hell hath no

The situation in the Superdome is escalating. The newsmedia seems to have shaken off its sympathy filter and is finally paying attention to the sub-human conditions of the over 16,000 people who are imprisoned in a football stadium that is rapidly succumbing to rising floodwaters. From the LA Times:

"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

It's beyond horror. The refugees who are trapped in the Superdome (they're not allowed to leave - there are metal barricades, soldiers with machine guns, and helicopters patrolling the area) are given two 9-ounce bottles of water a day. They are not being told what's happening either on the outside or the inside.

People should not be dying now. The storm is over. This is a big nation. We are a country who master the control of large groups of people - we successfully interred thousands of Japanese citizens for no reason at all. We virtually exterminated the native human population. We shepherd old people and infants through metal detectors, having browbeaten them into accepting as a good thing this violation of their rights and their personal space. How is it that we are so good at efficient cruelty, but so inept when it comes to efficient good?


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