Tyrannies Big and Small in New Orleans
by Manuel Lora
I thought it could not get any worse, it did. Granted, one has grown
to expect the unexpected from the various state agencies. Yet the
news coming out of the Big Easy are just getting more and more absurd.
But before we embark on that pleasure cruise, let's take a briefly
moment to recap some of the most juicy atrocities so far.
first that comes to mind is the calling of a mandatory evacuation.
How can this be enforced without surrendering one's right to be
in one's home? Going beyond rights, does a mandatory evacuation
mean that, if you do not have the means to leave, that the city
must under all circumstances provide you with the means to leave?
If so, it failed. And if not, then how can it be mandatory to begin
of course is the FEMA debacle. Not only did FEMA have a slow initial
response, but it also blocked
water and fuel supplies from coming into New Orleans. FEMA prevented
private rescuers from helping and would not let people leave the
there was the gun
confiscation. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons,"
said Edwin Compass, former police superintendent. There you have
it. Straight from the anti-life mouth. In Algiers, a neighborhood
in the west bank area of town, people had organized
themselves into a makeshift patrol which was successful in repelling
looters. So let's see. The police are unable to do their job (flooding,
logistical problems, desertion, corruption, low numbers), therefore
increasing the probability of crime. But then they confiscate legal
firearms from law-abiding citizens, exacerbating the possibility
of loss of live and property. Wasn't government supposed to be on
our side? A few days later, a judge issued a restraining order.
news are both ridiculous and troubling. There are
worries that the number of police officers is not enough. By
law, the New Orleans Police Department can only hire officers who
live in the city. This residency requirement has been hotly debated
for a number of years and it was never changed. Observe the results.
Not only did that requirement lower the overall number of possible
applicants, but it had a more nefarious effect. During and after
the storm, many police officers were suffering from the same fate
as everyone else. They had no homes, no food and water. This is
a hard environment in which to work, particularly in law enforcement.
Imagine, however, that the residency requirement had been lifted
half a decade ago. New Orleans would have cops from nearby parishes
and cities; some of those would not have been hit as hard. Those
cops would have been able to relieve some of their fellow officers
with greater personal hardship. So, once again, we see that politics
plays a more important role than common sense and protecting life
other news, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco has suspended the
enforcement of lease agreements. The
executive order prohibits the eviction of tenants who are unable
to return to their homes and have not paid their rent. Was it not
the purpose of the state to guarantee and enforce contracts? Interesting.
Blanco's order effectively nullifies private agreements between
landlord and tenant. The immediate consequences are disastrous.
Moldy residences are continuing to deteriorate. Owners cannot even
begin to repair the damage. And, on the flip side of the coin, this
is already causing a housing
shortage. There are thousands of families looking for a home.
By ordering the suspension of eviction procedures, Governor Blanco
is making people homeless!
last, but not least, this almost
comical attempt by the New Orleans city council to extend daylight
savings time. By keeping the extra hour of daylight, they claim,
more work would be done to repair damaged property. Does it take
the power of the government to do this? Do we need even more tampering
with our clocks? If people want more work to be done, it will simply
happen. Hundreds of companies are already in the area and soon more
will come over the next few weeks and months. Surely if there is
enough demand to work earlier in the day and later at night, it
will simply happen. The council's obsession to obtain results by
using the power of the state is ridiculous and shows ignorance and
contempt for the market process. We should get rid of daylight savings
time once and for all.
FEMA trailers to National Guard trucks, from curfews to confiscations:
New Orleans is now the Big Uneasy. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Lora [send him mail]
is a freelance TV producer and multimedia specialist in New Orleans.
© 2005 LewRockwell.com