Go straight to Angola, do not pass Go.
Good toughness by Mayor Nagin of New Orleans. Tells looters they'll be sent straight to Angola, directly into General Population.
Especially interesting because you rarely hear a politician acknowledge that criminals are not ordinary. The standard approach, from both R and D, is that anyone could be a victim, anyone could be a criminal.
Think about this for a moment. Do normal people understand instantly
, without any explanation, the full import of "Go to Angola" and "General Population"? No, only the criminal class, because they've been there already, or they have lots of friends and relatives who have been there.
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The rest of Nagin's message is also refreshing in a different way. "This is the mother of all storms. Get your butt out of town."
Compared to the usual smarmy unctuous sanctimonious political ratshit: "If, god forbid, the worst should happen, by some unfortunate and tragic accident, and this alleged storm should allegedly approach our city, the citizens may wish to consider being prepared for various exigencies."
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Later: it appears that Gus was not the mother of all storms; maybe the bossy older sister of storms. Why? Not because its actual damage was any less than Katrina; it appears to have been similar. It was less devastating because both Nagin and Bush learned their lessons, and because people did in fact get their butts out of town. When all butts are out of town
, you won't have a thousand dead butts in town.
However! These lessons didn't need
to be learned, or more precisely they weren't lessons at all. Katrina wasn't a brand-new phenomenon that nobody understood. It wasn't a quantum storm or a space-time invasion by five-armed gray creatures from Alpha Centauri. The Coast Guard and FEMA already knew how to handle wind damage and flooding, and FEMA had competently handled worse
hurricanes under Clinton. So it's not really a question of doing specific things differently, it's just that Bush allowed the entire government to run wild. FEMA under Bush lost its own organizing abilities, and allowed Nagin to get away with total neglect of his emergency duties.
The genuine lesson, the lesson which we will never learn, is that New Orleans should not be a heavily populated city, and our oil production, shipping and refining should not be heavily concentrated around New Orleans. It's simply too vulnerable and too expensive. We can
produce all of our own crude, which would eliminate the shipping entirely. Most of the production can and should be in non-hurricanish locations like North Dakota and offshore California. We can and should (and did in the past) refine oil in a wider variety of locations. Why in the hell should we subject our people and our economy to constant threats and shocks when less dangerous and less expensive options are available?
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Later again: I wasn't thinking clearly when I asked that question. The answer is obvious. We need to remain vulnerable because it destroys our economy and makes oil prices high, all of which benefits Sultan Bush's good buddies
in Saudi Arabia and his soulmate