Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
the skwib
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

August 31, 2005

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

A New Orleans police officer is seen carrying DVDs at the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Tuesday. Many police officers said they felt helpless in enforcing the looters, which were found all over the city.

And in all manner of dress, it would appear--unless of course the DVDs in question have been taken into custody for their own protection, perhaps liberated from the clutches of one of the ubiquitous looters--obviously an action that would be a top priority in a martial law situation.

Photo via the Times-Picayune

Before we judge too harshly, consider the Lord of The Flies nature of the situation in the Big Easy.

The looting was widespread and unabashed. Families pushed shopping carts downtown, full of things they had taken from the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street.

''They said, 'Take what you need to survive,''' shrugged one woman carrying a Dyson vacuum cleaner. A man accompanying her pushed a shopping cart with two sets of dishes still in the box, two jugs of laundry detergent, a baby's playpen and several cases of soda.

Judge not! Just because you can survive without a playpen, soda and a brand spanking new Dyson vacuum doesn't mean others can.

There was a riot on the streets
Tell me where were you?
You were sittin' home watchin' your TV
While I was participating in some anarchy
First spot we hit it was the liquor store
I finally got all that alcohol I can't afford
With red lights flashin', time to retire
And then we turned that liquor store into a structure fire
Next stop we hit, it was the music shop,
It only took one brick to make the window drop
Finally we got our own P.A.
Where do you think I got this guitar that you're hearing today?

--Sublime, from April 29th, 1992

Update: News footage of N.O. police looting the Tchoupitoulas Wal-Mart can be downloaded here.

Posted by Bigwig at August 31, 2005 10:41 AM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

The other box that he's carrying is a set of candles. Hmmm, cds and candles...

Posted by: Impatient Girl at August 31, 2005 11:02 AM

I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to the cop and say he had confiscated the items from a looter, but I really know better.

The fact is the NOPD is notoriously corrupt, like Louisiana government in general.

That being said, it doesn't excuse anyone from looting (except possibly food and medicine that they need to survive.)

Posted by: TWM at August 31, 2005 01:05 PM

NOPD officers once operated the largest car theft-chop shop ring in the US. A few CDs and some candles are chump change.

Should the Loouisiana National Guard's 256 BCT [currently in Iraq, but scheduled to return home beginning next week] be reassigned without leave to the Big Sleazy, the looting problem will vanish. NOPD is outgunned, even if they are sincere in wanting to curb looting.

Martial Law would have to be declared; otherwise the court system wouold be soon overloaded with LANG soldiers defending themselves against ACLU lawyers alleging civil rights violations.

Posted by: Charlie at August 31, 2005 02:16 PM

I don;t care if an unstoppable mob of every single citizen of NO looted every store in the city, there is no way that should indemnify the police officer in that picture from losing his job and going to jail.

I understand the Lord of the Flies scenario, but that is no excuse in this country, in this society. He took an oath to serve and protect, not to join in the "fun" simply because he lacked the ability to do his job. I am not ripping on them for not stopping the looters, that is insignificant. But how many people are stranded/suffering/dying in that city right now while this loser, who is supposed to be helping, wastes time filling out his DVD collection?

Posted by: Kaje at August 31, 2005 03:07 PM

Check out the essay at Right Wing Nuthouse blog, about the social compact.

I'll note with some satisfaction that there have been stories of merchants and locals arming up, and setting out on lawn chairs protecting their shops and homes.

*That* is one of the primary reasons we have the Second Amendment. As Judge Kozinski (9th Cir.) noted in a recent case, it's the "right that secures all the other rights."

Posted by: Blackavar at August 31, 2005 03:52 PM

It seems that N.O. would be a good place to ship all of the anarchists in the country, right about now. That would learn 'em.

Posted by: SWLiP at August 31, 2005 04:03 PM

Those people are very strange. They are evidently unaware that they will be without food or water for weeks, not to mention electricity to run their stolen electrical appliances. One would have hoped for more from a city in ruins, but I guess your true character (or lack thereof) shows at a time like this.

Contrast NYC 9/11...

Posted by: RR at August 31, 2005 05:53 PM

No, the filthy capitalists will have the lights back on soon.

I can't believe that no one has said "he's so poor he has to watch his dvd player by candle light!"

