Libertarian Party of Oregon to Katrina Victims: Tough Luck!

Chuck Sheketoff

According to the PLATFORM OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OREGON ADOPTED IN CONVENTION 5 MARCH 2005 (PDF) the government - federal, state, and local - should only be protecting the victims of Katrina from looters and should NOT be helping with relief, rescue, disaster insurance, or evacuation.

Here's the provision for those readers who don't want to wade through the whole thing:

"27. NATURAL DISASTERS The function of governments, where they exist, is to protect individual rights against violations by other people, not to protect individuals from themselves or from natural disasters. It is appropriate for government during a disaster to prevent looting and other crimes against life and property. It is not the business of government to provide relief, rescue teams, disaster insurance, or evacuation, or disaster area parks or wilderness areas."


  • Sid (unverified)

    I was just wondering this morning what the Libertarians stance on this issue is. Thanks for answering my question!

  • Michael (unverified)

    Well as a former member of the government I think I can explain why. Just read the press. They have things so screwed up it is pathetic. Be that as it may. The platform is an document written for the ideal circumstances for a society where coercion is not the way of life. A society where people get along without the use of force. Now you can point fingers all you want, but you cannot tell me that the government has done an outstanding or even passible job here or for the most part in past disasters. I've been through 12 hurricanes and a couple of earthquakes and I have not seen the government do well yet. M.

  • ron ledbury (unverified)

    The sounds more like an Anarchist's argument. There are certainly large scale natural disasters that are particularly well suited for a collective response. I would use that piece as just another bit of evidence that certain folks that pin the Libertarian label on themselves are not Libertarian. Labels can be far too ineffective to productive communications.

  • Ron Beasley (unverified)

    This sounds like the Libertarianism on crack cocaine brand of the Ayn Rand social Darwinists and not the sane Libertarians.

  • Aaron (unverified)


    Nicely put.

    There are several "big l" Liberarians that I know at work that have donated to American Red Cross and believes that there needs to be a balance of government-sponsored and public-sponsored CHARITY in the time of national crisis.

    The real question--Chuck--find out who voted against funding(and I mean both Democratics and Republicans) of the levies in New Orleans and lets have a serious debate of the value of those elected officals. Not a political party that has no say in the making of national policy of public safety.

  • Sid (unverified)

    The Libertarian king, Grover Norquist, quite likely subscribes to this notion.

    And who wrote the Oregon Libertarian Party platform anyway? We should find out and see what they have to say.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)

    The platform of the Libertarian Party of Oregon probably represents an ideal. Even purist libertarians will acknowledge that our society isn't ready for it yet. Individualism is still fairly healthy in this nation, but we are not ready for the total transition from nanny-state to full-liberty/full-self-responsibility.

    What would happen if we legalized meth, shut down all government social services, opened the borders and allowed anyone to buy an automatic weapon tomorrow?

    Things would get pretty ugly pretty fast.

    Now an optimistic libertarian purist might posit that eventually, the society that evolved from this transition would be better equipped to handle the responsibilities associated with maximum liberty. Those are the thoughts of the angry anarchists, they are a small vocal minority of libertarians (who are but a small vocal minority of society).

    Most libertarians are pragmatists nowadays. The utopian ideal is all well and good for science fiction, but it isn't going to happen anywhere all at once (we should hope). Instead, useful libertarians look for opportunities to push society to grant more liberty and accept more self-responsibility in circumstances WHERE SOCIETY IS READY TO MAKE THAT STEP.

    It's the same reason that we don't give kids the right to drink at the same time that we grant them the right to drive.

    The sad folks that wouldn't heed multiple warnings to leave a city (lying below sea level) because it was in the path of the storm of the century were probably not ready for a higher level of self-responsibility. They might clamor for the liberty to stay put in the storm, but they weren't ready to take responsibility for the consequences of that decision.

    Like many of you I'm donating a big chunk of my paycheck to the Red Cross this week. I'm doing so because I want to live in a society where people voluntarily reach out to help a neighbor in peril.

