Philobiblon: New Orleans: why?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans: why?

Here's the best analysis I've read of why the city was so physically vulnerable, and the reasons behind its current Mad Max state.

I'd like to think - and do think - that in a European city in the same circumstances people would be far more inclined to pull together and help each other; aside from anything else there'd be far fewer guns around to empower the ill-intentioned.


Anonymous la peregrina said...

Well, Natalie, it's a little simplistic but all in all correct. I object to the looting because they are "poor and black" statement. This isn't happening because people are poor and black but because they are poor and disenfranchised.

9/01/2005 08:17:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I'd agree the fact they are black would be irrelevant, except of course that black people in the US are proportionately more likely to be poor, no doubt through no fault of their own.

9/01/2005 09:04:00 pm  
Anonymous la peregrina said...

I guess what bothered me most about the article is that it did not mention that most of the people show looting are black because most of the area of New New Orleans under water is a section called the Ninth Ward. The Ninth Ward is predominantly African-American and one of the poorest parts of New Orleans. The city pretty much left those people to sink or swim on their own once the hurricane hit. What is happening there is a tragedy.

9/02/2005 02:53:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

No argument that it is a tragedy.

I don't blame the people who got out when they could, but I do wonder how many of the vehicles in those jams heading out of town held only one or two passengers, and how many more could have been fitted in had arrangements been made to help the poor and vulnerable.

9/02/2005 03:03:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really hate America don't you?

9/02/2005 05:50:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

No Mr/Ms Anonymous. I fear it, and I fear for it. Its lack of understanding of the reality of itself and its power, and its inability to empathise with other nations and its own disadvantaged, mean that it could so easily dissolve into chaos, and possibly take the rest of the world with it.

9/02/2005 01:32:00 pm  
Anonymous la peregrina said...

Anonymous can go take a flying f***. Criticizing how the powers that be are doing some things badly does not mean someone hates America. I agree with Natalie that this would not be so bad if plans had been made to help the poor and vulnerable. Next you will be telling me to love it or leave it.

9/02/2005 01:36:00 pm  
Anonymous la peregrina said...

Sorry,Natalie, I should have stayed out of it. I see you can take care of yourself.

9/02/2005 01:40:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

No worries, la peregrina - all defenders welcomed with open arms :-)

9/02/2005 02:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, la peregrina you really should see a professional about your anger.
This was a simple question with no harm or contempt itintended.

9/02/2005 03:26:00 pm  
Anonymous la peregrina said...

If this is true then I apologize but I find it hard to believe since you are commenting under the name "Anonymous."

9/02/2005 04:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true...I'm 13, a girl, and I don't like to spread my name around the internet. And before you ask why I'm not in school, rest easy, I'm home schooled. I am just trying to understand all of the hate in the world.

Thank you!

9/02/2005 04:22:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Dear Anonymous. If this is the case I'm glad you are at least reading different viewpoints. You probably haven't had a chance to get out and see the rest of the world yet, but I'd urge you to do so as soon as possible. Then you'll find there are countries that care far better for their poor and their sick and their aged than America, and make far more effort to understand and help the rest of the world. Maybe one day you'll be able to do something about closing that gap.

9/02/2005 05:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty Ms Bennett.
Have you ever read “Betrayal of Trust” The Collapse of Global Public Health, by Laurie Garrett? I am reading it now and it seems, so far, that health care in the world in general is something of a mess.

9/02/2005 05:55:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

No, I haven't read the health text - I'lll look out for it. But I think the reasons for healthcare problems are clear enough, in that technology, and its expense, are leaping ahead, far, far ahead of the rate of inflation, as are people's expectations of what doctors can and should do for them. (A perverse response to the fact we are now on average far healthier and live far longer.)

Much of the cost comes from the final months of people's lives, when many of the interventions are questionable at best. Eventually I think we're going to have to deal with this, but it won't be easy. (I'm confident that voluntary euthenasia will eventually have to come, and I'd certainly hope to have that option should I need it.)

The other answer of course is to do far more preventative, public health measures, on issues such as obesity, which requires a complete reorientation of healthcare systems - something I suspect Europe is far ahead of the US in.

9/03/2005 12:09:00 pm  
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1/23/2006 06:49:00 am  

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