Enviromentalism stretched just a bit wee much.

I read the following, got up, made myself some coffee, ingested it and sat down again to re-read because I thought it was a trick played by my just awoken mind.

Why are The Miami Herald and other news outlets so quick to label common-sense survival activities in Haiti as “looting”? According to news reports, there are few if any grocery stores open for business in Port-au-Prince, and vast quantities of donated food have yet to be distributed. Meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of people without food, water and shelter.

There also are tons of debris to be removed from the streets. In these circumstances, removal of any useful items before arrival of the bulldozers seems like the sensible, humanitarian, environmentally friendly and cost-effective thing to do.

The missive to the “editors’ was written by Helene B. Dudley of Miami. After a quick Google search, I found out that Ms. Dudley belongs to the group Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida.God Bless them for the service they performed, but bundling looting to environmental clean-up is akin to associate a stabbing during a mugging to a life-saving open heart surgery.

I won’t comment on the legality of having to steal food and water from a store to survive a catastrophe like that, but I don’t care how flexible is anybody’s imagination, to think that looters are doing so for environmental causes is just idiocy. If anything, looting might be bad for Gaia since people do not know what kind of chemicals and poisons, crushed but contained by the debris will now be released and spread to the four winds in the legs of looters. Contaminated items will pass hand to hand making people sick and overburdening even more the tight situation in Haiti.

Oh and by the way. The traditional looting custom of burning up the ransacked stores after they are pillaged seems to be running against sound environmental principals and are serious increase in the carbon footprint that will kill our planet.

I need another coffee.

“The Government will help you.”

Going through the news, photos and videos coming out of Haiti, you cannot help but realize the folly of relying on the Government for immediate help. I am not saying that Big Evil Government will not help, but it is a huge slow animal that will take a long tome to get going and, in the meantime, you are on your own.

And as the bureaucracies slowly churn into action, the regular folk are left to their own devices. Most folk will actually try to recreate some sort of mini-society, a tribe if you please, but some will just become a pack of predators with murder and mischief in their minds.The power of armed roaming criminals is awesome. Not just because they are armed but the level of violence they can inflict is something we are not accustomed to see as civilized people. It feeds its violence on itself and even the most simple and peaceful of men will do things that are unthinkable, the hardened criminal will reach new heights of cruelty. Mobs are nasty and Desperate Mobs are cancerous and unforgiving. The result is that rescue efforts will be delayed or denied because safety cannot be guaranteed just as it is happening in Haiti where medical teams are being pulled out because it has turned too dangerous for them to do their mercy work.

I have lived through a total breakdown of law and order. I’ve seen neighbors turn to neighbors for support and neighbors turning against neighbors in frenzy. I saw people getting killed in very horrific ways and sadly I understood the phrase “Life is cheap” in a very short time. We escaped the mayhem not because the mob suddenly developed a conscience (news flash: Mob Mentality does not include conscience or morals) but because we were ready to inflict serious deadly force and managed to transmit the message in a clear and concise way to the looters. Our property was left alone while the Mob went looking for softer or more rewarding targets and they did. I saw more people getting killed and homes and businesses being painfully stripped of anything remotely of value like a cow under a piranha attack.

And the biggest shock of all was that the mob was not faceless and anonymous. I saw people I knew for short, medium and long time in it. They became animals just going about their wild business no matter what past history they had with the neighbor they were looting. It didn’t matter to them, the “reward,” the immediate satisfaction and the feeling pf power that a mob gives was too intoxicating for them to think coherently about what they were doing.

I don’t think I slept for three days. Things started to “calm down” not because sanity returned but because there was nothing much left to loot and the mobs moved on. It took the local government 5 days to send a semblance of authority to the area and only then people became individuals again. Some were embarrassed for what they did, some didn’t care and I just couldn’t digest all that happened. I have most of it now but there is this sense of “I can’t believe it happened” still in my brain. The old “Be polite, be professional but have a plan to kill everyone you meet” is relevant as sad as it may be.

Haiti: It has begun.

CBS is reporting that gangs of machete wielding thugs are no roaming the streets looking for food.

Here is a quote:

Fights between gangs were seen on the streets. Machetes were flailing and it was impossible to predict what would happen next.

There was no sign of police or any kind of law and order.

The United nations also reported that looters broke into the UN’s warehouses to steal the food and other supplies they had for the nation. Now there is probably nothing to give to the defenseless because the morons at the UN were probably at the local child whorehouse . And the Red Cross points out that 4,000 criminals held at Haitian Prisons are out and roaming amongst the regular folk.  The British Newspaper The Telegraph on line even reports the sound of gunfire which they believe is people fending off looters in order to keep their belongings.

Many lessons to be learned here. I hope we do.

Haiti: Hell on Earth and then this.

It is hard to even imagine what kind of hell is Haiti right now. The pictures are telling and yet we know they do a poor job projecting the real devastation.

International Agencies and Private Folks are now in gear trying to gather personnel and supplies to help. Help if you can. Say a prayer for Hatians, for what has happened and for what will happen. Predators will come out of the rubble soon and it is a target rich environment in a place where the Predators pretty much ran free before all this happened.