    Contrary to the prevailing opinion on this site, most libertarians are not pitiless self-centered adolescents. They maintain a different value structure certainly, but it is, on the whole, a very optimistic view of the potential of mankind. Vastly different from the progressive approach of treating most humans as poor sheep that require the strong hand of government to shepherd them through their lives.

  • CAM (unverified)

    I believe it was some Republican President in the past who had the nerve to refer to "the" government as a government "...of the people, by the people and for the people..."

    So why do some continue to refer to our government as some evil entity that should be reduced to such as size that it could be drowned in a bathtub? As the government is "of the people," I take it that they mean that the power of the people should be reduced to a size that it could be drowned in a bathtub.

    Some would argue that was what almost happened in New Orleans.

    I'm sorry, I just don't support such pessimism of the people. And I say that to both my progressive friends as well as those on the far right.

    Libertarians have it wrong. It is not "the" government, it is "our" government.

  • Mike D (unverified)

    Oh and the Democratic and Republican parties have done a great job so far in New Orleans? The state and federal governments have failed miserably and last time I checked, the Democrats and Republicans were running things.... not the Libertarians.

    Am I missing something?

    I think it's disingenuous to bring up the party platform of a political party that IS NOT in power! Seems a lot like smoke and mirrors: "Hey you'd really be screwed if the Liberatarians were in power." Try going down to the Superdome and spread that propaganda.

    You know what? I will NEVER vote for another Republican OR Democrat... they are incompetent and this debacle has clearly proven that.

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    last time I checked, the Democrats and Republicans were running things No, if you check you will see that the Republican party controls both house of Congress and the Presidency. Not making any excuses for the Dems, but the responsibility for this clusterfuck ends at the Oval Office.

  • Michael (unverified)

    I imagine Mr. Sheketoff is sitting around having a good laugh. He's taken an American tragedy and turned it into something for political gain. Way to go Chuck. That's the way we like to handle things here in Oregon. Instead of solving a problem let's cast aspersions on others. By the way if Mt. Hood ever blows and Bull Run no longer works where is the public going to get its water supply from in the short term? Am I to assume the government has a 30 day supply sitting in a bunker somewhere in southern Oregon? Just musing. M.

  • (Show?)

    libertarians just don't care much for democracy, representative or otherwise. the core ethos of libertarianism is selfishness (yes, i know, this is really broad-brush). they want enough government to protect their own asses and not one bit more. if you are poor, or suffering, or somewhere else -- tough shit. grover norquist is their king-god, and we know how slimy he is.

    a communitarian approach is about "us", not me. we're all in this together; where one suffers, we all suffer. this is the message jesus preached, that the buddha taught, and that has been re-emphasized more recently by ghandi, king, and every single american who has donated to tsumani and katrina relief efforts. these people may echo things the libertarians say, but in their hearts they don't believe it. most people actually do care about their fellow humans.

  • E. J. Pole II (unverified)

    I agree with the plank. In fact, the government in the form of the Corps of Engineers that built the levee was the cause, at least in part, of the problem. If the levee was not there then the part of New Orleans that was built below sea level would not have been built and all those people would not have been trapped.

    Also, if people were not so dependant on the government to get them out of a jam, they might have started walking out and already been safe even if they stayed for the storm. Remember, these folks had DAYS of warning which they ignored! Why didn't they put up a week of food and water and plan an escape?

    Where is personal responsibility in all this? I'm getting pretty tired of all the journalistic whining and victim ranting about the government leaving people in the lurch. It's a sad thing but it is also primarily one's own personal duty to take care of oneself and not depend on the government stealing from others to get one out of a jam.

    Lastly, all these folks would be much better off if all the government agencies just got out of the way and let people help. I've heard of a lot of instances where private aid was stopped because of government red tape and interference. A Blackhawk plucking someone off a roof is dramatic but not nearly as effective as somebody in a rowboat transporting a bunch of people to high ground so they can get the hell out of town on their own.

    I've been a registered Libertarian for almost 30 years. As in this case, it is sometimes difficult to defend a libertarian position. This is particularly true when problems arise because of government interference. Libertarian solutions to non-Libertarian problems are sometimes not even possible. Right now a State response to some extent is appropriate because the State has, to a great extent, caused the problem. The LP wants to move to a condition where the State is irrelevant and problems are solved by free individuals.

