New Orleans: Was It Their Own Fault?

Rerum Novarum,” by Leo XIII, Holy See, 15 May 1891, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html (from tdaxp).

Aenema,” by Tool, Aenima, 1 October 1996, http://toolshed.down.net/lyrics/aenimamaster.html (buy the cd)..

…. AS LONG AS WE RAISE TAXES ON THE RICH,” by Neal Boortz, boortz.com, 19 September 2005, http://boortz.com/nuze/200509/09192005.html (from a personal message).

I don’t blame anyone for trying to protect property. But I do blame people for expecting society to magically solve their problems. A substantial and worrying faction of Americans want a paternal government to take care of them. They want to avoid responsibility and reality.

During the past week I read story after story about how so many of New Orleans’ middle and upper income residents were able to flee the city as Katrina approached, but the poor were left to fend for themselves. The difference here wasn’t money. The difference here was attitude. It was the self-sufficient vs. the dependent. The evil rich and middle-income residents fled New Orleans because they are used to accepting the responsibility for their own welfare and safety. The poor stayed behind because they’re mired in the sludge of generation after generation of dependency on government. The accomplished class knows that they bear the responsibility for meeting their own needs and providing for their safety. The poor by-and-large bear no such responsibility. To them, it’s the government’s job. Instead of taking responsibility for their own safety — they just sat there, waiting for government to come and save them. The achievement-oriented residents of New Orleans were spared the horrors of the violence and filth that followed the flooding because they kept doing what they had been doing all along — accepting responsibility. The poor were subjected to the violence and filth because they also kept doing what they had been doing all along — depending on government.

Hurricane Katrina illustrated the truth behind the contention that poverty is a behavioral disorder.

Theologically, one can defend this attitue by citing Pope Leo XIII’s “Rerum Novarum”

There is another and deeper consideration which must not be lost sight of. As regards the State, the interests of all, whether high or low, are equal. The members of the working classes are citizens by nature and by the same right as the rich; they are real parts, living the life which makes up, through the family, the body of the commonwealth; and it need hardly be said that they are in every city very largely in the majority. It would be irrational to neglect one portion of the citizens and favor another, and therefore the public administration must duly and solicitously provide for the welfare and the comfort of the working classes; otherwise, that law of justice will be violated which ordains that each man shall have his due. To cite the wise words of St. Thomas Aquinas: “As the part and the whole are in a certain sense identical, so that which belongs to the whole in a sense belongs to the part.”(27) Among the many and grave duties of rulers who would do their best for the people, the first and chief is to act with strict justice – with that justice which is called distributive – toward each and every class alike.

If a workman’s wages be sufficient to enable him comfortably to support himself, his wife, and his children, he will find it easy, if he be a sensible man, to practice thrift, and he will not fail, by cutting down expenses, to put by some little savings and thus secure a modest source of income. Nature itself would urge him to this. We have seen that this great labor question cannot be solved save by assuming as a principle that private ownership must be held sacred and inviolable. The law, therefore, should favor ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the people to become owners.

The State should treat all equally, just as all have an right and obligation to live a frugal and comfortable life. When anti-social internal refugees special interests expect special dispensation from the government, they are trying to induce State wrongdoing. And when they live wrecklessly and stupidly — by assuming a hurricane shall magically go away instead of taking individual responsibility, they do wrong.

Put less eloquently by Tool

Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit…

One great big festering neon distraction,
I’ve a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Law and War

Sounds very, very interesting

John Jay Douglass, a graduate of UNL and U of Michigan law school, who severed in a number of interesting positions, including the Judge Advocate Generals Corp, Dean of the National College of District Attorneys and law professor at the University of Houston Law School, will be available to talk and answer questions tomorrow, Friday, October 7 from 12 to 1 in Oldfather 538. Those students looking to career in law, especially those who wish to combine a career in law and the military, might find Mr. Douglass interesting. Lunch will be available on a limited basis.

For some background:

John Jay Douglass, originator of the Douglass Scholarship in political science, will be available on Friday, October 7 at 1:30 – 3:00 in Oldfather 538 to meet faculty and students. Mr. Douglass has a quite interesting career and I am sure you will find him interesting. He graduated from UNL in 1943. He worked with faculty members John Senning, John Lancaster, and David Fellman, names I as sure some of you are familiar with. He was active in student council, involved with the founding of the Student Foundation, and was tapped as a member of the Innocents Society at UNL.

Plans to attend law school were interrupted by WW II. Following the war, he sought a commission in the Army and was selected to attend the University of Michigan Law School. After graduation, he served with the Judge Advocate General Corps. In the course of his career, he received a Masters Degree in IR from GW University and a Master of Laws from the U of Virginia. He has had assignments in Korea and Vietnam and in 1970 was appointed Commandant of the Judge Advocate Generals School at the U of Virginia. He served as a consultant on election law and prosecutor functions in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has been active in the American Bar Association, and upon retirement from the Army in 1974, became Dean of the National College of District Attorneys and a tenured member of the U of Houston College of Law.