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Old 08-28-2005, 12:41 PM   #1
Jazuela
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I'm posting this in several forums that I contribute to, in the hopes that someone can get the word out to FEMA or the Army Corps of Engineers, or someone in New Orleans government.

Evacuation is already underway, and my heart goes out to anyone who has friends and family living in New Orleans. It's gonna be a mess, and the Mayor already accepts that there will be some deaths.

I had this thought, and I haven't seen it on the National Weather bureau site, or weather.com, or the news station websites, or the weather channel.

New Orleans is expected to be underwater by the time this is over - since it's already below sea level and requires levees to keep the water out. In addition, many people who live there don't have transportation out, and hotels are already booked solid 150 miles north. They're considering using the Astrodome to shelter stranded residents and visitors.

Here's the thought: Small watercraft - rowboats, 4-passenger motorboats, kyaks, canoes, big rafts (not the rubber tube things - I mean real rafts)...

Many of these crafts can be strapped on top of some of the bigger cars and SUVs and small trucks. Others can be hitched on SUVs and vans.

They need to get these smaller boats OUT of the water at the shoreline, and upriver to the east around 70 miles or so. Before the storm hits. That way, when it's time for rescue missions, they'll have boats to bring rescuers down, with necessary minimal first aid and medical supplies. And they can get people stranded out of New Orleans via those same boats - because the latest news is that all those streets are gonna be the Mississippi's newest tributaries and creeks after this is all over.

On an announcement down in NO, they said "This is not a test. This is the real deal. Board up your homes...." This is serious ****. And in all of what I've been reading and watching, I haven't heard a single mention of the city government commandeering small watercraft and getting them on land so they can be used for rescue operations.

If anyone knows anyone in the NO government, or FEMA - maybe you could call them and suggest it. During a federal emergency, the government retains the right to commandeer privately owned vehicles as needed. Unfortunately, cars and trucks aren't going to be much help during the first hours after the storm subsides, since the city is expected to be under 25 feet of water. But boats WILL be of much help - ONLY if they are removed from the water and set on land - land which will likely be new tributaries once this mess is over and the cleanup begins.
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Old 08-29-2005, 02:53 AM   #2
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The mayor of NO had issued an emergency order this morning (Sunday) stating that state and local officials could comandeer all land or sea vehicles needed for the emergency.

Good luck to anyone in the area, though I hope you are not reading this from within New Orleans at this point.

--matt
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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Now that the Red Cross is scrambling to help people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we've all also got a chance to help those in need by contributing to the Red Cross. The Red Cross provides free meals and lodging vouchers to those who have been hammered by Katrina. If you can afford to do so, please visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp and contribute to the Red Cross! Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:29 PM   #4
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Ya know, my first thoughts were to find a way to help - either by sending food/toilet paper/bottled water/toothbrushes etc. or money, or even going there personally.

I can't afford to go (and besides the airport's still closed).. and then I got to thinking, there's no way to guarantee that the contributions will NOT go to people who *chose* to remain when the mandatory evacuation order was announced.

I really don't want to help anyone who *could have* left, but *chose* not to. I don't think anyone should help them. I don't even think their insurance companies should help them. They're already costing the government time, energy, and money in rescuing their butts from their own choices, and delaying the rescues of some who were genuinely stuck there.

Not to mention looters - just the fleeting thought that a looter might be in line for a handout of MY generosity makes me ill.

And so - thanks to the greedy and the stubborn, I'll offer my prayers. If I have an opportunity to get down there during the reconstruction I'll gladly help out however I can, and contribute to their economy by patronizing their once-gorgeous city.
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:47 PM   #5
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Most of the trouble's in Mobile.  The hurricane did most of its damage up in Alabama.  Anyways, I remember when Andrew hit here.  Looked like a bombed out wasteland.  And I don't think there's anything wrong with staying, I stayed in Andrew and all last years hurricanes and pretty much every hurricane that hit here.  I mean, if a hurricane takes my house and all my possessions, family, etc., I'd rather be dead anyways.  I don't trust insurance companies. They always find a way to weasel out of paying for most of the damage.
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:28 AM   #6
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[/SAAARCASM ON]

Yes, judging from what I'm watching on the news, all those people CHOSE to stay there. They all look quite wealthy and well-off, like they could afford to hop on a jet and just get on outta there. They all look like they have family all over the place they could have gone to stay with, and the homes they chose to stay in definitely look like typical summer resorts. I'm pretty sure they all had the special FEMA-offered-only flood insurance that is so easy to come by, and are just waiting around for their checks.