    This is a fundamental difference between Libertarians and Statists like the Demopublicans and Republicrats (and Fascists, and Communists, and Socialists, and...). For them, the State is the master and the caretaker. For Libertarians, free individuals are their own sovereigns and take care of themselves.

  • (Show?)

    I've been watching righties throughout the blogosphere call foul as the lefties criticize the abysmal performance of the administration, fema, et. al. As if reasonable criticism should be trumped by a bizarre kind of politeness. On this thread, Michael suggests the same thing. Hey Michael, politics have consequences.

    As for EJ--a bit of history might be in order. The first levees were built by the French before there was a US, let alone a Army Corps. All human endeavors depend on interrelationships with others. What you call "dependence," I call healthy interdependence. Without it, we're back to hunter-gatherer societies, or worse. Chuck's got a point when he points out the rhetoric and its consequences.

  • LT (unverified)

    I've been watching righties throughout the blogosphere call foul as the lefties criticize the abysmal performance of the administration, fema, et. al. Except, of course, that when Gingrich criticizes a Republican president then by definition it is no longer "right" vs. "left"

    "The criticism of the federal government's response came from across the political spectrum, including former president Bill Clinton, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the Congressional Black Caucus and a sputtering, angry mayor of New Orleans. A Senate committee plans to open hearings next week into what critics called a sluggish response that has left many thousands of people hungry, homeless and hopeless............

    Gingrich told the Associated Press that the government's performance "puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years," and urged Bush to tap former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) to take over the response."

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    This nation can survive Hurricane Katrina, but the big question is can it survive the selfishness, avarice, and the arrant bigotry and class warfare perpetrated by the likes of Grover Norquist, the neocons and the libertarians?

    Typical of the right-wing drivel we have to endure is this piece from E. J. Pole above: "Where is personal responsibility in all this? I'm getting pretty tired of all the journalistic whining and victim ranting about the government leaving people in the lurch. It's a sad thing but it is also primarily one's own personal duty to take care of oneself and not depend on the government stealing from others to get one out of a jam."

    Tell us, E. J., where is the personal responsibility for the lies that came out of the Bush administration to get us into the illegal war on Iraq so they had to cut back on funds to maintain the levees? Where is the personal responsibility for the Bush administration and Congress for denying the Army Corps of Engineers the funding they needed despite plenty of well-founded warnings? Where is the personal responsibility for the majority of Americans that were gullible enough to believe the blatant lies told by the Bush administration to get their illegal war on Iraq? Where is the personal responsibility for the majority of American voters that gave Bush/Cheney a second term despite their illegal war on Iraq resulting in tens of thousands of innocent people having been slaughtered and maimed?

  • LT (unverified)

    Does "personal responsibility " mean holding people not working for Bush responsible because he is never responsible for what his White House does?

    Apparently Bush believes Truman was wrong--that the buck does not stop at the president's desk as long as there is someone else to try and pin the blame on. Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday. The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

    I had heard earlier on a news program that a Louisana congressman was angry that someone had told their gov. she hadn't requested emergency aid using the proper form. When on 9/11 or the days that followed was NYC required to use appropriate forms as if no one knew help was needed until all the proper procedures were followed? Bush can attack Democrats all he wants, but when Gingrich says it is time to rethink the whole Homeland Security strategy and Romney, Gergen and some Republican congressmen are attacking the Bush approach to Katrina, I don't see how blaming Democrats gets them out of that one.

  • E. J. Pole II (unverified)

    So. I wasn't going to but I'll respond.

    The levees may have been STARTED by the French but the present levees were built by the COE. Duh.

    "Right wing drivel", eh. I resent that. I'm NOT right wing as you'd know if you had the least conception of what libertarianism really is. I'm not right wing. I'm not left wing. I'm off the (statist) bird.

    As for personal responsibility and Iraq, I consider Bush a traitor. He lied to get the US in Iraq and he now claims it is to bring democracy and freedom there. Anyone who is willing to sacrifice one American life, spend one American penny, or jeopardize American security for the sake of another country is a traitor.

