Archives > Newsday Special: Pass the Ammo, the world's ending

Civilization? Who needs it!

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I'll highlight the fun parts!  

So, anyway, back to buying guns...

--- Quote ---Mayor says Katrina may have claimed more than 10,000 lives

Bodies found piled in freezer at Convention Center

By Brian Thevenot
Staff writer

Arkansas National Guardsman Mikel Brooks stepped through the food service entrance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Monday, flipped on the light at the end of his machine gun, and started pointing out bodies.

"Don't step in that blood - it's contaminated," he said. "That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he's an old man."
Then he shined the light on the smaller human figure under the white sheet next to the elderly man.

"That's a kid," he said. "There's another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut."

He moved on, walking quickly through the darkness, pulling his camouflage shirt to his face to screen out the overwhelming odor.
"There's an old woman," he said, pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. "I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death," he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair.

Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center's freezer. "It's not on, but at least you can shut the door," said fellow Guardsman Phillip Thompson.

The scene of rotting bodies inside the Convention Center reflected those in thousands of businesses, schools, homes and shelters across the metropolitan area. The official death count from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana was 71 as of Monday evening, but that included only those bodies that had been brought to a make-shift morgue in St. Gabriel.

Nearly a full week after Hurricane Katrina, a rescue force the size of an invading army had not yet begun the task of retrieving the bodies Sunday. What's more, officials appeared to have no plan.

Daniel Martinez, a spokesman for FEMA working on Interstate 10 in eastern New Orleans, said plans for body recovery "are not being released yet."

Dozens of rescue workers questioned Monday said they knew of no protocol or collection points for bodies; none said they had retrieved even one of the many corpses seen floating in neighborhoods around the city as they searched for survivors.

Scores of rescue workers this week repeated the same mantra, over and over: We can't worry about the dead; we're still trying to save the living.

But as rescue teams across the city said they had checked nearly every house for survivors, the enormity of the death that lay in Hurricane Katrina's wake came into sharp focus even as the plans for taking care of the dead remained murky.

Mayor Ray Nagin, addressing the potential body count for the storm for the first time, said the storm may have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

In a news conference Monday morning, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said his department was "not responsible for recovery."

"We don't have a body count, but I can tell you it's growing. It's growing," he said.

As the rescue missions covered more and more ground but yielded fewer survivors, New Orleans Police Deputy Chief Steve Nicholas said that the time has come to start dealing with the dead.

"I know we're still rescuing people, but I think it's time we start pulling out the bodies," he said.

The highest concentration of casualties from Hurricane Katrina likely will come in the Lower 9th Ward, St. Bernard Parish, areas first inundated on Aug. 29 with floodwaters that engulfed second story homes in minutes. New Orleans also will likely see mass casualties, New Orleans Police Capt. Timothy Bayard said.

"We're going see a lot more bodies out of New Orleans East than we anticipated," he said.

In just one subdivision, Sherwood Forest, survivors who showed up to the Convention Center on Monday said police told them roughly 90 people in the subdivision had died.

In St. Bernard, 22 bodies were found lashed together. Officials surmised the drowning victims had tried to stay together to keep themselves from being washed away in the storm.

Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said "more than a thousand" people had died in St. Bernard. "When the death toll comes out, it's going to be a jolt for everybody," he said. "I'll be surprised if the casualties in St. Bernard are less than a thousand."

Even Uptown near the river, one of the few spots of dry land, a body lay in front of a white wooden shotgun double at 4732 Laurel St. The body of an older woman lay under a gray blanket, pinned down at the corners by brick and slate, adorned with a plastic-wrapped flower bouquet. Above her, a yellow cardboard sign quoting John 3:16 had been taped to the window.

Alcede Jackson
Rest in Peace
In the loving arms of Jesus

Given the length of time many had been dead, and in the water, some of the bodies already might be unrecognizable, and some may never be recovered.

Many trapped by flood waters in shelters found their own ways of dealing with those who died in their midst.