As for the looting, oh, well, I'm sure they'll all be SO wealthy from those wet Nikes they're making it out of there with. I'm sure the rafts, the foodstuffs, the juice and water off the shelves of stores that are going to be a complete loss in 3 days anyhow are just going to waste, and those people who just lost everything they know are only doing that out of greed. I haven't seen a SINGLE little kid caught down in there.

[/Sarcasm off]

Jazuela, normally, I have every respect for you on these boards. Your opinion is one I generally value. This time, however, your judgmental attitude toward people in crisis makes me completely sick. I can *somewhat* see where you are coming from, but to me, that doesn't make a lick of difference, whether they 'chose' to stay or not. There are enough folks down there who HAD NO CHOICE that just seeing you justify inaction because you don't want to help those you deem morally 'lesser' makes me sick.

Put yourself in those looters' shoes (so to speak). Poor to begin with, no transportation out of the city, no way to pay for a hotel stay of unknown duration, no family to go stay with, and now, no electricity, no food, no water. I doubt most of them had cupboards full of food to begin with, and now, the entire cupboards are gone. I wonder how many of them even HAVE any basic insurance, let alone flood insurance.

Did you donate to tsunami relief? Does it bother you that some of the people in the affected area MIGHT be terrorists? That they looted? Do you *know* if they did or not? How about 9/11 families? Think any of those people MIGHT have ever committed a white-collar crime? Think any of their spouses benefitted from it?

How you can sit here, with internet access, and judge those who have just lost everything they know, people who, all they HAVE now is *what* they are looting out of stores, without showing the slightest bit of compassion, is BEYOND ME. Do you think they and their stolen Nikes are going to make it OUT of N.O.? Not on any rescue transportation mode I can think of. That stuff will sit there, left behind anyhow.

Justifying not helping just because the people on the receiving end of it MIGHT not be up to your moral and ethical standards...that's a pretty slick way to go. That way, you never have to help ANYONE.

[/sending off the pittance she can afford to the Red Cross, no matter WHO's on the receiving end.]
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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You mean those looters we saw running off with flat-screen TVs, and entire racks on wheels of clothes, enough to help some of the people who didn't choose to stay, but were stuck there? Nope - no sympathy for them at all. None, zilch, nada, and I hope that when they are able, the authorities will identify the people in those pictures and send them to jail - and take all the stuff they stole and give them to people who at least made attempts to evacuate as ordered, but were unable to comply.

There are people in the world who live with less than what these people are reduced to now, in undeveloped countries, and you don't see THEM behaving like feral animals.

Of course you chose to sensationalize the situation, which is how most of the media handles it...taking my post completely out of context with your very first sentence:

[sarcasm]Yes, judging from what I'm watching on the news, all those people CHOSE to stay there...<snip>[/sarcasm]

And if you had chosen instead to focus on what I actually said, rather than what you preferred to decide I implied, you would have seen otherwise. You would have noticed I said I WILL be helping out once things settle.

But you go on ahead and sit in YOUR comfy chair, at your computer, using your electricity, and judge ME on MY decisions about a place I plan on helping out. If I could afford it, I wouldn't be sending money. I would be THERE - at ground zero, doing whatever I could to help in the hospital triages they've set up, working with the people organizing reunions between the stranded folks at the Superdome and their families.

So go ahead. Get all pious and self-righteous. Or - don't. I really don't give a fig. And if anyone wants to send me to New Orleans, PM me and we'll talk further. I'm willing to go.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:25 PM   #8
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You know, I'd go if I could, too. But, I can't. It's a financial impossibility. The best I CAN do is send in a small donation to an organization that I know is already on the scene.

As for seeing people in 3rd world countries behaving like feral animals, SURE I DO. Like Paul McCartney sang, "People are the same where ever you go."

As for focusing on what you actually said...there were a lot of 'if's in your statement. You didn't say you WOULD, you said "If". Like a bunch of the rest of us, all you CAN do right now is pray. If you were sure the money would be spent as you'd want it to be, you'd give, but since you have no control over who gets it, you won't.

Did you really expect that whole series of statements to go unchallenged?

There's not much I can do in this little corner of the world that I have. But you know what? I *can* put myself in those people's places. I don't know that I'd be taking plasma TV's, but I *might* take a cartload of clothing for myself and my children if everything we had otherwise had been ruined/lost. I can see myself being unable to evacuate, because of no money or transportation. I can even see being a basically 'bad' person and just doing it because I could get away with it for the moment. When all around is chaos, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in that chaos. It's not right, it's as terrible as price-gouging. I would NOT be proud of myself for having looted in a situation like this. But there's still a part of me that 'understands' why people would do this, even to the extreme of plasma TV's. And that part of me can't see punishing all for the actions of the few.