    And, by the way, except peripherally, what does Iraq have to do with Katrina. Typical statist drivel. Bring in an unrelated issue to make a point. What's the matter? Can't talk about the real issue? Or are you afraid to?

    Lastly, my point is made by bringing up the fight between Louisiana and federal officials. Statist swine fighting over the pigpen. Meanwhile they kept individual volunteers out of the rescue because there was no way to "pay them." Clearly I'm not defending Bush. He's one of the pigs. Demopublicans and Republicrats. Not a dime's worth of difference between them.

  • ronled (unverified)

    Mr. Pole,

    Suppose that Kari (and Chuck) gets lots and lots of donations . . . would that not work in favor of a libertarian argument that voluntary donations are a good substitute for compelled extraction from all folks to meet a relief need?

    Doesn't that mean that the liberals are actually acting like libertarians . . . but have just mistakenly slapped on the liberal label?

    Don't get confused by labels and find enemies where they do not exist. That is a common problem.

  • ronled (unverified)

    Mr. Pole,

    The insurance industry will surely line up in Washington to get a REDUCTION in their exposure to liability just as they did after 9/11.

    Demand personal responsibility by the insurance companies just as vigorously as it would apply to a displaced resident of New Orleans.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    E. J.: Citing Iraq and Katrina was not changing the subject, which was personal responsibility. In both categories the Bush administration, their followers and most of Congress failed miserably. On the other hand we at least agree on having contempt for both the Democrats and Republicans at the national level.

    As for ronled's comment about voluntary donations being a good substitute for "compelled extraction," the answer is probably "No." Statistical evidence cited in the news a few months ago indicated when it came to humanitarian aid to others, Americans came up short when compared on a per-capita basis with other donors in the industrialized world. It will be interesting to see how well Americans respond on an individual basis to the needs of the people in the areas hit by Katrina. After almost 50% of Oregonians opposed a raise in the minimum wage a couple of years ago and others across the nation share similar attitudes, my guess is there will be nothing to be proud of in this instance. I hope my pessimism proves unjustified.

  • ron ledbury (unverified)

    I don't see the relevance of a comparison of American's proportional gift giving to that of other countries.

    If you want to compare country to country then you need to combine the gifting that is derived both via the taxing authority and through individual giving within each country, as both categories are considered within the rubric of generosity. Certainly there are plenty of taxpayers that will conclude that they have already "given" enough through taxes and for that reason NOT write a separate check for charity.

    If taxpayers know that part of their generosity in self-interst justified tax dollars will be going to offset the losses of insurance companies then that might insure that we lose yet more faith in government, again.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    If W and Dark Dick hadn't LOOTED the Treasury to fund their little bloodbath in Iraq, none of this would have happened.

    W said "who knew?"

    Answer: Everyone who reads the paper.

    Worst prez ever and THAT's saying something! Nixon? Reagan? Yikes!

  • Richard Burke (unverified)

    Dear all,

    As the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, I would like to comment.

    While I respect some of Chuck's work, this posting by him is terribly misleading and disingenuous. While Chuck quoted our platform correctly, he failed to tell you that our platform is an ideological expression of how society would function in an "ideal world" as we see it.

    Obviously we are not in the "ideal world" described in our platform, and Libertarians recognize that. While Libertarians believe that private aid organizations like the Red Cross are the most efficient providers of disaster aid, government must answer the call and do what it can to fill in the gaps.

    Every Libertarian I know understands that private aid organizations are not yet capable of handling a crisis like Katrina and that government must take up the slack. Many Libertarians live in the effected areas or know those who do. Libertarians across the nation have donated money, blood and materials. Some have gone to the gulf region to help directly.

    Libertarians are not social darwinists who hate helping people in need. Libertarians love to help people and, where possible, love to do so through nongovernmental community based organizations that do not require coersion to survive.

    So with all due respect, I contend that Chuck's posting was misleading and insensitive. Chuck never called our office to ask how we would respond to Katrina. Chuck's posting suggests he doesn't know the difference between a document describing an ideal (our platform) and a working knowledge of what Libertarians would do in the interim prior to approaching that ideal.