Posted by: staghounds at September 1, 2005 08:41 AM

Any peson who advocates the shooting of looters, and you know who you are, are more deserving of death than any looter. Thousands will be dead from dehydration, lack of medicine, and starvation and all you moral degenerates care about is the inventory of the local PriceMart. God Damn you all to hell. Furthermore, if that cop was white you would think twice before accusing him of stealing.

Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at September 1, 2005 11:30 PM

> Thousands will be dead from dehydration, lack of medicine, and starvation and all you moral degenerates care about is the inventory of the local PriceMart.

PriceMart? What is that - a rant stolen from a Simpson's rip-off?

JG claims to be concerned about people, but he's curiously protective of folks who are making it harder to help said people. His ideology is more important than said people.

Actually, we're quite willing to condemn white thieves, but if JG has a problem with black thieves being condemned, perhaps he ought to do something about them. Unless, of course, he's more concerned about color than thievery. But, I repeat myself.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 2, 2005 09:50 AM

as a baton rouge resident and father of five children (ages 5-10) we often visit new orleans to shop and visit the museums ect, but in the past year we have noticed an increasing presence of criminals ,and certain parts of town i would NEVER take my family to even in broad daylight.It breaks my heart to see the plight of these people ,but also as a law abiding citizen,i have no sympathy for the animals that are terrorizing victims there. I have friends in law enforcement and the majority are very good,sincere people,we have the countrys system of intitlement to blame for most of what is going on here, we have a generation of people white and black that are so dependant on social aid.they can:t or just won:t even try to make desisions on ther own. the able bodied(NOT SICK OR OLD) had resources to get out.But refused expecting the great SYSTEM that clothes and feeds them to come to the rescue. maybe this will send a wake up to this nation to not continue to raise generation after the next to be total dependants. i say this as a citizen of the state i love dearly .and i do pray for the people suffering. and will do all in my power to help in the coming dark days of louisiana.

Posted by: curtis jeffery at September 2, 2005 04:31 PM

I am struggleing to understand why there were 100,000 people left in the city. I heard the governor plead for people to leave. I heard weather reports that forcast an absolute disaster. I never expected that so many people would simply not move while they had the chance. There must have been many people who did not have the physical or financial resourses to move but if I am hearing correctly there were many who just wouldn't listen to the authorities or maybe expected someone to move them or??? And there were of course those who stayed behind in order to rob the homes and businesses of those who did leave. I was disgusted by the looting and callous behavior exhibited by many citizens. I know they were in the middle of a disaster but what were they thinking and what the heck happened to their humanity?

Posted by: Elizabeth Reynolds at September 2, 2005 05:00 PM

What happened to their humanity? Nothing. All that happened is that the curb on doing those things has been removed. Decent people don't need cops around - they act decently without them. With cops and others around who might object, they are deterrants. All that happened is - the deterants were removed so that the people who would do the stealing if they had a chance, now do so. Not everyone is looting. Some are trying to protect it. Those are the decent folks who should be supported and helped any way possible.

The others are criminals who have always been on the loose.

Posted by: Shannon at September 2, 2005 07:26 PM

Oh this is rich.

Posted by: Earl Jenkin™ at September 2, 2005 09:11 PM

Is Bush to Blame for New Orleans Flooding?

“Over at least the past several budget cycles, the Corps has received substantially less money than it requested for the Lake Pontchartrain project, even though Congress restored much of the money the President cut from the amount the Corps requested.

“In fiscal year 2004, the Corps requested $11 million for the project. The President’s budget allocated $3 million, and Congress furnished $5.5 million. Similarly, in fiscal 2005 the Corps requested $22.5 million, which the President cut to $3.9 million in his budget. Congress increased that to $5.5 million. “This was insufficient to fund new construction contracts,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project fact sheet. The Corps reported that “seven new contracts are being delayed due to lack funds” [sic].

“The President proposed $3 million for the project in the budget for fiscal 2006, which begins Oct. 1. ‘This will be insufficient to fund new construction projects,’ the fact sheet stated. It says the Corps ‘could spend $20 million if funds were provided.’ ”

Source:, September 2, 2005.