Those people most likely will be prosecuted. Then, yay, we'll have to fund their trials and imprisonments, as well as our insurance premiums increasing across the board anyway. Until that day comes, maybe you're right...we should all just withhold aid to that region, until all the looters are rounded up for prosecution. All the people who decided to try and weather the storm should be prohibited from ever receiving aid. Shoot, maybe they'll all just drown riding their plasma TV's and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Darwinism at its finest! Cremation: cheaper'n prosecution and incarceration!

Go ahead and call me self-righteous, while you take up a collection *for YOURSELF* so that you can go down "once things settle." Money spent on YOU going down there later surely couldn't be used by the Red Cross *now*. It's not self-rightousness I feel...only compassion, sadness and distress that people will be able to justify NOT helping those in need via your exact arguments.

I hope your trip to the region, later on, goes swimmingly.
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:44 PM   #9
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How does people being wealthy or not have anything to do with it?

Assuming someone has no family or friends outside the affected area, it still is not a tough choice whether or not to evacuate. Lets see:

1) Stay and either die or have to live in some shelter or hole in the ground when my house gets obliterated.

2) Leave and maybe have to live in a shelter, car, or something else.

Not a tough decision. The end result of both is similar, with #1 having a chance that you're dead. I wish all of life's decisions were that easy.

With few exceptions (emergency workers, random elderly with no family to help them escape, metally ill homeless who have no idea what is going on, etc.) dying to a hurricane in this day and age is just Darwin Award material.

It is easy to get sensational and focus only on the few people who truly were in such a horrible condition they had no options (see my list of exceptions above), but a lot of people who chose not to leave and died were just really stubborn, stupid, lazy people who didn't have enough sense to leave when they were told to evacuate.

As for the looters: with the exception of looting food, water, and other essentials, there is no excuse.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Earthmother @ Aug. 31 2005,11:28)
Put yourself in those looters' shoes (so to speak). Poor to begin with, no transportation out of the city, no way to pay for a hotel stay of unknown duration, no family to go stay with, and now, no electricity, no food, no water. I doubt most of them had cupboards full of food to begin with, and now, the entire cupboards are gone. I wonder how many of them even HAVE any basic insurance, let alone flood insurance.
I can understand where you're coming from, and I agree with you so far as people who go to the flooded out Walgreens are not criminals, they do it out of neccesity.  But not all looters are justified.  For instance: one man's "house" (collection of rubble) was looted of what could possibly be his family's last items of value: his wife's family jewelry.  

It wasn't that much, but looting material possessions that are not a neccesity is uneccesary.  I am generally lenient on food and water looters, as long as they don't steal from other people.  But the moment they cross the line of taking what they need and move on to stealing things they don't even need, and taking other people's much needed food, my sympathy ends there.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ Aug. 30 2005,21:47)
Most of the trouble's in Mobile.  The hurricane did most of its damage up in Alabama.
I learned early this morning (somewhere around the 6:10 a.m. range) that the water system that keeps New Orleans from flooding broke either last night or earlier today, so this means that my statement is sort of negated.  That's not to say that Mobile isn't in a lot of trouble, but New Orleans has more trouble than I thought it did.

Now going back to the earlier statements about going there, I could probably drive there, but I think local people should solve local problems. The reason I can speak of this with some experience is because I've lived in Florida all my life and when Andrew came our way, I had to endure similar conditions that the people in New Orleans went through. I'll let them deal with their problems, and I'll deal with mine.
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Old 09-02-2005, 04:15 AM   #12
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I simply wish I had tears enough to weep.
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:10 AM   #13
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Five days. Five days of no food or water. How could it take the government five days?
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:15 AM   #14
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My heart goes out to anyone in New Orleans: the victims, rescue workers and relatives.

As an Australian living in Melbourne I can not believe the sheer ignorance of certain posters. Let's begin with a few basic facts that have been ignored through stupidity, capitalistic/Republican ignorance, or both:

[1] The levee walls were only constructed to withstand a category 3 cyclone; Katrina was stronger than that.
[2] There was concern for a long time that [1] would prove inadequate.

So please desist from Darwinistic blame-games that these underclass scumbags are so ignorant of the American way portrayed in soaps that they deserve everything they get. It's not THEIR fault that the engineers couldn't devote enough money to doing a proper job with the levees. New Orleans was clearly unlucky; it missed out on the pork barreling or governorship of any of the Bush clan. Unfortunate that.

