Hurricane Sandy’s floodwaters have ebbed and the American Northeast’s ravaged infrastructure has begun stitching itself back together. Taki’s Mag mainstay John Derbyshire finally emailed on Sunday from Long Island to notify us that although he still doesn’t have electricity, he finally has an Internet connection and is powering his laptop through an outlet in a neighbor’s generator.
Ideological vultures have swooped down to exploit Sandy’s aftermath for political gain, while down near sea level in certain coastal areas, opportunistic cucarachas have exploited the situation for material gain.
For obviously political reasons, each side is accusing the other of “politicizing” the event. Rightist lunatics viewed the storm as God’s vengeance for gay marriage, while leftist nutballs portray it as Big Fat Al Gore’s vindication about global warming.
Republicans vilified Barack Obama because he posed for photos with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (thus implying that such disasters are best handled by federal intervention), while Democrats excoriated Mitt Romney for posing for photos at a Hurricane Sandy food bank (thus implying that personal charity is the way to go).
Since I refuse to identify with either side of the political aisle, I choose to view the storm as a metaphor of disasters both current and yet to come: the Obama presidency, a possible Romney presidency, the Middle Eastern morass, the eurozone crisis, and especially the “fiscal cliff” off which America will supposedly careen early next year. If the prognosticators and doomsayers aren’t merely being “paranoid,” a financial implosion will be the real “superstorm,” one that may send the entire nation into a survivalist panic.
Although it’s still hard to deliver a final verdict—and since the left-tilting media are in obvious denial mode—Sandy apparently didn’t produce the sort of apocalyptic death scenarios that Hurricane Katrina did in New Orleans. Still, since progressivism’s oinking smarm-pigs have gone to such extraordinary lengths to assert that their “low-income” constituents have been entirely well-behaved, it, well, behooves me to note several documented instances of less-than-exemplary behavior among the, er, “oppressed.” I’ll sidestep the many instances of grocery stores being pillaged for food and focus instead on cases where looters stole items that aren’t necessary for survival:
• Vandals looted two of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s beach rental properties, stealing at least two television sets.
• A woman in Atlantic City claims that burglars stole three of her flat-screen TVs, her daughter’s laptop, and pills from her medicine cabinet. An Atlantic City church was picked clean of “computers, printers, microphones, amps, and speakers….”
• Thieves at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan are accused of smashing through store windows and availing themselves of “clothes and electrical goods.”
• Four men in Far Rockaway, Queens have been arrested for busting into a Radio Shack and trying to seize electronic goods.
• In the Queens neighborhood of Howard Beach, looters allegedly ransacked “at least two banks and a pharmacy.”
• Two “teens,” AKA “youths,” AKA “young men with suspiciously black-sounding names,” were arrested on Staten Island and charged with breaking into a Rent-A-Center.
• Thieves in South Brooklyn tore through a Mega Aid Pharmacy and reportedly purloined thousands of prescription pills.
• Four men in Manhattan were arrested and charged with stealing thirty pairs of high-tech, luxury, ridiculously overpriced designer sneakers estimated to be worth an average of $1,000 a pair.
There are also reports of criminals dressed as Long Island Power Authority workers, Con Edison workers, and Red Cross volunteers, knocking on doors under cover of darkness and then robbing unsuspecting residents who permit them entrance.
With reports that the NYPD is being “stretched” beyond its capacity to defend the public and that an inept FEMA has proved incapable of so much as providing thirsty citizens with bottled water, it’s somewhat heartening to see that many New Yorkers were unwilling to curl up into fetal balls and allow the government to save them. Residents in Queens and Brooklyn are arming themselves with guns, machetes, baseball bats, and the occasional bow and arrow to fend off assailants who capitalized on the darkness, cold weather, and lack of police support. In view of the fact that an ever-encroaching federal colossus has for decades been methodically sapping personal sovereignty and self-sufficiency away from its subjects, I find a perhaps naïve degree of comfort in the fact that some citizens are seizing the power back into their own hands, where it has always belonged.
I find it especially poignant in a climate where the feds have maligned the so-called “preppers” as paranoid misfits or even terrorists. And it’s hard to feel much sympathy for the unprepared—the “un-preppers,” if you will—who are too stupid, lazy, disorganized, dependent, or stoned to have planned ahead for any such contingencies.
I’m typing this from beautiful Forsyth County, GA, The County That Was Too White For Oprah. And though many view the past few days’ events as merely the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I see it more as a wake before a funeral. It feels much safer up here in the mountains, far way from the crowded, dirty, low-lying coastal areas that scoff at quaint notions such as individual freedom and gun rights. Right now these oft-maligned Southern hills are looking like an awfully nice place to live, at least compared to the festering trash dump that is Staten Island—but then again, nearly everywhere on Earth looks better than Staten Island.
Maybe things will get better in this country, but I ain’t feelin’ it. If your instincts align with mine—and if you can stand being mocked by sneering urban pundits who for the moment are protected within bubbles that may be doomed to burst very soon—I’d suggest you gather your food, water, bullets, and gasoline, then head for higher ground.
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