“Since 1994, Louisiana riverboats have contributed over $2.02 billion in state and $557 million in local taxes. In FY 2002/2003 the riverboat c a s i n o s alone paid the state over $335 million in gaming taxes, with another $78 million going to local governments. The annual state gaming tax rate is now 21.5% of adjusted gaming revenues, while our neighbors in Mississippi tax their c a s i n o s at 8%. For comparison purposes, state gaming taxes in Nevada are 6.75% and in New Jersey are 9.25%.“

Source: www.c a s i n o s o f l o u i s i a n a . c o m / l o u i s i a n a . h t m

Where did all this money go? (And don’t tell me Louisiana teachers are well paid.)

Sure didn’t go to fixing levies. Seems like the only levies New Orleans knows how to fix are tax levies.

Posted by: Shaytun at September 2, 2005 10:22 PM

Where did all this money go? (And don’t tell me Louisiana teachers are well paid.)

Well, we know it didn't go to the Mayor Nagil literacy effort, or to any city management training seminars.

Posted by: The Capitalist at September 2, 2005 11:10 PM

Hey Juan, your MECHA pancho is hanging out of your pants. What "victims" your people are. When I say your people, I mean anyone who is not white right? Get off the net and do something constructive to deflect some of that obvious racism, lets say.... clean your car, or your gold teeth. Whichever you choose is fine with me s.a.

Posted by: Repubswillrule4ever at September 3, 2005 12:04 PM

Hey Juan, your MECHA pancho is hanging out of your pants. What "victims" your people are. When I say your people, I mean anyone who is not white right? Get off the net and do something constructive to deflect some of that obvious racism, lets say.... clean your car, or your gold teeth. Whichever you choose is fine with me s.a.

Best of the web, right here. You racist asshole.

Bigwig--you've got a photograph of a cop carrying some dvds and candles. Let's just try and see if there is any other possible reason that a cop could be carrying things like that in New Orleans...nope, not a one whatsoever! He must be looting! What a fabulous catch!

I mean, he IS black. He's carrying dvds that he obviously couldn't otherwise afford. Why should we assume that just because he's a UNIFORMED FREAKING POLICE OFFICER that he wouldn't be looting with the best of them, to satisfy his compulsive, primitive need to steal? I mean, it's ingrained. Everybody knows that.

At least, everybody here, and Michelle Malkin as well, apparently.

Oh, don't actually know a DAMN THING. Because that's ONE DAMN PHOTOGRAPH, completely deviod of any context whatsoever.

Not that you're honest enough to really consider this, but if the officers in question had been white, is there any way you would have reached this same conclusion, just from looking at them? Picture it in your mind: two white, clean-cut officers in their forties with some dvds. Would that make your front page?

Of course not. But whatever. Have your fun convicting black. suspicious-looking uniformed officers, tell me how wrong I am to point out this inherent racism, and dismiss me. I'm through with this B.S.

Posted by: Tom at September 3, 2005 04:06 PM

You people could at least try to read the followup posts. The only result you get from being a drive-by asshole is that people think "Geez, what an asshole."

And for god's sake, learn to recognize what a comments troll looks like. It's a basic Internet skill.

Posted by: Bigwig at September 3, 2005 05:10 PM


As this was linked to directly from Malkin's site, I (obviously) didn't see the follow-up. Thanks for pointing me to it...

...and my comment still stands. To put it into duck language, your case go like this:

You see a picture of what may well be a duck (looting cop) in New Orleans, and blog it. Some respond: wait, how do you know that's a duck when it could be a swan (cop holding dvds) or a goose (cop that just confiscated someone else's stolen dvds)? You follow up by posting a story about how there are some ducks in New Orleans, expecting to have proved your case.

But: the original critique still stands. You still can't prove that your picture is of a duck, rather than a swan or a goose. In short, here's the best you got:
1. some cops are looting things in NO.
2. this cop is carrying things.
3. therefore, this cop is looting things in NO.

All you've got is a photograph that looks suspicious to you. Ask yourself again if it would have been as suspicious had the photo been of a nice-looking, 40 yr old white cop holding a stack of dvds.

Posted by: Tom at September 3, 2005 09:26 PM

Say the cops are white and paid for the DVDs. Why in the world are they out shopping when their city's in crisis?

Posted by: N at September 3, 2005 11:43 PM

Read it again. What the news story says is that cops were looting at the same location as the cop in the picture.