Certain posters might not give a toss about the New Orleans victims. So let me present something that you may care about: the image of your country that appears on my nightly news. I see the poor and black folks left behind in a living ####. It shows me what America really stands for behind the glamorous facade of Bold & The Beautiful soaps. I see a welfare system that chucks poor folks onto the scrapheap so when Katrina comes they are truly stuffed. I see the looters get hold of some guns. Now, where did they get the guns from? Hmmm, you all defend your "right" to bear arms under your constitution? Interesting. I see George Bush's America where the statue of liberty with its line about the poor being cared for is made a mockery of.

Then I read in this forum that certain posters are, at best, reluctant to give aid because these welfare bludgers - surely the detritus of our time - should have got out. I hope these people never decide upon a medical career. Their hippocratic oath would be rewritten as:

[1] Anyone who is sick must prove that it is not their fault.
[2] in the above the onus of proof is entirely on them.
[3] If 1 and 2 are not satisfied then the patient can just go to ####.

Andrew Thornton
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:56 AM   #15
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mudnutx, please spare us the commustic bullcrap.

America is about providing OPPORTUNITY for people. It is each person's duty to take advantage of that opportunity to provide for him or herself (and his or her family). You get equality of opportunity, not equality of result. The result is up to you.

The Statue of Liberty says nothing about taking care of the poor. It says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" so that they can come here, in a land of opportunity, and make something of themselves. It does not say "give me your lazy, incompetent, unwilling to work losers so the hard working people here can take care of them." I already have children. I don't need the responsibility of taking care of anyone else just because they happen to be poor. That isn't my responsibility. To the degree that I am willing and able to help others financially, I do (every year, through donations of both my time and my money), but that should be absolutely and completely MY CHOICE- not someone else's choice, and sure as heck not the government's choice. America crushes the rest of the world in charitable giving, so apparently this works pretty well.

No country in the world even comes close to approaching the charitable giving of Americans in any disaster- whether it takes place in our own country or abroad. So kindly stuff any of your absurd blather about Americans not helping the disadvantaged (particularly during a disaster).

Finally, acting like people do not have a right to decide when and where to give THEIR money that THEY worked for is simply outrageous. Where do you get off telling other people when and where they should donate THEIR money? This will not be the only cause or the only problem ever that needs financial generosity from people. If someone has concerns about the possible misuse of their money, they should not donate it. They should donate it to a cause they feel more strongly about. There will be an enormous amount of money donated for this tragedy (I have personally donated as have other members of my family). But that was my personal choice and nobody has a right to tell me if it was a good or bad decision, just as nobody has a right to tell someone else if their decision NOT to donate money was good or bad.
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #16
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And since some of mudnux's diatribe is obviously directed to me, I'll chime in AGAIN..and reiterate AGAIN...

I will not be giving *financial* aid to organizations. You do acknowledge, don't you, that there are DOZENS of other ways to help? In fact I -have- been helping in other ways, since before the storm even hit. That people have chosen to ignore this and focus on my wallet instead of my deeds is not my problem.

I posted here - created this very thread - as an attempt to help BEFORE the disaster struck. Because I'm just Joe Citizen living way up in the northeast corner of the country, without friends in high places, I thought maybe *someone* here might know someone in FEMA or in the armed forces or in New Orleans...

who could tell the powers that be, that the small craft needed to be saved BEFORE they couldn't be saved. Obviously no one here knows anyone with that kind of influence (or maybe someone does, but didn't think it was important enough to act on it), because just as I feared, they didn't have enough boats that were shallow-bottomed enough to get through the muck to rescue people. They could have - easily. But they didn't. Don't say I didn't try. I just lack the resources and posted in forums I frequent in the hopes that someone WITH the resources was listening.

I sent an e-mail to CNN with a suggestion - about getting the waterline to drop dramatically by placing strategic breaks in the levee in OTHER parts of the river. Turns out they were planning to do that, but they wanted to block off the first breaks first.

I don't see the logic in that, but hey - I'm not an engineer. Obviously my idea was good though, since the engineers and people who know more about this kind of thing than I do also thought of it (just in the opposite order of what I suggested).

I went to an IRC channel where storm survivors and friends and family and watchers have been hanging out, to let them know that one of the New Orleans residents was safe and sound and passed through my state on his way to Texas.

I went to the supermarket to suggest a coupon promotion where people who wanted to, could give up the value of the coupons they use for their groceries each visit, charge it back to the customer, and use the money "not saved" in a check from the store on behalf of its customers to the red cross. A lot of people don't see the benefit of dropping 2 bucks in a collection box. But they wouldn't think twice about giving up the same 2 bucks that they would've saved on coupons at the checkout.

