unicorn quest

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

New Orleans VS Rodney King

What just happened in New Orleans really didn't surprise me. I was headed for New Orleans via Amtrack some 8 years ago, when we got the unhappy news that a hurricane was headed straight for it, and the city may be destroyed. We all lamented our soon-to-be-ruined vacations as the train chugged along. As it turned out, the hurricane veered that time and destroyed the island of Antigua instead...

I was in LA during the Rodney King riots. The government response was similarly slow and inefficient. We had curfews, rioting, snipers, food riots, lots of looting, fires, and every kind of mayhem. Meanwhile, the national guard did not even arrive for 3 days. It might be amusing or interesting to watch on tv, but let me tell you, if you're in the middle of it, it's scary. LA is a 24-hr city, and when you see all the gas stations and convenience stores shut down at dusk, you think the Apocalypse has arrived.

My cousin Janice gave me a first-hand account of the 9-11 evacuation procedures. She works in the Maybelline building, about 50 blocks from ground zero. They rounded up everyone in the area and herded them "like cattle" into football stadiums, and there they sat for a very long day without food or water, feeling like sitting ducks for the next terrorist attack.

My question--how many times does this have to happen before our elected officials come up with a decent evacuation/emergency plan?

Next time it could be YOUR city!


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