Monday, September 05, 2005

The Helpless, the Clueless and the Lawless

Without pointing fingers, I think it's obvious even now that the Titanic-sized disaster of the breakdown of New Orleans was the result of bad decision upon bad decision, made over the years by bureaucrats and politicians and engineers and city planners and architects and ... the list goes on.

But some things you don't think of -- such as the volatile mix of people that created the hellhole of the Superdome. Or maybe you should have thought of it.

There's never been a diaster of any kind where such a large number of people wound up concentrated in such a small area. And this group was not a representative sample of the populace of New Orleans. No, they were members of three different groups I call the Helpless, the Clueless and the Lawless.

The Helpless: The elderly, the chronically ill, pregnant women, babies, young children. Old people and infants dying from heat exhaustion and dehydration in the richest nation on earth is an utter disgrace. Why more public resources (like alllll those unused buses) were not dedicated to their evacuation is beyond me. It was part of the city's diaster plan but NOT IMPLEMENTED.

The Clueless: The non-English-speaking tourists who apparently don't know what a hurricane is were clueless by no fault of their own. Others who stayed behind -- I hate to say -- stayed because they're morons. Case in point: a conversation Fox News' Shepard Smith had with a bar patron. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Smith: Hey, man, why haven't you evacuated?

Moron: Well, I think things are going to be all right. We've been through hurricanes before. The levees are designed for a category 3 hurricane anyway.

Smith: But this is a category 5! A category 5, man!!

Moron: Well, I think the city has prepared for that. The levees can handle a category 3.


Moron: It'll be OK. We've been through hurricanes before.

The Lawless: Arthel Neville, a New Orleanian and former Fox News contributor, told Greta Van Susteren of a harrowing tale she'd been told by Superdome evacuees: A man raped and murdered a seven-year-old child! (He was promptly disposed of by 10 men who beat him to death. Personally, I applaud the posse who dispatched this pathetic piece of crap to his eternal destiny.)

Rape and murder of a seven-year-old. Despicable. Why wasn't there a police contingency at the Superdome?

The Helpless, the Clueless and the Lawless. A deadly, deadly mix.