I'll be getting in touch with my state's government on Monday to urge them to look into bringing bio-fuels into our state, now that bio-fuels are on par (and in some cases even less expensive) than heating oil at its current rate. It is currently available in 5 states in this region, but not here. Tax incentives to growers of soy and corn, and to heating oil companies could make enormous strides in reducing our state's reliance on petroleum-based heating oil, allowing more of it to be available for refineries (who turn it into gasoline), thus contributing to the overall reduction of cost at the pump.

What have you been doing, hmm mudnux? Or are you far enough removed from the situation over there in Australia that you only felt the need to blast people who are closer to the situation?
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Old 09-03-2005, 05:04 PM   #17
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Looters stealing anything but essentials should be shot on the spot. They are human filth and what they're doing is the equivalent of beating up a crippled person. Filth.

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Old 09-03-2005, 08:33 PM   #18
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Matt/the Logos

assuming your comment was not ironic please:

[1] define 'essentials'
[2] Explain to me what you would say to the relative of someone who was shot accidentally or mistakenly by your policy.
[3]Justify your imaginative sense of jurispudence in which the concept of theft being worthy of capital punishment is the latest fad.

Just trying to help you achieve debating skills above the year 8 level.



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Old 09-03-2005, 10:09 PM   #19
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I'd think being caught with a flat-screen TV being carried over your head while you wade out of the local Walmart is a pretty good indication that you're looting "non-essentials." Particularly in a city that has no electricity for the looter to use said flat-screen TV, hm?

Or how about all them cell-phones people stole, without any cellular service or even batteries to charge the phones?

While clothing is "essential," somehow I get the feeling that the folks carrying trashbags filled with size 9 Nikes don't exactly "need" them all, nor do their infant children, nor their size 12 brothers..etc. etc. etc.

And I'm pretty sure that those hundreds and hundreds of Vikodin, Coedine, Percosette, Darvon, Morphine, etc...looted from drug stores by people who aren't doctors are probably not bringing them home to their sick grandmothers.

And all those guns - I have a sinking suspicion that they aren't going to be used as oars to row their families out of their homes.

It doesn't take an 8th grade education to figure out what Logos was talking about. Perhaps you might consider catching up.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (mudnutx @ Sep. 03 2005,20:33)
Matt/the Logos

assuming your comment was not ironic please:

[1] define 'essentials'
[2] Explain to me what you would say to the relative of someone who was shot accidentally or mistakenly by your policy.
[3]Justify your imaginative sense of jurispudence in which the concept of theft being worthy of capital punishment is the latest fad.

Just trying to help you achieve debating skills above the year 8 level.



1. It wasn't ironic. You stop violent animal scum with force because they aren't civilized enough to listen to reason. You don't reason with the wolf coming to your henhouse to take your chickens. You just stop it.

2. In terms of essentials, nothing is objectively essential, only essential in order to accomplish or avoid something else. In this case, I'm happy to define essential as "essential to live." Clothing, food, medicine. I still mildly object to looting this stuff for anything but personal or familial use, but it's pretty hard to tell a father with a starving kid that he can't have the food on the other side of that there window. We've all seen Les Miserables I'm sure. I can tell you that a plasma tv or someone's heirloom jewelry is not essential to anyone looting it.

3. I don't speak to the relatives of people who were accidentally or mistakenly shot any more than I speak to the relatives of those who were accidentally shot by police in the course of non-crisis police business or the relatives of those Iraqi civilians accidentally shot on a daily basis. If the bar for lethal force is "never use it because accidents can always happen", then I suggest you're not really living in a realistic world. I'd sure shoot someone who broke down my front door at night, risking the fact that he might just be some innocent drunk guy who thought he was at his house. Further, I'm happy to allow people to drive, even knowing that tens of thousands will be slain every year as a result of accidents while driving.

4. Looting != theft. Context matters, which is why it is called 'looting' in this case and not just 'thieving'. Taking other people's possessions out of sheer materialistic greed by brute force at a time of such extreme misery is so far beyond my notion of human being that I don't place any value on that person's life. I would happily use any means necessary to stop someone robbing my house or a friend's house. The presence of the incredible human suffering only makes the crime that much more reprehensible to me. Aside from rape, I have a hard time imagining anything more violating than someone breaking into the sanctuary that is my home.

Feel free to disagree with my moral system, though I'll point out that I'm happy to respect your moral system without resorting to insults.

--matt
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