Reader N.S. comments on our posts on the Katrina looters (click here and here):

“Read your entry in Inkwell about the looting going on in the aftermath of Katrina. I also followed that link to [Canadian Kathy Shaidle], and that blogger said something that resonated quite true with me: ‘I predict that Katrina donations will be much lower than those to the tsunami victims, because, let’s be candid, many would-be donors won’t want people like that getting their money.’

“This is exactly why I have not made any donations! I have consistenly donated to all natural disaster relief efforts for the last 10 years, but no way in hell am I going to donate to Katrina – because I don’t want my money going to these low-life looters! This is such a shame, because I know I am not the only generous person to feel this way. The looters don’t just hurt the image of America, they hurt their fellow hurricane survivors – because people who want to help are put off and end up not helping.”

N.S., I hear you, and some of the stuff done in New Orleans was unspeakable, which is why I’ve been urging summary executions for the perps–but I can’t agree with you, and I hope that most Americans haven’t and won’t. Take a visit to the American Red Cross’s website–and you’ll see who the beneficiaries of Katrina charity are, and they aren’t the feral able-bodied. They’re the very old and the very young, the sick and the disabled, the vulnerable and the poor. Kathy’s right: Many of these people have been crippled by a welfare system that weakens families and promotes government dependency–but that’s not their fault. It’s not their fault that New Orleans needed a Rudy Giuliani and got a Ray Nagin, and that the corrupt and feckless New Orleans government lifted not a finger to help any of these people get out of town–or even to the Superdome, for that matter–before the flooding started. Fortunately, Kathy’s prediction hasn’t come true, and Americans have opened their hearts and their pocketbooks: $352 million for the Red Cross alone. Bless them.

Please reconsider, N.S. Take a look at this list of links to charities on Instapundit, and see if you can find one that you think might be doing some good. And remember that every beneficiary of your generosity is also getting a lesson in the possibility that there are alternatives to government dependency and every evacuee from New Orleans is getting exposed to functioning, opportunity-providing local economies that suggest there’s more to life than sitting on the doorsteps of housing projects in the Big Easy.

Now for part of an e-mail rant from someone who styles herself You Must Be A White Man (I can’t tell whether that means she thinks I’m a paleface guy or I think she’s a paleface guy):    

“Your website is seriously one of the scariest things I’ve seen recently and this includes the hundreds of thousands of people dying of neglect after the hurricane because our government was too disorganized to send in immediate aid after Hurricane Katrina. While I suppose you would say those people were playing the ‘victim’ and they deserve what they (didn’t) get, what would you then say about those who took it upon themselves to ‘loot’ stores for food and water? You’d probably agree with the government that they should be shot if necessary?”

Well, yes, I think everyone who “loots” should be “shot.” Taking food and water from abandoned stores to feed yourself and your family in a time of grave emergency isn’t looting. Taking a gun from a Wal-mart store and using it to shoot a cop in the head or to rape a teen-age girl in the filth and darkness of the Superdome deserves the death penalty–and in a time of grave emergency, summary execution is appropriate. Sorry I sound so uncaring.

And by our “disorganized…government,” are you referring to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who refused for days to implement a federal evacuation order and had to be arm-twisted to call in the National Guard? Hey, I agree with you!

I’ll refer you to these words from Ben Stein on the American Spectator’s site

“George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one….

“George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born….

“George Bush had nothing to do with the hurricane contingency plans for New Orleans. Those are drawn up by New Orleans and Louisiana. In any event, the plans were perfectly good: mandatory evacuation. It is in no way at all George Bush’s fault that about 20 percent of New Orleans neglected to follow the plan. It is not his fault that many persons in New Orleans were too confused to realize how dangerous the hurricane would be. They were certainly warned. It’s not George Bush’s fault that there were sick people and old people and people without cars in New Orleans. His job description does not include making sure every adult in America has a car, is in good health, has good sense, and is mobile.

“George Bush did not cause gangsters to shoot at rescue helicopters taking people from rooftops, did not make gang bangers rape young girls in the Superdome, did not make looters steal hundreds of weapons, in short make New Orleans into a living hell….

“Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush’s fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind?”