Join Ricochet or renew and get 1 yearof National Review/Digital as a bonus!
Yes, Rob, I think "lessons learned" in the Army Corps add up to this: critics say the Dutch have better ideas about living with water, so the Corps hires a couple of Dutch guys and continues to build big, static structures. The government didn't have to spend a lot of money defending the Corps from culpability--except in the case of MR-GO, which was built as a navigation channel--because Congress granted the Corps blanket immunity in the 1927 Flood Control Act. I think a reasonable viewer of the film may well conclude that the crux of the problem is not in a bureaucracy, but in the Congress.
LATE UPDATE: Credit where due department: Brian Williams did, I hear, mention the film and its subject matter this a.m. on Meet the Press. Meanwhile, npr told the NYPost their decision was made to comply with "FCC guiidelines". You know, those guidelines that prohibit advertisers from saying what their product is....
Trace, the problem with your thesis is that the Army Corps, as we document in the film, is basically the Army Corps of Contract Administrators. As Dr. Bob Bea of UC Berkeley (who started his career with the Corps) points out, the Corps does very little of its own engineering and none of its own constructing any more. Private contractors do that work.
Also, is it just me, or does Rob's profile picture look a lot like Orson Welles just before his Paul Masson period?
I'm made to wonder how the hell Rob knows for whom I vote, then I remembered for whom he votes, and the rest made sense.
New Orleans is built in the wrong place? You think we should build the main port on the river that drains 2/3 of the North American continent in, say, Phoenix? Every river delta port in the world is built at or below sea level, and NO is, even now, half at or above sea level. Many of the houses that were flooded off their foundations were 10-12 ft above sea level. Sea level had nothing to do with this disaster.
Re: levees: you're conflating the River levees, which did not fail but which do indeed impair the replenishment of coastal wetlands (solution: diversions) with the "Hurricane Protection System" levees and floodwalls, which failed catastrophically in more than 50 places 5 years ago.
Just saw a cable news Katrina plus 5 report--still act as if Lower Ninth Ward only part of New Orleans that was devastated. You might ask, will they never learn? And you know the answer.
The media saw the hurricane in the Gulf, they saw the hurricane damage along the coast, they assumed it was a hurricane story. They left soon thereafter. The media had easy freeway access to the Dome and the Convention Center. But they couldn't find their way to St. Bernard Parish, housing totally destroyed by floodwaters, white folks on their roofs for four days of searing hot, no food, no water. The media congratulated themselves for stern lectures to Mary Landrieu, but almost nothing--barring a couple newspaper stories--about the results of two independent forensic engineering investigations into why the thing really happened.
Become a Member to enjoy the full benefits of Ricochet:
Ricochet: The Right People, The Right Tone, The Right Place. Join today!
Already a Member? Sign In