    Libertarians care. They want to help. They just differ from Democrats and Republicans about which entities can do the best job of providing that help. Are private or public entities like the red cross more responsive? More efficient? More effective? More in touch with the effected communities? Does a higher percentage of relief funds make it to the front line?

    When the dust starts to settle surrounding Katrina, it may be worth a discussion as to whether we should invest more resources in public aid organizations or seek ways to enable private nonprofit organizations to shoulder more of the load during disasters. With lives in the balance, the compassionate thing to do is that which works best.

    Since government isn't going anywhere, where is the creativity in looking to it first when trying to solve a problem? Maybe if we learn from Katrina, we will alter public policy enough to make alternatives to government aid more practical.

    If anyone would like to discuss this further, they may call our office at 503-924-5991. Thank you.

    Richard P. Burke, Executive Director Libertarian Party of Oregon

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    lonred: This is what you wrote above: "I don't see the relevance of a comparison of American's proportional gift giving to that of other countries.

    "If you want to compare country to country then you need to combine the gifting that is derived both via the taxing authority and through individual giving within each country, as both categories are considered within the rubric of generosity. Certainly there are plenty of taxpayers that will conclude that they have already "given" enough through taxes and for that reason NOT write a separate check for charity."

    If you can't understand the relevance of gift-giving on a per-capita basis when comparing donations from other countries, I'll have to leave it to someone else to try to explain this to you. I doubt that I have the patience and time to help you get it. You seem to be suffering from some delusion that the taxes Americans pay will make up for their shortcomings when it comes to personal generosity. So let me try to explain something to you though it may be over your head. The people of other industrialized nations give more per-capita in humanitarian aid AND (repeat AND) most, if not all, pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than Americans do.

    I am pleased with (but skeptical of) the comments made by the head of Oregon's libertarians. Based on comments from other libertarians in the past I liked their approach to civil rights but had them figured for a bunch of tightwads when it came to helping others. I hope they are proving me wrong at this time.

  • ron ledbury (unverified)


    I merely noted a weakness in your reasoning.

    Perhaps I could instead explain that most Americans are fully tapped out covering mortgage payments (or rent) or high costs for overpriced health care, etc., and thus do not really have very much left over to share with friends and family, let alone pure strangers. I would not take that economic reality and twist it on its head and make the poorness of the average American as a knock on their lack of caring in relation to other industrialized countries.

    Expand your range of inquiry, but don't blame me for your lazy attack. Surely there are other possible explanations, if you would just look.

    You make the same flaw that Mr. Burke did, substituting personal attack for offering reasoning. Each of you could cull a little of the attack. Chuck was very skillful at merely pointing out the words found on a website, thus leaving the door open for someone else to stick their own foot in the their mouths, and some folks did just that. Chuck displayed more skill. Perhaps I should ask Chuck to remove my comments on this thread so that you may convert this into a slugfest rather than a discussion?

    The prevalence of poverty of the New Orleanians left behind is not really that unique, now, is it?

  • CAM (unverified)

    I don't think anyone is saying that individual Libertarians are any less caring than the rest of us (well, maybe some do, but every group has it's fringe elements). The problem and the main point of this discussion is summarized in Mr Burke's statement regarding the Libertarian view on government's role:

    "They just differ from Democrats and Republicans about which entities can do the best job of providing that help."

    Libertarians, according to Mr Burke, want private agencies private non-profits to provide social relief efforts, on the assumption that they can do it all (or more than they are). The flaw with that argument becomes evident whenever you happen to hear comments made by most any director or board member of these same non-profits.

    These folks, many of whom also run successful and high-profile businesses, state universally that they are unable to handle the demands for social relief that this government is now placing on them, regardless of whether the funding is there or not. They are stretched to the limit in resources and manpower, the need is too great, an in most instances the underlying causes of these social demands are out of the scope of reach for these non-profits.

    They also state, almost universally, that it is the role of government (i.e. the people) to carry the brunt of dealing with these social needs.

    I gotta say, I have to go with the captains of commerce on this one.