Why should I think anything other than that you are in denial?

Posted by: Bigwig at September 4, 2005 01:12 PM

Tom thanks. That was exactly my point.

To repubswill, why do you assume I'm hispanic. Its an alias you racist dumbass. "by Juan Gewanfri" (buy one, get one free)

To Silflay, an entire post about little old me! I'm honored. Sorry I caused your head to explode. Are all your posts going to be gibberish from now on? The fake ebonics was a nice touch though.

To everyone else, my main point was that thousands are dead, thousands are dying as we sit here, and you people obsess about a cop holding some DVD's. By you people of course, I mean assholes. Maybe you aren't racist. Maybe you just don't care about any human life.

Posted by: Juan gewanfri at September 4, 2005 01:25 PM

Fake ebonics has an entirely different sound.

Posted by: Bigwig at September 4, 2005 01:50 PM

You would think I would get used to all the racism in this country, but I guess it is still shocking to me.

Coming from West Texas, where Caucasians and Hispanics are the majority, when I first read the story about the cops and firefighters looting, I immediately drew a picture in my mind of what my local cops and firefighters look like which - in my area are mostly Caucasian and Hispanic. I didn't even know the cop in the picture was black until I came to this site.

Since almost 70% of New Orleans is African-American, it only makes sense that a picture is going to be taken of an African-American police officer. If percentages are correct that means out of every 10 cops looting that store 7 of them are going to be black.

Actually, if the cop carring candles & DVDs out of a Wal-Mart while New Orleans sinks into a pit of death and despair WAS white, no one would think twice about accusing him - not only of being a criminal, but a poor excuse for a human being. But in our RACIST country, you can't accuse a black man of ANYTHING unless you have DNA evidence, 140 eye-witnesses, a signed confession, and his gramma signs a sworn affidavit saying she saw him do it, without being deemed a bigot.

I for one am NOT a bigot in any sense of the word, and it angers me that racism is still perpetuated and kept alive by many black people who then want to blame the racism on everyone else around them who is a different color.

I love the Dr. King reference in one of the posts, if he were to see what has become of his noble ideas and dreams today, he would be terribly saddened.

Juan, your accusations that people feel a certain way because they are white is totally RACIST, and YOU should be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by: TXMoon at September 4, 2005 06:52 PM

i heard about this earlier chatting with a couple friends who got out of NO before the hurricane came. Even after I saw the pictures all I thought was damn how could a cop do that crap. Little did I know that all I had to do was look at a couple comments to see some idiot bring the race card into it. I myself am African-American and Korean and it pisses me off how so many ppl toss out the race card whenever they see fit.

It disgusts normal people that see the picture because it's 2 cops looting..not because it's 2 black cops doing it..but I swear people that bring up the latter only want to perpetuate the racial divide in our nation. I keep forgetting there are no other races out there at all..and it will always just be black against white... The majority of us see each other as regular human beings, but there is still a few out there that like to take us back a few decades and start up old BS.

You do a wonderful job in making yourself look foolish as do certain celebrities out there. We've moved on and maybe you should too. Cops should never do exactly the opposite of what they've sworn to do, and this is exactly what these two POLICE OFFICERS did. Please do us all a favor and grow up.

Posted by: EndlessEcho at September 5, 2005 12:04 AM

If i may butt in .... if the cop confiscated the items from a looter why would he be carrying them? Is he gonna take them back to the flooded evidence room and type up a report?

Posted by: TheSpaceCoyote at September 6, 2005 04:43 AM

The fact remains that any cops who were looting were not helping others. Most of us don't care about someone stealing food or diapers, we're just outraged at the idiots who were stealing tvs, jewelry, dvds, things that can't be EATEN.

It wouldn't matter what race the cops were. The race card is convenient to use when you have no other arguement.

Don't you think that the reporters and photographers who saw these people could tell the difference in cops taking things from looters and cops looting?

Posted by: Impatient Girl at September 9, 2005 12:36 PM

I am sick and tired of the bullshit excuses for everyone that is looting or were looting. They should be shot on the spot. Firepower is the only thing criminals and theiving cops understand. We have bred a generation of taker not doers. Also the governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of N.O. are pitiful and only care about re-election

Posted by: Michael Moss at September 16, 2005 05:26 PM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?