Friday, December 09, 2005

Rebuilding New Orleans looks like rebuilding Iraq

It appears that New Orleans has been abandoned by our nation. Its people scattered everywhere, its body-strewn rubble left to rot, there is no more rebuilding in New Orleans than there is in Fallujah. But wherein the Busheviks blame "the security situation" for the lack of rebuilding in Iraq, what is their excuse for the situation in New Orleans? That the people of a destroyed city should somehow "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" despite the federal government controlling the only asset (the port and its tariffs) that they could use to do so? What about the fact that it was *federal* levees that failed and destroyed the city and thus the response is a *federal* responsibility, under any system of Christian morality that has ever existed?

But I forget, while the Busheviks loudly proclaim their Christianity, Busheviks are to Christians as macaroni is to meat... All that stuff about "love thy neighbor" in the New Testament? Doesn't exist in their Bible, which seems to more resemble Anton Levey's Bible...

- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin


  1. The "federal" levees were under local control. The organization that controlled the budget had been diverting money away from levee maintenance and toward the dredging of a little used shipping channel.
    The notion that a city's emergency response being the dominion of the federal government is dangerously naive. Municipalities are best suited for devising and implementing disaster response and follow-up actions.

  2. Yawn, I'd delete your cowardly post, but that would be to give it too much credit. First of all, the "little used shipping channel" is used to ship the Space Shuttle external tank to Cape Kennedy from where it's built at Michaud Space Center in eastern New Orleans. So what you just stated is that they were not given enough money to both maintain the levees and maintain a channel of grave national importance. Are you sure that is what you wanted to say? Secondly, the levees broke because of fundamental design flaws, not because of poor maintenance -- the canal levees broke because the footings were not properly surveyed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, and washed out because a waterproof steel barrier was not driven deep enough, while in east New Orleans, the levees broke because they were overtopped by a storm surge that should *not* have overtopped them if they'd been properly designed to meet the criteria laid down by Congress. In short, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for the design and construction of the levees, fucked up.

    Secondly, I absolutely agree that municipalities are best suited for devising and implementing disaster response and follow-up actions. Rather than Governor Blanco and President Bush attempting to micro-manage the disaster response, they should have simply given Mayor Nagin full authority to use any and all federal and state resources that were available in the region. Similarly, instead of FEMA contracting to haul away garbage with a legion of contractors and subcontractors importing illegals to do (or not do) the work, they should have simply given the money to the City of New Orleans, which then could hire some of the thousands of local contractors which are just biting at the bit for reconstruction work but which FEMA has locked out because they're not "certified" (apparently, they haven't bribed enough Congressmen).

    I would state that the federal responsibility is to give the municipality the resources it needs to do disaster recovery, rather than to attempt the disaster recovery itself. Top-down micromanagement rarely works. The people of the city, the people who live there, are the people best suited to figure out what their highest priorities are and direct the resources to resolving them. We should give them the billions of dollars they need to clean out the debris, fix the levees, and reconstruct what parts of the city need reconstruction (much of the city, I suspect, is going to end up as parkland in the end because it's not worth reconstructing), and quit fucking them over with this bullshit about billions of dollars going to B&R and Bechtel but none of it seeming to actually accomplish anything other than assuring that Vice President Halliburton's bribe money (whoops, "delayed compensation") continues to roll in.

    As for the issue of local corruption, BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! You're saying that the most corrupt federal government in memory, which has managed to somehow lose *BILLIONS* of dollars, is going to be any more honest than the New Orleans government?! Not to mention that in my opinion Louisiana corruption is overstated -- as a computer consultant I've worked with Louisiana governments all over Louisiana, and while any audit of any of those governments is likely to result in an "unfavorable" rating, in general it's because they lack the manpower and expertise to maintain accounting standards of the same level as the Fortune 500, not because anybody there is actually stealing the public's money...

    -- Badtux the Louisiana Penguin

  3. Good response to AC, Penguin!

    I was thinking that perhaps "the security situation" was a worrying point for the govt. They fear the wrath of the natives and they can't shoot hell out of them like they can in Iraq. People, here, might get up in arms.

  4. Oh, and yes, I agree that they should give control and money needed to City of New Orleans. As you stated, there are plenty of local contractors there who could do the jobs.

  5. President Bush says that we will learn from Katrina. Having lost my home in a disaster a decade and a half ago, I can tell you that there are plenty of PREVIOUS disasters to learn great lessons from. None put to use during Katrina. None put to use so far for the "recovery". Okay, except for this one: All this talk about learning lessons from THIS disaster is a GREAT way of avoiding responsibility for what went wrong. There is still plenty of time to fix it, disaster recovery takes years. But at this rate, more people are going to remember the years of Katrina's aftermath as the disaster than will think of the hurricane or floods as the worst thing that happened.


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