Near an elementary school at Poland and St. Claude avenues, Dwight and Wilber Rhodes, two brothers, said they had tried to save a middle-aged man and woman at the Convention Center who appeared to have drowned.

"We performed CPR on them, but they were already dead," Dwight Rhodes said. "So we took the food out of the freezer and put the bodies in."

Of the four bodies that lay just inside the food service entrance of the Convention Center, the woman in the wheelchair rattled Brooks the most. When he found her two days before among the sea of suffering in front of the Convention Center where one of the last refugee camps evacuated, her husband sat next to her. He had only one concern when Brooks and some of his comrades carted her away.

"Bring me back my wheelchair," he recalled the man telling him.

One of the bodies, they said, was a girl they estimated to be 5 years old. Though they could not confirm it, they had heard she was gang-raped.

"There was an old lady that said the little girl had been raped by two or three guys, and that she had told another unit. But they said they couldn't do anything about it with all the people there," Brooks said. "I would have put him in cuffs, stuck him in the freezer and left him there."

Brooks and his unit came to New Orleans not long after serving a year of combat duty in Iraq, taking on gunfire and bombs, while losing comrades with regularity. Still, the scene at the Convention Center, where they conducted an evacuation this week, left him shell-shocked.

"I ain't got the stomach for it, even after what I saw in Iraq," said Brooks, referring to the freezer where the bulk of the bodies sat decomposing. "In Iraq, it's one-on-one. It's war. It's fair. Here, it's just crazy. It's anarchy. When you get down to killing and raping people in the streets for food and water … And this is America. This is just 300 miles south of where I live."
--- End quote ---

So here's my question:  Okay, we're obviously just an inch away from freaking out in the face of disaster.  And, okay, I accept that.  I can see shooting at military helicopters, looting, etc.  

Even day three survival of the fittest shit.  Fine.

But, devolved and insane, hunting for food and does it cross your mind to gang rape a five year old to death?  To rape a seven year old and slit her throat?  Is that in all of us?  I can see myself blowing away a security guard at a grocery store, but I can't picture myself gang raping a five year old.  That's not on my disaster list.  Supplies and guns, that's top of the list.  Then sitting in the window and killing everybody who tries to get in.  Very Omega Man.

Wow. Suddenly everyone's conveniently forgotten exactly what the city has always tried to hide: that the drug trade was VERY healthy in that area. Big drug problems. I don't just mean recreational users and crap - I'm talking about career addicts.

Now, let's see. The hurricane comes and wipes out the city. No more drugs. Junkies' supplies run dry by the third day. Withdrawal. Cravings. Madness. Terror. Spooky things that go bump in my underpants.

We've also forgotten that, yes Virginia, there are perverts and completely fucking insane people that aren't in jail. When you have madness such as the total apocalypse of a city, those fucked up dozen people are going to go rape drainpipes. What's going to happen? They get arrested? PAH! I bet people walked right by that girl as she was being gand raped.

The problem is that the media is making it sound like all the Mr. and Mrs. Average Joes are flipping out and stuffing their neighbors in to wood chippers. I doubt that. It's just all the usual freaks having their run on a city without defenses.

Aside from that, I can imagine there's a fair share of incivility among the common people. Fathers shoving aside old ladies to get bottled water and all that. Hey, who said survival was pretty? A company lays off 10,000 to give the execs a raise and a father pushes an old lady over to get a drink of water for his family.

So compare to 9/11, which saw a calm and unmonitored exodus.  It's all about tax brackets, huh?  Live in a poor city, you get shot in the back in the first three hours after a disaster.  Live in a well to do area and people  calmly walk home.

It's not just the freaks in the city, it's in the Superdome (where the above gang rapes occurred) and, now, news trickling in from the Astrodome...and everywhere else.  The refugees are going nuts in the face of continued disorganization.

The problem is that we're not equipped to handle this...and, well, why not?  We spent 50 years ready for global war, and the last four years constantly screaming about dirty bombs and terrorist events even larger than 9/11.  So nuke a city and we crumble from the inside out in a matter of days.

Blow up New Orleans!

Who cares about it anyway?


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