Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pie-Eyed Pickle of the Week

Our hearts go out to everyone on the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina, the victims of which are in a pickle of imaginable size. The biggest pickle of all, however, may be reserved for those responsible for keeping New Orleans dry. By all accounts, everyone expected New Orleans to drown at some point...but will heads roll when they look at what could have been done to prevent such catastrophe?

P.S. With Venice sinking, perhaps we should just make New Orleans the new city of gondolas.

7 comments:

Ilya said...

And this would be the appropriate time for everyone to get out their Tragically Hip CDs and play "New Orleans is Sinking"

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

It does seem that some preparation would have been in order. It appears that the New Orleans did a great job of planning an evacuation: for those that have cars. It also seems like the FAA did a decent job of bracing for the delays Katrina would cause for air travel. But these two issues presume modes of travel that are not available to everyone. I guess the question is what measures were undertaken to buttress the levies, and in the case that levies would break (if that was anticipated which would be telling either way) what preparations were made.

Anonymous said...

Xtra, your snooty nosed post-mortem of the situation is simply ridiculous. "It does seem that some preparation would have been in order." (wtf?!) Then, what's up with the goofball non-sequitir about "modes of travel"--the airlines and cars? Are you thinly trying to inject some politics into this tragedy? Please. Stop with the bald-faced blathering and save a few pixels on my computer screen.
Thank you, Lord Jesus...Creator of all Divine and Infinite, my shepherd, my indefatigable rabbi, my shep. For thine is the power and the glory, Amen.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

Tragedies like these are inherently political becasue they spur the question of what mistakes were made and by whom. Some mistakes are fairly innocent and some are the culmination of a lack of preparation or a poor use of judgement. This exact scenario threatened to transpire a year ago with hurricane ivan. It would appear than that there was ample time to plan contingencies in the case of a devastating hurricane, which they did in some areas, as explained in the "modes of transportation" bit you found so repugnant. Anyhow, it helps to read these things without a stick in your ass.

PiedPiper said...

I have to agree with Xtra on this one. When all is clear, the fingers of blame will need to be pointed. This was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Unchecked development, ancient levies, zero contingency plan for evacuating thousands of impoverished residents, not enough response teams to adequately save people, etc. You can't plan for everything, but you can plan for something that is an almost certainty.

Anonymous said...

If you want to point a finger of blame, which you surely must, try wagging at the stinkin', no-deoderant-wearin frenchmen who settled the infernal place like 250 years ago? Under sea-level? below the third largest river in the world and an enormous lake? on a steadily eroding bed of silt egged on by catastrophic environmental degradation via river dredging, improper land development, and oil drilling?
The problems reach back several centuries and concatenate to the present disaster. To reach for specific problems, as worthless as "modes of travel" is thin, pointless, and ill researched.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I think we could all agree that nature happens. You are not going to conquer nature. Nor will you be able to achieve a zero deficiency or zero casaulty plan regardless. But when all this washes away, we will, once the bodies are found and some sanity is restored, we will be able to asses damages, and to what extent they could have been reasonably mitigated. Though, it is my natural predilection to bash the french, I have to leave them off the hook on this one. But as the "thin" modes of transportation, I will spell out to you why it is not thin. Imagine you are mayor, and you find out that your city is about to be crushed by a natural disaster. It appears that your citizens have few options with predictable outcomes: stay and likely die or become infirm, or leave. This begs the question of how do you leave? When a mass exodus occurs you run into logistical nightmares, which is why coordination and planning is so vital. And it appears that in the case of ground and air transportation significant planning was undertaken, but maybe time will reveal otherwise. However, not everyone has these outlets available to them. Some people cannot afford cars. Some may opt not to have cars, if I could I would do without mine because they are depreciating assets, expensive ones at that, and people can't drive worth crap thus imperiling my safety(I am a finnicky wuss). So the question, is what do you do with those that can't help themselves in such a situation? The first point of analysis will be to see if this question was asked. Certainly some people are going to underestimate the threat posed as a result of stubborness. Maybe some will resist leaving for fears of looting (think shopkeepers), maybe others are reticent to leave for sentimental reasons. But all things considered, this group is likely to be small. So at some point we will have to analyze what went wrong. It is vital that we do that before we start blaming people, but it does appear that there were things that went terribly wrong. And in all likelihood we will be able to identify missteps on the local, state, and federal level. But another reason why it is important to take an inventory of the successes and failures of this event is that hurricanes happen routinely. So do natural disasters. If you live in the gulf or on the Southeast, that is simply a function of your existence. You can either wish it away, leave yourself, or plan for it.