughesson; 09-07-2005 at 04:52 PM.

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    There's pictures of flooded out school buses that could have been used before the storm hit.At 55 people per buses and there were supposed to be 200 in NOLA,that's another 11,000 that could have left town if not with all their possessions but at least to somewhere they wouldn't have to wonder why they were in a sports arena without food water or electricity.

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    I've been following this whole deal pretty closely lately, and here are some random observations I've made.

    At least one clip that is being shown over and over again on CNN is one in front of the event center in N.O. There are several people outside chanting "help us, help us!" Their clothes are clean and if you look carefully in the backround, there are stacks of bottled water and soda. Even the children are smiling and giggling, making a game out of the chants. I may be wrong, but it certainly seems they are making a show out of it.

    At one point, CNN interviewed a man in his late twenties who had broke into a school, found the keys to the buses, and drove to the event center to pick people up. There they pooled all there money and drove the 6 hours to Houston. 80 people on one bus, and they made it. They TOOK CARE OF THEMESELVES. There were at least 20 other buses at the school, with keys for all. But nobody else in the ten thousand people mass took the initiative to commandeer another bus. Not one single person. They were too busy chanting for help.

    One more thing the media hasn't reported, in fact has stayed well away from, is the thousands of drug addicts from the lower class areas of N.O. People who have been addicted to uppers or narcotics for years, and now have been forced to stop cold turkey. These people are going through withdrawl so terribly it is causing psychosis. This is where a lot of the shootings are coming from. IMO anyway.


    I find it quite amusing that the media has stayed far away from a lot of this. But will point fingers at the drop of a hat at political figures and FEMA.

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    I agree platts.Fingers need to be pointed at various people like the genius that decided the Superdome would be a great place and didn't plan on having water and food supplies that would be safe even if there was no electricity.
    What were they thinking?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    What were they thinking?
    Obviously, they weren't.

    My blood pressure is going up again. I better stop or I'll be put on a beta blocker. Or a tranquilizer.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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    it was said tonight that the mayor thought the people would bring their own food and water for 3 days
    also it was learned the the red cross was stopped at the state line and not allowed in by the Louisiana dept of homeland security.

    the truth is coming out and it's not bush's fault or FEMS fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoseheadmaps
    it was said tonight that the mayor thought the people would bring their own food and water for 3 days
    also it was learned the the red cross was stopped at the state line and not allowed in by the Louisiana dept of homeland security.

    the truth is coming out and it's not bush's fault or FEMS fault.

    Although it may seem like a mistake now, I'm sure at the time he probably thought bringing some food and water was common friggin' sense.

    Maybe I'm just being cynical. I'm still not sure what to think of all this.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoseheadmaps
    the mayor thought the people would bring their own food and water for 3 days
    WHY, would you think that?

    As far as the article, some seems to have some authenticity.
    Doug Velting Jr
    President Cassville Volunteer Fire Co
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plattsfire2
    One more thing the media hasn't reported, in fact has stayed well away from, is the thousands of drug addicts from the lower class areas of N.O. People who have been addicted to uppers or narcotics for years, and now have been forced to stop cold turkey. These people are going through withdrawl so terribly it is causing psychosis.

    I really wish one of the news agencies will pick up this story and really expose it. I am sure many people who were addicted to everything from crack cocaine and heroin to alcohol and cigarettes went through some heavy withdrawal after the first 24/48 hours. Those would not be some fun people to be around during this crisis.

    NPR, or maybe Time will have enough hutzpah to report on this one.
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
    Possumtown V.F.C.

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    doug,

    it was said on one of the talk shows either fox or msnbc- it was also said that they didn't provide food/water because it would have caused the people to stay even longer.

    it was nice that the gov stopped the red cross at the county line.

    everyone one wants to blame bush. god forbid you blame a man of color or a woman who both happen to be democrats - the facts will float to the surface.

    hope the mayor can sleep at night knowing he left thousands to die.
    Last edited by hoseheadmaps; 09-08-2005 at 11:40 AM.

  16. #16
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    Thumbs up He is dead on...

    As for the buses not evacuating people beforehand, it would be political suicide. First, if Katrina had turned and missed, you would be seen as "dumping the refuse of society" on whatever town you sent them to. You would also, as a Democrat, be shipping one of your largest demographic groups away. What else would you expect? And, I am sure that there were more than 200 buses in NOLA.
    Dr Ken Mattox talked about his experience at the Astrodome in the Trauma.org digest email. He told about people being positive, about not believing that whites would care. About how they wanted to go build a new life, off of welfare. Then, FEMA moved in with their debit cards. All of the sudden, people changed. They didn't need that money then, all of their needs were tended to. Right after that, a man showed up offering 60 jobs. He got, if memory serves, 6 takers. Six, out of many thousands of people, who wanted to work then. A few hours before, he would have been inundated with applicants, but when they saw the handout, they didn't want the hand up. A perfect illustration of what this author described. We created our own monster, and it isn't pretty.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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    And the slip into Socialism continues. I don't need to work, I can just be mooch and suck off the tit of government.

    Maybe I should drop out of school and do that.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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    To heck with political correctness - that article was right on the money!

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    Various news accounts have been run about how refugees are starting to commit crimes in the towns they were evacuated to.
    I know that not all evacuees would do that but why wouldn't people understand that the laws that NOLA has are not the same as those in Murray Kentucky or Salt Lake City,Utah?
    And,if it was important enough to"get the rich folks out"it should have been important enough to get the poorer residents of the city out,unless the Mayor WANTED people to think that they could loot,rape and pillage with abandon.


    [QUOTE=latigo]As for the buses not evacuating people beforehand, it would be political suicide. First, if Katrina had turned and missed, you would be seen as "dumping the refuse of society" on whatever town you sent them to. You would also, as a Democrat, be shipping one of your largest demographic groups away. What else would you expect? And, I am sure that there were more than 200 buses in NOLA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    And the slip into Socialism continues. I don't need to work, I can just be mooch and suck off the tit of government.

    Maybe I should drop out of school and do that.
    Respectfully Sharkie, that's total BS.

    It has NOTHING to do with socialism, or any socialist trends. Canada does not experience this problem, and we trend far more socialist than the US. Most European countries also tilt further towards the Socialist side than the US, and there has been no talk of this problem during any of thier emergencies either.

    If this article has any truth to it, it's a lot more complex than just blaming Socialism.

    Personally, I think this guy is very narrow minded, and is grossly oversimplifying a complex issue.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Sir,

    The United States is trending towards a Socialist society.

    My implication is that the people are becoming subserviant and reliant upon the government for everything instead of being able to care for themselves. See the welfare issue, Social Security, and the rediculous laws we have at the federal level.

    I understand that Europe and Canada are Socialist wonders. It just baffles me that people in my own country think that this is the way to go. Socialized healthcare, government subsidies, federal funding for everything. Just such a wasteful way to spend to my tax dollars.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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