A reader sent me this link with the subject line of Prisoners over citizens….your thoughts?
He seems to be referring to this:
On the highway overpasses and underneath the highways as well, people are trying to find a spot for themselves. Prison buses are streaming by to evacuate prisoners and a lot of people are very, very upset that they aren’t getting help, but the prisoners are.
Now, I’m not generally inclined to be terribly sympathetic to convicts. But in this case I believe that prison buses should be used to take care of the prisoners first because, as prisoners, they cannot do anything to take care of themselves. They obviously could not exercise the initiative to clear the hurricane zone ahead of time nor could they do so once disaster struck. They are totally at the mercy of the prison system. They cannot even crowd onto the overpasses to “find a spot for themselves”.
Even the poverty-stricken, car-less and money-less though they may be, have at least a modicum of capability to take charge of their own situation. The prisoners have no such opportunity and will never get it.
So that’s what Murdoc thinks. Thanks for passing on the link.
UPDATE: I wrote in the comments section of an earlier post:
A big part of the problem is the fact that there doesn’t really seem to have been any plan to evacuate those that could not evacuate themselves, leaving huge numbers of “legit” refugees in the city trying to fend for themselves.
The sheer scale of the “legit refugees” guarantees that any support system will be immediately overwhelmed, leading to the stealing of food and such for survival.
If (big “if”) something could/would have been done to get 50% or 75% of these “legit” refugees out of the disaster zone before the disaster struck, there would have been far fewer women and children taking food to survive, and differentiating between them and the true “looters” would be far easier.
Not to mention that many of the dead people would still be alive.
I think once the dust settles and the flood waters recede we’re going to begin to realize that a lot of what’s happening is not really an accident but the result of bad plans or the failure to plan altogether.
What struck at the time and seems to be increasing in importance as the days go on is the fact that I didn’t hear one word about city buses being used to evacuate those that couldn’t evacuate themselves. This wasn’t some freak event that took everyone by surprise. As far as I was able to gather, the basic reaction by the city of New Orleans was “every man for himself”.
I’m not a big proponent of “welfare state” thinking, but I readily admit that government does have certain responsibilities to the governed. Saving the lives of those unable to save themselves is one of them. I don’t think the poor are entitled to jobs and homes and insurance and other perks due to this natural disaster simply because they’re poor, but they certainly deserve a damn bus ride out of the path of destruction.