a good read with a different approach !

>*/An Objectivist Review/*
>*by Robert Tracinski | The Intellectual Activist*
>*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
><http://tinyurl.com/auyju>: *
>*"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
><http://tinyurl.com/9hu4u>.) *
>*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
><http://tinyurl.com/ah5j7>, 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.*
>*Source: TIA Daily -- **September 2, 2005*
>*Copyright© 2002 The Intellectual Activist*