    Again, the fundamental difference is in how government is defined. Is government some distant and monolistic entity with little oversight or accountability, much like today's large corporations? Or is government an extension of the will of the people, balancing majority needs with minority rights, representing and acting on the best interests of the people?

    I believe Libertarians land in the former. I, on the other hand, like to think of it as "our" government.

    According to

  • (Show?)

    I'm really getting sick and tired of people blaming the people of New Orleans (and other areas) for the situation they're in.

    Most did not CHOOSE to stay behind after the evacuation order. Most did not have a choice.

    There are many, many people in the New Orleans area who were too poor, too sick, or elderly and could not get out of the city. The freeways and other roadways out of the city become parking lots, keeping many people with the ability to leave stuck in the city.

    Have you ever been in a major metro area when an evacuation has been ordered? I have. Evacuation routes across the hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. are extremely inadequate.

    With numerous communities all having to pour onto the same roads, they quickly become filled. The fact that I-10 is under construction in Texas only compounded problems. Some of the routes into Texas were destroyed in the early 80's when Hurricane Alicia hit Texas, and they've never been rebuilt.

    Imagine the traffic problems over in Beaverton area. We've all seen it-- cars packing Hwy. 26 and other area thoroughfares. Now multiple that times 1,000-- that's what the people of New Orleans, Biloxi, etc. were facing.

    FEMA knew that more than half the population of New Orleans wouldn't be able to evacuate. They should have brought in buses, planes, etc. in advance to evacuate people. It would have been a heck of a lot cheaper in both money and lives.

  • D. T. Yett (unverified)

    "a communitarian approach is about "us", not me. we're all in this together; where one suffers, we all suffer. this is the message jesus preached, that the buddha taught, and that has been re-emphasized more recently by ghandi, king, and every single american who has donated to tsumani and katrina relief efforts."

    I do not feel able to comment on the teachings of Jesus the Christ, but believe I am comeptent, as a practicing Buddhist, to comment on the teachings of the Buddha. I am not aware of anywhere that this enlightened individual advocated forcible dispossession as a means to compassion. Let's face it: taxation is theft, plain and simple. There's no way to make it moral.

    Oh, BTW, here's what Gandhi had to say about the State:

    "I look upon an increase in the power of the State with the greatest fear because, although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality which lies at the heart of all progress."

  • Scott (unverified)

    "By the way if Mt. Hood ever blows and Bull Run no longer works where is the public going to get its water supply from in the short term? Am I to assume the government has a 30 day supply sitting in a bunker somewhere in southern Oregon? Just musing. M."


    Portland's world-class water system is NOT physically connected to Mt.Hood and will therefore continue to "work" during any future eruption. The Bull Run watershed was chosen over 100 years ago, in part, because of the fact that it's watershed is self-contained.

    Those old-timers were smart. In 1885, "Engineer Colonel Isaac Smith determines that the Bull Run Watershed would meet the drinking water supply needs of a growing Portland for the forseeable future."

    Scientists predict that a future eruption will NOT be similar to Mt. Saint Helens. Mt. Hood is forecast to have avalanches and mudflows or lahars down the mountain, for instance into the Sandy River, which would NOT EFECT the Bull Run dams/ reservoirs.

    Mt. Hood is forcast NOT to have massive explosions of ash ("blow up") like Mt. Saint Helens.

    For example, in Mt. Hood's last eruption around about 1790, Lewis & Clark named the river near present day Troutdale, the "Quicksand River." This was the result of mudflows from heated rocks falling on Mt. Hood glaciers. The sudden glacial melt, rocks and erosive sediments combined to rush down the now "Sandy" River.

    Mt. Hood will erupt some day. But the risk will be to those residents living close to the rivers flowing from Mt. Hood's flanks to the Columbia River. Mt. Hood will not threaten Bull Run's ability to supply water to the Residents & Businesses of Portland and it's many Metro-area wholesale customers.

    Respectfuuly, please use another example to bolster your arguments.

  • (Show?)

    While it might not be that likely, I don't know that you can discount Mt. Hood having a major explosive eruption. Scientists didn't exactly expect Mt. St. Helens to do that either.

    When it comes to mother nature, you can never say that something won't happen.

  • Richard Powell (unverified)

    And, as we are finding out, the .GOV is doing such an awesome job of protecting us poor citizens form ourselves. Screw putting this kind of control/power in our governements hands. They neither have the talent, nor the capability of handling such power. The libertarian stance is far more compassionate then what is currently taking place. It believes in letting the people take care of themselves, and not allowing the governemnt to decide what is in their best interest.

    --------- See this article ---------

    'New Orleans mayor orders forced evacuations'

    'Police Superintendent Eddie Compass echoed that order, saying his men would evacuate residents, if necessary against their will. “We’ll do everything it takes to make this city safe. These people don’t understand they’re putting themselves in harm’s way,” Compass said.'

  • Rich Page, Cascade Policy Institute (unverified)

    Here's what the Cascade Policy Institute is saying:

  • JJ Ark (unverified)

    Rule 1:

    If ANY government tells to you to go someplace and disarm, don’t do it. Don’t even think about doing it. Those who went to the Superdome and the Convention Center were held against their will in conditions that would make a 3rd world prison revolt. When they tried to leave, armed guards told them they had to stay. In the filth. With rapes and knifings going on. Without food, water or sanitation. For days. See Rule 2.

    Rule 2:

    Be ready to walk away. Make sure that if the roads are shut down, you can still get the heck outta Dodge. Have adequate supplies of food/water/clothing and weapons in a “bugout kit”. It might be exhausting, but you can walk away from stuff. Bonus points if you can drive out, but cars break down, get stuck by downed trees, run out of gas, and get flats at bad times. Your foot doesn’t usually break down, can easily hop over trees, doesn’t need gas, and doesn’t go flat.

    Rule 3:

    Prepare only what you NEED, and NEED only what you can USE. If you take heart meds, get an extra 30 day supply, and rotate it through. If you need tobacco, consider vaccum sealing a coupla packs or some roll-yer-own. If you need a holy book of some sort, vacuum seal that. Don’t be packing a paper sack with a gameboy and a box of fruitloops and try to walk out of Louisiana.

    Rule #4:

    Water Water, Everywhere. Have water onhand, ready to drink. You can live on water for up to 3 days, no food. The reverse is not true. Consider getting a water filter that you can put in your disaster kit. Outdoor ponds, fountains, and so on usually have water in them that isn’t brackish, but you may need to filter it.

    Rule #5:

    Don’t depend on any government operators or other authority figures. We have now seen that the government might decide that you are the wrong voter demographic in the wrong place to help. You are far better off staying on your own and getting you and yours to safety. Let the government fill out the forms after the fact.

    Rule #6:

    Sad, Hungry, Angry, Cold, Lonely. These five things are the things you want to avoid. Keep busy, keep somethin in yer belly, don’t fall into the anger pit, put on that extra sweater or warm socks and find friends or neighbors that you can help out. They may not thank you at the time, but you will make everyone existence much happier.

  • Joshua (unverified)

    Any party that promises antyhing gets no vote from me. It's just like a Lib. to confuse a hurricane with political motive, and to indoctrinate the idea that the people supporting such party will be protected, under any circumstance, by their Government. It is also just like a Republican to allow it to happen this way. Anyone who has a problem with the way this situation was handled needs to think about EXACTLY what could have been done to make the effects of this NATURAL DISASTER any less deadly or destructive. In the scheme of things the survival rate of the people in this area during this event could have been alot worse. Also, people need to think about if they really want some politician to come down to New Orleans and hold their hand and "HELP THEM OUT". I believe that there are plenty of caring people in this great USA that can and will do some REAL good things.

  • living_on_the_edge (unverified)

    A "collective response" need not and should not be a Government response.

    What happened in New Orleans is a shining example of what a government response truly looks like.

    The government response was no response for 4 days. No response that is other than stopping private responses so they could be in control. All the while people where dying.

    Government is force. It is not caring. It is not compassion. It is power concentrated in the hands of those who know nothing that is not force. And you want to give them free reign over weither you live or die?

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