Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Orleans - Tolerance Test

Something about the New Orleans disaster has been disturbing me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I read Robert Tracinski's article at The Intellectual Activist The news coverage and the violation of rights in the aftermath of the flood were not only sensational, but downright disturbing. As I considered it, I shared with my wife that this did not seem to me a situation that would be unique to New Orleans or a black community, but rather something that we could expect to see in any major metropolitan urban setting. The entitlement mentality and the senseless violence are both symptoms that have been making themselves known for decades.
I found it interesting that not a single newscaster or talk show host dared to state the obvious. Instead, they begged for our compassion, our donations, and our understanding. Now, no doubt, in addition to the hundreds of millions in private donations, the government will take even more of our money (taxes) and give more handouts to those who are demanding that we do something. There are folks from New Orleans in Salt Lake City now who have been assured that FEMA will pay for the next six months of their rent. Frankly, it irritates me considerably to hear these flood victims saying, "what I want to know is whose gonna pay my bills?!" or whining about getting free debit cards with ONLY $2000 in cash attached to them.

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.

Excerpt from An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State
by Robert Tracinski Sep 02, 2005 Please read the full story here

I believe that the incidents that we witnessed in the aftermath of the New Orleans flood - releasing prisoners, demanding that citizens leave their homes, illegal searches of homes, seizing of all "civilian" weapons, and installing trained killers and mercenaries (Blackwater security personnel) was a test... an exercise if you will. (By the way, when did security folks and police officers become non-civilians? Why is their right to self-defense greater than mine or yours?)

By test, I mean that our government used this crisis to test the limits of U.S. citizens. It is important for those in power to know the limits that we will allow ourselves to be pushed. How many violations of our rights will we as a people tolerate before we say, "no more" and resist.

Well, now we know that folks will tolerate, and media outlets will not report, when private paramilitary forces are "deputized" by state law enforcement agencies. We know that the Department of Homeland Security can contract mercenaries and give them the authority to use lethal force without criticism or repercussion from we the people. We know that these "contract law enforcement officers" will be authorized to actually engage in general law enforcement activities including "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals."

My questions is, under what authority are Blackwater's men operating? Who is paying these men? One of the "security" folks was overheard on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying him $350 a day plus per diem. One mercenary said, they've been told they could be in New Orleans for up to 6 months. "This is a trend," he told us. "You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."

OK, maybe I am more paranoid than most, but for me, the thought that at the whim of my governor or the Department of Homeland Security, my city might be under the control of a private, for hire, elite military force worries me and seems like it might be just a little bit unconstitutional.

What's worse is that our government will use this crisis and the sensationalism of it to get more control, raise taxes, and erode our rights even further.

Now that we all know that Americans will tolerate this treatment of welfare recipients with an entitlement mentality, how long do you think it will be before they do tests on other populations? Who will be next? Religious conservatives? Yuppies? Retired people? Rural farming communities? Will there ever be a point when Americans will show some spine and say enough is enough, we will not stand for another infringement of our rights? Well if there is such a point - and I seriously doubt that there is - we'd better reach it soon, while we still have the means to resist.


No comments: