This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 31, 2005 12:16 AM. The previous post in this blog was Top 10 Things Neil Might Have Said to Nigel. The next post in this blog is Where you can get by walking. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Portland's own Oh Dog, You Sleuth has some valuable links and thoughts on the tragedy in New Orleans.

UPDATE, 1:03 p.m.: An alert reader sends along this additional link.

The scope of the disaster has grown beyond comprehension. There's no way to keep up with all of the chaos at this point.

Comments (14)

Meanwhile, 3,000 Lousiana National Guard troops are over in Iraq, along with "dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators". But, gee, whoever could have forecast that Louisiana could be in for a real catastrophe if it were to be hit by a huge hurricane during hurricane season?

But, hey, no reason to criticize the President. After all, he did cut short the longest presidential vacation in two generations by a full day to fly back to D.C. Leadership in action!

totally horrific. here is another thing someone sent me:


Dave J,

That was really helpful.

Thank you so much.

I knew it wouldn't take long for the loonies to blame Katrina on W. If only he'd have signed the Kyoto Agreement.

Yeah, too bad no one mentions that ALL of the Senate rejected Kyoto (even the lefty-members currently talking otherwise).

And if Clinton (et al) hadn't decimated the US troop count, Louisiana would have some Nat'l Guard members around to help out. But again, the facts get in the way of whining about Bush.

Bill Holmer:

I wouldn't blame Bush for Katrina, but his administration does share some responsibility for the poor state of New Orleans' levees.

December 3, 2004
"We foresee a slightly above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin in 2005," Colorado State University forecaster William Gray said Friday. "Also, an above-average probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is anticipated.”

May 16, 2005
Another Above Normal Season Expected

May 16, 2005
"Forecaster confidence that this will be an active hurricane season is very high," said Navy Vice Adm. Conrad Lautenbacher, administrator of NOAA, the parent organization of the National Weather Service.

June 6, 2005
The Bush Administration and the Republican controlled Congress decided to make the largest single-year funding cuts ever for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to Corps officials. Corp officials raised the following red flag in June:

“In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding...The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.” [...]

“Landrieu said the Bush administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority. ‘I think it’s extremely shortsighted,’ Landrieu said. ‘When the Corps of Engineers’ budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana.’

Doesn't seem to be very good policy in light of predictions for an active hurricane season.

[sorry for the long post above]

JS: How could I have missed it? The flooding in New Orleans is the fault of the Oregon congressional delegation for politicking for Corps of Engineers funding to deepen the Columbia River channel, when it should have been going to strengthen the Louisiana levees. It's so obvious!

If only the Oregon delegation had that kind of power.

In other "blame fantasy" news...

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city. From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence', New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same. Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long,"
- Michael Marcavage, in a statement from the evangelical Christian group, "Repent America," issued today.

It will be interesting to learn just how high (and thick) those levees would have needed to be to protect New Orleans from this hurricane. I suspect there's no amount of money that the Corps of Engineers could have spent there in the last few years that would have resulted in any different outcome.

Considering that it is situated a dozen or so feet below sea level and adjacent to one of the most active hurricane regions in the world perhaps it's time to think of alternatives to spending billions to raise the levies a few feet when there's no guarantee of future protection. Landfill and/or relocation come to mind.

Gotta love the utter lack of international outpouring of relief aid and support for the USA. After the tsunami, newspapers and TV networks around the globe launched appeals for readers and viewers to contribute to the aid effort. Not a peep this time. I've been looking at the international coverage of the hurricane, and I saw a number of comments that we basically "had it coming". Yes, it's fashionable not to like the USA, but the whole world was with us on Sept 11 2001. Four years later, virtually the entire globe has turned against us. Thanks, GW.

Does anyone have news or a link about how Bogalusa fared during the hurricane? Looked like it passed directly over the area.

I suspect there's no amount of money that the Corps of Engineers could have spent there in the last few years that would have resulted in any different outcome.

Part of the problem is over-engineering, and not understanding natural processes...i.e. destroying the wetlands that provide a natural buffer. As my geology teacher used to say: You can get a degree in engineering, and go work for the Corps, without ever having taken a class in geology. We need to understand --and respect-- nature's ability to undermine our best laid plans, and work work with it, rather than trying to enginner our way out of everything.

Roanald - Better engineered levees would have gone a long way in protecting the City Under the Sea. Of course, not living in a city that's *normally* a story-or-more below sea-level is also a good idea.

Clicky Web Analytics