Friday, September 02, 2005


The latest news is harrowing:
New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out, cops turned in their badges and the governor declared war on looters who have made the city a menacing landscape of disorder and fear. (From the AP.)
Some half-formed thoughts before I go off-line for a few days:

Reports of the disaster relief, such as it has been, contain both tales of heroism and of shameful incompetence. The same goes for the preparations before Saturday and before Tuesday.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that many of New Orleans' poorest (along with a smattering of other unfortunates) were left to fend for themselves or die, particularly due to inadequate evacuation efforts, both before and after the levees broke. The fact that this situation was unintended makes society no less culpable, reduces our disgrace not one bit.

As for the dead: what do we, as a society, owe to their memories? What comfort, and what explanation, can we offer to those who mourn them?


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