Friday, September 02, 2005

The Thin Veneer of Courtesy

As the week wraps up, the New Orleans situation seems to be resolving, not that that excuses the pandemonium that we've witnessed. In the mean time, finger-pointing has been rampant over the last few days. I've yet to make up my mind on who bears what responsibility for what fuck-up. The mayor is a dolt. If you haven't seen the pictures of the school buses that are now up to their asses in water and were never deployed, you will be pissed off.

The governor is a whiny bitch, and convinces me that anything with a uterus should never have their finger on the trigger (i.e. Pres & football.)

The billions of dollars spent on Homeland Security seems to have...not done a single fucking thing.

I will say that the circumstances in NO are unique compared to almost any other population center in the US. The two-punch tragedies (the hurricane and then the failure of the levies) that befell that city could not have happened anywhere else. Osama's kicking himself in the ass because he never thought of this easily exploitable vulnerability.

Regardless of whether this was a failure of local, state, or federal government is moot. Government's primary responsibility is to protect its citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. Well, they suck at it. National Security is a little more difficult than doling out food stamps. First response is a bit more ponderous than a city council debating how large of a sign should be permissible in a certain sector of a city.

The point is they can't do their job and that's why one needs to be prepared. Refer to this Feces Flinging Monkey link if you want to understand why (h/t Uncle.) Flood, earthquake, terrorist attack, riots, etc., you cannot depend on the gummint to protect you or provide for you in these kind of extreme circumstances.

Now outdoor types always have plenty of camping gear, so they think that they're ready for roughing it for a couple of days. Gun nuts think if they have enough ammo, surmounting a small civil breakdown would be cake. The truth is: readiness consists of a lot more. Ammo and such is important. Hell, a liberal buddy I was driving around with last night finally understood why I like to keep 6,000 rounds of .223, 1,000 rounds of .30-06, and 3,000 rounds of 9mm on hand at any given point.

I am quickly approaching middle age and have not been a gun enthusiast for the better part of my life. It was after 9/11 that I went full blown. Since then I have been stocking up on things that I have determined would better my chances in case of a national catastrophe or a zombie attack. I have acquired a month's supply of MRE's and keep plenty of canned food. I own several high-end gas masks. The building I live in has a large supply of bottled water. Ammo...well...I'm good. I've got high-power flashlights and LEDs. I'm also blessed by living on the second story, although vantage points leave something to be desired.

After watching what has transpired in NO, though, I realize that 99% of people don't have any kind of contingency plan. They assume some benevolent government body will swoop in to save them in the event of any bad shit. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it ain't happening.

And I am not void of guilt. My main weakness, that NO alerted me to, is sanitation. In the Dome you had dead bodies and piles of shit stacking up all over the place. On their own and especially together, that is an invitation to disease and sickness. Plumbing is what sets us apart from third world countries, and it seems to be the first infrastructure component that fails. Fresh water is a factor, but what comes out the other end is of some concern, as well. I need to invest in a couple of bags of lye. If you've got to shit in a hole for a week, you don't want flies and whatnot coming back at you with matter that certainly contains harmful bacteria.

Early this week Jonah Goldberg posted the following on NRO's blog:

ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg]I think it's time to face facts.
That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies
horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now.
Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're
working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it
beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you
will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in
your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never
too soon to be prepared. Posted at

He caught a world of shit from both the right and left. He apologized forthwithly. What he and nobody else realized was how right he was.

Be safe and guard the people you care about.

UPDATE: Individ seems to be of like mind.

The people have to take some measure of responsibilty for their own safety, and not just have a party until they have to climb up on the roof and paint help there.

A healthy person can walk 20 miles in a day and carry food for at least a month, water for a day or 2, clothes and meds. 90% of the people in NO could have gotten out, if all they did was walk once the levee broke.

Government is supposed to protect us from enemies and help with disasters, but we are expected to do more than sit around and complain.
I agree with everything you said, except for one sentence: "The governor is a whiny bitch, and convinces me that anything with a uterus should never have their finger on the trigger (i.e. Pres & football.)"

That's ridiculous, biased stereotyping. Which would you rather have in charge during a crisis: Margaret Thatcher or Al Gore?
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