Wednesday, November 23, 2005

We Need to Understand Fully What Happened Here

Last night's Nova and Frontline programs were excellent, with great additional material online that I plan to explore. They reminded my that New Orleanians (even moreso than Mississippi Gulf Coasters, who took horrifying damage) were failed more by governmental institutions than they were harmed by nature.

We were promised Category Three protection by the Army Corps of Engineers, got hit by a Category Three storm, and were decimated. The case is as simple as that. One can go on and on about local corruption and incompetence--and I am ALL about running out the chuckleheads from 'round these parts--but the federal government did not deliver. What is borderline criminal now is the utter failure to deliver any meaningful assurances about the future. Why should we trust them now ("No, this time we really will deliver--and by next summer")?

John Biguenet, an outstanding author and professor at Loyola University New Orleans, offers this sober and evenhanded assessment of the mood here and of the high emotional and moral costs of the federal government's current inaction. Something's missing in Washington. Dark, Sith-like forces are behind this. I can't believe it's simply incompetence.

James Gill's Wed., 11/23, column is not posted as of this writing, but his archive is here for when the piece is posted. He rightfully blisters the state Legislature for failing to unify the levee boards. Francis Heitmeier of Algiers and Ken Odinet of Arabi should be impeached and exiled to Illinois to spend time with Speaker of the House Hastert. Their corruption is patent now that they've killed the effort to bring some sense to local oversight of our flood protection. (Can we still call it "protection"? Maybe there's some interim term we can use until it actually protects us.)

I still have faith that this will shake out for the best. As Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said, Katrina has had the effect of revealing angels and demons, of showing the world who each person in our region really is. It is fleetingly unpleasant to look truth in the face, but it's ultimately healthy. We'll get there.

1 comment:

dillyberto said...

I like blogs.

I am more a great fan of direct communication of late. I emailed our good bud Heitmeier yesterday. Please encourage others to do likewise.

Or we could take the high road and ask Scalise and Boasso what we can do to help them.

It is easy to blog, but facilitate change....

Who's our new mayor?

Lamarque - we've had bad experiences with Car Dealers lately (Benson)

Wilson - we're troubled by female lately (Blanco)

Some School Board guy - it's not looking pretty

Friends Of Armstrong Park leader Leo Watermeier - another whitey

and our troubled mayor

heavy is the head that wears the crown